Parenting

the best medicine

Little Man wasn’t very well at the start of this week. After an afternoon haring around the soft play centre on Saturday, he complained of feeling tired the next day and insisted on being carried everywhere in town that lunchtime. Better for him as he clasped his little arms around Mummy and Daddy’s necks, less good for both of our backs as his ever increasing rate of growth, with his fourth birthday now a little over three months away, makes him a hefty weight to lug around for any length of time.

By the time we were all plonked on the settee later on, the fever started to kick in. Normally running a bit on the warm side, a rise in body temperature for Joe quickly turns him into a wriggly hot water bottle.

“I feel poorly”, was his sad little response to me asking how he felt.

Calpol and an early night it was, but he was quickly covered in sweat, wrapped in his duvet he refused to pull down past his neck to cool off, and with a temperature approaching 39 degrees, we anticipated a long night ahead. Unsurprisingly, he lay between us in our bed for most of the night, breathing laboriously and too quickly, fidgeting and rousing awake frequently.

There are few things worse for a night’s sleep than a small child with a fever. Never fully relaxing, we remained vigilant as he slumbered fitfully until morning.

Unfortunately for Daddy, this meant somewhat reluctantly stumbling off to work with heavy eyes, while I took the day off work to stay at home with our poorly boy. No nursery today, Little Man.

Strange as it may sound, we had a lovely day.

Feeling feverish made him lethargic, and his fatigue made him want to do little more than stay curled up on the settee with Mummy, resting his hot little head on my chest as he used to do when he was our tiny baby. Episode after episode of Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly, Pocoyo; never moving from my lap, his fingers curled around my hand, poorly but content.

He wanted to draw me a picture – a pink flower and a ‘birthday balloon’ despite it being no-one’s birthday, with his name written neatly and carefully at the top – ‘Joe H’ – as he delights in writing his surname initial too just because he can.

With no energy to run around and make a mess and too much noise as he usually would when stuck in the house all day, he was filled with affection, compliments and endless cuddles. I made the most of it while I could.

By bedtime, the fever had nearly passed, and Tuesday began with the usual routine of getting up and dressed for nursery, excited to see his friends and reluctant to brush his teeth without coercion. My Little Man was back, if a bit tired still, but ready to face the day without clinging to Mummy.

As I struggled to get his shoes on while he fidgeted excitably, I had to tell him to settle down.

“I love you Mummy”, with a soft peck on the cheek to placate me, came the response.

We had another cuddle. It would be another lovely day, even if we couldn’t spend it all on the sofa.

joe garden

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