Sorry where was I?
Yes, that's right, the VIRUS OF HACKING HORROR.
Night times have been the worst of course, one minute I am comfortably settling down to read the most boring novel in the world (a direct result of writers' block) and the next I am threatening to cough up my small intestine except I'm pretty sure I lost that the last time C brought a hacking virus home. (Although to be fair he also brought home a very nice necklace for me, so...you know, swings and roundabouts.)
For a while I lie in bed with my face jammed amongst the pillows, trying to muffle the sounds of misery, but eventually I drag myself out and gargle something or swig something and sit upright until the coughing fit stops and I can crawl back beneath the doona.
I'm not sure if this is a male habit or even a 40plus male habit or just one of C's own adorable pecadillos but whereas I, at the first hint of a sneeze, will start mainlining garlic and horseradish and drink gallons of water, C seems perfectly comfortable hurling his phlegm around the room and would not even think of sucking on a Vitamin C.
Wouldn't cross his mind.
So then I have to drag myself out to the shops, knowing all the time those microbe things are festering in my system and I am a marked woman and it's all just a matter of time, and buy bags of vitamins and zinc things and chesty cough mixtures.
Even then it's not enough to clink them on the kitchen table and heave a great sigh of martyrdom and mutter about if only he'd thought to take this stuff before he came home and passed his lurgy amongst the family.
I have to make up little bowls of tablets and vitamins and actually hand them to C with a frigging glass of water before he will actually take them.
Tricky has also been coughing like a fiend, albeit a tinier version, and initially there was also a bit of fever and general sickiness. The last time he had this sort of coughing virus the doctor prescribed him a puffer which came with an elaborate mask and spacer type thing.
He wouldn't have a bar of it and the only way I could get him to use it was when he was asleep. I would hold the mask over his face and press the ventolin and count to ten. It felt vaguely creepy and wrong and so I was glad that this time, a few months after the last virus, Tricky was keen as mustard to use the mask. He presses the button himself and counts to ten - I think it's the echoey booming way his voice sounds in the spacer that holds all the appeal. That and the button of course. Kid loves a good button.
But all this night coughing and palaver has caused a bit of havoc in the sleep stakes. All the mummy attention at night during the early stages has registered with Tricky and now, as his coughing subsides, the demands, and the volume with which the demands are made, have increased.
Last night we were woken by shouts for water, mummy, doona and Charlie&Lola. Since I had done several of the earlier night calls, I nudged C into action and started drifting back to sleep.
Moments later I was woken more decisively by the sound of Tricky kicking his feet against the back of the bookshelf that makes up one wall of his "bedroom".
DOONA! Thump thump thump. MUMMA! Thump thump thump. NO WATER, I DON'T NEEEEEEED IT. Thump thump thump. I WANT MY MUMMY.
Somewhere in the darkness C, half asleep, was lumbering about with a sippy cup of water in hand, feebly muttering shhhh shhhh.
At some point he must have made actual physical contact with our child because then Tricky sternly and quite cruelly shouted:
NO DADDY, GO AWAY, GO BACK TO BED.
It was terribly harsh, this rejection by one's child, I thought.
I settled myself comfortably upright against the mountain of pillows I had built in a bid to stave off coughing.
But frankly, terribly fair.