When I went and got the ultrasound for the neuchal translucency screening, the technician said that the baby almost wasn't big enough for the test. I was a little worried for a while - was the baby not growing? Her helpful answer - "I don't know. I haven't measured you before." Gee, thanks. Fortunately other people reminded me that I don't know the exact date of conception, so it's not time to worry about baby size. I'm ... mostly... relieved. On the up side - the guppy was moving around in there and the heart beat was 164.
So when I'm not worrying about whether the baby is still in there, I'm thinking about the birth and trying to talk about it with Tom. Even though we both agreed on home birth with Tai, he's less sure this time around - and this is putting it mildly. He's convinced that birth is suddenly "very dangerous" and "very risky". The only place it should be done is in the hospital. That will make it much safer. And though he says that this is my body, my birth and my choice and he "will support me", he says this is my choice and I need to "own it". Which means, to him, that I'm "responsible" for the outcome. Whatever that is. Even though I asked him, he can't tell me what it is, exactly, that he's worried about doing this at home. I was hoping that I could see if there are ways we could reassure him - to solve those concerns. Or, if not, I could understand better and maybe decide to go into the hospital because it's so important for him. But he won't admit that his feelings about birth aren't researched or logical - which is fine! But he thinks I need to make my case *for* homebirth completely logically and researched. Even though I've sent him some of the research I have done.
He says I'm not going to change his mind, he's not going to change mine, so I just need to "own the decision". Except I really believe this is a decision we should come to *together*. We are partners, spouses, not friends or roommates. I just don't know how to make this happen. I mean, we don't have to agree - but I want us both to feel comfortable with this. He says this whole idea about homebirth is just about me, not the baby. And when I try to explain that it's both, he just rolls his eyes and refuses to believe me.
We won't even go into what it's going to be like talking to my mom about this. She is completely convinced that I would be risking almost certain death for my baby or myself by trying this at home. I was talking about it with Wendy, and she pointed out that I'll have to have a firm boundary about talking about this with Mom. Like - "I've made my decision, it's an informed decision, and you're welcome to have your feelings about it, but I'm not willing to debate it." And then just leave it. Let her work through her feelings herself, in her own therapy. I think the hardest part is the idea that I have to let her have her feelings - even if she's worried about me, or angry with me, or upset at me. And maybe that's partially what I'm worried about with Tom, too. Our relationship feels so fragile, I can't imagine it surviving if things go wrong. Even if there's no proof of what caused a "bad" outcome.
I want this birth to be the best possible for me and my baby and I believe that the best way to do that is at home. Yes, part of it is about me. Because it's my body! My experience. And I have done the research. I am not going into this blind.
I don't want this to feel like a fight with the people who are the most important in my life. I feel like I'm going to have enough work to deal with my previous labor and birth experience, to prepare for this one, without having to deal with their stuff too. But I don't think doing it in the hospital is the right thing! It might be, for them, but not me. There will be enough work for me to have a natural birth without working against all of the people in the hospital who might push me in a different direction.
I know what's right for me - but I am not doing this alone. I have *no* idea where to go with this.
Tom came with me, even though he ended up missing an important meeting at work. (It had been canceled, then rescheduled.) It was good to have him there, even though he was on his iPhone the whole time we were waiting. (That sorta goes without saying, though.) We did all the boring stuff first - medical history, talked about the practice, weight, etc. Then she brought in a little ultrasound machine, and it was time for what we'd been waiting for.
It took a minute - she found my uterus, and the little guppy. But at first she didn't see the heart. I squeezed shut my eyes and prayed. Which means I missed it when she said that the baby was moving all around. Then she found the heartbeat, and I got to see the guppy for a minute. No pictures yet, but that's okay. The little one is swimming in there and I am happy. As far as we can know, all is well.
I'm still tired. Tai was home from school today - he got pinkeye yesterday afternoon and the school called me to pick him up. Even though the doctor said he wouldn't be contagious after two treatments, they didn't want him back for 24 hours. So we had a good day together - bummed around the neighborhood, played basketball in our backyard, played with trains. Went to the playground after his nap. I napped with him - both of us slept for more than three hours. And even though it's only 10:30, I am about ready for bed.
Poor kid was having a rough night last night, too. He came to bed with us around 1, but was so restless neither he nor I could really sleep. He kept saying 'no, no' and thrashing around. Finally he started crying and said his head and throat and mouth hurt. I gave him some tylenol and we rocked for about 20 minutes. Fortunately we both went to sleep around 2:30 and slept until almost 7. I think he's feeling better tonight, but if he starts crying about a sore throat tonight, I might make another pediatrician appointment. Strep has been going around his school. I know he likes school, and it's good for him, and he can catch stuff at the playground too... but damn! The petri-dish effect of preschool is brutal.
Fortunately the queasiness has backed off some. It was never bad - but I had several good days in a row. Today was a little rougher, but still not bad.
I can't wait until I feel the baby move. And to find out whether guppy is a boy or a girl. Impatience!
I will be 8 weeks tomorrow, which is still so early.
The symptom that's driving me the most nuts, though, is the anxiety. I was hoping that it just happened last time because it was my first pregnancy and I found myself wondering whether I was really going to be a good mom. Now I *am* a mom, so what's one more kid in the mix? But my anxiety has been heightened, especially the last two weeks. Part of that is this horrible stomach flu going around Tai's school. Kids were getting sent home like, three in a day. I spent my days waiting for the phone call that would tell me Tai had thrown up and I needed to come get him. I spent my evenings waiting for him to call me because he'd thrown up in bed. I think I've worn myself out a little, with all of the waiting. It sucks because it makes me short tempered, and wanting to hide out. I have spent a lot of time reading during the past two weeks, and very little time writing. I just can't concentrate on the writing. When I'm reading, it takes me out of myself. I'm pretty sure a lot of this anxiety is hormone related. I know I had more of a hair-trigger with my anxiety during my first trimester last time, too. Fortunately, the second and third trimesters were much easier. Hopefully that will stay true this time, too.
It's funny - I went over the anxiety with Wendy during my therapy session last week, and at the end of the session I said, "I am just so *bored* of this anxiety. It's boring, and it makes me boring." Suddenly I thought, hey - if I'm bored by it... maybe I can just stop. I'm not sure how, yet. I'm working some relaxation techniques. But maybe if I can hold to that thought - that this is *boring*, rehashing the same thing over and over and over and over, ad nauseum (ha ha) - then I can change my mind.
The novel-writing has trickled to a near-stop. I was reading over what I've written so far, trying to figure out what I need to do to pull the pieces together before I move on to the next section... and I just got so fed up. It wasn't bad writing. I just bored myself. I was like, 'yeah yeah, whatever. No one cares.' I'm hoping that this is anxiety related, too. Because it's going to suck sitting with a novel that bores me. I need to finish it, though... at least a draft. I've been working on it so long and I want to know how it ends. Right now, though? Yawn.
I need a vacation.
This note said he had hit someone on the playground, then had a hard time staying still in time out. And it requested that we make an appointment to talk to his teacher, Miss E, because this has been becoming more frequent. I made an appointment for this morning at 8am. Tai is not yet 4 and we're already going to the principal's office. SIgh.
Needless to say, I was nervous about it and I think Tom was too. I was starting to worry that they were going to say that Tai is clearly not ready for Montessori and that he can't handle it and we'd need to find another preschool. Finding a preschool sucks. Finding one after getting kicked out of one? I don't even want to think about it.
Tai headed right in to play while we got called into the classroom with Miss A, the director of the school. Miss E met us there a few minutes later. Actually, Miss A did most of the talking. She was really reassuring, and told us right away that Tai is completely normal in his behavior, that this is the age for some serious testing. But she wanted to make sure we nipped this in the bud, because it seemed to be getting to be a habit. Apparently, though they send notes home for things that involve other kids, when it's something more minor - like interrupting circle time, or work time, we don't find out about that. And he's been doing a bit of that, too.
Miss A suggested that time-outs and talking don't work so well at this age. She suggested a tool she called 'Consequences for Actions'. Basically, we are making too big of a deal about the things Tai does wrong. We spend a lot of energy explaining what he did and why it was wrong, and blah blah. He just likes that he gets our attention. Instead, on days where we get a note, when he asks for something that evening (dessert, TV time, a game, whatever) we say, "No, I don't feel like X tonight. You made some bad choices at school today and I am disappointed." Leave it simple and keep an even tone. Don't argue, don't engage. Just remove our energy from him. Then, later at bedtime - read stories as usual, give lots and lots of hugs and cuddles. Let him know we love him. Just remind him that he can make better choices and then we can have more fun together again. The next day - don't bring it up again. When dropping him off, we can just say, "I know you'll make good choices at school today. Have fun!"
On good days, tell him how proud we are that he made good choices - though don't go too over the top with praise. Once in a while, unexpectedly, we can give him a little extra good thing - a trip to a special place, an ice cream, etc.
I think this will help. Miss A swears that it still works on her kids, even at 19 and 24. She says there's always something to take away (opportunities to make extra money, TV, car privileges, etc) and when the kids think about it - the long term gain is better than the short term misbehavior.
There was a minute or two where I felt like this could be a little... withholding of my love. The more misbehaving he does, the cooler we should be with him. (Until bedtime.) I'm not so good with this. I'm going to give it a try, withholding stuff more than my affection.
I should probably quit saying that I'm tired. I suppose it should go without saying that even though it's only 9:15, I have been ready for bed for at least half an hour. Man. I don't remember being this fried when I was pregnant with Tai. I've had a couple more small bouts of nausea, but they were transitory and not that bad. I was feeling a little nervous about not feeling sick (I *know*! When did anyone ever think I would say that? I'm shocked too.) but I have been reading this book called "Hands Off My Belly" about pregnancy and birth myths and in the 'early pregnancy' section the authors talked about how not everyone is sick in the beginning. Nausea and vomiting can correlate with a pregnancy that sticks, but it is not completely hormonally caused. Like - I was assuming if I wasn't sick, then my hormones must not be very high, so I would be more likely to miscarry. This is not necessarily true. Not to mention, it's just the beginning of my sixth week, and plenty of people don't start getting morning sick until around now. It could still be coming!
Still pregnant. I wonder how many days I will say this before I stop. Maybe until I go into labor. Or maybe just until I finish the first trimester. Much like when I was pregnant with Tai, every time I go to the bathroom I check everything out to make sure there's no blood. At least this time I'm never hoping that there is.
Though for the first time today I had a moment of 'holy shit, what the fuck have I done?' I was thinking about how things are going to change for Tai and I felt unaccountably guilty. And a little nostalgic. I'm not going to be able to hold him in my arms again like I used to when he was a baby. Sure, I can still hold him and cuddle him, but not the same way. Even though he's been wanting a sibling (a sister, specifically), he doesn't know exactly what this will mean. (Of course, I guess I don't know either.)
What if I love Tai more than the new baby? What if I love the new baby more than Tai? What if Tai doesn't get any attention from me anymore? I will miss him when I'm busy with a new baby! I know, it's all normal stuff. It's just what's on my mind.
I've also been considering what I want to do for this birth (assuming all goes well). On one hand, I would like to try for a home birth again. On the other hand, Tom may not be willing to try that at all. I'm also considering going to UCSF - I've heard good things about one of the midwives there (she helped a friend deliver her baby, and my friend had a really good experience with her). Lisa points out that I don't have to decide yet (obviously) and gave me a good suggestion - call the midwife that I'm interested in having for my birth and talk to her... and I can see when I should decide by, to make sure her schedule doesn't fill up! I can also go to UCSF and see what I think about it there, too.
I'm getting ahead of myself, too. First I need to have the baby decide to stick around. So far so good... but I'm nervous, of course. I know that I can't control it (thank you for the reminder, Lisa! Also, I typed that as 'can control' first. Ha!) but it's so hard to let go. So hard to have faith. Fits right in with what I'm working on at AA, too. I'm on the Third Step, and one of the big things is to turn my will and my life over to the care of God (as I understand God). I know I don't have control, but it's hard to get that through my heart. God, grant me the serenity.
Last night, after my doula training, I went to the Walgreens nearby that was actually open until midnight. I needed to get plastic Easter eggs to fill for Tai's class. And figured as long as I was there, I might as well buy another box of pregnancy tests. I couldn't make myself wait another day to find a dollar store. After all, I still hadn't started my period, which was weird. I spent the evening grumping at Tom and filling the eggs. This morning, while Tai and Tom fiddled around downstairs, I took a test.
Learning from my last mistakes (and several people's suggestions!) I actually peed in a cup this time and dipped the stick. (After reading the time to leave it in - 5 seconds both for dipping and direct pee. (On the digital test I needed to hold it longer if I was dipping than direct peeing.) I wasn't about to make another mistake! If I did, I still had the pee in the cup, this time.
So I waited the requisite two minutes (adding another 50 or so seconds, just to be sure). I stuck the test out of sight while I waited, so I didn't peek. When I pulled it out, I was so surprised that it was actually positive! I had convinced myself that I wasn't... I couldn't believe it. I went right downstairs to tell Tom. I was trying to think of some creative way to tell him... but I hadn't planned ahead and I couldn't wait.
I said, "I owe you an apology for being so grumpy lately. I'm sorry about that. But... there is a reason." I held out the test. He gave me this huge huge hug. Later, he said "I am really happy and excited about this." And then when he started getting ready for work, he gave me another hug and said, "Let's hope for a girl." I hadn't even thought he might want a girl. Personally, I would be happy either way. I am just keeping my fingers crossed for sticking baby.
I told my mom, I told Lisa, I told my Aunt. I told people at my doula class tonight (the teacher and a couple of women I get along with). Abigail (the teacher) congratulated me, and said she often warns women taking the class that if they don't want to get pregnant, to take extra care. She usually has someone get pregnant either during, or just after the class. I'm happy it worked for me!
The best story, though, is this: Tom and I had agreed that we'd wait a little to tell Tai. But not four minutes after I showed Tom the test, Tai came up to me and put a hand on my uterus and said, "Is there a baby in there?" I was sort of stunned. He's never suggested this before. Neither Tom nor I had mentioned a baby out loud. He just knew. I told him that yes, I'm working on having a baby... but that babies need to decide if they want to stay. If this baby wants to stay, I will have a baby. If not, we'll have to wait for another baby. He hasn't brought it up again, and neither have I... but we are *all* excited.
And I am tired. Must sleep.
After dinner, Tai was checking everything out, and he saw this church. Mom went over and helped him light it. It was exactly like when I was a kid. I'd finish Christmas dinner early at my Grandma's house and head into the family room. This church and set of little people would be waiting. I'd play with Santa and Mrs. Claus. I'd make the angels fly. But mostly I'd just enjoy the warm light from the church.
Even though Grandma has been gone for two Christmases now (this will be the third), I missed her in an especially visceral way. Realizing that this set was *her* set hit me right in the gut.
I can't go back to that time, being a kid, experiencing the magic of Christmas with my grandparents (and for a time, great-grandparents). I can try to recreate it for Tai, but it won't be the same. The baton has been passed. I am now Mom. Mom is now Grandma. It's strange, but there is still magic.
We had a good weekend, though. Tai started to feel better on Saturday morning, just in time for Judy and Richard to visit (Tom's mom and step-dad). For the first day in ages, he ran around like usual (though with more snot than is healthy for anyone). We decorated the house, went to the bead store (I am so addicted to beading) and had a great dinner with my mom last night.
Friday night was fabulous - I had my last writing class of this 6 month session, and while I didn't finish the first draft of my novel, I did get some good progress. I was having my last submission critiqued, and it was well liked. My favorite comment was from a woman who I really respect. She said, "It was creepy and hot." Exactly what I was going for! Unfortunately I didn't give anyone a NSFW warning, and half of the class read it during work. One woman said she was reading along, when her mom called. She was so startled that her mom thought she'd been sleeping or something. She just hoped her mom wouldn't ask exactly what she was reading. Everyone seemed both disturbed and enthralled by the section, which was my hope. I'm trying to figure out my next step with writing classes. I could take the same class again, but I'm not sure how well I do with it. I'm not good in keeping up with my weekly check ins when I have a partner who also flakes. I think it might be more useful for me to have a group that meets more frequently and has more in-depth critique. My skin has gotten a lot thicker around my writing. I can take criticism better than I used to. I feel like I want a push, and I'm not sure where to find that.
I'm hoping that this sickness doesn't last as long as Tai's did. I would like to actually get out and do something. Tonight was the Sing-It-Yourself Messiah, which I've gone to for five or so years now, but I was feeling too crappy to go. Plus, I don't think my voice could have done it.
Tomorrow I'll have a better entry. If you're looking for an intro to me, check out my intro tag!
( Tai sickness whine )
I was talking with twirlgrrl online tonight, and we got on the topic of faults. I said that I wish I could pick mine. Or, more accurately, trade in a fault for one I'd prefer. The fault? My overactive anxiety. I almost wish I would have *any* other fault, but then decided that I could end up as 'too selfish to be a good mom'. It's so fucking hard to be there for Tai when I am falling to pieces. I just sat with him on the couch and while he watched Zoboomafoo, I told myself over and over that *I* am the adult, and I need to suck it up and be calm. This is a moment of my life, it is not the rest of my days. Tai will feel better, I will calm down. Even if I get sick, it will pass.
I also reminded myself of something I realized in therapy last week. I was talking with Wendy about having another kid, and how one of the main reasons I worried about having kids was because I would be more anxious about stomach flu. What suddenly realized was that I will be anxious anyway - I could either be anxious with kids, or without. With kids I get all of the amazing joy, without - I would miss that experience.
How could I miss this? How could I let the phobia keep me from such love? Even when Tai is sick, he is so sweet. He says he loves me, and cuddles, and hugs me. He sings "Happy Birthday" to me, because my birthday is coming soon. (In February, heh.) He teases me and when he smiles, it's impossible not to feel better myself.
I still feel edgy and uncomfortable, but I am going to keep it together. I might not be able to trade away this anxiety, but I do not have to let it run my life. Or Tai's life. I will *not* let it hurt him.
A couple of tiny funny moments:
When I asked him about school last week, he said, "The teacher didn't tell anybody to learn anything."
On Sunday Tom and Tai were working on a house project upstairs - rebuilding a closet upstairs. From the livingroom, where I am writing, I hear:
Tom: "I'm going to show you how to use something. It's called a nail gun."
Tai: "What's a nail gun?"
My thoughts Nail gun + toddler = disaster. Why show him how to use a nail gun? At least Tom told him that he can only use it with Daddy or Mommy.
So it's the beginning of the month and things are starting off with a bang. I got up with just enough time to get breakfast, shower and head out to therapy. Tom took Tai to 'school' so I spent extra time lazing in bed and reading. (I know, so decadent!) Of course, I get downstairs and realize one of the dogs has pooped all over the living room floor. There went my breakfast time. I cleaned up, showered (because cleaning up that much poop means anyone would want a shower), and checked my email for any important news.
I deleted some random newsletters, then suddenly I saw I'd gotten an email from a Montessori preschool. We were on the waiting list, and they just had a spot open up for Tai. I am so torn, but after much processing with Wendy, I think I know what we should do.
Finding a preschool with slots open in San Francisco is not easy - especially when one starts late, as I did. ("Late" creeps up!) We toured three schools - two home-based, one center. The Montessori school was the center. Tai liked two of three - one home based and the Montessori. The other home based one was a strange experience. It was in the basement - and it felt crowded with about 8 kids. There were no windows in the main room, everything felt dingy and the kids were bouncing off the walls (even though it was circle/story time). Tai went to play with a train table while I talked to the main teacher, but when I came back he grabbed on to my legs and hid his face for a long time. This is not like him, at all. I didn't like the feel, or the way he acted so that school was out. The Montessori school is expensive, big, and comparatively highly structured. It's also 5 days a week. But I've heard great things about it, they do a lot of stuff with the kids, and when we visited Tai really enjoyed himself and seemed to fit right in. I liked that they had mixed age classes, too. Tai loves hanging out with the big kids. When we did our long visit, we met a couple of parents, one of whom we talked to for quite a while. She had two kids there (one transitioned to kindergarten) and it has been a great fit for both of them, even though they have very different personalities. I would have sent Tai there right away, but they had a long waiting list. I signed him onto the list, and we went to the third place.
We ended up going there - Magic Palette. It's home based, but warm, bright, clean. Jan is a wonderful teacher, with great experience. She's been helpful during *my* transition, which was harder than Tai's. She's good with energetic kids, as well as kids who are having a harder transition. She has two dogs, two birds, a mouse, a fish and some frogs. The kids get to play outside in her yard everyday that it's nice weather. They do art, they do water play, they make play dough, they make bracelets and paper-airplanes. But - there are only 6 kids at a time. It is small. They don't leave her house for field trips or to go to the playground. Tai loves it ... but I have started to worry that he'll get bored in about six months.
Unlike me, Tai thrives on new experiences. He dives in with both feet, barely looking to see if I come along. When we went to the Rec Center's open house this week, he went off with two new 'teachers' he'd never met before, to play kickball. He kicked at his turn, ran the bases, and didn't even check to see if I was watching right away. I love that independence in him. I think he's getting bored being with me and doing the same old thing - playground, neighborhood walks, etc. He wants to play with other kids. When he's bored is when he starts tantrums and getting into trouble - throwing stuff, etc.
He loves going to 'school'. He had no issues separating. Though he had a day of testing, he's done wonderfully since then. He's made a friend, and he is always excited to go to school. But I have been thinking that maybe it won't hold his interest. That he'll get bored and start trouble because he'll want to be doing new things and they'll still be doing the same things.
I worry, though, that throwing him into a bigger place won't be good for him. Because when I was a kid, the smaller would have been perfect for me.
But I know he's smart, strong, independent and curious. I don't want to limit him because I imagine that I would want something when I was his age, so he will want that too.
I think this change would be good for him. I want him to keep loving school, as long as possible. Tom and I are going to discuss it this weekend. We have to let them know by Monday because if Tai doesn't take the spot, someone else on the waiting list will.
So this was Tai, yesterday evening. His hair was slightly damp, and it was curly and adorable. But it was also hanging in his eyes most of the time and it was hard for him to see. I've been debating what to do about it for weeks. More. Leave it long? Cut it? I went back and forth, back and forth. Finally I made a decision.
How the hell did he go from baby to Boy in 3.2 seconds? I cannot even believe it. I have been looking at him all day today and wondering where time went. Of course, a big part of that is because he starts preschool tomorrow morning. I cut his hair for school - I didn't think he could see with it the way it was. Clips didn't stay in his hair, it didn't stay behind his ear... it just hung over his eyes and he didn't really even push it away much.
This morning I asked him - 'do you want to get your hair cut, or do you want to leave it long?' I didn't put the cut second, because sometimes toddlers just default to the second choice. He said he wanted it cut. So we went out to Kids Cuts and he picked out a car to sit in and watched Thomas the Train and after less than half an hour it was done. I got teary, but he didn't even seem to notice.
I did save a couple of his locks of hair.
Also - I got back on Parlodel today. It's time to think about a second baby, so it's also time to get the prolactin under control. Change is in the air.
I am so far behind on my letters to you. I hope that you know that I love you, more than these letters can tell you. After all, it's better to be spending time together than just writing about it, right?
We have been having some fabulous days together lately. You are talking up a storm. After a period of some weeks where the big question was 'what's that', even when you knew exactly 'what that' was, you're into the 'why's. Sometimes we get into an endless string of 'why' wherein I try to answer until I run out of answers, try asking what you think, then you just ask me again. Daddy reminds you that it's always good to ask questions, because that's how one learns. And you are learning things faster than I would ever believe. Daddy keeps pointing out that you are a sieve (meaning, of course, sponge - but Daddy gets confused), and this is true. I have to keep my language cleaned up!
You were visiting Etienne and Angela a week ago, and Angela says you and Etienne had a whole conversation together, just the two of you. You were playing with playdough, and talking about what you were doing. I think this may be the first time that you had a whole conversation with another kid your age without any input from a parent.
You process everything. You've been pretending to fall down and cry, then get a kiss and hug from me, and when I suggested that you don't need to be hurt for a kiss and a hug from me, you repeated what I said slowly, as you thought about it. Today you came running in to me in the kitchen and asked for a hug and kiss. I was more than happy to give you one. The other week you were at Ba's house (We finally realized this came from how you say 'grandma' which is 'bahma'. So yes, 'ba'.) and you both were talking about Daddy and his job. You'd just visited his office in Cupertino. Ba asked if you knew where he worked, and you said 'Apple'. Then you said, "I eat apples". Ba said yes, but this is a different Apple. At this Apple, they make iPods and iPhones and iPads. You considered, then said 'Some apples make ipods and some apples make iphones..."
You are learning about feelings. When you knock over and throw around all of my freshly folded laundry and I scowl and get angry you ask whether I'm happy. You apologize and then ask again whether I'm happy. When we are drawing on the chalk board, and I draw a sad face, you erase the mouth and ask me to 'make him happy'. When you are falling asleep in your bed, you say that you're going to hold Hey Bun Bun in case you get lonely. (Then follow up by pointing out that coming to my bed will keep you from being lonely too. That I keep you company in bed and Daddy keeps me company. Yes, that we do.)
You've been having a harder time staying in your big boy bed lately. You sleep alone until around 2am, then come to bed with Daddy and me. I don't mind so much because you just curl up and fall asleep. You like to share my pillow, wanting me close to you. You also like to sleep on the outside of the bed, rather than the middle, which means you've fallen out of bed a couple of times. However, this doesn't keep you from sleeping there again later.
In the last week, you've been wearing underwear all day, every day. You've had 7 days of dryness in a row! I am so proud of you. Last Friday we were at the bookstore and you asked to go potty, right in the middle of looking at books. The next day you chose underwear instead of a diaper and we haven't looked back.
Your favorite books in the past few weeks are: Green Eggs and Ham, where you always close your eyes and turn your head when the narrator is about to try the green eggs and ham, just before he says he likes it; Moo Who?, about a cow named Hilda Mae Heifer who gets hit in the noggin with a cow pie and loses her moo, which you already know some of the words; Tadpoles, about a little girl who gets a baby brother and would rather have a frog - and learns about frogs growing up as her baby brother grows up too - you love to see the frogs; Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boyton - which you love me to sing, but not to kiss you at the kiss parts; and Wrapped in my Love - about a puppy named Snoozer, who hears strange noises in the night and is afraid until his parents reassure him, and you already know most of this book by heart.
I want to say here that there have been some tough patches lately, and I've been a little more short-tempered, a little less patient, and a little less available for you than I have been. I'm sorry about that. I want you to know that is not your fault. I'm going to do better. It never means I don't love you.
I do love you, with my whole entire being. You are my favorite big boy.
It really hit me this afternoon when Tai woke up from his nap and I couldn't think of anything fun for the two of us to do. He didn't feel like going out, I didn't feel like staying in - but even less like dealing with the tantrum that would come with forcing him to go out (and have fun at the playground - oh the horror!). Usually in this instance I would text Erika and say 'Hey, what are you guys doing? Want to come over?' Then either we'd get together at the playground or one of our houses (with cocktails!) or we could both whine at each other about the hard parts of having a two-year-old and by the time I got off the phone I'd feel better.
But when I thought about picking up my phone, I knew they were in the middle of their move. Either they are driving away (hopefully) or still loading the truck. Either way, our days of random 'help me I'm going crazy' breaks are over. Fortunately she's not leaving the state - she's just going up to Nevada City, which is about two and a half hours away. They are coming to stay with us for a night in a week for a birthday party. We're going to plan more camping trips and visits. But it won't be the same.
I know Tai won't really understand where Peter is, yet. I've told him that he moved, and that we will go on a long long drive to visit him... but I know he's going to miss seeing him at the playground.
A quick Tai and Peter story that I don't think I've told on here before:
About 6 months ago or so... maybe a bit less... Erika and I were carpooling to the Little Nature Explorers class in Glen Canyon. The boys were in the back, shrieking in a happy way. All of a sudden one of them (and I forget which) said, "Dot dot!" And when they did it, they pointed the first finger of both hands and tapped them in time to the words (easier to see than explain).
This quickly evolved into their own thing. Tai would say, "Dot dot, Peter!" and then Peter would say, "Dot dot!" Or, later, "Dot dot, baby!" Always with the fingers. And only ever when they were together, or getting together.
The last time Peter was coming over to visit, Erika said he was saying "Dot dot, baby!" the whole way here. I have no idea what it meant, or what made them think of it, but it was adorable. I am going to miss it.
We picked out a daycare for him - he starts at the Magic Palette in September, three days a week. It's just a few blocks away, a home-based daycare. But I was impressed with all of the stuff they do with the kids (art, play dough, trains, planting veggies, bug hunts, reading), the house is light and clean and open. Tai got to check it out, and on the way home he said, without prompting, "I like that school." For the first time, I felt like we'd found a place that fit. And we got accepted, too. I figure Tai will stay there at least a year, maybe then transfer to a preschool instead of a daycare.
The other day someone on the Bernal Parent's list was giving away a toddler basketball hoop. Tai and I went to pick it up on Friday and he was so excited to play basketball on his own hoop that he did a little dance. It was the 'I love it' dance, that's what he called it. He's pretty good - in fact, better than me. (This is good, since he enjoys sports way more than I do. It would stink if he had my hand-eye coordination.)
He's been needing me to do the bedtime routine lately. If Tom tries it's a huge tantrum, and I just can't let him cry for me while I'm at home. I lay down with him on his bed as he falls asleep. It's too cute - lately he's been singing to himself as he drifts off. Yesterday he was trying to sing, "All together now" by the Beatles, but he only remembered the tune and the ABCD part, so he sang the alphabet song to that tune. Then tonight he was trying to sing the theme song to Zoboomafoo. The only lyrics he remembered were "Zoboomafoo... little leaping lemur", so he sang, "the little leaping lemur went up the water spout" and continued on with the itsy bitsy spider song. I just barely kept from laughing.
I am working hard to commit these moments to memory, and to fully appreciate this time together. I love his smile, especially the one shown above - the shit eating grin. He's going to be trouble later.
Tai is doing fine. I think the vomiting was actually a result of Tom's overzealous tooth brushing and Tai's super-sensitive gag reflex. He had a bit of a fever a couple of days later, but that was probably teething related. What was really weird, was on Friday he didn't pee for almost 24 hours. He was drinking normally, didn't have a fever or anything... just didn't pee. On the advice of a call-in nurse and the intarwebs, we took him to the pediatric ER - where he got all checked in, then promptly peed in huge amounts - through his diaper, over the gown he was wearing, all over my leg and onto the floor. They checked him out and he seemed to be fine, but they asked us to bring in a urine sample. One thing I didn't like - before i knew what was going to happen, while the doctor was checking him out he retracted Tai's foreskin. I guess he thought the skin might have covered his urethra, but it seems like that would have been a problem before now. On the up side, it didn't seem to hurt Tai at all. The doctor figures he was dehydrated, but I don't know. We'll see what the results of the urine test are.
Richard and Judy are in town and Tai is having a blast with his Mimi and Popa. There has been a lot of playground time and general craziness. He's going to have a hard time when they go, after four days of non-stop attention from at least two people at all times. But every night, he's wanted me to help him go to sleep. Not Daddy, not Mimi. Me. I have to say, I don't really mind, even when it takes a while. It gives us a chance to cuddle up together and relax.
Tai is talking up a storm lately, too. He tells us exactly what he's thinking, what he wants. Some of his favorite things to say:
"I've got an idea." When I ask what his idea is about, he says, "Idea's about.... trees (for example, when we were camping)."
"I'm not a monkey (or lamb, or munchkin or whatever pet term someone is using), I'm a boy."
"When I grow up up up, I'm gonna be a football man."
He sings the ABC's all by himself.
He's mostly sleeping through the night by himself in his own big boy bed (though sometimes he comes to visit us, or needs to sleep with us if he isn't feeling well). He does like to keep holding my boobies as he falls asleep.
He loves to play "Plants Vs. Zombies" on the iPad.
He loves to sing 'Happy Birthday" to whoever he is thinking of at the time. Before bed, he says, "Good night sleep tight" to me and daddy and Luna and Cocoa.
He likes to write emails to Ba (my Mom) and Violetta (her dog). The emails usually say 'happy birthday' and some various noises that are hard to spell, like the sound of a dog panting, or a raspberrying tongue.
He likes to kiss my booboos to make them feel better.
The other day, when he was a little feverish, he sat close to me on the couch and said, "I love you Mama. I love you. I love you lots." Yes, I did melt.
Tai is my sweetest boy - and I am the luckiest Mom in the world to have him.
He is growing by leaps and bounds, both physically and mentally. I can barely keep up with him. It's amazing.
( Read more... )
Tai has his five-billionth ear infection of the year. I thought it might have been, last week but when I took him in on Tuesday, they said no. Then this weekend his eardrum ruptured and leaked disgustingness all over his hair, cheek and neck. It kept leaking (though more slowly) the rest of the weekend. I can handle bodily fluid (well, except vomit, of course) but this totally grossed me out. Monday morning I called the pediatrician and they said bring him in. I also had to drive Brogan and Des (Tom's dad and his husband who were visiting from San Diego) to the airport. So, being the horrible Mom that I am, I put on Tai's shirt and shoes. This is where the tantrum began. He took a break for the 10 minutes he shared a McDonald's hashbrown with me, and the 20 minutes he slept on the way from the airport to the pediatrician's office - but other than that? Tantrum. Screaming, crying, thrashing full-out losing his mind. He freaked out on the walk from the parking garage to the doctor's office. In the waiting room. In the exam room. Through the doctor's exam (where he completely flummoxed her by saying 'I want an ouchie!' when she told him there wouldn't be any ouchies. She said she'd never had a kid ask her for a shot before.) , through the walk back to the stairs (because I was avoiding the elevator), through the lobby and out the door and to the car and the whole way home. Over an hour, all told. He was thrashing around so much when I was carrying him out that I could barely keep from dropping him. Everyone was staring. I was blushing.
Nothing helped. Distraction, ignoring him, singing to him, offering stories, offering the iPad, offering a drink or food, rocking, hugging, not touching, rubbing his hair, stepping away, staying close, counting. The doctor offered stickers and to play with her light - both of which he usually loves. No go. I will admit that at one point I considered slapping him because I was beginning to think he was hysterical - but I didn't because I wasn't sure it would help, but more because I wasn't sure it wouldn't just be a frustration outlet for me and I knew that would not be good.
He cried because he wanted to go home, then when we left he wanted to 'play at the doctor's house'. He wanted an 'ouchie' and when the doctor found him a sticker that said 'ouch' he threw it on the floor. It was total inability to be soothed. I felt exhausted by the end of the day, because he had two more tantrums - though they were both much shorter, and no nap. I felt horrible for him, because I'm pretty sure it was his ear (though Motrin didn't help)... but it was hard to hold to my equanimity.
Fortunately today the drops and antibiotic seem to have helped a lot. The drops have both pain relief and antibiotic in them, so I think that helps his ear a lot. I managed to get him down for a nap, though I had to wake him up. He had another meltdown because I was taking him to play with a friend (so I could have my Toddler Break) and I felt shitty. He was like, 'no Paxton! Stay home, please!' Just begging and begging. But then Yvette offered him mango and all was right with the world. His last tantrum was because I went to take him home and he didn't want to leave. *sigh*. Just can't win.
Hopefully tomorrow will be even better. But if not - anyone have any suggestions? Besides some Valium and wine for Mama?