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You can start feeling slightly complacent about the norovirus as your kids grow up, but then it strikes again and you know it is smarter than you.
I was talking to someone the other day whose house had succumbed to the norovirus. Her children were young. It was early days norovirus. As the years go by, norovirus becomes a kind of expected guest and everyone knows their role in easing its stay. I was telling the mum that things get better over time and that it has been a while since we’ve had it. Perhaps we have developed some sort of immunity over the years, I ventured…
On Saturday night – the first day of holidays – only son said he felt a little bit peaky. We took him up to bed. He’d been up very early waiting for the plumber to arrive and had been very industriously helping me with the cleaning so perhaps he was just a little tired. We chose a film on Netflix. Unfortunately, the adults are slightly outnumbered in our family and something called Kissing Booth won. My partner retired to bed in protest.
I was just beginning to get into Kissing Booth, a tangled tale of teenage attraction and kissing, when splurrgh. “Mandy, come quick. Only son has been sick,” shouted my partner. Poor only son was looking a little bit lost. We cleaned him up and stripped his bed. Fortunately, he’d just missed his favourite giant Tigger toy. Only son came into our bed with a bowl. “It’s probably just that he was running around a lot and had some dodgy food,” said my partner optimistically. He says that about every bout of norovirus at the beginning. He adopts a glass half full approach to life. Bad stuff just won’t happen. He said it about Trump too – and Brexit.
Only son proceeded to throw up the whole way through the night. Daughter one was out so daughter three slept in her bed. This could provoke war. She figured that the norovirus would float over to her bed in the night and she may well have been right. Daughter two’s first response to the news her poor brother had been sick was a request for me to shut her bedroom door and seal it off.
In the morning only son was up early – of course – and feeling fit as a fiddle. Both my partner and I were feeling slightly green around the gills. We put it down to psychological contamination. “I’ve got a really important meeting on Tuesday,” my partner said. “I can’t miss it.” Oh dear. I texted daughter one the news. She has 5.30am starts all this week.
I have a bit of respect for the norovirus. It seems to know the school holiday schedule. It knows when it can make the most impact. I have no recollection of ever having anything like the norovirus in my youth or even before children. It’s making up for lost time now, though.