(18th May 2011)
My little girl has gastro. Since 9pm Thursday, she has been chucking regularly. It’s awful seeing her so helpless against this nasty bug. Thankfully, aside from the chucking, she seems quite happy…and in some ways it has been very nice for me. We have been shadowing each other all night and all day. And there is a side of my personality that is enriched at times like these.
If you ask Greg, he will tell you I’m not the most sympathetic person when he is ill. If he complains of feeling sick, my first response is “Oh no, here we go again. Get up, you’ll be right.” The Aussie battler attitude is firmly engrained in me. As are the attitudes of my own family, particularly my Dr Dad’s, who responded to our illnesses as children only when we were on death’s door.
But this last twenty-four hours, I have followed Elka like a hawk (with a bucket in my talons to catch the spew) and my every cell is one of concern and tenderness. Throughout the night I sleep half awake listening for her discomfort. So although I feel awful for her having this yucky illness, I feel a little bit proud of myself, that somewhere deep inside lives a nurturing woman, who might have been a nurse in another life time.
And days like this, I have no desire to sneak a look at Facebook on my phone while I am playing with Elka. Or hurry out of the house with her to have some social contact with a friend and their child, for god forbid I get bored at home and run out of games. No. Instead I am the archetypal mother, and engage in every precious moment with my baby like it’s the last. I read “The Little Red Caboose” for the fortieth time, and somehow, it’s not at all boring, but enchanting that Elka loves to hear the trains goclickety-clack and the cows go moo so often.
So these days, as hard as they are for my baby girl, give me an insight into my inner mother-ness, and remind me that days at home are far from days to dread. In fact, they are beautiful days, one on one with my baby, who is constantly by my side.