A friend of mine recently mentioned her house sounded like it was full of barking seals. I can totally relate. When Captain E was just six months old he got a bad case of pneumonia accompanied by a bad case of croup. Ever since that time we've had to deal with one to two bouts of croup a year. As a parent croup is terrifying. Your child wakes up in the middle of the night struggling to breathe, a barking sob exasperating the problem. I can only imagine the terror of being the one not able to breathe. It must be horrifying. A bad case of croup ends us in the emergency room in the middle of the night getting a breathing treatment. Time though has taught us some tricks, tricks that buy us time, get us through the night.
Four Best Things You Can Do For Croup:
1) Put a humidifier in the kids room.
2) Make a comfy nest in the bathroom, close the door, and turn the hot shower on full blast. Dr. J will often hold Captain E in his arms, encouraging him to sit up into the steam and relax. Many a night I've actually found them asleep on the bathroom floor, cold water running into the tub.
3) Ironically sometimes the warm steam doesn't work. Then we bundle Captain E into his coat and boots and take him out into the cold for two or three minutes. Alternating between warm and cold air will often alleviate the symptoms. If it isn't cold and snowy outside you can stick your child's face in the freezer. It sounds silly but totally works.
4) Finally, (totally research backed I swear :) giving your child a dose of children's ibuprofen before they go to sleep will help.
These tips let us deal with the symptoms until they finally clear out after about a week, or allow us to wait until morning to get a breathing treatment. Blast these childhood illnesses that act up during the night!!!
As for the picture...do you like the socks I chose this morning? Really, I gave the choice not a single moments thought, they were just slim socks to wear under winter boots. What I failed to recognize this morning is that I'd be at E's school doing my Tuesday volunteer day, that my boots would be soaked in snow and sleet, and that in an effort to help keep the school floors dry and dirt free I'd end up ditching those snow boots next to a pile of first grader boots. And that is how I came to be sporting these babies down the hall of my local elementary school. Believe me people noticed. The first graders who all seemed to be in the hall for one reason or another felt the need to comment. It blew their minds that an adult was walking around school in candy cane socks. Interestingly enough this also was the case of the fifth grade teachers. The three at this school all happen to men, all happen to be walking their classes down the hallway today, and all happen to make comments on my footwear. Their comments were friendly, loud, and silly. It reminded me of what I loved about my male teachers. Rarely did they give off the persona of compassionate or even for that matter caring, but they were lively and fun. They were more likely to us competition to let us learn, teach through humor, and often had a looser set of rules. They would use a quick loud word to deal with discipline problems but let it go almost immediately. It is a pity male teachers only make up 9% of the elementary work force. I definitely enjoyed having them as a teacher as a child and seeing them at the school as an adult.