24 July 2008

Nothing But Worry

“No binge drinking, dancing with girls/near girls, or swearing and don’t forget your inhaler, which you shouldn’t need because you’re not to smoke or get over-excited” I said. “Run from fights. Don’t get stabbed. No motorbikes. And stay away from Peanut!” Accountant’s best friend and a social menace.

Accountant nodded, edging towards the door. “You’ve packed your inhaler?” He held it up. “Anti-histamines? Savlon? Imodium?” Accountant had inched his way onto the doorstep.

He kissed my cheek before telling me not to worry, and then was gone. We watched him skip down the road.
“What about your eye mask and ear plugs?” I hollered down the empty street.
“Where’s daddy gone?”
“On a stag weekend. Which, by the way, you’re never allowed to do” I replied, stroking Chick’s hair. He felt very hot.

If temperature goes over 39 degrees or remains above normal for more than two days SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE. I re-read the box. Did that mean his temperature had to be over 39 degrees for two days or just over 39 degrees? I hated maths and thermometer boxes. That’s why I married an Accountant. An Accountant who pretended I was a wrong number when I phoned him at work to ask how to work out a percentage, whether 4000 x 0 was 4000 or 0 and, if I folded something smaller, would it weigh less in my suitcase?

A 39.9 degree Chickie whined feebly as I grappled with the logic. I patted him with a cold flannel, sending him into orbit with outrage. As he writhed, I read again. Why was SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE in capitals? I panicked. No wonder my poor baby was screaming – he was so ill he was UPPER CASE. I rang the doctor who was all lower case. Chickie was to be stripped, monitored and medicated.

5ml. Up to 4 times a day. Don’t give more than 4 doses in 24 hours. Don’t give for more than 3 days. That was the Calpol but the Nurofen was different. My head span. Different doses, different 24 hour thing, no more than 3 days. The numbers and letters jumbled in front of my eyes. It was like High School algebra all over again. A + B = C. Where did all the numbers go? Why are there letters in my maths? I asked my teacher who subsequently lowered my predicted grade from a B to a C. Added together did that make an A?

For the next few days, Chickie’s temperature bopped around like a Tellytubby. His father, clubbing in Edinburgh, did the same. On Day 3, the doctor was consulted as per the Calpol instructions. When he went all clammy, the Doctor listened graciously to my concerns about cholera contracted from the fountain in France.

Once Accountant returned in one portly piece and Chickie descended to a toasty 36.6 degrees, I finally relaxed.

Happy Chick + Happy Daddy = Happy Mummy.

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