Tuesday, November 15, 2011

god complexes and mothers and doctors and what's in a name

Two things Isaac is obsessed with right now are world records and looking things up on the internet. As you might guess, these two passions combine to make for hours of entertainment for my son as long as there is an adult to tell him how to spell and read what pops up.

About as skilled as I am with finessing his search language, Isaac sees the computer as a kind of a boardwalk palm reader -- “Ask it 'What is the biggest baby ever born?' Type in, 'Who-is-the-person-with-the-longest-ever-mustache-ever-in-the-whole-entire-world-ever?'”

“Let's look up 'Who is the most important person in the world?'” he pleaded recently.

“Who would decide who the most important person was?” I ask, devil horns sprouting from my curls. “Most important for what? To whom?”

“You know, just most important.”

“But that's a complicated question. To Rhys right now I'm the most important person in his world. Without me, he doesn't eat.”

“No, but you know. The most important person, like, the president or...like that.”

“Rhys doesn't care about the president.”

“Forget it,” my six-year-old says, and, disgusted with me, stalks off.

I can't decide if I should be happy or nervous that our surgeon carries the name of a mythical deity. I can't decide to be grateful or not when our cardiologist squeezes in a voicemail to me “between meetings” and inquires as to my “availability.” Why “between feedings,” dear doctor.

Etymologically speaking, there is this --

doctor = c. 1300 “Church father”

mother = Proto-Indo-European, from “ma,” meaning breast

Latin - mater
Greek - meter
French - mère
German - Mutter
Russian - mate
Icelandic - modher
Sanskrit - mata
Irish - mathair
Welsh - mam
Arabic - oum
Hebrew - em
Swahili - mama
Chinese - ma
Hawaian - makuahine (maka first, beloved < *ma-k Proto-Polynesian, the mother (?) + wahine woman)

I've decided to spare you the ins and outs of how we came to this point, but know it is hard-won: Surgery date - December 9.


4 comments:

Rita said...

That is the kind of conversation anyone who has been a kid, never mind a parent, can remember. You do sound very patient.
LOVE the new picture of you and Rhys!
What the heck is the doctor's name?

DeVona said...

Thank you for posting! I remember those days of endless questions ....now I have to question endlessly to pry the most basic information from my kids. I hope Rhys's surgery goes well-you will all be in our thoughts...

Daryl said...

This is a good date .. 12/9 .. numerologically (I made that word up) speaking .. divisible by 3 ..

Gina said...

Such a sweet photo of you.

It is just like a six year old to cause horns to sprout on the head of an adult. ;-) Especially a very bright one such as Isaac.

Sending lots of love and hugs and good thoughts.

Gina

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