Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sleeves and Socks

I picked up my son the other day and it was 94 degrees at 4:30 in the afternoon and he's wearing long pants, a t-shirt, a longsleeve shirt, socks and tennies. And his face is bright red and he's sweating. So I asked him, sweetie, you want to take off your longsleeve?


I get that it's my fault. I dress him usually. But he insists on the second shirt. I always figure he'll take it off at school when it gets hot. To his credit, it's a little chilly and overcast where we live at 7:30 in the morning. But he almost NEVER takes the thing off. And he always insists on socks. It started about two months ago when he got blisters on his two big toes from walking around in wet sandals. They must have scared him because he insisted on socks to cover them up. He even wanted to take his bath wearing socks. Well the blisters healed of course but he's still insisting on the socks. Especially at night. I just don't get it. IT'S HOT! And he sometimes has trouble falling asleep because, oh...I don't know, he's COOKING IN HIS OWN BED. One night I conviced him to wear short pajams and he slept great. I thought we were in the clear. but the next day he wanted feety pajamas.

And for whatever reason it makes me INSANE. Just be a normal kid and walk around barefoot in the summer!

I guess I should be grateful to not have to worry about stepping on bees or rusty nails. Even yesterday, he and his aba were riding his bike in the park when suddenly I see him walking toward the house completely naked but wearing his socks and shoes. Happy as a clam. Apparently his pants had been falling down and he had to pee anyway so he just took everything off. It's just as well anyway because his father dressed him yesterday and he was wearing plaid madras shorts and an aqua, red and yellow stripe shirt.

I'm losing my train of thought. And my mind. Where was I...yes, the longsleeve shirt issue.

But I'm reminded that in elementary school I started wearing turtlenecks to school year round. We live in California so this is absurd. I didn't like the hair on my arms so I just covered them. Up to my neck in fact. My teachers probably wondered if I was being beaten at home. I'm sure my mom was thrilled about that. And, come to think of it, I always wore socks too. I actually remember that in 8th grade I thought well I'd really like to NOT wear socks but by now I had a sock tan going on thirteen years. My feet had probably never seen the light of day.

This kid is ME. And it's driving me freaking crazy.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Riverdancer number 11

I tell you, no matter how clever I think I am, someone else came up with it before me.

I remember about ten years ago I was chatting with a colleague of mine about how if only we could invent something and get rich and never have to work again. I said, wouldn't it be great if there was a kind of technology that would make it so the computer would remember you no matter what site you went onto and then you wouldn't have to continually fill in your personal information or payment details. Apparently that's called a cookie. Who knew?

The other day my daughter was bouncing around in her new jumpy thingy that hangs from the door jam. A friend of mine gave me her old one so we tried it out and baby girl was pretty into it. In fact she was so cute we decided to videotape her and put it to River Dance music because she was stiffening her legs in that "doing an Irish jig" fashion.

The video was so cute and he we were feeling all clever until we posted it on google videos and noticed another 10+ videos called Riverdancer featuring babies in door jam jumpies. None as cute as my daughter (naturally), but still...

There's just nothing new under the sun.

Although this morning, I was in such a fog, I put my acne serum in my hair. It actually made my hair quite manageable. So there you go - a brand new application for Benzoyl Peroxide. Stay tuned to see what I come up with tomorrow. Perhaps I'll rub shampoo on my zits.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Miss Lorena and Miss Cassia

Everyday I ask my son how his day went at school and it's gotten to the point where we can actually have a pretty decent conversation about it. I ask about circle time and playing outside and what did he have for snack and did he do an art project and did he cut paper or draw with markers and who was there and who was missing and did he sing songs etc. He always has fun or at least says he has fun which is a relief for a guilt ridden working mom like myself. And I get a fair amount of detail about his day. I always ask who he played with today and he ALWAYS lists the teachers. He almost never mentions any of the other kids. Which makes me wonder if he ever plays with other kids or if he's that kid that the teachers all love but who has no friends. Here's how the conversation goes:

Me: Who did you play with at school?
Him: Miss Lorena
Me: And..
Him: Miss Cassia
Me: And..
Him: Miss Lorena called me a silly goose.
Me: Did you play with Antonio?
Him: No. Miss Lorena went home in her car.
Me: Is MIss Lorean your friend?
Him: Ya. And Miss Cassia.
Me: Did you play with any boys or girls in your class?
Him: Yes, Miss Tina.

When our baby was born and our son was peaking in his terrible two-ness we went to see a counselor to try to figure out what to do with him or what was wrong with him or what we were doing wrong. We described all of his crazy behavior and the counselor said she thought he was a classic example of a "spirited child" which is a nice way to say "pain in the ass". In truth, many of the behaviors she described as "spririted" were spot on - one of which was a preference to be with adults. Spririted children crave predictability and order. And there's nothing less predictable than a toddler. I don't blame him. Toddlers can be scary. I also prefer to hang with adults.

Although I was pleased today when I picked him up to see him sitting next to his pal Ayden, a beautiful and spunky little girl he's known since he started this school a year ago, and they were holding hands. But when I asked him if Ayden was his friend, he said, "ya, and Miss Lorena".

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Half-caff chai latte with a nipple

I have to say that one of the funnier aspects of blogging is that my site meter can tell me who's visiting my site (not by name, but by IP address), where s/he resides, what referred that person to me and a whole host of uninteresting data points like which browser was used. So of course I like to see where people are who read my little accounts of life with children. And how they found me. Many times it's via google search and I can actually see what people searched for and where my blog ranked. The searches don't necessily have anything to do with what I write about, but many of the keywords are the same. This is where it gets funny.

Some folks have searched for the usual parenting stuff:
Six year old poops his pants
Four year old peeing in his bed
Toddler is killing me
Toddler obssessed with ear thermometer

At least I know I'm not alone.

Then I saw one searching for advice regarding "poop stains on my husband's underwear". Oh jesus I say to that one. This poor woman. Was she looking for advice on how to tell him? Or if he had a medical condition?

But the best came from a woman in India who needed advice about her "husband wanting to nurse on lactating boob." Are you KIDDING me? Now, I'm not a prude. I realize it happens and it's not all that gross but clearly this woman is distressed by it. And she probably has enough to worry about with her new baby without accomodating her thirsty husband. I mean, Raj, if you want a chai masala, get your ass out of bed and go down to the corner tea house. Leave your poor wife alone. It's bad enough she has to endure the pity sex. Now this?

Oh I kill me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My two scents

My daughter smells like Fiorella.

When I took my son for his first day of daycare more than two years ago, I picked him up and he smelled like Nena. Which was not a bad thing. Nena, his new caregiver, smelled just fine. But for the first time he didn't smell like me. Or poop.

Now my daughter is starting daycare because I'm going back to work next week. And I was feeling really good about everything. Very impressed with Fiorella. My baby napped and drank her bottle on the first day. Can't ask for better than that. And she wasn't super splotchy on her face so I knew she hadn't been crying much. I thought, great. This will be fine. She's fine. I'm fine.

Until I realized that my little girl smelled like Fiorella. A perfectly acceptable smell. But Fiorella nonetheless. Now I'm sad.

Thankfully Fiorella doesn't stink. But going back to work does.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Like mother like daughter

I think it's safe to say that my mother is my biggest fan, which as it turns out is both fabulous and irritating. Because we all would rather Oprah or Bill Clinton or Sting was our biggest fan right? That would mean we'd really arrived. Alas, none of those people have heard of me yet (unless Sting has been googling about potty training lately). So it's mom. Which is fine. I totally appreciate that she thinks I'm great. I have always felt her love and support and for that I'm grateful - at least now anyway. It wasn't always the case. There were many years that her unconditional devotion and blind admiration was no match for my self-doubt and insecurity. For every compliment I had a snarky response.

Her: I wish I had your hair.
Me: My hair is disgusting.
Her: I wish I was tall like you.
Me: I'm not tall.
Her: I wish I had your creativity.
Me: I haven't had an original thought in years.
Her: I wish I was as organized.
Me: You mean neurotic?

Every time I came home to visit, she'd want to know where I bought whatever I was wearing. When she came to visit me, she'd look through my goodwill pile and want to take things home. It felt like she was trying to be me. Which of course I hated. Why would anyone want to be me after all?

And then I had my own daughter. Baby girl is only six months old but I can already see the beginnings of total devotion and admiration. I actually found myself asking my hair stylist to make my hair color match my daughter's. Her hair is so dark and shiny. Make it like that. I just think everything about her is so perfect. And of course I would - I made her.

So now I get it. Thanks ma.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mother of Invention

Sorry to all (both) of you dedicated readers. My family went camping last week so I was incommunicado. It was a superb trip replete with volcanic fields, cascading waterfalls, canned food from Trader Joe's, s'mores, hide and seek in the forest, emerald (freaking cold) lakes, and a lot of dirt. Our baby girl had a touch of the croup when we left (she'd caught it from big brother) which made her a snotty, barking, and wretched mound of fevery baby flesh for the first half of the trip. But then it subsided and she was a happy camper too. Or at least she humored us. But it was our capricious son who took camper of the year award. He was a joy. Played hard all day, did his share of trail walking, ate like a champ and slept 11 hour nights inside his big boy sleeping bag in a tent for four days without a peep. Well, one yelp when he fell into the crevasse between the blow up mattress and the tent at 5am and couldn't get out, but that's happened to me and it's indeed frightful. Especially when you're dreaming about being sucked through the drain at the bottom of a pool by a great white shark...but I digress.

And thanks to a moment of maternal genius, he even found the courage to poop in the woods.

I was worried that we would have another lavatory incident that would set us back months when he saw those outhouses. Truthfully they were pretty nice outhouses with real toilet seats, just no flush. But he walked in there and was appalled. He doesn't understand how to only breathe through his mouth. So he refused. He even told me he didn't have to go anymore. But I knew he had to go because when he has to go he gets nervous and starts to pace and dart his eyes around. But there was nothing I could do to get him in the outhouse short of brute force, which I knew would end with me covered in pee pee and a son with an anal complex. So I relented, we packed into the car, and left for our hike.

Quarter mile into it my son starts to get twitchy and kvetchy again. I knew it was time. I told him we would go poo poo in the woods like bears. He just had to squat down and I would hold him. We could growl like bears too if he wanted. He wouldn't do it. By now he was starting to cry and pace. I said he could sit on my lap (what the hell was I thinking?). He said no. But then a few seconds later he asked to sit on my lap. Now there was no turning back. So I found a big fallen log (so metaphoric), sat down with my legs wide apart and scooped him up with my hands clasped under his knees so he was sitting like a swing between my legs. Lo and behold, the kid actually pooped. And none of it on me. It was my greatest hour. And his.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Lessons from a Temporary Diabetic

I'm going back to work in a few weeks and I still need to shed a few baby pounds. In fact, I'm actually down to my pre-pregnancy weight but it's all accumulated in new places. Like my gut. And my boobs. I'm okay with the boob part since the "Breastaurant" is still open 24/7. But what the hell am I supposed to do about my gut. My old clothes basically fit I guess, if I were into the "shoved myself into these pants" look. Not super professional.

I'm just not a good dieter. I mean, if there are chocolate raisins in the house, and there are, then I will eat them. And if there are not, I will buy them. And I get super hungry toward the end of the day. Like right now. It's 10pm and all I want is a bowl of cereal. And that's after eating yummy salmon, fresh corn, cous cous and some salad.

But during pregnancy I was an expert dieter. At least for the latter part. I had gestational diabetes so I had to adhere to a super strict diet so that the baby wouldn't get too big inside that lovely sugary environment that my whacked out endocrine system had created for her, unbeknownst to me. I found out at around 30 weeks after my glucola test. My numbers were crazy high. I had been seeing a midwife so if I wanted to keep my midwife I needed to get my sugar levels low without the aid of insulin (once you're on insulin you're deemed a high risk pregnancy and then I would have had to go with an ob/gyn). At that point I had already gained 25 pounds. And with ten weeks left till term, I was on my way toward gaining upward of 40 pounds which could have resulted in a ten pound hypoglycemic baby and a C-section. No thanks. I'll stop eating chocolate.

If only it were that simple. I had to be so strict. Limited carbs, no sweets, no milk or fruit during meals, no fruit after dinner. And no cereal. But I was motivated by this baby inside. I was able to stick to this diet for her, deprive myself the joy of eating whatever I wanted during pregnancy so that she would be healthy. And in fact she was healthy. Only 8.5 pounds. No hypoglycemia. No C-section. A wonderful birthing experience with the guidance of my fabulous midwife and the encouragement of my supportive (and foxy) husband. Because of the diet I didn't gain another ounce from my 30-week checkup. I was essentially losing weight - just instead of dropping it, I was converting it into chubby baby. And I actualy felt much better during the end of this pregnancy than during the end of my first pregnancy. And I was really happy to be more mindful of the food I was putting in my body. Since I had to write everything down and check my blood glucose levels four times a day, I became a super conscientious omnivore.

But now that she's out and my system is back to normal I can't seem to stay on that diet or any diet. The diet wasn't even too bad and some things I even looked forward to (like my low carb fudge ice-cream bar for after-dinner snack every night). But I'm back to drinking juice (big no-no for diabetics). I'm back to eating bigger meals instead of my six small meals. I'm back to gorging on cherries and grapes. (I mean it's fruit for god's sake). But that stuff is pure sugar. And now that I've had gestational diabetes, I'm more prone to get Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes later on. So I should be watching what I eat for my own health. But I don't.

I think it's a mom behavior. I'll do anything for my kids. Even give up cereal. But my own health and well-being doesn't seem to be a strong enough motivator to keep me away from the chocolate raisins. Maybe the threat of looking like a stuffed sausage at work will get me back on track. The imagery alone is probably enough...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

King of the Potty

Well our son is potty trained. And it only took two weeks really. Two weeks and nine months. I made the mistake of listening to a colleague of mine at work who potty trained her three boys using an intensive behavioral modification method. She said it would take a day. Read the book, she said. Buy the pee pee dolly. You'll be diaper free in no time. Not the case.

I made my first attempt last November when my son had just turned two. I was about six months pregnant and thinking it would be really super to only have to diaper one child. So I designated a weekend for potty intervention. I bought "Potty Training in less than a Day" or something like that, and I bought an anatomically correct doll named Paul who came with underwear, a diaper and a mini-potty. I bought all kinds of treats to reinforce positive behavior - brownie bites, popcorn, chocolate raisins. I bought a ton of chocolate milk. I made notes from the book to keep us on track. And my son was a pretty good sport for a while. But the constant asking, "do you have to go to the potty?" "Are your pants dry?" - I started getting a headache. And it was a beautiful day and he was desperate to go to the park. So we did and he peed on the slide. I gave up after he soaked the bed during his nap. I figured I'd try again after the baby was born. Which I did.

By then he was about two and a half and could follow directions better. Plus some of his friends from school had started using the potty. I bought him a new potty, which we called Baby Paul's potty. Whatever. He started peeing in it which was very exciting, but he was terririfed to poop in that thing. I didn't push the issue but I must admit I was getting pretty tired of pulling big poops out of his underwear. His teachers weren't thrilled about it either so I started sending him in pull-ups, those evil diaper substitutes that are twice as expensive and half as absorbent. Then, since he was basically wearing a diaper, he started wetting his pants again.

Anyway, we decided two weeks ago that we would just forget about the diapers and forge ahead with underwear. And it worked. We had a handful of accidents but for the most part the kid is now doing his business in a designated receptacle. Even in public places. I bought a little fold-able plastic potty top that sits on a regular toilet to make the hole smaller (so tiny tushies don't fall in) with elmo and friends on there. He's willing to poop on elmo. Now he's even going by himself and taking down and pulling up his pants. So overall we're thrilled. Except for a few things...

I can't say I'm super happy about having to dump his poop in the toilet after he goes in the potty. First of all, it splashes and then I have to wipe down the toilet. It also stinks like all get out. It's amazing how much the water in a toilet really masks a lot of the smell. And the wiping isn't going that well. I can't get him clean enough. I ask him to bend over so I can be thorough but that feels like a little invasive. And then I have to clean the poop streaks off the potty. Nasty. And not to mention the pee which he insists dumping by himself. This morning he completely missed and poured a quart of piss on the far side of the toilet and all over the seat which I then had to mop up. And that's if it even goes in the potty. If I don't hold his penis down with my finger, he literally sprays straight ahead.

But he's trained. Gone are the days of diapers and Desitin - the last remaining vestiges of his short time as a baby. Another milestone achieved. Another notch on the belt of parenthood. Another reason to adopt a five year old next time around.