I am completely neurotic about germs. When out in public I will not touch the buttons on a pedestrian crossing, or shop door handles, or the keypad on cash machines, or anything else that the masses might have put their grubby mitts on. I will always use my sleeve. And I would certainly never touch the flush handle in a public toilet, or the taps, or the button on the hand dryer, without using a piece of loo paper.
I had mild panics about Betty starting school and the fact that my 'germ control' would be out of my hands. And sure enough, just two weeks into the term Betty, who is not a sickly child, got a sickness bug. This has only further fuelled my anxieties about all the grotty germs lurking at school. Lots of little people, clumsily wiping their bottoms, not washing their hands properly, holding hands, sticking their fingers up their noses, and into their mouths, and then sharing each others sandwiches.
The vomitting occured just before we were about to leave the house for school on Tuesday morning, when Betty complained of a stomach ache. I naturally thought she was making it up, and ushered her towards the front door. She then promptly projectile vomitted all over me. Meanwhile a bemused Dolly watched on from the car.
Betty sobbed and begged me not to send her to school. Crikey, she must have a really low opinion of me, I thought to myself. I calmed her down, mainly by helping her identify what was in her sick and why it was the colour it was, and soothingly assured her that I would not be sending her to school.
I naively imagined her staying in bed all day, with a flannel on her head, sipping water and watching DVDs, leaving me to get on with all the work I had planned on the only full child-free day I get a week.
After twenty minutes of lying tucked up in bed in her pyjamas, Betty had basically made a full recovery. I walked into the room expecting her to be ailing, but found her making a den, wearing nothing but her gold tights and ballet shoes, and eating her way through a packet of chocolate biscuits. And it wasn't even 9.30am.
By 10.00am, although relieved that she was suddenly better, I think both Betty and I were wishing she was back at school. 'You are driving me nuts,' Betty told me.