My Shiner…

In his eagerness to get to my slow, cranky, 18 year old cat who was sleeping by my head, SB (Small Boy) crawled over me and smacked his knee into my eye.  You know that moment when you think, “Oh SH*T, this is going to be bad”?  Well, it was.   

I’ve had a black eye for over a week now, and the reactions from people have been interesting, to say the least.  People either think that I’ve been beaten  (the cashier at the grocery store called me “honey bunny”), or they have their own SB horror stories to share. 

 One person told me her son got upset, threw a cup and broke her nose, and others have had collisions similar to mine (but to our credit, none involving a cat), and all kinds of random mishaps that have resulted in parents being left bloody, bruised and battered.

 As a result, I’ve determined that children are dangerous and one should either wear some sort of helmet or hockey mask whenever they’re around.  Maybe one of those shark proof suits made out of chain metal, too.

 So now I’m conducting a poll – share your stories with me.  Oddly, most of the parent bruises/breaks were caused by boys…anyone have dangerous girls out there?

 In the meantime, I’m just wearing sunglasses.  I tried applying cover-up with a trowel but that looked even worse.   Maybe I’ll start a fund for beaten parents.  Any donors?


Job Description?

While we were driving home from school this afternoon, SB (Small Boy) said, “Mama, I’m depending on you to take care of me FOREVER.”

Somehow I managed to not laugh out loud or total the car, and I told him that I would always take care of him.  I’m relieved that my job duties have been clarified since I pretty much figured that once he could put his underwear on the right way and feed himself that I could set him free…

Back to the Grown Up World…

Next week I’m going back to work full time and joining the land of the grown-ups once again.  Gone will be the days of gluing googly eyes to everything (one would assume…), and I’m feeling so many different emotions about it.  Of course I feel beyond lucky that I was able be home with SB (Small Boy) for a year; but I also feel grief stricken that it’s going to end in five days.  I keep telling myself that he needs to start pre-school and it would just be creepy if he stayed home with me until he was 18, but I’m going to miss him terribly.  Most of the time.

By the way I’m carrying on you’d think he was going off to boarding school for the next 12 months.  Today at his “Fish School” class at the local aquarium I was thinking, “this is the last time we’ll see the baby sharks and rays”, like we’d never go anywhere again. It feels like we’re breaking up and I should write some bad melodramatic poetry about crying black tears or something.

It’s been a year of wildly funny moments, shockingly embarrassing ones, times when I really, really understood why wine is referred to as “mommy juice”, and the always prevalent fantasy of running away to a tropical island where no one would yell, “mama, I have to go pee-pee, please hold my weenie!”

Before I had SB I used to wonder why people insisted that motherhood is the hardest full time job of all.  My former job was non-stop stress – always on call, insane deadlines, maniacal holiday seasons, and I’d think, “What the hell could be so hard? You’re home all day, doing fun things, and then they nap”. My God, I can be an idiot…

The thing is, you’re ALWAYS on.  You don’t get a lunch break, and when they’re napping you’re too wiped out to do anything you want to get done.  I had a list of things to do while I “wasn’t working” that sounded something like this:  lose 20 pounds by working out while SB was napping, refinish the wood on the stairs, plant a vegetable garden and repaint the living room.  What got done?  One wall was painted and I gained ten pounds.

So back to work – I’ll finally get to relax now.  Maybe someone will let me cut their lunch up and glue googly eyes to something to ease the pain of our break-up?

A Visit to the Happiest Place on Earth

A few days ago we took SB and BG (Big Girl, SB’s sister) to Disneyland for the first time.  To fund this extravaganza, we robbed a few banks, took out a second mortgage on the house and blew it all on two days at the parks an overnight stay at the Disneyland Hotel.

But…it was SO worth it.  I don’t know how they do it, but it really is the Happiest Place on Earth.  Everyone who works there was friendly and enthusiastic, the place is spotless and seeing it again through SB’s eyes brought back all the fantastic memories I had there as a kid.  His mouth and eyes were wide open, and he was actually stunned into silence for a few rare minutes. And we did it all.  Junky candy?  Check.  Billions of dollars of toys that break in a day?  Done.  Hauling 40 pounds of exhausted toddler around for two days?  Ouch.

At one point, he was so amped up that Lightning McQueen almost hit him when they were rolling him down the street (I now have a different opinion of those kid leash things – I still couldn’t do it, but I get it).  Later that day Heidi Klum and her entourage cut in front of us in line for the weird burping Caterpillar ride, and then she patted SB on the head, so we certainly had the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Well, not the ugly, because Heidi Klum even managed to look gorgeous at Disneyland, while the rest of us moms looked pretty dorky in our comfortable (and therefore ugly) walking shoes, schlepping around kids, strollers that kids refused to sit in, and giant bags of Toys That Break Almost Immediately.

Of course all this excitement and stimulation lead to one Code Red Nuclear Meltdown after dinner.  We were dumb enough to take SB to the giant Disney Store and then had to tell him every five seconds that no, he couldn’t have that toy.  Or that toy.  Or not even that toy.  BB (my husband – Big Boy) and BG went back to the park to shut the place down, and I wound up dragging a hysterical, totally irrational SB back to our room.  Although he did stop to dance to a Salsa band for a few minutes, but then went straight back to terrorist mode when I explained that we couldn’t dance all night.

On the bright side, I wasn’t alone.  All around me were toddlers and moms doing the Code Red Nuclear Meltdown dance.  And this is where my brilliant idea was born – they need a Mom Bar at Downtown Disney.  Forget the sports bars and Rainforest stuff, just a giant room with a bar and a ton of Disney toys.  It would be PACKED.

Back in our room, SB literally ran in circles for about 15 minutes, and then he passed out.  Probably dreaming of Supermodels and cars.  It really is the Happiest Place on Earth.

Quality (Sick) Time Together

SB (Small Boy) and I have both been sick for the past few days, and Cabin Fever has officially set in.  It’s up for debate as to who’s whining more, although right now I think I’m winning.  I’m being more whiny than a two year old.  I’m very proud of myself.

To add to the fun of being housebound, it’s been about 1,000 degrees in Southern California for the past week or so.  I keep thinking he feels warm so I’ve taken SB’s temperature about a million times.  Nice work, Einstein – it’s 95 degrees outside.  Of course he feels warm. 

He’s also not eating, which for SB is pretty much unheard of.  So I went online to see what could be wrong.  I’ve narrowed it down to mouth ulcers, the flu, a sore throat, Dengue Fever or Ebola.  I’m not allowed on the internet anymore.

We’re also going for the world TV watching record and I think we’re strongly in the lead for the Gold Medal.  Yesterday, in a moment of desperation, I bought him a Smurfs video.  Then I wanted to stab myself in the eyes to make it stop.  I finally paused it when SB wasn’t looking and told him it was broken, and we went back to good old Curious George.  I still can’t understand why the Man in the Yellow Hat would trust a monkey to fix his plumbing, but then again I’m not feeling well either.  Whine, whine.

Today we’re going to venture out to the arts and crafts store so that we can make a colossal mess in the backyard with chalk and water.  And then I’ll count down the hours until BB (Big Boy – my husband) gets home.  Only 10 hours to go.  That’s a lot of chalk.  And TV.  But at least we’ll bring home the Gold Medal.

The Years of Living Dangerously

As anyone who has survived toddler-hood knows, a significant portion of  time is spent simply trying to keep your kids alive.  SB (Small Boy) has an astonishing gift for sniffing out dangerous things, and I spend most of my days running after him, begging him to be careful.  There could be a room full of fluffy, non-lethal things and he’d find the one teeny tiny thing that could kill him. 

For example, we were at the local aquarium last week for “Fish School” – a nice two hours spent doing arts and crafts, learning about the ocean and eating snacks.  There’s a tide pool area right near where the class is held, and during a break all the other kids were sitting on a rug doing quiet kid things, and SB was trying to climb into the tide pool.  So there you go.  My life in a nutshell.

When I try to explain to him that some things/activities are dangerous, such as jumping down the stairs; running amok in parking lots; chasing after strange dogs, etc., he wants to know why.  I try to explain that he could get hurt, and then he wants to know EXACTLY what would happen.  “Would I get smushed?  And be in bad shape?  Would I have red blood?  I want green blood.  Why can’t I have green blood?  Would I have to go to the hospital?  In an ambulance?  Would I get a band-aid?” (He LOVES band-aids).

Then I’m basically stuck.  He thinks ambulances are the greatest things in the world after garbage trucks, and a ride in one of them would be the thrill of his life.  So then I bring out the big guns.  I tell him he’d have to get a shot.  That usually puts an end to it, but I’m now realizing I’ve really screwed myself up.

Next month we have to go for his three-year check up.  I’m pretty sure this will involve shots, and it’s not going to be pretty.  Last time we were at the doctor’s office it took three people to hold him down so that they could simply check his ear tubes.  I think we’re going to need a few more people, a sound-proof room, and possibly some duct tape for shot time.

I hope they have VERY cool band-aids. 

Mr. Friendly

I’m happy, of course, that SB (small boy) is a friendly, outgoing little guy, but sometimes it’s a lot like living with a game show host.  Whenever we go to the park he’ll walk up to a kid and say, “Hi, what’s your name?” and then show them whatever toy we brought along.  Nine times out of ten the other kid will take the toy, and off they’ll go – a new friend!

But if the other kid’s not interested, SB goes into crazy stalker mode.  He simply can’t fathom how anyone wouldn’t want to play with him, so he’ll follow the poor kid around the park thrusting his toy at him, saying, “see?  SEE?”  And if they still won’t play with him, he’ll say, “Mama, what’s wrong with him?”  Oof.  And then he’ll go off and stalk another unsuspecting kid, until he either finds one who will play with him or they run away – which he takes as an invitation to chase them.   

A couple of weeks ago the house down the street was getting new carpet installed.  Mr. Friendly stood by the front window as the workers passed and greeted every one who walked by.  So I figured this was a good time for the “We Don’t Talk To Strangers” speech, but every time I tried to make a point I was countered with the ever popular, “why?” 

So how do you explain to a kid who’s in love with the world that we don’t talk to strangers because not all of them are nice?  First I started with telling him that some people are naughty (one of our favorite themes these days), and tried to tell him in a non-terrifying way that some people do bad things.  “Like biting?” asked SB.  Yes, I told him, like biting, but worse.  “Kicking? Hitting? THROWING??”(a big no-no at our house) Oy.  This was going nowhere fast.  So, like any good parent would, I let it go, thinking we’d talk about it some other time.

Oh no.  SB, in his obsessive little way, brought it up all night long.  “Is mama bad?”  “No, mama’s not bad.”  “But remember the time you threw that toy, mama?”  Dammit – I forgot about his elephant-like memory.   We discussed whether or not his friends from day care were bad.  Anyone who ever kicked, hit or bit him was discussed in detail.  I tried to change the subject and turned on the TV to distract him.  Success!  Phew.  I did it. 

Wrong.  The next day we were at the grocery store and he pointed to the woman in front of us at the checkout line, and said, rather loudly, “IS SHE BAD???”  I shushed him, but to no avail.  “IS HE BAD???”  God.  Get me the hell out of here right now, please, I’ll never swear again, I’ll go to temple more than one hour every year, we’ll feed the poor, just get me out of here!!

Of course now everyone’s suspect – SB’s world is filled with people who could potentially bite, kick or hit us.  Ironically, he’s the one who usually lands in time out for being naughty, but that’s not discussed.  Smart kid.