Peggy Ann McKay, Jr

Sick

By Shel Silverstein

“I cannot go to school today,”
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more–that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut–my eyes are blue–
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke–
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is–what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play.

Great poem, fun to read, makes all the kids in your class laugh during a read aloud. Let’s break this poem down Common Core style.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.2
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.5
Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

By first read this poem utilizes a few common literary devises. The first and most obvious being hyperbole. This first rhetorical devise is used by an author as a way to evoke strong feelings through over exaggeration. This whole poem is riddled with these exaggerated phrases. for example;

“My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.”

In this section of this poem, hyperbole is used to exaggerate how her tongue is so swollen.

The second literary device used by Shel Silverstein is a more basic one… the simile, in which one thing in the poem compares to something else. A perfect example of this is, “My tonsils are as big as rocks.” We’ve all had a sore throat, but not as bad as Peggy Ann McKay… who’s throat is so bad it feels like her tonsils are the size of boulders when she swallows.

The third literary device Mr. Silverstein used to support Peggy’s complaints in this poem was rhyme scheme. Rhyme scheme is a poet’s purposeful pattern of lines that rhyme with the following lines. The rhyme and meter, helps to make a poem musical.

“My neck is stiff, my spine is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.”

The analysis above looks at what makes this poem so enjoyable, easy to read and listen to and most of all humorous. Humorous, that is, unless you’re Oliver (or his parents for that matter). We use this poem more for a check list to diagnose our littlest guy than we do for a good laugh.

I’m not sure what happened over the last six months; I don’t know if he needs to be put in a bubble or what, but he is a giant walking germ. We’ve gone from a cough and fever to a cold, to a virus, to the dreaded toddler pneumonia.

Poor Ollie’s tired all day, but he can’t fall asleep,

His head is hot, and he’s curled up in a big heap.

I’m pretty sure there’s something in his ear,

I don’t even think he can hear.

Shel Silverstein I’m not (clearly from the stanza above), but I’m pretty sure we are raising the second coming of Peggy Ann Mckay. Let’s just hope he feels better this weekend…

Wait… You say today is… Saturday? Crap, he’s still not okay!

Last Man (and Boy) Standing

I consider myself to be an expert… a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to father-son bonding time… camping, fishing and working on cars. No I’m just kidding I don’t do any of those things. But watching Yankees and Packers games, reading Harry Potter books and making pancakes? Check, check, check and check! There are not many things I’ve missed. But honestly most of my father-son bonding is just plain old father-son time. Just spending time is time enough for me.

The thing about having kids though… sometimes when you think you’ve seen it all… sometimes that’s when they can surprise you the most. Sometimes, every so often, they do something so out of the blue that you just have to sit back in awe trying to find the right words to describe what just happened.

When I went to bed last night, I never could have imagined the special experience waiting for me before I even hit my REM sleep. It was a new bonding experience to say the least.

As my eyes began feeling like lead weights and my eye lids could not hold themselves open for one more second… I heard the cry, “Daaaaaaadddddddyyyyyy. I cleaned many messes in my day, and I’ve prepared myself for most of them knowing what I was getting myself into before even seeing it. But nothing would ever prepare me for the chunks that were blown all over me.

This event. This night I’m sure… will haunt me for the rest of my life. There are not enough words to express what happened to me, to Jax… hell to our house. It wasn’t what I would consider a “normal” bonding experience

Things are getting scary around here the past 24 hours. But I’m a dad… and despite what the title of this blog may say… I’m not really a “New Dad” anymore. This ain’t my first rodeo folks… now to go find some bleach and an SOS pad to clean off my back and shoulders.

Santa vs He Who Must Not Be Named

Christmas Eve day and my kid is sick. I’m quite sure this is the real Fragola Family Christmas tradition. Without a doubt, every single Christmas I was sick.

*There was the year I was so out of it that I opened presents from my deathbed (the couch) while Uncle Vinny and Auntie Tricia handed me presents.
*There was the year I had strep throat and a fever during Christmas Eve mass.
*Of course there was the year Santa brought me the sony home stereo with dual tape decks and I was too sick to weak to walk down to the basement to see it all set up.
*And who could forget the year I spent the majority of Christmas puking and had a handful of Imodium as my Xmas dinner.

I’ll say this though, when it comes to being sick I’m a big baby… Stuffy nose? I’m dying. Upset stomach? I have the plague. Fever and a cough? Just fill out my death certificate now.

But Jax… This kid is a trooper. He sounds like Voldemort with all his wheezing… But he’s not letting anything stand in his way of his first Christmas. Stay strong little man… Stay strong!