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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

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« Why I should probably be back in therapy. | Main | Oh, SNORP. »
Tuesday
Apr122005

Croup!

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!

 

Reader Comments (46)

When I was a kid, my three youngest siblings and I would all get CROUP at the same time, so my mom would make this weird tent thing by draping a couple of quilts over the couch and tucking it under a foot stool. The four of us were supposed to stay under there with the humidifier for a few days until we were better. Our older sisters would read us books and make fun of us to help pass the time. Ah, the memories.

So, my advice: Have a million kids and make the older ones take care of the younger ones. It worked for my mom!
April 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCasey
Sorry to hear that Henry is sick. I read that you do the shower thing and then go outside in the fresh air and then back to the shower....The other night I heard my son sounding like a seal...Husband and I listened and waited. It stopped after a few minutes.
April 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
simultaneously laughing and weeping at the "You Are My Sunshine" PSA image ... too good!

Hope Henry feels better tonight.
April 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterlizpenn
DEADLINES! Who thought up that word? It's so appropriate! I have so many goddamn deadlines but your deadlines are probably more deadly than mine, like real job types....

I say: you are forgiven. Boy, you are>...

I hope Henry gets better soon. Gosh, I love you for letting the dad take him to the doctor. I always feel so evil when I do that--since I know he'll be the only daddy there. And I especially feel guilty when I am not even meeting my deadlines but procrastinating...like now.
April 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMiel
Croup is so scary to me. Just the sounds from croup freak me out into Panic Mommy mode.
April 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterkat
Rx for "His Croupiness":

6 "foufs" in each ear, just before bedtime; and call me in the morning with 3 choruses of "You Are My Sunshine"...

With luv....

Dr. Deetz



April 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDeetz & Co.
you're gonna let Scott imply that you were giving him a handj0b when your son starting barking like a seal? I mean, even if it's true—you're gonna let him imply it?
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjilbur
I read that as scott was doing his own musket polishing - a woman might husk corn, but she wouldn't polish a musket. we're not violent that way (though I suppose husking corn ain't so gentle, now that I think of it). Hmmm.
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Musket
Cold crisp air works too. Not sure of the neighborhood, I mean people think your window is an ATM right? (Ha) But taking him out on a cold night will have a similar effect to a steam bath.
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKelly AKA Fat Housewife
love the pic of the kid with the star wars toys reminds me of my childhood
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterblueskelton
I've always been of the cold night air school, myself. My son would get croup all the time when he was young (which has become chronic bronchitis now that he's older. Fun fun fun.

Good luck with it. I hope Henry gets to feeling better, poor thing.
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdivabeq
I didn't realize that the CROUP was a bad thing, I thought it was a new hit band like THE KILLERS or something.

Hope your kid gets better!
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered Commentereddo
Oh musket polishing! That gave me my first smile in weeks. WEEKS!

We're croup vetrans here too. Oh many a night have I sat on the porch wrapped in bedsheets with a barking baby boy. Also have I had to scrub out humidifiers and rid them of gross black growy things. Often times [okay once] I have sent the husband with the musket in need of a good polish to the 24 hour pharmacy to buy a new one in order to save me from scrubbing the black growy things. I am wasteful and a spoiled princess that way. BARK. ORP.
April 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterVM
i was a regular crouper as a child, and my canopy bed, hung with old sheets. made a great steam or cold mist tent, depending on what was working this time around. i have no memories of steamy showers, just of the tent and of waking up one summer morning after a bout of croup (i was 4). i decided i would dress myself, and in the closet there was a big wrapped PRESENT!!! i immediately ran to my parents' room and woke mom up to ask if it was for me. she said i could open it, and there was a great big stuffed lion. the lion was promptly named aslan, and i was croupless for at least a month. :)

hang in there...
April 16, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersaramiep
Maybe it was the musket polish that gave him the croup. I bet that stuff smells. And smelly things are the root of all evil.
April 16, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterlis
Ah yes. My eldest get croup regularly. Like every 3 months. We know our ER well. Funny how once you get them into the car, they are suddenly all better from the cool night air. But it is the worst. My kids just had stomach flu AND the hand foot and mouth virus all in one week. YIPPEE!
April 18, 2005 | Unregistered Commentercgarrett
Cool night air.Me and Jack on the porch swing wrapped in blankets until he could breathe again.

The sweetly singing yet miserable baby? Me as The Divine Infant.
April 19, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSpleen's Mom
Polishing the musket.

That sounds dirty, in a 'Ye Olde Strippe Jointe' kind of way.
April 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterYou can call me 'Sir'
Oh my gosh your blog is freakin hilarious.
June 21, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterbeck
I am in The North of England where it is always either raining or bloody COLD and my daughter Flora got her third bout of croup lastn night. She seemed find with a slight cold and suddenely the seal noises started.Luckily I knew what the hell it was so got the steam machine going although I had not read about the cold night air until just now on your wensite - great advice. We drove off to the hospital and they have given her steroids again. God- will it ever end?
January 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSophie Hayes
Hi- I came across your site- funny, but I understand about the croup. My 17 month old has had it about 6 times and it never gets easier or less scary......
August 30, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbeth

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