There's nothing stranger than welcoming Christmas at the Children's Hospital ER with your 18-month-old who has a 104.4 fever and is totally disoriented, alternating between asking for his hat so that he can leave, using baby sign language to ask for "more, please," and saying Ho Ho Ho with much charm.
Equally strange: driving through nearly-deserted downtown Akron on Christmas Eve, parking at a meter spot outside the hospital, walking across a lot deeply ridged with frozen mud, realizing you can carry your 23 lb son plus about 25 lbs of other stuff without a second thought. People ask if you need help, and you look at them like they're nuts.
On the way out we had a prescription for augmentin--another ear infection--and a bag full of toys from the staff (it was a slow night, and everyone wanted to give him something). One gift was mooing quite vigorously as I buckled unhappy Ray into his seat. Around 4:30 am Ray started to settle down and sleep, just in time for Gabi to wake up and discover what Santa had left. Ray is partial to the horse below. I will be spending the rest of the week helping him get better.
PS--Yes, he is my little twin.