It’s been a snuffly start to Winter for us. We have been rotating chest infections around the family, taking it in turns to moan about not feeling well. Then the perfect storm hit us this weekend. We were all unwell at the same time. Except to my horror I was the last to say “I’m the illest!” I was going to have to be the responsible adult. So, as Mrs L365 took to her bed and the children lay listless and waxen on the couch I put emergency procedures in to action. From now on hoovering and clothes washing were luxuries, we would only take part in core activities which were
- Feeding and hydrating the sick
- Medicating the sick, and if necessary myself
- Keeping a steady stream of DVDs showing to the sick and infirm on the couch
- Facebooking and Tweeting as much as I can to raise sympathy levels in the outside chance that someone would take pity and come round and help.
- No coughing at other people
If I kept to those simple rules I thought I could survive. Then it became a little more difficult. Our 4 year old got better. She had been coughing and spluttering while pouring incredible amounts of snot out of her nose. More important was that she had been lethargic and easy to manage. Now she was on the mend and a lot more animated. This was not good. This was a problem. Life in the sick house is easier when everybody is not moving, shouting and demanding. Someone that runs up and down shouting her new song (two lines repeated till you snap) and wanting you to play her slightly surreal and constantly changing role playing games really puts a spanner in the works.
“Pretend I’m a baby wolf and you have to hatch me out of my egg”
“But wolves don’t lay eggs”
“Yes they do”
“No, they’re mammals. Mammals don’t lay eggs”
When you are feeling little better than the patients that you caring for an ebullient and creative 4 year old is quite a burden.
Luckily Mrs L365 was so ill she was bed ridden and stayed there until last night. That made her an ideal patient, needing little attention just a hot Ribena and a there-there-there every so often. All I had to do was make sure that her medicine was kept topped up and that was as much as she needed.
My tweets and facebooking about our situation brought lots of sympathy but it was for the rest of the family and not me. It looked like my plan had failed.
Luckily our son had decided that the best course of action was to curl up on the couch and watch the original Star wars trilogy then the Indiana Jones Films. This was perfect as I could join him on the couch and not have to sit through the brain diluting nonsense he usually watches.
Our daughter was running around shouting about dragons and dinosaurs and where’s Mummy?
I fed and clothed our children for 3 days on my own. Above and beyond the call of duty! I even make it look like they hadn’t been dressed by Dad. I managed to get them to school and nursery on time – I even managed to remember to collect our daughter from nursery, though one day was a close run thing… They were fed the correct food at the correct time and in the correct order ( I’m wise to the fact that ice cream is not a main course). I thought I was doing rather well.
I had, however, not tidied or cleaned the house, nor hoovered. When a door to the outside world was opened little tumbleweeds of dog fur skittered across the floor. Our lovely wooden floors became a little crunchy underfoot. I had kept dish washing to a minimum by not doing much through a combination of judicious reusing and leaving stuff in the sink until it was full. Maybe it was a good thing that no-one visited. I used the same mug for about two days straight until I was having difficulty telling the difference between coffee and tea. Mrs L365 was easy to cater for. Hot Ribena and if she fell asleep instead of drinking it she would have yummy cold Ribena at her bedside when she woke. The children ate any crap I put in front of them as long it was a balanced plate full – that’s half food and half tomato sauce.
Slowly my patients started to recover. Our son responded to endless action and adventure films and made a full recovery which was good as, well or not, he was going to school on Monday morning to take some of the strain off me. This gave me more time to see if I could get some of the sympathy turned round from the sick folk and towards me. No joy, people still preferred to wish Mrs L365 a speedy recovery.
Yesterday Mrs L365 moved from being mainly horizontal to be primarily perpendicular, which was a relief as the sink was beginning to overflow. The washing machine was needing emptying too.
Mrs L365 is now on the mend and is spending more time out of bed rather than in it. Which is good, but she still wants me to do the hoovering! Haven’t I done enough?