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.
YOU ARE READING
Jacob's RegressionScience Fiction
Can you imagine being forcibly turned back into a toddler? Such is the fate of actively suicidal, depressed and hopeless Jacob, a 22 year old from the US Virgin Islands. As a means of saving his life, his therapist, Simon and his therapist's wife, A...