Archive for April, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. The birthday celebration, however, was really more for the three year old than the 33 yr old.

I took Sam to pick out a gift for his daddy, then to pick up balloons, (which were more for Sam’s enjoyment than daddy’s), and then to pick up the chocolate cake with chocolate icing (which was a little more for my enjoyment than for my husband’s).

Unfortunately, this was not the first birthday that my husband was not the center of attention on his special day. My poor husband has a history of not-so-happy birthdays…

13th – He was hit by a MACK truck. Yes, you read that right. A semi ran him over, he was caught up in the wheels, and he was nearly road kill. On his birthday. Miraculously, he’s fine now. Other than the scars on his legs, you would never know it happened. Praise the Lord.

20th – This was the first birthday I celebrated with him as my new boyfriend. I went to my BFF’s sister’s wedding and showed up late to his party, super drunk and with a cheesecake that gave everyone diarrhea.

25th – Like this year’s b-day, his 25th was actually more for the kids than for him. Not our kids. Hubby and I helped out with our church’s Youth Group and the kids adored him. So, thanks to me, his celebration was a gathering of 13 year olds, and he was the main attraction. They were thoroughly amused to adorn him in “Over the Hill” garb and point out his fresh strands of grey hair. They also thought he was 30.

26th– He spent this birthday delivering the eulogy at his grandmother’s funeral.

27th-28th – We both went back to school, and his birthday was right before/during finals week. Did we even celebrate?

29th – I had been spending the past month, days and nights, in the hospital at my mom‘s bedside. I got him a few silly gifts from the hospital gift shop. Then in an attempt to give him something he would appreciate, I took myself, pregnant belly and all, to the beer distributor to get him a case of Guiness. Maybe it would help him forget that he would miss another month of watching his baby grow inside me.

31st – He gave me a gift instead:

32nd- I invited his parents over to celebrate. I spent an outrageous amount of money on a cake that was supposed to be fantastically de-lish. Instead, it was so disgusting I doubt the dog would have eaten it. We ended up throwing it out.

33rd – This year, his birthday was not entirely his own, true. But instead of the focus being taken away from him, it was enhanced by a three year old’s enthusiasm to celebrate. And I think he had a nice day…

In addition to his new ipod touch,dscn23691

hubby got a card with a hand drawn picture of a “jelwee fish” in it, dscn2372 a thoughtfully chosen box of candy, dscn2367 an eagerly sung rendition of “Happy Birthday,” and help blowing out candles. dscn2363 Plus, the chance to share the thoughtfully selected gift.

Once you are a parent, birthdays are celebrated more for the children than for yourself. But maybe that’s okay…maybe it’s even better. As long as you still get a new ipod, that is.

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Happy Birthday Daddy!

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April 28, 2009 at 7:48 pm 11 comments

I am SO not ready

He sat in a circle of preschoolers on a brightly colored number “7” carpet square. He looked so cute and so content as he listened intently to a woman dressed as Mother Goose tell stories and nursery rhymes. It was preschool open house week and we were sitting in, observing for the day.

I was in rare obsessive-compulsive mom form. I was determined to walk away equipped with a list of skills that he should have mastered before school starts in the fall. He still doesn’t use a proper pencil hold…will that be an issue? What about the names of coins, he still thinks everything is called a penny. What about…

I wanted to find out how I’ll know that he will be ready for preschool. When in reality, I should have been concerning myself with how I’ll know that I will be ready for preschool.

There he was, my three year old looking so at home in that classroom. A classroom full of four year olds. Four. I remember being four myself! And this time next year he will be four and a half!

Ugh, I’m SO not ready.

He made a little friend immediately. Sitting to his left was a little boy who also had a little baby brother. That was all it took for them to strike up a conversation and for each of them to find a new friend.

To his right was “B,” a little girl who has been one of his favorite friends since last year. He loves his playdates with B so much that he imagines playing with her even when she‘s not around. When we hear him “talking to himself“ in his room, we know the answer to “What are you doing Sam?”… will usually be “Oh, just playing with B.”

He was equally happy to sit next to his new friend and his old friend, his male friend and his female friend. Because at three, he only sees friends. He was asked to choose a picture from the story board, and he picked the big, pink castle with the princess. Because at three, he doesn’t see one picture as more gender appropriate than another, he only sees the biggest picture on the story board.

A one year age difference means nothing in the adult world. But in preschool world, a whole new social perspective emerges between age three and age four.

A few months ago, Sam had to have one of his two front teeth pulled due to an A-typical growth pattern. Of course it had to be one of the front teeth, right? So far, it doesn’t seem to bother him. Truth be told, it bothers me much more. And so far, none of the kids in his three year old circle of friends seem to notice, or care.

A little four year old boy at the preschool noticed Sam’s missing tooth though. He didn’t say anything directly to Sam, and Sam didn’t hear (or just didn’t care) when the little boy started talking about how HE had more teeth.

I realized at that moment that at age four, kids think on a different level than they do at age three, in more than just the academic sense. I realized at that moment that it doesn’t matter as much if Sam has a proper pencil hold or some other arbitrary preschool readiness skill. (I never got my list anyway).

I realized that it might be starting sooner than I thought it would. Soon, insensitive words will chip away at my son’s self esteem, and I will really have to step up as a parent. I will have to help him work through anger and hurt feelings. I will have to get over my own hurt and anger felt on his behalf. I will have to find the right words to teach him the importance of inward beauty and the value of character.

I realized that I need to be prepared for preschool.

And I am SO not ready.

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April 26, 2009 at 2:01 pm 10 comments

Do you want to get the camera, or should I?

Our family room is an addition to the back of our house and is semi-closed off from the other first floor rooms . It’s nice to have an out-of-sight space to keep toys, our comfy -but ugly- recliner, our elliptical machine that we never use, and all the baby gear we use fequently. The down side is that when I sit in the comfy-but ugly-recliner to feed the baby, I can’t see what kind of trouble my 3 year old is getting himself into. I have mentioned before about how Sam’s passive aggressive behavior while I nurse his brother simultaneously amuses and aggravates me…

Thought I would share the recent additions…

A couple weeks ago, I was no more than 5 minutes into nursing the baby before my husband got home from work, walked into our back family room and asked, “Do you want to get the camera, or should I?”

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That’s rock salt.

…yyyyeah, what can I say? 

A huge pile of rock salt in our front entry.

 

 

 

 

***

Then, just a few days ago, Sam walked into the family room with a box of cereal. I was feeding the baby, and Sam was content to eat Fruit Loops straight from the box and watch cartoons. Who am I to mess with that set up?

Eventually, he got bored and toted his Fruit Loops out of the room. At first I thought maybe he was putting the cereal away. Hey, a girl can dream can’t she?  It was more likely that he was going to throw cereal at the dog.

I called after him, “That’s your cereal, don’t feed it to the dog!”

He bounced back in the room a couple minutes later. No cereal.

ME:  What did you do with your Fruit Loops?

SAM:  Oh, it’s over the floor.

The baby and I went in to inspect the mess….

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While Sam was in his time out chair, baby discovered he’s now ready for “real” solid foods …like Fruit Loops.  Much more substance than mashed bananas.

 ***

So that brings us to yesterday. This time I was sitting in the comfy -but ugly- recliner, but I wasn’t feeding the baby. I was chillaxin’ with my laptop, reading and commenting on blogs. The baby was crawling around on the floor and Sam was enjoying his favorite snack…”peanut butter poons.” He likes to get a spoon and eat the peanut butter right out of the jar. Ahh, a boy after my own heart.

Anyway, the comfy -but ugly- recliner is positioned at one end of our coffee table, and there’s some open floor space in front of the TV on the other end. Sam took his PB and sat in front of the table (out of my immediate view) and watched TV while he ate.

ME: “Don’t give your brother any peanut butter.”

*5 minutes later*

ME: “Don’t give any to your brother.”

*5 minutes later*

ME: “Sam, did you give the baby peanut butter?

SAM: “yeah”

…gotta give the kid props for honesty.

Here’s what left me speechless when I stood up and walked around to the other side of the coffee table:

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FYI…the baby is not allergic to peanuts.

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April 9, 2009 at 3:13 am 13 comments

Battle of Wits with LIFE

To do list:
1. Laundry…we’re TOTALLY out of clean clothes.
2. Go to the store (to get laundry detergent).
3. Clean the house

***

LIFE: Alright. Which are you going to choose to do first? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and follow through, and we find out who was right. And who is screwed.

ME: But it’s so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you. Is today the sort of day that the kids will leave me alone long enough to straighten up the house before I start anything else, or not? Now, a clever woman knows that only a great fool would trust in her children‘s good behavior on ANY given day. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose to clean the house first. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I clearly should try to straighten up, just a little, so I can attempt to not feel even more overwhelmed than I already do.

LIFE: You’ve made your decision then?

ME: Not remotely. Because there is not enough time in the day to do everything, as everyone knows, and I also have to care for the children, and children are not compatible with a timed schedule, and time is defined by you. So I clearly cannot choose to clean the house at all today.

LIFE: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

ME: Wait till I get started!! Where was I?

LIFE: Time.

ME: Yes. ..Time. And you would have suspected that I would have known I couldn’t fit everything into one day, so I clearly cannot choose to leave anything out. I have to do laundry, go to the store, clean the house, and care for the children.

LIFE: You’re just stalling now.

ME: You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you? You’ve made sure we’re totally out of clean clothes, which means I have to do laundry before I do anything else. But you’ve also depleted my laundry detergent supply, which means I have to go to the store in dirty clothes to buy the detergent to do the laundry. Yet you know that everything we own either has food stains or smells, so I clearly cannot choose to go to the store.

LIFE: You’re trying to trick me into giving away something. It won’t work.

ME: It has worked! You’ve given everything away! I know what to do first!

LIFE: Then make your choice.

ME: I will, and I choose… What in the world can that be?

LIFE: What? Where? I don’t see anything.

ME: Well, I, I could have sworn I saw something. No matter.

LIFE: What’s so funny?

ME: I’ll tell you in a minute. First, I‘ll choose. I choose to do a small load of laundry as the first thing I do today…just a little one piece outfit for the baby and a pair of jeans for me and Sam.

LIFE: You chose wrong, there is not even enough detergent left for that.

ME: You only think I chose wrong! That’s what’s so funny! I diluted the old detergent when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never use the Chinese Birth Chart to plan the conception of your child, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Mama when time is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha—

BABY: *has a poop that explodes out of his diaper and onto his only clean outfit*

LIFE: There was no choice that would not have resulted in the mom getting screwed. I’ve spent years influencing the inopportune timing of explosive baby poop.

***

** In case you are not familiar with the Princess Bride scene in which this post was sampled…

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April 7, 2009 at 5:20 pm 4 comments

I Never Thought I Would Say…(cont.)

The list of things that I hear myself saying (that I never thought I would) now that Sam is age 3 just grew:

” Aaaah!! Stop that!! Stop. Stop PEEING on your brother! Go. to. the. POTTY.”

I should add that this is only two days after I saw something (that I never thought I would see) now that Sam is age 3:

Picture, if you will, a 9 month old in a standing position, holding onto a toilet. He’s standing next to his big brother who is “cleaning” the toilet with the toilet bowl brush… in his birthday suit…humming “The Can-Can.” He lifts the toilet bowl brush out and gives his poor little innocent baby brother a toilet water shower.

I have to have a talk with Sam and let him know that not only is it NOT his job to baptize his brother, but also, we are not Episcopalian. (E-piss-copalian, get it? …buh-buh-buh- Ching)

April 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm 6 comments

Some Guys Have All The Luck

I sat in church one Sunday morning, quietly daydreaming and half listening to a member go on about a recent mission trip to …somewhere.

A sudden vibration against my hip startled me back into reality and prompted me upstairs to the nursery. The church assigns pagers to parents just in case a child is behaving like a obnoxious little jerk misbehaving, or in case the child is an emotional attention hog crying inconsolably.

Our little guy had been in the nursery every week for two months with no separation anxiety, no problems, and we always got reports back from the volunteers about how pleasant he was. What could be wrong? He was fine when we left him.

When we dropped him off, he planted a big, wet, open mouth, suction baby slobber “kiss” on my cheek (so gross, but so sweet), I handed him over to the nursery helper, wiped my cheek off, and peaked back a few seconds later to see if he might cry.

Nothing.

He was very happy leave us and play with his little baby friends. Doesn’t he worry he might miss us or fear we might not return? It was hard not to take his joy a little personally.

But, something happened in a short 30 minute span to reverse his joy, and we were paged. When I got to the room lined with exersaucers, cribs, and highchairs, I saw that none of those items were being used. Instead, one volunteer held my sobbing 9 month old son while 4 little girl babies lay in the middle of the floor, wailing.

Apparently, our little Casanova crawled around to all the little girls and “kissed” their heads. None of the girls responded well to my son baptizing them in massive amounts of drool while sucking on their little heads. All four became emotionally traumatized by our son’s advances.

So, he experienced his first rejection and became inconsolable. We called him Georgie Porgy for the rest of the day, since he kissed the girls and made them cry.

***

That happened to my first son three years ago.

Now my second little heart breaker’s suction kisses have emerged. He gives me slobber love all day, and like his brother’s sloppy smooches, they gross me out as much as they warm my heart.

This week I watched my little guy’s trademark grin punctuate his face as he spotted a cute little girl crawling around on the floor in the nursery. I put him down and he quickly crawled toward her. Then, like his brother, he laid a big, sloppy wet one on her. She tilted her head and looked in his direction. She didn’t cry or seem displeased. On the contrary, she reached out and grabbed at him, much to his delight. No trauma, no rejection. Just pleased affection.

…Some guys have all the luck.

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April 3, 2009 at 2:07 am 8 comments


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