Posts Tagged ‘scarlet fever


giving barbie heroin to the kids – is it wrong to drug children?

The hangover from Scarlet Fever lurks in the household like a persistent stalker outside the bathroom window.

Headaches abound, and everyone is clamouring for drugs. Everyone apart from me, of course, because I am harder than a diamond and actively enjoy suffering because it reminds me how awesomely brave and stoic I am, like Joan of Arc, but with better hair.

At times like these, I thank all that is holy for Barbie heroin, mother’s little helper, also known as junior paracetamol.

"Mummy says this will have to do until Mr Big scores some of the pink stuff."

Ah, the crimson-hued bringer of peace, the glittering syrup of silence, the strawberry-flavoured elixir that makes hurty tum-tums go bye-byes at bedtime.

It came as somewhat of a blow, therefore, to read a report from the Food Commission revealing that a huge number of junior medicines are jam-packed with a cocktail of synthetic dyes, preservatives and sweeteners, all of which are banned in food and drink made for young children.

Apparently, junior paracetamol isn’t extracted from organic pomegranates, the glitter isn’t fairy dust and when we give them a painkiller, we might as well be injecting them in the eyeballs with amphetamines or passing them a crack pipe (as if! That crack is all mine).

A conspiracy of silence surrounds the administering of infant paracetamol. Parents who would rather gnaw off their own arm than give their children sweets will cheerfully funnel neon pink numbing sparkle juice into their offspring at the merest hint of an injury or an ache.

For all those parents confused about the difference between additive-riddled sweets and additive-riddled junior medicines, I have compiled an at-a-glance guide.

Sweets are:
(a)     The devil’s own work and single-handedly responsible for the rise in childhood obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, gun crime and global warming.
(b)    Bad because they make Tilly hyperactive if she so much as SNIFFS a Starburst.
(c)      Ultimately pointless because in time, Tarquin and Jemima will actually prefer dried kumquats and candied beetroot to a packet of Haribo or a bag of space dust.

Junior medicines, on the other hand, are:
(a)     A bloody Godsend. Put your thumb over the ingredients label and pour a spoonful would you? EastEnders is on in 10 minutes and I can’t hear the telly through the screaming.


The woman in black has scarlet fever – finally, some colour in my life

“We don’t want to worry you, but there have been several diagnosed cases of scarlet fever in year three…”

This letter narrowly pips last year’s missive about the strange man hanging around the lower playground with a camera during PE lessons (turned out he was a bird spotter, although that’s what I’d say if I was a paedophile in hiding) to the post in terms of the worry factor.

The woman in black felt slightly overdressed for the school run

The woman in black felt slightly overdressed for the school run

Generally, I ignore all letters that arrive home from school, or at the very least I try very hard to. The last time I did look at one, it was three sheets of A4 instructing parents how to make an exact replica Tudor costume for seven-year-olds. Just who is at school? The children, or me? My delicate ego can barely afford further shame on the scale of what I will only refer to as: The Egyptian Servant Costume Debacle.

Letters from school serve only three purposes: to chastise (‘there have been several cases of headlice in school – have YOU been checking your child’s hair?’), to beg (‘there are still plenty of spaces left for parents to sign up for a stall at the Country Fair!’) or to extort (‘the school trip this year is to Saturn. Please send your first installment of £12,053,021 to the office by Tuesday morning’).

I cling to the hope that if I ignore things for long enough, they will go away. This is a policy which has let me down very badly in the past.

Scarlet fever, however, cannot be ignored. I have tonsils like golf balls, a tongue like raw beef and a rash that renders me even more loathsome to the eye than usual. I am weak, weary and irritable. Those who know me might think this is no different to normal: they have yet to see the creeping plague over my shins and wrists.

I may take to my bed. Inform the emergency services if you hear nothing for more than 24 hours – or at least whip me up a Tudor costume, it’s ‘History Alive!’ day at school next week, and I have a feeling Tudors didn’t wear Darth Vader outfits. Boring, madrigal-obsessed bastards that they were.

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