Friday, September 30, 2011

Katie 1, Germs 0


Katie has a fever today. I jinxed it a few days ago when I mentioned to my friend at work that Katie had only had two fevers in five years. But three is still pretty amazing. She's got her daddy's good genes. I hope when she's grown up she gets his good jeans too because he has a really nice ass, oh that's gross to wish a nice ass upon my daughter. Let's just say I hope she doesn't inherit my jeans.

Katie doesn't remember the last time she had a fever, Halloween 2009, when she was three. I remember this because the poor thing has ignorant parents who stupidly asked her if she wanted to go trick or treating anyway not realizing a three year old is incapable of saying no to fun, no matter how they feel. Half way around the block and the poor sick girl asked to go home.

Katie doesn't remember any of that, at least not now. Twenty years from now when she's talking to her shrink she might, but I'm off the hook for now.

So this morning when she woke up and her temperature was 101F, she asked me, "Why my body is so hot?"

"Because your body is trying to kill the germs that are making you sick."

Katie's sickly half-slit eyes glistened a little at the thought. "How does my body kill those bad guy germs?"

The listless girl who laid there a minute ago was gone, so I played along even though I have no idea and tend to make stuff up when I'm asked science or math questions.

"Well," I sat at the edge of the couch, next to her feet, tucking the cover under her chin. "Your body heats itself up so that the germs burn up and die."

Katie's face looked like I was telling her the story of the "Three Little Pigs," that schadenfreudish feeling you naturally get when a person who has been behaving badly gets what you momentarily think s/he deserves.

"The germs are the bad guys?" She wanted to make sure she had it straight.

"Well...not all germs are bad guys...just the ones that make you sick...there are some beneficial germs in your body..."

I lost her. She turned and closed her eyes and willingly went to sleep. Yes she's sick. But she's also sick of my shit. My five year old wants everything to be rule and order, black and white, good guy and bad guy. She can't abide a mother who insists on ambiguity. It's too hard for a child to understand. Unfortunately we have a lot of childlike adults in this country.

So later I overheard her washing her hands. She was speaking sternly to the germs, "You germs get off of my hands."

I poked my head into the bathroom, smiled, and asked Katie what she was doing.

Still in stern voice mode and without looking at me, Katie continued to frown at her hands as she scrubbed them with lots of soap. "I'm giving these germs a cough to make them sick and then they will die and not make me sick anymore!"

It's hard to argue against survival of the fittest.