Thursday, 9 February 2012


Three of the four kids have been floored since Saturday. Fever and vomiting. I calpol and nurofen them; we survive till Monday. Then a rash.
Three hunched dopeys and the youngest - a ball of fizz - wait in the doctor’s surgery.
A virus.
We plod home, get back into Pjs and watch Alvin and the Chipmunks …. Again.
It’s now Tuesday. By 5pm I’m sick. I text my husband - “I’ve been virussed”.
I suddenly worry that he might think it’s the computer but the mobile bleeps with a message almost immediately. “Me too!”
I don’t believe it. Who the hell put the “us” into virussed?
But no time to think about that now. My mother-in-law is due to arrive to mind the kids while I work for a few days. Plan of action? Oscar-winning performances required all round in case she sees the adults sick and heads straight home again.
She arrives ….  It doesn’t work. …  But she doesn’t leave.
We get sick.
The fever rises and with it comes a simple delirious clarity: everything in the house bleeps…  the microwave, the TV, the oven, the door-bell, the washing machine, the dryer, the fridge door, the dishwasher, the thermometer, the mobile… like kids, each telling me to do something:
- open me!
-  close me!
 -press me!
- empty me!
-  fill me!
-  eat me!
-  read me!
...  over and over and over.
Five days later the fever breaks. No more bleeping. I notice the thermometer needs a battery.

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