I don't want to compare my life with David Cameron's or Barack Obama's but it sometimes seems a bit complicated. Grandson landed back in hospital in the middle of Friday night with the same problem as three weeks ago: a bad cold which went to his chest and gave him problems in breathing. Once he was admitted and put on steroids and other puffer stuff, he improved a lot and enjoyed playing in the hospital playroom, coughing and sneezing over all the little souls with diabetes and broken legs and so on - which doesn't strike me as ideal, but what can you do when the playroom is at the end of the ward? I spent most of the day with him so that Son-in-Law 1 could go home and sleep. One young mum whom we met the last time was still there with her baby, who still had a feeding tube up his nose. I felt so sorry for her, especially as she has another little one as well. Being in hospital with a child even for a couple of days is stressful and tiring even if your child isn't all that ill. I can't imagine what it must be like for weeks.
I spent one week in hospital with Son when he was 2. We were in isolation because he had an unidentified virus (which turned out to be severe tonsillitis) and it was horrible. He had a high fever so the windows had to be open to keep the room cool and I wasn't supposed to hold him because this would make him hotter, but of course the only thing that would comfort him was for me to cuddle him and read him stories. The same stories for a week. The loo was several minutes' walk away, as was the canteen, and of course there were no such things as mobile phones so the phone was several minutes' walk away too. You can do without eating for a day or so but for a week, no. He screamed whenever I left him and was too young to understand that I'd be back before long. And we were all alone apart from brief visits from doctors or nurses. Eventually a doctor gave him antibiotics in case he had tonsillitis and he started getting better. All the time I was so worried about him: doctors were muttering darkly about leukaemia.
Anyway, it made me have great sympathy for parents with chronically ill children. It must be terrible.
It also makes me think of those sad gravestones that you see in old churchyards, commemorating tiny children who died. Seemingly healthy little ones get ill so quickly and while nowadays we can often make them better again quite soon, in those days things were more likely to end tragically. And I'm sure people loved their children just as much then as we do now.
Grandson is home again today but the worry is that this will happen every time he has a cold.
Anyway, Granddaughter came in to visit him and wasn't too worried.
And Sirius (still holding his own) was fairly relaxed.
As was Cassie.
Spot the differences between these two pictures of Cassie. Yes, she's sitting slightly differently in picture 2, but actually picture 1 was taken a few minutes ago while picture 2 was taken last week. What you don't see in photo 1 is that just after taking it, I decided to move round to get a slightly cuter angle, knocked over a cup of coffee and sprayed it EVERYWHERE (apart from on Cassie). She was most indignant at the ensuing mopping-up.
As from tonight, we have four African people with us for a few days (three children who belong to an African Children's Choir and their chaperone - though they'll be out during the daytime - they just need breakfast, packed lunch and dinner) and friends for lunch tomorrow. Apart from that, life is simple.
And it is, and it is - compared to what it might be.