Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Poop

N has not been sleeping well. Worse, she’s been screaming for 30 to 60 minutes a night and very little can console her. Last night I discovered that the vacuum cleaner could calm her down, which was lucky since I was at my wits end. At 5 months, she’s got great lung capacity. She seems to be in pain, but I cannot figure out the cause for sure. My instinct is that it is due to the fact that she poops so irregularly. I brought this problem up at the last check up (4 months) and the pediatrician recommended pear juice- if we can find it.

So I set out today on a crusade to find pear juice to move the girl’s bowels and preserve my sanity. First destination is the natural foods store. Next to a Starbucks, which I was eyeing with more self preservation in mind. But before I fought over a parking spot, I spy a ‘Closed’ sign at the natural foods store. I move on. On a whim, I stopped at the fancy cheese and other expensive foods store. They are out of pear juice. But I see what the bottle would look like. I give up for the moment and go on to adventure #2 for Sunday morning: Hitting Ocean State Job Lot.

I have this idea that going to a large store with two small children, no particular goal in mind, and no back up is a fun idea. Obviously my sanity is fragile. But my luck holds out. I find a number of items I have been looking for: maple syrup (grade B, which I prefer, but is sometimes hard to find), a large soft, cheap fleece for lounging around in (my husband disapproves and requests that I buy clothing that fits me), a cat costume size 2 to 4T, a mouse costume size 6 to 12 mo (perhaps too large, but fairly amusing), both costumes are reasonably priced and very cheesy, sweetnlow (for my addiction to saccharine), and PEAR JUICE. 3 bottles of the fancy looking brand seen at the expensive cheese store (manufactured in Belgium, packaged in Bradenton, FL).

I manage to get a diluted quantity of pear juice into N. (We had little luck with the effectiveness of prune juice, I’m sure you were going to ask.) And the child seems to have come unplugged. Two poopy diapers and I’m wiping my brow with relief. Thank goodness. I think she may get some daily now. I’m wondering if solid food would make the problem worse or better…

Q has a bug. He barely ate today. He stopped eating potato chips and said he was done. After a lovely 2 hour nap, he had a fever of 101.7 and mostly just wanted to hang out near me. Poor child. His cough makes me nervous, so I’m leaning in to listen to him breathe, trying to catch the sound of bronchitis before it develops into pneumonia. (This because my family tends to assume that all ill people are faking, which led me to discourage my husband to get his cold checked out until he was in a borderline pneumonia state, and so now I’m paranoid about coughs and listlessness.)

But the kid is doing really well. He’s been sleeping in both the new beds, having gotten over the trauma of falling out of the big big bed into the toddler bed (we now have a bed rail for him). Saturday, after one of the awful nights with N, he let us sleep in till nearly 8, luxuriously late.

Unfortunately I figured out why, eventually.

He’s been coloring a lot lately. He calls it ‘drawing’, and when he has blank paper he is creating different art than he did, even a month ago: filling in shapes with color, and circling items deliberately. He has a coloring book that he turns carefully through, and fills in, almost neatly, small portions of different pictures.

Saturday afternoon I spotted the cap of a pen on the floor of his room. A pen we use to mark his clothes with his name. The rest of the pen is missing. I prod his memory, “Where is the pen, Q?” As I interrogate him, I notice three library books on the floor of his room… one with pen marks on the protective cover.

Only one turns out to have marks on the pages. The book he likes the best, I think. Something about eyes attracted him, and he added another level of art to the eyes of the characters. So sad: he’s destroyed a library book, he’s made it impossible to see the art, and yet at the same time, I see that he did it out of affection.

We had a little talk (Again) about how we don’t draw on books, that coloring books are very special etc etc. (This is the first assault on a book, usually he goes after furniture or walls.) And I will bring the book back to the library, apologize profusely for not supervising more closely, and pay for the book.

But as a librarian, I know something. Since I will pay for the book, they will probably give it to me. And then what? Do I bring it home and keep reading it with Q? Do I want him to get the bright idea that if he writes in his favorite library books he gets to keep them? Ah well. One problem at a time.

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