Thursday, July 29, 2010

He Has An Infection Where?

I like to think that considering I am the full-time at home parental figure in the boys lives I have a good grasp on what’s going on with them. But sometimes I find myself questioning my instincts when Jane makes statements about the boys’ health.

For the most part she’s full of hot air, but I think I second-guess myself because I still feel all new and shiny as a parent. Although I’ve come to understand that just because the woman has given birth to four children doesn’t make her an expert at motherhood either.

The latest incident happened last night. FH and I picked the boys up and FH informed me that Jane had informed him that Younger Boy has an infection on his penis.

Considering I was home with the child ALL DAY and didn’t notice anything different about his potty habits, nor did he complain to me about any burning or hurting when he went to the bathroom I was confused. I know Urinary Tract infections are not pleasant and would only assume that they’re not pleasant for the male folk either.

My gut told me that Younger Boy had told her that his penis hurt because that’s his latest new thing. “Penis” and “Butt” and randomly talking about them at great lengths is the latest trend in the world of Younger Boy. A couple of weeks ago while playing with Legos Younger Boy looked up at me and said:

YB: There are thorns in my penis.
Crys: *Silent with shock, then confusion, then I dared to respond with* Oh yeah? And how did thorns get in your penis.
YB: *Nonchalantly* There were thorns pushing on my penis. So now I run away from them.
Crys: Oh, OK. Well, good job then.

The child has also randomly yelled out while in the shower, his room, or while sitting on the toilet the following:

“Don’t step on my penis!”
“Ouch! That hurts my butt!”
“Don’t step on my butt!”
“Ouch! My penis hurts!”
“Ouch! My butt hurts!”

In which it is usually followed by a lot of laughter and then a repeat of the statement through the laughter.

Now, to the non-knowing person a statement like that could lead to many crazy thoughts. We’ve tried to talk to him about it … about not saying things like that unless it really does hurt…but he’s four-years-old. And apparently to this four-year-old boy it’s damn funny. So are the words “poop” and “fart.”

Back to the story, I informed FH that was my assumption. We even asked Younger Boy if his penis hurt and he said no.

At home we took a look and saw nothing unusual. Again, Younger Boy said that it didn’t hurt. And then he went to the bathroom without incident and took a shower. And this morning there has still been no complaint. And trust me, I’ve asked.

I guess I should be thankful that 1)The child does not have an infection and 2)Jane didn’t insist on rushing him to the emergency room as she likes to do for non-medical emergencies.

But it irritates me when I second-guess myself because of something she says.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Choosing A Consequence

I like to think that I’ve come a long way when it comes to getting upset with the boys’ behavior. I may still raise my voice when I’ve discovered they’re doing something undesirable, but I’m learning to raise my voice to inform them they’re doing something undesirable, walking away to calm down for a bit and then coming back to talk to them about it.

Since I’m the one that’s home all day (working from home has its pros and cons) I’m the one that usually gets to encounter these issues. But, it’s really nice when FH is home and we can handle them together. I was so proud of us I thought I’d share a recent experience.

Younger Boy and Middle Boy have this habit of not staying on task. Which I guess is a habit for a lot of people, including myself sometimes. But when we ask them to clean up their room or to put their clothes away we expect them to do so. We’ve found many an occasion though where it takes them an hour or longer to do the task because instead of doing what they’re supposed to be doing they play around until they notice one of us peeking around the corner and then they jump back to what they’re supposed to be doing.

Well, I’d finally had it one day. I caught them playing with toys twice instead of putting their clothes away. I went in pretty hot-headed and informed them that I was most disappointed and angry that they were playing around instead of putting their clothes away. The raised voice sure let them know that I wasn’t joking around and they immediately got quiet and started putting their clothes away.

I asked FH his thoughts on letting them choose their own consequences of either “no TV” or “Go to bed early” for three days. He thought it was a pretty good idea. When they were done, and I had cooled off I called them into the room. In a calmer voice I re-said the bit about why we were upset with them not doing what they’re supposed to do. Then I let them know that they would get to choose their own consequence.

FH and I were fairly surprised with their choices. Middle Boy chose “no TV” and Younger Boy chose to “go to bed early.” And they behaved for the most part the rest of the day.

I’ll have to keep an eye out on whether they stay on task since, but I think letting them choose their own consequence was a good move. If anything it seemed to be better well accepted by both boys.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where Legos DO NOT Go

Younger Boy learned a fun lesson yesterday. He and Middle Boy were playing in their room yesterday when I heard Younger Boy shrieking “Get it Oooout!!” I heard Middle Boy trying to calm him down and offer to help pull it out. Then I heard Younger Boy shrieking “It’s stuck in my nose!”

At this point I thought I’d give them a couple of more minutes of problem solving. I also started mentally going through my mind of where the tweezers were at.

After about another moment of Younger Boy shrieking “It’s stuck in my nose! It won’t come out!” I finally decided to walk over. As soon as he saw my shadow in the hallway he came running out. And in his left nostril was a white, round cylinder lego. Keep in mind that Younger Boy is 4 (almost 5) and still has those small little nostrils. Just the perfect fit apparently.

Now, I had to try really hard not to laugh because it was just too funny.

Crys: How did a lego get stuck in your nose?
YB: It’s stuck! It won’t come out! It’s stuck forever!!

This is the moment when I see that by crying his snot was slowly dislodging the lego. I assessed that it was not an emergency and I quickly went digging in my purse to find my camera. This is probably one of those moments when my younger sister would yell at me for looking for my camera. I did the same thing to her after she got locked out of the house and in her drunken state was taken down by a bush. It was worth the moment. I promise.

Anyway, I found my camera and snapped a photo just as the lego piece fell out of his nostril. It’s classic.

As soon as it popped out onto the floor this look of relief and amazement washed over his face. And he looked at me.

Crys: So Younger Boy, do legos go in your nose?
YB: No.

P.S. If you have WordPress then you might have noticed some comments from someone named "OfCatsAndKids." That's me. I kept forgetting to log out of there. So just an FYI to all of you who may be confused as to who this new person is and why they say stuff about what is going on in my blog.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It Was Just A Thought

I’ve discovered that the bigger this baby grows the harder of a time I have doing rather normal things like bending over, getting up from the couch and painting my toe nails. Considering my feet are swollen half the time and I’m now in flip flops and barefoot a good majority of the time nice looking toe nails have been my latest obsession.

In my past life when I was a single, career-girl with a cat I used to frequent a nearby nail salon. I didn’t even care if I couldn’t understand the women who seemed to talk more to each other while doing our nails than to us. However, after I became an instant mother, who shares her paycheck to provide for her new family and a cat my trips to get my nails done have become almost non-existent. In fact, the last time I did have a manicure/pedicure was when I flew out to Michigan for a friend’s wedding last September. It was by far the best manicure/pedicure ever.

Recently I attempted to paint my toe nails. I was successful in getting color on them, but not very successful in getting that fabulous polished look. I looked at FH and for a moment considered asking if he would help me. However, I dare not tread on his masculinity by asking that of him. I’m still trying to convince him that it would be a nice gesture to come home from work with a frozen yogurt topped with fruit in hand (it’s my one craving.) That has yet to happen, but I still have a couple of weeks left.

I later informed him of the idea that I ought to teach Middle Boy or Younger Boy how to paint my toe nails. I received a really fabulous look at that thought. But I didn’t really get an objection. The Pro is that someone else could help me paint my nails … for free. The Con is that it would probably look about as good as if I had tried it myself … or worse.

Maybe I’ll just try to save up for a trip to the salon. But it’s not a completely bad idea. Right?

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Get The Good Stuff

Younger Boy started his pre-Kindergarten prep camp this week. It’s two weeks long but this is his first taste of a school-like setting and he gets to play and do stuff with kids his own age.

His teacher told me that he has been one of the happiest children there and always sings the loudest and is always just so excited and happy to do things. I told her that he’s been asking me for about a year and a half now when he gets to go to school so he’s just so happy to be able to have something of his own.

He’s so excited that on Tuesday when his school was cancelled for the day (a body was discovered in the park next door) that the poor child about cried. I felt horrible, even though I know it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t dump the body there, geesh.

Yesterday though it hit me … I may not be his “mommy” but I sure as heck get to enjoy the little things by being his “mom.” I was the one who got to see his face light up with excitement when I picked him up because he was just so excited to tell me about his day and about all the thins he did. I’m also the one who gets to hold his hand and be a part of this new chapter of his life where he starts school in the fall. And I’m the one who got to be a part of all this preparation for him to start school in the fall.

Sometimes I get hung up on the lack of child-mother bond with the boys. Or sometimes I get hung up on the fact that I’m not their birth mother. So I’m trying to really soak in all the good stuff that I do get to be a part of. And I try to give myself credit because a lot of this good stuff wouldn’t be happening without me being a part of their lives…mainly because a lot of it didn’t start happening until I became a part of their lives.

I also remind myself that she might always be their "mommy" but she has continuously made the choice not to be their "mom." And that I'm the one who has continuously, despite the nasty moments, made the choice to be the one that is here for them, to nurture them, to help guide them and love them and experience life with them. I get to be the difference in their lives. And isn't that what all people want? To make a difference in at least one person's life in a lifetime?

And I think that’s really something to be proud of and thankful for.

Baby Update: I’m at 29 weeks now, and so many people keep telling me that I look like I’m going to have this baby in August instead of in September. Which I promise I don’t mind the baby coming early I just would hope it would be a health 2-3 weeks early instead of a whole month early. I do know that I wish the little blossom would stop wedging her foot underneath my ribcage. She also really enjoys kicking me on the right side of my rib cage. I’ve been joking that she’s trying to get hers in now…it makes sense to me. Ha ha.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Suction Cup Experiment

The other day the three boys were outside playing while I was working. Younger Boy came up the stairs bawling.

Crys: What’s wrong?
YB: Middle Boy is killing all the lady bugs and there aren’t going to be any lady bugs left.

Awww, it was cute and heartbreaking at the same time. I gave him a hug and suggested that he play up here so avoid any more tears or further issues between him and Middle Boy. Soon FH arrived home from work and the other boys came inside. That’s when I heard FH ask Middle Boy what happened to his head.

FH: What happened to your head?
MB: Nothing.
FH: There’s something on your head. What happened to your head? Did you bang it on something?
MB: No. Nothing.

I turned around to see Middle Boy doing the classic *Looking anywhere but at you because I’m hiding something* act. I also saw three big round bruises on his forehead. I thought perhaps he and Older Boy had been head butting and Middle Boy didn’t want to get into trouble, which is usually the case when he’s lying and not telling us what happened.

I called him over to me.

Crys: What were you guys doing out there to get that on your forehead?
MB: Nothing.
Crys: Well there’s obviously something on your head so you were doing something. And what have I told you about lying?
MB: It’s not OK.
Crys: Yeah, and you’ll get into more trouble for lying than you would have if you had just told the truth. Now, there is something on your head, how did it get there?
MB: We found some cups and we stuck them on our heads……….*insert mashed together story*

FH talked to Older Boy while I was talking to Middle Boy and he was able to get a better more accurate story. Apparently Middle Boy and Older Boy had found some suction cups and they thought it was good fun to stick them on their heads.

What they didn’t realize was that they got some ridiculous looking bruises out of (what I'm calling) “The Suction Cup Experiment.”

I tried some warm water and vinegar to help fade the bruises but I think the application might have been done too late because not all of them faded.

Lesson Learned by Middle Boy and Older Boy – Suctions cups stuck on your skin will leave a bruise and bruises take time to go away.

Below is a photo of Middle Boy’s forehead and the fabulous bruises he’s sporting for the next couple of days.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Karma Comes Back Around

Hello everyone. My name is Crys, and I have a pretween. What is a pretween you may ask. Well, it’s that age range from about 9-11 years of age. You know, before the child is a tween. The very, very beginning of tweendomhood. I could only assume it’s like a toddler learning to walk. The child takes one step to feel it out, then another step and another and then the child falls flat on his or her padded diapered butt. And the child looks to see his or her mother’s reaction. If it’s a look of horror the child cries, if it’s “eh, you’ll be fine” then the child may push back up onto wobbly feet and try again.

Except with a pretween it’s not learning to walk. Its learning how to have an attitude with ones’ parents and seeing just how much of an attitude can be flung. It’s desperately trying to break free from the stigma of being a *gasp* “child.” Its wanting to be old enough to be left home alone, yet without considering the responsibility of having to be responsible when you’re left home alone. It’s also when the child is still oh so very unsure of what is going on and may want to leave a bit of a grip on childhood (without claiming to it) because responsibility is scary.

At least this is what I’ve observed with Older Boy. Earlier last year (around his ninth birthday) Older Boy informed me that he doesn’t like playing with toys. I told him “OK.” He wanted books, clothes, money or gift cards. I tried to spread the word but unfortunately only a few people got the memo. Same thing around Christmas. Some people thought they were being clever by getting him more older kid toys (like a magic set). However, Older Boy put focus into such toys for about a day to a week and then he was done with it.

My mom discovered that drawing supplies were the next way to go with him. Yet, it possible to receive too many sketch pads when you’re a growing and active boy. This past couple of months I’ve observed him testing the waters with responses like “Whatever” and “I don’t care” and “Sup.” The day I heard him greet his grandma over the phone with a “Sup” was the day that it dawned on me that “Oh no, he’s becoming a pretween.”

It was around his tenth birthday a couple months ago that I noticed that it wasn’t just him, but that his other 9-10 year old friends also had the same water-testing “I don’t care” attitudes. Sometimes they just didn’t care and other times they had to revert back to the unsure “Ask your mom … Ask your dad ….” I’m pretty sure I heard “Welcome to the Jungle” playing in the background that day.

I already informed Older Boy that if I ever ask him to make a choice about something and he answers with an "I don't care," then I'm going to make the choice for him and I'm NOT going to care about what he thinks of that choice. He has since then not replied with an "I don't care." If only my mom had said that to me she may have saved herself a few headaches.

I think that I ought to be paid a stipend to deal with the child transition from child to pretween. And then maybe double it for the tween to teenager stage. I’ve only been doing this instant mom thing for almost 2 years and at the moment I can’t have a good stiff drink to cope at the moment. First it was the potty training, then it was the learning to read/write tantrums, then it was being pregnant and now it’s living with a pretween. I’m learning that this having kids stuff means that life will always be interesting. And that having other people’s children makes life never, ever boring.

My mom posted on her Facebook wall a copy and paste meme about “Daughters Week” or something like that and “Post this to show how much you love your daughters.” My mom posted a photo of us and wrote “These are my two most amazing blessings!!!! My life would be so boring if I didn't have them in my life!!! I am so grateful for these two beautiful and independent girls!!”

I’ve also concluded that karma comes around for all kinds of actions. And that your kids’ actions might have something to do with the karma you deserve for your actions as a kid. And that sometimes in life, you get to deal with the karma of other people who decide that being a parent is too much work.

I’m hoping that karma from my childhood will be nice to me since I’ve decided that other people’s children are too wonderful of an opportunity to pass up.

Preggo Update: I’m at 28 weeks this week. Hello third trimester. And hello swollen feet and “everything” gives me heartburn. I was most disappointed to find out that a handful of Raisinettes was actually the devil in disguise. I’m hanging in there though! It’s just around the corner!