Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pennies. It's What's for Dinner.

We figured it would happen eventually. Little Man has always been a mouthy baby. Give him any food, toy, article of clothing, book, inedible object, or stuffed animal and he would happily chew away on it. In an effort to dissuade his habitual gnawing, our favourite directives became: "In your hands," "Out of your mouth." or "Show Mama what you've got!"
It never worked.

Little man and I were building a fort last weekend with the couch cushions. (I swear I do vacuum the couch... but probably not as often as I should). The sunlight was pouring in through the living room window. We saw the penny at the same moment. The sun danced beautifully across the copper maple leaf, glinting in the sun.

I was at a definite disadvantage. Little Man was within arm's reach of the tantalizing coin, while I was buried under two giant cushions and BEHIND my speedy toddler. He cocked his head over his shoulder to assess how much time he had. A grin exploded on his face when he realized he had a golden (er... copper) opportunity.

"YUMMMMMMMMMMMM!" He bellowed. And lunged. He scooped the penny up and crammed it in his mouth. Before I could react he cocked his head back like a ravenous penguin devouring a fish. (Thanks a lot, Happy Feet.)

He ate the penny.

"YOU ATE A PENNY!" I screamed. "Kevin!!! He ate a penny!" I hollered at my husband.
"He ate a what?"
"A penny!!!"
"A penny?"


"Yes. A penny." I shouted.
"At least it wasn't a toonie."

Two days go by, and there's no sign of the penny. Off to the doctor we go. "Give it a few more days," the doctor smirked. He's quite fond of our son. Messing with his curls, he chuckled "Where's your penny?"

Little Man smiled and lifted his shirt up. "Penny button!" he smiled, pointing at his pudgy little toddler belly button.

Now any time someone greets him, he lifts his shirt, points at his navel and declares "PENNY!"

Two more days go by. STILL no penny.
"Give it a few more days," the doctor said.
"Listen, I love my son, but I'm worried about him. And these poop scavenger hunts have got to go."
"Maybe he's just backed up." he suggested.
"Or maybe he's just stubborn!"

On Saturday, if the penny hasn't reappeared, we're headed off for x-rays to see if it might have snuck past us on its way out. If it did, that's one penny I'm glad we didn't save.

Oh well. At least it wasn't a toonie.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Peanuts and Epi-Pens, Oh My!

These past two weeks have been a bit of madhouse. The highlight was our severe allergic reaction to peanuts. By "our" I mean our little man and us. He reacted, we overreacted. The sad thing is, he didn't even get a chance to enjoy the peanut... he reacted to passive transfer. (Daddy ate peanuts, and about an hour later happened to touch Little Man's face.)

The result? Severe swelling of his face & eyes, and a pair of petrified parents whisking him off to the closest hospital. The ER staff put us in a bed between an elderly lady with a fractured hip and a forty-something sailor-mouthed man suffering through kidney stones. Little Guy was a pretty good sport, flirting with the nurses and alternating between snuggling mom and dad and howling for his special blankee. (Which we, oh negligent parents, had forgotten at home.)

We waited for about two hours before the doctor came in. He pulled back the curtain 3.7 seconds after the hives disappeared, so of course we had nothing to show but a cranky toddler who was missing his blankee and very late for bed. "No more Peanuts!" He commanded. "Give him some more Benadryll, and see your doctor about an epi-pen junior. Wake him up every four hours and give him more Benadryll. When you think he's better, give him one more dose." The curtain closed. A disembodied voice called out, "And no more PEANUTS!"

The worst part of any hospital visit surrounds names and family history. It usually begins when the nurse calls out our son's birth name to the entire waiting room. (The name, of course, is supposed to be confidential). They refer to me as Mrs. XYZ, and I quietly remind them that his legal name is now ABC, and that his birth name is private. "Could you please note it in his file for future reference?" Blank stares or blinks and an assuaging "Oh, of course" normally follow. But the file is never updated, or the nurses and doctors just don't read it or pay it any attention.

I'm still called Mrs. XYZ. Our little guy is still cooed at under his former name... a beautiful name, the one given to him by his first mother, but not the one we as his adoptive parents bestowed upon him so many months ago.

The other half is the family history questionnaire.

"Do allergies run in the family?" "We're not sure, doctor. As you can see in his file, we adopted and we have no medical history."
"Do you or your husband have any drug allergies, Mom? "I do, doctor, but my son was adopted."
"How did your pregnancy go? Any complications?" (Here's where I have to betray his birth mother, and tell the doctor in front of my son about the level of prenatal care, any drug or alcohol exposure, etc. etc")

There really should be a form, or a special sticker that says "I'm adopted, not deaf!" (Well, there are plenty of kids who are both.... but you know what I'm getting at.) We need to build in some sensitivity surrounding medical information (particularly lack thereof) when dealing with families and their little people. I don't really mind the questions now, but I worry about how our son will react to them when he's older and fully understands his adoption.

Every trip to the doctor shouldn't be a reminder of what we *don't* know, or of what kids who aren't adopted are granted without fail.