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June 22, 2003

Medicine Man

We sat in the dark, Ngnat and I, feet up in the recliner, swaddled in afghans. She pointed at the pinpricks of red and green glowing out from the skyscraper-like DVD, VCR, DVR stack on top of the television.

"Look at the lights, Daddy." An emphysemic cough welled its way up from her lungs. She chewed thoughtfully on the phlegm for a while, then swallowed.

"I like the lights."

I like them too, honey. They're pretty.


Ngnat has a summer cold. Nothing bad, really. Slight fever, hacking cough of the two packs a day man waking up in the morning, raspy Selma voice.

When she was younger and had a cold, I'd place her on my shoulder and take her out into the night air, letting the cool work its way into her lungs. I don't know that it ever made a difference, but it made me and the missus feel better about things, and there was something very peaceful about walking in the backyard under the stars with a sleeping infant, wondering if your next step was going to be onto a copperhead.

She'd been eight or nine minutes into tonight's coughing jag when I figured it wasn't going to get better anytime soon, so I picked her up and walked down the stairs as she clung to me, wrapped around my torso like a starfish.

Nice outside tonight, felt like mid to low sixties, but she was awake enough to protest the impropriety of being outside at 11:30 on a Saturday night, clad only in panties and t-shirt, as if it wasn't the same exact outfit she'd run down the driveway in to fetch the morning paper earlier in the day. We came back inside, turned the thermostat down to 70, and reclined in the darkness, waiting for the air conditioner to work its way down the ten degree slope I'd dialed it to.

Couldn't go back upstairs; the temp needed to relax her seizing respiratory system would turn her mother blue, and cover her infant brother in glacial ice, or so I understood after being remonstrated with for having the temerity to lower the upstairs temperature below the baby-friendly 76 degrees it had been set to one sweltering night last week.

Her coughs slowed, but she's big enough now to find sleeping on Daddy a challenge, so I made an afghan and sofa pillow nest on the couch and moved her there. She stopped coughing about ten minutes and two degrees ago, and lies there now, about eight feet away, one knee up, an arm at her side, the other extended and bent upwards in approved torch holding fashion.

I'm sitting at dining room table, typing one handed on the laptop, Scotty M. having reserved the use of the other when he woke up just now. He's settled back down; the cold does not bother him one bit, it seems.

It's very dark and peaceful, and I'm pretty sure there are no copperheads in the carpet.

Time to make sure everyone's still breathing.

Posted by Bigwig at June 22, 2003 12:54 AM | TrackBack
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What a good daddy.

Posted by: Da Goddess at June 22, 2003 05:06 AM

One good reason that I come here. To see what it really is like to be a Dad. I envy you.

Oh and don't worry about the copperheads. They aren't in the yard, or the carpet. Those crawly critters are under rocks and logs, especially at night.

Posted by: MarcL at June 22, 2003 01:09 PM

Keep up the good work, BW.

Posted by: ronbailey at June 22, 2003 09:01 PM
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