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Hand holding lotion bottle under faucet

Or Until It Stops Itching

My daughter and I were a skin scare specialist team. She made the appointments and I arrived to do my part. As the Nana, I was usually well rested, leaving me ready to listen and take notes. We would take our bouncy sweetheart to the doctor with great hopes and expectations. She played with toys in the waiting room while we checked bags to ensure we brought all of her the medications. We also had a lot of paperwork. I was in charge of that.

All prepared for the appointment

My bag was full of the referral letters from primary care clinics. I also carried pediatrician notes, along with the dates. I even kept the instructions that came with the medications. Just in case. It seemed like a wise Nana-like thing to do. I felt helpful.

The doctor’s notes were important because they served as proof that we were trying. Our sweet baby’s skin was not always an indication of our efforts. Despite our great detail to attention, she currently had rash around her mouth and bright red patches on her cheeks. But, it was written right there in the doctor’s notes. You could plainly see that we were in his office 3 times in the last month.

I was reading the notes one day while we waited. Jill was quietly working a puzzle, licking each piece before putting it in place. Such a sweet girl she was, leaving her budding genius DNA for the next child at the pediatric dermatology office. I glanced down and read the doctor’s scrawl: “Use cream 2xs daily on the affected area. Rinse with cool water before each use or until it stops itching.”

Finding the humor in everyday things

The laughter blurted out, along with a little spit. My lips and cheeks curled up uncontrollably. I tried to cover my mouth, but my hand was clutching the paper. My daughter looked at me with amazement. My granddaughter toddled up smiling, as though she herself had created my joy.

But the paper had started trembling as my fingers grasped it with a clawing motion. I was shaking that paper like it was on fire. My daughter shot her eyes toward the bathroom door, implying I needed to hide my giggle fit. But I didn’t dare get up for fear I might get too close to the commode and accidentally wet myself. I was helpless to stop and tried to plead with eyes filled with tears of hilarity.

Finally, I took in a huge gulp of air and painfully swallowed. I then showed my daughter the doctor’s instructions. She read it, blinked slowly, folded the paper, and slid it back into my bag.

Later, as we drove toward our lunch destination, I tried to ask my daughter what she remembered about those instructions. “What did you rinse with cool water, the tube or Jill’s skin? Did you keep the water running until the cream was gone, or until it quit itching?” It somehow didn’t seem nearly as funny as it had earlier. She rolled her eyes at me. I twinkled mine back at her.

I either have a whopping sense of humor …. or a tendency to take things too literally.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.