Holiday Horribilis

So the first week of holidays is done and dusted. I don’t know what fabulous family activities anyone else got up to, but I thought I’d share some of the “highlights” of our week.


After a crazy day at work (which involved me giving an impromptu press conference in a field), I come home to Little Miss throwing up. The fun continues when Picasso starts as well, and I’m up half the night with buckets and towels.


Little Miss stays home from preschool, Picasso spends eight hours lying on his bean bag trying not to throw up and Souljourneyboy is sick with a virus.


General sickness abounds, with Picasso having recovered just enough to be cranky and irritable with all the world and everyone in it. We look back longingly at the bean bag days.


Half an hour after dinner, Picasso starts looking green, then throws up repeatedly all over the floor.

At 2am, Bookworm wakes us up saying he can’t breathe. I take him to the hospital, where he starts throwing up too. This seems to make him feel better; apparently the not-breathing was some kind of panicky reaction to being so sick. As Bookworm engages me in a long and complicated discussion on the public health system and income tax brackets, the unthinkable happens.

I start to feel nauseous.

I ignore it. I tell myself it’ a psychosomatic reaction to being in the hospital and having just watched Bookworm throw up. I cling to this wishful thinking as I drive home from the hospital and put Bookworm to bed with a bucket and lie down. Five minutes later I’m rushing to find a bucket of my own. Suddenly recall how, when Picasso was sick the other night, I lovingly stroked his forehead and said, “I wish I was sick instead of you”. WHY DID I SAY THAT? What was I thinking??? I take it back!!! It’s not that I want my kids to be sick, but as every family knows, there is nothing worse than the Mum getting sick.


Pretty much Indescribable Horror.


Indescribable Horror Part II. When I finally start to recover, I lash out on half a sao and a thimble-full of lemonade.


So I’m starting to feel better today, but about as weak as a kitten.

Our first week of holidays was not, shall we say, ideal. But there were some upsides – the weight loss, for one thing. And the kindness of my children. Little Miss made me numerous “get well” cards and paintings, while Bookworm and Picasso rushed to fetch lemonade and sao biscuits and blankets and anything else I said I needed. Another upside – Souljourneyboy’s uncomplaining dedication to taking care of us all on the weekend of horror. That’s the thing about marriage – we’ve seen each other at our worst – physically, emotionally, spiritually – and we’re both still here. That’s pretty cool.

One other thing happened on the weekend – my grandmother passed away. She was nearly 92, she slipped away peacefully, and I believe she has gone to her true home now. I was sad, of course, but there’s no other way I would rather go, having lived a full and complete life, knowing I leave a loving family behind me. It kind of puts everything else in perspective, including weeks like the one we’ve just had.

So on we charge into the week ahead – fingers crossed it does not include anything to do with buckets!

2 thoughts on “Holiday Horribilis

  1. Jill shackleton

    Well Emma, i enjoyed holidays horribillis and there is only a bright side to all of this. This week can only be better and you will appreciate wellness and not struggle with anything else that may under usual circumstances, be challenging. You will be well enough to celebrate your grandma’s life with all her friends and family. Yes my friend, it is all up from here ……

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