Tag Archives: 12 year old

Kids and love

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Having kids changes the way you look at love. And that’s a good thing.

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Before I had my daughter, I often times felt less than, not good enough and unworthy of love. Since she’s been in my life, I know now those were lies I told myself, and believed, because it was the easy thing to do. It’s hard to own up to mistakes made and live with the consequences. Even now, when the darkness threatens to overwhelm me, my daughter stands at the end of that tunnel of despair and self-loathing, little arms outstretched, showing me the only way out is through love. I used to think it was the love I have for her that would pull me back from the brink. But it wasn’t that at all. It was, and is, the love she has for me. Even when I’m not a very lovable person and might have been too hard on her, she keeps on loving me.

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Watching how she loves, with complete abandon and her whole heart, always amazes me and makes me realize how much I still have left to learn about love. Whether it’s her best friend, an animal that crosses her path, the way the waves chase her on the beach, or the love of her own laughter, she’s constantly reminding me what pure love is.

And since I’m sure we could all use a little reminder, let’s take a closer look at love through the eyes of a 12 year old.

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Love is playing your viola with your bedroom window open, making the neighbor lady across the street so very happy that she can hear you, as it relaxes her.

Love is smiling at every baby you see, because they are so brand new to this big, sometimes scary, world and babies need to know not everyone is annoyed if they’re crying.

Love is blowing the biggest bubble you can with bubble gum and not minding if some of it gets stuck to your face or in your hair.

Love is dealing¬†with your step-dads’ crankiness by climbing into his lap to just “be” with him, even though he’s not a super touchy-feely-warm-cuddly person, to let him feel your love without saying a word, and rubbing his head because it’s soft and fuzzy.

Love is laughing so hard your stomach hurts but then laughing some more just for good measure.

Love is about being patient with your Mimi (grandma) when she’s asked you the same question a million times but doesn’t realize she’s done so.

Love is doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you and you couldn’t care less because it’s not why you did it in the first place.

Love is climbing the stairs to get one more thing your mom forgot to ask you to bring down the last time you were upstairs and not getting upset about it.

Love is standing up for others when they are being picked on for no reason even if it makes you a target too.

Love is being able to go with the flow and realizing things don’t always turn out how you thought, but always how they’re meant to.

Sometimes, love is just being in the same room with your mom, who is desperately trying to hold it all together and not let you see her cry, but hugging her and telling her to just let it all out, without needing to know why she is so sad.

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Love is finding joy in the littlest of things like when you see the first fuzzy caterpillar of the season and you name him Bob.

Love is being thankful for all you have and realizing how truly blessed you are to live the life you lead.

Love is being responsible enough to get yourself up, pack your own lunch, get ready for school, make your mom her morning cup of coffee complete with an “I love you” note and make it to the bus stop on time, all while letting your normally awake-at-the-crack-of-dawn parents sleep in because they forgot to set their alarm.

Love is doing what’s right even if no one is looking.

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So yes,¬†I still have so much to learn. But at least I’ll be learning from a pro! And she’ll be holding my hand every step of the way.

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The Medicine Monster

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Definition of a Medicine Monster: a normally happy and docile child turned into someone you don’t recognize, complete with crazy eyes, claws and fangs, because they are required to take medicine.

Have any of y’all ever experienced a Medicine Monster?

I have. Several times. I’m amazed I’ve lived to tell the tale.

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Boo came home from school yesterday feeling crappy. No fever, thank God, but the stuffy nose, itchy eyes, body aches, cough and sore throat were all in attendance.

When it came time for bed, we tried to get her to take a NyQuil liquid gel. Being that she just turned 12, and has now been able to take an Aleve tablet for several months, I had hoped the Medicine Monster might have been laid to rest. I was wrong. She claimed that because she could only breathe through her mouth, she didn’t think she was gonna be able to swallow it (here come the claws). And it was too big, she said (her eyes are getting that crazy look). I told her to try anyway. Into the bathroom she goes, holds the liquid gel and a glass of water for a few minutes, psyching herself out. She puts the pill in her mouth and, after a count-to-3 countdown (almost like the countdown timer on a bomb), tries to swallow it. And then the panic ensues (the fangs have come out). She claims it got stuck in her throat and she had to make herself throw up because she couldn’t breathe. I was a little frustrated with her, but I tried hard not to show it. She ended up taking children’s cold and cough syrup, which again induced a countdown, and the choking and the spitting after she had swallowed it down to attempt to get the grape flavor out of her mouth. And finally, the Medicine Monster started to recede into the darkness of the night.

Why is giving a child medicine so difficult? I don’t understand. Everybody knows medicine tastes like ass, but FEELING like ass is WORSE, therefore, you take the medicine. And yes, I understand she’s only 12. But it doesn’t stop my frustrations.

And today was even worse than last night!

We went to the store to get some medicine. I was going to buy the DayQuil/NyQuil tablets, but she insisted she wouldn’t be able swallow them. So I bought the DayQuil/NyQuil liquid. She was gonna hate the hell out of it, but I assumed she’d get through it like she had with the children’s liquid medicine. We made our way out to the car and I poured her a dose of the medication. I also opened the bottle of water I knew she was going to need for the after experience.

Once she smelt the medicine, the Medicine Monster was there, in full effect. She psyched herself out, did her countdown and took a teeny sip, which she threatened to spit out, but finally swallowed. The shudders of disgust wracked her tiny body. And I was sitting there telling her if she just did it as fast as possible, it would be over and then she could drink all the water she wanted and even spit outside the car a few times. She took another sip….and promptly spewed the medicine all over herself and the interior of my car. In the very first parking space of the store, closest to the door. Oh, did I mention the entire outfit she chose to wear today was white? And that she made herself throw up in her lap??

The Medicine Monster was about to meet the Mommy Monster.

I got out of the car, grabbed the box of newly purchased Kleenex and told her to get out of the car if she was gonna keep acting crazy. I tried wiping up the seat the best that I could, but she was gonna be sitting in some of her own grossness on the ride home. I took her shirt and jacket (she was wearing another shirt underneath all that) and put them in one of the reusable grocery bags, along with all the nasty tissues and wet wipes from our now sticky DayQuil and slimy puke covered hands.

My momma raised me to not say anything at all if you didn’t have anything nice to say, and I replayed that like a mantra in my head all the way home.

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I stain treated her now bright orange shirt and pants and went back outside to clean the puke smell out of my car while she changed her clothes. She tried to say she was sorry for what had happened and started making her normal excuses: the taste was awful, it was too thick, she was afraid she was gonna choke, she couldn’t breathe, etc. I’ve heard them all a million times over the years. I took a deep breath and tried to explain to her that the time for the Medicine Monster had run out. It was time for her to woman up. She needed to take any and all medication she was told to take because it was going to make her feel better. I was honest with her and told her that no one likes taking medicine. It tastes like crap and no one likes the taste of it. But as adults, we do what we need to do and get on with our lives.

That’s when the Mom Guilt Monster made her debut. <sigh>

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I know I might have been a little too hard on her, but at the same time, enough was enough. So we went BACK to the store and got the DayQuil/NyQuil tablets. And I broke the DayQuil tablets in half. And she took them. With no complaints. Or forced vomiting.

She didn’t cheer at her game today. She didn’t attend her best friends’ birthday party/sleepover. We dropped off her best friends’ gift and returned home, to attempt eating something and take a nap.

She just took her second dose (NyQuil caplets) with no problems.

And tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully with no Medicine Monster, Mommy Monster or Mom Guilt Monster in sight.