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Have you noticed?

HAVING small children throw up all over you is a professional hazard for childminders. We are easily identified by a faint smell of vomit, pockets full of pebbles and acorns, and traces of fishfinger in our hair.

Trying to mop up sicky baby and self in the doctor's surgery while persuading timid four-year-old to have meningitis injection was somewhat challenging, particularly when littlest remembered his last injection and screamed unstoppably at the sight of nurse with needle.

All in a day's work - but this was also the day I had to be interviewed for the school's final Investors in

Peopl assessment.

By the time my long-suffering husband came home to spend his

lunch-hour minding four small

children, sicky one was washed, changed and asleep, the rest were fed, the washing machine was churning and I was back in super-governor mode. No time for a shower - quick change, lots of perfume, silk shirt.

Husband gave me a good sniffing and pronounced me all clear before I leapt on my bike. Two-and-a-half minutes to school uphill against the wind.

We passed the assessment and I got home before sicky baby woke up. I even had time to take off the silk shirt - just.

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