You Know You’ve Done it Too…

I was hanging out with friends the other night, you know, like you do.    We had enjoyed dinner and brownies, and we were all talking.  About this time, Baby Bird, my 3 year old approached to tell us something.  I scooped her up onto the table.  I couldn’t help but notice she had a giant hunk of brownie hanging from the tip of her precious curls.  I yanked it out of her hair, and did not have a napkin handy.  So, I did what every loving mother would do, I popped the brownie from my daughter’s hair into my mouth for ease of disposal.   One of my guests queried incredulously, “Did you just eat chocolate from your child’s hair?”

Oh Wow… how do I answer that one?   I am getting the vibe that I just did something in public that (although everyone has done in private) should be done in private.  What could I do but just own all that chocolaty deliciousness?

So I replied, “Yeah, I didn’t have a napkin (like that is going to excuse me eating food particles from my child’s hair).”  Come on people, for reals,  like you have never played, “Poop or Chocolate?”  We have all played that game.  It wasn’t something from the floor.  I knew  I had just given my child a brownie.  The odds were ever in my favor on this one, so I defend my actions and it was delicious AND I would do it again.

 

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Strep, Love and Vomit

I am experiencing the phase in life that many parents of young children know all too well.  My children are ALWAYS sick.   Two weeks ago the entire family enjoyed a good old fashioned case of strep throat courtesy my four year old.  This week it was pink eye.  In between was perhaps the worst of all.

I went downstairs to check on my babies and could smell the foul aroma wafting out of their room, through the hallway and into the playroom (it seriously filled like 2000 square feet of space).  Any physician worth their salt can instantly identify that smell.  It was rotavirus.

I carefully investigated to determine who the culprit might be.  It was Baby Bird, the two-year old.  After lifting her unconscious body, it became immediately apparent that she had soiled her entire backside and the bed.  I plucked her out of bed and placed her on a towel in the bathroom.  In an emergency, the best thing to do is to call for help, so I leaned out into the hallway to yell for my husband.

Big Mistake.  Huge.

By the time I lean back in, Baby Bird has woken up and is spewing forth like a tiny Linda Blair.  It just keeps coming. Did you know that a twenty-four pound baby can hold up to a gallon of vomit?   Me neither.   It was on the floor, walls, my clothes, her clothes, in our hair, everywhere.   We put her in the bath and I set about cleaning up the puke when suddenly my husband, who is a sympathetic puker by the way, starts yelling for me as she starts puking in the tub and there is just so much puke.  Did I mention puke?

After a bazillion towels, a gallon of bleach, some plastic bags, and several days of reflection, I have come to one very important conclusion: Thank the Good Lord for Puke.

I have so many reasons to thank God in this situation.

  1. I have a wonderful husband who was willing to help me with my sick child.  Many women are in this parenting thing all alone.
  2. I had an almost endless supply of towels to clean up after my child and a totally endless supply of clean, fresh water.   I just think about some poor woman living with her toddler in a grass hut somewhere.  I am sure they have rotavirus in grasshutistan.  This poor lady doesn’t have an endless supply of clean fresh linens and clean fresh water to take care of their child.  Heck, they do not have enough clean fresh water for their child to drink probably.  Look at me with all my clean fresh water and towels.
  3. Being a doctor,  I had a readily available supply of nausea medication to medicate my child with.   I didn’t have to make the choice to blow this month’s budget in order to take care of my sick child.
  4. I have wonderful people willing to help me with my sick child while I work that I can implicitly trust with her care.  Did you see where I said people?  As in several.  As in several people that I can trust with my sick child.   Some people have NO support like this in their life.

So, yeah, I think I am pretty lucky with this stomach virus thing.  It could be a lot worse and is for many.  Thank you Lord again for your goodness in showing me how great I have it. wp-1486785740138.jpg

 

Defiance

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Recently it was one of those beautiful late days of summer where it is still warm and sunny enough to swim and I took the girls to the pool to play date with their best buds.   After a lengthy swim, my two-year old wanted a snack and demanded I take her puddle-jumper off to enjoy her goldfish crackers.  After a lengthy stay in the sun, Baby Bird decided she wanted to get back in the pool.

“Ok, but you have to put your puddle-jumper back on,” I explained.

“NO! I do it!” she loudly replied.

“No, Baby Bird, you have to put in on, you don’t know how to swim,” I patiently intimated.

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!  I DOOOOOO IT!” she wailed.

This is when I thought to myself that this may be an excellent learning opportunity for Baby Bird.  Natural consequences friend, natural consequences.

I stood back and said, “By all means sweetheart, YOU do it.”

Confidently, Baby Bird approached the pool stairs.   She strutted her stuff down, one, two, three stairs, and then confidently strutted herself straight under the water and sunk like a rock.

I was standing right nearby and snatched her up and out of the pool in seconds asking, “Do you see now why you need your puddle-jumper?”

“Uh-huh,” she sputtered.

Since then, I have thought about my relationship with God.  I wonder how often I am standing there like a toddler with my fists balled up screaming, “I DO IT!”  I wonder how often he stands by and lets me suffer the natural consequences of my actions.   I am so grateful he is always standing by to pick me back up when I sink to the bottom.

The Roman Road

My husband and I were big fans of the show “How I Met Your Mother”.   On one particular episode, Barney’s friends were going to surprise him by introducing him to his childhood hero, The Karate Kid.  Barney is bitterly disappointed when confronted with Ralph Macchio insisting that he is not The Karate Kid and the movie is really about Johnny played by William Zabka.

If you have ever actually seen The Karate Kid, you will know that Johnny is the bully from the rival dojo who “sweeps the leg” to injury Ralph Macchio’s character.

This describes perfectly how I felt yesterday afternoon watching my eldest play.  We has just come back from church and Z was playing with her stuffed animals.  She placed Spot, her favorite animal in “jail”.   I asked her what Spot had done to land himself in the clink.

She replied, “He didn’t do anything wrong, Mommy.  He was just telling people about Jesus.”

Then she stage whispered conspiratorially at her sister, “Baby Bird, if you tell people about Jesus, they may not like it, and you may end up in jail.”

True words kid, true words.

However;  I find it really disturbing that playing out this scenario, my daughter picked for herself the role of Roman Centurion rather than Early Church Martyr.   I think she may have come down on the wrong side of history on this one.

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We went back over her Sunday School lesson emphasizing that it is a noble thing to be persecuted for your faith, but I am not sure at four she is ready to appreciate this truth.  I did hear her tell her sister later, “You might end up in jail for it, but you should probably tell people about Jesus anyways.”

At least this is a step away from being the jailer.

 

A Letter to Boogie

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Dearest Boogie,

I remember the day you came into our lives.  You crept so timid, and hungry into our back yard.   I thought you were a puppy because you were so small, and I thought you were brown because you were so dirty.     We fed you and cleaned you and you became part of our family.

I remember you first trip to the vet when they said, “She has heartworms.  It is going to be expensive to treat,” and we said, “FIX THE DOG.”

Remember the trip to the Grand Canyon with Mommy and Daddy?   Not every dog gets to go to the Grand Canyon.     We took you with us everywhere and I will never regret that time spent with you.

I remember your second trip to the vet when they reminded us that you could get pregnant, and we said, “FIX THE DOG.”

Remember all the things you destroyed?   Those three sets of blinds weren’t too bad, but that garage door was expensive.  How did you eat the wiring out of the wall?  I don’t know how you destroyed a metal panel from your kennel, but you managed handily.  Oh, and thanks for destroying the curtains, downstairs door and carpet at mom’s house.   That was a nice check I had to write.

That is nothing compared to your capacity to hoard hidden foodstuffs.  Remember taking that whole loaf of garlic bread off the counter?  You hid it in Daddy’s closet and he called it your “Strategic Garlic Bread Reserve”.  That wasn’t quite as bad as the time I had a ten pound sack of raw chicken thawing in the sink and came home to NO chicken.    I found raw cutlets shoved under pillows and in laundry hampers for an unfortunately long time.     I was really amazed that you learned how to open the dishwasher so you could use it as a ladder to the countertop.  You were such a smart dog.

Remember how we loved you SO much that two people who swore they would never have children decided to give it a try.    Dearest girl,  I owe my second and third baby to you.   I know there were times that you were a little jealous, but you were such a good big sister.   I love how even when you were dying that you insisted on doing the stairs every night to put them to bed.

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Thank you for sticking with me through both pregnancies and cuddling me at night.   You got up with me every time I had to pee or throw-up and went with me to the bathroom.  I will never forget that kindness my love.

Remember the first time your pancreas flared six months ago?   They said, “We can give her medicine but it is going to be expensive,” and we said, “FIX THE DOG.”

I will miss giving you belly and face rubs.   I will miss feeling your beautiful silky ears.     Remember how you inspired Dr. Pepper to get his own dog and LuckyPup instantly fell in love with you and thought you were his mommy?   I don’t know how I am going to tell LuckyPup about this.   I still haven’t told your sisters.

Remember that phase before having human babies when Mommy wanted to dress you up all the time?  You were so tolerant.

You were our first baby and Daddy’s first dog, and I am pretty sure you were the best dog in the world.

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I am sorry that when they told me yesterday that it was liver cancer, that I couldn’t answer, “FIX THE DOG.”   I am sorry if you suffered a moment longer than necessary because mommy wanted to spend more time with you.   I am sorry that it has been hard for you to eat and drink for the last few days.  We just wanted to spend a few more moments with you, precious girl.  I will always appreciate that couple of days where you felt good and chased the gator like a pup and played with me again.

I know my father in heaven and I will see you again sweet puppy.  Say hi to Papa and Sammy Short Legs Daddy and all the people we love and miss.    I will be with you someday.

 

Love,

Mommy

Turnabout is Fair Play

It has finally come to the point that we have to watch what we say and do around Z because she will now loudly voice embarrassing personal information in public.   For example, a couple of weeks ago, we were on our way to her ballet class and I had pneumonia.   I started coughing, so I took a drink of my soda, and got to coughing so hard that I had to pull over and vomit.  When we got to dance, Z loudly announced to the class,  “Mommy was drinking and had to vomit out of the van on the way over her.”   Awesome kid, thanks for that.

Just yesterday I stopped to move a turtle to the other side of the road (because I am a great person, right?) and the turtle peed all over me.   When we arrived at our play date, Z proclaimed,  “A turtle just peed on mommy.  See that water?  It isn’t water.  It is PEEEEEE.”

So, turnabout is fair play.   Recently, Daddy had a birthday.  Z was given a donut at school for a treat.   She brought it home in a plastic bag and it looked a little weird.  When Daddy got home,  she brought it to him and said, “Happy Burfday, Daddy.  I save my donut for you, but I licked the sugar off so it won’t be too sweet.”    Very thoughtful kiddo.

And perhaps the worst ever happened two nights ago.  I was cleaning the back porch and I look out and both the girls are playing in mud.  It was adorable, except it hadn’t been raining in the last few days.   I said, “hey girls, where did you get that mud”.

“I made it with my pee,” Z proudly declared.

As I am staring at my children, horrified, Baby Bird squawks, “I play in PEE MUD!”  while holding her muddy hands up in the air.

Baths were had by all.  And by baths, I mean they were hosed off in the yard.

So, you see dear daughter, turnabout is fair play.  You have your pee story and I have mine!

The Worst Dairy Queen in the World- A Review

I haven’t blogged in some time, but something finally persuaded me to break my silence.   First,  I must disclose that I am not really a Dairy Queen fan, and my husband unabashedly LOVES Dairy Queen.   Recently we were on the way back from Nashville and had the distinctive pleasure of visiting the worst Dairy Queen in the world.

The worst Dairy Queen in the world is located right off of beautiful I-40 at exit 108.   We stopped in on a Saturday afternoon and it was completely empty.  I thought this looked promising because we were in “Off peak” hours and no one was there.  Boy was I mistaken.

First, as we tried to place our order, the clerk seemed puzzled by exotic items that we tried to order such as: burgers and fries.   I politely inquired as she was struggling, “Are you new?”    She replied with a confused, “No, I’ve been here for four years.”     This was not confidence inspiring.

We sit down and wait on our food.   The initial order gets literally every item we ordered wrong.    I sent it back…. 3 times.     I am not talking about small errors.  I am talking about Not. Even. Close.    Fortunately, they eventually got fries for the kiddos .  Z and Baby Bird declared this the “Best Restaurant Ever”.

At this point, my husband and I have been waiting over 30 minutes for our burgers.   The kiddos are asking for ice cream (face palm).  By now, we are in peak dinner rush and the place is full of customers (none of which actually have food).

Hubby and I start taking bets as to whether the drive thru is any faster.  He decides to go through the drive thru to get some ice cream for the kids in hopes that it will be faster.

About the time he starts through the drive thru, they actually bring our burgers.   Now, the kids are clamoring to go to the outdoor play area.   The outdoor play area is giant concrete pad with two tables.  It resembles a prison yard.  I take the girls outside to play and await ice cream.

My children start playing”dinosaur” with some children in the play yard while I struck up a conversation with their mom “Tina”.   Tina is hugely pregnant with three other children already in tow.  Wearing a tiny tank top, and sporting multiple questionable tattoos, Tina has not received her food either.

Amber informs me that it is no surprise to her that the service is bad.  She apparently went to high school with the manager, Amber.  She told me that half the time she gets take out there and has to call and tell Amber she is on her way back over because they screwed up her order, again.

“And these people want us to pay them fifteen GD dollars and hour?”  Tina asks, “I don’t think so.  They don’t deserve that.  They aren’t like those folks at McDonalds in Lexington.  Those people hustle.”

At this point it has been about fifteen to twenty minutes since my husband entered the drive thru.  He calls me and informs me that there are still three cars in front of him.  Unfortunately it is one of those drive thrus that is built so there is no possibility of escape.    Below, is the pictures of my daughters trapped in the Dairy Queen prison yard waiting on ice cream.

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Just one short hour after our arrival, my husband was enjoying his Dairy Queen burger while driving home.

 

 

Random Musings From a 3 Year Old

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Z looks at me in all solemnity the other day and says, “Mommy, did you know we eat cats?”

With some amusement, I replied, “No, we don’t eat cats.”

Z goes on, “Well, Gideon in my class says he eats cats.”

“I think Gideon is pulling your leg, kiddo,” I countered, “We don’t eat cats.”

Z then looks me ominously in the eyes and says, “Well, we could if we have to.”

(Yeah kid, if the dead rise, I will eat the cats before you.   Glad she is prepared.)

 

 

A few days later, I pick Z up from preschool.  She calls all carbonated beverages “Bubble Drink”.   I usually bring her a drink when I pick her up from school.  When she gets in the car, she says, “Mom, did you bring me a soda?”

I said, “Yes, I brought you a soda.”

Z knowingly replies, “Soda is what we call Bubble Drink in Spanish.”

(Pretty sure that it is not.)

Let’s Party!!!

A couple of weekends ago we ventured forth as a family to a children’s birthday party.  It brought to mind many questions about toddler birthday party etiquette.  The birthday party in question was for a two-year old and a five-year old set of brothers.  We arrived late due to being obligated at yet another, earlier toddler birthday party.   We arrived to a home full of running and screaming children.  Some of them were chasing each other, some were eating snacks, and others were playing with Playdough on the floor.

As we ventured further into the party we found the host parents by themselves in the kitchen with one brave soul who stayed behind with her three year old to help supervise.  Apparently, several sets of parents just dropped their 3-5 year old babies off with a family that some of them had never met (although I think they are wonderful people).   They left them there from 10 am until sometime after we finally gave up and left around 2:30.

Let me clarify.  Some of this children needed assistance with both toileting and with eating.  Personally,  I think your child should be able to cut up their own food, and wipe their own backside before leaving them with someone you don’t know for a party that somewhat resembled a toddler cage match.

So,  readers, what is your opinion?  When is it appropriate to drop your 3-5 year old child off for four hours with complete strangers?   Furthermore, should you be concerned if the level of supervision does not meet basic standards for daycare ratios of adults to children?   Who among you look at children’s birthday parties on the weekends as a great opportunity to unload your child for free babysitting?  Am I crazy for asking this question, or just overprotective?  When did you stop going to birthday parties with your children?  What is the cutoff for this?

 

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Kids are STILL Gross

Being a mom of young children, I have neither bathed nor pooped by myself in about three years and 10 months now. Occasionally I do have the audacity to desire a bath. My girls both have decided I need assistance in this activity. They bring me much needed “toys” to play with while I am soaking and will rub my shoulder with a wash cloth to “help” me.
One of my daughters (who shall remain nameless for her protection) is a notorious bath water drinker. She has been drinking bathwater since her earliest bathing experiences. We have to no avail tried to break her of this habit reminding her that “your sister pees in there.”
This particular day she was using a spoon to drink my bath water while I was relaxing and thoroughly trying to ignore her. Daddy walks in and says, “Are you drinking mom’s bathwater?”
I saw her eyes get wide as all of our admonishments regarding drinking bathwater suddenly sunk in. In a panicked voice she asks, “Mom, did you pee in there.”
“Probably,” I replied.
Pausing for a moment, she shrugs, “Oh well, I’ll drink a little anyway.”
Guess we aren’t breaking this bad habit.

When Tragedy Happens

With the tragic death of a sweet baby in our small community, emotions are high.  I can relate to and understand reactions that are similar to mine.   My heart aches for a family, a mother, a father,  a sister, a grandmother, a church, a community.   I grieve the loss of a sweet soul to eternity.

What I am struggling with, are the other reactions, the negative and hurtful reactions.   I cannot believe the insensitivity and some of the horrible comments.  I have thought long and hard about why people would be so cruel.

When they say, “I don’t understand why the family is profiting on the death of this baby,” what they mean is, “I am greedy and envious that I cannot exploit some tragedy in my life for financial gain.”

When they say, “That grandmother is too young, and too pretty…. That grandfather has too many motorcycles and tattoos…. That father had a run in with the law in 1999,” what they mean is, “Don’t look too hard at my family.   I try really hard to present an ideal picture on Facebook.  I don’t want you looking too hard at the skeletons and imperfections in my own life.  I don’t want to talk about my cousin who went to jail and my dad who is an alcoholic.”

When they question the searchers and law enforcement, what they really mean is, “I feel like a guilty jerk that I didn’t do my part by getting off my lazy tail to help by searching or sending a casserole.  My criticism of those who participated makes me feel better about how worthless I have been in this endeavor.”

When they say, “I don’t understand how anyone could lose a two-year old,” what they mean is, “I absolutely understand how this happened, because it (has, could, did, is happening) to me right this moment.  (I lose my two year old in my own house at least once a day.)  This is their fear and them reassuring themselves that it couldn’t happen to them, knowing full well that it is luck that it has not happened to them”

When they petition the government for a deeper investigation, what they mean is, “My right to salacious details and gossip is more important than your pain and grief.”

I hope and pray that those with a negative attitude will consider the pain of their words before making further statements.  However involved you feel in this event, your pain is nothing compared to that of a grieving mother and father.  Please measure your words.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear .Ephesians 4:29

How I Became a Ladybug Farmer

Something strange happened with global warming this year.  My home was inundated by wave after wave of ladybugs.  While one ladybug is magical, forty ladybugs huddled in a corner of your house is less magical.   Ladybugs dense enough on the floor that you are constantly stepping on them are less magical still, and perhaps the least magical of all is finding a ladybug crawling across the butter.

The ladybugs on the floor were easy.  We just vacuumed or swept them up.  Ladybug on the butter, super easy, just throw the butter out.   Ladybugs on twenty foot ceilings are less amenable to removal.  This is where I as a doctor and my husband as an engineer put our brains together.  We have two broken vacuums in the garage that my husband has been promising to fix for two years.  We took the extra tubing from those and duct taped it to our current working vacuum MacGyver style.   Then, whilst carefully placing a ladder on our dining room table, we were able to remove MOST of the ladybugs.  Until, my three year old started crying, “You cant hurt ladybugs.  Ladybugs are our friends.”

Ladybugs who have been through a wind tunnel are not your friends, they are a mangled mass of tentacles and wings.

Fortunately, we have PLENTY of ladybugs to spare and have now opened up a ladybug ranch, complete with soaking pool and a slide.

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Why Long John Silvers Will Kill You

It should be noted that this is shared with permission*

 

I saw an elderly gentleman for a recheck the other day.   He had a blood pressure of 190/110.  He denied any chest pain or shortness of breath and insisted that he felt fine.   I insisted that he get an EKG with his blood work.

About five minutes after he left I received his EKG in my inbox and gasped deeply when it became apparent that he was “tombstoning”.  As one might imagine, tombstoning is not a good sign.  It is a finding on an EKG that looks like a tiny little tombstone in multiple leads and leads to the patient acquiring a real tombstone of their very own.

I proceeded to call the patient in a panic, informing him that he needed to go immediately to the emergency room.

After a moment of hostile silence, he replied, “I am in the drive thru at Long John Silvers, and I am going to get my *&^%#@ fish!”

I calmly explained to him that if he stays to eat the fish, it will likely be his last meal.

He reluctantly agreed to go to the emergency room.

When I saw him back after his hospitalization and heart catheterization I joked with him about it, “Are you going to Long John Silvers today?”

He replied with a twinkle, “I went before I came this time.”

The ‘My Little Ponies” of the Apocalypse

I have never been a “horse girl”.   If you are unfamiliar with what a “horse girl” is, look around you.  You will find them everywhere.  They galloped around as children, and pretended to by horses, and played with plastic horses.   When they became teenagers, they saved up money for riding lessons.  When they grew up, they aspired to owning horses.   I am not that girl.  There is nothing wrong with being that girl.  Some of my best friends are “horse girls”.

Imagine my surprise when the ONLY thing that Z asked for from Santa was My Little Pony figurines.  I asked her again and again and it is the one thing she requested.

I did what any other non “horse girl” would do.  I went on Ebay and ordered a crapload of used My Little Ponies.   Don’t judge me.   I know my kiddo.  When she says she wants My Little Ponies for Christmas, she wants to bathe in them and roll around in them, and those jokers are expensive.

We have been keeping Z’s behavior in check by letting her know that “Santa” got her some ponies, but she will start losing them if she isn’t a “good girl”.

The other night, she was being particularly naughty and I finally had it with her, so I said, “Well, I know one pony you wont be getting.  Santa isn’t going to bring you Twilight Sparkle.”   (Guys,  I was grasping at straws here.  The only two My Little Ponies I know are Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash.   Z burst into tears.

Daddy, the hero came along and told her that he is certain if she is good, that he can talk to “Santa” and get her Twilight Sparkle back.

“%$@(@*##*@” I think to myself.   I didn’t get her a Twilight Sparkle.  That’s why I told her Santa wouldn’t bring her one.  Now I have to go buy some REAL, NEW #(@#(*&# PONIES!  So frustrated.  Thought I had really managed to cheap out on this pony thing.  Thanks Daddy!

Career Aspirations

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Z went to her playgroup last week.  When she came home, she handed me a giant wad of her hair.  I said, “Where did you get that?”  She nonchalantly replied, “I cut it at Nana B’s.”  Awesome.

At bedtime, I start questioning Z about why she cut her hair.

Me:  Why did you cut your hair, sweetie?

Z: Because I NEED to cut hair.

Me:  Well maybe, Granny Z (who is a stylist) can show you when your older.

Z:  (Tearing up, defiantly) NO, I NEED to cut hair NOW, while I’m little.

This was followed by 20 minutes of rocking a wailing toddler who is mumbling about how she has a burning need to cut hair.  Somewhere in there she explained to me that she asked for My Little Ponies for Christmas with the explicit intention of cutting their hair.  We talked about how their hair wouldn’t grow back if she did that, and she conceded that this might not be the best course of action.  The conversation continues….

Z:  (Ugly crying and wiping snot on my shirt)… But..but…but….I can CUTS YOUR hair.

Nope, Nope, Nope.  No. You. Cannot.

Me:  No, you cant cut Mommy’s hair.

Followed by another crying jag and more snot.

Z:  (hopefully)  Well, what if I sneak up on you and cut it?

Me:  I think that is going to end badly for you.

Z:  (getting the idea)  Well, maybe I can cut Daddy’s hair?

Me:  Now you’re talking kid…

The Storm

Storms have always been a fear of mine.  As a storm is fast approaching, I consider the other storms that have gone before.   I remember a tornado when I was in college that tore apart my hometown and wrecked landmarks left and right.   Friends lost everything they had as the storm ripped their dorms apart.   The thing I remember most is that I was doing a research project with rats.  Because the buildings were not declared “safe” yet, they wouldn’t let me in to feed them or check on them and they ate each other.  It was like something out of 1984.  Very traumatic.

Fast forward to Hurricane Elvis while I was in medical school at UT.   I remember walking over a breezeway going toward The Med watching the storm hit.  We didn’t have much damage, but we didn’t have power for two weeks.   I slept and showered at the children’s hospital where I was on rotation.   We ate like kings at our apartment complex because everyone had to grill the meat from their refrigerators.   Then, about a week in, my brother who had gone to stay at my mom’s in the air conditioning called to say he had left “a few things” in his refrigerator and could I go clean it out.   Oh Mother of Mercy.  A few things was basically a whole hog and possibly half a cow, rotted for a week in the Memphis heat.   Again, traumatic.

Then there was residency.   A tornado rolled right down our street taking the windows, siding and roof on one side of my house.   I remember laying on the floor and hoping and praying that the storm would pass us by.  It did, by about 20 feet.  It picked up the roof of our house and set it back down, cracking most of the rafters.  We walked through debris in stunned silence that night helping neighbors crawl out of their demolished homes.  I remember the fear after it passed of not knowing if it was really over, or if we were still in the “eye” and another round was coming.   Also, traumatic.

Last week we all slept as a family in our “storm room” as another storm was bearing down.  I was lying there awake with Baby Bird nestled onto my chest as I was trying to avoid hearing the roar that is my husband’s snore.  I noticed as he started snoring, that Z, my three-year old, was laying on his back.   She was sucking her thumb with one eye open.  About the time I would get really annoyed with Daddy’s snoring to the point I was about to kick him, sweet Z would reach over and yank his ear really hard.   He responded by grunting and a temporary cessation to his snoring.   I observed this three or four times to ensure it wasn’t a fluke.  I. Love. that. kid.

Tonight, we are in the storm room again, praying for safety for all, lucky to have a “storm room”.  Wonder what this storm holds?

Why My Daughter is a Better Person Than I Am

One of my friends recently posted this bit of hilarity on their Facebook feed:

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Is it completely inappropriate and mean spirited?  Absolutely.  Also, really, really funny.

Imagine my horror when my three-year old leaned over my shoulder and said, “Is that you mommy?”

What? Really kid?  I haven’t lost the baby weight entirely, but I’m not THAT fat and besides I would never wear that. (Is what I wanted to shout at my child)

Instead I said, “Sweetie, she doesn’t have red hair.  Mommy has red hair.”  (I really didn’t want to mention the size difference because we are working on avoiding mention of such things in front of an impressionable toddler)

She persisted in her belief that it was a picture of me.

I finally asked, “Baby, why do you think that is mommy?”

“Because she looks so pretty and happy,” she replied.

And then I realized that what I saw and what my sweet daughter saw were two very different things.  I love her heart.  I love that she saw pretty and happy where I saw fat and smug.  I wish I saw people with her heart and eyes.

The Nonlinearity of Parenthood

So, I have oft wondered why my house has been a tragic mess since the birth of my second child, and I have heard it said that the work created by additional children is exponential, not linear.   This astonishing correlation was proved true tonight.

Behold the list of things I can accomplish with both children present:

–          Maybe pee, but definitely not by myself

Behold the list of things I accomplished in an ninety minutes while I only had ONE CHILD:

  • Changed from work clothes into comfy clothes
  • Peed
  • Sat on floor and fed the baby
  • Put all household laundry away
  • Emptied two dishwashers
  • Reloaded two dishwashers
  • Watered the plants
  • Cooked a made from scratch meal
  • Paid a bill
  • Wrote a personal letter
  • Realized I forgot something and revised personal letter
  • Changed clothes again into work clothes
  • Applied linseed oil to the patio furniture
  • Picked up dog poop
  • Made chalk drawings with Baby Bird
  • Took relaxing bubble bath (not kidding y’all)
  • Put clothes back on Baby Bird
  •   Took adorable videos of Baby bird

Suddenly everything is clear.  No wonder life was so much easier with one baby, and it is nice to be productive for a day, but I wouldn’t have life any other way.

Doctor’s Visit

One would think that because I am a doctor, and have so much experience with doctor’s offices that taking my children to the doctor would be a breeze.  One would think.

I scheduled Baby Bird and Z for an early morning appointment because I figured it would be easiest to get in and out.  Everything started fine.  They were dressed in their cute little outfits and everyone was commenting about the adorableness of them and they were well behaved.  I was very self congratulatory at this point about my awesome parenting skills.

They got called back and did great with height and weight.

Then came the eye chart.  Z in typical Z fashion cant follow instructions at all and keeps running closer to take “a better look”.     Then she starts getting frustrated because Baby Bird is yelling out “star” and “heart” before she can name them on the chart, and it was her turn.

Then the obligatory waiting began.  I was prepared for this and brought snacks, except the ravenous Baby Bird ate them all before Z got anything but a handful of raisins.  This was a disaster.  I decided to play videos from Frozen to keep them calm but forgot that Z is afraid of Frozen and this resulted in her hiding behind the table crying.

She peeked her snot-encrusted face from around the table declaring, “Mommy, I gotta Potteeeeeeee!”

Great, Fabulous.  You have not been interested in initiating the voiding of your own bodily functions for a full 3 years and 3 months of life.  Glad that you decided, now, in the doctor’s office is the time.  Hurray.

Then I have a debate with myself.  I really don’t want to take this child into the bathroom at the doctor’s office.  The doctor is probably right outside the door ready to see us. Plus, I have to take her sister.  No telling what germs they are likely to come in contact with, however; we are working on potty training, so I have to make a decision.

I lug both kiddos down the hallway.  The nurse hands me a hat to collect a urine specimen.  Z notices the hat and immediately places it on the floor in an attempt to potty in it, which results in confusion and disaster.  I take the hat and place it on the toilet and place Z on the toilet.   She promptly falls into the toilet and starts trying to retrieve the fallen collection hat out of the toilet while I am pleading, “Z, don’t touch ANYTHING.”  Baby Bird takes this moment to start unrolling reams of toilet paper onto the floor. While I am addressing this situation, Z (who has been warned NOT to touch ANYTHING) has managed to get her beloved toy “Baby Panda” actually in the toilet.

I sigh.  Abandoning Baby Panda is a non-viable option.  I don a pair of neoprene gloves and fish Baby Panda out and place her in a biohazard bag and proceed with decontamination procedures on my children.

My husband says she cant breathe in there.

My husband says she cant breathe in there.

Z asks if she can hold the Panda in the biohazard back which I reluctantly agreed to.  Finally we are being examined by the doctor and while it is Baby Bird’s turn, Z manages to free Baby Panda from containment resulting in at least a gallon of hand sanitizer.  After getting her shot, she kissed the nurse on the cheek and on her way out declared, “Thanks guys, I had a really nice time.”

In related news, Mommy needs a glass of wine.

If I Behaved Like My Toddler

With the beautiful weather of spring I have been taking the girls to the park. Their behavior leaves something to be desired, and I have begun to reflect on what would happen if I acted like them at the park. Here is a short synopsis of two recent visits to the park.

  • Z aggressively approaches another small girl who is actively trying to climb her mother to get away from Z. Z is yelling, “Hey, PLAY with me!!!!”
  • Z was undeterred by the lukewarm response, so she went and found some rocks and returned to the little girl yelling, “PLAY with MEEEEEE! I HAVE ROCKS”

(I am pretty sure if I did those things, I would have a restraining order slapped against me)

 

  • Z finally agrees to play with scared little girl’s older brother.   She returns to me and says, “He called me “Poopy Pants” because I wear a diaper.” I nervously get ready to comfort Z at her first experience with bullying.   She then says gleefully, “I throws pine cones at him.”

(Pretty sure if I did this, it would be called assault and I would spend at least the night in the clink.)

 

  • Z finishes up by writhing on the ground making dirt angels and mud pies while dressed in a tutu as a fairy princess.

(At this point I am sure that I would be placed in a padded wagon.)

 

  • Not to be outdone, Baby Bird carefully examines a small frog that she caught for a few seconds before popping it into her mouth for a taste.

(Not even sure what would happen to me if I did this, probably the same runny poops that she has been experiencing, but I am pretty sure I would get some odd looks)

 

So in summary to all you toddlers out there, take advantage of this now before you are old enough to be held responsible for your behavior. For now, they hold ME responsible for it and I am getting some strange vibes from some people regarding my parenting skills.

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