Out in the cold

Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us right. Each week she tells us all about the ups and downs of bringing up 3 children so close in age. This week Amy talks about her 3 little girls catching colds…

‘There is not a word in the English language strong enough to describe my feelings towards it. Hate, despise, abhor… None of them contains quite enough venom, enough rage. I utterly detest it. Wish it would be wiped from the Earth, never to be seen or heard from again. I loathe the common cold.

This week, we’ve had to contend with coughing, sneezing, sniffing, night-time waking and eye bogies. Yes, eye bogies. After a seemingly never-ending stream of sneezes and coughs and oh so very much snot, yesterday, I noticed a greenish discharge emerging from the corner of T’s eyes. They weren’t red or sore or itchy, but I planned a doctor’s visit just the same, assuming it was conjunctivitis or some other such infection. But when she woke up this morning (after a very long night of ‘Mummy’ cries) the gloop was all gone. With nothing but perfectly normal eyes to show them, I decided against seeing the doctor and turned to the internet. Apparently, kids just sometimes get this when they have a bad cold for a while. They can’t clear it like adults do, so the mucous comes out wherever it can. Like their eyes. Actual snot coming out of their actual eyes. Did you know that could happen? I certainly didn’t. I’m not even sure I’m comfortable living in a world where that can happen. They should tell you about that in sex ed classes. That’d put teenagers off having unprotected sex.

But it makes sense. All 3 girls have been coughing and sneezing and sniffing for, well it feels like months now.

 ‘My cough will never ever go away!’ sobbed T the other night, as I tried to calm her after yet another nocturnal coughing fit.
It’s horrid seeing her and her sisters so miserable, but I can understand her fears. I can’t remember us not having colds. I can’t remember not having a supply of tissues stuffed into every item of clothing I own. I can’t remember sleeping through the night.

By day, other than the occasional whinging session and some obvious tiredness (and of course the eye bogies) the girls haven’t been too bad. But by night, the evils of the cold really make themselves known. In the course of writing this, I’ve been upstairs 5 times. Usually, my girls all fall asleep by 8 (well, unless M decides to resist exhaustion and sing for half-an-hour) and sleep through until M gets up for a bottle at about 6 or 7. But since the common cold has come to stay, I spend half my night in their room comforting, cuddling, dispensing water or medicine or kisses. T and M particularly tend to call for me if they wake up upset. Their desperate ‘Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!’ cries slay me. When they’re just whining for attention, I can resist (or send their father) but the past few nights, the distress is obvious, and I can’t let them cry. Don’t get me wrong, Daddy has taken his fair share of night-time trips to the sick room too, and we’re all exhausted. Every time I think we might have shaken the germs for good, someone else starts snivelling, and we’re back to square one. When will it end?

Poor M has a horrid cough, much worse than I ever remember the twins having so young. I guess that’s the disadvantage of having older siblings. The disadvantage of having kids at all. As much as I adore their little snotty faces, they are the bringers of germs. So many germs. No one likes having a cold but since becoming a mum, I have grown to hate it more than I can describe. It makes my children miserable, stops us all sleeping… OK, perhaps the sleep deprivation is making me a bit emotional, but I honestly wish the common cold had a face so I could smack it. Though, I guess that would only mean it could pass its germs on to me. I just can’t win…’

Do you find coughs and colds are a struggle when you have kids? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below or on Facebook.

Amy’s other blog posts…