|They're playing: "Poor Me!"|
I was not the only parent collecting their child from the sick room, just possibly the only one who knows their way there and is on first name terms with Matron.
This shouldn't be surprising really, as me and sick rooms have a long history.
I was in the Sanatorium so often during my school years that when Nurse retired I was invited to her leaving-do and my parents have harboured a long running family joke that I was 'head of house' - the prefect in charge of the sanatorium in my latter years at school. I was not amused then and the irony of the current situation is not lost on me now.
However, I now reside in a home full of cough, cough, cough, ek, ek, ek! And I feel like I should be painting a great red cross on the front door and ringing a bell calling out: "Unclean! Unclean! Unclean!"
Despite my familiarity with sick rooms I am not a good nurse. I don't do "ill" or indeed "sick". When I am ill, I am ill and take to my bed leaving everyone in peace or so I like to think. When my sons are ill I am on 24 hour call without even volunteering.
They get into my bed all hot and sweaty saying they've had nightmares and are feeling sick and they need me. They breath, and then cough in my face. They surreptitiously wipe their snot ridden noses all over their clothes and worse they demand cuddles then wipe their noses all over mine!
They are demanding and whinge about being too hot or too cold, about having headaches and sore throats. They don't want to eat followed rapidly by the fact that they're hungry or thirsty. They need water. "Not warm water, Mummy! Cold water!"
Then they're bored and can they watch TV, play on the Nintendo/computer, watch a movie, go outside? The answer to these last few queries is a resounding: " NO!" At which point there is much snuffling, bewailing about how ill they are and finally silent tears streaking down their faces and I am undone.
I allow myself to be cuddled and hugged and breathed upon and all the time I am fully aware that no work is being done and deadlines are approaching far too fast and the terrible fear grows that next week I could be the one who is ill - and who will look after me?