Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sneezes, coughs, burps and the hiccups.

As SS nears her third birthday (we are still trying to wrap our heads around that one) she is noticing more of what goes on around her. She is more conscious of the unspoken rules of society, and trying to make sense of them. If you sneeze around her, you will get a hearty SALUD! SS seems to really enjoy that word. P says bless you, but SS does not seem interested in using the English form. A sneeze gets you a salud, but a cough does not get you anything. That is unless you forget and are reminded to cover your mouth. SS has figured out that a burp requires an excuse me from the burping party. It has to be quite strange that all those things are emitted through the mouth but are treated differently. SS is doing her part to change how we respond to coughing. She has been fake coughing for a long time, but now it has a purpose. She gets close to me and coughs, waits, coughs again and waits some more for a response. When I am still quiet she looks at me and says SALUD SS! It tees her off when I do not follow up with a salud of my own. Leave it up to our daughter to set out to change a centuries old custom.

Oh the hiccups, why must they afflict my children with such severity. I had never seen anyone get the hiccups as often as JJ. The boy would have 2-3 attacks daily between 4-6 years of age. His teachers became concerned about the frequency and wondered if it was something he was doing. No, just lousy luck. I became concerned because I recalled that my paternal grandfather was hospitalized when I was ten, due to the hiccups. I thought my mother was yanking my chain when she told me. No one is hospitalized for the hiccups, right? Apparently it becomes a problem when you have had them for 5 days. I used to worry that JJ would end up with a similar fate. Thankfully the hiccups are only an occasional inconvenience that JJ endures and no hospitalization was ever needed.

Then along came SS, who turns out to be a champion hiccuper. Parenting two children with no genetic link to each other has turned out to be a freaking hoot. They are very similar in temperament, activity level and overall demeanor. A lot of their similarities are clearly environmental, they have the same mother. Then there are those little things that have nothing to do with me, or P, and they leave us scratching our heads. SS is the cutest conundrum and manages to make us think a lot. Just when I think I have a handle on parenting her, she has a way of smacking me back down into WTF territory. Hardly a day goes by that SS does not get the hiccups. Cracks me up, watching her walk around saying "hiccups." And it is usually more than one a day. This time around I'm not concerned, just another quirk my children share. But it makes one wonder.

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