Monday, March 03, 2008


I gave Andrew the thermometer so that he could take his temperature. He was sure that he was running a fever. He stuck the thermometer in his mouth.

"Duhayeneeyapussabu'un?" he mumbled through the thermometer. It's a digital one.

I knew exactly what he said. It's been a boon that we both played the clarinet. We understand the language called "reed tongue;" the language musicians speak while they are moistening their reeds.

He asked if he needed to push a button. I told him that he did.

A few minutes later he called out,

"It's 99.5!"

"That's not too bad," I said soothingly.

"Yeah," he said, "But that's like 100.5, which is kind of high."

I couldn't tell if he was playing a sympathy card or if he was really that hallucinatory.

"No," I corrected, "It's more just like 99.5, which isn't that bad."

"But you always add a degree when you use this thermometer," he noted, his voice tinted with whininess.

I had to think about that for a moment before I realized what he was talking about.

"That's because I take Rachel's temperature under her arm pit and so you have to add a degree to make it equal to the oral temperature."

"Oh," he said with an audible pout.

I can just imagine if he was one of my children, and not the daddy.

"But, mom!" I can hear him saying, "You always add a degree for Rachel. You love her more."

"No, son," I would answer, "It's just a rule of thumb: add a degree for under the arm, take one away from the bum."

He would probably then go off to sulk somewhere, still thinking that I loved Rachel best because I didn't do any fancy math with the temperature we got from under his tongue.

1 comment:

  1. ok, so understanding reed tongue might be fun, but who on earth wants to have to deal with new-reed-taste. no one. I don't miss it. At least it's not as bad as lick-the-sticky-part-of-the-envelope taste. disgusting!