Winter is here which means children everywhere sound like they have a deadly strain of the black lung. If this is your first rodeo with the cough that won’t quit, we present to you: The Five Stages of Dealing With Your Child’s Winter Cough.
1. The Wait & See. Oh it’s just a little cough, right? *you press your hand against your child’s head* No fever! Surely, this throat tickle will resolve itself. My little one eats her weight in Cuties which have plenty of vitamin C. I trust that her immune system is strong enough to deal with this on its own. Just to be safe, I’ll put some Vicks on her feet and cover them with warm socks. I’m an amazing parent.
2. The Natural Approach. It’s been almost a week and she’s still coughing. I believe in the power of Mother Earth and her bounty. *$100 at the health store later* This elderberry syrup created by gnomes in rural Iceland will work. It’s organic which only proves how mindful I am. A dab of this cocktail of essential oils will also help chase away whatever is making my 5-year-old sound like a lifelong smoker. I am confident this will work. I’m amazing. She’s lucky to have such a resourceful, tuned-in, and intelligent mother.
3. Medical Intervention. What the hell? She’s still coughing. F*%$ you, Mother Earth! You’re useless. Did you know she’s waking up at night now? I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in two weeks. Thanks for nothing, Nature. You suck and I hate you. I hope climate change is really happening because you’re killing us. *One trip to the pediatrician’s office later* So it’s not pneumonia. They’re blaming winter. You need a medical license to tell me that? With our luck we caught the stomach flu in the waiting room. This syrup they prescribed will surely work. I trust modern medicine.
4. Full scale panic. The prescription didn’t work. She’s still coughing. I can’t spend one more night up watching cartoons at 2AM hoping she doesn’t vomit from hacking up her entire life. WHAT IS GOING ON. WHAT GODS DID I OFFEND. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO MY FAMILY. I NEED SLEEP. MY CHILD NEEDS SLEEP. WHAT DAY IS IT. According to Google she has a deadly illness. *uncontrollable crying as you imagine your child’s funeral* I WILL SOLVE THIS COUGH *one trip to the drugstore and $80 later* We now have the best humidifier on the market, enough Vicks to drown an elephant in, and every single cough syrup ever made. I will combine that will essential oils, homeopathics, 500 oranges, the gnome syrup, burned sage, Tibetan chants and I will sacrifice a small baby lamb in our backyard.
5. Relief. Something worked. She slept for the whole night and didn’t wake up coughing once. I will repeat this process until my last day on Earth. Thank you. Thank you.
Bonus Step: *sibling starts coughing*