Aw bubby, you shouldn’t have. No, really, you shouldn’t have. Of all the pressies you could have brought mummy on her birthday chicken pox might just be the worst, and I include yesterday evening’s projectile vomit within this. At this point it’s important to clarify that I am not angry or disappointed. I’m just drained. Drained by the efforts of trying to keep mummy’s birthday surprise a secret, drained by a night that featured two hours sleep at the very most and drained by the prospect of attempting to go out and have a good time when our poor little man is so weak, sick and clingy.
It’s a horrible situation and one that makes me a) thankful that we live so close to my in-laws (if we’d booked a random babysitter for this evening there is no way we would have made it out the front door) and b) grateful that my wife is a doctor, so is able to keep some form of perspective when her son is rocking a temperature of over 100°F, breaking out in pussy spots, crying relentlessly and grabbing onto her neck for dear life. Don’t get me wrong. If I wavered from my “we’re going out and we’re going to have a great time” stance in the slightest, then she’d cancel the plans and spend all night hugging the love of her life (spoiler alert: I’m not talking about myself). But I am not going to do this, because in the long run I believe the night out will be more beneficial to her, our relationship and the wee man. What the? Is this guy seriously going to choose partying over parenting?
Yes, I am. And here’s why. First, because of her job, my recent injury and our baby’s point blank refusal to sleep through the night, my wife is absolutely knackered and in serious need of a break. Second, our son absolutely adores his grandparents and, at times, seems happier with them than he is with us. Third, as my mother-in-law astutely stated: “He’s got chicken pox, what are you going to do?” Her point was that neither my wife nor I are bestowed with magic powers than can cure a child of chicken pox. Subsequently, all we’d be doing if we stayed home would be rocking our son to sleep, feeding him Piriton, shoving a thermometer in his ear, attempting to get some water past his lips and basting his body with calamine lotion and since my mother-in-law is also a doctor she’s more than capable of handling such tasks.
Obviously, tonight is not going to be easy. And obviously, we are going to spend a significant percentage of this evening making worried phone calls to my wife’s parents. But in between these calls we might just get a chance to eat some nice food, have a grown-up conversation and share the sort of smile that reminds you why you thought this baby malarkey was a good idea in the first place. And if this happens I can guarantee two things. 1. Bubby is going to wake up to two parents with skip in their step and more than enough energy to defeat his pesky Chicken Pox. 2. The in-laws will be receiving a follow-up booking for my birthday.