Sunday, July 29, 2012
29 July: In need of rose-colored glasses today
29 July Another rough morning. Mornings can be brutal around here AND at home in America. My girls are just so cranky in the mornings and often their first words to me are screamed. It is very demeaning. To be fair, Yumi was very pleasant for the first 1/2 hr of her day. Before bed last night I had coached her on how to guarantee a good day by starting out with kind words. She mimicked exactly my sample phrases: "Good morning, mother? How did you sleep?" This was appreciated considering Aya woke us all up at 5:30am. Not fun. Since we were all up early I decided to take Emi to the medical center before Nate would need to leave. Better than taking all three girls, I figured. I needed to find out if the three small wounds on her forehead from her altercation with a cat warrant rabies treatment. Of course I hoped the doctor would assure me that the wounds are superficial and treatment would not be necessary. And that is exactly what happened. However, I was not reassured. Firstly, the nurse who saw us initially said firmly that ALL punctures to the skin by an stray/wild animal should be treated for rabies. AND the medical center, incidentally, does not offer this treatment. Oh. Great. Thanks. The doctor strode in wearing a t shirt and jeans. I suppose the stethoscope around his neck was his proof of his credentials. He looked at her forehead and found another little nick inside her hairline that we had missed and--yikes!--still had the crusted-on blood from yesterday. Other than urge me to clean it (he didn't!) he said not to worry; the wounds are too small and there should be no problem. Inshallah. He actually said it--inshallah. God willing. He could see the doubt on my face and said again that I would just need to believe him. And with that, he was gone. He just walked away? Would this reassure you? Right. Of course not. And while I understand that there is a very small likelihood that this cat has rabies and even smaller (I guess?) chance that the small nicks the cat made in Emi's forehead were deep enough to transmit the virus, I am stuck on the "rabies is always fatal" aspect of things. So what to do now? Nate consulted with the embassy medical people today and they, too, say it looks like simply keeping the cuts clean and free from infection is the only concern. Rabies is unlikely. But if I want to get her treatment I should try to find a private pediatrician. I am torn. I am sure you can see why. I will write more on this as soon as I know more. Cranky girls and an annoyed mommy=difficult morning. We went to the children's museum but traffic and other pre departure delays made us really late. I think we did not arrived until nearly noon. I had to haul Emi out, crying, at one. The ordeal of getting in and out of a taxi with a stroller makes we wonder if the museum visit is really worth it. That's discouragement talking, however. I am sure we will go back. Each visit we discover a new and fun exhibit: this time it was related to music. The actual ride back was much better than the ride there. No need to restrain girls from hitting or kicking each other. Yumi was actually quite pleasant and helpful. Lunch, naps. My heart nearly stopped when, only 45 minutes into nap time, Aya began to cry BUT thankfully she went back to sleep. My Arabic teacher and babysitter are due to arrive any minute. Yay! This afternoon: Erapie (air-rah-pee) came to watch the girls and Nisreen came to teach me. We held our lesson/conversation in the hotel courtyard, from which I could hear the occasional shriek and cry from the fifth floor. Sigh. Why are my children so hard?? Why can't they just play nicely and obey? But anyway, aside from that distraction (and it was distracting!), I had a good conversation with Nisreen. I explained to her what happened to Emiko and she taught me all the appropriate terms: to bite, scratch, examine, to be treated, to be infected, to get sick, treatment, rabies. Such a scary word--rabies. She, like everyone I have told, seems to to positive that there is nothing to worry about. I definitely want a second professional opinion and will try to find a pediatrician starting tomorrow. Nisreen's brother is a doctor at the Jordan Hospital, as it happens, and even though she thinks there is no reason for concern she graciously offered to help me get a second opinion. She said she would first check with her brother who, as a bone specialist, is not likely to be up on the latest in diseases but might know something or someone who does. I guess we will go from there. Emi seems just fine and her little scratches/wounds (just little dots no more than a millimeter across) look fine. Initially, however, we only saw two and washed only those; yet, the doctor found one this morning and Nate found another this evening while bathing her. The other two were hidden in her hair. Both had bled, and were crusted with dried blood, but only a little. Underneath it all, they were just the same little marks. Claw marks? Teeth marks? I wish I knew. And now I am grateful that the cat didn't scratch her eye! Good grief. Nisreen taught me the above terms and I rehearsed them by telling and retelling her the story. Despite the unfortunately conversational topic, it was very enjoyable. I have her engaged for five days this week. I hope to keep it up for the remaining three weeks until my parents come but I will have to see how disruptive my lesson is on the girls. Unlike last time, all three girls were awake and, at some point or other, crying. When I returned, it was just Yumi being, quite frankly, embarrassing. Am I terrible to say this? Every kid I know behaves badly sometimes...or even always in certain situations (like, for example, when it is time to leave a place or to share a toy). There is very little rhyme or reason to Yumi and Emi's bad behavior; they do it any time, all the time, in the presence of anyone and about anything. I never know when one of them is going to turn around and whack the other or throw a fit. They get into shouting matches. They shove each other down. They refuse to obey. I did not scream or shout at them today. I did not lose my temper with them today. No one had any serious meltdowns today (well, Emi did, but her fits are not toxic and don't really bother me). But their behavior toward each other, to me, and to Erapie was horrific. Contestant fighting, shouting, picking, grabbing, poking, defying, whining. I was like a yo-yo all day long, one second desperately trying to praise and reinforce some shred of good behavior, and the next second pulling one girl off the other. I am, in a word, exhausted. We had to run errands after my lesson. While I enjoy the excuse to get out, getting the girls out the door is a chore I was barely up to today. They are no longer interested in this little outing we make almost daily. I know they have fun once we get there, saying hello to our friends and receiving the often offered gifts of fruit or pastry. But they never want to get out the door. I have to pry off their dress-ups and coerce them into a toilet visit. We bumped into Nate on our way out the door so he took Emi back for a bath. Yumi, Aya, and I collected laundry, bought fruit, purchased milk, yoghurt, and oats, and refilled my prepaid cell phone. We dined on hummus, fuul, and babghanoush (us adults) and oatmeal (girls). Aya would not eat anything until I blended up her oats with fruit and served it in a bottle. PLEASE do not let her wake before 6:30am.