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Baby’s First Cold – Advil, Tylenol, and House of Germs

17 Weeks and 5 Days
17 Weeks and 5 Days

Mark learned a lot of new skills last week, including how to sneeze, cough, spit and breathe through a stuffed nose. Yep, major baby milestones. I just wish he hadn’t caught a damn cold!

A day before going to the doctor for his four-month round of vaccines, I noticed that Mark was starting to display the common symptoms of a cold. “Let’s wait till tomorrow,” I figured, “since we are going to the doctor anyway.”

I wasn’t overly worried—not sure whether that’s a good thing (I have faith in my mommy instinct) or a bad thing (I am a terrible mother if I don’t rush my baby to the ER because he has a stuffy nose). I gave him a hot bath because I thought the steam would help, I checked his temperature and I cleaned his nose the best I could—not an easy task since he inherited his father’s tiny Chinese nose.

The doctor wasn’t worried and she gave him his vaccines after making sure he didn’t have a fever. Then, she rushed us out because she didn’t want to “spread the germs.”

Back home, Mark kept on protesting vehemently between two bouts of coughing: “agheeeu rheeu rheu,” as if saying “fuck man, what’s going on?”

Welcome to the world of germs, baby. I know, it sucks.

Ever tried to tell a baby to 1) stop drooling everywhere 2) warn us before coughing 3) blow his nose properly? Yeah, that doesn’t work—babies are tiny germ-spreading machines. I knew that Feng and I would catch the bug as well, it was just a matter of time. You can’t really quarantine a baby. Or at least, we can’t quarantine ours—he screams whenever we leave him alone for more than sixty seconds.

We recreated a mini-rainforest environment in the bedroom by plugging in a small heater and using a humidifier (hopefully the police won’t think we have a marijuana grow-up!). We bought one of these devices to suck the mucus out of a baby’s nose—Mark hates it but at least he helps him breathe better. We tried to give him some Advil pediatric drops—again, he hates the raisin taste but it can’t hurt him.

And then, Feng and I got sick. It was bound to happen.

Tylenol, Sinustab… we are like drug dealers at home. “I trade you an Advil for a Tylenol Extra Strength.” “Sure, but I need to finish my Strepsil first, my throat is killing me.”

We are boiling water non-stop and going through tissue boxes like a teen who has just discovered you-know-what.

We complain more than Mark does. Well, in all fairness, Mark doesn’t have to 1) work 2) do the household chores 3) take care of a baby, since he is a baby.

I hate being sick. Well, no one enjoys it (unless you call in sick when you are not actually sick but that’s completely different. And between us, I believe in karma so I was always reluctant to play the sick card when I worked in an office environment) but there are better times to catch a cold. The summer, for instance, when the hot weather truly helps.

Instead, we are stuck at home and it’s cold outside.


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French woman in English Canada.

Exploring the world with my camera since 1999, translating sentences for a living, writing stories that may or may not get attention.

Firm believer that nobody is normal... and it’s better this way.

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