Dot writes: on Wednesday, while Ken was flying to Poland, Hugh and I were flying to England to visit my parents in Norfolk. I had rather dreaded the surprisingly lengthy journey as a lone mum with a strong-minded toddler, but Hugh was amazingly good the whole way, only really kicking up a fuss in the last half hour of the drive from Stansted. (Mum and I shut him up with some Bourneville chocolate, which shows you what kind of mother I am, and also produced a truly horrible dribbling lip-liner effect that Marilyn Manson would have been proud of.) He was so good I pessimistically wondered if he might be sickening for something.
Well, he was.
So it wasn’t quite the visit I had planned. Instead of spending the time watching my little son splashing in the puddles in leafy lanes or pointing wide-eyed at chickens and llamas (my village happens to boast a small zoo), I got a lot of opportunities to sit in a chair and be sweatily slept on. It was extremely pleasant under these circumstances to have my own mum bringing me cups of tea, but I still feel slightly cheated.
I don’t think it was a resurgence of the hand-foot-and-mouth. Hugh had seemed to get his vigour back from that illness at the start of the week, and the blisters had all healed up by Wednesday. This time it started with a very bad night’s sleep – he woke up again at 10.20pm on Wednesday night, as hot as I have ever felt him and howling in his unfamiliar cot. The next day he lost his appetite; he refused virtually all food from Thursday lunchtime until Saturday morning, which is almost unheard of for Hugh. He was extraordinarily clingy, refusing to let me out of his sight and wanting to be carried and held all the time, and he had very little energy (not eating probably didn’t help). On Saturday he was recovering a bit of interest in life and becoming bad-tempered rather than droopy, but on Sunday morning he was found to have a spotty rash all over his torso, which spread to his face during our journey back to Dublin. Today he still has the rash, his appetite is OK though not great, and his energy still runs out rather quickly, but I think he is on the mend. We plan to keep him at home until we are quite sure he is well. I don’t want him catching yet another illness as he convalesces from this one.
Poor little thing. What with the hand-foot-and-mouth and now whatever this is he has visibly lost weight. His little tummy no longer strains against the waist-band of his trousers and the pull-up nappies are looking a bit loose at the leg-holes. He isn’t wasting away quite yet, though. He is still cuddlesome; and if there’s one thing to be said for having a poorly toddler, you do at least get lots and lots of cuddles.