In which we learn the perils of taking a sick child for a walk

My wife was sick yesterday. Possibly from picking up the same thing my son had, but I’m not certain. She had a whole lot of not coughing going on, which didn’t match up with the symptoms of my son’s upper respiratory infection. Regardless of the cause, though, she was sick. And we had some errands to run. So I packed up my son, and we headed out. Bear in mind that I thought he was largely recovered – he was running around and jumping on things (and me), so I thought he was over his illness. Keep this in mind, because it will be important.

After we pick up something for him to take to school (he’s responsible for bringing something for the letter “G”), I get the bright idea to get in some walking distance by strolling over to Target. He was all for it, because we were going to let him pick out the toy he’s going to save his allowance for. Oh, and because he gets to run, which is something he loves doing.

So we get to Target, and we walk up and down the aisles as he agonizes over the toy he wants. And for a five year old, he does really well – he asked once or twice if he could buy something now, but I reminded him what we were there for, and he was fine with it.

On the way back from Target he starts coughing. A lot. The kind of coughing that makes daddy start saying “well, this was a bad idea”. But the car’s a half-mile away, and I can’t very well leave a five year old to sit while I go and fetch it. As a result, we push through and he gratefully climbs up into his seat. Still coughing. At this point, I decide that we’re ignoring the final errand and heading home. My son’s still coughing, and it’s making my sides hurt listening to it.

And then he throws up.

It wasn’t a lot, all things considered. But still, he throws up. And I drive the rest of the way home talking to him in an effort to help him feel better, and feeling like an utter heel. He bounced back quickly, once we got home, but still.

So, there’s an important lesson here: trying to keep up with a small child is great exercise. But not if the child is still sick.

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