Saturday, 4 April 2015

Sick and Tired

There is nothing that can make you feel more worthless than having a poorly child.  Your job as a parent is to care for, bring up and love your children.  But when they get ill, that goes out the window.  The love is still there of course, but it is impotent.  It seems as though no intervention is enough.  None of the normal things work, not the tickling, or the funny faces, or even the throwing in the air, normally guaranteed to elicit a giggle, all fall flat in the face of the illness.  In the end, all you are left with is a lifeless little boy struggling to lift his head.

Until last night. (This post was written many months ago, S would be most upset if I was telling everyone he was ill yesterday, he wasn't.)  S had been suffering all day.  Some sort of virus apparently which has left him caring about nothing other than sleeping and a new cup with some of the least watered down juice he had ever tasted.  There had been moments of brightness, but they were often followed by tears and more lethargy.  One of those days when you can only hope to make him comfortable and help him go back to sleep really.

We put him down to sleep at around seven and he went down really well, no moaning at all, he just rolled over and slipped off, dosed up with the miraculous Calpol.  And that was that.  We heard nothing from him, until about 4 hours later.  Around 11 o’clock, just as we were getting ready to go to bed he started up, demanding attention immediately.  Now, we had got into a bit of a bad habit with N of bringing her into our bed whenever she put up a real fuss.  More than about forty five minutes (sorry, small typo there, should read four to five minutes) of crying would get her a free pass into the space between us.  Which would rapidly expand into the space across 75% of the middle of the bed.  It was amazing that even when she fit very comfortably within the confines of her cot put her in our bed and she was able to expand her limbs to fill the available space. 

Having had a number of rough experiences with N’s incredibly jabby elbows and knees, and feet, and head, we were determined not to go down the same route with S.  This determination has been helped by the fact that he is, in general, a much better sleeper than N ever was at his age (clearly making a bid for favourite child from an early age, sensible chap). Even when he is not asleep he is happy to just chill out in his cot, presumably plotting further ways to make himself the favourite, rather than screaming his head off, which was N’s reaction whenever we took her near her bedroom. And we had managed not to give in to him until yesterday.  He was awake, he was poorly, he was crying, we were just about to go to bed, our defences were down and suddenly there he was, lying drowsily between us, in his Grobag, like a little motionless marshmallow (as opposed to all the big motionful marshmallows you see).  It was all going so well, there were no spear like appendages trying to poke holes in my abdomen just a sad sorry little boy who didn’t look like he had any energy at all. 

And then it was like someone flicked a switch (I imagine it was B but I can’t confront her without solid proof, which I haven’t got yet).  He had been ill just seconds before, lying in bed, but suddenly he was up on all fours grinning like a maniac (imagine a tiny, very cute Joker) and rocking back and forwards like he was dancing to a Sabrina Carpenter song.  He was giggling and grinning, which of course meant B started laughing back at him (Exhibit no 1.) which encouraged him even further and from a sick quiet little boy, who I thought was going to give me a nice peaceful night’s sleep he changed into the performing comedian he can be.  It really is impossible not to laugh when he gets like that, and he knows it.  Finally I gave in too and all three of us were chuckling away together. 

Until it stopped, and he slumped down, worn out by his exertions.  I turned away again, silence having been restored, to resume my slumber undisturbed, but, alas, it was not to be, for behind me I heard the unmistakeable sound of my wife sniggering away, followed by a giggle from the same baby that, mere moments before, had been on the verge of sending himself to sleep.  Against my better judgement I rolled over again to find that he boy was doing the same ridiculous dance, which was abruptly followed by him diving across the bed and burying himself into B’s neck, lying there for a minute, still giggling away, and then giving a massive yawn and putting his fingers into his mouth to send himself off to sleep.  Unfortunately B was still laughing, which is an activity which involves more movement than you might imagine (it’s like her shoulders have got their own tiny, inexplicable trampoline), which meant that S couldn’t get comfortable and so was soon off again, jiving away to the secret beat only he could hear. 

At this point I had to step in as there had been far too much frivolity for what was quickly becoming tomorrow.  I casually pointed out that if he was now so cheerful as to be doing his best Coco the clown impression perhaps he could go and entertain his teddies in his cot and leave us to maybe get some sleep.  Nothing too pushy you realise, just sowing the seed you understand.  Well, seed sown, I realised my work there was done and again rolled over.  At this point all went quiet and it became clear that S had heard me and understood.  I was able to get him back into his cot where he cheerfully began regaling his teddies with stories of exactly how big a pushover mummy and daddy were.  I left him to it and went back to bed and didn’t hear him all night until about quarter to five.  Today he has been much worse than he was yesterday, even more lethargic and with no energy at all, but for a few minutes last night he was back to his own cheerful self again and it was wonderful.  Now I just need to find the switch B flicked and keep it on, until then I’ll just go back to being the man who gives the cuddles, and who always has the love.

1 comment:

  1. Children don't like being ill, it's much more fun to wind up the parents.