We have two poorly boys, which inevitably leads to three poorly boys in this house. They were late to bed last night and early to rise this morning and I knew it was going to be a long day.

We woke to frost; beautiful, delicate patterns of ice weaving across the garden. The boys and I made hot chocolate and we headed out to the park for some fresh air in a bid to blow away the viruses coursing through their bodies.

Trailing around the lake, the boys find some enthusiasm from under their blankets of lethargy and they hunt for hidden rocks painted by other children. They total 10 rocks by the time we tumble back into the car.

We sit in the sunshine with our hot chocolate, hats slipping down over our eyes. My middle boy asks for my phone to take photos of his rocks, and of the ducks keeping their eyes trained on us in the hope we have food to share.

Returning home, the boys are exhausted. Instead of trying to fight it, we drag the blankets and cushions down from upstairs and watch BOTH Charlie and the Chocolate Factory films. We cuddle together under duvet covers, not even noticing the sun setting until we realise the room is in darkness and bedtime is upon us.

I sit listening to their rhythmic breathing, heavy with illness. It’s been a long day, but it’s been a good day – and I know tomorrow will be the same.

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