Since Christmas, shit got real -in so far as the boy is eating solid food which means we’re having to deal with the subsequent reality of an increase in mass/weight/odour in the downstairs department. Of course this is to be expected, the little fellow is growing-up and if he wasn’t dropping mudbricks into his Pampers we’d have cause for concern, and it’s a walk in the park when compared to wiping old ladies arses during my employ as an auxiliary nurse whilst studying at university. I feel obliged to add that they were old, exclusively women’s, bots because the hospice in which I originally worked didn’t have any male patients (male geriatric nurses were few and far between too) and in all my years working part-time as an auxiliary nurse I only ever had to deal with one or two male patients. And one of those times is worth a mention.
The following took place in a hospital in the summer holidays a year before I graduated. It was to be my last ever shift.
Opening scene. 7.30am. A hospital somewhere in East London.
“Hello, where shall I start, Sister?”
“Before handover you need to clean Mr. Heller’s penis”
“Now. Because it smells.”
“Right. Er, sorry. I’ve just come on shift and, ‘hi, I’m Jamie, hi’, and, well, has it suddenly begun to smell, like, right now…?”
“…We knew you were starting this morning so we waited…”
“Right. Why? Sorry, this is a bit odd.”
“Because, you know, you’re a man.”
“So we thought it was better you cleaned it.”
“Because you’re a man.”
“We’ve established that, but why does my being a man suddenly make me a, sorry about this, a cock expert?”
“I’m quite familiar with one. I’m fairly sure you’ve seen. More… Where is Mr. Heller?”
Mr. Heller’s room. 7.35am. It’s worth noting that Mr. Heller is quite large and sporting faded blue ink, notably, Swallow’s on both hands (the sorts you see on people that may or may not have done a stretch in prison).
“Morning, Mr. Heller”
“Er, Sister has asked me to come and give you a quick bed bath before breakfast…”
“so if you don’t mind I just need to…”
“Okay, look mate, apparently your dick smells and it needs a wash, so let’s just get this done and we can have some breakfast.”
“Do fucking what!? You come anywhere me, Cunt, and you’ll get a fucking slap.”
“Mr. Heller, look, I really don’t want to be doing this anymore that you, believe me, in fact I’d argue that this situation is a hell of a lot worse from my angle, so let’s just get…”
“Right, fuck this. I’m done. Fuck you.”
7.45am on my bike and heading back home to bed.
Anyway, it’s not just about turds, he’s now sleeping in the little room that was built within the living room my mate John and I constructed last February, which has been a lot more traumatic than I’d anticipated, especially after having envisaged a return to ordinary sleeping patterns. Up until that point he’d slept with us in a little cot that’s open on one side and cunningly attached to the side of the bed. When he woke for a feed, which was frequent, he’d be gently rolled into bed to do his business before being returned back into position. His proximity also meant that I could regularly assuage my considerable paranoia that he was still breathing.
Now in his new room, we have to rely on the baby squawker to monitor his welfare. It’s actually incredibly sensitive to the point you can hear his breathing through it, but he point-blank refuses to sleep without some background noise so we leave Radio 4 on all night at a level that both comforts him and doesn’t bother us via his squawker… Bottom line is that we can only hear him when he’s yelling so I’m finding myself up during various portions of the night, creeping over to his room to make sure he’s still alive. For the first week I slept less than all the recent sleepless nights put to together. Admittedly, it’s easier now -he’s sleeping pretty much through the night- but still, when the squawker begins to whine at 3.35am a part of me punches the air.
‘They don’t tell you that at ante-natal classes’©middleagedmetaldad