Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The look

I'm home from work today with my daughter because she has pink eye now. So I decided to put her in the bath to get all of the gunk out of her eyes and generally give her a scrub down.

So she's in their clapping and splashing and generally enjoying herself when suddenly she gets the look.

Oh god, please don't do what I think you're doing. Baby. Seriously? You're really taking a dump in the tub?

There was a time when that would have just sent me over the edge. But at this point it's just water under the bridge. Clouds in the sky. Urine in the carpet. It is what it is. Thankfully I have purple surgical gloves just for this and other nasty occasions.

So I rinsed off baby, put her on the bathmat, dried her, got her dressed and then went in with the gloves. I won't go into the details except that it's not super easy to handle loose poop in water. So some went down the drain and some got scooped into the toilet. I mean it's no wonder the kid has pink eye. There must be trace feces all over the place. I'm someone who only uses all natural cleaning supplies but this may call for a Clorox intervention.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Why I love my kids

One reason anyway. It's been raining here a lot and my kids have been stuck inside mainly driving me crazy. Today I left them playing in my room for a few minutes to check my email. My son packed his carry-on suitcase full of his most important possessions (like his cell phone, box of stickers, wallet, keys, doll house family and markers) and brought them into my room to entertain his sister. When I turned around after twenty minutes or so to see what they were doing, I see my son is putting stickers all over the back of my daughter's sweatshirt while she is chewing on some crayons.

Him: See mommy? I put them on her back so she doesn't get them and eat them.
Me: That's so thoughtful sweety. She looks pretty with her stickers.
Him: Ya, I decorated her. I'm a good big brother.

He's happy. She's happy. No one is bugging me. No one is choking on small objects or grabbing toys. Just a brother accessorizing his baby sister. What could be better.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Baby's Breath

It's official. My son is no longer a baby. He has morning breath. Maybe he's had it a while but I only just noticed the other day when he got up in my face while I was sleeping and whispered into my nose, I want some cereal. And I'm thinking, did you swallow a dirty sock or what?

They call that flower baby's breath for a reason because it is sweet and pure just like a baby's breath. My daughter gives kisses with mouth wide open and her tongue hanging out and I love it because she only has six little teeth nubs and no place for food to settle in and germinate. My son, and everyone else for the matter, has a mouth full of chompers and festering bacteria giving him the breath of a thousand camels when he wakes up. Well, it's not that bad. It's not like he eats garlic or onions much. Not if he can help it anyway.

You know how else I know he's growing up? He wants his privacy. Now when he goes poo poo I sit him down on his elmo potty (which sits on top of the toilet) and he asks me to shut the door until he's done so he can have "pwivacy." And so his sister doesn't crawl in and annoy him. That means that when I'm in the bathroom and he comes in I can tell him to leave because mommies also need "pwivacy".

So my little boy is growing up.
But finally some solitude on the toilet.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Slap happy

A few weeks ago I'm sitting in the living room with my son watching Winnie the Pooh's Grand Adventure which, if you haven't seen it, is great entertainment - wholesome, educational, well-animated. I can see why he'd want to watch it seven trillion times. It just doesn't get old. But anyway in the middle he leaves me to go pee. I love when he does that. I don't ask. He doesn't announce. He just goes, pees, flushes, washes, comes back. No production. Just pee where it's supposed to be.

But this time while he's gone I hear a funny slapping noise so I go to investigate and he's in fact facing the toilet with his pants down slapping his own butt.

Me: What are you doing honey?
Him: Aba taught me to do that.
Me: To do what?
Him: To make the last pee pee come out.

I mean if that is not the funniest thing. I can just picture my husband sharing this bit of timeless masculine wisdom with his son. You see kid, you just give yourself a little slap and the last drop goes in the toilet. This is how our people have done it for millennia. Can't you just imagine Abraham saying those same words to Isaac right before he tried to sacrifice him? It's another iconic Torah moment! To my husband's credit, it does work. Parenting a boy is fascinating stuff. I wonder what trade secret I'll uncover next.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The 34 hour day

Almost two weeks have past since we returned from Israel and it's only now that I'm ready to remember the horror of the return flight. We'd had such a terrific time. Saw all of our people. Spent a day in Jerusalem, a day in Yafo, a few days in the Galil, a good amount of time with grandparents and family. And I myself had packed down an inordinate amount of shwarma. Even for me. And the weather was ridiculously good. Unseasonably warm for winter. Perfect fall weather actually. It was excellent.

And the kids had behaved beautifully. Especially our son, who is wont to ignore his grandfather, have tantrums in public and say no to nearly everything except chocolate milk. He was great in fact. Enjoyed his grandparents very much, played with the kids of our friends, and slept in several different locales. He even ate falafel, which I referred to as "falafel nuggets." Whatever works.

It was only in the last few days of the trip when our baby girl started having diarrhea that we started to get anxious about the trip home. At first I thought it was just a one-off thing. But two days and a very sore bottom later we knew we were looking at a nasty stomach bug, the likes of which we'd never encountered. Our son never had one. Well he had Rota virus but it was a mild case. So we were not prepared for what all would go down in the days to come. Or come up, as it were.

In fact it was already several days that she was not herself at all. Our perfect little baby girl became super grouch. Very whiny, very picky. It caught us so off-guard, I didn't even stop to think she could be ill. I just assumed our girl had gone to the dark side early and that we should just hunker down and prepare for the terrible twos. How idiotic is that.

So it was January 3rd when we woke up at 3:30 am to get ready for the drive to the airport for our 7:30 am flight home via New York. Twelve hours on a plane to New York - essentially ALL DAY LONG - which we knew, even with a best case scenario, would only yield a short nap or two. No hope for a five or six hour sleep. And the thing about a day flight going west is that it just keeps being day and more day and more day. It freaking never gets dark. So even with two healthy kids the flight is a bear. But a sick kid brings it to whole new level of discomfort.

About an hour into the flight our daughter seemed to be fairing well. She actually seemed starving, which she hadn't been in days so we took that for a good sign. We gave her yogurt, which she loves. Dairy in a sour belly. What the hell were we thinking. About a half hour after gobbling up a whole yogurt she started making faces and whining. Then crying and needing to be held. Not even her trusty rat Julio could soothe her. It was then that, with Julio close by, she barfed up all of her yogurt.

Suddenly there's vomit all over the floor, all over me, all over her, all over Julio and I'm running to the back of the plane yelling BARFING BABY! I NEED HELP! I get to the flight attendant station and they give me a paper towel. PAPER TOWEL??!! People I need a wet rag! I need a a tub of warm water! I need a biohazard disposal kit!

At this point I have to make clear that vomit is not my thing. I'm pretty good with other gross fluids, but vomit...not a favorite. So I'm trying to wipe her up and comfort her while taking off my sweatshirt and dealing with the rat who is now defiled. I bring her back to our seat and give her to my husband while I get her new clothes. Meanwhile my son has peed in his pants. Are you KIDDING me? So I get him new clothes too and now the plastic bio waste bag is nearly full.

Once everyone is changed and clean we begin to realize we have another ten hours on the plane and no rat. Julio is in the bio waste bag too because he is in a state of serious disrepair. And spare Julio is in the luggage hold. Note to self... So we take turns doing laps with our girl for the next six hours because she can't really sleep without her rat. And by now she's starving because we have nothing to feed her. She's even resorted to nursing again even though she weaned herself four days before. Anyway, we finally relent and give her a small bottle of formula though this time I drape myself in an El Al blanket. Half an hour later she's barfing all over me again. So we change her into the last set of clothes I have on the plane and while this is going on my son pees in his pants AGAIN!. This was not expected. I mean, the kid is potty trained for the love of jesus. Could someone please cut me a break here!

By now the bio bag is stuffed full of nasty clothes and my husband is now fighting waves of nausea - same bug apparently. We finally land at JFK and get through immigration. My husband runs to the toilet and I wait for the bags. I retrieve the spare Julio and things start to look up a bit. Hubby returns, I change into a new set of clothes, we get the kids into pajamas because even though it's 2 in the afternoon in New York, it's 9 pm for them. We come to find that our flight has been delayed two hours because of horrible weather in San Francisco so we camp out in a corner of the airport and after some chicken nuggets and french fries we all go to sleep for a few hours. The next flight is only six hours but by this point we are so wrecked I for one am basically hallucinating about my bed. I'm also fighting a gnarly sinus infection. By the time we finally get home and get everyone to bed we have been traveling for nearly 34 hours.

But the kicker is that no less than 30 hours later we are back on a plane flying to my mom's house for my friend's wedding, in which I am a bridesmaid. Bridesmaid of Frankenstein, more like it, between the bags under my eyes, and my zombie-like stare.

So I have to wonder if it was all worth it. I mean, we have friends in Israel whose kids have never even been on a plane let alone flown halfway around the world and back. It's such a small country, if you flew for an hour you'd be in Turkey. And I don't think they're lesser people for having missed the "flying with kids" experience. That said, and with all things being equal, I'd do it again. Even with the vomit I'd make the trip again. Time with grandparents is precious and the memories created, unlike the vomit stains, last a lifetime. People joke because my husband's first initial is M and mine is S. Together we're S&M. But it's the truth. We are a glutton for punishment - both inflicting and suffering. Bring it on, I say.

Is this legal?

Monday, January 14, 2008

The IKEA Incident - Part II

We set up the mattress in our room because there's no space for it in his room yet with his toddler bed still set up. At least he seems to be excited about the bed if jumping is any indication. But as we're getting him into his pajamas I realize that I don't have a mattress cover or any kind of plastic thingy to put under the sheets in case he has an accident. So I rationalize to myself that he hasn't had an accident at night for several months and I'll just put a little quilted blanket underneath him and it will be fine.

But of course, this whole experience has been everything but fine and the poor kid probably still has some left over resentment for having been made to leave his shopping cart upstairs so at 5 am I wake up to his crying. He's peed all over his new bed.

I know that it is my fault for not protecting the bed and that he is only three and three year olds have accidents but why now? Why tonight? Why on the new bed? Pissed off about tiny tim and the shopping cart? Don't take it out on the bed! I let him know I wasn't pleased. Not my finest moment.

So he's back to sleeping on the floor with his old green bambi blanket and his mattress is stripped and leaned up against the wall, a pile of laundry for me to do sitting in the hallway. I deserve it. I am a crap mom sometimes. I was such a good mom before I had kids.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The IKEA Incident

Yesterday was a beautiful day but instead of spending it with my husband and my daughter on a hike with our friends, I decided we needed to buy my son a twin mattress, a comforter and some sheets. And we needed to do this at IKEA on the busiest day of the week. He'd been sleeping on the floor in either his room or our room for the past six months and I just wanted him in his room. His toddler bed was too small and he didn't like sleeping in it anyway and since his sister is now sleeping through the night I just decided it was time. We talked about it and he was excited about his new mattress so we set out on what would turn out to be the worst day ever or at least since last Thursday when we flew home from Israel (a story for another time).

We arrived in good spirits. I found the comforter I wanted, he picked out the comforter cover and sheets, all we had to do was go upstairs to look at the bed, find out where to get it in the warehouse, buy it, and drive home.

Next to the stairs going up I ask my son if he wants to take the stairs or the elevator. Big mistake for we soon spiraled into an epic session of toddler remorse. He picked the elevator. So I get a cart to put our things in, put him in the cart and we take the elevator. We are not out of the elevator more than a minute when he starts to whine that he wanted to take the stairs. I have a "no re-do" policy now having suffered through months of toddler remorse tantrums so I try to redirect his desires. I spy a stuffed turtle. Do you want to hold tiny tim while we're in the store and then we'll take the stairs on the way down? He scoffs at the turtle idea. I point out the slide in the kids section, he forgets his troubles and goes to the slide. Tantrum averted.

After two slides we find his bed and he starts whimpering about wanting tiny tim. So we go back and get him, I take the stuff out of the cart so that we can take the stairs as promised, we get to the bottom and I put the stuff in a new cart. This is when the drawbridge comes down on the MOAT (Mother Of All Tantrums).

Him: I want the cart from upstairs
Me: Sweetie, we're not going upstairs to get our cart. All of these carts are the same.
Him: I want my cart from upstairs.
Me: But you said you wanted to take the stairs so we had to leave that cart upstairs. We'll just take another cart.
Him (sobbing): I want to go upstairs to get the cart!!!!!!!!!!
Me: Son, if you can't stop crying we are going to leave the store.
Him (shrieking): I want to go upstairs!!!!!!!!!!

So I pick him up and he's kicking and sobbing and shrieking so I have to hold him sideways with both hands like a ramming post and walk out of the store while he's screaming I want to buy my mattress. No mattress for you muchacho.

By this point I am livid because we have just wasted two hours, we have no mattress, my son is basically having a seizure over a shopping cart. So I throw him in the car and slam the door and get in on my side and turn on the car as if I'm about to drive even though his seat belt isn't on and he starts to FREAK OUT. I'm not safe! I'm not safe! which of course I know but I want him to feel extra bad for making me hate him. So I put the car back in park again and put on his seat belt and then I go into my quiet voice. I am not buying your mattress. I am never taking you to any store. You do not know how to behave. We are going home.

He's still begging for his mattress and in my head I'm thinking I really don't want to have to spend any more time at IKEA. I've already wasted one day of my weekend. So we drive to an empty part of the parking lot and stop and I wait until he stops crying. And finally we're at a point where we can talk about what all went down in the store. He promises to behave so I lay out exactly what our plan is when we go back in the store including an explanation of shopping carts and how they are ALL THE SAME (FUCKING) THING. He understands. By now it's lunchtime so the return visit also includes a stop at the cafeteria for some Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce (I love that stuff) and some macaroni and cheese for the kid. All is well again. We buy our items and he falls asleep in the cart. A wave of peace washes over IKEA.

But the IKEA incident doesn't end at IKEA. More later on inaugural night with the new mattress.

Can you sleep with me a little bit?

So we're back from our big trip and of course I have a million things I want to write about but for a while there I was going to bed at 7:30 because of the jet lag but now I just can't help falling asleep when I put my son to bed. It's RIDICULOUS. Every night we get into bed and I sing him a song and then he says to me, can you sleep with me a little bit? So we close our eyes and, in fact, I end up sleeping with him A LOT. The rest of the friggin night in some cases. Generally I wake up around 2:00 am and move into my own bed. But still, it means that I don't clean up the house, I don't blog, I don't get any mindless time in front of the television, I don't read, sometimes I don't even brush my teeth, and, worst of all, I spend no adult time with my husband.

So this is why there have been no blogs. Thankfully it was not my new year's resolution to blog more because I'd be failing miserably.

But it's 5:30 am and I was awakened by a troll with a weak bladder so I figured as long as I'm up and too irritated to go back to sleep (and since I've been sleeping since 8:30 last night) I might as well write a little.