Nathan and His Water Gun
Nathan After CPT

Nathan goofing around after his afternoon treatment.

The funniest and most unexpected thing happened today. As you know, Nathan was born with CF (cystic fibrosis) which affects many different aspects of his life, but especially his lungs. We sit down twice a day for clapping or CPT as it’s commonly called. This means for roughly twenty-five to thirty minutes twice a day, he has to sit down while either Vanessa or I clap on his back to loosen the thicker mucus and get it moving. This can be pretty boring for a boy who operates at a million miles an hour.

During these times we typically put something on the television for him to watch while we go through our daily routine. It helps keep him occupied so we can actually get it done. Usually we put on a kid’s show that he likes or something fun and educational. This works out most of the time, but every once in a while he can’t help but give us a hard time by not sitting still or by flopping around, making it tough for us to clap the spots that need to be clapped. Other times he simply puts his arms up and in the way.

For some reason or another, he decided he wasn’t going to be agreeable today. If I really think about it though, I can’t blame him because there really is a lot required of him, especially since he is only 4 years old.

Here’s how it went. He was sitting on my lap and leaning back so I could clap his chest. Everything was going fine until about half way through when he decided his chin itched. He reached up with his left hand (completely blocking me from clapping his left front, causing me to stop) and scratched his chin. Then he scratched his chin some more. Then he just left his hand there planted firmly on his face.

He knew what he was doing. I knew what he was doing. But alas that is his game. At this point I should tell everyone that he was watching an episode of one of his favorite shows. Needless to say, after about 30 seconds of me staring at him waiting for him to move his hand so we could proceed, I calmly reached down and pushed the back button on the controller so I could find something else to watch.

It was partially a bluff on my part, because I thought that would get his attention and make him move his hand out of the way. It didn’t though.

Nathan's Clappers

These are the clappers we use for Nathan’s twice daily treatments.

Sure I could have just reached down and moved his hand, but I do that all the time and it didn’t seem fitting at this particular time. I immediately scrolled over to Good Eats (we have Netflix) and pushed play. At this point I figured I would get some sort of reaction from him, particularly the complaining reaction. But surprisingly he just moved his hand away from his chin so I could continue with CPT. He sat there like a champ while Alton Brown talked about how to make perfect waffles. It could have been that Nathan helped us make waffles recently and could relate to what he was seeing on T.V.

He even remarked, “Does he know it’s squishing out?” Referring to the fact that our waffles squished out of the sides of the waffle iron as they heated and expanded. I was impressed but also a bit curious as to what he found so enjoyable about the show.

After a couple more minutes of clapping and watching the show, he turns to me and says, “I like this show, daddy do you like this show?”

I responded by telling him I like the show before asking him what he liked about it. His response was something along the lines of, “I like it because the guy does silly stuff!”

So we continued on with CPT, finishing the episode about waffles and we even started a new episode about the versatility of meatballs. All in all a very unimportant thing in one way, but on the other hand I find it very refreshing that a very active 4 year old boy who has to sit through his boring treatments every day would find something he likes in a cooking show.

I enjoy watching the show because of all the history Alton shares about the food he cooks as well as explaining the science behind each dish. If Nathan likes it because of the funny things the people do on the show, then that’s fine with me.

If he grows up to appreciate the art of creating great food, I will be happy. But if he grows up to be a musician, or an air traffic controller, or whatever it is he wants to be, and doesn’t know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, I will be happy. My only goal is to enrich his knowledge of the world in anyway possible. If I can do that I will be very happy.

Nathan and His Water Gun

Nathan, a crazy face, and his water gun.

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