Bugs, drugs and chickenpox: When your entire family is ill

My household has been plagued.

So much so, that it would probably be prudent to sanitize the letter box to keep the poor postman from catching one of our many ailments.

My husband gallantly kicked things off when his “man flu” (not actually a thing, surely) developed into full blown shingles.  Upon receiving his diagnosis I felt 80% sympathy for him and 20% for myself, for the reasons that I now had to dish out actual pity as well as single-handedly keep this family afloat.

OK, if i’m honest it was a 50/50 split.

FINE, 40/60.

But you know what? I rose to the challenge. I played the nurse role. I dusted off the supermum cape and enthusiastically entertained our toddler. I even cooked us all healthy dinners requiring zero microwave heating (if any of you know me personally, you will appreciate the magnitude of this effort. Hubby has always been the chef!).


“Mumsies” actually on sale at ASDA. Go on, treat yourself. 

I played superhero for good few days, until I too was struck down by the family plague.  My eyeballs felt like googly-eyes and my throat whimpered in pain. For once i was rivalling my  toddler in the booger department. Nice.

Both heavy limbed, heavy lidded, and wanting nothing more than to flop back into bed, my husband and I stood in the kitchen staring at each other. It was like a “who is the most ill and therefore gets to watch TV?” standoff.  We exaggerated our symptoms to each other whilst little Finn scurried around our feet like an excitable minion, prodding plastic forks into our calf muscles.

Our standstill was broken by the vague sound of retching coming from the living room. Our dog Barkley was emptying his belly out onto our rug.

I suppose he felt left out.

And so a new standoff commenced, regarding who was most deserving of clean up duties.


I lost. He played the shingles card. Stupid shingles.

Barkley didn’t stop “gipping up” (granddad Gary’s expression, now a family keepsake) for hours.  We alternated toddler duties with door duties; the latter involving literally pushing the dog outside every time his whiskers started to quiver whilst simultaneously trying to muster up sympathy and keep as much heat in the house as possible.

Tragically I pressed my bog eyed face against the bi-fold doors whilst counting in my head how many raisins Finley had chucked and how many I had picked up.

Raisins are toxic for dogs, by the way.

The day continued in a heavy, tortuous fog. Eventually, with the help of a vet friend, heaps of orange play dough (some of which the dog ate, but apparently that’s OK!), and a generous sprinkling of CBeebies, bedtime fell upon us.

In the morning we were greeted with three little red spots on Finley’s face.



Yes, this actually happened. And we are still in the thick of it.

…But we are also making blanket forts, having weak attempts at pillow fights, and eating fruit cake at 6am in front of Wallace and Grommet.

My toddler, who is usually much too busy to stop and cuddle, is curling into my lap like a rescued kitten, making my heart swell with the knowledge that I am exactly what he needs right now.

For once, we are accomplishing very little.


The letter box claps open and a pile of letters tumble through. I picture the postman, rosy cheeked in the sunshine, breathing in the fresh November air.

And then I take in the heavy sight of us, draped over the sofas in yesterday’s tea/Marmite/dog sick stained pyjamas. We are greasy haired, white faced, and arguing over who is the biggest idiot of the bunch.

Would I change it if I could? Quite possibly.

But possibly not. ♥


Disclaimer #1: I was not paid by ASDA by this post, nor was I sent a free “mumsie”, sadly!

Disclaimer #2: It turns out it wasn’t chickenpox, in the end. But changing this story would also involve changing the title and frankly “Bugs, drugs and a nondescript illness involving feverishness, incessant wingeyness and mysterious spots” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.  Can we just pretend that it was, in fact, pox?  Thankyouuuu. 


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