Wednesday, July 21, 2010


What in the world must babies think when they get sick?

Okay you might be thinking, Liz lay off the Sudafed, which by the way I'm pretty sure got me on some top-secret government druggie list just by buying at Walgreens on Monday. The pharmacist lady took my driver's license and typed every single piece of information off of it into the computer. You would think just date of birth, driver's license number perhaps. No I'm pretty sure my height and eye color went into this database, possibly even a lengthy, lyrical description of my photo, maybe a five paragraph essay on the South Carolina holograms. After she had finished writing her novel, she handed me back my license, got the Sudafed off the super-special top shelf, and as she handed it to me, it really felt like I was purchasing a grenade launcher.

And then she made me sign a long message on the little credit card computer pad saying that I wasn't perpetuating any fraud. And mind you I was buying this Sudafed to deal with the insane, stubborn, mega-cold that has taken up permanent residence in my sinus cavities, but still I couldn't help but glance over my shoulder to see if people were watching, secretly judging me for my imaginary meth empire I was building with my over the counter Sudafed. And this is why I'm a crazy person.

But I digress. So I've been sick for the last week, and the most likely culprit is the adorable little ten month old boy I've been babysitting who has been sick since last Tuesday. But really it was inevitable. First I spent a week visiting an orphanage full of sick, runny nosed babies, then I spent the following week taking care of my sick niece who was banned from daycare because of her germy ways. So honestly I'm proud my immune system held out this long. But as I observed the sick little boy who got me sick and before him, my niece, who was sick with her first ever bug, I couldn't help but wonder what these poor children are thinking.

So you're a baby. In the case of my niece you've been on this earth for about six months. You feel like you're finally starting to get the hang of some things. Like you understand that your hands are a part of your body and you have some limited control over them. You can even move them without scratching yourself which is a big win. You've learned how to get your toes into your mouth which is just beyond anything you ever imagined was possible. You've started eating some solids and a whole new world has opened up before you were anything, literally ANYTHING is food, including pieces of dirt off the floor and the edge of the coffee table. You can sit up and only fall over some of the time, but it's really not an issue since pillows magically surround you whenever you are in a seated position. You can flip from your back to your stomach, even if sometimes you get stuck on your stomach and get really angry that this trick isn't working the way it's supposed to. You've even got the whole noise comes from my mouth thing down and have developed an impressive vocabulary of shrieks and gurgles to convey all of your many deep and nuanced thoughts.

Life is good for a six month old baby. It's more than good. It's routine, been there, done that. You've seen your share of poop. You've watched the world go by from your stroller (which you've also totally gotten the hang of by the way, and now understand that it is not some medieval torture device). You're wise. You know that the second you cry someone silly adult will come running. They'll even pick you up and dance around with you for HOURS, to the BLACK EYED PEAS. You've got everyone wrapped around your finger and you know it.

And then boom, in one moment it all changes. Suddenly there is weird stuff running out of your nose, and you can't smell things and you keep having to make this weird, involuntary cough thing. And people are shoving thermometers in no place a thermometer should be shoved, and putting a tissue over your nose in what you're fairly positive is a devious and ill thought out attempt to suffocate you. You evade the attack of course with some well timed flailing. But all of the silly adults around you only continue to make it worse, shoving things in your nose and putting nasty tasting medicine down your throat and oh the humanity!

Seriously though? The first time a baby gets sick must just be the absolute worst. And now I have so much perspective on my own cold. At least I know this is temporary and that life hasn't just started sucking for no reason at all.

Oh poor, sick babies.

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