Achtung Baby: Spoiling A Sick Child

Rex Features

An ox-like constitution and doubtless a dose of luck facilitate Finje's excellent track record in avoiding the constant onslaught of kindergarten germs. To date, we've successfully dodged three bouts of head lice, a perpetual bombardment of coughs and colds and a rather surprising outbreak of Scarlet Fever (which I had no idea still existed!).

Normally to be found either hurtling round like a bomb on two legs or sleeping like she's gone into hibernation, when she does get sick it comes as a surprise.

Last week Finje crawled into our bed at 3am and lay her sweaty, burning little body between me and my husband. After declaring herself "a bit poorly" she proceeded to sneeze a ball of radioactive looking snot over my favourite M & S pyjamas.

A swift dose of Calpol and she dozed right off. I, conversely, suffered a sleepless night, mostly spent pondering how such an adorable, cherub of a child could generate a snore, the resonance of which was not dissimilar to that of a speeding freight train. Next day and the fever had abated but the stuffy nose and a nasty cough remained.

Unaccustomed to dealing with a sick child, instinct took over. I spoiled her rotten. A normally severely restricted DVD viewing regimen was relaxed. Pajamas stayed on all day and she took up residence on the sofa with a fluffy blanket, her Penguin and an endless supply of tissues. She was experiencing that awful predicament of totally blocked nose which illogically still drips like a tap. After a time, I grew accustomed to being called "Bubba".

She was indeed poorly but her illness was not life threatening and I suspected her to be rather relishing the whole experience.

And my dirty little secret? I rather enjoyed it too.

Obviously, no one wishes pain and illness on their child. The thought of my baby suffering in any way is simply too much to bear. But she clearly wasn't suffering. Sneezing for Germany? Yes. Snuffling and gurgling? Certainly. Slightly off form? Absolutely. In essence, just poorly enough to wallow in the attention whilst not feeling like death.

And Bubba wallowed with her. I knew the pleasure of having my daughter snuggle up to me all day long would be short lived and I reveled not only in her inability to run off but her genuine desire to stay. Bad Bubba!

24 hours later and we were back to perfunctory hugs and plain old "mama".

But that's okay.