Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The pediatrics practice my brother and I went to as kids had three doctors, and it was luck of the draw whom you saw for any given appointment: the nice one with the blue eyes and the gentle voice who never seemed to be around, the scary one, or the not-scary but not-friendly one with the incessant oral twitch. Twitch did this thing where he inverse-whistled on his saliva. If you were reading a book to your kids with a mouse character and you tried to make a mouse sound, that’s about 50% of the way to this twitch. Or, try vocalizing a bunny rabbit noise. Now imagine chewing on your drool chomp-chomp as you mouse-rabbit-squeak. Never just once, you would have to make the sound twice in quick succession, like the lub and the dub of a lub-dub heartbeat, or the duhn-duhn drum sound in a scene change in any episode of Law & Order.

Except, let’s be clear: it’s not a chomp or a lub or a duhn, it’s a saliva-chewing inverse whistling noise. And there it is again.

Let’s stick with calling it a twitch.

He was, as far as I know, an otherwise perfectly good doctor, (and, I should stipulate, is a good man) but there was a twitch (twitch), and there was the fact that, such as seems to happen in these small-town stories, he also went to our synagogue and sometimes he’d have me shirtless on an exam table on a Friday and then shake my hand (twitch-twitching) in services on a Saturday. And there was also this: his brother was the husband of our mom’s then-best-friend, so sometimes Twitch and we shared holiday meals together, too.

That wasn’t awkward.

Twitch twitch (made me take my clothes off) (pass the salt).

Twitch twitch.

So. Hello, present tense.

You guys, I’m having a problem.

My darling L (who is apparently prone to picking up unconscious habits do not ask me about how she’s taken to ripping her toenails without even realizing it GAH) has discovered how to make the twitch sound. She stops if I ask her to, but her mind wanders and she begins with it again. And she does it all the time and she says she’s not doing it on purpose and I think she’s really taken it on as an unconscious act and she even does it in the one-two rhythm and I’m going to LOSE MY MIND.

Any brilliant advice?

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