Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Patients Make My Heart Sing

"Hi Abby!" said enthusiastically by a baby faced African American pre-kindergartener girl.

"Hi, Ella!"

"Abby, I know you're having a baby."

"You do? How do you know that?"

"Because you're PREGNANT," she told me delightedly.

"Abby, I'm here because I'm having lots of fever," said emphatically by her stocky male classmate, Roberto. Only he pronounced it as "fee-ber," presumably because he's of Hispanic descent, and speaks Spanish at home.

He coughed forcibly to make his point.

"You are?"

"Yes, lots and lots of fee-ber."

"Do you mean phlegm?" I asked, puzzled.

"Yes," he nodded with confidence.

"Who is the friend you brought with you?" I ask, pointing to the stuffed tiger he's carrying.

"That's my tiger!"

"Oh, I see. What do you call him?"

"Oh, I call him... Tiger."


"Hey, Roberto, isn't your mom having a baby?"

"Yes, she is. She's having a baby today."

"Today! Really? Is she at the hospital?"

"Actually, today she is at work. She left the baby with someone because she can't work when the baby is with her."

"Oh, she left the baby with a babysitter?"

"No, it's a baby brother."

(I have had this confusion with preschoolers before.. they don't know that "having a baby" is the same as "giving birth." They think "having a baby" is more like "possessing" a baby, in the longer term sense. "Flema" (I'm guessing on the spelling of the Spanish word for phlegm) and fever are not so different. And "babysitter" sounds like "baby sister" to one who doesn't speak English all the time, I suppose.

Anyway, these two lovely little ones made me laugh, and indeed, made my whole day. Thank goodness I work with children.

Just to be clear, my teens are just as cute and sweet as the little ones. The trust they put in me, into adults who show them kindness, is heartbreaking.


  1. LOL! Little kids make me happy - I love it when my patients bring their children in with them often enough that I get to know them. It must be great (most of the time) to get to know them as their health care provider!

  2. So adorable! LIke a little comedy routine. I could picture their cute little faces.

  3. Hi Abby! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love yours! Best of luck to you and the rest of your pregnancy - I'll be reading!

    --Erin @ Single Mom Revealed