Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Bedtime Story (24/10/2018)

As I write this, I'm suffering from a nasty head cold and a hacking cough.  Tis the season!  So this story is all about being poorly and the frustrations that brings...

If you'd prefer to listen to this week's story, it's also available as a podcast.

"I'm Poorly And It's NOT FAIR!"

Beth tugged the blanket closer around herself and shivered.  She was sitting up in bed, too stuffy-nosed and sore-headed to sleep, but too tired to do much else.  Outside, in the back garden, she could hear her brothers playing.

"This isn't fair," she groaned, when Dad brought her a mug of honey and lemon.  "I want to go and kick the Autumn leaves around in the garden, too."  

But Dad shook his head.  "Your eyes are ever so red and your temperature was still high when we took it, earlier.  Your bed is the best place for you."

Beth grumbled as Dad left the room.  She didn't say thank you for the drink, either.  Her throat hurt and she didn't really want the honey and lemon.  It was a bright, clear day - a Saturday, so all of her friends were off school.  The last thing she wanted to do was lie in bed, feeling poorly.  She folded her arms and stuck out her lower lip, pulling an angry face at the teddy bears who sat at the end of her bed.  

"Hey," her brother Dan smiled, as he came into the room, his cheeks rosy from running around, outside.  "Jacob and I are going to the shop.  Do you want us to bring you anything?"

Beth's angry face got even angrier.  She really liked going to the shop!  They always walked through the park and sometimes Dan - who was the oldest - let Jacob and Beth go on the swings on the way home.  Missing out on a nice walk on such a sunny day, as well as a trip to the park, seemed horribly cruel.

"NO!"  Beth snapped.  She flopped down onto her side, facing away from her brother and tugged the covers over her head.  She didn't emerge again, until she'd heard Dan's footsteps fade away down the stairs.

Her room smelled of medicine and honey.  It was quiet.  There was nothing to do.  Beth stared at the ceiling, wishing her cough and cold would just go away.

Soon, Mum came in to check on her.  "We're having chilli and nachos for dinner," she said.  "But I'm worried about your sore throat, because nachos are very crunchy.  Would you just like a bowl of chilli, or some soup?"

Beth's mouth hung open in annoyance.  The nachos were the best part of that meal!

"I want the nachos," she insisted.  "And I want to be able to play in the garden and walk to the shop!  It isn't fair, having to just lie around and do nothing!  I'm bored!"

Mum sat on the edge of the bed.  Her face looked tired and for the first time in the few days that Beth had been poorly, she noticed that Mum seemed to be getting a cold, too.

"I know it's boring, being poorly," Mum said.  "And I know that feeling like you're missing out on things can make you cross, too.  But please remember that it's not anyone's fault that you're feeling unwell.  And that you'll be better again, soon."

"But I want to be better now!"  Beth groaned.  As she spoke, she realised how angry she sounded and it made her feel guilty.  She sighed.  "It doesn't feel fair that I'm ill in bed, when everyone else is up and about, having fun."

Mum nodded.  "I know," she agreed.  "But have you ever thought that it's also not fair on everyone else to take your mood out on them, when they're only trying to make sure you're okay?"

Beth's cheeks flushed pink.  She thought about how she'd snapped at Dan and her dad, earlier.  "I just feel like I've been poorly for ages," she said, quietly.  "I'm fed up."

Mum smiled.  "Of course you are," she replied.  "Nobody likes feeling poorly and not being able to join in with things.  But you'll be back to normal in another day or two.  That makes you really lucky!  What's a few days of being poorly, compared to a whole lifetime of being happy and healthy?!"

Suddenly, Beth realised that having to spend a couple of days in bed, getting over her cough and cold, wasn't actually that bad, after all.  "I'll miss out on the nachos for dinner," she decided.  "I want my throat to get better.  And I won't moan anymore, I promise."

Mum laughed.  "You're allowed to moan, when you don't feel well," she told her.  "Just try to remember that it won't last forever and that should make you feel better about things."

Beth managed a smile.  "Are you okay?  You look like you're coming down with my cold..."

"I'll be alright," Mum said.  "Now, do you need me to bring you anything before I start dinner?"

Beth shook her head.  "I think I'll just go to sleep for a while," she replied.  "Thanks, Mum."

And as Beth's head hit the pillow, she realised that being so grouchy had taken up an awful lot of energy.  She thought about her brothers, walking to the shop and instead of feeling cross, she smiled at the idea of joining them next time.

With that happy thought in her head, Beth closed her eyes and drifted off into a lovely dream about all the things she knew she'd be lucky enough to do, once she was better again.


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