Put On Your Listening Ears.
Our backyard is big and lovely and fenced in on all sides so that when Birdy and I are playing outside, we’re both safe from cars and giant woodland creatures (except the ones that can shimmy underneath the fence … I’m looking at you, groundhog). I don’t keep my eyes glued to her while she plays, and we can enjoy the sunshine and the garden without feeling paranoid about passing cars, wandering off, etc.
Which is exactly what sucks about the front yard, because that’s the part of the house that the road is closest to. So while I still need to do things in the front yard (getting the mail, tending the front garden, drawing hopscotch in the driveway), I don’t do anything of those things without having Birdzone front and center in both my mind and my actual line of sight.
Yesterday evening, Birdy and I were working in the front yard garden (I was clearing out some weeds and she was making “houses” for worms we discovered underneath a rock), when my Dexcom started wailing from my pocket. In retrospect, I felt a little “off,” but it wasn’t until I heard the low alarm blaring from the Dexcom receiver that the symptoms kicked in fully.
“Hey, your blood sugar is whoa, Mom,” Birdy said absently, placing another worm onto a pile of dirt.
“Yeah, we need to go inside and get some snacks, okay? It’s important,” I replied, looking at the “UNDER 65 MG/DL” warning on the Dexcom screen.
Normally, she listens. Especially when it’s about blood sugars, because Chris and I have talked with her a few times about how listening is important, particularly when I tell her my blood sugar is low. But she wanted to stay outside. She liked playing with the worms. She liked being in the dirt and gardening. She didn’t want to have to cut playtime short because Mommy needed a few glucose tabs that she should have brought outside with her in the first place. [Insert Mom Guilt here.]
“Nooooo waaaaaaay!!!” she said, flouncing away from me and refusing to turn around.
Under normal circumstances, I would have laughed (because “No way!” is a great response), but I was starting to feel shaky and my brain cells connections felt loose, like thoughts weren’t coupling up the right way. We were in the front yard and I knew I needed to gain control of all potentially dangerous situations in a hurry.
“We need. To go. INSIDE right now. My blood sugar is low. This is not a joke.” I said.
“No! I don’t waaaaaaant to!!”
My blood sugar falls fast. It always has. I don’t get the long, lingering slides towards hypoglycemia but instead the quick, breathless plummets. Knowing that I was dropping and watching yet another car drive by our house meant I needed to get control fast and without issue.
Before my body completely caved to the low blood sugar, I scooped up my flailing daughter and walked into the house. She was freaking out and still forcefully asserting her right to “NOOOO!” but I needed sugar more than I needed her to like me. A few seconds later, we were both safely contained in the kitchen. I had a few glucose tabs and waited for my brain to acknowledge them. Birdy pouted in the corner, staring at her hands and still mumbling, “No way.”
A few minutes later, I felt more human. “Birdy, I’m sorry we had to come inside. But my blood sugar was low and it could have become an emergency. So that’s why you needed to put your listening ears on and come inside. I wasn’t doing it to be mean; I was doing it to be safe. Does that make sense?”
“I’m sorry we couldn’t stay outside. But we can go back out now, okay?”
“Okay. I’m sorry I didn’t listen.”
She turned around and pressed her hand into mine. Something wriggled. She smiled.
“I brought a worm inside.”