Yesterday I was feeling unwell, with a bad headache, stomach pain, and dizziness. All the kids were doing their thing, playing with various toys, so I lay down on the floor, my cheek pressed against the cool slate, and sighed.
Instantly, my 5 year old came trotting up to me. "What's wrong, Mummy? Are you OK?" she said, stroking my arm.
"I'm OK, pet," I said, "just I have a headache and a sore tummy, that's all."
"Never mind, Mummy," she consoled, rubbing my shoulderblades gently as I closed my eyes for a moment.
A moment later a gentle nudge in my ribs caused me to open my eyes. My 7 year old wordlessly handed me a packet of Panadol and my water bottle.
"Sweetheart, where did you get those?" I asked, panic-stricken suddenly that the medicine cupboard was unlocked.
"It's the packet from your handbag, Mum," she said matter-of-factly. "I climbed up on a chair to get it from your bag."
I swallowed two tablets, and said, "Thank you, love, but please, you mustn't touch tablets without asking, OK?"
She smiled at me.
Just then the 22-month-old hurricane came tearing along. Seeing me on the floor, she stopped in her tracks, then said, "Oh dear, dear, dear. Poor Mummy!"
She toddled up to me and patted my cheek, saying, "'S orright dar-ying, 's orright. You OK. Me is 'ere."
The Panadol helped my head. The lie down helped my stomach pain. Three children clustered around in gentleness helped most of all, of course.