THE BLOG

When The Common Cold Strikes

22/04/2015 13:01 BST | Updated 21/06/2015 10:59 BST

Many years ago, I went on holiday with a group of friends. We were staying at my Grandma's flat and there were so many of us that I was relegated to the sofa. Nothing unusual for me at the time, and not something I minded because I was part of the sub group, let's call us the "night owls", who enjoyed a few ales of an evening. Unfortunately the other half of the group, let's call them the "morning people", would wake up and start cleaning the flat only a few short hours after we returned. I would be woken each morning to the floor around me being swept and mopped, and the passive aggressive clinking of washing up floating in from the kitchen. The whole situation got pretty tired pretty quick and degenerated into all-out war where neither group spoke to each other, or spent more than a few minutes a day in each other's company. By the end of the holiday the "morning people" bought me a novelty T shirt with a "funny" quote on it about me not being a morning person. The "morning people" were never again invited on holiday.

Is there a point to this story? Well I'm hoping it gives you a little context to what I'm about to tell you next:

My daughter has a cold.

After she had lovingly shared her germs with me, she degenerated to a point where she couldn't breathe lying down and I couldn't hear myself think over the beating of my own pulse. But God loves a trier so I scooped up my mucus covered volcano baby and tried to arrange us both in bed.

An hour later I was still lying awake. It's annoying when your neighbours keep you awake with the noise of their music vibrating through the walls; it's more annoying when it's your own heart playing a thudding bass beat in your ears. It was punctuated by the regular cough.... cough ....cough of the toddler. Every now and then we even synchronised which brought us perilously close to producing something you could sell as Nu Jazz.

At about midnight I finally gave up on the bed, scooped the mucus covered volcano baby back up and retraced my steps to the sofa. It took a while for my daughter's body to settle from all the coughing, which was why I found myself lying in a foetal position beside her with one knee jammed under her bum to stop her from sliding back down into a lying (and therefore coughing) position.

Oh and she had also somehow managed to take up 90% of the blanket we were "sharing" leaving me with just enough to cover half my body if I tucked in reeeeeeally right.

By this point I was seeing any chance of a full sleep quota recede into the distance so I set aside the creeping numbness and bone aching cold and resolved to get whatever rest I could.

Enter stage right the resident mice.

You didn't know we had mice? Oh yes, we inherited a small army of them from the previous owners and despite setting traps for the last year, they are not taking the hint. Or maybe they are and they just don't care, I don't know. Either way, just as my eyes were closing I heard the unmistakable sound of a mouse-trap snapping shut. I cringed, but there was silence. Twenty seconds later, I suspect the mousy support network showed up because there was an eruption of squeaky wailing so great, the dog jumped out of his bed and went racing into the kitchen.

He is not a quiet dog.

According to the lack of crunching, I am fairly sure his thunderous approach gave the remaining mice a chance to escape, which would also explain why he saw fit to aim a grumpy ass huff at me on his way back to his bed. I thought that was a little much myself, it wasn't as if I played any part in warning the mice who by this point had resumed their positions alongside their former comrade and were once again making known their grief.

I felt sorry for the dog, despite several return trips to the kitchen, he just wasn't going to get the better of those mice.

Half an hour later, dog, mice and human (no plural there, my daughter was fly catching in blissful ignorance of any of this drama) were finally settling down to their respecting rests.

An hour later, my husband woke me up to ask me why I was sleeping on the sofa.

It is a credit to me that I didn't punch him square on the nose. Instead I spoke words - I have no idea which - and was allowed to resume what was left of my sleep.

As is the way with small children, when the grey fingers of the new day crept between the curtains and crow barred my dry, aching eyes apart, I turned to see my daughter's beaming at me in glorious high spirits. And it takes a meaner person than me to stay grumpy in the face of a toddler grin.