Naturally, I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions about the new additions to the family. For those of you who are curious, both Cujo and the Cutlass are doing well. They’re eating (and evacuating) well, and sleeping about as well as can be expected of three-week old babies. (Which sadly, isn’t all that much)
After receiving a status update on the twins, most people follow up by asking, “How is their older sister doing?”
The Cutlet has had a rough few weeks, although her problems had little to do with the arrival of her new siblings.
The Friday before the birth, she woke up complaining that it hurt to swallow. She didn’t seem to have any other symptoms of illness, so she went to school as usual. Upon returning home, she was still complaining about her throat, and had developed a fever.
We gave her some Children’s’ Advil, but when the symptoms remained the next morning, I wanted to get the situation cleared up as soon as possible.
We headed to an urgent care center where she was diagnosed with strep throat. I figured this was almost a best-case scenario as we could get her on antibiotics and she would be fine in a couple of days.
The problem came after I picked up a bottle of amoxicillin at the local pharmacy. Upon taking her first sip of the pink solution, the Cutlet spit it out saying it “tasted yucky.”
We attempted to get her to try it again, but a second taste resulted in the same prognosis: The medicine was yucky, and she wasn’t going to take it.
Naturally, I was curious as to how bad this stuff could have been, so I tasted a dab of it. It was “bubble gum” flavored, and while I’m not going to claim that it prompted any sort of party in my mouth, it certainly wasn’t awful enough to merit such a negative reaction.
The next hour was spent trying every way we knew how to get the Cutlet to take her medicine. We tried mixing it with milk. We tried bribing her. We tried punishing her. We tried threatening her. Nothing was working, and a phone call to the pharmacy revealed that they didn’t have any other flavors of the drug for her to try.
In the end, Mrs. Cutter was able to get her to take the medicine by putting it in a dropper and squirting it (in occasionally infinitesimally small amounts) into her mouth. Our hearts sank as we realized we would have to repeat the process twice a day for the next ten days.
Fortunately, she began to become more receptive to the medicine and future administrations of the drug went much more smoothly.
As it turned out, the Cutlet might have been correct in her wariness of the drug.
The day that we brought the twins home from the hospital, I noticed a few welts on the Cutlet’s legs. They looked like bug bites, but then I saw smaller bumps on her upper body as well.
I began nervous, so I called my mother-in-law upstairs to investigate. “Do these look like chicken pox?”
She has received the pox vaccine, but knowing that those vaccines aren’t 100%, we couldn’t rule it out. We did know that having a chicken pox-stricken child in a house with two newborns was not an ideal combination.
We sent her to bed with a dose of Benadryl and planned to take a closer look in the morning. Upon waking, the rash had spread (and become even itchier), so once again, we had to head out to the urgent care center.
Let me assure you that this was not exactly my preferred activity after a mostly sleepless night with two newborns.
After waiting almost an hour and a half to be seen, the doctor said that he was unable to determine what was causing the rash that was spreading all throughout her body. I was told to keep an eye on it. For this sage advice, I was charged $75.
The next day, the twins were scheduled for an appointment with their pediatrician, and fortunately, their doctor agreed to see the Cutlet as well. He determined that it was likely a delayed (by almost a week!) reaction to the amoxicillin, and prescribed her some prednisone to help clear it up.
Thankfully, he rash subsided in another day or so, and the Cutlet was very relieved to not be itching as much. She was even happier that she didn’t have to remain separated from her brother and sister.
Now that she has a clean bill of health, the Cutlet has been an excellent big sister. She becomes worried when they cry, she tries to help us out in caring for them, and she is very concerned with their well-being.
Sometimes she’s a bit too concerned. She’ll sometimes go and “check” on them when she’s supposed to be washing her hands or getting ready for school.
So far we haven’t noticed much sibling rivalry or obvious cases of misbehavior for the sake of gaining more attention. Sure, she’s acted up at times, but then we remember that she wasn’t exactly the most obedient child before the twins were born.
She has also learned the old trick, “If one parent doesn’t give me the answer I want, go ask another one.” This has become much more effective with her parents often distracted, and a much more lenient grandmother on hand.
I’m sure she won’t always be so happy about having two more children around. At some point she’s bound to become nostalgic for the days when she was a (spoiled) only child. There will likely come a time when she tells us that she liked it better before they showed up, or asks if they’ll go away soon.
But for now, the Cutlet is loving her new role as a big sister.