This camel's back is gone...

>> Tuesday, 11 March 2008

In the comments box on my last post, Pig in the Kitchen - a very wise blogger - asked if Law of the Universe 327 had 'swung into action'. She wrote that this Law states:

'When your partner is away - and especially if he is in a different time zone - the chances of you having to deal with an ill child increase dramatically....'

She was half right. It's actually Law of the Universe 328 that has come into force - the one that refers to 2 children getting ill at the same time.

We had a rough night last night. Boy #2 was coughing - a lot - though did not have a temperature, and Boy #1 had a couple of nightmares. These are not nightmares that you or I might have; the sort that involve falling off buildings, or being chased by who-knows-what, though. These nightmares are, if you are a mummy finding it difficult to get to sleep in the first place, the kind that wear thin after a while. The ones that involve your rushing to your child's room with your heart in your mouth, only to be faced with said child lying there resembling nothing so much as a little Pasha, saying: "My blanket's creased, mama. Can you fold it for me?"

So anyway, by the time this morning came, we were all three a little frayed at the edges. (Well, actually, I was rather coming apart at the seams...). But, they both seemed fine, so I dropped them at nursery as usual - with an aside to Boy #2's nursery teacher that if she had any concerns she should call me immediately.

Then, rather than heading for the gym followed by a fun-packed morning of supermarket shopping, laundry, tidying and admin as had been my original plan (and how I justified my un-showered and tracksuited state to the much yummier other mummies when I dropped the Boys off), I went home to bed.

Well, if you could, you would, right?

Not before I had put the phone on my bedside table though - just in case, you understand. This wasn't ideal, of course. It meant I was disturbed a number of times; most notably by Mother-in-Law claiming I'd called her - again. She really should learn how work how her mobile properly, but of course I was polite. Couldn't have her guessing I was tucked up under the duvet instead of cleaning the tiles in the bathroom with a toothbrush now, could I?

But what I was not disturbed by was a call telling me that Boy #2 was actually not very well, with a temperature, and asking could I come and get him. Why was I not disturbed by this call? Because the less than intelligent administrator at his nursery called my mobile phone (safely tucked away in the bottom of my handbag, and in another room), and left a message there. She did not, as any sane person would, follow that up with a call to our landline. Or even chase me when there was no response. No, she just left it. And then went home half day.

So by the time I got this message 3 hours later, I was actually on my way to collect Boy #2 as normal, and the poor little sausage had been ill at nursery all this time.

Obviously, I feel incredibly guilty. I probably should have had both phones in the room with me. But, leave aside the fact that the nursery has - and use - both of my phone numbers, and both Husband's too, there comes a point, surely, when common sense on their part should take over? I mean, they know me. I've been taking Boy #1 there for 2 1/2 years now. In all that time, if they've ever asked me to collect him, I've been there like a shot. So an unqualified silence on my part in response to a message that one of my Boys needed me should ring a warning bell or two, shouldn't it?

I know, I know. The woman was probably very busy. But we are talking about a sick child. And I would like to add that I'm not one of those high-maintenance mummies who blow up at the slightest thing, like the fact that little Caspar didn't spend the requisite 40 minutes outside because it was raining, or that darling Olivia came home with stories of being given smarties in class. (Believe me, it happens, I know women who do this. But then maybe that's just South Kensington, I certainly hope so). I believe - perhaps mistakenly - that I'm actually quite laid back in my dealings with them. Once I hand over my child to the nursery's care, I leave the details to them. They are being good enough to look after my Boys after all. And yes, we pay them - a lot - but still, they do seem to know what they are doing.

Apart from today.

In any case, the long and short of it was that there was a mess up, and Boy #2 now has a temperature of 39 deg C + and a mummy frantically checking every 20 minutes to see if it's come down yet. Throw in an older brother who already had a bit of a cold and is now doing a more than passable impression of a snot factory at full tilt, and what do you get?

Chocolate, that's what.

(And after all that waiting and build-up, the eggs are not even that great, dammit. Well, not after the first 5 or 10, anyway...)


Pig in the Kitchen 11 March 2008 at 22:21  

Bloody hell. I'm reeling, first from the mention of you going back to bed (sooooo envious), then recoiling from the mention of scrubbing bathroom tiles with a toothbrush, then frothing at incompetence of the nursery, then pulling my concerned face [pewummm - that's the sound my concerned face makes] at two poor mites...and finally?
Slightly astounded that the chox didn't live up to the hype. All in all a bad day for you. (apart from the gratuitous snooze that is)
Hope you have a decent-ish night.

Potty Mummy 11 March 2008 at 22:59  

Thanks Pig, so do I.

And so good to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks the nursery could have tried a little harder on this one. (It's all about self-ratification with me, clearly...).
Plus, this is the first time in over 2 years of being a SAHM that I've actually done the going back to bed thing. Even post babies, I couldn't bring myself to. But now? What the hell...

Tomorrow must be better. Surely?

(Must go as Pasha #1 is calling for me. Apparantly the label on the back of his pyjama top is sticking up...)

Tracey 11 March 2008 at 23:21  

I can't believe you held out for so long on the chocolate. And that's about up to Straw 20 it not being that good after all - on top of all the other stuff. I think you need and deserve something stronger than chocolate after all that.

And to think I'd thought I'd had some bad runs while the Daddy worked away overseas... [Mind you, he's never ever living down the phone call from some gondola on some picturesque canal in southern China - right while I was cleaning vomit off the floor.]

I'm still shaking my head that the nursery didn't ring your home number. And that the playdate host had nuts when you've got kid/s with nut allergies...I mean, wtf?

Iota 11 March 2008 at 23:57  

'a snot factory at full tilt' - I love it! You've managed to fit in a creative writing course in amongst all the ill boys and gym visits, haven't you?

Sorry about all the boys' woes, and yours, and you should tell the nursery that it was an unacceptable oversight. Not good enough. Definitely up there with Olivia getting smarties.

Hope you all get well soon. That label sounds a nasty case.

Potty Mummy 11 March 2008 at 23:58  

Hi Tracey, I'm not saying that the chocolate isn't good - just not quite good as I was hoping for, given I'd held out for so long. I am either much too spoilt and should have gone for Rococo or Prestat, OR, am a really cheap date and just should have gone for Cadbury mini eggs all along.

And as for the nuts; WTF indeed...

Potty Mummy 12 March 2008 at 00:04  

Hi Iota - the creative writing course was last year... (you know, when I had time for these things. Before I started blogging.). And the label was a nasty case. It may be terminal - am considering amputation as we speak...

Samurai Beetle 12 March 2008 at 01:42  

Wow between hubs foot accident and boys getting sick you needed a chocolate break! Hope they get all well soon.

ped crossing 12 March 2008 at 03:48  

Straw six would have done in all of us. I hope both boys have a speedy recovery and you get a good nights sleep.

Milla 12 March 2008 at 10:56  

Poor you, but sod's law most certainly states that if you try to go to bed the phone WILL ring - that it will be the wrong phone is surely down to Modern Living. Hope your boys get better soon. But that's nurseries for you, if they're not not calling you, they're handing round germs. Let's hope this vile wind blows it all away.

Sweet Irene 12 March 2008 at 11:51  

I am glad, that after such a well told story and a good morning nap, although an interrupted one, the final answer to everything was "chocolate."

It always pleases me when I am not the only one with that answer to life's challenges.

I hope the kids get well again soon, so that you will have ample time for scrubbing those bathroom tiles.

DulwichDivorcee 12 March 2008 at 12:11  

Dear PM, reminds me of the time that my Child Two knocked herself out during her mime class (silly me for thinking it was a low-risk activity) and I wasn't rung until the afternoon ....for such eventualities I highly recommend Green and Black's Butterscotch chocolate eggs, organic and therefore highly medicinal x

Expatmum 12 March 2008 at 13:12  

That's obviously a universal law as my hubby is still away and I am still not only full of cold, but accompanied by a 4 year old with infected throat, ears and eyes. His anti-biotics will render him infection free at noon today (Central Time) so I am working on him being fit and well for tomorrow. Then I can go back to bed!

Potty Mummy 12 March 2008 at 13:28  

Hi SB, you know I think you're right. Not sure the chocolate 'break' should last 24 hours though...

Hi Ped, the boys are improving and I did manage to get some sleep. Hallelujah!

Milla - let's hope so. If it doesn't blow us away first.

Irene, thanks for the visit and whilst the tiles will get scrubbed, I rather Husband (hurt foot and all) should have the pleasure of that, don't you? Dag!

DD, haven't tried the G&B butterscotch range yet. Something tells me I may be missing out. (And a knock-out in mime class? Worth a post, surely?)

EPM, will keep my fingers and toes crossed he recovers, and that you can them spend some quality time with your bed. But maybe have both phones to-hand?

Jonny's Mommy 12 March 2008 at 13:36  

I would be flipping out on the nursery worker -- well, I say I would but I'd probably just smile and say "Oh well...." and then curse her all the way home. Your poor baby. I haven't the slightest idea was 39 C is because we are backwards over here but it sounds high and bad.

I don't blame you for ripping in to the chocolates and isn't it always the way -- you wait and wait for something and it doesn't turn out to be so great anyhow? *sigh*

Anonymous,  12 March 2008 at 14:43  

I'd want to set husband up with toothbrush & tiles - a sort of penance for being the catalyst (by daring to go away) for such much disaster. ANd for expecting sympathy over the toe, whilst you've got quite enough to deal with.

And I'd be shouting at teh Nursery. It reminds me of eldest son coming home from school with a lump the size of an ostrich egg on his head and they hadn't phoned me. Head injury alert!! Shouting didn't do any good but I felt much better. Of course he didn't have concussion. But how did they know that?

Potty Mummy 12 March 2008 at 15:00  

Hi J's Mommy; I made the call to the nursery at 8.15 this morning, and got an apology from the woman who runs it. I hope I wasn't a bitch, but it just wasn't good enough...

Hi GPM, sadly I'm all talk on this (especially as we have a cleaner who can do the job much better than either of and without resorting to such antiquated techniques).
But as for the nursery, yes I did air my thoughts. Especially since - as Husband recently pointed out - day on day, we pay more for Boy #2's care than Eton would cost... (obviously we don't pay that much since he's only there 3 mornings a week, but you know what I mean).

aims 12 March 2008 at 15:31  

Like I said before - I seem to be missing out on so much of life without children.....ahem...

Potty Mummy 12 March 2008 at 20:11  

Aims - how do you define 'missing out' exactly..?

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