Ex Pat Mamma

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mothers have gravitational pull

It's not often that er pupo and I share a bed. These ocassions have been: in hotel rooms when the alternative is howling the night away (er pupo, not me, I hasten to add); at his grandma's at 4 months when he had the cold and wanted to bf every 3 seconds; this summer for half a night when he woke up scared in yet another new bed; last night, when er pupo was trembling from a high fever and I was scared he might start to convulse.

Er pupo, it would seem, has the flu. His temperature this morning was 39.7 and I'm sure it was worse at 3am, though hubby and I were not at our most lucid and had inserted the paracetamol before it occured to us to pop in the thermometer. (Note to the Brits: in normal countries, people do not try to get red sticky liquid into a screaming baby, but rather bung a suppository up baby's bum. We take the temperature using the same orifice. So once paracetamol is in, trying to stick the thermometer in too is perhaps a little ambitious.) Quite frankly, our priority was to lower his temperature and calm him down and knowledge of the precise numbers did not strike me as of crucual import as I staggered around in the still dark (but only just).

Now I could continue and tell you how awful it is to have a sick child. For sure it is no fun. But it is not exactly a thrilling read. ("Baby is sick, he is whimpering; he wants held all the time; he is scared, he won't sleep, eat... yeah, you got it, ok.") But I have discovered a unique bend in the earthly laws of physics at the intersection between mother and child. It goes like this:

Child starts on one end of bed; mother on other. Child cries; both move to middle for cuddles. Child falls asleep. Gravitational pull takes effect and child moves towards mother. Mother is both nearly suffocating herself as heavy child is now on her head and scared of suffocating infants (having read too much about how children DIE, they DIE DIE DIE if they sleep with their parents - remember it is 3 am and rationality is not at its peak) . Mother moves away. Child, without any twitch or limb movements slides silently towards mother. Mother moves away. Child slides again... and so it continues. Child is on top of duvet in sleeping bag (remember those cot death studies, reader). Mother is under. Or was. Mother is now under corner of duvet the approximate size of the average facecloth. Butt is hanging out over the edge. Child has flu (hence unique sleeping arrangements) - flu is clever virus and plans for mother to succumb with equal severity.

I think I should publish this study in Nature.

Flu. That is what happens when you wash the bear.


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