Wednesday, November 9, 2011


"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

---Shel Silverstein

My mom used to say sometimes that I had "school bus sickness".  I was sick until after the school bus had come and gone, then I had a miraculous recovery.

I admit, sometimes I just didn't want to go to school.

Mark seemed to inherit this proclivity for illness from me.  He's sick every morning.  Deathly ill.  He moans and groans and promises me he slept horribly and can't possibly do school.  Yesterday morning he told me his "stomach was about to explode."  I asked him if he wanted to eat anything.  He moaned that he'd better not.  I asked my little boy who cried wolf if he wanted toast?  Yogurt?  Cheese?  (Cheese, he always wants.)

He wanted none of it.

To further make his case, he told me he was sure he wouldn't be able to play with his friends later because he was SO sick.

I kind of ignored his ailments like I usually do.

A few minutes later he said maybe he should eat and he knew just what he wanted, some of the Chicken Tikka Masala leftover from the night before.  He whistled as he went about heating it up.  (Poor sick baby.)

When I went into the kitchen I saw that in addition to his steaming bowl of spicy Indian food, he had also helped himself to a Coke.  (Which I vetoed.)

I texted Adam with our son's cure to his gastrointestinal ailments.

He texted back, "His take on the BRAT diet."

Ah, I remember the BRAT diet.  I remember when my little ones had upset tummies and I'd give them Bananas, Rice, Applesauce or Toast.

I wish I'd known then that Chicken Tikka Masala is really the cure.  Because Mark had a miraculous recovery once he had eaten it (and once he realized I was not paying attention to his afflictions).

When Mark's not too busy being sick, he loves to take pictures of himself.  Unsettling pictures of himself.

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