The kids are not ok.
It looked like the regular pediatrician’s medicines were working, but then we disregarded her advice – actually, her warning. Keep them away from the dust, she said. Keep them indoors, don’t let them play outside, especially not in the sandpit. Preferably not even in the balcony. If you can, keep them home on Friday and throughout the weekend.
That’s a tall order. Our kids are either playing outdoors in daycare, or up on our terrace, or running around the terrace court. If we are home, they invariably find their way out on to the balcony sooner or later. Keeping them indoors meant we’d practically have to sedate them to make it workable. So we decided to largely ignore this advice and sent them not only to school, but also to daycare on Friday. Mind you, in school, Friday is sandpit day. Their teacher asked if I wanted them to not go to the sandpit. But they obviously love the sandpit. How can I expect them to stay indoors when the rest of the class is in the sandpit?
On Saturday I was supposed to attend a conference, but Mrini was looking much the worse for wear, and Amit, who has the adult version of the same cough and congestion, was looking quite worried, so I decided to skip it. And just as well! By afternoon, Mrini had a raging fever and was struggling to breathe. It had to be a Saturday – if we waited, we’d find it difficult to get a doctor on Sunday. So we rushed off to the hospital on Saturday evening. The doc, thankfully, said it wasn’t an infection yet, and she asked whether we’d been keeping them indoors and gave us a stern look at our reply.
Kids are so amazingly resilient, that by the time we actually got to see the doctor around 5.20 or so, Mrini was looking almost cheerful again. All the same, we both felt terribly guilty. The doc had told us to keep the kids home and we hadn’t done it.
What do you do with sick kids and a guilty conscience? You feed them, of course. So we stopped at Breadworks on our way home from the hospital. None of us had eaten much for lunch (because the cook played hookie (or hookey, if you prefer) on Friday evening, of course), so we were all quite hungry. Only, there’s absolutely nothing I can eat at a bakery (or even a boulangerie) so I got to watch while the three of them gorged on chocolate chip muffins, banana muffins, apple strudel and other goodies. I got an iced tea which turned out to be more tea and less lemon and sugar, so was not much to my liking. That entire session was sheer cruelty.
Saturday is the cook’s day off, so I got to slog over dinner when we got home. And then I had to catch up with the ironing, which is also one of the cook’s duties that she has been shirking.
There is no way to end such a stressful and gastronomically deprived day except by getting drunk. I sent Amit off in search of beer and he returned with a small can of Kingfisher Premium. That went down in less than five minutes, so after that we resorted to gin and orange juice – a strange combination, but I wasn’t in the mood to be fussy.
(Oh, didn’t I mention? Well, I tried beer on our anniversary at the end of Feb, and though I only had a few sips, it didn’t seem to cause the slightest problem, much to my relief. My sister says beer is ok with her too. So maybe I have at least one lifeline in this barren landscape of a gluten-free, lactose free diet.)
The next day got off to a good start when we all slept till 7.30 without interruption – no tennis for the kids, of course. After we got up, it was all downhill. The kids were better, but the cook was still missing in action. I got to serve up breakfast, wash up, cook lunch, sweep and mop the whole damn house (Amit did 75% of it, but still), bathe the kids, get myself dressed, serve up lunch, wash up again, go out for the weekly grocery shopping, put out the laundry, and possibly, cook dinner too. The cook said she’ll show, but she hasn’t shown yet, so there’s no telling.
It’s been a day of the unbroken mindnumbing tedium of housework and it’s not over yet. Apart from doing dinner, there’s another whole lot of clothes for ironing.
And we’re keeping the kids home tomorrow. Which means, there’s every possibility that I might have to repeat this whole rigmarole tomorrow. Sigh!
The only silver lining to this cloud is that when I went out grocery shopping, I brought home a nice, big, chilled bottle of beer. It’s not enough to get drunk on, but it’s miles better than Limca.