Friday 8 December 2017

Internet can-do

It's a funny business growing up in the digital age, awash with information on any subject you care to google. Emi, affectionately known in the family as Sprocket - owing to his love for fixing things, or at least taking them apart so that they really need someone else to fix them - is soon to be 12. He came home from school yesterday with a sore throat, a headache and a high temperature.

Back in the analogue age that would have been a recipe for me to collapse onto the sofa and leave my mum to minister to my symptoms. But things run differently now, and I'm a lot more easily distracted than my mother ever was.

Poor Sprockers, I said absent-mindedly, not really paying him much attention. I got a brief grunt of appreciation for my sympathy, and he settled down beside me to get on with his homework.

I carried on working and paid little regard to the snuffles from behind his computer screen as he made a start on his maths prep calculating internal angles in triangles. For reasons that I don't understand he loves trigonometry. And whilst he'd never admit to enjoying homework, I knew he was happy to get on with it regardless of how he felt.

I could hear him adding up internal angles and minusing them from 180ยบ. Ignoring the odd wheeze and snort I felt fairly confident that he wasn't about to expire.

At length a small voice inquired whether we had any camomile tea.

Camomile tea?

No we didn't. Mummy doesn't do herbal teas; she only drinks builders' tea the colour of creosote.

He got up from the desk, went into the kitchen and came back with the towel that hangs on the radiator wrapped around his throat. I ignored him, thinking that he was being dramatic.

Several angles were calculated without further comment.

I'm going for a hot shower. 

He shuffled off upstairs. I passed no remarks. He often takes a shower when he comes in if he's been playing games.

Do we have honey and lemon? His voice croaked down from the landing.

Honey and lemon? 

It finally dawned on me that he was acting a bit weird: normally he's more of a chocolate and juice guy. I peered over at his laptop, and there it was, the Google search results for how to get rid of a headache and a sore throat. Having not received much attention from a mother who'd been more concerned about meeting a deadline of her own, he'd been working his way down the list of suggested steps on the Beechams' cold and flu relief page.

And that struck me as a commendably practical, thoroughly 21st century response to the situation. If your mum fails you, keep calm and google the answer.

All the best for now,

Bonny x


  1. I hope he feels better soon! I hate it when kids are sick.

  2. Poor boy! Hope he is feeling better. At least Dr Google had some helpful suggestions. Marie x