Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beach Day, Sick Day

Sunday was the first time that we had really nice, warm weather here in the Chicago area this year, and my son wanted to go to the beach. Kai loves the feel of the sand and the water and so, even though I’ve not always been a big fan of going to the beach, we go quite often with him.

On this day, the air temperature was in the 80s, but the water temperature felt like it was about 33°. One quick step in the water was enough for me and my wife. But, Kai loved it. He was constantly going in and splashing around. I was thinking that he is part penguin the way he tolerated the cold water.

But then, he started to get a little cough on Monday evening that turned a bit more persistent by early Tuesday morning. Do penguins catch colds?

Anyway, with his little cough, we thought it best to keep him home from school yesterday.

For most kids, sick days off from school are spent lounging around watching tv or taking naps. But our son rarely does things the way most kids do.

With Kai, being home meant more time for thinking about elements. He wanted to play his new element game. He wanted to label the stones he brought home from the beach with the names of different elements. He was having a grand time.

In fact, after about two hours, he didn’t seem sick at all. His cough had stopped. He was hyperactive. He was chatting away.

Unfortunately, the better my son seemed, the sicker my wife got.

I don’t think that she caught our son’s cold. I think it was just the stress of entertaining him at home on a school day. After all, how much talk of elements is one person expected to take?

And so, it fell to me to keep him occupied for the rest of the day. I was able to get a bit of work done while he filled a calendar with each state’s “birthday,” the date they became part of the United States.

After that, though, I was out of luck. He bombarded me with talk about the elements. For instance, he asked me what my favorite lanthanide is, and then we watched the Element Song on YouTube and tried to pause it every time a lanthanide was mentioned. We even discovered a different element song on YouTube, this one set to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

Today, he is back in school. I’m glad. I don’t think I would have made it through one more sick day.


  1. I can't believe that he went in the water...brrrrrrr. I think the ice just melted! On the bright side, the bacteria count hasn't gone off the charts yet :)

  2. Ha, ha! Yes, it was too cold for bacteria and adult humans. :)


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