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Holidays Make Me Sick

Things aren’t going exactly according to plan on our holiday. No sooner had we arrived and unpacked our Tetris-style car that took us a full hour to load, than I came down with some kind of horrible lurgy. Coughing like an old man outside the TAB, a headache like a horse kicked me and and a mood to match, I promptly retired to my bed and have barely raised my head since.

Instead of being able to relax and clear his head, unwinding maybe just enough to start to let some of the immense sadness for his father spill over, H has been landed with May Blossom all day every day. His break has consisted of pushing her up and down country lanes on her new tricycle as she blows kisses to cows, visiting the chooks approximately once an hour (she is a firm believer that they will lay more eggs if you shout ‘EGGS, OUT’ at them at the top of your voice many times a day), and repeatedly relocating her doll, Cupcake, who has disappeared about eleventy times since we got here. Almost without exception Cupcake has been found in the toy oven.

So far there has been no walking on the beach, no painting, no making bread, no making jam and none of the other ridiculous and lofty aims I had for this trip. Was taking lots of Panadol on my list? I’ve certainly managed that.

As for H’s aims for this trip, well it’s been bloody hard. Grief is a complete bastard, it really is. It refuses to be scheduled. On the odd occasion when I have crawled downstairs and announced ‘Okay, I can watch her for a bit’, it doesn’t seem to have meant that H has been able to march out into a field, shout ‘GRIEF, OUT’ and have a nice neat half-hour of keening and wailing. Instead it’s been sneaking up on him in insidious forms: the one-handled drawer that keeps sticking and sends him into a fury; the misplaced baby jumper that reduces him to tears. I honestly don’t know how he keeps getting up every day (at 5 am), but he does.

We did manage a pretty fun Easter. With suspicious looks directed at the five disproportionately excited adults pointing cameras at her, May Blossom indulged us and hunted for the dyed boiled eggs and foil-wrapped chocolate eggs we had hidden in the garden on Sunday morning. It took a while, because she employed the Eat And Savour As You Hunt method, and she found a large chocolate egg first.

The weather has turned pleasingly cold — cold enough for a fire in the kitchen in the morning and a jumper the rest of the day. That’s the best weather for being sick in. Curling up in bed with a brown cat, a cup of tea, and two heavy closed wooden doors between you and your child is the only treatment for a virus like this. The only danger is coming down with Secondary Malingering when I begin to feel better. I’m a bit prone to that.

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