Having missed church last week due to Little Fish's Big Sleep, and the two weeks before that due to 'flu, and the week before that in order to do my duty by the Sunday School rota, I was quite looking forwards to getting there this morning.
With this in mind, I settled two girls into bed last night in good time, and settled myself down for an early night too. A 3 hour phonecall with a friend turned my early night into a somewhat later one. A frantic bellow from Little Fish turned it later yet, as she lay twisting in her bed with a raging temperature.
Medicines and a cool sponge, and a small girl with eyes closing gently drifting back to sleep, winter duvet swapped for a thin blanket, and Nippy hosing adjusted so she could move her head whilst sleeping.
Back to bed, head on pillow, lights out, glasses off, and then the gentler sounds of Mog gasping for air. Out of my bed, grope my way across to hers, and attempt to straighten her out a little. Repeat process twice at 20 minute intervals before giving in and putting her back in her collar for what remained of the night.
Snuggle down in wonderfully comfortable bed and then hear ScrEEEEEEEE noise. It's either Mog having a major mega seizure, or Little Fish somehow fallen under her bed and wrestling with the tent poles. I stagger up, and the noise stops. Lie down; it starts up again. Stagger up, it stops. I sit quietly and wait. And two kittens reveal themselves to be viciously attacking the bathtub.
Extract kittens, close bathroom door. Blissful silence. And then more subdued scritch scratching, and some plaintive mewing. I open the bathroom door again, and one cat leaps out, rubs noses with the cat trying to dig his way under the bathroom door, and they both run off to empty the litter tray.
Morning, and Little Fish's temperature has put paid to thoughts of church. She wakes up, happy and hungry, but with a ludicrously low temperature which refuses to rise to normal. So we settle for a quiet cuddly day, The Sound of Music, Macaroni Cheese, and not very much of anything else. A small rash of tiny spots starts to spread across Little Fish's stomach, and a friend's long-distance diagnosis has me thinking I probably ought to get things checked out. We obtain an out of hours doctor appointment, and settle back to more cuddles and fruit purees.
At last the hour approaches, and we load the van. Arriving at the hospital, the receptionist informs us the clinic is running late. I check that we will be seen before our evening carer is due, and am reassured there are only three patients in front of us.
And so we sit. And we wait. And we wait, and we sit. Little Fish tells everyone she is not poorly and she does not have any germs. And Mog coughs quietly and grows gradually pinker and her breathing gets louder until the receptionist is looking quite alarmed.
We watch as a doctor suits up with apron, mask and gloves and goes out to a patient who is waiting in the carpark. And then watch as the doctor walks back through the waiting room in the same apron, mask and gloves, bringing with him a patient's friend who has presumably been sitting in the car with the patient for the last however long. And we wonder what the point of the protective clothing was, if it's going to be walked back through into the main hospital anyway.
A small boy walks in with his mother, vomits at our feet, and is vanished by a nurse into the treatment rooms at the back. Little Fish is very interested, and Mog coughs on.
We are eventually called back just as we should have been opening our front door to our carer, an hour after Little Fish's bedtime.
Mog rasps and gurgles, and I point out that she is not the patient; Little Fish is sitting happily playing with the iPod and finding Lola's germs to look at. I explain last night's high temperature, the day's exceptionally low temperature, and wrestle with Little Fish in an attempt to show off the spots. The doctor takes LF's temperature which has now soared again, attempts to peel the spots off her stomach with a sharp fingernail, and asks me whether she was born via Cesarean or naturally. I'm not entirely sure what bearing this has on anything, but attempt to share what information I have. Diagnosis: infected gastrostomy, treatment: one bottle of co-Amoxiclav.
The doctor offers to take a look at Mog; her temperature is now soaring too, having been normal all day. A rattly chest and a worried doctor: one bottle of Amoxycillin.
Home via the late night chemist to three very annoyed cats and one very absent carer. Two bottles in the 'fridge, two girls in bed and at some point in the morning two phonecalls to two schools to explain two absences. It is a lot easier dealing with sick children when I don't feel like death warmed up myself though.