The Polio Acorn

UPDATE:

Julianna is doing well. No more throwing up, and we’re working on increasing her feeds. She’s been busy playing.

 

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J on a particularly busy day. She calls this picture “10,000 projects.”


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Happy (CMT) feet

 

And now the post…

Sometimes I toil over blog posts for days. Sometimes, I sit back and just quote Julianna.

She has the gift of gab, our Julianna. Every day, she says something startling — startling/funny, startling/profound, startling/imaginative. It’s a window into a delightful mind.

Here are some examples.

It’s bedtime. Julianna yawns.

J: What’s a yawn?

M I’m thinking…why DO we yawn? Where is the yawn center in the brain? Did I learn this in med school?

J: Is it a silent burp?

 

Dressing Julianna is challenging. She can’t tolerate a lot of time off BiPAP, so everything has to be laid out and ready.  The voluminous princesses dresses take some extra effort, but J is willing to make that sacrifice — on some days.

One day, J picked out a princess dress. We struggled a bit to get it on

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J: These are my work clothes.

These days, Julianna likes to alternate princess days with pajama days. This is J’s idea of princess-casual.

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I ask Julianna to smile for a picture.

 J: What size eyes do you want? Small? Medium? Big?

J: Medium is perfect.

 

And lastly,  her fantastic imagination. Her stories are spontaneous and vivid. They often send me flying to my laptop so that I can record the details.

Tonight, our five-year-old came up with a plan to eradicate polio.

J: Look at that poor little bear. He’s hungry. We need to feed him.

M: OK, what do we feed him?

J: Acorns.

M: OK….here’s some acorns I find a fake pearl — it’s round and can pass for an acorn. I put it next to the bear.J: That’s a silver acorn. It’s marshmallow flavored.

M: What other flavors are there?

J: Brown – it’s chocolate. And pink.

M: Pink is strawberry, right? I’ve done this before, I know the drill.

J: And orange for orange. And – she pauses. Did you know there are some bad flavors? She looks serious.

M: Like what?

J: Polio.

M: What?? How do you even know what polio is?

J: Grandma told me.

M: OK, what’s polio?

J: It makes your muscles weak and makes it hard to breathe.

M: And there are polio acorns?

J: Yes. They’re red.

M: OK…

J: You can’t eat them. You’ll get polio

M: Right.

J: The polio acorns are red because they are trying to trick people. They want you to think they are raspberry.

M: Oh, that’s no good.

J: Raspberry acorns are red and bumpy. Polio acorns are red and smooth. We have to get rid of them.

M: How?

J: We have to go to the wizard and ask for a spell. That’s the only way

M: Ok, lets do that. What would you tell the wizard?

J: I would tell him “Get rid of the polio acorn.” OK , hold my hand so you don’t touch the polio acorns. I take her hand and swing it, pretending we are walking.

J: So we walk towards the wizard. We go through the door. Shhh….we have to be real quiet here. We’re here!

M: Now what?

J: So — can you tell him?

M: Wizard, will you please destroy all the polio acorns so no one gets polio?

J: He says “Here’s a potion”

M: Oh great, now what do we do?

J: We sprinkle it on the polio tree. Here’s a flying spell so you can sprinkle it. You’ll be above it so you won’t touch it

M: Oh, thank you.

J: Put gloves on. The potion is hot

M: OK, I have gloves on

J: Ok so – let’s go.

I take J’s hand again and pretend to walk

J: You’re flying above it. Now sprinkle it

M: I’m sprinkling…

J: Ok, so then the polio disappears

M: No more polio – we got rid of polio.

J: Yeah.

M: That’s awesome.

J: There’s no polio. Now there’s raspberry acorns on that tree.

M: I love it. Everyone loves raspberries. Congratulations!

J: Yeah – WE DID IT!!

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The little bear that needed acorns is in the clear container. The pearl in J’s hand is the marshmallow acorn. The ponies are in the picture b/c J insisted. 

 

 

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “The Polio Acorn

  1. Oh my gosh I felt like I went to Enid Blyton land for five minutes. Hehe good job J! (although – exactly. What !?!! How do you even know what’s polio, J? I would have thought bad flavours are like, rotten eggs or icky meds .. but Polio – that’s redefining bad flavours altogether on a different new level haha)

    Ok J & Mish, me wants in on updates on the book of Julianna-isms when things fall in place on that!! (not the first time I am saying this but a reminder never hurts :p)

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  2. I am so glad Julianna is more comfortable. She deserves a raise for those 10,000 projects! And blessings to you and Steve and Alex; prayers for you to stay strong. Love the acorn story.

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  3. Julianna makes my day. I love her vivid imagination that takes her everywhere and wants to help others. I am so happy when I see a new blog post unless she’s sick 😦 and then I pray for her and you.

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  4. Thank you for the updates! So glad to hear she is comfortable again. My daughters have made something for Julianna and Alex and I will placing it in the mail today.

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  5. My son had glioblastoma at 15 yrs of age That was 16 years ago. He suffered a stroke after the biopsy and was half side paralyzed. He loved basketball and was very good at it. After a few months of losing physical abilities , I asked him ” what if your miracle is that you stay as you are “. He pointed up , meaning he’d rather go to Heaven. Brain cancer ( terminal ) just keeps taking judgement, reason etc away so that was the only conversation we had of that type.

    He passed 7 months after diagnosis. He was home with some hospice care the last 2 months. We hydrated him but did not do a feeding tube . The sister of one of his friend’s was diagnosed with leukemia 4 days after our son . She painfully battled sickness and treatment . When they told her, there was nothing more to be done medically and her parents asked her how she felt about that, she told her mother” Mom, I just don’t want to be sick anymore”. She also said. ” oh, maybe why that is why when I thought of the future, it was like looking at a blank page-“- all her life! She passed at 11 yrs of age .

    Please believe you will be guided by God in whatever choices you make. I support you in your decision. No one outside the arena understands.

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    • Thank you so much for writing. I am sorry for your loss – GBM’s are horrible, and seem only to happen to the most wonderful people and families. Thank you for sharing part of his story. I wish that children didn’t need to think about these things, but it sounds like you did everything you could to make his time here comfortable.

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  6. Hello Michelle, Steve, Alex & Julianna,
    I have enjoyed each and every communication you have written but this one was my favorite!
    So pleased to hear that Princess J overcame the problem feeding. She really looks comfort-
    able, busy and happy. I absolutely loved all the photos as well especially the one with the
    Princess Pajamas and matching Princess Tiara.
    All the best to my favorite family,
    Valentino
    Friday, February 5, 2016
    1:20pm

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  7. Grandma here. The subject of polio came up with Julianna one day recently when I was describing a friend/former boss (who has now passed away after living a very full life) who had polio as a young woman. She was left with paraplegia and some facial paralysis. Of course, Princess J had to know all about polio. I did assure her that we now have immunizations that protect us from getting polio, but polio acorns sound like so much more fun.

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  8. Great to see Julianna is doing well, and having fun. We will keep Julianna in our prayers tomorrow at church. Sending love and prayer from Pedro, Sujin, and Jessica.

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