Today I was washing the sheets on the bed and had the comforter and naked pillows in a pile on the floor. Sam, in his underwear, worked his way down under the comforter and rested his head on a pillow,smiling at me.
"Mommy's the doctor!" he said. "Oh, are you in the hospital?" "Yeah!" "Are you sick?" "Yeah!" "Where are you sick?" "My tummy hurts." "Ok, let me examine you." I pull out my pretend thermometer. "Now, first I'm going to take your temperature. Open your mouth." He opens wide. "Now close it on the thermometer, aaaand...beep! It's done. Let's see....you don't have a temperature...Let me look in your ears." Sam turns his head. "And say aaaahhh..." "Aaaaahh!" "Yup, I think your tummy is hurting you. Here's some medicine to help it feel better." He eats the pretend medicine. "Now let's tuck you in and have you rest." "My bed has wheels!" This takes me a minute. "Wheels?" "Yeah! Wheels like Grammy's bed!" Oooohh...Grammy's hospital bed! That made quite an impression during his visits. "Are you in the hospital like Grammy?" "Yeah!" We continue to play this throughout the morning.
A lot of you have heard by now about my mom, who was diagnosed last week with a brain tumor. I won't be addressing directly much about her treatment on this page except as it pertains to life with Sam, but for those of you who would like to stay in the loop I've set up a CaringBridge website. You can find it at www.caringbridge.org/visit/carolemoscato.
So, needless to say it's been a crazy week. Mark and Sam and I headed down to Portland on Sunday evening after my dad called and Sam and I just returned on Friday night. I am so grateful to the Annie and Rosemary, who were able to watch Sam on Wednesday and Thursday so that I could go visit my mom without him at the hospital (or "hopsital," as he calls it). This has all made quite an impression on him, as I'm beginning to discover. On Tuesday, he started this very vivid imaginary play involving monsters. He would gasp and point, and whisper dramatically, "There's too many monsters here!" before running away into the next room. Mark stayed with him that day, and when I got home I found the two of them banishing them with a combination of a hand wave and "Bam!" and a sneeze. I thought it was pretty cute that he was developing such an imagination, and that he and daddy had figured out a solution together. Then, he had a few potty accidents on the days I left him to visit the hospital. Not the little leaks he's done before, but full-on wet pants that seemed to surprise and scare him a bit. Then, there was Thursday night. We were on Sam's bed snuggling and going to sleep when he studied my face deeply for a few seconds, and then said quietly, "Don't die. Don't die, mommy." I was stunned. Here I've been, having these very adult conversations about my mom right in front of him, and assuming that he doesn't understand what's going on. I've talked about tumors, and surgery, my fears...he may not understand completely, but he understands enough to be scared of imaginary monsters, to lose track of when he has to go potty, and to worry that I'm going to leave him the same way his fish did a week ago.
You're right, Sam. There are too many monsters here.