The kids know that I'll check out their cuts or scrapes on a routine basis, and I've been known to pull out more than a few chunks of bothersome ear wax when asked. So it doesn't usually surprise me when one will pull me aside and ask for my "professional opinion". The other day was an exception:
“Mom, can you look at worms with your magic* otoscope?” Youngest casually posed the question one morning.
“Yes, of course,” I began to respond. Then his question sunk in. “Um, honey, why do you want to look at worms?” With mild disgust, I pictured some juicy night crawler on the sidewalk that he wanted to look at more closely.
“Can you look at the worms in my head?”
“WHAT?!” Take a deep breath, I told myself. Surely this isn’t what you think.
“Youngest dear, you don’t have worms in your head,” I stated, with far more confidence than I felt.
“I have one of those song worms in my head and it’s making me crazy. I thought maybe you could see it with your otoscope and get it out,” he replied calmly, starting to walk away.
Song worms? Song worms? What the heck is a song worm? I wondered. Then it hit me – he had an EARWORM that was tormenting him. Starting to laugh, I followed him and pulled him in for a hug.
“Even with my magic otoscope, I can’t get out ear worms. You just have to let them die a natural death. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can pass them along to someone else. What song is bugging you?”
And now, Miley Cyrus’s “The Seven Things I Hate About You” has given an ear worm in my brain new life…
*Magic because it only turns on when a child blows gently on it – with a little help from Mom’s fingers on the rotary switch. And for more on worms, check out the post here.