Thursday, July 5, 2012

Where the hell did I put my manual?

Today Tera had her post-hospital visit checkup and everything sounds clear.  We have to keep using the nebulizer for a few months; only once a day when she's finally done coughing and twice a day if/when she gets sick again and hopefully that will prevent another bout of pneumonia again in the near future.  The doctor also suspects she has asthma based on the two cases of relatively severe pneumonia she's had in this short period of time. 

Right now my day is based on trying to get her to eat normally again, getting her to sit still for the nebulizer twice a day, and remembering and then administering two doses of antibiotics a day.  Add to that the fact that we're trying to wean down her bottles (which I find somewhat ironic considering we tried for months to get her to drink them) and trying to get her to bed without having to fall asleep with a bottle which means letting her cry. 

I know many of you parents are reading this and may not have sympathy for me here because you've dealt with this longer than we have, but it's another one of those things that just seems to constantly change with her and we just keep guessing and trying to catch up.  The really hard part for me in regards to letting her cry to fall asleep is that she's still sick.  Not really sick like she was, but definitely not 100% and it's really hard for me to listen to her cry and then cough continuously because of it just to make her go to sleep.  For the most part we let her cry for about ten minutes and by then she's pretty tired and all I have to do is pat her back for a few minutes and she's usually out.  That may have been the case tonight had I not realized at the end of those first ten minutes that there was a foul odor emanating from her that required a diaper change and which then resulted in another ten to fifteen minutes of getting her to sleep. 

Which leads me to my question: where is my manual for this parenting thing? So far her whole little life has been a deviant from the norm, so I don't really know what the norm is.  When I was pregnant, every book, every website, even our birthing class said every birth is different, but the one consistent thing throughout it all was that when your contractions are consistently five minutes apart, that's when you call the doctor.  Well my contractions started at 2am sharp on Saturday morning of February 26, 2011 and they were never consistently five minutes apart which led to a very hurried delivery upon our arrival because I was much further along than I had anticipated; that was case one of the deviation.  Case two was slightly more traumatic and had a whole lot more impact and that would be the "diagnosis".  There have been many more deviations along the way, like a rash from the chicken pox vaccine that only 10% of kids get, no teeth until she was 14 months old and then a second tooth that's a molar, two cases of pneumonia in four months, and the list goes on.  So now when she's still not eating like she used to, I check my handy parenting manual to see why that might be happening, and imagine my surprise when yet again I realize the damn doctors didn't give me one! They told me what "should" happen, even what "might" happen, but she doesn't follow those guidelines and we're back to guessing. 

Given the sequence of events she'll probably start eating more next week but want nothing to do with green vegetables (basically the main staple of her diet) and only want meat.  She may decide to make more than just two sounds, but then she'll stop sleeping through the night.  Maybe she'll start walking and forget how to drink from a straw.  I have no idea what to expect from day to day and to be honest, it's getting a little exhausting.  Or maybe it's not the guessing, maybe it's saying the word "no" close to 200,000 times day, or repeatedly removing her from smashing her fingers in the garbage can, or picking up the trail of chaos she leaves in her path, or trying to prevent her from yanking the cats tail, or moving every paper object out of her little sticky grasp, or stopping her from pulling cords, or any of the other number of things we just haven't figured out she'll get into and how.  I know at this point I'm not getting a lot of sympathy and believe me when I say I'm not looking for it. 

Mostly I'm just really glad that at the same time that she's discovered this insanely destructive, devious side of herself, she's also discovered the art of timing hugs and kisses appropriately or I'd be rewriting that Shel Silverstein poem titled, "One Sister for Sale" to "One Daughter for Sale".  Oh, who am I kidding, I can't sell that kid, what would I do with my time?

My little firecracker

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