It’s been a tough week here at our house. I had my ACL surgery on Thursday and have been on crutches since. My son came down with the croup on Saturday night and spent most of the week with a fever, ear infection and nasty cough. So that leaves my husband to nurse us all. He has played the role of driver, foot rubber, cook, comfort maker, and bus boy-- suffering all of the subtle indignities of the sole caretaker without complaint.
Our son has been on antibiotics for a few days and hates them. They have given him an upset stomach and other unpleasant side effects. Lets just say I have been using a lot of Bert’s Butt Cream on my poor little boy.
It takes a bribe of chocolate milk or a chocolate cookie as reward. Last night, without us noticing, he left the room to take the anti-biotic liquid from the little plunger. He did it without a grumble and returned looking for a chocolate covered pretzel. It all happened so smoothly that I had to ask him if he was telling me the truth.
“Yes, I drank it,” he responded with no defensiveness. My husband and I caught each other’s wary eye.
“Tell us the truth please,” I said.
“I am telling you the truth,” he responded, again without guilt.
The next morning, I was hobbling around the kitchen. The click-click-click of the crutches on the wood floors was now as familiar as the Christmas music. I balanced on my crutches and managed to get the medicine measured out, and the chocolate milk into a sippy cup. My son once again took the small plunger into another room.
“Can you please make sure he is taking the medicine?” I asked my husband. “If I go he will hear me coming and if he is pouring it out somewhere I want to know.”
My driver, foot rubber, waiter, comfort maker and bus boy, thanks to me, was now an unwitting participant, my spy,--an agent provocateur. My suspicions triggered something in my husband’s mind. “Last night” he said “I saw a streak of some white stuff on the blanket in his bed. Let me go and check it out”
He found our son sitting in front of the television, medication in-hand. He supervised the intake of antibiotics and asked our son to come upstairs to his bedroom.
“Is this the medicine that your Mama gave you -- here on the bed?” He asked with a calm and serious tone.
“Yes,” our son said. “I did that.”
“Why would you squirt the medicine from the plunger onto the bed?”
“No, I didn’t do that”
“You just said that you did it. Look, it’s the same color” he swipes his finger across the blanket and brings it to his nose. “It smells the same.” He puts the tip of his finger on his tongue. “It even tastes the same.” He pauses. “Act-u-a-lly, it doesn’t taste the same.” He tastes the plunger again and looks down at the white smudge on the bed. “What is that stuff?”
“That’s the Butt Cream Mama put on me, and when I sat on the bed some of it came off.” My husband stood there with the plunger in one hand, a dollop of butt cream on the other. Our son laughed and pointed up at my deputy spy, “Silly Daddy, you ate it.”
May we all have true faith this Holiday Season, the courage to believe the best in all people, especially our family members, even the littlest ones.