Thursday, October 23, 2008

It only took me about 3 sentences.

You don't have to be a mom to boys to appreciate this one.

I'd recommend reading it aloud to your husband. Be sure to let me know how quickly the discomfort leads to giggles and tears.

Monday, October 6, 2008

He's afraid to get out of his crib now, for fear that I'll take it apart again.

I just escaped another arial attack. Haha can really fly, especially when propelled out of a crib by an angry toddler. While I made it out alive, I'm now being subjected to the seemingly endless drone of the air raid sirens known as Christopher's Bedtime Protest.

This is just another "event" in my son's quest for independence. It all started about a month or so ago....maybe two....when he started protesting having his diaper changed. From there we moved on to a boycott of clothing, pants in particular. Now we've moved onto jammies. Or the lack thereof. Little Mr. Troy has decided that pajamas are not cool. Rather than argue with him or force him, kicking and screaming, into them, we now have lengthy discussions concerning what he would like to wear to bed.

"This one?" (Shaking head.) "How about this one?" ( "uh uh.") And on and on until we finally give in and ask, " Okay! what do you want to wear?" Tim and I are both equally guilty of giving in, although we both agree it's more a matter of choosing our battles. In so doing, we've created quite a handsome little sleeper. After bathtime, while I'm in my room readying Jacob for bed, Christopher will come romping through the door in a polo shirt and his sweats to say his prayers and kiss me goodnight. He is, by far, the most fashion-conscious member of the family these days.

As we continue towards greater independence and "big boy-ness," bedtime has become more and more of an issue. Right now, for example, he's standing in his crib screaming bloody murder. The neighbors must think we're just awful parents. And, I'll admit, it's nights like these when you really do wonder if maybe they're right.

This has been one of my overriding concerns when looking forward to the time when I'll no longer have the comfort (and control) of the crib. Almost immediately upon discovering my pregnancy with Jacob, I began to plan for The Switch. I figured that we'd buy a bed for Christopher, set it up in his room, and then GRADUALLY work our way from the crib to the bed. It was going to involve lots of time. Lots of patience. Lots of discussion. And did I mention lots of time?

Well, apparently a certain member of this family forgot the plan last week in the midst of her fever-induced sleep deprived state.

That cold really got the best of Christopher. I've never seen him so "off." Three nights of camping out on the floor downstairs with an endless supply of Daddy Snuggles and Caillou episodes would create a conflict in any little boy, I suppose. Who would want to go back to the jail cell of his crib after all of that fun, even if it was in the midst of a fever, runny nose, and achy body? So, for the entire next week, bedtime was a tremendous fight. Unfortunately, I misread the protests as being discontent with the crib / readiness for the bed, rather than discontent with the crib because it's just no fun.

Thus, the following course of events:

Friday morning I converted the crib. We didn't ease into anything. The crib came apart and the boy was THRILLED! You'd think I'd built a jungle gym right there in the middle of his room. We spent the latter part of the morning across the street at our Parish Festival, wearing out the little one. My thought? "He'll be exhausted! I AM GENIUS SUPER MOMMY!"

That afternoon we walked into the house, ate a quick lunch and could barely keep ourselves downstairs for the thrill of naptime with no walls. He went straight upstairs! He accepted the diaper change! He climbed onto his bed! He even let me leave the room without protest!

I spent the next HOUR downstairs ON THE VERGE OF TEARS as I heard him walking around in his room. Talking. Climbing. Sliding. Opening and closing his door (thank GOD for the baby gate!) "Mammaaa....Daddyyyy...."

I was convinced that, not only was he not going to take that day's nap, but that he would NEVER NAP AGAIN. I'd done more than ruin my son's crib - I'd ruined his naptime. And, almost more importantly, I'd ruined MY naptime.

Tim told me to get over myself and relax.

Not long after that I went upstairs to peek. There was my little boy, sound asleep on the floor in front of his bed. For two! whole! hours! My confidence restored, I went on with my day.

Friday night was exactly the same. He slept the ENTIRE NIGHT on the floor.

When he woke up on Saturday morning and climbed into his bed to play, I figured all would be well. He's a little mixed up right now, but he'll figure it out. I figured that until he wouldn't nap on Saturday afternoon. I went on figuring that while I was up with him until 11:30 on Saturday night. But that night, as I lay next to my son on the floor focusing only on how sore I'd be in the morning, I thought to myself that maybe I should have just given up right then and rebuilt the crib in the dark.

Anyway. All of that to say that my little two year old boy is not ready for the freedom and excitement of the toddler bed. And neither is his mommy. So we're back to the crib, at least for a little while. Back to the safety and security of sleeping behind bars, if you will.

I'm not admitting defeat - I've been defeated by nothing (except our horribly carpeted floor which, hopefully, will be replaced soon). I'm just admitting to what, deep down, I knew all along. I was rushing a process that can't be rushed. Forcing my little boy to be a little too big, a little too fast.

We'll give it some time, and then we'll try again. When we do, you can bet we'll do it right. We will bring home his real bed and start from scratch. We'll take our time. We'll discuss. we'll practice. And did I mention that we'll move slooowwwly? But I have to say - if switching to a bed means I'll be losing my naptime, then you can bet he'll be in that crib until he's ten.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Walk On, Mama!

Tomorrow, my mom will be leading a team in this year's Breast Cancer walk. She's walking for herself, because she's a survivor. She's walking for her sister and my sister-in-law who are both undergoing diagnostic tests this week. And she's walking for me with the hope that I will never have to go through what she has. Here's to all of the women who have so courageously walked this journey.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus.

There is a store in town that I rarely enter. It's one of those little mom & pop slash gourmet type stores that is always far more expensive than the bigger chains. They sell quality food at a higher than quality price, so it's not a common stop on the Grocery Shopping Express. Every once in a while I find myself there to stock up on hamburger meat (they sell the good stuff, so it's worth it) or to pick up something that's on sale. So, today, Christopher and I popped in for some yogurt - advertised at 1/3 its normal price. For a girl who consumes yogurt like it's going out of style, this was an important stop.

Lately I've really been enjoying going shopping with my boy. He's big enough to walk along the whole way now, and he's getting better and better at following directions. We talk about all kinds of things and he has this great ability to get me to notice the precious sights of life that I would normally overlook. Even in the grocery store. Plus, this particular store has those carts with the car attached to the front, which he absolutely LOVES. At all of the other stores, I do my best to sprint past those enormous carts so that I don't have to figure out how to navigate a semi through the aisles, but the car-carts at this store are built smaller. So they're fun and useful. This, I like.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that there were few cars there and looked forward to having the store to ourselves. While navigating my mammoth vehicle into the liliputian parking space, I noticed a little old man sitting in his car across the aisle. My attention paid to his presence really ended there, until after walking around my car to get the boy out of his car seat, I noticed that I'd parked too close to another car and had get back in and select another space. While it didn't phase me all that much, I did have the passing moment of embarrassment that this man saw me do all of this and that he was probably being very critical of my poor parking skills.

Now about 2 minutes behind our schedule, Christopher and I were finally walking, hand-in-hand up our aisle in the lot toward the store. As we approached his car, the old man got out of his car and started walking toward us. Although I was smiling at him, he paid little attention to me, choosing instead to ask Christopher how old he was. I told the man that he was two.

"A boy of two needs a truck," he said.

"He sure does," I replied, thinking that he was referring to Christopher's favorite shopping carts.

At that point, the man opened his trunk and pulled out a paper bag. I wasn't sure what to make of all of this, but figured that he was going to pull out a toy truck from the bag. Maybe he'd done some shopping for his grandson and had some extras - we've had friends at Church share their overflow with us before. You can imagine my astonishment, then, when he reached into the bag and pulled out a beautifully hand-crafted wooden firetruck. It was simple and classic in design, nothing overly fancy or complex.

"I make these out of scrap wood for the children in the neighborhood," he told me. "It makes me happy to give them away."

I thanked him profusely, touched beyond belief by his generosity. Christopher and I waved goodbye to him as we walked into the store, and I stood in the doorway as he drove away. He had just been there, sitting in his car waiting for a child to share his gifts with. He brought joy to our day, and by accepting his kindness, we brought joy to his.

I'll admit that it took me a while to get past the notion that this was weird. Strange. Odd. So unused to simple generosity and the kindness of strangers am I that I even thought, just for a second, "Maybe there is something wrong with this. Maybe I should throw it away." As I pulled my yogurts from the shelf, I had to force myself to accept the fact that this was a kind man, performing a kind act.

Today, on the Feast of the Guardian Angels, not only was I given a gift for my child. I was given the opportunity to entertain an angel, unaware.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


People in this family who visited the doctor this week: 4

People under three feet tall who shared an appointment at the same time: 2

Number of vaccines administered at shared appointment: 7

Mommy who will never do it that way again: 1

Number of mommies who say that now, but know they'll do it again anyway: 1

Number of children who couldn't sleep last night due to drugs in system: 2

Number of adults in this family who don't mind waiting a few minutes at the doctor's office: 1*

Christopher's weight & height at 2 years: 30 lbs, 3 feet minus 1/4 inch

Jacob's weight and height at 4 months: 14 lbs, 11oz. 25.5 inches

Items that Christopher threw, alternately, in and out of his crib last night: 12, including:

  • Haha
  • Blankie
  • Small red pillow, embroidered, "Always my daughter, now too, my friend."
  • Small green pillow, embroidered, "Golfers don't eat, they just exist on greens."
  • Yellow labrador puppy wearing green shamrock t-shirt made here.
  • Plush Rottweiler from Nonna.
  • Yellow blankie, trimmed with Tigger, Pooh, and Piglet
  • Plaid throw pillow
  • Lid to Christmas cookie cannister with picture of "Hoho"
  • Incredibly large beach towel.
  • motorized sleeping cocker spaniel.
  • Toddler who can't decide whether he wants in or out.

Number of parents hit by NON-PLUSH sleeping cocker spaniel listed above: 1*

Number of parents sleeping through previously mentioned arial attack: 1*

Duration, in minutes, of Christopher's afternoon nap today: zero.

Minutes spent by a certain mommy, walking around town this morning: 95.

Number of people in immediate family who were proud and impressed at said Mommy's stamina: 2

Number of people in immediate family who were slightly concerned about duration of walk: 1*

Number of extended family members who were not impressed in the least by this walk and promptly informed said walker that she should not be pushing it and that she should spend her afternoon "getting rested.": 2*

Number of ladies who spontaneously joined the walk: 2.

Number of said ladies who were certifiably crazy: 1. Maybe 2.

Number of zodiac signs discussed by said crazy lady: 4.

Number of baby deer encountered on walk: 1

Number of observed baby deer who seem to be long for this world: sadly, zero.

Number of old people observed playing bocce ball while cutting through the park: 12

Number of aboriginal musical instruments encountered on walk: 1

Number of adults in this family who had meetings scheduled for tonight: 2.

Number of baby-sitters arranged to cover said meeting time: zero.

Number of adults in this family who played hookie for scheduled meetings: 1.

Number of mommies in this house who have never been so happy to stay home: 1.

*The reader may determine to whom this statement applies.