Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bits and Pieces

I'm not sure if the primary dog is really smart or really a pain. He pooped in the bathtub when I was asleep this morning. Considering that I fed him a different food last night, and taking into account how crazy I get when he poops elsewhere in the house, I'm inclined to think he's pretty smart. Of course, neither the kiddo nor I knew where the mysterious and elusive poop smell was coming from this morning, so we did have to hunt for it. There's nothing like the fear and loathing one has while searching for poop.


Why was I asleep this morning? The kiddo awoke at 3:00 a.m. with a temperature of 101.3F and a dry cough. He was fairly chatty and wanted to play board games; I wanted him to go back to sleep. Then he said he was hungry, so I fixed him something, which he decided not to eat. I gave him some ibuprofen and a tiny dose of Benadryl, and at about 4:30 a.m. he went back to sleep. I finally fell asleep around 5:00 a.m. *yawn* Where's the coffee?


We were supposed to go to the kiddo's dad's 10k run today (so the kiddo could watch), but since it was scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. and the kiddo is sick, we missed it. It would've been hard to make it there early enough under the best circumstances, so we it was just as well that we didn't go.


Tomorrow: Cheetos, Doritos, guacamole, Bruce, funny commercials...who's actually playing in the Super Bowl, anyway? My son probably knows.


Do you think the fact that the kiddo keeps banging out the melody to "Music of the Night" on the piano means he's ready (i.e., desperate) for lessons? I'm thinking yes. I could try teaching him, but so far I don't have a reason to think he would take my direction well in this field. I tried teaching him the proper fingering to a C scale and he insisted on inventing a "better" way. Lately everything I do seems to be wrong (if you ask the kiddo), so it might be worth it to pay someone else to teach him. At least I'd hear something other than "Music of the Night" for a while. ;^)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tylenol Party Favors. Think About It.

Three words:

Kids' bowling party.

Help me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

We Have No Holiday Armadillo, Though

So the kiddo woke me with a bad dream and now I'm the one awake. I suppose it's just as well, since he left a tooth and a note (in lieu of another tooth that he swallowed) under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy, and I'd fallen asleep before, er, letting her in. Now the kiddo is fast asleep and I'll be tiptoeing into the bedroom to leave some money while trying to keep the dogs from following me with their loud, jangly tags and insane panting and relentless leaping onto the bed.

Speaking of mythical and magical creatures (the Tooth Fairy - NOT my smelly, earthy and earthly dogs), Santa still visits our house each year. Santa doesn't really visit the kiddo's dad's house, and pretty much never did; Daddy said he didn't want to "lie" to the kiddo, so Daddy gets credit for all the presents there. I remember one year the kiddo came back to my house on Christmas morning and was indignant to find that while Daddy had brought him a bunch of gifts at the other house, and Santa had brought him a bunch of gifts at our house, Mommy had brought him nothing at all! And this was a year in which I'd scrounged for bargains all over Craigslist and the county so we could have Christmas. Ah, well, it gives me a funny story to tell him later.

My mom, practical in the extreme, is of the opinion that I should educate my boy on the Santa issue, but I think by Christmas 2009 he'll have the whole thing figured out. He's already asked me about Santa's existence a few times: "Mom, is Santa Claus real, or is he a myth?" I've put the question back to him, and he's said he thinks Santa does exist. Then he asked me if the Tooth Fairy is real. Same process and outcome. He asked what the Tooth Fairy does with all those teeth; I told him I wasn't sure, but there's a rumor going around that she uses them to keep building onto her palace. (Methinks the Tooth Fairy might have a touch of Winchester-itis.) He thought about this, then asked if there was also a rumor going around that one's parents really put money under pillows in exchange for teeth. I asked him his opinion, and he said he thought the Tooth Fairy did it. Oh, okay.

Like I said, I think he'll figure everything out on his own, and I see no pressing reason to expedite the process. He'll be a kid only once, and he should be able to enjoy the myths that go with childhood. My mom felt the need to break the news about Santa to my sister when she was little, and although at the time Sis acted as though she'd known all along, she says she remembers feeling kind of crushed. I'm definitely not going to put my son through that. Let him enjoy his innocence. Let him have his fun.

Let him believe.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

. . .

The other day, I took my son to my office after school, helped him with his homework, let him eat some chocolate that had been given to me over the holidays, and bought him a fanzine he begged for at W*l-M*rt. He was over the moon and gazed adoringly at his celebrity crush all the way home.

Then we went home to walk the dogs. On the way, we passed a few businesses and he begged me to buy him something at each one. I said no and he started to cry oh so dramatically as I wrangled our two poop monsters. I decided to ignore him, and after a while he stopped. Great, I thought, peace and quiet. Ha.

"Well, aren't you even going to HUG ME??" he demanded. I was reminded of that scene from Everybody Loves Raymond, when Deborah has raging PMS and angrily asks Ray if he's ever thought of just giving her a hug and in frustration he replies, "THIS...[gesturing toward her wildly hormonal self] is not huggable!" Anyway.

I told the kiddo I was letting him have his space to get himself together. (We've been talking about getting emotions under control and not having tantrums over losing games or being told no.) He's constantly refining his guilt trip tactics, so he mustered up his best shot: "YOU NEVER HUG ME ANYWAY!"

Now, I happen to have a thing about hugging. I have a fond childhood memory of snuggling with my grandma and patting the soft, wrinkled skin on her arm as we talked. I have another memory of putting my head in my aunt's lap (she had no children back then) as she gently twirled my hair with her fingers. My mom must have hugged me, but my only memories of her hugging me are more recent, sort of warmth-less hugs in the past several years. My dad was always doing obnoxious things to us kids, like reaching out and grabbing us when we were on the way to the kitchen. His hugs were almost aggressive, attention-seeking hugs, but he did hug me gently in the urgent care about a year ago as I sat on the exam table and cried and hyperventilated, with my blood pressure hovering around 192 over some equally shocking number. My mom sat in a chair, but she was there. Stories for another post...

But I'm a dedicated hugger when it comes to my son because I want him to remember that his mother hugged him. A lot. And he's mostly receptive to being hugged; he especially loves group hugs, and has said so numerous times. He's always trying to get in on a hug, whether I'm hugging someone in my office, or hugging his dad. (Once again, stories for another post...) So when the kiddo told me I never hugged him, or at least hadn't hugged him that day, I was slightly tweaked. Not mad...just...okay, a little mad, but mostly disappointed. I reminded him that I'd hugged him that very morning when he first woke up, had hugged him a few times when he was at my office, and that I hug him all the time, and if he says I don't ever hug him, I think maybe he doesn't notice or appreciate all the hugs he gets. Then I hugged him and we continued our walk in thoughtful silence for a while. He managed to "turn his frown upside down," as we say, and the rest of the evening was pleasant. When bedtime rolled around, I sat with him in the dark as usual as we talked and he drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, I was on the computer before dawn. I heard Slider's tags jingle, and my son's feet hit the floor. As usual, the kiddo crept into my lap and I hugged him quietly, just like any day. The kiddo closed his eyes, and just for fun, I dipped him. He kept his eyes closed and said nothing for a moment as I watched his little face and wondered if he'd ever know how much I love him.

Just before I set him upright, his eyes still closed, he took a breath: "Yes. I notice."

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Getting back in touch after being out of it for so long...

Because I'm feeling lazy today, I'm borrowing from a post I made last night to a listserv from which I've also been absent for a while...

*stretch* I feel like I've been hibernating. My flat screen monitor went belly up in October. I just came in and saw a swirl of colors drifting across the screen. Fabulous. Luckily, I had a gigantic, bulky monitor that came with the computer and which I never bothered to hook up because, well, I had the flat screen. Ahem. Unfortunately, the huge monitor was too big for my puny desk. Since I wasn't ready to get a bigger desk, I hooked up the huge monitor and plunked it on a chair so I could at least read blogs, even though I couldn't comfortably type. Okay, that story's pretty boring, but it does explain my initial absence somewhat. Then life just got busy.

Working at a church during the holidays is CRAZY. I love it, but the holidays were completely full of activities, charity schtuff (making food boxes, etc.) and tons of other things. I'm sorta glad work has settled down for now, so I can catch up on basic tasks. What else is new? Oh, my dogs had FLEAS yesterday. I bathed them within an inch of their lives, picked dead/drowned fleas off them (GROSS, I know!), brushed and dried them...and took them to the pet store to get more flea drops and spray to dose them with. (I'm ordering more Advantage on 1-800-PETMEDS, which is cheaper than Amazon and definitely cheaper than the vet, but am using pet store stuff for now.) I'm hoping I caught everything soon enough; I didn't see any fleas last week, so I think these were a recent thing. You have no idea how much this skeeves me out. *shudder* I'm silently freaking.

In other news, the kiddo signed up for baseball today, and I bought a copy of Baseball for Dummies so I can converse intelligently at the pro and Little League games this season. Bring on the hot single dads. (What? Who said that?) ;^)

Christmas was very nice. For the first time in the past few years, I felt able to really enjoy the holiday. Last December was the worst, when I had to go to the urgent care and subsequently the shrink to take care of what had become more or less a protracted panic attack. This year I was able to relax and really have fun with the kiddo. We went to a grand Christmas musical show in early December, then made our somewhat traditional visit on Christmas Eve-Eve (!) to the Hotel Del Coronado to see the giant tree, let the kiddo open a couple of gifts, and have dinner. Usually there's ice skating on the beach (a temporary rink), but it had rained that day and the rink was closed. Nonetheless, the kiddo loved the two small gifts I brought for him to open; we played the card game together, and he hugged the stuffed dog he'd been begging for after seeing it in a deli gift shop. Upon unwrapping the dog, he gasped and asked, "Did you get this for me because you knew I'd been wanting it?" When I said yes, he leaned against me and sighed, "Well, aren't you a sweet mama!" I'M TELLING YOU, I COULD HAVE DIED. Anyway, we then wandered downstairs in the beautiful hotel to look around, eat ice cream (his idea - it was FREEZING outside!), and have dinner courtesy of my first-ever Christmas bonus check.

I initiated this little hotel tradition a few years ago because the kiddo spends all of Christmas Eve (the whole day) with his dad and comes home around 11:00 a.m. on Christmas Day, and then we head off to my parents' house around 1:00 p.m., so our pre-Christmas hotel visit is a way for us to get a little relaxed Christmas time without any other pressing engagements. We weren't able to do this last year because of my panic attacks, so I was especially thankful for our visit this year.

Let's see...what else? My little dog, Suzy, turned nine this year. We've had her for over a year now, and sadly I've decided she would be much better off with a retired woman who stays home a lot, is willing to dote on her, and would be willing to take her along on some trips. The kiddo and I are away at work/school (and too much these days, and Suzy is miserable. She cries all day long when we're away. I even taped her and played it for my co-workers, who found it hard to believe such horrible sounds could come from a teeny animal. My dad thinks one of the women on my folks' street might be interested in another little dog, and she fits the profile I'm looking for, so I plan to visit her the next time we're in town. I met a mom through the kiddo's school who might also be interested, so I'm keeping her in mind also, but I'd prefer to place Suzy on my parents' street if possible. I mean, how perfect would that be? I want to make the transition as smooth and as much of an improvement as possible for Suzy, and she will never go to a shelter.

Our other dog, Slider, ran away when I was visiting my parents last month. What a booger. The gate to the backyard was open, and someone inadvertently let the dogs out. I was in tears, driving around the neighborhood, hoping he hadn't wandered out to the busy street and wondering how I would tell the kiddo if anything happened to Slider. My youngest sister and her girlfriend and my dad were also out looking for him, and my other sister and my brother were already on the roof (putting up Christmas lights), so they tried to check out the area. Finally my youngest sister discovered Slider in a pen on someone's lawn. Some dog lovers had found him and placed him where we could see him! They even put food and water and a rug in the pen to make him comfortable. Needless to say, I brought them a bunch of dog treats, toys and a card later that day.

New Year's Eve was quiet around here. The kiddo and I started to watch Elf at 8:00 p.m., but he fell asleep ten minutes into it and I carried all 66 pounds of him up to bed. I dropped off around 10:00 p.m., then awoke at midnight because Slider was repeatedly jumping on me, then running over to the front door and alerting. He must've heard some firecrackers that I couldn't hear. Suzy couldn't have cared less, of course. On New Year's Day, the kiddo decided we should go out to breakfast and then see Bolt, so that's what we did. :-)

Hmm...last month I did an art project with the kiddo's 2nd/3rd grade class, and it went really well. We talked about the theme "artists depict winter," then talked about the word "depict," then talked about what images come to our minds when we think of winter. Our project was a crayon/watercolor resist, so we also learned the word "resist." It was awesome! The kids drew pictures with white (well, mostly) crayons, then painted over the drawings with black or blue watercolors. Most of the kids drew snowmen and presents, but the kiddo drew the two of us walking the dogs in knee-deep snow. How cute is that? (Okay, I'm biased.) Now I need to figure out a project for January. This art docent gig is a blast! to check for fleas. Yes, I'm obsessed. As you might imagine, the dogs do not enjoy being unexpectedly flipped over to have their bellies scanned for critters. I'll be back, though, I promise.

I wish you all a wonderful 2009!