When tenacity becomes stubbornness

Like mother like daughter….

On a good day, Emily is determined or tenacious! On a bad day, she is pigheaded, inflexible or stubborn!!!

Just like me!!! Her dad is like that too but it’s my blog so I will take responsibility!

All 5 words, determined, tenacious, pigheaded, inflexible and stubborn are synonyms… the first 2 have a positive vibe while the last 3 makes you think about a difficult child!

All 5 words are the same!

A strength (determination) over used becomes a weakness! This is true at all ages!

When looking at Emily, I know that her determination helped her learn to walk, talk, eat on her own and do so many other things.

Her inflexibility have made her stomp her foot in the middle of a store when she thought a dress my mom and I liked was hideous!

🙂 My daughter!!!

October 2001, Emily is just over 3 years old when the daycare informed us that one of the little boy had meningitis… All the kids had to take a preventative antibiotic.

The syrup was disgusting…. I’ve always tasted (still do) everything before I give it to Emily so I am better prepared for her reaction!

As I suspected, Emily hated it and decided that she would not take it!

As a baby, Emily had issues swallowing and choked a lot. She developed an amazing ability to remove whatever was blocking her air ways on her own. My baby would start suffocating and could loosen up / vomit on demand…. still can!

At 3, we couldn’t really discuss with her the importance of keeping that syrup in. We got more from the pharmacist and kept trying to give it to her….in juice, yogurt, fruits, pudding and more… We tried many times and she made herself vomit every single time…

She is one stubborn child!

The pharmacist wasn’t selling us anymore antibiotics… he seemed to not believe in Emily’s ability to detect the antibiotic in food and expulsed it…..

We had to take Emily to the hospital as we were getting nervous about her not getting the benefit of the antibiotics as well as not keeping food or liquid in her body.

We went to the hospital 3 days in a row.

The first 2 days we were sent home after being looked at like over reacting parents…

On the third day, I packed for an over night stay for all 3 of us.

We got to the hospital, explained (once again) that Emily was exposed to meningitis, that she refused to take the antibiotics and that she stopped eating and drinking. She was not herself, she was dangerously dehydrated…

Again, we were judged by the nurses and labeled as over reacting parents.

But this time the nurses tried to get a urine sample and got nothing.

The bag they glued onto Emily stayed empty long enough for them to slightly panic and decide to go in with a little tube to collect a sample straight from her bladder. When that didn’t work, the nurses went on full alert. Emily was dehydrated, she needed to be transferred to another hospital. They wanted to put her in an ambulance while we were to go home to get personal items.

Yeah right, I wasn’t leaving my girl.

We told them not to worry about us, that we had our backpacks in the car and that all they had to do was call the hospital that we would drive there.

When we got to the next hospital, they were waiting for us.

Emily was put in isolation because of the meningitis exposure.

They needed to install an  IV to hydrate Emily.  She was a tiny 3 year old.

They had the audacity to ask me to hold her while they were trying to put that needle in her. I refused. I refused to be the one holding her down while they were hurting her. I was and will always be the one comforting her, not the one holding her down!

They poked her multiple times before finally installing the IV on her wrist.


I had told them not to touch her right hand, that she needed to suck on her finger to fall asleep but they didn’t listen to me.

I noticed bandages around both of her wrists and ask what they were for..

They planned on attaching her to the sides of the bed at night so she wouldn’t roll on her IV…

That’s when I became determined, tenacious, pigheaded, inflexible and stubborn… all at once!

There was no way they were going to do that.

They took away her right hand and wanted to have her lay still at night while being attached to her bed…

Anyone else see something wrong with that picture???

I stayed awake all night, holding her left hand and hoping she would fall asleep.

I did that for all the nights we spent there and would have done it for many more.

We spent Halloween at the hospital, nurses and volunteers were disguised and brought us some items to help Emily dress-up.  By this time she was no longer being kept in isolation so we pushed her around in a high chair (she wasn’t walking yet) and let her collect candies she couldn’t yet eat.  We allowed her a sucker which made her sick, this showed us she wasn’t ready to be off the IV and come home.


She eventually got better and we went home!

Like mother like daughter!

On a good day, Emily and I are determined and tenacious! On a bad day, we are pigheaded, inflexible and stubborn!!!

I am so very proud of that because when she drives me crazy, all I have to do is think about her ability to walk, talk and do so many other things…. that ability came from her determination and tenacity.
Can you recognize an over used strength in your kids?


If you like to read about Emily and would like timely updates of little and big things happening in her life, you should follow Lessons from my daughter‘s page on Facebook.  This is where I post tidbits of information before I have time to write a proper blog post.  Some stories might never get a full blog post!  Join us there too!

Find more about about Cri du Chat syndrome at 5p- Society

Emily has a her own page in the family stories , you can find it here: Emily

You can also find me on Twitter at @plebrass

I am on Pinterest too… one day I will figure out what to do there other than finding cool recipes but meanwhile, you can find me here: Lessons from my Daughter

The art of not giving up!

June 18 1998 20:24

Our daughter is finally here!  A tiny baby 5 lbs 6 onces ….  18.5 inches long.

She is beautiful!  The cutest baby in the nursery!  I know every parents think that about their baby but mine was awfully cute!

She had the most perfectly round face with big almond shape eyes.  She had a tiny cry while all those other big babies were so loud!!!  She had a tiny spot on the back of her head that had no hair, she had a tiny purple spot on her forehead and a little skin tag by her left ear…..  Other than that 10 fingers, 10 toes and a cute tiny nose….

Emily was born in the time of breastfeeding madness….. where you “had to” breastfeed.  Emily didn’t want to!!!  The drinking containers (my breasts) were bigger than she was…..  She didn’t latch, she didn’t suck and couldn’t swallow……  My breasts became public properties to the nurses at the hospital…..  They all had a different approach that was supposed to make Emily drink….. Well that didn’t work and quite frankly at some point regardless of their good intentions, I couldn’t stand nurses grabbing my breasts!!!  MY Boobies!!!   Not public property!

The doctors ordered tests and it was decided that her not drinking properly and turning blue while we were feeding her had to do with not knowing how to swallow!  We were cleared to go home with our daughter, all we needed to do was take our time feeding her…

Did we ever!!!

You know those babies who drink 8 onces and go for a nap!?!?!?  I’ve heard they exist!  I believe some of my nephews were like that but in our house there was none of that.  No drinking, no napping!

I pumped milk for as long as I could, I started with a manual pump, got on a path to tendinitis so I switch to electronic…. talk about feeling like a milk cow…. not sexy, not stimulating…. but I did it for my daughter!  Emily drank maybe 2 onces at the time and to get those 2 onces in her took a couple of hours.  Put a tiny amount in her mouth, sit her up straight, put a hand on her tummy, once you felt the sip go down (yes, you can feel that….), sit her up straight and don’t move her…….  wait maybe 5 minutes and repeat….  The waiting was to help her keep the milk in.  Regardless of how slowly we got the milk in her, she vomited at least half of it……

One day, I will tell you about the time her godmother decided to play with her just after she was done drinking….

Feeding Emily was a 24/7 adventure.  We just kept giving her small amount of milk hoping it would stay in, hoping she would keep enough to stay alive!

My house was a mess, I had on-going piles of laundry (all the vomiting) and I was exhausted…. Emily didn’t sleep.  She drank, vomited and cried……  She slept maybe 4 hours on 24 hours and they were not in a row!!!

To this day, I am not sure where the energy and tenacity to continue came from….

One thing for sure, by the time she was diagnosed and that the doctors talked about feeding her by tube….. I knew we could keep her alive without it!  I knew that it was hard, I knew that the tube might be easier but at the end of the day, I wanted her to learn to eat, I wanted her to learn to use her tongue and cheeks…..  I wanted her to developed those muscles so maybe one day she would talk…..!  Maybe one day she would say “maman”

When faced with a never ending task, how long will you keep going?