D and I often go to feed ducks in the morning at one of our favorite parks. We even have a favorite duck--Greedy. He's an odd looking duck, always the first duck to meet us, waddling up, quickly passing the other ducks and geese, beak opened wide wanting us to drop a piece of bread right into his mouth. The last time we were there, Greedy wasn't himself, and I noticed he had a little green color on some of his feathers.
"He has a little algae on him" I said to D.
It took us a while to find Greedy that morning, and when he did come up he was slower than usual. After a few minutes he headed back to the water. Then D did ran off to the playground announcing "Greedy is allergic to cats now."
Allergic to cats? Where did that come from? Sometimes with D it's like digging for treasure to find out where a thought came from, and I wasn't ready to go down that path, asking a lot of questions.
On the way home, D told me again that Greedy was allergic to cats.
"Why do you think Greedy is allergic to cats?"
He didn't really answer and changed the subject. Later, he was telling his Dad that Greedy was allergic to cats. Scot looked at me and I just shrugged.
After dinner, the Greedy Duck subject came up again. This time I was ready to dig for treasure. I was ready to find out why D thinks Greedy Duck is allergic to cats. But I didn't have to do as much digging as I thought.
After talking about Greedy's allergy to cats, D started talking about his own allergy to cats.
"I wish I wasn't allergic to cats, Mom."
And suddenly I got it!!!!!
"Ohhhhh...is that what you thought I said? That Greedy Duck has an allergy?"
D shakes his head yes.
"Oh...no, I'm sorry...I said algae."
"I know, Mom, allergy."
"No, algae. The green stuff that was on his feathers. You know, the green stuff in the water," I explained.
"I know Mom, you said allergy." D was only paying attention to the word, not hearing the "r" that I was trying to emphasize, nor my explanation of the green stuff on the feathers or in the water. He'd made up his mind that I was saying allergy.
We went back and forth, D insisting I was saying allergy.
Finally I had to spell it out.
A-L-G-A-E. I wrote it out just like this:
Allergy - when you are allergic to something
Algae- the green stuff in the pond
I knew it would click right away once he saw it written on paper.
"Oh, ok, so Greedy isn't allergic to cats?"
No, Hon, he's not.
D has allergy induced asthma so if he's been around cats he gets a runny nose, bad coughing and really bad chest congestion. To D an allergy means one thing...allergic to cats. So with Greedy Duck not being himself that day and then me saying that he had "algae" (allergy to D), this made so much sense.
Just to be sure he got it I asked, "So what is algae?"
D: That green yucky stuff in the pond.
"Does Greedy have an allergy or algae?"
D: Algae on his feathers.