RICHARD ORD: Children are a gift that just keeps on giving
One of the perks of being a dad - and there aren’t many - used to be finishing off whatever your children didn’t manage to scoff from their plates.
Now they’re older, however, I’ve discovered most of my time is spent trying to stop them eating everything within reach.
My eldest is out of sight at university, but the younger one regularly descends on my kitchen like a sportswear-clad locust.
Isaac, 17, wears a path between his bedroom and the fridge hoovering up anything edible (though, funnily enough, he never hoovers up the crumbs he leaves behind, but that’s another story).
Which was why it was a bonus when the other week, while he was feeling under the weather, he left half his plate of pasta.
Aha, I thought, for once I’m up. Half a plate of pasta for me. Just like the good old days.
And that folks, is how I managed to catch Covid.
Well, they do say children are the gifts that just keep on giving…
Perhaps the biggest irony was the fact that our Isaac managed to contract Covid at about the same time as he received his vaccination.
Feeling a little unwell after his jab, I assured him that the vaccine did sometimes have side-effects, so he shouldn’t worry. Problem was, he wrongly assumed the vaccination side-effects were the same as the actual disease.
So when he lost his sense of taste, he just shrugged his shoulders and got on with things.
In one case, while having a coke with his pals in a restaurant he complained about the bland fizzy drink he had just been served.
“Does that taste okay to you?” he asked, handing the drink to his pals. “Tastes fine to me…” they said. He couldn't taste anything!
Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one he infected.
Fortunately, being double jabbed meant I managed to escape the worst effects of the disease, though I was confined to barracks for 10 days. So too was the food thief.
We both suffered the indignity of being treated like prisoners. Food left at the door. Limited toilet and washing breaks. Generally shunned.
The 10 days in isolation were a pain but, crucially, we survived unharmed.
I mentioned this to our Isaac, labouring the point that we are among the lucky ones in what has been a momentous time not only for us, but the nation and, indeed, the world.
“Yes,” he said, his full eyes drifting back to those long tough days of confinement and worry, before adding, “but I don’t half miss the room service…”