April A-Z blogging challenge 2012
P is the next of 26 short stories - 250 words or fewer - about the life and times of a fictional character called Alice.
It is a truism that the child is father to the man. As children become parents and their own parents turn into grandparents it is inevitable that roles begin to reverse. Alice was pleased her parents lived nearby and could see her little boy so frequently but she worried about her father.
John had retired from the police force when he was sixty, the year before she married. Until then he had received regular medical check-ups and was an active, fit man. Since his retirement he had been more sedentary and gained a lot of weight. Now, four years later, he was breathless after the slightest exertion and inclined to sit for long periods, reading the paper or listening to the radio. Ivy fussed after him, cooking his favourite meals and encouraging him to ‘take it easy.’
Alice told John he should see the doctor about his breathlessness and lack of energy. As she had predicted, the doctor advised more exercise and a stricter diet, reducing fats and sugar. He also prescribed tablets to moderate his blood pressure and regulate his heart. Ivy clucked her tongue, maintaining, ‘A little of what you fancy does you good.’ Alice agreed but suggested her father didn’t really need three cooked meals a day with puddings after two of them. Ivy nodded and carried on baking cakes and biscuits for them to enjoy with elevenses and afternoon tea.
Alice continued to worry. John continued to be breathless. Ivy continued to spoil her husband.