Our Internet is THE WORST. It is out more than it works. Makes me snuggle my phone even tighter because, you know, satellites!! So here is a crappy post from my phone filled with crappy phone pics and lazy horrible formatting.
In our house, the living room where we spend most of our time sits on top of the garage. Therefore, every day when Daddy comes home we hear a rattle and feel the floor shake as the garage door opens, and this is B’s cue to scream, “Dada! Go see Dada!” and run over to the top of the stairs with a grin on his face. Unfortunately we also hear a lot of other noises during the day that sound similar, lawnmowers, trucks, air conditioner coming on, fridge coming on. All of these are also cues for B to get excited about “Dada come home play Bebe all daaaaay!” The boy just loves his daddy, and of course he does. He has the “best dada whole world!” In honor of Father’s Day, B has made a list of his favorite things about G.
Hi, Bebe here! This is great, I can’t believe I’m allowed to touch the computer. It took Mama an entire week to figure out how to restore all of her settings last time I got to do this so I better get down to business. Here are a few of my favorite things about my Dada.
-Dada always has time for me. I get the impression he is a very busy guy, his phone is always buzzing and he is always going to this place he calls work for long hours. Sometimes he goes to a place called the airport and doesn’t come back for days! It stinks and I miss him when he’s gone but whenever he’s around he is never too busy for me. His phone is the #1 most important thing in his life, or at least it seems that way when he loses it and I have to help him find it, but he ignores it when I’m around so I guess that means I’m higher in the ranking (that would be #0 as I understand the system!) which is pretty great.
-Even if Dada had a shitty day at work, he walks up the stairs with a huge smile, says, “Hey Buddy!” and is ready to play with me. (<- Did you see the fun new word Mama taught me? Every time I say the s word, she cracks up so I know I’m doing something right!)
-Dada takes me on hikes in the backpack all the time and he doesn’t just treat me like deadweight. He shows me all the trees, animals, and flowers, and he always turns the whole thing into an adventure. Sometimes when I hear the air conditioner go on I think it’s Dada coming home and I try to climb into the backpack because I’m so excited to hang out with him.
-Dada always explains things to me. He tells me why the grass changes colors, what the clouds are made of, why airplanes fly, and everything else. He knows everything. He also never just says no, but he tells me why I can’t do something. I usually have no idea what he’s talking about and Mama says he makes a better lawyer than a scientist so I shouldn’t always believe his explanations, but I really appreciate it anyways.
-Soooo you might have heard that I have a hard time at night on rare occasions. While I feel it has been greatly overblown and don’t want to give too much credence to Mama’s exaggerations here, I do want to say a special thanks to Dada for the roles he plays on these rare (like I said!) occasions. He never gets upset with me or impatient or acts like he’d rather be asleep (ahem, Mama). He is always so understanding and even though all I can manage is sobs, he always understands something is wrong and takes me outside to look at the moon. Ok, he also sometimes says I can’t go back to Mama until I calm down and that really snaps me out of it which is nice too.
-This last one really goes without saying but for completeness, I will list it. Dada is FUN. We do upside-down baby, tossing, rides on shoulders, over Dada mountain climbs, kick balls, play in the dirt, walk in the yard to see my turtle, and giggle until I can’t breathe! In summary: “Love Dada! Best Dada whole world! Snuggle Dada, mm mmm mmmm!”
Thanks, B, that was a very impressive typing performance, or as you like to call it, “Press buttons Mama’s laptop.” Happy Father’s Day, G!
Father’s Day requires two (sappy!) posts because not only does B have a wonderful father, but I happen to have one as well! B is working on a post for his daddy but it takes him a long time to type because he has short, fat, little fingers so I will go first.
Reading some of B’s favorite things about his daddy, makes me remember all the fun little things my dad and I did when I was a kid. There is just something about dads that produces giggle fits in little ones, and with mine that something was the tickle monster. If you move, the tickle monster gets closer. If you laugh, he gets closer even faster. Of course, now that whole thing sounds like some cruel form of torture and I would respond with violence, but I assure you to a 4 year old, it was the best. My dad is a large, serious, usually quiet, and accomplished man and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him act like a goof. Thankfully he doesn’t still carry me around on his shoulders or anything, but one of the best things about having my own kid has been seeing my dad turn into that person again. Watching him be silly with B just melts my heart and feels like home.
It wasn’t all silliness though. Besides the unconditional love, housing, feeding, clothing, etc, etc, the best and most lasting gift my dad gave me is confidence. Even when others did, he never treated me any differently because I was a girl. He had me right there beside him as his assistant when he insulated the attic and he taught me the rules of football, that I have since forgotten, while he watched his Texas A&M games. (I forgive him for convincing me that fetching beers during the game was a privilege.) From as early as I can remember, my dad was always telling me I could be whatever I wanted to be. Things I didn’t think I could ever do, I went for because my dad thought I could do them.
After my first year of college, my dad nicely pointed out that it was time to stop being a lifeguard and get a real job. I ignored him, missed an application deadline, and in true my dad fashion he just pushed it and did it for me. I have many times bemoaned how embarrassing it was when he marched me into the intern program office and demanded that they accept my application late and also give me a good position because I was a special snowflake. However, I’ve never thanked my dad for doing that. It turned out to be an amazing job with the potential to blossom into an amazing career. I remember having coffee with my dad one day that first summer while he laid out the next 15 years of my work life as he saw it. He set a goal for me to reach by 35 that was more than a touch ambitions, but he assured me it was possible. I definitely thought he was insane and just being a dad. (Incidentally, I also thought I would NEVER be 35!) But I also never forgot what he said. As I worked longer and made my way, there was a part of me that started to believe it. Maybe it would take me until 40 instead of 35 but I definitely never doubted I could do it, mostly because my dad thought I could.
Now that I sit here in my pjs as a stay-at-home mom, looking back on that doesn’t make me sad, in fact it gives me hope. I remember that although my hair is a mess, I actually have my shirt on inside out, and I haven’t slept in 2 years, I am not a different person than I was when he told me that. And although my experience might be rusty and my brain a bit mushy, there is no reason why I can’t push his goal back 5 or 10 or even 15 years and still go for it. It also helps that my dad not only doesn’t look down on what I’m doing now, but praises me, tells me he’s proud, and treats the ups and downs of motherhood just like those of any other “career”.
So thanks for making me believe in myself, Dad, and for the food and shelter and all the other stuff. Happy Father’s Day!
Everyone agrees, ok not everyone but all the hippies, that a kid will eventually self-wean and sleep through the night on their own, even if you do nothing. I really really believe in this too because it just makes sense and it feels right, plus so many people say it. The caveat, of course, is that every kid is different and some will get there much sooner than others. I think I know on which end of the spectrum my kid falls and I’m not desperate for either of these things to happen at this point. I know B is only a baby once and all that, however, I would love to have some idea of what we’re working with here so I thought I’d ask the internets.
Here is how he nurses on a “good” day (6ish times in a 24 hour period, 2-3 wake-ups at night)
7:00 am Wakes up and nurses about half the time. When he doesn’t it’s probably because he is full from nursing over night.
2:00 pm Definitely nurses for nap time.
4:30 pm He has to nurse upon waking from nap which I think might be unusual?
9:00 pm Definitely nurses for bed time.
1:00 am Wakes up to nurse.
3:00 am Wakes up to nurse.
5:00 am This one usually only happens if I’m already out of bed and B snuggles up to exposed skin on G. He can be fooled by a warm body, but not a warm hairy body.
Here is a “bad” day (let’s not even bother counting, shall we?)
7:00 am Insists on nursing at wake up.
9:00 am Begs to nurse despite having been offered copious breakfast options.
12:00 pm Nurses for no apparent reason.
2:00 pm Of course for nap.
4:30 pm Of course for wake up.
7:00 pm Hey why not again!
9:00 pm Of course for bed time.
12:00 am Up to nurse.
2:00 am Up to nurse.
4:00 am Up to nurse.
5:00 am Up to nurse.
We definitely tend more towards the good days and the bad days generally seem to have some sort of cause such as teething, illness, disruption in routine from travel/visitors/etc. (All of those things seem to happen often.) I guess it feels like a two steps forward, one and a half steps back kind of process as we’ll have good days for a bit and then inevitably something happens that makes him want to nurse a lot for a week or two. For the most part I don’t mind it but I do have my days.
He is sometimes receptive if I offer food and/or snuggles instead when he asks to nurse so I am trying to do more of that. At this point I don’t want to do anything more to drive weaning so I’m wondering, if that is all I ever do, or even if I do nothing, how long do you think it will take him to wean? He is almost 21 months now.
While we’re at it, based on those sleeping habits, how long before he sleeps through the night? Even just once for the first time ever?
I appreciate any and all guesses!
It is a well known fact that kids don’t come with instruction books. Instead you have to shell out a fortune in baby sleep books just to figure out that babies don’t sleep and there is nothing you can do. Despite this, we were lucky enough to get a dashboard of sorts with B. Unfortunately it is like any regular car dashboard you’ve ever seen where the warning lights resemble absolutely nothing you’ve ever seen so you have to do a lot of Googling to figure out what your car is trying to tell you. (Ohhhh a magic genie lamp does not mean 3 wishes? It means low oil of course!) It is an imperfect system, but it’s still nice to have a heads up that something is wrong.
B’s dashboard is his skin. Whenever anything is amiss with his body, his skin lets us know somehow. If he has a virus, he gets a petechial rash or a viral rash or both. If he is too hot, his skin turns tomato red. If he is allergic to an antibiotic, he breaks out in hives. And lastly, if he has any dairy, he breaks out in eczema.
On advice from his allergist, we had been trying to slowly reintroduce dairy and were hopeful that it was going to be ok since the first few bites produced no major reaction. As we went on and upped the quantity, it was clear it was not going well. Thankfully there was no all night screaming and writhing this time, but there were a lot of restless nights with discomfort. There was also fussiness during the day, blaming the dog we don’t have for a lot of farts, and the clearest sign of trouble was his dashboard went crazy with red patches of eczema.
The really good news is dairy does not close his airway and threaten his life and it seems like it no longer causes him intense pain, just unpleasantness. Maybe this means he is in the process of growing out of it? Or maybe this is just the way he is. We are back to being dairy free at home and will maybe try it again in a few months, but the good news is I feel ok if he wants to have a real cupcake at a birthday party every so often or steal a cookie from Santa’s plate at Christmas. Those small amounts on rare occasions will probably mean just slight discomfort and of course some rash, no big deal, and that’s far from the worst allergy lot a kid can draw now.
A few months ago when G, B, and I were waiting for our flight to Arizona, I was following B around the terminal as he pulled his little blue suitcase up and down the aisles. Some people scowled because he ran over their feet, and some cooed because that seems to be the Pavlovian response to children under 2. Then there was one lady who struck up a conversation. She looked exactly like the crazy Central Park lady from Home Alone 2, so where I might’ve been a touch creeped out by her lack of hygiene and general crazy seemingness, I felt oddly at home with her. She was also carrying like 4 huge open boxes of paper, no pigeons just paper. It was weird.
Anyways, she did not ooh and ahh over my kid but she seemed pretty delighted to just watch him and smile. Then she turned to me and said, “Are you enjoying it?” Uhh what? Did she mean waiting for the flight or parenthood or what? I assumed parenthood and gave some obligatory answer about how it’s the best. She looked right at me and said, “Good. Because this is the best job you’ll ever have and these are the best years of your life.” I uttered some acknowledgment while really thinking what is all that paper for??? Then we said goodbye and boarded our flight.
And now, ever since, I can’t get her out of my head. She didn’t really tell me anything I’d never heard she just phrased it differently and more bluntly and for some reason that sank in. Also, she was right. Ok, I don’t know that for a fact yet because I haven’t lived the rest of my life but it just rings so true that these will be the years I long for later. Now whenever I feel the slightest bit tired or annoyed or fill-in-the-blank negative parenting emotion, her words just play through my head and I immediately start crying. It’s like a country song or something and I can’t shake it!
I was always 100% adamant that I would have 2 kids and that would be it. Someone would be having a surgery afterward and we would be done done done. Now that G is super ready for #2 and I am at least semi-contemplating it, I still can’t get the pigeon lady out of my head. I think if we have a second now, then that will be the beginning of the end. Last pregnancy, last birth, last newbornness, last first steps, etc. etc. That is too many lasts too soon and I’m not ready for the end of the best years of my life. So then I conclude that if we are having #2 in the next 3 years then we should keep the door open for a #3 so we don’t get too sad. This makes G starts crying but I don’t think it’s tears from sadness.
So, crazy-seeming but actually not-crazy-at-all lady at the airport, thanks for totally permeating my brain and my marriage! And if I may ask, really what was all that paper for!?
(And as for what prompted this post now… I found myself driving alone and listening to music which makes me feel like I am in some scene of a movie where I am supposed to be contemplating something serious. More specifically I listened to that George Strait song about the best day of my life or whatever, and that made me remember Central Park Lady and cry, and here we are.)
Not surprisingly it takes someone a while to master the English language, even when it is their first language. The sentence structure, pronouns, conjugating verbs, it’s all so hard. Here are a few of my favorite of B’s recent attempts at fluency:
Bye bye stay Bebe home upstairs. (He said this while walking downstairs. He calls our house Bebe home and really loves to stay home so somehow this all got munged together.)
Mama pick you up! Mama get you out car seat! Mama can’t see you oler there! (Basically he seems to think he has a second name and it is “you”. It’s going to get confusing when he goes to pre-school and starts screaming that every toy belongs to you.)
Gaga come back Bebe home later today. (He said this the other day when my mom went to the bathroom. I guess he’s not sure where the boundaries of our house end.)
Mama play trucks Bebe too oler there. (He can’t figure out the words “and” or “with” yet so Mama Bebe too is the closest it comes. Also I know I’m correcting all his pronunciation for the sake of typing it but I can’t bring myself to spell out over correctly because I think oler is so cute. If I really transcribed this it would be more like “Mama pay tucks Bebe too oler zhere.”)
I assume he will figure it all out in time, plus I think it’s all adorable (and sort of fascinating) so I am doing nothing to correct his blunders aside from using words mostly correctly myself. Is that bad?
When B was maybe 9 or 10 months old, we figured out that he had a major issue with dairy. I never knew if it was an allergy, intolerance, or one of the other many diagnoses a kid can have now, all I knew is it made him scream and writhe all night long. Based on that symptom, I didn’t need a diagnosis (his doctor agreed there) so we just cut it out of both of our diets. They said there was a good chance he would grow out of whatever it was so just occasionally keep trying and see what happens. We did that, and the answer was screaming and writhing.
Then recently we finally got an appointment with an allergist, those people are booked like 6 months out. After his two antibiotic reactions and the dairy thing, they thought there were likely to be more allergies lurking so we should get him tested. He tested negative for all of the food allergies! Of course this doesn’t mean he’s not allergic they reminded me (whaaaaat?). These tests are notoriously inaccurate, especially in kids under 2, and they only test for true allergies, not intolerances or digestive issues, etc. BUT the doc told us to try slowly introducing dairy back anyways, first in my diet and then in his. If he reacted then we should bring him in for a different test… (Not sure how these places are so overrun with patients seeking inaccurate tests?)
I’m not interested in dragging this out and playing the guessing game. “He woke up a little more often last night.. was it the 3 shreds of cheese or teeth or a nightmare?” “He cried a lot in the afternoon… was it the bite of yogurt for breakfast or was he just crabby or was he pissed he couldn’t find his firetruck?” I figure let’s just test it and see! I started with a muffin that had real milk baked in (this is somehow less evil than full on cow’s milk in the allergy world). He would only eat 3 or 4 bites so I had the rest for science. He was fine.
Then we did a decent amount of yogurt and this is where the guessing game begins. He had it for breakfast around 9 and then we went off to our playdate. By 11 or so he was totally melting down, apparently over the fact that he could not take his friend’s orange truck home from the park with him. He screamed and screamed the whole way home and was definitely writhing his body. I thought, “oh no, the yogurt.” But then as soon as we got home he passed out, took a great nap (didn’t wake up screaming at all), and woke up seemingly feeling fine.
He really never gets that upset over trucks or being tired so I’m a little nervous there was a tummy ache involved? But it didn’t fit all of the symptoms of what would have happened 6 months ago so I’m hopeful he was just super crabby and the yogurt was actually fine. Guess I’ll try yogurt for breakfast again in a few days and see how it goes. Don’t think I’ll be trying dinner dairy for quite some time still, thank you very much.
We’re baaaaaaaack! More on the actual trip later but I just need to rave about what a performance B put on. He was an absolute angel on the trip out. Didn’t cry, whine, scream, flail, or demand to leave the airplane for even one second of the 4 hour flight. He was patient and helpful with the shuttle bus, rental car, drive, etc. He adjusted and slept fine, sat through a 3 hour lunch at a restaurant, dutifully played with the 3 cars he packed the entire trip without complaint, entertained himself while I
ignored him caught up with friends, and genuinely seemed to enjoy all of this somehow.
By the end of our trip I figured payback was coming and it would be big. There was no way he could pull together a multiple day performance like that and then also survive the late in the day flight home. We took off at almost 5 pm and he hadn’t had a nap yet plus I had no new toys left in my arsenal after already using them all up on the first flight. I feared the worst. Maybe 2 minutes into the flight, I looked over and his eyes were starting to close. He slept the first 3 hours of the flight and then played with his presidential limo from the airport souvenir shop for the remaining 2 hours. Once we got home, he ran around exuberantly greeting every single toy he owns and hugging Daddy. This took hours and he was completely out of breath the whole time.
I don’t know what I did to deserve this angelic run. All I can think of is maybe this trip was actually the karmic payback for the other 30 trips we’ve taken that did not go this well. Whatever it was, I’ll take it.
Today B and I embark upon a journey back to my hometown, DC (or northern VA, potato potahto). I could not be more excited and if it were not for G staying behind, I would probably just cancel our return leg and live in my friend’s basement permanently. (That would be ok, right Sheila??)
We’ve had a hectic week medically speaking. My mom had a little scare yesterday but is totally fine and B is allergic to 2 out of 2 antibiotics now so we are on to the 3rd with high hopes. Add to that our history of canceling trips due to illness, and I am thrilled we are actually going to the airport shortly.
My family no longer lives in DC which should probably make it feel less like home but in some ways it makes it feel even more like home. Now I know that it’s not familial obligation that makes me love it, it’s just where the heart is and you know what they say about that.
B is all packed and ready for his big flight. He is taking two race cars and a limousine. I will be schlepping slightly more gear than that myself, so between the two of us we should be covered. I haven’t flown by myself with him since he was 5 months old. At the time I thought it was the hardest thing I had ever done yet it went great. It seems misguided but somehow I am not dreading this flight. I have snacks, books, markers (Don’t worry, Delta. They are the kind that only color on special paper.), stickers, new matchbox cars, and a new Mr. Potato Head. If B decides to make this miserable for everyone at least I’ll know I tried.
Wish us luck!! See you soon east coasters!!