It’s quite amazing how often and easily kids fall sick. The paediatrician whom we frequent can now recite our kids names by just looking at me or Mama Toh’s face. ‘Is this visit for Summer or Zavier?’.
On a side note, looking at the snaking queues daily outside the clinic and the charges for each visit, I am convinced that should my kids ever become doctors, they MUST specialise in paediatrics.
Back to the original topic, both kids were sick last week. Yes, both of them.
So on Wednesday, we got a WhatsApp message from my mum that Zavier has a runny nose and Summer, more worryingly, had a fever. Worrying, because there has been a HFMD outbreak at her school, with a confirmed case in her class.
Mama Toh, in her usual panicky demeanour, rushed the kids down to the paediatrician whom very very thankfully after 10 minutes, diagnosed both kids with common flu and throat inflammation with zero signs of HFMD. Phew. Not so phew at the $218 medical bills thereafter.
Mental note: My kids must REALLY become paediatricians.
Next, Mama Toh, in her usual panicky demeanour, determined that Summer will be best kept away from school until the following week.
6 months ago that would not have been a problem. My Mum could very well take care of both kids (and put her very limited patience to further test), or we could drop Summer at my in-laws where she can have unlimited freedom and fun for the day. For everyone’s interest, we usually choose the latter.
However all this has changed with the arrival of Chloe on my family’s end and Arthur at Mama Toh’s family. Both our very capable mothers now have to tend to young babies and basically have no more bandwidth (in corporate speak) to take care of our kids.
And so me and Mama Toh and Yeye Toh (my Dad who very very kindly volunteered) took turns taking leave across 2 days to take care of them.
Here are some takeaways:
1. Do not ever take the help you have for granted. Many of us have parental support or helpers, but that doesn’t mean that we can always ask them for help in taking care of our kids while we enjoy ourselves outside.
They, like the billions of humans out there, have their own limit and need rest as well. Plus, your kids are your responsibility.
2. Staying at home is much tougher than being at work. For one of those days I actually split the kids as I suspected Summer had a bout of stomach flu, so I ended up taking care of Summer the whole day while my Mum took care of Zavier.
Oh man. Where do I start. I had to cook, entertain her, pat her to sleep, feed her medicine, explain to her that a lollipop does not actually contain vitamins which will make her feel better, and why indoor playgrounds are not the best place to go when you are home recovering from illness.
I have to say this is 10 times harder than facing a computer at work, but most probably 20 times more rewarding (not in financial terms).
3. Kids are really our everything.
When the kids were all lethargic and cranky and puking all over (yes it happened with Summer), Mama Toh was depressive and moody.
One day later, the kids got significantly better. And so did Mama Toh’s mood.
Bottomline: Happy family time > Couple alone time > ‘Me’ time > Time with Chanel bags