Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Less than one hundred percent

In the last couple of days, something has been a little off with Archer. His appetite has disappeared, and he seems tired and in a fog some of the time.

But he's perfectly normal at other times, speaking with animation about his favorite subjects. Today I went running with him, and although we walked about half the way of the two and a quarter miles, he ran more than a mile. He was unusually quiet and subdued, and I worried that he was feeling poorly. But when asked he insisted he felt fine. And at the end of the run, he ran a quarter mile, passing most of his classmates and raising my hopes that he wasn't in any distress.

Then we went out to dinner, and he barely touched his pizza and sprite, while his sister (usually less interested in food) devoured hers. Nope, he's not right.

It's hard to know what to do when your children don't have any of the symptoms that let us know for sure what care they need. I've seen the kids recover on their own from episodes like this -- worse than this. But what if I'm ignoring something serious? After all, it's not like the symptoms he does have are ambiguous. He's gone from being a bottomless pit for any and all food to not wanting his favorite meal. It's just that this problem isn't accompanied by anything else that would tell us what to do. He still enjoys his Wii, reads his evening homework with verve, and is excited about school.

Being a parent means not knowing what to do a disturbing amount of the time. I'm inclined not to worry about these things -- or at least to advice Noel not to worry. At the same time, I'm watching like a hawk for the signs that will tell me what to do next. I wish they came with clear labels attached.

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