Friday, September 30, 2011

Caelism of the Day

 At Graham's two year check a few days ago, it was discovered that he is on the small end of the spectrum for his age.  I was surprised to learn that both his weight and height ranked at less than the tenth percentile, so I mentioned this fact to Joel.

Cael must have brushed up on his medical knowledge overnight, because this morning he had an interesting take on the situation.

"Mommy, I know why Graham is so little."


"Because he doesn't eat as many apples as I do.  I'm heavy from apples."

"Well, that's kind of true.  If he would eat more, he would weigh more."

"That's right." (turning to Graham) "YOU EAT MORE APPLES!"

"Cael, Graham isn't doing anything wrong.  And he's a perfect size.  You worry about you."

"You know, Mommy, that apples come in red, green and yellow?"

"Actually, I did know that.  You're very smart."

"I like Mashintox apples best."

"You mean, Macintosh?"

"Yep.  And the honey ones."

"Honeycrisp?  I like those too."

"Yeah.  Honeycraps."

So I guess Graham has a few changes to make. 

Too many toots, not enough honeycraps.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Regrettor Mortis

One of the things I love best about fall is the gentle breeze that flows through the open windows of our house.  This also invited in an seemingly intoxicated fly that dive-bombed us and pestered Cael yesterday as he ate his lunch.  I swatted it and opened another whole can of worms.

"Mommy, is that fly dead?"

"Yep, I got him."

"Why is he dead?"

"Because he's very tiny and the swatter smacked him pretty hard.  There isn't really another way to get the flies out, Cael."

"I wish Oscar was dead."

"What!?  Why would you say that?"

"Because he keeps licking my toes and I don't like it.  Hit him with the swatter and make him go away."

"If you don't like what he's doing, you should just tell him to stop or ask me for help."

And I should have left it that.  There have been a great deal of defining moments in parenthood where I could have (and should have) shut my mouth.  But did I?  In the spirit of trying to help my son better understand something that no one can really understand, I figuratively removed my shoe so that I could shove my foot further into my mouth.

"Plus, Cael, when an animal is dead, you don't get to see them anymore.  Their body doesn't work and they aren't with us because they are in heaven." 

Immediate regret. 


"Well, that's how death works.  But the good thing is that Oscar is going to be with us for a long time."

"When is he going to die?"

"I don't know exactly, honey, but it's not something you need to worry about.  And when he dies he will get to go to heaven, and heaven is SO amazing!"

"What is it like?"

"Well, God lives in heaven so it's really beautiful.  And everyone is happy because there is nothing to be sad about."

Turning to the dog, Cael had a change of heart. 

"Oscar!  You want to go to heaven?!"

Oscar danced around like he was performing for a treat.  Too bad the treat Cael had in mind was laced with arsenic in the name of sending the dog to heaven. 

The dog probably wouldn't wind up there anyway.  I know what he's been up to.

"Hold on, Cael.  We don't get to decide when we get to go to heaven.  Only God can decide."

"Can you call him and ask?"

"You can talk to God in your prayers, but you can't call him on the phone."


Cael got down from the table and ran out of the room.  I was so relieved that the conversation was a twisted death threat rather than an explosion of tears and drama.  I didn't want to scare him, but I also didn't want to walk in on Cael cramming his Thomas the Train t-shirt down our cat's throat. 

Fizzling fireboxes, that would be bad news.

When Cael woke up from his not-so-heavenly 38 minute nap, he launched into a grocery store fantasy that Graham was happy to join after his nap as well.  I was folding some laundry upstairs but could hear the two of them arguing over toys and battling for control of the grocery scanner.  Cael had been hoarding most of Graham's birthday loot and--


"I swatted you, Graham."


"I got you dead.  You go away now."  (Please don't call CPS.)

"No!"  Graham protested.

"Say 'Hi' to God, Graham!"

I'll just file this one under "Parenting Missteps"...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Caelism of the Day

I dyed my hair on Monday night.  I've always colored it, but years of processing have made it brittle and prone to breaking apart, so I thought it was time to switch to a non-permanent option.

But what color?

I picked up a box labeled "Light Reddish Brown".  Sounds about right, doesn't it?  The sample color box showed a tone only slightly darker than my regular color but not any redder in tone.  Perfect.

The next morning, after my hair had dried and I was able to survey the damage, Cael gave me his two cents.

"Mommy, your head is bleeding!"

"No it's not, Cael.  I colored my hair and it's a little too red."

"No, Mommy... its blood.  Lots and lots and lots and lots of bloody blood."

"It's not blood, but thanks for confirming that I got the color wrong."

"Yep, it's blood."

So I got the color wrong, big deal.  It's only semi-permanent, so I can try another color in 28 washes.  (Side note-- is it possible to wash one's hair 28 times in one day?)  But when Cael woke up on Tuesday, he reminded me again that my hair was bleeding.  And when I was pulling my (bloody) hair into a ponytail this morning, I knew what was coming.  Sort of.

"Mommy, look at your hair."

"Yeah, I know, Cael.  You think it looks like it's bleeding." 

"It looks weird.  Your hair looks really weird."

"I've got it.  You think it looks weird."

"But I still love you!"

"I love you, too.  You're lucky you're cute!"

"I am cute.  And my hair doesn't look like it's bleeding."

"Lucky you."

"You know what your hair looks like, Mommy?"


Data Analysis

I think it's time for a math lesson.  I've spent far too much time blathering on about children and diapers and school and birthdays-- it's time for some arithmetic.  So here's an equation for you.  

4 months of writing + daily entries = 100 POSTS!

That's right... you are reading my 100th post.  Isn't it momentous?  Can you feel that excitement in the air?  No?

Oh, I'm sorry.  That wasn't excitement.  It was a Nerf football to the side of my head.  My mistake.

So in honor of my 100th post, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the numerical side of life; to take an objective look at marriage, parenting and blogging.  Let's begin.

10,331 - This is how many days I've been alive, and most days I feel all 10K+ of them.  What's amazing is that Graham hasn't even been alive for only 735 days, making me feel all at once young and completely old in comparison.

2,308 - Joel and I were married on June 3, 2005, and have made it through 2,308 days at each others' sides.  I think we do pretty well; we both have quirks and traits that the other would love to change (yes I really DO need the counter completely clean!) but when fighting one's way through the maze of parenthood-- through the many battles of illnesses and family struggles and the highlights of birthdays and Christmas, it is comforting to know I have him at my side.  I think he feels the same way.  Well, most of the time anyway.  You know, when I haven't just pitched all of the papers on the counter. 

Seriously, can't it go anywhere else?

50 - What is it about starting a blog that ignites a competitive flame in one's belly?  When I started this ol' blog, I thought it would be a fun way of sharing my kids' crazy antics with friends and family.  My Facebook profile had been overrun with "Caelisms" and pictures of the boys that no one took the opportunity to view, so I was happy for the new site and creative outlet.  But here we are, only a few short months later and I'm hoping and wanting to see it grow.  If I can get 50 "followers" in 4 months, how many can I have in one year?  Or more realistically, how many will I gross out and turn away?

1,449 - It hardly seems possible that I've only been a mother for 1,449 days when it feels like so many more.  I vividly remember nursing Cael in the wee hours of the morning and literally crying because I was overwhelmed with love for him.  These days you'd be more likely to find me in a corner rocking back and forth in the fetal position than shedding a sentimental tear.  But it's not because I don't love them-- on the contrary, I've found that being tough is a job requirement, and one that I didn't really possess before. 

That's right, I'm tough-as-nails.  And no, I didn't sob uncontrollably during Toy Story 3.  Really... 

13 - To date, 13 "Caelisms of the Day" have graced the pages of this blog, and as long as he can speak I would expect them to continue. You'll be the first ones to know when Graham expands his vocabulary beyond "No!" and "buh poo".  Unless he accurately relays the Power Ball numbers or something.  I'm keeping that little gold mine to myself. 

5,520 - Yuck.  Let me give you a piece of advice-- don't attempt to calculate the number of diapers you've changed in your lifetime because it's thoroughly disgusting.  Even more so than the truckload of hogs I saw this morning being transported down the highway with their nether-regions hanging out the vents of the truck. 

I take that back... the hogs were pretty gross.  But so was Cael's epic Dairy Queen blowout of 2009.  Pig genitalia or projectile feces?  Let's call it a tie.

39 - The number of photos of Cael and Graham that are plastering the walls.  And although that number probably puts me in the "crazy shrine" zone, I have done my best to choose photos that avoid bodily fluids, rear ends or prohibited behaviors.

I've done my best.

15,024 - As I hit "publish on today's post, 15,024 of you have clicked on over to check out what Cael and Graham have in store.  I hope you'll keep coming back.  And I hope I never see that hog truck again. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Put It In the Oven for Graham and Me!

(This post is a continuation of yesterday's story.  Click here to read part one.)

I was happy with the cake I'd baked and decorated for Graham, and he seemed to be pleased with it too.  He recognized Mickey, which had been a concern of mine, and Cael was there to reassure me that it looked good enough to eat (my other concern).

"Mommy, can I eat that cake?"

"Not yet, honey.  We'll have it after supper tonight."

"But I want to eat it now!  I want to put Mickey's tongue in my mouth!"


I thought a discussion about having higher standards might be in order, as in requiring that one's future mate be a living, breathing person, but I decided to let it slide.  After all, Oscar's high strung, compulsive nature has led to inappropriate relationships with the cat, various pillows, a red garbage can and even my ankle.  Love really must come in all forms.

The whole family came over and we had a very autumnal meal of grilled chicken breasts, pasta with homemade pesto and roasted root veggies.  Cael and Graham ate virtually nothing, both with their eyes on the room full of prizes in the form of wrapped presents, cards and colorful ribbons, and one cross-eyed Mickey Mouse cake.

When dinner was eaten and cleared from the table, we got down to the business of opening presents.  There is no circumstance that better illustrates the differences between my boys than in opening gifts.  Graham perused the pile as if trying to analyze which box holds an item worthy of the time it would take to open.  As he robotically eyed the loot, Cael was in his face (and mine) making suggestions and shouting orders.

"Graham!  Open this one, Graham!"

"Dat." Graham would say, motioning to a small silver-wrapped package.

"YOU OPEN THIS ONE NOW!" Cael yelled as Graham's lip quivered and Oscar peed a bit in the corner.

We had to literally hold Cael back to allow Graham his one moment in the spotlight and the luxury of opening his own gifts.  The clear hit of the night was the stuffed Mickey that Joel and I had debating purchasing as it was close to $20 and didn't "do" anything.  But Graham wasn't bothered by the mouse's simplicity as he snuggled it tightly and demanded no one else touch it for the duration of the night.

With little children, birthday parties are simultaneously celebratory (for the birthday boy) and torturous (for the brother) as the kids struggle with sharing.  We quickly learned that sharing can be a tough pill to swallow for Daddies, too, as Joel was immediately drawn to Graham's "Whack-A-Mole" game like a stuffed moose to a stuffed dog.

Once all of the toys and books were broken in or simply broken, it was time to cut the cake.  I uncovered it and smiled at my handiwork.  Just then, one of my nephews walked by and casually questioned my masterpiece.

"Why does it say he's 22?"

"It doesn't.  He's two."

But just then I realized that by putting two "two"s on Mickey's ears, I had unintentionally suggested that my as-yet-incontinent son had skipped 21 years of school, dating and life and was ready to graduate from college with very immature taste in television programming.

"Why did you put "two" on there twice?" 

Y?  Because I liked it!

"I don't know... I thought it looked best on the ears, and Mickey has two ears."

What was there to do about it?  Graham was in position at the table and anxiously awaiting his Mickey cake to devour, digest and return to me in a much stinker and less appetizing format.  So we pushed a couple of candles in, lit them and stepped back.

With the lights out, the flames above Mickeys face illuminated him in a way that cast an evil glow on his innocent face.  Mickey looked as though he was cackling at me and glaring with his crossed eyes.

But Graham didn't care.  We sang "Happy Birthday" and he gasped with excitement at the cake I'd made for him.  I helped him blow out his candles and he quickly gobbled down his dessert.

As he filled his tummy, he rubbed his eyes.  Once finished, his eyes glazed over, we kissed our big boy goodnight as he snuggled up to Barker and Mickey and closed his eyes.

So even though I can't count, and Cael was being very "Cael", and Oscar rubbed his arms raw and hairless, Graham's birthday was a success.  He loved every minute of it and I am happy we were able to give him a special day.  I hope that next year's cake is just as special and error-free.

What's a good theme for a 23 year-old?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Roll It, Pat It, and Mark it with G

I am a Midwestern girl.

I suppose that can mean a lot of things.  For example, I can spot the difference between sweet corn and seed corn.  My blood is thick enough for -20 degree temperatures and cool enough to survive a summer in the 90s.  And, amazingly enough, I live in a town where people still smile at each other when they walk down the street.

But the trait I'm referring to today is that I know how to eat.  (Having a svelte figure is not a particularly Midwestern thang.)  I grew up in a home with great "meat and potatoes" food and although today I may prefer a slightly refined version of those flavors, I know how to fill my family's bellies.  And my know-how-to-eat-fulness comes in especially handy at birthday time.

Last October, I made my very first cake.  I knew that Cael would appreciate a Curious George cake, his obsession du jour, but I didn't want to order one from the bakery when I knew we weren't having a big party.  So, reluctantly, I bought a cake mix, put the kids to bed, crossed my fingers and dug in.  It took me a long time, mainly due to several interruptions in the form of a nightmare for an almost three year old boy, a one year-old with such a nasty cold that I needed a hazmat suit to avoid the phlegm, and an obsessive-compulsive dog that had take 7 steps out onto the deck every half hour.  But when it was done, Cael loved it and it was demolished within hours.

I had to admit that it was kind of fun.  Not day-without-the-kids-and-sushi-dinner fun, but easily camping-in-90-degree-weather fun.  So rather than packing an overnight bag and dragging our former Airstream on the road, I took advantage of Joel's November birthday to make another cake.  I lulled Cael to sleep calmly, fired up the vaporizer in Graham's room and locked the dog in the laundry room and willed him to develop a compulsive hand washing problem.  I had bigger fish to fry cakes to bake.

What came out of that evening was a football-themed Hawkeye cake that I was pretty proud of for only my second attempt.

Oh, and a really clean dog.

In early December and with no family birthdays in sight for many months, I put away my buttercream recipe and rolled fondant tools with the promise of the coming year and new opportunities to lock up the dog.

But I forgot about it completely.  Mainly due to this blog, I became really busy and just plain didn't make any cakes or any unusually challenging baked goods.  But I knew that, come September, Graham would be having a birthday.  And I knew that there would have to be cake.  

I threw around a number of theme ideas.  Would Graham like a "bug" themed cake since he's constantly bringing me semi-dead insects and thinks all of the colored flecks in our carpet are bugs as well?  I decided I didn't want to encourage his neuroses and moved on to a Toy Story concept.  I was pretty sold on this idea since Graham is obsessed with Toy Story 3, but first I had to tackle one of life's greatest questions:  Buzz or Woody?  Buzz Lightyear has been permanently stationed in the van as my youngest can't seem to travel without him, but Woody has no permanent home because he is constantly being dragged up and down the stairs.  Knowing there was no definitive answer, I abandoned that idea when I came up with a third and final theme... Mickey Mouse.

When we first introduced Graham to Mickey it was in the form of the television show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which quickly became one of his favorites.  He enjoyed it so much that every time I turned on the tv, he watched which buttons I pushed to determine whether I was going to the programs I'd already DVRed or if I was putting on something live for myself.  If I chose the latter, he would explode in a mushroom cloud of tears and flailing arms that caused even Cael to clear the area and forced the dog to run upstairs and reach for his hand paw soap.

Knowing his affinity for Mickey, I was sure this cake would be a hit.  Armed with an image of Mickey that I thought I could copy and a general idea of what I wanted to do, I put the kids down for a nap and got my hands dirty.

Two square marble cakes later, I stacked them and whipped up some frosting.  I decided to make the base frosting white because I felt that Mickey would stand out best on a clean background, and also I like to make these projects as difficult for myself as possible, and I have found that the fondant stains white frosting, so I left myself no room for errors.

I cut out Mickey's black silhouette and peachy skin and almost stopped at what looked like a Mickey from the 1920s or 30s, but knowing that Graham has little to no appreciation for vintage pop art, I decided to finish the mouse's face.

Once Mickey was complete, we noticed that he was cross-eyed, perhaps indicating some sort of genetic anomaly, but instead we chalked it up to a rodent plague and let it go.  After all, Graham often crosses his eyes when he's looking at something close up, so it was almost a tribute of sorts.

Could we make a chocolate mound of Mickey-sized mouse poop, too?

My sister was on hand to help me decide how best to decorate the cake, and eventually we agreed that different sized stars layered and draped over the edges would be cute.  I had decided in advance that I wouldn't cover the entire cake with fondant because virtually no one in my family likes the way it tastes.  And while I could go either way and Graham can't tell the difference between fondant, buttercream and diaper ointment, I find it infinitely easier to work with than frosting.  So, in the immortal words of my father, "Those who pay get to say."  (This phrase is used best in conjunction with "Those who throw must go.")

Feel free to use those with your children... we don't have them trademarked yet.

I rolled out and cut a strip of green to make a band around the bottom layer in an effort to disguise how lousy I am at frosting cakes.  That's the joke of this entire post-- while I think this cake turned out cute and a was good choice for a small child, I'm no Cake Boss.  I'm more "Poop Boss" or "The Diaper Whisperer." 

I doubt I'll be receiving any reality tv offers anytime soon.

With the final decorative touches in place like the numbers to mark my son's second birthday, the cake was finished.

I was pretty happy with it, and although it wasn't an exact replica of the Mickey face I was trying to duplicate, it was obvious who it was intended to be and when Graham toddled by he would point and comment, "Mah Mouse!" so I knew it would do.  I gave myself a good pat on the back and covered up the cake until it was time to party.

The Diaper Whisperer did it again!  Oscar locked and unlocked the front door in celebration.

And all was well until Friday evening when I realized a glaring error...

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Very Merry Un-Birthday

Well, we made it to Graham's birthday.  I have frosting in my hair and fondant in my ears, but I did manage to decorate a cake that I think he will love.  Now I'm off to wrap the gifts, plan a dinner and read a book or two about better time management.

But Graham couldn't seem to grasp his age this morning.  I tried to take a quick video to remember the occasion, but in the end I was so confused that I didn't know if he was two or five.

No one was more confused than Cael, though, who this morning woke up and came running into my room as if the house were on fire.


"What, Cael?"

"Is it Graham's birthday?"

"Yep, it is!"

"On this day?"

"Yes, Cael.  On this day."

"Why is he still sleeping?"

"I guess he's tired, honey.  He'll be up soon."

"Wake him up now!"


"I want to see that he's two!"

"Cael, he won't look any different.  You don't grow one whole year overnight."

"So he's not older?"

"Well, yes, he's older, but he won't look different."

"But he doesn't look like a baby anymore."

"That's because he's grown slowly over two whole years."


And with that, he scurried off.  I got him dressed and headed into Graham's room to hose down the birthday boy who had produced a very festive "buh poo".  Once clean and ready, we came into the kitchen where Cael was anxiously awaiting Graham's arrival.

"Happy Birthday, Graham!  It's your birthday!"

But immediately his face fell. 

"Nope, nevermind.  You still look one."

"Twoeee!"  Graham shouted.

"Nope.  Not your birthday today.  You're still the same.  Just one.  Nope, sorry."

"Nooooooo!" Graham cried. 

Thanks, Cael.  Happy Birthday, Graham.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Terribly Two

Tomorrow marks a big day in our home-- Graham's birthday.  Since we had the big first birthday party last year, we are choosing to forgo a party that would celebrate little more than the fact that we managed to survive another year without losing or otherwise maiming our youngest.  I'm also somewhat hesitant to celebrate this milestone that will confirm his status as "terrible".

So before we officially enter toddler-dom, I thought I'd take this one last opportunity to remember what life was like when Graham was new and I had more hair.  But not too much.  I still had Cael.

Graham's entrance was a major departure from Cael's.  With both of my boys, ultrasounds leading up to the birth indicated that they were huge babies, and only a few days before Graham was delivered, they were anticipating that I would have a child as large at 10 pounds.  Compounded by the fear that he would simply not fit (as was the case with my nephew Keaton) and I would spend hours pushing only to be forced into an emergency c-section.  With the mental picture of a watermelon being squeezed through a garden hose, I happily agreed to an induction at 39 weeks.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:30am and I was quickly outfitted with the very fashionable hospital gown and stretchy monitor belts to constantly check the baby's heart rate.  I had been dilated to 3 for about a week, so I knew that this induction would take less effort than was required for Cael's birth.  Once the pitocin was started, I began having minor contractions, but they were not very painful and I was surprised when I was offered an epidural at such an early stage of labor.  The nurse recommended that (if I planned to have an epidural at any point) I should take the opportunity to order it early before the strong Pitocin-induced contractions began.  With the real possibility of birthing a baby larger than our last Thanksgiving turkey, I agreed and was quickly numbed and was resting comfortably, texting friends and chatting with nurses.

Our wonderful nurse, Cheryl, decided to take bets on the baby's arrival time.  At a little after 10am, I was certain that my ordeal was far from over and I guessed 2:36pm.  Joel was a bit more optimistic and guessed 1:42pm, while my lovely and experienced nurse placed her bet at 12:21pm.

No way.  I wasn't having that baby in two hours.

At 12:37pm I was checked and confirmed to be at 10cm dilated and the doctor was on his way for my baby's delivery.  The nurses bustled around the room, bringing the equipment and delivery tools to my bedside as they encouraged me to push.  I turned to Joel and said, "I don't know if I'm ready for this already", but with a baby knocking at the door, there was no time for dawdling.  With the first push, I heard a collective, "Oh!" and my doctor muttered something about muscle memory.  One more push and a squirming, red faced baby slipped right on out at 12:45pm and I looked at Joel blankly.  "That was it?"

If only I'd been so lucky the first time around.

Under most circumstances, the delivery is the hard part.  But in room 10, a battle was underway-- one that was 9 months in the making.  The baby still needed a name.

If you know my husband, you know him to be a life-of-the-party, fun-loving guy.  These things are all true, but one of the most pervasive aspects of his personality is his stubbornness.  He was so stubborn, in fact, that we had argued (mostly lightheartedly, but occasionally heatedly) about his "pick" for the baby's name, Crosby.  (This is the part where you stop reading if you A) like the name Crosby, B) are named Crosby or C) know someone really great named Crosby.  If you know a real jerk named Crosby, please continue.)  I couldn't stand it.  I felt that by choosing that name for our sweet baby, we were solidifying his future as a womanizer, country singer, outcast or weird kid that eats grass on the playground.  Or maybe all of the above.  Worse yet was the nickname that Joel intended to use:  The Croz.

I learned recently that mother zebras can hold in their ready-to-be-born babies for up to 24 hours if they sense that there is a danger.  At 12:44pm I might have sucked the baby back in if I thought he would be facing a lifetime as "The Croz", but something told me that once born, our precious new baby would be too sweet and gentle for such a name.  Thankfully for me, Joel relented and we discussed the two remaining names we were considering: Graham Elliott and Beckett James.  I loved them both and let Joel name our boy.  Graham it was.

From the start, Graham was an easy baby.  He slept soundly in a noisy room.  He didn't fuss and rarely cried unless he was uncomfortable or very hungry.  Aside from a rough start with nursing, he was a good eater and grew exponentially.  He hit every milestone and was a joy to all that were lucky enough to be around him.  And he loved his big brother.

Or, to be more accurate, he loved him from a distance.  He loved to watch Cael and "talk" to him while he ran about and played.  Cael, on the other hand, loved to throw things at him play catch with him, scratch him give him tickles and force feed Graham share his toys and snacks with his little brother.

As Graham grew older and bigger, he learned to hold his own against Cael.  He used Cael as a model of how big boys should act, so it is no surprise that today, the day before Graham's second birthday, he rivals his older brother in both attitude and cuteness.

The two years I've been lucky to have my Graham cracker have passed as a blur of kisses and baths and nightlight dances.  I love that he is a perfect mosaic of our family; fragments of my sensitivity and Joel's sense of humor are complimented by Cael's confidence.  And every once in a while I see a glimmer of something I don't recognize-- a trait that will prove to be all his own and I am anxious to uncover many of them over the years.

As long as they aren't hiding in his diaper.  Nothing good can come out of there.

Happy Birthday, my little Bubba.  Nobody loves you like I do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harmful Drug Warning

Last week, I promised to return with healthier children and lots to share with all of you.  And for the most part, I've accomplished both tasks.  (You've all heard about the Airstream.)  But it was not without a price.

The motor home was spendy but cost nothing in comparison to what I've endured over the last week in order to improve my boys' health.  Several nights last week were interrupted by the signature seal-bark of croup that my kids frequently pick up in addition to a regular cold.  At the doctor, Cael and Graham danced and played in an effort to make me look as ridiculous as possible, but in the end I won and they were both sent home with a prescription for oral Prednisone to reduce inflammation and prevent the croup.

We promptly went home and measured out the first dose of the steroid.  I had been advised at the pharmacy that this medication was bitter and the boys would not like the taste, so I was armed with a bag of pretzel M&Ms and prepared to use them as an incentive to swallow the prednisone.  With my bribe in place, they both gobbled down the medicine and their consolation prize and scampered off to destroy something.

Little did I know that by administering that medication I was transforming my sweet-but-mischievous children into snarling, pea-soup vomiting demons.  Even pretzel M&Ms, which I had previously thought could put a positive spin on gangrene or even the apocalypse, could not improve their behavior or brighten my mood in their presence.  I knew that they needed to continue the recommended doses, but I hoped there was something I could do to offset their naughtiness, so I took to the internet and read about their drug.

As I read phrases like "May cause irritability in children", I wanted to personally invite the pharmaceutical company president, along with the crony that penned this write-up, to dinner at my house.  I wanted to seat them next to my children as I asked Cael and Graham (in the nicest voice possible) to please eat their chicken and vegetables.  I wanted to sit back and watch as they were pelted with airborne peas and chicken strips.  I wanted to smile while my children spit and yelled at them and invented new swear words to say to them.

But alas, I knew that the boys would save that behavior for me.  Pass the M&Ms.

From my current vantage point three days post-prescription, I am still seeing the prednisone rear its ugly head and I am forever changed.  I have decided that I will adjust the drug information to reflect its real effects.  I'm a writer, right?  Kinda-sorta? 

What is Prednisone?  Prednisone is in a class of drugs called corticosteroids.  Prednisone prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.  Prednisone is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.  Prednisone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is Prednisone?  Prednisone is like catnip laced with cocaine.  Prednisone works by making your child so aggressive and agitated that he or she pants as if hyperventilating, allowing increased oxygen to flow to their lungs.  Prednisone is used to treat many different types of children such as quiet children, introverted children, shy or socially inept children and those with otherwise normal behavior.  Upon beginning a course of Prednisone, all will possess traits resembling Rabies, Schizophrenia, or Incontinence.  Prednisone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide, such as for revenge or to induce alcoholism in adults.

Important Information about Prednisone
-You should not use this medication if you are allergic to prednisone, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
-Before taking prednisone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, and about all other medicines you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by steroid use, and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.
-Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using a steroid.
-Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take prednisone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are using prednisone. 

Important Information about Prednisone
-You should not administer this drug to your children if you hope to sleep, eat, remain seated for long periods of time or if you do not wish to engage in physical violence.
-Before taking Prednisone, consult with a member of the clergy and arrange for an exorcism in advance, if necessary.  
-Avoid psychic portals where demons and the undead can enter your child's soul while taking this drug.  Such a possession can be very serious or fatal if left unchecked.
-Wear a braid of garlic or carry the Bible and/or a wooden stake for protection.

Prednisone Side Effects: Seek emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to prednisone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:  blurred vision, eye pain or seeing halos around lights; swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath; severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure; bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood; pancreatitis; low potassium or dangerously high blood pressure.

Prednisode Side Effects:  Seek prescription anxiety medications if your child develops any of the following side effects: white foam at mouth during angry outbursts, scratched corneas from clawing at one's brother during a brawl, tearful fits immediately followed by periods of inexplicable laughter, frequent attempts at hitting his/her mother in the face, mocking the caregiver for having to clean up shockingly smelly diapers, low tolerance for rules or restrictions or dangerously high threshold for time-outs.

I think we can all agree that my version is more accurate.  Anyone currently in my position should take two Xanax and call me in the morning.  I might not answer, though-- I've misplaced my garlic braid.  Would onion work?

Did you like this post?  Please support me and VOTE in the Parents Magazine Best Blog Awards!