Saturday, 20 October 2012

Hitting 30. Can your body take it?

My son has been driving me nuts.

I know he's a 'challenging' child because it's what every professional who comes into contact with him describes him as. He has well and truly entered into, been initiated into and been promoted to Grand Master of the Terrible Twos. If he's not throwing a tantrum about wanting to have got out of the car by himself (when I've merely offered a steadying hand), he's making up excuses at bedtime about needing to use the toilet for the third time. Also, he will say over and over (until I am on the verge of exploding and have to leave the room to curse), "I'm a good boy". As if saying it enough times will make any mischievous misdemeanor he has just pulled irrelevant.

Ambulance
My body telling me to slow down?
He still struggles to settle at bedtime. Over-night we've made progress because on Thursday he stayed in his own bed. However, he called for me a total of 5 or 6 (I forget because I was exhausted) times after I had gone to bed. This is a pretty mind-numbing thing to go through when you're caring for a child on your own. The tension between us was exacerbated by the bodily burnout I had the day before at work. The paramedics were called following a near-fainting episode. This was not only highly embarrassing but the first instance of my life where I've felt the need of an ambulance. Apparently the burning feeling I felt through my whole body, the cold sweats, the elevated heart beat and rapid breathing (let alone my jelly legs which prevented me from standing) were all symptoms of the adrenalin pumping through my veins trying to prevent me from fainting. I've never been hooked up to an ECG machine before so that was a new experience. All I could think was, "Please don't let there be anything wrong with my heart, I'm only 30." I thought of my son not having me around and it made me feel sick. So I stared at the paramedics for some hint of a facial expression which would give away their findings.

Luckily, all the various checks came back with the all clear. After taking my pulse they asked if I worked out. I had to think, but I answered 'yes', and now I'm pretty smug that apparantly I have the resting heart rate of an athlete. The running must be paying off, although I haven't been in a while. I must start boot camp again now that I may have a new possible victim babysitter for the hour's session.

I was worried that turning 30 would result in changes. The near-collapse episode knocked me out the following day and I'm still not 100% better, now three days later. I am still to go for tests next week to see whether there is some underlying issue or whether I simply just stood up too fast and it had an adverse reaction. I've cut out the coffee upon the advice of the paramedics, and I've been a lot more aware of the speed in which I stand up. Maybe this is it now that I'm the other side of 30. Is my body starting to take the slow decline? Or is there still plenty of youthfulness left? I managed to pull off quite an energetic jumping-type manouver onto a pirate ship climbing frame today which (I'm pretty sure) made me look fit and cool. So I think that answers that question.

I'm not one to get ill very often, and if I do I generally try to just get on with things. However, I was a little disappointed in the Swede's nonchalant behaviour towards how rubbish I actually felt when I didn't hear from him all day. Whatever 'this' is is great for whatever it is. But can I rely on him for any emotional support? I'm not so sure. With my son's behaviour over the last couple of weeks I have realised more and more exactly how difficult it is to raise a child solo. At least with two parents you can act as a kind of tag team. If one is about to loose the will to live the other can take over for a bit. Should I dedicate my two free weekends a month trying to catch up on sleep and regrouping? Or should I be focusing that time on spending time getting to know someone who may be able to be a part of our family in a few years time? I don't think the Swede has even imagined the possibility of him being that person. Maybe I should start thinking about a longer term investment.

It wasn't all tantrums and keeling-over this week. I had my birthday celebrations last weekend with a great lunch on Saturday, a great dinner in my local and a great day on Sunday in the forest with the Swede. Yesterday, my birthday boots arrived which were the result of an amalgamation of birthday monies from a number of generous people. I did get a few funny looks at work as I walked into the kitchen to show them off, breathing in the sweet smell of the suede and hugging them. Well, they're nice boots. And I haven't had new nice boots in a long time.
The Mighty(?) Oak

These boots were indeed made for walking and carrying me into the next decade. I don't feel as dejected as I thought I might with the turn of the decade. Instead I feel rejeuvinated as if I am a blank slate. The awkward, unknown of the twenties, a time when I was trying to find my identity as an adult is behind me. I know more of who I am and I am comfortable in my own skin. I've made mistakes and I've learnt from them. This next ten years is the opportunity to implement that knowledge and grow from a sapling into an oak.

I always was a bit nutty.

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