When the croup hits the fan

Last night I stayed up until 4 a.m., reading this book (The Good Wife) from cover to cover and obsessively listening to Willow breathe.  She slept in the bed with John and me because she has croup and I was really worried about her.  None of the other kids have had it before, and I didn’t realize just how scary it sounds.  Especially at 2 a.m. in a child who was born seven weeks early and has iffy lungs.   I tried to keep her propped up by putting her head on my shoulder, but she kept scooting away to sleep near our feet with her body perpendicular to ours.  I was able to get some blankets and a pillow underneath her head.  Every once in a while she’d stop breathing for a few seconds, then suddenly suck in her breath.  Then sometimes she’d sit straight up and let loose this barking cough that sounded like it was filtering up through several cups of oatmeal in her throat.

This morning John remarked that she sounded like Tom Waits on helium.
She does.  We took her to the doctor, which I knew would be somewhat
unhelpful, since croup is viral, but I just had to know that her lungs
were clear and that her throat wasn’t going to swell shut or
something.  The office visit was awful.  They forgot about us, but
since the place is always behind, I didn’t realize why it was taking so
long.  The doctor had grime underneath his fingernails.
Really, now, that’s not sanitary.  He also gave me so little
information that I was annoyed.  I got the feeling like he wondered why
we were there.  I told him that I’d never taken care of a baby with
croup before and I needed to know what would tell me if she was getting
into danger, and that I was worried about her lungs.  He said she was
fine and needed steam and fresh air.  Which I knew.   I think he was on quaaludes. 

The thing that makes me crazy is that with the changes to our health
coverage, we’ll have to pay the entire cost of the visit.  Bad timing
in that department, but I’m not sorry we went.   I am sorry, however,
about going to toys (backwards) R we afterward.  I HATE that
place.  I have only been three or so times in my entire parenting
career, and every time I vow never to return.  But, but, but, they had
the sand and water play table with an umbrella that I wanted to get
Sophie for her upcoming birthday.  It’s hard to find the umbrella one,
and I want the umbrella because while we do have shade in the backyard,
we also have lots and lots of birdshit, and I would rather clean or
replace the umbrella every so often than worry about the kids getting
into the crap on the table lid.   I got the ticket at the desk, since
it’s an oversized item, and got into a line with about ten families
ahead of me.  They had one register open. 

The poor guy managing the place saw the line and got six people to open
their registers.  So, I paid for the table and some bubbles for
Willow.  Then I went back to the place where I got the ticket, gave it
to the woman there, and waited for my delivery.  And waited.  And
waited.  Which was fine, really, I figured it would be awhile given the disorganization.  Then the guy who was retrieving the items sauntered over with a hand truck and someones bike.  He gave it to the customer.  He walked behind the counter and picked up a pen, thoughtfully, like he was preparing to deliver his nobel peace prize and wanted to begin when he had everyones attention.  Then he found out what he was to get next.  He pondered that awhile, before carefully taking the cart back to the storeroom for the next person’s item. 

Then I got cranky, because dealing with one person on quaaludes a day is my limit.  Finally he reappears with the next person’s stuff, and I see that he’s got a sand and water table on the cart, but not my sand and water table.  I ought to speed things up here, but I wanted to recreate the torture for posterity.  The end result was that they didn’t have the table at all.  They offered me a more expensive model for the same price, but no umbrella = no sale.  The guy said another store had two and he’d put one on hold for me after he located a high chair and baby seat for the people ahead of me who’d bought the (surprise!) non-stocked items.  So I waited through the twenty minutes of refunds and phone calls and putting stuff on hold and then it was my turn and oops!  all the stores are sold out.  Sorry.   

We left with just the bubbles and a candy bar for John, but I see silver lining, I do!  I will never ever ever ever ever ever go there again.  Because I won’t be tempted by thinking they actually have something that can’t be found elsewhere. 

Good lord, that was boring.  If you are still reading this maybe it will make sense to you, as it does now to me, why I had a long mysterious crying jag after we got home. 

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