Google is great ‘n’ all that, but sometimes it can be your worst nightmare.
Suddenly, with nothing but guess work, blind speculation and a tap of the keyboard, you’re a medical professional, diagnosing your child with the worst conditions known to man.
Sometimes you’ve no choice but to assume that because you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, instead of it meaning they’re OK and to chill the f*** out, they must be a total anomaly and have the rarest condition ever…
Like I say, Google makes everyone a doctor and that is dangerous.
On about day three of motherhood, I diagnosed Felix with Bronchitis. Yep, there was no way that it could be a little newborn cough or an adorable baby snore. It was Bronchitis. Weirdly, the doctor said it was not and not to worry.
During week two of fatherhood, my husband was overjoyed that the horrificness of the leftover cord was dropping off. Instead of, you know, accepting that rotting flesh would smell, that it may well go a fit funky for the first few hours and to celebrate the end of that yucky little era and embrace his little innie, a little tap into Google told us to panic and call 111. We did and ended up in A&E because inevitably it had gotten infected. It had not got infected. We were sent on our way feeling suitably daft but happily cordless.
At around two months old, my husband wondered why Felix wasn’t making constant eye contact with us. A check on Google meant he had Autism. We casually mentioned it at the eight week review and the doctor laughed and said that it was because, you know, his eyes were still developing and maybe he couldn’t see as far as us yet. Guess that makes sense…
At four months, Felix decided to gouge a chunk out of his own face. We didn’t feel the need to Google this, babies scratch themselves, we knew that. We’re not that stupid! However the cut was so deep that it bled and left a mark. A mark that is still slightly visible almost six months later. Naturally we did research phrases like “Do baby scratches scar for life?”, “How quickly does baby skin heal?” and “Will the health visitor question why he’s got half his face missing?”. Other totally rational phrases were also used…
At around seven months we started introducing more exciting types of food; the odd dairy product, fish and exciting veggies. One day, he cracked out a rather odd colour poop. I can only describe it was a wishy-washy greyish colour. Delightful, I’m sure you’ll agree. Google instantly told me that he was suffering from liver failure. Luckily my mother was on-hand to tell me to get a grip with that one.
Ahhhh and then there’s the first time he smacked his head! I’m not sure who cried more; us or him! He was using his beloved door swing – something I should add that I was uncomfortable using from the off! – and he basically, somehow, completely not anyone’s fault… managed to swing into the doorframe. We panicked. That was it, he was going to have a concussion and potentially brain damage. Oxford and Cambridge were definitely out of the running now!
And just as you move on from that, they start to crawl and you realise that a little bump into a door ain’t got nothing on the mayhem, bumps, bruises and scratches that are about to be unleashed into your world!
Welcome to parenting!