Useful information that you should have been told before you had children but weren’t number 2034…… your children will get poorly repeatedly and you can bet your bottom dollar that you will get sick at the same time and that there is not much more miserable in life than poorly parents trying desperately to look after poorly children.
Just to clarify, I am not talking about life threatening illnesses here or indeed anything of a serious nature. God forbid that anything like that happens to my family or indeed yours and it’s the stuff of my actual nightmares. I’m talking about illnesses that involve high temperatures, snot, coughing, puke, the squits, red eyes, itchy spotty skin and above all NO SLEEP FOR ANYONE AT ALL FOR THE DURATION.
Today my big boy has had his first ever day sick off school. He’s had a high temperature on and off all weekend, a cough, lethargy and is just generally off colour, droopy and not himself. Written like that, in black and white, it seems like just one of those things. No big deal. And in the grand scheme of things it certainly isn’t. BUT it feels like a big deal as a) my husband has trodden a path in the carpet between the bedroom and the bathroom and we have used about a whole bottle of bleach this weekend (enough said) and is moping round the house looking like Casper the unfriendly ghost with an aura of smelliness b) Corey can’t sleep at night because he’s not well and keeps appearing in my room with a plaintive ‘mummyyyyyyy, I don’t feel welllllllllll’ at 2 am – cue a fumble round in the semi-dark for the ear thermometer. An ‘Oh shit it’s well over 38’, a search for the calpol and syringe/spoon thing and then a lovely peaceful restful night of sleep. Oh wait, by lovely and peaceful I mean being kicked repeatedly by a small boy and then creating a little bed nest on the floor by their bed. This results in the kind of tiredness the next day that makes you feel like you’re hungover and you can’t actually tell if you’re ill or not because you’re so tired your head hurts like a bastard which may or may not be the start of the illness all the others have got. It’s bound to be. It always is.
When my kids are ill they become uber-clingy to mummy. By uber-clingy I mean ‘cough repeatedly in my face, vomit in my general direction and sneeze in my eyes’. No amount of anti-bac hand sanitiser can stop you from getting ill when a small child snots their germs in your face.
I am under no illusions about my prowess as a nurse. I am totally crap at it. I completely freak out at the sight of sick, even my own kids. Baby sick I could just about cope with. Good job as my youngest was a projectile vomiter of epic proportions – baby sick is mainly sour milk and whilst completely minging it is copeable. Any other sick is not. It’s a job for daddy. Or involves me throwing armfuls of towels in the general direction of the puking progeny whilst shouting mummy *retch* loves you *retch*.
To list all of the times we have all been poorly together would be a long and sorry tale indeed. The thing that alarms me most is the frequency with which it happens. It really seems that no sooner than one cold/cough/random illness is gone then the next one starts up. The illnesses themselves are often things that you’ve never bloody heard of until you have kids as well. Hand, foot and mouth? I was under the impression that you had to be a cow to get that – but no, it turns out that humans do and that a particularly great time to get it would be the weekend you move house with a 1 year old and are 5 months pregnant. Oh that was a fun weekend. Nothing makes you feel better than a house in need of complete renovation without even beds to rest your poorly pregnant self on. This January Mitch and I have had slapped cheek syndrome. That was a joy. I wouldn’t have minded the bright red cheeks so much as they did detract from the January pallour of my skin – but it was only one cheek that was BRIGHT RED and I looked like a pissed clown.
Looking after poorly children is stressful and horrible and just made even more so by you being tired and poorly yourself. It sucks big time.
As I said, currently we are in the midst of yet another random virus. No-one is seriously poorly but enough that we are all a bit miserable and cooped up and in need of something easy to munch which is comforting. Step forward American Pancakes.
This recipe is easily and quickly put together and makes loads of pancakes. Way too many for a little family of 4. No matter though, pop the rest in the freezer and then next time you fancy a yummy brekkie or a quick pudding just get one out and pop it in the toaster to defrost/warm through.
Corey likes these cut into strips and dipped into honey or syrup, Mitch likes them spread with nutella, I like them with banana, blueberries and honey and Dan loves them with syrup and bacon. But being a typical man he loves most things with bacon. He’s been to America like twice and also seems to think that eating that for breakfast makes him like a New Yorker with an exciting Manhattan lifestyle or something.
250 g plain flour
1 tsp caster sugar
4 tsp baking powder
300 ml milk
40g melted butter (I melt mine in a mug in the microwave)
To make the mixture just plonk all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk it together for a couple of minutes. There will probably be a few lumps but not to worry, it doesn’t seem to affect the end result.
Heat a frying pan with a splash of sunflower oil and when quite warm add the pancake mixture – I find the perfect size is to use about half a soup ladle full of batter and to make two at a time. After a couple of minutes flip them over – they should be golden brown on each side.
You can pop them in the oven to keep warm while you’re still frying or, if your kids are anything like mine, they will tuck into them as you make them and then you can enjoy yours last once they have eaten.
Freeze any leftover in sealed bags and take out when needed and pop in toaster to warm through.
The pancakes obviously don’t have any special healing powers but they did make us all feel slightly better this morning. They also fit in with my test of illness. If a child refuses a pancake and/or chocolate button then they really are poorly and you should be a bit concerned. If they scoff them then they’ll be better soon. You, on the other hand, will soon be feeling rotten but by that time they will all be right as rain and as demanding as ever and – as we all know – you can’t call in sick from the job of being mummy. *coughs, sneezes and clutches painful head*