Sick Child Syndrome

What is it about Wednesdays and Thursdays? These are the two days a week when I’m supposed to do my impression of a grown-up, and go and work in a real open plan office, hang out by the water cooler, and pretend I have a glancing interest in whether England won against Egypt last night. But, for the last umpteen Wednesdays and Thursdays, I’ve been thwarted.

It’s either been snow, or children. Have you noticed how it only snows in the UK on Wednesdays and Thursdays? That’s because that’s when I’m supposed to be at work. Likewise, if you’re one of my children, please don’t bother feeling ill any other time of the week – Wednesdays and Thursdays are the obvious days to pull a sickie.

sick child

I wasn’t particularly surprised, last night, when Child Two started to clutch her stomach and look peaky. In fact, I was only amazed that I’d got away with a whole day at the office yesterday. This morning, I did wonder whether a miracle had occured and that, Lazarus-like, Child Two was going to rise chirpily from her sick bed and bounce off to school without a backward glance.

Not a chance. I even considered, briefly, begging her to go to school – hell, who am I kidding? I did beg her. Then she burst into tears, and I felt a total worm.

So I rang work, again, and said that I had a sick child on my hands. They were lovely about it, of course, but I’m sure that, even as they are saying, ‘hope she gets better soon,’ they are thinking, ‘I’m never employing a woman with children again.’ It’s soooo difficult, both for employers and for me, the guilty little employee. For I do love my job and want to keep it. I can’t do it from home, as it involves massive amounts of computer software which would undoubtedly blow this little box to kingdom come.

If I’d had any niggling doubts about the exact nature and severity of Child Two’s malaise, they were abruptly put to rest just after I’d installed her on the sofa, when she threw up, the poor dear. Ah well. I must confess, I am secretly quite glad. I do love it when we can snuggle up and watch yards of MI High together, drinking weak lemon barley water and testing each other’s foreheads with the backs of our hands.

On second thoughts, we might just stay put here forever.

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