Germs For Christmas

Considering we have four kids, we have very few sick days in this house.

Sure, we have the odd cold but it’s rare that anyone meets my criteria for missing school, i.e. a fever, vomiting and diarrhoea or a broken bone.

We have a couple of fevers a year and maybe a bout of vomiting every 12-18 months. And when we do have bugs they don’t seem to spread too badly either. The last time was three years ago when DD2 started vomiting 2 days before DD1’s birthday part and gave her older sister a nasty tummy bug, which meant we had to cancel her party. I don’t think DD1 has ever quite forgiven DD2 for that.

I put our robust immune systems down us to having lots of pets, my relaxed attitude to housework and me yelling ‘Have you washed your hands?….With soap?’  every time one of the kids emerges from the toilet.

Because illness is so rare in our family, it’s a bit of a shock when it does happen. And for some reason, it always seems to happen at this time of the year.

DD3 had a restless night on Thursday night and was up and down many, many times. She complained of a sore throat and had a bit of a dry cough. When she clambered into our bed early on Friday morning and curled around me, I felt the heat coming off her and finally reached for the thermometer. 39C!! OMG, she had a fever. What to do?

I dispatched DH to look for the bottle of nurofen, and with 7.5ml on board, DD3  managed get another hour of sleep before it was time for the others to get up. I, on the other hand, lay looking at the ceiling while trying to decide if I could get away with dosing her up and sending her in to school and wondering how contagious this bug was.

When 7am arrived, DD3 bounced into our bedroom announcing she felt much better. She was still running a mild temperature though so I felt I really had to keep her home. It was a pity as she was going to miss the last performance of her school Nativity and the school disco that night.

The others were all hugely unimpressed that their sister was going to get a day at home and demanded I take their temperatures too. All were normal so they got shipped off to school with their father, while I was left with a bored, supposedly sick six year old.

Let’s just say my declaration of No Screens When Sick was quickly forgotten and DD3 spent most of her day oscillating between the TV, iPad and her nintendo. I rang the school to tell them she wouldn’t be in and they said as long as she hadn’t been throwing up, she could attend her disco that evening if she felt well enough.

I still had stuff to do but we ate lunch together then managed to curl up on the sofa and watch a DVD in the afternoon. By the time the school run rolled around, her medicine was starting to wear off and her temperature was back up to 39C. Time for more nurofen! I left her with a neighbour while I collected the others and she was back to her normal self by the time  we got back. I decided she would be okay to go to her school disco from 5:30-6:15 if she was dosed up with calpol before hand.

So off she went, with strict instructions to cover her mouth and nose when she coughed or sneezed. She had a great time and came home still feeling well enough to eat dinner and enjoy the chocolate from her advent calendar, before going off to bed without a fuss.

But early this morning, DD3 was back in our bed and burning up again, this time with a temperature of 40C. It’s come down a little with nurofen and calpol but she’s still feeling rough and is lying around looking like this.


That is not a happy six year old.

If we are lucky, she’ll gradually improved over the weekend and will be able to go back to school on Monday.

If we aren’t, she’ll take a week to get over what she’s got and will spread it around the family before she’s over it.

If we are really unlucky, some of us may even have gems for Christmas.

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