It’s interesting watching the stages your kids go through as they grow up, how your relationship with them changes.
The past week gave me the opportunity to experience what my dad would have gone through watching me as my temperature soared and delirium set in.
There I go putting things in the wrong order again. Okay, so my son Chris caught chickenpox which is no big deal really, most of us have had it and some point in our lives so I felt a bottle of calamine lotion and Calpol should see us through the week. Best laid plans right?
Great thing about Chris is he’s a pragmatist. Once we’d explained what was wrong with him and how long it would take for him to feel better he was cool with that. As the fever took hold it was becoming quite distressing watching your active energiser bunny barely able to whisper and gradually lose his appetite.
So yeah, I now knew how my dad must have felt when I had my severe bouts of malaria; probably a lot more helpless than I was to comfort and ease the pain. We had no Netdoctor, mumsnet (yes I do check out the gossip) or NHS 111. We had the town general hospital in Ondo and a couple of senior nurses in the family as well as the dogonyaro tree in the yard. The leaves of the tree were boiled to make a drink with a taste bitterer than anything I’ve experienced but it did the trick.
Well the calamine lotion and Calpol helped make him as comfortable as it could, and the missus and I took it in turns to smear the lotion on every blister he pointed out to us at three or four in the morning and throughout the day.
As he got better and his appetite returned I noticed that he wasn’t content to just play his usual games and watch his TV programs by himself as usual but wanted to involve me in everything. Running the commentary on My Little Pony to taking turns on the Jake and the Neverland Pirates games. If I sat down at the computer to do some work he’d want to get involved so rather than fight it, I got involved, played the games, made the silly noises, became the climbing frame and thoroughly enjoyed it too.
So this week I learned that:
- Letting you child watch Doc McStuffins makes trips to A&E less intimidating.
- It’s easier to deal with your child disturbing you when you stop what you’re doing and let your inner child do what they’re doing.
- My son values my presence more than my presents even if the first words he greets me with when I pick him up at the nursery are “Daddy, what you bought?”
They grow up really fast so pay attention while you can.