So the poor Baby is sick again. And I know, I know, he's not a baby anymore (as he is quick to tell me). He's more than two and a half years old. But still, he's my baby, and since his place in the family makes him the smallest of us all, he still occasionally gets called "the Baby" around here. Unless he's being refered to by his older brother in which case he gets called "stinker" or "bumcheek". As in "That's my car, you stinker!" or "ARGH, give it BACK! Bumcheek!" Yeah, we're working on that.
Anyhow, as I was saying, the Baby is sick. Has just had the worst lingering cough that aaaaalmost goes away and just when you say to yourself "hey, I think that cough is almost gone!" we have a terrible, terrible night where he coughs and coughs and nobody gets much sleep.
And last night was one of those nights. I sat upstairs, laying out the patches for a new quilt and listening to him 'cough cough' his way through the early evening, until it finally woke him up completely and he cried for me. I ran down to his room and sat in the chair with him and cuddled him, because what else can you do? We have a humidifier running, the crib mattress is on an angle, he's had a homeopathic remedy (Coryzalia) and I've rubbed Vicks on his feet and given him a spoon full of honey, and beyond that, there is nothing you can give a two year old for a cough (though if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them) And now we sit together in the chair for cuddles. And his coughing finally subsides. I don't know how long it will last, but we sit in blessed silence for a moment at least. He's curled up with his head against my chest and I'm drawing slow circles on his back trying to coax him into sleep again. His breathing starts to become more regular and he has that extra bit of soft oozy weightiness to him that makes me think he's probably fallen asleep. But then he stirs and I hear his raspy, middle of the night baby voice.
"Mom...Guess what?" he asks.
"What?" I reply, my voice full of tender mother-love.
"Tsicken Butt." he sweetly answers, and with perfect comic timing I might add.
It takes me a moment to register what he has said (that little baby lisp making the 'ch' at the beginnins of 'chicken' more of a 'tsy' making him sound like an adorable little old Dutch man), but as soon as it clicks in I burst into laughter. Quiet laughter, because its the middle of the night and his slepping brother and father are not far away. So it was mostly me shaking as I laughed and laughed. But still, he knows laughter when he feels it, and seemed to find it rewarding.
"I called you 'Tsicken Butt' Mom." he repeats proudly, savouring his good joke.
"Yes you did." I confirm. "You're crazy."
"Yeah, Crazy Boy." he adds with satisfaction.
And then he hunkered down. And fell asleep.