Separated at Birth?

Posted: June 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Daddio, Doctors, Little Rhody, Miss Kate, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop, Walking | 1 Comment »

I know my dad adores his grandchildren, but this is getting kinda weird.

When Paige was a baby—unlike her peaches and cream complected sister—she was plagued with all manner of lizard-like dermal issues. She had a savage case of eczema—or at least what seemed an inhumane amount to us. Not to mention baby acne that’d make you turn your head and blush. And she had some hardcore cradle cap that defied all homespun, holistic, and fancy-brand cosmetic cures.

For her first several months of life I endured an inner battle, compelled to take copious pictures of my sweet new baby, then I’d focus on her smiley scaliness through the camera lens, and want to just sit down and cry.

At the time I was dragging Paige from doctor to skin specialist to tell-me-how-much-longer psychic, my father was navigating the same circuit for himself, on the East Coast. It seemed that right about when Paige was stricken, Dad also got himself a case of the itchies.

And so, caring phone calls to inquire about Paige’s progress inevitably involved Dad recounting the misery of his own sudden eczema onslaught. “The itching! As a grown man I can barely take it,” he’d lament. “Oh that poor baby. Give her some extra big hugs from Gramp.”

We’d talk about what Dad’s doctors prescribed, comparing it to Paige’s piles of ungents and salves. What soap and laundry detergent he’d changed over to. If the heat really did make it worse or not.

If only Paige was talking, the two of them could’ve formed a real nice support group. Though I don’t know that I’d be too keen on the satin Back Scratcher Bad Asses jackets they might’ve made. (Or maybe they’d just wear t-shirts from The Itchy and Scratchy Show?)I mean, there’s a limit to the extent you want to broadcast some of these ailments, no matter how desperately you desire sympathy.

Yesterday, on a drive somewhere or other, I decided to gear Kate up for the fact that Grandpa was going to be in the hospital for part of our summer pilgrimage to Rhode Island. I explained, in my clearest 3-year-old concepts, that Grandpa’s hip was worn out, and the the doctors would be opening him up, taking it out, and giving him a new one made of metal—what her bike is made out of.

“Do you think,” she asked with knitted brows, “he maybe has a cat in there?”

My father promised to bring up this possibility with his doctors.

This morning, as I was on the phone talking my way into an orthopedic appointment for Paige that’d hopefully precede her prom—explaining how with the not-walking-yet thing she needs her hip x-rayed ASAP—it hit me. I mean, now the two of them with the hip issues? This is getting kind of ridiculous.

When Paige starts having to take Lipitor to keep her cholesterol in check, I might just have to do some finger pointing. Then again, it could be my dad who finds himself fighting off ear infections, swollen aching gums—or worse—a nasty bout of diaper rash.

The thing is, I’m not sure which of them is experiencing sympathetic symptoms on behalf of the other. I mean, at age 80, I’d assume that Dad was the chicken, and wee Paigey’s the egg. But it’s just not that clear who’s starting it; who of the two of them is spearheading these afflictions around which they’ve apparently sworn solidarity.

I’m hopeful that once they sort out these hip problems, the two of them’ll find other things they have in common to bond over. The first of which—if I could put in a request—I’d like to be a long spate of excellent health.

1 Comment »

One Comment on “Separated at Birth?”

  1. 1 Megan said at 6:56 pm on June 5th, 2009:

    Well executed.

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