This week in the Blopmamma household both Squidge and the Northern One have been streaming with colds.
They’ve both had intermitttent temperatures, poorly tummies, runny noses, hacking coughs and sore throats.
It’s been a bit like being at work except these two are far noiser and more demanding than any of my patients. Even the ones who set the alarms off all the time because they keep doing silly things like refusing to breathe.
The Northern One has resorted to making low pitched rumbling noises to convey his general discomfort whilst Squidge has started making a high-pitched shrieking noise that I can only describe as a velociraptor on helium.
I doesn’t sound like it can be doing his throat any good and it certainly isn’t of any benefit to my ears.
At least one of them knows how to blow their nose, although neither of them seem to understand how to dispose of used tissues.
Somehow I’ve managed to avoid having more than a passing acquaintence with this cold, which is unusual and I tend to catch everything going and the Northern One is left to cope with my whinging and complaining and requests for McFlurries.
This time however, I’m in mummy mode.
I’m now an expert at getting liquid medicine into a wriggling child.
I can spot a runny nose from the other side of the room and I can wipe it before said child has even had a chance to think about complaining.
I’ve been diagnosing fevers with a hand to the forehead before confirming them with a thermometer.
I’ve managed to make sure that we don’t run out of tissues, baby wipes, clean muslins and clean bedding.
I’ve also never felt more like my mum.
In the middle of a particularly unsettled night on Squidge’s part I found myself sat in the rocking chair in Squidge’s room with him half asleep in my lap. I was rubbing my hand up and down his back, my eyes mostly closed whilst murmuring “It’s alright my sweetheart, mummy’s here, mummy’s got you.”
I remembered being a very small child of two or three and having my mum say these words to me after I’d been ill in the night with a stomach upset. I’d stood at the stair gate in my bedroom doorway and called for her until she heard me over my dad’s epic snoring.
She calmed me down, cleaned me up and then got into my little bunk bed with me and cuddled me until I fell asleep. The poor woman must have been so squashed and uncomfortable but she didn’t go back to her own bed until she was sure that I was settled and sleeping.
I can still feel her warmth, the feel of her dressing gown against my face and her unique mummy smell soothing me back to sleep.
In between seemingly endless rounds of nose wiping, Calpol dosing and temperature taking Squidge seems to have really enjoyed having both me and the Northern One at home for a few days. Usually the only full family days we have are at the weekends but now I’m starting to work more Saturdays, the time the three of us have together is shrinking a bit.
Clearly it would have been more fun for Squidge without the endless streams of gunk emitting from various outlets but he’s enjoyed using us both as human tissues, much to the Northern One’s disgust.
The last couple of nights Squidge has been coughing himself awake and then getting upset because he’s really tired so last night I slept on his bedroom floor in the hope that he would settle better.
This seemed like a completely sensible idea at the time; I wouldn’t spend half the night getting in and out of bed and disturbing the Northern One and Squidge would be happier with a roomie while he wasn’t feeling well.
However, when I woke up this morning after three hours sleep, with a stiff back from not sleeping on a proper mattress and being generally saddle sore from my riding lesson the evening before it became more of a case of ‘What was I thinking?’
The three hours sleep wasn’t so much to do with the general discomfort of floor sleeping and more to do with Squidge deciding that he’d rather sleep on the floor with mummy than in his cot.
Even though he still requires dummy replacement intervention once or twice a night Squidge is pretty good at sleeping on his own so when he woke up at around midnight and refused to settle he can’t have been feeling at all well.
After trying to persuade him that his cot was far comfier than the floor I gave in and snuggled him up beside me. A few seconds later he was asleep, the tea spoon to my ladle.
I, on the other hand didn’t fall asleep nearly as easily.
Co-sleeping is not something I’ve ever felt particularly comfortable doing although I have co-slept on a few occasions when Squidge has needed me. I worry about rolling on him and as a result he sleeps soundly and I hardly sleep at all.
Last night, however, I really didn’t mind.
He snuggled up to me, his back to my back while I curled myself around him. I rubbed my face in his hair and breathed in his wonderful baby smell, even though he isn’t really a baby anymore.
I traced the outline of his chubby cheeks and the dimples of his gorgeous, squidgey elbows.
I rubbed the thick, soft cotton of his little sleeping bad between my fingers and tucked his knitted blanket snugly around him so that he wouldn’t get cold once his temperature abated.
I listened to his soft, regular breathing and the little sleepy noises that he makes; never quite even at night.
I put my finger into his warm little palm and he grasped it in his sleep, just like he did when he was a newborn; wrapping his little fingers around mine and holding on as though to keep me there with him.
I gazed at his peaceful, sleeping face; knowing that he slept so soundly because he was with me.
That all he really wanted was his mummy.
I woke up at stupid o’clock this morning to stiff joints, fluffy baby hair in my nose and a small child demanding his pre-breakfast bottle.
I crawled out of the nest we’d made on the floor and, when I realised that his nappy had leaked through his sleeping bag I took him into the Northern One.
I may be in mummy mode: hardcore but even I have my limits.