The lurgy works its way through the family

The lurgy has proceeded to work its way through the family. Fortunately, my partner and I have had it on different days, allowing some sense of parental control to prevail.

Sick Child


Daughter one has had both the norovirus and the cold bug and has been complaining bitterly that she should have at least a week off, given that daughter three had two days off “without showing any symptoms”. To be fair, she did groan a lot and lie on the floor for long periods looking in a dire state and only ate three pieces of pasta on the first day.

Daughter two has so far been in tip top condition due to her rather panic stations approach to illness in the family – barricading herself in her room and putting a scarf round her mouth and nose when she emerges. Only son is back in fighting form after a weekend of sickness. So much so that he got something called a gold certificate for brilliant writing yesterday. “That’s amazing,” I said. “I bet they gave it to all of them in his class,” muttered daughter two in passing. I said it was definitely a mark of individual achievement and gave only son a hug. He then proceeded to list several other people in his class who had got a gold certificate. Ah well.

He is learning about the Battle of Hastings at the moment. He seems very good on the names of all the people involved, but has no grasp of just how long ago it all happened. It could have been yesterday for all he knows. We have been reading about William the Conqueror in our history encyclopaedia. Only son has decided he wants to write an extra project on him and that he wants to henceforth be known as Ryan. We are really throwing ourselves into the history project and not only made a castle the week before last out of a shoebox and four toilet rolls from daughter one’s toilet roll art collection, but visited one this weekend in Colchester. Only son was mainly interested in its lack of any visible portcullis.

We were just on our way into school the other day – school has recently banned parents from the playground and imposed a very punctual locking of school gates at 9am which has caught us stragglers out a couple of times this week – when I noticed one of the parents with a castle. It looked like an architect’s model of a castle, so detailed and professional was it. Our turrets were stuck on with sellotape and hope [although the portcullis featured prominently and was labelled as such].

Only son didn’t care. He was clutching his Gotham City jail toy for show and tell and refusing to get out of the car until “You’ve got that one thing” by One Direction had finished playing. He is a bit of a 1D fanatic. We have to play “You’ve got that one thing” every single day. He not only sings it word for word, but with the same accent as the boys so “playing it cool” becomes “plee-ing it cool”. The entire car now sings “plee-ing it cool” – even daughter three who is stuck in the back because her sisters say their legs are too long to fit.

By the weekend we hope all to be on the road to recovery and ready to face the complicated logistics involved in ferrying assorted people to opposite parts of Essex/London for sleepovers, parties and the like while still having enough energy to face October.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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