Ladies and gents, we have our first cold.
It sounds so innocuous, doesn't it? Like you should wrap a shawl around it and bring it some tea. Very unlike the heartwrenching, sleep-stealing nastiness we experienced last night. Want to feel like the world's shittiest parent? Ignore your baby's middle-of-the-night coughing/muttering/whining in hopes that he'll put himself back to sleep, unaware of the fact that he's so congested that snot has completely covered his face, soaking the front of his pj's. Oh, and also has a 102 degree fever. Mother Of The Year riiiiight here.
When your kid is struggling to breathe (that ragged, "uh-uh-UH-uh" gasp familiar to anyone who's weathered pneumonia) you will do anything. ANYTHING. You will attempt to suction the snot out of the nostrils of a sobbing, wiggling, increasingly freaked out infant using a rubber bulb. (Using that damn thing is like hunting a pig with a fork - hard and stupid. But I suppose it's better than the Little House on the Prairie alternative - sucking it out with your mouth.) You will also spend hours holding him on your shoulder in a vain attempt to help him sleep while he screams in fury and confusion over the fact that he can't breathe. You will consider taking your child to the ER, convinced that the sickness has morphed into strep-croup-pneumonia-bronchitis-tuberculosis and curse the day you took him to that Mommy-Baby yoga class. (Damn those drooly little bastards!) You will realize that "The City That Never Sleeps" totally fucking does. (Why is there a Duane Reade on every corner and yet none of them are open 24 hours?!)
You will also want to make sweet, sweet love to the person who invented Vicks mentholated rub because it is the only thing that works, albeit temporarily. I think I have used up my yearly allotment in the past 24 hours. (Vicks Sweet Dreams foaming bath, Vicks Gentle Vapors plug-in, Vicks VapoRub on his chest... Do I even need to mention what all this menthol is doing to the cats?)
Any suggestions on ways to help baby breathe better are definitely appreciated. So far we have raised the head of the bed using two Harry Potters (those babies are tomes), squeeze-bulbed the nostrils, VapoRubbed everything else, and added a cool mist humidifier. We have not yet run a steam shower (mostly due to the fact that our teensy bathroom has no ventilation and we're waging a war with mold) or put Vicks on his feet. (Has anyone tried this? I've heard rumors that it works but it sounds a little kooksville.) At this point I'm game for just about anything.