Take a Picture of Your Head

A few years ago my oldest son called me in the middle of the night and said that he was laying on the bathroom floor of his house and dying. I told him to take some Advil and I would call to check on him in the morning.

Then I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. I kept wondering, what if he really WAS dying and not just being a drama queen? And if he did die, then I would feel really bad because I just told him to take some Advil went back to bed. So, I rung him back and we talked further about how he felt.

And he WAS just being a drama queen. So he took Advil and I went back to bed.

My youngest son Nic, is completely different.

A few years ago when we were kayaking, I glanced down at Nic’s feet and I quickly recoiled in disgust. Nic’s big toe was so swollen that it looked cartoonish; his toe was red and oozing greenish-gook. After I freaked, screamed and danced, I asked Nic what happened to his toe.

I told you a while ago my ingrown toe nail was back and you ignored me, so dug it out with my pocket knife.

“Oh. Well. Um. I don’t remember that. And that’s really not what you should do with your Boy Scout knife. I will make a doctor’s appointment on Monday.”

When I took Nic to the foot doctor, he completely threw me under the bus. Nic told the doctor that he told me months ago about his toe. I defended myself and swore that I had never heard Nic mention his toe. Ever. And Nic was twelve, so it wasn’t like I gave him baths or conducted weekly foot inspections.

Nic required a round of antibiotics and surgery to correct his toenail.

A couple of years ago when Nic told me that he couldn’t see, I waited a few months and then I made him an eye appointment.

When the eye doctor projected an 8X10 picture of a capital ‘E’ on the wall, ten feet feet away from Nic’s face and Nic said it was an elephant, I knew it was bad. The eye doctor asked Nic how long it had been since he couldn’t see things far away and Nic said it had been years. The doctor glared at me and made me look through lenses so I could view the world like Nic did. Bad mother.

I swore to the doctor that it had only been a few months, not years, since Nic told me he was blind.

Now I make sure Nic has annual eye appointments and I look at his feet a lot. I even bought him Vibram Five Fingers to ease my guilt.

Today, when Nic called me at work to ask if we had any Advil, I resisted the urge to dial 9-1-1. I decided to ask him why he wanted Advil instead.

My head hurts.

“Did you fall?”


“Did you poke yourself with anything?”

No. I just have a headache.

“Is your vision blurry? Do you feel like you are going to throw up?”

No. Mom. I just have a headache.

“Text me a picture of your head.”


“Text me a picture of your head so I can make sure there isn’t something sticking out of it.”

Really, mom?


Okay. Fine. This isn’t normal.

“Well it’s the only way you are going to get the Advil.”

After I got the picture, I told him where to find the Advil.

Okay, so this time I’ve done my parental due diligence, like a good mother.


2 comments on “Take a Picture of Your Head

  1. notsofancynancy
    July 16, 2012 at July 16, 2012 #

    Ya made me laugh out loud!

  2. Keeping Up With The Holsbys
    July 17, 2012 at July 17, 2012 #

    This is hilarious, and scary in equal portions!
    My toddler had tonsillitis for a week and I felt like a terrible parent when the doc took his temperature and freaked out!!
    He can’t talk but I know I’ll be like you when he can!!
    I will learn from you!!!

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