Macrophages and green snot

My son is quite obsessed with anything to do with the human body and how it functions etc. He has some little quirks like he won’t eat anything shaped like an animal or a human (no tiny teddy biscuits or chocolate Easter bunnies for example). My husband once brought him to tears by making a pancake which looked like a puppy with a face and everything. It was quite amazing I thought, but the tears came when we presented it to him as an actual breakfast food for eating. That ‘puppy’ pancake actually ended up living in my fridge for about 3 weeks before I finally snuck it into the bin!

He also insists that our giant puppy (the real one) is not allowed to have any chew toys shaped like animals or people… sigh… bones only and things like that. Another little quirk is that he firmly believes that the meat he eats comes from animals which were already mysteriously dead before they were turned into things such as roast chicken, bacon, chops, sausages etc. It’s quite funny, and it works for us for now because he isn’t refusing to eat meat, which I suspect as he gets older and finds out that the animals do actually need to be killed by a person before they can be turned into food will eventually make him a vegetarian. Unless of course he gets over it before then!

Anyway, back to the main story of tonight’s post. There has been a series on TV recently called “Inside the Human Body” (if anyone reading this is someone who would normally get my son a birthday or Christmas present, then this series on DVD would make him the happiest little man ever!). It’s a very cool programme, but my husband and I haven’t really watched it. He ends up telling us all sorts of interesting things about our bodies and how they work and today was no exception.

Having woken up with a runny nose and bleary eyes, I told my son that he would have to stay home from school and stay in bed or on the lounge today. This was half great news to him. He liked the staying home part but immediately started an argument about the staying inside part. He was petitioning me at 7:30 this morning to be allowed to jump on the trampoline all day. I started to explain to him that his body needed to rest even though he didn’t feel too sick. I showed him the lurid green snot in the tissue. I told him his head felt hot and told him his body needed rest to fight the cold. He sat up, took the tissue and told me right back.

“My snot is green because there are macrophages fighting the cold! They save your life every day! When they give up and die, they become green snot to get the infection out of your body. They can also come out as vomit!”

Me: “Ummm… There are what in your snot?”

Son: “Macrophages! (big sigh, eyes widening at the prospect of explaining something cool that I didn’t previously know about) They live in your body and when something comes along that shouldn’t be there, they go and they kind of jump on it and cover it up and go (here he made a kind of squelching noise with his mouth and used his hand like a claw with a sucking motion). They kill the intruder and sometimes if the macrophages get killed they come out in your snot!”

Now I know he got that from the TV show, but I still had to google the word! Honestly, I think need to become a Dr really fast or I am going to run into trouble understanding what the hell he is on about and I’m going to have difficulty either correcting his information or knowing when to say, “yes! That is right! Very clever!” He was pretty close to accurate with the info about the macrophages, with a few tweaks here and there, but he simplified it beautifully! Unfortunately, the information he was holding didn’t make it any less of a fight to keep him in a resting position today!

At one stage, he said, “I can’t help it! My legs just HAVE to move! My brain is telling them they have to wriggle and move and there is nothing I can do!”

I let him 😉

KL

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