“Babe, don’t freak out.”
This was not a good way to start a conversation with an anxious person.
“Seriously, just listen.”
My husband tried to reassure me ahead of time, as though his words could act as a soothing balm to whatever painful or irritating information he was about to impart.
“Did you notice the lumps on the back of Little Legs’ head?”
“What are you talking about?”
I stood at the sink without turning and scrubbed harder at the burned macaroni and cheese.
“The mosquito bites?” I asked over my shoulder.
“No, they are on the back of his head, on his occipital lobe.”
Occipital lobe? Who talks like that, I thought.
He had Little Legs in tow and led him over to me.
“Show Mommy your truck,” he nudged the boy in my direction and whispered, “Go ahead, feel the back of his head.”
Turning off the water, I sighed in acceptance of the interruption and dried my hands on a damp dishtowel. I had one more pan to wash and I would be done with the kitchen for the night.
“Come here, buster.”
He shuffled over to me in his one-piece footy pajamas holding a monster truck out for my inspection.
I knelt down and ran my hands over his fuzzy hair, still wet and smelling of Johnson’s and Johnson’s baby shampoo. I let my fingers explore his scalp, skeptical that anything missed my watchful eye. Then I found what my husband already discovered, two symmetrically placed lumps on either side of the back of my son’s head.
Little Legs jerked away from my loving hands as I pushed in on the aberrations on his perfect head.
“Does it hurt when I push there?”
“Hurt,” he mimicked.
I asked again and received the same answer, surprising no one.
“We have to call the doctor.”
We both looked at the clock on the wall, the office was obviously closed.
“I told you not to freak out.”