Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Once bitten, twice shy.

I know better than to talk to Joseph about any kind of injury. He will obsessively talk about it forever. For example, he is still talking about his burn, even though he doesn’t even remember which hand it was. It has actually made him curious (I’ll use curious, because although he is often downright frightened, it isn’t always the case) about anything that might be “hot.” Everything metal is “hot.” His bath water is always “hot.” Every food item that has ever been cooked, no matter how long ago is “hot.” The oven, of course, is hot as well as the dishwasher, the heat vent, and the vacuum cleaner. The word “hot” is often followed by the word “burn” and then sometimes “doctor” or “hurt” or something like that. And last week, Tony cut his finger while washing a knife (yes, Jim, you know which kind of knife) and had to wear a band-aid. Every time Joseph saw it, he got a worried look and would say, “hurt.” He also talks about his immunizations that happened a month ago as well as the time he bumped his head on the wall. He even made up an injury once. He saw a girl walking down the street, and out of the blue, he said, “hurt.” When I asked him who got hurt, he said, “girl.” I asked him if she fell down, and he nodded his head. (By the way, she didn’t fall down. I could see her.) I asked her where she got hurt, and he said, “belly.” Strange.

So, I know not to fuel this fire. His mind is occupied enough with all of his worries. But I couldn’t help it the other day. One thing that is really confusing to me as a parent is how to deal with all of the cutesy, cartoon images of animals and other things that sometimes in real life aren’t so adorable. Joseph will point out a hippo or a snake or an alligator, and say, “cute.” And sure, the pictures are cute, I agree. But would he even recognize some of them in real life? And if he did, would he want to grab it? Usually I just let it go, of course, but do you know how many pictures there are of bees in young children’s books? Why are there so many bees? And why do they always look so friendly? Joseph, of course loves them. Or should I say, loved them. We were reading yet another book with adorable bees, and Joseph told me they were “cute.” I couldn’t help myself, and I said, “Yes, they are cute. But you don’t want to make them mad, or you could get hurt.” That was it. That’s all I had to say. Now when we see a picture of a bee, he doesn’t automatically say, “cute.” Instead he says, “hurt.” The other day we weren’t even looking at a picture of a bee, he just got a worried look on his face, almost started to cry, and said, “hurt.” “What hurts?” I asked. “Bee.” He answered. I’ve since tried to take it back by explaining and telling him that they are in fact cute. But he’s no dummy. I can take the stinger out, but I can’t change the fact that he got stung. Just like I can’t undo his burn, or his bumped head, or Tony’s cut finger. As he grows up and learns more about life, the best I can do is comfort him when he experiences some of its disappointments, and hopefully I’ll be able to resist my constant urge to protect and explain, and experience some of the “cute” things as well.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pass me another cookie, would ya?

So imagine this...

I'm pregnant (and looking pregnant, too). I'm holding my crying baby while wearing a pair of pajama pants because Joseph's diarrhea diaper leaked on my only clean pair of maternity pants (I am NOT the "happy to be wearing pajamas during the day" kind of person). I'm yelling out the door to the garbage man asking him why he's not taking my bags of leaves. And when does the yard waste collection start? Not until April you say? My hair is tangled looking like I haven't showered in weeks, and my kitchen table is still piled with the remnants of a lunch gone bad. God, who am I?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

So it's decided then!

We are not paying for an extra ultrasound. For those of you wanting to know if we are having a boy or a girl, I guess you'll just have to wait until July like us. So we need to start thinking about names for boys and girls.

[For those who do not know the story -- my doctor only does early ultrasounds (too early to tell if the baby is a boy or a girl). If we want one now (no longer too early), it would cost $125. Now, I know it doesn't sound like a huge amount of money, but right about now we can think of other things to spend it on.]

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Spring break 2006 -- family gone wild

Well, we successfully completed our very first family vacation! Even though it was only for the weekend, I think a congratulations is in order. The three of us packed up the car and drove to Chicago. Yes, Joseph, the “I don’t really like the car very much” kid made it all the way and back. And somehow, my friend Tamara made it through the ordeal as well. She was kind enough to let us stay with her, even though she only has one bedroom, and even though Joseph gets up MUCH earlier than she would like to get up (even on a weekday), and even though I don’t get along very well with cats (and she has two).

Joseph loved Chicago. He got to see many dogs, bikes, and pigeons (this is pretty exciting stuff). He still talks about Tamara’s cats, telling me that there were “two” and they like to “hide” under the “bed” (The words in quotes are his. I fill in the rest). We ate a delicious brunch that I can’t stop thinking about, and went in some fun shops. Joseph especially enjoyed running around the yarn shop, where Tamara wanted to stop so she could show off the sweater she made Joseph for Christmas. And of course no trip to Chicago would be complete without going to Ikea. We didn’t have room in the car for anything big (adding a kid to the car as well as all of his required things takes up a lot of space), but we did buy a few small things, the most important being a bag of Daim candy that I just can’t stop eating. As a matter of fact, I am eating more than an unhealthy serving size of them as I write this. (You can see a recipe with these candies as well as read a little about them over here at Chocolate & Zucchini).

When it was time to leave, Joseph was pretty sad. Tamara came up to the car window to make sure we knew how to get to the freeway, and when she walked away, Joseph started crying and calling “Tam!!!!” But we were able to calm him when, after his nap, we stopped at a mall and let him drink some chocolate shake and run up and down a wheelchair ramp.

So there you have it! It can be done with a little determination and a kind friend (thanks Tam). However, we’ll see what happens after we have the next kid.