…that little boys are made of steel after all.
We are nursing injuries in this house at the moment. I am wearing a bandage on my wrist and left my hair frizzly, so you know I am taking mine seriously. [When do I not?]
Bandages do make me feel dashingly noble and also a little grubby, but in a jazzy way, as though I’m surviving a medieval siege and eating rat for dinner while also and at the same time looking swish in a wimple. But all of this bravery is as nothing to Henricus, who is growing himself some measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis and two kinds of meningitis right at this moment, and just sitting there screwing up bits of toast like it’s nothing. He got a chocolate button from the nurse and a cracker from Daddy once he got home, but still. Insides of steel.
Back in May 1796, it was another little boy – an eight-year-old gardener’s son from Berkeley – who gamely let Edward Jenner inject him with someone else’s pus on the off-chance that he wouldn’t then die from smallpox. Pus. Belonging to someone else’s blisters. There’s no historical record of him whinging about it. I hope the poor chap got a chocolate button, but I very much fear they weren’t invented yet.