It is, however, nothing to do with gambling at all and is instead the name for a group of infections caused by some cheeky little virus that hangs out in the back of the throat and on a whim makes one's baby sound like something out of the animal kingdom - a seal for example or perhaps more appropriately in the case of my 23lb potato, a walrus.
What amazes me is that when I went to pick up Charlie yesterday and he was making this noise (on every breath both in AND out I have to add) I managed to get him home and ring NHS Direct and speak to a nurse and not lose a lung out of my nose in panic. He on the other hand seemed unaware that anything was wrong and while being cuddled on his father's lap happily tried to use said parent's testicles as a trampoline while laughing like a troll. 'Harp Harp Harp!' he went 'Woof oof oooooh' went the frog.
The NHS rang an ambulance on the back of listening to the noise over the phone and the ambulance crew gamely drove C and I to the children's A&E leaving the frog at home with an ice-pack. We then had to wait in the waiting room with another little boy with croup.
"Whuh" said Charlie
"Hueeh hueeh hueeh" said the little boy
"Augh auh auh HAH"
"Ehk ehk PARK"
And so forth while I exchanged looks with the parents carefully designed to be amused and yet caring at the same time. God knows we don't want them to think I was laughing at their baby or judging the clearly less serious nature of his cough compared to the blob's. Mark mark.
Finally the doctor saw us, dosed him up with steroids and then informed me that we had to stay in for four hours for observation. Having rushed home from work to get him from the child-minder and then spent the intervening time talking to doctors, I was starving and knackered and envisaged a nice darkened room in which we could lie down and I could give Charlie a boob while we both drifted off to sleep to the exotic sound of his breathing. The reality however was that I was expected to wait, with no dinner, on plastic chairs in a waiting room packed with other ill chilren under fluorescent lights for FOUR HOURS with a sick 8 month old baby who had not only not had his dinner either but who is normally asleep at 8pm.
You can imagine the ensuing scene. After having a
At least this was our own private room and after disinfecting it as best as possible using only wet wipes and my own spit (because one thing you learn as a parent is that wet wipes and spit can sterilise anything), I allowed Charlie to crawl around while I tried to fold myself onto the chair in an approximation of having a nice lie-down. Finally the frog arrived with food, toys, a travel cot and pyjamas and about five minutes later a nice doctor arrived to give us the all-clear and send us home, whereupon I had to creep through the waiting room carrying all my loot while the other parents looked curiously at me as they tussled with their now over-tired and feisty baby on the plastic seats, almost undoubtedly having picked up half a dozen other vicious maladies from the surrounding hordes of equally weary family units.
I tried not to feel smug in any way and in fact once I realised that I had jumped a queue of sorts I felt guilty. Not for long however as nature has a way of balancing these things out and while those parents hopefully went home, put their infant to bed and had a nice quiet snooze, we came home to Sammy who had taken our absence as an excuse to have a night out on the tiles. The minute the lights were out he began tossing his catnip mouse around the apartment in a routine that involved shouting threateningly at it for several minutes on the livingroom floor before giving it what for in every room of the house including the bedroom, where apparently it took repeated refuge in our bed and had to be routed out diligently from our feet and then punished on our pillows before escaping magically back to the livingroom so the entire performance could be repeated.
This in turn woke our croupy loved one who we took to our bed to calm down and who was then woken every time Sammy decided to throw his mouse in our direction. Between the yowling of the cat and the barking of our baby we got about five minutes sleep last night (in between dreams about animal rescue centres) which, clearly, is why I'm still awake at 11:30 and posting on this blog.
Obviously it's time for bed. Tonight I have hidden the mouse and am about to dose Charlie with both boobs and so hopefully I can gamble on getting some sleep. Here goes.