First week at work and I’m ill already. And if I’m ill, how long before each of the small people succumb? As usual, despite the enormous desire to crawl under the covers and never come out, I face the same old dilemma. 1. I need to get to work – I’ve got a meeting arranged, plus it’s my first day at a new job. How rubbish does it look to ring in sick? 2. If I take time off now, what will I do when the children get sick and I really need the time off since, despite the miracle that is Calpol, its forte is fevers not the glorious and growing assortment of exotic vomiting viruses which having children seems to have visited upon me? 3. I still have to get the children to school, nursery etc even though I can barely move – it’s a toss-up between dragging myself to work or staying in bed but still having to look after three children all day [which basically means not staying in bed at all or, alternatively staying in bed with eyes closed while one claims territorial rights to my left “milkie” [the two youngest have never got over having to give up breastfeeding and I think they actually prefer the milkies to me] and the other decides to sing the right one a selection of her favourite medleys and make it “dance” along.
Once I get everyone dressed, breakfasted, tooth-cleaned, brushed, etc, and crawl to the car, it’s almost as good as being at work already. All I have to do is sit in the car for an hour, get a bus and walk into work without throwing up. How difficult can that be? I have long since mastered the dark arts of functioning in such circumstances – my particular all-time favourite is the norovirus. I have in my time been in bed with all three children and myself throwing up in unison every 40 minutes. And I actually managed to drag myself into work the morning after. I am sure this makes me an incredibly bad person as it probably spread the virus to countless others, but my reasoning was that I was by then past the infectious stage and so they probably had it already and I had taken an afternoon off earlier in the week for a sick child.
I managed to make it through the day this time with the kill or cure combination of a sausage sandwich and diet coke. Luckily the first day was quite relaxed, although punctuated by the news that working mothers have fat children. The thing is I was relying on the kids to support me in old age – I’m talking about 50 which is approaching relatively fast. I reckon another 10 or so years of this kind of existence and my body will have totally collapsed – but now it seems they will get diabetes and be the generation which is outlived by their knackered parents.
I drove home and arrived late only to find a bloodbath when I opened the front door. Bonkers daughter [or “quiet and studious” daughter, if you believe the teachers] had been bouncing on the sofa and had hit her nose in rather spectacular fashion on the sidetable. There was a huge gash in her nose and she was all dressed up and ready to go to the hospital [with a selection of pink bags and a rather attractive hairband]. This is possibly because her sister went to the walk-in centre twice in the summer holidays and got a Mars bar on one occasion [for the shock. In fact, I think I was more in need of sugar than she was. She had fallen on her arm while doing some sort of acrobatic movement between the sofa and the table]. My partner, who has handily just passed his first aid training, and I examined the patient and did the how many fingers experiment to check her vision [it’s hard to totally rely on this when the patient is prone to saying completely off the wall things like 107]. We had the notes still from when her older sister went to the walk-in centre.
My partner [I haven’t had time to marry him yet. I keep having children. Maybe next year…] is very useful in these kind of situations and has requested that he gets at least a mention in this week’s entry. He thinks I look like I’m doing it all on my own…He is very good at hanging out laundry, of which there is loads, and cooking gourmet meals and generally being there, although he complains that I am a soft touch with the girls [I think very soft touch is more accurate] and never sit down. He is more laid back, except at telling the girls off. I am patience incarnate until I get pushed just that bit too far and then I blow like a volcano. However, I have noticed that he disappears a lot at the weekend. This thing called “shaving” seems to be a good wheeze to me. It takes up hours of time on a very regular basis and you have to factor in the multiple glances in the mirror as he admires his reflection. I have given up more than a cursory glance in the mirror and this is only to check I’ve got my clothes on the right way round.