Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Survival Techniques from an Old Pro

Little Jimmy is a survivor; from his rough beginnings to now, he's proven time and again that he's a survivor. I've spoken with lots of other mothers of preemies, and it does seem to be a trend that across the board, these little ones are tough cookies. They come into the word before they'd really like to be here, and then have to make peace with their new settings and people messing with them, etcetera. I'm convinced their feistyness and spunk serves them well not only as infants but also throughout their whole lives. These kids are thinkers; they're not ones to just go with the flow - they've got thoughts of their own. As the mother of a four year old, I can tell you spunk at this age is not always the easiest, but I'm convinced it will serve an excellent purpose.

This morning, Jimmy demonstrated some of his survival skills, although I'm not totally sure he knew that's what it was at the time. It reminded me of something which might be aired on 'Man vs. Wild,' a program various family members delight in debating. "What's the point of knowing this stuff?" my sister has quipped with obvious annoyance. "You never know when you might need these skills" my dad has been known to respond smugly. It was through one of these sorts of family dialogs I learned about this most recently demonstrated survival skill. And I quote: "Drink your own urine -- it will stave off dehydration temporarily."

Little Jimmy was eating his bowl of Cheerios this morning while I fed Kyla her oatmeal. I had already placed Jimmy's antibiotic and allergy medicine on the counter for him to take (see blog on 'OJ and a Vitamin' for more info on how I feel about this), but still needed to get him some water. I remembered the cup of water by his bed, which Kyla frequently delights in dumping out as soon as she's given the opportunity to crawl into Jimmy's room. Heading off a likely mess, I grabbed Jimmy's water from his room and placed it on the counter. "Take your medicine; here's your water." I told him. Jimmy popped his allergy pill into his mouth and washed it down with his drink. "Mommy! That water tastes YUCKY!". I had noticed that it actually wasn't water in his cup this morning, but had assumed Jim had given him apple juice or something last night when he tucked him into bed. Upon further inspection, however, I noticed the cup of apple juice was slightly warm. "Jimmy, did you pee in your cup last night?" I asked with vast amounts of trepidation building. "I finished off my water in the night, so I peed in my cup this morning." THE HORROR!!! I quickly dumped the cup of urine down the drain and got him a fresh cup with water straight from the spigot. "Drink this quickly!" I ordered. After Jimmy had taken a couple of sips and realized he'd drunk his own pee he innocently told me, "Mommy, I thought you had given me nasty water." No, no - in all reality I had just given my child a cup of his own pee to take with his medicine.

"Honey, you need to not ever pee in your cup in your bedroom again. Pee in the potty when we're at home" I requested as reassuringly as possible. Jimmy has peed in cups before - typically when we're driving and there's no place to stop, or the only option is a scary looking gas station. These are times he's peed in a cup; times when I've known there was pee in a cup. Really, these were "survival pees" too: times he had to go - but very definitely not times he was forced to drink his own pee for the sake of staving of dehydration.

Still there is one other type of survival very popular nowadays. Really it's not so much a front- line form of survival as it is a recourse for those who have survived some blunder of their own or another's doing. It's called an attorney. To my surprise, Jimmy is also familiar with this survival technique. Last week while demonstrating his amazing, high-speed driving skills with Kyla's walker, Jimmy had a collision with a wall. Fortunately there were no injuries, but Jimmy felt there had been damage done to his vehicle. "Well then it's time you gave Bogun, Munns and Munns a call, isn't it?" I played along. "No. I'm not calling them, I'm calling Morgan and Morgan, for the people" Jimmy answered decidedly. I'm assuming Jimmy heard their add on the radio, but it totally baffled me not only that he remembered their slogan so well, but also that he referenced them in the correct context.

I think little Jimmy could teach the world a thing or two on survival. Already, at such a formative age, he has demonstrated a mastery of survival skills. To recap, just remember: when you start something (per say, being born), keep going until the job is done; don't ever be afraid to drink your own pee; and when necessary find an advocate to plead your case.


Noel said...

I did not realize that you were such a brillant writer.
You are indeed a surviver.

carol said...

Yea for the little one and the teacher, who is pretty smart, too!!