And, lo, they did mightily displease the great Baby God, and brought down His wrath upon them. And the Baby God did smite them heartily, bringing down plague upon plague upon plague upon their filthy unworthy heads. And there was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. And the Baby God did laugh to see it, and sent down another plague. THE END.
Let's just say it's been a tough few weeks. Lumpy had had a cough for, oh, the past six centuries or so. It just went on, and on, and on. Cough hack choke wake-up scream. Cough cough cough gaaaaaah. Wah. We took him to the doctor, who reassured us that it wasn't terminal, patted us on the slightly deranged heads, and sent us on our way. It did start to get better. A bit.
And then Lumpy moved nursery. Moved to the brilliant, shiny-new, super-posh, closer-to-work and all-round-brilliant new nursery. Which turned out to be just as much of a pit of pestilence as the previous one. What is it with small children and disgustingness? They're just filthy. And they have to lick everything. Like other filthy small children. And if there's a disease going around they just have to gobble it up, because there's nothing more fun than being ill. It always makes children so cheerful, hacking and snotting and puking and grizzling. It's more fun than swings and puppies and bubbles all rolled into one!
In other words, the cough came back. But this was cough plus, the new and improved version. People would stop and stare at us, wondering why we were taking our plague-baby out on the streets to infect the innocent.
But we didn't just have a cough. Oh no, that would have been far too easy. We also had the most hideous, weeping, scabby nappy rash, that just would not heal, even when we were changing Lumpy's nappy every hour and slathering on entire pots of Sudocrem, Bepanthan, lard, and anything else lubricating we could lay our hands on. And there's nothing that makes you feel more like a brilliant parent than having the nursery report that your child's arse has been bleeding. Marvellous!
And then one day at work I had a phone call...
Don't worry - he wasn't dead. He'd just done a big squirty poo. Which isn't that unusual, as far as I'm concerned, but is the big social no-no at the nursery, apparently. He was banished, effective immediately.
So, in an instant, I became that parent. You know, the one who's always dashing out of the office in the middle of the day to pick up their ailing spawn, never to return. I really didn't want to be that parent, but hey ho, I'm steadily learning that there isn't actually, and any other sort.
Though I moaned and wailed and gnashed my teeth at the deep cosmic unfairness of it all at the time, this nursery exclusion period was actually pretty vital. We took Lumpy and his hacking cough, and his squirty, scabby bum, to the doctor and got us some of them gooooood drugs. Because drugs, as we all know, are the cure to all the world's woes and ills, and we should just take more of them. And a drugged baby is a happy baby.
And, lo! The wonders of modern science and witchcraft (aka bright yellow banana-flavoured antibiotics and lots of naps in his own cot and not having to go to evil so-called-nursery-baby-prison-place) did smite those filthy germs, and the baby was cured of his blindness and threw away his crutch and did walk again! Well, the cough got better at least. And the snivelling parents did sleep for more than two hours in a row, and they did weep with joy and make sacrifices to the benevolent, loving Baby God.
Then Lumpy went back to nursery and two days later he had suspected German measles.
So I quit my job to became an agnostic wandering goat herd who shouts at clouds.