Sunday, March 09, 2008

Medicating Bagel

We started Bagel on meds this week. He's taking an antidepressant med. We took him to the same child psych that treated Sonshine. She's really top-notch and tailors the med to the child's particular needs, always getting the whole picture including the family dynamic.

I feel so horrible handing my 3 1/2 year old son a pill every morning. He thinks it makes him big, like Sonshine, to take "swallow pills" instead of liquid medicine like a baby. But we had to do something. My body is breaking down under the strain of caring for him along with everyone else. I suppose we could have avoided meds, if I had an aide or something. But we can't afford an aide, and we also can't afford to let things go on the way they are, because if they do, my family will wear me out entirely and it's not like they can just go to the mommy dealership and get a new one. (I'm still under warranty, right? It's 35 years or 35,000 miles? 30 years? Oh. Whoops.)

Bagel has a constant need for dialogue. Sometimes we play out his scripts ("Is that a power fire alarm or a battery fire alarm?") but most of the time it's a constant third degree interrogation, followed by meltdowns.

Bagel: What are you doing, Mommy?
Me: I'm chopping potatoes.
Bagel: Oh. Are you chopping potatoes?
Me: Yes.
Bagel: Why are you chopping potatoes?
Me: I'm making soup.
Bagel: What kind of soup?
Me: Potato soup.
Bagel: Is it potato soup?
Me: Yes.
Bagel: Does it have ABC's in it?
Me: No, it has tasty potatoes and carrots and onions. [which I know is the wrong answer-- in Bagelworld all soup has ABC's in it, but if I answer yes and the ABC's fail to materialize, I'll also catch hell.]
Bagel: [insert meltdown here; soup burns on bottom]
Bagel: What are you doing, Mommy?
Me: Loading the dishwasher.
Bagel: Oh. Are you loading the dishwasher?
Me: Yes.
Bagel: Can I help?
Me: Sure. Why don't you bring me dirty dishes from the table?
Bagel: No! I want a Rice Dream baba!
Me: I will give you a Rice Dream baba when I am done loading the dishwasher.
Bagel: I want a RICE DREAM BABA!
Me: If you help me, it will go faster and I will get the rice dream baba for you sooner.
Bagel: No!
Me: Bagel, I have to do the dishes. We are all out of big plates. If I don't load the dishwasher, we will have no big plates for dinner.
Bagel: I want a big plate, I'm big for a big plate now!
Me: Well, if you want a big plate, you have to let me load the dishwasher.
Sonshine: [being unhelpfully truthful] You're not big, Bagel, you're little!
Bagel: I AM big!!!
Me: Sonshine, please don't. [We've talked about this before; it's a family sore spot.]
Sonshine: You're too little to go to Wal-Mart by yourself!
Bagel: I'M BIG!!!!!!!!
Me: Yes, Bagel, you are VERY big. Look how big you are! You go to school on the bus! You take swallow pills! You make wets in the potty!
Bagel: [insert meltdown here]
Bagel: I want a big plate!
Me: The big plates are still washing in the dishwasher. Here, you can have my big plate, and I'll take the little plate.
Bagel: That is NOT a big plate!
Me: It's the biggest clean plate we have.
[Dinner ensues, full of screams and nothing is good enough.]

This is extremely exhausting, because it is unrelenting. The only break I get from it is when he plays outside, which usually gets me 5-10 minutes uninterrupted, until he comes in upset about something else. Or when he is down for a nap, after he's done pounding on the door and settles down to sleep. I can also get him to be quiet for a while if I put on Here Come The ABCs. However, the DVD player is broken, so I haven't had that option lately.