Baby Man Cold

My poor son is sick. More sad than that, though, he doesn’t seem to understand that he has Man Cold. Or maybe he has to grow up first to get that.

Sunday night, we noticed that he had a tiny little cough. He’d do it about once an hour, and we didn’t really think much of it since he didn’t have a fever.

The next day, though, a tiny disaster struck. (Most people probably wouldn’t consider it a disaster at all. Nursing mothers, however, might well consider it a tragedy.) The breast milk that had been stored in the fridge over the weekend had soured, and we had to send frozen breast milk with our son to daycare. This resulted in the milk not having the antibodies from mummy, who’d had the same cold the week before.

So on Monday, things went downhill for the little guy pretty quickly. He had a cardiologist appointment that day (he seemed to enjoy being handled by strangers while naked, we’ll have to have a talk about that) and nothing was caught during his exam. He also wasn’t coughing very much more that evening. There might have been a few extra minutes of crankiness.

Tuesday morning was a different matter. His breathing was raspy, there was more coughing, and his tiny little cooing voice was deeper. (Not like Barry White cooing, maybe, but enough for Tiny Tim to be jealous.)

With how quickly this had progressed, and with his first cold coming at a week shy of four months old, and with Whooping Cough going around, we figured we should get him into the doctor if for nothing else than to tell us what we should be doing for him. (I only trust the parenting books so far. They’re typically written by parents, and parents can be a little nuts. Also, how crazy long was that run-on sentence?)

Anyhow, his doctor wasn’t too worried, but told us what to watch for to see respiratory distress (mostly a sucked-in belly when breathing), and told us to call again if that happened, or if it hadn’t gone away in another week.

Wednesday was when our son had what should have been Man Cold. A regular cold is what women get, which allows them to continue to raise a family, go to work, take care of the household, and not complain.  Man Cold, however, must somehow interact with the “Y” chromosome, making every cold much more severe for men. We can’t fix our own meals, can only get out of bed long enough to find the comfy chair in front of the TV, and the pain is only relieved through a constant dialogue of complaining how bad we feel. (Example: When my wife got this cold, she once asked me for some water, and once commented that her throat was itchy. When I got the same cold, I took two days off work, and got yelled at for not taking a third off.)

So what did he spend his time doing? Laughing. He’d laugh long enough to hurt his throat, then he’d cry that his throat hurt, and then he’d start smiling and laughing again. He eventually decided that laughing wasn’t worth it, but he wouldn’t give up the smiling. All night long he’d interrupt any of his fits of crying with smiles. He couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, but he was still so happy that he couldn’t keep it off his face.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, does anybody know how to convince an infant to stop doing drugs? Because I don’t see how his attitude could come from anything else.

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