Do NOT Read Unless You Have a Strong Stomach – Seriously TMI

This post is pretty disgusting, but I thought I’d include it because it’s a little observation of my life with my kids. It mentions virtually all the yucky things you can imagine, so please stop reading if you might be offended or might feel sick (the vast majority of people, ok?)

Last week I had gastroenteritis. Yeah, again. Twice in a fortnight; 3 times in as many months. My insides are just in tatters. And I haven’t seen this weight since I was 24. Anyway, when Midi Minx started vomiting on Tuesday night I honestly thought it was because she’d been chewing her wellies again. Then the next morning, Maxi threw up. Oh-oh, bug alert…INCOMING!

By Wednesday afternoon I was feeling a bit peaky, and by evening I was totally floored. Well, curled up on the bathroom floor. The girls got over their bug in minutes; I was ill for 2 days. With superhuman Martyr Mummy effort I managed to just about look after the kids on Thursday (thank God for CBeebies, packed lunches made by The Boss and the fact that the baby, Mini, stayed well).

Anyway, here goes…this incident sums up my busy, multi-tasking life as a mum…are you ready?

By the middle of Thursday afternoon I was counting the minutes till The Boss came home. Every time I dragged myself off the sofa to lumber to the bathroom I worried about what the minxes would get up to while I was gone. I tried loperamide to stem the flow, but that just provoked vomiting. So there I was, sitting doubled over on the toilet, trying not to pass out with the smell. It made me vomit (again), but luckily I’d taken the sick bowl with me. Bloody hell, it came out so violently it splashed. Damn. Not so much that it wrecked my favourite fluffy comfort cardi, but because I’d no more energy left to even attempt to go clean it up. Worse, the splash aroused the interest of the cat. “Go away Daisy!” I croaked. “Shoo!” But the effort made me go r-aaaaaa-lf again.

I must have left the living room door open because little Mini Minx wobbled over to me looking troubled. Her little nose wrinkled at the smell. She warily eyed up the cat and sidled up to me for a Mummy-cuddle. I pushed the cat away with my foot, spilled a bit of vomit out the bowl and cursed. I yelled for Maxi to come help me with her sister. My hands were full (of sick bowl) and the rest of me was gripping the toilet, so I’d nothing to cuddle Mini with. I suggested she go back to her sisters. Mini started to cry. I yelled for Maxi again. Nothing. No response. She was busy singing CBeebies theme tunes. I vomited again. Mini started to wail. I put the bowl down, wiped my face and tried to reassure Mini. The cat sniffed at the bowl. I pushed the cat away. I yelled for Maxi. The cat came at the bowl from a different direction. I lunged at the cat. Mini got a fright and kicked the bowl. The bowl spilled some more. Over my feet. I got a fright and filled the toilet again. Mini shrieked at the noise/smell. I vomited once more. Mini raced back to the living room. From the safety of the kitchen door, Midi watched and cackled. Maxi blithely sang along to the next theme tune.

I will get my own back on Maxi when I am old and incontinent and living in a Granny-flat with her. Oh yes!

Latest Software Upgrade

I guess all the night crying and restlessness from the Miniest Minx the past 2 nights has been in response to her latest brain software upgrade.

We all had another rough night last night, with all 3 girls fighting to get Mummy AND Daddy cuddles.  Maxi felt that her bed was too cold, Midi felt that her cold was too bad, and Mini just wanted milk.  Accepting that today would be a washout without a functioning brain, I decided to goof off.  After dropping the eldest 2 at nursery (though right up till the very end I though Midi would want to stay with me: “I not feeling very well” she parrotted from somewhere.  I say ‘parrot’ because she’s repeating an entire sentence she’s heard, her speech isn’t that complex, yet), me and the baby went and had coffee.

I’d promised us it on Monday but it never happened (we went swimming then boring, boring, boring shopping instead).  It was quite a swish place on the High Street.  They could obviously see that my eyeballs were rattling in circles of different rotational speeds because the Americano I was served could have kept an army awake.  Luckily I’d tucked away a pot of dried porridge powder away in the change bag, so Mini got some of her favourite breakfast while I enjoyed a fantastic roll and sausage.  Well, it was that or the chocolate cake, but even my prodigious tolerance of caffeine would have cracked under the strain.

It was lovely just to sit and ‘be’ for 20 minutes.  I met and chatted with a fellow nursery-user; I said hello to 2 guys who used to work for me; I stared into space and enjoyed the silence for a minute or 2.  Best of all, I blethered with baby R.  She is a real people watcher and enjoys sitting quietly and observing humans with her enormous, unblinking eyes.  We both indulged in that, and occasionally shared a quiet ‘Nananah!’ or a ‘Ba.  Ba’.  She’s quite the conversationalist.

The rest of the day was the standard whirl of tidy-up, clean up after kids (why oh why oh why don’t we turn the dining bit of the room into a wet-room thing that we can hose down?!  It would be so much less hassle.  And way more hygienic), degunge Midi’s bed of snot, prep and make a comfort dinner (roast pork, roast potatoes, roast veg – carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, apple crumble and cream).  Then shepherd kids, wellies, drawings, junk modelling and bags (and bags and bags) of urine-soaked clothes home from nursery, juggling them in and out of the car and jostled away from the speeding cars by the side of the road.  Standard.

Brain software upgrade?  Well, my favourite part of the day this week is when me and The Boss sit down with Mini Minx in the evening, after she’s woken from her 3rd nap of the day and her sisters are snoring.  Tonight she demonstrated her mastery of rotating to sitting regardless of the attitude she found herself in.  She has a dancing tower activity centre thing that she loves.  The Boss put it to its full height (for the hell of it, I suspect) at the weekend.  R practiced pulling up on it.  Had she unfurled her legs from their lotus position (!), she’d have done it.  I don’t think it’ll be long: she just has to combine her pulling up with her favourite Downward Facing Dog pose.  She also spent a happy 20 minutes slowly and carefully crawling *forwards* and sideways, chasing after her biggest sister’s ball.  It took me a while to realise she was swatting it away on purpose: I thought she was struggling to catch hold of it.

So, tomorrow…oops, today, damn…is Wreckaroom Day, as the girls’ best friend is coming round for lunch.  Wee girls being wee girls, it’s The Law that they take out every single toy and dressing up item owned for Weekly Close Inspection.  Oh boy.  Just wait till Mini is crawling fast enough to join in the carnage!


The Grumpy Old Trout and The Boss are desperate to get away from the smell of kid vomit

As day follows night, then kids are followed by vomit.

Maxi-Minx threw up twice before midnight last night.  A loud gurgling sound emerged from her room, followed by a wailing girl, lower face covered in sick, looking like an extra in a scary zombie film.  The Boss tackled the creatively decorated surfaces (Christ Almighty, was she revolving while she barfed?!) while I took charge of the cuddling and hosing down.

After the second barf, I worried about running out of bedding.  As the eldest of 7 kids, I am a compulsive hoarder of bedding, obviously scarred from experiences of running out as a nipper when we all had bugs.  Luckily Miss Creosote calmed down and got some sleep after yammering away a million to the dozen for a bit.  I think she might have been delirious.  Goodness knows how she slept – that sharp nose-hair-frazzling tang of sick lay thick in her room, and rapidly permeated the entire house.  I was particularly grumpy about that – I love the fug of roast chicken and duck-fat fried potatoes in the house that I’d lovingly created earlier that evening.  Oh pants, you don’t think it was the chicken…?!  No-one else has been ill, so I suspect it wasn’t my cooking.

I swear the washing machine shuddered when I chucked the second load of thickly sicked textiles and teddies into it.  I have a stomach of steel and even I recoiled from cleaning out the rim and drum of the machine.  Picking out half-digested bits with my cut fingers would scunner even the most devoted Mummy.  Me and The Boss stood examining it like a pair of chimpanzees – was it leek?  Onion skin?  Cabbage?  We reckon it was apple peel.  There was so much of it, though!

My friends wished her well on Facebook.  As she was mooning around behind me (bit of a relapse today, so I guess today will be a pyjamas in front of CBeebies day) I showed her how many people had said Get Well Soon.  “Awww, that’s so kind of them!” she sighed.  That’s my brave little girl!! <proud>

Now to attack the bloody awful smell that just won’t go away.  I swear, if air freshener companies could somehow harness the cling power of vomit and apply it to fragrance, they’d be onto something.

Things I’ve Done For Love Part 1

The only thing more pathetic and miserable than a poorly baby is its parent.  Baby R has a bad cold,  perhaps croup, too, judging by the seal barking.  And yes, me and The Boss are pretty damn miserable and upset.  Poor little mite.  At least it’s not The Boss’s hand, foot & mouth (!)  It’s R’s 5th ever cold and as the previous ones were very minor, it’s taken me by surprise.

Her chest is rattling as she breathes; her cough obviously hurts her; crying hurts her, which makes her cry more; her snot is now greeny-yellow with a trickle of blood mixed in, and she has a wheeze.  Yesterday she woke me up at 4.30am struggling to breath past thick phlegm, then spent the day barely moving, very lethargic, glassy-eyed, and feverish, so I took her to the doctor’s.  I was expecting a hefty dose of dexamethasone, assuming croup, but instead got some amoxicillin.  Hmmm.  But given the colour of R’s snot today, I guess he knew best after all.

I’m writing this in a 10 min break from 48 hrs of cuddling.  Thank heavens I’m still breastfeeding, so can give her instant comfort.  And thank heavens I’ve not lost all my baby fat, so she has something squishy to snuggle into.  Right now, the nurofen is coursing through her baby veins, so she’s hissing at her soft book and growling at me as best she can with terrible hoarseness.  It’s a huge improvement, so I’ll stop thinking all the silly paranoid mummy thoughts, put her down and rest my aching back (my lovely physio today felt along my spine and expressed surprise at how tight and stiff it was: “No wonder it hurts”.  See, Bossman?  I’m not making it up).

Anyway, to the nub of this post!  Thank goodness for product testing.  Coincidentally, I’m testing and reviewing 2 baby nasal aspirators just now for an online company, and frankly they’ve been a godsend.  I use one while the other is drying out.  One is electrical and a right faff to take apart, clean, use, etc. etc.  All to separate you (the parent) as far as possible from the mucky snot.  However, the one I’ve used most is pretty unpleasant to use, but by golly it works!  It’s basically a long tube with a bit of sponge in the middle.  Yes, you know where this is going: you suck the snot out.  The length and the sponge are pretty much all that stop the goo getting to you (though I’m not so sure about viruses…).  So, you get to see your infant’s bubbling nose oyster up close.  Through the conduction of vibrations through your lips and teeth, you get to *feel* it coming out.  I won’t even describe the stomach-churning, gurgling splotch sound it makes.  <grooooo>  Only a devoted parent badly in need of sleep and teeth-chatteringly frazzled from constant crying can handle it, believe me.

Gimme some drugs, man

<Sniff>  I feel very sorry for myself.  I have my 4th cold of the year.  With a pathetic cough and a sore throat.  The cough isn’t strong enough to be a proper cough – then I could properly clear my throat!  Instead it’s a little tickle of a thing.  Sounds like the fake cough baby R has affected to get attention (because we ignore her ear-splitting shrieks.  She’s clever, is this one).  And I’m speaking 20 octaves (roughly) lower than normal, when I can talk at all.  It’s not just the hoarseness, it’s because talking makes me cough.  Pathetically.

The thing that’s getting my goat is that for yet another winter the only medication I can take for it is paracetamol.  Everything you’d normally guzzle, even lemsip, is emblazoned with warnings that pregnant and breastfeeders must not take it.  Now as I’m still feeding baby R (too damn lazy disorganised tightfisted pedantic to do formula) that means that yet again I’m going to be appalled at how much pain a stupid virus can inflict, in the 21st Century!  I realise that a lot of the warnings are simple erse-covering and would, in fact, be perfectly safe for baby R were I to take them.  But whilst I’m awash with my latest dousing of Mummy Guilt, am I really going to take the chance?  Do I have the time to sit for 20 mins constantly hitting redial on the Dr’s surgery 0845 telephone number to get the single available appointment for today only (you’re not allowed to book an appointment more than a day ahead)*, never mind actually attend, in order to establish what relief I can take for my pathetic sniffles?  Non and nein respectively.

*One day when I’m not in a rush herding my zoo in and out the surgery, usually in shame, I must ask the receptionist how everyone gets their appointments.  If you’re not allowed to book an appointment in advance, only on the day, then how do all the appointments get booked up?  Example, if I manage to get through within a minute of the phone line opening in the morning, why do I inevitably only have 2 appointment times to choose from?  How did the other people fill up all the other slots?  Do they belong to a secret club?  Do you get invited to join, and thereby be able to book more than 12 hrs in advance, if you don’t see the doctor for 12 months or more?  Like a No Claims Bonus?

I hate going to see the doctor anyway unless I have something hanging off, preferably covered in blood.

Anyway, back to this evening’s rant.  I just wish I could have the information available to allow me to decide whether to take the drugs or not.  I cynically suspect it’s akin to when (effective) cough medicine for toddlers was withdrawn from the market.  It was because it was possible for a parent to overdose their child if they didn’t read the instructions.  Riiiiiight.  So the vast majority of literate, caring, sensible people are disadvantaged by sick, coughing, miserable toddlers just to moddly-coddle the tiny minority of illiterate or daft ones?  I’m no statistician, but I bet the risk of a parent crashing their car / making a huge and expensive mistake at work / being a dopey and inattentive (therefore dangerous) parent due to lack of sleep from being up with Junior’s coughing all night is probably a lot higher than the risk that they’d overdose Junior.

Similarly, what are the actual risks to my breastfed baby of me taking some over the counter cold relief stuff?  Why can’t the leaflets add why breastfeeders shouldn’t / mustn’t take it?  I guess it must be cheaper to lose all that potential custom (breast-feeding mums have kids who tend to pick up bugs so tend to get colds themselves quite a lot) than risk one lawsuit.

Don’t suggest honey and hot water – I cannot stand the smell or taste of bee poohoney.  I’m going to gargle a small glass of Benromach to kill the throat bugs.  Will I spit or swallow afterwards?  What do you think?!

Just a tiny bit tired…

This year I hope Santa brings the kids some immune systems for Christmas.  With batteries included.

The Boss brought a virus with a cough into the house when he caught hand, foot & mouth disease a few weeks ago.  No 2 has probably had h,f&m before, because when she came down with a virus, possibly the same one, it produced no blisters but bright red cheeks and a worse cough.  No 1 caught that version too but was ill enough to need to stay off nursery.  No 3 has only got a bit of a sniffle with it, but it’s making her grumpy and not sleep well.  I’ve got the pathetic cough, sore throat and ropiness that No 1 has, and am feeling pretty miserable.  Though I think everyone is enjoying me having a hoarse voice – there’s a yelling amnesty.  And boy, are the little minxes playing up to that already this morning!  To cap it all, I think No 2 has been chewing and licking her shoes again – she barfed all over her bed (and pillows and duvet and favourite teddy and curtains and carpet) last night.  I was up till silly o’clock with the washing machine, trying to make the horrible smell go away, scooping out regurgitated bits of macaroni cheese from the washing machine seal between washloads (yuckkkkkk).

So I’m a teensy, weensy bit over-tired this morning!

No 2 is back to her normal self now, though, asking for “cuss-ass” (custard) with her breakfast.  No 1 has just suggested that I wear mascara to feel better: “When you wear mascara, Mummy, you don’t look like a dead person walking about”.  Charming!!!