When Piper woke up this morning with a raging fever and a sore throat, I wanted to cry. But I can’t. I’m the mom. So I gave her a dose of ibuprofen, stripped off her sweat soaked pajamas, and brought her to our bed. We cuddled and talked about how stinky it is to feel sick. “I know what would make me feel better,” Piper said.
“Anything, baby. What?” I asked.
“Hot noodle soup.”
“But you ate all the noodle soup yesterday,” I reminded her. “We’re all out.”
Tears welled in Piper’s eyes. Okay. Okay. I can make a fresh batch. From scratch. Before 6 a.m. Fine. I diced and simmered the broth. I boiled the noodles. I buttered a fresh slice of bread. Then I fed it to Piper with a spoon. She said her throat felt better. She said it would feel even better if she could watch Word Girl on the couch. I’m a sucker, I know.
A few hours later, after the fever broke and some of Piper’s energy returned, after the negative strep throat test and doctor’s visit, I brought her another bowl of hot noodle soup. Piper peered into the bowl at her beloved carrots and celery floating in a fragrant bath of broth and noodles and said, “Mom, I don’t do leftovers.”
Ugh. Either Kathleen Turner is hiding in Piper’s bedroom or we’re headed down the sick path again. The raspy voice. The sweaty forehead. The cuddles from my normally bouncy girl.
“Can you make me my tea?”
One cup of orange spice with 1/4 cup apple juice, a tincture of echinacea, 2 tbsp honey, and 2 ice cubes coming up. With a straw.
Piper assesses how sore her throat is. “It feels like there’s a pretzel stuck in there.” As bad as that sounds it’s not as bad a the time she said she thought she’d swallowed glass. That was the dreaded strep throat. Double ugh.
I check her temperature. Again. I dole out ibuprofen. I wish for the hundredth time I had magic pills to give my kids when they’re sick. I wish I could go through it for them. Piper’s glassy eyes get glassier.
“Will you nap with me?”
Of course, baby. I could use the reserves, too. Who knows how long this will last? I already miss the Piper a.k.a. my squirrel on crack.
Her dad takes her upstairs for a quick bath and brings her back down weepy and wrapped in a towel. “She says you do it better. She just wants you,” he reports.
I warm a bowl of noodle soup. I blow dry her hair while she slurps.
“I know what we need,” I say. “Cherry Garcia. STAT!” Piper nods and takes her medicine.