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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Day I Forgot About Jack and His Cantaloupe

“Can I eat some of this cantaloupe?” Jack asked, while peering into the fridge.
“Sure,” I answered from across the room, standing next to Madeline, who was sitting at the kitchen table, working on her math homework, asking for help.
“Mom, I don’t get number 7,” Madeline said.
“I’ll look at it,” I offered.
Just then, Max appeared. “Will you read to me?” he asked, handing me his current favorite book, Max for President.
“Mom, my cantaloupe,” Jack reminded me. “I’m hungry. I want to eat. I just tested and I’m 113. Will you give me my shot now?”
“Mom, what about number 7? I need help. I’m stuck,” Madeline whined. “Can’t you help me, before you give Jack his shot?”
“I want to read now,” said Max, tugging on my shirt. “I’m supposed to read for homework, remember? Can’t we read now? I want to read now. I even have my book.”
“No, Max, she needs to help me first,” Madeline answered.
“No, she needs to help me first,” Jack said.
Ahhh, that’s life with three kids! It’s a good life, but I am often pulled in three different directions by three little voices all calling “Mom!” at the same time.
Most days, I can handle it. Most days, all of the kids’ needs, wants and reasonable requests are met. The mail might pile up and the laundry might wait to be folded, but my kids are taken care of.
On some days, however, I become overwhelmed, and I accidentally neglect someone or something. Earlier this week, it was Jack and his cantaloupe. I got sucked into 4th grade math homework and 1st grade reading, and I forgot about Jack and his cantaloupe. I forgot!!! Ugh!!!
After I’d finished reading to Max, a grumpy (and rightfully so) Jack, asked, “Mom, my cantaloupe, can I have it now? I’ve been waiting for hours and hours. It’s been like 7 whole hours already.”
It had only been an hour, but obviously, it had felt a lot longer to Jack.
“Oh, my gosh, Jack!” I exclaimed. “I’m so sorry! I totally forgot.”
Guilt set in. I felt horribly for making him wait. I still do. I know I’m doing my best. I know the kids are demanding and raising them would be challenging even without diabetes in our lives. I know there’s only one of me and three of them. I know I’m only human. I know mistakes happen, and I know there are worse mistakes to be made, especially when it comes to diabetes.
Nonetheless, I felt badly, and it’s still weighing on me three days later.
“You must be really hungry now. I’m truly sorry, honey,” I apologized. “I got so caught up with Madeline and Max that I forgot you were waiting for me.”
“It’s okay, mom,” Jack said. “But can I get my shot now? I want that cantaloupe.”
I was forgetful and he was forgiving.
His understanding gave me a small degree of relief, but again, I’m sitting here three days later, writing about it, because I’m bothered by the fact that I allowed myself to become distracted and therefore Jack had to suffer.
If I’d forgotten to check his homework or wash his favorite shirt, I wouldn’t feel so badly. But when it comes to his diabetes, I hate to screw up. Jack deals with enough; he doesn’t need me adding to his challenges.
Not only that, but this served as a giant reminder of the impact diabetes has had on us. Life with diabetes is about so much more than testing blood sugar, administering insulin, battling highs and lows, counting carbs, etc., etc.
When Madeline and Max are hungry, they can grab a snack, any snack, and eat. It’s not so simple for Jack. If he wants to eat something with carbs like fruit, he needs an insulin injection, and that requires me (or Gregg, but Gregg’s at work in the afternoons).
I wish life were easier for Jack.
This is one of those things that, unless you’re raising a child with diabetes, you would never know. You’d have no clue how challenging it is to stay on top of this blasted disease at all times. You’d never realize the guilt that comes from making a minor mistake. You’d take for granted the ease of doing something as simple as eating.
Life will eventually get a little least when it comes to Jack eating. As he matures and takes on more of his diabetes care, and perhaps after he switches from insulin injections to a pump, he’ll be able to administer his own insulin and eat more freely.
In the meantime, he’s stuck with me. Poor kid!


Wendy said...


I'm sorry you have a case of Mommy Guilt.

I happen to know firsthand what an awesome mama you are...and I'll bet Jack knew that too, when you were helping his brother and sister.


Reyna said...

Ah man, I so get it. I hate anything that makes Joe have to "wait"...he has to wait enough in his life for "D" care to happen so he can get on with living!

BTW, your kids are incredibly lucky to have you. xo

Scully said...

I don't know why but this made me feel sad. Little Jack, all he wants is some cantaloupe but he needs you to count carbs and give insulin. :( You know he forgot about the wait as soon as he had the snack. But it bothering you 3 days later... well that's the mental part of diabetes isn't it.

Meagan said...

From what I've seen here, you are an excellent mama! Things are always going to get in the way diabetes or not. It must be really hard treating it in your child (I'm T1, and I find it hard enough listening to myself when I need a snack). Hope you are feeling better, I'm sure he's forgotten all about it...on to the next snack! :)

Roselady said...

It really is like diabetes is another kid in situations like these. You not only know your kid needs you, but diabetes does, too -- and it's not as patient as the kids all the time. I totally relate to your situation. Only I sometimes have five plus diabetes bugging me at the same time! Oh well, it's life, you do your best...

Kelly said...

-Sigh- I hear ya. Sorry you have stressed over the cantalope...I would feel the same way and thinking about it would drive me bonkers too....-sigh- :)

Misty said...

Boy, do I understand that feeling of being pulled in 3 directions! It's a no-win situation when D is involved though. If I stop whatever I am doing with the other two to tend to Ally's D, then I feel like I have slighted them. (Unless of course it is a D issue that needs to be tended to immediately.) But on the other hand, it seems so unfair that Ally has to wait for me to say...have a snack.

Jack is such a sweetheart. Glad he got his snack and glad that he forgave you :)

Michael Hoskins said...

I think Tom Petty said it best, "The waiting... is the hardest part." Don't feel too guilty and bad, Heidi. Happens to everyone. And you're doing a great job overall, as it shows here.

Sarah said...

What an amazingly patient son you have there is no way either of mine would have waited 15 minutes let alone an hour for a snack. It must have been a very frustrating moment for you, I've had them too...then I have to give myself permission to move on, because usually the kiddos have long forgotten about it and wouldn't bring it up again at all.
Have a glorious weekend :)

Kelly said...

I am a ruminator too! Jack sounds like he has a very sweet heart and who better for him to be stuck with than the one who helps nurture it.

sky0138 said...

Your kiddos are so very lucky to have you as their Mom. I only have Emma and I at times find myself feeling like I am being pulled in a million directions. HUGS to you and please do not beat yourself up over forgetting. The pump will definitely help in situations like that too...Emma figured out how to bolus herself right away and it makes life so much easier for her to not have to wait.

Alexis said...

Yup. Been there. It happens. Thank God they are stronger than use and can handle it.

They're beyond lucky to have you!! Xoxo

Tracy1918 said...

Your kids are so blessed to have you!! You are so right about people not having a clue....but us Dmoms get it!!!

shannon said...

oh, man. sorry you're still feeling the effects of this. i'm sure he hasn't been thinking about it as much as you have. but we've all been in similar situations, and all you can do is try better next time. thanks for sharing.