It has been a stupid long time since my last post. I apologize. Thumper said it best, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” Of course I have nice things to say about my son, however, … Continue reading
My family went to Hawaii about a month ago. It was our first flight with Wyatt and it gave me PLENTY of blogging material. I have had most of this post written for quite some time, however it’s taken a lot of time to edit. Some posts pour out of me like tears from a toddler after a broken cheese stick, (see example of such tears below)
Other posts take longer to come to life. Also, for whatever reason, the Hawaii post initially had a lot of cuss words.
Like all good mothers, my mother has her own creative string of curse words she imparts every so often. She likes to pretend otherwise though and when I have a blog post with too much vulgarity she gives me that “I’m not mad, I’m disappointed” look that mothers have, which for me was always way worse than time out or being grounded. Why the
fuck (haha! see what I did there?) do I still care? I’m in my 30’s, I am my own adult person!
Ugh, and here comes the guilt, and crossing out of unnecessary f-bomb. Sorry Mom.
So it took me some time to edit and de-curse word the post. In the end I am a true believer that curse words need to be used judiciously. F bombs should not be used like commas. They should be sprinkled on like an expensive fancy salt you bought on vacation at a tropical volcano. Or like guest soap….well, honestly even guests don’t use the guest soap, so that doesn’t really work. I do use it more than fancy salt too I guess. Whatever. Sometimes I get carried away and over-salt my posts. Now you at least know my vision for my curse words. I hope Wyatt hears my voice heeding warnings in his head as much as I hear my mom in mine.
My child does not travel well. Being in an airplane with him is the 7th circle of hell. We were so prepared though! I had Benadryl, sticker books, coloring books, new toys, movies, games on the ipad, snacks, softies – you name it! There’s no activity that will remedy an overly tired and uncomfortable child. He couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep and he had decided he was over it. We did see the bathroom like 7 times, which he loved. Bathroom visits with a toddler are like trying to take off a too-small, sweaty sports bra while in a coffin. Have you seen the airplane bathroom scene from Tommy Boy? If not I’m tempted to say we can’t be friends…but I’m trying to be more forgiving as of an hour ago, so please just see it. A cultured and artsy film it is not, but you will laugh your buns off; and if you don’t then, well, we can’t be friends.
We brought suckers and gummies to give him during takeoff to help him pop his ears. Made the rookie mistake of offering a lollipop too early, man that plane taxied for ever! 12 suckers, 4 packs of gummies and one accidental banana chip later we were finally off the ground. Five minutes after that Wyatt was over the whole plane thing. There were tantrums. Lots. Three of them were him lying down in the aisle kicking and flailing like a rabid animal. The worst was, of course, right when we got served the in-flight meal.
*Side note: Did you know that Hawaiian serves full meals with wine? FREE WINE. I know airline food is nortoriously crap, but I love free stuff and was depressed and stressed and hungry and I found it delicious. Also, FREE WINE.
Meanwhile, Wyatt is kicking the hell out of his and my husband’s food trays. I did learn that, when motivated, I can down a Hawaiian airlines serving of wine in two gulps. Plus then it gets to you faster to help numb the feeling of wanting to lie down next to your toddler and have a tantrum with them.
I was about to ask over the loud speaker if there was perhaps an exorcist on board, or maybe Supernanny? Or would someone care to trade a child for a stiff drink?
A few hours later while Wyatt was very briefly not flipping out, the incredibly nice older gentlemen sitting next to me asked how old Wyatt was. I told him and he remarked that he was really doing pretty well for a little guy. I looked at him and and felt sad for this clearly blind and deaf old man. I told him that I was about to ask for an exorcist not too long ago. He chuckled and said “Well actually, I am a catholic priest! And yes, sometimes mothers do feel that way.” I was hoping he would launch into a tale of how Jesus used to throw epic tantrums, and Mother Mary then taught him to make wine from water so that she could cope. He told no such tale. I wondered how many Hail Marys he would give me for my barrage of under my breath curse words I had said so far on the flight.
After the 6th diaper change in 4 hours, Wyatt actually truly pooped. Up until that point he had been telling us he pooped, just so he could go see the bathroom. It was a big smelly one. I was totally out of diapers and we still had 1.5hrs to go. Wyatt gets blistering, bleeding rashes if poop touches his skin for longer that 2.7 seconds so I did what any normal person would do. I took him to the bathroom, grabbed the big hard ball ‘o poop, tossed it in the toilet and strapped his barely tarnished diaper back on. Recycle, reduce and reuse folks.
*Free money making tip: sell little two packs of diapers in the airport. I looked EVERYWHERE for someone selling diapers at the airport and let me tell you, they don’t exist. I’m not sure what my husband had to do to get his hands on the paper thin, god-awful excuse for diapers he purchased from somewhere in that airport, but I was so thankful.
For the last half of the flight he had no pants. He had refused to put his pants back on and I was out of fights. His diaper, all frayed and bunched from the airplane seat, looking like a fuzzy thong, running pell-mell through the airport. I didn’t care. 5.5 hours in a plane and he looked like a feral wolf-child. Snotty nose, hacking cough, dried food and spittle all over. We had survived though, I feel there should be medal or free spa visit for such a feat. We got to land in Hawaii though, which was lovely.
I am convinced that Wyatt is part Labrador Retriever. He LOVES water. Any and all water. Water in a glass, random standing water on a cooler lid, puddles, storm drains, oceans and of course pools. He swam, he jumped, he playing and played until we drug him out, wrinkled and shivering. This was the first time he’d used a floatation device and I was not sure how that would go. We got him the water wing/wrap-around-tummy-floaty-thing (pretty sure that’s the official name). Our trick was to shove him in the floaty thing and immediately get him into the water before he could think about it. It totally worked! He got used to the floaty device and quickly made it clear that we were to not touch him and he could swim all by himself.
Also like a Labrador, he chases after chickens and birds like it’s his job in life. Hawaii has chickens everywhere. While we were in the airport in Honolulu waiting for our flight to Kauai a pigeon came into the gate we were at. This poor pigeon had clearly been having a string of bad luck. It had no feet, but just little twig-like stubs. That didn’t stop it though, this little fella ran around and flew like the best of them. Wyatt, spotted the pigeon and immediately darted after it, running through all of the roped-off areas, chasing the poor stubby pigeon round and round the rows of seats. I ran after him, looping and turning and ducking through obstacles. I was a little afraid he would trigger an alarm or something by going into every secure, roped-off looking area around us. Eventually I gave up and I honestly just hoped that TSA would see him as a little tiny security threat and tackle him. The bird somehow escaped and Wyatt went back to the boring task of trying to go through the doors that lead to a quick drop to death.
Some people bring back key chains or shot glasses from travels. We are starting a poop map. A poop map is a map of places that Wyatt has grabbed poop. In our backyard he’s grabbed his and our dog’s poop. Boring, but a good place to start. He squeezed dog poop at the gorgeous but windy Oregon Coast. This trip to Hawaii he stuck his hand into chicken poop while we lunched in Waimei, then finger swiped exotic bird poop in Poipu. He especially likes touching poop when there is no running water in the nearby vacinity. It’s like he’s daring me to see how prepared I am at any given moment. Guess what Wyatt? Grab all the poop you want! I love shopping for wipes and Purell, I’m a Purell connoisseur. Bring it.
All in all it was a great trip. I got zero sleep because Wyatt didn’t sleep but I got a tropical adult beverage, a tan, some beach front lounge chair time, and Wyatt truly loved it. A big thank you to my parents for inviting us along. With my parents and brother there the adult to tiny crazy toddler were way more balanced at 5:1. We will be back Hawaii, hurricane Wyatt will be back. (As long as we aren’t blacklisted from further Hawaiian airlines flights)
The scene: 15 minutes before bed time. I’m having visions of getting Wyatt to bed, finishing my now cold dinner, then maybe cleaning up the house a bit and settling into watching a non-animated TV show and having adult conversation with my husband. Wyatt starts running around the house like I just gave him a Red Bull, a bag of sugar and some speed. Maniacal laughter, jumping on my husbands’s back demanding horse rides, yelping like a peacock. (Wyatt really has their call down impressively well.) If you are lying down, you’d better watch your bits. Anyone looking like they’re resting or having a peaceful moment is an open invite for him to take a running, open armed flying squirrel like leap onto your unassuming body.
We have had some lonnng nights the past few weeks. Wyatt has been seriously fighting naps and bedtime lately. Not sure why. For the most part he is a good sleeper. The first 6 months he didn’t sleep, but once he got past that he slept pretty well. The last couple of nights he has been taking a really long time to get him to sleep. He wants to rock forever and ever and cries like he’s the loneliest kid in all the land when we put him down. We’ve tried letting him cry but it just ramps him up. I don’t mind rocking him for a bit, but it’s gotten quite uncomfortable. He’s 35 pounds now and just doesn’t quite curl into my lap like he used to. It’s clear he’s not comfortable either. He’s all knees and elbows and can’t find a good comfortable spot. Meanwhile I keep whispering into his ear about how cozy his bed looks, how nice and soft. He apparently doesn’t buy it. My mind goes from, “Ugh, I’m missing Game of Thrones, this sucks!” to “Oh my god he is never going to sleep again! I’m never going to sleep again!” I get panicky, my legs get itchy and crampy, and I start to get a little crazed. I brought him to my bed with the hope that he would cuddle into me and finally sleep. Hahahaha. He slept with us the last half of the night when he was small and still breastfeeding, but since then he always thinks being in bed with us is a signal that it’s time to party all night long. I get him into bed, he smells of pee and hope. Flops his head on my pillow, we are nose to nose. He looks into my eyes and then sneezes directly into my face. A pillow? Shit when did he start wanting a pillow? Do they make toddler pillows? Shouldn’t they? Surely their necks need less loft. Is that why he isn’t sleeping? Ugh I’m failing as a mother!
He then proceeds to flip and flop like a fish out of water for the next hour. I try to keep my eyes closed and stay quiet, to model what he should be doing. Every parent knows that if you make eye contact with a toddler that you are trying to get to sleep, they will never sleep again. (The ancient saying goes, “Look at a tiny human’s eyes at dusk, and they will see the light of Netflix waiting to be watched, mistake it for daylight, and never sleep again.” I’m lying. There is no ancient saying but there should be. I open my eyes a teeny tiny crack to see if he is any closer to sleep only to find him laying there nice and still and staring straight into my eyes, a big smile on his face. I will myself not to crack but I can’t help it, a smile escapes my lips and he starts laughing and laughing. Probably laughing with the inside knowledge that I have just lost an important bet.
Update: It’s been several weeks of this not sleeping pattern, so we decided to try the big boy bed. What the hell? He’s already not sleeping well. I had visions of being able to lie in his toddler bed with him instead of rocking him endlessly. Wrong. He didn’t sleep any worse, but it wasn’t quite the sleep serum I’d hoped. “This is so great Buddy, what a big boy! You can lay down in your cozy bed and Scout can keep you company!” Wyatt didn’t buy it. Also being able to lay down with him in the toddler bed is a joke. He took up the entire space with his limbs and quickly pushed me out before demanding to be rocked. Still an important step toward progress though. And now I don’t have to worry about catching his leg on the side of the crib and accidently dumping the finally sleeping toddler into his crib causing him to understandably freak out. He did miraculously stay in his room all night. I heard him yelling in the morning and met him at his bedroom door, me in a t-shirt and underwear and he in his pee soaked diaper and Thomas the Train jammies. He was saying something over and over that took me a minute to understand. He was saying “Mommy shower? Mommy underpants?” Thanks kid, you don’t look so fresh either. Really lifts your spirits first thing in the morning.
We are working on ending Wyatt’s unhealthy relationship with his pacifier. By “working on it”, I mean fretting, planning and procrastinating. Today I had the grand idea of going to the zoo. I dragged my sweet, patient cousin, who has two small children, along for the adventure. It’s an overcast Friday morning. Weather channel says no rain until afternoon. Should be a perfect day for the zoo!
Sat in traffic for a good long while, it starting raining, and then as we got off at the exit for the zoo, traffic crawled to a stop. Apparently every single person, and everyone they have ever met, decided to go to the zoo today. Where in the hell do all of these people come from?! One of the major perks of working 3 twelve hour shifts is that I get some weekdays off where it is generally less busy at places like the zoo. As I wait in the long line of traffic I curse my poor decision, the crappy parking, the people in charge of putting out the “parking full” signs, the weather people and humanity in general. I oscillate between telling myself, “it will be fine, we will go and see what we can see. If it doesn’t last long oh well. I can do this” to “oh my god! What the hell was I thinking? This is going to be a nightmare! Crowds, rain and toddlers?! I can’t do this!” My wiser cousin made the decision to count our losses and head to OMSI instead, which was still busy, but we pretty easily found parking. While at OMSI, hanging out in the toddler play area, Wyatt carries his “softy” which is a 12×12 square fleece blanket with a soft loop of ribbon sewed on one end. My mom made 4 of them after we all grew tired of constantly searching all the ends of his blanket for the one small tag. Wyatt LOVES his softies. He is noticeably the only child amongst the swarm of toddlers to have a softy and a pacifier. He used to be pretty good at only having his pacifier during sleep, but has since regressed to having it all of the time. He doesn’t however, have his pacifier at daycare, so I think my new Operation Bink-Be-Gone will entail hiring about 8 bink-free toddlers to have around the house to provide distraction and peer pressure. Why don’t we just take it from him and be done you ask? Here is a little glimpse as to why:
On the way home from OMSI, he took his pacifier out to drink some milk. He couldn’t find it after. I was sure it was in his car seat somewhere, but I couldn’t reach back to find it because I was driving and trying to keep him safe from a fiery crash and all of that. He calls his pacifier his “Mimi”, not sure why. Once he realized it wasn’t immediately available after his sip of milk, he started frantically calling to it. “Mimi?….Mimi?…….MIMI?!?!?!!!”I tried talking him through how to find it, about how patience is a virtue, about the laws of science and how I don’t have Go-Go Gadget arms. I feel like my words of advice fell on deaf ears. Wyatt lost his damn mind. He switched back-and-forth between ugly crying, his face all blotchy and red; and mournful whines for his long-lost friend Mimi. This continued for 35 minutes. The longest 35 minutes of my life. As I go between calming words and losing my shit and saying “that is quite enough! Pull yourself together! You’re being ridiculous!” I think to myself, “Have I already destroyed his coping skills? He seriously can’t cope with losing his bink for a few minutes? Is this the pivotal point in his life that will make him turn to a life of drugs and loose women?”
Right before we got off the freeway he stops crying and ends up in an exhausted daze, face all red and puffy like he’d been stung by 20 angry bees. At some point during his tirade I figured maybe this was it, maybe this would be the first 35 minutes of his several-day Mimi withdrawal. What better time than now? Then, seconds away from home, he found it on his own and plopped it into his mouth, happy as a clam. You know where his Mimi was? In his lap. The whole damn time. Now we get to start this process all over when we finally muster up the courage to follow through. If in ten years down the road you see a preteen with a pacifier, it’s probably Wyatt and you will know that we have failed.
The main lesson so far that I have taken away from being a parent, is that I am completely full of shit. So many times I have yelled out empty threats that, if carried through, would really only punish my husband and I.
“Throw your food again and you’re going straight to bed!” Doesn’t work on a two year old.
“That [insert annoying you here] is missing, I don’t know where it went.”
“Daddy’s phone is broken”
“The lawnmower is sleeping, we will see it later.”
“Keep it up and you’re not going to Grammy and Poppi’s”, hahahahaha yeah right.
All those times I rolled my eyes at my mom for her sudden, frantic cleaning spurts-throwing all the windows open despite the cold so we can “get some fresh air”, saying she was going to throw ever-single-thing left on the floor away if we didn’t pick it up…I totally get it now. Mom, I’m sorry.
Being sick and being a mother do not mix. Toddlers give zero shits that you want to crawl into a hole and die. Woken out of my NyQuil induced coma with Kleenex balls stuffed up my nose, my head feeling like it’s going to explode and sounding like Janis Joplin after a night of singing, whisky drinking and chain-smoking. I stumble to Wyatt’s room, he looks a little pissed that it took me so long, then laughs at the Kleenex in my nose. Of course he wants to be carried everywhere, screams for milk as soon as we get downstairs not understanding that me getting coffee as soon as humanly possible is integral to his survival this morning. Throws his cereal because, well, I have no freaking clue what the offending action was. We make it to the living room to his nonstop whining chant of “Wall-e!” “Wall-e!” Wall”-e!”. I cannot find the god damned DVR remote and it won’t get past the play menu without it. “Wall-e!!!!” Where in the flipping hell could the remote go?! Why today? Why?!?!?!! Thankfully we find his second current favorite on cable and peace is temporarily restored. This isn’t working, I can’t breathe. We are going to have to brave a trip to Vantucky to get some real Sudafed.
In my lovely state of Oregon, it is illegal to buy Sudafed. The law was meant to make it more difficult for meth addicts to get ingredients used to make meth. Nice try Oregon. I know you meant well, but really? Meth addicts, if nothing else, are incredibly resourceful. I however, have yet to find a legal replacement for Sudafed. The stuff they put in cold meds to replace it is, I’m convinced, the medicinal equivalent to a tic tac. I still see just the same amount, if not more, meth addicts around. I would love to see the statistics on meth use since the ban. Now Oregon looks like an episode of Walking Dead, with a bunch of zombified meth addicts intermixed with people who look like meth addicts but are really just normal folks too congested to function.
Vantucky is actually Vancouver, Washington, really not all that far away, but I really hate having to make the trip over there. It feels hours away, and if you get stuck in the commuter traffic, it will literally be hours away. In the Walgreens parking lot sitting in the car, I find myself pinching my cheeks and fluffing my hair in an attempt to look more presentable and less meth like so they won’t think I’m a meth addict from Oregon crossing states to score some meth ingredients. Pretty much like putting lipstick on a pig at this point. What the hell my doing? Yes I look a little haggard from being sick, and maybe I’m a little wild-eyed and twitchy from doubling my caffeine intake in an attempt to feel human. Throw in the fact that I have a two year old who is exercising his right to fight every single battle this morning, and I’m lucky to have made it out of the house with real pants on. Is there much difference in how I look and how a meth addict looks? Probably not. First of all, I’m sure the lovely people at Walgreens could care less, and second, I’m sure they can smell my guilt and feelings of shame as I ask how many boxes I can legally buy at one time? Why am I the one left feeling guilty like I have to explain myself? My darting eyes and overcompensating hautiness is exhausting to pull of while I feel snot starting to run down my face with not a Kleenex in sight. All of this angst and the bored Walgreens employee simply treats me like I’m just another customer, because that’s just what I am.
I make a mental note to remember to try to get a standing prescription for it from my PCP the next time I see her, which I will inevitably not ask for, in fear that she will mistake the desperate pleading in my voice as a need for the last ingredient needed to fuel my giant “Breaking Bad” sized meth operation.
Wyatt, thank god, wasn’t sick at the same time. He did have a nice giant disgusting looking rash on one leg and in his diaper area. I called the doctor’s office to ask about his rash and when she asked where it was the best I could come up with is that it was in his bikini area. The advice nurse on the phone laughed and laughed and laughed. “You mean his groin?” Well yes, I suppose, but really, the crease between your thigh and groin is exactly where it was, and “groin” seems too general, so to be specific, “bikini line” really works. Yes it is odd since he is a boy, and a baby. Could I say “Speedo line”? Is that more manly? Anyway, Wyatt had a diarrhea, leading to a bad diaper rash, that quickly turned into a staph infection that got passed on to his right leg. He looked like a leper. He also, understandably, screamed like he was being beaten anytime we changed his diaper. I am honestly surprised protective services didn’t show up at our door. Before we figured out it was a staph infection, there were several calls to the doctor, and bless his heart, my husband loves to try to fix everything, so he was Googling every sign and symptom while I was at work to try and diagnose the rash. I work in a hospital, and see and get exposed to some pretty disgusting things, things that Kris is always convinced I’m going bring home to infect the whole family. While I was at work these are the texts I received: “Do you think it’s scabies?”, “when was Wyatt last vaccinated”, What about MRSA, I think it’s MRSA”, “Does Zika virus start with a rash?” and on and on. My replies were “no”, “it’s not related to a vaccine”, “nope”, and “Babe, get off of Google!!!” Skin rashes can be from so many different things they are really hard to diagnose. Wyatt has very fair skin and gets red and bumpy from pretty much everything. Try googling any kind of skin disease and look at the pictures that come up. Of course there won’t be pictures of a run of the mill staph infection, that’s boring. Although they will take a picture of the most horrify disgusting flesh-eating infection they can find. And just like every WebMD symptom checker leads to cancer; every Google search for “bright red bikini area rash” leads to flesh eating oozing bacterial infection.
Speaking of disgusting things – I will never again judge moms of toddlers that look like tiny homeless people. Wyatt looks like he lives in a sewer. His nails are scraggly and filthy, his hair is unkempt, his ears could grow potatoes and there is pretty much always crust around his nose. Wyatt loses his damn mind when we try to cut his nails. I’m not exaggerating, he screams, cries and shakes like a caged wild animal. I feel like I’m going to bruise his hands from trying to hold him down so that I can cut one nail. Inevitably he wriggles so much that I do end up cutting one too close, which gives him a decent reason to flip out. This has to be repeated for twenty digits, TWENTY! He does the same thing when we try and clean his ears (even just the outer portion), cut his hair, etc. I shouldn’t need to follow a haircut with an entire bottle of wine. Here is a million dollar idea- heard of sleep dentistry for kids? How about sleep grooming!? Take your toddler to the clinic, give them a little ketamine, and have at it! They would be all groomed and sparkling new in 30 minutes! Seriously, some entrepeneur type – take this idea and run with it. You’re welcome. Maybe throw some free punch cards my way when you make it big.
I now have so many parts of blog entries that I could actually fill a book. These days, books about toddlers being jerks are a dime a dozen. It’s the books about sweet baby angel face kids that are getting rarer, and I can’t lie to you all like that. Speaking of sweet baby angel faces, oh how my heart is filled with crazy insane I will cut you- love for this kid!!! Motherhood turns you into a sociopath. One minute I’m bitching about him while in the same minute I want to lick his cheeks. Like actually lick them. I kiss him so many times each day that I make myself want to roll my eyes and dry heave at myself. God I am pathetic.
Wyatt is in a pretty fun stage. He says a lot of words, but doesn’t quite string them together yet. He has a great sense of humor and is such a character! He loves making me laugh and now knows how to do it when he’s supposed to be going to sleep by slamming his head against my arm trying to make a farting sound when his ear hits my arm just right. He also loves to sing. Our two current favorites are of course, Sarah Mclachlan’s “Ice Cream”. I listened and sang to this over and over during my road rage period of pregnancy, it is easy to remember the words to and it has the words ice cream and chocolate in it. Right when Wyatt was born and plopped on my chest I sang it and he calmed right down. Still to this day, it will stop him from fussing and he will calm and listen to the song. It has saved my sanity too many times to count these past two years. Now he sings the song with me as I rock him before bedtime. I love his cute soft voice. Our second favorite song is currently “Hello” by Adele. We sing it at lunch time. This song must be sung with all of the feelings in your heart, and some fist-to-chest, Mariah Carey like hand motions always make it better. Wyatt squints his little face up and sings the chorus with all his little emotions. Of course if i play the song in front of anyone else, he lowers his head and is suddenly super shy, so his love ballads are a lunch time secret for now.
Wyatt loves books. Reading now is kind of like a fun guessing game. Except instead of fun it is a mixture of fear and dread and every wrong guess brings you that much closer to a meltdown because you don’t point out the cranes “block and arm and rope” like daddy does. So in turn, I end up way overdescribing every little thing hoping that one of my words is the correct one. I hardly just read the words anymore, it’s more of an explanation of the pictures along with some fun animated voices. Each book has its own purpose. “The Little Engine That Could” is really just a hunt for Humpty Dumpty who is on some pages but not all. Wyatt looks and says “no Humpty”, then flips the page to look again. “Goodnight Goodnight Construcion Site” is a book where I try to remember the names of equipment while arguing with a toddler the differences between a dump truck and a cement mixer. “Hop on Pop” is my hell and why I sneak heaping spoonfuls of Nutella when Wyatt isn’t looking.
Today it wasn’t raining and the sun was miraculously shining. After a VERY rainy past couple of months this gave me such joy! I got Wyatt all excited about going on a bike ride. He was so pumped, babbling on about going outside, even keeping his shoes on while I got ready. The bike ride lasted ten minutes, in which he rode his bike for two, sat down on the sidewalk refusing to go any further 5 times, and went through a whole pocket pack of Kleenex. He whined for water, which I of course failed to bring along. When we made it home he guzzled his water like he had just run a 10k in the desert, rather than being carried for most of the walk. Usually he does pretty well on his bike rides. He rarely actually rides anymore, but straddles the bike, grabs the handle bars and full out runs with the bike between his little legs. I wince, anticipating him hitting his little balls on the bike bar, but so far he hasn’t seemed to be injured. Wyatt then screams “HI!” and waves at any and all passers by. If they wave or say anything in return he glares at them then hangs his head like how dare they speak to him!? Strangers! He loves being outside, I can’t wait for spring and summer and more chances to get outside with him, even if it’s just for some different scenery and surroundings to wait out a meltdown!
I have been taking Wyatt to a class at the local community center for the past 6 weeks. The class is called “Balls, Balls, Bonanza!” Like the name would suggest, there are lots of balls. (Sports people, sports! Get your minds out of the gutter! For shame!) A gym full of all sorts of balls, sports equipment, and 10-16 toddlers equals barely controlled chaos. There were stations of sorts, ranging from basketball, soccer, hockey, t-ball, bowling, that game with the thing that looks like a hockey stick but has a jock strap style basket at the end (seriously, what the hell is that game called??). The class is unstructured since getting 1-2 year olds in a line to do one activity when surrounded by open free space would be like herding a bunch of baby goats. I mostly let Wyatt lead the way and explore on his own. The “mom” part of me definitely shows herself. Emotions ranging from “oh my god, he picked up the baseball bat and hit the ball off the tee! He knew exactly what to do! My kid is clearly a genius!” to “Oh sweet baby jesus, my kid has a baseball bat!? How do I stop him from swinging at the little targets nearby while acting nonchalant and like I’m not being a helicopter parent or whatever the phrase is for crazy and overbearing?”
Wyatt also seems to be a bit of a bully. I know a lot of it is just the age and him figuring stuff out, but I still have to watch him closely so I can use him shoving every small child in his way as a teaching moment. This community center has a indoor play park that we go to as well. There is a sort of slide made from a big wedge shaped mat. Wyatt was sliding down when he met another smaller kid halfway down the mat. Wyatt hit him in the face, which I saw, so I told him “no!” and told him for the zillionth time not to hit and to keep his hands to himself. Two seconds later, same situation, same kid, but instead of hitting him, Wyatt shoved him off of the mat by pushing him off with his head. Luckily, the other kids’ mom just laughed and said “well he didn’t hit and did keep his hands to himself like you asked!” True, and it was a little bit funny. He needs to learn empathy. When does that happen? When will he not laugh every time when he suddenly flings his head back into my nose causing me to feel like I might pass out? We talk about being gentle, not hitting, about the word “hurt” when he falls and hurts himself, but he hasn’t yet connected how it feels when he gets hurt, to when he hurts others. He currently gives zero shits when he hurts someone else. Hopefully that awareness will come soon. Either that or he is a sociopath and that awareness will never come.
Most of the other parents at these classes and play parks are pretty chill. For the most part we were all pretty busy watching our own kids play. Wyatt started sharing or stealing toys from another kid, his mom and I watched them work it out from a close distance. “How old is yours?” she asked. I can barely remember what month it is, nonetheless remember how many damn months old my kid is. I said “oh, he is somewhere between 1.5 and 2, I can never keep up with months.” She gave me a strange, slightly disgusted look. I asked how old her little sweet baby angel cake was. “38 and a half weeks tomorrow!” hmm. Good for you. I’m sure when hes 42 years old and still living in your basement he will look back fondly at all of his 504 months spent with you.
Speaking of kids living in basements: my number one reason I need to have another child is I fear that if Wyatt is an only child, I will be like Cersei on Game of Thrones. Not the “incest is best” attitude she has; but the crazy, way overbearing, obsessive mother part. The number of hours each day that I stare at him in awe is embarrassing. I’m pretty sure that as he grows and goes out into the world my worry and obsession will only worsen. Hopefully another child will at least even out my behavior and spread it amongst the two kids. It will also give them someone to talk to other than their therapist about how annoying I am. They will have another kid who understands how painfully embarrassing and inappropriate it is when your mom comes to school to kiss your neck and bring you a jacket when you’re a sophomore in college. Oh my god, I seriously need to go out more.
P.S. It’s Lacrosse! That game with the jock strap cup shaped net on a stick, Lacrosse! I knew that was somewhere in the depths of my brains
I am pissed. I’m pissed that this happened. Im pissed that so many people are plagued with fertility problems, but that it is so so expensive to get around. I’m pissed that in a country and planet with so many children needing a safe home, it is such an incredibly difficult, long and sometimes costly process to adopt. I’m pissed that infertility is not at all covered by insurance. I even looked at buying my own insurance, nope. None of the plans you can buy cover it either.I’m depressed and overwhelmed by the uphill battle that lies ahead, no matter what path we decide to take. I know I can do it, and I know that I will do it, but I’m pissed that I have to. I will get through it. I don’t need answers, I just need to vent a bit 🙂 Ok, enough bitching for now.
In other news, we went to the pumpkin patch and Wyatt literally LICKED the pig pen. Is there anything more filthy than the actual thing people use as a phrase to describe something filthy? What the hell? One moment his pacifier is in his mouth (a great deterrent to him licking and sticking things in his mouth), but apparently he had an overwhelming need to lick it, so he spit his bink out into the pig pen and then licked the pen itself.
“Oh hi Cold and Flu Season! Come on in! Here, let me roll out a red carpet and get you some slippers and a monogrammed robe. I have put your stuff in our guest room since you will likely be staying for a few months.”
Butters has this tricycle that has a handle so we can steer and push. He LOVES it. He wants to ride it all the time. Seriously, ALL the time. He climbs on, hands on the handlebars, ringing his little bike bell and waving to anyone and everyone. It is pretty damn adorable, I must say. He needs a leather biker vest. Then he sees the older neighborhood boys on their bikes and points and yells at them in something that sounds like Mandarin. He’s such a badass.
He’s not a big brother anymore, but this has made me kiss him more and hug him harder. We are going to try again, but for now it’s just us three. I am trying to soak it all in and enjoy the pig-pen-licking child we have.
“Butters is going to be a big brother! Baby is due March 31st. All very exciting and planned and all that, but mostly I’m just super nauseous and hormonal.”
All my thoughts of the future included my husband, Wyatt, myself and the baby in my belly. I’ve always envisioned a family of four. When we found out about our fertility struggle it became a very real possibility that may never happen. Then Wyatt came, a little miracle. Then we implanted our second and last frozen embryo. I couldn’t believe our luck when we found out I was pregnant again! It did almost feel too good to be true. I felt greedy for the luck of both my IVF tries being successful. I know that sounds stupid. When the 13 week came and baby was still healthy and doing well, I dropped my guard and really saw it. I saw the two little kids that would be around the dinner table. I saw a car full of gear as I hauled them to and from sports events. I saw a busy hectic life that would come from two kids, a life filled with love, sibling rivalry, and battles over who is touching who.
Today our future changed again. I had my 16 week OB visit. I had to bring Wyatt because I didn’t have a sitter. He was throwing fits as the doctor listened and listened for a heartbeat. I was trying to distract Wyatt by explaining about the baby brother or sister that was in mommy’s tummy. When the OB couldn’t find the heartbeat I thought nothing of it. Baby is probably in a weird position. Then came the small portable ultrasound. Still nothing. The doctor was getting worried. As we walked to the big ultrasound machine she said “I really hope we find a heartbeat”. That’s when it sunk in for me. This is real, this could happen. As they looked at my baby, we saw the baby’s head and body, but the very vital part was missing. No heartbeat. Then even more proof, the baby was swollen and had likely died a week ago. I will have to go into the hospital in a few days to be induced into labor to give birth to my dead child. I guess it can’t even be called giving birth. To push out my child? I don’t know.
As I try to make sense of this, Wyatt is blissfully unaware, wriggling and fussing to get off my lap and get his hands on the ultrasound gel he’d been eyeing. I just learned that the child inside of me, that I’d carried for 16 weeks is dead, yet I still have to parent. I still have to put him in the car and drive home. I have to say the words “I lost the baby” over and over as I tell my husband, parents, my brother and other family and friends. My heart breaking again and again and again. I am broken. I am empty. I am numb. At the same time the strong, sensible, planner part of me is thinking what is next. Telling myself I will get through this. I see Wyatt and thank God for him, for his sweet, wild, curly-headed self. I have so much good in my life. But the hurt of this loss peeks through my thoughts and I feel it again. The pain will fade and change with time, but the hole will always be there. It is a part of me, a part of my family, a part of our lives.
Back in my pre-kid days, when I was delusional about what having a kid would be like, I vowed that having a kid wouldn’t keep me from getting out and about and doing things. Without even considering the car seat meltdowns and navigating around nap schedules, I really didn’t account for how hard it is to simply LEAVE THE HOUSE.
Let’s play make believe for a moment and say the baby woke up in the best mood, with no poopy diaper or blowout. Breakfast was a dream and they neatly ate everything and said “Thank you Mommy, I love you!” after. Maybe they even quietly colored for awhile. What a glorious morn!
The second you decide to get ready to go somewhere, it’s all over. Toddlers can sense it. They could be playing like independent little angels, the second you think “ok I’m going to get things gathered to go” all is lost. Toddlers sense the glimmer of hope you hold inside about a nice outing and chance to get out of the house. Suddenly they become whiny, needy things. Following you everywhere, wanting to be picked up. Now they need a snack, but no don’t leave! They want you to sit and watch them eat their snack. Now read this book 17 times. Basically they will find a way to make it impossible for you accomplish one single thing. Just hope that you’ve already managed to get yourself dressed and the kid dressed all while thinking it was just to stay home all day.
It could be a quick trip to the store, seems easy enough right? WRONG! It is inevitable that one or all of the following will be missing: keys, your sanity, debit card, shoes (always a missing shoe! Whyyyyyyyy?), the shopping list you scratched out on the back of a permission slip you were supposed to turn in to daycare two days ago (crap, I wrote on that AND forgot to turn it in?!)
God forbid you’re going somewhere like the pool. That adds sooo many more things. Snacks and backup snacks since whatever you first picked will be so wrong and disgusting suddenly, safety gear, swimsuit for yourself (oh sweet lord, when did I last shave both of my whole legs?), multiple outfits, hip flask (hahaha kidding. Kind of), magazines or a book that you keep bringing in vain since you will only ever read the first page over and over and over again.
Yes it’s a very nice idea to have stuff ready to go the night before. I’m simply not that organized. Plus Butters can sense the preparedness and will refuse to eat breakfast, get dressed, or stay sane while I try to assemble myself to not look like a homeless zombie.
I could plan my outings and errands when my husband is home to watch Butters, but the thing is most days I really just need to get out of the house. I think we both get a little stir crazy and tired of looking at each other. Plus I do like to get out and attempt to do fun things with him.
So where are we going today? The zoo AND the pool! What can I say? Parents are clearly masochists.
Update: So far so good! Zoo trip and lunch at an actual restaurant and no meltdowns! Now for a nap and then the pool!