It was late summer, and my Mum had decided to take our T1D son to the local library for the first time. Our youngest was about a month old and I’d firmly left the “ohmygoodness how did we ever make something so cute” phase and had recently entered the “is it possible to die from being this tired? Because I feel like I could die from it” stage.
My Mum – my honest to God hero on more occasions than I can count – had offered to take the two year old out for a bit to give me a breather, and they’d selected the library as their
victim location of choice. These were the days before we had a CGM or a pump, and so off they tottered with a go-bag full of every piece of diabetes paraphernalia under the sun, and I breathed a sigh of relief that only one human would be requiring my immediate attention for the next hour, and that that human often slept. Let the baby snuggles begin.
Exactly one hour later, my poor, beleaguered mother walked through the door, looking like she’d just been fighting with a small grizzly bear. Hair akimbo, shirt sort of askew – that kind of thing. That grizzly bear, so it turned out, was my toddler. It’s a long story but the gist of it is this: they went to story time, and all was well until he started melting down over a charming rendition of The Little Blue Truck. “Ooh”, my Mum thought to herself, “I wonder if he’s low.” And so out came the finger-prick-testy-thing (which I really need to learn the actual name of) and lo and behold, the boy was low. Not a bit low but very low.
So, swooping into action in a way that I think only veteran parents do, my Mum pulled out a trusty juice box (has anyone taken out shares in juice box companies? Contemplating it on the daily). But my child did not want the juice box. He very much did not want the juice box. Possibly because it was apple and he wanted orange. Possibly because he was two and random meltdowns were his total prerogative. I’ve no idea.
What happened next looked like my Mum chasing him around the library (which is small, but not that small) trying to catch him, and eventually commandeering the unsuspecting librarian and several other parents (none of whom we had met before) to assist with the ensuing battle. So far beyond gentle coaxing were they, my friends, that my Mum and the librarian literally had to pin him down to get him to drink the juice box.
They left pretty swiftly after that, and all was well (toddler-wise) with a bit of fast-acting glucose. But here and there, for a few months afterwards, we’d overhear parents at the playground regaling their friends with the tale of that story time. All it took was one fleeting library trip to become that family, the one with the boy and the juice box and the poor librarian who has probably never forgotten it.
We don’t go to that library any more, folks. Not because a hypo-induced meltdown is anything to be ashamed of, though. People got it. They were really kind, in fact. It’s actually just because I’m not sure I could risk my nearly two year old non-T1D son pulling the same sort of stunt, but not having low blood sugar as a way to justify it.