Monday, December 13, 2010

Siege Mentality

The dust is being shaken from the ceiling beams here at Blake Towers. A battering ram is attempting to splinter the wood of the drawbridge whilst evil machinations are under way to circumvent my portcullis.

I’m manning the arrow slits and I have boiling oil on standby but I fear it is only a matter of time.

Outside, beyond my moat (replete with fishing gnomes and ornamental carp), is an army blacker and more perfidious than the entire horde of Mordor / Voldermort / X Factor (choose your own poison and insert it here):

Seasonal illness.

For the last 2 Christmases one or other of us has been ill. 2 years ago not only was Karen ill but the good nurses at the NHS conspired to give Tom his MMR jab at just the right date that his reaction to it would fall on Christmas Eve / Christmas Day. Thanks a bunch. And then last year Tom was ill again without any help from anybody except maybe the many agents of illness who, let’s be honest, it is difficult to avoid. I mean you might be one right now without even knowing it.

I’m desperately hoping for an illness free Christmas this year. A Christmas where the kids are happy not grumpy. A Christmas when Karen and I are not exhausted because we have not been up the night before tending to sick offspring.

But the signs are not good.

Karen was hospitalized last week and though she is back home she can still not be awarded a clean bill of health. Recovery from any illness at our age with 2 kids running amuck is necessarily slow and hampered. And then Ben was sick over the weekend. Literally sick. Vomit City. He did that typical kid thing of announcing he felt sick 3 or 4 times, wasting a good minute as he did so and then walked through the kitchen – past the sink which although not designed for such things is an ideal receptacle for one’s emerging stomach lining – and instead positioned himself over the nice white living room carpet. A Jackson Pollock ensured. He then stepped a couple of paces forward and added a side dish to the hall carpet. Two birds with one stone so to speak.

Tom thankfully has not been sick (and I am saying that quietly unless I tempt Fate) but has had a “runny bum”. This may be down to a spot of teething, the same bug that Ben may or not have or even another bug entirely. Who knows? There are so frigging many.

Now believe me. I am trying to count my blessings. Because there are many this Christmas (and indeed all the year round) who would be happy to be suffering from mere stomach bugs and colds. The odd bit of temporary vomiting would be light relief. I don’t know how good I’ve got it.

But for the last few months I feel like my household has been sucked up Doctor Who style into a time vortex and deposited in the middle of a Cholera epidemic.

I am sick of feeling sick. And sick of cleaning up sick.

All I want for Christmas and all I wish for mine and yours is good health, cheer and excellent spirit.

(Though a Lego set would be nice.)



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41 comments:

missbehaving said...

Sorry to hear everyone is getting something, but secretly proud Ben pulled off a two carpet bounder, kudos to the lad . Have to say the rating system of a child's skills is drastically flawed,there have been days when I would rate 'ability to clean up own vomit or reach the toilet waaay higher than verbal skills.
Hope all is well in time for Xmas.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

You have white carpets? With children?

Hopefully everyone getting ill now means a germ and illness free Christmas (fingers crossed).

Steve said...

MissBehaving: funnily enough, after we pointed out that the next gut spillage would require him to clean it up himself he managed to reach the toilet with no problems at all...! ;-)

Very Bored in Catalunya: the carpets came with the house and were possibly a malicious joke by the previous owner...!

Sarah said...

It's an advantage of those obligatory tiles in French houses that makes the clearing up of puke less disgusting than it would be on carpet. Small mercies. Very small.

Fingers crossed for a healthy puke-free Christmas! All round, actually.

Steve said...

Sarah: I've always fancied rubber myself. Rubber padding on the walls, the floor and the ceiling. I think I'd feel right at home.

Alienne said...

You poor things! I have been there, cleaned up the sick and still got the stains on one or two older items of clothing. I don't suppose it is any comfort, but they really do grow out of it - hopefully they will be at uni before they start doing it again for different reasons. In the meantime stick with the clean it up yourself threat, that sounds very effective.
I do hope Karen is completely recovered by Christmas.

Nota Bene said...

It's a conspiracy...hope you manage to survive....or at least go down the pub and ignore the illness at home....

Steve said...

Alienne: Uni sounds a long way off... plus we'll have to take out a second mortgage to help pay for them by then...!

Nota Bene: or spread the illness around the pub...?

Löst Jimmy said...

Sorry to hear about the family being laid low 'tis the season really isn't it

It'll pass soon I am certain

As for your castle siege intro...I'm sure you'd rather be holed (no pun intended) up with Morgana?
I know I would happily!

autumnraven said...

Will keep my fingers crossed for a healthy Christmas and add your well wishes to my arsenal. My little girl was sick (vomiting regularly due to asthma induced coughing) from September up until about 2 weeks ago. We are keeping our fingers crossed that this round of meds continues to work. Now get me over my kidney stones and we'll be set. Been a tough season for us medically so I'm kind of feeling your pain. ::sigh::

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: Morgana would make any siege worth sitting out and I would be happy to munch down on any hard tack that she might have about her person just to keep me going and would happily offer her a piece of mine...

Autumnraven: sounds like you've had it worse than us and you have my warmest wishes also for an illness free, happy and healthy Christmas!

Suzanne said...

Do Lego do a "Build your own bug defence system" or maybe an unusual "Vomit recepticle that transforms into a helicopter" ?
Hope you are all 100% better soon.
Sick sucks!

Steve said...

Suzanne: I could probably build a receptacle but alas Lego is not known for it's waterproofing properties...

Gorilla Bananas said...

I think you deserve a Lego set with an electric motor and battery pack to make a train set with. That's probably the best thing to take your mind off all the sickness apart from watching re-runs of Little House on the Prairie.

Kelloggsville said...

My daughter's record is 4 different carpets with one strategically directed violent herl but I believe you've not experienced true grossness until you've had an upper bunk throw up over a lower bunk sleeper. I had a Brownie projectile across 2 beds once...Happy Christmas!! (ps hope it's a healthy one!)

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: Little House On The Prairie?! Oh my God I think I'm going to hurl...! Will pass on your Lego recommendation to the wife - thank you.

Kelloggsville: came close with this experience here... do I get a badge?

Being Me said...

(I had to read Kellogsville's Brownie sentence three times before I figured out it was a miniature Girl Guide she was referring to....)

There is a glimmer of hope yet and still some time. There's a little over a week to go. I say, make everybody in the house stay home from work, school, hospital (poor dear Karen) so that there is next to no contact with the outside world. It's the only way. Although it'll make procuring Christmas dinner provisions a tad tricky. Good luck, I do hope you are all fighting fit for Christmas (well... ok, not fighting).

Steve said...

Being Me: I'm beginning to think isolation is the answer to most of the world's ills... it will certainly save me from the worst malady of all: workingforidiotsitis.

;-)

Heather said...

wishing you a vomit free Christmas, or at the very least of full of spirits!

Steve said...

Heather: hopefully not full of spirits and then vomitting...

libby said...

Poor you.....let's hope you are all ok for Christmas...

Steve said...

Libby: fingers and toes crossed...

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

All this talk of puking is making me heave.....

Steve said...

Trish: please stay off my carpets...

Mark said...

I liked the Jackson Pollack image. Well, when I say liked...

I remember a Derrick and Clive album that was a picture of a bag of puke too.

Steve said...

Mark: ah, Derek and Clive... just the thing when you're feeling out of sorts...!

Vicky said...

Hope everyone is feeling well soon. Um maybe sometime next year you look at changing the white carpet LOL
Fingers crossed that Christmas day blooms bug free!!

Janete Cabral said...

Dear Steve

I am crossing my fingers for you. Work has been really busy and just today received an email from the RCGP about Influenza and H1N1 re emergence and distribution of antivirals. So if anyone coughs...run the other way...Lots of norovirus as well.

Hope you have a lovely Christmas and that your Karen is feeling better!

Veronica said...

Oh yes, I'll second that! I have the worst cold right now and knowing my luck, I will have passed it to the smallest child, right as Xmas hits.

Steve said...

Vicky: may have to go for wooden floors - something that can be easily mopped!

Janete: typically I have woken up with a dodgy stomach this morning so the only running I'll be doing is of the wrong sort! Talk about tempting fate!

Veronica: timing is everything! Unfortunately it is an illness minefield out there... it's only a matter of time!

Keith said...

Here's wishing well to you and yours. Get it all over with this week.

But you know those Lego flame pieces, you could paint them brown and let the Lego folk do the vomiting for you all. Transference.

Steve said...

Keith: I'm most impressed by your knowledge of Lego elements... methinks you have the odd brick lying around your gaffe and then some...! ;-)

Rol said...

Two members of my office are away ill today, one with the bloody norovirus and one with suspected similar symptoms.

I will NOT be infected!

Steve said...

Rol: speaking as someone who has today succumbed to a jippy tummy all I can say is... join us! You will join us!

The Sagittarian said...

Oh dear, sounds like there is a sickness magnet hovering over your abode. Best get to work with Dettol and a wire brush...

TimeWarden said...

Never mind falling ill, and call me Kazran Sardick if you must, but I hate the fact that it's compulsory to do Christmas lunch... especially when "Doctor Who" is on so damned early!

Steve said...

Amanda: I think I'd be better off shoving all of our clothes into a blast furnace...

TimeWarden: it's not compulsory in our house - I mean we have it but at a time that fits in with the rest of the day (Doctor Who included).

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

So sorry that you guys have all been so ill. I really hope that everyone is feeling much better. Esp. over the holidays. It really sucks when you can't even enjoy yourselves. And OMG your description of the Jackson Pollock vomit carpet brought back so many vivid memories. Glad I don't have a weak stomach.

Steve said...

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip: alas I myself have succumbed to a stomach bug (though thankfully mild compared to what Karen went through) but 24 hours without food seems to have brought it to a halt. Karen's been signed off work until after Christmas - hopefully the enforced rest will do her good. As for the rest... I guess we'll have to see what Fate (and the germs) bring us...!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

May your Christmas be white (ie no sick on the carpet) Steve.

Sorry to hear about Karen - I do hope the Christmas angel lends a helping wand to make all your wishes of health come true this year - a far superior present than any other.

Steve said...

Laura: thank you; she's better though signed off work until after Christmas... colitis is a nasty thing indeed and takes some major recovery time.