We have spent almost 4 years with Everett, and in that time we have noticed that he does not make idle comments. If he says something that sounds implausible, for example that he saw a zebra on the way home from school, then in some way shape or form there was indeed a zebra on the way home and it is up to us to figure out how. Similarly, he does not make random requests to see the doctor, and as a result we take him pretty seriously when he does. Last night he awoke with a bad cough, then started wheezing and choking. It was terrifying to watch. Equally concerning was that he said he wanted to go to the hospital. However, we have been through this once before with him and learned what croup sounds like (a barking seal) and that cool air often causes it so subside. It was cold outside, which we thought might help with breathing, but it was also raining so we put him in the car with the doors open and wrapped him in blankets. After a while his breathing improved and we brought him back in to sit in a steam bath. Soon everyone settled down, went back to bed and slept through the rest of the night. The fact that we stayed calm and did not feel the need to take him to the ER might mean that we have graduated from rookie to novice parents. The first time this happened a couple years ago we took him to the ER in the middle of the night, but as a result of the cold night air he was fine by the time we arrived.

On many occasions we have tried explaining to Everett that when he is sick he needs to blow his nose rather than sniffle, and that the latter is making his cough worse. We remind him that Noni gave him chocolate once for blowing his nose and that he might receive similar rewards in the future. He replies by reminding us about the time upstairs in our bed at night when he complied and that he doesn’t need to do so again. It appears that no amount of parental encouragement is going to help here. Once again we will probably need the assistance of other authority figures such as grandparents and teachers. More likely we will just have to wait until he has proven to himself the best course of action, a trait he might have inherited from his parents.

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