Archive for June, 2013

24 Jun 2013

My Little Man… Today

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This is who he is today. Two months from six-years-old, a pre-school graduate, eight weeks away from starting kindergarten. He wouldn’t think of not dressing up to graduate. He is obsessed with anything having to do with the creatures who live in the ocean, especially Giant Squid and Sperm Whales. He still has all of his baby teeth, but three of them are “wobbly”, as he likes to say. He is polite, saying “Excuse me” whenever he has a question for an adult. He can’t walk by a dog without petting it. He loves to show younger kids the ropes. He loves to look at older girls. He is so into Big Time Rush music that it’s all we listen to in the car. He still says “mine” instead of my… As in, “This is mine book about sea creatures.” He is so proud of the trophy he got for completing his t-ball season. He hugs his friends with all of his might. He hugs and kisses me all the time. He yells, “I love you” and “air hug” and “remember to say I love you in your head today” any time we say goodbye. He can’t stand making mistakes, he loves to draw, he’s an incredibly fast runner, and he’s got a “great arm”. If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up he’ll say, “I want to study Whales and Squids and get to see them battle in the deep, deep ocean”, or “A paleontologist”. He doesn’t like vegetables, except for carrots. He loves any kind of fruit you put in front of him. His favorite foods are pizza and burgers… And anything made with sugar. He wants a sibling. He is joyful and stubborn and incredibly smart and funny.

This is who he is… Today.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since Garrett was born, it’s to expect constant change. Phases that last for a year, that I think will never end, end with a whisper. Obsessions change in the blink of an eye.

For nearly a year, G couldn’t go to sleep without a song called “No Dreams Garrett”. It was accompanied by a hand gesture that indicated a magic spell and sips of his water that turned into a potion. One night he didn’t want the song. And that was that.

For about six months last year, G was having anxiety. (Probably because I was having anxiety too.) Every day he asked if he was going to throw up. Then one day he stopped.

For nearly two years, we couldn’t pass any major landmark in our lives… The school, the diner, the store… Without G (and us) yelling out loud what we were passing. We don’t really do that anymore.

One thing that never changed was our goodbye ritual at school. For three years of preschool, G and I hugged, kissed, hugged and kissed again, then had an elaborate waving ritual with him at the window, and me walking toward the car. The windows changed as he got older, but not the goodbyes. “I love you”, “Air hug”, “See you at three” was paired with thumbs-up, waves, salutes, air hugs, and one final wave after rounding the corner then popping back around. Tuesday was our last one of those. I know next year “Real School” starts, and that won’t happen again.

 

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I know these “endings” are harder for me than they are for him. They stab at my heart with a sharp edge, but the pain fades as the new beginnings start.  And as much as I know the changes are as inevitable as my pride in seeing him grow, I pray that some things last forever:

I pray that his joyous nature will not change. I pray he will always be kind and mindful of others. I pray that he makes fast friends who are true and good, and have his best interests at heart. I pray that he has an adventurous spirit but stays cautious. I pray that we remain close. I pray he isn’t afraid to talk to me about anything, ever. I pray that he marries a partner worthy of him, that he is happy in his work, that he is confident and brave and unafraid to love.

I pray that in the years before he becomes an adult, his days are filled with fun and laughter and that his childhood is a memorable one for only good reasons.

I pray we can keep up with all of his constant changes.

I love who my kid is today. And I can’t wait to see who he is tomorrow.

06 Jun 2013

Lice Mother, Lice Son.

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Last week was one of the most exhausting weeks of my lice. I mean life. It’s not that I don’t lice doing laundry, I mean LIKE doing laundry. It’s just that I don’t like doing 45 loads in four days. Luckily, there was a lice, I mean LIGHT at the end of the tunnel, but it seemed very far away. And I still haven’t totally recovered. It wasn’t just the laundry. It was the vacuuming, wiping down, scrubbing, and cleaning things that didn’t even need to be cleaned. There’s a fine lice between cleaning and cleaning OBSESSIVELY. And itching non-stop. I mean line. There’s a fine line.

Yes, our family was struck. This was the third time this year the little buggers came to visit our school. And, since we completely missed it the other two times, I was confident we would msis it again. We didn’t. WE didn’t. Did you get that part? WE. G and I. Me and G.

Luckily, we got to it early. It started Tuesday morning. Russ had taken G to school and I had just gotten on my “walking Bogie” clothes when the phone rang. Russ gave the phone to G who sweetly said he was coming home because he had lice. They arrived home moments later and then it began. I called the Lice Lady, (Yes, there’s a Lice Lady), got on line to do research, and started my day. Lice Lady arrived about 90 minutes later and combed through G’s hair for an hour. Then I insisted she comb through mine. I had it. Barely. But that’s like being a little pregnant.

When she left, I went into action. I stripped the beds, took the blankets off the couches, and put all of G’s stuffed animals in garbage bags, tied them tight and put them into the garage.  I put every article of clothing we could have possibly worn in the last several days into the laundry baskets and left them all outside. I vacuumed the 2 carpeted rooms and the rug in the living room. I vacuumed the matresses, I wiped down the couches, I soaked my brushes in alcohol, poured boiling water over them, and put them in the freezer to sit for 72 hours. Then I started doing laundry. I did laundry until 11:00 PM that night. I promise I’ve done at least (and I think I’m being very conservative here) 60 loads of laundry in 10 days.

We took G to get his hair buzzed that day. I bought a lice comb, lice prevention spray, and tons of treats for G being so patient and good.  We went to the laundromat to get eight loads done at once, just to shave off some hours of washing. That night I sobbed from exhaustion and stress. But at least I waited until G went to sleep!

Since then, several other kids have been sent home. It’s been like a revolving door of lice at our school. I check G’s head every morning, wash his hair with Tea Tree Oil shampoo nightly, and put the lice prevention spray on him daily. I also put it on myself and try to convince myself that tea tree oil, mint, and rosemary is a sexy scent on me. I use the lice comb on myself every other night, just to be sure I’m okay. I even went to a lice-specialty salon Monday night to have myself checked again. I was asking the owner a ton of questions and she literally told me I needed to chill out. She said, “You’ve done everything right. Neither of you have it anymore. You’re done. Chill out.” I asked if I should buy the carpet spray from her and she said, “Stop. You’re okay now.” I told her I was sure crazier people than me had been in there. She said yes, but I’m not sure she meant it.

I can’t stop cleaning or doing laundry. I can’t stop vacuuming. I can’t stop checking for lice. Yesterday I had the lice salon people come to our school. They combed through everyone whose parents were willing to pay. One more person got sent for treatment. I think we might have conquered everyone now.

So there you go. You’re probably itching by now. That’s what happens. I just wanted to share my experience with you so that you know what to expect if you get it. And I was also hoping to kind of make the whole stigma disappear. It’s not a disease. It doesn’t happen to dirty people. It’s not shameful. Kids get it all the time, and pass it on and bring it home. I hope we never have to deal with it again and I hope you don’t have to either. But mostly us.

At least my house is clean! Really, really clean. And that’s lice. I mean nice.

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