Thursday, October 06, 2005

Under my Duvet

I HAD the joyous misfortune this week of being sick as the proverbial pig. It was joyous simply in that it afforded me one glorious day to lie doing my dying swan act under my comfortably warm duvet with no one making any demand on my person.

The wee man was despatched to child care. Usually I am of a belief that mammies are not allowed to take their bed with the lurgy- but as my stomach churned and head thumped I decided to bury that parental guilt deep down and have a care-free day at home.
The big man whom I am married too, looked suitably concerned as I mumbled "aaahm gonny be sick" over and over again, and decided to play the role of the dutiful carer furnishing me with cool glasses of water, diet coke and the occasional Twix (between bouts of feeling truly awful- of course.)
He didn't even complain (too much) when I did the heating hokey cokey. (You know the one- "I'm too cold...put the heat on", "Now I'm too warm...turn the heating off", "Ach, I'm too cold again...put the heating on..." etc etc etc).
Best of all though, he nipped out to Eason and purchased for me the newest book by my most favourite lady in the universe Queen Marian of Keyes. It seemed apt that as I crawled about in my scratcher trying to find a position comfortable enough to appease both the sore head and dodgy stomach that Marian's "Further Under the Duvet" was my companion.
I can't remember the last time (it was certainly pre-baby) that I had a day to myself. Where ideally this would be a day where I could run about the shops or watch a nice movie while gorging myself on Maltesers and chilled white wine- having a baby free day, sick or not, was a relatively pleasant experience for me.
First of all I was able to sleep in. Once the obligatory phone call to work was made, I closed my eyes and fell into a restful sleep. I wasn't doing the typical mammy thing of sleeping with one eye open waiting for the inevitable cry of "Nonny, Nonny. Time for breakfast."
I knew I could sleep as long as I wanted and if I wanted to watch a wee half hour of Trisha, then go back to sleep then I could. I knew that as my tummy rumbled and swirled, I wouldn't have a pint sized ball of energy scream with joy as he bounced up and down on the bed or try to physically pry my eyes open as I tried to sleep.
And I knew I could read my book- the highlight of my literary year- without jammy fingers turning and tearing the pages at a speed of light.

Taken for granted
It's funny that in my pre-baby days such days were taken for granted. Being sick was a pain in the rear end which stopped you from doing all the fun things you wanted to do.
I was never one for lying in my bed all day, sick or not- 10am being the latest you would find me sleeping to. I would be up, housework done, showered, dressed and ready to face the world by 11am latest. I would wonder what exactly to do with my day- never quite appreciating the joy that is doing sweet frig all from morning to night.
But somewhere along the line there has been a sea change in me and now I crave my bed more than anything. Perhaps it really is a case of you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
So now being sick (taking the actual sick feelings out the equation) is a blessed relief from the rush and constant fuss of working, mammying and trying to keep house. And losing yourself in a good book is about as good as it gets for sheer escapism.
So I slept til around 12, waking feeling refreshed as the proverbial daisy for the first time in about two years. The big man to whom I am married was then ordered to provide a light lunch and cooling refreshment while i dabbled between the writings of La Keyes and a rather moving episode of Doctors.
Having discovered, thanks to Queen Marian, that laughter definitely is the best medicine I was able to move from my bed at around 3pm to do that joyous thing from childhood- lie on the sofa continuing my dying swan act in front of the TV.
It reminded me of those infrequent sick days from school where you sat sipping Lucozade and having your mammy come in from time to time to refresh the cool face cloth on your forehead and ask if you were ok.
If you were really lucky, she would plump your pillows and tidy your blanket to make sure you were as comfy as could be and would encourage your recovery by tempting you with lovely chicken soup or ice cream.
Enjoyable as my sick day was, it was all too soon over. The wee man returned just after five demanding his tea and to be played with until he almost puked with excitement. Then the washing had to be done and the floor needed brushed and the tumble drier needed reloading.
It was back to reality with a bang- to a place where mammies don't get sick and taking to your bed is unheard of. The Marian Keyes tome remains half read, the big man to whom I'm married hasn't served me a single cool drink since and the wee man woke the next morning with his cry of "Nonny, nonny. Time for breakfast!" (Well, actually that morning he managed a solitary cry of "Mammy" much to my delight.)
And so I returned to work and to the real world, assured that sometime -probably about two years from now- I'll get another duvet day and appreciate it as much as this one.

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