Well, if we thought that after our hellish holiday experience we were due a bit of good luck, then we thought wrong.
In the very early hours of Saturday morning, we were (OK, my husband was) woken by the cries of the toddler*. She was extremely hot and miserable so we administered calpol and hoiked her into our bed where she remained, feverish but asleep, until morning.
She is quite prone to temperatures so we didn’t worry too much and encouraged her to sleep most of Saturday in the belief that it was a sign of teething or something viral and toddler-y and with enough paracetamol, cuddles and rest it would shift in its own time.
That night, she went off to sleep without argument, albeit in my bed. I am no newbie to co-sleeping but she isn’t the world’s most amiable bedfellow at the best of times, and with the addition of a 40 degree temperature it was like sleeping next to a very warm, noisy tractor who wanted to kick me repeatedly in the nose. After a fractious few hours’ kip, I had the pleasure of being woken at 3am by a much happier toddler, whose body clock was telling her it was time to get up and play. Indeed.
By 5.30am, I’d had enough of being assaulted and asked daddy, who had been sleeping in her (fortunately adult-sized) bed, to take over.
Thankfully, I managed to go back to sleep for a bit whilst they binge-watched terrible cartoons on Netflix. Four am is a shit time to start the day but I absolutely draw the line at 3.
When I got up, she was asleep on the sofa and stayed like that for most of the morning. With a bit of calpol she seemed to be alright; we even went to the park where she threw a tantrum about ice cream so she can’t have been that ill.
However that night, when I went to climb into the three square cm of my kingsize bed that wasn’t taken up by toddler limbs, she was burning up, coughing and her breathing was quick and shallow so we rang 111 to make an out of hours GP appointment.
Never ones to shy away from a bit of drama they instead sent an ambulance.
Her oxygen was a bit lower than normal so off she went with daddy in the ambulance to A&E where, over the course of three hours, they waited (and waited), she was inspected and told it was probably viral, and discharged. At this point it was past 2am, which is not a time that small children, let alone the parents of small children, are designed to be awake.
Upon being summoned to collect them, I got dressed, having been in bed trying, but not succeeding, to sleep. I went downstairs to check everything was in order before waking the baby, and realised my car keys were in the change bag… which had of course accompanied the toddler to the hospital.
That was an expensive lesson to learn during a Bank Holiday.
Unfortunately the next day she was no better and so my husband took her back to A&E in the afternoon. They checked her over properly and did an x-ray which showed she had a chest infection and needed IV antibiotics, necessitating her first overnight stay in hospital since being born.
She was quite excited about the whole business; at least until they started sticking needles in her arm. For the most part though she was a happy little soul. The nurses told her she was their favourite patient – I can’t possibly believe for a moment that they say this to everyone.
She had to go back in for more IV antibiotics that evening though, and, annoyingly, her cannula fell out resulting in another overnight stay. Once again, daddy went in with her whilst I stayed at home and looked after a baby with an upset tummy. After a refreshing four hours of sleep, the baby woke me up with a bowel movement so explosive I had to change the cot sheets, which was a most excellent start to the day.
My sister came to look after the baby whilst her husband gave me a lift to the hospital, so that I could take over toddler-watching duties and my husband could go to work.
Working out how to do this in a one-car family and questionable to non-existent public transport was a bit like a MENSA logic problem so it is a blinking good thing this all happened during half term and my closest family happen to be teachers. I’m sure it’s precisely what they wanted to be doing with their holiday.
The toddler that greeted me was a different one to the sad, sweaty mess that had left the previous day; she was clearly on the mend. Shortly afterwards the doctors came round and, as well as pointing how much of a daddy’s girl she was (thanks, guys. Like I don’t already know who the favourite is), the good news was that after the next round of antibiotics, we could go home and administer the rest ourselves. Hurrah! So we played a bit and she watched cartoons on the iPad whilst we waited for the drugs to arrive.
She’s OK now. Not even two days on and, apart from a bit of a cough, you’d never be able to tell she’d been ill.
I, on the other hand, have no iPad. I may treat myself to the whole bottle tonight.
* Actually, now the baby is full-on toddling about I may need to look at new names for the Whingelets. Big toddler one and slightly-smaller-toddler perhaps. Happy to take suggestions.