Tonight as I write this, my 4-year-old granddaughter Coraline is at a local children's hospital undergoing a sleep study. Since she was an infant she has snored so loudly I need ear plugs when she spends the night with me. And she stops breathing in her sleep, over and over and over. It's obvious to me she needs to have her adenoids taken out, because I've been that route before with her uncle. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to make that diagnosis. Several doctors have to generate income before the cure can happen.
I tried to prepare her for the sleep study. The conversation didn't go exactly as I'd hoped. Who is surprised?
Me: A nurse will stick some pads called electrodes on your skin. And those are connected to lots of wires that will be connected to machines that will tell the doctors what's going on with your body while you sleep.
Coraline: Will I die when they put the wires in my body?
Me: No! No, of course not. The wires aren't going into your body. The wires go into the electrodes that are stuck onto your skin. They send signals to the machines, but you won't feel that.
Coraline: (Several hours later) When the doctors put the wires in my body will it change my body? Will I have a different body?
Me: No, your body will be the same. And the wires don't go into your body. You won't feel the wires at all. They're outside, hooked up to machines.
Coraline: But will they hurt my body?
Me: No. It might feel weird to have things stuck all over you, but they won't hurt.
Coraline: My body doesn't want wires stuck into it. I think that would hurt.
|Stolen from the internet|
Me: I told you the wires aren't going into your body. See those plastic things? The wires go into those.
Coraline: I'm going to be happy like those kids when I do my sleep study.
Me: Yes, you'll be happy just like that. And maybe after it's done, your doctor will make sure I don't have to wear double ear plugs every time you spend the night.
Coraline: I don't snore.Me: Said every snorer ever. Trust me. You snore.
Mamá's cloak of invisibility
Coraline: Mamá! Mamá, where are you?
Me: I'm right here.
Coraline: Where? Where are you?
Me: At the computer.
Coraline: Are you invisible?
Me: No, I'm right here.
Coraline: I can't see you though.
Me: That doesn't mean I'm invisible.
Coraline: I think it does.
In which I decide to only go down the stairs
Coraline: As we go up the stairs, we're getting bigger.
Me: That's the last thing I need. Are you sure?
Coraline: Yes, as we go up the stairs, we get bigger. When we go down, we get smaller.
Me: Is that how that works?
Coraline: Yes, that's how it works.
Me: I see a lot of going down stairs in my future.
Coraline: OK. But right now you're getting bigger.
Me: Story of my life. I might as well be eating chocolate.
Me: You're my favorite girl.
Coraline: You're my favorite grownup.
Me: You say that to all the grownups, don't you?
Coraline: Yes. But you're my favorite grownup right now.
Me: I'll take it.