I have a confession. I slip Polly baby Tylenol when S isn’t looking.
After almost ten years of marriage, S and I have practically formed our own little country: Amerikraine. Our cultural differences that caused for pathetic arguments… a skin tight rainbow striped hoodie picked out of the trash, worn while jogging (my beef about him), or picking salted, dried flesh off the bones of a fish (again, my beef, I’m sensing a trend), or, maybe, a country’s lack of deodorant (OK, I am a brat) have fizzled out over time.
In essence, we’ve grown up together and have thrown out things from our cultures that aren’t worth keeping (here’s one of mine, simply HAVING to buy something because it is on sale, even if it’s not the right size). We create new customs that aren’t actually Ukrainian or American. We do things that work for us.
Except when it comes to medication.
S won’t go to the doctor unless something is falling off. And I am all about the drugs. When it comes to the children, he’d prefer to wait it out, “let the body fight off the infection,” he’d say. I am running to the medicine cabinet every time I hear a wimper or a cough.
Tylenol, especially, is a big tool on my mommy belt.
At two, Polly is not talking much. She says “Mama”, “Papa”, “Lala” (for Lainie), an occasional “Oh oh” for Zoya, ”more”, and something that sounds an awful lot like “spider.” She is learning sign language and doing quite well. I suspect she knows over 25 signs and has just started putting two signs together, like, “give me, please” or “all done eat.”
She is teething.
Now let me tell you something about teething. Teething is the ultimate exscuse for a mother. A kid’s cranky, he’s teething. Not eating, teething, drooling, teething, BITING, teething. Toddlers aren’t allowed to just have a bad day. I wish I could exscuse my grouchiness with, “I’m sorry I am being so mean, you see, my eye teeth are coming in.” A time of grieving sets in when our precious young finally have all of their teeth and we vigorously look around for another exscuse for our children’s behavior.
Like I said, Polly is teething. She has been teething forever. Many children with Down syndrome start cutting teeth later than their typically developing peers. Right before Polly cuts a tooth, she won’t eat or drink, she cries, she drools. We’ve worked on the signs “hurt” and “sick” but still have to prompt her to use them, therefore, never really knowing if she trully is sick or hurt.
And so, I give her baby Tylenol. Of course, I don’t over medicate. I check the bottle, find her weight and give her the right amount. S frowns upon this. “How do you know it’s her teeth?” he asks. To which I reply, “She bit my shoulder!”
It’s hard for me to see Polly upset. I have to see her frustrated daily as she tries to master a new skill. My skin is like rubber these days. I look away when she cries to me to save her from the evil physical therapist. After she was born, I watched her through plastic for the first couple weeks of her life. I was helpless, clueless on how to help her get well.
I know the jig’s up. S reads my blogs occasionally. I suspect he’ll happen upon these words and take away my medicine bottle.
But confessing always makes one feel better. And I already have a new hiding place in mind.