My daughter’s nose likes to run long marathons without breaks in-between. They’re all “functional” colds. Her temp is still around 99.0 and her energy levels are still higher than mine at their peak. She still goes to school, classes and other activities. She’s just covered in snot while she does it.
The day she checks into her first day of school, she checks out kind of cranky. I always have the bulb syringe, saline spray and tissues on call. It’s like clockwork and I like to be prepared. Cranky leads to abnormally laying on the couch for one hour to a runny nose, another hour later.
She’s on the accelerated cycle of sickness. When I get a cold, I have a sore throat for two days and I’m stuffed up for another five. Her:
Hour 1: Cranky
Hour 2: Lying on couch with slightly elevated temperature
Hour 3: Runny nose
Hour 4: Back up and running around in circles
I try to blow her nose, but she has the Niagara Falls of noses and I can’t catch the stuff fast enough, so she just swallows it. Out the nose and into the mouth. If I don’t blow her nose fast enough, she licks it as it’s coming out. She’s that kid and I just let her do it.
Did cavemen have tissues or handkerchiefs? Nope. Are there tissues for animals? Nope. Can you imagine having to blow your dog’s nose? Gross. I’d have to sit next to her with the Kleenex box to catch everything. This is an impossible scenario, as my post-baby bladder wants to live in the bathroom. I suppose I could sit on the toilet with a box of Kleenex, but the bathroom isn’t big enough for her to play in (that’s the only hole in that idea, right? It’s not weird or anything, right?)
Over the course of two weeks, the fountain slowly trickles, drips and disappears. I never put away the cold remedies. They are lined up behind the kitchen sink. Why? We only get two or three snot-free days before the cycle repeats. This is the curse of a new school year. It’s the fountain of the Fall season.
Then there is the non-dairy diet. Dairy thickens the flow. It makes the fountain deceivingly seem to have disappeared, but really it’s like the Hoover Damn and it just wants to blow. So, no cheese and no milk, until the mess clears up. This means I have to be very creative about snacks and my daughter gets to drink fruit juice, which I normally refrain from. Creativity in the kitchen means work is increased by 2 or 3 times.
When I close my eyes at night and fall asleep, I’m in a deep slumber until a pin drops. No, really, I’m such a light sleeper that if someone were to drop a pin on my nightstand, I would wake up. Maybe even as far away as the bathroom counter. And, once I’m up, there is no turning back. This is where the frequent knocks from the inside of my daughter’s door to blow her nose provoke delirium. Night after night, I’m lucky if I get even two, three or four hours of sleep. Zombies look more well-rested than I do. George Romero should just hire me as his extra (or any mother, for that matter). No acting required. I’d be in my natural habitat.
I could never sign her up for swimming in the fall because she’d miss every class. I’d worry she’d get an ear infection. We would be paying them for 14 sessions but she’d only be going to one.
Then, there are the mothers whose kids never seem to get a cold or even a tummy ache. They were smart. They let their kids lick their hands after they touched the railings at amusement parks. I carried the sanitizer around in my pocket, with a back-up in the backpack. They think my kid is strange for being sick all of the time. In reality, she’s just the offspring of a recovering germaphobe.
Winter is my favorite season. Not because of Christmas; because I get to put the bulb syringe, saline and tissues away.