On Monday, November 17, exactly a week before her third birthday, Lucy came bounding into our bedroom at 5.30am, bounced three times on the bed, then vomited over her mother.
And so a vicious cycle of sickness began in our household.
I’d love to have helped with the clean-up operation that followed my daughter’s technicolour yawn, but having fought the urge to chunder myself for the most of the wee small hours, the smell of Lucy’s recycled stomach contents proved too much, causing me to dash to the en suite where I promptly fell to my knees and prayed to the porcelain god.
The following day, with Lucy and I bedridden, we had to cancel a trip to Manchester to see Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer perform an episode of their sitcom House of Fools.
Anybody who knows my wife and I will know of our long-time love affair with the comic duo. For a fleeting moment it seemed we’d finally get to share the same oxygen as our idols, but alas it was not to be.
We managed to recoup the money for the hotel and the aviation duty from the flights, and the tickets for the studio recording were free so it wasn’t like we were substantially out of pocket, but at the same time when you’ve been waiting 22 years to see your favourite comedy double act in the flesh it leaves you feeling a bit sick. Or in my case even sicker than I already was.
By Wednesday Ben was throwing rings around himself and by Thursday Karen had been struck by the vomiting bug.
By Friday, the light at the end of the tunnel seemed near. With Lucy, Ben and I having recovered from the virus, I came up with a plan to facilitate my day at work, Karen’s recovery and the kids’ play time. I thought I was doing the right thing by bringing the children to Lurgan to my parents’ house while I was in work. It was all going well until we got to Moira and Ben threw up over himself.
I’ve never been a big fan of Moira and Ben, although unable to speak, communicated to me that neither was he.
I don’t know what it is I don’t like about Moira. I can’t put my finger on it. But it just had to happen in Moira. It’s no coincidence Moira is an anagram of Mario, given its Balotelli-like status among commuter towns. Why always Moira?
While I’m on the subject of vomiting, I’d like to take this opportunity to address the ‘b’ word, though not the one favoured by Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams.
My question is whether ‘boak’ or ‘boke’ is the correct spelling of the act of vomiting? And if one is right does that make the wrong one (sic)?
Either way, cleaning up after the kids took me on a trip down memory lane. As I put a basin at Lucy’s beside and newspaper all along the edge of her bed I got very sentimental about the times my parents did the same thing for me. As her sock soles crinkled on last week’s copy of the Lurgan Mail I tear welled in my eye. I never thought I’d be basking in the nostalgia of the act of throwing up.
Thankfully on Monday and Tuesday there were no vomiting incidents in our household.
I think by the end of the week we’ll be out of the woods. I hope I don’t end up having to eat my words.
Because if it’s anything like the past 10 days I’ll have difficulty keeping them down.