The other night Scott and I were knitting or polishing our muskets or whatever it is we do after Henry’s gone to bed when we heard a sound coming from his room. It sounded like there was an animal in there. Like the animal was dying loudly and painfully. That animal is going to wake up Henry, I thought; that animal should keep his suffering to his own self. “Is Henry moving the furniture?” asked Scott. Then I realized what it was: CROUP! The dreaded CROUP!

“Turn on the shower!” I shrieked as I ran to save my toddler. “Yes!” replied Scott as he ran to the bathroom. “Orp! Orp orp!” barked Henry, who was standing up in his crib and waving his arms at me. “Orp!”

Next thing I knew, the three of us were crammed in the steamy bathroom, our hairs becoming frizzy, our clothing damp. The child was none too happy. One minute he’s sleeping peacefully, and the next he can’t breathe and he’s forced to take a shvitz with these crazy people. “What do we do now!” Scott asked. “Um!” I replied. “Get thee into a steamy bathroom” was the only directive I recalled about what to do with CROUP! I had rather thought the minute we steamed him up, Henry would calm down and commence to breathing. Instead he continued his barky tirade while we tried to sing him songs (he wasn’t having it) or tell him stories (he now saw that our stories lacked a compelling narrative thrust).

Finally we found some books he would tolerate and we read as we watched the paint mildew and the towels become sodden. And lo, the child did breathe. And there was much delight. Actually there was much fatigue, and the child awakened every couple of hours to let us know that he was still pretty miserable. At one point he woke up and attempted to comfort himself back to sleep by singing—and I wish I was making this up—“You are My Sunshine.” There is nothing more pathetic than a toddler with laryngitis croaking, “Please don’t take my sunshine a-waaay.” All we needed was a shot of a deflated ball wobbling across an empty playground, and we would have an excellent public-service ad for, well, something or other. Do I have to think of everything?

Also, did you know that if you leave an inch of water in the humidifier and then pack it away in the closet, things will grow in there? Did you know this is an exceedingly stupid thing to do? While I was in the bathroom reading Cars and Trucks and Cars on top of Trucks to Henry, my husband was in the kitchen, scrubbing the humidifier with bleach and vinegar and cursing. I tried to think of someone to blame for this stupid move, but probably it was me.

Last night there was more CROUP! And oh, was Henry weary of the steamy-bathroom routine. He was not enjoying the fun-adventureness of it. The change-of-routine appeal was entirely lost on him. He just wanted to bark in peace in the comfort of his bed.

Right now the child is at the doctor with his father, while I am hard at work. And as soon as I finish this and make myself more tea and then after I check my email a few times, I am so going to start working, I swear it. My deadlines are demanding that I work more than blog for the next couple of weeks, so if posting is light(er), I beg your forgiveness in advance.

In conclusion: CROUP!