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30.12.11

Common Courtesy

As with almost every household with children Christmas brings mountains of toys, boxes and unnecessary packaging, endless packs of batteries and sheets of instructions written in every language other than English.
Fridges overflowing with left-over Turkey, Gammon, and any other cold meats cooked over the festive season. Jars half empty (or half full) of pickles and cling film wrapped cheeses placed in the vegetable drawer so as to not stink out the rest of the food in the fridge.
Bins full of rubbish, packaging from presents, and overflowing with masses of wrapping paper. Empty bottles of cola, beer bottles and wine bottles waiting to be recycled.
Half bottles of Sherry, Baileys, and Whiskey taking up room in the cupboard, planned to be finished "sometime soon".

Our house is just like this. But add half bottles of Calpol, cough medicine and empty paracetamol packets.
Bins overflowing with a ridiculous amount of tissue. Washing machine full of clothes dribbled on and muslin cloths used to wipe up masses of dribble and contents of a toddler nose and baby nose.
Puffy faces and bags under our eyes from rubbish nights sleep.
Two boys with red eyes from crying through pain and frustration.
A thermometer with a battery quickly being drained through constant temperature checks.

Rather than sat here excited about the fantastic toys the boys got, going for walks to test out new coats, gloves and hats, to breath in the fresh crisp winter air. Rather than feeling exhausted from the fun of Christmas, stuffed to the brim with roast dinner, Christmas Puddings, Mince Pies, trifle and Boxing Day cold cuts, pickles and cheese.
We are sat here feeling totally sorry for ourselves, longing for night time to come so we can get SOME sleep.
Thankfully Harry is still having his daytime naps despite this nasty virus but Charles is not.
How do you get a toddler to rest and not play with his new Brio Flying Scotsman Train Set that Father Christmas bought him?
How do you get a toddler to understand that he NEEDS to drink more and at least eat something, when his throat is sore and he can't breathe due to a stuffy nose?

We were feeling fine up until 2 days before Christmas.
Excited at our first Christmas as a family of four. First Christmas with Charles understanding what's going on. Excited about Father Christmas.

We had a cold not so long ago. I remember saying I was pleased we had the cold then rather than having it close to Christmas, not knowing that some people take the "season to give and share" rule to another level.

If my boys, or I, have a cold I ALWAYS stay away from people. I stay away from friends, from parents, my nan, literally everyone unless its totally necessary (ie doctors, supermarket staff)
Even if we don't have a full on cold and just feel a tiny bit run down, I stay away.
This has always been my rule, even before I had children. Other than HAVING to go to work with a cold and therefore being forced to share my cold with everyone I came into contact with.
Before I'd of been pretty annoyed with anyone who shared a cold with me, but these days it sends me into a rage.

From October 2008 until now the only been able to take paracetamol when poorly, due to two pregnancies and breastfeeding both boys. Fair enough, both of these things were my choice, my choice to get pregnant, my choice to breastfeed, my choice to not be able to use medicines such as Ibroprofen, Lemsip and decongestants.
This in itself isn't a problem. I can cope. It can be bloody hard fighting a virus with just wimpy Paracetamol but I can do it, it tires me out a lot but its doable and it will make me think twice about using Lemsip etc in the future.
What is a problem though is that others don't take the fact I can't have medicines into account, so think nothing of coming around with 'sniffles' and passing a cold on.
"Just take a Lemsip, that'll sort you out" they'll say.
When I remind them, for the 42nd time that I actually can't have anything like Lemsip I normally get the response of "oh, can't you stick Harry on a bottle for a bit" or just complete silence, either due to guilt or just not caring.

My biggest annoyance though is my children. Well not my children as such, but people not thinking twice about passing on colds to my children.
"Well, there's a lot going around at the moment isn't there"
"So much going around"
"Oh they do catch everything don't they?!"
All three of these have been said to me the last week.
Just because you or your child caught the cold from a friend/family member it doesn't mean you can, or should, subject others to the same.
Why am I annoyed? I'm annoyed because these colds have been passed on by 3 people. Three people who KNEW that they, and their children, are/were poorly.
No thought to the fact that maybe I didn't want my children to catch these colds.
No thought to the fact that I didn't want to catch these colds.
No thought to the fact that my husband didn't want to catch these colds.
My husband is self-employed. He needs to use his voice for work. Without his voice, there's little work (he's a voice-over). Any virus which hits his chest or throat can really effect a weeks worth of work.
Thankfully, he isn't affected too much at the moment.
Me and the boys on the other hand...we're not doing so well.
Christmas Day night Charles was at his worst. High temperature and a cough which see's him gagging and choking violently.
Harry is now the same.
Thankfully it didn't ruin our Christmas Day but I could have.
I was feeling very run down and tired on Christmas Day and have realised that it is due to this cold taking hold of my body.
Wednesday night we rushed to the on
call doctor when Charles' temperature went through the roof.
"Just a bad virus. No chest infection....yet!!" The doctor told us.

Maybe I'm just too kind to stay away and put myself and my children into quarantine when we have colds. Staying away until we know the colds have definitely gone.
I definitely know I'm too nice to friends with poorly children as I ask regularly if their children are feeling better etc. Sadly this is never reciprocated and it seems people just don't care if my children feel better or worse at all.