February 11, 2003 - Tuesday
Harry used to do this all the time; jump on me like I was his personal playground. And, of course, I was. That's part of being a father, I'm sure; bumpy back rides and tickling and that's the part of being a father that I'm good at. Of course, it's the easy part of being a father and the part that you imagine before the child is born. Now it's Jeremy's turn for me to be his dad.
I got a call from Harry's school late yesterday morning. He had a fever and needed to come home. The 24-hour fever-free rule suggested he'd stay home today, too. We debated it last night a little, but it was really a moot point. He's been having stomach pains, crams we think from his description, since the weekend (although we thought they had ended with his bowel movements Sunday evening) and it hardly made sense to send him to school like that. He's not been eating well and often complaining about his stomach and I can't help wondering whether this is still a function of his poor constitution. Worse, I worry that it's a symptom of some severe result of his prolonged constipation, even though he seemed to have relieved himself fairly thoroughly on Sunday. The nurse at Harry's pediatrician says the fever and stomach pains are just as likely to be something else; for example, a bug that's been going around and catching a lot of people lately. Still, this is the part of being a father that I am not very good at. It's too logical for me to see that if Harry just treated his body right, ate well and pooped regularly, that this pain and this whining as a result of the pain would go away and I've told him that many times over the last few days. Sometimes I've told him that without the compassion of the big picture, but with the directness of the short term. Damn it, at 3 he doesn't understand. He illogically cries about it hurting when it would be so easy, it seems, for it to stop. It's very hard to be patient.