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Being a kid is not to be sneezed at.

Byline: Lindsay Bruce

THE sense and sensibilities of being an adult are never more apparent than when the weather turns from boring old drab -to equally drab but bloomin' freezing.

With the drop in temperature inevitably comes the obligatory plague of colds and flu.

When you are five, this poses no problem. If you're hot and feverish you strip. Not the done thing as a sweaty, pasty-skinned adult surrounded by other vitamin-e starved office workers.

As a child, if your nose runs -you either sniff it with reckless disregard to the volume such inhalation will create -or wipe it on your sleeve. My kids' washing baskets look like a family of slugs have moved in and left their silvery trails all over the wee Bruces' clothes.

Grown ups, on the other hand, use hankies.

But when is it right to interrupt a flow of conversation or potentially disturb deadlines by putting tissue to nose and letting rip? I am often paralysed by the fear of impending embarrassment so would rather speak like I have a peg on my nose than blow it in front of my colleagues.

As a child, however, you are rewarded for such nose-blowing diligence.

My sons are struggling with the delicate nature and the ever-moving line of social conventions at the moment.

"But why am I not allowed to burp, mum? You used to say 'good boy'."

He makes a very good point. In the baby days he was allowed to eat and drink however much he wanted, whenever he wanted and the richter-scale results afterwards were congratulated.

Now -he eats what I give him, when I give him it and everything else should be promptly followed by a "pardon me". And not, as it is currently, followed by resounding applause from his brother before hysterical laughter.

As a child it's also widely accepted to wear footwear -however homemade -appropriate to the weather -and carrying a spare pair of socks is "practical" and "sensible".

Turning up to work in a pair of shoes covered in plastic bags fastened with elastic bands and pockets lined with brightly coloured socks would result in me eating lunch on my own. I wouldn't even get to splash in the puddles to compensate!

The upside to these paradoxical scenarios is that you can use your little social misfits for personal gain.

On a recent visit to my gran's she kept us waiting for hours for a promised steak-pie dinner while we slowly melted in her boiling hot flat.

Fed up -I prompted Corban, "Tell gran you're hungry..."

He went one better. Landing at her feet in a fake-faint he claimed starvation and begged for food to come now.

"Aw poor wee man. Lindsay -you should have said!" Mwah ha ha ha... Anyway -I really must go. A dark corner of Gazette Towers beckons so I can blow my nose!

My kids' washing baskets look like a family of slugs have moved in and left their silvery trails all over the wee Bruces' clothes
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 26, 2010
Words:502
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