Tag Archives: diabetes and parenting

What my Son Taught me about Respecting People’s Fear of Needles

I grew up with type 1 diabetes and so it became crucial that I get comfortable with checking my blood sugar and giving myself injections in front of other people.  I would often be afraid of their reaction.  Would they be disgusted?  Worried?  Alarmed?  I have always used some discretion when handling these acts in public but I’ve also been vocal about how these acts affect me and not anyone else so I really don’t want to hear anyone complaining about it.  After all I’m the one enduring the pain, right?  Well, I may have been wrong.

My children are six now, but I noticed that when they were about 4, my son would stare at me when I gave my insulin shots.  He would watch the needle go in and out.  He’d even observe as I put the orange cap back on the syringe and zipped it back up in its case.  I thought to myself, “well, he sure seems interested” and I’d answer any questions he had about what I was doing.

As he got older he would ask questions like, “mommy, does it hurt when you do that?”  And I’d answer truthfully, “yes, sometimes it does, but usually it doesn’t”.  He would then say something like, “I sure am glad I don’t have diabetes.” In the past year, he has winced every time I prick my finger for a blood sugar check or given an insulin shot.  I also noticed that sometimes he would appear to physically shake off the image he just saw the way a parent might when envisioning a worst case scenario involving their precious child.

I have been quite accustomed to doing all these diabetes things in the same way someone else might pull their hair up into a ponytail or role up a shirt sleeve.  In other words, I have grown into an adult that recognized I needed to be comfortable checking my blood sugar and giving insulin anywhere and in front of anyone for my wellbeing and so I do these things mindlessly and without the crippling worry I felt as a child or teenager.  In doing so I’ve learned that most people have a lot of empathy and compassion.  They are cautious if they don’t know me and if we are say, shoulder to shoulder on a plane ride, but still rather polite.  I always imagined that I’d have children who wouldn’t even blink at my pricking my finger because I figured they’d be used to it.

My daughter has been an interesting comparison.  She doesn’t wince or tremble or look like she is in pain for me at all.  Instead, she looks away and continues what she is doing, staying just as happy-go-lucky as always.  Recently, after injecting, my son said,  “Mommy, it hurts me so much every time I see you do that.”  I quickly rushed to his side and said, “But, I’m ok sweetie, it only hurts a little, I’m still happy and smiling and everything is ok.”  Then he explained how he knows it does hurt sometimes, how he has seen the little bruises that sometimes arise, and how he hates that something painful is what keeps me alive.  Such empathy!  Then I was stunned when he said, “Would you please turn around when you are giving your shot so I don’t have to see?”

And I suddenly understood something I hadn’t before.  Some people watch us inject or prick our finger and genuinely feel a tingle through their body thanks to a release of cortisol brought on by the stress of the great load of empathy they feel for us.  Most of these people know we have to do what we do but some people are very sensitive, so much they might appreciate us having more discretion around them because they will feel our pain to some extent.

You might think of someone you don’t particularly like and not really care too much about their reaction.  I get it, but we all desire compassion from others and the only way to really earn that is through reciprocal empathy.  I care about you and you care about me.  My son doesn’t get that stress response anymore because even in the comfort of my own home I turn around or go to a different room.  When we are in close quarters I let him know what I have to do and he appreciates the warning so he can turn away.  Then I say I’m done and both my kids look at me and smile.

I now extend this awareness and courtesy to others wherever I go.  I bet there are less people out there with a fear of needles than those who are quite simply sensitive to another’s suffering.  And who would want to make this sweet little face upset?Christmas-Day-2011-134.jpg

Just to clarify, we people with diabetes should absolutely do what we need to do, when and where we need to do it. However, life should be played by ear and there are easy little ways to spread compassion as we go.  I’m not boldly defiant about my diabetes management in public–i’m calmly adamant that it’s the right thing to do.  When I soften myself up and show empathy towards others, they show it right back. It’s a win-win, what I’m advocating for.

When a Five Year Old Says “I Hate Diabetes”

“I hate diabetes” escaped the lips of my five year old son who doesn’t have that kind of language habit, yet, and who doesn’t really know the meaning of the word “hate”.  Hearing him say those three words set off a chain reaction of memories that started almost 21 years ago to the day when my youngest sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age three.  I remember having trouble going to sleep that night after my dad wearily explained that she had in incurable illness that would involve needles and bleeding (and so much more).  Before I fell asleep I remember whispering out loud, “I hate diabetes.”  Later that same year I wrote in my diary those very words with so much pressure from my pen the words permanently embedded into the next few pages.  Never one to pass up an opportunity for clarity, I dotted my exclamation points with my own 11 year old blood.

Since that year I have probably uttered “I hate diabetes” more than a million times-an estimate I don’t think is exaggerated.  I haven’t said or thought it much in the last few years because I want my mind filled with positive thoughts and my children to start life with a mental blank slate.  I want them to figure out how they feel about things versus feeling what I feel and thus carrying around a detrimental amount of my baggage.  It has served me well to remove those three words from my vocabulary.  I am much more equipped, emotionally speaking, to take care of myself.  And I do take care of myself.

Today, I was informing my children that tomorrow I will go to the eye doctor for a short visit.  My daughter said, “Ok, mom” while my son, seemingly alarmed, said, “Why? What’s wrong?”  I sat down and looked him in the eyes, which were staring at me intensely, “Well, nothing is wrong, but because I have diabetes I should go to the doctor each year to have a check-up”.

“But why does your diabetes mean you need a check up?” he continued.

“Because diabetes can hurt the body’s cells over time and our eyes are particularly sensitive.” I calmly explained.

My daughter jumped in saying, “So diabetes can hurt your eyes and other parts of your body because our whole body is a bunch of cells, right?”

“Yes.  And I’ve had diabetes for 20 years so it’s a good idea for me to be extra careful and see doctors every year to make sure my body is working like it should.”

My daughter smiled, gave me a thumbs up, and said confidently, “Sounds good, mom!”

My admittedly skeptical son looked down and said, “Well I hate it.”  He looked up at me with his brown eyes and in the most deliberate manor said, “I hate diabetes.”

I was stunned.

For a second I thought about saying something soothing and typical of a parent.  But all that came out was, “I do, too.”

And that was it.  He went back to eating his dinner.  I began my memory roller coaster and wondered how my child could know enough to say he hated something that he has always seen me have. Did I appear weak or sick to him?  Did I give him cause for worry? What gave it away?  Was he just putting the logic of my explanation together?

So many questions flooded me until I was tired of thinking.  All I’m sure of is I will do whatever it takes to make sure my diabetes doesn’t affect them more than it has to.  When it slows me down, makes me feel incompetent and a complete fool for having had children, I need to make sure I kick those thoughts to the curb.  So that my kids don’t catch those thoughts.  So that I don’t become those thoughts.  Because when a five year old says “I hate diabetes” one sits up and pays attention.  I don’t want my children tethered to my worries.  Or can this legitimately be their worry, too?  I’d rather it not be.  Especially not at five.  And not while I’m alright and it’s technically jumping the gun.

That’s what I will tell him tonight before he and his sister go to sleep.  That I’m alright and there is no need to worry.  I will make it a point to hear my own words.

 

Diabetes in the Morning

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I am in the middle of a fantastic dream.  I’m a few years younger (!!!) and so is my husband (!!!) and we aren’t married or with children yet (!!!)  We are at his parent’s house after a date night, just relaxing and talking.  Only his parents are different people entirely (!!!) and the only other difference is their house has an enormous library (!!!)  Alex and I are singing along to an Elton John tune (geez, I can’t even dream the dorkiness out of us) when suddenly, from some very tiny corner of my consciousness, a little voice screams “wake up, you’re low! LOW!”

My dream must have been one of those lucid ones because in the dream I suddenly tell Alex I need to go home.  Then my dream vanishes and I find myself shaky and in bed.  Aw man, I didn’t get to check out any of those books…  I start nudging Alex next to me, “Hey, I’m low…Alex…Alex…I’m low!”  He doesn’t wake up.  I now tap forcefully when I hear a grumble that definitely doesn’t belong to Alex.  I open my eyes.  Alex has gone to work and my daughter is in bed with me.  Her eyes are closed but she wags an authoritative pointer finger in the air and says (in third person, no less)  “No, no Henri!  Aurora sleeping…”  and then she drifts off completely again.  “I’m so sorry sweetie pie!” I whisper, and bring myself to get out of bed and search for my glucose tablets, which apparently, I’ve hidden from my kids as well as myself.

I finally find them and drop back into bed.  I wake up 10 minutes later to a little boy chewing on some glucose tablets on the edge of my bed.  “No, no Henri!”  says Aurora, wagging her finger at her brother.

Three

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My kid’s turned three the other day.  We spent the day watching 9 little kids play together in celebration.  They all dealt with obstacles as those obstacles presented themselves (how do I reach that blackberry on the blackberry tree?)  They helped each other.  They weren’t afraid to tell the truth.  Or to cry.  Or laugh.  And when they fell down they just jumped back up and continued on their way.

If we manage our diabetes in the same spirit with which a child lives, I think we can do pretty well.

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The kids planted a tree with dad for their birthday.

A word on my children in case they read this one day.  Aurora is a sensitive and cheerful child.  She likes to act.  In fact, the world is her stage, almost all the time.  She can play alone for hours.  She loves to dance and sing and is very enthusiastic and kind towards others.  She is a bit of a drama queen like me, which entertains me to no end.  She loves being outdoors and discovered that she loves being barefoot outside.  So much so that I now struggle to get her to wear shoes.  Oh, and she’s very stubborn.  But I’m kind of glad about that.  Her favorite food is anything starchy or sweet (ugh).

Henri is really extroverted and friendly.  He is excitable and high energy.  When he stops moving he falls asleep.  He loves to inspect everything new that presents itself, whether that be a bug, a piece of technology, a toy, or a blade of grass.  He can be a handful but I have discovered that if he’s had his fill of social endeavor, he’s calm and happy.  If not, well, look out, that’s all I gotta say.  With all his moving about he is a surprisingly good cuddle bug and is very affectionate and loving.  He is also very decisive and bossy.  He’ll only eat chicken if there are bones attached.

The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes also turns Three!

I had began blogging with one goal in mind: to tell others that going from lowest of low to happy and healthy was possible because that’s my story.  But this blogging thing has turned into a vehicle for being a diabetes advocate and for discovering opportunities for talking to more people about our diabetes than I ever imagined.  My favorite thing is teamwork and camaraderie and working on making a real difference.  Blogging has opened up a world where these things are all possible-much more so than if I had just done what I set out to do initially.

So here’s to going with the flow and letting hard work and one’s heart lead the way.  Fulfillment doesn’t escape us that way.  I foresee blogging forever so watch out!

XOXO

ps:  If you want to guest post, I don’t care who you are, you’re welcome to (provided you’re real).  Contact me at sysy@thegirlsguidetodiabetes.com

Leashes Aren’t Only for Dogs

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Aurora took this picture of “daddy chasing brother”

Alex is going to be away a few weeks working out of state which is leaving me going from cliff hanging to free falling.  Or so it feels.

It’s not just that I’m doing more by myself but also, Alex and I are used to doing everything together so it’s hard to have him away.  And of course, there is the issue of having twin toddlers and how they are at an age where it’s much easier to have a one adult per child ratio happening.

Just the other day at the grocery store, Henri took off running as I was paying.  I left Aurora by the cart and took off sprinting after him.  Henri is the fastest little boy I’ve ever seen and of course, he’s mine.  Just as he was about to pass the last set of doors before getting to the street, an elderly man saw him and his lunatic mom (aka-me) a ways behind him, screaming “STOP Henriiii!”  The man shuffled his feet to the left and then to the right repeatedly while bent over with arms spread to the sides to prevent Henri from getting past.  The man looked exactly like a center on the basketball court.  Henri tried one last attempt through the man’s legs as the stranger whom we’ll call “light on his feet Bob” snatched him up and handed him to me.

I was so embarrassed I apologized and thanked “Bob” and he said while grinning, “Nah, honey, now you see why they say it takes a village?”  A village of kind, nimble footed souls, yes.  Then off I went in search of Aurora who had picked up a few bags of M&M’s, clutching them close to her chocolate loving heart.  It’s funny, she’s never had M&M’s before, doesn’t see TV commercials, and yet her instincts tell her they’re good.

So that’s why we don’t go out often enough.  Let me ask you all a desperate and serious question.  Would it be awful to use those …child leashes-I mean restraints?  I keep cringing at the thought of using them but I cringe even more to think of one of my kids meeting a car while on the run.  They do it a lot.  They think it’s funny to see me freak out.  Did you see one of the latest Modern Family episodes where Cam and Mitchell use one for their daughter while at Disneyland?  Did you see the way the family reacted?  Like it was inappropriate and ridiculous looking?  Like they were treating her like an untrained puppy?  WELL.  That’s what I’m talking about.  And they were two adults for one child.

My mom had five kids and she says that she has learned that twins are uniquely difficult (not more, just uniquely) because of how they’re at the same developmental stage.  And I think that’s what is tough for me.  I can’t go anywhere safely or without tons of stress but almost everyone imagines I should be able to (as I imagined I’d be able to before actually experiencing this wonderful madness).  It’s not that I feel judged.  I just don’t feel quite understood.  Even some of my siblings don’t see what’s so challenging about it.  And then there’s the third baby I have to take care of-my diabetes.  The combination makes me feel like I’m risking the kid’s safety too often and my health, too.

That’s it.  I’m ordering child restraints right away.  Thanks for listening.  And next time we all see a kid-on-a-leash, let’s think about how the parent behind the child is simply scared that their little runaway will run away and get abducted or struck by a car.  Or injure a helpful stranger trying to stop them.

Confessions From a Stay-At-Home Mom

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Yes, that’s my son wearing his sister’s hair bow.

 

Lately I’ve had some breakthroughs in honesty with myself (sounds funny and sad all at once doesn’t it?)  I’ve come to an interesting conclusion…

During my twin pregnancy I imagined being the kind of mom that cooks organic food, takes the kids out to the park and on play dates, reads books and plays games and sings songs all day, and enjoys it all thoroughly.

HA.

I’ve slowly but surely arrived at the understanding with myself that I suck as a stay at home mom.  There.  I said it.  Just to catch a break I let my kids color on the walls (which takes HOURS of scrubbing with baking soda and vinegar to remove).  I allow them to leap over the high end of the couch (yeah, kinda dangerous-but they’re so skillful!).  And sometimes they eat pop tarts for breakfast (which leads me to deal with the subsequent sugar overload and extremely agitated behavior).  Now don’t get me wrong.  I know that’s not that bad.  Overall, my kids eat healthy and get treated really well.

When I say I suck as a stay at home mom, what I mean is I don’t like it (I can’t believe I just said that).

I do like being in my robe all morning if I so please.  I like knowing how my kids are doing at all times of the day.  I like seeing the fun and funny and crazy things they do.  I know I’m fortunate to be able to stay home with them.  But, I feel like I lose my mind.  Even when I was a kid, I preferred to hang around adults.  Now that I am one, this is all too true for me.  One never gets used to diapers, in my case.  I can only sing but so many kid songs during the day before I feel my brain wanting to explode.  And when my kids scream in unison, I want to run down the street to the liquor store.

My anxiousness to work in my field of passion, health and nutrition for people with diabetes, as a health coach, has me raring to go like a hungry bull or race horse.  I am torn between wanting so badly to dedicate time on this and yet I am full of guilt because I know my kids deserve better.  They deserve my undivided attention.  I’d hire a nanny but I can’t afford one or daycare.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do until they were born but that’s precisely when I got really busy so I haven’t been able to dedicate time to my newfound “thing”.  It’s pretty frustrating, as wonderful a blessing as they are.

I will say that my kids do get the best of me.  My blog and other online work gets my scraps, late at night or during naptime.  It’s just that the best of me is feeling so forced?  I can totally understand women who have their kids and return to work a few months later.  We are not all the same personality type and cannot possibly all do the same parenting styles.  The thing is, since I can’t get my kids another care taker, it is my responsibility to not work 10 other jobs while parenting them all day.  I can’t burn out and I can’t let my health slip.  And if I don’t give them 100%, problems will arise that could have been prevented.

So I resolve to hold back a little on the blog.  Maybe write once a week?  One quality post is better than three hurried ones, I’m sure.  I think it’s great I’m feeling really motivated for my work (first time EVER!).  But, I’m trying to remember there is a time for everything.  I checked my blood sugar 20 times a day to make them, surely I can parent them the way I feel is best even though it’s not my favorite thing?  (Kids, if you read this one day, YOU are both my favorite things but I am no Mary Poppins)

Does anyone else feel torn, selfish, or anxious about life as a mom?  I think we need to talk about this more openly.  I don’t want to be ashamed for feeling torn between what I need to do and what I want to do.  It does help to get this all out.

Closing the Kitchen

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Recently, my kids have gone from eating their brown rice and veggies, quinoa with garlic and ginger, and organic poultry, fish, and meats to wanting only fruit and dairy and grains.  They’d probably want coke all the time except that stuff has never passed their lips so they don’t know what they are missing.  And that’s why they prefer the starchier, sweeter stuff.  They’ve had it and they’re not naïve anymore to the big world of junk food.  I should have kept them in the dark…

Anyway, my only hope is to have them be hungry enough at meal time so that they’ll eat what I have to offer.  I don’t plan on being cruel and force feeding them what they don’t like.  But I need them not to eat processed foods and I want to avoid scenarios where they tire me out to the point of desperately feeding them crappy sugar laden breakfast cereal “Fine, you win!  Just stop the whining!” (yes, it’s happened).

I’m going to close the kitchen.  I grew up hearing that children require snacks in between meals because they’re growing and they get hungry more often.  But, I have been learning more and more about nutrition from experts and many of them hold the opinion that we should be hungry before meals and we shouldn’t snack all doggone day-and this includes children.  And while I don’t think snacking is a sin, I do think that for me and my kids it’s become an inconvenient appetite destroyer.

I try to make every meal and not pull it out of a box.  I also eat different foods than my kids.  And my husband eats different foods from me and the kids.  So by the time dinner rolls around I’ve made seven different meals and cut up fruit or vegetables or cheese for snacks and it just hit me that I practically live in the kitchen.  Not cool.  I grew up hearing the whole “pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen” saying and swore I’d NEVER spend too much time in the kitchen.  In fact, when I was pregnant, I looked down to find myself barefoot in the kitchen, freaked out, and quickly got some shoes on my swollen feet.  You can say feminism has scarred me.  Whatever.  Point is, I hate looking at food all day you know?  It says, “eat me!” and so all day I’m fighting the temptation to eat the kid’s whole wheat pasta or my husband’s rice and beans.  Or I’m sneaking in a bite of food here and there and realizing that one bite of food is enough to throw blood sugars and weight loss efforts.  It’s exhausting.

So I’m closing the kitchen.  I’m going to make sure the kids eat a good breakfast and then I’ll have my grapefruit or avocado or whatever I’m having and then kitchen closed.  It will reopen for lunch and then it will close.  It will reopen for dinner and then it will close.  My kids are used to a bottle of milk or coconut milk or almond milk before bed.  I’ll leave them that luxury.  But snacks in between meals?  Nope.  I need them hungry enough to eat what I know is best for them to eat.  I mean who’s in charge here?  Me or them?

Ok, I’ve adequately pep talked myself.  Let’s do this!

(I’ll keep you posted on our progress…or lack thereof :)

Do any of you stick to three meals and no snacks during the day?  If so, how does it work for you?

DSMA Blog Carnival January 2012

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I’m barely squeezing in DSMA’s Blog Carnival entry for this month which asks the question:

What is the one thing you are looking forward to this year?

My formal answer is…my health coaching business!  It fits into my life and personality perfectly.  And though I love being with my kids, I do think I’m one of those moms that needs a part time thing to stay sane.  Not to mention, the way the economy is these days…I can totally get why both parents often work to make ends meet.  We are no different.

Now for my secret, locked away answer. My kids will be turning three in June and I look forward to them talking.  By now, yes, they are technically behind.  But, luckily, that’s the only set back that can be observed AND…I feel like it’s right around the corner.  My son talks all the time only you really can’t make out much of what he says.  It’s time for him to stop using “twin gibberish” or “twinspeak” and start using English or Spanish.  He knows both.  Son, just pick one.  I beg you.

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My daughter on the other hand doesn’t say much.  She likes to make a lot of noises.  She can imitate any noise (or action for that matter, she could be a very talented mime).  She can do any animal sound, even an elephant (an advanced one, in my opinion) and the other day I heard her repeating her leaptop’s alphabet sounds.  She can pronounce the sound for every letter in the alphabet.  I’ve heard her say well over 50 words by now.  But she doesn’t like repeating them.  It’s like she doesn’t want to talk, yet.  Weird, because mom is such a blabbermouth and clearly, it’s so much fun.  Anyway, I think she has a pretty wild sense of  humor.  Yesterday for example, Alex encouraged her to say “mama” instead of “papa” when calling out to me.  She can say “mama” and she does say it, but she thinks it’s funny to say “papa” because I’m like, “No! I’m mama!”  We asked her to say “mama” quite a bit and you know what she did?  She spent the rest of the evening calling me “Sysy”, instead.  You see what silliness I’m dealing with here?

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Anyway, the reason that this is something I’m really looking forward to is not just because it’s convenient and fun to have them talk but mostly because deep…deep down I sometimes wonder if my kids don’t talk yet because of my having diabetes or not breast feeding them long enough or not feeding them the right stuff or just doing something wrong.  I usually understand that this happens to plenty of kids and I know it’s common in twins, but on certain days, I find myself scared that somehow I’ve ruined them.  Perhaps with toddler TV shows or by somehow being an inadequate mom.

It’s often an asset to be the type that analyzes situations to death but when it comes to parenting I think it drives a person nuts.  Surprisingly, it’s been helpful to write this post out.  It has helped me realize I just want to focus on making the most of this year by doing things with them like finger painting, howling at the moon, running in the grandparent’s yard, playing with cousins, dancing on the balcony when it rains, and hopefully, when they are ready, having long conversations…about anything.

Wordless Wednesday

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Ok so my version of Wordless Wednesdays isn’t so wordless.  But it’s shorter than the usual post.

I just read an article in last month’s National Geographic about Teenage Brains.  By using modern technology they’ve discovered that the teenage brain is not fully formed and this serves as an explanation to the often bewildering and parent maddening behavior.

What does this have to do with diabetes?  Well, the article states the brain’s development is completed in the mid-20s and the fact that before this the brain is incomplete and this has a direct impact on decision making skills.

How many of us struggled most with our diabetes during our teenage years and early 20s?  I did.  For those of us who grew up with diabetes, I think we owe ourselves forgiveness.  Trying to survive, day to day, with such a complicated and relentless disease without even having the proper mental maturity to do so 100% of the time?  That’s actually amazing.  For those of you with children with diabetes, this article really is a great read.  I definitely needed my parents to help me with my diabetes when I was a teenager and to stay connected and to catch my sneaky ways and notice when I was taking a crazy risk and I don’t think I’m the only one.  (And I was a kid everyone thought was responsible and “together”)

This may not be the most uplifting of news but the article puts a very positive spin on it and helps us appreciate all the wonderful things about young people and gives a few tips on how to help.

September DSMA Blog Carnival Entry

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To read more entries in this blog carnival, click here.

If I didn’t laugh about life with diabetes and twins, then I would be like a chicken with her head cut off.

Seriously!  I grew up surrounded by four younger siblings.  So I’m used to dodging toys on the floor, building tents out of blankets, child versions of recipes that for some reason include grass, “cologne” made of pine needles, my stuff “magically” disappearing, the house rarely quiet, and of course, the sense that in my own home, I could never be alone.  But, having siblings and having kids that rely on me are two VERY different things.

Today, I step over the Legos to prepare breakfast for the kids as they were carrying out a tug of war with a blanket.  Eventually one let go and the other is sent flying into the wall.  That was Henri and he is what I like to call compact and strappy because he falls, flips, rolls, and nothing ever seems to slow him down.  He bounces really well.  Henri doesn’t like being thrown into the wall and takes off running and in a move that would impress any NFL player, he soars through the air to tackle his sister, his little arms ready to get around her.  Really?  We’re tackling now?  Not in my house!  I intercept this and put my arms around Henri until he stops squirming and the aggression dissipates.  Aurora looks at him as if to say, “haha, mommy stopped you!” and then she prances along her way, as usual.

I’m explaining to Henri that we don’t tackle one another when Aurora happily pops out of the kitchen with the sharp cooking shears.  She points them forward while closing and opening them and smiling.  It almost looks like a scene from a horror movie.  I run and intercept that disaster and hide the shears out of reach.  I didn’t know they could reach those drawers.  I am suddenly well aware of all the “weapons”  the kitchen is equipped with.

I look over at the kids to find them side by side with their arms around each other, smiling.  “Awww you guys that’s more like it!”  Then I look over on the floor and see a few of my favorite books from the bookcase, with shreds of paper all around.  “Ughhh”.  Henri jumps into action and helps me pick up the pieces of paper.  I wonder if this may be a sign of guilt…  “Thank you, son”.  Aurora surprises me and picks a few pieces up, too but then, while spinning around, throws them up into the air and laughs.   I go on about how we treat books carefully and gently when I notice Henri grabbing the large wooden table top cover that belongs to their play table and resting it against the couch.  Then he slides down.  And guess who wants to join him?  Only, their combined weight of over 60 pounds is too much for this table top so I try to take it away before it snaps.  This results in me having a child wrapped around each one of my legs in protest.

Then I remember how I gave insulin for breakfast 20 minutes ago.  This is when I feel a low coming on.  This is when I laugh to myself as I walk like a lead footed zombie while dragging two heavy toddlers over to the kitchen where I grab some glucose tablets.  A little later the house is quiet and they’re playing with Legos.  I laugh again because this peaceful moment and my blood sugar holding steady at 98 will probably last all of five more minutes.

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