Monday, December 31, 2012

A Sticky Situation

A few days ago, I walked into my youngest daughter's bedroom and looked around feeling instantly shocked.  It appeared as though she had become the victim of an 'as seen on tv' botched robbery.  Looking over my shoulder, I expected the crew from NCIS to storm the front door at any moment.

The trundle bed was pulled out and the thousand blankets that were meant to keep children snug and cozy in the winter months were strewn haphazardly around the room.  Two big cozy chairs, new Christmas presents at that!, were flipped over a pile of what appeared to be the remnants from a crushed chocolate Santa and a pizza hot pocket.  Cheese oozed on one spot of the carpet and a tester lay nearby, dangerously close to a bottle of water with a lid half capped.  Fake nails, books, stickers and pieces of thread for beads capped off the mess.

In short, the room was a disaster.

After my pupils dilated back to a normal size, I noticed through the chaos that two little tufts of hair, one curly and one blondie, that were hidden in the middle of the mess.  Since the girls were preoccupied with electronic gadgets while wearing headphones, they didn't see or hear me as I stood there, gaping at the scene.



With no response, I nudged the trundle and gave them each a finger wagging (my mom signal that I am very upset).  Both looked at me in surprise and said "What Mom?", as innocently as if I were looking at a typical HGTV bedroom design.

I gestured for them to remove their headphones.  They did immediately but kept that same baffled expression on their faces.  I could tell that they had no idea of why I might be the least bit upset.

"Girls, what in the world happened in here?", I asked sternly while shaking my head and pointing to the mess, especially the cheese smear on the floor.

"What do you mean? We're just playing Angry Birds", said my oldest daughter with wide eyes.

As they quickly rushed to sit up and defend themselves, I walked over to their bathroom to get a wet washcloth in hopes of tackling the stain.  While I am scrubbing, half listening to their explanations,  one thought pops into my head.  I realize that some of what they are saying isn't making any sense.  They are talking TOO loudly and with TOO much emotion.

I stop scrubbing and look directly at both of them, searching for the tell-tale signs of a high blood sugar.

"Did you bolus?", I ask.

I know the answer before they utter a solitary word.  My mom sense (kinda like Spidey Sense) picks it up from the looks that they exchange with each other.

Their look is the one that shouts "OH CRAP!".

My next question, "What does your CGM say?"

"331", said my youngest daughter. 

"445", said my oldest.

And here is the sticky situation, even stickier than the cheese that has now fused with the carpet fibers.... 

I don't know how to even handle it.

In this very real moment, I have to decide what I want to accomplish...

Is it to clean your room?
Is it to make your bed?
Is it to ask before making a snack?
Is it to say no to cheese in the bedroom?


Is it test your blood sugar before you eat?
Is it dose your blood sugar with the correct carb to insulin ratio?
Is it to remember to listen to your CGM when it beeps a high blood glucose warning?

I just don't know what to do.  Here they are; two little faces waiting expectantly for me to deliver my mom verdict.

This I do know; having type 1 diabetes can be challenging.  A diagnosis like this is truly an entirely different part of growing up and parenting than most families will ever face. 

Unlike cleaning your room, making your bed and being careful with snacks, having the responsibility to manage type 1 diabetes NEVER goes away.  That list of items is only a fraction of what a person living with type 1 diabetes HAS TO MANAGE on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Let's not forget that these are kids that we are talking about, not responsible, mature adults - although truth be told, that doesn't make it any easier at times. 


In that moment were I know the "Oh CRAP" feeling is happening, I make the choice to be understanding and to offer a different point of view from probably what my girls expect.  I choose to look at the situation for what it is, a child's mistake and I help to create and define what I think their responsibilities are going forward - as I should as a parent raising a set of tweens.

"OK girls.  OK.  I get it... you were hungry and that's probably all you were thinking about.  I am proud of you for making a snack on your own but going forward, we eat in the kitchen.  And you know what, that will probably help you to remember that you need to check your blood sugar AND dose for it."

"And about this mess, well, I think you can spend an hour or two or whatever it takes to clean it back up tomorrow.  If you decide not to clean it up, than no allowance this week."

Both girls look at me and solemnly promise with nod and a little correction dose.

And for the record, cheese WILL come out with a little water and baking soda.


Scott K. Johnson said...

Wow. I have to say that I think you handled that like a champ. I don't have the presence of mind and composure to take a step back with my own two kiddos, and they don't even have diabetes!

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

It's tough but I am glad that you feel that way Scott. I sometimes wish I had an inside window to what it felt like to be raised with T1D and what you wish your parents did or didn't do. I am just really taking a major guess at it all.... hopefully, the girls will be forgiving when they look back! LOL!