Too Sick to Speak

[Little background information: the kids and I play a game in the car where the last person to buckle his seat belt and say “Checkeroonio” is the rotten egg. Click here for more details.]

My soon-to-be-7-year old woke up this morning completely congested and feeling miserable. So bad, in fact, that he didn’t want to go to the science day camp the boys have been going to. He rode in the car (in his pajamas and crocs) with us to drop his brother off at the camp. On the way back, I asked him how he was doing.

“My nose hurts,” he said miserably. “My throat hurts. My head hurts, and my mouth hurts when I talk. So I’m not going to talk any more.”

“Really?” I said, looking at him in the rear-view mirror.

He shook his head.

“No talking at all?”

He shook his head again.

“Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can,” I sang. “Can he swing from a web, take a look overhead. Hey there, there goes the – ” I broke off singing and pointed at him.

He smiled and shook his head.

“Are you hungry?” I asked. “Did you want some chocolate?”

Glancing in the rearview mirror, I saw he had his sad cute face on. He nodded twice, very slowly, as though even that slight motion hurt his head.

I laughed.

Try as I might, I couldn’t get him to talk. At the dry cleaners, he walked in with me without saying a word. As we got back in the car, I sat down and started to buckle my seat belt.

Before I could finish, I heard his voice, very quiet and very serious: “Checkeroonio.”


I can’t even win when he’s too sick to speak!

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