Dear Future Stella on the eve of some Mother’s Day,
I don’t know how old you’ll be when I let you read this, but consider this a “cashing in” of sorts. As I write this, you are roughly 3.5 years old. By all accounts, you’re a pretty amazing kid. You’re built like a supermodel in training. Your hair is bleached golden by the sun. You have your daddy’s blue eyes but they’re big like mine. Your memory is eerie it’s so good. Your occupational therapist has said she believes you’re “hyperlexic,” a term I was unfamiliar with but after some research feel is a correct term for you; you read phenomenally well, and while initially you were practicing the mechanics of it, your comprehension is catching up. You’re energetic. You’re curious. You’re wonderful.
We still have some things to work out. What’s at issue now, and what has prompted this entry, is your absolute refusal to take medicine. I don’t understand it, but your reaction to even hearing the word is on par with a Category 4 hurricane.
Once upon a time, you would refuse to take Tylenol. You know, the awesome pink bubble gum-flavored kid stuff. Your father and I tried EVERYTHING. And I mean everything. We hid it in milk, ice cream, popsicles. You were like a bloody shark. You could detect the equivalent of one drop of Tylenol in a swimming pool of chocolate milk. We’re talking a sensitivity of one part per million. Hell, one part per billion.
Holding you down and forcing it inevitably ended badly. It turned your mouth into a spray nozzle, leaving everyone in a 2.5’ radius covered with a slurry of pink goo and spit. Fortunately, you like never got sick. Not really. When you were uncomfortable as a younger kid, you just had to suck it up. As you got older, we discovered the quick-dissolve tablets. “Pink Candy,” we called them. We had better success with that. It still took some bribery, but you were now old and sophisticated enough to bribe.
About 6 weeks ago, you were feeling poorly. We finally took you to the doc and lo and behold, you had a double ear infection. It was only the 2nd (or technically 3rd and 4th) ear infections you’ve ever had (since your first was also a double). They gave you antibiotics. Your father and I were terrified and mentioned that you had some sensory issues that made medications very difficult. The doctor said flatly: if she doesn’t take it, she’ll need to come in for 3 separate injections to knock this out.
You know what? You took your medicine. No drama. Very little bribery involved. You also took Tylenol and Mucinex as needed. It was like the nightmare was over.
Then you got strep just this past weekend. You were given the classic bubble-gum flavored amoxicillin. You will have none of it. Your reaction is epic: screaming, gagging, vomiting (at one point), crying, whining, kicking, hitting, scaring the bejeezus out of your brother. It really is the Seventh Circle of Hell. Twice a day. If I’m lucky, you get half your twice-daily dose. The rest gets splattered/spat all over you, me, the floor. It is the viscous white stuff, so it currently looks as if a cement truck exploded all over the house.
We have tried bribes – the big stuff, too. Nope. We tried dummy dosing. You know, “look how daddy likes it.” It’s amoxicillin so I can’t touch it.
Side note: when I was 3, I showed extreme reaction to penicillin. In the words of my parents, I blew up like a balloon. I can only assume this was some type of near-anaphylaxis. From that point on, I was been banned from any of the -cillins. Whenever I do need an antibiotic, Will loves to look at me and ask: “How do you know if you’re really allergic? It was a long time ago. What if they made a mistake?” I think he wants to collect the life insurance. That kind of money would buy a lot of video games and beer.
So anyway. Here we are, day 3 of a 10 day run on this stuff. I used to think dosing cats with any type of medicine was about the worst possible thing. This takes the cake.
So, Stella, you owe me. You owe me big. Not for the years of no sleep. Not for the saggy boobs (and your brother didn’t help these, either). Not for at least 5 of my 15-20 extra pounds. This. Is. Horrible.
Medicine. It’s not supposed to be this F*#^$ing complicated.
So I want a good present this year. I’ve earned it.
Now I’m going to go try to spot-treat myself and get this shit off of me. I look like a Jackson Pollock painting.