11/11/2009 11:48 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

The Fab Five....And A Pigeon, A Hamster And Vomit

Debbie Webber This week gardener, writer and mother of five, Debbie Webber, has to conduct a funeral service, play pass the sick bowl and deal with a homeless pigeon....

As weeks go I think it's safe to say this one was a corker. And not in a good way. Like everyone else, my life is as carefully balanced as a house of cards and it only takes something minor for it all to come tumbling down.

There has been a remarkable amount of vomit, thanks to the youngest child's talent for sharing awful bugs he picks up at playgroup. As the puke kept coming (and I apologise if that is too much information) I did wonder "how can someone so small contain so much?"

I also found myself wondering "why can't children ever be sick in the bowl RIGHT NEXT TO THEM?" and "when will we ever be well again?"

Admittedly that last rather dramatic thought occurred as dawn was breaking and after a particularly busy night in which nearly all seven of us played pass the sick bowl and musical beds. Not to mention those old favourites Let's Shower The Children In the Middle of The Night and While We're Up Let's Do The Laundry Too.Some nights during this past week have been as busy as the days. All I can say is thank goodness for CBeebies and, if we're going to be all Pollyanna-like about it, thank goodness my jeans don't feel so tight any more.

Just as we were getting over that little bug, which seemed to have infected the whole village, we were faced with a life lesson that is hard to see your children learn.

My nine-year-old's beloved hamster, Banana, died. But it was no ordinary fatality that afflicted this fluffy, yellow ball. No she died in my daughter's hands. It was quite traumatic but due, I think, to old age.

That's the trouble with hamsters, they only live for about two years. And this one was inherited. Or rather, we were fostering her for friends who'd moved oversees.

Ironically, earlier that day we'd had an email to say they were relocating home and I gave silent thanks because obviously we wanted to see them but also because hamster fostering is a bit of a responsibility. Considering their short life span.

And then Banana ironically died. So we had a short, but moving, ceremony and buried her in the garden complete with headstone (two bricks) and a floral arrangement (some dahlias from the border).

I asked my daughter if I might blog about this. I mentioned that while it's an important lesson to learn, children shouldn't perhaps have pets because it's ultimately heartbreaking.

But she was adamant: "Oh no! Children must have pets. It's nice to have something to love other than your family," she said.

When we arrived home from school the following day I discovered my teenager in an agitated state -- he'd helped rescue a baby pigeon found on a pavement and had installed it in a shoebox by the Aga.

It was, I'm afraid, one problem too much for my feeble self to deal with so I handed that one over to Hubby for he is a country boy and our resident bird expert. It is, I feel, a fair partnership as I deal with matters pertaining to small rodents. Both of us, I'm relieved to say, sort out ones involving vomit.