September 11, 2009 by Rieshy

Think of all the words and phrases you say each and every day.  What percentage are repeated constantly?  How many could you simply keep written on cards to hold up at the inevitable appropriate moment?   I can think of many things I find myself repeating constantly.  Some positive, some not.  Things like:

I'm tired.
Coffee's ready.
Luke, I woke you up 20 minutes ago, get up Now.
Who spilled ice on the kitchen floor?
Tipton Children, load-up.
Yes, I'll read you a book.
You have to eat some of everything.
Come inside.
Go outside.
If you don't clean your room my head will explode, and that would make your room that much grosser.
I love you.

The sudden introduction into our family of chronic illness has changed many things, one of them being my "phrase bank" of repetitive sentences.  Our sons'  illnesses have introduced new and often bizarre phrases I never before imagined coming out of my mouth.  Sometimes I hear the things I say and it makes me laugh to think how I must sound to innocent bystanders.  Here's a few, with translations in italics:
"Come here I want to take your blood" 
Well, with hypoglycemia, that one is obvious. It's most effective with a Vampirish accent.

"You can't play until you've eaten your whole brownie." 
We bake medicine into brownies for portability on errand days. 

"Eat your Jello or I'll spank you."  
O.K., not my best mothering moment.   I'm not sure its replacement, "If you won't eat you will have to go to the hospital and get poked." is much better. Still working on expressing urgency in an age-appropriate manner.

"You will Not throw-up!"  
Emphasis is mind over matter.  Vomiting can precipitate a metabolic crisis.

"That potty is oval, but it won't hurt you."   
After a botched catheterization Jack decided that since the hospital had oval toilets, oval toilets were what made him hurt, therefore, all oval toilets- anywhere, are forever suspect.  

 My family is in a good groove dealing with the littles' medical conditions.  We haven't had any new phrases to incorporate for a while. Yet, last night, sitting at supper, a sentence came out of my mouth that surprised me.  Jack was having a "zone out".
  "Jack... (no response), Jack...,  Jack... (still no response),  Jack- what are you doing?" I asked.  
He snapped out, looked at me, and answered, "Nothing," perplexed at my urgency because he only heard me the last time.   
I snapped back, "Well, don't do Nothing. It's weird."

Life and language are not static.  Family phrases come and go and change with circumstances.  I'm sure I would find the "family phrase cards" of my neighbors just as strange as they might find ours.  I think part of good mothering is being the resident editor of oft repeated sentences.  As long as the greater balance of my "family phrase cards" are funny or loving we are probably doing just fine.


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Betsy said...

This post really hits home with me; I bet plenty of what I tell my children sounds weird to people.

Every time we go to the park I have a feeling that my neighbors think I am a crazy overprotective mom. While they relax and chat I am constantly watching my children, shoving calories and water down them, and asking them if they are okay. I want to tell the other moms that really, I am not a lunatic. I think that since my children look healthy people have a hard time understanding that there truly is a problem.

I use the you will not vomit statement a lot as one of my kids is quick to vomit whenever he does not feel well. I can now try to reason with him that keeping his food down is better than a possible trip to the hospital. I think often he is overtired or sick and can't process the food well.

I am still trying to find a way to get the cornstarch down. Applesauce - no go, juice - no go, smoothie - no go, and they won't touch yogurt with a ten foot pole. I am going to have to get more creative.

Rieshy said...

Have you tried pudding or chocolate milk? I hope you find a solution for the cornstarch. That's a tricky one.

I know what you mean about the park! I try to remind myself that it's a blessing that Jack and Sam appear so healthy.

Betsy said...

I haven't tried either. Our doc told us to try to give it with something that does not have too much sugar, but I am sure he would rather I get it down with sugar than not at all. Thanks!

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