Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Doctors appointment today

I cant do anything else now. Tara's doctor's appointment is today and I just want to be sure she's okay.

'Go away glue ear...please.'

To be perfectly honest, if it is glue ear it can take anywhere from 3 months upwards to clear up. So Im hoping, its not glue ear to begin with.

'Be something else unimportant, then go away please!'

Sunday, 27 November 2011

What next?

Okay, Im done crying, feeling angry, feeling sorry for Tara and (to be honest)  felt a bit sorry for myself too. Glue ear. I hate that word. Ive looked all over the internet and cannot decide if its a big deal or not. What I did understand is that it can take at least 3 months to resolve itself at the very least.

I have a long haul holiday booked for the middle of December, and am looking for information whether its okay to travel with Tara or not. I couldn't understand the last doctor so Ive booked another appointment for a second opinion and follow up. This time I think I will ask the doctor questions and hopefully will get some straight answers.

There's no two ways about it. If the doctor expresses even the slightest reservation about Tara flying with glue ear, the holiday is off. To hell with the holiday, to hell with my own desperation to see my family who live on the other side of the world, to hell with everything. I love my Tara, and just want some respite for her.

The only good thing I can say about glue ear is that I don't think it causes a child any discomfort or pain. Tara is eating, playing, laughing and being herself. The doctor did mention loss of hearing till the fluid leaves the ear, but Tara seems to be hearing just fine. I have to keep testing her hearing from time to time for the next few weeks which is no big deal.

The Husband seems to think its okay to fly. Im not so sure.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Its just a common problem

So Tara's illness has been ongoing. Its all very common in children is what everyone says. Does that make it any easier to deal with?

Tara had a  doctor's appointment this morning to see if her ear infection was gone. The doctor looked in and decided there was no infection but Tara had glue ears. We sat looking at each other. I was waiting for him to elaborate. He was waiting for...I don't really know what he was waiting for. An explanation proactively would have been a good thing, especially since Im no doctor, Im just MUM.

So I broke the impasse and asked what the way forward was. He said it was a common childhood problem, and should resolve itself in a few months. If Tara had hearing loss or the problem did not resolve itself in a year, surgery was an option. I gulped and we all thanked each other and left.

I must admit Im a bit bewildered. I respect doctors, lawyers, and all the other professionals that 'know their stuff'. All I want to say is that all that knowledge means nothing if not used properly. From my point of view, Im seeing an expert and all I want is this:

1. Them to understand that Im not an expert
2. An explanation of what the problem is
3. A solution to the problem if there is any
4. Clarity

When I came away from the doctors office I was upset and didn't know what to feel. Was there a real problem? How bad was it? Is my child in pain? Is she going deaf?

Then I hit the internet and educated myself. Armed with more information I feel a bit better. Tara's cold, caused her to have a ear infection. This ear infection caused glue ear, which basically is fluid collecting in the middle ear. In a few weeks, all things remaining the same, the body would absorb the excess fluid and the situation resolves itself.  So I cant do anything until a few weeks anyway, and Tara seems fine, eating, sleeping, playing and going to school. (I did check it is not contagious)

Im just a Mum, but show me some respect

Im going to my room to put on my ipod, roll into a ball and have a good cry. I feel very alone.

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Im one of those people who will smile at a passer by if our eyes meet. Its not contrived, or something I have to think about to do. Its more of a natural reaction when I see someone. What is interesting is the range of responses.

People sometimes give a restrained smile back. Others look down, probably wondering if Im a nut of some sort. Still others look right through me as if Im invisible. Very occasionally I get a cheery smile and a 'Good Morning!'

Every person is different. There may be a lot of people out there who are really friendly when you get to know them but who may not be comfortable smiling at random strangers. There may be others who may flash 100 watt smiles at anyone they see, but may not be all that friendly when you get to know them.

Judging is so easy.... and unneccesary.

I don't have to, or even want to  'get to know' every passer by in my life. I just smile. Sometimes it makes me feel better, other times it might be just the thing someone else needs. The net result is still a better looking world.

Have a good day today.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

It seems to work

As a mum, I try to do everything I can to make Tara feel better when she is unwell. My biggest challenge has been her blocked nose. With this condition, a child can't breathe, sleep or eat properly so in my opinion its the toughest thing to deal with.

I tried :

Vicks rub
inhaling steam at bath time
smelling some oils
elevating bed mattress
high pillows

Nothing seems to work, except maybe Vicks for a short while. I am totally against any nasal drops or sprays, as in my own personal experience, I underwent horrific rebound addiction for which I was treated, as you would drug addiction. It remains to this day one of my worst experiences.

So it was with great trepidation that I agreed to try a new nasal spray for Tara suggested by my local pharmacist. The lady insisted it was 100% natural saline and not like the other nasal sprays in the market. I bought it reluctantly but when I got home I read every word on the leaflet to make sure it was natural. It is called Calpol Soothe and Care, suitable from birth. No preservatives or chemicals or stuff like that, just saline. I was desperate because Tara's congestion was worsening her ear infection.

I started spraying her nose often, and also started her antibiotic ear drops. To my relief her congestion has reduced considerably, and her ear infection seems to be clearing up. Tara announced yesterday, 'Mummy, I can smell again after a long time.' Music to my ears. I might add that the congestion did not clear up immediately with the saline spray. It took a day or two for it to start working. This in itself convinced me that it was just pure saline and not something chemical.

Im also slightly congested. I will get some spray for myself and see how it works. I am still scarred from the memory of the trauma I suffered getting de-addicted from my Otrivin nasal spray. But if something is good enough for my child, it should be good enough for me.

Now if only I was calm and brave like Tara when stuff is being shot up my facial orifices.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Everyone's ill

What a rubbish weekend. The Husband, Tara and I are all sick as....sick people.

In order of priority, The Husband was left in bed all day, as he had to be back at work on Monday. Then after a doctor's visit Tara was sorted out with antibiotic ear drops, and was given a new doll. (She's totally in love with Disney fairies these days). That left me. Im feeling really bad but just getting on with it. In my book, if I have no fever, then Im just not sick. The blocked nose, the sore throat, the cough that rattles my ribs and generally feeling bad are just minor issues...

Its another thing that Tara made me a fairy and we play acted entire adventures the whole day so her father could rest. Each one of us held a fairy and we flew up the stairs, under the stairs, inside a box, till I almost exploded with frustration and a very, very sore throat. Its so strange. As a child these dolls would have been the stuff that my dreams were made of. Now they are Tara's, and I can't stand them. Well, I don't really hate them. Deep inside me there is still a little girl who actually loves the pretty wings and faces of these dolls, but Im sick right now, and Im also not in the mood to play  a never ending fairy saga. But to my credit I held my nerve and did not yell at anyone. Now that is an achievement.

Stay well everyone. Nothing in the world matters if we don't have our health, and I mean nothing...

Friday, 18 November 2011

Pick your battles

I was boiling with anger after Tara's school nativity costume fiasco. In my emotional state I wrote a pretty stinging letter to her school teacher. The next morning, as I was getting into the car to drive Tara to school, I suddenly tore the letter up. I was getting late for the school run, so did not wait to analyze why I did it.

Later on I wondered if I was a coward. Or did I do the right thing by listening to a small voice in my head that said, 'Pick your battles.'

These teachers are human too. These are also the same teachers who try to ensure my Tara has her winter hat on when she is outside, as she is more prone to catching a cold than other children. These teachers are also the ones to give Tara a cupcake after she went back to school the day after being ill last Tuesday.

I guess if I want to fight, there are many reasons out there. And if everyone thought the same, boy, it would be one mad world out there. So I guess I will choose my battles. But all you teachers out there at Tara's school, don't ruffle my feathers. I am after all my Tara's warrior Mum. Haiee...yaah!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Little flowers

A small child is like a little flower. Beautiful and very fragile. When people start treating every child like they would their own, only then will there be a shift in how we treat children in general. How easy it is to get incensed when there is an injustice done to our own child, and how easy it is to disregard others' children.

I can say with full confidence that I speak and behave with all children like I do with my own. I don't mean I go up to children and tell them to do this or that properly. No, I ignore all that and leave disciplining children to their own parents. What I am talking about is this. When a child in the playground hovers around me and looks at me, I give them a smile and say hello. If a child wanders over to me and asks me something, I give my complete attention and answer their questions.

Its important to treat children well. I am amazed at the number of times I see grown ups disregard children, not just others children but even their own. Then we complain about how our children are turning out to be. Parents collectively need to open their eyes wide and look beyond their own selves. When our children grow up, they will be in a world full of other people's children. Isn't it then in our own interest to make a difference and make a good impression on every child we come across?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Is it just me?

Today Tara's went to school, excited at the prospect of meeting Pudsey Bear. At last, my little one is settled at school, and life will be normal.

When I picked her up at the end of the day, there was no excitement in her face, instead a cloud hovered over her head and she looked quite glum. In the car I asked her if she met Pudsey bear and she nodded her yes and was quiet. So I left it at that.

Later in the bath, Tara burst into tears. Between sobs she explained in broken sentences how she was made to sit in a separate classroom with another classmate, while the rest of the class went on to practice for their nativity play. They were excluded because they didn't have their costumes which by the way, weren't due until tomorrow.

I am furious. Isn't this institutional bullying? Damaging innocent children's psyches is surely institutional bullying. Two 4 year old children kept away from a school play rehearsal for not having their costumes in before they were due ? Absurd.

There will be words tomorrow.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Tara's bedtime prayer

O My God
I love you
Please bless my
Father and mother
Brothers and sisters and family
Teachers and all my friends
Bless me
And make me
A good child.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Not the cold again!!

Just when you think It's all over, it comes back.

Yesterday was a lovely Mummy-daughter day. We spent time having fun, going to a party and back home to join Daddy for yet more fun. Days like this make me let my guard down, so Tara's bedtime situation caught me off guard. Soon after getting ready for bed, even before we sat on the steps for our talk she was in floods of tears about not being able to wear her jumper at school. Of course it started when I told her it was wet after being washed a few minutes ago, and we couldn't practice it right there.

Tara's awful cold and blocked nose hasn't helped the situation. The last two nights were blocked nose horror and she lay helpless trying to pull in air, perspiring with the effort and getting increasingly distressed.

I wonder why there is no cure for the common cold  and blocked noses yet. It is the single most annoying and distressing conditions mums have to deal with. A child can rest through most other conditions, but inability to breathe pulls down even the toughest.

Tara has just recovered from a terrible chest infection and she's already caught a fresh cold. I hope this one resolves itself soon. It's two nights of no sleep for both Tara and I, and I suspect tomorrow might be a tricky day for school.

Friday, 11 November 2011

So far, so good..

Last night was uneventful. Thank God for that. Soon after her bedtime routine, Tara and I sat on the steps and she asked me the same questions again. I answered them again, calmly and confidently. As I saw her looking up with her wide innocent eyes into mine, I realized that every time she asked me the same old questions, there was brand new worry in her eyes. Till we have our talk. Then she relaxes and is ready for bed.

And so it happened. We hugged, talked and she got into her bed. Then....silence. She slept all night.

Putting ourselves in others shoes is not as easy as we might think sometimes. With the best of intentions and determination, I hadn't been able to find a solution to my child's fears for such a long time. I thought I had put myself in her shoes, but clearly I hadn't ... until now. I used to dread bedtime. I didn't think about Tara's agony, but of what I viewed as Tara's annoying little habit, that made me lose my temper every night. Now, I can't wait for bedtime, so I have one more chance to look into those gorgeous eyes, and talk to Tara and watch her worry melt away into sleep filled relaxed eyes.

I thought back to a few months ago when every night Tara used to wake up at the same time, crying saying, 'the monster is biting my tail.' Every night I dismissed it as a nightmare, and told her to go to sleep. It must have easily been at least a month, when I found out that Tara had threadworm. The 'monster biting her tail' was my little girl's way of saying that something was bothering her down below. I just didn't get it. Of course when I found out the cause of her suffering I turned into a Goddess with a thousand hands ready to kill every single worm that dared to cause discomfort to my daughter, and 6 back breaking weeks later, I did.

Why does it take me so long to "get it?"

In my Tara's eyes I must seem like Wonder woman, who wields some sort of power to solve all her problems. I'm just poor tired old mum, trying very hard not to fail her. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Just perfect

My own frustration sometimes makes me react wrongly to Tara. Her repeated questions about the same issue every night at bedtime is like slow torture to me, and after a promising start I end up losing my cool and telling her to be quiet and go to bed. It's obviously not a solution to the problem. Which makes me think...Is there really a problem? Or am I making one out of simple and common annoying childhood habits..

I don't think I was a particularly wonderful child at all times. Repeating what others said was a favourite pastime of mine, and why wouldn't everyone enjoy that endearing (NOT!) game? How soon we forget what we ourselves did as children.

Last evening I tried something new. I told Tara that just before bed we would sit on the steps outside her room and talk about anything she wanted to. But no talking in bed. Round one was good. We talked about her two pet peeves - lunchtime routine at school and dressing herself up between classes. That done, we got into bed, tucked up and warm. Two minutes later was Round two. Tara had a few more questions. So I calmly got up, got her out of her warm bed, and we sat on the steps to talk about the same things again. Then back in her toasty bed. After Round Three that lasted less than a minute, Tara was asleep.

This felt much better. Talking over her bed rail in the dark inevitably led to tears almost every night. I will try my new plan again tonight.

Everyone needs to talk to someone about their feelings. My daughter was trying her best to talk to me, and I ended up shouting at her every night. Not good. Like I said before, it can take me a while to get things right, but Im not perfect. Im just a Mum trying to get things right for the only thing perfect in my life...Tara

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Oh Chest infection!

So Tara is recovering from a chest infection, now I have it. But ever since I've become Mum, I haven't had the luxury of lying sick in bed. There is always something to do and I can't leave Tara to I soldier on no matter how bad I feel. The downside is that I find it harder not to lose my temper.

I can never figure out what Tara's doctor wants me to do. If I take her in before she is really bad, I am always sent back saying that she's not sick enough, and her body should fight off her illness. But when I decide to keep her home till she sounds "bad enough", I feel I should have brought her in before things got so bad.

I'll get it right some day, like so many other things in life.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Another way

Life is short. How many times have we heard that before? Still we strut around, puffing our chests like pigeons, dragging the weight of our ego and prejudice, like unnecessary baggage. If we look back at our life, and imagine that each decade is a chapter, how long would our book be? Eight chapters if we are lucky, or nine. With age comes hindsight. 'If only...' and 'wouldn't it be wonderful....' , become constant refrains. The wisdom of our twilight years plays hide and seek with us in our youth.

People constantly say that we should let people make their own mistakes and learn their own lessons. I'm not sure about that. It's a bit like reinventing the wheel. What a waste of time. History is important and teaches us lessons, so we don't do stupid things again and again. When someone tells us, don't smoke, it can kill you, or don't drink alcohol and drive, I believe we should take it at face value and not 'discover for ourselves' if that's true

I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes it could be a good idea to set our pre conceived notions and ego aside, and learn life's little lessons from the world around us. Its good to realize that sometimes we may not be right, and there may be a better way elsewhere, that's all....