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Croup Cooped Us Up This Weekend

Christine Coppa

I woke up at midnight on Friday night to a barking dog. My stomach sank, because we don’t have a dog and it wasn’t our neighbor’s pooch either. JD walked slowly into my room moaning, “Mommy” between barks, his little blue blanket trailing behind him. Croup!

Why Kids Get Sicker At Night

I knew instantly he had Croup. He’s had it twice before. There’s no mistaking that barky, seal sound. I settled him into my bed and got him some water. He didn’t have a fever, so I rubbed his back until he fell asleep, pressed up against me like a warm water bottle. And he slept past 6 AM, which means something was definitely up, because my kid is known to rise at 5 AM. I called our Pediatrician and because JD didn’t have a fever I was told to push rest and TLC. JD has a history with respiratory issues (and is a candidate for asthma) so I was also told to do nebulizer treatments every 4 to 6 hours and so our weekend began. I was bummed. Outside our condo was a lush view of orange and yellow and green behind a stretch of blue sky. It was Fall, sunny and crisp. The past two days were meant for hoodies, soccer, bike riding and hot chocolate. Needless to say, it was a long weekend with 0 visitors. I tried my best to entertain JD without exciting him or losing my mind. He’s a ball full of energy even when he’s sick and I hate being cooped up in our tiny condo, so this was really a challenge.

JD, who normally doesn’t nap, napped three hours on Saturday and one hour today. That’s four hours down! We painted with water-color, colored giant coloring book pages, did homework sheets, built cities with three different brands of blocks, read book, after book, after book. We bounced a balloon back and forth for a low dose of exercise. We went on color scavenger hunts in the condo (look for an object that’s blue!), played magnets on the door (our front door is magnetic—it’s rad!), listened to music, gave his toy tin cars a bubble bath in the sink and admittedly (blushing) watched a lot of TV. There were just times when I felt like I was watching wet paint dry. I had no more games or things to offer up. So we watched Cars 2. We watched it 3 or 4 times—pieces here and there. I felt so guilty turning the tube on over and over again, but I was always right there with him, under the blanket. The doc said to push TLC.

This morning, JD woke up bark-free so we took a ride to Goodwill and donated a bunch of bags. On the way back we stopped at the farmer’s market and bought our weekly fix of produce (scored some sweet-tart blueberries and giant red peppers!). We stopped for an ice cream and took a long drive home, admiring bright yellow trees and a milky white sky that looked like rain, but it never did rain. This evening, JD pressed his hands on the big window in our den. “The sky is pink and purple, Mama!” he said. I stopped washing the dishes and stood behind him, wiping my hands on my jeans. Indeed, it was an iridescent art show aglow before our eyes. “Wow,” tripped from my lips. We moved to the balcony and I wrapped my arms over JD's chest. The silver lining—there it was. Would the sky have appeared so spectacular if we weren’t cooped up all weekend? It was brilliant. It was like an endless stained glass window. And the sky is a constant—there yesterday, now, tomorrow, always. A comforting thing in my life. It never fails me.

That was our weekend in a nutshell. Just the two of us. We survived. We always do.

How was your weekend?

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