The journey of a germ and other stories

Whenever I am naive enough to think ‘hey, my kids are robust, they never seem to get sick’ some bug or other turns up to wipe the metaphorical smile off my face and interrupt my sleep. Last Tuesday my little chap (15 months now) woke up from his morning nap having vomited all over his bed. He seemed in otherwise good humour and didn’t let the little matter of a nasty germ suppress his joie de vivre. But he did vomit twice more that day, and develop diarrhoea, and go a little off his food (which he NEVER does normally). He woke at four the following morning, clearly not himself, and ended up in bed with me and the hubby, snoozing, wriggling, moaning, and otherwise disturbing. Parts of his anatomy we uncomfortable wedged, shoved and bumped into bits of mine repeatedly during the next 3 hours.

I made extra certain we were all washing hands, and so forth. But clearly the germ had strategies up his sleeve for which I had no battle plan. So by Thursday the hubby had taken to his bed, grey-faced and listless. And on Friday night, after a fun day at the soft play and a bit of a battle over tea, our daughter came to our room at 11pm saying she’d been sick all over her bed. And she really, really had. 5 hours later I only just avoided repeating her achievement – I got to the toilet bowl just in time. Saturday, to put it mildly, was a slog of a day to get through. As the kids felt better (she recovered quick!) we felt hopeless; entertaining small children, who don’t have the requisite understanding or generosity of spirit to be self-sufficient when their parents are sick, is tedium personified. Patience wore thin. Stories were read with (great) reluctance. Games stayed in their boxes.

Sunday evening is here and while we still feel a little reticent around food, we adults are now seemingly better, and the kids are also fine. Hubby feels irritated at the time that has been wasted – we’re moving house in three weeks and packing should have been the order of the weekend. I’m under pressure to finish reports and articles, but my brain is reluctant to function at the necessary level to get such work done.

There’s no moral to my story, except that the inspiration for it came from an unexpected quarter. We’re half way through the New Blogger’s Fortnight over at Mummy with a Heart, and yesterday’s blogger spoke honestly about her motivation for blogging. In essence Helen said that it is the ordinariness of family life that inspires her to write; not big adventures, but little things, that show us who we are. So I resolved when I read it to find something genuinely ordinary to write about, and just let the words trickle onto the page. No grand idea or thought-provoking motto for this post. Just the tale of a cheeky little virus who thought he’d pop over for a few days and wreak his particular brand of fun-spoiling havoc.

Or so I thought. Earlier today I reluctantly switched on my laptop to spend some time on a report I am compelled to finish by Monday-end. I can’t start the tedious stuff without a quick twitter check-in, where, I came upon a stream that brought sadness to my heart and put my tedious weekend in perspective. A blogging mum that I do not know had lost her young daughter over night. I don’t know how or why. All I could see was the shock and concern of the blogging/tweeting community, as they mentally put themselves in her shoes and shuddered at the horror of it all.

I am certainly not the first person to argue that we should keep our irritations in perspective at all times. That we should try to be grateful for the good things because life is fragile. There is a clichéd familiarity to the idea that you should relish the company of your kids today because you have no idea what tomorrow will bring. But, ignoring the lack of originality, I’ll overcome my resistance to repeat the ideas of others and say that 1) in comparison to the awful things that happen all day every day, my little germ-lodger was as nothing, and 2) I urge you, reader, to go and kiss your loved ones again before you hit your own pillow tonight.


14 thoughts on “The journey of a germ and other stories

  1. Helen’s piece is really moving isn’t it and it has certainly made me think and re-evaluate and as to what has happened to poor Jennie, it is beyond words.

    I hope you get all your work finished in good time.

    Mich x

    • Thanks for popping over Mich. I don’t know Jennie and I am always wary of crashing in on the legitimate grief of others – always felt a bit uncomfortable with the whole Diana thing – but I wanted to learn what could be learned from the moment.

  2. Its so easy to take our loved ones for granted – until the unthinkable happens and we have a glimpse of just what live would be without them. Glad you are all on the mend now and hope you stay germ-free for a while!

    • Thanks for popping in Sarah. Darn that flippin bug – but at least he has now made his exit. Boy now eating properly for first time in days – as I type. I have a wriggler too!

  3. I am finding this week really confusing as I only know the gorgeous matilda mae through the blog photos i have seen and yet i am feeling the strongest grief i have ever felt even in comparision to losing my mum. I can’t really understand it and I don’t really know how to deal with it because i realise that i have no right to be grieving over someone i didn’t personally know and yet my tears keep flowing and i just can’t help it.

    • Hey hun, be kind to yourself – what you’re feeling is genuine empathy, pure and simple, unadulterated and very human. It means you feel your compassion. I don’t beleive for a moment you are alone. I have shuddered through her blog post a few times, trying to resist imagining the horror of that moment. It hurts us all because we know how random the universe is, and how it could have been anyone of us posting that news. Don’t chastise yourself!!!! I’m sure the feelings will mellow, and we will all be just that little bit more appreciative as a result…

      • thank you – I can’t bear to think about it because i just cry and cry when i do and i know that doesn’t help anyone (my kids have been pleading with me to stop crying) and yet I want to make the most of every second with my children in matilda’s memory, but everytime i look at my 9 month old girl, the tears just start again and my heart just aches for that family. i can’t blog about how i feel because it just doesn’t feel like my place to, and yet I can’t talk about it to friends in person because they don’t ‘get’ the link you feel with other bloggers as you feel you know them closely because of how people can just pour their hearts out on blogs. thanks for your understanding words and kindness xxx

  4. I didn’t realise your daughter was the same age as Matilda – that is bound to resonate loudly. You will get through this, hun, and honouring her memory with being a more conscious parent is very fitting. But some days in family life are just a bit naff, too, and we musn’t wear ourselves out trying to be perfect. Take care of you, it won’t all work with you! Big love, hun x

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