Monday, March 29, 2010

Dr. Kids

My 1st graders have run the gamut of sicknesses this year.
There's been the ever persistent ear-ache:  the silent and invisible, continual "oooouuuchh" every time you make eye contact with one of them.  Then there's your seemingly every day stomach-ache, but this one seems to always be accompanied by a sore throat.  Unusual, but thats when we know it's really hit.  Who has a stomach-ache with a sore throat attached?  This group of walking contagious viruses does!

While I'm constantly covering my food as we eat lunch side by side and they're telling me the latest knock-knock joke (interrupting cow..., boo hoo who?..., orange-ya glad I didn't say banana?...), spittle flying, landing on my salami sandwich, they seem totally oblivious.  Part of it might have to do with our year-long study of bacteria or "germs", as they used to refer to them:  They've learned the difference between bad bacteria and good bacteria.  So the talking over your food doesn't seem to faze them in the least:  they figure if they feel fine, they're only flinging out the good stuff.

The kids learned the names and the results of 20+ different bacteria this year.  So, when tiny, little, soft-spoken, 6-year-old A. went to the doctor, covered in spots, the exchange went something like this...

Doc:  A. , don't be afraid, but you appear to have impetigo.

A:  Oh, like impetigo staphylococcus?!

But, of course.

Her mom regaled us all with the tale the next day.

Even when they're at their lowest moments, their brilliance for resilience shines through.  Picture this:  I've got one hand on O.'s forehead and one holding a bucket under his chin, as we run through the halls, racing towards an available toilet stall.  I'm petrified of the puke landing in my face or on my clothes, and he's just yellow, running along side of me.

We make it just in time.  Well, almost in time.  Close enough for most of to land in the bowl.  I end up cleaning the rest of it up (and everyone asks why I didn't have the janitor do it?  I don't know.  I like our janitor and it seemed as much my duty as his).  Poor O. was crying a little and saying he feels like he's always sick!  It always happens to him!  Finally, when all things had been expended, and I kept my own reactive-retching under control, I was still holding one hand on O's forehead when he groaned to me,

O:  miss molly? miss molly? can you believe how I have so many inventions in my head all the time?

...and away he went.  The worst of the puking behind him, dreams of bigger things in front of him, he continued on with the details and the catch-22's of his latest invention, while I listened and nodded in agreement with his grandiose ideas.

A new theory, perhaps?
From sickness comes genuius.

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