“I got dickers!” Miss3 announced to her mum when we arrived home from the hospital at midnight. Being given a sticker is the toddler equivalent of winning a chook raffle – and she got TWO! It was all we could do to stop her from racing in and waking her siblings.
But the reason we needed to go to the hospital wasn’t to get stickers.
I routinely take Miss6 to the bathroom at around 10.30 at night so she doesn’t go for a sleepwalk around the house looking for a clean pile of clothes to pee on. Miss3 I take because she doesn’t sleepwalk: she just piddles in bed.
When I woke Miss3 I noticed she was usually cold so while she swayed and threatened to topple off the loo I took her temperate. The reading was 34.1, which I figured couldn’t be right. I tried again – 34.1. I stuck the thermometer in the other ear 34.7.
“Trace!” I called out. “Can you do a Google search on toddlers with a low temp of 34.1?”
Two minutes later I was at the counter of the after hours emergency: it helps when the hospital is just a few streets away.
Unusually, I managed to remember both the name and date of birth of Miss3 and we were soon sitting with the triage nurse. She got a temperate of 35.7, with relieved me a lot. Turns out my thermometer’s batteries were running out.
Once the doctor had given Miss3 a look over, he diagnosed tonsils. Not yucky, just red. Plus her glands were right up. She’d been off her food and high temps for a couple of days. Within an hour of arriving we were sent home.
But not before Miss3 had her good behaviour rewarded with a princess sticker on the back of each hand, which she then insisted Tracey and I sit and admire with her until closer to 1am. Finally, she fell asleep.
Eventually, we did too. Although all too soon we were up.
“I sick!” yelled Miss3 from somewhere near my right lobe. The alarm went off a few seconds later, sounding distant and quiet in comparison. “I need go hospital. Daddy, I sick. I sick.”
I reached out a still sleeping hand and felt her head. It seemed fine.
“I sick, Daddy,” she insisted. “We need go hospital. Now.” At this point she even put in a couple of very fake coughs.
“Where does it hurt?” I asked her.
She shoved her finger so far into her mouth, she gagged. She’s a method actor.
“Come on, Daddy,” she said, grabbing my flannel pajama top and attempting to drag me out of the bed. “Take me to hospital.”
I looked at her hand yanking my pj’s.
“Where’s your other sticker?”
Her eyes dropped and her shoulders slumped.
“My dicker is missing.”
Sure enough, one of her stickers had escaped during the night. This was why we needed to go to the hospital – to replace it. And seriously, they needed stickers like this at Stalag Luft III because it disappeared without a trace – it wasn’t on the doona or pillow or her clothes.
“I’ll bring you some stickers home,” I told Miss3, which like some sort of miracle drug seemed to cure her cough immediately. I should stick one on my hand when I get to work to see if they work for exhaustion.
I just wanted to put out a BIG thank you to the staff at the Gympie Hospital – you guys really are awesome. I can’t thank you enough for all the help and concern you’ve lavished on this family over the past 18 years I’ve lived in G-town. You are all a credit to your professions, Queensland Health and your mothers.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes
Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’