Last Mother’s Day weekend I cried. I cried with exhaustion because Zee was only about six weeks old. I cried because H had a stag do in London that evening, so we drove from Chichester to Oxford to drop him off and I (still exhausted) then had to drive onwards to the sanctuary of my parents’. I cried because it was my first ever Mother’s Day as a mum, and it was amazing to be with my mum with my very own baby, even though I was half-mad with tiredness and probably spent a lot of time glassy-eyed and unable to finish sentences. Such sparkling form in those days. Such value I brought to the party! I was so FUN!
This Mother’s Day was a combination of sunshine and literal highs and then crashing lows. H had been very smiley and proud of himself all week, proclaiming that he had arranged a surprise I would love and think he is even more amazing than I already do . . . I am his number one fan after all. I was intrigued and excited; we had brunch with an old friend planned in the morning followed by H’s surprise in the afternoon. Until, that is, Zee awoke howling at 5.30 on the Saturday morning. He had been sick. We were half asleep and puzzled. We brought him into our bed, he was sick everywhere. He was crying his eyes out and bewildered and we were now very much awake and stripping off his clothes and bed clothes and not knowing what was going on. By 9am poor little Zee had been changed into five different sleep suits and I had been puked on several times. It got to the point that if he was feeling sick but was sitting with his daddy, he would somehow make it over to me, chubby little arms outstretched and proceed to be sick in and on my arms. I was the chosen one, it seemed. Ahh, the joys.
And when he became listless really quickly, I dialled 111 (the new NHS Direct), and they were so helpful and thorough and didn’t even snigger when at one point I described Zee as ‘just lying in his dad’s arms, frowning’, cue laughter from H. But it’s true, he was frowning and I was trying to give as much detail as I could. Frowning doesn’t appear to be a very serious symptom of illness though, because a doctor called back and said it sounded like a gastro bug, to keep sipping him water and it should pass quickly. But not quickly enough to be in time for H’s surprise . . .
Which is where our good friends Audrey and Nev stepped in (up) – it turned out H’s surprise was indeed amazing; afternoon tea on the London Eye. It was a blue-sky-and-sunshine day, so Audrey and I went off leaving the men to look after Zee for a couple of hours whilst we got to enjoy the stunning views across London with a glass of champagne in one hand and canapés and cakes galore in the other. I raised a glass to my own lovely mum from high in the sky in the general direction of the Isle of Man where they were away for a few days. Actually that’s a total lie. I have no idea where the Isle of Man is. I just raised a glass in a general direction, towards Big Ben. But the thought was there.
Weirdly, and happily, Zee was completely fine by bedtime, as if we’d totally imagined the hours of vomiting and frowning that had gone before – except we had the duvet at the dry cleaners and rows of drying sleep suits and bedding to prove it. The next day, Mother’s Day itself, we had a trip to Brighton planned to see some friends. We left early, arrived in good time, but as we searched for a car parking space I started to feel . . . sick. I told myself it was travel sickness.
Wishful thinking. To cut a lovely afternoon picnic on Brighton beach short, we had to make a very hasty departure as I realised I could no longer deny this bug that was taking me over. I was sick into a plastic bag down an empty Brighton side street, oh the shame. ‘Low point, low point!’ H exclaimed. It was about to get lower. A two and a half hour car journey and two very useful plastic bags later, I crawled into bed, shivering from head to toe, feeling woeful and sick and very, very feeble. Happy Mother’s Day to me! I cried.
Looking back on it now and feeling absolutely fine, I just feel sorry that Zee was poorly, happy about the gorgeous afternoon on the Eye, sad that H missed it and horrified re the bags. One day H is going to plan a London surprise for us all and it won’t be scuppered by sickness. Third time lucky and all.