The Weighting Game

At least three times a day, my daughter and I play a game that isn’t fun for either of us. 

The first round, which begins at about six thirty a.m. on weekdays and eight a.m. on weekends, plays like a Pokemon or Bakugan battle arena: 1) Mom rolls the dice to find out what condition Jess will be in when she awakes  2) Mom plays the yellow “bright and cheery good morning” card while she offers a bottle full of 250 calories of nutritional goodness 3) Jessica then selects a red card to counteract Mom’s sugary sweet attack – these cards provide a selection of the following responses – a/ vehemently refuse the bottle and kick mom in the gut,  b/shove the bottle away and smack mom on the arm,  c/accept the bottle and only drink half  4) After playing her card, Jessica rolls the dice to ascertain what Mom’s disposition will be when she responds to her counter attack card.  This round continues on an endless cycle until either Jessica’s bus arrives or an episode of iCarly comes on.

Round 2, which only occurs on weekends or days-off around noon, is strictly verbal and played like a game of Outburst.  Mom always starts first:

“Jessica, what would you like for lunch?”

“Nothing.”

“You have to eat something.  How about a ham sandwich and some applesauce?”

“No.” (Mom then makes a ham sandwich with ten pieces of ham, two slices of cheese and gobs of mayo, and mixes a tbsp of Duocal, a calorie supplement, into a cup of applesauce, and mixes another tbsp of Duocal into a cup of strawberry milk….totaling a meal of approx 850 calories.  Mom sets meal on table in front of Jessica.)

Jessica: “I’m not hungry.”

Mom: “Eat your lunch.  Do you need help?”

Jessica: “No!  I don’t want it!  I want chips.”

Mom: “You can eat chips after you take a bite.”  (Jess takes a bite that would starve an ant.  Mom gives her a potato chip.  Jess takes one hour to eat one chip.  Mom gets Jess to eat a few more bites of sandwich and one bite of applesauce.)  Gameplay continues until Jessica finally eats at least 100 calories.

Round 3 includes the whole family and is played at, you guessed it, dinner time.  This round is a combination of the two previous gameplays with the additional use of the bright, neon, fire engine red card called, “*The Feeding Tube.”  This card, which can be played by all family members excluding Jessica is threatened in the following way: “Jessica, if you don’t eat this, we will have to put you on the feeding tube.”

*Round 4: The Feeding Tube card must be played if the previous three rounds have been unsuccessful.  This game involves the entire family and is played like “Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots.”  Dad holds Jessica.  Brother holds Jessica’s cup of water with a straw.  Mom attempts to place feeding tube through Jessica’s nose and down her throat into her stomach.  Jessica screams and flails her arms around.

If Round 4 is unsuccessful, which lately has been the case, most likely because Jessica’s back is too twisted to allow the tube to be placed properly, then the entire game must be played again the next day….and the day after that…and the day after that…until my sweet, amazingly adorable 11-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy, supravulvular pulmonary stenosis, severe scoliosis and a heady case of failure-to-thrive, finally wins this arduous, disheartening, energy-zapping, life-sucking Weighting Game.

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What am I doing awake

Lately, my eyes have been popping open about 3:30 a.m.  Could be from my husband’s snoring (which will be another blog I’m sure everyone will be anxious to read), or pre-menopause (I’m learning to blame all ridiculous behavior on hormones).  Naturally, my brain doesn’t focus on all the wonderful things going on in my life and would rather fixate on issues that I can’t do anything about at 3:30 in the morning!  A good Christian would probably pray the worries away (Jesus doesn’t like us to worry).  Instead, I’m choosing to share the misery (because it loves company, right?)

We adopted a dog named, Becca, a few months ago.  She’s naughty. 

She’s also stinkin’ cute, lots of fun and a very fast runner (I’m counting on her to up my PR).  She’s a southern dog, who hails from Kentucky.  Part lab and part feist, a breed that LOVES to chase squirrels.  The squirrels are driving her nuts right now with all their pre-winter activities (sorry for the bad pun).  (Have you noticed I use a lot of parentheses when I write in the wee hours of the morning?  How annoying is that?!)  So what am I doing sitting up worrying about my dog in the middle of the night while she sleeps peacefully curled up on the sofa?  I’m trying to figure out what to do about her FLEAS, Aaarrrghhhhhh!

Let me preface this dilemma with a discourse questioning WHY bugs were created!?!?:

Ok, I know they’re arachnids and technically in a class by themselves, but Why Spiders?!  I know they eat other bugs, and I liked Charlotte’s Web and all, but they creep me out, and they bite you, and some are poisonous.  I have a long history of disliking spiders starting with bugging (another bad pun, sorry) my parents in the middle of the night to get rid of the big hairy critter staring at me from my pepto-pink bedroom wall.  I did try to face my fear of them by ordering a tarantula when I worked at a pet shop.  Ends up that I was allergic to it and broke out in a rash even when I held it with a rubber glove – Ha!  Since ticks are also arachnids, I have to wonder about their existence.  They suck your blood and spread disease.  Does anything eat ticks?  I have to question the food chain theory.

Head lice!!  What the?!?!?  No, they’re not dangerous.  But they’re itchy and annoying.  And they keep your kids out of school.  And make you cut everyone’s hair and hate mayonnaise.  My poor daughter got them one year right before school started.  She missed her first two weeks of school because the nurse kept finding nits even after we treated her twice, combed through her hair every day, cut it short and even got a note from the doctor stating that she was in the clear.  I can’t blame Easter Seals for being too careful because they do have medically compromised kids to worry about (My daughter has cerebral palsy and used to go there.  She now attends a public elementary school.)  I can, however, blame the Chuck E. Cheese ball pit for getting them in the first place.

Fleas!?!?!  They are making our poor dog miserable.  And we’ve tried everything.  I comb through her every day, which is no easy task because her fur is bristly and very short.  I’ve given her showers, which she hates – I’ve never known a dog to hate water so much.  Tried the natural method of eucalyptus leaves and organic herbal spray etc.  We only have two rugs which I vacuum every day and sprinkled with Borax.  Tried Frontline Plus several times.  Thinking about trying Advantage.  Unfortunately, it looks like we’re also going to have to hire an exterminator to bomb the place.  These stupid little bugs are getting way too expensive!

I’m open to any suggestions…

Of course, now I’m tired.  And it’s time to get up.