So, I felt like yesterday afternoon I was teetering on the threshold of being just sick of work rather than actual sick. You know, when you've broken the automatic 'wake up, go to work' reflex and suddenly the prospect of going back there seems outlandishly stupid. Why? I can just sit here in this nest, can't I? I'm not doing anyone any harm just lying here, and occasionally making a cup of tea, am I? My bed was starting to look like Tracey Emin's. But with more socks (I have been trying to sort them out. I feel like the Sisyphus of socks. The CFO had to move about 8000 off his pillow to get to bed, because I became consumed with existential despair halfway through the task) and less sex stuff. And a laptop, because I am a sick junkie.
So this morning, I felt like I could swallow properly, which was progress, so without letting myself think about it at all, I got up and showered and put my clothes on, wrestled the spawn into theirs, took them to school. Back in the routine. You can see I've had cognitive behavioural therapy can't you? But then I got on the tram of death with the CFO, and about halfway I said "I think I might have to go back. I don't feel great. I can't see..."
Clunk. Darkness. Then the strange roaring noise and the confused images and the strange sensations (I remember something to do with a small box that was irritating me - maybe that would have been the tram?) and then a babble of voices but still darkness and then "Bébé? Ca va bébé? "
Bleugh. Wipe dribble off face. Sight gradually returning. I'm on the floor of the tram. It doesn't smell great. Fainting in the tram. Not recommended. Though, I have to say, we had a very merciful driver; he only went on another 4 stops before he stopped. I've seen tram drivers either dump the fainters on the pavement and go on, or just wedge them upright and keep going. I think in some corner of my mind I remembered this, because I could not be persuaded to try and sit up.
So then the cursing commuters climbed over me and out and some lovely ambulance men came and pricked my finger and took my blood pressure and strapped me on to one of those trolley things and put me in their ambulance and drove off with the flashing lights. I was sufficiently recovered to be quite excited by this. Flashing lights! Pin pon pin pon (that's nee naw nee naw in French). Cool. The CFO also enjoyed the ride now that I was no longer scaring him by pretending to be blind.
It gets quite boring after this. I am fine. Just, you know, normal sick. It is probably a "grippe intestinale" said the eight year old doctor. But the CFO and I had fun learning all about avian flu from the posters in the hospital (you are allowed to detect avian flu in both French and Dutch, but you can only "Protect yourself" in Dutch. Veeerrry interesting. Also the CFO's chicken sandwich in England on Tuesday puts us in the high risk category but we decided to keep this to ourselves) and playing the famous expat game "in England".
"In England, you wouldn't be in an actual room with a door. A door! Did you see, that doctor KNOCKED before she came in"
"Ha! A curtain, more like. No, no, I'd be propped on a chair in Casualty. And they wouldn't see me til tomorrow, in the hope that we'd get sick of the chair and just, you know, leave. Or get chased away by the winos."
"That's if they actually took you to hospital at all"
"Yeah, they'd probably have sat me in the back of the ambulance and given me a Mars Bar"
"No way, they'd have sent me to buy the Mars Bar"
"Actually, there wouldn't be an ambulance at all. There might be a London Underground first aider if I was REALLY lucky. Or, just, someone who did a course at school."
"Yeah, with a cup of water. No, a half drunk can of Red Bull"
"Noone would have actually noticed I'd fainted anyway because I'd have been kept upright by the crush"
"True. Probably someone would be tutting about you dribbling on their shoulder but not actually saying anything"
So then I paid my €4,90 (!) and went home and slept 'til school hometime. Hooray for Belgium. I was horribly tempted to leave them in the Soviet after-school club to dig salt mines for the directeur's retirement fund and sew jute sacks and do mass calisthenics in front of a smiling photograph of le Roi Albert. Even though they are both poorlyish. This should be a no brainer for a mother, shouldn't it? I should drag myself down there for my cherubs even after a double amputation. I am selfish. I compromised with my conscience and allowed myself an extra half hour of gentle moaning, but bought them both a Kinder Egg. That did the trick.
Next problem - corralling them. I really can't bear to be jumped on, I'll vomit (yeah, selfish, bad mother). I'm hesitating between PAYING them not to jump on me, and BMF's suggestion to "cover myself in knives like a hedgehog". Playhouse Disney is just deferring the problem. Any other suggestions before I lock myself in the loo and call social services?