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Thursday, March 29, 2012

But, he always redeems himself . . . .

The beginning of the week was a little rough.  On numerous occasions I thought, "Wow, Gavin's going to be lucky if he makes it the few short weeks until his 4th birthday."  Monday morning started immediately with tears upon his awakening.  Why?  Who knows, but there were a lot of them.  Granted he had spent most of the weekend playing with his cousins and having a ball, so I'm certain he was tired.  But his tiredness just translated into him being pretty damn pathetic.

He cried about getting out of bed.  He cried about what he wanted to eat for breakfast.  He cried about which cartoon he was going to watch.  He cried about what he was going to wear to school.  When I told him that he needed to go put his socks and shoes on (just as he does EVERY day), he laid on the ground and told me he didn't know how.  He had miraculously forgotten how to put socks and shoes on overnight.  I informed him that if he couldn't be a big boy and put his socks and shoes on then I was going to throw away his "big boy" toys.  So, he promptly sat down, put his left shoe on his right foot, and then tried to put his sock over his shoe.  He looked at me and said, "See, I can't do it." 

This game persisted for at least five minutes.  I spent most of the time rolling my eyes at him behind his back.

Daycare drop-off was another source of drama.  He wanted to take his blanket to daycare for nap time (fine).  Then, he wanted to wear the blanket over his head as we walked into the room (not fine).  When I wouldn't let him, he threw himself on the ground.  When I threatened to take away his iPad privileges, he got up, but he refused to open his eyes or detach himself from my leg.  When I tried to leave, he clawed at my legs, grabbed my hands and arms, and did everything he could to physically attach himself to me.

And that was only the first two hours of Monday morning.  During the next 48 hours, he also did things like wipe his chocolate-covered face on a white t-shirt that was lying on the ground, lick my cell phone, and smear his spaghetti sauce face all over the wall.

At that point, I was fairly certain he would spend at least six months in timeout. 

But, he always redeems himself . . .

Poor little Arnie beagle isn't doing well.  The vet is ruling out a bulged disc, but something has happened that has made it almost impossible for him to move his back legs.  The other possible diagnoses don't look good.  When I went to sit on the floor and pet Arnie, Gavin said to me, "Mommy, you need to be careful.  Arnie is very sick.  You have to pet him very gentle.  Don't touch his legs.  Just pet him like this."  He promptly walked over, gently rubbed the dog's head, gave him a kiss, and told him, "Good boy, Arnie." 

It melted my heart, and I instantly forgot about everything naughty thing he had done up until that point.  Even when it seems like the devil has possessed him, he has the ability to be the kindest kid I have ever met.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Charlie Part II

It appears that Charlie has returned to our home . . . in a reincarnated form so to speak.  In case you don't remember, I got Gavin a puppy, who he named Charlie, over the summer.  And then I had to give him away a few months later.  Gavin still talks about Charlie all the time, even though he cried a lot and whined about Charlie when he was living with us.  He clearly remembers only the positive aspects of their short-lived relationship.

The other day, I took Gavin to see the butterflies at the Fred Meijer Gardens.  He was more interested in the gift shop than the butterflies, but he still had a pretty good time.  Upon leaving, he wanted to get a stuffed butterfly . . . I talked him into getting something else.  He picked out a small, stuffed dog that he decided to name . . . Charlie.

Gavin has a lot of toys.  He has quite a few stuff animals.  But, I've never seen him take to one quite like this one.  In fact, I'm a little concerned that he thinks the dog is real.

Charlie goes everywhere with us.  He rides in the car with us all the time.  (Gavin tells me that Charlie likes to look out the window.)  Charlie goes to work with me since he can't go to daycare (or at least that's what I tell Gavin - I really just leave the toy dog in the car).  Charlie goes on walks and on bike rides as well.  Charlie eats breakfast with Gavin (he really likes cereal), and snuggles up with him in bed every night.

Don't be fooled - there's training wheels.  You just can't see them!

When we went shoe shopping for Gavin, we had to look for shoes for Charlie as well (even though I told him dogs don't wear shoes.  But, apparently Air Bud wears shoes, so . . .).  Charlie gets sick and has to lay on the couch for a little while.  He always feels better after a short rest, though.  Sometimes Charlie's naughty and has to go in timeout.  (I'm not really sure what he does to earn a timeout, but it must be pretty serious). 

I had to put my foot down when it came to taking Charlie swimming, giving Charlie a bath, and letting Charlie go potty in the toilet.  Charlie is a very affectionate dog (considering that he's not alive).  He gives kiss, likes to be pet (but don't pet his eyes), and loves having his tummy rubbed. 

I'm not sure how long will Charlie receive this vast amount of attention for, but if he starts trying to sleep in my bed with me, he's going to find himself in the dog house pretty quick.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Public Service Announcement: Naming Your Child

As a teacher, I often find myself saying, "What the hell were his/her parents thinking?" as I scroll through my attendance lists.  Usually, when I take attendance on the first day of class, I make kids say their names aloud because I'm bound to royally screw one up if I try to read the names off the list.  In an effort to be "unique" parents take a simple name like Mackenzie and modify it to something almost incomprehensible like Mykhenzee.  It's great that you want a "unique" name for your child, but they're going to hate you when they learn how to write their names in kindergarten or when people constantly spell their name incorrectly.  And, I often wonder if parents realize that it still sounds exactly the same.  So, when I call out "Mackenzie" or "Mykhenzee" in class, there's still confusion as to which person I'm talking to.

But, that's not really the big issue I have.  Choose whatever messed up spelling you want for your child's name if that makes you happy.  What I'm more worried about are what I like to call the "What the F&*! Names."  Take, for instance, the birth announcement I saw in the doctor's office the other day:

"The proud parents would like to introduce you to Gangster Storm Stewart."



You named your kid Gangster?


And you thought that was a good idea because:
1.  When they get a job at McDonald's they get to wear a name tag that says "Gangster" and everyone will think it's a joke?
2.  For the rest of their young life, the entire classroom will snicker when the teacher calls out, "Gangster?"
3.  You thought it would make a really good lawyer/doctor/engineer name when they grow up?

I can't even make this shit up.

My advice to parents who are choosing a name for their child:  Choose wisely.  You might think it's "unique" and "different" but remember your kid has to have this name for the rest of their life, or at least until they turn 18 . . .

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weird things that suck about parenting

First, I want to preface this post by saying that I don't think parenting sucks.  I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a parent, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Even on the days where I've been awake since 3:15am, unable to sleep for some unknown reason, and Gavin comes into my bed at 5:45am, just as I dooze off, jumping on the bed yelling, "It's time to get up!  It's time to get up!"  Or on the days where he's colored on the walls with a Sharpie while I was in the shower.  I wouldn't even trade it then.

When you get ready to have a child, you know there are going to be some things that are, well, less than pleasant.  You know you're not going to sleep, you know you have to change really disgusting diapers, and you know that you'll get puked on at some point.  You know about those things, you hear about those things, and you're prepared for them.  You're prepared to be a parent 24/7, except for the few times you're lucky to get a sitter for a few hours.  You're even prepared to have to get up at an ungodly hour to take care of a screaming child after you've knowingly indulged in one too many adult beverages, and you know it's going to suck.  You're prepared for its suckiness.  But there are some things that suck that you didn't think about when you were anticipating the arrival of your bundle of joy.

Things like slivers.  Not slivers in you, but slivers in your child.  They suck.  They really, really suck.

Today, the weather was gorgeous.  Every last lingering pile of snow melted, the sun was out, and it was warmer than it's been in a long time.  This, of course, meant that there were piles and piles (and piles and piles) of dog shit in the yard that had to be picked up before I could enjoy any sort of outdoor activity with Gavin.  (Not because I never pick it up but because my dog needs to go a minimum of three times a day for some unknown reason).  As I was searching for doggy doo-doo landmines, Gavin decided to get out his wheelbarrow and push it around the yard.  Less than two seconds later, he came running up to me, holding his hand, crocodile tears in his eyes, lip quivering, and showed me that he had a sliver.

"No big deal," I naively said.  "We'll go in the house, get the tweezers, and it will be out in no time."


I sat him on the bathroom counter, grabbed the tweezers, and before I was even six inches from his hand, he pulled it back and screamed, "Ouch!"

"I didn't even touch it yet."

"Don't touch my hand.  Don't touch my hand.  It hurts.  Don't bend my fingers back."

I explained to Gavin that I would get it out quickly and then we could finish playing outside.

He shook his head no.

"Fine.  If I don't get it out, it will get infected, and then it will hurt more.  And, you'll have to go to the doctor."

That argument was enough to convince him to allow me to at least look at his hand, and touch part of his arm, but I wasn't getting any closer. 

I bribed with a popsicle.

I gave him the popsicle as a distraction.

He was not distracted.

I endured 30 minutes of: "I want you to get it out.  Don't touch it, though.  It hurts.  Don't look at it.  Look at.  Don't touch it.  Get it out.  I don't want to go to the doctor.  I want my daddy to get it out.  I don't want it in there.  Just leave it in there.  Stop, you're hurting me.  Ouch.  I want you to try to get it out in the kitchen.  I just want to go in the living room.  Don't bend my fingers.  I don't want to watch.  I want to watch."  And, it was all to no avail.  I was not getting within two feet of that sliver anytime soon.

No matter what I said, no matter what I did, I was not going to be getting that sliver out with tweezers, my fingernails, or anything else.  There were tears and tears and tears and a whole lot of frustration on my part.  There was no rationalizing with him.

So, now we're soaking the sliver, urging it to come out on its own.  I hope it listens.  If not, I'm not sure what I'm going to do to get it out.  One thing I do know, however, is that I never expected so much drama from a tiny sliver.  Slivers suck.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I didn't lie, but I just want to say I'm sorry.

Last night, I shut off the vacuum and turned around to see a red-cheeked Gavin standing there waiting for me.

"Momma, I need you to come see something?"

I asked him, "What happened?"

"I just need you to come see."

So, I followed him into the living room, and he pointed to the wall above the couch.  One of the pictures on the wall was barely hanging onto its nail - ready to fall at any second.

"How did that happen?" I inquired.

"I don't know."

"Gavin, don't lie to me," I said, giving him a stern look.  "What were you doing?"

"I didn't do it, Momma."

"Then who did?" I asked.

Gavin scanned the room, and then he pointed to Danion, our dog, who was comfortably dozing on the couch right below the picture.

"Danion did that to the picture?" I asked with obvious disbelief.

"Uh huh."

Poor Danion always gets the blame.

"And just how did he do that?"

"I don't know."

"Gavin, Danion didn't do that.  Don't lie to me."

He looked at the dog, looked at the picture, and then said with the utmost seriousness, "I didn't lie, but I just want to say I'm sorry."

Um, but you did lie.

"So, you're telling me that you did that to the picture?"

"Uh huh."

"Because you were climbing and jumping on the couch like you're not supposed to?"

"Uh huh."

Well, I'm glad we got that straightened out because I was really concerned about exactly what my dog might be doing when I'm not looking.