There's a tummy bug going around Tauranga at the moment. For a parent, as soon as you hear about it the anxiety is instant.

Families at the daycare our son, 3, attends are dropping like flies and I overheard some mums talking about it at the school gates too.

Although they are brief in the grand scheme of things, I think tummy bugs are one of the worst things about parenting.

The first bug we got hit me four days after our daughter. Despite all the cleaning I did - the obsessive hand washing, the hot clothing washes, the not touching my face - it got me anyway.


It wasn't even the vomiting that was the worst bit. It was the all over body aches, the intense lower back pain and throbbing head, and the feeling that every inch of my being, my hair, my legs - you name it - ached to the core.

I was hit some time in the middle of the night. About 7am, I recall my husband overhearing one of my rounds in the bathroom and saying:

"You'll be okay for me to go to my meeting at 10.30am, right?"

Only a man would say something like that.

While kids seem to bounce back from a bug pretty quickly, I seem to take days before my stomach feels okay again.

Another time I was hit by a bug was the night of a much-anticipated dinner out with my antenatal group friends. In what had been almost five years of friendship, we hadn't had a dinner out.

Drinks and dancing had been discussed. Us mums should have known better than to plan some fun.

I began feeling so unwell I couldn't finish my meal. Cold and shivering, I rushed home to bed and, within the hour, I went down in what became a night where I lost count of how many times I was sick.

Luckily, it was a weekend so my husband didn't have to miss any meetings.

So here we are, just sort of in limbo, tip-toeing in and out of daycare trying not to breathe or touch anything. We're sanitising our hands and just waiting to see when it gets us, how bad it will be, and just hoping that through some miracle we are spared.

The bit that confuses me is that these viruses shouldn't be hard to avoid: Wash your hands. Don't touch your bum or face or mouth. Don't lick things you shouldn't. It seems very simple and yet, with all the precautions, I still get hit. So somehow, in spite of all of that, someone's butt or saliva germs have found their way into my stomach.

In short, I ate someone else's poo.

Please - pretty, pretty please - wash your hands!