Leitrim Mammy Diaries: Sharing everything as a family - even sickness

Fiona Heavey


Fiona Heavey


Leitrim Mammy Diaries: Sharing everything as a family - even sickness

Once a sniffle enters the house, the game is up, every member of the family will be struck down

“One for all and all for one” is our family motto when it comes to spreading germs and getting colds, flus, stomach bugs and every other contagious disease going.

I think the one and only case for home-schooling your children would be how much you could eliminate outside germs from entering your home.

With one child in playschool and a toddler who licks every inanimate object and then sneezes and coughs directly into your face, it is difficult for my family to avoid sickness. Germs spreads like wildfire through the house infecting everyone but the dog, and I have no idea how he escapes, because I am pretty sure the toddler licks him too!

I am convinced my editor and colleagues think I am off having days at the spa when I once again say I'm sick, but rest assured my days off in the mini hospital are nothing like a rest.
The most recent bout of illness to attack our home was the dreaded vomiting bug. It was just a 24 hour bug - but that was 24 hours of hell we each endured spread over four days.
You don’t need children to know the horrors of a vomiting bug, we all get it and it is beyond exhausting. But adding children to that ‘on the verge of death feeling’ really does bring it to a bonus level - because children really don’t care about your well being.

The 18-month-old was the first to be consumed by the bug, and despite the mess deposited upon himself, me, every floor in the house, his cot and also toys, fabrics and very narrowly the dog; he was actually quite pleasant throughout the experience. The worst part aside from the smell was trying to keep him hydrated and keeping him away from his sister’s food. The day he was sick was probably the most attention he received in the four days of the scourge - the following three days he got changed, fed and put to bed with little to no interaction.

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The four-year-old is no stranger to sickness, so when she began to hurl, she had her solid memory to help her recall all previous sick bouts. She became anxious, almost making herself sick because she was thinking too much about getting sick! And despite making trojan runs to the toilet and trying to aim for the sick bowl this particular bug didn’t leave time for dallying - so there was a lot of clean up and tears.

Then it was my turn, just as the four-year -old started to perk up and enjoy a few hours between vomiting, my stomach churned. As my husband was away for the day, I was the sole carer of the children. As my sickness reached its high point, the toddler was getting his appetite back - which meant high pitched whining. At one point both I and the four-year -old were fighting over the toilet - and either way I was going to be the loser as I couldn’t expect her to clean up any mess.
After I mustered all my energy to throw a yogurt and breadstick at the raging toddler, I had to admit defeat and call my own mammy for help when it came to bedtime.

Finally, when my husband did return from his day away it only took him just two hours in the house to contract the bug and of course he got it much worse than any of us - an affliction of most men.

Surviving a vomiting bug essential list: Dettol, lots of pjs, blankets, water, crackers, TV shows/ movies for kids and adults, thermometer, ice lollies (trust me), enough toilets/ sick bowls for everyone and your mammy or any other guardian angel on speed dial!

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