Saturday, April 25, 2009

Proof that urine is acidic

J is a poor eater. You may remember me discussing it at some length. He doesn't eat; therefore, he doesn't grow. He is now the smallest kid in his class. We've been working on it. Different strategies have been employed, doctors and nutritionists have been consulted, medications have been used. But J still just doesn't eat enough. It's a problem.

J is on an appetite stimulant. It seems to work marginally, but does not provide a great improvement. It also makes him tired. The doctor assures us that this is a good thing; kids experience most of their growth when they are asleep. And so, J needs a lot of sleep. He sleeps well at night, and also has an afternoon nap. Sometimes, it's easy to get J to nap. Other times, it's more difficult. Usually on the weekends, J would prefer not to nap at all. Various delay tactics will be employed as J works to stay awake in the afternoon. If he succeeds, he will be grumpy and act out as the day wears on; eventually, he will start getting in trouble and will have to go to bed early because he's too tired to carry on.

Today is just such a day.

J's usual delay tactics are just not especially noteworthy. Really, any kid trying to delay bedtime will employ most of the same tactics; his are no different. But today, one of his stalling techniques was somewhat unique. It must therefore be shared, and preserved, and probably brought up again in the future, possibly on his wedding day.

And so it goes.

After being tucked in, J climbed out of bed and started going through his stuffed animal toybox, eventually finding an animal that makes noise. He then played with the noisy animal for a bit, ran around his room, and kicked his wall several times. Eventually, he grew bored and started knocking on his bedroom door and shouting (his ever-so-subtle signal that "IT'S TIME TO GET UUUUU-UUP"). I went up, and told him that it was still nap time. J insisted that he needed to get up to give Daddy a kiss. I called H up so that J could kiss him (much to the chagrin of J who wanted to go downstairs to kiss Daddy). J then said that he needed to pee. So I took him to the bathroom, and then tucked him back in. He then insisted that he was thirsty and needed a drink of water.

Now here's where it got interesting.

J: I need a drink of water because my throat hurts. My throat is soooo sore, because I needed to pee soooo badly. So that's why I need a drink of water.

I couldn't really relate. Must be a guy thing?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Will the circle be unbroken? Um ... NO!

Today, H picked up J from preschool. Inexplicably, J burst into song. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". (Yes, in April.) This drew attention from one of J's teachers, who laughed and then relayed a little story from today's "circle time".

In "circle time", the class takes part in various activities. Show and tell ... music ... yoga ... Spanish class ... stories ... the list goes on and on. It's a very active preschool. Today in circle, the kids were playing a game called "Who stole the cookies". The idea is to rhythmically say: "Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? [Name of child] stole the cookies from the cookie jar". And there are a few more silly little lines, with fun and innocent rhyming responses from the child in question, and then you keep going down the line of children until you've done all of the names. It's very cute.

All good, right? Except J doesn't like being falsely accused. So ...

Class: Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? J stole the cookies from the cookie jar.

J: (sporting his best "mad-face") I DID NOT!!!

Teacher: It's just a game, J. We go down the line. So next, we're going to say that B stole the cookies from the cookie jar.

J: Well, then maybe he did it. But I didn't! **

J quite enjoys circle time. Only problem: he and his best little preschool friend A aren't allowed to sit together any longer. They chat and play during the planned activities, and I've been told that they get quite disruptive. I also note in recent days that they are also no longer allowed to eat lunch together. But they still get lots of good play time in, so I think they're pretty happy all told.


** Note: The following is how "Who stole the cookies" should actually play out:

Class: Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? [Child] stole the cookies from the cookie jar.

Child: Who, me?
Class: Yes, you.
Child: Couldn't be.
Class: Then who?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Tail of Sleeping Beauty (and that is not a typo)

J loves the story of "Sleeping Beauty". He will often act out parts. Now, I don't remember the story this way, but here was tonight's rendition:

J: (calling from upstairs) Mommy. Be Sleeping Beauty.
T: Okay. (pretends to sleep) I am Sleeping Beauty.
J: (coming down the stairs) I'm a shark!
T: (completely loses it, then pretends to sleep again)
J: (climbs up and touches T's face) WAKE UP!
T: I can only be woken up by my true love's kiss.
J: But I can't kiss you. Because I'm a shark.
T: I can only be woken up by my true love's kiss.
J: But I have sharp teeth!
T: I can only be woken up by my true love's kiss.
J: But ... but ... DADDY!!!

H arrives, to find T pretending to sleep on the couch and a frustrated J dressed in a hooded towel that strongly resembles a shark.

J: You're Sleeping Beauty's true love! Kiss her!

H complies, and T awakes. Moments later:

H: J! Don't wrap your tail around that bag!
J: But I can't hold it with my fins.
T: (completely loses it and almost chokes on her gum)

Mr. Shark then works to postpone bedtime. He gives Sleeping Beauty presents for her birthday (which is not for several months, in case anyone was wondering). She receives a bag full of stuffed animals actually belonging to baby N, a Merlin magnifying glass (which J tells me is "so you can see any wet spots"), and a dump truck. Score!

And then, when he realizes it is not actually Sleeping Beauty's birthday, Mr. Shark swims away with all the presents tied to his tail. He informs Sleeping Beauty that she does not get any presents; she has to wait for her birthday.

Of course, it all ends very badly. A tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. There is a horrible bedtime brawl. A cat's tail is pulled. Screaming ensues. There are tears and headaches. And someone has to go to bed without a story. And The Tail of Sleeping Beauty is nearly ruined.

Nearly. But not quite. For H and I will always remember the sight of J, swimming away with several bags of toys tied around his hooded towel tail. And that's worth a lot.

In which I declare war. A kind of sad and pathetic war, but war nonetheless

It's April. It is what it is.

Ordinarily, April is tax season. It's crazy busy. There's no time for anything but taxes. Just get them done, get them filed, get them paid. It's April. That's it.

In April, things get chaotic. It's tense. Balance is difficult. Work takes a higher priority, and personal life takes a step back. But it's just April. Not a big deal. The chaos is contained, so I can handle it. Actually, I usually quite enjoy April.

This year, April is my last month of maternity leave. I'm missing tax season. But I haven't escaped the chaos and tension. It's just manifested itself in different ways. Ways that I do not enjoy at all. Ways that make me really miss tax season.

This year, I hate April. Hate it more than I had imagined possible. Hate it with a hatred that exceeds even my hatred of 2008. And we all know how much I hated that year, don't we?

This year, April has been hard on a lot of people, for a lot of reasons. And I haven't felt like posting much during the whole thing, so I haven't.

This year, I grit my teeth, and I wade through April in anger and frustration. But as I have no one with whom I can genuinely be angry or frustrated, I have no outlet.

And so, I have decided to be angry with April. (Yes, the month.) Accordingly, I hereby declare war on April. (Yes, I realize that I sound like a lunatic.) And I assert that April shall bear the brunt of my wrath. Of course, April being a month of the year rather than a tangible object makes it rather difficult for me to wreak the havoc on it that it so richly deserves. But were there a way, I guarantee that I would find it and it would pay dearly for what it has done.

(Stupid month and its stupid intangible properties ... mutter, mutter ...)

It's April. It is what it is.

Note: I'll be back to regular posting as soon as I find my bliss. I know I left it here somewhere ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And then, the elephant boy was eaten by a dragon, and peace reigned throughout the land. At least, until the crows came ...

Puff the magic dragon
Lived by the sea
And caught up on the other one
In the lands of Connor Lee.

Now. Have a 4-year old sing that 428,686,297,886 times in a row at top volume while a baby shrieks inconsollably and you and your spouse try to have a serious discussion about the meaning of life, and you'll be roughly where I am now.

Also: You should totally take the 4-year old with you to the vet's office to buy cat food. It's fun. Trust me. It goes something like this:

J: I want this octopus! This big blue octopus! The octopus! I want the octopus!! I WANT IT I WANT IT I WANT IT I WANT IT ... !!!!

Eventually, our kind receptionist-type friend gave J a shrimp-shaped cat toy as a compromise, just to make him stop flipping out. A very pissed-off looking J left the vet's office, shrimp in hand. Other people commented that he was very cute. H offered to sell him, but there were no takers. I can't imagine why.


As an aside, in J's bedtime story this evening, a large, long-legged white bird delivered a baby elephant to Mrs. Jumbo. Now, what do we call that large, long-legged white bird again? Well, according to J, that bird is called a crow. And honestly, hearing that the baby elephant was delivered by a mutant albino crow really changes the feel of "Dumbo" for some reason. But I don't know why.


And on that note, when H and I were teasing J this evening and telling him that he was actually an elephant, he argued with tremendous force and perfect tone.

J: I am not an animal! I am ... a person!!

Oooh; he almost had it.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Seriously Random

Time for Random Tuesday Thoughts, sponsored by Keely over at The Un Mom. So here goes. Try to keep up.


One of my friends passed away last week, and I've been working on a post in memory. Should be up soon, if I can ever finish it. Looking for the humour in the situation, so it has to be just right; Joe was a born comic, and the sombre wouldn't suit him at all. Ever the comedian, he checked out on April 1st. Which was actually hilarious in its own way, since most people thought it was an April Fool's Day prank. Even at the memorial service, I think some of us expected him to leap out, laughing like a maniac, and say he was just fine. But no. And while you may think it terrible of me to refer to death as "hilarious", Joe would have really liked it. If you knew him, you'd understand. If not, that's a shame. Joe was one of the good ones, and I bet heaven is an even happier place now that he's in it. Remember the good times.

Today, I am the mother of a 4-year old. J's party with his school friends is today, at school. His party with all our friends was Sunday, just before the memorial service. J was very excited, because he'd talked me into making him a cake shaped like a tank. It turned out well; pictures will come. J was walking around for 2 weeks before his party telling everyone. "Mommy's going to bake me a cake! It's an army machine! And it has a BIG GUN!!" J is obsessed with guns. It's a very strange obsession, since we don't allow guns as toys, and neither does school, and neither do his grandparents, and ... honestly, we have no idea why he's so gun-crazy. It's a bit disconcerting. A birthday post should also be forthcoming. Can't believe he's four already; where does the time go?

On the subject of "where does the time go", I go back to work in four more weeks. Since I spent much of my maternity leave recovering from a knee break, it just doesn't feel right to go back yet. Leave feels incomplete somehow. In some ways, it will be nice to be back among adults some of the time. In other ways ... well, change is always alarming. I'll miss my baby, and my routine will be all messed up for awhile. I'll do it because I have to; it's the only way our family can make ends meet. And I really do like my job and my employer a lot. But it's still hard to leave the baby. And while a part of me wants to go back to work, there's also a pretty big part of me that just doesn't want to be away from the kids at all. I mean, ever. They should just stay little forever, I think.

Knee's flaring up again. I guess it's affected by changes in the weather. I'd love for it to quit hurting, but every so often, I develop a pronounced limp. While I really do miss the cat, I can't help but think that it's kind of all her fault I'm in this condition. At least I'll always remember her, right? I think I'll name my knee hardware "Damn Cat", in her honour.

School's going okay, I suppose. I got de-railed again last week, when Joe passed. So now, I'm playing catch up again. Lots of fun. Still no word back on my first assignment, though some other students have theirs back already. And on the subject of "some other students", I'm feeling generally frustrated with my class in general. I just wish people would read the materials before asking questions. (Honestly, people; I'm happy to brainstorm, but I can't read the textbook for you!) Anyway, hopefully I did okay on the first assignment. I'm working on the second now. And I'm still waiting for the results from my last class and the results of my university application. These things all take time, and patience is not my strong suit.

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Now, go visit Keely, and do your own Random Tuesday Thoughts.