How to get sick with kids.
It’s fine to be sick when you’ve got kids. They understand and give you a break… said no parent ever.
Not only do the little darlings bring home every snotty lurgy they possibly can from school (see also – nits *dies inside*), but they spread it around. You have a couple of lovely days of your normally bonkers kid chillaxing on the sofa and watching Frozen on repeat whilst you shovel Calpol into them, take their temperature obsessively and worry about them in the middle of the night whilst secretly enjoying the snuggles. Then as they spring back into action, even more full of beans after a couple of days of sofa time, you feel that familiar tickle at the back of your throat. You sneeze after dinner. You wake up with a full-blown head cold, nose streaming, voice croaking and balance a bit off. But as you’ve missed two days of work looking after little Jimmy, you drag your sorry arse into the office, only to be avoided by your colleagues who don’t want whatever gross plague you’ve selfishly brought into the workplace.
It’s worse still when you’ve got a baby. Those soothing Strepsils, the Night Nurse that gets you through til morning, the Lemsip that becomes your new latte… put them away. We all know the benefits of breastfeeding, that message is pumped into you at your first NCT class (followed in our case by having to change a fake baby’s nappy that had been filled with mustard. But that’s another story.) What nobody tells you is that after you’ve battled mastitis, engorgement, bleeding and flashing-the-Amazon-man, and you finally nail breastfeeding, you can’t take any decent over-the-counter remedies. I became a dab hand at a brandy, lemon and honey remedy (taken in moderation I promise) and can highly recommend it – but nothing hits the spot quite like Beechams.
And the kids don’t stop. “Play trains mummy!” Mummy can’t play trains, she’s dying inside and it’s like a hangover but with none of the fun stuff. They still wake up at 6am. They still need feeding dammit, and their leftover pizza isn’t quite so delicious when your cold has stolen your sense of smell.
And just when you think it’s all over, and you can breathe again, and taste food and the cotton wool has gone from your head. Just when you have some energy to chase the kids around the park, bake jam tarts and give an awesome presentation at the office. Just when you brave the outside world and feel human again… your partner coughs. Then sneezes. And he gets ill. And it’s so much worse than when you had it.