Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Close to the bone

I just took the babe to the docs. He's okay, first of all. That's always first of all. Sick, but doing okay.

The doctor told me if I wasn't breastfeeding, J would be in hospital for intravenous rehydration. He also told me that if a woman has compromised nutrition and her baby has a viral illness, the woman likely won't be able to feed her baby enough. He used the vague, kind phrase 'carry them off'.

Six thousand a die are 'carried off'.

First time I've been grateful for being fat in a while. 


Having a child makes the world seem a fragile, dangerous place. It makes me angry, and tired, and strong. Also, it makes me willing to be a fucking pain, a self righteous fuck, willing to use any trick, cheat or favour to get my child healthy.

People talk a lotlotlot about children, about how we should and what we must and not ever and who does what and how awful and yes this is the best statistics show and if what then when why.

But what I mostly notice is the incredible power a child has. This small thing. Love is thick, tangible, embarrassing, desperate, almost ugly. So vast you don't even begin to know how to say it. What blows me away is how everyday this is, this love, fear, superhuman strength. All along, all those families dragging their kids round garden centres. Whining and trailing sweetie wrappers and talking about ballet classes. Their petty lives.

All along, they had *this* to deal with?

I had no idea.

J leans his cheek on my face and the small slight, softness of him, the warmth of his skin. The warmth of his skin.


(A packet of rehydration salts cost twenty pence. Bargain! Fifty lives for the price of a round of drinks!)

5 comments:

Jo said...

Hmm. No comments. But you are exactly right.

I feel guilty when I see charity requests at the moment. Because Iknow that a tiny amount of money can do a lot. But then I think that I have had - amount of money in my bank account for the last 2 weeks, and will probably be back there at the end of next month, and I have to think, not now :(

Nikki Magennis said...

Hi Jo,

Oh, I know, I have the same angst and then get annoyed with requests because I *can't* actually give anything. Right now, I'm not earning a fucking farthing.

I know I can get self righteous when it comes to these kinds of things. But then, I think, fuck it, I'd rather be self righteous if it made a slightest bit of difference.

I signed up for £2 a month, which will come out of the child benefit. We'll see how it goes or if it tips me into bankruptcy (I'm only half joking.)

Erobintica said...

I was always so much stronger when I was struggling for my child/children than I ever was when I was for me. I read your words and I remember those feelings. ((((Nikki)))).

Nikki Magennis said...

Thanks, Robin! Yes, it's amazing what you can do for a child, isn't it?

The Boo is much better today. Which is to say, he's been up since 5 a.m. playing ...

0_o

Kristina said...

Oh no, Nikki. I'm so, so sorry the babe is sick.

We are changed because of these little creatures, aren't we? Profoundly changed.