John has got to be in the minority of kids in that upon being struck with a nasty gastrointestinal issue that manifests itself in a variety of ways, one of them being at 1 a.m. onto his floor and on the stairs, he stands in our bedroom doorway and announces with supreme self-assurance: "Hey guys? I vomited."
He then went into the bathroom, rinsed out his mouth, got a drink and went back to bed, while I lay in my bed thinking, "Did he just say 'I vomited'?"
He did, and he wasn't kidding. It took an hour to clean up.
A day later, I had it. We've been all about Rice Krispies and Gatorade around here the last couple days.
* * *
Maia had a hockey tourney today. I dragged myself (and the kids) to it, sipping theraputic coffee after being too sick for it Friday. Matt would have gone, but after spending a sick day with John (the day after the doctor diagnosed John with, officially, "Really Bad Gas"), he came down with a wretched sinus infection.
Maia, who seems to be the only one of us who has any sort of immune system, had a couple of great games. That is, for a just-turned-five-year-old. Half the time, she skates her little heart out -- both hands on the stick, driving after the puck, leaning against hulking seven-year-olds in front of the net. The other half, she's practicing skating on one skate, with the other one held up like a flamingo; waving to her friend's mom; telling me her breezers are falling down ("WELL THEN, TELL YOUR COACH!"); staring up at the PA speaker in amazement as huge voices come out of it; sweeping the ice-dust into little piles with her stick; etc., etc.
Of course, last year at this time, if you put her on the ice and skated away from her, she'd cry. So this is progress.
* * *
About four or five years ago, back at the farmhouse, we were sitting around after supper and Matt decided to call his dad. Without saying who it was, he dialed the number, then handed the phone to John.
"Here," he said. "Talk."
"Who is it?" said John, who was about 4 1/2 at the time.
"Just talk," Matt said. "It's a surprise."
John's eyes widened, and he beamed. "Is it DENNIS J. KUCINICH?" he said rapturously.
"Uh, no," said Matt, taken aback. "It's...Grandpa."
The presidential campaign had ramped up pretty well at that point, and obviously John had been listening in to our discussion of the candidates. This evening, John did it again.
He and I were bumbling our way through a Yu-Gi-Oh game, which I privately call "Yeah-but." The game seems to consist of summoning invincible monsters and then your opponent says, "Yeah, but I invoke this spell, which turns your monster against you and gives me 1,000 extra points," and so on.
On one turn, I devastated his Life Points. He gave me a level look, then quirked his mouth and lifted an eyebrow and said, "Right."
I laughed. "John, when you said that, you looked like...like..."
The name I was looking for was Yu-Gi-Oh villain Maximilian Pegasus.
But John helpfully finished my sentence: