Some more, please: What goes around, comes around

2011-03-17 13:54

I’ve always been a little smug about having a child who never falls ill. A child with a constitution like mine – which I always refer to as being that of a buffalo.

Which is silly, of course, because buffaloes have a nasty habit of catching all sorts of nasty bugs, just ask the poor sods at the Kruger Park trying to keep the herds disease free.

So, when I got the phonecall from playschool saying that the toddler was running a high temperature and wasn’t her normal self – that is, no time outs for bonking her friends on the head – I panicked.

I felt like a delinquent mother. Why hadn’t I noticed her pale little face? Her hot hands? Her lack of appetite?

The terrible truth is that I am used to her being well and so dismissed the little signs as passing moments rather than the symptoms of something nasty lurking in her system – her ears to be precise.

So, after a rushed appointment to the ear, nose and throat guy, which I made it through on fear and adrenaline, I am faced with the biggest challenge of my parenting life. Getting the medicine down.

She has to eat before we can even begin holding her down to take her yucky banana-esque antibiotic. So, I made oats and added sugar to entice her. No go.

I made toast from the newly baked loaf and put plenty of butter on it. Still no go.

I grated some cheese, usually a favourite. But still, no go.

Then I got really desperate and offered her some crisps. She said no.

Two hours later her minder and I managed to get her to drink half a glass of full cream milk, which had to double as breakfast.

By the time we had gotten the equivalent of two sips of medicine down her throat we were almost in tears and the toddler was hysterical.

I am already dreading dinner time. First I have to get her to eat, then I have to repeat the whole terrible process again. For another five days.

I have a newfound respect for the women out there whose children are often sick. And I will never be smug again... about anything. Because when it comes to parenting, what goes around comes around.

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