There is nothing like a sick baby. It’s the first time Daniel is properly, truly, miserably sick. He coughs and then dissolves into tears, his face melting from the strain and possibly pain. He won’t eat anything but nurse, and when he tries food every once in a while, he throws it back up 10 seconds later. He isn’t alone. Our home is a vortex of whirling germs, barely contained by the occasional remembering to cough into elbows. Mummy A is a mess, still, after a week. She is going back to the doctor. Ben, thankfully, is recovering, though he is clearly thrown by what is a distinct change in his safe “family normal” status. He has a flair for the dramatic, which A attributes to my influence, hmm... But he has certainly been tempestuous this week. And me? Amazingly still well, bit of a runny nose, the odd headache. It’s a miracle. I am ODing on vitamin C etc, but I think it’s just good luck. I’m on more of an existential trip, feeling the full impact of being the bio-mom again. Since Daniel’s been eating solid foods at six months, I have felt the “need” for me lessening. It was a good time to return to work. And then this… Me, the sole source of nutrients again. Not to be too graphic but his poo has reverted to infant poo consistency (those of you who have cleaned this know how many wipes it takes…). I am not actually complaining. I have simplified my life back down to the microcosmic baby to boob to bed. I am holding onto a clinging little monkey who is snuggling back. Normally he is adventuresome and too busy for that silliness. Instead there have been deeply precious moments where he has slept in the curve of my body, our breathing in synch. Despite the hard nights with both boys up, the sad snotty faces, I feel honoured to be so needed, so reduced to a lovey-dovey mush pile. Life’s challenge can also be its beauty.