Winter is here and has brought the cold and flu season with it.
Oh, hurrah! cry all the parents everywhere with one voice – though the slightly crazed look in every eye leads you to think this may not be true enthusiasm. Parents know the truth – none escape winter unscathed.
It’s the second day of winter, and 75% of the family is unwell. 50% are on antibiotics. You’re impressed I’m doing stats, right? It’s easy with a family of four.
So many people tell me it must be easier being a mum because I’m a nurse. I wouldn’t have a clue if it is or not because I wasn’t a mum before I was a nurse. What I will tell you is how my mind works when my boys are sick. Nurse-me and Mum-me often discuss how to proceed.
Nurse-me: Okay, both down for the night. Great.
Mum-me: What was that? A cough?
N: Sounds okay.
M: No it doesn’t. Better go check.
N: Sound asleep. He’s fine.
M: Is he? He’s breathing, right?
N: …right. He’s breathing.
N: Yes. Normally.
M: Okay. What about the other one?
N: He’s fine. Go back to bed.
M: Okay. You’re sure they’re not cyanosed? They looked a little blue to me.
N: That’d be the nightlight. Sleep.
M: Can’t sleep. Better check the kids again.
N: They’re fine.
M: You’re wrong.
N: Fine, go check them. Just leave me out of it.
M: He sounds congested. Do you think he’s congested? I think he is.
N: He’s not congested.
M: He clearly is. I’m getting the steamer out. Where is it?
N: In the cupboard. You only put it away yesterday – it’d been out for two months.
M: I told you I shouldn’t put it away or they’d get sick. You made this happen.
M: The toddler is awake again. Is he hot?
M: You can’t tell from there. I’m getting the thermometer.
N: Does he have a fever?
N: Right. Back to bed.
M: What about the baby?
N: Fine, check him. I’m not settling him if you wake him though.
M: HA – I was right. He’s burning up!
N: What’s his temperature?
N: Quick, hit the emergency bell!
M: Shut it. Do I give him some medication?
M: But he has a temperature.
N: He’s asleep.
M: But he might be uncomfortable.
N: Are you kidding me? He barely flinched when you checked his temperature.
M: You’re right. Is he unconscious?
N: No, he’s asleep. Rack off and take your drugs with you.
M: I just need to check he’s rousable first.
N: Great, you’ve woken him.
M: Might as well give him some medication why he’s awake.
N: I’m not going to win this, am I?
…and on it goes. I second-guess every decision and hope I’m not stuffing up my kids’ health because I think I know what I’m doing. It usually results in very little sleep on my part.
Please tell me I’m not the only one having days (or nights) like this!