And I thought he was just being melodramatic!

By Saturday morning after the first full week back at school we had all begun coughing and spluttering although I think Sophia’s raging hack could be partly down to teething as she is finally cutting her last tooth at exactly 2 and a half years of age. I really hope there is some merit in cutting them so late as it’s a nightmare for her. Her temperature constantly spikes, she’s so full of catarrh she either vomits it up or chokes on it and her 70 a day cigarette habit cough has returned. Plus of course, with all that brings sleepless nights and many, many tears – so much for her not requiring night-time attention any more, according to the DWP! I find that all I am able to do is hug and console her and sleep with her upright in my arms for a few nights until the worst is over, again.

And as if that isn’t exhausting enough, big brother broke his foot two days ago.

I don’t usually take Sophia out when she has a particularly bad cold, but it was an unseasonably warm day and James was desperate to play with friends in a local park. Feeling dreadful after just a couple of hours sleep I couldn’t cope with his nagging, thought the fresh air might do both he and I some good and relented to the trip, bundling Sophia up in layers of clothing and fastening her chair cover over her to ensure no further lurgies could invade her space.

I sat with a friend having a cup of coffee in the safe, enclosed play area, when a tearful son limped his way over to me. He’d climbed up onto the roof of the play area – the one bit that was out of my sight, and jumped off, landing awkwardly. I was not sympathetic and transformed immediately into harridan mode.

Me: “What the blue blazes were you doing climbing on the roof? You know how dangerous that is.”
James: “But the first time I jumped off I was OK and I stayed away from the bit with the hole in it.”
Me: “It was broken? Oh my God, you could have been killed, or worse, the roof could have collapsed and killed the children underneath.”

I was furious.

James is by nature an absolute drama queen with the slightest of grazes and his histrionics were falling into their usual pattern so I ignored them, much to the surprise of the surrounding clientele. I then made him limp the mile and a half home, buying him an ice cream en route which cheered him immensely so there really couldn’t be much wrong. It wasn’t until the following morning, as Aidan was trying to squeeze James’s foot into his school shoe as he hopped around the hall yelping “Ow, ow, ow” that I thought – “Hmm, perhaps I should get this checked out.” I even made him walk into A&E, refusing the wheelchair proffered by the porter I was so sure there was nothing seriously wrong. One of his older cousin’s literally broke the same foot with quite a severe brake, the day before him on Saturday, doing something very similar. I mean, what’s the chance of it happening to two cousins on consecutive days? 7 hours later I wheeled him out of the hospital’s main entrance sporting a plaster-cast.

Last night Sophia finally settled, her hideous, teething induced cold on the wane after 7 days and I was looking forward to a long, luxurious night’s sleep. Her darling big brother got me up four times, he couldn’t get comfortable with the cast – grrrrr. It’s only a tiny brake, one that probably won’t even merit the cast after a week’s rest depending on how the swelling goes. And James has been loving lying on the sofa with his leg up, watching Harry Potter and milking it for all it’s worth today. I’ve promised him we’ll go and visit his cousin tomorrow and take a photograph of the two hopalongs together!

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