KIERAN HOWARD: Thanks very much for the hand, foot and mouth disease Louie

The German Christmas market in Commercial Road
puts Cheryl Gibbs in a festive mood

CHERYL GIBBS: I’ll be blasting out non-stop Christmas music for weeks

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One day researchers will complete a study with results that will actually cheer me up.

According to the latest findings, giving toddlers higher doses of vitamin D won’t keep colds at bay during the winter months.

The research, carried out by the Journal of American Medical Association, is bad news for me, as well as Louie.

You see, he has a cheeky habit of passing all his illnesses on to me. He’s a very sharing child.

I just wish he’d share something else rather than his diseases.

It wouldn’t be so bad if he chose to share the occasional sickness with Mummy too.

However, he finds it much more amusing to inflict the suffering on Daddy.

I could possibly handle it if it was just colds, but last year he decided to go one step further and give me hand, foot and mouth disease.

I’ll admit that I was a little startled when the doctor first diagnosed us. I initially thought that only affected cloven-hoofed animals.

Of course, I was foolishly mixing up my foot and mouth diseases.

It transpired that the one we’d contracted was very much a human infection which causes mouth ulcers and spots on the hands and feet.

I’ll be honest, it’s not an overly attractive condition to contend with.

People don’t tend to want to shake your hand or come within 100 metres of you, and not just because it’s highly contagious.

Basically, you slowly start resembling a being from another planet.

You begin wondering if you should put in place an exclusion zone around your house.

At one point Kerrie jokingly considered investing in an infection prevention suit. She’s very supportive like that.

It lasts about a week. Louie really suffered and was not a happy chappy for at least five days. I too was a slightly miserable person to be around.

They didn’t warn me that it can cause a sore throat, the like of which I’d never experienced before.

It feltlike swallowing razor blades. You know it’s bad when work tell you you’re no longer welcome in the office and you can’t even eat a doughnut without crying.

Of course, I do appreciate it’s actually my own below-par immune system that’s the real problem here, so I won’t lay the blame entirely at the boy’s door.

A PARCEL FROM YORKIE

Never work with children or animals, they say.

But what happens if you can’t avoid it?

Taking Louie and our dogs Rupert and Rosie for a stroll in the woods is a thoroughly enjoyable daily activity.

But, it’s one of the more stressful hours of my day too.

The coordination required in walking a dog and controlling a one-year-old on a trike is quite considerable, particularly when that child is now adamant that he will be Chief Dog Lead Holder.

Trying to navigate a plastic three-wheeler over gravel and equally uneven terrain, also proves quite challenging.

Our latest walk will be remembered for the Yorkie doing his business on a rather busy main road.

A polite driver tried to wave us across shortly after the deposit had been left.

She wasn’t aware that we were waiting for her to pass before deciding what to do with this little parcel.

While animals and child remained parked on the pavement, I weighed up whether to risk a fine or my life in order to collect what was basically now our property.

Well, I couldn’t afford a fine, so there was really only one option, other than coning it off.

Thankfully I lived to tell the tale.