This morning I was held to ransom by my 6-year-old daughter. It was one of those parenting moments when you have to breathe deeply and keep calm (good witch) but what you really want to do is holler obscenities into a cushion as you are feeling infuriated by the stubbornness of the angelic child in front of you (bad witch).
Let me explain what left me feeling this way today. You see, my daughter is ill A LOT, this is due to her abnormally large tonsils and oversized adenoids and constant glue ear condition. In short, she suffers with a LOT of colds and is constantly congested, particularly at night time when her snoring could rival most men after a boozy evening. It is horrid for her and upsetting for us as powerless parents . We have attended numerous hospital/doctors appointments, ever since she was a baby, to try to resolve the issue but have been told to ‘wait for her to grow into them’. Seriously, her tonsils are bigger than mine and unless she is going to morph into a bullfrog I can’t see how that would be possible!
However, this year there has been progress, mainly due to a new GP who was my last-ditch attempt to convince to finally rid my daughter of these pesky tonsils. He was reluctant at first but felt sorry (possibly scared) with my pleading for a permanent solution. So we were referred (again) to the ear nose and throat consultant and this time I was planning on coming over all suffragette and handcuffing myself to his office furniture if he told me to ‘let her grow into them’ again. My little girl was present and as I for the hundredth time explained her symptoms, talking in a muffled nasal tone so she wouldn’t be worried, he responded with a worryingly graphic and loud description of removing said tonsils and adenoids, along with ‘pinpricking and bursting the eardrums to insert grommets’. Our little girl stared wide-eyed at him as he continued his speech, oblivious to the trauma he was causing her and the endless questions we would endure after.
It was a weird moment of elation of finally being told that there would be an end to my daughters suffering along with the realisation that my little girl would actually be put through surgery. I started thanking him then started panicking, quizzing him if her allergy to mosquito bites would mean she would be allergic to anaesthetic as well, suddenly feeling the need to check his qualifications if he was going to be taking a scalpel to my precious child. Hubby sensing my concern thanked the consultant and ushered me out of his office.
That was a month ago and my little girl is now off school with yet another cold. I called the consultants assistant this morning to chase the surgery and was told ‘we are waiting for authorisation’. I said ‘OK no problem, I hereby authorise you to book the surgery’. But no she meant the hospital’s authorisation, isn’t that what the consultation was for? Is there a further masonic type authorisation ceremony that needs to take place? She said she would take a note of my daughter’s name and ‘chase it up’.
However, there is a further problem, the matter of knowing when your child is ill or just pulling a sicky? See my daughter knows she suffers with a LOT of colds, she is a twin and has a lifelong gauge in which to measure herself against, but she also knows what symptoms to give in order to wangle a day off school. She has the makings of a future Ferris Bueller who famously licked his palms to give the effect of clammy hands when faking a fever. Currently, if she throws the ‘I feel sick’ curve ball my way I am sold, I can’t possibly send a vomiting child into school, ‘poorly belly’ is another, what parent can allow a child to be stuck on a school toilet with an upset stomach. These are the kryptonite of illness excuses. With the ‘my throat is sore, nose is blocked, I have a headache’ range of excuses, I can counteract these with ‘you need to eat more fruit/veg/dinner, go to bed on time, get more sleep,’ offering me a chance to lecture on other issues that are outstanding.
Yesterday morning, she had a high temperature, she complained of a sore throat and as her tonsils are in a permanent state of ‘raging’ I agreed she could have the day off. This morning, she upped the ante and it became a virtual poker game. School mornings are a limited time zone so negotiations have to be quick and carefully thought out. She put in the sore throat, I raised her a fruit juice to help it, she took the fruit juice and put in a ‘I feel sick’. I took on board her ‘feeling sick’ and raised her ‘you went to bed late so its tiredness nausea’, she took on board (ignored) that suggestion and begged for the sick bowl. I was beaten. She dealt a convincing hand and I can’t ignore the sick bowl. We dropped her brothers at school, came home and within 37 minutes she was fine again practically doing cartwheels around the lounge.