The Worrier.

Once a month, two cleaners arrive at my house and clean it, top to bottom.

It’s my favourite day of the month.

My cleaners like my house, too. They say things like, “Sometimes you can’t tell children live in a house. But we never feel like that in your house, Sally.” 

I choose to take that as a compliment. I figure after a year of cleaning my house, my cleaners are pretty unshockable. But this week – apparently – I still managed to shock them.

The reason?

My medicine cabinet. Apparently, not everyone has a comprehensively stocked medicine cabinet.


Now, on the one hand I consider my medicine cabinet to be stocked to just the right amount – travel first aid kit, prescription meds and bandages/dressings above, with (from left to right) indigestion and cystitis remedies, painkillers (aspirin, ibuprofen, paracetamol, co-codamol and diclofenac, depending on the sort of pain), vitamins, cold and flu remedies, allergy meds and a selection of children’s medicines.

On the other hand, I confess that I have been known to be a bit of a worrier.

On a typical day, I spend around 15 minutes an hour idly wondering about Terrible Things That Might Happen to my Beloved Child. Some days it’s more. What with the 20 minutes an hour I spend worrying about Terrible Things That Are Probably Already Happening to Me, it’s amazing I find time to watch as much TV as I do… 

Anyway, I’ve done three first aid courses and a paediatric first aid course, but I suspect all they did was give me more Terrible Things to worry about. Although on the upside, I’m now fairly proficient at an arm sling and I’m word perfect at Nelly the Elephant (the best song to sing while doing CPR).

Flea wants to go on the school ski trip next year and I’m reluctant to say yes – not only because it’s £1,200 (for a school trip!) but because of all the Terrible Things That Might Happen while she’s on a mountain. Can you imagine?? I can. In vivid, Technicolor detail.

It’s not just big stuff that worries me, either.

Choking. God, I worry all the time about choking. I accept the gentle ridicule that comes with being the only Mum at parties who still insists that Flea slices grapes (lengthways, never across) before she eats them. And possibly I have the only kid who knows that when I warn her off the “sticks of death” I’m referring to hot dogs, not cigarettes.

The worst thing, though? Inexplicable death. I still wake Flea up at least twice a month because I’m convinced she’s stopped breathing, when she’s just heavily asleep. I tell her this is the price she pays for snoring the rest of the time. Her silence unnerves me.  Much as I imagine it unnerves her to wake up on a regular basis to find me leaning over her mid-cabin sleeper bed whispering, “Flea…Flea….are you asleep?” 

Every day Flea runs the gauntlet of school and playground and the countless hundreds of ways she could trip up, fall down, fall ill or generally come a cropper.

In the face of ever-present danger, what parent wouldn’t have a well-stocked medicine cabinet?



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