I took my son in to the doctor’s office yesterday. He’s fine, but I thought he might have something, and you know, better safe than sorry. He’s so little, my kid, and yet getting to be so big. He’s on the lowest end of “normal” on the weight growth chart, which is actually better than where I typically fell as a kid. I was super, super thin and they always thought my Mom was starving me. I was extremely picky, and only ate like five foods, but I ate enormous quantities of them. I just had an insane metabolism, and so does my son. I hope he hangs on to it longer than I was able to hang on to mine. Unfortunately for him, he also has the construction of my nose, which means really thin tissues inside and frequent nosebleeds. One yesterday at school, another this past Saturday at the splash park thingy at Crocker Park. I got them when I was a kid if the breeze blew too strongly, I swear.
He punches the right numbered elevator buttons now, and can get up onto the exam table by himself, with the little step stool they provide. The night before the doctor visit, I got out my big, medical picture book and we discussed the anatomy of the thing that I thought might need examined, how this system works and what can happen and why, and what the course of treatment would be. He likes to get the book out when we talk about stuff like that so he can understand what’s happening. His grandpa had his parathyroid removed last month and so I turned to that section and we talked about how the endocrine system works and what your thyroid does and stuff. But then he got distracted with the different skin maladies depicted in cross-section and how cooly gross they were, so he didn’t learn that much about the thyroid. That’s ok.
When the doctor was talking, he started trying to interrupt her about halfway through, and I made him wait. And then he tried again, saying “Excuse me,” and actually asked the doctor, “what does X and Y mean,” using some medical words she had used when talking to me. She seemed surprised but was happy to explain them. After she left he asked me to clarify a word she had used in her description (“topical”), so I told him what that meant and then we had a discussion about different types of topical things you can apply, and what the difference is between something topical and something you ingest.
Then we came home and had a snack under the blanket on the couch and started watching “E.T.,” which he might be a little young for, but I don’t think so. I thought maybe I’d made a mistake when the older brother calls the younger one “penis breath,” but we’re plowing through, hopefully watch the rest of it over the next couple of nights. It takes awhile to watch a movie when you’re little and have to go to bed early.
We hung out before going into the doctor’s office since we were early. I brought a snack for him and we sat on a picnic table while he ate, and then he played on some rocks and I quizzed him about his day. His teacher was just telling me how hard he is working to try to get that connection between the hand and the brain that will enable him to be able to write letters a little better. It just hasn’t clicked yet but he is gamely giving it his all every day now, since I pushed them to make him do it daily, since Kindergarten is starting in just a few more weeks.
I miss his company sometimes during the day; it hits me with these intense pangs. His little hand held mine while we watched the movie last night, and he leaned his head onto my chest and we just hung out. I could see the bones of the top of his spine at the back of his neck, and remembered the pictures they would take when he was inside me, and I could see that long, thin spine to orient me to his position.
He has been in all-day daycare or preschool since he was two months old and now he’s 5, just like that. And there are days I still feel so crappy about dropping him off all day or miss him so bad while he’s away that tears come to my eyes. But then I watch him rush off to the breakfast table and his friends and know it was inevitable anyway, he has to go away from me, a little bit more each year. That’s my job, and I’m doing it, but it’s still really hard some days.