His teacher carried Destroy around the corner. His head was listlessly lolled against her chest; his little face was flushed bright red. He certainly plays the sick man well. He looked up at me, and with sad toddler eyes, shared, â€œOhhh noâ€¦â€ He hadnâ€™t eaten his lunch. Destroy was definitely sick. Not eating let me know with unequivocal certainty that something was wrong.
But going back to â€œone of those daysâ€ â€“ we still needed to run a couple errands. So I loaded the boys up in the stroller and headed over to the local pharmacy.
Pharmacy customer 1: Twins?! Wow. So cute! At least your body only has to go through pregnancy once.
Pharmacy customer 2: I know right?! It must be naptime. Theyâ€™re not smiling at me. But man â€“ twinsâ€™ll screw your body up just like you had two kids.
(Um, I did have two. And also, Iâ€™m standing right here.)
Cashier: Oh! You smell fun.
(Fun? I smell â€œfunâ€ â€“ what the hell does that even mean?)
Cashier: What perfume are you wearing?
Me: Childrenâ€™s Tylenol? (Technically spit out acetaminophen. Grape, to be specific, if youâ€™re that interested.)
Pharmacy customer 3: Heâ€™s not wearing any pants.
Me: No. No heâ€™s not. (Perhaps he will freeze in the frigid 70 degree California winter weather. Or, maybe his chubby pantless body temperature will drop to non-feverish levels.)
Cashier: (Peering down at stroller.) Oh, poor baby boy. Two boys? Are you sick because youâ€™re out? You should be home resting.
Me: (Gesturing at â€œperfumeâ€ stain on my t-shirt.) But we needed more Tylenol.
At this point I was reminded that Search had missed snack time due to the feverishly early pickup.
Now at this particular stage in development, as the therapists at our preemie progression checkup assured us, vocabulary is measured in quantity â€“ not quality. Weâ€™re perfectly ok with a series of vowels with a consonant thrown in for good luck. So â€œcrackerâ€ wasnâ€™t enunciated perfectly.
Pharmacy customer 3: Is his diaper dirty?
(Energy efficient CFL light bulb flickers to life above my head.)
Oh for the love of carbohydratesâ€¦ Heâ€™s not saying caca â€“ heâ€™s saying CRACKER!
Postal carrier: Twins? How old.
Me: Almost 2.
Postal carrier: Wow! Big for 2 monthsâ€¦
Me: (Blank stare.) Years. Two years.
My hope for humanity was not brightened today.