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Drunk Toddlers

Several months ago my daughter, who is one year old, got a urinary tract infection. It was nothing too serious – she just had a high fever and experienced a bit of pain. A bit of Tylenol and antibiotics cleared it up quite quickly. The problem is that our doctor decided that such an infection was sufficiently rare that he had better refer her to a specialist to make sure there was nothing more serious going on. I don’t know why doctors are so quick to refer their patients these days, but it drives me nuts. So anyways, yesterday, after waiting a few months for an appointment, we found ourselves at the hospital for Abby’s test. The test involved inserting a catheter into her bladder and pumping her full of some dark liquid. Then when she urinated they would take an x-ray to make sure nothing was heading “the wrong way” from her bladder (ie back towards her kidneys).

The test sounds simple enough, but since she is young and squirmy they decided they had better sedate her first. To do this they gave her some cocktail of Tylenol and something else. They warned us that it would make her seem to be drunk. Oh dear.

Sure enough, fifteen minutes after consuming the medication, she started to get drowsy. She started to sing silly songs to herself. She swayed all over the place and soon couldn’t even walk. She kept laughing and giggling and generally acting the fool. My daughter was wasted!

So she went for her test and the initial results looked (no great surprise) perfectly normal. Unfortunately she was still plenty drunk. She came out of the procedure, which took only fifteen or twenty minutes, and was no longer singing and giggling. No, she was mad. And I mean really mad. She started screaming, throwing things and taking swings at the nurses. She plugged one of the nurses off the face with her soother! When my wife tried to intervene, Abby swatted her too. So she had gone from being just drunk to being a fighting drunk. The nurses assured us this was normal. But my sweet, pretty little girl was drunk out of her gourd and was just furious with the world.

After a few minutes of screaming the nurses told us we could head home. We carried a squirming, screaming little girl through the hospital feeling like bad parents. Our children usually behave very well when we take them out so it was quite a shock to have a bad kid! She screamed in the elevator on the way down to the parking garage. One not-so-kind lady even started scolding her, trying to get her to be quiet. It didn’t work. We bundled her into the car, still screeching, and headed home.

Little Abby fell asleep in the car and slept off her drunkeness. When she woke up a few hours later she was perfectly normal – all the way back to her usual self. We were much relieved!

I’d love to say there was a moral to this story. Or better yet, a spiritual moral. But I’m not sure there is. Except, of course, not to let your toddlers get drunk, but you probably already knew that.

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