You’re a Strong Boy!

My kids have been sick.

One day it’s one and two days later, it’s the other. This has been going on for about a month. I’m pretty sure there’s something in the air.

Anyway, yesterday, Vins was complaining about a headache. He has NEVER complained about headaches before. He threw up a few times. He whinged and he whined and I started worrying about malaria, as he’s been getting fevers on and off for a couple of weeks.

Finally, he told me that he wanted to go to the doctor. “Mama, please take me to the doctor. I just want to get well now.” Vins wanting to go to the doctor? That’s when I knew he really wasn’t feeling good and was probably in more pain than I realized.

He threw up on the way to the doctor. And was pretty upset that his clothes were wet and dirty, and he started crying. My FIL kept telling him not to cry as he was a strong boy and that he should be brave.

This did not go down well with me – but I couldn’t say anything to him (directly, at least). The only thing I could do was tell Vins (in front of my FIL) that if his head hurt and he wanted to cry – he should cry. If something else hurt so much that he wanted to cry, then he should cry.

I will not have my son growing up thinking that in order to be a strong boy, or to be a man, he can’t cry. That is complete and utter nonsense and I won’t accept it. The boy is only five, for God’s sake.

He is who he is and I won’t change that. For anyone.

P.S. He has a tummy bug, not malaria.

Giving Up The Bottle

My tutoring session last Wednesday was cancelled and V has no more cooking classes until January, so I decided to take him to buy a new water bottle and his special cup for when he “gives up the bottle”.

The first store we went to was the place to get his new water bottle.  On the same display as the water bottles, were the pacifiers.  This was a problem.  He spent ten minutes choosing his new bottle and then a further five minutes trying to persuade me to buy him a pacifier.

When he realised his tactics weren’t working, he started crying.  He cried and cried.  All the way to the second place we were going to.

When we reached the second shop and he realised a) I wasn’t going to give in and b) He was going to have to wait in the car if he kept crying, he stopped.  He stopped his tantrum so suddenly, I wondered if the whole episode had actually happened!  All he said was, ‘When I become a baby you buy me a chupa, ok?’  I agreed.

He chose his cup.  A very boring green cup.  I’m still trying to work out why he didn’t want the teddy bear or cow shaped mugs.  Oh well, at least he saved me some money!

We got home and I asked him when he was going to throw his bottles away.  He stopped for a minute and said, ‘On Monday.’  I asked him why on Monday?  Why not right away?  He responded, ‘Mama, see.  Today is Wednesday.  I can only throw bottles on Mondays.’

Hmmm… Delaying tactics me thinks.

I brought it up a couple more times during the next few days – but never got a response or a reaction until…

On Saturday morning, V came into our room and said: Mama, Santa is coming today.

Me (confused): Oh?  Is he?  But it’s not Christmas Day today.

V: Mama, Santa is coming today and he’s going to take aaaall my bottles away.  And he’s going to leave me a present.  But he will only leave me one present because it’s not Christmas Day yet.

Me: Oh!  Ok!  Lucky you!  Santa’s coming!

And he turned and left.  Where did all this come from?

He was at his grandmother’s that whole afternoon, so I was able to gather all his bottles.  I found a whole lot of new ones still in boxes (don’t ask) and I shoved everything in a cupboard.  I wrapped a gift from the toy cupboard (in Christmas paper) and hid it.

He didn’t even ask for milk before he went to bed.  This was very unusual – but I didn’t say anything.  I just wanted to see what would happen.

He woke in the night and when reminded about the bottles/Santa, he had water and went back to sleep.  At 5am he woke again and was not happy.  Until he saw the present Santa left him!  He had water and went back to sleep.

He was very excited on Sunday morning.  He opened his gift and I read him the accompanying letter.

IMG_20131130_153358He hasn’t been very well since yesterday afternoon (cough, cold, high temperature) and hasn’t asked for any milk at all.  He knows that when he drinks milk when he has a cough, he usually throws up.

He’s still unwell – so I don’t know what will happen once he’s feeling better, but I’m so proud of him.  I can’t believe he’s just…  Done it.

I really should have higher expectations.



V is unwell.

He started coughing on Wednesday morning and I started giving him cough syrup immediately.

He threw up a couple of times on Thursday morning and therefore stayed home from nursery that day.  He was in good spirits though.

He started feeling a little warm just before bedtime and after taking his temperature, I realised that it was slightly high.  I told him I’d have to give him some Calpol.

Bloody hell – anyone would think I’d said  I was going to torture him.

He ran around his room, hid behind the curtains, covered his mouth with his hands, all the while screaming and crying and just ABSOLUTELY REFUSED to have the f-ing Calpol.

With the nanny’s help, we finally managed to pin him down and give it to him.  He then threw up.  He got more upset.  He cried more and I started feeling guilty.

I shouldn’t have made him have it.  I should have let him calm down first.

He was beside himself.

None of us knew what to do.

And suddenly I blurted out, ‘Do you want to choose a toy from the toy cupboard?’ (This is where all presents received go before they’re re-gifted or taken out at a later date.)

I regretted it as soon as I said it.

Homer Simpson








I knew it was the completely wrong thing to do.  But it was too late.  He’d heard me.

There were no more tears.  There was no more screaming.  He nodded and said, ‘Yes’.

I told him he had to have the Calpol first.  He did.  Without a fuss.  Then he got all smiley and giggly.  And I felt even more stupid.

I unlocked the cupboard and opened it.  The look on his face was priceless.  I wanted him to choose something small – so directed his attention to a Doctor’s Kit.  But he chose the Fisher-Price shopping trolley.

He went off to bed – happy as Larry.  Smiling and laughing.

He was ok during the night.  His temperature went up and down – but it was never worryingly high.

He came into our room early on Friday morning.  He climbed onto me and said, ‘Mama, I don’t want the shopping trolley.  I want the doctor’s kid.’ (Yes, kid.)  I told him he couldn’t have the doctor’s kit because he already chose the shopping trolley and he had already opened it.  He insisted.  Going on and on and on.  I ignored him.

He spent a large part of the morning whining about wanting a present.  I either ignored him or said things like, ‘Oh!  Is it your birthday?  I don’t think so.’

But I feel so sorry for him – it’s not his fault.  It’s mine!

Luckily he’s not made a fuss to have any of his medicine since then – he could easily just have a tantrum each time, hoping I’ll open the cupboard again.

But now he knows how much is in there.

Maybe I’ll move everything into another cupboard while he’s sleeping tonight!

Puppies, Kittens, Ducklings and Fish

Vinay is sick.  Again.  He is on antibiotics.  Again.  This is the third time in three months!

His temperature has been up and down from 101 to 104 for the last two days, but he is *touches wood* doing much better today.

Anyway, when he’s unwell, he wakes more often during the night and wants to go to mama’s and papa’s room.  He snuggles under the duvet with us and asks me to get the iPad out.

V: Mama, I want to see pictures of puppies.

(Cue lots of oohing and aahing and awwing)

V: Mama, I want to see pictures of kittens.

(Cue lots of oohing and aahing and awwing)

V: Mama, let’s see pictures of turtles.

(Cue lots of oohing and aahing and awwing)

This goes on with calves, horses, parrots, sheep, dolphins… 

You get the picture.


V: Mama, I want to see fish.

I find pictures of tropical fish.  Why tropical fish?  They’re just pretty to look at.

He looks at two pictures.

V: No mama – I want to see dead fish.

Me: Dead fish?!  Why do you want to see dead fish??

V: Because I want!  I want to see dead fish!

Me: Should we look at pictures of buses?

V: Yes!  Show me double-decker buses!

*sigh of relief*

Dead fish?  Dead?  WTF?

You Give Me Fever

As a mother, and I’m sure you will agree with me, one of the hardest things is when your child is sick.  You can rush to the doctor and you can ask your friends for advice on what to do, but that’s just so much more confusing sometimes!

About ten days ago, Vinay started coughing.  I immediately started on the cough syrup.  I’m a bit paranoid about his coughs after he got a chest infection last year.  

I sent him to nursery on Monday and Tuesday as usual.  As a teacher, I’ve always hated when parents send their kids into school when they’re unwell – but he was in such good spirits and he *wanted* to go.  

On Wednesday I took him to the doctor because the cough hadn’t become any better.  The doc said it was a viral infection and to continue with the cough syrup.  I kept Vinay home on Thursday and Friday.

From 3am on Monday up until 3am on Wednesday, his temperature has gone up to 104 and back to normal several times.  The doctor said it was viral and that I should stay calm and dose him with paracetemol, continue with the cough syrup and give him antibiotics for three days.

I have sighed with relief when his temperature came down to 99, cried with worry when it spiked and done a little jig inside my head when it’s come down again.  

His temperature has been normal for a few hours now; so fingers crossed!

But I’m very confused!

Maybe I should instinctively know these things, but I don’t.  Maybe it just needs common sense…

When V was coughing, the doctor said to be careful of the air conditioning, etc. Fair enough and easily done.

But when has a fever, is he meant to be kept warm?  Or cool?  Should we have turned the air conditioners on or off?  Should he be dressed warmly?  Or just in a vest?

My mother always told me that if his temperature was over 101, I shouldn’t let him sleep until I’ve brought it down to 100 or less.  I’m meant to do this by rubbing brandy on his forehead, navel and soles of his feet, using a cold compress, giving him a cold bath.  But the doctor said that if he wants to sleep, I should let him sleep (and of course I should monitor his temperature).  And if the child is already weak, won’t sticking him in a cold bath make him scream and make him worse?

Thank you to all the people on Twitter who advised me to give alternate doses of paracetemol and Nurofen every four hours, it really helped!  But a friend has just told me that *her* doctor said to give alternate doses every two hours!  Isn’t that too much?  

My mum (again) said that if a child has a cough, don’t give them fried food.  Is it because of the oil?  But what if they won’t eat anything apart from something fried?  Isn’t it better that they eat *something* rather than nothing?

I’m so confused – How do you know when to do what?  Maybe I don’t have that ‘mother’s instinct’?