Deep thoughts.

Why must a 3-year-old take 10 minutes to brush his teeth? Why does he have to drink water from the exact same cup with precisely 3 cubes (because that’s how old is)?

Why do you have to ask your 6-year-old repeatedly to do a simple task? Why must she insist on doing it in her own sweet time? Is it because she knows it infuriates her mother and it’s her only source of power?

Why do I have to read the same bedtime story every.single.night for weeks on end? I can practically recite Herbert the Timid Dragon by heart. “Go away, you varmint!” “What’s a varmint?”

When and why does the obedient, smiling toddler become the infuriating and disorient child? Is it to drive parents to drink? I’m starting to think so.

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An Unexpected Gesture

I have several families in my practice who have delayed vaccinating their children.  (Don’t get me started!)

One such family came in today for the final vaccination of the childhood series.  The little boy is 4 years old and he was receiving his second dose of MMR and varicella (conveniently packaged in a single dose vaccine called MMRV).  He was a little scared, of course and asked me a question as I was preparing the vaccine.

“Can you put it right here?”

I turned to look at him as he pointed to the inside aspect of his forearm.

“Well, the needle has to go in the fatty bit of your arm and there isn’t enough fat there.  How about we put it up higher on the back of your arm?”

He agreed with a nod of his head.

I cleaned the back of his arm with a swab of alcohol and gave him the needle. There was not a whimper.  He took it like a man.

As I was back at the desk, finishing up the clinical note and completing his immunization record he walked over to me and said “Thank you, Doctor” and gave me a hug.

A hug! For giving him a vaccine.

Well, I’ll be damned.  He just made my day.

One Quarter!

I ran a quarter marathon yesterday. Actually, it was a little bit further than that. 11.11 km.

!!!!!!!!!!!!

All of my runs this month so fat have been 5 km.  My legs have been feeling really strong and the nagging knee ache during a run seems to have disappeared.  Even the ache and burn in my shins is settling down. I have no idea why. It’s not like I’m suddenly doing all this other cross training! I stretch after each run, do some basic core abdominal work and finish off with a 1 minute plank. Yet over the past week or so my legs seem to be liking the runs. I can’t tell you how nice it is to go for a run and not immediately feel something start aching and keep aching for the entire run.

When I started out on the run yesterday I headed out to do the 7.5km route I had done back in December. The weather was a balmy 3C. I decided that this was going to a longer run so I tried to keep my pace comfortable. I ran for 1km then walked for 100m. At the 3km mark I decided to keep going along a new route that I thought would make the run end up more around 8km.

Then something happened around 6km I started to zone out and felt like I was on auto-pilot. I remember thinking that this must be what the long distance marathoner experiences on their runs only for them it starts at 30km! Haha!

Suddenly doing 10km seemed a no-brainer so I kept going and at 8km I considered adding an extra loop. Next thing I knew I hit 10km and was at least a kilometer from home. On this final walk break I really felt my legs fighting me; it felt like I had heavy lead pipes for legs but I told myself I could do it and by the time I reached my driveway and stopped my Nike+ app, I had completed 11.11km.  I was pretty impressed with my splits as well.

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This morning my legs were a bit sore but there wasn’t any pain and that is even more encouraging.  I feel like I’m still on that runner’s high and even flirted with the idea of going out for a very short 2-3 km recovery run tonight.

Damn, I love running.

Tabula Rasa

You never realize what a good memory you have until you try to forget something.

-Franklin P. Jones

Husband and I started watching a new British series on Netflix the other night.  It’s called Black Mirror. We’ve already finished two seasons, though in all fairness there are only 3 episodes per season.  The show is brilliant. It is a frightening look at the potential dark side of technology and most of the stories are set in the near future.

One episode in particular really struck a chord with me.  In it everyone has an implant behind their left ear that records everything they do.  It’s basically a video camera in the eye and it records your entire life.  You can rewind that interview you had and analyze the future employer’s remarks; you can re-live the one night stand you had ten years ago; you can replay a fight you had with your wife.  And not only can you replay it for yourself, you can project the images onto your television and have anyone you want to watch it.  Imagine the argument one has with his wife about the one night stand he had in college.  It was a brief fling and never meant anything, but the wife isn’t so sure so she asks him to replay the night only to discover that he dated this girl for six months.  In the future you can’t lie; you can’t reinvent your past; you can’t remember an event happening differently to suit your own conscience. It’s all there digitally stored forever.  Unless, that is, you decided to erase the memory.  Erasing the memory is possible but then you are left with a blank screen for that duration.  You can’t really erase it then can you?

In this episode the protagonist comes to realize that his life with his wife has been a lie and he removes the device from behind his ear.  Suddenly the screen goes black.  End credits roll.

By removing the implant has he erased his memories.  Is he now a tabula rasa?

If you could erase a memory from your life, would you?

I’ve asked myself this question a lot over the past few days.  I haven’t experienced anything truly terrible in my life, thank goodness (and knock on wood!) but there are some things I wonder if I would be better off forgetting I went through.   If you could erase the memory of a relationship  or the presence of a person from your memory, would you?  Would it change the person you were now if you didn’t have the memory of it? Or are we forever changed because we experienced it?  Are we better off remodeling our memories to suit our own conscience or is having a digital record better?

I wish I knew.

Tuesday Morning.

(Stumbling out of bed headed to the baby’s room).  “N…. N….!!!”

“Yeah, Mommy?”

“Time to get dressed for school!”

(Groaning) “Awwww… but I just started playing!”

“Get dressed please.”

(Walking into the baby’s room) “Good morning, little man!”

“Babba dadda mama mama mama hi mama mama!”

(Daughter walks in, naked) “Mommy, can I wear a dress today?”

“No, sweetie.  It’s very cold out. Put on pants and a sweater and warm socks.”

“Okay. Oh and mommy, this is my friend Lily.” (She gestures to the empty air beside her.)

“Hi Lily.”

“Lily is my imaginary friend.”

(Changing the baby’s bottom) “Okay, honey. Go get dressed please”

“Can Lily stay and watch you change J’s bum?”

“Sure.  Lily you can stand there while I change J’s bum. Wait, is Lily dressed for school?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, well  you go get dressed and then head downstairs for breakfast.”

(Daughter leaves the room)

(Son walks in, gesturing with his imaginary bow and arrow) “Hi Mommy.”

“Hi honey.  What have you got there?”

“Oh this is my bowen arrow.”

“Your what?”

“My bowen arrow.”

“What are you shooting at?”

“Targets.”

“Hmm… can you put it away and take Lily downstairs for breakfast?”

(Without a pause)  “Okay Lily, let’s go downstairs.”

(Meanwhile on the change table) “Baba dada mama mama mama buh buh buh hi.”

“I need coffee.”

Road to A Thousand.

This weekend I had back to back 5 km runs.  It wasn’t planned at all.  I ran yesterday in -11ºC (-22ºC windchill) and had zero knee pain.  This after a particularly weird week where I had one day of excruciating anterior knee pain so bad I could barely walk which disappeared the very next day.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve had any run in the past month or two where my knee didn’t bother me.  In any event, the knee felt great yesterday and I considered a short run today as the weather warmed up to a balmy -3ºC (-7ºC windchill).  As I got going, I realized the knee was feeling pretty darn good, so I aimed for 5 km and accomplished my goal.

Two runs in a row with no knee pain.  What gives?

Honestly, I have no idea.  All I know is that it feels damn good to go for a run and not feel pain.  Haven’t experienced that in a long, long time.

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I accepted a challenge from another blogger to run 1000 km in 2015.  Consider I only ran 640 km last year, this is a tall, tall order.  I had set a goal for myself of 750 km.  I’ll be happy with that; but a thousand?  Stay tuned!