AND NOT A GOOD ONE.
When you open your eyes and in between the knife jammed between your ears, and the confusion of the brightness of the room for that time in the morning, the most logical conclusion your brain would deliver is that there was a huge explosion in the night – hence the dull thud in your skull – and that the planet has been knocked off its axis and changed the rising of the sun’s time. It probably would have come to it’s sense though, as mine did and told you that you’ve opened your eyes on Monday morning to an unexplained headache and the alarm didn’t go off as it should have for the minor weekday-panic-spree. Therefore escalating imminent minor panic spree to major panic spree and it’s not even 8am.
This does not bode well for the day’s forecast.
Neither does the spindly, eight-legged intruder dangling a few centimetres from the ceiling over my duvet. Diving out of bed in panic onto the snoring pug causing mad squawking. Destroying the once sleepy silence with scurrying claws to laminate floors. An extra struggle exerted by my body to not landing spread-eagled on the bedroom floor strains that volatile groin muscle, again. I grabbed the wall for support and straightening up, took a quick reconnaissance of the scene. Spider scurrying across the ceiling for cover. Pug snorting and grinning in excited animation at the prospect of the dull night over and ready for play – despite the slight limp in the left leg from human foot connecting with pug body earlier. Definitely not a small headache, could be bordering on migraine but it’s too early to tell, and was that the familiar ache in the groin (which took months to heal last year) back? Well, it could be worse. Yip, it just did – the youngest has been disturbed. The the toddler flaps around in sleepy dis-coordination under his blanky. There is movement but no sound yet. Tip-toeing out the room stealthily I reach the passage and throw my head back, sighing eyes rolling, shoulders slumped, as Pug skilfully negates all my efforts of keeping youngest sleeping by noisily mining a path in the slippery laminate floor in a desperate attempt to gain speed and beat me to the kitchen.
As I scoop up complaining youngest and hurry down the passage while cooing happy phrases of pretty blue skies with no clouds and the happy sun is awake and will keep the rain away today, I try and workout how I will get all the lunches made and packed. With one hand. In record time aswell as we have all overslept. Youngest does not like to be put down at this time in the morning, the reason for trying to postpone the early disturbance of sleepy silence.
The usual mad rush to get everyone dressed and looking respectful for their daily destinations goes along as usual in it’s splendid chaos with nothing more out of the ordinary. Once half of them (oldest and Dad) are safely on their way to school with all amenities packed, a nestle on the couch with the youngest and a cup of tea as the norm, is rudely interrupted by a mad fumble for the ringing phone. It was Dad. Turning back just before the school gate. With oldest still whinging in the front seat about the wrong socks. Dad stops short of hurling oldest out the car door in my direction while still in motion to get to his early morning meeting on time leaving oldest for me to sort out. A mad washing and dressing and combing to resemble something less frightening and more like mom ensues. Oldest and youngest both jammed back into the car and it’s off to school again. One hour late. But both get to school eventually, and that day-at-the-spa calm returns like normal at the doors of the office. Just until school ends though, which comes all too quickly. Then it’s off again – to face the chaos.
A horrible cacophony of noise erupts from oldest as he is forced to leave the playground before the usual after-school playtime in order to make the dentist appointment. It’s youngest’s first one – so nerves are writhing. Will it be a mad wrestle and writhe to the robotic chair with much accompanied squealing or will it be . . . there will probably be no “or” so accept the latter. The dentist’s forecast was some expensive jaw and teeth orthodontics on oldest, and booked youngest for a general anaesthetic in a month’s time to repair a number of cavities. Both diagnoses send the wallet cringing and wailing for mercy to the darkest corners of my handbag. Back home we go and after a ridiculous exchange on the way with oldest about how he cannot hang from the window and decapitate himself on a sign post while driving. I realise they have not eaten. It saves a multitude of tantrums if both are constantly well fed. The quickest way to get that done is chocolate sandwiches. Much loved, not a complete non-no with regards to nutrition and easily slapped together. As I consider how to approach the homework war for the afternoon with oldest, youngest looks odd. I move closer and note his distorted cheeks and mouth. Hives beginning on the lips and inside the mouth. Literally while I’m talking to him, trying to find out where he found the nuts he must have eaten, his face and ears turn a crimson red. He is scratching his arms and legs aggressively.
He has quite a serious nut allergy, which I haven’t been taking seriously. It’s never gone to the point of actually ingesting the nut product so I’ve never had to worry about complete anaphylactic shock. Yet. I glance at the empty plate on the table. Not once has he ever finished a sandwich. (Note the spelling of NUTella. Apparently it’s easy for moms to miss the main ingredient as it’s not actually in the name of the product). Today he did finish a whole sandwich. Crust and all. When it had a healthy spreading of an ingredient that could literally kill him. If I ever needed confirmation of the suspected nut allergy, here it was. In all its beautiful display of perfect hives and flushed complexion and puffer fish characteristics. On my little toddler’s face. And arms and legs and even the soles of his feet. He asks me in an uncharacteristically gruff voice for more “chokit sammich”. That change of voice meant a swelling throat. Without hesitation, I yank both kids into the car and speed off to the emergency room. Thankfully not even a minutes drive from our house. Especially not a minute when all stop streets, pedestrians, village boom gate and red robots miraculously disappear from the route. Oldest was wowed with our speed around the corners and suitably impressed with the skid down the parking ramp.
I will, for the rest of my life, give continuous and inundated thanks to Jokichi Takamine for the discovery of adrenalin. As far back as the early 1900’s. A lifesaving hormone originally purified from adrenal glands of sheep and oxen. Probably the most important medical discovery of all time. According to me. Not thirty seconds after the doctor jabbed the needle into that sweet little bottom, had all symptoms disappeared. I don’t mean, wore off rather quickly or lessened to a degree of slight swelling and mild symptoms. I mean gone. As gone as not there. Zero visability. “Schrodinger’s cat” come “the box was never opened”. Absolute Houdinified disappearance. To you, Jokichi – for all those late nights and hard research in that Japanese lab. Salutations!
And then me. Left there, wondering if I could slip out while no-one was watching and pretend it never happened. I did effectively earn a night in the hospital (as a precaution) for my efforts. For observation, they said. I’m not sure if this was cause or effect of admitting that he got the Nutella from me when questioned by the nurse and doctor and receptionist at the front desk.
“How did he get the Nutella?”
“Well at least you know about the nut allergy now.”
“I already knew. I just forgot that he was allergic to nuts. And that Nutella is made from nuts. And I had a bad day.”
Arched eye brows from all three at this response. Observation . . . of how mom and toddler interact and make sure that there was no premeditated abuse involved.
So, Mother of the Year Award goes to . . . I actually landed my little boy in hospital. Through complete and NUTter negligence. I doubt any of you reading this could top that. Next time you have a bad day, come back and read it again.