This week has been The Week of The Flu. For all three of us. At the same time.
I can’t even begin to describe how awful it’s been. Oh go on then, indulge me in a proper moan: it’s been hack up half a lung every five minutes, hurts to move your eyeballs, weep into your already sodden tissues with self-pity kind of awful. 5 days of utterly awful (and counting).
We’ve made half-hearted attempts at playing, but really all any of us wants to do is mong in front of the TV. We have watched hours of cartoons. At least in that sense both Ms have looked as though all their Christmases have come at once.
Everything else has gone out of the window: dinner has been eaten at a different time every night, the dust bunnies are so numerous they could form an independent republic, and despite having just taken a holiday work hasn’t had a look-in.
And therein lies the problem. I’m freelance. I have not one, not two, but three deadlines scheduled for next week. And no matter how awful I feel, I can’t call in sick and hope someone else will pick up the flack. There is no one else.
When it’s just the Bean who’s ill it’s just about okay - both Mr P&P and I have enough flexibility in our work schedules to share the responsibility of looking after him. It gets difficult if it drags on, and this winter it’s actually been an infuriatingly ordinary feature of our lives. We were warned that the first winter of nursery (= lurgy factory) would be bad, but as with so many things about parenthood, you don't appreciate the true meaning of it until it hits you in the face like a steam train. But at least we can juggle, which it makes up for the fact that we have no family nearby with whom we can deposit the Bean.
This time, however, we’ve all been completely floored. Until yesterday the words on the screen were practically doing the jig in front of my eyes. Hopeless. Back to bed.
I’ve managed to do a bit today, but it’s still going to take some pretty funky voodoo to meet all the deadlines this week. In four years of freelancing I have never missed a single deadline. Not one. If I want to keep my clients in the long term, missing deadlines is simply not an option.
And in case anyone thinks I can work with the Bean at home (as my office is also at home), think again. He may be a cute assistant, but he just a liiitle too obsessed with the stationary and the gadgets to be truly useful.
1. Being poorly has made Little M the cuddliest cuddle-Bean you ever did see. He’s also learned how comforting holding hands is, so for the past few nights I’ve gone to sleep (and been woken up and gone back to sleep. Again. And again) with a tiny little hand clasped in mine.
2. Mr P&P and I have proven again how good we are in a crisis. We've moaned, sneezed, whinged and spluttered our way through this week, and at times we've practically been in tears, but thank the Gods of Lemsip that we can depend on each other. So now I'm brimming with both phlegm and love. Marvelous.