I’ve always been a bit of a softy (though not many people know this). When I was ten, I cried when I watched ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’. You know the part when the ant dies protecting the children? It was so sad 😦 I cried when I watched ‘Bolt’ for the first (and second) time. I cried watching the news, Oprah and a whole host of other shows. I even burst into tears the first time I saw one of those flash mob mobile network adverts. Was it T-Mobile?
But all that was nothing compared to what I’m like now. Since having V, I have, quite literally, turned to mush.
All I have to do is read or watch something about a baby or child and I’m in tears. Last month, ‘Baby Boom’ had me sobbing.
So if books, movies and TV shows about neglected or suffering children and animals (or even those that just need a hug) have me in tears, imagine what my *own* child is doing to me!
Relaying a story of what funny/cute/silly/ thing V did that day to Hub makes me teary. Thinking about how much he’s grown already and how many *more* milestones he will reach makes me teary. Sometimes just looking at him makes me want to cry.
I know. I am aware of how ridiculous I sound.
If V’s normal, regular day-to-day routine stuff has me all mushy, you should see me when he’s unwell.
I am, actually, very lucky (touch wood). V has never been seriously ill. Maybe a slight temperature now and then, but nothing a dose of Calpol couldn’t fix. Teething has never really affected him either (so far). I’ve gone and jinxed myself (and him), haven’t I?
When he was seven months old, he had to have minor surgery. I say it’s minor, but actually it wasn’t. From the time he was born, we knew this procedure would have to be done, so it wasn’t a great shock. He had to be put under a general anesthetic. His surgery was scheduled for 1pm and he couldn’t eat or drink anything after 7am. Hub and I were allowed in with him until the anesthetic kicked-in, and then we had to wait in his room.
He was in his little white vest, lying on the bed. As the anesthetist pulled the mask towards him, he opened his mouth (poor baby was hungry). The mask covered most of his face and he started crying and struggling. We had been warned that he would do that, and that it was actually better as the anesthetic would work faster. I felt like shit. I couldn’t do anything to help him. We left the room as soon as he was asleep – limp and not moving – and that’s when I started sobbing.
They brought him back two hours later, and the surgeon warned us that he would cry a lot as he woke up; because he would be confused as to where he was, etc. And cry he did. A LOT. But he soon calmed down and was almost back to his usual self. We had to give him Calpol for the next two days and Nurofen if he was in any pain. We gave him Nurofen only once. My brave, strong boy was doing just great. He recovered quickly.
Yesterday we went to the doctor for shots. I gave the doctor the Red Book and we went through which shots he was due. He advised me to choose if I was going to go by the UK immunisation system or the Nigerian one. The Nigerian system, he said, was devised by WHO (World Health Organisation specifically for the tropics). Because we spend more time in Nigeria than in the UK, I said we’d go with the Nigerian system. There are many illnesses we need to be very careful about. So yesterday, he had his chicken pox and yellow fever shots. He cried at the time, but stopped very quickly and was back to his normal self.
A couple of hours after we got home, he started screaming. Screaming and screaming and screaming. And nothing could distract him – not even Animal Planet or the trucks outside the window. He would fall asleep on my shoulder and then wake up screaming after a few minutes. From the way he was positioning his body, it seemed that he had a tummy ache. He soon fell asleep again and when he woke up an hour later, he was back to his normal self. Playing, crawling, hiding and laughing.
And then it started again before bedtime. Not as much screaming – but quite a lot of crying. So we went back to the doctor (a different one this time). The doctor checked him out and said he was fine, and that it was just his way of reacting to the shots and to give him Calpol every four hours. He was a nice man, but a little patronising and he made me feel a bit dumb for over-reacting. As did Hub. IF Hub had been home during the day and witnessed the screaming, he would have been as worried as I was.
Vinay’s temperature was at 101 last night. And it is still at 101 this afternoon. He drank most of his milk, but didn’t want breakfast. He did, however, guzzle his Petits Filous. And now, while he’s sleeping, I’m crying quietly in my room and feeling guilty.
His reaction to the shots, I’m told, is normal. ‘Don’t worry’, people say, ‘he’ll be fine’. But I think I should have researched the vaccines. I should have checked what they entailed. I should have insisted that he have only one at a time. But I didn’t. I trusted the doctor completely. Did I do the wrong thing?
And now I can’t stop worrying.
Does it ever stop? Will I always worry like this when he’s unwell? Will I always wonder if I’ve done the right thing? Will I always worry about whether I’ve done the best thing for my child? Will I always cry when he reaches a new milestone? Will I always feel so helpless when he’s not ‘himself’?
Am I destined to always be mush?