I've been calling Sydney "Ramona Quimby" the last few weeks. For those of you that live "sans children", or perhaps live under a rock, Ramona Quimby is a popular children's series from years and years ago (aka, when I was a kid), which Hollywood has recently transformed into their latest kids must see movie.. We've watched it, a few dozen or so times, and it's cute, and funny, and full of all the good things about watching a movie with your kids should be.
So. I have this theory. Stay with me on this one. Ever since my little peanut was born, she had these "problems". She didn't grow very well, or very fast, she didn't breath very well, coughed a lot, etc. She was also shy, quiet, sweet and dainty. Don't think they are related? Hang on a sec.
It took us a few good years of figuring things out for her. Different meds, steroids, etc. Finally, (I think I wrote about this already but am too busy lazy to check) we got the right combination about a year and a half ago. She was put on a new Med called Singulair, and with the proper dosage of pill and inhalers, seemed to almost instantly improve, almost overnight it seemed. No more coughing spells, throwing up at night, her weight and height put her back on the growth chart since she was little, little. When she got a cold, it was simply a cold. No more panic attacks for Mommy about possible late night visits to the ER for breathing treatments.
A few months ago, I started reading some of the side effects of this wonder drug she was on. It is a relatively new drug for kids, so they really don't know all the long term side effects yet, especially for kids under 5. Let me express now, my sincere gratitude that this drug even exists and what it has done for my little girl. But, after reading some of the things other parents have started to encounter, I made the decision to wean her off of it to see how she would do. She still had her twice daily dose of inhaler, and a "rescue" inhaler in case of any shortness of breath etc. So, over a period of over a month or so, she weaned.
Once she had safely been off the drug for about another month, I started weaning her off the inhaler as well. Today, she is completely free of any and all drugs in her system. She is not coughing, short of breath, or throwing up, and her appetite has maintained as it was months ago.
Now. One of the reasons I wanted to wean her of the pill, was one particular side effect that was becoming apparent. Singulair is a steroid, which can cause irritability, mood swings, aggressive behavior, etc. I had started to notice that maybe Sydney was showing some of these symptoms. It was so gradual, and could have easily been attributed to changes such as starting school, meeting new friends, etc., but I thought it was worth trying to get her off the meds to make sure.
Now let me bring this looooong explanation full circle. I don't think Sydney was shy, quiet and dainty at all. And I don't think Singulair caused all these changes to occur either. In fact, I think it's just the opposite. My new theory is this... Sydney was.. sickly since birth. Her shy, quiet behavior, combined with her tiny frame, gave us all the impression that she was dainty and sweet. What Singulair has done, in perhaps making her lungs catch up to where they should have been all along, has released her true inner personality. Given her the confidence to do, and be the little person she was meant to be all along.
I let go of the theory that taking her off the pill would return her to the sweet little girl I thought she was before, and stopped getting annoyed by her constant crazy little attitude. Instead, I've had to adjust my attitude to match hers. Now I see her as spirited, with a ton of personality and confidence. This does come with a need for a different discipline style which we are still working on, but overall I think my middle child is finally blossoming into the girl she was always meant to be.
Her hair is almost always un-brushed, and you are unlikely to catch her with a clean face, she changes her clothes a hundred times a day to suit her mood/weather/need to be fit for public eyes. But she has so much spunk. And a gleam in her eye that I've never seen before. To see her run playing soccer, or get out of the pool after swimming without being short of breath or coughing is nothing short of a miracle to me. She's beautiful, and I am so happy and thankful that she is here to teach me so much about life and being a parent.