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,
"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.