Happy Valentine's Day!
... Christmas came and went and we returned to school as was usual, round about the 5th January. The interviews for the School Secretary post were arranged and I was one of four candidates. I was nervous about it. I hadn't been for an interview in over eleven years, but I was very pleased to be included.
January is always a difficult month in a school. There are so many bugs and viruses about and the children, from five to seven years old, are just building up their immunity and seemed to go down like flies. Sometimes it seemed like half the class was out with something or other.
Then the blow struck! My David, also five years old, started complaining that he felt unwell. He had a bit of a fever and he looked flushed but he didn't have the usual sore throat that all my children seemed to succumb to. I thought it might pass during the day, but I was worried. Here was a new challenge for me. Did I keep him home or send him to school? Things were different now. I had a job myself, albeit temporary and I didn't want to let my own school down. I made an appointment at the doctor's office and phoned my Head Mistress for advice. She advised me to stay home, telling me they would manage and asking me to let her know what the doctor said.
I was lucky to get an appointment that same day and by the afternoon it was becoming obvious what was wrong with David. He was looking more like a hamster as each hour went by. I felt sure he had the mumps and when we got to the doctor's office, he confirmed it.
The next day, I phoned work again. "David has the mumps" I said.
It couldn't have come at a worse time, with the interviews looming on February 3rd and me trying to create a good impression.
To my surprise, the Head Mistress invited me to come into work, with David, accompanied by his spider-man duvet and a pillow.
"He can sleep under the spare desk in your room', she suggested. "so long as you keep him away from all the other children, he will be fine".
I was very surprised, but pleased and relieved. I knew David would be a good boy and do as he was told so I agreed. Luckily I had the car that day. It was one of the two days a week which I had access to it, so we went in to the school and David curled up and went to sleep under the spare desk. He had a couple of toys with him, but slept most of the time and was no trouble at all.
The Head Mistress seemed to think that it was a good thing for boys of that age to get the mumps so she was not unduly perturbed about it and I was grateful to her indeed!
In about a week David was better and returned to school and I turned my attention to the interviews. Falling on Edward's birthday, I felt it was a good omen and I was proved right. The interview went well and later on that afternoon, I was telephoned at home and told I could start permanently the next week. I was delighted and immediately started looking through my catalogue for that special vacuum cleaner that I had promised myself once I got a permanent job.