Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mean Toys

Of course you want to give your child everything. All the cool new toys. Every great blinking/bubble blowing/self-propelled gadget around. All the fun educational toys that help him learn and also teach mobility skills and such. And once he has all the toys, you want to ensure he knows how to share. Playing is more fun if you share.

And then you meet the mean toys.

We have 1 new mean toy that taunted John yesterday. We were outside, and he spotted Tom's new White Sox garden gnome.

Cute right? And Tom had strategically placed him to peek out from our evergreen bushes. John saw him, picked him up, and hugged him -- so adorable!! Then carried the gnome to the walkway, gently put him down (well done -- 'gentle' is not always a word I would use for John's placement of objects), and then tried to play catch with the gnome. And I don't mean throwing the gnome -- I mean he wanted the gnome to share the baseball and let John play with it. John is a good sharer, and that damn gnome just wouldn't give up the ball! Mean mean mean.

John sought his revenge indirectly. He proceeded to walk over to our innocent second garden gnome (oh we have a collection?) and knocked him over. See? If you don't share, I'll beat up your friends.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mama vs. Sheep

This weekend Tom and I took John to the Wicker Park Fest, where they had a Kids Fest section. Really cute, fun stuff like punk hair-dos and face painting...much of which John was too young for...but they had this music stage where John quickly became the dancer and made his mama and papa very proud...rock on.

And there was a petting zoo -- perfect! We paid our entry fee + the extra $1 for a cup of feed. We got into the "zoo" area and I had flashbacks to when Cindy and I were attacked by goats who had no problem jumping head-height on us to get that damn bag of food. And instantly I looked around and sized up the animals around us. Sheep, goats, huge geese, an enormous pig, and a hen. We were outnumbered. But I could take 'em.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Diapers, please.

Will someone please improve diapers? Seriously. The diaper companies know they've trapped us. There's really no good solution. And those suckers just don't work well.

When John was a bity baby, inevitably every day he'd poop up his backside. EVERYDAY. And often it was multiple times a day. Come on. And once his poop leaked out of the leg of his diaper and ended up INSIDE MY SHORTS. It's been years since I had poop in my pants, and there I was with someone else's poop in my pants (luckily I'd given birth to him, so it actually wasn't that gross...). And yes, we were putting the diaper on correctly. And no, he didn't poop more than the average baby (but he did spit up more than the average geyser).

And now, still, every morning, he wakes up with wet jammies. What a sad way to exit dreamland! This weekend he was SOAKED. Sheet and bedding included. And he wears what claim to be "overnight" diapers. I checked with 3 parents and all 3 said their kids have the same problem. So that means the diapers have a customer satisfaction rating of 0%. But we're all still using them since there's not an option.

At least John's a happy guy in the morning, after we get the wet clothes off of him. I got him into a clean diaper and t-shirt and he said "I'm ready!" which means time to go downstairs (no pants required!).

But he was in his "Born to Rock" shirt, so he had to wear a headband (which Tom puts up with...and I think secretly likes...).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My son, Bob.

I must remind myself that not everyone is familiar with children's gear. And I (often) make statements that just don't make sense once the words have come out of my mouth. And I'm sure the lady on the street corner was very nice, and probably brilliant in other ways...

There John and I were, waiting for the light to change. As usual, he was in his super-cool BOB Revolution stroller.

For those non-parents in the crowd, the BOB strollers are everywhere right now. It's like they've figured out a way to reproduce and have multiplied like rabbits at the parks. The models mostly look the same, so they're easy to spot from a distance. And they all have a big "BOB" embroidered on the front.

So there we are, standing on the corner, next to a lady. She had a dog, so we were quite interested in her. She looks over at us, takes in the stroller, and then asks John, "Is your name Bob?" To which I say, "No, the stoller's name is Bob." She thinks I'm being flip. So she walks away. But I'm being serious. And she took her dog with her, which was sad.

This makes me wonder, does she think there's been a slew of children named "Graco" recently?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Eat me. Drink me.

You know how when you go to a restaurant and order dinner, the meal that your fellow diners ordered often times looks SOOOOOO much better? Eve if it's the same thing you ordered, for some reason they just got the better dish? Meal-envy.

And then you know how when you smell or taste something rotten (like spoiled milk), your reaction is to have whomever is with you smell and taste it as well? "EW! This is gross! Here, smell this."

These two things combine themselves in babies and you end up with these events:
1. Baby will insist your food is better than his, even when it's the EXACT SAME thing. Like Cheerios. The Cheerios in my bowl are just better. And there's no trickery here -- I cannot eat out of John's bowl to convince him that his cereal is really the better bowl. Nope. Mama's got the goods.

Really, I think his bowl is cooler, anyway. Maybe I should start eating off the Mickey dishes.

2. Baby will share food with you. And when I say "share food", I do not necessarily mean the food from his plate. Sometimes it's the food from his mouth. Pre-chewed turkey. Pre-sucked apple. I know sharing is an awesome thing to have a baby want to do. So we must encourage the turkey? Yes. This is especially amusing when done in public. Well, maybe not amusing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Order and process. And pee.

While I was pregnant, I read all sorts of books about what a baby needs, and the overwhelming #1 recommendation from all of the experts was: A baby needs routine. (I think "love" came in a close 2nd...).

With this in mind, we've tried to set up a schedule for John, which John modifies as needed.

Our planned bedtime routine:
  • 6:30 pm -- bottle of milk and Curious George
  • 6:45 pm -- upstairs for a bath or to change into jammies
  • 7:15 pm -- in jammies, reading books
  • 7:30 pm -- bottle of milk (yes, another bottle), rocking, nighttime music, snuggling, bed
  • 8:00 pm -- asleep

John's morphed version of the routine:

  • 6:30 pm -- bottle of milk and Curious George (good start!)
  • 6:45 pm -- turn off the receiver, try to open the DVD player, try to play with the stones in the fireplace
  • 6:50 pm -- figure out why the office door is closed
  • 6:55 pm -- maybe time for a wagon ride??
  • 7:00 pm -- get picked up by mom or dad and race the other one up the stairs (mom's fast)
  • 7:05 pm -- escape the room dressed in a diaper and run into Sean's room to check and be sure it's all OK, and play the piano while there
  • 7:10 pm -- get locked into the bathroom for bath time, push all of the shampoo and soap bottles into the tub, move the trashcan
  • 7:15 pm -- Splash!!
  • 7:20 pm -- mom wraps John in a froggy towel and rushes to get him diapered, lotioned and jammied, John brushes his teeth (yes! brushes his own teeth!), dad rinses the tub
  • 7:30 pm -- comb hair and hang up towel
  • 7:35 pm -- read books, find the Snoopy Sox Pez dispenser that plays music and *insist* and hearing...a few times...
  • 7:40 pm -- help dad wind the clock, help mom select the CD and start the music (John is much better at pressing buttons than mom)
  • 7:45 pm -- bottle of milk, rocking, talking, sticking fingers up mom or dad's nose, more talking
  • 8:00 pm -- into the crib to "sleep"...most likely to talk more, since there is so much to tell George about the day!
  • 8:15 pm -- help George escape the free lil monkey!
  • 8:30 pm -- collapse and sleep with head pressed against the corner of the crib

And so you know the characters in this entry, here's George:

All in all, not a bad version of the original plan.

In the morning, we have a very quick routine. Tom and I alternate who gets John each morning (and we each wish secretly – and not so secretly – that John would sleep in more on our morning!). This morning was my turn. So it should have gone like this:

  • 6:30 am -- John starts talking, wakes mom up
  • 6:35 am -- mom has John's milk ready (after a very blurry trip to the kitchen), and gets greeted by a very excited boy who just LOVES the morning! WOOHOOO!
  • 6:40 am -- milk has been drunk, time for a quick diaper change
  • 6:45 am -- time to play!

But this morning, things did not go quite as planning. When I went to get John, he was not happy. His jammies were wet (I wouldn't be happy either). So I needed to change him. But he was crying. And didn't want to be put onto the changing table. So I tried to change him quickly. Which is so sad. Because then you have a crying boy who just wants to be held, but he's covered in pee and needs to be changed, and since he doesn't want to be changed, he's twisting and turning. Which is making the changing take longer and longer. And we're struggling with each other because he can't stay covered in pee but he just wants to be picked up. And it's *really* hard to change a baby while holding him. And I'm now sweating so I'm convinced he's too warm, but he's naked, so maybe he's cold. So if I could just get him diapered and dressed, I'm sure things would be better. But I've also convinced myself that I'm emotionally scarring him for life since he wants to be held and instead I'm pinning him to a table.

Of course, he recovers instantly. I am going to need therapy.