There's a Child Out Here, People. That's the Reality.

Join me on my journey through parenthood. BYOHelmet.

Why yes, officer, I am standing before you in my underpants February 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — aggieonboard @ 11:22 pm

My upstairs neighbors have sucked sucked sucked since the day I moved in. They don’t get home until 9 or 10 each night, but when they do they stomp around and reinact Mexican wrestling matches until the cows come home. Night after night, I’ve cringed in my bed after ever slam/thud/shudder wondering if that’s the one that’s going to wake up A and send me over the edge. I envisioned snatching him up, running up the stairs in my underpants with crazy bedhead and confronting them. Luckily, I’ve seen enough episodes of nightline to know that beating on strangers’ doors isn’t the best course of action, so I have refrained. Each time I have vowed that I will call the apartment office the next day, but I never do. Maybe it wasn’t that loud, I tell myself. I’ll look foolish, I think. That’s a first world problem for sure, I say.

Not tonight. Tonight, I had enough. One too many thud/cringe combos and I dialed the courtesy officer before I could lose my nerve. He was so very pleasant and reassuring (Me: “They’re like stomping? On my head? and it makes me sad? But I don’t want to hurt their feelings?” Him: “There’s no reason for that. Call this number. We’ll send someone. It’s all going to be okay, ma’am.”)

And send someone they did. He was a strapping young man with a friendly smile, or maybe it was more like when dogs bare their teeth out of fear? I’d be scared too if a crazy lady threw open her door, revealing a completely dark house and her standing there looking like Weird Al on a bad hair day, with a towel held over her body to hide the fact that she was in her underwear and totally unprepared for gentleman callers. Especially if she then hissed at me that “my son is SLEEPING in the room right there” and gestured to the window,causing the towel to slip a bit, “and my neighbors may not know that I live here or they may just be raging assholes I’m not sure but can you please make it stop and I swear I’m not crazy kthxbai.”

I probably should have found a better way to introduce myself than by dispatching the cops to their door and I hope they don’t hate me. Maybe there’s a single female in the residence and she’ll appreciate the city’s finest on her doorstep. I don’t hold out much hope even then, because I’m pretty sure I just scared him off women forever.

 

Hai. February 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — aggieonboard @ 7:03 pm

Apparently, it’s really cold outside. And there’s lots of ice. That’s what people on facebook are saying. I haven’t crossed the threshold myself since Monday afternoon. And once a day, a friendly automated system calls me to say that school is closed and I am to remain under house arrest for yet another day.

Thank goodness Andrew and I heeded the warnings of of the weathercasters, who did everything short of standing on street corners with signs declaring the End Times to let us know It Was Coming (see: Weather Girl vs. Homeless Guy: The Similarities are Striking), and went to the grocery store before the Epic Weatherological Event. Truth be told, I didn’t really buy into the hype as evidenced by my failure to stock up on Diet Coke. Rookie move, self.

So yeah. I just finished up 48 hours of solitary confinement with a two-year-old, who enjoyed way more than his share of Barney and Elmo. We bounced back and forth between those, episodes of Thomas the Train and Bob the Builder, and baseball on the wii. He calls it “hit the ball” as in “I play hit the ball, mama!” and while he can’t hit for crap, the boy can pitch.

So there’s a parental confession for you. Instead of using this ample time to make our own soap or fold 1,000 paper cranes, I basically tethered my kid to technology. Most of that time, though, I was cheering him on or stroking his hair as we watched The Best of Elmo for the millionth time.

Once, I did get all fancy and try to capture him singing his ABCs. He cooperated through the letter G, then launched a projectile at my head just as my camera battery died right alongside my motivation.

I relinquished him into his dad’s care today and I cried more than a few tears as they walked away. But then I also caught up on American Pickers and took a nap and I’m okay(ish). Just found out school is canceled again tomorrow, so now we’re trying to work out the logistics of toddler juggling (dangerous!) and it looks like I may get some time with him tomorrow, too.

Guess I’d better get back to watching Pawn Stars while I have the chance.

 

The weight of it January 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — aggieonboard @ 9:41 pm

There are moments in parenting that you fully expect to be loaded with emotion. The first step. The first “mama.” The first day spent in the care of someone else. Those you anticipate, steel yourself, embrace.

Then there are others that sneak up and take your breath away like a knockout punch to the gut. So much more powerful because you haven’t had time to prepare, haven’t been waiting .

Tonight I was sitting with A in the glider, thankful that my almost two-year-old still likes to sit with me at the end of the day and chatter aimlessly (“Mama” “Dada” “home” “yeah”). He still wants to curl into me before he drifts off, still wants to feel my warmth and my hand cupping his cheek. At the right moment–somehow you always know when it’s time to lay him down–I scooped one hand under his bottom and another under his head, and just like that he was cradled in my arms like a newborn.

He stilled instantly. He was suddenly fast asleep, completely secure and content in my arms. And he was so, so heavy. And in that moment, I began to weep. How did I come to be cradling a boy? Where did my baby go? I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. I was mesmerized by his peaceful expression, unable to stand and release him into his crib. I held him tightly and I kissed his forehead for the upteenth time tonight.

How are we here already? His babyhood was too short, too fleeting. I tried to cherish every night, I really did. Still, the time feels like grains of sand through my fingers and I’m trying desperately to hold on but I know it’s futile. And the weight of that knowledge…it’s just so heavy.

 

Ding dong, the turkey’s dead November 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — aggieonboard @ 9:55 pm

and now I can geek out on Christmas guilt-free. WOOT!

I appreciate that the turkey brings families together and signals the beginning of the holiday season. (Some would say that’s Halloween’s job. They would be wrong.)

I also enjoy my family’s practice of celebrating said holiday back in Mayberry, so Andrew and I can do lots of this:

(Spoiler alert: I am totally in my pjs here.)

All told, it’s been wonderful. However, it’s time for Andrew to be reunited with reality since his new favorite word is “no!” and he goes into full on scream-mode if his requests aren’t heeded the moment they are (oh so clearly) expressed. Oh yeah, it’s time for someone to be taken down a peg or two. That’s why I plan to drive him straight from his Utopia to his dad’s apartment. Best of luck to him.

 

Andrew’s completely unremarkable day November 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — aggieonboard @ 5:41 pm

woke at 7:30

grumped around until Mama forced him to nap early, at 10:00

woke up ready for “boat! boat!”

cruised the high seas

now eating spaghetti and then exploring the backyard

Life is good at Mamie and Pop’s

 

Focus, Self. Focus. November 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — aggieonboard @ 10:28 pm

How can I write all that I want to write when I’m distracted by the awesomeness of glee and the smell of yummy muffins?

My brain is mush. Mushy mushy mush. Mushier than the banana I smushed and added to the chocolate chip muffins so I could pretend they were healthy.

What were we saying?

Andrew is sick, dear interwebs. I tried telling him at the pedi’s office today but he didn’t seem to care. He did care about the fish, though.

Man I love Sue Sylvester. Love.

Anyway, so yeah. He’s been on six virtually consecutive rounds of antibiotics. I’ve been pushing for answers and for him to  eat more yogurt.

Friday he’s supposed to get tubes in his ears to combat recurring ear infections. He finished antibiotics for one this weekend.

He has another one already.

And a new medicine for his nebulizer (which he had to start with the last round of drugs).

This one costs $98 a month ($499 without insurance) and makes his sessions last twenty minutes, morning and night.

Have you ever tried to strap a steaming mask that sounds like a semi truck to the face of a non-compliant toddler and keep it there for twenty minutes?

Want to come over tomorrow morning and try it?

Before snotting our way to the pedi’s office unexpectedly, I had a nice long chat with the doctor about the Unfairness and Unacceptableness of it all when he called to check on Andrew. The visit wasn’t scheduled–but when daycare calls to say your kid is having trouble breathing, you find yourself saying “I’m bringing my kid ____ in to see Dr. _____ now.”  (Normally I’d go back and edit this stream of consciousness drivel and at least put stuff in order, but not tonight, friends. This is for realz.)

So during the call at lunch, I said things like “future immunity” and “side effects” and “runny poop” and he said things like “yeah, yeah, I hear you” and “further testing” and “compromised immune system” and “cystic fibrosis” and then I sat in my car and cried before going back into work.

Oh and my mailman is a complete idiot and returned Mr. Aggie’s half of daycare/insurance to the state, saying I’d moved. He continued to deliver my junk mail, though. Remind me to punch him in the taco, should the opportunity present itself.

So yeah. Money dramaz.. And Andrew’s sick. And work got all tense all of the sudden. And I’m tired. And sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by it all.

But I asked for this, and I can do this. I can deal with rushing out of a meeting, updating parents/grandparents, dealing with doctors and a sick kid and being at Target waiting on our prescription at 6:30 at night, scrapping plans to make spaghetti and play, instead picking up frozen veggies and a  premade chicken. I can feed, bathe, pajama, and feed again an increasingly headstrong kid without taking off my heels. I can feed myself somewhere in there (I think) and clean the kitchen and make muffins so the bananas don’t go completely to waste.

And then, when that little boy who is my whole world falls asleep during his breathing treatment while watching Glee, I can hold him and savor his weight, place him in his crib and tuck his quilt around him. I can tiptoe back to the couch and sit in the dark and type this entry and cry a little and say to you that I am tired. and sometimes I am overwhelmed. But I can do this.

And I will.

 

It’s the parents, stupid. November 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — aggieonboard @ 8:16 pm

So we made the decision to move Andrew to another daycare. That’s one of the things I’m pretty stoked about, that we’ve managed to keep Everything Else out of the way when it comes to doing what’s best for Fat Elvis.

Why Fat Elvis, you ask? Peep the belly, yo.

Before the change, he was in a nice, cozy in home daycare with quite a few other toddlers of varying socio-economic status. Seriously, it looked like something straight out of a ‘join-hands’ Coca-Cola commercial. Still, it came time for a switch and we decided on a completely different setting.

And I mean completely. Now I have to input a PIN to check A in and out of the facility, like he’s punching a time card at the sewing factory. I have to pay extra for breakfast and for someone to come and teach nutrition (to my two-year -old, not to me. I try to tell him all the time about the dangers of trans fats, but he pays me no mind.)

I was very nervous about these changes, as you can imagine. Even though we both felt right about the move, and even though we had received hearty endorsements, I was still wary. I shouldn’t have worried at all, of course, because he was awesome. The teachers love him already, and say he’s great at following directions and that he settled right in. As I watched for a minute before picking him up, he was playing happily with four ladies (that’s my boy!) and the teacher. I was happy to see that only two of the four were as albino as my spawn. 

I am not adjusting as well. Maybe it’s because of the d-bag father with the energy drink sticker on his truck who cut me off in the parking lot (in the parking lot! of the daycare that our children both attend!  Did he not think we’d meet again, ten seconds later, waiting in the same tiny entryway?) or maybe it’s the fact that I saw a mom signing out her child named Liberty and I died a little inside.

Alls I”m saying is, I’m pretty sure I’m rocking the only npr sticker in the parking lot. I hope I’m wrong, and that A makes tons of new friends and I meet some soft and liberal on the inside, crunchy on the outside parents to bond with as well. Otherwise, his only hope of getting the evite to Sarah Maverick Smith’s birthday party is if they think his father is the only one in the picture.

And for absolutely no reason, this.