Culture of sharing leads to perpetual sniffles

Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins
Graeme 'Yer Man' Cousins

It’s all well and good teaching children to share, but there comes a point when you have to explain to them that some things are best kept to themselves.

In the last few months Ben and Lucy have become adept at sharing each other’s colds. Just when it seems like Ben is over the sniffles Lucy will sneeze over him, and those times that Lucy looks to have recovered are greeted by Ben giving her a big, wet, lickery kiss.

Their mother has also been drawn into the vicious cold circle rendering our abode a very sick place to live with only myself being able to breathe properly at any given moment.

I don’t know how I’ve escaped the cold, but it may be something to do with getting out to work every day - one of the few times I can claim my job is good for my health.

As you’d expect for a nearly eight month old, Ben is coping the worst with the virus. Although I think part of this is down to the fact he’s a bloke. It’s common knowledge that men fare very badly with the common cold, immediately escalating it to man flu, or in Ben’s case, little man flu.

He’s having a lot of difficulty sleeping at night, which in turn is keeping his mum awake and his wailing is also disrupting his sister’s sleep.

I feel bad that I’m the only person in the house who’s getting a night’s sleep. I’ve tried to settle Ben in the night, but my technique only seems to make him worse.

To get back to my original point about sharing, Ben has reached the level of mobility whereby he is the master of his own destiny. He’s very good at crawling and has reached the point where he can haul himself up to his feet. He’s not walking just yet, but his nose is running.

Lucy used to have free reign of the toy box, but now that Ben is motoring he’s giving her a run for her money. They regularly wrestle over toys and due to her seniority she’s the one who has to take the hit.

In fairness to her, she’s very generous in giving up toys and often, of her own accord, she’ll make sure Ben has something to play with.

The problem with sharing is that it starts to get trickier the older you get.

Take sweets for example. When you’re two or three years of age, you’re positively encouraged to share your sweets.

By the time you reach school age you’re still encouraged to share your sweets, but not during class and not without checking first if anyone in the class has got an allergy to any of the ingredients contained in your sweets.

Upon reaching your teenage years the generous act of sharing sweets is rewarded with a the whirr of the dentist’s drill as he fills in your sugar-rotted teeth.

As you get a little older there’s a certain romance associated with sharing sweets. To give someone your last Rolo is viewed as an act of love, yet buying your partner an entire Nestle selection box tends to muddy the waters of romance.

Due to the vicious cold circle in the Cousins household the only sweets we’re sharing at the minute are Tunes.

As I was searching for cold remedies I found an unwrapped Tune in the back of the medicine cabinet. It was sporting a fair covering of fluff and dust. Due to its vintage Karen urged me to throw it out, but instead I popped it in my mouth to identify what flavour it was.

“What are you doing?” asked Karen.

“I’m going to name that Tune in two,” I said.