A Cough In The Night: A Parent’s Nightmare

I’m a light sleeper. This needs to be said upfront. If there is a noise in the night I hear it. Except for my own snoring.

One of the most frightening noises in the night I’ve found, as a parent, is the child’s cough in the night. Not just any cough. THE COUGH. The one where you hear it and your think to yourself, “whelp, looks like I’ll be doing laundry at 2:30 AM”. That cough.

You are usually okay if it’s just one cough. I mean, hey, humans (yes, kids are humans) cough. But if you hear a bunch of them, strung together, and that last one sounds a little…wet? You better get yourself on your horse and in that kid’s bedroom. Oh, and on your way, grab whatever trash can, bucket, snow boot you can get. What you catch now, you won’t have to clean up later.

This happened last night, which is why I’m writing. I hear my 4 year old son in the other room, cough, and fight or flight kicked in. I got there in time, only without the bucket. That’s when I called for my wife for backup.

To be honest, though, I think I’m a bit lucky in this regard. I have a co-worker who has this happen like once a week and all night. Ours are more like twice a year and one and done. Stuff happens. Kid feels better. I wrote that last sentence because I don’t believe in jinxes. Fingers crossed.

So, whatever. I’m a bit tired today, but my wife has it worse. She’ll be home with both sickies today, most likely watching Disney all day. Maybe they’ll watch Wreck it Ralph again. That’s a good flick.

(note: this post also appears at my main blog paulliadis.com/blog I’m posting here as well because people actually read my stuff here)