Alternate title: What are the only two things that matter in life?
I've survived another two weeks of illness (six-day head cold - me) (still ongoing flu from Satan - Tamsin), poorly-behaved associates (children and dog), while not exercising enough, hosting a fancy dinner party, keeping my house spotless (on the day that I clean it) (for up to four hours or until the children come home from school or the dog needs to go out to pee in the rain and comes back in all wet, whichever comes first).
Tamsin woke up with a warm forehead on Monday at 7 am, and I decided to keep her home, missing my running group. After a quick three-hour nap, she rallied and enlisted me to play Princess Snap, colour a LOT, and paint her nails with pink sparkly nail polish.
Tuesday, then, I dragged her bodily out of bed and sent her off to school, but got a call at the end of the day that she was warm, they had given her paracetamol (British for tylenol, possibly?), and that they were putting her on the school bus to come home. As Chris was going to be out late, I decided to coast on the temporary warm haze that medication was granting us and treat the kids to McDonald's. It was sort of like watching a time-lapse photo of a piece of fruit decomposing... she just got paler and quieter and paler and quieter, and I carried her home from the bus stop, helped her into her jammies, and tucked her in before 7.
Wednesday, she was burning up all day. She got out of bed every few hours for watered-down juice, saying please, thank you and sorry, breaking my heart. She was the sweetest little patient ever. She was still hot at bedtime, so I decided to keep her home again on Thursday.
Oh. Dear. Lord.
She did not stop talking for even one minute between 7 am and 1 pm. It was a constant, stream-of-consciousness patter, and in the absence of consciousness, there was nonsense-sound babbling and weird giggling. She followed me around and wanted to sweep, vacuum and mop with me as I cleaned the house for our dinner guests. She chattered at me through the bathroom door. The only lingering sign of sickness was that she went to bed without eating her creme brulee (see also, fancy). So, Friday morning, when she was white (er than usual), coughing, and eating very little, I thought she was just being difficult. And went for a nice 7.5 mile run.
She got off the bus at the end of the day, white and wan and still coughing, hot to the touch. She dragged herself to bed and didn't get up till Saturday morning (early), despite being entreated with pizza and a movie. We kept it low key for the morning, but then went out in the afternoon to pick up Ailsa at a birthday party at Westfields...and wandered the mall...and ended up carrying her. Against my better judgement, we stopped for dinner at Jamie's Italian, which was surprisingly good. About two bites into her spaghetti and meatballs, she put her head back, closed her eyes, and fell properly and completely asleep.
Today, she was up at 7. Cheerful, talkative, keen to go to the park. We played football and had a picnic at the park, played fetch with the dog, then came home and cuddled on the couch to watch a cooking show before dinner.
I tucked her in early, started reading Tom Sawyer to the older two, sent them to bed, then waited about 12 seconds before physically climbing up on the counter to reach the out-of-my-reach chocolate stash and pouring myself a glass of wine. This may have followed by a second climb and a second glass.
Tomorrow, the plan is to pack her off to school, go for a 7-mile run, take the dog for a decent walk, and spend a good few hours writing. However, I am mentally preparing myself to spend the day with a sick-but-not-sick little girl.
I will lock up any and all (if any) remaining chocolate before I go to bed tonight, and hide my stepstool in a separate, undisclosed location. And tomorrow, I will wake up ready for whatever may happen.