Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas Wish Granted

Now that I’m approaching 30, now that I’m an adult, now that I have LLC I feel like I should feel like a grown up. But I don’t always. I don’t feel that different now from how I felt ten years ago, and sometimes, I feel like an overwhelmed kid who needs taking care of.

The run up to Christmas was a little hectic in our house. LLC, champion acrobat that she is, managed to catapult herself off our bed while Chris and my backs were turned. Although she seemed herself in the aftermath, a few vomits, several hours of worrying and a call to NHS Direct later, we found ourselves in A&E at midnight with a woken, tired and un-amused LLC to check that she didn’t have a concussion.

A&E was a total bastion of pestilence and the wait to see a doctor was over four hours so when LLC’s initial examination by a nurse proved okay, we decided to take her home and “observe her” rather than wait the entire night to see a doctor.

Importantly, she ended up being fine. Her throwing up was most likely due to a contracting a bug than banging her head. But it took night observation, a late drop off at the childminder, a rushed 6pm visit to the doctor when she threw up her dinner the next day (only to again be told she did not seem concussed) and a frantic dash home from London the following day because she had diarrhea at the childminder’s before we got there. Meanwhile we were trying to prepare for our imminent departure to NY for Christmas.

What we faced wasn’t even that bad but in the moment it was stressful. My demons about being a clued in parent reared their head – should we have taken LLC to the hospital to have her checked right after her fall? Were we nuts to get her out of bed at midnight to bring her to the hospital only to leave? Was it all a slight overreaction or am I crazy to even consider that since you don’t want to gamble with your child’s health? Even though she seemed fine, should we have left her with the childminder the next two days (my last two days of work before a vacation)?

This may all be the reality of caring for a little one but I’m still a fairly new parent and it revved me up a bit. I think I am level headed and that my judgment is sound but I want to feel like when these things crop up I can take care of them and take care of them well without feeling like a bleary eyed nutter in adrenaline fueled haze.

All I wanted at this point was to enjoy a weekend break with Chris’ folks and then catch our flight to NY. The weather and Heathrow airport had other ideas, however, and like so many others, the pre-Christmas UK snow threw our travel plans into disarray. We were supposed to fly on Monday 20th but the flight was cancelled, the airport and airline call centers were in pandemonium and our chances of getting another flight before Christmas seemed slim. I was so disappointed. I hadn’t been home to NY since October 09 when I lost my voice and couldn’t even talk the whole visit and I desperately wanted to see my family and friends. I think I started banging my hands on my head as we drove away from the airport.

But as I said at the start of this post, I’m an adult and I needed to act like one and put it in perspective. So we drove back to Chris’ folks, went straight online and after several attempts managed to book a new flight to NY for Christmas Eve. We took some walks on the cold beach, went to see Harry Potter at the movies, and enjoyed a night out at the pub with Chris’ brother. We started to chill and relax; Chris' folks gave us lots of extra support with LLC. The bleary eyed monster retreated and I started to feel refreshed and calmer again as the week progressed.

Then finally, at about 8:30pm Christmas Eve, our flight touched down at JFK and we breathed a collective sigh of relief. (Flying with LLC will be the topic of a later blog post). So we made it! My Christmas wish was granted! I’ve been spending time with those I care about, I’ve been largely off the computer, LLC is excited to have a whole new world to explore and she's definitely getting a lot of love and attention….

This has been our most amazing and testing year but I am so thankful to be where we are. It’s crazy to think that LLC is almost one. And as a parent I realize that I’m often clueless, not immune from making mistakes and constantly learning…..but even with the setbacks, I think overall I’m doing it with more confidence, conviction and love each day. So next time I get stressed I have to remember this.

Happy holidays everyone.
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