The festive season is upon us. Our bank balances have seen better days and our kids are eating their own body weight in chocolate because, as parents, we’ve frankly had enough.
It’s not that we don’t love our kids more than life itself, far from it, we couldn’t live without them. But just as we’ve begun to feel all festive, basking in the knowledge that all our pressies are wrapped before midnight on Christmas Eve (first time ever), when… the dreaded lurgy arrives.
And it’s here to stay.
A present for the household brought home from school as if to say ‘it’s nearly the holidays so let’s freshen things up with a few headaches and fevers before your kids come home for the end of term’.
It wasn’t on the Christmas list and yet it has made itself quite comfortable as it jumps manically between the fevered and shivery grown-ups. The adults are in for a dark and stormy road ahead.
A hell-road of ‘it’s my shot to do *insert a loud/annoying game here* now’, ‘can we go to the park/pool/cinema’ and ‘can I have a wispa for breakfast’ kind of road with a splashing of too much console time and a spattering of moaning ‘I’m too cold’ bike rides on the side.
First to fall is dad, the legendary man-flu is actually real this time. It keeps him in bed when all he wanted to do was toast the year gone by with his work colleagues, he had hoped to rejoice in the knowledge he’s off on holiday now for Three Whole Weeks. Alas, no.
Lurgy has other plans for you, my friend. Woosh – one week in bed, two left to get back on your feet. Merry Christmas!
Mum battles on and bustles around, ticking things off their now, down to one to complete, to-do-list with frightening accuracy and speed (a.k.a if I get all this done today, then I can open a bottle of something nice and celebrate being on holiday too/sleep for fifteen years because she’s beginning to feel crap also). She continually pops vitamins and for the love of god, ALL the fruit in the bowl, in the vain hope a rush of the non-fermented grape nutrients might ensure she doesn’t catch it too.
I mean, how rubbish would that be if the extended family came for Christmas dinner and were greeted at the door with surgical gowns and breathing apparatus…
Moving on. Nothing to see here.
As it turns out, the big yin’s day came and went without a hitch. Mum’s runny nose was kept at bay for the duration of the charade-fest and dad was sprightly enough to make a great meal that didn’t disappoint their unaware guests. Everyone headed home to wallow in their selection boxes/jammies etc the next day, watching Groundhog Day and Dirty Dancing. Again.
But The Lurgy had yet more festive delights in store.
Chest infections that sound like a propeller plane taking off, wheezy coughs that put the singing penguin-type thing from Toy Story to shame and an abundance of snot-filled tissues littering the floor around slightly whiffy parents who have given up and crawled to the comfy living room chairs, as they desperately try to avoid the kids getting it too.
Stay out, kids! They nasally say as they invent fantastically absurd excuses why their kids can’t come in to the room. Thankfully their off-spring are unperturbed as they have new toys to play with and a whole heap of interesting and sound barrier-breaking ways to annoy each other now that they are in the same house at the same time. All day. For another two weeks.
The moral of this tale is… just stay at work. Or start preparations in July.
Stay safe out there, folks. May the new year bring you a fantastic immune system and a germ-free start back at school.