Friday, May 11, 2012


Over the last few days, The Baby has had a mild fever and some fungal infections, one in a diaper area and the other in his mouth. This has made him grumpy and out-of-sorts, as you can imagine. I feel worse for my wife than for him, though - she's got to juggle a baby that needs lots of comfort with two active and creative preschoolers. When they went to the doctor's office, he measured literally off-the-charts in height, and about 70th percentile in weight. That's about right - long and lean, like most of us in my family. None of the other boys were this tall, although I think Little Bear was heavier at this point.

Of course, at this point in The Boy's life, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Sometimes, it's really hard to look at The Baby and think about what it was like at that point in The Boy's life. The Baby is SO little, SO precious and fragile... and, at this point, we removed a 2.5 pound tumor from The Boy's belly and proceeded to pump him full of toxic chemicals for the subsequent 20 months. As my wife said in her blog yesterday, The Baby and The Boy look so much alike right now that it's hard not to become a little scared as we approach his 10-month age. I know that I "tickle" his belly every couple of days and hunt for lumps.

The medicine that we need for The Baby's fungal infections wasn't available at our local CVS, so we had to go to the one in Oakland. The doctor and the pharmacist screwed up the medication - they accidentally prescribed and prepared a big, big pill that is supposed to sit in the mouth until it dissolves. Yeah, not so much. When they actually figured out the age of the patient, they had to do a different pill. Of course, that was when I had made the 20-minute drive into town to get the medicine. Whatever. I asked them to give us a buzz when it was ready, paid for the medication that they did have, and left. I was talking on the telephone with my friend G, who said, "Wow. You really handled that like a gentleman. I think I would have exploded."

Yeah, well, it isn't cancer. A fungal infection is unfortunate, and it's certainly uncomfortable for the entire family. However, it will go away in a few days with the right medication. Cancer... is a little more difficult. A 20 minute drive each way is annoying, but it could be a lot worse. It's amazing how something like that can be put into perspective, isn't it?

The boys do keep amazing me, each and every day, with their accomplishments. The Baby harkened back to his oldest brother yesterday. The Boy, when he was a baby, would crawl into the bathroom, sit down, and poop his diaper. This was a regular occurrence all the way through the diagnosis. The Baby did that yesterday, which was really funny. He's also starting to do a little bit of playing with the iPhone and iPad. I have an app called "Alphabet Blocks," which has brightly colored blocks appear on the screen wherever you touch it. The blocks come in the order of the alphabet, and a voice says the letter. He seems to understand that the letters appear when you touch it, and he does play with the iPhone for almost 15 or 20 seconds before he tries to eat it. Progress towards goal.

Little Bear, yesterday, figured out how to draw a real S and spent a good chunk of the day writing his name. That's not bad, for 2 years and 10 months. He's also starting to draw real shapes, like squares and triangles. The hexagon is a little tricky for him, though. He and I play a fun little game involving a bear pillow and a pig pillow and pretending to sleep and wake each other up. He is entertained that his nickname is Little Bear and he has a bear-shaped pillow.

The Boy has been making some nice developmental strides lately also. He's started to explore his own interests a little bit: he's cruised through the Netflix "recommendations" lists on my iPad, and he's found a new show ("My Big, Big Friend") that he really seems to enjoy. He's watched a half dozen episodes of it this week, and he's pulled some things from that show into his role playing. In addition, in the "Avengers Assemble: Captain America" app/book on the iPad, he's been playing one of the minigames which involves fighting alien guys. Captain America throws his shield, Hulk throws giant ice balls, Iron Man blasts with his repulsors, etc. He likes the challenge, even if he's not very good at it yet.

In the weird and a little scary part, he read the book out loud to me the other night. I do NOT mean that he memorized the words and repeated them. He read them and made corrections when I pointed the word out. He was imitating Stan Lee in some of the delivery, which was really cute, but the book is a solid 2nd or 3rd grade level. Not bad for 4 years and 8 months. I am really kind of excited to be able to share books with him, soon enough - to be able to see him enjoy and love some of the books that I've read, and to learn about new books from him.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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