I had a sick boy last night. Jess was away and it was just the two boys but I knew Tommy was sick when he only ate half his fried chicken.
“I’m shivering, Dad”, he said as he piled on a second duvet lying curled up in the armchair in front of the TV.
Let me feel you: You’re boiling, my man! Off with those duvets and all your clothes!
“But I’m cold Dad!”
Yes, you feel cold, but you’re hot as hades. I have to cool you down. I wet a cloth and sponged him down and gave him a dose of ponstan anti-fever muti. I had already given him an imodium after two runny tummy trips to the loo. Took him off to my bedroom and made him lie clad only in his underpants on the sheet and switched on the aircon.
“Dad” , he says urgently “I think I’ve got ebola” he says.
Uh huh? I ask. Why’s that?
“Well I read if you have a high temperature and a runny tummy and vomiting you’ve got ebola. Can ebola kill you Dad?”
Well, yes it can, but I don’t think you have ebola my boy.
“But I touched the mouse that Flaky (the snaky) threw up after I fed it to her” he protests.
OK, we’ll monitor you fella, but remember you actually picked up the mouse with a plastic bag, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
“Will you take me to the doctor?”
Yes, if you’re still sick in the morning, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to cure this particular ebola.
“Mom would have taken my temperature” he says slyly, teasing me now that he’s feeling better.
You’re right, she would have. Silently, I wonder where her thermometer is.
“And she would have made me juice” he grins when I make him drink cold water.
Yeah, right! don’t push it! You might have tummy bugs and I’m not feeding them any sugar. I set the alarm for 1am to check if he needed more ponstan but when it rang I felt him and he was as cool as a cucumber.
“I’m fine Daddy. Thank you”, he mumbled and resumed his snoring.
Maybe he was practising for this outbreak four years ago, when he wore this apparently ebola-proof gear?