Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Son the Paleontologist

My kid is funny. And charming. And so stinking smart I fear I'll have to stay up nights reading text books when he starts school just so I can keep up. He's also the biggest pain in my ass. I should have foreseen that- after all, he caused a lot of back pain during pregnancy. He also warms my heart. He also caused a lot of heartburn. Coincidence? Probably.

So he's smart.

He wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up. At 3 he's already got a good foundation. Not only can he recognize a Parasaurolophus or a Pachycephalosaurus (damn, you spell check, those are real words!) when he sees one, he can actually SAY pah-ra-sore-OLL-oh-fuss and PACK-ee-sef-ah-low-SORE-us. (We're working on spelling, ha!). So right when I'm wondering how we're going to put this kid through college (and then his brother after him) he tells me he WANTS to be a paleontologist but his body's going to grow up to be a garbage man. And if he's a garbage man he won't need to learn how to read or write or brush his teeth.

So maybe I shouldn't worry about college and financial aid and scholarships just yet and focus on the basics of dental hygiene.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Dirty Diaper

I am waiting for Spiff to decide he needs a diaper change. He stinks to high heaven but he doesn't care. I do, I can't even stand to be 5 feet away from him I don't know how he can stand to have his nose a mere 15 inches above the sewage factory that is his rear end. How can Spiff sniff that and not want a change?

I bought him size 5 diapers the other day. They should last a month. I told him I was hopeful this was the last box of diapers I ever buy for him. It's unrealistic so that is why I am not planning on it, merely hopeful. Size 5 is also the end of the diaper line. Next is pull-ups. Of course, this isn't incentive as he could probably be in size 5 until he IS 5, he's so small.

The DVD that was playing has ended and its menu song just keeps repeating. Still this is not incentive for him to get a diaper change. He wants to play. I told him I can't until he gets his diaper changed. I can't stand to smell him. Still this is not incentive to get a diaper change. I told him we can't go outside until he gets changed. Still this is not incentive to get a diaper change. I say he will miss Caillou because he won't get a diaper change--

Ah, results! Parenting at it's best, right here, folks.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Worn Out

As I write this I am soaking a bunch of stained hand-me-downs for Squidgee in the sink. It's the second time around in oxy-clean for the pjs but I just feel like a second-born kid gets enough crap without having to wear its stains. I feel so strongly about that that he has a couple new pajamas to add to his wardrobe and if the stains don't come out I will not feel in the least bit badly about throwing them out. Most of Spiff's old clothes have a lot of life in them yet. Having a second kid is one way to feel less badly about all the wasted money that goes into clothes that are so quickly out-grown. But I suppose a second kid should also get to call something his own. After all most of his toys, clothes, bedding and even parents are second-hand and (especially the parents.) a little worn out.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Grouchies

Today was a grouchy day in all respects. Squidgee is teething and therefore already grouchy and too ouchy to sleep which made him even more grouchy. Spiff is two and and a half which is a good enough reason in itself but also just happened to also wake up on the wrong side of the bed which shouldn't even happen since his bed is pushed up against the wall and there is only one side to wake up on. He was whiny and needy all day with the ever-so-vague and even-more-annoying "I want something" chorus on repeat mode. He must have said it about 300 times. Sounds like a lot, but it is likely to be an accurate count since he said it every half hour and at least 15 times in a row when he did. By 4:00 I was sick of hearing it and about to scream! I said as much, and I must have said it in a not-so-very nice manner since Spiff's whining became crying. "Be nice to me!" he sobbed. "I'm a kid!" Which really put it all into perspective. I swooped him up over the trying-to-nurse Sqidgee and gave him a big hug. Kids aren't stupid. He knew he found a good line, and boy did he use it. "I'm a kid, I'm a kid, I'm a kid. Be nice," he sobbed, beating me into an ever lower feeling. But all in all, while that broke my heart, it sure beat hearing the I-want-somethings. He was so obviously tired, fifteen minutes later he fell asleep and I let him since I was just as tired even though it meant a hysterical wake-up and postponed bedtime. But it also meant The Guy and I had a nice relaxing quiet dinner without a two year old telling us to "Stop talking." Some advice is nice, the ordering about by an even more diminutive-than-the-original Napoleon is not. So, yes, yes, it was worth it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Fraction

1/270th of their lives is all that newborn period is. While that first 3 months is so lousy with spit-up and diapers and severe sleep deprivation that one can hardly find the time to enjoy it, time is going by so quickly. It's almost not enough time to relish in the grasp of fingers coiling around your index finger, the small noses and toes, the first gazes of recognition- entirely loving and innocent. To know they know you and love you, pure and simple, completely unadulterated. Hopefully we have memorized the look and feel so we can recall it at will during the toddler and teenage years. Photographs do not do it justice but they can help.

1/270th of 90 years is 3 months.
1 year of infancy, of learning to move, eat, love, share, sleep, is only 1/90th of a full lifetime.
even the dreaded and dreadful toddler years are fleeting. 1/45th.

I am hoping I can take a moment here and there from the frustration of raising a 2 year old to recognize that he is becoming a master of negotiation and charm. I am hoping I don't miss too many firsts with my second. I am hoping I can find a few moments to cherish it all because it really is (deceptive though it is in its sense of eternity) all very fleeting.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Lull

5 months postpartum the spring in my step is back but the bounce in my boobs is probably gone forever. No doubt it got lost between the Boppy and the couch cushions at some point.

This is the lull between the sleeplessness of having a newborn and the chaos of having a mobile baby. The time between being a walking zombie and a chicken running around with its head cut off. I know it is brief because I have done it before. So here I am with a 2 year old AND a 5 month old and I am already crazily thinking "I could do this again." But not just yet, because, like I said, this is only a lull.

It's funny how soon the memory of total chaos fades. A month ago, neither child was sleeping, and so neither parent was sleeping. Spiff was getting up 5-9 times a night to make sure we were readily available as we had not been in the beginning and promptly messed up his night life which he had hitherto spent blessedly unconscious. We messed up, I'll admit it. Fred was camping outside his room on an air mattress so he was at Spiff's beck and call. Squidgee was a newborn. His getting up was not surprising but he did seem to need to eat a lot at the all night diner. A lot. A lot. I was, being the milk supply of demand-feeding, at HIS beck and call. And they were both getting up early as well. This was only made worse by the fact that it was approaching Winter Solstice and it was as dark at 5:30 am as it was at midnight. It was dark by 4 PM. No doubt this was all compounded by a serious lack of vitamin D on top of fluctuating postpartum hormones, but I had had a couple melt-downs.

I distinctly remember crying in the kitchen making a pot of coffee (a half pot of half caff-- nursing can be so cruel!) while Fred made his old-faithful office lunch of PB&J. (We were existing on a diet of take-out and frozen food, so there were no leftovers.)

"I don't think I can do this again!" I said. And I also said I was not, no way, ever nursing again because neither of my kids seemed to take to a bottle and it was taking its toll on my emotional well being, being exposed 75% of the day, having a baby dangling like some sort of over-sized Christmas ornament off my areolae. And now I am here thinking, was that so bad? 4 months? What's that in the grand scheme of things?

And that, my dears, is how nature gets you to procreate. The memory, out of necessity, twists and blurs and fades. We lose sense of time. 4 months, I am here to tell you if you are math-deficient, is 1/3 of a year, out of hopefully 90 years. A mere 1/270th of your life, of their lives. And yet to the mother of a newborn it is no less than eternity. Having had 2 newborns, I have had two eternities plus 28 years. I am older than sin and still stupid. Maybe more stupid.

I have heard that babies burn brain cells. It must be true. I used to know everybody's phone number by heart, every birthday. I suppose the lack of phone number memory could be attributed to the invention of speed dial, but I now have to think for a moment before giving my own firstborn's birth date. I always seem to mess up the year with the day. Granted, my second is also an August baby, but really that is no excuse.

Yes, two Leos. I am desperately hoping there is more to nurture and birth order than there is in the stars or, as great as those lions are, I will have my hands over-full. I myself am a Cancer, and if the alignment of Mars with the Earth's Moon actually does mean anything at all, then it is true I have a hard shell. Which is fantastic! One needs a good set of armor when raising two boys two years apart. And I am ready for it. I am using this lull and half-caff to ready my forces.