On the first day back at school after half term, I woke the girls up at 7am as usual and left them to get dressed while I pottered about making packed lunches and sorting out some washing. A few minutes later Mimi came over to me saying that she didn’t feel very well and then promptly (and quite dramatically) threw up. Everywhere.
Poor little thing – she was ever so poorly. Once I’d sorted her out, given her a bath and washed her hair, cleared up the mess, disinfected everything I could, organised for my lovely neighbour to take the other two girls to school and dealt with the builders who had simultaneously arrived to transform our garden, we settled on the sofa together.
Apart from going to London on a Wednesday for my face-to-face therapy work, all of my work is now online so thankfully I was still able to see my clients and supervisees whilst she sat next to me and watched Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2 and various episodes of TV programmes that she hasn’t watched for years, like Sofia The First (which, when she’s well, she pooh-poohs as being “too babyish and too girly”).
Anyone who knows Mimi well knows that she is super high energy. She rarely stops moving, whether it’s practising her football skills, randomly chasing backwards and forwards across the house or simply fidgeting – her body matching everything that goes on in her constantly-on-the-move brain. She’s cheeky and doesn’t really have a volume control – she even talks in her sleep. It can get pretty intense when it’s 24/7 and of course while I love it because it’s part of what makes her who she is, a tiny part of me does occasionally long for a little bit of silence and stillness.
But when Mimi is ill she turns into the exact opposite. On the first day she was poorly she barely spoke a word and didn’t move off the sofa once all day. I’ve not seen her quite like that before, even though she’s obviously been poorly in the past. It was really quite disconcerting, and I kept on checking with her to make sure there was nothing else wrong beyond the nasty tummy bug she obviously had. Pale and wide-eyed, with dark under-eye circles and a hushed voice, she insisted that she was ok.
The next day she woke up and demanded breakfast – the first sign that she was feeling better. After half a piece of dry toast she wanted to know where her football was. And then ten minutes later she was back to her usual, cheeky, smiley self – still a bit pale and wobbly, but definitely Mimi again. We spent the day together, not doing very much (I still had some work to do) and then popped into town to post a letter before the afternoon school run – more to get her some fresh air than because we actually needed to go out. And it was lovely having her back, chatting together, holding hands and collecting different coloured leaves as we walked.
It made me realise how much I ask her to quieten down or calm down all the time. Effectively asking her to stop being her. And it was only when I got my wish that I realised how much I missed her being a whirlwind of noise and giggles.
I took this photo on Tuesday, the day she was feeling much better, because I wanted to remember how much I loved it when the sparkle came back into her eyes. How much I love her just for being her normal crazy self. She’s awesome, and I hope she never loses that feistiness and spirit.
44/52: 14.42pm, Tuesday 1st November 2016