Q: It's 3 am. Do you know where Danna is?

[Image: the "nebulizer" treatment]

A: Trying desperately to get Baxter (aka: bubble-boy... so inappropriate, but I won't tell him I call him that if you won't) to stop his persistent coughing fits. The boy has bronchitis and he has spasms of coughing that never end.

Since 2:15 I have been in there trying different things ranging in their ratings on the "freaking crazy idea scale":

Sippy cup of juice
Sippy cup of Coca cola (suggestion from Mimi)
Prop him up a bit on his pillow to be more upright.
Full round (10 minutes) of albuterol treatment through the nebulizer (aka: breathing machine)

Still coughing - so then mama starts to turn crazy...

I remove the throw rug from his room silently so he doesn't see.
I remove all the stuffed animals from his room (maybe they're dusty)

I vaccuum his entire room (again - it's now like 2:45)
Again I try the coca cola.

Not exactly sure where to go from here.

I panic that when he's NOT coughing he's actually in there turning blue or something.

Friends have heard me say this... but I've never written it. In terms of long-term issues for Baxter, more than I actually worry about his health, I worry about the social implications of his situation.

The kid is severely allergic to eggs and peanuts. This means no baked goods: no cookies, no cupcakes and no birthday cakes at school. It means no sharing or exchanging lunches. It often means no impromptu ice cream cones.

He's also - apparently - Mr. Asthma. Which - when I had asthma as a kid meant (or at least I advantageously turned it into - at the ripe young age of 8) ... no running sports and sitting on the side lines at field day instead of playing.

And... ok folks - let's say it: No Daddy. Or perhaps weirder, he has a daddy... but no one's ever seen him cause apparently he "lives on the moon." Now this I could really see posing a problem when Bax is like 13 or so. I'm assuming, giving his penchant for inquiry, that this lil "moon" story might only last another year or so tops... then I figure my shit out anew.

Point being -- yes, I want Baxter to be himself. I want him to be bright and quirky and funny and unique... but I don't want him to be weird.

Being weird = childhood scars.

... Hey!... I think he finally stopped coughing. Let me go check...

Finally peacefully asleep. In his newly vacuumed, stuffed animal-free bedroom.

Go ahead... say it. I'm a f*cking lunatic.

Good night, friends -- or shall I say good morning?


Anonymous said...

Hope the coke worked. And, read the label of cocoa in case it has any egg; if not, this works well with me to open airways, too.


Anonymous said...

I know this sounds horrible but my grandmother used to give me a mix of whiskey (yes!), honey, and hot lemon-clove water. Not sure if it will work for bronchitis.
RE: weirdness...you and Mike turned out fabulous so I wouldn't sweat that too much. In fact all of our friends seem pretty right on.

beth said...

I say go with the whiskey recipe! But I would say that. :)

Sounds like a rough night last night - whew. I'll stop complaining that Matthew gets up earlier than I would like....

We were all nerds growing up, but I know what you mean. It's one thing to be a theater geek kind of nerd, and another thing to be weird in that weird kind of way where you don't have friends. Bax is so charming and wonderful I don't think you have to worry though. I mean, I don't think the kid is going to be prom king - I doubt he's the type - but he's a very cool kid.



Anonymous said...

Regarding Baxter's egg allergy, there are tons of vegan recipes for baked goods that are free of eggs and peanuts and absolutely delicious!

I'm glad to hear he finally got to sleep!

new jersey mom said...


I've been reading your blog since the beginning (I knew Mike a long time ago), cheering you on and admiring you more every day. Some words of possible encouragement on the allergy situation. My son, now 9, outgrew his severe dairy and egg allergy by the time he was 6. The doctors didn't think it would happen, but it did and that's made life a lot easier since he is still severely allergic to peanuts, and newly discovered, all nuts. With all the "label-itis" that manufacturers have today, it's hard for him to eat things at school and friends houses, but it's also made him more independent and responsible, and it's amazing how aware his classmates are and in turn they have educated their parents. We ask ALOT of questions at restaurants, watch ice-cream sotres clean their scoops, and don't eat Chinese. There is a great webiste www.nothinnutty.com for when Baxter is ready for candy. We love the M&M knock-offs!! Keep writing - you inspire me daily.

Carrie said...

Sorry to hear of the Baxman's breathing troubles. I'm glad to hear he's getting cocaine and whiskey.

On the weirdness thing...

400,000 kids are being raised by single widows.

5% of US children have a food allergy.

7-10% of kids have asthma.

If it is indeed Baxter's destiny to be King of the Dorks - which I would bet it is not -he will have a vast and mighty kingdom.

Long Live the King!

Anonymous said...

i'll say it...you're an f*ing lunatic :)


Anonymous said...

I'll let you in on a secret...
after all my years of experience
I have discovered that,
EVERYONE is weird.
Mike was definitely weird as a kid
as were his sibs.
Might I gently suggest that in the wee hours of the morning and dealing with an asthmatic child
perhaps your perspective was just a tad "off".
The Bax man is gonna be just fine,
allergy handicap nonwithstanding, and so, my dear, will you.
Big goopy globs of love to you both,
your seester the doc

Lisa said...

Hey Dana,
I've been reading you from the get go on here. Our son's used to go to the same day care. My son is allergic to Milk, eggs and peanuts. There is a good subsitute for the eggs so he can have birthday cakes. If you want email me and I'll give you the name. My boy also has asthma too. Ask the doc about pulmacourt and the albuteral(sp) That always works for me. I have tons of resources for you if you need them on the food issues. Oh yeah email me at xmstazx@aol.com
Lisa :)

Anonymous said...

Soen and Bax are simpatico--he's got the hacking bronchitis too. Poor little guys. sorry you were up all night. As for the weirdness...I'm sure the whole gang of boys will go through the geeky, awkward, weird phase. And I hope so, because I'd rather have Soen, Bax, Adler, Elio, Addison, et al be geek loves rather than frat kings. then they turn into beautiful, thoughtful mens...
thinking of you and bax every day.
our love,

CSM said...

consider this... maybe if Bax IS weird, that makes him normal... Seriously... think of all the people you are friends with and you may find some logic in this statement... (and the fact that I consider weirdness to be a positive trait... may be rationalizing for my own behavior, of course)...

BUT... I will say this... I spend a decent amount of time with your bundle of red-headed joy and my non-parent, non-child-development-educated brain says he is WAY normal. Funny. Smart. Inquisitive. Charming. Clever. And rascalish (is that a word?) Which truly may make him better than normal... LOL.

As far as allergies and all that-- the kid is wicked smart about knowing what he can and can't do-- and is SO aware of his limitations because of how you've taught him... I don't sense that he considers this too much of a downer because you've also taught him about coming up with options... and I can only imagine this will be easier for him to grasp as he gets older.

Re: daddy and the moon... it IS heartbreaking to hear him... and I can only suggest that it's normal for him to want Mike... just as you do... maybe explaining to him that you feel the same way sometimes and how you try and deal with it may help... he listens to you and really takes your lead... so maybe knowing that you cry about it too will make him feel less alone in his feelings... which may help him a bit... again... a very un-trained person making suggestions here... but, nonetheless, a friend who has seen your parenting skills in action and who has tremendous faith in your abilities.

And PS - tell Bax I say thanks for giving me MY Cold!!! LOL. I shouldn't have eaten his quesadilla the other night!

XO, Sooosahn.

Anonymous said...


Baxter is definitely NOT weird! And if it helps, I have a great kid song titled, "Being weird is COOL!" by Sara O'Brien and the Honeybabes that you may want to listen to. No worries! Bax is bright and creative, not weird.

We've spoken about allergies and how many kids outgrow them. Hopefully Baxter will too. It's normal these days not to share lunches and snacks at school. Most kids who bring class treats to school make them edible for ALL. A few friends send in boxed snacks just in case too. If you want some contacts here at home to find out how parents cope w/their kid's allergies in school, I have several. Just let me know :)

Hope you get some sleep tonight!


annab said...

hi danna,
i am a weird one by choice (as a freaky vegan at least), which is how i came across the very non-wierd, "vegan cupcakes take over the world" (it's here: http://vegancupcakes.wordpress.com/)
all the other kids will be jealous!

Anonymous said...

I like weird boys.


Anonymous said...

i just did focus groups among school food directors and guess what, they can't even SERVE peanut butter anymore because so many kids have allergies to it. -t

Kate said...

I'm going to bet that Baxter turns out to be just as warm, funny, and brilliant as his mom and dad.

Regarding desserts, as an ovo-lacto vegetarian, I can honestly say that there are many dessert that simply taste better vegan, if done right. Vegan desserts are usually much richer and fuller than desserts with dairy.

That said, I don't think I'll ever be a fan of vegan cheese (Gianna's vegan cheese fries on 6th/South being the exception). Watch out for desserts with vegan cheese b/c some vegan cheeses are made out of various nuts.