When something is weird with a toddler, which is every day, you have to make that call. Not a phone call; I make a judgment call. Because in my house we don’t call the fancy Vancouver MD every time a string of green slime snots out onto her upper lip like a fancy skinned caterpillar. I wipe and wipe and steam and give bullshit organic cold medicine because evidently the medicine gods (aka Big Pharma) don’t believe in real healing until a kid is 6 years old.
I play Dr. Mom because she is brave and better than other kids hauled into a badly carpeted waiting room every time skin gets stung or a knee has a bruise. Also, I don’t like to bother anyone. Even the people paid to be bothered. I'm secure in these decisions because in most cases I'm pretty sure she isn’t going to die. That’s my criteria. Your calf – that's a little bit bleeding. Your head – yup, that's slightly goose-bumpy. Your nose – running all the way home. Ok, as far as Dr. Google tells me, these are not hidden DEATH ailments, so we persevere at home and try not to infect anybody else. Sorry to anybody who pushes our elevator buttons. Use your knuckles. It’s a kid’s building. Any button is at Defcon 4 for germ saturation.
When something doesn’t go away after a reasonable amount of time, popsicles and Kleenex boxes, I will take her in. I will even take this whole goddamn family of mine to the emergency room at a children’s hospital at 11 pm in the peak of croup season (aka World War F as in World War F-CK THIS, ALL OF THIS) because my gut was telling me something was off.
(At least now I know what she looks like in a teeny tiny yellow and white striped hospital gown. Let me tell you, even seeing her in a wedding dress will not make me cry as quickly as that memory. TEENY TINY HOSPITAL GEAR. I…just…can’t.)
Earlier that day Nuv & I earned our Lieutenant Governor General Award for Parenting in the Highest Order when we gave her 80 ml of bright red sticky medicine for the croup, via a 5ml dropper. She couldn’t breathe through her nose, her lungs were melting together and her cough was as deep and anguished as a lion gargling stones – f-ck it, let’s just get her to drink a city-bus sized jug of medicine. Easy. May that pharmacist rot in HELL.
After the bottle was empty we high-fived over her head, everybody panting, a little stunned and spattered with medicine. I felt like this was kind of a humble brag situation and had that vibe affirmed when we were sitting at the ER Admitting desk after that medicine hadn’t really done sh-t. The reverence in the ER nurses voices locked it down. “Did you…what?" (Leaning back to yell over at her co-worker) "Mel! They gave her EIGHTY ML of the medicine!” "WITH A FIVE ML DROPPER!”
Don’t worry; I made sure our names were spelled correctly on the official paperwork for the First Annual Dropper to Mouth Marathon Gold Place Winner Forever Bronze Cup.
The croup healed. Cells regenerated. She learned 17 new Apps. And then the eye goo rolled into town. I was barely hanging on with all the nose mucus slurping around and then it weaseled up into each eye. After a few days of her waking up with eyes sealed shut with a golden crust of rotten pie dough, I took her in. I didn’t think she was going to die, but I felt like one day she would have to see Ryan Gosling’s forearms, not just hear me describe them.
The doctor, normally a kind and practical sort, handed me a prescription for ointment along with these instructions. Clean the goo out of her eyes (she doesn’t let me touch her face for more than 2.2 seconds after the last snot suck debacle) (the laughter bubbles up from my lower intestine), gently pull down her lower eyelid (the wig, if I wore one, would have gently popped off) and then apply a small strip of ointment into each eye (the Pentagon pauses and patches in on speaker phone) THREE TIMES A DAY FOR A WEEK. (I laugh until I sh-t my pants or whatever else I need to do to be institutionalized for exactly one week and have somebody else deal with this madness.)
No drops? No chloroform eye mask at night? No “give it a few more days and it will clear itself up?” NO. JUST OINTMENT IN HER TINY F-CKING EYES.
I smile, say “thank you,” go line up to fill that prescription and think I can’t WAIT to blog the SH-T out of this.
PS – She handled that ointment like a CHAMP. Seriously. This kid is my favourite.