The Sick-Child-Competence-Gap

Originally I wanted to write something at least partly intellectual and controversial on working Moms. However, I a.) somehow lacked inspiration and enthusiasm and b.) was sabotaged by TMD (my very own, sometimes more, sometimes less dear husband) who suggested a hot topic which we had the pleasure discussing last night at around 1 p.m.

Bed-time talk of the other kind

And that, to my childless readers, is a lot less exciting than it sounds. Since you will find out if you have children, bedtime is sometimes the only time you find yourself talking to your spouse about – wait for it- the children. There might have been other talk in the bedroom in a very distant past, but these times, my very dear friends have definitely gone. Gone for the next at least 15 years I am slowly realising. Because if you’re not talking, you’re sleeping. Full stop. After all, we’ve got two kids (yes, there’s a reason, why this blog is called TWOmimimom!)

So what was going down was the following: Mimi #1 has been hoarse since Sunday. And was coughing like an old mating walrus. Signs which could indicate that later that night you will be freezing your nose and other vital bodyparts off, whilst holding your wheezing, well wrapped child on your lap waiting for the night to be over (for those not familiar with the scenario: Pseudo-Croup, an inflammation in the throat which can cause breathing difficulties. Main thing is: keep calm and try to get the child breathe cold air. Outside or fridge will do. In most cases it starts around 11 p.m. and is over around 4 a.m.)

 One of the worst nights of my life

Last time this happened was a good year ago, when Mimi #2 was around 4 months old and TMD had buggered off – as always- to Wales for a spot of flying. This, so far has been the worst night since I had kids. Thank God I had a friend with her daughter staying over, and even though I didn’t wake her up, it still was a huge relief to know that if I had to rush to the hospital, she would be there to care for Mimi #2. I did not sleep that night. And the night after (I had asked my Mum round, as always). I slept on the carpet in the childrens room because I wanted to make sure Mimi #1 was ok. Fun fact of course: By Monday when TMD came back, Mimi #1 slept through again.

 That shared Mom-wisdom

The thing which saved me in that first night, is that when Mimi #1 was still very little, I had a befriended mother of three over who had told me about symptoms and what to do. And those of you who do not (yet) have kids and are reading this blog, you will now also know what to google for if this happens. Because you already read this with your minds and eyes open. And things like that just stick. WHEREAS, and here we come to the point, TMD up to last night, still had not bothered to read up on this. Even though Mimi #1 had had another bout of pseudo-croup last autumn when TMD was in fact around.

“We” as in “you”

So when he asked me yesterday at 1 p.m. “what do we (love the WE in this) do again if it IS pseudo croup”? I had a minor melt-down (not in the teary but more in the shouty way). Followed by me whining: “This is why I feel that I’m always the primary caretaker, the last in the lane, basically the plankton in the food chain”. Because in these moments it feels like after me there’s just nobody else to ask or make decisions.

Crawling back…

So even though I’ve been bragging in my last post, on sharing responsibilities, I have to admit that when it comes to sick children, that probably is just an illusion I gave myself. And that’s just how it is. Dads are incredibly competent when it comes to playing games. Being the fun entertainer, including, of course the classical winding up thing before bedtime.



Entertainment Departement clearly lies with TMD


It is about keeping up, Dads

Of course Dads can live up to that knowledge, but somehow mothers have a head-start even before the children are born and to complement that, Dads show serious lack of enthusiasm in doing so. We mostly learn from our friends, and Dads seem to not talk about sick children (come to that anyway, I still have no idea what men talk about because after a night out with his mates, TMD doesn’t even know if these mates have new girlfriends?!). Which does not mean that Dads cannot acquire these skills, but they have to do so actively. And so they should. Which is why, apparently, TMD has spent some of his workday researching on pseudo-croup. And had the nerve to brag about his newly acquired knowledge this evening.

Now question is, should I do some praising for this? Well yes, I probably should. In a very OMMM – Jesper Juul – encouraging- guiding- him- along- way. Not saying I did though.

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P.P.S: TMD, I hope you know that -notwithstanding The Gap- your the bestest Mimi-Dad ever. Seriously.