Goodnight, Chicago

The biggest problem with being a parent is not the day to day questioning of one’s parenting decisions and the lifelong repercussions from not buying your child a Star Wars blaster for his fourth birthday. The biggest problem with being a parent is that it cuts into your drinking in Chicago on St. Patrick’s weekend.

(Please take note of the past tenses.)

Kit and I were heading up to Chicago this weekend to visit our friend John whom we haven’t seen for five years and won’t see at least in the next 72 hours. We were leaving at noon today to get up there by 6:00pm. We would have laughed and laughed on the way up and drank and laughed once we got there. The Sunday drive home would have been filled with Kit reminding me of what I did and explaining why a green, leprechaun beard was super-glued to my face.

But last night around 8:30pm, little Miss Ann took her last bottle of the night and as I rocked her to sleep she started to wheeze. She fell asleep and the wheezing became a gentle sigh. Two hours later she awoke with a savage barking cough and labored breathing. Croup. Croup is scary because the explosive barking noise that comes out of such a little body is frightening. She had croup before, but not like this.

A call to the emergency line had us taking her out into the night air whenever she woke up with her coughing fits. Oddly, taking your child out in the 24 degree night air actually does help. She’d sleep for 45 minutes, wake up barking, we’d take he outside for 5 – 10 minutes until she fell asleep again. Rinse. Repeat.

So, the plan to leave at noon is shot. Leaving tomorrow morning and driving 7 hours to arrive in Chicago at the peak of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration is not worthwhile. It’s just not going to happen.

I called Kit this morning and he was very understanding. I left a message from John and am awaiting the return call verbal beating.

Greg called to tell me I was an asshole (he couldn’t go on the trip) and I shared the news with him that the trip was off. He was happy that we might reschedule on a weekend he could go.

Maybe we’ll be able to go up on a weekend that is more than 20 degrees.

Sorry John. Sorry Kit. Sorry Chicago.

At least my liver is happy.

For now, I'm taking Ann into the doctor just to make sure she doesn’t need steroids or some kind of treatment that isn't covered by our insurance. Perhaps there is balance in the universe and the $425 I would have spent this weekend will go towards the medical industry directly instead of the 20 year plan I’m working on.

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