The seal cough woke me up. You know the one, that cough that sounds like a young seal pup is barking in your child’s room. Only, there is no seal. The barking I hear is my own little girl who has an “unproductive” cough that she just can’t stop though she wants to stop because each unproductive cough produces pain in her throat. Her chest is tight and her breathing somewhat labored (though not the labor we saw last week in her asthmatic sister, thank goodness). She is sad and miserable.
I broke out the medicine that usually works, ran to the store for orange juice (which we ran out of yesterday because we all have colds) and hot chocolate (which makes her happy, even if it has no medicinal purpose). The cough lessened, though it has not disappeared, and my little girl (who really is not little at all and is anticipating her 13th birthday next month) is wrapped up in a blanket reading in a chair near her sister.
I hate the seal cough and the asthma attacks and the bellyaches and the congestion and all the other things that make my girls miserable. I hate them because I can do so little to stop them. The worst part of parenting is the ineffectiveness, the helplessness.
And it doesn’t get better just because your girls grow into teenagers.