Thursday, April 5

Failed Parenting 101

Last weekend Hannah, who is 6, was playing with a toy coat hanger, basically a piece of moulded plastic with a hook on it. Because as we all know toys need something to hang their clothes on. Anyway, at some point she decided that the best place for this was in her mouth, about the same time her father decided to sit back and bumped her so that the piece of plastic went to the back of her mouth and scratched her throat. As soon as the initial drama was over we ok, I forgot all about it.

Fast forward to last night. Hannah tells me that her teacher sent her to get a glass of water because her throat was so sore. Yes, 5 days later it still hurts and she hadn't complained (well only once or twice).

So off to the doctor we go today. Not our usual doctor I might add, another one in the same practice who, amazingly, had a several appointments available on the Thursday before the Easter long weekend when every other doctor is screaming for mercy from the endless stream of patients with sudden urgent ailments. It soon became obvious why she had so many available appointments, but I digress.

So the quack* doctor examines Hannah's throat with her tiny wee maglite. She then turns to me giving me a look that I imagine regularly turns men to stone, fortunately I was somehow immune - my ovaries are my protection perhaps, and says 'does she often have tonsilitis?'. Puzzled I say 'no' to which she replies, rather accusingly, 'well, she has now and her glands are right up, didn't you feel them?' Now I don't know about other parents, but me, well I rarely check my childrens' glands. With my kids I cuddle them a lot, yell at them occasionally, read to them, cook for them, wash their clothes, generally care for them but check their glands - nope, never done it. I am then subjected to a lengthy discourse on viral tonsilitis. As an afterthought she adds 'oh and she has an ulcer on that scratch in her throat'.

So have I failed in some way? Are we supposed to regularly check for swollen glands in children that otherwise seem perfectly healthy? Is it a twice daily requirement, like toothbrushing?

Was my mother supposed to do mine and should I have been doing my own these past 30 odd years?

Anyway, the outcome of all this is Hannah has to gargle soluble Disprin and take Panadol for any temperatures or pain she experiences. Hannah is pretty excited she LOVES to gargle.

*Did you notice I've learned to strike through in HTML? Such a proud day.

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