Sunday, September 14, 2014

Croup and Pie Holes

Benjamin and I are staying home from church today. He was none too happy about this decision. He threw himself on the floor hoarsely screaming, "Turch! Turch!" I told him that he and I would watch church movies together and that helped him feel happier, but he still scowled as he watched his sisters finish getting ready to go.

As Miriam was trying to put on her shoes he yelled at her, "Stop! Daddy's shoes! Stop it, Mimi! Daddy's shoes!"

"Ummm, I'm pretty sure these are my shoes," Miriam said. "See how small and girly they are? They are black like Daddy's but they are not Daddy's. They are mine."

"Daddy's shoes," Benjamin huffed.

"But why can't Benjamin go to church?" Rachel asked.

"He has croup," I said. "He can't go to nursery because he might get the other kids sick and he sounds like a donkey braying so he can't really go to sacrament meeting and he and I hardly slept at all last night so we simply can't miss nap time today."

"Why don't I get croup?" Rachel asked.

I explained that kids usually grow out of getting croup. When you get sick your throat swells and that hurts but usually it doesn't swell so much that it keeps you from breathing—because as you get older your throat gets bigger. Benjamin's throat is still so small that if it gets swollen it can make it hard for him to breathe. That's probably not the most medically sound explanation, but whatever. The kids bought it.

"So, basically," I concluded, "His breathing hole is all filled up."

Miriam blushed.

"They didn't fill up my breathing hole!" she said. "They filled up my pie hole!"

This warrants a little explanation. She's had three dentist appointments in the past two weeks—once for a check up and twice for fillings. We were on a family walk the other day and she was chattering on and on, as she's prone to do. I was mostly ignoring her because Andrew and I were also talking, but then I heard her ask me why she can only breathe through her nose now.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Because the dentist filled up my breathing holes in my mouth!" she said, as if that were obvious. "So now I can only breathe through my nose, right?"

"Sweetie," I said. "They didn't fill up your breathing holes! They filled up your cavities—little holes in your teeth. You don't use your teeth to breathe."

We've been teasing her about that ever since. As for pie hole, well, first of all the dentist never once used the word "cavity" in her presence. Instead only "cookie bugs" were spoken of. And last night we were joking about "shutting one's pie hole." I can't remember why. Anyway, Miriam is quite confused, to say the least.

Benjamin's been pretty wild this morning. I think he's rather curious about his funny voice because he's been talking more than usual (just to hear himself speak). This is the first time he's had croup since he's started talking. In a way it's rather reassuring because he's able to actually tell me what's wrong and whether things are helping things get better.

Last night he woke up around 11:30 PM and asked to sleep in bed with me, so Andrew moved out to the couch and Benjamin and I settled down to sleep. He woke up around 3:00 AM gasping for air.

This little boy is prone to respiratory distress.

I picked him up, ran into the bathroom, and turned on the shower as hot as it would go and then shook Andrew awake and asked him to hunt down the humidifier.

Benjamin sat in the steamy bathroom for a long time. He was able to catch his breath and calm down a little but was still wheezing quite a bit so we turned off the shower and went outside to sit on the back porch in the cool night air. That seemed to help a great deal.

We finally got back to bed around 5:00 AM. At 7:00 Benjamin woke up gasping for air once again—in spite of the humidifier.

"Shall we go outside and get some cool air?" I asked.

"Yes," Benjamin rasped. "Light. Outside. Sunny day! Sunny day! Sunny day!"

"I don't think it's quite time for us to be awake yet," I said. "We've hardly slept."

"Sunny day," Benjamin said authoritatively.

"That's true," I said. "But I think we need to sleep a little longer."

We sat outside for a while and eventually moved back into bed but Benjamin was not going to be coaxed back to sleep—not what it was a sunny day! So I sent him into the living room to climb on Andrew and went back to bed and he's been a little wild ever since, running around the house tormenting his sisters, pausing only to either have a coughing fit or to let out a great big yawn.

That's kind of how croup is, though. Kids feel relatively okay during the day but really lousy at night. I don't know why that is but I'm hoping he and I can get a good nap in so we feel energized for our late night moon-watching session...

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