Thursday, January 24, 2013

Samantha and the bee

Yesterday, Sam spent some time playing outside. It's been very warm, even for AZ, so she was sitting in the shade of the porch drawing with sidewalk chalk when she reappeared by my side. I'd like to say that I was very patient and loving, but yesterday, I was trying to sew a baby shower gift with a busted down sewing machine, so things weren't going well at all. In other words, I was neither surprised nor upset that Sam sought refuge out of doors.
But suddenly, she was back, and she had a question: "Mom, how to you spell 'No Bees?'"
Me: "You want to spell 'no bees?' What for?"
Sam: "There is a bee outside, and it's bothering me. I want to write 'no bees' on the sidewalk so he knows to stay out of my side of the yard."
Me: "Oh. Well, that's a very good goal, but Sam, bees can't read."
Sam rolled her eyes and looked kind of disgusted with me. "I KNOW bees can't read, mom. But they can UNDERSTAND things, so he'll fly over, see the words, and know that I don't want him around. Then he'll go away."
Me: "Well, here's the thing, Sam. The only way a bee will understand what the words say is if he reads them, and bees can't read, so..."
Sam cut me off: "I know bees can't read! But they can UNDERSTAND things!"
Me: "Actually, Sam, they really can't..."
Sam was very frustrated "I KNOW BEES CAN'T READ!"
I was frustrated myself at this point so instead of continuing the argument I just barked out "N! O!..."
and she ran outside to write her message for the bee. While Sam has gotten really quite good at writing individual letters, she tends to be more free form with her approach to order and spacing. She figures as long as all the letters are on the page/space, it's all good. She's been known to run out of room writing her name on a line so the remaining letters go where ever she feels needs some color. It's very cute, and funny, and yes, we're working on it before kindergarten.
A minute or so later, next to her pictures, there were large capital letters spelling out "SEEB ON!" I was just happy they were on the same line, even though there was no way even if a literate bee existed, it could "understand" it.
But I'd been put in my place, so she could deal with it.
Sure enough, about five minutes later, I hear Sam's breathlessly screaming "Help! The bee didn't get the message! HE'S CHASING ME!!!!" Then she ran in, closed the back door and stood there, catching her breath, and holding sidewalk chalk in her fist she'd been in too big a hurry to drop. "I think I'll stay inside for a while. He didn't get the message." She sheepishly set the chalk down and walked away.
So, I got a pretty good laugh out of that one. The bee, who probably wasn't even actually chasing her either, might have gotten a laugh too, had he been capable of understanding the situation.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Peyton spent most of last week sick as a dog. He was uncharacteristically cranky, he had a fever, and he just wanted to cuddle, when he wasn't trying to claw my eyes out. There was no telling when the loving cuddles would turn into eye clawing, so even though I love cuddles, I was more than a little flinchy when he would come over for some love. Seriously, he managed to draw blood from himself and his dad with his tantrums, clawing, and scratching. I'm lucky to be alive, people!
By some miracle, Sam did not catch it (and so far no one else has either, knock on wood), but because she was cooped up inside except for those blessed few preschool hours, and Peyton was in a shockingly bad mood, they basically spent five days at each others throats. Sam would get in his face, I would tell her to back off so she didn't make him mad or get sick herself, he would freak out and start screaming, and round and round we go. We pretty much didn't leave the house (or car for preschool dropoff/pickup) until Friday night. Wait, that's not actually true, on Thursday night, we tried to go to the store together for groceries, and that was simply a horrible experience that none of us want to remember or repeat. Although his symptoms were better, Peyton's mental state clearly was not. It was a ghastly couple of hours, and I was slightly traumatized, which is probably why I totally blocked it out.
To make matters worse, this just happened to be the rare Saturday Daniel was assigned to work a full shift, so by the time Peyton was feeling better on the weekend, I was so battle-weary and exhausted (see above ill-fated shopping trip) that I couldn't work up the energy or courage to take them anywhere that day either. Sunday was fine with church and stuff, but I had some extra meetings so we didn't go to grandmas like usual so it was pretty much another cooped-up day.
That brings us to today, which is technically a holiday, so no preschool for Sam, but too small a holiday for us to pass up a full day of overtime pay for Daniel, so once again, both kids, all day, no school, no reinforcements. One of Sam's friends called and asked her to come over and play. I almost kissed the mom, but I didn't want to do anything that would jeopardize the playdate, so I refrained.
I dropped Sam off for a couple of hours and hopped back in the car, glad she could get some time for fun out of the house, and I could get some alone time with just Peyton, now that he's back to human behavior. I got back in the car and I hear a little voice behind me say "Where Sama go?"
"Sam went to play with a friend for a while." I said happily.
Peyton started to get sniffly and said "Sama friend? Sama back?"
I said "She'll be back soon. After lunch!"
Peyton geared up the pathetic voice and said "Want Sama back! Sama back!"  He whined the whole way home about wanting his Sama back.

Figures. He'd rather fight with her than get along with anyone else. It's a sibling thing.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Third Time's the Charm

I've been thinking a lot lately about the differences between a first pregnancy and a third. It started when my official "Baby app" popped up a checklist and the item for week 14 said to "take a break from all the baby prep chores" and focus on being a couple with your partner. During my first pregnancy, I would have taken that advice very seriously, and forced myself to put aside what I was doing to get ready for baby (and I probably had a big list) and dutifully asked for an official date night, even though Daniel and I already spent every evening together. With this pregnancy, however, I instead wracked my brain trying to figure out what baby related chores I was supposed to have been doing? I couldn't come up with squat I had done or would have wanted to do this early in the game. Unless you count trying not to puke as a "chore" I had nothing, and didn't see how I could "take a break" from that anyway (if I could have, I would have done so and made it permanent). I found the whole thing quite funny, actually.
First and second pregnancies are different in a multitude of ways, but for me, they could be summed up in one word--GUILT.  Guilt that I wasn't going to be spending as much time with kid #1 after kid #2 showed up, guilt that I wasn't going to be giving all the same newborn attention to #2. Guilt about time spent on the sofa feeling lousy, guilt about chasing around a toddler on days I was supposed to be "taking it easy" for baby #2.  Guilt that buying stuff for baby #2 had a way tighter budget than baby #1. You get the idea. Lots of guilt. Boatloads of mommy guilt.  You name it, I felt bad about it, and worried about it. Nothing all that humorous there.
Baby #2 came, and life (predictably to the non-hormone riddled) managed not only to go on but was enriched, and all that guilt and worry turned out to be a massive waste of time. Having a sibling has been a great thing for both my kids that will (hopefully) benefit them throughout their lives.  Of course, being a mom, I didn't want to jettison all my mommy guilt, and potentially lose my modern mommy card, but I channeled it into different areas that I will someday realize are equally unproductive (but that day is not today, darn it, and you can have my guilt when you pry it from my cold dead hands!). Now that baby #3 is well on the way, I've mellowed even more as a mom. I have more experience with the process, I have more perspective on what's really important, but perhaps most helpful of all, I have more exhaustion that breeds just a healthy enough amount of apathy. I am not the overly-vigilant, baby book devouring, early baby-proofing, hypochondriac stress ball I was the first time around, and I think that's a good thing. So here are the differences I've discovered between number 1 and number 3. Maybe some of you can relate, others can judge me and feel superior, and some can maybe mitigate some of that guilt they might have about the future. I live to serve.

"How far along are you?"
Baby #1: "I'm 22 weeks 2 days, and my baby is the size of a spaghetti squash, crown to rump! She can hear my voice!"
Baby #3: "uhhhhh, I'm 18, no, wait, 20...hold on, I have an app on my phone for that. I'm 22 weeks! Wow, seriously? When did that happen? Going by so fast...oh crap, that means the glucose test is coming up."

"When are you due?"
Baby #1: "I'm due May 3rd, and this kid better not come late because my mother is flying in on May 2nd to help me at the birth!"
Baby #3: "Sometime in late April/Early May. My kids don't really believe in due dates."
***My personal favorite example of this is when I had to rush from a table at a restaurant due to morning sickness. While I was debating if my nausea was a bluff or not in the bathroom, the waitress asked if everything was okay with the food. Daniel told her everything was fine, but I was just expecting so I wasn't eating much at that time. She said "Congrats, when is she due?" and Daniel drew a total blank. He eventually came up with "Uh, Spring." Then to explain his vagueness, added, "It's still pretty early." He said he just panicked. I laughed. It was like 12-13 weeks in. Another 3rd time dad told me his wife's due date but when I talked to her about it, he was totally wrong by nearly a month. Apparently mommy brain is not a mommy only affliction.

Feeling Sick
Baby #1: Run-walk to the bathroom at work, taking different routes every few times so no one realizes just how often you're going. Especially the boss.
Baby #3: "All right kids, who wants to watch a whole lot of movies and Dora's today while mommy lies on the couch wishing she were in a coma?"

Nausea and Vomiting
Baby #1: Hubby dances around nervously expressing concern and asking what he can "do" to help. He brings you crackers and tucks you into bed to rest.
Baby #3: Child #1 keeps coming into the bathroom asking if 1) she can catch barfing, and 2) are you going to die? Child #2 pokes you in the eye and wants to play in the toilet. If hubby is home, his only job is to keep other offspring as far from mommy as humanly possible.

Food choices
Baby #1: "Every bite I eat is a bite for the baby too, I have to make them as healthy as possible!" Then reality and cravings sink in and you end up where you simply start with Baby #3, which is
"Pizza night again! Yea for daddy picking it up! (whispers to hubby) Maybe after the kids go to bed, you'll go get me a butterfinger blizzard, medium size? What am I saying, 'maybe' and 'medium'? Ha!"

Gender issues
Baby #1: "All we want is a healthy baby, boy or girl."
Baby #3: "Well, I have the stuff for both by now, so whatev." The difference is subtle, but it's there. *If you don't have one of each, everyone assumes you want whatever you don't have. This is pretty much the only socially acceptable time to indicate a gender preference, so if you have one, express away!

Body Image
Baby #1: "I am so fat, I had to go up to 'fat pants' and I'm only 14 weeks! I'll be in maternity pants in no time. I'm a whale!" Insert sobbing here.
Baby #3: Cracking out the maternity pants at 5 weeks. "It may not be great for the ego, but they are so comfy!" Please, someone tell me this is not just me, my kids love to make their presence known alarmingly early and then grow into the comfy mansion they've built for themselves.

Baby #1: Weekly "bump" pictures posted on all forms of social media.
Baby #3: Honestly, most of this "bump" is actually leftover from #2, so there is no freaking way I'm going to isolate it, memorialize it, and share it with the world. Feel badly about this at very end of pregnancy and take official "bump" picture on the way to the hospital.

Fetal Development
Baby #1: Sing and talk to baby in soothing tones. Desperately try to let baby to come into a warm and loving environment and instantly recognize mommy's calm and loving tone. Force Daddy to have long one-sided conversations with stomach so baby will recognize him as well.
Baby #3: Secretly know baby will mostly recognize sound of you screaming at siblings to please find their shoes and they wouldn't have this problem if they would just use the basket we bought FOR THAT PURPOSE!!!  Is worried baby's first cognitive connection is with the phrase "We are going to be late!" Realizes that even if this is the case, baby will still not be punctual as a child.

Following instructions
Baby #1: Refuses to carry anything weighing over 10 lbs, because doctor suggested keeping it under 50 lbs, and you can never be too careful.
Baby #3: Carries squirming toddler, gigantic diaper bag full to bursting, plus whatever came home from preschool that inexplicably can not be carried by person who carefully created it. Is that considered "heavy lifting?" Doesn't matter, no available alternative.

Aches and Pains
Baby #1: "I'm not sure what that twinge was, should I call the doctor just in case?" Continues with 30 minute internal debate that ultimately results in a call to the doctor.
Baby #3: "Ouch, that hurt. Man, pregnancy sucks." Goes about business as usual unless things get progressively worse.

Biggest Worries about Labor
Baby #1: "What if my water breaks in public? What if I can't get an epidural? (Or "what if I have to get an epidural/c-section?" if you're into the whole natural thing) What if something goes wrong? What if the hospital sends me home with false labor and I'm embarrassed?"
Baby #3: "What if the babysitter doesn't get here in time to watch the other kids and I have to take them to the hospital with me!?"

May your pregnancies be healthy, safe, and in a perfect world, guilt-free! Happy New Year, and if you made it through this whole monster post, congratulations, also, there is a good chance you are my mother!