Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Ring the bells of disease and doom

The kids must be ill. Because for twenty four hours, the screaming, throwing and excoriating insults stop.

I do not know what it is about winter. Why, oh why, in winter do we abandon our safe disease-free homes and huddle together in small, confined and airless rooms to start coughing over each other? People, can we stop that now? The Grit family brings back all sorts of stuff, and most of it is snot. It is getting me down.

We have had nothing in this household but illness, wheezing, dribbling, snorting, throwing stuff and hormonal temper tantrums since September.

OK, I admit the last two are not strictly passed by spraying infected germs over each other, but we have those symptoms too, so why not list them.

Take today. I am still struggling with this virus thing that has taken away all movement in my legs. Yesterday I thought my thigh bones had exploded out their sockets, they ached so much. All I want to do now is crash to the bed and go to sleep.

But mothers don't do stuff like illness, do they? They signed contracts in their own dripping blood the day they were disembowelled and everyone clapped and went ahhh! and these mewling infants sprang yelling and screaming into the world, demanding food and temperature control and constant supervision twenty four hours a day in case of excess dribble. On that day, mothers had to give up feeling ill forever. If they didn't, and went to bed with a bottle of aspirin and a medicinal vodka, they would be damned by all society as bad and evil mothers who gave in to things like exploded thigh bones, instead of soldiering on like good mothers should, ministering to their needy, hungry broods.

Thank goodness the needy, hungry brood is sick and off its dinner, that's all I can say. Now I can be sick and ill along with them and no-one notices and complains. It makes the decision to not go to the French lesson so much easier. We can all be ill properly. I can rest my bones. Squirrel can spray snot all over the house, Tiger can have a proper temperature if she wants and Shark can be foul mouthing us under her breath because her throat's sore. Basically, I can declare universal illness, we can all stay home, and I can do nothing.

But is there a special evil angel who sits on our rooftop to punish me for that decision? The decision to suspend everything and achieve nothing? Because this is what happens:

9.30 Boiler man arrives to fix the upstairs boiler.

9.35 Dig declares he needs a lift to the train station and be quick about it because the train leaves in eight minutes.

9.59 The gas man calls to take a reading. To negotiate him to the meters safely I have to navigate the back gate that falls off, the washing line that hangs eye-height and three bags of rotting rubbish that I forgot to put out for the bins last week.

10.03 Do same in reverse to see gas man off premises.

10.15 Boiler man is making unintelligible noises that might be boiler language. Unventiculated retrolucator pressurising introternaladaptor.

10.25 Window cleaner calls. He needs paying today. I have no cash and, looking in my bag, realise I don't know the whereabouts of a cheque book.

10.35 While searching for a cheque book, find unpaid ballet invoice.

10.50 Boiler man departs. Pressed, he speaks English. Broken. Parts and labour £150.

10.55 Window cleaner calls again. I tell him if his round brings him past us at 1pm, I'll pay then.

11.05 Electricity man calls. It takes me five minutes to work out he's not wanting to read the meter but is actually a door to door salesman in disguise. It takes me another five minutes to get rid of him. He finally leaves when I threaten to vomit on him.

12.30 Give up hunt for cheque book. Walk to cashpoint.

1.00pm Window cleaner calls and removes large lump of cash from purse.

On the other hand, if I had done that soldiering on grin and bear it type thing, throughout much of this time, I would have had a three-line whip in operation for the kids to be sitting in a French lesson, while I would have been buying ingredients for a fruit salad at Sainsbury's.


The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Ouch, thighbones out of sockets sounds very painful. Requires much rest and traction. Six weeks off at least. Suggest immediate help be enabled in the form of a super nanny.

sharon said...

All of what The Finely Tuned Woman says plus brandy and chocolate. I had a cortisone injection into my hip joint on the 18th and the following 3 days were HORRIBLE so I know about the thighbones out of sockets feeling only too well. My sympathies to you Grit.

Sam said...

Sorry to hear you're all really ill. I hope that you get lots of rest and get well quickly.