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Friday, December 17, 2004

Like It Or Lump It

The thing about being outnumbered by your children is that there are more of them than you. Just passing along a bit of wisdom, because that's what I do. The wife and I are heading like punch-drunk fighters into the holiday vacation season, with wonderful attitudes about family, and gift-buying, and Christmas overall. The two littlest ones are battling a bad cold bronchitis asthma -- nope, heh heh, actually that's pneumonia -- as diagnosed by a quack crack team of pediatricians and urgent care physicians.

I hate it when my little ones are sick.

It looks like they may be on the mend now, and so the world is looking better. Eli and I have had some quality time lately as I give him treatments with a nebulizer, which for the uninitiated is a misting device attached to a mask. A side benefit of the illness is that he now knows what the word "treatment" means.

"Daddy," he told me yesterday over the soft hiss of the machine, "I don't like dat treatment."

"I know, little man."

"I don't like it."

"Well, you can like it or lump it."

"Lump it."

"Okay, lump it."

"No, you lump it."

"You want me to lump it?"

"Yeah. Like dat." He waved his hand around. I have no idea why he thinks "lumping it" means waving one's hand around, but I followed suit. Heck, I have no better idea of what it means to lump it, and when you're stuck in a chair with a sick toddler, any entertainment works. "No, not like dat, like dat." He waved his hand more frantically.

I did the same. "Is that better?"

"Yeah. Lump it."

"You're just a little lumper."

"No, I Eli. You're a lumper."

Given how often I complain about things that I have no choice but to do anyway, I suppose he's right. Faced with a choice between like and lump, I do choose lump, and all too often. I think I need to like more. Thanks for the attitude adjustment, Eli.

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