On the cusp…

A week from today, J will be on his reduced dose of Risperidone.  I still have no deep-seated qualms, but the superficial ones are alive and kicking.  This morning, when J decided he wanted to be rather vocal and expressive about his discontent when I said NO to a snack, I had a brief pang of anxiety, but he acquiesced as soon as he realized that I wasn’t kidding; I meant NO and he knew it.  With what has become J’s typical adolescent shrug of WHATEVS, LADY!, he moved on to the next thing.  End of story.  A non-incident.

On Friday, Dada stopped by the pharmacy to pick up J’s new prescription.  The label reads (rather ominously) TAPER AS DIRECTED.  We shook the plastic bottle before opening it, and the sound was that of less medication.  We peered into the bottle and saw the smallest pills we’ve ever had the privilege to lay eyes on.  Two pairs of eyes looked up, reflecting a bit of alarm and seeking reassurance from the other parental face.

“Those are…very…very…very…TINY…pills,” Dada said.  I simply nodded.  We covered the bottle (if one falls out it’s not likely to be found in the high-pile carpeting we’ve been cursed with here) and looked at the milligrams.  Yup…it’s definitely the right pill: .25 mg.  One in the morning and two in the evening is what we discussed with the doctor.  Three of these non-pareil seed-size pills are supposed to only remove 1/4 of the effect of the other two J will be taking until Sunday night.  “Chemistry is a wondrous thing,” I said to Dada, with a bit of a question mark at the end of the statement.  “Yeah,” he said, “mostly in the same fashion as Dr. Sheldon Cooper argues that gravity is a heartless bitch.”  That made me smile.  And then I wondered if J is supposed to be “gravity.”

Friday, of course, didn’t just revolve around the size of the pills.  No sooner had we begun to spin in the direction of an all-consuming conversation on this topic that we noticed Miss Zelda (the Kraken) had something stuck to her exceedingly luscious tail.  These are part-time outdoor cats, you understand, and as such there is a risk of them bringing things indoor that are not meant to be here.  Case in point, Miss Pipa’s recent attempt to bring a snake into the house, plus the occasional grasshopper, bird, etc.  This time the thing we wouldn’t want indoors was a dog’s feces attached to Miss Zelda’s fur.  An hour after this discovery (and with much gagging, complaining and cursing involved in trying to remove it in a variety of less-invasive manners,) Miss Zelda had to be bathed.

Now, I have known cats who don’t mind a bath.  Miss Zelda isn’t one of them.  Never mind that she suffered the indignity and mortification of being bathed at all, she also had to endure the embarrassment of being outed as a thin, scrawny creature without all that hair to bulk her up.  Imagine Dolly Parton without her ample bosom.  Imagine Cher without the Bob Mackie outfits.  Imagine Tammy Faye Baker without her makeup or hairdo.  Miss Zelda is all hair and very little cat.  Miss Pipa found this very funny and entertaining; the sight of her drenched counterpart being subjected to the blow-dryer with the diffuser attached was what Miss Pipa would consider a hilarious night at the comedy  club.  Miss Zelda, in spite of our best intentions, was completely offended by this intervention and proceeded to act like we’d just tied her to a lazy Susan and then tried to stab her with an ice pick, barely missing every time.

Dry though she was, and warm though we made sure the room was, she proceeded to sneeze, cough and make choking sounds that were proven to be pure melodrama when, watching her from inside the closet, we noticed she was happily preening and prancing her way around our room while emitting these sounds.  No sooner would she hear the door that she would drop on the floor, extended to her full length, and pretend to be on the brink of death.  She wasn’t satisfied until I put a heating pad and a fleece blanket on the bed for her to rest on…this did the trick and the murderous look she had been flashing at me abated, but I still slept with my blanket neatly tucked under me in hopes from shielding my jugular from her claws.

Miss Zelda wasn’t the only creature to get groomed this weekend.  Dada, TGG and J all got haircuts.  J deemed himself BEAUTIFUL after his shower (yes, shower…we’re working on showers rather than tub baths!) and shave.  It’s amazing how proud he is of himself, and how self-assured he is about his handsome face.  He went into TGG’s room to get yet another compliment, but he is happy just telling his reflection in the mirror how handsome he is.  Would that we all shared in that self-confidence!!!

This morning we worked on sorting coloring pencils.  Somehow, over the course of nearly fourteen years of all of us living in the same household, we’ve managed to accumulate a rather large amount of coloring pencils.  (Let’s not discuss the hatbox full of crayons, shall we???)  In anticipation of our move in a couple of months, we’ve started to sort through things so we can do this in as organized a manner as possible.  TGG found all his coloring pencils, I took out mine and we think J has a box in his room.  For the time being, J sorted the ones we’d already brought out of hiding.  Using two mesh cutlery trays, he put greens with greens, blues with blues and so forth.  This is partly an exercise in getting ready to move, and partly a way to help him solidify the idea that blue, green, red, purple, orange, yellow have different shades.  So we’ll be doing this the rest of the week.  Pencils go back in shoe box; pencils get sorted by color family; pencils get put away, and brought back out…

And, yes, we color in between repetitions of the task…

But we have time to fill and occupations to engage in so that the upcoming transition is successful.  Idle hands and brains, you know…

 

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