I guess that old saying "pride comes before a fall" has some truth to it.
It doesn't seem like that long ago I was crowing about how sickeningly healthy my kids were. They never got ill, I said (well, apart from my son spending his first seven weeks in intensive care!) They had a few sniffles but nothing worse, I suggested. Perhaps two runny nappies in his whole life, I skited.
Well, not only have my children been sick in the lead up to Easter, my son chose perhaps the least suitable day of his life so far to be so.
We had come down to stay with the grandparents in order to take my son to the Wiggles concert while my daughter got to bask in the glow of a little one-on-one time with the grandies.
Sunday morning, the morning of our trip to the Wiggles concert, my son had his morning milk and promptly brought it up again. How strange, we all thought. Perhaps it was too cold? Perhaps he gagged? He'd only ever vomited two times before, all one-offs.
A few more hours brought our answer. More fluid returned, and a peaky, lethargic child developed. I floated the idea of not going to the concert, or of taking the one-year old (thank goodness no one took that suggestion seriously!)
No, absolutely not, declared husband. We are taking him to the concert - it'll be a day he won't forget!
Unfortunately it will be a concert he will forget, probably, as he slept through about 80 per cent of it, breathing rancidly into my face and crushing the right side of my body as I cocked my head to the side of his and sang heartily along. I was willing him with a loud voice to wake up from his sick slumber.
To no avail. He awoke as we carried him out of the auditorium. He did finally get one memento of the day - a helium-filled balloon that I had first refused to purchase as it cost $10.
My husband, who is not so miserly on the issue of treats for the kids, insisted we turn around a get the balloon so at least the poor child got some happiness out of the event.
Later I kicked myself roundly for not buying two balloons, so the kids wouldn't fight over the newest Wiggles memento every few seconds (when they weren't crying, vomiting, creating bad nappies or otherwise being petulant patients).
I had stayed on with my parents-in-law for a week while my husband returned to work. They kindly offered to let me rest, but there has been little of that going on.
Between a baby that wakes up on the hour through the night, to a toddler who rams his way into my bed at 3am, to exploding nappies and stomachs, to foul tempers, it's all been pretty heinous and given me a new appreciation for those parents who deal with these things on a more regular basis.
It would be nice to have a break from the non-stop (literal) misery guts around me. But I can see the only way that's going to happen is if I succumb to the bug myself.
Certainly I should, having had a liberal dose of every germ-infested bodily fluid on me in the last four days.
If only I wasn't so damn healthy all the time...!
- Dita De Boni
Pictured above: Sniffly noses and sleepless nights are on the cards when kids get sick. Photo / The Aucklander