Tyrannosaurus C and the Albuterol

As you all know, we have been sick…constantly. Like 3 months straight of coughs and snotty noses and humidifiers and jumbo-sized packs of Kleenex. FOR REALS.  So poor Little C developed this nasty rumbly cough during her bout with the most current bug, and on Friday we decided it was time to go visit our pediatrician. In true Little C form, she dressed for the occasion in her Minnie Mouse dress (a tattered get-up originally purchased for Halloween which she demands to wear nightly), a pair of pink sweats, a hot pink sweatshirt with white flowers, and her pink sparkly cowgirl boots.  Being sick myself, I was in no position to battle her on what to wear, so she grabbed her mini pink diaper bag and Big Bird (aptly named ‘Baby Bird’) and I grabbed her (and her diaper bag) and we headed off to the doctor.  An hour later we were headed home with an albuterol inhaler and a tiny-person torture device, also known as a spacer with a pediatric face mask.

I first tried to convince Little C to use her inhaler by showing her that mommy, daddy, the cats, and Baby Bird all really enjoyed getting dosed.  “What fun! Look! Dexter kitty LOVES having this mask on his face! Look how happy he is!”.  When that tactic didn’t work, we decorated the chamber with princess stickers yet still it was a no-go.  Unfortunately, our pediatrician specifically asked that she take her inhaler laying on her back (to open up her lungs) so after several failed attempts, it became clear that we would have to resort to more drastic measures.  Have you ever tried to hold down a tiny 24 lb angry human while simultaneously attempting to keep a mask on their face, hold their hands to stop the flailing, and not cry while they shriek at you? It takes a village, my friends. A VILLAGE. Or in our case, our next door neighbor who is a nurse.  This is not something that can be done solo.  Angry little people are surprisingly strong, and their tears are stronger. It breaks my heart each time that we have to give her her meds.  It’s impossible to reason with a two year old. No matter how many times you try to explain to them that the medicine will help, that the inhaler is fun, I’m pretty sure that all they hear is “wahhh wahhhh wah wahhh wahh” a la Charlie Brown’s teacher. There is no logic with two year olds.

There is also no way to prepare yourself for what will happen after the albuterol enters their system.  Go ahead and google “albuterol side effects” and you will see, among other pleasantries, “restlessness, irritability, and nervousness”.  Now-combine a cranky, tired two year old with a medication that causes restlessness and irritability, and you have a recipe for disaster.

You see, the first mistake we made was giving Little C her first dose that evening, around 7pm. The second mistake we made was that we gave her her dose that evening, around 7pm.  Enter Tyrannosaurus C, our very own “C Rex”. About three minutes after the dose, the crazed C Rex was charging about the house, flinging toys and singing from the top of her lungs.  The C Rex grabbed some crayons and started scribbling furiously in her Mickey Mouse coloring book. Not her usual careful crayon strokes this was frenzied, possibly angry, coloring.  In a flash C Rex spun around and dragged her crayon along our beige couch, leaving a lovely purple stripe about 12 inches long.  I am not sure who was more shocked, the C Rex or Big C and I.  The dinosaur dropped the crayon and took off for her room, yelling nonsensical babble at the top of her lungs.  The first hour of C Rex was pretty funny-lots of rapid speech and laughing and dancing.  The second hour was still relatively amusing, but was starting to be concerning.  By the third hour, at 10pm, Big C and I were both laying in a heap of despair on Little C’s bedroom floor in exhaustion as she danced around us shrieking “Mom! Mom! You not a lady! You too big!” (who the hell knows what that means).  This carried on for another hour before our tiny terrorist crashed.  Mind you that she had napped a total of 45 minutes the entire day.  Can you imagine? It was heinous. Horrendous.  I will probably have nightmares for years. We learned our lesson: don’t give your child a medication that is likely to make them act like a raptor in a chicken coop an hour before you plan to have them go to bed, unless you are armed with a case of Redlines and prepared for battle.

On the upside, the inhaler has been working and Little C is on the mend.  AND I got these super cute pictures of her (in yet another princess dress). Oh and the cats. Always the cats.