My baby is sick, and it's the saddest thing in the world, ever, ever, ever.
He showed signs of a cold yesterday, with a little runny nose that he rubbed over and over until I was sure he'd rub it clean off. I put him to bed with an extra long nursing session and a dose of tylenol, and when he woke up to eat at 3am, he was snuffly and stuffed and had to break away from time to time to take gaspy breaths. I found myself taking deep, slow breaths while I watched him, just like I did when he was only a few weeks old-- he'd eat so fast he wouldn't stop for air, and would choke and cough and sputter. Oh how I wish I could breathe for him sometimes.
When he woke up this morning he was happy and smiley, just like he always is. I could tell he felt lousy, but he tried so hard to have fun anyway. I went with it, hoping he was starting to feel better. We went about our day-- we played and cleaned up and made cookies and walked outside. He napped on my lap until he got rosy and sweaty. I tried putting him down twice, but he woke both times, letting me know he just wanted to be held.
And then, tonight, as we were getting him ready for bed, he started to cry. It was a hoarse, sad, whimpering cry that broke my heart into a million pieces. He was so tired and sick.
Every night, as I nurse my Ralph to sleep, I think about the day. I think about the good parts, and the bad parts, and the times where I was checking instagram or trying to squeeze just one more chore in, instead of giving him my full attention. I think about the times when I'm doing the dishes and glance over at him sitting in his bouncy seat, and he smiles and kicks so excitedly-- just because I looked at him! I always wish I could do those parts over again. I always wish I could wake him up to give him one more smile and kiss before he's asleep for the night. Tonight I thought about all of that, and felt all that guilt, only I felt it a million times more.
I'm still figuring out how to be a mother, and I know that I'm allowed to cut myself some slack because of that. But, man, I'd like to at least figure out how to put my baby to bed at night knowing I gave him all the love I ever could that day. Because oh gosh, do I love that little boy.