At risk of utterly alienating the very few followers that I do have: I don’t have hayfever. There. I said it. I have never had it. And hopefully I never will because it is awful, and has been particularly bad this week. Nevertheless, and before you stop reading in disgust, I do have Sister A, a Childerbeast and a Man of the House who do. And whilst I don’t live with Sister A anymore I do remember when we were little her having to bathe her eyes open in the morning because they had sealed up with goo in her sleep, and I also remember her coughing up pollen balls in a particularly attractive manner, not entirely dissimilar to a cat and a fur ball.
For my own personal viewing horror this week have been The Eldest Childerbeast and Man of the House. It has been so bad for The Eldest Childerbeast that he has had time off school. This was causing him particular distress when he thought that he might not be well enough to go on the annual school residential trip. As far as I can tell the residential trip consists of getting wet and dirty, and near constant eating, so I can see why he would be upset at the prospect of missing out. Meanwhile Man of the House has still been off to the office looking rather like Sir Christopher Lee in Dracula most mornings because unless he were to have something instantly terminal, or I’ve told him that we-are-going-on-holiday-and-you-are-coming-with-us, he always goes to work.
So what to do with a Childerbeast who is obviously poorly, but you do have to try and teach them to cope with something that will probably happen every year? First, like everyone else in the country at the moment, I went to Boots and bought out their range of hayfever products. What a time not to be able to find your Advantage Card. If you need any hayfever medication, anything at all, I’m your woman. And if I haven’t got it I can guarantee I have a friend who does because her Childerbeast has also been struggling this week as well and between us we have the whole thing covered, probably for the next five years.
My First Parenting Fail of this week was quite late in the week really – Tuesday – in that I tried to dose him up and send him to school. I am the sort of person, like Man of the House is, that sometimes, most times, no matter how bad you feel you just need to get on with your day. And I mistakenly thought that this was one of those times. I had just sat down at the hairdressers when I received the call; begowned, my hair parted in that particularly attractive fashion that they do when about to put a colour on your hair, and with a stylist poised with the colour brush. I got up, apologised profusely to my lovely hairdresser who couldn’t have been more charming about it, and I left, still sporting the cream that they put on your hairline to stop it dying your skin. Five minutes later with the colour brush let loose and it would have been an even less attractive prospect, so I think we can all be grateful for that. I was in such a dither driving to collect him, that I went around a roundabout twice. I think that is because whenever I had a call for emergency childcare when I was in paid employment it never went down well at all and that was always made very clear to me. The lowest point was when the nursery was being closed in the snow and I had to challenge my boss to let me leave the office to collect my child. That is to say, if they had continued to say no, I would have just had to walk out because that was the position I was being put in. I tried to remind myself that this was not the same situation, there was no one effectively making me choose between my job and my child, and I did not have to react in the same way. Also, if I kept going round the roundabout, then all it was going to do was make me dizzy and delay me further. I got to school, got a reminder from the Eldest Childerbeast not to cuddle him until he was in the car, and popped him on the sofa under a blanket.
Second, we ditched the school thing and tried the range of hayfever products and paracetamol whilst lying on the sofa watching ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and eating popcorn. That worked rather well. If nothing else the sight of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn always serves as a healthy and pleasing reminder to me that I am married, not dead. But it was not doing anything to get rid of the headache that had been making The Eldest Childerbeast feel so poorly.
Third, fruit. Well it was okay, probably an ego boost from virtue if nothing else, but no discernible improvement.
Fourth, junk food Not bad. Helped. A bit.
Fifth, a HEPA filter. Every year I say I’ll buy one and every year I don’t. This year I did. Expensive. But frankly I would have paid a King’s Ransom at that point to have a child who wasn’t so distressed. He believed his room to be pollen free. I wasn’t going to tell him otherwise.
Sixth, a headache cooling patch. That was good. I recommend. Not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before but I hadn’t. Neither a long term nor practical solution for the young discerning tweenager about town.
Seventh, finally, and in desperation that he wasn’t going to make his trip, we went to the doctor. Or The Prodders as they are called in our house. The Prodder did indeed prod the Proddee. There was nothing seriously wrong with him (I knew that but sometimes I need a medical professional to tell me) and she prescribed a steroid nasal spray. The instruction to The Eldest Childerbeast was to stuff it up his nose and give it a big enough squirt so he can taste it running down the back of his throat. That sort of disgusting instruction from a doctor was met with considerable enthusiasm. The same enthusiasm with which he happily drank a bottle of ginger ale that he had won on the bottle stall from a vase that one of his friend’s had won on the tombola at the church fete last weekend. And so it begins…..
Last night, after twenty four hours of snorting (medically prescribed) steroids, he was running around the house and shouting. So much so that after the start of the week when I had that panic that you always have when your child is ill, I was more than happy for him to bugger off for four days. Five would have been fine by the time he actually went to bed. When he came in at half past four this morning to chat, I decided that a week would have been better and made a mental note to mention it to the Head when they get back. Assuming that it is not my child who deliberately capsizes her kayak like someone apparently did last year.
I waved him off. He even let me give him a kiss in public. And as they departed my friend and fellow hayfever medication stockpiler asked me if I was okay. I blamed the watery eyes on the hayfever that I didn’t think I had. Apparently she had just the thing for it. Turned out it was taking me to another’s friend’s house for a cup of tea and a biscuit. They said it was too early for gin 😦