The great injustices of life – popcorn, Pringles, and a trip to A&E

We were coming towards the end of our holiday, and the sun had finally decided to make an appearance. Keen to make the most of it, there was one boy in the pool playing catch, a second boy on a sunbed; and a third boy who hadn’t quite had enough of the waterslides – up and down he went, again and again.

It was a classic holiday scene.

And then came the shout down from the top of the slides – “He’s hurt himself!” called the biggest boy of the group; our friends’ eldest one. “He needs some help.”

So far, nothing unusual. Twin 1, aged 5 and the most boisterous of the three, is always tripping and tumbling. He comes home from school with an accident slip in his book bag most days. I imagined that he had fallen on his face and cut his mouth again – that happens quite a lot. Or perhaps yet another grazed knee.

And then he appeared…..with a lot of blood and what appeared to be a hole in his head.


I am not good at dealing with such situations, but I tried my absolute best to hide my panic and think I did reasonably well, until I reached my husband and shouted that we really needed to find some first-aid very urgently indeed as our child appeared to have a HOLE IN HIS HEAD!

This was probably not the best choice of words. Twin 1, already distressed at the sight of quite a bit of blood; was understandably alarmed by this latest news. “What do you mean I have a hole in my head, mummy? What do you MEAN???”, he sobbed.

It’s not really a hole, sweetheart; no it’s not a hole.” I said, desperately wishing I could take back my words. “I got it wrong…..that was a silly thing to say. But we do need to get you some first aid. And probably go to the hospital.”

We found the owner of the campsite who told us where to find the local A&E. We found a plaster, we stopped the bleeding, and my common sense told me that the hole was fixable. We were all much calmer.

Our friends offered to look after the other two boys so that we could concentrate on the injured one – advantage number 270 to holidaying with friends.  The eldest boy and Twin 2 were beyond thrilled at the news that they were going on an unexpected playdate. Would this mean they would finally get to play Fifa 18 on their friend’s Nintendo Switch? What about Mario Kart? Perhaps the evening could start with a football match outside? There was just so much fun to be had.

I suggested that they might like to calm their enthusiasm a little and remember that their brother had just had a nasty fall and now had to spend his evening at the hospital. Perhaps asking if their brother was alright might be a nice thing to do?

They looked suitably sombre.

“Are you alright?” asked the eldest boy.

“Are you alright?” asked Twin 2.

Twin 1 tried to hold back his sobs but couldn’t quite manage it. “It’s not fair, mummy”; he said. “They get to go and play with the others and I don’t. I want to go and play Mario Kart. And LOOK! Now they’re outside playing football too.”

I tried to explain that I would be a thoroughly irresponsible parent if I decided to let him go and play football followed by Mario Kart rather than take him to the hospital to get his wound attended to. It didn’t help.

I offered him a few Pringles followed by some caramel popcorn; which seemed to work much better.

Fuelled by his snacks, Twin 1 ran outside to find out how the football was going.

How’s it going guys?’, he asked. For a brief moment, you wouldn’t have known there was anything wrong.

Apparently football was going well – it was 2-2.

The others crowded round the injured boy. Friend A, the eldest of the group, looked at the injured head. ‘I can see blood coming through the plaster’, he said. ‘I really think you need to get to the hospital – I hope you get on ok.’

You are probably imagining him to be about 15…..He is 8, but clearly very sensible when it comes to giving medical advice.

There were nods of agreement from the others.

Have a good time at the hospital!’, shouted Friend B, aged 6 and the only girl of the gang.

Yes, have a good time!’; they all called out.

Thanks!’, shouted Twin 1 as he strode to the car with his backpack. It was all so ridiculous I couldn’t help but smile as we went on our way.

My first ever experience of French A&E was generally very positive. Obviously I would have preferred not to have been there in the first place; but given that we were I came away really quite impressed. AND the parking is free. FREE! In fact, when we asked a man if we needed to pay, he looked at us like he’d never heard anything so ridiculous before.

Anyway, the injured boy was amazingly brave while the (now much less dramatic looking) hole in his head was stitched, and then the doctor gave him a whistle as a well done. That was probably the only less positive bit about the hospital experience….. thankfully we may have misplaced the whistle since returning home.

We headed back to our little cabin with one tired out but actually quite proud-of-how-brave-he’d-been little boy, and picked up the two other boys who had had the time of their lives. And then everything returned to normal alarmingly quickly.

Twin 1, still struggling to get past the fact that his brothers had played on Mario Kart and Fifa 18 without him, let slip that he had had some Pringles and TWO pieces of caramel popcorn.

Twin 2 could not believe the injustice. Couldn’t he have some caramel popcorn? What about Pringles? And what was this…….Twin 1 was now eating more slices of pizza than he’d had? Perhaps it is worth injuring yourself if these are the rewards.

Clearly I had got my priorities all wrong. In an alternative universe, Twin 1 would have forgotten all about his head and instead would be flinging himself around on the football pitch before playing endless games on the Nintendo Switch; while Twin 2 would be busy finding some steps to fall down in the hope of earning himself some Pringles and caramel popcorn.

Life is so unfair when one of your siblings requires a trip to A&E.

hospital trip

Panic over and all fixed up. Big thanks to the lovely doctors and nurses.


A turning point

I have seen a few posts recently about the challenges of parenting pre-school aged multiples. We are a couple of years on from that now, but I’ve been thinking back to when I was navigating my way through that very tricky territory.

I remember those days so clearly.  When your little ones suddenly have language and are able to express themselves…. which you would think might make things less frustrating, not more; but of course it doesn’t because they don’t yet understand what is and what isn’t reasonable (and, of course, you are attempting to reason with two at a time). When it feels like one twin is always upset over something and you’re not sure how much energy you have left to reason with children who have not yet mastered the art of reasoning. When one minute it feels perfect but the next you are rocking in a corner, questioning everything and just wishing you were a different sort of mum and able to give your precious little people the time and attention that they deserve.

I don’t have any magical advice for this very tricky stage, but if I could go back and have a chat with myself two years ago, I think I would tell myself the following:

  • Stand back every so often and let them resolve some things for themselves. Tell them you’re not getting involved, and go over the top with praise when they manage to resolve whatever they’ve been squabbling over.
  • Realise when you are just adding to the noise – this is the hardest thing because when it’s all going crazy, well sometimes you just can’t help but join and in and let rip yourself…..but when they’re in the moment, squabbling over who gets to wear the tractor socks or who gets to use the special purple cup; they absolutely WILL NOT LISTEN TO YOU.  You can try, you can reason; but most likely……well, it will just be more noise. I still have to remind myself of this one all the time.
  • Have a safe spot/safe toy/special cushion…..something they associate with calming down. We only started this one in the last year or so – my boys will now calm down with a fidget spinner, a favourite cuddly; or if they’re feeling really really angry and just need to go and hit something I encourage them to go and hit a cushion rather than lashing out at a sibling.
  • A lovely doctor we saw a few months ago suggested this next one – let each child take it in turns to be ‘in charge of the day‘. Being in charge of the day means that you get to make all the big decisions… know, all the really big decisions like who gets to use the yellow spoon with the lion on it, who gets to open the front door, who gets to turn the television on. All the things that cause proper angst and heartache. And then at the end of the day, whoever is in charge gets 10 minutes of ‘mummy / daddy time’ – doing a drawing, playing a game or whatever. In theory, no-one can complain that it’s unfair because everyone will get their turn. It is not flawless and it can cause a few problems of its own, but it does help eliminate a lot of the bickering.
  • When you can, change the dynamic. It is hard to emphasise enough how valuable one-on-one time is (I wrote another post about this), particularly for multiples. It removes so many of the elements that makes parenting so draining and achieves the exact opposite – a bit of one on one time with my boys usually reminds me how much I enjoy their company, and makes me better equipped to deal with the more challenging moments. It’s not easy to schedule time for, but if you can arrange a trip to grandparents/friends/an aunt or uncle for one without the other, it changes everything.
  • DO NOT EVER compare yourself to other parents. Ever. Don’t look at pictures of your friends and their children on big days out and feel bad because you’re not doing the same. Don’t look at other children going from football to yoga to French and think that your children are missing out. Keep it simple, because there is plenty of time for #makingmemories and for adventures……I know we all feel the pressure to make every moment magical, especially these days; but with more than one at the same stage it can’t always be like that. And there is plenty of time for making memories when they’re old enough a) to enjoy them properly and b) to actually remember them. So just hang on a little while, because there is good news coming……..

It. Does. Get. Easier.

Or many of the things above do, anyway.

Over the last 6 months or so, I have noticed some BIG changes with my lively pair (who will be 6 in the summer); and I have realised that we have definitely entered a new era. What signalled the start of this new era was being able to read, and once that clicked, so many other things seem to have clicked too. Learning to read means so much more than just plodding through Biff, Chip and Kipper books after school. Learning to read is everything and feels like the proper start of independence. You see, as well as now being able to pick up a book and attempt to tackle it themselves, they can also now play proper sit-down games together; with minimal input from me. I first noticed it a few months ago when I watched them playing Top Trumps after school – they were happily playing by themselves, with no need for an adult hovering over their shoulders. Now games are a regular feature, and they have even been known to keep themselves amused with a few games first thing on a Saturday and Sunday morning.

Activity books are also achievable and, if my boys are feeling co-operative, something that they can do while I’m preparing the dinner. They can follow the instructions, attempt the puzzles and read where the stickers are supposed to go……which is excellent if, like me, you struggle to cope if the stickers that are supposed to ‘complete the scene’ on page 16 are stuck willy-nilly all over page 12 instead.

Something else that seems to have clicked over the last 12 months or so is the ability and desire to sit down and do some drawing or colouring – and not just furious scribbles on a page but trying to draw actual things. This was almost unknown two years ago. They still need to get outside regularly and run off some energy; but there are now so many more options for sitting down activities when I need them. Having mastered some basic life-skills, they just seem so much less frustrated with life.

And because of all of this this, the really good news is that it is so much easier to go out and have adventures. We can do bigger days out (I won’t pretend they’re not still exhausting), we can do train journeys, we can handle later nights. They can sit on a train and read a book or do some puzzles. When we’re out and about they can walk further, keep going for longer and there is less kit for us to carry around. So much so, that I am now desperate to book up more adventures – now that they are old enough to appreciate them but young enough to still want to have them.

The age my boys are at now does not come without its own challenges, obviously – that is for a separate post of its own. But in terms of the pre-school years – well, hang on in there ……because just like all the other phases, this too shall pass. And a new stage awaits.


School holidays and the things we learn

Every school holiday I learn something. Like that October half term when I thought that what we all needed was some chill-out time at home, and so I planned practically nothing. I’m not sure what I was thinking really – I think I had visions of cosy days full of baking and games and crafts; but by the end of the week we were all in tears and I was ready to poke my eyes out. I made a mental note to fill future school holidays with plans; to remember that days at home with all three children are very rarely either relaxing or productive. Now I approach each school holiday knowing that plenty of plans are very necessary in order to stay sane; and this tends to work.

The school holidays also remind me that providing three meals a day every day for all of my children is so much harder than I ever remember it being before they started school. Nothing I produce can ever compare to what the school cooks manage to rustle up and therefore is, very often, a disappointment. I am running out of ideas……and generally apologising for not being the school cook.

But this holiday, aside from trying to keep busy and struggling to keep up with the never-ending meals, I have learnt a couple of other things too.

Number 1 is that incorporating some named, timetabled elements into the day is, apparently, a good thing.

At the start of this holiday, I decided that every day we would have 15 minutes quiet reading time. There are always books around the house and my boys can often be found with one, but the difference with Quiet Reading Time (notice the capitals – it is now a thing) is that it would apply to everyone in the house at the same time, and we would all sit together for 15 minutes. It’s amazing the difference that simply giving something a name makes. Hundreds of times a day I ask my children to calm down, to stop shouting, to go and do something rather than poking a sibling with a pencil or sliding around on the stairs; but saying to them, ‘Right then, now it’s Quiet Reading Time‘ actually means something to them. They know what to do; and believe it or not, they all do it – at the same time. There is usually one boy (the same boy) Quiet reading timewho spends a couple of minutes insisting that he is off to do something else; but in the end he appears with a book looking sheepish. The youngest two usually also ask me a never-ending string of questions about what they’re reading and why Batman is chasing X and whether this guy is a good guy or a bad guy; but essentially, we all sit down with some reading material. Occasionally, if the books are going well, quiet reading time lasts for longer than 15 minutes – it is bliss.

When I think about it, I suppose it’s not surprising that my children prefer to have us all sitting down doing something at the same time rather than listening to me telling them all to calm down as I attempt to cook the dinner, clean the kitchen and nag a child about handwriting and spellings. Quiet Reading Time has helped calm the fractious moments and helped me to realise that sometimes, I need to do less yelling and more sitting.

Number 2 is that sometimes, you need to recognise when it is time to outsource. That sometimes, you can’t do it all yourself; and that’s ok. This holiday, I realised we needed to outsource the ‘learning-to-ride-a-bike’ thing for the biggest boy. I had been putting off the outsourcing, because I felt like riding a bike was the sort of thing that we should be able to teach him ourselves. I felt like we were letting him down, like this was an important part of parenting that we really should be able to do. But he just was not interested, and on top of that he was frustrated. So frustrated. Having always struggled with co-ordination, just learning how to use pedals had proved to be enough of a challenge. He was frustrated with himself and frustrated with us, and in the end he lost the will to even practise.

Thankfully, I came to my senses and realised that we needed an outsider to intervene, and so I booked him onto a Learn to Ride course over Easter. The first day, he absolutely categorically did not want to go – he ‘loathed’ cycling, so he said. He never wanted to be able to ride a bike……apparently he would walk everywhere, or run. That morning, he woke up and cried, and my heart broke as I dropped him off. But predictably, when I picked him up a smiling face appeared – he ‘loved’ it, he felt ‘confident’…..and he hasn’t looked back. It has taken him longer than most but who cares? I am ridiculously proud.

It takes a village -that’s what they say. Not many of us tend to have a village these days; but trying to take it all on ourselves isn’t always the best way forward. If outsourcing is what it takes then occasionally outsourcing is the thing to do. And in this case, it was one of the best decisions we ever made.

So here’s to Quiet Reading Time, or whatever your activity of choice might be, and to thinking about outsourcing some of those things which just aren’t quite working. And to keeping busy and staying sane for the last remaining days of the holiday…… which, incidentally, feels like it’s been going on for months. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it, but it does feel like Easter weekend was about 3 months ago.

How many more meals to go??

Boy on his bike



That slightly awkward in-between-y stage

Do you remember, back in Year 1, when you would ask for five kisses before being dropped off at school? Five kisses because you were 5. Never a thought for who might see, just wanting to know that you’d had the right number of kisses before you went into your classroom. That was what was important……it doesn’t seem that long ago really.

And now you are 7 going on 8. You still like a kiss goodbye, but as I give you a kiss you are also half looking round the playground, scouting about, seeing what’s happening. You are self-conscious, unsure what to do with yourself or where to look; and all too aware that mum is actually a bit embarrassing (only a bit though).

That lack of self-consciousness you had not so long ago, do you remember that? No idea what might be considered cool/uncool/a bit unusual/totally embarrassing. If you wanted to play traffic-jams-on-the-M40 in the playground at lunchtime then that’s what you’d do – why not? The freedom that comes from a total lack of self-consciousness is so special, but it doesn’t last that long. As I’ve looked at you recently, I have realised how much you’ve changed – people tell me your face has changed shape, and I can see it has; but you are also so much more aware of your peers, of expectations; and of what is considered ‘normal’. Embarrassing is a word that means something to you now, and where possible you’d rather avoid embarrassing situations …..wouldn’t we all. This is growing up, I know that. This is you navigating your way through friendship groups and society and expectations; this is you starting to develop away from the bubble of home.

I am no longer the very centre of your world, and I know that this is normal too. There are things about you, about your thoughts, about your day that I don’t know. You don’t tell me everything nowadays – I don’t mean in a ‘I don’t want to talk about what I’ve done at school today, mummy‘ sort of way…..all children feel like that sometimes. But in a different, more deliberate ‘I don’t need to tell you everything anymore, mummy‘ sort of way.

It wasn’t so long ago that we could snuggle up and your body would still fit neatly into mine; that you could wrap yourself around me like an orang-utan. We don’t fit quite so neatly together these days – your limbs are longer and snuggling is just a bit more awkward. You don’t quite have the co-ordination to deal with these longer limbs yet – the little boy in you still wants to mess about, walk backwards, or race around without looking where he’s going or considering whether there might be anything in his way; but the longer limbs remind you that you take up more space now, and it isn’t really possible to charge around like you’re 3 anymore.

A growing body, a slight awkwardness  – you are trying to work out how this new, longer-limbed version of you fits into things. And I’m trying to work it out too. As parents, we hear a lot about the baby days, the toddler days, the just-started-school days, the teenage years……but what about this, the sort of 8, 9, 10 stage? When the categories just aren’t quite so clear-cut. That in-between stage of still needing mummy, desperately at times, but also wanting to assert some independence. Of feeling frustrated because you have your own ideas and convictions, but ultimately your parents are still in control of so many aspects of your day-to-day life. We don’t seem to hear so much about that bit.

It feels like a new stage for both of us – one which sees you brimming with happiness one minute and furiously stroppy the next; and one which sees me having to force myself to stand back a little. New stages can be challenging, but we will muddle on through……whilst getting used to these longer but still not quite co-ordinated limbs.

boy with his book

Be curious

What lives in the centre of the earth?

Is the centre of the earth hotter than the sun?

Are the stars spheres?

How do volcanoes erupt?

How do the sun and the rain make a rainbow?

How do clouds stay in the sky?

Why does my drink stay together? What do you MEAN you don’t understand? Look at my drink, mummy… does it stay TOGETHER?

Do koalas only eat eucalyptus leaves and nothing else?

How do windmills work?

Why did Henry VIII want to chop people’s heads off?

Does Prince William chop people’s heads off?

Did everyone take sides during the Cold War?

Would you die if you went into space without a space suit?

How does water stay in the toilet?

What is the life expectancy of hamsters?

Does everyone have a wife?

How do babies learn to talk?

These are a few of your questions, boys….just a few – you have many more than this, usually fired at me in quick succession. And yesterday, as we were watching Newsround, your questions were all about Professor Stephen Hawking. If he died on Wednesday, does that mean that he was still alive on Tuesday? How did he talk through his computer? Did he ever go to the National Space Centre in Leicester?

All your questions were fitting really, because Stephen Hawking asked a lot of questions too – questions about the world and our place in it. When he was 21 he was told that he was very poorly and would probably only live for another two or three years; but he lived until he was 76, and he never stopped trying to find answers to difficult questions.

“Be curious” – that’s what he said. And you are……all children are. You have questions about everything…..things that many of us grown ups have stopped questioning, because we are usually too busy thinking about uninspiring things like renewing our car insurance or paying for the next school trip. And I feel bad about that. I feel bad that sometimes I give you unsatisfactory answers, or tell you we’ll look it up another time but then forget; or ask you to please concentrate on putting your shoes on. I’m sure you’ll admit that you do choose particularly inopportune moments to ask tricky questions – just as I’m turning the light off and saying goodnight, for example; or when we’re already running late for school and trying to sort out everyone’s book bags. But still, I know that I should be encouraging the questions……particularly given how few of them I actually seem able to answer – I’ve obviously got a lot of learning to do too. So I’m sorry for sometimes hurrying you along; and for the times I’ve forgotten about the things I promised we’d look up.

I’m not going to promise not to lose my patience occasionally, boys; because I know that’s a promise I’ll break too quickly. But here’s something we’ll try – the next time you ask a question at a particularly busy moment, which let’s be honest is pretty much every day, we’ll write it down. We’ll try our best to make sure we come back to it, and to keep asking more questions.

Let’s remain curious; because asking questions is the key to everything.



Books books books

I love a bit of book chat, so in keeping with World Book Week this week, and to take our minds off creating costumes, I thought I’d write about books. Because if you love books, you probably love sharing reading tips too.

I love that my 7 year old boy loves to read, but at the same time I am slightly fearful that this is something that won’t last. You don’t have to look far to find worrying statistics about boys’ reading habits; so I am always hungry for book-tips that will keep him keen to spend his bedtimes curled up with a story.

Bedtime is reserved for fiction in our house….I am quite strict about this with my boys – all books are wonderful, but there is something magical about losing yourself in a story which I don’t want any of my boys to lose. My biggest boy is naturally inclined towards non-fiction and during the day he loves to spend his time soaking up facts; so bedtime is his time to escape into another world. It makes me happy to see him lovely and cosy under his duvet with his head in a book; to hear him ask if he can please please please just read one more chapter before saying night night. His reading generally falls into a pattern of facts in the day and story before bed; apart from when he finds a book or a series that he absolutely cannot tear himself away from……when the pattern changes and he will happily read fiction morning, noon and night. The most recent books that this has applied to have been Harry Potter. There is so much about these books that appeals to his imagination and way of thinking. He loves the twists and turns, the intricacies of the plots and trying to piece together the backgrounds of the characters. He loves the structure of the Hogwarts school day, the wonderful names of the characters, the rules of quidditch. He loves the humour, the excitement, the suspense. He loves the fact that it totally draws him in to an imaginary world; and I love that he loves them so much………apart from when I’m trying to tell him it’s time to put his shoes on and he is barely even aware of me talking. Then it can be a tad annoying.

He does little else but read when he’s got a Potter book on the go, so it does all get a bit intense; and for this reason, we have a little rule……in between every Harry Potter, he should read two or three other books. The other reason we have this rule is because, as he approaches the end of the series, I am starting to get a bit concerned – what happens after Potter? What does he read next? What can be anywhere near as gripping or exciting? He knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like, my biggest boy – he can take a bit of persuading to try something new, and there are some series which he steadfastly refuses even to try (Famous Five being a good example); but once he finds a series he likes he is well and truly off.

Back in the early days when he was first starting to read chapter books, I found that tapping into his interests were a good way of encouraging him to give something new a try – animals and dinosaurs were guaranteed hooks back then…..and probably still are when I think about it. A few of his favourites books and/or series, which I credit for encouraging his love of reading, were:

  • Anything by Roald Dahl. Particular favourites were Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits and The BFG.
  • The Dinosaur Cove series – Rex Stone
  • The Humphrey Hamster series – Betty G Birney. He absolutely loved the Humphrey books when he first started reading independently – they combined his love of animals with his love of school / rules / timetables / structure. Great for any little school-lovers out there (although just a bit grating for adults).
  • Any Dick King Smith books
  • The Awesome Animals series (Penguin Pandemonium, Otter Chaos, Llama Drama – there are plenty for any little animal enthusiasts out there), and the Downtown Dinosaurs series which are similar but with dinosaurs, obviously.
  • The Animals of Farthing Wood – Colin Dann
  • Mr Gum – Andy Stanton. Just hilarious (for children and parents). And if your little reader enjoys these, try Uncle Gobb by Michael Rosen.
  • The xx Storey Treehouse series – Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (they start at 13 and go up in 13s – the latest one is 91 I think). This was another series that he would happily sit and read all day – he still loves them and will happily re-read them when the mood takes him.
  • Tom Gates – Liz Pichon. Good fun, cartoon-y style books (think Wimpy Kid).

And these days? Well, animals and dinosaurs are still a hook, as is anything historical –  stories about one of the wars or, even better, animals during the wars. Michael Morpurgo books go down very well, he adored The Wombles books by Elisabeth Beresford; and the Narnia series had him instantly hooked and kept him going quite happily between Harry Potters for a while.  Sometimes he surprises me – he chuckles away at the Wimpy Kid series but has not been overly enthusiastic about the David Walliams books he has tried so far. Right now, he is reading The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell – which features polar bears, pygmy dinosaurs and maps, and seems to be entirely up his street.

Please share any book tips you might have for keen readers or for those just starting out on their independent reading journeys. I have focused this on my eldest boy because my youngest two are at a totally different stage; but would love to hear recommendations for older or younger readers, whether they are pre or post-Potter (or, in fact, not Potter fans at all).

And now I’m off to attach a wolf tail to a pair of trousers.

Happy reading!

boy reading

Be gone, sickness bug

Twin 1

I’m home from school. I just want to play by myself. This isn’t like me…..I don’t usually want to play by myself. Why am I so quiet?

I feel sick. That’s what’s wrong. I feel sick.

Mummy! I don’t feel very well. My tummy feels sick.

I need a cuddle. And look how sad my face is. No, I don’t want anything for tea……or maybe just a plain breadstick.

Oh no. Oh no. I’m going to be sick.


He’s going to be sick.

Twin 1

Poor me. I need another cuddle.

Twin 2

What’s that? He’s sick? And he’s just having a breadstick for tea?

What is for tea, mummy? Pasta and cheese sauce? But I’m POORLY, mummy! I AM POORLY! I just want a BREADSTICK, mummy! Only a BREADSTICK! I’m poorly and also I don’t LIKE the pasta!


Oh no, please not sick.

Oh yes, sick.

But I have to be at work tomorrow. And I can’t catch this either. I really can’t. I can’t be ill.

And dinner’s ready. Is anyone going to want dinner?

No no you’re not sick, sweetheart. That’s your brother. You were poorly yesterday, remember? You’re feeling better today. No, you’re not just having a breadstick for your tea. You can have a breadstick with your tea. Now sit down please. Is anyone else coming?

Eldest boy

“Yes yes, I’m here! What is it? Ooh yes, yum. Pasta and cheese sauce, I love that…… What??? Sick??? Oh no. Oh no. I can’t stay at the table. I can’t be near him. I might catch it. What if I CATCH IT?! The last time I was sick, daddy caught it from me and then I caught it back from him and then daddy caught it back from me. I’m not going near him. I need to stay at least 15cm away from him at all times. At least 15cm


He’s going to miss his superhero day at school tomorrow. How am I going to tell him this? He’s going to miss his superhero day, and I also really really need to go to work.

I’m so sorry, sweetheart, but you won’t be able to go to school tomorrow for Superhero Day. I know that’s going to be really disappointing.

Twin 1 

I’m so sad, all I can do is wobble my bottom lip and bury my head into mummy.


This is rather lovely when he just wants to bury his head into me and have cuddles. It’s just a shame he’s sick.

Twin 2

Oh yes…..Superhero Day. Superhero Day tomorrow. I definitely don’t want to miss Superhero Day. So maybe I’m not poorly after all. But then I would quite like just breadsticks for my tea. This is impossible.

And look, now he’s sitting on mummy’s lap. This isn’t fair at all. I need mummy’s lap. I need to sit there right now. I’m just going to start clambering on top of him because I’m not well either. Although I will definitely be going to Superhero Day.


There is a sick boy sitting on my lap. It’s a lovely cuddle but am I going to catch this? Are we all going to catch this? In fact, am I already feeling ill? I think I might be. Or is it just because I’m thinking about sick children? Is he going to be up in the night? Please say he’s not going to be up in the night. I know that’s selfish but can I do that, really? Being up in the night clearing up sick……I don’t know if I can. And I’ve got this work event on tomorrow too. It’s not his fault I know. It’s nobody’s fault. Shall I have a glass of wine? Will that take my mind off feeling sick? And what about Friday? I’m actually going out on Friday to one of my favourite ever places. I’ve got tickets. I’ve been looking forward to it for months. Please please please please, I CAN’T CATCH IT. Really just can’t…..or not in the next few days anyway. And preferably not next week either as that’s half term. Can willpower alone stop me from catching it?

Twin 1

It was my brother who made me feel sick, mummy. He did it at school.

Twin 2

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease let me have just a breadstick for tea.


Well if no-one else is going to eat it I might as well have that pasta. Then I’m getting ready for football.


Oh let’s just pour the wine and hope for the best.

Get well soon, little one x


And let’s hope these little ones don’t catch it either.