Today is a poorly day in our household.
We’ve had a long week of them.
These days, I have discovered, are the longest, hardest, most exhausting days of parenthood.
For the last week or so, my littlest monkey (2 years old) has been ill with croup and a head cold, which is exhausting enough. But it’s never that straightforward: it’s a chain reaction that, with a horrible inevitability, gradually hits everyone in the household.
As a mum to a poorly 2 year old, all sense of my own personal infection-control goes out the window.
It is my job to catch the snotty sneezes, even when they land right in the middle of my face as I’m cuddling her.
It is my job to wipe the tears, dribble and other unmentionable mucus from her nose, her cheeks, her hands, her legs and every object she touches.
It is my job to hold her tight while she wails in between the spluttering cough that hurts her throat and her chest and seems unending.
It is my job to do my best to wash her hair, matted and knotted with all the aforementioned bodily fluids, so that I will not have to go at it in desperation with the scissors later on.
It is my job to try to get calpol into her, which if it were as easy to do as it is to say, would be one less frustration.
And it is my job to lovingly receive all the dribbly, snotty, germ-ridden kisses that she plants on me because, even through all my exhaustion, I am managing to make her feel a little better.
Of course, with all that comes the inevitability of catching this bug myself. Predictably, 3 days later, I am able to fully appreciate how awful she was feeling through all of that, as I now feel it just as bad. Still I desperately try to keep her comfortable and keep the bigger monkey (3 years old and as yet still surprisingly healthy) entertained as usual. It’s exhausting. Feeling ill, all I really want to do is curl up in bed.
And I know that my older daughter will get it next. In a few days it will start all over again with her.
A week of poorly days is HARD! Really hard!
But like all the other difficult times in this amazing, rewarding, life-changing role of being a parent, it’s all part of the job.