Monday, October 27, 2014

The Sleepers

     Over the last two weeks, TheZoo has been sharing a yucky cold. The kind that builds up over a few days, then flattens you out for two days, then tapers off, leaving that three week long hacking cough. Ew, yuck, blick, no good, very bad, awful, terrible, horrible.
     I thought we dodged the annual beginning of the school year illness. Generally, it's the second week of school when everyone begins to show signs of The Ick. It begins with the youngest, and works it's way up. Last year, the younger two were old enough to sort-of quarantine. They each had a spot on the couch, a pillow and a blanket. They had folding tables set up for their water and juice and crackers. Their books and a few toys were set out, and movies of their choosing were stacked up next to the television. Biggers were instructed NOT to give hug and kisses. No snuggling, and do not share cups. Amazingly, we didn't all share in that round of colds. Hooray!
     This school year, we didn't get the cold right away, and I let down my guard. Ugh. Bad move. We got the cold. Many kids at school already had it and were over it. Four week in, we came down with it. It wasn't even one of the youngest kids that first showed symptoms. It was a bigger. *sigh* I wasn't sure when this bigger began showing signs, so I didn't know for how long they had been spreading their germs all over the house. I frantically disinfected doorknobs and light switches to no avail. Every three days, another Zooligan succumbed.
     Sleepless nights, sitting up with coughing littles ensued. We blow through a bottle of cough syrup so fast, your head would spin! We mostly used home made honey mixes to soothe irritated throats, but none of them are the 8 hr relief variety. We begin to believe that perhaps this cough will persist indefinitely. We've had it forever already, and it's going to last the rest of forever. It's hard to remember when there wasn't any coughing. Being well is a distant memory.
     Then, one night, the only coughing keeping me awake was my own. One of the biggers found that sitting upright allowed him some relief, so he spent the night on the couch. I finally fell into a deep sleep at around 3 A.M. When I awoke, I found this:

     It seems that my sleep was deep enough that I missed the littlest one waking up. Usually, she will come into the parents bedroom for assistance, or climb over us with some magical kind of stealth and join us in our slumber. Today, she went out to the living room and joined her 'bwuva' on the couch. I watched them for a bit before deciding to snap a photo. By then they were beginning to wake. I guess the flash on the phone camera is brighter than I thought!
     Here's to the tail end of this rotten cold. Here's to (hopefully) just a week left of this awful cough. Here's to sweet moments where siblings take care of one another.

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