12 Nov 2011
in Slightly Insane Tags: Baby, Husband, Mother, Squidge, Wee
I tend to avoid confessional style blog posts. I love the idea that I could be making people laugh and I also would rather tell deeply personal stuff to people face to face. This is about to change. I need to document what I am currently going through (god, that sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?) for my own posterity if nothing else.
For the past few weeks I’ve been feeling nauseous. So much so that one night, out with Squidge (a girl’s night treat as The Husband was away), I was gripped with such a wave of nausea that I could barely breathe. Now, this all was good news. Why? Because we have been trying to create Squidge Mark 2 for the past 11 months and I thought, “OMG, result!” When I was knocked up with Squidge I was ill all the time so this was potentially fabulous news.
The pregnancy test I had lurking at home was negative and I’d been experiencing kidney pains for a while so I figured it was time to go to the doctor. This is where it gets a tad tedious. Instead of my having a problem that can be described “above the belt” so to speak, I have to talk about pee. Oh, how my glamorous life continues.
There was peeing into jars (for which you now have to pay 30p) and testing and sending the samples off to the laboratory. Unexplained blood, could be an infection, don’t worry we will let you know. I totter home in tears. I know I can be a drama queen, but to go into a doctor hoping for pregnancy and walking out without anything but a possible infection is shit. And I hate the whole wishy washy, “Oh I don’t know what it is but the tests will show it“, attitude of doctor’s in the UK.
There, I’ve said it. It is a massive bone of contention between The Husband and I because I have absolutely no trust in this medical system at all. Not after my hellish experiences in pregnancy and labour and nearly losing my child because the doctors ignored me. But they are other stories for another time.
I didn’t go home with a feeling of knowing that it was likely an infection and that I was going to be alright. Instead I went home feeling like something was wrong but nobody knew what it was and, honestly, very worried that nobody would actually find it unless I pushed. This was Thursday afternoon.
The doc had said that the tests would be in on Monday so I needed to make an appointment to see them again after they came in. I did. I saw another doc but this man inspired confidence. He spoke straight, he gave me answers and he respected my nerves. The outcome?
The next bottle of pee revealed more blood. If the tests came back negative for infection then there was the possibility of malignancy and I needed to go to a specialist to test for the big C. I left the surgery in tatters. You see, I haven’t been feeling great for over a year and have ached and pained my way through 2011 thinking it was all part of getting old. Now a voice said, what if… What if? What if? What if?
It’s this voice that has accompanied me through the nights since Tuesday. The voice that started screaming on Wednesday morning when the doctor called to tell me that they were referring me to the specialist and to wait for the appointment in the mail.
The doctor did say that it was likely to be nothing, that the chances of me having cancer were slim but he also said that my history of smoking did put me in the danger area. Boy, have I been castigating myself for being incapable of losing that ridiculous habit. Bloody things.
So here I am. I have not yet had the appointment in the post nor have I found out the results of the first test. The doctor said they would call me if the result was positive so, theoretically, since I didn’t get a call it means the test did not show infection so it is likely that there is something else going on here. Terrifying much?
I vacillate between thinking that this is fine, I’ll be fine, and that at least I don’t smoke anymore, and thinking that I have failed in my life, have left no mark and that my daughter will grow up without her mother. Like I did. How do you stay positive in the face of What If? I don’t know. But I am going to find out…
09 May 2011
in Bedraggled Mum Tags: Child, Husband, Mommy, Poo, Sneeze, Squidge, Vomit, Wee
Hmmm, I think I'm hungry...
I love my child, I do. But there are times when I can only stare at her and wonder where on Earth she came from.
From the day she was born she had this uncanny ability to sense just when we were about to sit down for dinner. Happily snoozing or burbling would change to crying, screaming or an enormous nappy changing emergency JUST when we were about to eat.
The more delicious the food, the more likely it would take a while to sort things out. I got used to cold food.
She got older. She ate with us. She was at the table. Did this change?
To this day (and my GOD she is going to hate me for this when she hits 18) she will require the toilet just as supper is placed gently upon the table.
However, while this no longer presents (include disclaimer about poo disasters here) a barrier to our enjoyment of a tasty repast, the other spectacular knack she has inherited (from only WHO knows where) is The Sneeze.
My daughter, for no particular reason that I can fathom, will let out a hearty, Earth shattering sneeze while in the middle of a mouthful of food.
This results in sneezed out masticated food particles landing on ME including my hair, my food, my clothes, and my phone. Not The Husband. No. Like vomiting, she shares this joyful experience only with me. When I prayed for membership to an exclusive club THIS was NOT what I meant.
The Sneeze is violent, disgusting and omnipresent – it goes everywhere.
Into the salad at the picnic we attended last week (never seen a woman move that fast as I removed salad from table as innocent human reached towards it)
Onto my yummy Mars Bar last night.
I am honestly amazed that I’m not stick thin, seriously, because I do not have the stomach to cope with The Sneeze. Vomit, poo, wee – fine (sort of) but sneeze? URGH
01 Feb 2011
in Bedraggled Mum, Parenthood Tags: Child, Husband, Mother, Saffa, South Africa, Squidge, Wee
I want to make friends with the natives, I do. I want them to envelop me in their English arms and feed me muffins and jam.
I have been actively stalking them at the school gate. And one poor innocent creature fell for my African charms. H is a lovely lady and her daughter is one of Squidge’s best friends. Squidge and G adore each other and I regularly have her over for playdates.
The first, and only, time H ever visited me my toilet blocked. Yes.
Yesterday it was our turn to visit her. Squidge was clean. She was well presented. I had brushed my hair and tried not to look like I’d had a one on one with a nearby shrubbery.
There I was, the playdate had just begun. Squidge was happily playing with G. I was happily chatting to H. Squidge came through with her stockings.
“They’re wet, Mama,” she says, and then gambols off.
It takes a good minute for the reality to sink in. The kids don’t have drinks yet, H is busy making them, so how did her stockings get WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE……
I urgently sidled out of the kitchen to find my child and discover the extent of the damage. Was it a little wee? A minor moment?
It was a lake. It was a small lake on their carpet. And on their stool. And on the toy microphone.
So I ask you, what do you do? On your right is a child dripping and on your left is your new found friend person who will never speak to you again’s carpet.
I’ll admit. I vacillated. Sort of stood there quivering faintly to the left and then quivering faintly to the right.
H came through. The damage was revealed. I was instantly “Oh god, so sorry, I’ll clean it up. Let me just whip Squidge out of these clothes.”
Needless to say, by the time I’d changed Squidge, H had cleaned it all up.
Do they warn you that you may lose all dignity? NO. Well, yes, in childbirth, sure. But afterwards???
And what was The Husband’s response to my fervent, anguished text?
“Is Squidge ok?”
(Of course she bloody was, it was the wee of: So Excited I Forgot To Go To The Loo Until It Was Too Late)
Am moving to Peru.
20 Jan 2011
in Bedraggled Mum, Parenthood Tags: Child, Husband, Mommy, Poo, Squidge, Wee
A lot like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, this B-movie-esque drama had poor acting, rubbish special effects, and lots of screaming.
Squidge was sick. She had a raging fever that shot up to the enormously terrifying heights of 39.6. For two days I’d wrestled the thing armed with an alarm clock (to check on her every few hours), Calpol, Ibuprofen, and juice.
As Day Two of Hot Head dawned I realised it was time to take her poor little self off to the doctor. I called.
“Hey, my daughter has had a temperature of up to 39.6 for two days, we saw a doc last night and he said to call if she was still poorly.”
“Ah, yes, Mrs Oxford. I can see your notes. We’re going to need a urine sample so please bring one in.”
Two words designed to strike fear in the heart of any parent with a child under a certain age. Either the approaching bottle causes screams of horror and outrage that result in wee running down the toilet, your arm, your clothing and, occasionally, your face, OR they refuse to wee.
Being a human who knows that the bottle must be sterile, and being an incompetent and tired human who couldn’t be bothered to find out how on the interwebz, I decided to fill her up with juice and get a proper little bottle dude from the doctor.
When we get there I discover that they now cost 30p. “Sorry, but we have to pay for them now, so the charge is passed onto you.”
HA! 50p in pocket. I laugh in the face of hurdles. Is this the best that the Urine Sample can dish out? Mwaahahaha. etc.
Then, adopting the “I shall explain it all to you as we go so that hopefully you play along” parenting strategy I wave the bottle at Squidge and say, “Shall we go and see if you can wee in the bottle?”
Cue Option 1 of Urine Sample – crying, outrage, flailing and deep, deep parental embarrassment.
I dragged the now very unpleasant child to the loo while fixing a stupid grin to my face and saying calmly (well, I thought it sounded calm), “It will only take a second, please be brave. You can do it.”
The first toilet was a bust. Squidge disapproved of the colour of the walls. And by disapproved I mean, “NO I WILL NOT WEE IN THERE!”
I swear to god we scared the nice little old lady powdering her nose (not a euphemism, she was actually powdering her nose).
Finally I have Squidge on the toilet, I am kneeling in who knows WHAT on that floor, and I bring the bottle closer. It was like those alarms – bring it close, lots of squealing, take it away, noise abates. Eventually I whip it underneath her and she starts to wee.
All over my arm, my hands, my sleeves. Still, I thought, there is wee and there is a bottle underneath it – RESULT
Excitedly I whipped out the bottle to view my brilliance. There were about 1.4 drops. I stared at it and thought, this will just have to do. The end.
I also thought – you pillock.
The next 45 minutes (Doc was running late. WHY can’t they tell you that on the phone?) are happily spent playing with the toys. Then…
“Mommy, I need a wee.”
The bottle is whipped out, the child raced to the loo – I AM READY!
Urine sample, you are about to be defeated. THIS time I am the winner.
Amazingly there are no cries of outrage, no roars of disapproval, she lets me place the bottle in the correct position and we wait.
What happens next should not happen to anyone, ever. It’s not right, it isn’t.
A gigantic poo smashes into my hand knocking the 1.4 drops flying, the bottle into the toilet and me backwards in complete horror.
This time it was me screaming. But inside, yes, inside. It wouldn’t do to upset the child, would it?
When the doctor asked for the sample he got a flat stare and, “No sample. Don’t ask. Let’s move on.”
OF COURSE when The Husband came back the next day from his excursions in Zambia he got a sample without a sign of the Killer Poo.
07 Nov 2010
in Bedraggled Mum, Parenthood Tags: Child, Cleaning, Husband, Mommy, Mother, Poo, School, Squidge, Toilet, Wee
- by Stefan
I am doomed. My child will have no friends. She will officially divorce me at the age of 12. I will scuffle about in an anorak with lots of cats.
Why? Because I am cursed with the affliction of bodily functions.
Some of you may remember my first attempt at a playdate a couple of months ago. By the end of the afternoon, a mere two hours later, I had been wading in wee, covered in poo, and delivered a naked child to her parents. Fortunately they have not yet sued.
This Thursday it was time to try again. Squidge’s best friend ever (her words, not mine) was coming for the afternoon. Squidge adores this girl and couldn’t stop talking about her the whole half term. This playdate had to COUNT.
Monday to Thursday I cleaned, polished, washed, scrubbed, tidied, folded, wiped and shone every single part of the house. G’s mother was going to come in to a home that gleamed and sparkled. I had cake. I had cookies. I had coffee and I had tea. This was to be the Ultimate Playdate.
Things went so well. It was lovely. G’s mother was a honey. Fun, brilliant, open and hilarious. I loved her.
I went to sort Squidge out on the loo and realised that somehow the toilet had become blocked. Not just faintly blocked. No. This was water up to the edges with revolting toilet paper sludge and unidentifiable colours, blocked.
HOW? HOW I ask you, did this happen? I could only stare at it in dismay. I don’t know how to unblock a toilet! (yes, is apparently epic failing).
I shuffled back to G’s mother and patently didn’t offer her anything else to drink just in case she needed to wee. Every so often I manufactured a reason to go back and flush the damn thing again and again. It stubbornly refused to play ball. It was hideous.
Then she asked me, “Where is the ladies?”
I was frozen. FROZEN I tell you. Then I confessed. Toilet blocked, utter disaster. I think my child dropped the entire roll in there. Many apologies.
She was very polite about it but then I heard her daughter ask if she could go to the loo and then a loud, “I don’t want to wee in this, it’s GROSS!” echoed down the hall. The ground didn’t even oblige me with some eating. Nothing. Just the mortification of them having to leave so G could go to a toilet she approved of.
Does this happen to other humans? DOES IT?
The Husband came home not ten minutes later and unblocked it in under 30 seconds.
Showing my face at the school gate on Friday was NOT easy. Fortunately G’s mother WAS there and actively came over to chat to me. My relief was tangible. Utter. Complete. She did not think I was a skanky, disease-ridden lunatic with hygiene issues.
Still. I did refuse to speak to the toilet for four days. Serve him right. The Bastard.
P.S. November 19th is World Toilet Day. Who knew?
08 Sep 2010
in Bedraggled Mum, Parenthood, Slightly Insane Tags: Child, Cleaning, Mother, Poo, School, Wee
Today I took another child home with me.
No, I didn’t abduct her and, yes, her parents and teachers were all ok with this. No, you can’t phone them and ask them what the hell they were thinking.
I wasn’t hugely OK with it, though. Not in a “urgh I don’t want to look after their child” way. It was a “oh god what if she falls down or a car hits her on the way home and if she cries and eeek” kind of way.
My paranoia apparently has no bounds and has happily expanded into the realm of child care and babysitting. Great.
(wipes sarcasm off screen)
It all started out wonderfully. These two adorable little girls held hands all the way home, laughing and skipping and having a fabulous time. We got home without any accidents, mishaps or rogue out-of-control getaway vehicles accidentally running over us while racing away from the police. Brilliant!
I began preparing their lunch (school is STILL finishing at a ludicrous hour) and heard a quiet little voice from the loo, “Squidge’s Mommy? Can you help me?”
I innocently ambled over. There was wee everywhere. And our bathroom slopes a bit (old house) so it had run into the laundry basket, the toilet paper holder, the wall, the toilet cleaning supplies and the bath mat.
This was ok. I’ve dealt with this before. I am a Pro Wee Wrestler. I have considered making a badge. Soon the damp was done, the clothes in the laundry, the child cleansed and wrapped in a fluffy bathrobe, the floor smelling of fresh pine disinfectant. It Was All Good. Anything that isn’t asparagus wee is a Good Thing.
I managed to feed the children. Clothe the children (in matching outfits obviously – thank god for gym clothes). Feed myself. Tidy up.
At this point I was already quite tired.
Then came the playdough. How it got out of its confines (a sticky drawer that’s a bugger to open) I will never know, but when it got out it did it properly. The walls, the rocking horse, the floor, the bed, the school clothes, the laundry. This stuff is like some kind of ectoplasmic life form. I swear the people who invented it are crying with laughter right now.
After bending into positions that a woman of my age finds spectacularly hard to do (I creak) I got most of that dastardly stuff tidied away. The girls were happily playing with dolls (aaaaah) and I collapsed onto the sofa.
Oh. What. Now.
“Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooom! I need some help.”
I will never know how my daughter managed to get poo on her shirt, her shorts, her legs, her hands, her hair, the toilet seat, the toy mirror, the floor and the walls. I’m not entirely sure I want to know. THIS was a New Situation.
Now,I am not good with New Situations. Well, I am, but not when they involve bodily fluids. Seriously. Wee I can deal with. Vomit is sort of ok. Poo Is Not. Baby poo – yes. Child poo – no.
I approached the poo covered human that was once my child with the same zeal as I did the wee, except this demanded a bath. Taps on, disinfectant out, clothes off, tissues out, wipe away poo.
However, this had set. Like cement. Cement poo. It refused to budge off my child. Seriously, what do you do when faced with a stubborn poo? Here, I’ll tell you.
You leave your child sitting naked on the toilet while the bath runs. You abandon her to ensure the other child hasn’t been utterly traumatised by the entire affair. You return to the bathroom and replace your child on the toilet. You clean all non-human surfaces with hot hot hot water. You grab a cloth that you will NEVER use again, smother it in soap and remove the poo from her skin.
You throw BOTH children in the bath because, frankly, there’s been way too much poo and wee to comfortably hand a child back to its parents without worrying about giving them a rare disease.
AS you put both children in the bath you hear the doorbell ring and realise that you missed a text from the aforementioned child’s parents saying, “We’ll be there in ten.”
You can’t make this stuff up.