Like It Or Lump It

The thing about being outnumbered by your children is that there are more of them than you. Just passing along a bit of wisdom, because that’s what I do. The wife and I are heading like punch-drunk fighters into the holiday vacation season, with wonderful attitudes about family, and gift-buying, and Christmas overall. The two littlest ones are battling a bad cold bronchitis asthma — nope, heh heh, actually that’s pneumonia — as diagnosed by a quack crack team of pediatricians and urgent care physicians.

I hate it when my little ones are sick.

It looks like they may be on the mend now, and so the world is looking better. Eli and I have had some quality time lately as I give him treatments with a nebulizer, which for the uninitiated is a misting device attached to a mask. A side benefit of the illness is that he now knows what the word “treatment” means.

“Daddy,” he told me yesterday over the soft hiss of the machine, “I don’t like dat treatment.”

“I know, little man.”

“I don’t like it.”

“Well, you can like it or lump it.”

“Lump it.”

“Okay, lump it.”

“No, you lump it.”

“You want me to lump it?”

“Yeah. Like dat.” He waved his hand around. I have no idea why he thinks “lumping it” means waving one’s hand around, but I followed suit. Heck, I have no better idea of what it means to lump it, and when you’re stuck in a chair with a sick toddler, any entertainment works. “No, not like dat, like dat.” He waved his hand more frantically.

I did the same. “Is that better?”

“Yeah. Lump it.”

“You’re just a little lumper.”

“No, I Eli. You’re a lumper.”

Given how often I complain about things that I have no choice but to do anyway, I suppose he’s right. Faced with a choice between like and lump, I do choose lump, and all too often. I think I need to like more. Thanks for the attitude adjustment, Eli.


  1. Jeff Brokaw

    TWO kids with pneumonia – wow, you have my sympathies. Hope they recover quickly.

    Let me take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas, and Peace and Goodwill in the New Year. God’s Blessings.

  2. onelamb

    Been checking everyday. So happy to see you back, I love your writings! Fighting the breathing treatments is such a fun way to spend the holiday. For years mine got croup annually and USUALLY on Christmas Eve so we spend them in urgent care. Unfortunately I didn’t have a very good attitude at first, then it got to be a joke. Yes, we do need to find a way to enjoy all our moments with our children, we can work on the general moments of life later.

  3. MarcV

    What Jeff said, I’ll ditto that.

    Lumpers of the world unite! We may not like some things, but we can always lump them.

    Is. 45:9 “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds in the ground.
    Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?

    One of the great challenges of raising youngsters is developing in them an attitude of gratitude. For some strange reason they feel as if they’re entitled to whatever they want. God help us to be models of clay and allow the Master to form us.

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