This week Doodle (aka 6 year old) was ill. He started to fall by the way side on Saturday night and by the time I got back to my Sister's on Sunday night after making the most of my day of hospitality he was running a high temperature and looking very sorry for himself. His voice had gone all croaky and he had a cough which made him sound like an old man.
There was no way he was making it to school on Monday. I was gutted. Not because it meant I'd have him at home all day but because in the 18 months he's been at school he's never had a day off before so this would be his first. By Monday night Belle was also running a temperature and so on Tuesday I kept them both home. Belle has had about 4 days off sick since she started school over 5 years ago so it pains me to keep her off as well!
I'm lucky to have been blessed with 2 kids who are very rarely ill. Most viruses and sickness bugs that go round seem to think the better of messing with my kids and if they do succumb to somethign they tend to do so during the holidays! I honestly couldn't tell you the last time either of them were sick before this week. Personally I put it down to the fact that I let my kids go out to play...they wade in burns, climb up hills, play in trees, catch frogs, newts and toads and don;t head straight home at the first sign of drizzle. They are exposed to germs and I think it's been beneficial for them health wise...all this keeping them clean, changing their clothes at the first sign of dirt, keeping them off school at every ache, pain or cough and filling them with paracetamol at the first sign of a sneeze is nonsense...it's the kids like that who are the ones forever coming down with something.
After spending most of Tuesday morning in their beds Belle, who was feeling a bit brighter by lunchtime, was up and pottering about in her bedroom. Better Half was on a day off and him and I were downstairs on the sofa catching up on the episodes of Lost we'd Sky+ed on Sunday night. All of a sudden there's a high pitched scream of "Mummy, Muuuuuuummmmyyyyyy". As a parent you know instantly from the type of cry it is that something bad has happened. We jump up and head for the stairs...the scream having come from up them. Better Half shouts "What's happened?" as we're on the move and the shout comes back "There's a fire, the house is on fire". Originally I'd thought the scream had come from Doodle due to his sore throat...it now becomes clear it's Belle. "A fire? Where?" Shouts Better Half as he's heading up the stairs two at a time. "The bathroom" shouts Belle. Better Half and I exchange glances...the bathroom is on fire???.
We get to the top of the stairs, and we look towards the bathroom and there on the floor is a toilet roll...on fire! Better Half extinguishes it and we both turn towards Belle who is in a state of panic, shaking like a leaf, crying, shaking her head, wringing her hands...there is a lighter lying on the floor in the bathroom not far from the scene of the crime. I calm her down a bit and ask her if she knows how the toilet roll got on fire...no comes the reply...I ask again....no she says...so I try another route...I ask her if she's had a fright...yes she says...I asked her at what point she thought holding a lighter to a toilet roll was a good idea...I don't know she said and with those 3 words we clarified two things...our daughter was guilty as sin (which was never in doubt!) and she has a head full of silly ideas (another thing that never been in doubt!).
The necessary lecture regarding fire and it's dangers took place...with a note that she may want to run any more silly ideas past us in future and a word of thanks that she at least had the brains to drop the offending burning item on the tiled bathroom floor as opposed to my newly carpeted landing. The lecture was short and sweet without high dramatics, shouting or punishments being dished out...one look at her shaking, panicking, tear stained face was enough to realise the lesson was learned and would not be repeated. The fright had been punishment enough!
I did feel it necessary to have a word with Doodle though...he had stayed in bed through all the shouting and noise playing his Playstation even though we were right outside his bedroom door...I felt it was important to point out to him that when someone shouts the house is on fire he might want to at least pause the game and take note!
So Belle has learned a lesson and I pointed that out to both of them. Doodle was savvy enough to advise me that this is the second lesson he's learned from his sister. The first, he informed me, was when Belle had put her pennies in her mouth and they had gone down her throat and she had choked. That was indeed correct, how he still remembers it given he was 3 years old is anyone's guess...but the fright we all got that day has been enough to ensure none of the two of them ever stick money in their mouths!
So with all her teaching and the lessons she's dishing out I think maybe my daughter is heading for a career in education! And for the record they were both back at school on Wednesday morning!