January seems to have been our month for the common cold. Poor R5 (pictured yesterday in a photograph set up and taken by H6) had a very snotty day, then a day of red and interesting rash, two days of complete exhaustion and then (yesterday) fierce earache.
Earache is something I well remember from my own childhood, except Calpol had not been invented in the early 1970s. I remember the awfulness of the pain and wanting to cry so much that, on one day I remember, Mum shut me into the living room on my own for my own safety while she went elsewhere and had a good scream about the injustice of a world which landed her with a small child with earache.
The medicine was fairly foul too. Mum used to take me to Dr Davies and I would sit on his knee, while he would say, before anything else was said: "Which ear?" It was usually the right one and I swear I still can't hear so well in that one now.
The medicine was yellow and gloopy and bitter and "lemon flavour" and was dosed with a big tube shaped spoon. I hated it and can also remember dangling off the banisters to avoid a dose of the foul liquid.
Calpol, on the other hand, is strawberry flavoured and smells sweet and sickly. R5 can be trusted to know when it is needed too. If you offer her Calpol at any other time, she won't have it. There has to be a certain level of pain. Yesterday the ear pain (and yes, it was the right one) was so severe that the Calpol paracetamol was only lasting for two of the four hours between doses. Calpol ibuprofen was therefore required in between times. This doubling up of dosing scares me, but it's on medical advice and was exactly what they did one time we took her to the surgery. In fact the medicine is the same one they gave us on prescription.
Two doses of each took us to the evening and then bedtime when she snored solidly for 12 hours, woke up and demanded to be taken to school. God bless Calpol.