There are few things, as a parent, I enjoy more than asking the obvious question and waiting to hear the response.
Jake? Is the table set?
Now, I know the table isn’t set. I know he’s still drawing tanks and bombs and guns. I know there are flamethrowers and parachute guys dotting the horizon.
Before he answers, I hear the scramble to clear off the drawing materials- often being thrown right on the ground- and the clink of the plates I left out on the counter for him.
He still hasn’t answered because he still isn’t done. He doesn’t want to lie, but he doesn’t want to admit I asked him twenty minutes ago, fifteen minutes ago and ten minutes ago to set the table.
Five minutes later, he says, Yeah, Mom. The table is set.
My other obvious question is, Have you brushed your teeth?
Which I know the answer is always no but I have to ask.
And there are few things, I hate more as a parent. Like seeing Jake’s legs covered with bruises- still- even after the fall football, outdoor wrestling season.
I know, I know. Lots of ice lately, lots of reasons to fall and bump. But they all look like the same ones he’s had for a while.
Twenty childhood leukemia websites later, I’m convinced I’m just being paranoid.
Almost convinced. I've looked at a lot of little boy bruised legs over the last 12 years. My gut tells me there is something wrong. Diabetes, anemia or maybe an undetected ear infection throwing off his balance.
Which is why I hate this part of parenting. Am I overreacting? Do I take him to the doctor? Old voices tell me you don’t bother the doctor, new voices tell me I know enough doctors to know they would rather see you too many times than too few.
The good, the bad and the anxiety in between.
I’m calling the doctor tomorrow. If nothing else, maybe he can get Jake to listen when I tell him to set the table.