In a hangover from my full time working days in London, and in defiance of all logic, days like this feel rather cheerfully like skiving. When Lashes was tiny and I was a proper lawyer, the moment when the nursery rang (every couple of weeks without fail) to say he was running a fever, aroused conflicting emotions. Guilt and anxiety were generally outweighed by a sneaking satisfaction that I could have a day, maybe even two, sneaking around the West End with my baby semi-legitimately. Often he would be just ill enough to be off nursery, but not ill enough to be more than slightly subdued - swathed in several layers and impassive, clutching an inappropriate snack in a hot fist. I have happy memories of furtive trips to Coram Fields to poke the sheep, wandering round the African Galleries at the British Museum looking at videos of hippo dances and pottering along Marylebone High Street celebrity spotting. I was 27 and a bit of a rubbish parent, but these snatched moments were actually quite a treat and it was very reassuring for me to realise I would rather play hooky with my boy than deal with fertiliser mergers. Later, when we lived in Spitalfields and he was, what, 3? I remember taking him for ice cream for his breakfast in Patisserie Valerie when he had mumps* a day so special he still talks of it reverently.
It's not the same now - we are 6 hours and counting into a Ben 10 Alien Force marathon and I can feel my brain liquifying and running out of my nose - but I still rather like it. All bets are off, there's no expectation that we'll manage to do anything remotely productive. We can eat whatever we fancy and watch tv and lie on the floor. Do you remember the bliss of being sick as a small child, if you weren't too sick? In my house it meant melon and orange juice and sorbet in bed, and mid-afternoon you were allowed to take your duvet downstairs and sit on the sofa to watch children's tv. Everyone should still be allowed to do that when they're sick. I would totally pay extra tax to have someone motherly come round and make me tea and toast and a hot water bottle, and I bet I'm not alone.
This is very dull, sorry. The unresolved sexual tension between Kevin and Gwen is stopping me from concentrating and everytime the one with a sort of fiery head booms "ABJECT CREATURE!" I think he's talking to me. Then I just turned round and there's some sort of scorpion driving a spaceship. I'm confused and tired, having been up several times in the night doling out Nurofen, or possibly dog worming pills or shampoo, it was dark and I couldn't be bothered to find the light switch. I'll try and return later with something a little more edifying.
* Yes, he was vaccinated, but unlucky. I am not a raging hippie.