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Out of the mouths of babes

By Robin Dearing
A while back, Margaret began to complain about a mysterious pain in her gut. Being the kind of mom that I am, I noted her ailment then promptly ignored it. She didn't seem sick. Oh, and it was bed time. So I was pretty skeptical. She didn't have a fever, cough, diarrhea or any other symptom, so I let it ride. But she continued to moan about her gut for a couple more days. She still played and ate and did all the things that she is known to do. Yet still she complained. I called her doctor. He examined her and said that I had the right amount of concern and skepticism. But just to be sure, he scheduled an x-ray. As we waited Margaret's turn to get x-rayed, I assured her that x-rays were painless and involved no kind of poking whatsoever. She didn't believe me. As we entered the x-ray room, she began to revert to her 1960s hippie-protestor persona. She went limp and refuted anything that was said in a loud, screechy tone. The very calm and kind x-ray technicians explained that x-rays were painless. One technician said they were simply pictures and made the rookie mistake of asking, "Does it hurt to get your picture taken?' "Yeeessss!" she bleated out like a wounded lamb. They began to look worried. I began to get angry. Firmly, I said, "Mar, you're getting an x-ray. Stand still." And she did and they clicked the x-ray. She immediately looked relieved that we hadn't been feeding her a load of horse puckey and that she was, indeed, still intact. She smiled and looked at me. "Why are you wearing that thing?" Margaret asked while pointing to the sky-blue lead apron I had donned so I could stand next to her while she underwent her ordeal. Before I could answer, she brightly sang out, "It makes your boobs look huge." The technicians laughed. I blushed. And Margaret beamed. She loves making people laugh ... even if it's at her mom's expense.