Friday, December 30, 2011

# 15

Dear Johnny,

We just celebrated your third Christmas.  But it really may as well have been your first, because this is the first time you had any inkling as to what was going on.  You latched onto the idea of Santa right away, and commenced screaming "SANTA SANTA SANTA" to all men with gray beards in stores around town.

You also quickly associated Santa with presents, and you understood that you were to be nice in order to receive said presents.  However, I think you believed you only had to be nice to Santa himself, which was a little tricky.  You see, we have a small, troll-like Santa doll that sits in the basement on the hearth, and he's very realistic-looking, albeit quite small.  He scares you.  But in an effort to do the right thing by the Man With The Presents, you would occasionally pop over and tell him a really over-enthusiastic "HI!" and then turn and run back to the play room as fast as your footie-pajama'd feet would carry you.  

But the treatment the little Santa Troll Doll in the basement was akin to that of a crowned prince in comparison to the treatment the Real Live Santa at Weaver's got.  We took you there for your yearly screaming-on-his-lap photo, but you refused to go near him.  You clung to your father and then me like a spider monkey and hid your face.  So when you are 25 and you want to know why there's no 2011 Santa picture, believe me when I tell you it wasn't because we were too lazy to schlep you out there to see him.  This is totally on you.  Thanks a lot - you've ruined my progressive Santa photo craft idea.  And my abdomen.  And my gall bladder.  That is 3 things you've ruined, and you haven't been here even 3 years yet. Thank goodness you are so stinking cute, and thank goodness you readily, enthusiastically, and often spit out the phrase "I LOL LOU" which I take to mean "I love you," and if it doesn't, never tell me different.

I really, really wish you had gotten the whole message about being good so Santa will bring you presents, instead of choosing to believe it only applied to Santa himself, because, Son, beloved fruit of my loins, you have become a hitter.  That's right, for Christmas, you gave me a good pummeling.  It started with frustration.  If you didn't get your way, you'd slam your hand down on the closest surface to express your discontent.  You might shout or say "No!" but mostly it was just a little physical abuse of the sofa or the kitchen table.  But soon, the behavior, as all bad ones do, escalated.  And you were hitting me.  Or kicking.  But mostly hitting.  

So guess what else Christmas brought for you? A NAUGHTY CHAIR.  Yep, along with dump trucks and front loaders and candy and books came an unwelcome education in time out.  You seem to understand the concept of the naughty chair, and you seem to know that hitting? Not okay.  But you haven't quite managed to put the two together and completely cease the behavior.  I blame daycare, not you, Son.  It can't be that my perfect boy has developed a nasty habit for physical abuse.  Again, thank goodness for your cuteness and for the way you say "Daawnit!" whenever you drop a toy or the computer screen freezes up on your Sesame Street YouTube.

Ninety-five percent of the time you are a delight.  You are a little rainbow running around the house, chirping in your little voice, singing "HinleBews" (Jingle Bells) to yourself or asking to watch Elmo and Feist on the laptop. You play with toys like a champ and you drew what we believe to be your first face on your dry erase board the other day.  You're clearly advanced.

You transferred to a toddler bed last month and I have to say, all in all, save for a few nights where both of us wept on opposite sides of your bedroom door, it went very smoothly.  You stay in bed and don't fall out, and occasionally you get up at 4:30 in the morning, open the door to your room and the door to ours, and come to my side of the bed.  You lean right up by my face and in your best stage whisper say, "Mama.  Mama."  And I haul you up into the bed where you usually proceed to sleep soundly between your dad and me, and those are some of the best hours of my life.  Until The 5:30 am Flinging of Limbs show begins, and I get out of bed to take a shower and let you finish off The Thrashing Hour on your own.

The five percent where you are defiant or resistant is okay, due to the fact that an angry toddler is mostly hilarious and the look of ire in your eyes when you don't get your way is so earnest, it takes everything I have not to laugh and just give you a cookie for being funny.  And speaking of funny, to you, everything is "funny."  If it is neat or cool or interesting, "Isss funny, Mama!  Isss funny!"  Yes, son, it's all very funny.

Now just learn to poop in the potty.  Poop, as you will soon learn from your father and me, is also very funny.

I love you more than sparkles and kittens and cherry lipgloss. Bless your dear sweet heart.  Stop growing.

Love forever,

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hopped up on goofballs

Recently, my friend Michelle's husband wrote a very honest post about how hilarious he and Michelle were before their baby was born.  He expressed how many of us were before the baby comes.  Oh, were we earnest.  Oh, did we plan it all out.  We were going to be the BEST, MOST INFORMED PARENTS EVER. He wrote, "We approached every little decision with such gravitas and intellectualism. Then, all of a sudden, we were left alone in our house with a brand-spanking newborn! My first thought: 'Oh Shit! That’s a BABY!'"

Yeah, that's pretty much it.

His first rule for new and soon-to-be parents:  YOU WILL SCREW UP YOUR KID.  "Accept it, embrace it, move on."  

Truer words were never spoken.

I have this little habit of reading random blogs and if they are blogs about having babies I am like a moth to a poorly-written flame.  I can't tear myself away from these trainwrecks, where the poor moms-to-be go on ad nauseum about their birth plans and their attachment parenting and the angst over the best sling - not best in terms of "does it work and is it comfortable" - but best in terms of "is this sling going to help my baby be a well-adjusted MD in the future?"

And my eyes, they roll.  They roll so hard I fear they'll retreat inside my head and just stay there out of defiance of the rolling.

But it's not fair for my eyes to do such rolling.  I was the same way.  I think you have to be.  There is no way to prepare ones self for having a baby.  There is no way to know what birth and labor will be like.  There is no way to know what kind of personality your baby will have or what your tolerance for screaming will be or how you'll act when you don't sleep for a month.  There is just no way to plan for this alien to enter your home.  But dammit, you have to try.

You have to read every nutter with an internet connection's theories on child rearing, birth, nutrition, and spirituality.  BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER.  Maybe you DO have some control.  Maybe this IS less a giant petrie dish and more a skillfully executed improvement of humanity you are embarking on.

My friend Lindsey maintains that there is something about pregnancy and post partum hormones that make people nuts.  "They're all hopped up on goofballs," she says.  She's right.  These people who are normally regular, fun, beer drinking, reality tv watching women turn into compulsive ninnies who are afraid to put their babies in the bassinet so they can take a shower for fear of ruining the parent-child attachment that is SO VITAL in the first seven years of life.

So let me just say this.  If you are going to get all freaky about your parenting (and you are, OH YOU ARE) just bear this in mind.  Your kid?  Chances are he's going to be fourteen one day, barring any major tragedies and I promise none of them will have a thing to do with a baby sling, and he's going to hate your soul, no matter if you held him on your chest for nine years solid and fed him nothing but breastmilk until he started tying his shoes.  

I say this not to be hateful or to spoil any joy you take in your new babies, but because the pressure? IT IS OFF.  Like Michelle's husband said, YOU ARE GOING TO SCREW IT UP.  

And really, isn't that a relief?  Kick off your shoes, pour a cocktail, and turn on the tv.  It's going to be okay, even when it's not.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Merry Christ-choooooooo!

This body of mine, it is costing me money.

Or maybe it's the kid who is costing me money.  I mean, more than the usual amount he costs me, which is a lot.

Regardless, he got me sick and now it's costing me money.  Like, first it was  $15 copay at the Walgreens Take Care Clinic.  Which, by the way, is awesome and if you don't go there for the minor stuff instead of to your GP you hate kittens.  Because it is super-duper.  Like, no waiting, no fuss, no hateful nurses who keep you in the exam room for half an hour after you spent half an hour in the waiting room, just for spite.  No doctors rushing in and pretending to remember you even though it's clear they think you are that Donna girl who everyone says looks something like you but has herpes, because they keep asking you, 'But, is everything else okay?  I mean, is there anything else you need to talk about today?"  No, the Walgreens joint is slick.  In, out, twenty minutes, a strep test, a thorough discussion of symptoms with a CNA and a Nurse Practitioner, and you are out the door, prescription in hand.

Except they didn't give me a prescription, because they said what I have is probably viral and I just have to tough it out.  BUT I WANT MY Z PAC!  GIVE ME A Z PAC!  I just like to say Z PAC!

I have been on a steady and careful regimine of Dayquil, Advil, and Nyquil, in timed succession.  I've probably spent $30 on over the counter drugs, and I'm still hacking up a lung.  So now the bill for this cold is up to $45.

And then I had to cancel a Flying Fork appearance this weekend, because, you know, no one really wants me sneezing on their samples.  "Merry Christ-choooooooooooooooooo!  Here's a piece of chicken! BARK BARK BARK HACK."  Very appetizing.  Very Fork-tastic.  There's a pricetag on that cancellation that I don't even want to talk about it.  Suffice to say, it's triple digits.  I know.  I'm really in demand.

They say to feed a cold and starve a fever, and to that end my bill for my lunches this week is about to be so high they're going to cut me off of my auto-deduct in the lunchroom.  Bitches.  This is a hospital, for crying out loud.  FEED A COLD.  IT IS MEDICAL.

Merry Christ-choo to you and yours.  Hopefully I'm better by tomorrow or I'll have to take another financial hit in that I'll have to miss the annual Xmas Xaos party, wherein I always come home with my year's supply of good-smelling lotion.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Proof positive that all toddlers are little schizophrenics

Sick baby yesterday.  For the first time in his life, he completely refused his afternoon nap.  Well baby NEEDS that afternoon nap - usually sleeps for almost three hours.  He is big on naps and sleep.  So sick baby? Nap is even more imperative.  Alas, he wasn't having it.  Nothing I could do.

Here is a conversation with sick, no-nap toddler.

Me: "Johnny, are you hungry?"


Me:  "Okay."

Johnny: "EAT? EAT EAT EAT EAT EAT!!!!!!!!!"  Climbs into his chair at the table.

Me: "Do you want a hot dog?"


Me: "How about fruit snacks?" (His usual forbidden favorite.)


Me: "Okay.  How about a taco?" (For Johnny, a taco is melted cheese in a tortilla rolled up.)


Me: "Okay."  I open some fruit snacks and start pour them onto his plate.


Me: "Okay.  Here you go."


Me: "Okay.  I'll make you a taco.  Do you want some juice?"


Me: "How about chocolate milk?"

Johnny: "NO MILK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Juice?"

Me: "Okay, here's some juice."

Johnny: (struggling with the fruit snack package, banging it on the table with the force of 1000 strong men) "HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Me: "Okay, here you go." (pouring the snacks onto his plate.)


Me: "Whatever."

Johnny: "Taco! TACO TACO TACO TACO!"

Me: "Taco is almost ready.  Be patient."


Me: "Here you go."

Johnny: "Thank you! Thank you! I love you! Kisses?"

And, scene.