I have just entered the moment of sleep when I am dreaming but still aware of the larger sounds surrounding me. A little voice calls out, ripping through my dream. "MUMMY!" A spate of croupy coughing immediately follows. "MUMMY!"
My response is automatic and I am still not completely awake. My covers are quickly flicked off and I jump to the floor like a reluctant superhero. I fumble around in the darkness trying to find the carelessly discarded pants that will save me from a certain death by cold night air. My plight is unsuccessful. Frantically I switch the wardrobe light on and then off in the hope of seeing the pants and not disturbing a sleeping husband. Second failure. Husband offers his services and ambles off to comfort the now distraught daughter.
The pants are found and put on. Who did I think I was anyway? My body finds its position back in bed and my eyes close. LQ will be prying them open sooner than I would like anyway. But sleep does not come. Lights come on and off. Too much noise is being made for a quick comfort and back to sleep ritual. More croupy coughing ensues. I am drawn to her room by pure curiosity.
Not only has LQ coughed herself awake she has also managed to dirty her pants in the process. Dal cleans up. We sit on the edge of LQ's bed, this small family, LQ huddles against Dal's shoulder - her body overcome with waning spates of coughing. As the coughing subsides a synchronised sigh comes slowly from both her parents.
"Where do you think she picks up these illnesses?" A whispered question from Dal that is too complex for me to answer. He continues in a hushed tone, making sure not to wake LQ "Do you think it is from Daycare?"
A surprising little voice whispers back from his shoulder, "Yes".
LQ has entered the phase of knowing everything.