Friday, 20 July 2007

In the sick of it

My son has just been sick for the third time. I heard him wretching in the next-door room, but instead of rushing to his side, I carried on reading other people's blogs. My daughter screamed for me to come. 'Just a minute!' I shouted back casually, in time to take in a couple more paragraphs.

I'm no monster. There was a time when the merest sniffle would have had me hovering anxiously at my children's side, desperately trying to 'be there' for them in their pain. But years of mothering have hardened me. I'm now about as sympathetic and nurturing as Nurse Ratchet or the infamous 'matron' (ooh matron!) at my school - whose answer to everything was a dash of Witchazel (is that how you spell it?).

I blame it on too many false alarms, too many overreactions and far too many hours wasted in A and E. But I'm beginning to worry that it's pushed me a little too far the other way. When my daughter broke her thumb, I wrote it off as a sprain and took her to football practice (well, she could move it!); when my son announced that he was going to be sick in the car - I shouted "NOT NOW! Hold it in till I get beyond the roundabout!" (he didn't, he caught it in his lap poor lad); when my daughter put her hand through the downstairs window, I 'made' the right noises but cursed under my breath that once again we'd have to grace the corridors of our local hospital; and whenever I hear a scream from the trampoline in the garden I positively ignore it - so far, there's never been a real injury, but one day there might be.

The actual impact of my hard-nosed attitude towards illness in others hit home the other day when my daughter described just how irritated she'd felt towards another child who was crying during PE because her foot hurt. "For goodness sake!" she said "It wasn't even broken!"

What have I done?

I'm posting this blog in a rush, not to tend to my ailing child of course, but because my mother's coming to stay tomorrow and there's no telling whether I'll get a chance to blog in between mopping up the vomit or tending to my demanding guest - that is if I even survive the trauma.

13 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Well hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. And no, I don't blame your unsympathetic approach to children's drama's! My little girl can be a huge drama-queen, a bit of the "Cry Wolf" syndrome but on that particular occasion I was worried for her.

Best, Crystal xx

Mid-lifer said...

Well, I have to admit my heart softened when his temperature soared and he went all wobbly. I spent most of the night mopping his brow and cudlling him

He's right as rain this morning.

debio said...

Apparently, as we get older and our hormones become more dilute, our nurturing natures recede also and we become more selfish.

I read this somewhere - and can it be true?

According to the 'expert' it goes some way to explaining why many women seek a divorce when the nest empties.

So, that's OK then...

Around My Kitchen Table said...

That's just the right attitude to have in my opinion! All you need in your First Aid box is Dettol (for accidents involving raw sewage), plasters (for broken bones and multiple fractures)and aspirin (for yourself when their crying gives you a headache). Oh dear, I think I've just proved Debio's point.

Omega Mum said...

Applaud your attitude and your daughter's, come to that. If it's serious, call an ambulance, if it's vomit, give them a bucket and teach them the merits of accurate aim and if it's anything else, make occasional soothing noises as you carry on blogging. And have a glass of wine to ease the trauma.

Motheratlarge said...

I have a relative whose catchline is "Take me to the hospital!" He acquired this after he kept uttering this plea for ridiculously minor injuries. His children trot out this phrase to tease him because he makes such a big deal out of any illness. You don't want your children to be hypochondriacs like that! Sounds to me like you've got a good attitude - caring without fussing. I do agree, though, I find blogging is worryingly addictive.

Mid-lifer said...

Got to rush this scomment because elderly mum sleeping next door.

Phew Debio - it's all down to nature then?

Kitchen table - you left oput Witch hazel (however you spell the dran thing)

Omega mum - I've had all too much wine and food the past two days - my mum's presence always does that to me!

MAL - no danger of hypochondriacs in this house! Though I have got this mole... and sometimes my chest feels tight...

Mid-lifer said...

oops typed so fast lots of typos. Can hear mum coughing nextdoor, better go.

debio said...

Nominated you for an award, mid-lifer....

Keris said...

When I broke my toe, my parents didn't believe me and had me put it in a bowl of water. It's still wonky now, 25 years later.

And funnily enough, I was about to throw up in the car yesterday (hangover) and my husband suggested I "hold on". Has anyone ever been able to hold on to oncoming vomit?

Really enjoying your blog, Mid-lifer! :)

Mid-lifer said...

Thanks Debio!

Keris - interesting thought..not sure if you'd ever want to...urgh

Dee said...

Hope your boy is better, and you're keeping sane in all this chaos ;)

I know exactly how you feel though, I am most irritable when it comes to other people's illnesses. Not the bad bad stuff of course, but ordinary colds/ flu's coughs sneezes.. get over it... don't yap about it, I don't wanna hear it is my usual reaction. I mean what do people do when they get REALLY ill I wonder.

beta mum said...

I find it hard to tolerate any illness that lasts more than a day or two - in myself or anyone else. Thankfully my kids are pretty healthy, and rarely throw up.
When they do it's over to Dad - otherwise I end up joining them with my head down the loo.