Thursday, November 4, 2010

Off with her head!

I have been in bed for three days. No easy feat with a four year-old. Mind you, the LGBB has been getting over the end of this nasty cold herself.

Seriously, in the middle there, I wanted to just sever my head at the neck. It may have been less uncomfortable. Ear ache, face ache (aka sinus pains from hell), head ache, blocked and runny nose (whaaaat? why not just one or the other?) and I've almost finished coughing up the complete Lego set to make my green fort. Seriously. How does the stuff on your lungs settle into lumps with sharp corners??*

I don't know, colds these days aren't "just" colds anymore, are they? Some strains can absolutely flatten you. I've had this for a week and there's not much let-up yet, although I can feel it's moving through, not settling in. No good when you're trying to run a house. Fortunately, Tuesday was a public holiday here so Steve was home. He and Lolly had a great day together. I stayed in bed. Yesterday, I hobbled her over to kindy and then hobbled back, did a bit of work (I was desperate to get to bed but am a tad more desperate to get paid at the moment) and then went and picked her up. Oh, how very fast three hours goes.

I am ashamed to say, the afternoon was spent under the covers - the two of us - watching movies. We watched The Wedding Singer and then The Polar Express. I was in agony. Lolly LOVED it. The closeness to me and my complete focus - albeit on my eyelids, even though she assumed I was watching with her - was tantamount to bliss for her. On more than one occasion, she cupped my face in her hands and gave me soft kisses and when I opened my eyes, she'd be grinning at me. My child has the most divine wide-mouthed smile. Her entire face beams. I was told, "I love you so, so, so much." And it made me grin too, despite the strain it placed on my snot-filled cheeks.

I wish I could be comfortable staying in bed and letting her have run of the house. Heck, I even wish I didn't mind her watching so much tv. But being that I was the only adult in the house and that I literally couldn't stay upright, I just couldn't rest. Not really. Not completely. I just have a "thing" about being in bed when the LGBB is not. So she had to stay with me. And because she stayed with me, and being four, there wasn't exactly much "rest' going on. By the time 5.30pm rolled around, I knew I would have to muster up some energy from somewhere and begin tea. If I didn't, we'd be waiting until 7 o'clock if I wanted Steve to help me. So I asked the LGBB earnestly if she would please stop moving so that Mummy could rest for a moment. The tv was off and she had stopped moving. Within a few minutes, she was asleep. And Mummy, being the opportunist, lifted her sore and weary head off the pillow and shuffled in to the kitchen to make dinner. Then I agonised over whether/when to wake her. She was obviously in need of sleep, her nights have been broken by bouts of coughing and sore tummy that have gone with this cold-bug-horridthing.

It's just how it goes, isn't it? With us, anyway, this is how it goes. Steve and I have.... well, only Steve and I to rely on. Oh how I wish for one parent, just one, to be both within reasonable driving distance and hands-on enough to just get in and do things for us. But we don't. So we make do.

After dinner (I had no appetite, I stayed in bed while the others ate), the LGBB went to bed and was happy to go to sleep straight away at 7.30 as per usual. I had taken Panadeine - something I rarely do but I was desperate - and by 9pm was just beginning to doze off and feel comfortable, when I heard her little voice. Crying to Steve, who was working still, and complaining of a sore tummy. She sounded a bit worried and quite upset. I knew he could handle it if I didn't get up.

But that instinct can't be settled. There is no way I, as a mother, could lie there feeling comfortable (even if it is after a day of pain!) if I know my child needs help. Even when the other parent is perfectly capable of settling her. So I got up and went to see what was up. Steve let me step in when she wasn't settling. I sat by the LGBB's side and explained to her the basic mechanics of food and where it goes. I had been trying to keep tabs on her bodily functions these past few days - hard when you're stuck in bed! - and in the back of my mummy-mind, I had flagged "Check this out" on the file marked "Bowel movements". It's been a few days since she's had normal function in that area (she says, tactfully) so I'm pretty sure by now there'd be some monster pains rearing up every so often. So I explained to Lolly that lots of sips of water all day would help, as well as a warm pack and some gentle rubbing of her tummy.

Hearing all this, she settled down. And then did one almighty trumpet that ruffled her sheets. After much guffawing, the LGBB was back out like a light (she is obviously still not well because normally that would never happen).

When I was walking back up the hall to bed, feeling very light-headed and giddy on my feet, I marvelled at how everything in my own body is put aside in order to attend to my child. I rely on that, I count on it, to step in and give me everything I need countless times during any given day. But I don't often notice it, not until I feel so ill myself. I am not sure there would be too many things that would keep me from my child's bedside.

How about you? What happens when you're sick? Do you have other adults around who help? Do you recognise that part of yourself that "kicks in" even when you are in the throes of trying to kick an illness yourself?

 This is part of the weekly Thursday Mother Heart linky.

That's us in 2008, back when she didn't notice a camera at ten paces

* My most sincere and humble apologies for that visual

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