I am full of sympathy…usually.

SMITHY has been ill.

I’ll state for the record that I have been full of sympathy, always on hand with paracetamol and lifts to the doctor’s surgery, and not once (well…maybe once) have I told him to stop whinging.

But between him and our daughter, it’s been like taking care of two small babies this week – with one valiantly trying to soldier through a difficult few days and the other, obviously, being my husband.

“I’m just so iiiiiiiiill!” is a refrain I have heard hundreds of times, as Smithy has summoned me to his bedside with requests for painkillers, glasses of juice and that well known cure for an ear infection: sausages, potato waffles and beans.

“I just feel soooo poorly,” he has said, injecting a slight quiver into his voice.

“But even though I am death’s door I think I could still manage a cup of tea and a small – no, medium – portion of shepherds pie.”

I looked at him agog.

“Shepherds pie? You do know if you want shepherds pie I’ll have to take the baby out into the cold and drive to Tesco to buy the ingredients and then come home and make it while simultaneously trying to occupy a nine-month-old who is just beginning to crawl?”

He did ‘puppy dog eyes’ at me.

“I think it might make me feel better,” he whispered.

I began to suspect, after he asked me to ‘whip up’ a roast dinner on Sunday, that perhaps I was being played.

Especially after he became well enough to go back to work, but his temporary deafness continued.

“Please will you change the sheets on the bed?” I asked.

“Eh? What?” he said, gesturing to his ear.

“Please will you…”

He continued gesturing at his ear, while backing quickly out of the room.

I don’t wish to pollute the pages of the Gazette with bad language, but let’s just say at that point I made a few gestures of my own.

Article first published in The Westmorland Gazette on November 26, 2015

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