Tuesday, 29 November 2011

'24 Hour Rule' Fail

I have lived by the 24 hour rule all my parenting life and it has served me well, until recently that is. Do you live by the 24 hour rule? The rule whereby if your child is sick, you don't take them out or let them socialise with others for at least 24 hours after they vomit, have diarrhoea or a temperature. Most daycare centres and other places that children frequent have this rule, and it just makes sense, in order to make sure that they are over the bug and are most likely over the contagious period.

My darling Rocket was quite sick on Thursday night (several times, hourly), and then once more at about 7am in the morning. He was off his food and lethargic on Friday, but no other signs of being sick. I let out a sigh of relief, and was thankful that my other two didn't seem to be showing any symptoms. On Saturday morning, Rocket was back to his normal bouncy self and had a normal breakfast. He then had a normal (if somewhat large) lunch, kept it all down and continued to be perky. It was well over the required 24 hours, so after assessing the situation we decided late on Saturday afternoon to head out to Ikea.

Molly May had for some reason decided to wear a nappy, which she hardly ever does out anymore. A few minutes into our shopping trip, she was standing in a corner behind a chair in one of the Ikea rooms when she looked at Papa, and asked 'Am I wearing a nappy?', Papa assured her she was and she let loose, except that for some reason the nappy didn't seem to catch any of it, and she left a sizeable puddle. I hadn't bought a change of clothes. We should have left Ikea at this point.

I headed quickly downstairs to the shopping centre and bought some new pants and undies for her. Upon returning to my family, I noticed a large red bump on her head - she had run full pelt around the kids section and come off second best to the edge of a baby change table on display that happened to be forehead height for her. We should have left at this point.

We did a quick circuit of what we wanted to look at and then decided to give the kiddies a quick bite to eat before descending into the market hall. Our famished little ones began to eat, and on the second bite of meatball, Rocket's stomach decided he didn't want his lunch after all, or his breakfast in fact, and let it all out over the table, the floor, and mostly himself.

I desperately tried to find a cleaning person who spoke english, which is apparently a challenge in itself in Ikea, but with a few choice hand gestures, they looked repulsed and hurried away. It took what seemed forever for someone to actually come out, while Papa Bear and I frantically clamoured for as many paper napkins as we could find to try and deal with the mess the best we could. After having dealt with it the best we could, and knowing that cleaners were now on the scene, we decided to leave.

I am not sure I will ever be able to take my children to Ikea again.

Do you use the 24 hour rule? Should it be changed to the 48 hour rule?
What is your worst shopping experience?

* One man I mentioned this story to said vomiting was a common normal male reaction to shopping at Ikea and had nothing to do with gastro at all.


  1. Ikea is not for the faint hearted at the best of times. I always seem to have disasters there (although no where near as bad as yours!!!) I do love Ikea though... I have always gone by the 48 hour rule. Not so much for if they are feeling OK, but the risk of exposure to other kids. Maybe that comes from being married to a doctor though. He's a little anal that way. Boy am I glad that you didn't end up coming to our house last Wednesday!! You havn't had a good run have you - poor thing! Did everyone in your house manage to get it?

  2. Oh no!!!! I know just how you felt cos my little one threw up at the airport once!
    I think you are brave to be saying that you won't be taking your kids to IKEA again. I'm not sure I'd ever show my face there again! Hahaha!

  3. Oh no! Don't you just kick yourself when you stick it out hoping for better and it gets worse?!?!? Touch wood my two have hardly ever vomited. They love IKEA as much as I do ;)