It’s Not All Mary Poppins

BREATHE, dammit!

One of the tykes has a cold, poor thing. Nothing serious, just a big, goopy, snotty head cold. No fever, no secondary infection… which means no reason to ask her parents to keep her home.

But oh, how I wish I could.

She’s eating lunch even as I type, and if breathing is difficult when she’s playing quietly (which it is) it’s next to impossible when she’s eating.

And you know? If I were a nicer, kinder, gentler, less Friday-afternoon tired woman, I would find her dilemma sympathetic. I mean, the poor little thing! She’s so congested that when she fills her mouth with food, she’s crowding her only source of air. (Mind you, if she didn’t stuff so much in there that it practically oozes out her ears, it would be a whole heckuva lot easier for the oxygen to get through.) And then there’s that

… paaaause …

followed by that …


All that would make me go soft and goopy, and I’d be stroking her back and wiping her chin and “oh, you poor thing”.

And really, I should be doing all that. I really should. Because it’s not her fault, she’s suffering a cold.

Pause… … … … GASP!!!

Pause… … … … GASP!!!

Pause… … … … GASP!!!

Except that it doesn’t appear to be bothering her in the slightest.

Me? I am an empathetic person. I truly am. Picture me, sitting across the table from her, and when her breathing stops… so does my own. And when she does that GASP thing, I start breathing again. I’m so damned empathetic, I don’t even know I’m doing it, until I feel the wash of relief that comes over me when she GASPS.

All that breath-mirroring empathy? IT’S MAKING ME TENSE!!! And tired. And I think I’m beginning to feel a little light-headed…

So, call me callous, call me unkind, call me un-nurturing, but…

… what I really want …

…what I want most of all…

Is for her to go home…

… so I can breathe again.


March 26, 2010 - Posted by | health and safety, Peeve me | , , ,


  1. Now that was super funny!! Thank you … good start to the pre-weekend.

    (still giggling at the image of the happy-go-lucky stuffed up toddler and the gasping care taker)

    Comment by MB | March 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Oh Mary! I feel real sympathy for you. Really, I do. You just wouldn’t be able to tell from looking at me because I’m laughing so heartily at you. (Yes, it is AT you, because I can tell you’re not laughing at all, so I can’t be laughing WITH you!)

    I hope you enjoy a weekend of unstressed breathing.

    Comment by Maisy | March 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. I feel your pain. When I have children in my care in that condition, I want so badly to say, “REALLY?? You couldn’t just keep her home for a day to rest??” Never mind that the mother frequently takes days off to go shopping, just relax at home, get her haircut, or whatever “floats her boat” while I care for her child.

    Comment by chantelle | March 28, 2010 | Reply

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