It was the first night that Shannon and I had spent apart since the girls were both home. We're like Paul and Linda McCartney. She was going to London for the night with our friend Robynne to say goodbye after being with us for the week. Just a few minutes before they left, Maggie threw up very violently. Within seconds she went from being fairly bright and happy to looking like a zombie.
That afternoon, after Shannon had gone, she got worse. Vomiting all the time. Diarrhoea. And extremely upset. She was like this all through the night. All through the fucking night. I was constantly changing her covers and pyjamas. I've never seen anything like it. And on the one night that Shannon wasn't here. I didn't sleep a wink.
Oh, all right - one wink. For about an hour.
By the following morning she'd developed a very high temperature. Still vomiting and still loads of diarrhoea. But she was also very dopey and sleepy. So the rest of the day was just getting her up, giving her water and paracetomol, catching the vomit, cleaning the diarrhoea and getting her back to sleep.
Unbelievably, not long after Shannon came home she started to get better. Today she's much better. Still sick occasionally and still very runny below. But she's cheered up no end. Which is good, because it's my day off today with the girls. On Mondays and Tuesdays I'm a house husband.
And no, before you say it: Maggie wasn't sick because she was missing her mum and couldn't stand the thought of being alone with me. Alice had had the same thing earlier in the week but, Alice being Alice, she basically shrugged it off. We assume it was a stomach bug. I could have taken her up to the hospital but really, these days I'd sooner trust her to the weird bloke next door.
Some time ago we asked the council whether we could have another wheelie bin. I received a call this morning from some bloke asking why we needed another bin. I explained that not only are there three adults living here, there are two young babies. So that means loads of nappies and all sorts of other crap. On top of all that - and what accounts for our extra usage - is all the feeding equipment, syringes and bottles and shit that Maggie has to have. Plus all the massive stacks of boxes they come in. It really is a lot. His answer: for him to come round one day and assess our situation by examining how we recycle, what we recycle and how we go about disposing of rubbish etc. All that for an extra bin. Not even a big bin - just one of those silly slim bins they have down in the Golden Triangle. So basically the council would sooner spend all that time, money and effort sending someone round to do an assessment, write a report and all that bollocks just for the sake of a slim bin. I asked the bloke if he personally felt that that was a sensible thing to do. I'm just following orders, is essentially what he said. Because that's what they all say. It's just policy.
(In all seriousness, if you've ever wondered how the Nazis took off, just look at people like that. Not evil, not insane... just very compliant.)
I told him no thanks. On top of all the nonsense that goes on with Maggie all day - including the various visits from medical people etc. - what we don't need is some idiot coming round to lecture us on how to dispose of our rubbish better.
I, of course, blame Rupert Read.