FELLOW MAY BE ILL, BUT HE'S STILL NEGOTIATING

Small Fellow took ill this morning (at 5:30 in the morning, to be exact) and is just now getting his feet under him. But through the hours of crying, moaning, doctor visits and spiking temperatures, he still found time to ask us a few key questions, such as:

Daddy? When you're sick, do you always get to ask for things and not say 'Please'?

Daddy? When I'm sick, will everyone do nice things for me, and not yell at me at all?

Daddy? When I'm sick, can I always have scrambled eggs for lunch, every time? I KNOW they're usually for breakfast, but they can be for lunch every time when I'm sick?

Daddy? When I'm sick, can I always get videos from the video store from TV?*

[* Our rule is generally that Fellow and Tiny cannot rent videos that are simply compiled episodes of shows they already watch on TV, because it seems like a poor investment, but, indeed, that rule was waived today and Fellow convalesced with his friends Caillou and Blue.]

ACCORDING TO THE TIMES, HE PURSUES HIS IDEAS WITH THE DETERMINATION YOU'D EXPECT FROM A TWO-TIME NEW YORK CITY MARATHON ENTRANT. BECAUSE IF HE WERE FAT, HE'D HAVE GIVEN UP YEARS AGO.

As we discussed earlier, a Dutch doctor is proposing protocols for euthanasia of extraordinarily ill newborns, and last weekend, the Times profiled him:

Slowing down to introduce a visitor to a few colleagues, Dr. Verhagen acknowledges his notoriety with a bit of black humor. "He's here to see what the mercy killer is really like," he said.

Verhagen again discusses how his protocol would allow for discussion of each case by a panel of doctors, experts, officials, ethicists, social workers, poobahs, and potentates:

Dr. Verhagen, 42, wants a team of physicians, together with the baby's parents, to decide openly in very rare, extraordinary cases whether or not to end a child's life. Better that, he said, than a lone pediatrician behind a hospital curtain armed with too much pain reliever. "If you do this, the most important decision man can take, you must do it in a spotlight, you must do it with the curtains opened instead of closed, because it's extremely difficult and you can't be wrong," he said.

As we said before, it's this aspect of the protocol that we get hung up on, as it's so hard to imagine a parent basically appealing to a panel instead of making a decision with their trusted physician, but, unlike the good doctor, we haven't been there. Though even if we had, we might try to appear more sympathetic to our American audience than this:

DR. VERHAGEN says he has watched one child die and was there moments later for the three others. All had severe forms of spina bifida.

"The child goes to sleep," he said. "It stops breathing."

"I mean, it's difficult to give the right emotion there, but it's beautiful in a way," he said, somewhat aware of how this might sound to a layman. "They are children who are severely ill and in great pain. It is after they die that you see them relaxed for the first time. You see their faces in a way they should be for the first time."

Not sure how that's gonna play in Florida. . .

WHATEVER HAPPENS IN VEGAS . . . TOTS SHOULDN'T STAY IN VEGAS   

We spent the weekend in Las Vegas without the children or their mom, and enjoyed all that the city had to offer. Which, at the end of the day, really ain't much. But there was one thing that disturbed us no end: The huge number of people who came to Sin City with their small children - and who were wheeling them up and down the Strip each night after midnight. Seeing dozens of bleary-eyed toddlers in their umbrella strollers passing through the gauntlet of men offering "live strippers in your hotel room" cards outside the Casino Royale just put a damper on the whole experience for us.

And so, Freelance Dad introduces this handy, one-step guide for parents traveling with young children:

If you and your child get off a plane in a new city, head to baggage claim, and find that area to be surrounded by billboard-size advertisements for topless revues (and/or magicians), just turn around and get back on the plane.

March 24, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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