We are a bit of the plague house around here these days. There is a dreadful head cold that various children seem to be passing around and last night it hit K. This morning when he woke up, he felt a bit better, but has the cutest gravelly voice at the moment. The reason I tell you this is that you need to know that K. is under the weather to appreciate the heart-stopping moment I had this morning.

I was in bed, drinking my coffee and waiting for my brain to wake up. You would think the parade of noise that had been trooping through my bedroom for the previous half hour would do that, wouldn't you? But, no, it doesn't. K. broke off from the parade and came and sat on my bed. He was talking to me about something and I happened to glance at his arm. This is what I saw.

Let me tell you what happens when your pre-coffee-fogged brain glances at your son's arm and sees red spots like that. The internal sirens start going off... WHOOP! WHOOP! WHOOP! WHOOP!... and the early panic alert system starts making dire announcements... MEASELS! MEASELS! MEASELS! MEASELS! (Remember this is pre-coffee, so all rational thinking stations are not on-line. We do vaccinate.) With the alert system going at full force inside my head, on the outside, I calmly say, "K, what's that on your arm?" When he immediately hides his arm, the screaming alert system shuts down. All is well. I wait a moment while he looks a bit sheepish. "Is that marker?" I prompt? He nods his head yes. "Oh, K, please don't draw on your arm," I say. The marker restriction isn't so much for the drawing on the arm, but because the full-firing of the early alert system is taxing and I don't like to experience it too often.


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