The Sickness Snowball Effect

Living in a house with five people, three of whom are under five, means that, inevitably, when one person gets sick, it snowballs until every person is sick.

Which would be fine, if all five people were able-bodied and capable of tending to their own needs.

Obviously this is not the case in my household.

I tell you, this has been a rough week for the Fantastic Family. In fact, this week I shall rename myself, Fantastic *cough* Mrs *achoo* T.

You know when you get such a bad cold, or tummy ache, or, heaven forbid, the actual flu, and all you want is your Mummy? Well, poos to that – what if you ARE the Mummy? And YOU want YOUR Mummy?! When does it end?!?!?!?!?!

It’s Winter. It it horrible. We apparently have the worst cold and flu season in five years. After this week, I believe it. Do I what.

This is a little over a week, in the Fantastic *cough*sneeze*achoo* Family household. Brace yourselves.

Saturday Morning

I woke up to news that my friend had spent the previous night vomiting. She was the second in our group of friends, though we had assumed the first had food poisoning. I was sympathetic to her plight. Obviously not sympathetic enough. By midday, another friend had been sick. Ruh-roh.

Saturday Evening

The stomach cramps began. The pain, the agony. If I were pregnant I would have driven myself to the labour ward, they were that strong. And, sure enough, the vomiting followed. I was up all night long – judging by the neatly arranged towels on the bathroom floor, I’m pretty sure I slept there. I can’t be certain, the night is a blur. Remember going out on a Saturday night and coming home, feeling a big “off”, wondering what you did the night before, and then sleeping it off? Yea, it was just like that. Except my “out” was the toilet room. And my sleeping it off was non existent. Because Children. And the Snowball Effect.

Sunday Morning

I rise from the dead, feeling barely worth standing. At least the vomiting eased a bit by mid morning. For me. Then BoyChild started. Bless him, he paints a sad picture when he’s sick. He slumps his shoulders, says, “Oh, Mum” in the most heartbreaking voice, then slumps to the toilet to be sick. At one point I found him standing the the corner with his head against the wall. I asked if he were alright and he replied, “Oh, Mum”.

Sunday Afternoon

Well, BoyChild seems to be keeping his toast down. Yay! So, of course, it’s BabyGirl’s turn! And, because she is so little and so vulnerable, it was just painful watching her go through it.


The tummy bug seemed to have magically skipped both Mr T and Princess, thank heavens for that! We are done! Until …


Mr T turns to me and says, “How did your tummy bug start? I don’t feel so good …”


Ruh Roh. Mr T’s incubation period is obviously a lot longer than ours. Poor fella, he was sick as a dog that day. I just tried to keep the kids as far away as I could.

Friday Evening

I will ignore the sore throat I can feel developing, because NO MORE. It’ll pass, right.

Saturday Morning

Wrong. Wake up feeling a bit gross. Blocked nose, sore throat, the works. I figure, it’ll be a 24 hr thing, I just need to get through it. Mr T had to work all day long so I kept busy with things like housework and entertaining three preschoolers. Mostly by getting them to do housework.

Saturday Night

Ruh Roh. Fever, shakes, headache, stomach cramps, chest cough, the actual works.

Sunday Morning

How the heck could this cold be WORSE than last night?! I actually think my body was shutting down. The pain. The cold – I lit the fire at 9am and didn’t move from that spot all day. The fever. The cough. Oh, dear lordie. I called my Mum and cried that I neeeeeeeeeeeeeded her (unfortunately she lives 4.5 hours drive away and couldn’t come, though did offer some very reassuring words). I cried when BabyGirl headbutted me. I cried because I WAS SICK AND I DIDN’T WANT TO BE SICK. And, more than anything, I wanted to be the baby that day. I wanted to lie on the ground in front of the fire and moan and whine and be waited on. But, Mr T had to work and someone had to look after the kids. I tell you what, it’s hard work being a Mum, when the last thing you feel like is anyone touching you!

Sunday Afternoon

An amazing friend popped in and grabbed Princess for the evening. One down, two to go. I called my sister and her partner and said, would they mind coming over for dinner, I was NOT coping with the kids? And of course, they came. It was a hard thing to admit, that I wasn’t handling the kids at all. But sometimes you just have to set aside your pride for your sake AND the kids sake! My sister brought with her all kinds of necessities for a sick mumma (medication, hot lemon and honey drink, a magazine, chocolate …) and I was able to have a bath while they watched the kids.


Glad the worst is over.

Don’t be silly, Mrs T!

Monday Morning



I’m not sure why I’m surprised. I mean, I spent two very long days in very close proximity to all three kids, at least one of them was bound to catch what I had. But, all three? At the same time?!

While still not 100% myself, I spent all of yesterday dosing kids up with pamol, juggling cuddles, rationing lemonade ice blocks, playing games, charging ipads, getting laundry done, taking temperatures, re-dosing with pamol, changing tv channels …. and this carried off well into the night.


And here we are, on Tuesday morning. Day Four in a row of myself at home with all three kids, none of whom feel well enough to tolerate anything … at least I feel better. Better, mind. Not well. Better than Sunday. The entire night was a juggle of children in and out of our bed. I was up at 4am with BabyGirl, I moved BoyChild into his own bed at 5am and Princess needed a bath at 6am. No kindy today, no preschool. And no, Princess – we are not going out for lunch!

It’ll be a long day but we will get there. Slowly.

Princess’s big birthday bash is this coming Saturday, so I’m hoping that these illnesses will be long gone by then. The silver lining is that at least they are all sick at once and not dragging it out over weeks. *touch wood*.

And there you have it, the Sickness Snowball Effect. Can it be prevented? No, I don’t think so. But, I will be grabbing plenty of fresh fruit and veges and vitamins at the supermarket later on today, just to be sure.

Right, I need to get off the computer, BoyChild has been sitting behind me on my chair for the past five minutes, coughing and whining about playing a Thomas game on the computer, asking if it’s his turn yet?

Yes, BoyChild. It’s your turn. I need to go and disinfect my entire house.



Should Cinderella Be A Sex Bomb?

My daughter thinks she is a princess. Or, at least, she plans on becoming one. She really believes it to be an achievable goal in her life. And good on her, I say.

We are fast approaching her 5th birthday and she is having a Princess Extravaganza party. You know, for a change from other years – last year she had a Princess and Pirates party, the year before it was a Pink Princess Tea Party. I’m making the most of it this year because I feel it might be the last Princess party for her.

Her party is going to be pretty big, by my standards – don’t let the “extravaganza” in the title fool you though, I pride myself on low-budget, low-cost parties – watch this blog for more about this party in the coming weeks!

Which leads me to today’s conundrum – why is Cinderella a sex bomb??

I thought a nice surprise for Princess’s party would be an actual Princess coming along. She has said to me a few times how great it would be if Cinderella, or Rapunzel, or *gasp followed by audible whisper* Elsa! came to the party. I don’t actually know any of those Princesses (“Yes, you DO know them, MUM! You saw them in the MOVIE, MUM! You DO know them!”), I searched around for an alternative. And came across an amazing friend who is dressing up and coming along to surprise Princess and her friends at her Princess Extravaganza, as an actual real Princess.

Simple, right? I’ll just hire or buy a costume. Done. Easy.


Because, apparently, you can’t hire a Cinderella costume. Or a Snow White costume. Or a Rapunzel costume. I mean, you can hire one of these:


or one of these


or, oh look! how about this one?


Now, I’m no prude. I’m all for fun, sexy dress ups for parties and events that call for it. I even think these outfits are cute – for the right occassion.

But, what message are we sending our girls, our little Princess-obsessed 4-and-5-year-olds, when this is the only adult option out there?

That, if you want to dress up, sexy is the only way to go? Our girls admire these Princesses, they look up to them, they want to be them. Do I want my daughter to aspire to the above images? I’m just not sure that I do. I mean, sure – when she is in her 20s and invited to a “Fairy Tale” party or something, then by all means, don the short busty dress. But there are other reasons for Princess outfits, aren’t there? Like, kids parties?

I was shocked at my own response to this situation as well – I’ve always considered myself to be liberal. Yet this really tugged at my feminist heart strings. I found myself disappointed in women. Why can’t an adult live in the same fantasy world that a 4 or 5 year old girl does? If not just for one afternoon.

Thankfully, after yelling at the computer for hours and spouting off to anyone who would listen, about “the youth of today” and “blah blah sex bomb, blah blah COME ON WOMEN!”, I was able to find a hire company who, at the back of the store, behind all the racks of short dresses and knee high boots, had a beautiful yellow Belle dress. Set aside for occasions just like this.

And, all is good in the world again.

Belle will be at the party! Shhhhh, don’t tell Princess 😉



What I Say vs What My Kids Hear

My children, they don’t listen to me. Well, that’s not entirely true. They listen, they just hear a different version to what I’m saying. Selective hearing, if you will. Princess is particularly good at it, and sometimes I really wonder if I am speaking the same language as her. BoyChild is nearly as bad – his forte is replying a multiple choice question with a yes/no answer. Actually, this may well be a male trait, as my brother in law did the same thing yesterday – “Did you want peanut butter on your toast, or jam?” “Yes”. (note: that was an example of the question I ask BoyChild, not my brother in law. I’m not in the habit of making him toast. Not against it, mind. Just not something I do often).

I read somewhere recently that being ignored evokes the same internal reaction as physical pain. True or not, I see sense in this. Being ignored makes you want to blow your lid like a volcano, I tell you what. One of my most common Mum Phrases is, “What did I JUST say?”

And so, this is what I say, vs what I’m sure my kids hear me say.

Please don’t kick your brother.

Please, don’t kick your brother. But, I’m going to look away now, so sneak a quick one in before I look back again.

Someone very important is coming over shortly, lets just put away your toys.

Do you know what toys you guys haven’t played with in ages? ALL OF THEM! Lets get them out and have a toy FIESTA!!!

The baby is asleep, please do not yell.

The baby is asleep, I think a great place for your game of “who can yell the loudest” is outside her bedroom door. In fact, open the door and check she is still sleeping, that’s a great idea.

No, you can’t have another biscuit this close to dinner time.

No, you can’t have a biscuit, but if you yell and scream and kick and push and shove, you can most certainly have one.

No, you can’t have another biscuit this close to dinner time.

Please, go grab that chair and climb into the cupboard and help yourself to the biscuits. In fact, share them around.

No, you can’t have another biscuit this close to dinner time.

I am going to starve you until you just can’t bear it any more, because I really am the worst mother in the world.

It is bed time in five minutes, please settle down now.

Bed time is scrapped tonight, jump on the couch some more!

Can you please set the table?


How was school today?


Get your foot off your sister’s face.

Put both feet onto your sister’s face

Don’t stand on that stool. It is NOT stable.

Stand of that stool there. And, see how much you can dance before it topples. I dare ya.

Keep that door shut, I don’t want the dog to come inside. Or the baby to go outside.

Hey – you know that door there? Let’s open that. And then close it again, with the dog inside and the baby outside. Switch-arounds are FUN!

If you kids eat your veges for dinner, you can have an ice cream



I might as well quit while I’m ahead. And, by “ahead”, I mean, “very, very far behind”. Perhaps I’ll have more luck talking to my husband.

I know, I laughed out loud as well.