Diarrhoea Despair… 

Firstly, it needs to be said I share the following delight of an experience, not in a search for sympathy but purely for light hearted entertainment. The episode has now passed and I can look back and laugh heartily – with a much more acceptable risk level of soiling myself. 

I got ill. I got the mother of all stomach bugs. I had explosive, incapacitating, diarrhoea. And of course it struck when Phil was on call.

I called in to work sick, for the first time in years. I did get sent home sick once while The Boy was a passenger, because I was definitely sicker than some of the patients, but had attempted to do that typical doctor thing of not wanting to let down colleagues – actually I probably just spread the lurgy, in hindsight it was a bad decision and I should have known better. In this case there was no doubting the sick call had to be made. 

Being that I hadn’t left the toilet since 3am and my bum was clenched and burning, Phil called a colleague to say he would be late and took the kids to nursery. I waved them off from the confines of my bathroom and proceeded to let nature take its course. 

By mid morning I had managed to leave the bathroom – stocked up with toilet roll from the airing cupboard supply and got myself a glass of flat lemonade. I went to bed cuddling a bucket to cover any top end mishaps. 

I tried to nap. The belly cramps were slowing down but a pump was still a very risky business in the white bed linen, so frequent trips to the loo continued. 

Unfortunately mid afternoon came and there was no sign of things letting up. I contacted Phil but of course he was on call… 

Nursery pick up time was rapidly approaching and I was still experiencing torrents of diarrhoea. 

Now in this scenario I decided my options were as follows:

1. Abandon the kids at nursery and let social services bring them home. 

2. Call Phil, demand he returns home at once. If someone has a testicular emergency he will need to explain that he is AWOL and the testicle is to be sacrificed so the surgeons wife can maintain her dignity and not crap herself in public. 

3. Get one of The Boys nappies, nappy up, wear a long top to cover up the bulging underwear situation, clench, get to the pharmacy buy a truck load of Imodium, take immediately, have the most terrifyingly tense drive to nursery, apply alcohol hand gel copiously, grab both kids and return home (driving in an assertive but safe manner) and immediately hide in the toilet again while CBeebies keeps the kids in one place.

All undeniably appealing options. 

Clearly, I went for option 3, and whilst doing so, mentally prepared a business plan for an emergency Imodium home delivery service….

Wife of the Year… 


Its Phil’s birthday. He is the ripe old age of 32. So it’s not a ‘big birthday’ as such, but it’s a birthday. A birthday I forgot. 

To put it in context, it’s a Monday and I have been away all weekend on a hen do for my very good friend. I consumed unknown quantities of prosecco and gin, and after doing so threw myself around the dance floor. In my mind I was demonstrating Rihanna-esque moves and oozing sex appeal and rhythm, but in reality looking a lot like a 31 year old married mother of two who has been released for the weekend and thinks that she can still party like her slimmer, perkier, trendier, younger self. So, as a result of my exuberant celebrations I’m not on top form. I’m tired, I’m aching after a hoola hooping master class and so my patience is running somewhat thin. 

I’ve known Phil’s birthday was coming. I’ve been aware of it coming on the same day for the past 12 years. I was aware that I should get organised and in fact last week added it to my to-do list. Phil (ever the optimist) even told me a couple of weeks ago that he wouldn’t look at the Amazon account so that it wouldn’t spoil any surprises. 

He needn’t have bothered. 

Somehow it has suddenly, out of the blue, crept up on me and it’s here. Today. Not tomorrow. Today. Now. 

Thankfully, I have a get out of jail free card. Phil is on call. 24hour on call. 

So at 6am I sleepily tell him it’s actually his birthday tomorrow and wish him luck writing the date in patient notes – anyone who has worked their birthday knows you will write your date of birth at least once – and wave him off from our bedroom where The Girl has already crept in and started kicking me out of bed. 

I attempt to enter super mum mode. We successfully have porridge and The Girl announces she wants to go to playgroup- which starts in 30 mins – so I have a shower and get the three of us ready in record time. At play group I fuel myself with caffeine while the kids run in opposite directions, The Boy terrorising the baby area, and The Girl charging extortionate prices in the shop. I mention to a fellow mum my slight oversight, “You had better get a cake then”…. 

This had not crossed my mind- and yet she is right. If not for Phil’s benefit, for The Girl’s. This leaves me with a dilemma. Either I get home, stick the kids in car and brave the supermarket – jeopardising any chance of The Boy having a nap in his cot (and therefore any chance of me having a moments peace). Or, make a cake. It’s a tough call but with encouragement from The Girl I begrudgingly agree to bake.  

Phil loves a Victoria sponge. Which suits just fine as I definitely can’t cope with icing and we happen to have all the required ingredients in the cupboard. Delia Smith makes some comment in the recipe about this being the easiest cake to make and anyone can do it….unfortunately not if you forget to put in the baking powder. 

The ‘cake’ looks like two thick pancakes with jam and a slightly out of date dairy free equivalent cream, shoved between them. The Girl says it’s “A-mazing”. I’m confident Phil will not say the same. 

Whilst The Boy naps and The Girl watches some far to smiley TV presenter do some dancing, I panic buy – utilising our free next day delivery and praying it arrives early doors tomorrow. Phil will be devastated if his new pillow isn’t here for bedtime I’m sure. 

I then tackle the obligatory homemade birthday card from the children. Once again, I thinks Phil’s delight at a card with two “blackberries” made from finger prints in poster paint with the tag line “We love you berry much” will go down a storm. 

There was a time when for a birthday we would have rearranged shifts, got thoughtful gifts, gone out for dinner, maybe even socialised with friends and had a drink of something special. 

But some things change. Phil is working his birthday, if he gets to come home he will find left overs of the casserole he made yesterday awaiting him in the fridge, he won’t be able to have a ‘proper drink’ and he will stumble over the array of duplo bricks lying in the hall. He will see a mountain of washing up, new paint stains on the kitchen table and if he manages to check on the kids (who had better be sleeping), he will see The Boy (having face planted in to a door frame today and a coffee table at the weekend) has such a bruised forehead that he is starting to resemble something from Star Trek, The Girl – who is sleeping next to a helium balloon ready to deliver to ‘yesterday’s birthday boy’ first thing in the morning, and tomorrow, he will be the proud recipient of a pancake cake, a new pillow, a homemade card and an IOU. 

I would say it’s all part of fatherhood but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t happen to every dad. This dad just got unlucky, with a wife trying to have a weekend off and not spending the preceding month getting organised for it… 

Under Pressure…


The exam is done. Well the first attempt is complete. And no. I don’t know how it went. It was an MCQ, and I’m human, so out of the 200 questions I answered, I keep remembering the 3 I got wrong. I could have got all 197 others correct (I didn’t, but theoretically I could have) and I would still only remember the 3 astoundingly irrelevant ones. I could have revised day and night for a lifetime and I would still never have got those right. 

Now, in my younger days before children and responsibilities when my time was my own and how hard I worked was down to me- I would be anxious about the results- could I have done a little bit more? Should I have done those extra few questions? Should I have approached it differently? But now. Well, what will be will be.

If I pass it’s because I am amazing. It’s because I worked so blinking hard. Its because I arrived an hour early for work and my lunch breaks were spent alone in my room reading NICE guidelines and the BNF. It’s because I put the kids to bed each night and hid in the spare room answering question after question. It’s because I packed off my children to any willing relative and knuckled down with the cool kids in the library. Its because I sat down with the GCSE and A level candidates and the uni students. Its because I sat surrounded by top knots and high tops, exposed mid drifts and teenage angst. Its because I sat opposite the younger version of me, and watched as she shared her pens with her boyfriend, swapped medical books with each other and had lunch lying on the grass outside together. 

Its because I wondered. I wondered what the hell possessed me to still be doing this. Why 12 years on I’m sat in the same library revising again but this time on my own? Is this really what I signed up for? Didn’t I work hard enough when I was younger? Could I not have taken an easier option? Could I not do something else? 

No. No I couldn’t. I know nothing else. And so, I got on with it. I gave it my best shot. Therefore, if I pass, it’s because I am ace. 

Well, that and the fact Phil put his work on hold and didn’t once moan about the fact that he was bottom of my priority list, my mum basically moved in for a week and became my house keeper and chef, I let the neighbour mow my lawn, I paid a lady to clean my house, a man to cut back the garden, my sister in law took the children to play group, my dad taught The Girl to ride her bike and picked her flowers that made her “sooo happy” when I couldn’t, making my heart swell and break in equal measure. 

They say it takes a village and I’m incredibly lucky to have mine. 

And if I fail? Well, I tried. I did my best. 

So yes, being a working mum and revising seems pretty tough. So many people have remarked on how challenging it is to do all this with kids. But in some weird way it actually makes it easier and less stressful. Somehow having children gives some perspective, a limit to how self absorbed I can be, and constant reminder of the bigger picture. 

The Girl told me today, “Mummy you’re going to be a winner, you have worked so hard, you’re going to be a winner”. So I may not have learnt enough to pass this exam, but it looks like The Girl learn something pretty important. 

Then she puts on the toy stethoscope and tells me she is going to be a doctor. Actually, maybe she learnt nothing at all… 

The Working Week: Part 2

Thursday : A smooth start to the day. I’m now a pro at making breakfast in the lounge with the make shift kitchen I fashioned, and my mother has dutifully maintained and stocked. The bags were packed the night before, lunch is in the fridge, the car has fuel, we are out the door. I’m snotty, in a big way, I’m coughing at all the wrong times during the practice meeting and I’m 100% more ill than some of the patients I see today. 

I opt for a take away instead of another microwaveable meal. My dad – part of the 4th emergency service – declines. He spends the evening in the bathroom, not in the recreational sense. He takes to his bed and we don’t see him until I am summoned to his bedside to answer his medical questions regarding throwing up his tablets. I make up a sensible answer, shout it at him (as he has taken his hearing aids out) and steer clear- a cold is enough for me just now. 

Friday: Phil is on Call. Again. But I don’t even notice. I have no work, I survived and more importantly so did the kids. So now with a genuine sense of joy I get to go in to full mum mode. Nappies, snot, tantrums, swimming lessons, food slinging, and being mauled are all welcome. 

The grandparents don’t depart until the evening as my dad wanted to ensure that his tummy upset has fully passed before they set off on their 2 hour drive. Unexpected faecal incontinence is not desired by a man who insures his wife on his car but won’t let her drive it for fear of her “disrespecting” it. 

Whist still feeling thoroughly crappy and full of cold I’m doing good. I finally have a kitchen sink, the men are all leaving today and after nearly 3 years of living in the most dysfunctional 1980’s kitchen, I now have most of a modern-currently-still-dysfunctional-but-at-least-no-longer-with-a-1970s-serving-hatch kitchen. 

I head to bed with slight feeling of contentment, possibly achievement (and some blocked sinuses). But we have been here before, I know when I’m feeling like this, it’s too good to be true. This is when a child is going to shatter my world. 

Enter, The Boy. 

Vomiting.

All over everything. Cot sheets, teddies, sleeping bag, jammies, him. All need washing. I eventually faff around, get him cosy and snuggle him up all clean and dry.

For about a minute. And then round two commences. This one getting all of the above and me. Despite being a medical professional I have never been great with vomit so whilst I’m retching away I decontaminate myself and him, as quietly as possible, and pray that The Girl doesn’t wake up. 

Once again we get ourselves sorted, we are clean and dry, and shattered. The Boy is trying to drop off to sleep again. Realising I only had one sleeping bag left I decided not to put him in it just yet. Which was just as well. 

He hurls again, splattering the bed we are sitting on, him, me, anything else near by… The vomit is also bright red thanks to jelly he demolished at tea time, it’s starting to resemble some sort of a horrific crime scene in his lovely pastel coloured nursery. Where was he storing all this? There is definitely more volume being projected from him than could possibly be stored in his tiny body. 

Fortunately at this point I hear the front door shut. Either we are being burgled (in which case I’m pretty sure they are going to turn right around when they see this) or by some sort of divine intervention Phil has actually come home, and his timing is perfect. I text him. 

“HELP”

There is a momentary delay in his reply so I continue. 

“NOW” ….. “PLS” 

I have never been so pleased to see him. Together we deal with the devastation and pop the first of several washes on before he heads to bed. He is still on call and will be for the weekend.  

Saturday: The wash didn’t flipping work. The machine is full of water so I can’t get the door open. 

I google like a maniac and conclude that my waste pipe is blocked. I proceed to drain the washer via a tiny tube at the front like the Internet told me to, which involves filling a frying pan and then tipping it in to the drain and repeating about 400 times. The frying pan is not the ideal tool I recognise that, but due to the upheaval of the new kitchen I can’t access a more appropriate receptical.  

Eventually, I’m able to move the washer forward to find a kinked and now (thanks to me trying to straighten it out) cracked waste pipe. I’m up to my knees in vomit covered garments and no functioning washing machine. 

Someone get me a mangle and a bar of soap – I’m gonna do this old school style…..Actually, no. No, I’m not. There are still chunks of sick and it smells horrid. 

So I attempt to, whilst trying to entertain and feed the kids their breakfast, attach a new waste pipe. To my untrained eye, it appears to work. So prior to stepping outside to burn my bra and perform a victory dance, I pop a wash on. 

…..It wasn’t quite the raging success I was hoping for. Turns out there is a reason that we have washing machine repair people. The waste pipe connecter I fashioned failed, so the washing machine leaked all over the floor. On the plus side once I wade through the foamy ocean spreading even further as I watch, at least I can open the washing machine door…Which enables me to discover the the new pillow case from The Boy’s bed has turned the whole entire wash a lovely teal colour. Yep. Of course it did. 

So, in true GP style as per my eportfolio requirement, here follows a reflection summary: 

What happened? 

A Sh*t storm hit. 

What happened next? 

It carried on. 

What did you learn? 

How to drain a washing machine, and, incidentally, what bullnose architrave is. 

What will you do differently in the future? 

Buy a lottery ticket. 

The Working Week: Part 1

My first week back at work happened. It’s complete and it was a joy. Now I’m back in the throws of being a GP trainee it’s only right I should reflect on what happened. 

Monday: Following on from a rough night I wake up with a sore throat and raising anxiety levels. The day is tantrum central thanks to The Girl, well thanks to me really, I mean why would I insist that she wear knickers?! Phil is on call, he like the rest of us had a cold. We waved him off from our lounge-cum-kitchen at 7am. The table at the back of the lounge is set up with toaster and the kettle and a box of food, all positioned as centrally as possible as apparently The Boy has grown his arms for the occasion and can now reach all but the very middle of the table. 

The kitchen men arrived at 7.45am and are greeted by me in my snot stained leisure wear and directed to the 1980s kitchen to rip everything out. I’ve packed the biscuits away and don’t have much sugar in the jar so I appear to be providing a little a health promotion to my rather rotund kitchen team. This is not well received so I ferret around and manage to dig out a box of chocolates from Christmas and allow them to indulge themselves. Their type 2 diabetes isn’t my problem but the cost of this job is and the bill is in their control…

The self proclaimed ‘4th emergency service’ AKA my parents arrive in the afternoon. Noise, mess, dust, disease, no kitchen sink and a house full of men requiring infinite tea rounds welcomes them. I could tell they were delighted. 

My evening is spent digging around to find various proofs of address and photo IDs, as the little darlings at the Deanery have lost all the documents I sent them months ago. They only thought to tell me the day before I return to work despite my 5 enquiries prior to this. 

I also appear to have lost my stethoscope. Fortunately being married to a urologist means there is a spare unused one to thieve. I’m prepped. I’ve eaten take away and I’ve laid out everything I possibly can. All I need now is a good nights sleep….

Tuesday: Phil is on call again. He did come home at some point after I had gone to bed last night so it can’t have been too bad. I have had 4 hours sleep in preparation for my first day at work, thanks to a, presumably, teething boy and an ’emotional’ girl. 

We do however, against all odds manage a successful departure from house involving single handedly getting both children dressed and out the door in time to arrive at work which is quite the achievement. There were times in the past when my achievements were getting a central line in or placing a chest drain successfully, now it’s leaving the house….Cheers kids. 

The Boy cries as he is abandoned with strangers (albeit with full DBS checks) at nursery, I keep it together and at the risk of looking uncaring I promptly turn my back and walk out, with a smile on my face and a nauseous, guilty, heartbroken feeling on the inside. The Girl wants to know why we are leaving her baby brother in tears. I ignore the question and bundle her in to the preschool room. 

Wednesday: I woke up alone. Inconveniently some chap had a testicular issue over night so as a result Phil left in the small hours and once the task was complete he opted to catch 40winks in the on call room. 
I tell Phil later that I wish I had an on call room to go have an hours kip.

“It’s a plastic mattress in a cold room, of borderline cleanliness – you don’t”

I explain it’s preferable to a memory foam mattress covered in snot and being shared with 2 huge, bony starfish with a soundtrack of screaming. He doesn’t reply and we continue in our marital bliss.

Anyway, hearing that we are a man down The Boy kicks off the day with a vomit at 6am secondary to the mother of all coughing fits. It’s everywhere, so an early bath is required. The Girl is waving around a vomit stained stuffed panda shrieking about the fact that HER panda was in the cot and fell victim to the spew fountain (to be fair she has a point but The Boy loves it and when he was throwing a wobbler in the small hours I gave it to him). Granny was called into action, this was not a one man job.

I decided once we were all sorted that I would offer him a bottle – huge mistake. He is at this point starving and guzzles the bottle (he’s a newbie to the bottle as time pressures mean I’m claiming the baps back – in the morning at least) so subsequently he vomits all over him, me and the sofa. Last minute costume changes are required. We eventually get out the door, leaving Granny to deal with the vomit and the washing. Grandad hasn’t put his hearing aids in yet, so he is entirely oblivious to what waits downstairs for him.

I drop the kids off (The Boy continues to try and break my heart with his distraught cries) and get to work.

 I complete yet more paperwork and get told for the 4th time in two days how lonely being a GP can be. 

Compared to home this week, ‘lonely’ is actually a bit of welcome break. At one point today I heard genuine silence. Just for a moment – while I tried desperately to find the right icon to magic a prescription, but it was there, pure silence. 

Pretty sure the patient didn’t appreciate the silent (possibly long enough to be a little awkward) delay to their day, but I certainly did. 

Family, Flights and Flipping out…

We love my family. So much so, that we decided to spend the last couple of weeks of my maternity leave visiting my brother and his family in Texas. This was a decision we rushed into without too much thought. Because if we thought about taking a stroppy nearly 4 yr old and a hyperactive 11 month old on a plane…we wouldn’t. 

The Girl had been informed that if you misbehave on a flight you get chucked off the plane by the pilot. She had taken this literally, believing she would be evicted mid-air never to experience the joy of aviation again. As parents, we took the executive decision to not correct this slight misunderstanding and as result she was golden. She had a split second where she looked like she just might flip into a world famous tantrum and I whispered into her ear the words:

“The pilot is watching you”

She immediately, silently, stood up from the aisle floor where she was prepping for the mother of all meltdowns, got into her seat and put her seatbelt on. 

The Boy was happy as he had a few hundred faces to look at and shout “hello” to. 

Which he did. 

Repeatedly. 

Fortunately when anyone acknowledged him he would give them his biggest, cutest, nose wrinkling, toothy smile and people would forgive him for the preceding racket. 

The return night flight of 9 hours involved some sleep (for everyone but me, as The Boy was asleep in my arms, being that the bassinet would barely fit a newborn in – never mind a 20lb mobile, chunk of boy) but this meant I watched a whole film. The whole thing! 

Admittedly I also spent 2.5 hours busting for a wee but unable to go as I couldn’t risk waking him up, but I found my continence 11 months after birthing a 9lb baby quite an achievement.

In fact what I thought was going to be a huge nightmare was actually almost a pleasure. There were several genuine high points to our journey. 

The Boy at the gate was in my arms while our passports were inspected. He had just had a large drink. He was leaning over, out of my arms to shout hello in the face of the remarkably glamorous lady waiting to direct us towards the tunnel (which was right in front of us). He managed to get himself really quite close to her and she then leant in to speak to him. At which point he did the loudest burp I have ever heard him produce. It was like that of a grown man after a couple of pints. It came from deep down within him and had projection that Pavarotti would have envied. People in the surrounding area (which was a lot as we were waiting in line) turned to look, some too polite to laugh, others giggling quietly and others doing the silent shoulder shake laugh with tears in their eyes. This poor lady’s perfectly made up face recoiled in disgust as The Boy belly laughed hysterically. 

I was temporarily mortified and speechless as I watched this beautifully presented woman pause and try to regain composure before reacting in the professional manner expected of her. And she did it: 

“Well isn’t that just the cutest thing y’all ever saw?” 

No. No it was not. It was smelly, it was right in your face and when all you were trying to do was demonstrate your child friendly approach to young flyers, it was rude. But you, you lovely Texas airport ground staff lady, are exceptionally good at your job. That was a great recovery. In fact you should probably be in healthcare the way you brushed over that bodily function demonstration. Because despite Phil and I being medical professionals we cried with laughter all the way on to the plane. 

The second highlight was courtesy of another passenger. He had been sat next to us for the entire 9 hour flight and as we went our separate ways at the end of our brief but friendly acquaintance he said: 

“Y’all have a beautiful family there. What well behaved kids, I would love this to be me in a few years.” 

Hello parenting success! 

This was a big win, we couldn’t have been more proud of our little people. We managed to take two children on a long haul flight and not only did we not get evicted from the plane, we didn’t irritate the people next to us and in fact appear to have made a fellow passenger broody! We didn’t even have to drug the kids- just instilled the fear of death by ejector seat and it was a breeze! 

There was a moment, just a little moment when, for the first time ever we thought ‘We’ve got this, we are doing ok’. We were feeling ever so slightly smug. 

And apparently The Girl got wind of this and wanted to make sure that this feeling of knowing-what-on-earth-we-are-doing-in-this-bonkers-world-of-parenthood, was a fleeting one. 

I write this at 2am having been back in the country 16hrs while The Girl is throwing a tantrum about the fact that when she shouted Daddy, I went to her room. The much awaited meltdown has occurred with constant screaming punctuated only by requests of ‘GO AWAY MUMMY’, ‘DON’T LOOK AT ME’ and other such gems being shouted in a manner reminiscent of The Exorcist. The Boy has then been screaming because he heard it was a good idea and now I can’t put him down until The Girl pauses for more than a second or else the whole cycle will start again. 

Meanwhile Phil is trying to get enough sleep, in between negotiating with our 3yr old monster and googling ‘what the flip to do with a flipping out 3 yr old’, so that he will be functioning tomorrow for his 24 hour on-call.

Well, at least The Girl has achieved some consistency. We are back to having absolutely no idea what we are doing…

Doctors, Defecation and Death…

It’s 6.45pm. We haven’t heard from Phil.

The Girl : Is Daddy going to be home in time? 

This is the question I get asked about 25 000 times a day and what it means is “Is my favourite person in the whole world going to read my bedtime stories, or will I have to make do with you reading them while The Boy gnaws on your nipple because Daddy isn’t home on time?” 

Me: Not sure, let’s give him a call. 

So we do. It’s goes to voicemail and we leave a message: “Helloooooooo Daddy! Are you going to be home on time?” 

Clearly Phil is still in clinic- the one that’s meant to finish at 5pm and is taking place an hour away from home. So no. He won’t be home on time. 

10mins later he calls back. 

Phil: I’ve just had a man arrest in clinic. 

As crude as it sounds I’m just praying this didn’t happen while Phil was examining him (urologically) – it would be a pretty undignified way to go and I’m not sure how Phil would cope if he thought he had killed a man by putting a finger up his bum. 

I take Phil off speaker phone and we chat. It turns out the chap didn’t make it to his appointment, he collapsed in the waiting room and was brought to a clinic room where he had a cardiac arrest. The nurses shouted for help and Phil responded, he did what he is trained to do and tried to resuscitate him. As Phil is telling me this I know he needs to talk about it. It’s not very common as a urology registrar that you have to actually resuscitate someone. Talk about it yes, make decisions about it yes, but not actually do it. So he is a little out of practice and he needs to debrief. He needs me to tell him that he did everything he should have done. He needs me to tell him that he wasn’t the stereotypical surgeon floundering around in a resus situation. He needs me to tell him that it’s ok that he had a moment of uncertainty when he wasn’t sure if he could feel a carotid pulse (which it is- it doesn’t just switch on and off- it can be there, then it’s thready and weak and then it’s gone). He needs me to tell him that that the lady who went to her husbands routine hospital appointment and is now going home a widow, is going to be ok, and that he couldn’t have changed that. 

Phil needs me to be his wife and his friend and also his colleague . He needs me to understand what he has just been through, he needs to not have to explain it in “laymans terms” he needs me to just get it. Which I do. I really do. Which is good because most of all he needs me to tell him to get over it and deal with the next patient. Which I do….sort of.

The problem is that whilst Phil needs a wife, a friend and a colleague, our children need their Mummy. I’m attempting to get them in the bath but The Boy has done an enormous poo so I’m trying to take his nappy off – he is covered in poo from his nipples to his knees and he won’t lie still for love nor money. He is smearing crap all over the bath mat, the side of the bath, my hands, the toy he is holding, absolutely everywhere. This is causing The Girl to freak out. She doesn’t want to get in a bath with The Boy covered in crap. Which is fair enough. But she is shrieking it right in my face while grabbing my shoulder, whilst I’m trying to talk on the phone, it’s past 7pm and my patience is running thin. So I snap, and I shout. 

“For goodness sake I’m not going to bath you in poo. Now take your clothes off and get in!” 

The Girl is now crying. The Boy is still covered in faeces and The Husband has gone pretty quiet. 

“Phil, I will call you back” 

Moments later the kids are both in the bath. I’ve apologised to The Girl and eventually been forgiven. It’s all slightly calmer. 

The Girl however is not happy that she thinks I will have missed a bit and there will be small bits of poo under the bubbles. Again this is a fair point, if I believed in homeopathy there is probably enough poo in that bath to perform a faecal transplant. 

But then she scales it up again. 

The Girl: Mummy there is poo in the bath!

Me: There isn’t poo, I’ve been through this, I’ve wiped his bum…and everywhere else!!

The Girl: Mummy there is!!!

Hysteria is setting in. And I’m close to flipping out – again. But then, once again she is quite right. Clearly the boy hadn’t quite finished, as peaking out through the bubbles is a sneaky little partially formed log. 

“EVERYBODY OUT!!!”

…..So I’ve failed today. I couldn’t be the wife, the colleague, the friend that I needed to be. Because, I was trying to be the Mummy I should be, and unless you class bathing children in excrement, I didn’t exactly succeed on that front either. 

Welcome home Phil, the bathroom is full of poo, part of your dinner is in a pan (the rest is still in the freezer), the kitchen looks like a bomb site, your tutor has informed you that you need to work over your holiday, your best mans speech for the wedding at the weekend isn’t finished, your wife is hiding in the office trying to revise for an exam (which due to her maternity pay running out, you get the honour of paying for), your several hours late home from work ….oh and a chap unexpectedly died on you today. 

So yep. Just another day as junior doctors, living that ‘Moet Medic Lifestyle’ the media go on about. 

But after a day like today, especially, after a day like today, we are just grateful that we get a tomorrow, to do it all over again.