Monday, October 11, 2010

To Have or Not to Have

Davey and I would like to have another baby someday soon.  We don't want Madd to grow up as an only child, and we'd like for Madd and his sibling to be somewhat close in age so they can share friends, go to school together, etc.  At least that's what we envision.  However, the reality of it may be a little different.

If Davey had his way, we'd just skip over the first 12 months of a new baby's life and pick up when they "can start to do cool stuff".  Yes, it's hard to have a newborn, but honestly, looking back on it, that time passed so quickly.  But, I do see his point...

Maddy was a rough newborn.  Colic, acid reflux, wouldn't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time for the first  6 weeks, refused to sleep in his crib,  and on and on and on.  The sleep depravation was EXTREME.

I knew it would be rough because of course, I had been warned.  But people tend to sugar coat it a little with all the, "Oh you'll just be so in love" and "There's nothing more precious than a new baby".  Well those punks left out the part about the bleeding nipples from breastfeeding, the fact that it takes 45 minutes just to get your baby to eat only to have him projectile barf all your hard pumped breastmilk all over himself, the changing diapers at least 15 times a day, 5 of those times at night when you can barely even stand up much less button and unbutton the TEN THOUSAND DAMN BUTTONS that are on a newborn sleeper.  Who knows how may times poor Maddy had to go back to sleep with his little chicken legs hanging out of his outfit.

I had a C-section which just makes those first 6 weeks that much harder.  I couldn't get out of bed without help, so anytime Maddox cried, Davey would have to get up, go get him, and bring him to me.  I would then feed him until he fell back to sleep, and then Davey had to come get him and put him back in his bassinet.  So needless to say, it wasn't just me who was sleep deprived. I didn't want to disturb Davey every 2 hours because he had to work, but I had no choice.

One night I woke him up to go downstairs and warm up a bottle of breastmilk. I mean, I had to give my boobs a break a few times a day.  So, I'm holding a screaming baby and I notice that Davey's been gone for a while.  Finally he tromps back up the steps and comes in the bedroom eating a granola bar.

Me:   What the hell are you doing?  Where's the bottle?

Davey:  Oh yeah.  I knew I was in the kitchen for something but I couldn't remember what it was. So I just started eating.

I knew Davey had hit rock bottom when I woke him up one night about a week later to tell him to go get Maddox for me.  He looked at me and said, "Who's that"?  Um, yeah, nevermind.  I'll peel myself out of bed and take this one.

Hmmmm, are we really ready for all that again?


I'm not proud of the fact that I'm not a religious person.  I do believe in God and Jesus and I do pray everyday.  I just don't go to church anymore.  I'm not sure why. It's probably laziness more than anything.  I grew up in a church, but for some reason, I just didn't carry on in my adult life.

Every Sunday morning I wake up with the intention to change that, but it just hasn't happened yet.  I want to raise my son in a church and I will.  We just haven't, as a family, found a church where we are comfortable. It will happen though, because I will pray about it and God will guide us.

I pray with Maddox every night.  We usually just say a basic prayer and ask that our family is kept safe and  that those out there going through hard times will find peace.  But over time,  I've written a few specific prayers just for my son.  I've never shared them with anyone.  Not even him.  But I will today.

To my sweet baby boy,

I pray that you sleep soundly tonight.

I pray that you wake with a smile.

I pray that you are always a good boy.

I pray that you grow up wanting to make a difference in this world.

I pray that you are always safe.

I pray that you are grateful for your family and everyone who loves you.

I pray that when you look at me, you feel love.

I pray that you always trust me.

I pray that you do good things with your life.

I pray that you are compassionate.

I pray that you love animals.

I pray that you will pray for others who are less fortunate than you.

I pray that you learn how to forgive.

I pray that you learn something new everyday.

I pray that you have the courage to handle any challenge that life brings to you.

I pray that you understand that I am your parent, not your friend.

I pray that you are honest.

I pray that you know how proud I am to be your mother.

I pray that Jesus is a part of your life.

I pray that you are never to proud to ask for help.

I pray that you one day experience the joys and hardships that come from raising your own children.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Little Green Ass Whooping

When I resigned from my job as a Publishing Representative last year (to stay at home with my son), not only did I give up my income, but I also gave up my company car.  Smooth move, right?

I was like, "Well, on the bright side, now I get to pick whatever car I want."  My husband was like, "Yeah, you can take the bus."  Guess who won that fight?

A couple of weeks later, there I was with my brand new, and I mean 2010 brand new, Subaru Forester.  Score!!!  Love it.  Love the color, the smell, the moon roof, on and on and on.  Obviously my intention was to keep it spiffy and yummy smelling for ever and ever.  In all my lust, I forgot I had a toddler that was going to be riding around with me all day.  Dammit.

So here we are a year later and my car is now a roving chicken nugget stand.  My husband is all, "Well, don't let Maddox eat in the car." Yeah, and I also was never going to let him suck on a pacifier and we all know how that turned out.  Whatever.  Obviously the kid is going to eat in the car.  Mainly because it keeps him occupied and I don't have to hear, "Out, out, OUUUUUT!" the whole time we're riding somewhere.

So it turns out that right after I resigned from my job and lost my car, my husband's company sold out and he lost his company car, too.  He kept his job with the new company, but now he got a car allowance so he, too, got to go pick out a new car.  He came back with a 2010 Subaru Outback.  Subarus are so reliable, we thought, hey, one of these bad boys will last until Maddox gets his license and then we'll just pass it on to him.  With like 300,000 miles on it, but he'll get over that.

Much to my surprise, Davey practices what he preaches.  NO ONE was eating in his car.  He didn't give a shit if we had a 6 hour road trip ahead of us.  Don't even think about packing some snacks.  No, we're all going to drag our asses out of the car and stand outside of a gas station to eat our bag of chips and drink our coke.  Punk.

A few weeks ago Maddox and I were out running around and we took Davey's car just because it was already pulled out of the garage.  Of course, I'm passing M&M's back to Maddox on our little journey and all is good because I kept looking in the rearview mirror to make sure the M&M's were going in his mouth. Sometimes he likes to just hold them.  By the way, those little motherf'ers DO melt in your hands.

I thought we were all clear and Davey would never know the kind of mischief that we were up to.  We got home, Madd napped, and then we got back in D's car to go out to dinner.  Davey puts Maddox in the car and then comes around to get in the driver's seat.  He turns to me and holds up a green M&M that he found in the carseat.  He looks at me very seriously and asks:

"Do you know what this is"?

Me:  Ummm, a green M&M?

Davey:  No, this, right here, is a little green ass whooping.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Potty Mouth

Sooooo, if you've ready any of my posts you know that we are "trying" to start potty training our 2-year old, Maddox.  He gets it that mommy and daddy use the potty, but it hasn't quite translated yet that he should use it, too.  I'm not even really sure Madd knows that the potty is exclusively for human waste.
Not to worry though, my husband has that explanation covered.

Me:  Maddox, please don't put your trucks in the potty.  The potty is for poo poo and pee pee only.

Davey:  Logs and streams, buddy.  Logs and streams.

I thank God every day that my husband is so wise.

Now that we have that covered, Davey and I still need to convince Maddox to actually use the potty.  We're really going to have to convince him that using the potty is to his benefit.  And no, he doesn't give a damn to walk around with poop and pee in his diaper, so that argument isn't going to work.  I mean of course we'll reward him like crazy when he actually does start to use the potty.  Hell, I'll throw him a party, but I mean, eventually we'll have to stop doing that.  We can't empty our retirement fund just so we can say he's potty trained.

I decide that maybe I'll leave this part to daddy.  Davey can talk to him about how cool it is to be a big boy and all the wonderfulness that comes with going to the potty.  And you know, Davey can actually show him how it works.  I lack appropriate equipment.

The other day, I go downstairs to take a shower.  I leave Madd and Davey upstairs playing.  When I come back Davey says Maddox has something to tell me.  'Tis as follows:

Davey:  Maddox, tell mommy where you're going to start pooping.

Maddox:  Potty!

Davey:  And tell mommy why you're going to start pooping in the potty.

Maddox:  (Silence)

Davey:  Because we're sick of you smelling like the zoo.

There's your reason folks.  From my family, to yours.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blankie, Ninnie, and Little Red Car

Before Maddox was born, Davey and I were adamant that he not sleep with us.  We heard stories about kids who slept with their parents until they were 10 years old.  No thanks.  We had no intention of being one of those couples who sleep in separate bedrooms.  I mean, I'm in my 20s for goodness sake.  I'd still like to be able to have sex with my husband.  In our bed.  I get it that some couples might like the thrill of having to "sneak"  to do it.  But, I'd rather not be caught  in the closet "wrestling naked" by my young son, thanks.

Well, the day we brought him home from the hospital, not only did he sleep in our bed, but he slept on my chest.  Probably not the best idea since I was taking some serious pain meds because I'd had a C-section.  After about a week of that, I'd had enough.  Oh, but didn't I love having the little guy lie on my chest while he and I breathed in unison and we could feel each other's heartbeat?  Yeah, during the day, but at night, I just wanted to sleep for the love of God!  The kid only slept for like 2 hours at a time and during those 2 hours, I didn't particularly want to lie there stiff as a board with no pillows around me for fear that he might accidentally roll off my chest and suffocate.  

So, we moved him to his crib.  Yes, it was hard to have to get up every single time he cried, needed changed, or wanted to eat, but we knew we were doing what was best for the whole family.  I'm not opposed to co-sleeping, it just wasn't for us.

Fast forward 2 years.  We now have a happy, healthy, talkative preschooler that goes to sleep at 7:30pm in his crib and stays there all night. (Minus the period when he was 6 - 9 months old). We read him a couple of books, put him in bed, and he says, "Night night, love you."  How awesome is that?  Very, except for the fact that in order to actually go to sleep he has to have the Holy Trinity with him:  Blankie, Ninnie, and Little Red Car.  

Blankie and Ninnie (pacifier) are no big deal.  The blankie is big and blue and he's had it since he was a newborn.  Ninnies, please, we have like 350 of those lying around the house.  We will never be without a ninnie. Believe that.  However, Little Red Car is going to cause me to have a stroke.

Little Red Car is exactly what it sounds like.  This little ass red car that we bought for him at Toys R Us about a year ago. Seriously, he has hundreds of cars, but for some reason (probably because it's the smallest one EVER) he loves that LRC.  He absolutely has to have it in his hand in order to fall asleep. He also likes to carry it around during the day.  I cannot even tell you how many nights we have put him to bed and the minute we walk out the door we hear, "Diddle Ded Har."  Shit.  

My husband and I go flying around the house as the cries for "Diddle Ded Har" get louder and more hysterical.  Eventually my husband and I get hysterical, too.  "Where the f*ck is the car?!?!?" One of us will shout to the other.  We've always managed to find it and then we immediately go on the porch to have a beer to calm our nerves.

I'm sure you're asking why the hell I don't just go buy 10 more Little Red Cars.  Well, because we can't find another one exactly like it. I've tried to give him other cars but he is having none of that.  

So, a couple of lessons we've learned:

1.  The hardship that is getting your child to go to sleep in his or her own bed, in his or her own room, is completely worth it.  However, I would avoid moving into a house where your bedroom is on the first floor and all other bedrooms are on the second floor.  Especially when your child is only 6 weeks old.  Like we idiots did.

2.  When you're baby gets sick, it's OK to have him sleep with you as long as you are prepared for him to stay there.  For months.  Please refer to the 6-9 months reference above.

3.  Never let your child take anything to bed with him that you don't want to him to HAVE to have in order to fall asleep.  Otherwise you'll find yourself running around the house looking for a 2 inch piece of red plastic with wheels on it as if it's the only thing that will save your soul from the devil himself.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Get a JOB

I know I do this whole song and dance in my bio about how wonderful my husband is for letting me stay home with our son.  Well, I lied.

Yes, yes, I know.  I get to stay at home, but it's not without a fair share of bitching and complaining.  Especially when Davey gets home and the house is a wreck.  No vacuuming, no dusting, no dishes done, no dinner, etc.  Whatever.  Maddox and I have been playing all day.  These freaking choo choo trains don't conduct themselves you know.

So, I decide that since Madd Dog is going to preschool in the fall (only for 2 mornings a week) I'll apply for a part-time job.  Better yet, I'll apply for a part-time job at his preschool!  What an awesome idea!  That way, I can make sure that all the teachers are nice to him and that if any crazy shit goes down, I'll be there.  There's a lot of horror stories about people walking into schools, churches, Toys R Us, etc. and just shooting up the place.  You've never seen an ass whooping like the one I will hand out if that goes down near my kid.  More about my ass kicking skills later...

The point is that I applied for an open teaching position at his preschool.  Am I qualified?  Ummm, if you consider taking a toddler to the pool on a daily basis, making play-doh pancakes, and watching Yo Gabba Gabba good experience, then you will find no one better than I.

What do you know...I actually land an interview for a teaching position. So, I put on a pair of suit pants, a nice shirt, cute little peep-toe shoes and I'm out the door!  With my 5 years of publishing sales experience, I'm a shoo-in, don't ya think? I'm a little nervous since I haven't been on an interview in years but I figure the nice little church lady from the preschool will go easy on me.

She asks pretty standard questions:  Why do you want this job? My husband says I need one if I ever want to get another pedicure. What makes you stand out from all the other candidates? Yeah, that would probably be the fact that I have NO TEACHING EXPERIENCE. What do you think a day in a classroom is like? Probably insane because it's a bunch of toddlers running around and I know that sometimes just my one lonely little toddler at home is enough to make me want to join the nut house.

No, those weren't my actual answers.  I was very prepared and I really thought I made a good impression.  the little church lady smiled and nodded at me when I was answering.  Good sign, right?

At the end of the interview, she asks me if I have any questions.

"Yes, ma'am, I have one. How exactly are the children disciplined?  I know we spoke of the creative curriculum (no freakin' clue what that means) and how it fosters growth and development, but I know that sometimes 2 -year olds can get a little out of control and I was just wondering how that was handled. In my house we do a "cool off" when Maddox gets rambunctious."  (Lie.  It's definitely a time-out.  I don't spank, but dammit, I'm not going to sugar coat it when he's in trouble. I'm not raising a criminal, people. But I figured I better tone it down for the church ladies).

She gives me this big lecture about how discipline has the root word "disciple" which means "to teach".  Yes, I know that thank you.  She says that since they are church based, they use bad behavior as a "teachable moment" and that as long as they give the children the right words to use so that they don't become frustrated by not being able to communicate effectively............what???  I want to know what happens when one kid bites a chunk out of another kids arm because he doesn't want to share his blocks.  You know what I'm saying?

Again, I bring up the idea of a "cool-off" except this time I call it what it is. A freaking time out.  What happens when the 2 or 3 year old cannot be reasoned with, as so very many (EVERY SINGLE ONE) cannot be.  She makes sure to tell me that they NEVER use the words "time out".  (Such harsh words, aren't they?)  But they do have a little "quiet nook" where the kids can go whenever they are feeling overwhelmed with a situation.  It's a place where they know they are safe and can just sit quietly without anyone bothering them.

"Oh!"  I pipe up.  "That's actually a great idea.  Kind of like a dog going into it's crate, right?"

Ask me if I got the job.


Friday, July 30, 2010

The Potty

Here we go....

So my son Maddox just turned 2 on July 8th.  Of course it's a huge is every other day of his life, according to me...but does that mean that all of the sudden he has to grow up?

Does he really have to stop taking a bottle in the morning? So what if it could cause his teeth to rot out?  They're baby teeth. They fall out anyway, right?

Does he really have to give up his beloved pacifier? Who cares if he's the only kid in preschool still sucking on his "ninny".  Not me.

Does he really have to learn that he can't poop and pee in his pants for the rest of his life and expect me to come running and happily sing songs about how much poopy diapers stink?  I mean, do I want to have a mild panic attack whenever he says he has to "go" and we aren't in the vicinity of a bathroom? No.  Do I want to carry around a portable potty so that he can poop in our car in case of an emergency? Hell no.

According to his pediatrician, yes to all of the above.  My answer to that....whateva.

So it starts.  We talk about poop and pee all day long.  Maddox follows me into the bathroom to watch me. And also to unravel the toilet paper.  Every time he goes in his diaper I say, "Oh wouldn't you rather use the big boy potty so that you can wear big boy underwear?"  His answer is to reach down and try to stick his finger in his butt hole. Awesome.

I talked to my husband about his whole potty training business and we decide to buy Madd a little Elmo potty, which he promptly stores all of his cars and trucks in.  A sure sign of readiness, no?

My approach is to make going to the potty sound exciting.  Inviting even.  "Whoo hoo!  Don't you love how mommy uses the potty like a big girl?  Look how fun it is to flush! You can have all the toilet paper you want if you use the potty! See daddy potty?  Daddy's a big boy. Do you want to be like daddy?"  You get the point.

My husband has a different approach.  The other day he and Maddox are playing and I'm on the computer.  The conversation goes like this:

Davey (my husband):  Maddox, no one likes to walk around with poop caked on their "C & B's".

Me:  Davey, why would you say something like that to him?

Davey:  What?  I'm potty training him.

Someone help.