It is never fun to see your child suffering in any way, especially when they are ill, and there’s little to nothing you can do to take away the pain. As a parent, it’s almost ingrained in you to want to do something to alleviate the pain, but when kids are as young as Kaia is, there’s not much you can really do. You can’t take most medications to alleviate things like cough or congestion. You just have to “ride it out,” which really stinks. And it’s especially frustrating when not only your child is sick, but YOU are sick with the exact same illness. Every time Kaia coughs her very phlegmy cough or her nose oozes with endless boogers streaming down her face, I think: that’s what I have! I have that, too! I’m basically the same, except I can do things like clean up my face that she doesn’t really know how to do yet.
People warn you a lot about daycare sicknesses. It’s not just the issue of your child getting sick and needing to be pulled out of daycare; it’s also the fact that they will get you sick, and then you have to take time off work not just to care for them, but you’ll be miserable and ill yourself the entire time. And there’s really no break when they’re at home, whether it’s day or night. Last night, I probably slept only 1-2 consecutive hours at a time, if I am being generous. I was constantly being woken up by my own coughing and phlegm, or her coughing, phlegm, and crying. Plus, because I was constantly drinking warm water to soothe my throat, I was making endless trips to the bathroom. And, I also had to suck her nose and offer her poor throat some water.
I always tell myself: it’s okay. It’s better that she build up her immune system now when she’s really young than have to get super sick all the time once she starts kindergarten and the “real” school years, when missing class will become more critical. And it’s not like we were ever going to have a nanny that long, anyway. But even when I say this to reassure myself, all along, I still know that either way, it still really, really sucks. I say this all while I am coughing violently, hacking up endless phlegm and on the verge of vomiting.