Monday, July 02, 2007

Cracking Cake

What a funny old weekend. Both pleasant and miserable at the same time. Though my princess doesn’t have her birthday for a couple weeks yet, we had it early so that it would be easier to get her nursery school friends to come. My dear little girl is going through a fairy and princess stage at the moment, so it was castles and pink all the way.

Optimistically we ordered in a bouncy castle, that being a mainstay of early year birthday parties in the boy’s house. It was a fairy bouncy castle, of course. However, you may have noticed the weather wasn’t that forgiving. Frankly it couldn’t decide to spit or vomit down the rain. We got the castle in any way, and while LL and I frantically tidied up both house and garden, and LL put the finishing touches on the fairy castle cake (a masterpiece of lemon sponge and whipped cream, I sneaked a bit for breakfast this morning…), the kids went out to play.

This is normal, happens all the time, even when there is a bouncy castle in for a party. Nothing to worry about, they’re just kids, right? Wrong. Pirate Pete comes in sobbing, saying his shoulder hurts. I do the first aid in our house, something about training as a life guard and ambulance tech in my yoof. I suspect he’s broken his collar bone, but want to calm him down. Plus, if I’m right, there’s sweet lot all you can do. I get a bit of a story out of him, about doing a tumble roll down the wet slide. It was probably more than that, but nothing to be done about it.

So I help him upstairs, get him dry (they had been playing in the rain) and into his bed. Got to watch for shock, and getting him lying down is the best thing. I try to give LL coded warnings that this is not good, and that he’ll likely have to go into hospital, but she’s in full on pre-guest stress. In between checking on my boy, who’s much better lying down, we finish up like mad.

However, I call Super Nanny. She was coming to the party anyway, she and her husband always do. I tell you, having another couple around in the raising of your kids is a godsend, it really is. Sure enough, she’ll pop over a bit early to help out. That lets me tell LL that I’m going to have to take Pete into A&E. A message which sinks in, but we do the parental hand off dance, and I take our son while she carries on with the party.

My pirate is starting to hurt now, so I’m very gentle in getting him up, dressed and into a sling. He’s crying, but troops on, a toughy that lad. We get him into the car and I abandon LL to the soon arriving hoards of 4 year olds. It really is a toss up which of us had the worse job.

Once settled into a nice cradling car seat Pete is much calmer. I get him there, park miles away from the A&E and slowly walk with him in. Our local hospital is currently on the endangered list in Gordon Brown’s “the NHS is my highest priority” premiercy (did you know he cut £2b out of the NHS budgets in his last week as chancellor (what do you bet as PM he’ll call his chancellor to account)). This, despite the fact it currently is in the top 20 A&E departments in the country.

Much as everyone complains about the NHS, I personally have nothing but praise for it. Our local surgery is superb, and the one time we needed our hospital in an emergency, the response couldn’t be faulted. Nor could it this time. The A&E department has a separate paediatric ward. We were seen by the duty nurse within the first 15 minutes, and a specialist pediatric nurse within a half hour. Then off for another half hour to get the x-ray. Its all digital. We literally walked the 30 feet from one department to another, and the nurse had the x-ray up on her computer screen. I’d known his collarbone was broken, but this was completely snapped and seperated. No wonder the poor kid was hurting!

A bit of a wait for a conversation with a doctor, then to set an appointment for Tuesday at the Fracture Clinic in the hospital then we’re off back home again. Total duration maybe 2 hours. This despite the fact the A&E department was heaving and it was a Saturday. I dare someone to say the NHS isn’t working.

We’d missed the party, but we both got some of the marvellous cake anyway. My Princess had had a lovely lovely time, and was surrounded by heaps of wrapping paper & presents. Even the bouncy castle saw some use, though under tight supervision.

Some sympathy TV was allowed (both the birthday girl and the injured boy agreed on Star Wars episode II). Thankfully Pirate Pete slept that night OK, and managed to stay on his back. My biggest worry (and I went in a checked numerous times) was that he’d try to roll over. That can be highly dangerous, as the bone ends can be forced through the skin with that type of pressure. He didn’t though (nor did he last night (despite the fact he’s usually a highly active sleeper, we find him all over his bed in odd and wonderful poses)). His brother though, has come down with a nasty hacking cough, so we were also up to check him out and provide cough medicine as required…

Sunday was much quieter. A lazy morning, then I took the kids off to Shrek as a treat. There can be no better review than that of the pirate himself, “It made me laugh, but there where some boring bits”. A nice roast chicken for dinner, including our neighbours kids as they went off to a wedding, and the emotional roller coaster of a weekend ended.


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