Science 101: Heat causes objects to expand


Two days after tasting the porch at Granny’s, Gabrielle woke with a fever. Amy brought it down with some Midol. The fever soon returned. Thus began a game of medical seesaw, with Gabby’s temp spiking before the elixir brought it down.

When I got home yesterday she was hotter than Dwayne Wade. She hit 103.7 on the digital mercury. The poor girl was just out of it. She was like a cute little Al Bundy lacking bones. She just laid loosely on my chest and stared numbly at the world, riding calmly my rumbles of laughter at the antics of Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia and Rose. She would occasionally point out the ceiling fan, then return to her waking trance.

She has no other symptoms or reactions – just bouts of body heat. Amy is a pediatric nurse, so we didn’t hit any panic buttons. Gabrielle took a late nap before dinner. I later gave her a calm bath, rocked her with some milk, and – as the stepdaughter enjoys saying it – put her down.

She was somewhat groggily awake when I placed her in the crib. I kept her company while she eased into sleep. I cleaned all the 6M-9M clothing from her closet and hung up the latest fashions labeled 12M-18M. It was a chore long overdue. One day last week either Gabby grew two inches or her body indeed became rubber and expanded with the fevers.

Maybe instead there’s truth to the phrase, “stretching one’s legs.”


Gabby’s doing fine today. A little warm, a little fussy, and not content to sit still – just like mommy.


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