Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday birthdays suck

Planning a birthday party is often quite an endeavor. Planning a birthday party for a child that was born one week before Christmas is practically impossible.

I had wanted Sage’s birthday party this year to be something special. I think it is the first birthday party that she will really remember and really get into having. She has been asking to go to the big gray mouse’s house, i.e. Chucky Cheese, but all of her little friends at daycare have plans for the weekend before Christmas. While she has a sister and brothers and a few cousins that could go and enjoy the day with her, I just don’t see it as being the same and “her kids” as she likes to call her friends from daycare.

I finally made a decision over the weekend, after finding that most of the children in her classroom are busy, that we would just go ahead and have a “family” party at her MawMaw’s on Saturday. I’m really bummed and I hope she isn’t disappointed.

I may take her to Chucky Cheese tomorrow evening after daycare and let her have at it. I hate the germ infested place, but she loves it and I don’t feel it is fair to deny her desire to be there. I will likely disinfect her twenty gazillion billion times while we are there and delouse her little butt when we get home, but that is neither here nor there. Hopefully, the memory of crawling thru snot-slimed tunnels and mounds of invisible streptococcus will last beyond her forced cleansing of all things germy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I was flying, and then the monster took me outside

The night before last, Sage awoke several times in the middle of the night, in a frenzied state and didn’t want to go back to sleep. She had a pretty rough night, which in turn meant that I did as well. She was distraught but she didn’t say anything other than ask if she could watch Dora’s Animals.

We were riding home from daycare last night and Sage suddenly realized that it was starting to get dark. She quickly explained to me that she would not be going to sleep this night and that she was just going to watch tv and play. I told her that we would go home, have dinner, play, have bath-time and that yes, she would be going to bed as usual.

She got really quite and whispered “I’m not going to let that monster take me again.” I kind of giggled to myself until I realized that she was serious. She was remembering the nightmare she had the night before and she was scared. She told me that she was flying (she had been playing in her fairy tu-tu) and that the monster came and took her outside and wouldn’t let me have her back.

I tried so many different ways to explain to her that it didn’t really happen and that it was a dream. Anyone ever tried explaining a dream to a two-year old child who isn’t grasping the concept yet? I tried to explain it as she was watching tv, in her head, while she was asleep. That did not work well because as she so eloquently put it “it would hurt if I had a tv in my head.” In the end, she still thinks that she was flying and that a monster stole her from me.

Bedtime did not go well last night and I am dreading this evening even more. I have no idea how to make her understand that there are no monsters lurking in the shadows, waiting for her to fall asleep so they can whisk her out into the cold and leave her alone. I don’t want to agree with her and then come up with something to keep them at bay, as some that I know have done. I want to truly get past the belief in the imaginary monsters of her childhood. I just don’t know how.

So much for that psychology major!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There's a Dictator Up in Here!

My child has a temper. A temper that would likely make Kim Jong-il look like a pacifist at times. I know that is likely a stretch, but she could definitely give the man a run for his money. I’m used to her outbursts and I usually chalk them up to the terrible two’s and the soon to be running sequel, tyrannical three’s.

She has had a temper for as long as I can remember and I can clearly see, in my mind, her first indignant outburst of fury when she was about 5 weeks old. She scrunched up her little face and let out a scream of disdain for the bottle that I was trying to place in her mouth. It was quite obvious that she was irritated by my actions and it surprised me that she could show such an emotion that young. It should have been a warning.

I don’t like to spank my child. I have on occasions and I am sure someone will stumble across this entry and tell me how horrible I am and that I should be reported to DSS immediately, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But you know what? Sometimes, it just happens. I feel worse about it than she does and I usually end up the one in the corner crying. But I am at a loss as to how to deal with her tantrums and her temper.

After last night, I think I am in for a bumpy road and need to find a way to divert her pending meltdowns into something positive instead of destructive. I refused a request for something last night and she promptly walked over to her Dora kitchen, picked up her toy toaster and threw it across the living room. Needless to say, I was not a happy mommy, but what she did afterward completely floored me. She waltzed her little butt up to me, looked me dead in the eye with hand on hip and said “How do you like that?”

Excuse me? I blinked rapidly and told her to immediately plant her little butt on the couch for a time out, only to get the normal response to the dreaded “time-out”, which was to have a complete nuclear meltdown. Putting my child in time-out is one of the most difficult tasks I have had to deal with because she absolutely refuses to stay in time-out.

I look at the kids on Nanny 911 and think to myself … “self, you would be locked up if you had children like that because you would just lose your mind and kill them all dead.” And then she does stuff like she did last night and I think … “hmmm, I’m seeing Nanny 911 in my future.”

Anyone have any diversion tactics that have been tested on the most obstinate of children? A constructive way to take a toddler from Mugabe to Pollyanna in about ten seconds? A padded room for me to come live in to escape my child before she is full blown ready to conquer the world?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I can't believe I am writing about poop ...

I never thought I would actually tell a poop story on my blog. I’m not one to censor myself much, but poop … come on. It’s just gross.

With that said, I have a poop story. Or a fart story. You pick.

Sage was sick over the weekend and woke up in the middle of the night, both Saturday and Sunday, vomiting. I hate when my child is sick. Vomiting terrifies her and I feel so bad. She was still running a fever on Monday morning and because I had a deadline at work, I took her into the office with me. Everything was fine while she was at work with me but in the evening, things took a turn for the worse again.

Apparently, she farted and thought she had pee’d her panties. She was mortified and went running, all penguin style to the bathroom. I was close behind her, thankfully, because as you have already surmised, it was not pee that was in her panties. The poor child was almost in tears. I got her cleaned up and told her that she was to go directly to the potty if she thought she had to fart. Under no circumstances was she to fart in her panties!

About 15 minutes later, she shot up off of the floor and bolted to the bathroom … chanting “don’t fart in my panties” the entire way to the potty. A couple of minutes later she is yelling for me from the bathroom and I walk in to find her with her pants around her ankles, staring into the toilet in amazement. She looked up at me with the most somber of expressions and said “Mommy, my fart pooped in dat potty!”

In my fit of laughter, I helped her clean her little bottom and asked her to please flush the potty. It didn’t all go down on the first try and she was once again a little indignant and stated “that stinky fart water just will not go down dat potty.” My increased laughter did nothing for her mood and she ended up mad at me, but her expression was priceless when I had walked into the bathroom. It could not be helped. I erupted into fits of laughter all evening and every single time she would tell me, “it is not funny Mommy.”

She did manage to make it to the bathroom every time and didn’t have any more accidents. But every time I saw her running for the bathroom, I could not help but laugh hysterically.

I’m a horrible mother and I’m going to hell … right?

Monday, December 08, 2008


Four and a half years ago, I had no responsibilities beyond caring for a dog, bird and several horses. Then I started dating your father and before I knew it, I had two full-time children to help raise, and then it quickly became three when your sister moved in with us. Next thing I knew, I was living the “soccer Mom” lifestyle running back and forth to baseball and football practices and games. Within less than two years, your baby sister came along and, wow, four kids. I was keeping pace with the Jolie-Pitts on the children front and was amazed at how much children brought to my life.

When we met, your were a dorky little bobble-headed looking nine and a half year old who was one of the most outgoing kids I had ever met. You excelled in academics and sports and I was amazed by you. I still am today. I remember how reserved you were in the beginning, how unsure you were by this woman who would likely be like the others who had come in and out of your life. I could tell that you held your heart close and wouldn’t let me in out of fear that I would leave you like all of the others.

You didn’t really let me in for a few months. I remember the day that it happened. It was Father’s Day and we were at your great-grandmother’s house. You and PJ were in the pool and you thought it would be cute to splash water at me as I passed by because I didn’t have a swimsuit, nor a change of clothes. Then your grandmother decided to get all froggy and push me into the pool anyway. You were no longer safe and I promptly decided that you needed to be dunked as many times possible, as quickly as possible, for your cockiness and, let’s face it … it was fun!

You have amazed me over the years and make me so proud. You have grown into quite a handsome young man and now have your first girlfriend. You have completed a summer semester of college and have excelled at everything you have decided to try your hand at. You are an accomplished drummer and have quickly become a great bass player. You have excelled in baseball and football, while I floundered being a team mom in baseball. I redeemed myself during football season through photography only to exasperate you because I was constantly on the sidelines taking pictures and now have well over 3,500 photos from a single football season. That exasperation turned to pride when I presented you with a keepsake photo book, printed with photos from all of your games this past season.

I am sure that there will still be times when I want to strangle you and when you want to go running the other way out of embarrassment. I am also sure that with every day that passes, because of you (and your siblings), there isn’t a day that will go by when I will have regretted a single decision I have made in the last four and a half years.

Happy birthday Cody. You amaze me every day with your intelligence and your candor and my life is blessed by your presence.