Looking after the wee ones

As a parent, you know that you at times have to deal with one of the kids being ill.  It is always painful to see your child in pain, whether it is fever or physical pain from a fall.  What’s even more frustrating is that there’s very little you can do to help the wee ones.  You alleviate the pain with some Nurofen or visit the local A&E – either option is not ideal.

Personally I don’t like giving painkillers unless absolutely necessary.  I tend to get a glass of wine to kill my pain and calm my nerves – it rarely helps.  I’m still a sob and a nervous wreck.

A&E departments in general are dreadful.  You bring a sick or injured child to the A&E and you are asked to wait for several hours.  During that time, your child is getting worse.  I have to admit, once you get to the triage area and get treated, the service is good.  On one visit, my wife spent 7 hours with our son in A&E, to look at a possible fractured leg!  My wife has the calmness and nerves to bring the kids to the hospital, so she volunteers everytime.

Most of the year, from around April to October, our house is usually free of illnesses and severe accidents.  No sudden fever attacks.  Accidents tend to happen more frequently indoors during the winter period, and these are classified as falls and twisted/bruised limbs.  Whereas outdoor accidents can be treated with a bandage and a lollypop.  That’s how it is in our little household.

Our son has a mild case of asthma and he needs an inhaler before going to bed.  It’s not intrusive and it takes less than 30 seconds to administer.  Despite the short time it takes, getting him to sit still proves to be a challenge at times.  I often find myself chasing him around the room, attempting to keep the inhaler on his nose/mounth – this is fairly amusing to witness for the entire family, except for me 🙂

Despite having given him a puff from the inhaler, we discovered that he would cough a lot at night, as a result of excessive snot being developed, and this often caused him to vomit.  It is very frustrating for us parents, as we have tried so many things to prevent him from coughing.  We recently discovered a solution to his coughing, much to our delight.  It was fairly simple.  To prevent him from coughing at night we strip him down to his night diaper, thin blanket and we leave the window open.  Thankfully we haven’t had a bad night for several months.  But, because of our experiences and bad nights, due to his asthma coughs, we always keep a close eye/ear on him when he’s sleeping.

Our kids start heading to bed around 19.30 and the battles can take anywhere from 10 – 40 minutes, depending on their moods.  Happy/silly mood normally means chasing and tickling before they go to bed, whereas bad (tired) is quick.  If my son is really tired, he can actually fall asleep while sitting on the toilet and when brushing his teeth.  Most times they are asleep around 20.00.

There were no sound of trouble for the first few hours.  When I went to bed around 21.30, catching some shut-eye before my early morning feed shift, both kids were snoring and smiling in their sleep – obviosuly having fun in Narnia.

The early morning feeds are just like being back in Nam, taking the night patrol and watch, while the rest of the group is sleeping.  I have absolutely no problem helping out as I love spending time with our daughter; coffee and breastmilk.

Shortly after arriving at the gates of Lula Castle, and in the middle of fighting off a ginormous monster shaped like a woolen booger, I was ripped back to reality.  The sound of my wife’s voice tore through my ear drums.  Like chalk on blackboard.  Our son was coughing badly.

My wife was in the middle of breastfeeding, so running with the baby latched on the boob would have been a folish attempt.  Imagine, baby screaming, boobs bouncing and breastmilk everywhere.  Going by my luck, I would have slipped in the milk in the morning!

Agile as a gazelle, I jumped out of bed and ran to my son’s room.  He was coughing and I knew instantly that he was going to vomit.  It’s not easy getting a 22kg boy out of bed in the middle of the night, mainly because his weight is intensified as his body is fully relaxed.  To make the challenge worse, my muscles were still asleep in my bed.

I managed to get him out of bed and we walked (speed walked) to the toilet, still trying to wake him up.  We arrived just in time – almost.  Sorry to be disgusting, but he missed the toilet slightly, causing cascades of vomit to hit the floor, soaking my feet.  The only positive thing was that my feet got warm and the tiles too.  But, you have to stay positive and support your child.  If you let on that you are pissed off or stressed, then the child will simply get extremely upset.  It’s enough that they are sick.

He finished his session and he wanted to go back to bed.  I washed him gently with warm water, around his face, which he did not appreciate.  As I turned, my feet started to slide in the vomit, moving it in between my toes.  I had no choice but to place him on the toilet, while I cleaned the floor.

Finally, it was time to put him to bed again, and he fell asleep quickly.  Poor little bugger.  He slept calmly the rest of the night and woke up as if nothing had happened.

In the meantime, I got another 3 hours of sleep before I had to fed my beautiful daughter.  What a night!

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