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Sickly Girls

Posted on: Monday

Biet and I are sick as dogs. Or, rather, one mamma dog and one puppy. It breaks my heart to see my baby so achy & stuffy & cranky. As she struggles to breathe through her snotty itty bitty nose, I yearn to sweep her into my arms and explain to her that her suffering will pass, and encourage her to be strong. Instead, I can only snuggle and nurse, nurse, nurse her through her coughs and sobs. I'm reminded of the helplessness that overtook me during Biet's mandatory heel prick at her first visit to the pediatrician. No one had prepared me for how emotionally difficult putting my darling baby through that would be (it was rough), just as no one has prepared me for the joys of our first cold.

We caught this cold together, Biet and I (and I thought breastfed babies never get sick!), so at least we can keep each other company until it passes. Luckily, we have Gaby to take care of us- and oh what a magnificent nurse he is (especially considering that he's a bit sickly too!).  We will all get well together by drinking lots of water (for me) and milk (for her), watching movies, reading books in bed, and dreaming of all the beautiful days we will have in this new home of ours.  And Chicken Matzo Ball Soup, of course- the most important medicine. I learned how to make it for my matzo-crazy husband, and now it has become our go-to comfort food for all occasions: sick days, rainy days, snowstorms, holidays, sundays. I sit Biet in her bumbo seat on the kitchen counter and let her watch me work as I explain to her how we chop the vegetables, sweat the onions, season the chicken, and make the matzo balls.  She'll probably be able to whip up a pot in no time by the time she's three.

The occasional hour-long phone call to my sister Emmy for parenting advice helps me through these headachy sneezy days too. When my concern over Biet's struggling little body begins to turn to panic (like, for instance, when her nose was running so badly that she stopped breathing for a few moments {!!}, or when she began projectile vomiting all over my friend Erin), Emmy calms me down with stories of her son's babyhood.  And then I remember how lucky I am to have my sisters.  It feels like just yesterday that Emmy and I were sharing stories of our schooldays and memories of our Mother.  Over the years, those turned to tales of our relationships & ambitions, as we adventured together through New York City. Now, all of sudden, we are giving one another advice as Mothers. I find this evolution really beautiful.

Even on her sick days Biet is my tiny beauty. Here are some photos of her little face & little hands & sickly little feet. Still smiling and curious though the hard times, that's my girl.


  1. Hope you two are feeling better!!! I had a cold for a couple weeks too, and was super nervous Cedar was going to get it from me. He had a couple days of coughing, but I think he dodged the bullet. I'm sure his first cold will be just as hard for me as Biet's was for you.


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