Maybe it’s because I’m getting old, but I really don’t get why young people – yes, I just used that phrase and am sticking by it – use the word ‘sick’ when they’re articulating their delight at how thoroughly spiffing something is.
I know it’s not new. I think I first heard someone use it about ten years ago. But, while other slang terms have got away with adopting opposite meanings – like ‘wicked’, for example – I really can’t get my head around how something that conjours up images of technicolour yawns can ever be good.
And, yes, I may be writing this because the sick fairy visited our house at the weekend.
Dylan had been unwell in the night the previous week and we foolishly thought that had been the end of it. Kate spent Sunday shivering under a blanket and feeling utterly grotty, but managed to avoid making a call on the porcelain telephone.
Then Xander decided to take it upon himself to do a Mr Creosote impersonation on behalf of the pair of them. He was sitting on my lap watching telly at the time, having refused to go to sleep.
All nice, quiet and snuggly and in serious danger of actually nodding off when, suddenly, evidence of everything he’d eaten that day was everywhere. I say ‘everywhere’; I was mostly wearing it. It was a bit like when Lady Gaga wore that dress made out of meat.
Fortunately, we hadn’t had pea soup for tea so there wasn’t a precise tribute to the iconic act of spewage that made Linda Blair famous – and, thankfully, he didn’t levitate afterwards either – but this was nonetheless epic.
It was like what the bigoted W.I. lady on Little Britain manages to produce when she encounters someone who doesn’t fit in with her Daily Mail politics. The projectile side of that is where the comparison ends – although maybe not… he is very much a boyish boy and Kate had Strictly Come Dancing on. Perhaps he wanted something a little more carnage based on for his viewing pleasure? What a critic!
This was my first true encounter with the awesome power of an unwell toddler – there have been other incidents, but nothing nearly as grand.
So I feel I’ve reached another of those little parental rites-of-passage moments. Lucky me. Other parents I know had told me in the past that kids bounce back quickly from these things and they weren’t wrong.
Three minutes later, when we were both stood there in our undercrackers having hurled – poor choice of word? – our clothes into the washing machine and he’d stopped sobbing from the shock, he composed himself. “Rice cake please, Daddy?” he said with a genial smile. That’s my boy!