A case of this serious ailment has blighted our household this week, with son number one coming down a battery of complaints including a sore throat, high temperature and mild skin rash, all of which he insists must be treated with unlimited access to the Cbeebies website and endless re-runs of Ben 10 and Power Rangers. Given this diet of untramelled screen time it's no wonder he feels ill - I am certain I will come out in hives if I hear 'Now he's got super powers, he's no ordinary kid, He's Ben 10' one more time.
Of course with a house full of nascent males I'd better get used to nursing this particularly masculine illness, which cannot be cured by mere medicine and bedrest, but is only soothed by the services of a full time slave, in the shape of a mother or wife, it matters not which, to tend to their every whim.
Now while I accept its my motherly duty to supply gallons of Calpol and apple juice, and can even be persuaded under such extreme circumstances that chocolate and crisps constitute a balanced meal, what drives me round the twist is the constant desire for entertainment. My son feels that my suggestion that he might go to bed and have a sleep, what with him being unwell and all, is tantamount to neglect and the only way I can make amends is to take a minute interest in everything from his colouring in to how many apples he can catch in some particularly inane kiddie game he is immersed in.
I guess it's yet more evidence that I am a BAD MOTHER that this is about as fascinating as watching paint dry and that I am now counting the minutes till he can go back to school where the teachers are responsible for keeping him amused between the hours of 9am - 3:20pm.
In my defence, own my mother, having only daughters and therefore no knowledge of the tender loving care required by a bout of Boy Flu, thought that bed rest, Radio 4 and a new colouring book was ample entertainment for a sick child. While this probably explains why I am no Florence Nightingale myself, it was also perfect preparation for motherhood, because while the boys may wallow in being unwell, everyone knows that mum's aren't allowed to be ill.