Swee'pea has a croupy cough and intermittent fever that seems to get worse at night. He was lethargic and quiet (and adorably sweet-tempered) yesterday, and we put him to bed early last night. He fell asleep in seconds.
After less than an hour, he called out for me, and when I went upstairs he was sitting up in his bed, facing the wall and looking perplexed and a little bit scared. I pulled him across my lap and cradled his head in the crook of my elbow but was aware of my ultimate helplessness. I couldn't make him feel better, I could only make him feel loved.
I'd just had a shower and was still wearing a towel for a turban and my thick terrycloth robe, which was coming a little open at my chest. I felt his bird lips lifting and landing blindly around my upper chest. Recently, his kisses have gone from sloppy dog licks to wet vacuum sucks, but this was different. My brain chugged and sputtered for the right context. In those seconds of confused deja vu, I wished for a way to comfort him. Then the rolodex stopped flipping. The last time he rooted around like this he was a wobbly-headed and loose-limbed newborn and the one instinct he had was to seek The Boob. Was it really so long ago?
Last night, I actually considered, just for a moment, nursing him again, anything to alleviate his grunts and moans and wheezes, the noises that I suspect indicate a desire to escape one's aching body. But culture stepped in, easily lassooing the maternal instinct, and instead I put him back in his bed and laid down next to him. He fell back to sleep quickly, with his head in my armpit, my heartbeat all the comfort he needed.
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