March 29, 2006

Patience, My Dear

I wasn’t on top of my mommy game this weekend. I had the bright idea of taking V, by myself, to visit family for a few days. Note to self: take husband with me next time.

We’ve made this trip a hundred times before without incident. This weekend, however, was nothing short of exhausting. I’m talking burn-the-midnight-oil-cramming-for-college-finals exhausting. V decided to wake up at 6:00am two mornings in a row, then at 5:00am the third morning, a good two and a half hours earlier than normal. Already sleep deprived because I didn’t see this coming and stayed up too late on Friday night, I was soooo looking forward to his two hour nap so that I, too, could take a two hour nap. Nap? What nap? V clearly had other plans. He simply wouldn’t take one. Not Saturday. Not Sunday. And not Monday.

Didn’t he realize that his decision to wake up too early and forego his nap was turning his mom in to a grumpy, pissed off, irritated, nasty, nasty woman? Evidently he didn’t notice. But why would he? He had loads of family and friends around us the entire time, lavishing him with plenty of attention. He didn’t need me. That was fine, except that I would have preferred it if I could’ve slipped away to catch a few zzzz’s. That didn’t happen, but at least I had other people there to play baseball with him, read him books, chase him, tickle him, and generally entertain him while I drank as much caffeine as I could, as fast as I could. The only thing that accomplished, by the way, was making me an amped-out grumpy, pissed off, irritated, nasty, nasty woman.

Come Monday, my patience had completely disappeared. Three days of not enough sleep turned V in to a grumpy, pissed off, irritated, cranky, cranky little man. He was suddenly unable to communicate unless it was accompanied by excessive whining and crying. I wanted to kill myself.

I couldn’t deal and nearly lost it. I didn’t know what to do, so I did what all grumpy, pissed off, irritated, nasty, nasty moms do. I let him call the shots to shut him up. I turned on his Bob the Builder DVD, gave him cookies, and proceeded to fall asleep on the sofa while he sat quietly in his chair eating his cookies and watched TV.

Luckily for me, nothing terrible happened while I took my much-needed catnap. I felt guilty for being such a bad mom, but at the same time I woke up feeling much less irritated. As a result, I was able to muster up the energy to sit down and play with my son for two hours until my husband came home, at which time I instantly felt relieved that help had arrived. The good part is that help had arrived. The bad part is that help had a hard day too and wasn’t willing to take care of V while I went to bed. So, help and I teamed up and made it through until 8:00pm – at which time V went to bed, followed shortly thereafter by help and I.

March 23, 2006

The Most Diverse City in the United States

I don’t often dine alone. Not for any other reason than I don’t often have the opportunity. Dining alone is something I love. No book to read. No one to talk to. Just me and lots and lots of people watching. Heaven!

Today was a heaven day for me. To begin with after what seems like months-on-end of rain, we woke up to brilliant sun which has stayed with us all day. On a day like this, it pains me to sit inside my office and eat at my desk. Just not acceptable. So, off I went to take care of a few errands on foot.

First stop – Longs Drugs. In case you’re like me and curious about what people buy at Longs Drugs and why, here’s my list:

Delsym – because V has woken up a bit weazy the last two mornings and the doctor suggested this might help.

Ovulation Predictor Kit – obvious reason

Travel Case of Baby Wipes – because I lost mine and can’t believe how much I rely on that damn thing!

Advil – to hopefully take care of the throbbing headache I’ve enjoyed all day due to the fact that a softball hit me in the head last night during our game.

Hair Spray – I’m out. Need more.

Next stop was lunch. I grabbed a salad sampler and a seat outside. The place I ate is located near the State Capitol, and I’m not sure if that’s why, but the people watching was at its best. I saw a little bit of everything and loved it all. It made me, for the first time, agree with Time Magazine’s claim that Sacramento is the nation’s most diverse city. Prior to my experience today, I had to disagree with that notion. However, I now know that their definition of diversity must have been a bit different from the usual. I’m thinking they meant that you can find “oddballs of all sorts” here in Sacramento and they were simply trying to find a more PC way to express it.

Looking around the crowded eatery, I could not imagine any two tables of people having a single subject in common with one another. Present and accounted for were suits, construction workers, interns, artists, state employees, and even a homeless person. That was inside of the eatery. The “diversity”, however, could be found outside, on the streets of Sacramento. Just a few of my favorites:

1. Ballet dancer just before her performance. She was standing outside smoking a cigarette. Although I see this often when I walk by this building, I am taken aback every time. I’m not sure why it seems to wrong to me – but I seriously have the same reaction to seeing this as I would witnessing a pregnant woman smoking. It’s just not right.

2. A nun in pants. Have never before seen it. Of course, if I was a better Catholic and went to church more often, maybe I’d have seen it. Not only was she wearing pants, but piece de resistance was clearly the black leather fanny pack. I just can’t stop laughing long enough to comment any further.

3. A man in suit with one of those things coming out of his ear that looks more like a short squatty pen of some sort but is actually a cell phone ear piece. I can definitely see a time and place for such a device. When driving in a car. When working on a laptop. When carrying kids around. But not when having lunch with a friend. You look just plain stupid! Attention all men: It’s NOT a fashion accessory! I’ve never seen a woman with one on her ear while eating lunch with a friend. In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of a time when I’ve ever seen a woman outside of her car with one of those things. Maybe I need to get out more – but I think not. Instead, all men who think that they’re too important to take it off during a meal … with other people … in a public place … WAKE UP! You’re not that important. You’re being rude to those you are with. And you look stupid.

4. I see transvestites and/or cross dressers often. I’m not at all phased by them. Having lived in San Francisco where you meet people of all kinds, you learn acceptance. But every once in awhile I see one and just have to shake my head. Today was that once in a while. He/she was wearing a black business suit – button down jacket and skirt – with mid-sized heels. Professional suit, no question. But it didn’t fit and it was completely disheveled. Actually, as I sit down to type this, perhaps he/she had just returned from an amazing “quickie” during lunch. It would make perfect sense. His/her bad hair (wig) was a disaster, his/her makeup was in need of a total do-over, and he/she walked kind of strange. Ooooh. I’m sure of it. Must’ve been some great lunch-time sex. Now I’m jealous.

March 22, 2006

You Are My Sunshine

V is at a wonderful stage in his life where he is learning the English language and how to communicate – and those of us witnessing this process are continuously entertained.

Each time we're in the car he points out everything he sees to me during the drive. He sees birds, “pick-up daddy’s truck” (which is any truck that looks like the one his dad drives), school buses, birds, dogs, men (“what’s that man doing, mama?” – thankfully, nothing raunchy or illegal), ducks and his favorite, the garbage truck.

Yesterday, in the midst of his excitement over the dump truck he spotted there was an abrupt and sudden change in his tone. “Go away, sun” he demanded. “Don’t like the sun. Go away. Don’t like it.” These demands by a pint sized being who means what he says, accompanied by hand gestures that signaled Get The Heck Outa Here, Sun!

Initially I was a little confused and not quite sure why he was proclaiming that he didn’t like the sun however at the next stop sign I glanced over my shoulder to see that his eyes were squinted tightly in an effort to block the bright light that was impairing his ability to see all of the wonderful things he sees every day. The kid honestly thought that the sun would, in fact, go away if he told it to. And guess what? It did. Never mind that it happened because I turned left at that stop sign. As far as he was concerned he told the sun to go away and the sun did what it was told. A broad smile full of pride appeared across his face. Success.

This is likely one of those You Had To Be There moments. Or maybe it’s just me that finds it entertaining because he’s my kid and everything he does is perfect and brilliant and unlike any other two year old. (kidding). Either way, it’s documented here so that one day he can read about how his mom is fascinated by everything he says and does. Sigh.

March 15, 2006

Every Thorn Has Its Rose

Games start next week for my softball team, so we had a practice tonight. Because my husband was not yet home from work, I took V with me. I planned ahead. I brought his baseball bat and ball to keep him entertained, and I brought snacks and juice. I had it all planned out. I'd play with him awhile and then I'd practice awhile - back and forth. My friends, whom he knows, would take turns playing ball with him while I practiced. It's worked before.

But not tonight.

Tonight V wanted nothing to do with anyone other than myself. So, no practice for me. After nearly an hour of playing catch with him, he cried when I told him it was time to go home for dinner. Cried the whole drive home. Cried when we got in the house. Cried, cried, cried. He never does this. I didn't respond to him because I didn't want it to get worse and I didn't want to encourage it. In a calm voice I asked him what was wrong. CRACKERRRRRR!, he cried. In an effort not to reward him with his request (demand, actually) when he's crying, I tried reasoning with him that I'd give him a cracker only when he stopped crying because crying is not the way to get what he wants. To my amazement, it worked. He finally stopped crying, but not before the damage was done. I had a screaming headache.

V was cranky all night tonight. Didn't want to eat dinner at the table. Didn't want to take a bath. Didn't want to read. All things we normally do without incident around here. Recognizing he's a two year old, and life is unpredictable, I didn't fight him. I let him have his cranky night and I tried my best to keep my headache from taking over my entire body.

It was a tough night. I was looking forward to getting him to bed so I could try to nurse my headache. When tucking V in bed, after our bedtime story I always tell him I love him and goodnight. Tonight it felt like I was going through the motions just so I could get him down. Barely even aware of the story I was reading, as I finished I bent down to kiss him goodnight and he sweetly said "I love you, Mom". He beat me to the punch. He's never beaten me to the punch before! What a fabulously rosy ending to a thorny night.

March 14, 2006

Mommy Wars

The Today Show had a feature called "Mommy Wars" on its show yesterday. The war, of course, referring to that that continues to brew between SAHM (stay-at-home-moms) and moms who work outside of the home.

I don't get it.

We all live our lives differently from one another. We maintain our finances differently. We clean our homes differently. Some of us don't clean. We are all different. What works for me may not work for you. But who the hell am I to judge you just because you have a different view than I do? And vice versa.

I cringe every time I hear a member of just 7% of the entire population of mothers (that being the SAHM), say something along the lines of "why would you have a child and have someone else raise it?", referring to those of us that work and take our kids to daycare. Most of us have to. Most of us don't have a choice. I was raised by a mom who worked full time and I was in daycare. I can't tell you the name of my daycare teacher even though, according to some SAHM out there, she raised me. That's because she didn't raise me. My mother raised me. No question about it. I'm sure she would have preferred to stay home full time if she could have. There are times when I wish that I could stay home as well. But that's not an option for me and millions of other moms out there.

We as mothers have the single most important job on Earth - that of raising a well-adjusted, contributing member of society. Instead of wasting prescious time judging mothers that work when we don't, or those that don't when we do, why can't we all come together as one and focus our collective efforts on making this Earth a better place for our children?

Call me a dreamer ...

March 09, 2006

Love Your Knees

Do you love your knees? Of all things that are a part of my body that I might or might not love, my knees are not even on my radar.

My son, however, loves his knees. Out of the blue he told me so. This morning while getting him dressed. He simply started rubbing his knees and said "I love my knees, Mommy". I was caught off guard. I don't think I've ever heard that sentence spoken in all of my life. "Your knees?", I asked. "Yes, Mommy. I love my knees".

I love your knees too, V.

March 08, 2006

Two - Three - Four

My Dearest V,

Today is Wednesday, March 8, 2006 and you are two years, three months and four days old! It's been a busy month with lots of firsts for you ... your first snow experience, you saw your first rainbow, you (accidentally) saw your first episode of Barney (damn!), and your vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds.

Every day I ask you if you had a good day at school and what you did at school. Up until about a week ago, you would answer me in toddler-gibber, but now you've started telling me a few things every day in toddler-english! Tonight when I asked you what happened at school, you told me that Wilson got an owwie and that you sang "ABCs". My little man is growing up a bit too quickly.

You can count to six before you get lost.

You're still taking a good afternoon nap to the tune of about two hours. Yay for me!

Your hair is still magnificently curly.

You like to build towers with your dad, using the building blocks he made for you.

You love to read books and quickly point to and name nearly all of the pictures in your books.

You insist upon playing baseball every single night before bedtime. For a two year old, you really hit well - and consistently - and you throw hard - and straight! There's absolutely a future in this sport for you, if your obsession with it continues.

It dawned on my the other day that your dad and I have quite a few nicknames for you. I'm sure they'll change over time, so in an effort to capture them in my memory, I've decided to list them for you:

Spaghetti Boy
Toddler Rho
VJ (that's pappa's nickname for you, which he still spells 'Veejay', like the golfer)

Although you've never been a child to carry around a blanket or a stuffed animal, you do have one of each that you've named and that you must sleep with every single night. "Bo the Blue Bear", or "Bo" as you call him, is a darling blue stuffed bear that you've had since birth. I'm not sure how you picked him over all of the other stuffed animals sitting around your room, but you did. Every time I check on you in the middle of the night, Bo is snuggled tightly under your arm. Sometimes he sleeps on top of your head ... one of these times I hope to get a photo of that! With Bo is "Bo's Blanky", a small blue blanket that must always be with Bo. As with Bo, I don't know how you picked Bo's Blanky, but you did and you love it. Luckily for me, I've yet to misplace Bo or Bo's Blanky - although knowing me, it will happen at some point. I ask you now to please forgive me as I didn't mean to do it on purpose.

Although every day you get a little bit better and manipulating your dad and I, we - at the moment - still are enjoying the upper hand. As an example, I've discovered that you don't like it when we cry. This is wonderful because every single morning when you refuse to let me dress you, I simply pretend to cry and you immediately say "don't cry mommy", run over and let me dress you! We've been doing this routine for about 2 weeks now, and I'm grateful I can still get away with it!

Jus like you don't like us crying, you are always concerned about our feelings. If it appears to you that I am upset, perplexed, confused, or in any way out of sorts, you always stop whatever it is that you are doing, come over to me, pat me on my leg, look close in to my eyes with the most darling concerned look on your face and say "okay, mommy?". TO DIE FOR!

You are an amazing little boy and I am having the time of my life with you. You have a colorful, glorious, magnetic personality - and everyone you meet loves to be around you.

I love you, bubbies ...

March 06, 2006

This Body Don't Do That No More

Have I mentioned that I'm 39 years old? I don't look - nor do I act my age. Which is a good thing. According to me, anyway - I'm not sure others would agree.

So, I'm a 39 year old with a very active 2 year old boy who wanted recently to learn how to sommersault. No problem. Piece of cake.

What the hell???

My body made cracking and popping noises unlike I've ever heard. After showing my son how it's done - the sommersault, that is - I lay on the floor still. I was afraid to move because I was sure I pulled something somewhere and the only reason I wasn't yet screaming at the top of my lungs for my husband's help in getting me an ambulance was because I had not yet moved my body, therefore I was somehow putting off the intense pain I knew was coming.

Miracles do happen. I didn't pull anything - and I wasn't even in pain. I just cracked every bone in my body - like one cracks their knuckles. A very loud reminder that regardless of how young I may look or act, I am - in fact - 39 years old. And that's old.

Sharing - Two Year Old Style

When do children learn to share? I've been told they don't really grasp the concept until around five years of age. My 2 year old shares with me. Tonight he was in a mood to share a lot with me - from the poopy diaper he handed to me, to the mouthfull of chewed up peanuts that he wouldn't swallow, to the "nose picky" he fetched out of his nose that - I swear - looks like it came out of the nose of a 50-year old. How in the world does someone so small produce something so BIG?

March 02, 2006

You Heard It Here First

Five out of the last six weeks I've been sick. Really sick. Sinus infection followed by antibiotics which didn't work, followed by an ear infection and a second dose of antibiotics. Why is this important? Because I've spent a whole lot of time on by butt in front of the television watching the Olympics. Thank God for Tivo, by the way, as it allowed me to skip over the parts that didn't interest me and get right to the good stuff ... snowboarding, skiing, speed skating.

I typically don't have the TV on when my son is awake. I'm already out of the house at work every day, so I'm particular about the fact that I want his full attention on me when we're together every afternoon/evening. I can't compete with Bob the Builder. Just can't.

Being sick, however, tends to throw many of the 'rules' out of the window. I guess I'm one of those people that throws out the "I'm sick" justification for eating comfort food that's not good for me, and for watching more TV than any person should. So, one evening I was too sick and too tired (literally) to pay due attention to my son. I pulled the "I'm sick" card and decided to entertain my son for the evening with TV - specifically, the half pipe at the Olympics.

My son LOVED watching the boarders jump, twist, turn and fall on the half pipe. Every time they took flight he squealed with delight. After watching for about ten minutes, he started trying to immitate the jumps and twists off the sofa. I was thrilled.

The following weekend I was feeling a bit stronger so my husband and I decided to take our son to the snow for his first-ever snow visit. I wasn't sure it was going to be a good day since he wanted nothing to do with wearing the snow gear we brought for him. After a bit of negotiation tactics with a two-year old, he finally allowed us to dress him and ten minutes later he was having a blast in the snow. We didn't bring any snow toys with us because we weren't sure what to expect. Plus, we just don't have any. We decided to build a snowman. What kid doesn't love buidling snowmen? My kid was in to it until my husband found an old skate board w/o wheels that someone had disgarded. He started to use it as a shovel to help in the snowman effort, but our son had other ideas. He saw it, shouted "snow board", grabbed it and threw it on the ground, immediately stood on top of it and said "push me"! I was so excited!! The remainder of our time playing in the snow was spent pushing him around on his "snow board"!

So, you've heard it here first. My son is a future Olympian. I'm sure of it. Posted by Picasa