Love winter, or hate winter it seems every year to bring with it an inevitable plethora of bugs. When the autumn term begins we are bathed in golden September sunshine- a small extension to our summer holidays. The ice cream van is parked on street corners after school- and instead of hibernating indoors we spend our afternoons in the park, making the most of the evening sunshine. Then the weather turns, clocks change and you hear the rumours of the bugs everywhere you turn. At the school gates, such and such was sick all night, in Boots they work relentlessly to restock the vitamin aisle, try as you might, it is bound to hit you sometime.
I have to admit, I was starting to get blasé. We had avoided the Vom bug for three whole years. I allowed myself to consider maybe we had amazing immunity. My daughter's first year at school was punctuated with fevers and colds, but when sickness swept round she remained well. Until now that is. We are coming to the end of a week slightly resembling hell. I knew the bug was rife but there is no stopping the lurch inside you as you hear the dreaded words screamed down the silent hallway in the dead of night,
'Mummy I feel sick!'
You tear across the landing, in varying degrees of undress, emptying the bathroom bin en route for makeshift sick bowl. Make it just in time? You are one of the lucky ones! Three out of four of us now down I feel I should share my 'how to' survival guide...
⁃Wine..... buy your emergency bottle now, or gin, or vodka. Keep said bottle chilled nicely. Guaranteed one, if not all children, will keep you awake all night. Every time you go to refill their dioralite take a swig to keep you sane.
⁃Junk food.... Likewise, go out now and stock up on crap, crisps, chocolate; this is also entirely for your benefit. You will not have the time or inclination to stand and prepare large meals that no one will eat, or if they do you will end up covered with later when they bring it all up. So eat as much junk as you like. Let's face it, your hips won't mind as you will probably throw it all up once you catch it.
⁃Dress children in the outfits the inlaws gave them last Christmas that are so hideous you wouldn't even bestow on them on the charity shops. The ones that you have to put them in every time you meet said in laws for lunch and you spend the whole day praying no one you know sees you. Once they are covered in vomit you can throw them away guilt free, no need for washing, of course comment regretfully, 'they loved that outfit so much it's such a shame Noro hit when they were wearing it.'
⁃Use bug as excuse to buy the sofa from DFS you have been eyeing up. No one will want to sit on old one when it has been 'redecorated' by poorly children. At this stage husband feels too ill to argue.
⁃Same goes for a new wardrobe for yourself- spaghetti sick just doesn't come out, time for a new jumper....
⁃Bed down for the duration, take the opportunity to keep CBeebies on permanently, ditch the crafts, the baking, being a productive parent, create a nest in the living room and stay there.... for once you won't get judged for it. Yes, You will have the desire to murder Mr Tumble, Tinky Winky and Upsy Daisy by the end of the week, but at least you can spend some time fishing for attention on Facebook.
⁃Whatever you do though, do NOT stoop low enough for Peppa Pig on repeat. You will find yourself unable to keep your sarcastic comments to yourself and your five year old will start repeating profanities.
⁃I would also skip Topsy and Tim if entirely possible.
⁃Stay in your pjs all day.... you want to anyway... who is stopping you!?!? When postman knocks to deliver Christmas presents you ordered on Black Friday with all the other suckers pretend to be foreign language student staying for two weeks (he won't recognise you without your make up- it's fine.
⁃Reluctantly give up your bedroom so 'dying' husband can get some sleep and decamp to sofa/spare room where you can indulge in bad Rom Coms without snide remarks (and eat more junk food)
⁃When husband has stopped being sick long enough to watch the children escape with the dog, she needs a walk.... to Costa.... and a latte... with cream.... and a croissant....
⁃It goes without saying check out the NHS website for tips on how to make the poorly patients more comfortable and as hydrated as possible, and warning signs to watch out for.
⁃When it's over- celebrate with lavish date night on the town, you survived, you need a reward!
I have to be honest, I'm now living in fear.... clinging to every small hope that I won't be next, the house has been bleached so much it has the aroma of the local pool and my hands are raw from scrubbing them. Signing out with a big hug to all mamas in the same boat... as for me... wish me luck! 😷