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Friday, November 16, 2012

How to build up a kid's immune system

Friday nights at the park are becoming a bit of a habit. Tonight it was to celebrate a little friend's sixth birthday.

"Here," Tracey said to me when I arrived straight from work. She planted a kiss on my lips and shoved Miss0 into my arms then tottled off with Miss2, who looked like she was about to fill her boots if someone didn't get her on a toilet seat very, very quickly.

We have a superb park in G-town, with loads of swings and activities and, best of all, a couple of flying foxes. I love it because the kids love it. All around our kids were running and playing and having an awesome time.

I sat on the grass with Miss0, absently letting her crawl around and stick the odd leaf in her mouth. I felt a kind of peace.

It lasted all of five minutes, roughly until Tracey arrived back from the loos. Sitting on the grass with a 10 month old is boring when there's a flying fox not twenty feet away. I wanted to have an awesome time as well.

"Tracey!" I called out, noticing for the first time Miss0 tearing some grass up by the roots and giving it the ol' taste test. "Tracey! The baby is putting all sorts of stuff in her mouth. You know you shouldn't trust me with this sort of thing. It's very irresponsible of you!"

Tracey hates it when the kids put unsanctioned things in their mouths. I could hear her thinking, 'People walk on that grass!' at me as she came and relieved me of my fatherly duties.

But then it turns out putting-yucky-things-into-mouths was kind of playing on her mind.

"Soapy (Miss2) dropped her lolly in the bathroom," Tracey told me. "In front of a loo! Then she bent down and picked it up to put back in her mouth." To make it worse (as if this story needs it) they're unisex loos here in the G-town park.

I gagged a little. A blade of grass is one thing, but a piss-coated jube!?! Yuck!

Fortunately, Tracey managed to dive across the room, Lara Croft style, and snatch the lolly out of Miss2's hand just before she started sucking on it again.

"You should have let her eat it," one of the other parents told us.

"Sorry? What?" I said, sure I'd misheard.

"We used to worry about that sort of thing but our daughter cured us."

It seems their daughter doesn't get sick. In fact, when they gave her the four year immunization shots her arm became so red and swollen they raced her back to the doctor only to be told it was her body fighting the immunizations themselves.

"It's fantastic!" the doctor told them.

And while I'm sure they were joking about us letting our daughter eat the lolly, I must say I was impressed with their story. How did their daughter get this fantastic immune system?

"Licking hand rails," this parent told us.

"Sorry? What?"

"We tried to stop her," the parent insisted, I'm guessing because Tracey's face, and mine, demanded some sort of explanation. "But we got sick of saying, 'don't lick the railing!' so we just gave up. I mean, it didn't seem to hurt her."

Unfortunately for me and my hopes of going on the flying fox, if there's one thing Tracey hates more than the idea of horrid things in her kids mouths, it's sick kids.

"Here," Tracey said to me, handing back Miss0. "Go sit on the ground and feed your daughter some grass."

I don't think we're in any danger of my wife encouraging her children to suck on urinal candy yet, but I'm guessing, because of the unique skill set I bring to the childminding table, I'm about to become more hands on with my kids at functions.

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Kez said...

Hahaha. My Little Mister is always putting gross stuff in his mouth. Now that he's 1 and getting about a lot, I have relaxed a lot more with sterilising his dummies or sippy cups. I am, however, paranoid about him choking on stuff so I freak out over that!!
Touch wood, the Little Mister hasn't had any kinds of contagious illnesses (other than my infection when he was born) his whole life. I'm wondering when the jig will be up...

Bruce Devereaux said...

Tracey doesn't know half the stuff I've pulled out of the kids' mouths over the years. Best she never does :)

Kylie said...

Worse one.... dead lizard.
Most frequent.... licking mirrors and any other shiny/reflective surfaces.

Christina said...

My 6yr old at about 12months decided to try snake poo, dog poo, and his own all in one day.
He had never had more than a sniffle until he started school last year. Now he brings everything home for the family.

The daughter below him Miss5 has always been one to pick up random things from the ground in shops, footpaths etc and she doesn't get sick either.

Master3 licks windows, chains on swings, pretty much anything..... this week RAW CHICKEN .. well ... its caught up to him with that one!

Miss10 is far too civilised to have ever eaten anything other than a bit of grass as a baby. She didn't like getting dirty (I don't mind a bit of dirt) but she always had to be clean - she is often sick.

Miss364days likes licking things and chewing things around. Her favourite at the moment seems to be shopping trolley handles!

About Me

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Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.


His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).


Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.


His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.

 If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.


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