We've been pretty sick, Jack and I, for the past several weeks. Jack got the cold first - a nasty dry cough that wouldn't go away. He seems to be on the mend but still coughs on occasion, mainly just after I do.
Me: "Cough. Cough. Cough-cough-cough."
Jack: "Cough. Cough. Cough-cough-cough..... Cough."
Me: "Well done, son."
Somehow in my efforts to nurse my child to health, I have created a monster. We've spent a lot of days at home since Christmas (aka the Family Flu Festival of 2010), and, as far as Jack is concerned, this is a good thing. He gets lots of mommy time, and apparently the little extras don't hurt either: the vaporizer in his room, the freshly squeezed orange juice with honey and warm water. It's a sweet deal!
Last week, I took Jack in to get checked out, and was told he had a virus. Not to worry. I continued our at-home therapies and he's doing pretty well now. I, on the other hand, have been in a dry cough holding pattern for far too long. Today, I had an appointment to see the doctor. I figured a cough that had gone on for more than two weeks and hadn't improved deserved a look.
I took a seat on the examination table and Jack jumped up beside me. The doctor looked in my ears, and told me to say "Ah" as she looked at my throat. Then she listened to my breathing. Nothing in my lungs. Excellent. Lots of fluids, steam, an expectorant "and come back and see me if it get's worse", the doctor said, leaving the room.
Jack looked ready to cry and said, "But I wanted to get checked out too!" My poor little drama queen. I offered to check him out and he reluctantly agreed. I looked in his ears, asked him to say "Ah" in my best doctor-y voice, and tried to be very thorough in my examination. "Un-hun, un-hun. I see. Deep breath in please? Mm-hmm. Yes, yes. It's a cold, alright, but only a tiny one. It's almost all gone." All the while, Jack's eyes followed mine. His furrowed brow told me he was not quite buying what I was selling. I did a good enough job that he didn't request a second opinion, but I could tell he definitely felt ripped off.
Jack was clearly jealous of me, because I was sick and was getting the doctor's attention. Somehow, he learned that being sick is a desirable state. That can't be good. Maybe I need to stop coddling him. Next time he'll just have to blow his own nose and make his own orange juice! Oh, who am I kidding? Next time I'll probably do all of those things AND wrap him up in a heated blanket in front of his favourite TV show. Everyone has to be sick sometimes. I suppose I'm teaching him that there are ways to make the experience less horrible, and that it feels good to be cared for. Maybe it will help him to become a more compassionate person. Now, that doesn't sound so bad.