The last two weeks, I keep thinking that I survived a triplet pregnancy, the infant stage times three, age two challenges, potty training, our three-nagers’ attitudes, eye surgeries and ear infections, all to be taken down by a seemingly never ending bout of croup.
We are kicking off week three with this crud and it doesn’t seem to be improving. The lack of sleep feels like when the girls were tiny, although to their credit, they are trying so hard to sleep and exist during the coughing fits, which are often. We are back to the dreaded everyone-wakes-up-at-night-and-wants-cuddles stage and breathe a huge sigh of relief if anyone sleeps through the coughing.
While the croup is nothing new to our household, it’s never lasted this long and certainly not for all three. Every remedy imagined was tried: spoonfuls of honey at bedtime, inhalers, nebulizers, steroids from the pediatrician, Tylenol, steamy showers, humidifiers at night, pillow propping; and yet, it holds on!! The only small relief seems to be the chewable Tylenol right at lights out, which soothes their throats enough for a few hours of sleep. I’m starting to think the dusty air is encouraging it to hang out longer; maybe more allergy testing is in our future since the latter part of last summer proved rough, maybe I’m just convincing myself it’s something more than it is.
Since this crud continues its grip, more time is spent at home and we try to avoid too many enclosed, indoor places, especially since the average public judges one cough, let alone multiple, like the plague is going to hop out of our pores and leap into their bloodstream…at any moment.
One of the main advances during this unpleasant illness is coloring and drawing. All three are now excited to make their own creations, not just color pictures, and I’m greatly enjoying what comes out of the hours at the table. In the past few weeks we’ve witnessed an increase in ideas and effort. For example, Harper knows H stands for Harper and how to draw an “h”. This often results in full pages of the letter in different colors and a preschooler very excited to show it off. Reagan and Emerie both mimicked it; Reagan decided the “R” is too difficult to try and Emerie managed to draw some basic “E’s” on her paperwork.
In addition to basic lettering, the drawings are improving leaps and bounds. I always pictured my kiddos with great imaginations for drawing, even though I have minimal skill on paper myself (at least AutoCAD remains my jam!). Harper colored very fancy rainbow clouds the other day and is now on a full rainbow trend, drawing it completely unassisted. Emerie is a bit more interested in joining in on the fun but still the least enthusiastic of the three. Some evenings she is all about it, kneeling at the living room table; other nights she’s happy to do her own thing while Harper and Reagan do it. And then there’s Reagan, who can sit at the table forever and color, draw or paint. She now insists her creations of dots and lines are members of the family, and will list them off in order of importance (usually starts with Grandparents Lon, Sue, Cliff and Anne and then (of course) Tyler and Mom and Dad (apparently Tyler qualifies on the same level as parents) and after that? Savaya, THEN Jaren and Chatum. It’s pretty cute to see how her mind works.
Reagan spent several days the past month at home with us during work days. She effortlessly mimics her parents and works on “her iPad” (princess laptop) and her glittery (not real) cell phone, sits and colors at her desk in her office, and will shush you and hold up a hand, saying she’s on the phone or in a meeting. Is that really how Craig and I sound? All in all, it’s great that coloring can entertain her while we get much needed work done, and she does great playing, or “working,” at home without her sisters.
Emerie now finishes every “mom” and “dad” with a lift in her voice, as if to ask a question. Uh, dad? Uh, mom? It is very endearing and Craig now answers her back, with an “uh, Emerie?” The daily eye patching continues to be more of a battle each week and her teacher tells us some days she refuses to wear it for the morning. As a mom, it sucks knowing how much she dislikes doing it everyday; but also as a mom…it’s ensuring that her non-dominant eye feeds her brain visuals and gets used and grows her vision. It’s tough and yet extremely necessary- in addition to her disagreement on wearing it, she also takes her glasses off and leaves them places constantly. I’ll pick her up from school with glasses no where to be found (and found eventually). That medical tape may be making a comeback soon!
Harper, who is most familiar with the croup, is definitely not a fan of it this time around. When swept into our bed for a few hours because she unsettles from the cough during the night; at some point she demands you return her to her own spot or there is hell to pay! And reminders the next morning that Mommy wouldn’t let me sleep in my bed! If only this could rub off on both sisters. She continues to be a biking superstar and balances on her balance bike as she cruises down the street.
Everything else in our house currently relates to beads, ballet flats, water play, or bike riding…with some movies in between when the cough worsens. I always forget how we survive all winter, once it’s nice enough to be outdoors again for the summer and the kids can come and go with outdoor self entertainment. Questions about getting the pool out are already underway; I’ve promised by the time the leaves are completely out and green, it’ll be time for some back yard swimming.
I’ll end this update with a random revelation the other day at pickup. A random mom that I do not know stopped me in the hallway to explain her kiddos came home the prior day and informed her that “if you have three babies, they get chopped out of you.” With a laugh I responded that the girls do not know what a c-section is, although it is how they entered the world. Good to know triplet topics are still cruising through their school after almost a year! Now if the croup would just stop….