And so, just like that, Autumn is well and truly upon us and we are careering at speed towards winter.
Predictably, with it comes the colds, the croup, the snot... Just like last year. Fucksake.
I mused recently about how I always seem to be ill on my birthday and this year was no different. What started as a brief cold and the assumption that I was merely under the weather due to epic tiredness soon became almost a week of doing pretty much nothing, with a charming backdrop of constant whining and being sad (and CBeebies, which now seems to consist mainly of Swashbuckle. FFS).
These are the lessons I have learned.
1) It lasts forever.
OK, it doesn't actually last forever - just six months or so, based on last year's shit show. What I mean is it never just happens all at once, one really crap week and then it's over; the first one will get ill, then just as they're starting to perk up a bit the other one starts looking peaky and then, just as you think you might be able to start integrating back into normal society, BAM, you get it too. That's just how it goes.
2) Nights will be awful.
You already knew this one, duh. Think back to those newborn days, the four month sleep regression, the eight month sleep regression, the OH MY GOD HOW CAN YOU ACTUALLY GET WORSE AT THIS? sleep regression. Waking up every 45 minutes and needing to be soothed back to sleep. It SUCKS. And the coughing - Oh, the coughing! Why is it always so much worse at night? And why does everyone need to sleep in my bed?
3) Your routine, such as it is, will go to shit.
You aren't going to stop a sick kid from napping on you at 4pm, especially if if means that you can justify sitting on your arse and watching Bake Off (am I pleased with the result? Not really. #TeamSelasi).
Of course this means they won't be tired again until about midnight, and then they'll not go down in their own bed... but hey, you were going to be up every hour anyway and at least you might get something of lie in (if 8am can be classified as such and FYI in this house yes it can) maybe?
4) You will be BORED BORED BORED
And so will the kids. They will be bored, and they will fight. But what are your options? You can't very well take them to soft play when they're streaming with snot, and if you're feeling like a tonne of crap yourself you're unlikely to want to take them out on an invigorating stroll. So you basically stick the TV on and let them ruin the house because it seems better than having to get dressed into normal people clothes.
5) You will feed them anything just to get them to eat
I've stopped even caring about vegetables for the time being; when they won't even contemplate beige food, you really have to bring out the big guns. After two days of completely refused meals, daddy took a trip to the 'crap' aisle in Sainsbury's just to find something to tempt her, but to no avail. So we now have a packet of hot dogs, a large tub of mini cheddars and a lot of ice cream to make our way through.
6) There is nothing like the panic when you run out of Calpol
Quick, stockpile some of the sweet nectar of STFU and go to sleep while you're healthy enough to get to the pharmacy.
7) You will have lots of time to write, but Jack shit to blog about
Even just nipping to the shops I can take fifty Insta-worthy photos (worthy of my Instagram, not anyone else's, granted) but limited to the same four walls my Insta game is not strong and funny shit just doesn't happen. I'm not going to get a whole blog post out of the fact that the postman looked a bit judgy when I was in my PJs at 3.25pm (to be honest I'm a bit judgy that my post didn't arrive until the middle of the afternoon, but whatever) or the fact that the small one, who has recently developed a rather cute cleaning obsession, decided to clean my jeans by dunking a cloth in a potty full of wee (big one is like a urinating ninja these days) which is why I was wearing my pyjamas at 3.25pm.
So yea, you end up with a really crap blog post that week. So...um....sorry about that.