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  • jdettmann

Going Viral

Another day, another post about the various childhood illnesses that my daughter is rapidly ticking off her To Get list. It may be boring to read about but trust me, it’s more boring to live it. And you know what they say: a boring problem shared is a boring problem multiplied.There’s no need to suffer alone when you can bring down others quite easily using the magic of the Internet.

Did you know there is such a thing as Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease? No? Well, you do now. I highly recommend not google-image searching for it. It’s caused by something called the Coxsackie virus, a name, like Balzac, that makes H snicker. Hand Foot and Mouth is an unimaginatively titled mild illness that causes small blisters on the hands, feet and in the mouth. It’s common and goes away quickly enough, but we needed another virus in this household like we needed more Tupperware without lids.

May Blossom came down with this virus shortly after recovering from last week’s sore throaty coughy virus. She had hardly any sore on her hands and feet, but lots of ulcers on the roof of her mouth. She has been existing on a diet of watermelon and breast milk. Breast milk, that’s right: the supposedly magical elixir that allegedly improves your kid’s immune system and helps them ward off illness as long as they are nursing. What a load of old cobblers. The formula-fed babies I know are all much healthier than May Blossom. She doesn’t go to daycare either, which is the other traditional hotspot for lurgies.

The doctor maintains it’s normal for kids to get sick all the time, and that the number of things she catches will reduce as she gets older, but I don’t know. I’m starting to feel like I’m doing something wrong. I shouldn’t complain about it though, because what she gets are mild illnesses. There’s nothing seriously wrong and for that I am very, very grateful.

My gratitude was compounded this past weekend by my watching of quite a lot of episodes of ER on DVD. I used to love ER, and I hadn’t watched it since May Blossom was born. But it seems different now. Was it always as full of dying kids? I never noticed before. Now it seems like every episode has a child dropping dead from some rare illness that looked like nothing much to begin with, or being killed in some dreadful accident that invariably occurred because their parents were trying to make their lives better. I should have stopped watching, but I couldn’t. H was away visiting his father, so there was no one to forcibly remove the DVD and make me watch something funny. So I kept watching sad things happen to imaginary characters and crying like it was my own family. I never said I was smart.

The smartest thing I did all weekend (not including that seamless segue there) was eat Jamie Oliver’s Easiest, Sexiest Salad In The World for dinner on both Saturday and Sunday nights. I might eat it again tonight, too. It’s that good. It’s made with figs, buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and basil, dressed with lemon, olive oil and honey. It’s so easy and delicious. I had it with figs on Saturday and tried ripe yellow nectarines in their place last night. Both equally good. I found it was quite easy to make it less sexy, too, by eating it alone, very, very fast, on my lap in front of the TV with a baby monitor beside me, secure in the knowledge that if I took more than ten minutes to prepare and eat it, May Blossom would wake up crying from the pain of her mouth ulcers. Also, keep reminding yourself the cheese is made from buffalo milk. Is there a less sexy animal than the buffalo?

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