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.

20151216_073722.jpg

Advertisements

Career Aspirations

wpid-img_20151120_185925_503.jpg

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…

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.

College Prep

untitled

Just like any parent, I really want my girls to have the opportunity to go to college if that is what they desire. To be clear, I don’t believe college is for everyone and there are many paths that are valid such as trade school, apprenticeship, military service and many others that are good choices for different personality types. Contrary to popular belief, college is NOT for everyone. For some, college leaves them forty thousand in debt with a degree in a career that they will never get a job in and have no ability to unburden themselves from this crippling burden. Most of these unfortunate souls can be found clutching their liberal arts degrees while rocking back and forth in their parent’s basements. I don’t want my children to live in my basement forever. I know they are only two and eight-months old, but it is never too early to start considering their education.

The other day I get a phone call at work from my husband. Z has thrown up for the first time.   I shudder with the reflection of my own first vomit experience. It was chili. I was about Z’s age. I vividly recall spewing it onto the colorful carpet of my room. I remember a chili bean being stuck in my nostril for weeks.   I had immediate concern for the trauma that my two-year old had endured.

According to my hubby, he found her in bed with vomit in her hair and had to clean the sheets, the million stuffed animals, and the two-year old (who hates having her hair washed). I felt really bad for him because he is a sympathetic puker.   Hubby showed tremendous fortitude in his biohazard clean up duty.

It disturbed me all day. I was concerned about my baby girl sleeping in that soiled mess for hours.   I felt various emotions. I was sad, empathetic, and a little guilty when I reflected upon all the candy-corn I let her eat the night before (which was probably the cause of the incident in the first place).

When I arrived home I gave Z a big hug and asked her about the incident, “What happened last night Z?”

“I made my bed all sticky and icky and I made a weird noise.”

“A weird noise?” I asked with curiosity.

“Hoooooooouuuuuahhhh,” she responded.

I am familiar with this noise both personally and professionally, “So why didn’t you call for Mommy and Daddy?”

She considered for a moment and with a shrug said, “I just put my pillow and some animals over it and went to sleep on the other end of my crib.”

It was this instant that I realized that all my efforts were successful and this child of mine is far more prepared for college than I had previously suspected.

Nightmares and Dreamscapes

jack

I remember having a few nightmares as a child. I had a recurring dream about tornadoes sweeping me away. Ironically, this dream went away after I was actually in a real tornado. I guess there is something to be said for facing your fears.

I remember being about five years old when Dr. Pepper in his infinite wisdom decided it was okay for me to watch Poltergeist. (He was about eleven at the time, so don’t judge him too harshly). That resulted in pretty bad dreams and an inability to sleep with the closet door open for about thirteen years. But one thing no one tells you is that there is something more disruptive and disturbing to your sleep than your own bad dreams, and that is the bad dreams of your two-year old.

Z is a pretty sound sleeper, but about once a month she will wake up screaming lie a banshee because of a bad dream. Here are some of my favorites:

“Z sweetie, what was your dream about?”

“A monster,” (keep in mind that this child is only allowed to watch PBS).

“A monster? What kind of monster? What did he look like?”

“He was blue and he was eating ALL the cookies and then he was going to eat me.”

That’s right folks, kiddo had a nightmare about Cookie Monster. She thought he was going to eat her. She has also had nightmares about dragons in the jungle who were going to eat her (I place the blame squarely on Dinosaur Train for this one).

Last week she woke up screaming and I asked her what was wrong and she told me there was a bug in her bed. I paused for a second on this one because we have had a little bit of a spider problem, and I figured that this was potentially a real situation. So, I emptied her crib and even lifted up her mattress and couldn’t find anything. Upon a more in-depth query it became apparent that the bug in question was a giant purple beetle with pink stripes and I realized that this was probably not a legitimate concern.

By far the most disturbing dream she had was also the one that was most panic inducing. It occurred a few months ago right after she turned two. I awoke to her screaming.

“Z what’s wrong?”

“I was in a rocket and a ball came at the rocket and the ball went BOOM and the rocket went BOOM and I died and Aunt Panda had to take care of my body.”

Wow, that isn’t a creepy thing for your child to say at all you creepy little kid. I don’t really know how my two-year old learned about rockets, or explosions, or death, or embalming. Not sure how this happened, but it is really weird being confronted with it.

Interesting thing, as soon as I come and comfort her, she is calm and ready to go back to sleep immediately. She has even told me, “Mommy strong. You keep monsters away.”

It makes me reflect back on a time in my childhood to one of my earliest memories. I was riding in the back seat with Dr. Pepper while my Mom and Dad were driving us somewhere at night. I was watching the lights of a plane flying overhead and I felt so small and so infinite at the same time. I remember feeling completely and totally safe. I remember feeling like nothing on earth could harm me.

I wish Mommy was strong enough to keep the monsters away.   I wish this was true. I wish that I could protect my daughters from all of the world’s evils. In a world where there are children being killed by hunger, and thirst, and disease and war, I can’t even protect my child from being made fun of on the playground much less any of these larger concerns.

It is humbling to realize how little control I have. I don’t remember the point in life where I realized that my parents really couldn’t protect me. I want my children to hold onto this feeling of security as long as possible.

This is all enveloped in the larger realization that ,my parents were never in control at all, and neither am I. You see, It is my Father in heaven who holds this world, including me and my precious girls in his hands. And I cannot protect them from all the things I consider bad, because some of them are just a result of living in a fallen world, and some of them may be part of his bigger plan for their lives. But it sure is comforting to know that I don’t have to be in charge and I can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Chloe The Magnificent

                The other day I experienced my first bout of “Mom Jealosy”. So far, Z has been basically perfect, and Baby Bird is too small to compare to other children. Sure, we have toddler friends that Z plays with, and some of them are cuter than her, but they sound like Jabberwockies and Z is saying things like, “No mommy, I don’t like that, it’s ugly, I want the cute one,” or “Oh look, binoculars!” (True story).

                So, point being, she is usually the most adorable, intelligent, amazing two-year old I know. Of course, now all my other toddler mom friends will now know that I have been comparing our children. But I suspect they may be delusional in their beliefs that their little angels are superior to Z as well.

                Imagine my surprise as I encountered during an office visit, the Toddler Unicorn that shall now be known as Chloe The Magnificent (CTM). CTM came in for her well child visit. She had flowing red locks, and I mean flowing. She is only two-years old. When has she had time to grow flowing locks? I reflected on the sparse nubbin of hair on Z’s head that can barely be scraped into a small hair-clip, and that I had formerly found so engagingly adorable.

                I already found myself judging this child and thinking, “Okay, you have awesome hair, but I bet you sound like a Gremlin. Z’s hair may not be “flowing and luscious”, but she is still brilliant.

                Then CTM said, “Hi! You’re the doctor! I’m Chloe.”

                My heart sank. She seems pretty legit. I glanced down at the chart. Only two months older than Z, and Z was just going up to people at the park last week saying, “Hi! I’m Me.” Like she didn’t understand what her name was. I thought it was cute at the time, but now I am reflecting on the possibility that she may not get into an Ivy League School, and do I even want her to go Ivy League because they are overpriced and exhibit horrible grade inflation.

                Then her mom said, “Chloe, tell the doctor your full name dear.”

                “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m Chloe The Magnificent,” she beamed.

                Crap, my kid barely knows her first name. Maybe that’s something they learn between twenty-four and twenty-six months I comforted myself.

                At this point, I am understandably getting a little competitive. I start her developmental screening. She can recite her alphabet. That’s cool. Z will do that if you give her enough candy, although I am sure that CTM only makes nutritious food choices consistent with an ethical, locally grown policy.

                She can draw a circle. Check, Z can do that.

                She can count to twenty. No biggie, Z can too. I am down with that, but then her mom starts saying, “CTM, draw the doctor a number seven, oh good sweetie, now do 10.”

                At this point, I am like, “You have got to be kidding me.” This kid can write her numbers. Z is lucky to be able to recognize how many fingers I am holding up.

                Then her mom says, “Now show the doctor how you write your name.”

                Shut. The. Front. Door. Seriously? And there it was in perfect childish scrawl, “CTM” plain as day.   At this point, I have determined that CTM is indeed a Toddler Unicorn, not to be confused with a Pregnancy Unicorn (pregnant mom that doesn’t show till the ninth month, and then it is just a cute little bump).

                I found myself going home and saying things like, “Z, what’s your full name?” Which was met with a blank stare, or, “Want to learn to write your numbers?”

                But when Z greets me at the end of a long day at work with giggles and cuddles, she is just as smart and beautiful as she needs to be. Maybe my job is to help her cope with the fact that there will always be someone smarter and prettier than you are. There will always be someone better, but she is the best Z she can be and she is the Z that our Father in Heaven created and loves, and that is always good enough.

                But, two days ago I was sitting on the couch while Z was playing with some of her toys, and she starts saying, “Uno, dos, tres…” and she counted all the way to ten in Spanish. I thought smugly to myself, “I bet CTM the Toddler Unicorn can’t do that.”

You stuck what? Where?

            In nearly ten years of being a physician, I have pulled foreign bodies out of every orifice of the human body.  I have washed bugs out of people’s ears (and peas, and corn) and pulled bits of foam out of nasal passages.  I will not even begin to address the other orifices and the things I have found there.  This is not that kind of blog.

            Every time I have pulled a popcorn kernel out of a toddler’s nose as their mortified parents protest their embarrassment, I have been smug.  I have smugly informed them, that it is really common and a “lot of kids stick things in their nose or ear.”  Inwardly I was thinking, “Yeah, stupid kids.  Not my kid.”

           That was until today. 

          Z has been picking her nose for about two weeks.  We have been trying to discourage this behavior, and we thought it was just something she was going through.  We tried to not make a huge deal about it.  We hoped she would grow out of it.   Finally, I had it with her today when she kept her finger in there for about an hour straight, and being the competent physician I am, I dusted off the old bulb-suction and went to town.

          I saw something back in the back of her right nostril.  I thought to myself, “This is the mother-load of boogers.”  I suctioned several times, and it moved forward, but not enough to get out, but enough to make it apparent that this was a foreign body.  I asked her if she stuck something in her nose, and she giggled, “Yeah, Mommy.” 

          This is where my expert medical training came in.  I grabbed a set of curved Kelly forceps from the manicure kit, and told my two-year old to “hold still”.  With the illumination of a flash light, and a couple of fishing expeditions, I was rewarded with a chunk of styrofoam, and a smiling toddler saying, “Thank you, Mommy.”

 

IMG_20140607_164528_461

            I found myself examining this, thinking to myself, “When was the last time we had a package delivered with foam?”  and, “How long has that thing been in her nose?”  She has been having trouble sleeping at night and now I am second-guessing if this was the problem all along.  Oh, and don’t forget the amazing diagnostic skills that allowed this physician to overlook a giant piece of foam in her toddler’s nose for at least two-weeks.  Mommy fail.  Doctor fail.  I guess it why they recommend not treating yourself or your family.

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

Uturnlavern's Blog

Thoughts and opinions from UTurn LaVern

The Accidental Missionary

A regular guy tryin' to figure it out

lindseydaffin

Live Free & Be True to Yourself

modern father online

one dad's thoughts on parenting in these crazy modern times...

barbellsandpacifiers

My personal journey to stay a happy, healthy, new mommy!

Kitt O'Malley

Love, Learn & Live with Bipolar Disorder

Not Just Sassy on the Inside

The Journey toward higher consciousness and finding the sassy girl

Perichoretic Theosis

"God became man so that we might become gods." --St. Athanasius

Eclectic odds n sods

Parenting, Pet Tales, Humour & Photography

notthrowingstones.today

(but maybe tomorrow)

My So-Called Life

Is this real life?

Drunk on Life

Every day is a reason to celebrate.

Mark Bialczak

What will I write about next?

The Perfect Dad

Every man dies. Not every man truly parents.

iwantedwings

A Geeky Feminist's Musings On Pop Culture

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.

sillyliss.com

I meant it that way.