Friday, August 5, 2011

Why, Yes, Doctor, You are right.

On a good day, my days are 13 1/2 hours long. They start at 6 am with a banshee howl. While I would like to hit the snooze and get five more minutes, they call that child abuse. The banshee is my child, either in the crib or standing at the end of the hall, screaming a blood curdling scream like he has woke up in the twilight zone. He's done it since birth, so I am somewhat used to it, but it still wakes me with a start.

I crawl out of bed in hopes that the banshee hasn't woke my poor night-shift-working husband. Nope, too late. The banshee woke him, too. I stumble to the bedroom and rescue the screaming banshee who is now chanting, "Oto, Oto, Oto." For those of you who don't have three-year old Secret Agent Oso is all the rage right now. I have about 15 on our DVR.

After squinting at the TV, I finally manage to get "Oto" turned on, and the chant then becomes, "Oa'meal. Oa'meal. Oa'meal." While generally, I am glad that my child can now communicate, the chanting gets a little old at 6 or 6:30 am.

On a good day, I turn in my mommy badge in favor of the housekeeping apron after about 13 1/2 hours of chanting, games, giggles, therapy trips, doctor's appointments, and time-out sessions, etc.

Today, wasn't necessarily a good day. It began almost 15 hours ago at 5:30 am with the banshee howl, and is ending with a bad case of heartburn. I didn't think it was acid reflux till I went to the pulmonologist to find out why I couldn't breathe in the evenings. It seems that reflux triggers asthma which is the diagnosis and the problem.

"Do you have reflux?" The doctor asked.
"No, I don't."
The doctor frowned and furrowed his brows, and now that I know what reflux is and that what I am really feeling is heartburn, I have to tell him he was right. It is heartburn.

My heartburn is triggered by an obstinate three-year old who insists on wreaking havoc on the last three to four hours of the day. It begins while I am cooking dinner, and he is asking to eat anything and everything.

"No, you can't have cookies. We are eating in a little bit."
"No, you can't have crackers. We are eating in a little bit."
"No, you can't have chocolate. We are eating in a little bit."
"No, No, No."

Once, dinner is on the table. The next round begins. He refuses to sit at the table. At first he pretends to ignore me. Then he proceeds to indicate in his non-verbal way that he wants to eat in front of the TV.

"No, you can't eat in the living room. The rule is: we eat dinner at the table."

Followed by round three: On a good evening, he will sit at the table without eating staring out the window, never even tasting the food. On a bad evening, he will throw a fit and try to toss his plate, leading to an all out battle to sit at the table. My meal ends up being eaten cold and between time-out sessions for throwing his plate or climbing out of his chair. If he ever tastes, the food, he finds he likes it and eats dinner. But, sometimes, his preference is chocolate and crackers for dinner and never relents to eating what I've cooked.

Round four is the bedtime routine. If there is a bath involved it brings the night routine to a whole new level as he HATES baths. If not a bath, then we battle over putting on the pajamas which usually means chasing him down and taking away privileges like reading a bed time book if he doesn't change. Teeth brushing is just as much a battle. If he has by chance kept the book reading privilege, then that is threatened once again. If he loses that, then we move on to losing rights to play with certain toys the next day. We rarely have to move beyond the loss of his train set.

Once teeth are brushed, jammies are on, we read a few books, assuming he still has that privilege. Then, it is lights out. And since, we are transitioning to the twin bed, we have the next battle. Staying in bed. If he doesn't stay in bed, then he is moved back to the crib across the room from his twin bed. At least three or four nights a week, within fifteen minutes of lights out, the lights are back on, and he is playing in the floor. So back to the crib for him.

By 8PM, I have heartburn, a headache, and can barely breathe. Why, yes, doctor, you are right. I do have heartburn. I was just too unplugged to realize what it was. I was more plugged into the havoc my three-year old is creating during the last three or four hours of the day.

God bless the creator of antacids and asthma inhalers.