Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 156: In and out

I am not prepared to process the fact that it is mid-August.  Where, exactly, did the summer go?  Where, exactly, did my sweet baby Lime go, and who is this toddler who no longer crawls at all?  Who is this love who imitates strings of three syllables, who points at things (sometimes including his father) and says "Dah!" with great enthusiasm and conviction? Who is this rapidly moving little cherub who, if dinner does not appear fast enough, will be seated next to his best friend, Daphne the cat, at the food dish, sharing her kibble?  I wish this last question was an exaggeration, or at least was not a reflection of the truth quite as often as it is, but there you have it.  We buy high quality cat food that is high in protein and low in ash, so that's some consolation.

Lemon will be 3 this coming Friday.  He is bursting with intelligence and dexterity that he doesn't yet know how to direct.  So, a lot of it is applied to tasks that, intentionally or otherwise, drive his parents to distraction.  Case in point, our ongoing battle with nutrition.  Some of you will remember that during July he managed to gain a precious pound, and I don't want to discount that accomplishment.  But, he's managed that with a complete tube feeding 5 nights out of 7, which makes me wonder what we could achieve if we were hitting 7 of 7.  What happens those other nights, you may ask.  Well, here are some things that have happened lately:

1.  Lemon knows (and has known for some time) how to disconnect the feeding tube from the button on his belly.  When he does that, the pump, feeling no resistance, continues to pump, such that the formula goes all over the sheets, PJs, etc, until the bag is empty.  Last night, Lemon decided that his formula-soaked bed was no longer suitable for sleeping and used his mostly-dry quilt to construct himself a nest on the floor, which is where I found him when the pump finished its cycle at 3 a.m. Much laundry ensues.

2.  Lemon has mastered the art of turning off the pump.  A pump that is off makes no noises to alert one's parents that it is off, and if it's off, no food goes from the bag into the boy.  At least no laundry is required to deal with this failure mode.

3.  Lemon has mastered the art of turning down the rate on the pump.  This results in a confused mama waking up at 3 a.m. wondering why she hasn't heard the pump alarm go off.  Ultimately, against her better instincts, she stumbles into his bedroom and gazes in half-awake stupor at the number displayed on the pump's screen, attempting to determine its relationship with 83, which is the number that should be there.  Upon determining conclusively that, yes, 42 is distinctly less than 83, she is forced to shut off the pump even though there is still formula left in the bag, since morning therapy is only 2.5 hours away. Again, no laundry required, but, seriously, the things you never expect to confront as a parent...

4.  Puking.  We still don't know exactly why this happens so much, probably twice a month.  This week, it was definitely the result of actual illness, since Lemon ran a temperature of 102 for a couple of days, probably the same thing Lime had a week or so ago since the symptoms were more or less identical.  But most of the time, it seems random.  I used to think that it was due to our incomplete mastery of Lemon's digestive chemistry and mechanics, which may still be a big contributor.  But, an equal contributor, I believe, is a combination of Lemon's very sensitive gag reflex plus his desire to stick toys or other objects really far into is mouth, especially when bored.  He doesn't seem to be particularly bothered by puking.  In fact, it seems like he finds the whole thing rather exciting, since both Mama and Papa stagger in, turn on the lights no matter the time of night, strip the bed, strip the Lemon, wipe down various surfaces and body parts with appropriate cleaning supplies, remake and reclothe, re-sing and re-tuck, and so forth.  I wish we could make less of a big deal about it, but we've got to clean up, right?  And, so much laundry.  So much.

Ever onward, as they say.  If 5 nights out of 7 works, then so be it.  He won't be 3 forever, just for the next year.  We will make it--I hope the same can be said of our washing machine.


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