Ugh the illness has got us. In particular it’s got my son, Little Sam. He had a cold, which I looked squarely in the eye, bravely, as his colds have been better since he had his adenoids out. But this one was miserable and made him grumpy and fussy about going to sleep “Sit outside my door. I’m scared. Don’t go.” Then he woke up with it at night, wailing. Then, just as it seemed to be subsiding, it turned into a hacking cough, a bark, a donkey bray.
Then Kitty got a vomiting bug and was awake one morning last week from 0500, vomiting every 20 minutes until 10am, at which point she made a miraculous recovery, drank and entire can of fat Coke and a packet of oatcakes and the next morning sailed off to school.
As I was vaguely reeling from that glancing blow, Sam had a rotten day when he was just a complete and total jerk, throwing tantrums and just being a pain – then woke up the next morning at 0500 and sneezed – I’m not joking – perhaps 20 times between then and 0700, huge splashy wet bogey sneezes that needed to be wiped with a tissue by me. He’d managed, you see, to do a really ghastly thing which is to catch a new cold on top of his old cold.
It’s pretty miserable and I won’t bore you with my various pathetic miracle cures for common coughs and colds in the under-10s. After a while you’ve done so many coughs and colds with infants that you just shrug your shoulders and reckon that everyone will go back to sleeping a bit better
when they’re 18 at some point. And if no-one’s got a temperature no doctor in the world can really help
At this point in my parenting journey, the only thing I know that can help is things that are going to keep my spirits up.
I saw on GOOP the other day (don’t laugh, I love GOOP) that they are selling a recreation of “GP”‘s inflight “wellness essentials” for $185 (£123) . You get one huge linen zip pouch with three smaller pouches inside that contain, and I’m not joking, eye mask, lip balm, vitamin C sachets, single-use moisturisers and other hilarious junk like that. For £123. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE POUNDS.
And it occurred to me that I ought to curate for myself an in-illness “wellness” pack (along the lines of my nappy grab-bag stroke of genius). In it would be:
1 Pair White Company cashmere socks, to feel something soft and snuggly against your feet while the rest of you faces the cold, hard, bleak, sleep-deprived day.
2 PG Tips, one box of 160 bags ought to do the trick as you will drink approx 7 cups of tea a day for about a fortnight.
3 Lavender oil to drip on one’s bedside lamp bulb. When you finally crawl into bed after getting both wretched fusspot children to sleep and then having 45 mins to eat dinner with your husband before it’s really time you ought to turn in because that bloody boy will be awake any minute, it’s nice if your bedroom smells a bit like lavender to cover the stench of shattered dreams and despair.
4 Dates. The best quality that you can get hold of for when you need a mood lift and a glucose injection alongside your multiple cups of tea but don’t want to be mainlining Rocky bars all day long. Top Tip: a date cut open and then stuffed with cream cheese is completely, insanely delicious.
5 Berocca. I am still to be convinced that this does anything other than turn your wee neon, but a “wellness” pack is nothing without a touch of snake oil.
6 Blusher. Because when you just look like absolute and total shit, a bit of blusher can do wonders. Not too much though otherwise you’ll look like Aunt Sally off Worzel Gummidge. I like Chantecaille’s blush in Laughter, which is an unapologetic pink. Often when applying it in the depths of despair, I marvel at the sheer irony of the name, unless you mentally add the prefix “Hollow” or in which case it is entirely fitting.
6 A really thick and yellow, easy drinking Chardonnay, like this one below. Look, I’m sorry to be a horrible cliche but the fact is that when the chips are down drinking does help. With apologies to recovering alcoholics.
7 The salt in these Chipstix will replace essential sodium lost in your bitter, dawn tears.