I sometimes think my toddler is a bit like Bruce Willis’ character in Unbreakable… I mean the child has never really been sick a day in his life, save for a few dodgy tummies and the odd runny nose. He’s also had some epic looking trips and falls and yet seems to get straight back up unscathed… which is why I sometimes call him the Teflon Toddler.
Of course, there’s probably a few reasons for this. He’s been at home with me instead of being in crèche and so far he’s an only child, so he doesn’t have a sibling who might pass on germs, coughs, colds, etc. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s not the boy in the bubble either. I mean we go out and we do things. We go to baby and toddler classes, play centres, playgrounds, nature walks and go see his cousins and friends kids etc. But that said, we’ve been lucky to avoid most of the crèche style illnesses, until now.
Cue dramatic dun, dun, duuuuuuuuuuuun music.
He recently started playschool, just a couple of mornings a week, but the second he started, I knew the last 21 months of relative illness-free time was about to come to an end.
And like clockwork a month in, and he’s got a nasty chest infection.
And by Christ is it horrible; yes I know it's nothing serous in the grand scheme of things and there are children and parents battling much more serious illnesses every single day. I get that and I know he'll be grand in a few days, but all the same, it's not nice when your child is sick.
Before I became a mum, I can remember my own mum saying things like ‘oh you’d prefer to have it yourself,’ when she’d be talking about someone’s child who was sick. I nodded along, ‘yes, yes isn’t it terrible etc,’ but to be honest it all sort of washed over me… I just didn’t get how horrible it is for a baby or toddler to be under the weather… seeing them feel like absolute crap when there’s little you can do to stop it or even explain what’s going on, is like a cruel form of torture invented just for parents.
But apart from the obvious discomfort of the child, there’s the small matter of trying to get their meds into them…
Yes antibiotics have now replaced sunscreen as my evil overload (if you don’t know what I’m on about have a read back of my madcap dirge about applying sunscreen to a moving target toddler every day back during the heatwave!)
So for the next seven days, as well as using every over-the-counter unguent I can possibly use like-
And copious amounts of wine for me,
I’m also running around like a stealth, Terminator-style-Florence-Nightingale after a sick toddler... (who despite sounding like he’s got a death rattle in his chest, is still in the Usain Bolt category of tiny runners), as I find a way to syringe his medicine, which I’m quite sure he thinks is actual acid, into his tiny gob not once, not twice but THREE times a day, without him spitting it out.
So far, it’s been a complete hoot…
If by hoot you mean having to grab him, distract him, bribe him and basically try to stop half of the bloody stuff coming back out of his mouth, then yes, it’s been a complete hoot…
So once again I’ve got to say my own mum was right, I would definitely prefer to have it myself.