Flea is sick.
She has a raging temperature and hasn’t been able to keep down any food or water since about 9am yesterday morning.
She spent the entire day yesterday curled up in an armchair under a blanket, dozing fitfully and watching movies. Today, with a temperature of 39.5, she didn’t even want to get out of bed.
I spent the day emptying out bowls (don’t ask), mopping brows and carrying my hot, tearful daughter to and from the bathroom because, “It hurts to stand up because my legs are all wobbly”.
I tried to sneakily balance the laptop on the bed and do some work while she slept, but I only managed about 10 minutes before one beady little eye opened and a small voice croaked, “Mummy, you can’t cuddle me properly with only one arm, you know.”
Fortunately, the fever seems to be lessening, and I tucked Flea up for the night with a final dose of Calpol.
I went downstairs and lay on the floor. I don’t tend to feel sorry for myself very often but tonight I allowed myself a few minutes of self-pity before reminding myself that although being a single parent means you get to do most of the work, you also get most of the rewards.
Ten minutes later, there’s a voice at the top of the stairs.
Given that this was the first time in 24 hours that Flea had stood up, I presumed it was something important. So I went into the hall to see a rumpled figure and a worried face looking down at me.
“Do you love Brown as much as you love me?”
Brown is Flea’s favourite soft toy.
“No, darling. I like Brown very much, but I love you more than anyone else in the world.”
See? I’m a great parent, really.
“Oh,” said Flea. “I think I actually love Brown as much as I love you. Is that okay?”
“Sure. Why not?”
And with that she trotted off back to bed.
She's still delirious with fever, clearly. Poor lamb.