Yesterday at about 2.30pm, I was at my desk, wondering how I was going to churn through my list of tasks when my mobile phone rang and it was Sue. Ollie had been sick on waking from his afternoon nap and then again a few moments later. I jumped in a cab, got to Sue's to find my dear little boy upset and confused with what was going on. He was uncharacteristically clingy, asking for water and then being sick almost instantly, 'oh whoops, oh whoops, oh dear' he sobbed through his tears. In a chaos of puke, tears, poopy nappies (Max sure does choose his moments), I got the boys home, into the shower, into dry, clean clothes and we snuggled up on the couch in front of The Gruffalo while Will made an appointment at the doctor on his way home to help with a very sad little boy.
After a reasonable night, not without its challenges, Ollie managed to eat a pretty good breakfast (at his own request) and both boys are now resting, Ollie in our bed, Max in his cot. Ollie's never had to deal with this kind of illness before, and he's coping remarkably well, even though being sick makes him sob and he's exhausted from lack of food and sleep. It is breaking my heart to see him so confused about what is happening to him and it feels as though we are sitting on a time bomb, waiting for it to hit Max and then us. In the mean time, all we can do is make him as comfortable as possible and let him know that everything will be ok.
Every parent deals with this, and some deal with a lot worse, but it's still hard. I guess at the end of it all, we are lucky that we are in a place with doctors, medicine, a comfortable home and the flexibility and support of our colleagues to be with our children when we need to be. We need to give it time, but I can't wait for the little guy to be back to his reassuringly bossy and impatient self again.