Last week I wrote a post on soup and happened to mention, perhaps rather too smugly, that I have a freezer stashed full of stock, including turkey stock to fight winter colds and flu. Now the little voice that tells me trite things like ‘pride comes before a fall’, and ‘don’t tempt fate’, is telling me triumphantly ‘I told you so!’
On Monday morning Middle Daughter woke up not feeling well, Youngest had a bit of a sore throat but went to school anyway. As the morning went on my throat started to feel scratchy and my husband was also suffering. The school called me to fetch Youngest early, as she was now feeling sick. In no time I had two sick girls installed on the sofa, one husband in bed and a son who was entirely unaffected by the lurgy still needing to go to school and be fed normal meals.
So my freezer full of stock has been slightly depleted. Vegetable soup with turkey stock for the girls, clear broth with garlic and herbs and a bit of rice for husband whose throat was too sore even for bits of vegetables, lentil soup made with ham stock later on to ring the changes, have been the diet this week. The girls have occupied the sofa for the entire week, sore throats and temperatures and sore eyes and headaches. My throat turned into a head cold, so I did the minimum of work to keep my regular clients happy and spent the rest of the time reading them stories.
My husband developed acute tonsillitis and so is on antibiotics which always make him feel rotten, so he’s mostly stayed in bed. I took the girls to our homeopath, when their fevers still weren’t down on Thursday. They were in better spirits by then and eating well, but I thought they might need something to boost them over the last of it. Middle Daughter turned out to have tonsillitis too, even though her throat only felt a bit sore. Youngest just has a throat infection.
The other day as I was doing my round of the sick beds and sofas with jelly and ice-cream for a snack, Middle Daughter looked up at me and commented,
“It’s like you’re our servant.”
I was momentarily lost for words, but then hurriedly corrected this unflattering image with,
“No, I’m your nurse.”
All I lack is a cap and uniform. The temperature chart is there for all three of them; the thermometer in a little cup of sterilizing stuff. Tissue salts and homeopathic drops to be doled out hourly and two hourly and regularly meals delivered, balanced for nutrition and ease of eating.
Mind you, as our domestic help has been off sick this week, having caught mumps from Youngest, the servant cap feels like it fits too… except that I haven’t done that job very well at all, confining myself to ensuring a supply of clean dishes and clean clothes and ignoring the dust balls and dog hair strewing the floors.
So instead of regaling you with glorious photos of our holidays, swimming in rivers and mountain pools, sunshine and braais, you can picture for yourselves a dusty interior, gloomy with blankets over the windows to keep the bright summer sun from glaring in feverish eyes, the hum of the washing machine and occasional giggles from the girls, who at least have had each other as companions all week on the sofa and have been able to chat away and play games when feeling well enough.
I need another holiday now!