Wednesday, March 6, 2013


In essence, my son is a healthy human baby. He was ejected from my wife with all the bits and pieces he was meant to have, and without any unnecessary extras. Everything appears to work as it should. I am truly, truly grateful for this.

But fucking hell, he is ill ALL THE TIME.

I reckon, during his short life so far, the baby has been completely free of malady or complaint for about three weeks.

Cholera. No, not that.
Projectile vomiting.
Non-projectile vomiting.

So many things. Nothing serious. But a lot of non serious things.

This week, he's battling with conjunctivitis. Ever had it? Probably. But just in case you haven't, the main symptom is a copious discharge of gooey eye-crud. The gooey eye-crud then hardens into bright yellow eye-crust, matted into the sufferer's eyelashes like some kind of naturally occurring cement.

Conjunctivitis is a fucker. A stupid, crusty, pain in the arse which stops babies from being able to open their eyes properly.

It is highly contagious, which means you can't go to the party you are supposed to attend, in case your baby rubs his eyes and then pokes another baby in the face, passing on the condition.

It means you have to go and see the nice, but slightly odd, pharmacist who tells you the same thing OVER AND OVER AGAIN FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES.

But the worst thing is trying to administer the eye drops which the slightly odd pharmacist furnished you with.

Here is my step by step guide:

It's a two person job. Or a one person with six hands job. If you don't have a second person available to help you, I suggest calling in a favour. Or collapsing into a heap, sobbing.

Maintaining the element of surprise is key. The drops should be concealed in a pocket for as long as possible.

Sing. Whatever song may prevent the baby from sensing the imminent invasion of his personal space.

"Yakki yakki yoggi, goo goo gee, bah bah bah, beep beep noo see…"

Feel wracked with guilt as your baby looks up at you with eyes overflowing with love (and eye-crud, obviously).

Have your assistant pin the thing you love most in the world down, holding his head still. Wonder how his expression manages to convey disappointment, rage and betrayal all at the same time.

Prise open his eyelids, which seem to be clamped shut with similar strength to that of a crocodile snapping at an unfortunate swimmer. Make a mental note to wear earplugs next time you have to do this.

Swear at whatever hateful BASTARD made the eyedrop bottle from such thick plastic that squeezing the liquid out is nearly impossible.

Feel relief as a drop finally lands in the eye, followed by dismay as it is immediately washed away by the flood of tears your baby is producing.

Once you've repeated the last few steps for the other eye, perform all your best parental distraction techniques in order to calm your irate baby.

Spend the rest of the day considering whether babies are susceptible to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Have I missed a really easy alternative method? Could I have cured the conjunctivitis with liberal applications of witchcraft and fairy dust? Will my baby ever trust me again?


  1. When Sicily recently had conjunctivitus we got cream, rubbing cream is surely easier than drops ?

  2. Argh it really is awful. Keep at it, he definitely wont hold it against you! Hope hes better soon!

  3. Ah we have been very lucky with H and he is rarely ill but my word, when he is ill by do we know about it!

    I hope Cam gets better soon.

  4. Ah evil illness! We got cream recently which was a god send! Unless you can produce breast milk, I hear that's good haha!

  5. I feel your pain! And I well remember that stupid little Baby Jake song!

    Ours didn't get that 'til they were a bit older. But we had all the projectile vomitting, coughs & colds. It's just what babies do...

    Hang in there: it gets better

  6. This is just the start. The worry never stops. Have you had worms yet? Enjoy it, these minor little illnesses are nothing on teenagers. Worth it though....kind of.

  7. I feel your pain. We're in what feels like a constant cold cycle, sometimes worse than others with high temperatures sporadically thrown in for good measure.

    I blame nursery.

  8. It's when the little bundles of joy pass their bugs onto you that it gets tough. How much Calpol do you think you use during a babies first few years? Enough to buy shares in the company maybe?