"No, no, Sweetie," said Hubster, trying to remove a glass vial from her hands.
"That's Mommy's..." [a glance at me] "medicine?"
"Insulin," I answered, taking the bottle.
It was an empty one that I had left on the bathroom counter. I had planned to add it to my stash of 20+ bottles I'm saving for my Diabetes Art Day project next month.
I know that other moms with diabetes describe the paraphernalia differently to their wee ones. We make this up as we go, so no disrespect. But medicine is a word I just can't get behind for it.
Why? It's just semantics, right?
Well, yes and no.
My kids will use lots of medicine in their lifetimes. Motrin, antibiotics, Benadryl, creams, ointments. They will use these drugs to get well. To heal. They will use these for a short duration and monitored always by a watchful parent.
But they will see me drink juice for purposes other than breakfast. They will see me eat cookies that Mommy can't share right now. They will see me eat chalky glucose tablets made of sugar. They will see me dose insulin. Mommy will be bionic - with tubing, pumps, sensors, transmitters, meters, etc. These are not items they will need themselves (hopefully), but they will interface with these items.
Children aren't born knowing what medicine is. If I call all of this paraphernalia medicine, I teach them that juice is sometimes medicine and it's sometimes a drink - what's to stop them from thinking the same about cough syrup? I teach them that Mommy's insulin medicine isn't something she ever gets to stop taking - so does that mean that their pancreases make medicine that's inside them? Does that mean all medicine is forever? No, insulin's a hormone. It's just insulin.
It's one of my many jobs as Mommy to define language for them. Insulin and pumps and glucose tabs and other words never heard by other children will be staples in our house. For the long haul.
There's no reason not to teach them the words of my daily life just as I teach toothbrush, seatbelt, and shoes. These are words that will be far more ubiquitous in our household than cow and octopus, after all.
Sweetie brings me the glucose tabs and asks for tutose.
"No baby, that's Mommy's glucose and she needs that for low blood sugars. Let's go get you a snack. Do you want some juice? We can both have some juice."