Paracetemol, Pandas and Parties


I’ve got a new design for my blog! It took me hours of blood, sweat and Visa to sort it all out but I think it looks pretty good.

I have a few hours on my hands today as Baby A is sleeping for Dublin. He has a fever. It’s the first one he’s ever had so naturally I wanted to ring an ambulance to take him to the nearest emergency room. I didn’t. Mostly because an ambulance was likely to cost me the best part of €1,000 as they’re all privatized. Plus from the look of them, you’re likely to come out of them worse off than you went in. I’d trust a blind Vietnamese rickshaw driver to transport a patient more safely. Can I put a price on my baby’s health? No, but Calpol is cheaper and more effective - plus I brought it in industrial quantities in my suitcase. I only brought two pairs of shoes with me to China because I needed six bottles of Calpol. Mother of the year, right here.

There is a hospital a few doors down but it appears to be only for people with ‘diabetic foot disease’. I’d rather not take him there. The patients - the ones with diabetic foot disease - like to lounge about on the benches on the neighborhood park with their lower limbs in various states of bandage or removal. When all the benches are occupied by sleeping amputees in gaping green gowns, the diabetics lie on the ground instead. It’s like a zombie apocalypse down there. I don’t take Baby A to the park either.

I think Baby A’s fever could be down to teething. Alternatively, he might have picked something up at yesterday’s birthday party. Thirty screaming children running around the place touching surfaces and sneezing on each other is baiting a pandemic. It also convinced me that I am never going to host a children’s birthday party. It was like a midget zombie apocalypse powered by Energizer. Baby A has just started to walk so he toddled around after the older kids who trampled mercilessly over him and whacked him indiscriminately with spongy objects (his idea of a good time). There were small styrofoam balls on the floor that the toddlers were trying to eat, there was cake on the wall, there were pizza crusts in the ball pool, the dads were drinking beer outside and ignoring the whole thing. So overwhelmed was the birthday girl (who was turning four) that she spent much of her own party cowering in a corner buried under a pile of presents and looking shell-shocked.

This was all before the arrival of Mr Panda - the obnoxious, French magician dressed in a creepy bunny outfit who kept snapping at the children for not paying attention and complaining about the heat (why is someone called ‘Mr Panda’ dressed like a rabbit anyway, and why is he French??). Mr Panda clearly had not grasped that the average age of his audience was approximately 24 months and that the 25 seconds of captive attention they gave him had maxed out their concentration reserves for the week. “Aye cannut wuhk in zis heeet. I weel nut begeen unteel ze cay-os iz over. Humf.” I think the fact that his first three balloons burst as he was trying to wrangle them into impressive inflated sculptures just pushed him over the edge. We left just before he started a full scale, giant panda bunny meltdown. The kids loved him though - the screaming, angry French bunny thing didn’t phase them. Baby A was standing in front of him in awe. He was a giant bunny/panda after all. Who cares if he’s cursing in French?

Whatever about moving to China, there’s no culture shock quite like finally realizing that you’re an actual, real live parent and that your future is filled with mayhem and sprinkles.
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