Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Puss

There are certain advantages to living in a place where they don’t use antibiotics at the drop of a cough. You don’t have as many super, drug-resistant bugs for one thing. Jonah got something on his arm the first year we were here that looked a lot like what took major surgery for me to get rid of in 2005. Here in Germany they gave us an ointment and told us to squeeze the puss out every day… in three days it was gone.
On the other hand, you do occasionally get a gross rash, skin condition, or in Caedon’s case this week- an irritated, strawberry-like tongue for a couple days. This time, however, it turned out to provide me with a chance to have my parenthood questioned and then sweetly vindicated. You see, parenting is one area where this American can feel good about himself next to German culture. We value and obtain (for the most part) respect and obedience, while Germans seek self-sufficiency and self-determination… and then wonder where all their kids go wrong.
In this case I took Caedon into preschool and informed the teacher that he might complain a little at lunch since his tongue was bothering him. Then I took Logan upstairs to his class. Coming back down, I was stopped by Caedon’s teacher.
“Have you taken him to the doctor?” She asked with a look of great concern and slight disgust. “Because I am scared that it might be contagious. Could you take him please?”
My parenting pride a little offended, I protested. “I didn’t think it looked that bad.”
She asked me… and the principle… to come have another look. This time we all agreed that there was nothing there.
“Oh, it is gone now,” she said, “there was a huge, white, puss-looking thing there earlier.”
I smiled to myself as I walked out to the car. I didn’t mention that he had just eaten a piece of sweet-bread on the way to school.

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