We once went to stay with some friends who rather sheepishly showed us an entire draw stuffed with Calpol spoons. It was an impressive number; clearly their two small children had consumed vast quantities of the pink stuff in their short lifetimes (and these parents were both doctors - go figure).
Anyway, it reminded me of a famous quotation from TS Eliot's Prufrock: 'I have measured out my life in coffee spoons'. Well, this year, we have measured out our Christmas with Calpol spoons. We have got through more bottles in the past week than we have in the past 12 months. Even The Doctor, whose usual opinion about these things is that less is more, was doling it out liberally. Meanwhile we ourselves have been high on Lemsip for the past couple of days.
We somehow all managed to share out our ailments onto alternate days of the festive period; Littleboy 1 all quiet and floppy and hot on Christmas Eve; Littleboy 2 full of snot, fever and wretchedness on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The morning of the 27th seemed to provide a brief lull - or perhaps it was the eye of the storm? - before I went down with an evil cold in the evening. Then yesterday I was swiftly followed by The Doctor, who got so cold watching Superman Returns last night that he wrapped himself in our buggy's fleece cover. Meanwhile the boys were still supremely snotty and waking up at all hours of the night. And, in other news, both my father and father-in-law seem to have succumbed too......
Anyway, that's enough moaning. We did enjoy some of Christmas, despite the coughs and splutters. Highlights included getting pleasantly, but not indecently, drunk on sparkling wine on Christmas Eve with our neighbours; eating a fantastic turkey from Moen, the Clapham Old Town butcher, cooked to perfection by The Doctor; listening to the Littleboys and their cousins roar with laughter at Tom and Jerry on Christmas evening; watching their delight at unwrapping lots of Lego and Playmobil (although my heart did sink on registering the number of individual pieces in each set); sitting down by a roaring fire to watch the film Stardust with lots of family; cuddling up with Littleboy 1 to watch Madagascar (which I enjoyed as much as he did) and, this morning, as I ventured out of the house armed with Kleenex for the first time in days, the beauty of a sunny, frozen Clapham Common, with Littleboy 1's pure glee at being able to skim chunks of solid ice across a pond.
And, perhaps the greatest achievement of all, we managed to spend three days in a house with eight children under the age of eight, six of whom are boys, and not go completely insane.