Friday, July 20, 2012


So Alex came home from daycare yesterday and pretty much immediately upon crossing the house threshold developed a temperature of around 102, and started telling us about a kid in his preschool class who'd thrown up.

So he spent the evening on the couch, watching TV with an emergency bowl on his lap, and then went to bed early, with the bowl. He didn't throw up, but every time I went in to check on him, he still felt hot, which I found a little unusual -- there's typically a drop-off with fevers at night. He was still feverish this morning, though more chipper, and I called in to work and settled on the couch with him for a quality day of movies and Gatorade.

I was about 90% certain it was a simple virus, to be defeated by nothing more complicated than rest and fluids, but since it's Friday, and the doctor's office is closed weekends, I took him to the doctor just to check it out. Because nothing is more pitiful than a case of strep throat that waits until Saturday afternoon to make itself really known. (For the record, the doctor did a strep test and it came back negative, but he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic anyway to hold on to, in case something crops up before Monday.)

But what I really wanted to record was part of the conversation Alex and I had in the car on the way to the doctor. He was feeling fairly chipper, chatting happily about this and that and the other -- kiss-buggies (our kid-friendly version of punch-buggies) and a dog we passed, and other random things, and he said,

"Mom? I love you." (He does this moderately frequently and randomly. I think it's a placeholder statement for when he forgets what he'd been about to say. But far be it for me to discourage it!)

"I love you too, buddy."

"Mom? Why do you and Dad don't love each other like you used to?"

...Wow. Wow. It didn't seem sad at all, just curious and matter-of-fact, the same tone he'd used when he'd said, "Mom, is that lady taking that dog for a walk?" I fumbled my way through an answer, trying to be reassuring, but it caught me totally off guard. I'd sort of thought my way through what to say to Penny in response to these kinds of questions, but I honestly hadn't expected it from him. Until that moment, I wasn't entirely sure he'd absorbed much of the talk we'd had with the kids Wednesday nights about our separation.

No one's ever even thought about saying Alex wasn't smart, or that he didn't pay attention. But sometimes it still catches me off-guard.

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