Boy: I don’t like that girl, and she just looked at me.
Mom: Do you know her?
Boy: No. I just don’t like her.
Mom: How do you know you don’t like her if you don’t know her?
Boy: She has weird hair. And she’s wearing a funny dress.
Mom turns around to look at the girl again. She is a very cute little girl with blond hair and a purple dress. Nothing at all jumps out as “weird”.
Mom: I think she looks very nice. What about that boy over there, do you like him?
Boy: Sure, I guess so.
Mom: But you don’t know him, why do you like him and not her?
Boy sighs and rolls eyes
Boy: She’s a GIRL
Mom (laughing): But you like girls. Some of your best friends are girls.
Boy: Yeah, but they’re *my* girls.
Mom: *Your* girls?
Boy: Yeah, you know, Izzy-and-Maddy-and-Abby-and-Sophia-and-Jocelyn-and-Claire-and-Maggie-and-Grace-and-Elisa. They’re my girls.
Mom: So the girls in your class are *your* girls. What about the girls in your new class? Will they be your girls?
Boy: Well, yeah, because then I’ll know them.
Mom: And that girl you met yesterday on the playground? You played with her…
Boy: Yes, but I met her, and then I knew her, and she wasn’t weird.
Mom: So, let me make sure I understand. If you know them, they’re yours, if you don’t they’re weird.
Boy: Yep, that’s it.
As the curtain closes, the mom walks with her son to the checkout wondering how long it will be before she starts hearing about cooties.
Someone called the house one night asking for a donation, and although I declined, it prompted a lot of questions from the kid. We talked about how we give what we can of both time and money to help other people who might need it. I told him that we really have to think about the organizations we support because although we don’t have a ton of money to give, every little bit makes a difference. When we can’t give money, we still volunteer our time.
Today, we were sitting in the basement sorting through his toys. He has WAAAAAY too many, and quite a few that he has outgrown. Sadly, he also has a memory like an elephant, and the sneak-the-toys-out-while-he’s-not-looking tactic has been tried and has backfired. So I had to try something different.
He wants screwdrivers. His own. Not toys.
I want toys gone. They aren’t really mine to get rid of.
So I offered to pay him. I told him we’d sort out all the toys. One pile he could sell, one pile of toys that are too young for him but he wasn’t ready to let them go, and the rest to keep. He chose 35 toys for the “sell” pile. Then, he started pulling things out of the “sell” pile and making another pile. I asked him what he was doing, and he told me that he wanted to give half the things away for free to a baby who might need them.
He got $6 for the rest, and I told him how proud I was of him for deciding to just give some away. Because as the Story above says, *many* days I’m louder about other stuff, and it’s easy to miss that.
A rolling stone gathers no moss. A blogger who doesn’t blog gathers no posts. And you want to know what happens the more you *don’t* blog? You don’t blog some more.
So. What have we been up to? As my sister pointed out, “Your last post was a month ago, and the kid was in the hospital. Don’t you think you should update?”
We have been…
- To Savannah (where we discovered that there are businesses who don’t take credit cards but tell you to enjoy your ice cream and bring the cash back)
- To the beach (where I sent my kid off with people I’ve known my whole life but he’s never met – he was fine, as it turned out)
- To the doctors office every week for HSP check ups (so far, so good)
- To the spraygrounds and the movies and the playground (these seem to be our staples this summer)
- Swimming with friends (it would seem the kid *can* swim underwater when properly motivated by friends who can swim)
- To check out the new school (“This school is the GREATEST, Mom!”)
- To Ikea (gotta love free child care for an hour)
- To camp (seriously, PPP has THE BEST summer camps)
And that’s about it. We *did* get to have our friends from Bloomington back for a week, and we’re so glad because we’ve missed them, so I’ll leave you with the conversation I overheard in the backseat one afternoon.
Me – “I – Do you like living in Indiana?”
I – “Yes! There is a cool pool with lots of slides and parks and I can ride my bike and..”
N – (Interrupting) “Well, *I* don’t like it at all.”
I – “Why?”
N – “Because you live too far away from me now”
I – “Yeah. I don’t like it either.”
Yes, we ended up at the hospital because of the rash. Tuesday morning, we went into the pediatrician’s office, they took pictures of it and sent it to the Children’s hospital, and that, along with high urine protein, caused us to be admitted.*I* have been admitted to the hospital exactly twice in my life, the kid’s birth and my own. Needless to say, I am not well versed in such things. Here are some things I learned:
- Message delivery is important. My fabulous pediatrician gave me the news in such a way that I was really not worried at all about going. We went home, collected some things and went on over. After two attempted phone calls, I sent the husband got this text “Headed to the hospital”. In hind-sight, probably not a wise choice of words.
- They have valet parking. No kidding. I was so thrilled about this, I can’t even explain. The hospital campus is huge, and since we’d never been there before, I had no idea what I was doing, so I pulled up in front, some very nice man in a headset comes out and asks if I want him to park my car. Um… yes, in fact, I do. He gets my information and tells me to go inside. The lady at the check-in desk is all ready for me, scans my license, we get checked in and are in our room in what seemed like a matter of minutes.
- Taking blood from a five-year-old is much like performing an exorcism.
- Levine Children’s hospital has got it together. They have an outside play area on the roof, in-room tv, movies and video games, a play room that also has books, toys and games you can take back to your room, and activities for the kids. We even got to play Bingo and win prizes!
Oh, and about the red grass. The lovely Child Life people came to let us know that they were doing a Father’s day project. It was a flowerpot with a Styrofoam ball in it, and cut-out hands taped on pipe cleaners for flowers. So they have the Styrofoam balls out and green paint so they would look like grass. The kid sits down and paints some green on it, then goes over to the Child Life person and says, “OK, now I need red.”
Child Life (genuinely confused): But grass is green.
N: Uh huh. But I need red.
Child Life: That’s supposed to be grass.
N: Yeah… I want it to be red.
Child Life: But it’s not…
N: (rolls eyes, and BIG dramatic sigh) Never mind, it can just be green.
I let it go since she was obviously bewildered by this insane request for red grass.
Later, back in the room… “Mommy, just because grass is green out in the world doesn’t mean it can’t be red in my flowerpot, right?”
Must come down.
I am lucky. Every month or two, the boys of the house will go away for the weekend, leaving me to myself. This was the case last weekend, and I had a marvelous time. Sleeping when I wanted to, eating what I liked, catching up with a friend, generally just being a little bit spoiled.
Saturday afternoon, there was a phone call:
“The kid has a fever” he said.
“Tylenol and plenty of water, lots of rest” said I (aka Dr. Mom)
Some more phone calls followed, basically the same theme – a sore throat, a bloody nose, lethargy, and a pitiful little voice saying “I miss you Mommy…”
Last night, they came home, and then the kid declared himself not hungry for dinner and ready to go to sleep at 6pm, so off he went. 12 hours later, I heard, “Mommy? I’m really itchy and I can’t sleep.” So I got up, and this is what we have now:
Hives, apparently, from some unknown virus. The pediatrician’s office said to add Benadryl, and call back if there were still hives, fever or sore throat tomorrow.
I’m really glad I enjoyed my weekend, because *this* is no fun at all.
It’s been a trying week. And yes, I know it’s only Wednesday. We have been conducting an exercise in pushing limits here at my house. Sadly, all that means is that limits have to be enforced. For the record, we’re pretty lenient here – the kid is allowed to do pretty much anything that isn’t likely to cause harm to a person or property.
Yesterday morning, we are preparing for a trip on the lake in a friend’s boat. We both love boat trips and were looking forward to it. I had said at the beginning of the week that if he could not follow instructions, we would not be going on outings with our friends. That morning, there were two instructions. I stated them clearly and obtained confirmation that they were understood.
- Leave the dog alone. Do not poke, prod, kick, pet, feed or otherwise interact with her. (this was brought about after I caught him trying to haul her around by the collar)
- Do not throw the matchbox airplanes in the house. (I think this one’s obvious)
So now you all know what he was doing when he thought I wasn’t looking, right? Say it with me…
THROWING THE AIRPLANES AT THE DOG.
So, no boat for us. If you had knocked on our door at that very moment, you would have been appalled at the crying, screaming and general fit-throwing that went on. I was officially declared “The WORSTEST boat-mommy EVER” and there was a real speech about how *I* had caused us to miss our trip. When I asked how on earth it was *me* who was responsible, he told me I could have just pretended like I didn’t see him throwing the planes at the dog 🙂 .
We also had an incident of doing something you’re not supposed to but no-one ever told you so you didn’t know. We learned (the hard way) that towel racks are not meant for hanging on. In a spectacular display of good parenting (which I could do since I’m not the parent who will have to repair the towel rack), the kid and I talked about things we *can* hang on (like monkey bars) and things we can’t hang on (like towel racks and curtains) and the consequence will be giving up one of his fun evening activities so the towel rack can be repaired.
On the other side of the coin, for years I’ve been doing something I know I’m not supposed to do. I drink Diet Coke. Or now, I can say I *drank* Diet Coke, because I quit this week. I know that sweeteners are horrible for you, I know they encourage weight gain, and I know that basically, diet soda has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. So I quit, I’m done. Only unsweetened tea and water for me now. No, I don’t love unsweetened iced tea, but the family voted against my giving up caffeine all together (it seems lack of caffeine makes me.. uh.. difficult to live with) so that’s what I was left with. Well, that and the occasional margarita…
Dear Mom at Plaza Fiesta yesterday,
I have your kid’s shoes. Well, to be accurate, my kid has your kid’s shoes. Perhaps, as you were leaving yesterday, you were in a hurry. Perhaps your kid was using the same old “My shoes won’t do up!” stall tactic (which, of course, you didn’t fall for, they are velcro, after all). Perhaps you gave him the stink eye, told him you didn’t want to hear it, and his shoes were fine, time to get moving. Which, admittedly, I would have done. Then, your kid starts complaining his shoes hurt. And after you get home, you wonder why the heck the top strap won’t stay done up. That would be because the shoes he has on are (much like the Grinch’s heart) two sizes too small. And the top strap won’t buckle because the velcro is both worn out *and* coated with dog hair.
Maybe, you don’t even realize what’s happened. Maybe you have two other kids, and if you had a penny for every time someone complained about an article of clothing, you’d be a very rich woman. But in case you did realize, and in case you wondered what happened, here’s my story.
My kid was the last one out of the play area. As he walked out, he said his shoes were too loose. At a glance, I could tell they weren’t his, mostly due to the lack of dog-hair-infested velcro. So we went back in and checked all the shoe cubbies. Nope, someone had walked off with his shoes. Outside the play area, I walked around checking out all the kid’s feet. No luck. Our shoes had left the building. That’s how your kid’s shoes came home to live with us.
I have contacted Plaza Fiesta with my information, just in case you check in with them. The ones that were ours needed to be replaced anyway (as you’ve probably deduced for yourself), but you may want yours back since they are nice and clean and presumably the right size for your kid.