When Grandpa was visiting last month, Katrina and he were "doing art" at the kitchen table. Katrina wanted to write letters and then play post office and deliver them, and somewhere along the line, she wanted Grandpa to draw her something. Fresh from teaching a class on business practices in Frankfurt, Grandpa gave a lively explanation of a decision tree, sketching the boxes and arrows on brown construction paper as he talked. And Katrina listened to every word.
Recently, that construction paper decision tree came to mind. If I had the technical and graphic skills, I'd put this entry into a real flow chart, but alas, I do not know how. So you'll have to use your imagination.
Decision Tree #1: Mama, My Tummy Hurts!
Question from Mom no. 1: Does it feel like you have to throw up?
Answer: No ==> Go on to next question
Answer: Yes ==> Let's get to the bathroom--QUICK!
Question no. 2: Do you have to go potty?
Answer: No ==> Go to next question.
Answer: Yes ==> Then go potty, please.
Questions no. 3, 4, 5: Are you sure you don't have to go potty? When was the last time you went? This morning when you woke up?
Answer: (Answer doesn't matter) => Go sit on the potty and just try, please. (and the really savvy mom acts surprised when this solves the problem.)
If tummy still hurts:
Question no. 6: Are you hungry?
Answer: No ==> Go back to question 2.
Answer: Yes ==> Let's go get a snack (or breakfast/lunch/dinner).
If none of the above helps, try to remember the last occasion and quality of child's poop. Then push fiber-rich foods and/or give Metamucil-type medicine prescribed by doctor. Distract child from tummy, if possible, and breathe sigh of relief when she stays in bathroom for more than two minutes.
Decision Tree #2: Mama, My Ear Hurts!
Question no. 1: Are you sure?
Answer: Yes ==> Call doctor, get appointment, get antibiotics.
Answer: No ==> Wait until she complains about it again, usually within a few hours. Then call doctor, get appointment, get antibiotics.
Katrina is now taking Zithromax. Again.