(also published today on Mad Manic Mamas)
Last week my son Rory, 13, was poorly with a virus. A high temperature, bit of a cough and no energy at all. The "no energy at all" bit was difficult to distinguish from the usual bone idle apathy that we have to contend with, but as he couldn't be bothered to turn his mobile on I sensed this was genuine illness.
Two days off school and he barely moved from the sofa. He regressed, hour by hour, into the little boy I could fuss over without him grunting 'GERROFF" when I ruffle his hair. He lay there watching children's telly: Spongebob Squarepants rather than repeats of The Inbetweeners on his laptop.
I brought him his pillow and duvet, served him drinks on a tray, fetched books, adminstered paracetamol and even nipped out to the corner shop to buy rubbishy sweets like sour lollipops and sherbet dib-dabs.
We both loved every minute of it. He slept on and off during the day while I cooked, put washings in and got through a big pile of ironing. Later in the afternoon we watched Countdown together, gaining extra time for the numbers and conundrums by pausing with Sky+.
By Wednesday he was begrudgingly back at school, the transition being made a little easier with a lift there and back rather than taking the bus. He was still weary in the evenings so was easily persuaded to have a relaxing bath and an early night.
By Friday the brave little soldier was back to normal: grunting, criticising our television choices then retreating to his room to talk to his mates on MSN.
I tried to ruffle his hair this morning....