>Fair warning, dear readers, I’m going to use the word poop…a lot.
Emily, my baby, turns four in just a few short days. As I review my favorite memories of her in my mind, I wonder where today’s version of Emily comes from–hands on hips, slightly curly strawberry blond hair sticking out wildly, blue eyes flashing, taking my name in vain…
(This certainly can’t come from my side of the family!) Of course, her older brother and sister ignore her, much like they ignore the real Mama, but such is the life of the youngest child and her mother. At least she sounds threatening, so there’s time, there’s time.
Emily has almost too much personality to be allowed. Impish, active, and sparkly, she can make me scream and laugh at the same time. Just now, I was interrupted in the writing of this when Emily came up to me and cocked her leg. Pointing at her bottom, she announced, “I stink. I pooped.” I sighed, grabbed the wipes and a clean diaper. As always, I begin this ritual by saying, “Poop goes in the potty…” To which Emily responds as always, “Not in the diaper.” Today she added, “You mad Mom?” I said unconvincingly, “Yes!” Looking totally innocent, she asks”Why, Mom why?”
At this point, you might be questioning my parenting skills. An almost 4 year old still in diapers? To put it simply, most days we pray for poop. I mean that literally. Emily continues to be plagued with stomach issues. Most days her tummy is swollen and painful with constipation, or swollen and painful with acidic diarrhea. It must be confusing to a child when Mom and Dad jump up and down for joy when she finally goes poop after many days of pain. In those moments of joy, we wouldn’t care if she pooped on the floor just as long as she did it. So, yes, I have Mom-guilt that she is still in diapers, but she has other challenges right now. I stand by my solemn vow that she will not go to college still in diapers, and we will leave it at that.
Some of Emily’s challenges have been more difficult over the last few days. We have been changing her seizure medication, hoping the addition of Topamax to her regimen of Trileptal will help. We are trying to wean her off Keppra which has not been stopping the seizures but it has been causing behavioral issues. We knew we would probably see some increased seizures during this change (we have) and some other behavioral/speech problems, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch. Friday, I was trying to get her into her car seat, and she forgot how to sit in it. She kept trying to stand up and get buckled, and she was upset that it wasn’t working. Once I was able to bend her at the waist and get her tucked in, she relaxed almost like she was thinking, “Oh, so that’s how you do it.” Her speech has been greatly impacted. Usually I can understand around 75% of what she is saying, but lately it has been more like 10%. The worst was when she forgot how to open her GameBoy. Usually she is a baby genius with the thing, but she had it upside-down and backwards, and she was sobbing because she didn’t know how it opened. Even with all of this, Emily is not delicate. She goes head-first into everything she does. Every activity is deliberate and passionate. Nothing is going to stop her.
I am often fearful and worried about her future, but I have to lean on the Lord. In Matthew 6:34, Christ says, “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” How true. Today, I am thankful that Emily is napping peacefully, and tomorrow? Well, we’ll tackle what happens tomorrow, well, tomorrow.