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Monday, January 26, 2009

Maudlin Moments

A few mornings ago, I woke up to find my boy-child in the bed between his daddy and I. This is his early morning routine. I have no idea when he comes in, because I sleep through it. What I am about to say next will surely make every self-proclaimed parenting and child-rearing expert shudder: I LIKE waking up to his peachy soft babyish head on my pillow, gazing at his chubby cherub cheeks, listening to his baby sighs as he sleeps. Yes, I know he is three, but he is still my "baby," and I cherish him as such because I know I will never have another. I can still cradle him in my arms like an infant--nevermind the fact that his legs hang over my arms ridiculously. I can still hold him against my chest and rock him--as long as I'm sitting down. I can still kiss his soft baby skin and smell his baby head--whenever he lets me. Day by day he is growing, and one day he will leave those cherub cheeks and that baby smell behind, and it will be gone forever.

As I laid in bed pondering these big thoughts and wondering how my daughter got from baby stage to little girl stage in the blink of an eye, I began to feel all weepy and nostalgic. Dear Son had already hopped out of bed to be his daddy's shadow when Dear Daughter entered the room with her clothes crooked and her hair wild from her tangle with her blankets all night. Her eyes were still puffy with sleep. I invited her to snuggle with me for awhile, while I stalled against facing the reality of the day. She climbed into bed with me, and I scooted a bit to let her have the warmest spot. She told me all about her dream the night before while we cuddled and giggled. I was painfully aware of her long body, no longer chubby and babyish like her little brother's. I studied her face as she jabbered, and I felt comforted by the fact that I could still see some chub in her cheeks and a round button nose. She still looks like a little girl, and for this I was deeply relieved. I felt an ache burning deep in my belly as I tried to push away the thought that I could not stop Time from transforming my babies. We had fifteen minutes together, and then my dear child went skipping off to beg her daddy for some breakfast. I continued to lie there as her spot in the bed next to me grew colder.

At the end of each day, I cherish those bedtime moments that both my children still require. The routine is the same each night. I snuggle with my daughter under the blankets and the white tulle canopy with the pink and purple bows as we read stories together. When the lights go out, I linger. She begs me to stay, and I always do. A few minutes later I hear the tell tale sound of toddler feet in the hall followed by chubby hands pushing Daughter's bedroom door open. Dear Son parts from his own stories with his daddy and climbs into the bed with his sister and I, and we lie there together for awhile--Daughter pressed between the wall on one side and my body on the other, me in the middle, and Son against my other side with my arm holding him close so he doesn't slip off the edge of the twin mattress. They both curl into the crook of one of my arms and they both lay their head on either side of my chest. I hold them each close to my heart and listen to their sleepy sighs.

Last night was like any other night. But this time as I held my babies close to me in the dark, the tears snuck out of the corners of my eyes and rolled down the sides of my face as I thanked God for the treasures He has entrusted with me, and I tried not to think of the day when my babies are grown up and I will no longer snuggle between them on a twin mattress and hold them until they fall asleep.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Not All Empty Scrotums are Sad

Cooper got a "nad-ectomy" last week. It was necessary, not only because we are responsible pet owners and there are more than enough pups running around already that need homes, but because the dog was hell bent on inappropriate sexual behavior. One day Dear Son was sitting on the floor minding his own business and I caught the dog hunched over him from the back having such intense pelvic seizures that I'm surprised he didn't throw his doggy spine out of joint. I was horrified, and I couldn't get the dog to put his stuff away quick enough. That was the last straw. The nad-ectomy was still ten days away, and I was heading for the scissors because I couldn't deal with it any longer. Fortunately I cooled down before I followed through.

And we finally made it (no pun intended) and Cooper has been "de-nadded." It was all good until he came home from the vet completely agitated because he was apparently certain he needed to urinate despite not being able to get his plumbing to cooperate. It was cold that night and he wanted to go outside every five minutes. I finally resorted to huddling over him in the dark and shining a flashlight on his doggy genitals as he strained to do his business. I was watching to see if anything was coming out. It wasn't. This odd behavior (on both our parts...but only literally on the dog's "parts") repeated numerous times before I called my mom (she is a nurse, after all). My mom, of course, got me all worked up with her talk of swelling and the urethra and not being able to eliminate, and bladders bursing and such. So I finally called the emergency after hours vet clinic to get the reassurance I needed that this issue could wait until morning when I could contact my regular vet. We put the pup in his crate for the night, I took some Tylenol PM to destress (the dog's condition was only one of many issues last week) and zonked for the night. The husband proceded to puke his guts out all night long while I slept blissfully unaware, but that's another story (one that I promise not to tell you any more about). When I woke up to take the dog out the next morning, he peed a nice long gratifying stream and we both breathed a sigh of relief. He was probably about as happy to have me stop shinging a spotlight on his personals as he was to be able to relieve himself properly.

Sometime between that late night anxiety over my dog's inabilty to pee and the morning relieving of the same, I hopped onto Google and did a search that I would have never guessed I would ever do. It was something like, "dog can't pee after neutering." I didn't get a whole lot of information about that, but I did stumble onto a site promoting fake dog testicles. Really. They're called "Neuticles." You really MUST click the link to read it for yourself. Oh, and there's even pictures! I can't make this stuff up. Apparently implants are not just for human breasts anymore. Now our culture apparently feels the need for our dogs to have asthetically appealing genitals. According to one consumer, “One of my reservations about having my dog neutered was that it’d be sad to just have an empty scrotum.”

Ummm, yeah. We wouldn't want our dogs to have sad empty scrotums now, would we? Incidentally, I'll vouch for the fact that not ALL dogs are sad about their empty scrotums. Cooper apparently feels light and happy and liberated. He has been running and bounding and leaping and playing like never before. I'm certainly no expert on dog scrotums, but it seems pretty evident to me that my own pup's scrotum is happy not being weighed down anymore.

Incidentally, I just happened to take this pic a couple days before the nad-ectomy. Contrary to Dear Husband's jovial mockery of me, the pic had absolutely NOTHING to do with me wanting to preserve a memory of his pre-surgery "intactness;" I was simply amused at his choice of sleeping positions.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Three-Year-Old Testosterone

I was doing an Optimus Prime LightBrite picture with Dear Son, and when we were about a quarter of the way through with it I pushed the light-up button and asked, "Isn't it pretty?" Dear Son responded with a surly expression and protested insistently, "Robots are NOT pretty!"

He just turned three and his tetosterone is already raging.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I Guess He's on "Boy Time"

Before I explain, I have to admit that I got confused by the instructions (no big surprise there, huh?). You see, I was tagged by Ed at Zoe's Dad for a really fun meme. Only, I couldn't figure out what the sixth file in a person's "documents" had to do with the sixth picture. I didn't have a sixth picture in my "documents" file, and I couldn't figure out what to do with the sixth document either. Sooooo...instead, I went to my "pictures" file and chose the sixth one. This happens to be a pic that I considered blogging about a couple months ago, but decided against it. That was apparently a fortunate choice at the time, or else this post would have been redundant. First of all, here are the rules of the meme:
  1. Go to your documents
  2. Go to your 6th file.
  3. Go to your 6th picture.
  4. Blog about it.
  5. Tag 6 friends to do the same.
Here we go....

I did not realize how easy my Dear Daughter made potty training seem until my Dear Son reached his own right of passage. Dear Daughter sat on the potty relatively patiently by 18 months of age. She was fully potty trained in a single day by 20 months and never had an accident. Really.

As most things go, I did not fully realize the precociousness of my daughter until my son entered the picture. Since I had not spent much (ANY) time around babies or small children until my own came along, I did not know what was "normal." Apparently whatever "normal" is, it is NOT my daughter. She spoke in clear, full paragraphs well before two years of age. She knew her entire alphabet and counted to 20 by twenty months of age. She also knew all her colors (including brown, peach, and other more "exotic" shades), and shapes (including PENTAGON and OCTAGON) at this age and could sing several nursery songs correctly from beginning to end --including Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the ABC song, and Jesus Loves Me. Really. I am not exaggerating. I have many witnesses who will vouch for my honesty in this, and lots of video footage to back me up as well.

Dear Son is not dumb by any means, he's just not precocious like his big sister. He knew all his colors (especially BROWN, which he originally defined as "turd") by two years of age as well as all his shapes (the standard fare here...I'm pretty confident he does not know pentagon and hexagon), and somewhere around two and a half we was able to count to 10 correctly. At just-turned-three years of age, he can sing the "ABC" song and get it mostly correct. He's no dummy...but as far as I can tell, he's much more in line with typical developmental abilities.

This, I dare say, is also apparently true about the potty training thing. Around two years of age we began the training thing.... I figured we were late to the show as his sister had this mastered well before two years of age. We gave up relatively shortly with Son, realizing he just wasn't ready yet. I started reading books about how to train boys and asking LOTS of people how they trained their boys. Nearly EVERYONE told me that their boys were not trained until three and half years. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" was my response. When the first mom told me this, I just thought her child was an imbecile. When the second mom told me this, I figured she didn't pay enough attention to her child or get involved enough in his little life to train him properly. When the third mom told me this, I began to get very worried.

At two and a half we tried training Dear Son again. He would not always agree to sit on the potty, but after several attempts one day with no luck, Daddy arrived home from work. I suggested Daddy put Son on the potty, and wouldn't you know it. Not ten minutes after Daddy walked in the door from work, there was a turd in the potty chair. Dear Son has been a die-hard Daddy's boy for the past year and a half, so it made sense that Daddy got the turd and not me.

SIX MONTHS LATER we are STILL trying to wrap up this potty training thing with him! We are at the stage now where Son will pee in his Peter Potty training urinal every time we ask him or require him, but he has only ever ASKED to go about twice. His code is usually, "My ding dong hurts." What can I say? Yes, I am responsible for teaching him to call his boyhood a "ding dong," but I didn't necessarily MEAN to. I called it that once in some conversation we were having regarding his parts, and it apparently stuck. In that split second, I just couldn't bring myself to say the "p" word to my child. I have no idea why, but it just felt wrong (not that "ding dong" feels quite right either). But I digress....

Son got into a rut. While he would pee in the potty and frequently stay dry in between, we could not seem to get him to sit through the symphony long enough to complete the second "movement." Going into Halloween we started to get all these junk mailings with costumes and Halloween paraphernalia in them. The kids loved to study them. Son loves to play dress up and has an infatuation with costumes. So I stashed a few magazines in the bathroom and bribed him with these when I wanted him to sit long enough on the potty. Sometimes it worked. Other times Dear Husband and I simply grew weary of sitting in the bathroom for long periods of time analyzing Halloween costumes while waiting for the elusive turd to finally show up to the party (it rarely did).

The picture? Don't blame me, it was the sixth one. And anyway...doesn't every doting parent snap at least one pic of their potty-training child on the potty?

Who's up on my tag list?
1. M&M at Maternal Mirth
2. CaraBee at Land of Bean
3. Serena at Zip 'n' Tizzy
4. Riahli at My Life with Boys
5. Nyssa's Mommy at Julie, Cameron, and Nyssa's World
6. Whoever reads this and would like to play along (insert your name here)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Take a Pill!

Dear Husband woke up on the wrong side of the bed or something this morning. By the time I got out of the shower Dear Son was sitting in the middle of the floor with his shirt neither on or off--just stuck around his chin and the top of his head. Apparently he couldn't get his big Gates' noggin' (family joke) through the neck hole. He was screaming that Daddy wouldn't help him. Dear Daughter was also in a tizzy about something, which is nothing new, but she was blaming it on Daddy, which is prolly also nothing new. Dear Husband had that grouchy look about him as we went about the task of making his morning coffee in the kitchen. He had apparently left a wake of grouchy kids and chaos in his path and was now disengaging to find his Zen in a morning coffee mug. I came out dripping wet in a towel to see if I could discover who was dying and why. After I surveyed the circumstances and asked Dear Husband "What the heck?" he offered some half-assed explanation about how Dear Son wouldn't cooperate so he had left him to his own to figure out how to get dressed. I asked Dear Husband something to the effect of what crawled up his...only a tad nicer than that. As I headed back to the bedroom to finish drying my still dripping body, I heard Dear Daughter say, "Daddy, what time are you supposed to take your 'pill'?"

I was in hysterics. First, because Daddy doesn't take any "pills," (hmmm...Dear Daughter may have a point) and second because no one in our home has ever said this before. When I could catch my breath again, I asked Dear Daughter where she had heard that, and she said nowhere. I am sure she had to hear it somewhere because she's only five and this kind of humor is way too sophisticated for even her, but we still don't know where she heard it. Also, she couldn't possibly understand the concept of taking a "pill" to manage moods. Notwithstanding each of these points, she still used this quip in a most appropriate way. Even Dear Husband couldn't stop a grin and a swat to my butt as he blamed me for teaching this quip to our Daughter which she then used against him. (I'm innocent...I swear!)