After Maddie’s visit with Dr. Love on Tuesday, my mom brought Maddie, Rigby, and me home with her. Monday and Tuesday nights were the nights I felt the worst, so I I very much welcomed the help with Madeline. Mike is obviously available to help, but he’s less than a month into his new job and the last thing we need is for him to get sick. I’d rather he get a full night’s sleep in a germ-free zone. We miss him, though.

I don’t know why, but Maddie’s illness is MUCH worse at night. When the lights are out, every cough leads to a whimper or a scream. Her throat is raw, so her cries remind me of when she was a little baby. That soft, weak little mewing that newborns make. It’s so sad. When I try to comfort her, I’m very much reminded that she is still not much bigger than a newborn – she’s still just a shade under fifteen pounds. My little baby.

Maddie is a very active sleeper (when she actually sleeps). She is the reason bumpers were invents for cribs. But when she’s sick, the tossing and rolling is even worse than usual. The ONLY way she’ll fall asleep this time around is if she’s snuggled up against someone. Which is fine, I would normally just bring her into bed with me – ANYTHING to get her to sleep. But with the tossing and turning it’s just not safe. So my mom and I came up with a solution – we’re camping in the living room.

It’s the kind of thing I imagined doing with Maddie when she was older, and not sick. We spread out some fluffy comforters on the floor, grabbed every unused pillow, cushion and blankey, and cuddled up in our new fort. Our pillows are the walls, the blankets are the roof, and the ceiling above looks like stars (thanks to the glow of the TV!). We’ve spent the majority of our time here in the fort. It’s cozy, warm, and safe – I don’t have to worry about Maddie rolling off the bed, and she gets to snuggle with whoever she wants. Even Rigby!

I remember when my brother and I were sick, my parents would always set us up on the fold-out couch. Somehow, the excitement of sleeping in the living room in front of the TV (only steps! away! from the kitchen!) took the edge off our illnesses. Maybe we have a new tradition here for Maddie. Although, if this is going to become a regular occurrence, we’re going to have to invest in some padding. My old bones can’t sleep on the floor anymore!

If Maddie is going to spend a good portion of her childhood fighting lung infections, I’m going to need some ideas on how to make being sick a little easier. All suggestions are appreciated!