Stinky and Winky

A conversation with Baylor in the backseat of the car:

“MOMMY!! Don’t blow [roll] my window up!!”

“Babe, it’s hot. Could you please roll it up?”

“I didn’t blow it down, my toe did. So if you want it blowed up, you’ll have to ask my foot.”

“Ooookkk. Baylor’s foot? Could you please roll…”

“STINKY! His name is Stinky!”

“Stinky, could you please roll the window up?”

“Mommeeeee. He’s a foot. He doesn’t have ears! He can’t hear you ask him to blow up the window!! But I can do it if you ask me nice.”

Que the sound of the wine bottle opening….

Also? Winky? Is her other foot. I asked her why her feet were boys and she just rolled her eyes at me. We’re in trouble.

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All the Feels

While eating her dinner, watching me make lunches for the next day, Baylor asked

“could you please cut my cheese into a heart shape?”.

WTF? My first response was an incredulous “whose MOTHER is cutting their cheese into heart shapes in your class??”.  Because clearly someone is making all the other moms look bad. It’s not enough that I A. remembered to pack a lunch B. it was something you liked and C. it was reasonably healthy…now I have to cut shit into hearts too?? Gah! I can’t keep up. Why is just making a nice meal not enough? Why does it have to have fireworks and hearts too?

When I found out who the culprit was, I was knocked back down a bit. I actually really like this mom. So if she was taking the time to cut hearts, I could too. And it turns out, I’m pretty good at free handing hearts in dairy substances with a butter knife.

The next day when I picked up Auggie from class, the first thing his teachers said was “he loved that cheese heart so much!”. All smiles, he ran up for a hug. It was a good reminder – the little things count. They get noticed and they are important. Yes, healthy delicious meals are important too, but that little extra thing makes a big difference.

I got all inspired and found a three pack of cutters that were made for sandwich. Dolphins, dinosaurs and of course, hearts. I surprised the kids with dinosaur shaped grilled cheese that night for dinner. Baylor was thrilled. Auggie, not so much. It turns out he’s not such a big fan of eating dinosaur heads. Or dolphin tails for that matter. So back we go to free handed heart shaped cheese. And peanut butter cups. Nothing says love like a peanut butter cup.

Oh The Irony

At the beginning of the school year, I cleaned out a bag full of books from the kid’s collection. Some duplicates, a few that we had out grown, some that we didn’t like, etc. I donated a bag of them to Auggie’s class. They love books and the board books are perfect for little hands to explore.

When I picked up Auggie from school after lunch one day, he was sitting on the little couch, totally engrossed in a book. I realized it was Goodnight, Gorilla  or as he calls it “Night Night Monkey”. His teacher told me that it’s his favorite and he gets it every day to look at.

As I pried it from his squishy little hands, I reassured him that we had the very same book at home. We never read it because you can’t read it. It’s essentially a picture book, there’s like 4 words in the whole thing. And because by the end of the day, my ability to cleverly narrate a picture book is lacking so we stick with the books that provide the story for me.

I scoured the shelves at home looking for Night Night Monkey while Augs recited the book, page by page from memory (“den monkey takes keys! den he let out gerrraffe!”). Slowly it dawned on me…the freaking book he was in love with at school was the one had given away to his class.

Augs then got to learn what it meant to same day deliver from Amazon Prime. Because when a kid loves a book, you buy it. Even if it’s the second time.

Goodnight Gorilla. Thank you for providing sweet, albeit ironic memories for us.

Jump On the Bandwagon

Phew. It is rough to be a parent these days. It’s always been a tough job, but given the current climate of social media and an invisible force that urges you to define your parenting style  – helicopter mom, baby wearer, breast feeder, anti vaxer, free range parent – the list is endless and yet well defined.

And if I’m being honest, I think it’s amazing that so many moms are talking, sharing, posting. I constantly question my parenting method, look for new skills and sigh with relief when I read that I’m not alone. It’s all good.

Except when it’s not.

That’s right. I’m jumping on the bandwagon of posts about vaccinating your kids.

My bottom line is this: get educated. Ask questions. See more than one doctor. Read articles, posts, journals. Do whatever you have to do to reach the conclusion that vaccinating your healthy child is the right decision. And I emphasize healthy. Because those not healthy kids are the other reason we need to vaccinate our children. Herd immunity is meant to protect those that aren’t healthy enough for vaccinations, those that can’t be vaccinated for health reasons, and those too young. Choosing not to vaccinate your children out of a fear of the vaccination is not an excuse. Fear is not an excuse.

If you’re still conflicted, then think over this scenario in your head. I was sitting with Auggie in the emergency room a few months ago. He had a horrible case of croup and was in severe distress. His sweet little chest caved inward with each gasp for air because he was sucking in so hard. At some point my brain flipped into survival mode. Gone were the emotions and my only focus was to get this kid some help and fast. I realized after the storm had passed how awful it had been. How horrible it is to have the thought his oxygen levels are ok so if they have to, they could do a tracheotomy and then he could breathe.

It is not a fun when the thought of having a hole cut into your child’s throat is comforting.

The one thought that popped into my head over and over was how I could have prevented him getting so sick. And while the answer for his condition was “nothing”, that would not be the case for whooping cough. I cannot imagine the guilt of watching my beautiful little boy not be able to breathe because of my decision not to vaccinate him.

Which is why we do vaccinate our kids. When Baylor was a baby, I talked extensively about vaccinations, vaccination schedules and risk with our pediatrician. And the bottom line for me was when she said “I totally understand your concern. I do constant research about vaccinations and as a mom and a doctor, I fully vaccinate my child and that’s why I require this schedule for my healthy patients”.

That was all I needed to hear to make the decision to prevent the preventable. There’s enough unknown with our kids. Being able to check life threatening illnesses off that list? I’m in.

 

 

 

No. More. Mickey.

Have you read this post from TheUglyVolvo.com? I was dying reading it because of how familiar her rage over the minutia of her son’s well loved book.

Reading, watching or reciting the same things over and over and over and over again (and again) really give us time to dissect every inch of the thing to point of making ourselves crazy. Suddenly we are hyper aware of the message, the nuances and the context.

Take for instance Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I don’t really want to admit how much of that stupid show my kids watch….so let’s just say if we collectively sat down together, we could probably recite Minnie’s Winter Bow Show from beginning to end. Hey, we were all sick with the flu. Cartoon binges are real people. Real necessary.

The issue is that the more I watched it, the more I noticed that Minnie Mouse is always looking to Mickey Mouse for help, approval, rescue and advice. ALWAYS. To the point that I wanted to shout at the TV you don’t need him Minnie!! What the f*ck does Mickey know about a small business? What business is he running these days that would give him such amazing insight into where and how you should display your bows?!?

And that’s when we switched over to Doc McStuffins. That’s a chick I can get behind. Poor Baylor. She’s going to have amazing things to talk about in therapy some day…

my mom would never just let me watch a cartoon! She was always saying “you know, you can do whatever you want in the world. You don’t need anyone’s approval or help, you’re perfectly capable all on your own. Minnie doesn’t need Mickey’s help – she may want it, but she doesn’t NEED it”. All I wanted to do was watch a cartoon without worrying about the message. But could she just let me enjoy? No! 

This post is probably a really good indication we need to be reading more books…

 

 

Day Trip to Flagstaff

Have you ever tried to keep a two-year-old still? If not, I’m sure you can imagine what fun it is.

Before our overnight to the hospital with Auggie, we had been planning a day trip to Flagstaff. I wanted to see the leaves changing and we wanted to get out in the cool air to hike. We decided that the cool air and forced rest (strapped in car seat, strapped in hiking pack, back to car seat) might be just what the Auggie boy needed.

Saturday morning we threw some stuff in the car and took off. That’s the best part about a day trip – light packing. We didn’t need as much which made getting out the door so much easier!

Excited to get there.

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Perfect hiking weather.IMG_7950

Ready to go!

IMG_7947The destination: Red Mountain. The trail was 3 miles round trip and B walked the whole thing!

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Counting tree rings

IMG_7959The trees changed from Pinons to Ponderosa Pines

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B was really into the light layers. Notice she has two sweatshirts and a hat tied around her waist.

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How could he pick just ONE stick?!
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The trail winds through the a volcanic cinder cone. The gravel they are walking through was volcanic rock.IMG_7966 Can you see them way up in the middle?IMG_7968This might be the best picture I’ve ever taken

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This worked just fine on the way up. We didn’t think about how to get down….

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We made it!

IMG_7975IMG_7978Exploring the Hoodoos

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The hazards of baby wearingIMG_7990

Little different picture on the way home

IMG_8011We took the long way home through Sedona to catch a few more changing leaves. Totally worth the detour! Especially when a skeptical Peter declared “Slap a bumper sticker on the truck because I am a Leaf Peeper and I don’t care who knows it!”. Which was a hilarious way of saying that he was enjoying himself. I snort laughed for the next 2 miles.

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As we pulled into Phoenix, we were welcomed home with one of the most amazing sunsets. A perfect end to a great day!

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If you want to check it out, see the link below for directions. This was a fantastic hikes for kids – flat and lots of interesting things to keep them moving and exploring!

Red Mountain Trail #159

Miss Independent

Immediately after giving her name for check in at camp, Baylor raised her hand at me and said “I don’t need any help putting my bag away. Wait HERE”. I silently eyed her and let her pass to go through the locker room doors. The check in lady looked at me with a smile and I responded by rolling my eyes.  “Miss. Independent” I said. “But that’s such a good thing! You need to encourage that”.

Her comment stuck with me. I couldn’t put my finger on what was bugging me about what the instructor had said. Yes of course I enjoy her independence! I love that she goes head first into an unknown situation and “figures it out” (her words). I watched from a distance as she missed the pool gate before it closed. She stood on the outside, unable to open it. She didn’t panic, she didn’t cry. She looked around, got the nearest tall person’s attention, motioned to the gate and then waited as they walked over to open it for her. She got separated from her group, so she walked around looking for them and when she couldn’t find them, she asked loudly to a group in the pool if anyone knew where the red group went. She handles it. And she does it really well. We joke that if we told her she could go to her friend’s house, but she had to figure out how to get there on her own, she could and would make it happen. So why was I not ok with her doing so much on her own?

I realized a few days later what my problem is; she’s five. She’s five with the self confidence of a much older child – the problem is that she has five year old judgement. Actually, that’s probably better than most kids her age too – but it’s not the same as a teenager’s judgement (God help me) or an adult’s. So while she knows what she’s doing – she may not actually be supposed to doing it.

A few days later, she came home with a very pink scalp and sholders. When I asked if she put on extra sunscreen and wore her hat, she said “well, part of the day”. I grumbled something about the instructors needing to push the sunscreen more and she said “well, they asked me, but I told them I put some on this morning”.

Ah ha! This is what I was talking about. Her self confidence fooled the adults. She’s smart. She’s independent. She’s convincing. Why wouldn’t they believe her when she said she already had on sunscreen? Because she’s five. That’s why.

The last thing I want to do is crush her spirit. Nor do I want anyone else to do the crushing. So where to go from here? I don’t know. Kindergarten is another year off and the safe halls of preschool are just a few months away. I’m hoping I have it figured out before then…!

super baylor