Friday, 27 July 2012

Olympic Guilt.

This tea time, as I was watching the build up to the Olympics Opening Ceremony, Sasha surprised me by noticing the 5 Olympic rings on the TV. She stated the colours and then nodded when I explained it was for the Olympics.

Of course she would know that, they've been taught about it in school. The thing is, Sasha doesn't necessarily take everything in that she's told, as she rarely stops long enough to listen or show an interest. If it isn't about numbers or counting from 1 to 10 in Spanish, it's not high on her list of activities.

After I mentioned the Olympics, she immediately asked if she could go. I said probably not as she wouldn't enjoy it, and she asked if it was for grown-ups only. At that point I had to admit no, it was for big girls too - without actually directly mentioning Tamsin would be going. She insisted she was a big girl, so she could go.

And therein lies today's problem and pang of guilt. 

Back when tickets were released, we did apply for (and get, although only in the second ballot) two lots of four tickets for some events. We hoped to go as a family, but didn't really give it much thought in the intense excitement of applying for tickets.

As the time has grown closer though, we've passed by other events such as the Jubilee - street parties, flotilla, Olympic torch viewing etc - and realised that they're not really Sasha's 'bag'. I vetoed the idea then of taking her into London where there would be thousands of others crushed together, on the streets and on public transport, where she would have to wait around, walk some distance and not get to see very much. Even when I took her to an all-girls' birthday party recently, she couldn't step inside the party room whilst the other girls who she knew were running around laughing and shouting - all too much noise for her.

So it was with some certainty that I finally decided a few weeks ago that there was no point in taking Sasha to an Olympic event. Even if she could cope with all the 'palaver' of actually getting to the venues, it was highly unlikely that she would be happy to sit still and watch what was going on when she didn't really understand it (and no-one was counting in Spanish to her). I gave her 5 minutes tops before she would have wanted to leave the stadium. 

We exchanged our 4 synchro tickets for two lots of two tickets, for gymnastics and diving, so that Chris and I could each take Tamsin to an Olympic event. We held on to the four athletics tickets, still thinking it was the chance of a lifetime, and trying to decide what to do for the best. I think we were putting off the inevitable, rather than hoping for a miracle improvement.

Just last week though, we decided to sell two of them. Sasha not going to the athletics means me not going to the Olympic park at all, and on a selfish front I am slightly sad about that of course. On the flipside, I'm glad Tamsin will now get to experience the event with Chris and one of her school friends and her mum - I'm sure they will talk about it in years to come.

But was it the right decision?

Maybe other parents will think I'm crazy for not letting Sasha have this experience. Was it worth the try? I know Sasha better than anyone, and so I am 99.9% sure it wasn't, but that doesn't stop me from feeling bad about it. Will she realise she has missed out? Maybe. But somehow I don't think my angel will hold a grudge.

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Sunday, 8 July 2012

No medicine? Hospital then.

OK, I'll admit it. It's ALL my fault.

I jinxed it, you see. By that I mean, I broke the spell of good luck we've had. I did what I promised myself I would never do, and talked about it. Or rather, wrote, about it. See my previous blog post Poorly Child at home.

That's the trouble with blogging I've found; sometimes words just slip out unintentionally. Over the past 7 years I have been very aware of how lucky we have been with regards health. I've purposefully never said it out loud to anyone, so I don't know what possessed me to write about it. Now I've 'gone and done it', and I'm just hoping I haven't opened the floodgates....

Anyhoo, I now know what happens when your child won't take medicine. It's really not much fun.

After a week of her being poorly with high temperatures and bad cough, I took Sasha to the doctor. The lovely doctor checked her out and suggested it was a chest infection, which Sasha should have anti-biotics for. She was also a little concerned about her high heart rate and so she called A&E, booking us in for a session.

We spent 5 hours there; Sasha was hot and drowsy the whole time. The doctor diagnosed tonsillitis and pneumonia.  

My poorly baby
After about 4 hours a cannula was inserted in her hand for the antibiotics to be dripped through. That makes it sounds nice and easy; believe me, it was anything but. It took all my strength to restrain Sasha as four nurses attempted this feat, and a solitary tear rolled down my cheek. The tear had nothing to do with the fact I was missing my elder daughter's last (and only) summer concert performance at infant school, but it is true that I was also sad about that.

We were thankfully allowed home at tea time, but left with instructions to return to the day ward the following day for a further injection of drugs. We did, and it was a much less pleasant experience than the previous day. Sasha was more aware of what was going on, although still quite poorly, and so did not want to be there. We had an appointment at 2pm but the drugs weren't ready and so we waited until 330pm for anything to happen. Then the nurse pushed the drugs through Sasha's hand rather than using the slower drip, and this obviously caused Sasha more discomfort. 

The nurse also spent a long time trying to register Sasha's blood pressure - first with a faulty/low battery machine and then with an adult manual one. Both of these caused Sasha even more distress and, coupled with the heat on the ward, caused Sasha to almost pass out and she drowsed again. All of this while we were sitting (yes, together, Sasha on my knee) either on a kiddy size chair in the playroom, or else on a slightly larger chair in the hospital corridor. Why we weren't offered a bed, I have no idea. I was too tired to ask.

They kept us even longer though, as Sasha's heart rate was still above normal, and so they weren't allowed to sign her out. To get around this, the nurse waited until Sasha drowsed and then checked again - at which point the heart rate had obviously slowed enough to fall under the worry mark. Sadly communication then 'slipped' which meant another nurse came down the corridor and woke Sasha, checked again and found it was too high. Almost comedic, but really I was too tired to laugh. Not exactly feeling inspired by their methods so far, I decided to make a run for it after 3 hours and both Sasha and I were relieved to return home.

Over the weekend we have had a lovely community nurse visit us both days to give Sasha more drugs. She was thoughtful and understanding, and treated Sasha wanted to be treated, not how she wanted to treat her. Unfortunately for some reason we only got her services for the weekend and so tomorrow we have to return to the hospital ward for another top-up; HOPEFULLY the last one and we can get the cannula taken out.

I wonder if Sasha will realise in months to come that the moral of the story is that she should take her medicine off a spoon or syringe, like most other children?

I'm going to be optimistic and live in hope.

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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Make your own Felt Art Frame Review

So, along came Mr.Postie again, with a small but cute and colourful box. What could be inside we wondered?

Not a lot was the answer.

The contents were craft materials to make two small picture frames. Pre-cut felt pieces (which just need pushing out, although this proved to be a little difficult for my tired 7 year old...), the cardboard stands and some pre-cut double sided sticky tape strips. Oh and a sachet of glue.

The glue just needed the corner snipping and was 'good to go', but we felt this may have been easier for a little one to control in some type of tube (although admittedly they are all too often too hard to squeeze....). The little felt pieces were somewhat fiddly and didn't always stick down when we wanted them to, but it was a bonus that they were pre-cut, and in the right shapes so that the design on the box could be followed. (One top tip: don't throw away the box after emptying as the instructions are on the back...).

An hour later (with tea in between - to be honest the kit could be done in 10 minutes) and we had our finished product. Now to find some suitable photo to put in and I'm sure big girl will be thrilled in the morning.

Normally I love the Great Gizmos craft kits and they are well worth having (we've done some fab Mould & Paint kits before and I like the sound of Paint your own Mini Plates kit), but I'd have to admit that this one was not our favourite. However an older child may enjoy the achievement of doing this all themselves....

We were sent the above kit for the purpose of this review, but have not received payment. All the views expressed here are our own.
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