This morning, we’re all feeling a little bleary-eyed as we recover from one of “those nights”. Fellow mummies will know exactly what I’m talking about without any further explanation. Some nights, without warning, the adult contingent are denied quiet time / relaxation / an entire episode of Ashes to Ashes / sleep.
Our little night of horrors went something like this. My husband and I had been out house hunting. Yes, I can’t quite believe it either but needs must. We’ve been in our current house for less than a year, so of course it’s time to move. We had a successful recce of a few villas in the neighbourhood and came home in good spirits to see the troops.
It was tea time so sandwiches and fruit were deployed. The fruit was slung under the table and the sandwiches rejected. They were peanut butter, and according to Annabel Karmel, a godsend in foodstuffs for toddlers. We’d tried it a few weeks ago at my parents house with no issues. Twin 2 had munched happily and Twin 1, I thought, had also eaten some, before slinging the rest around the kitchen.
Last night however, the peanut butter was rejected. Twin 2 peeled her sandwiches apart,then mashed them into the plate before jettisoning them. Twin 1 simply threw hers, but not before she’d sucked out some of the peanut butter. Within seconds, it became clear we had a peanut allergy on our hands.
Thank God, not one of the life-threatening anaphylactic reactions, but still severe enough to make us feel awful for trying to poison our own child. Rash, itching, redness, huge discomfort. The blonde was not impressed.
We tried to take her mind off things and bread and jam worked a treat. She looked awful, but was able to eat and drink so we felt reassured that the moment would pass.
Fast forward a few hours past bath and milk time, and the husband and I decided we should be checking her every 10 minutes, just to be on the safe side. She’d now started coughing, so a long debate on what constitutes ‘wheezing’ followed. Out came the bible of baby illness. This just served to frighten us even more.
We got twin 1 out of bed and inspected her under the light on the landing. She was not amused. Apart from a tickle in her throat, she was settling down to sleep very nicely thanks very much, so could do without the poking and prodding, not to mention the bright light.
She looked fine. Her skin had calmed down, the redness had reduced and all that was now concerning us, was the cough.
We tried NHS Direct online. Useless. So we rang the pharmacist who suggested giving her an anti-histamine. Having never encountered allergies in any of the children before, we don’t actually own any anti-histamine, so at 9.30pm on a Saturday, we set off to find some.
I’m not sure what time the chemist’s normally shut on a Saturday night here, but I’m fairly certain it’s not 1am. However, as it’s Ramadan at the moment, the Muslim population are conducting their lives by night so to accommodate this, everywhere is open until quite literally, the middle of the night. I never thought I’d be grateful for Ramadan but last night, I have to say, it served us well!
We got home and rushed straight upstairs to administer the syrup, only to be greeted by a very sorry-looking little girl who’d vomited her entire body weight and that of her sister.
All the commotion had woken her sister and brother who both decided to get in on the action. Big brother was fascinated by the situation, and decided he would help by fetching water for the patient. I set about changing the sheets and not for the first time, struggled to find a sheet that would fit, in among the drawer full of identical looking white bedding. I think it’s breeding in there.
Bed changed and blonde washed, we popped her back into bed and left the room. Much howling ensued. After a minute it became clear that the brunette needed changing so back in we went, light on, nappy changed and tried to leave again. More howling.
We spent the next hour up and down the stairs doing regular checks on sick bay, but all this achieved was two very perky girls who clearly realised there was no point in sleeping, as Mummy and Daddy would be back in to wave at them at any moment.
Big brother had decided he was going to turn his light on and read as he definitely wasn’t sleepy and in any case, the blonde might need him.
We abandoned any hope of a quiet glass of wine and half an hour of telly and decided to go to bed. We did one last check of the girls who were dozing and peaceful. All seemed good, until I noticed the dripping sound. It was getting louder, and more frequent.
And the reason for the dripping sound? The air con unit in the nursery was leaking. A lot.
So, today we’re all a little bog-eyed. Not at our best. Below par. And peanut butter is most definitely off the menu.