A little background, first. Colin is recovering from a cold, not a bad one...just annoying. So he's had a bit of a cough, especially at night. We keep an insulated mug of water on his bedside table, because a drink often helps calm the cough.
Both of my children are prone to coughs, and both have distinctive coughing "styles". Colin tends to get croupy and, when in the throes of a virus, can wake us up instantly with his metallic shrieking croup cough. His almost-better cough is more of a "woof, woomph, womph" sound. Natalie has a discreet, tentative cough...a "sheep with a secret sorrow" cough. Kind of "ahem, caf, caff".
Sunday 4:00 AM
I wake up because I am 45 years old and head to the bathroom. Once I'm in there I realize that I can hear a child coughing. I listen for a minute and determine that it is Colin. By the time I'm getting back in bed he has stopped coughing, so I roll over and head back to sleep. He starts coughing again, this time with more enthusiasm. Realizing he is awake and coughing, I decide to take action. Tom, meanwhile, is sound asleep next to me. Our story continues as follows:
Me(quietly, but loud enough to be heard across the hall): Colin, sit up and get a drink of water!
Colin: (whoomph...woph...) Okay!
Tom: (whumphhh!!!) What's going on?
Me: Colin is coughing, I told him to get a drink.
(I rebury myself in my covers and prepare to go back to sleep. Tom gets up and heads for the bathroom. While he's in there, Colin coughs with varying degrees of enthusiasm but nothing alarming)
Tom: I'm going to go give him some cough medicine so he can get back to sleep.
Me (still trying to sleep): If you think he needs it.
They head off down the hall with flashlights ablaze. Into the kitchen where they turn on a light, perhaps the pantry light. Tom tells Colin to go get his water mug so he can see if it needs to be refilled. Tom gives Colin a dose of Robitussin and refills the water mug. While he's doing this he's also giving him a lecture on proper nighttime water cup etiquette.
Tom: When you get a drink in the night, just SET your cup back down, don't BANG it back down like this. (Demonstrates...BANG) (Continues filling water, bangs several doors, bangs water cup while putting lid on, someone bangs the pantry door closed, the computer comes on and something is done to it, much conversation takes place involving banging water cups)
Me: (realizing that Colin is now wide awake and has had a lot of water to drink) Colin, stop in the bathroom and pee before you head back to bed!
Me: (louder) ditto
(Colin stomps down the hall, turns on the hall light, turns on the bathroom light, thuds the toilet seat around, does his thing, washes his hands, and tromps back to bed.) (It is now finally DARK again in the house)
(Tom comes back to bed, mutters a while about coughing, and goes back to sleep)
I lie awake for a good while wondering if I should just get up or if I'll be able to get back to sleep. Meanwhile, Colin coughs while waiting for his medicine to kick in. And everytime he coughs, he obediently sits up, takes a drink of water and then...instead of BANGING the cup down...turns his flashlight on so he can see to set the cup down gently.