The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Lucozade and Grapes

on February 24, 2014

As can often be the case with young children in the household, there’s a minor ailment going through the family. The Common Cold has come to stay and usually takes up abode for two to three weeks before taking its leave after personally getting acquainted with each family member.

Tempers are short and snot trails are long. Smeared right up to the eyebrows in the case of #3 where it stays crusted over. Or hovers tantalisingly just above the upper lip like a string of elastic. Try and wipe it off and screams reverberate around the room and head thrashing worthy of a mosh pit ensues. They cling to your knees, beseeching you to pick them up and no sooner than you do, they grapple to get down. Then they fling their heads back and cry. Seemingly nothing you do for them is good enough. More crying. More clinging.

You have on your hands a very angry, challenging baby/toddler/boy/girl – delete as appropriate. Then you secretly fear, is this them? Forever?

It isn’t often apparent until a few days later that the Common Cold has come to stay. Relief follows that this sudden personality malfunction is thankfully just temporary. These few days of restlessness and grumpiness before the fanfare of Snot and Cough announce the arrival of Common Cold. Before realisation dawns that it is illness and not just the children testing how much you love them by throwing a few Acts of Unreasonable Behaviour into the daily mix and showing you just what Rage is all about causing headaches for all. Then Guilt wags a finger at you rather accusingly that you did not foresee this illness lurking on the horizon instead of thinking thoughts about wine before 7pm, make that 5pm even.

I miss the days where you could call into place of gainful employment and declare it a Sick Day. Then crawl back under the duvet and go back to sleep. Then wake up later, remain firmly in pyjamas all day long, drag duvet to meet sofa and go visit Daytime Television. Jeremy Kyle. This Morning. Loose Women. It’s enough to make you go back to gainful employment really. Perhaps that’s the whole point of crap Daytime Television, to reduce the incentive to shirk off work.

With children, there is no such thing as Sick Leave, whether you are in gainful employment or otherwise. I rather think that Husband has a better chance of feeling better sooner by going to gainful employment rather than remain at home with #1, 2 and 3 creating an environment less than conducive for wallowing in minor ailments like we once could.

Common Cold is playing the drums inside my head but unlike #1, 2 and 3, I don’t feel like clinging to the knees of Husband or flinging myself on the floor apoplectic with indecisiveness. I want to go to bed, sleep and be left alone in the quiet and dark until the drums stop playing.

Once, there was my Mum making something strange but apparently nourishing to get over minor ailments. All sorts of family members giving advice on how to get rid of all sorts of befuddlements before a GP was called upon.

A few years ago my Dad, Mr Li slipped on ice and ‘sprained’ his wrist. Off he went to see a non fully qualified, non practising medical practitioner in the art of the ‘Iron Palm’ who applied ‘Iron Hitting Wine’ (Iron Hitting Oil also available), onto said injury. For a sprain it works, I’ve had it applied to me but not for a fractured wrist which was eventually seen to by his GP.

A good GP is hard to forget, like a good teacher. I haven’t had the consistency of one family GP since I lived in Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham. You were more than likely able to see the same GP whenever you needed an appointment, it builds trust and confidence. With a small dose of mortification too.

In my teens when we moved back to Chester-le-Street for a second time, we registered with the same practice we went to ten years earlier. Our family GP remembered me when I was four years old and he had to make a house call in the middle of the night to attend to a particularly rageful, indecisive, grumpy patient who would not stay still to be examined. Oh so that’s where you get it from #1, 2 and 3. I had measles in my defence.

My Dad, Mr Li is a firm believer in the healing powers of Lucozade (the original stuff wrapped in orange cellophane, not the fancy new stuff with lemon barley flavour) and grapes. He hasn’t had to buy me either for many years now but I like to for myself when I’m ill because it’s quite comforting when you need a bit of something to cheer you up. Except you can’t buy Lucozade in Singapore.

There’s nothing quite like the comfort of your parents when you need a dose of sympathy and I guess that’s what the knee hugging, moshing, wailing in despair is all about but hopefully some day soon, a hug, some Lucozade, grapes, a dark, quiet room with a duvet will do the trick.

Photograph courtesy of Uncle Monkey who actually did something I asked of him in the required time frame. Wonders never cease.

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