It’s hard not to freak out when your child is under the weather… my little dude had, until recently, been a bit like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable… in that he’d hardly been sick a day in his life.
He’s a hardy buck I’d think to myself, the Teflon toddler if you will, in that no germs seemed to stick to him long enough to make him really ill…
Then he started crèche and I realised that was all complete naive bullshit, because he was now entering the steaming cesspit of children’s illnesses and no matter how strong I liked to think his immune system was, short of sending him off each day in a toddler size hazmat suit, we were all in for a world of coughing and phlegm and parasites and rashes and dicky tummies and god knows what else.
Yay! Fun times all round.
He’s only started crèche since September and already he’s had to have his two rounds of antibiotics for a really bad chest infection. We’ve had ear infections and a host of dicky tummies or general viruses that make him out of sorts. He’d never thrown up before he’d started crèche either and the other day we had some projectile vomit that would make the exorcist look tame… yes I know there’s plenty of other nasties just waiting to pounce, but a bit like saying the name of Shakespeare’s Scottish Play out loud, I’m not even going to type them here.
Hmmm…. I wonder a toddler Hazmat suit be such a bad idea after all?
But of course it’s not just my little dude, it seems he and almost every other child who is in crèche or playschool goes around with a permanent ‘death rattle’ during the winter months. It's cough and cold, on top of cough and cold and no amount of antibiotic-wrangling from the doctors reluctant clutches seems to help.
And I really hate to see him sick, I’d prefer to have it myself… but on a more slightly practical and selfish note, I also hate that life has to go on when he’s sick. And that means sometimes I have no choice but to bring him out with me when he’s under the weather… and by Jesus is that a real pain in the arse.
He had been a bit off in the digestive department the day before and as such hadn’t had much of an appetite. Of course come the morning time, his little tummy was empty so he scoffed down two bowls of muesli and three cups of milk in a matter of seconds, followed by marshmallows and smoothie melts… you can guess where this is going right?
Yes welcome to Mount Puke-Suvius, toddler style.
I was pretty sure it was because he’d overeaten, rather than it being a continuation of his digestive issues from the day before… and yet I wasn’t totally sure… he was as likely to erupt on either end again or be completely fine, there was no real way to know, but I had errands that I had to run and no one to look after him for me while I did them, so I had no option but to take him with me.
So there he sat in the trolley in the supermarket, suddenly hungry again, gobbling his roll and drinking an entire smoothie, as I frantically made my way around the shelves before another possible eruption happened. I’d packed what I call my barf kit, which contained a myriad of wipes, nappy bags and changes of clothes, in case the worst happened… I was at DEFCON 1 in my head as I could just see us arriving at the till to pay and my little dude going nuclear all over the shopping on the belt like some kind of biblical barfing plague had him in its thrall.
Thankfully, his shopping trolley repast stayed put and we made it home without any incidents.
And yet, he still remained a bit off… better keep the barf DEFCON at 2 for the time being.
But look, as arsey as it all is, dare I say it’s just a rite of passage and that it’s best to get it all out of the way now while he’s still small? I guess that’s true and with each virus that attacks him, I know his immune system will get stronger as he fights it off…
That said, I’m still going to Google toddler hazmat suits, just in case.