My daughter, HM, the 5 year old one, has a theory about why I get sick more often than her Dad. This she told my mother-in-law. I get sick more often, she claims, because I drink too much wine. He drinks water and is mostly healthy. I am no alcoholic but now I feel self-conscious in my own house. A little drink in the evenings is supposed to calm the nerves and extend my life.
I’ve since tried to convince HM that my tendency to get sick has everything to do with lack of sleep, and nothing to do with my very mild drinking habit. Back off, sweet one.
Another day, another night. After one too many coffees at the office, I go home:
6.15pm Collect another prescription. Took time off during the day to take HM to the doctor after she complained of a sore neck. Sore neck! Meningitis? Had to dismiss that possibility immediately.
6.30pm Get home. HM has complete meltdown because I won’t let her self-medicate. Wails and flails about.
7.10pm Finally calm HM. Persuade her to get into my bed so I can read to her. She chooses the copy of Water-babies given to me by my grandmother 35 years ago. Charles Kingsley’s florid tongue-twisting language sends her to sleep in 5 min. BB asleep too. LS wide awake and wanting to play.
8pm Feed the baby and hand her over to husband. Need a night out with some friends.
10.45pm Get home. BB is grumbling. Wants to sleep in my bed.
11.15pm Baby needs feeding.
11.30pm BB not settling. Noisy cough. Fretful. Tossing about my bed.
1am BB burning hot now. Manage to get some panado down him.
1.30am BB finally sleeps.
3.40am Alarm goes off. Beam along the fence has been activated. Can’t see anybody. Or anything.
4.20am Security company phones 40 minutes later . They are at the wrong house. Great help!
5.45am HM up and wants me to tie her hair up. She wakes us all. I sob. Send her out to watch TV.
6.15am HM back. Wants breakfast.
7am Husband gets up. Let’s me sleep for 30min. Bless him.
I spent last week in bed. Sick. Sore. Cold and very miserable.
It’s Monday and I am back. In the real world. I see big people about me. Adults. Conversations are underway. It’s thrilling. It wasn’t only me who got sick. When I got home shivering and shaking just after lunch last Monday, I found the house in chaos. My lovely nanny was down too. The husband had to cancel his planned work trip and stay home for the week to look after the children. Trips to the doctor. Tea. Meals. Playdates. The lot. He did it. Then, BB came down with the flu too and wouldn’t leave his father’s arms. So no more tea and meals for me. I had to take over the baby and nurse myself. BB went to the doctor too. We now have 3 different sets and colours of antibiotics, pain killers and temperature controlling medicines in the fridge. I must label appropriately. Somebody is bound to take or adminster the wrong something and pass out for a week. A week?
Perhaps I won’t bother with the labels.
6pm I arrive home after a 12-hour day on the road and in the office. The baby, LS, is naked on the floor. The boy, BB, is jumping from one sofa to the other, dangerously close to LS’s head. HM is whining about her pyjamas which are not pink. I rush to pour myself a glass of wine. Then feed the baby.
7pm Jungle Book is on – again. Nobody watches.
8pm Bigger two are finally asleep.
9pm Baby awake. Grumpy.
10pm Baby awake. Niggly.
11pm Baby awake. Whingy.
12pm Baby awake. Screaming.
12.15pm BB wakes up screaming. HM wakes up. Husband fast asleep. I scream. Nobody notices.
12.30pm HM gives up the whine and sweetly says:”Daddy’s got worms in his ears” and goes back to sleep.
1pm BB finally asleep. Baby drifts off. I read, and sleep.
3am Baby wakes.
5.30am Baby wakes. I can’t get up.
6.30am I have to get up. Husband is going to an early meeting and BB and HM need to get to school – somehow. My lovely nanny has gone to the clinic.
8am Manage to get the children a lift to school.
9.15am My husband returns with colleague to take care of the baby, while I take care of myself and go to work.
9.45am At work, with Vida coffee in hand. All is well. Peace – for now.
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