Pursued By A Bear
Reductio Ad Absurdum

But, Alas, No One Ever Does

Edward said, "My throat hurts." Then he added, quickly, "No. Srsly. My throat really hurts. For real!"

(Jeez you let one kid throw up in one restaurant... )

I said, "OK, OK I believe you, let me take a look" and I plonked him down onto my bed, swinging the bedside light so that I could see. Edward's tongue instantly curled up like a hedgehog at the back of his mouth.

"Stick out your tongue and say aaaaaahhhhhh," I told him.

He poked his tongue out.

"And say aaaaah."

His tongue went back in. "Ah," he said.

"No, tongue out and say ahhhhh at the same time," I coached him.

He stuck his tongue out, waggled it a bit and then pulled it back. He shook his head, "That's impossible."

"Caroline!" I called. "I need you for a minute!"

She bounced in and arranged herself on the pillow next to Edward.

"Show Edward how you get your throat checked, please."

Caroline opened her mouth, unrolled her tongue and caroled the ascending scale, "Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah aaaahhhhhh" like a young Sister Maria. Then she ululated for good measure.

"Impressive!" said Edward.

"Thank you. Now you try it," she said.

"UNNNHHHHH," said Edward, which... close enough. I looked at his tonsils. Then I looked at Caroline's. Then I realized that I don't actually know what tonsils should look like [secret: as far as I can tell 98% of being a parent, being an adult, really, is trying to look like you know what you're doing when you don't.]

I said, "Hmmmmmm. Yes. Hmmmm. Steve! Could you come here?"

Steve arrived eventually from seven feet away, looking inquiringly at me and then at the twins arranged in our bed.

"I need a second opinion on a sore throat," I explained.

"Sure," he said, "now which one of these two still has their tonsils?"

[Correct answer: BOTH OF THEM and yes I thought judge-y thoughts]

Steve said Edward looked fine to him but he also didn't see what I kept pointing out as a rather large pulpy bit. I sent him back to the couch and did what I should have done in the beginning, I called Patrick.

He trotted downstairs with a flashlight and a tongue depressor that he got from god only knows where.

"Yep," he said after a quick check, flicking off the flashlight and going to wash his hands, "I'd say that the right side is a little inflamed. You might want to take him in tomorrow."

From which I can conclude that either Patrick is better at faking it than I am or Edward's tonsil is that pink blobby thing that looked weird.

Not surprisingly, I am no closer to deciding whether or not he needs a throat culture. 

PS Seriously, don't you ever find yourself wondering how you wound up being an adult who is supposed to know all sort of things? Every now and then I find myself blinking at a malfunctioning toilet or a cat with a thyroid condition or a potentially diseased tonsil and I... freeze, waiting for the real grownup to show up and figure out what to do.