This morning, my five year old took one look at the breakfast I’d prepared for him and announced that he was sick.
“You’re sick?” I asked.
“Yeah. My mouth hurts. It – Ouch! hurts to chew.” He was holding his unbitten waffle about six inches from his mouth.
“I thought you liked waffles.”
“I do! But my mouth. It hurts.” He put the waffle down.
“Okay, then why don’t you try the melon? It’s nice and soft.”
“OW!” His little brother shouted, spraying little bits of chewed waffle everywhere. “My leg hurts!”
“It hurts when I eat!”
“OUCH!” His older brother was not to be outdone. He was touching his throat. “It even hurts to – OW! – to talk!”
This was getting a bit out of hand. I pointed to the three-year old. “Your leg doesn’t hurt when you eat. It may hurt, but not because you’re eating.” He grinned sheepishly, so I turned to his older brother. “And you – “
Their mom came bustling in at this point. “Your throat hurts? Oh! Let me see!”
Unbelievable. I grabbed myself a bowl of cereal while she oohed and ahhed over him, using a flashlight to look in his throat. “It does look pretty red,” she said.
Of course, I thought. That’s because it’s the inside of his throat. I didn’t say that, mind you – but I thought it pretty darned loud.
“You look,” she said. “What do you think?”
I took the flashlight and looked. Hmph. Then we went to the bathroom so I could use the mirror and the flashlight.
The inside of the little faker’s throat was red and swollen. He had been telling the truth all along. He looked at me and shook his head, managing to be both pitiful and accusing at the same time. “I’m sick,” he said. “Really sick.”