Was that really me? One thing I never envisaged when I became a mum 16 years ago was the sudden loss of all common sense and rational thinking.
Overnight I became a woman, who went to bed but never slept, anxious with one ear open, listening for any sudden change in breathing. Constantly checking she was still breathing, when unsure I would poke her, instantly regretting it when she cried; only to repeat it all again later.
Looking back I can see how the phrase 'helicopter parenting' was coined, that was me morning, noon and night, always hovering, waiting just in case.
Every rash had me carrying out the 'glass test' never quite sure if it actually disappeared or not, so to be sure would head off to the doctors. It was no different if she coughed, sneezed, had a cold that seemed prolonged, I always feared it was something more sinister (see NEUROTIC).
Attached to books of new motherhood, following all set goals, tips, checklists mainly focussing on the 'must not do' list such as; never re-heating bottles (especially in the microwave), never giving her dummy back without first sterilising it... and so on.
That was me; first time neurotic mummy wasting endless hours sterilising dummies, toys that had hit the ground and the like, gasping in horror if another mum suggested I cut corners, fearing I would somehow, damage her in the process, all coupled with my parents telling me the stories of their survival as babies, and no parenting books or sterilising kits!! (See BINNED THE BOOK, TOOK PARENTS' ADVICE with second child).
I KNOW HOW THIS SOUNDS BUT....
On one routine visit, my doctor asked me how much Ciara weighed at birth; it would be worth noting I was shite at maths (see NEVER LISTENED AT SCHOOL).
I proudly informed him she had weighed 350kg. Waiting for the unexpected laughter to die down, he composed himself before asking if I was sure, feeling the pressure, as clearly this figure was wrong, I hastily changed it to 35kg,
"whaaa...t why you laughing" I asked, puzzled. Showing a clear lack of any understanding surrounding weights, especially kilo's, he suggested maybe it was 3.5kg, I went with that, after all he was the doctor he understood kilos better than I did.
It wasn't until I recited this account later to my brother, it become apparent what had been funny, I had given the weight off something more in line with a baby elephant! (see SECOND BABY).
IT GETS WORSE
I am fully aware of how this might look, and the following just adds to the list of 'how stupid could someone be' but that was me.
"No doctor, you don't understand she isn't like any other baby" I would tell him as I graced his room once again with Ciara sneezing, "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't important" blah blah blah.
Imagine my horror, when, again, having taken leave of all normal senses, I was laying with Ciara one morning, when after feeding her, I noticed she started rolling her eyes.
Only slightly at first, but then moving on to real back of the head rolling. Watching these actions panicked me, trying to reset her eyes to the front position and their clear lack of adjusting back, I let out a mighty roar to his nibs, "quick, come here, there's something wrong with Ciara".
"What you on, she was perfectly fine earlier", he said
"Well she's not now, I think she might be blind", mumbling something along the lines of ridiculous and stupid, I carried on, undeterred.
Pressing redial calling the surgery, I was asked by the doctors bouncer for my knicker size, what I had for breakfast, is it life threatening...!.
I think my child is blind, "ok what makes you think that", "well she's rolling her eyes back in her head and they aren't refocusing", so with a reassuring, "ooh I've never heard of that before you best bring her in...".
Throwing her in the car, not literally, we raced off in the mumobile, rubber screeching to the doctors. Rushing in I couldn't have given a stuff that I still had my slippers on, this was urgent, pretending not to notice anyone in the packed waiting room I hoped we wouldn't be waiting long.
The wait seemed long and all scenarios were playing through my mind, what type of dog we would get, were there any braille classes locally..!
The crackle of the speaker came on, holding my breath I heard "Sharon, Room No. 4 please", detecting a hint of 'what now' in his tone, I carried on regardless. It seemed we were on first name terms, I liked the personal touch!
"She's blind" I announced opening the door and walking in. "Take a seat Sharon", sitting down I braced myself as he took her and asked "what makes you think she's possibly blind", possibly!
Are you kidding, she's rolling her eyes right into the back of head so much so I expect her to start chanting lines from the exorcist, her iris literally disappears! That's why I think she's blind.
"Ah right, ok I'll have a look". Turning his back slightly, l sat worrying he was shielding me from some impending doom, rehearsing how he was going to break the news to me.
After what seemed like a very long time, probably one minute in real time, he turned and said, "Sharon, have you ever thought she might have wind"?
"Wind", I said, no I hadn't, apparently according to him it was a common fact that some babies rolled their eyes when they had wind, well that was a first for me and something I had not read in any of my shit mummy manuals.
Looking back I have great admiration for that doctor, if it wasn't for him leaving, not long after started visiting (just coincidental) I would thank him for putting up with the 'then me'.
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