Rebecca Reid, local author and mum-of-four has had enough of sickie tummies, runny noses and sleepless nights…

Everyone knows that there are two terrible things that can occur when you have children. 1) You accidently lose one (like the time they wandered off in Tesco, or decided it was funny to pretend they had gotten into the car, but actually just closed the door and then ran off to hide. Yes, that has really happened to me) 2) They get sick.

Oh yes, I can see you all nodding from here, maybe grimacing slightly at the thought, and probably the memories, but it is one of those inevitable things when you have children – they just catch things. In fact, they are like little human-sized, sticky germ catchers that walk about, like double-sided tape, just drawing in all those itsy-bitsy germs and then they hop back into the car and charge back into the house. Little delighted bugs just bouncing off them like flees. Sorry for the horrid imagery, but it’s pretty close to the truth.

Me, I’m one of those 10-second rule mummies. I don’t disinfect manically, or baby wipe them and their highchair in public places. If he wants to lick it – I think it’s all a bit eww – but sure…what the heck. Yep, I’m pretty laid back because I’d rather they built up their immunity slowly than having the pre-school onslaught that I’ve heard of. And do you know what? Up until this month we’ve managed to sail through most illnesses pretty painlessly.

And then it happened. Yes, the dreaded thing I hear whisperings of in the playground. The mummies I’ve felt so sorry for in the past because for week after week, their children were falling like flies with the same illness. One. Slowly. After. The. Other.

Yes, IT HAPPENED TO ME! First it was the eldest, a week of a sore throat, sore tummy and exhaustion. Then, just as she was beginning to turn the corner – I could picture her pulling on her school uniform any day now – my middle daughter came into the room a mopey, teary mess of sickness. I had them both sprawled across the sofa. A week later, wearily dragging myself up, I found them finally recovered and ready for school. Yes! They were well. On the other hand, I was most definitely a bit worse for wear, but nothing more than tiredness (I assumed).

What happened next I honestly couldn’t have predicted. It isn’t possible in a fair world. I got a call from school to collect my littlest lady and on that very day, cub began rolling around all snot and tears. Another week of sleepless nights, sore ears, achy tums followed and then, just as they all recovered and bounced back in the school gate, cub babbling away his happy little self again – I began to cough.

It was a month that had been long overdue and a month that I hope we never, ever, have to repeat again. Here’s to a happy, healthy new year everyone!


Heather Black

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