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An day in the life of Tímea Goldberg
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Moths & Sheep; Vaccinations & Rules [Daily Link]
Friday, September 27, 2002

Tímea started out the day very tired after her ordeal yesterday. But still she started it out well. Before school she found a set of stickers of insects and wanted to know which ones bite and which ones don't. When learning that moths eat wool clothing she asked whether moths eat sheep (or at least the wool when it is on the sheep.) I doubt it, but it is a remarkable question (and we can't seem to find the answer.)

When we go to school we were reminded that Tímea needs a DTP/DTaP/DT/Td booster as well as a Hib booster. And that today was the deadline. (We hadn't paid attention to the deadline.) We were told that we should talk to the school officials about what to do when we picked her up. During the day, I called our medical provider to set up an appointment with a nurse for these injections over the weekend. But I was told that they won't give injections to someone who hasn't had a physical within the past 24 months. Tímea's last one was in August 2000. Thus we needed to make an appointment with a pediatrician, and the next available appointment would be for October 10. Panicing that Tímea would be excluded from school until the 10th, I read over the form we'd been handed by the school. I listed an interesting point.

If immunizations are against your personal beliefs, please come to school/child care to sign the exemption statement.

This prompted me to write the following letter

To whom it may concern,

We need to inform you that as part of a long and deeply held family and personal tradition, it is against our principles to have a child receive a fourth stage vaccination prior to Columbus Day Eve (October, 10) 2002. This tradition we hold in honor of the Native Americans who suffered massive epidemics after Columbus' landing in the new world.

We hold this principle only for the fourth in a series of vaccinations in sad commemoration of the Columbus' fourth vessel, Pestilence, which he brought along with the Niña, the Pinta and that Santa Maria from Europe. We maintain this principle until 2002, because the year as written in palidromatic which has special importance in our tradition. Based on these beliefs we claim an exemption from any vaccinations of our daughter, Tímea Goldberg, which would go against these beliefs.

By a fortunate coincidence the next available appointment for such vaccinations by our medical provider happens to fall on October 10, 2002. At that time Tímea will receive her latest boosters.

So that is our story and we are sticking to it, at least until we can get her immunized.

A trip to the ER [Daily Link]
Thursday, September 26, 2002

Every Thursday, Tímea goes dancing. The dance studio is at the Moreno Valley Mall not far from where we live. We eat at the food court in the mall and Tímea will ride the outstanding carousel they have their. (Tímea knows every carousel within 30 miles of where we live. I'll write more about those on some other occassion.)

Tímea has made a friend at dance, Andrejva, whom she would play with after dinner at the food court. They had been playing wonderfully for about half an hour or more, when as part of the game (and with no meanness intended) Andrejva pushed Tímea who fell backwards and smacked her head on the hard tile floor. We have never heard Tímea shriek like that and for such a long time. Also the sound of her head hitting the floor was one the scariest things I'd ever heard. Well, I tried to check her eyes' responsiveness to light, and from what little I could see, they were unresponsive. So we decided to take her to the emergency room. Lívia's health insurance through UCR gives us family coverage through Kaiser Permanente so that is where we went.

As we were in the car and Tímea calmed down, it was clear that she was just fine. She'd never lost conciousness and she was completely and perfectly coherent. W got out of the car at the parking lot by the ER at 8:20 PM. Lívia – with frightening clairvoyance – said, "let's just go home. If we go in, they'll probably make us wait until midnight." I said, "As long as we drove here, we might as well get her checked out." Well the triage nurse checked her out, and she was clearly fine. But he put a wrist band on her. At which point I asked whether that meant that we were staying there for a while. That is when I was informed that if you walk into an emergency room, by law they are not allowed to discharge you until you've been seen by a doctor. Well, given that Tímea was fine, we got put in the Urgent Care queue instead of the emergency one. But even there there were people who genuinely needed to see a doctor. Quite correctly those people got taken before us. The triage nurse was very nice. When he had a break he brought Tímea a toy and an activity book. (Just to make it clear that Tímea's head was okay, she completed a connect-the-dots activity in the book that went up to 72 dots, and she needed only the minimal amount of help to do so.

At about 9:15 we walked out, but went back in again. First they had Tímea's insurance card. Second, I was concerned that the reason that they didn't want us to go was because they wanted to understand the nature of the accident, and so I thought that if we walked out we'd have to talk to the police at some point. So we went back in and waited some more. Tímea was remarkably good with waiting. But by about 9:45 (well past her 8:45 bed-time) she was fading. Lívia was downright grouchy. So at about 9:55 we left. We got Tímea to bed at home by about 10:20.

New shoes and new glasses [Daily Link]
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Tímea is off to school in her new glasses (she is nearsighted with +2.5 left eye and +2.0 right eye). She is putting up with them remarkably well, but it is obvious that she doesn't like them. She just got the classes last week on Tuesday. We've been told that she should wear them all the time, but it seems that she still sees better without them then with them. We'll make a follow-up appointment for her at some point if things don't improve.

We'll push one thing at a time. Yesterday she complained that her shoes were too small. So after school yesterday we went to the mall (Galleria at Tyler) and found shoes for her at Gymboree. She seemed to love them there and danced around them at the store and ran through the mall with them on. This was the first time in a long time that I'd actually been confident that we got her shoes that fit properly. This morning, however, she refused to wear them. We let her go to school in sandals (against school rules) since we don't want to risk her cooperativeness with her glasses by a struggle over the shoes.

Over the past week Tímea has shown a remarkable understanding of numbers. She likes playing the "addition game" in the car. She will pick a number, say seven, and then will want us to ask her about combinations that add up to it. We then ask, "What do three and four together make?" And she will happily shout out "seven". While playing a few days ago, she was pretending to be a parent dinosaur protecting one million and two dinosaur babies from a scary t-rex. At one point she said that she had one million and two pieces of candy so that she could give one piece to each baby. The school has said that their goal is that children should understand a "one to one correspondences" by the time they start kindergarten. I don't think that they know what they mean by that, but Tímea is certainly there.

A blog begining [Daily Link]
Monday, September 23, 2002

While Tímea sleeps, I her father, decide that it is finally time to set up a blog for her.

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