Monday, October 17, 2005

Sleepless in Altnagelvin

Sleepless in Altnagelvin
AS ANY one who has read this column more than once will know- I love, and I mean LOVE, my bed.

And for a bed lover such as myself, this week was to offer me that most holy of grails- a night in my bed BY MYSELF! The big man to whom I am married had cause to travel to England for a few nights and while I was aware the wee man could look for a snuggle in his mammy's bed before the night was out, I was pretty sure there would be a few hours at least of stretching out, rolling over and snuggling into duvets all by myself.
In short, I was in bed-lover heaven and had planned my entire evening around this rare event. I was going to have a soak in the bath- complete with Sanctuary smelly goodies, lit candles and a glass of wine on the side.
Then I was going to dress in nice fresh pyjamas, slather my hands in expensive hand cream (a lovely present from my mammy) and take to my bed for a blissful sleep.
I was almost giddy with excitement at the prospect, especially as the wee man had decided that 4am was a perfect wake up time on Tuesday morning and with the big man being in England, I had been run ragged all day with an over tired toddler with a touch of cold.
My bath and early night seemed like the perfect end to a not so perfect day- but fate had another idea.
Like a lot of toddlers in this area, my wee man is prone to an odd bout of wheezing. Sometimes, a quick use of his "puff puff" (inhaler) is enough to bring him round and sometimes, it doesn't. Tuesday was one such night.
As Tuesday afternoon progressed I noticed Joseph's breathing becoming a little more laboured (think Darth Vadar) so by tea time we decided to go to the Out of Hours services thinking a quick five minutes on the nebuliser would leave him right as rain.
But no, the doctor wanted Joseph to go to hospital and with that my thoughts of my night alone in my bed vanished.
I am lucky in that for the vast majority of the time, my son is in the best of health. He is a one-baby destruction machine- rising at 7.30pm and sitting down for a mere five minutes here and there to grab a bite to eat before recommencing his mad running around again until he eventually falls into a comatose slumber at 7.30pm.
In that time, we will have had to rescue the DVD player from his evil clutches at least 20 times, save his toys from the bin and use a lifetime's supply of kitchen role to clear yoghurt, milk and cheese from the floor. We will have also exhausted each and every nursery rhyme or children's programme theme tune on this earth- at least 10 times- and that will be complete with actions and musical accompaniment if necessary.

Mammy instinct
So to see him sick, and to see him so sick he is no longer interested in singing "Twinkle Twinkle" is hard going. It kicks in that mammy instinct which makes you want to swap places with your child and feel their discomfort or pain for them.
And it also makes you realise just how useless you really can feel in such circumstances. All I could do was make sure he had his Postman Pat pyjamas, a cuddly puppy and a mammy who didn't mind being slabbered on!
So Joseph, his granny and his (by this stage slightly emotional) mammy piled into the car and made our way to Ward 6- where he was hooked up to a nebuliser and given one of those scary little metal cots to sleep in.
And they gave me a fold down chair, a blanket and a pillow and I tried my best to grab a few hours shut eye. It was far from the relaxing evening I had planned . It was in fact both emotionally and physically draining.
As I stood in the hospital, the room we were in almost a mirror image of the room I had spent my first night as a mammy in with my tiny newborn 20 months ago, I felt a wave of emotion hit me.
Scary as it was to have a sick little boy to care for, I knew I was lucky beyond words. I knew Joseph would get better and he would be back to his destructive little self soon. And I promised myself that from now on I would be a better mammy- who didn't complain at having to share a bed, or at the banana mushed over the DVD player or at singing Twinkle Twinkle for the millionth time.
Thankfully he is now well on the road to recovery and despite my sleepless night I'm still here (not quite conscious- but here all the same) and with a different view point on parenthood.
And so this week, I'll finish with someone else's words which I think are appropriate.

Just for today
Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.
Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.
Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if he comes by.
Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.
Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.
Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.
Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.
Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.
Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.
Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favourite TV shows.
Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.
I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.
And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer.
It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing, except one more day.............

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...