Two big babies for my wife to nurture

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Chocolate orange sponge

LAWRENCE MURPHY: A rich treat with added sunshine

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Maximum man-flu melodrama has been on the menu.

A nice laryngitis starter, with a devilish fever for the main and an ‘I don’t want to be out of eyesight of a toilet’ delight for pudding.

But, rather than make my way through this appetising mix of ailments in sequence, I enjoyed them all at once.

I kid you not when I say the last few days have been the worst I have felt in living memory.

To spice things up a little, my wife has also been struck down with the same illness and our son Jack celebrated his first birthday with a whole host of aches, pains and infections.

If he has any memories of this memorable event, it’s not going to be of balloon animals and squirty cream, but of foul tasting remedies and cream of an anti-bacterial nature.

It has been my first real experience of being ill whilst the children are also suffering. But I’ve got a feeling there are going to be many more occasions when we’ll be sharing in each others’ malaise.

Luckily, we have a very supportive family who are brilliant at stepping up and helping out when you’re blowing a little.

Knowing that there are able and trusted hands, waiting like substitutes on the bench to give you a gentle breather, is comforting as you sit in a pool of your own sweat.

Poor little Jack was prescribed a liquid-based antibiotic for his painful skin complaint.

Administering medicine to a writhing, tormented and frustrated one-year-old is for professionals, not the ham-fisted.

On the first three attempts, medicine ended up on the wall, the window and in my eye.

Persistence finally paid off. But only until his rash worsened and it became apparent that the poor mite was actually allergic to that particular medicine.

My heart also goes out to my poor wife. Imagine having two big babies, moaning and lolloping around the place.

At least with Jack she can rationalise that a baby needs help and assistance when he is ill.

He can’t head out to the chemist, change his own clothes or make a soothing warm elixir to calm his flame red throat.

I, on the other hand, don’t have that excuse and reason would suggest that if I’m well enough to jump up and grab an Easter egg from the kitchen, I could probably fix myself a Lemsip too.

While she battled on with steely resolve and struggled to get the children back to passable health, she also had to contend with a delirious fool, whining on about how man-flu should be officially recognised by the World Health Organisation.