Full disclosure: I am a child of second hand tobacco smoke. Actually, my mom still smokes to this day, but unlike when I was young, I can ask her to take it out to the driveway. Would I have been hospitalized for asthma as a child had she not smoked around me? Would I have had as many painful ear infections, weeks of stifling allergies, and last-place picks for playground baseball games? One can never say, but almost certainly not. Sorry, Mom, I love you, and I’ll tell you so myself as soon as you get back in from the driveway. Continue reading
Is it a sign I’ve been spending too much time online when I start thinking of my life in terms of social media headlines? “A father checks his child’s homework; what happens next will bring them both to tears! This cat’s owner cleans the litter box and discovers something amazing! Watch as this dad drops five kids off at school and tries to get to work on time; cover your ears at 0:55, 15:48, and 22:13!”
Everyone thinks of mononucleosis (“mono”) as “the kissing disease,” but I knew you could get it without kissing back when I was a teenager…and got mono…and definitely did not get it that way. Continue reading
When I was a kid, my allergy test was simple: once the pile of used tissues on my nightstand grew too tall to see over, my parents knew I had allergies. At that time the treatment was straightforward: take highly sedating antihistamines, and find a nice farm for the cat. Continue reading
Kids will scratch anywhere, you know? As a parent, I feel like I have to make light of it, like when I run into a distinguished colleague at the grocery store, and my youngest, Julian, starts scratching, I’ll improvise: “I’m so sorry, Julian didn’t get his flea treatment this month. Now, Julian, go give Dr. Stockman a big hug!”
Living with two vegetarian teenaged daughters, I have seen tofu crafted into shapes no self-respecting soy-bean should ever assume. Sure there are veggie burgers, veggie nuggets, and veggie dogs, but from what part of the bean do they cut soy ribs? I swear I am so done the day they come out with vegan chitterlings…
Are there three more useless words in the English language than, “Don’t stress out”? By the time someone feels compelled to give you this advice, chances are you’re not in a receptive mood. People who tell others not to stress out had better be ready to duck.
My parents just left town after their holiday visit, but not before asking my children a question critical to their grandparental mission: “What can we get you that your parents would never let you have?” And so it was that the kids returned from an outing involving rice-and-cheese burritos, ice cream sundaes, and giant cups of caffeinated soda. Then my folks returned to their hotel, leaving us to deal with aching tummies, wired kids, and shot bedtimes. A good time was had by all.
One thing about being a pediatrician: I spend more time talking about poop than anyone other than a wastewater treatment engineer. Color, texture, frequency, all day it’s potty talk. Maybe that’s why I don’t get invited to many parties?
If it hadn’t been for concussions, the detective shows I enjoyed as a kid could never have worked. From Jim Rockford to Thomas Magnum to Sonny Crocket, it seemed like barely an episode went by when they weren’t getting conked on the head and dragged to some hideout from which escape seemed hopeless. On waking up they’d rub their heads for a moment, then set about loosening the ropes around their ankles while taunting their captors into giving everything away. Continue reading