Tuesday 4 February 2014

Things don't always go to plan.

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Things don't always go to plan, and the plan for last weekend with the children started to fall apart by Friday evening.

My young son is at the age were he picks up every bug flying about his class room. Both the wife and I had a bet after Christmas on how long it would take him to catch a bug once he was back to school in the new year. Tens days into the new term the first sniffs appeared. It has bubbled away ever since, until Friday evening!

The wife was away for the weekend and I went to bed near to midnight after getting engrossed in one of the Terminator films that was showing on the television. I was just nodding off to sleep when my son woke up coughing very loudly, and in distress.

I went to his aid. It was one of the most terrible coughs I have ever heard. It sounded like his whole lungs were being torn to shreds, but the worst part of the experience was his struggle to breath. I gave him water to drink, rubbed his back, but it just got worse, and then it looked as if he was hyperventilating. He stopped breathing and I was 60 seconds away from calling an ambulance. I did the only thing left a father can do in such a situation. I picked him up, held him in my arms, gently swayed him while stroking his hair, and quietly reassured him that everything would be ok if only he tried to breath through his nose.

Slowly it worked. I calmed him down and took him into my room. After I had tucked him up on the wife's side of the bed I spent the rest of the night stroking his hair, and being there for him when he had other coughing fits. I got no sleep that night. When he asked at 5.30am if he could get up to watch his favourite television programme I was in a weird place. My head just wanted to go to sleep, but my body was running at full speed. I suppose it had been pumping the relevant hormones around my system to keep me awake all night, and now I had over-dosed.

My son couldn't  go to his football training, and I was too exhausted to drive my daughter so my mother-in-law took her instead. As for watching the football on the big screen at the Kett's Tavern. Well Norwich lost 2.1 while our arch rivals Ipswich ( who are commonly known as the Scum) won their game. The only thing that went to plan that day was eating pizza in the evening.

On Saturday night my son went to bed with some cough mixture, but again woke up crying at midnight. He wasn't coughing so much, but had a terrible fever so after giving him some Calpol he again spent the night with me. I did manage to get a couple of hours of sleep, but once again by Sunday morning my mind, and body, were running at two different speeds.

Sunday went to plan and by the late evening when the wife returned from her weekender she was non the wiser to what I had been through.

The whole experience just proved to me how hard it must be for single parents who have to bring up their children, sometimes for decades, on their own. There are many occasions when the unknown can scare the living daylights out of you, and it is especially frightful when it involves young children.

I'm just so grateful that for 99.9% of the time I have someone by my side to share, help and reassure me during the bad times, and I hope that out there in this big wide-world there is also someone by your side too.



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