Jacob had spent most the early morning tossing and turning in the crib. Sleeping just wasn't going well, and when Angelique came to get him ready for the day, his grogginess was all too apparent.
"Come on, Jacob," she said, turning him over. "It's time to wake up."
"No," he grumbled. "I'm still tired."
"You can have a nap later," Angelique said, lifting him out of the crib and laying him on the changing table.
As Jacob woke up, he began to realize that he wasn't feeling quite right. His nose felt stuffy and itchy, and his eyes felt watery. He rubbed his eyes with his fists, and the sensation soothed him for a moment. That was until Angelique squeezed a puff of powder onto his fresh diaper.
Jacob sneezed violently, not once or twice but three full times. His chest hurt from the exertion and his sinuses felt like they were on fire. He held his head in his hands, trying to survive the dizziness he was experiencing.
"Uh-oh," he heard Angelique say over the pounding in his ears. "It looks like someone might have caught a cold."
Jacob felt her put her hand on his forehead and neck. "You don't feel warm," she said, sounding unconvinced.
She reached for a tissue and gently wiped off the toddler's nose.
"Now do I get to go back to sleep?" Jacob asked, expecting her to give him a break since he was clearly sick.
"Nope," Angelique answered. "Since you're sick, you need a good breakfast to help your body fight off the germs."
Jacob vented his displeasure by groaning the whole time while he was carried to the bathroom. His caregiver didn't even acknowledge his whining. She just ignored his behavior and sat the grumpy boy near the sink.
In no way was Jacob looking forward to having his teeth brushed. It was already hard for him to breathe through his stuffy nose. When Angelique held the toothbrush in front of his mouth, he turned away.
"What's wrong, sweetie?" Angelique asked, noticing the pronounced, uncooperative disposition of the boy.
"My nose is stuffy," Jacob explained, rubbing his nose with the back of his hand.
"Is that why you don't want to brush your teeth?" Angelique asked.
"Yeah," the boy simply answered. "I'll suffocate."
"I see," Angelique responded, tapping her chin. "How about we take small breaks so you can take a breath in between brushes?"
"I guess," Jacob hesitantly agreed, knowing that was probably the best compromise he was going to get.
Angelique waited for Jacob to open his mouth and gently brush his teeth for just a few seconds before giving him a break to spit and breathe. They continued along with that process until Angelique felt like she had gotten his teeth sparkling clean.
"Breakfast time," the caregiver announced, lifting the little boy onto her hip and beginning to make her way downstairs.
Simon was taking the time to wash some of the dishes while he waited for the other members of his household to join him for breakfast. It was taking a bit longer than expected, but he knew how unpredictable Jacob could be when he was woken up.
When he heard them enter the kitchen, he immediately dried his hands and went over to give the little boy sitting in his highchair a hug.
"Careful, honey," Angelique warned. "He's got the sniffles."
"Oh, you caught a bug?" Simon asked, covering his nose and mouth with the top of his T-shirt.
Jacob rolled his eyes at Simon's dramatic behavior. "It's not like I'd get sick on purpose," he grumbled in a hoarse voice.
"That's true. Oh, well. The only thing we can do now is load you up with some vitamin C," Simon said, patting the boy's head.
"I'm getting him a cup of orange juice," Angelique said, standing in front of the refrigerator and shaking the bottle in her hands.
Jacob put his head down on the tray in front of him. He wasn't interested in bantering with his caregivers, not when he felt like he was hit by one of Noah's trains. Thinking about Noah, he realized he'd probably caught the cold from him. This was why he was never a fan of small children in his young adulthood. They were just walking germs. Now he was one of them too.
"It's not naptime yet, Jacob," Angelique reminded the boy, prompting him to sit up in his chair.
When he put his head back up, he noticed the bowl of oatmeal in her hands and assumed that he was being fed again. He still hadn't gotten back the privilege of feeding himself. For once though, he didn't mind it. As sick as he was, he didn't feel like feeding himself anyways.
He ate his breakfast, and when the bowl of oatmeal filled his tummy, he was taken out of the highchair and given his sippy cup filled with orange juice. He wandered into the living room while his caregivers had their breakfast. He tossed his sippy cup onto the couch and scrambled his way onto the cushion in front of him, kicking his feet out until he was able to boost himself up.
The exertion was tiring, and once he recovered his sippy cup, he quickly made himself comfortable on the couch. He curled into a ball and listened to the sound of Simon and Angelique washing the dishes as he drifted off to sleep.
Passing a dish to his wife for drying, Simon took a peek over at Jacob and saw him curled on the couch. "Looks like Jacob's asleep," he told Angelique.
"I'm not surprised," she said. "He didn't want to wake up this morning."
"I hope we don't catch the bug that he has," Simon said, washing the last of the dishes.
"You better not," Angelique responded, glaring daggers at him. "I'd kick you out of the bed again."
"Okay. Okay. I'll take some vitamins," Simon promised, trying to appease his wife before he was stuck sleeping in the guest bedroom again.
He knew that Angelique was especially aware of his typically weak immune system. He'd lost count of how many times he had gotten her sick in the past. It was almost a promise when cold/flu season came along that he was going to get sick, and she would get sick from taking care of him.
When they were finished with the dishes, Angelique went upstairs to grab an ear thermometer from the nursery. She quickly removed it from the package and attached a new plastic earpiece, while making her way downstairs.
She wasn't trying to purposefully disrupt Jacob's slumber, but she wanted to establish a baseline for his temperature. That way, she'd be able to tell if he was getting better or worse by the afternoon. Angelique took a seat on the couch and slid Jacob over until his head was in her lap. She turned on the thermometer and grabbed his free arm while she stuck the earpiece in the toddler's ear.
As she predicted, he immediately tried to fidget away, moving his arm to swat away the foreign object lodged inside of his ear.
"I'm just taking your temperature, Jacob," she reassured the boy, in a calm and steady voice.
Jacob vocalized his displeasure at being woken up through a series of high-pitched whines. He kicked his legs out and tried to wiggle out of Angelique's grasp. But he didn't get to move an inch until the thermometer beeped and gave Angelique the reading she wanted. Finally, he was released. He immediately crawled over to the other side of the couch, flustered and agitated.
"I'm sorry, Jacob," Angelique said, reaching over to mend her relationship with the sick child. "I needed to take your temperature."
Jacob crossed his arms in front of his chest. "I was sleeping, and you woke me up," he objected.
"Yes, I know," Angelique sympathized. "You can go back to sleep now. I can even put some cartoons on if you'd like."
"Cartoons," Jacob grumbled, still unhappy that he was awake when he didn't want to be.
A soft smile lingered on Angelique's face. She always found the boy's theatrics amusing. She knew he would probably hold a grudge for the rest of the morning, but he'd get over it after another nap. Doing as she promised, she turned the TV on and switched to a kid's cartoon channel.
Jacob sipped on the remainder of his orange juice and watched the mindless cartoons. He grew tired once more, and relaxed into the couch, his heart rate slowing and his breathing becoming deeper.
Once Jacob's little snores started, Angelique tidied up the playpen, moving the small pillow in place and pulling back the sheets. She carefully rested the sleeping boy in the playpen. She wanted to be able to move freely for a bit, and she couldn't leave him sleeping on the couch.
The thermometer had indicated that he already had a slight fever going on, and she knew she would need to give him some medicine for that later. She just hoped he'd be a good sport about it, and they wouldn't have a repeat of the laxative fiasco.
Joining her husband in the kitchen, she grabbed a notepad from the counter.
"Simon, would you pick up a few items from the store?" she asked, jotting down a few items.
"Sure, I'm guessing that's the list," he remarked, turning around to see her scribbling fast onto the notepad.
"You got it," she said, handing him the piece of paper. "I'll text you if I think of anything else."
"Alright," he said, giving her a kiss and heading out to the garage. "See you soon."
"See ya," she said as he walked though the door, leaving her to get started on lunch.