I have emerged, fortunately unscathed, from a period of hell that I feel is only right to share with you all. Please note: do not read this post if you've just eaten, are about to eat or are feeling nauseous. I promise to put something cheery at the end of this post so skip straight down to that if you'd prefer. I was woken in the early hours of Tuesday morning (2.57am to be precise) by a sound that awoke not only my body but my maternal instincts. My child, my poor little boy was making the most god-awful retching noises in his bedroom - suffice to say he'd decided to save the carpet and had vomited all over himself, his bed, his bedside table and even into one of the drawers. Projectile vomiting wasn't in it.
I picked him up with his duvet and dumped them both in the bath. By the time I'd cleaned him up he was shivering so I plonked him in bed next to his (still sleeping) father while I mopped up and generally remade the bed. Three quarters of an hour had passed and I'd washed my hands about six times. He decided he wanted to sleep with mummy and was already half asleep on my half of the bed. No sooner had my head hit the pillow and my body the remainder of the bed than David was up and sprinting for the bathroom.
Yes, you've guessed it. A passing bug had decided to visit Nunhead and settle on my abode. They were being ill in tandem. If one had his head in a bucket, the other was on the loo and vice versa. This went on until twenty to eight when I rang David's PA (she showed no sympathy) and then the doctors surgery for an emergency appointment. "There's a lot of it about" said the Helpful Receptionist and said there was no need for an appointment "keep their fluids up" she said as she slammed the phone down on me.
I know they were ill, I know that. But honestly. Florence Nightingale had nothing on me. I was up and down stairs with buckets, constantly bleaching the loo and soothing both fractious son and whining husband.
They rallied briefly, at the same time. Just before ten to two when both decided they could "do with some soup". Chicken seemed to be the obvious choice but I had none in the cupboard so would have to run up to Spar. "Nooooooooooo, don't leave me mummeeeeeeeeee!" wailed my child as if I was heading up the Amazon for six months rather than ten minutes up the road. "No, I'll do without" said my husband as he envisaged being left in the house, alone, with a poorly child.
They went downhill after that. I made them both have a bath while I remade beds and opened all the windows to "let the germs out". They then both lolloped on the sofa, not wanting to eat and, it seems, not wanting me to eat either: "don't like food smells mummy" and "if you cook anything darling I'll vomit". I made do with some cheese and crackers while Eastenders was on.
Amelia rang in the midst of all this and asked me how everything was. I lied and said everything was fine, closing the bathroom door on a retching husband. I couldn't face Amelia on top of everything else. "I'd better let you go, Holby starts in ten minutes and I know how cantankerous you get if you miss it" she sniffed.
Well, I couldn't even enjoy that. In the space of one hour I had a request for a story, two glasses of water, one of milk, one of lucozade, some dry crackers, a piece of dry toast and a cup of "weak tea". Of course, by five past nine, both were sound asleep, David diagonal across the bed and Mac curled into a ball beside him.
I took advantage of this lull and cooked a frozen pizza (with all the doors shut and constant squirts of Neutradol up the stairs). The dogs were pleased that I could give them some attention and all three vied to sit on me. Actually, Most Haunted was quite spooky this week so I was pleased with their presence. Bed at just gone ten with me curled up the other side of David, from above we must have looked like a lopsided percent sign. At twenty past twelve all hell broke loose again. David actually vaulted over Senior Dog as he shot into the bathroom. He stayed in there for twenty minutes "ooh, it was coming out of both ends" he groaned as he shuffled back into the bedroom. Of course, that reminded Mac that he was still not quite right - half an hour later, more projectile vomiting with shouts of "eurgh, that's disgusting" from his doting father.
Another clean up operation, during which I noticed Middle Dog salivating at the top of the stairs. Before I could ask him (!) if he was okay he vomited profusely. It bounced down the stairs.
At this point I sank to the floor and had a quick cry. I then got up and put another load into the washing machine.
Child and Husband were back in bed, with David manfully trying to explain to Mac that sometimes "people got ill and it took a while for them to get better". I mopped up, pacified Middle Dog who was trying to get into bed with the other invalids and made myself a strong cup of coffee. Back in bed by 2am and ignoring complaints that the smell of my Kenco was going to make them ill again.
I lay awake for ages, listening to the deep breathing and snores from my beloved boys and I began to worry about what their malaise could actually be. I'd just reached Lassa fever when there was a stirring in the bed beside me. A small, cold hand found its way into mine and I squeezed it, feeling the beginnings of tears. "Mummy?" said a small voice. "Yes baby boy?" I whispered back. "I'm going to be....eeeeuuuuuurgghhhhhhh!"
That was at quarter to five this morning and thankfully it seemed to have been the last of the vomit. David has very kindly reported on the state of his, erm, movements, every time he visited the Little Boys room (the rate has slowed down somewhat thankfully) and Mac is almost back to his usual self. Middle Dog, it seems, just felt left out - he's fine and demolished his breakfast and that belonging to Junior Dog too. David felt well enough to ring his PA himself, signing himself off for the rest of the week "well, you can't be too careful can you?" he said as he flicked through Sky.
And me? I've still got the headache that started niggling at the back of my skull at lunchtime on Tuesday and I hurt my back as I manoevered the bucket under a vomiting child last night. I seem to have avoided the vomiting and, erm, the other thing (touch wood) and am sick to death of washing and bleaching and wrestling with the sodding duvet covers.
I'm typing this in bed, on David's laptop while the man himself does "daddy duty" and reads Mac a story. It's one he's made up himself from what I can hear from here. It's rather touchingly called "The Big Bear's Sore Bum"
Still, I promised you something nice and here it is - it never fails to make me smile - especially the woman in the black jumper and glasses.