We watched The Incredibles a lot when my twins were little. I mean A LOT. I think that the plot was so complex that they had to keep watching it to try to figure it out. I quite often felt empathy with Mr Incredible when he says in the opening sequence that he feels like the maid who had just cleaned up when he sees the world getting into trouble: “Hey, I just cleaned up here.” (Not that I am out to save the world but I do often look at our house in despair!)
I had planned this week’s blog post to be about my open water swimming adventures as we had just the usual Christmas stuff planned this weekend (parties, buying the tree). Mr Incredible and any kind of adventure were not on the radar. However my daughter came home from school on Friday night with tummy pains and said she didn’t want to eat anything. This followed a previous episode of tummy pain in earlier in the week. We decided to see if the pains would settle down with a good night’s sleep and she woke up the next morning feeling OK. Not for long. After she tried some cereal, she was in agony again and off we went to the out of hours’ doctors. The doctor was puzzled by her symptoms and referred us to Children’s A & E to rule out appendicitis.
At this point, I didn’t know what to think about my daughter’s illness; whether she was seriously ill or not, whether it was appendicitis or not and my brain was racing away with me if she had to have surgery just before Christmas. My gut feeling was that she was not seriously sick and that it wasn’t appendicitis but once it had been raised, I had to wait to see to the doctor for that reassurance. She was still in quite a bit of pain.
I had her twin brother with us because, of all weekends for this to happen, Adventurous Dad had gone away for the weekend! We ended up waiting for 4 hours to see the doctor as there were a lot of seriously ill children in the hospital that day.
I had to leave the twins at one point to get some food. I know rationally they are 9 years old now, actually quite sensible and that I can leave them. However, I have spent so long watching out for them as babies and toddlers, that it still feels weird to leave them alone. It was at this point, with my brain still racing as to the possibilities as to whether Tamsin was really ill or not, I metaphorically looked round for another adult, as the memes says, someone more “adult-er” than me! I am usually quite happy with my role as the adult in the family but just sometimes it feels a little overwhelming when it is just you bearing the responsibility.
Still a bit wobbly (metaphorically speaking), I phoned my sister and her re-assurance was all I needed to step back into my adult role. The doctor finally appeared and the diagnosis was that basically meant the cold she was suffering from was causing her glands in her tummy to be swollen and painful. She has now made a good recovery and is back at school today.
If Adventurous Mum is all about pushing yourself to discover your limits, actually children do that too in an emotional sense as I found out on Saturday. I take my hat off to single parents everywhere and to parents with seriously ill children. Trying to stay calm when faced with a sick child, entertaining a healthy child, while waiting a long time for the doctor and watching your plans for the day slip away was a bit of test for me. So why did I think of Mr Incredible this weekend? I was reminded of his pearl of wisdom which he learned almost too late, is that our children are our greatest adventure.