Looking forward to Christmas
After being either heavily pregnant, nursing a small baby or a combination of both for the last four Christmases I looked forward to an easier time this year. Since both Girlie Girl and Toddler Boy have settled into a bedtime routine I thought it reasonable to assume Christmas would be no exception. Visions of a glass of wine before the fire danced in my mind's eye as I tucked them into bed and put out the light.
A Cry in the Night
All went well until 11pm. Just as my eyelids drooped and I felt I couldn't possibly stay awake any longer there was a cry from upstairs. This signalled a long and worrying night.
Toddler Boy, face flushed, eyes bleary, temperature soaring at 39.3 degrees.
Immediate fears of Febrile Convulsions erupted in my breast. I shall never forget the terror on Halloween when Toddler Boy suddenly flopped forward unresponsive with no apparent breathing. Desperate attempts to revive him ensued. We thought he was choking so turned him upside down and tried to prise open his mouth that was clenched shut - no success. After what seemed like aeons of time his eyelids flickered open and that glorious sound of breath being taken followed.
Here on this stormy Christmas Eve night I feared the same would occur. A long time was spent on the NHS helpline. I sent my husband to bed anticipating he would need to be on top form to look after Girlie Girl on Christmas day. I sat cradling my little boy waiting to hear from the doctor. At 3am I got the call to bring Toddler Boy into hospital. The storm howled about us and the outside world seemed so menacing I wondered which was more frightening; stay at home and face the illness alone or risk the turbulent drive to hospital to face waiting rooms of bleeding party goers and germs which could result in an even more poorly boy. Luckily, thankfully, the Paracetamol and Ibuprophen worked their magic and his temperature dropped. This was my answer and the lovely doctor on the phone agreed.
Parents are Super Heroes
Sitting in a moment of relieved peace it struck me hard and clear what position us parents are in. The guardians of these tiny beings whose safety can be threatened in the blink of an eye. The decisions we make can stretch to the ends of the earth and are made in moments of weakness, emotional and physical fatigue. In such moments even a storm mutates into a howling monster intent on clawing the car off the road if we venture out.
I'm sure I'm not alone. Many mums and dads will no doubt find themselves facing these dilemmas in the dead of night. Then there are those whose Christmas has been flooded and bereft of heat, light, cosy cheer and festivity. Parents who have to wade through their sodden homes to try to make a special Christmas for their little ones and families.
It makes me realise that Super Heroes are not fictional characters at all. They are living in houses all over the world being strong and saving their loved ones every day and every night.