Archive for Toddler

24 Feb 2011

She’s Naked

10 Comments Toddler

I got the Victoria’s Secret catalog in the mail yesterday. On the cover is a scantily clad woman (surprise) with blond hair and zero percent body fat.
Garrett picked it up and said,

“She’s beautiful!”

“Yes, she is”, I said.

“She’s naked.”

“No she’s not. She’s in a bra and underwear.”

“Oh. She’s beautiful.”

“I know, bud.”

“Can we go to her house, soon?”

“We can certainly try, G-Man.”

So now I have to find out where she lives. I really try to keep my promises. And I really think she’d think Garrett is super cute. So… No harm, no foul right? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

23 Feb 2011

Big Boy Bed

6 Comments Family, Toddler

Last night while Garrett and I finished our dinner, Russ transformed his crib into a big boy bed. It’s really the same bed, except the front was taken off and replaced with a very low rail so that G doesn’t roll out of the bed, which he would do because he’s incredibly restless.
So, just a quick change and it’s a big boy bed. Garrett was very excited.

Plus: I no longer have to lift him in and out of bed, which is getting hard on my back.
Minus: I no longer get to lift my baby in and out of his crib.
Plus: He can get out of bed by himself.
Minus: He can get out of bed by himself.

This is one of those times where it’s super clear that yet another phase has ended. With each new phase, we take a moment to mourn the passing of time and to celebrate our son growing up. He is becoming such a big boy.

So, last night was his first night in the new digs, and he did great going to sleep. At 12:45 AM, however, he called me in and wanted to come into bed with us. He had a fever yesterday, so I thought maybe this was just him not feeling well. He rarely wants to get into our bed. I brought him in and we all cuddled together. Three hours later we were still trying to get comfortable and fall asleep. No joke. THREE HOURS. He was moving and talking and asking questions. At one point I caught him trying to put one of our pillow cases over his head. There’s nothing like giving a lecture about the dangers of putting things over your head at 2:30 in the morning.

At 3:45, I had had it. I told him he had to go back into his bed. He said he would, but would I please come sleep on his floor for a little bit? I said I would. I woke up, very sore, on his floor at 8:00 this morning. He slept until 8:30, a full two and a half hours later than he usually wakes up.

It was a rough night for all of us. I’m still not sure if it was because of the new bed or because he wasn’t feeling like himself. We’ll have to see how tonight goes.

I kept him home from school again today, just because we were all so sleepy and, well… He’s got a big boy bed now. And I want to spend as much time with him as possible while he still has a little baby left in him. My baby. My big boy. I gotta go play some Iron Man with him now.  Or Iron Boy. Iron Baby? Hmmmm.

22 Feb 2011

Come on… It’s not THAT great here!

10 Comments Family, Toddler

My son does not want to sleep somewhere else. Period. Sorry. Ain’t happening. To be completely honest, he doesn’t even love being home if Russ and I aren’t here. But he does a pretty good job. Sleeping elsewhere however… Nope.

This puts Russ and I in the position of never being able to stay out very late or go away for a night (GOD FORBID) without feeling incredibly guilty OR caving in and bringing Garrett home.

So what do we do?

Saturday night we had a party to go to, so Garrett went to his cousins’ house to SLEEP OVER. He had a blast, ate a huge dinner, played the night away… But would not even entertain the notion of falling asleep at their house. By 10:45, 10:45 people!, he was still nowhere near the big zzzzzz. As a matter of fact, he was trying to get the entire family to do aerobics. Don’t ask.

So, we did what we’ve done once or twice in the past. We picked him up on the way home. Here’s the problem. I don’t want to FORCE him into doing something he’s not comfortable with and I don’t want to force my bro and sis-in-law to be the bad guys who make him sleep over. What, oh what, is the solution?

If you have any past experience with this, I’d love to hear your insight. One of my ideas is to make it way less desirable to sleep at home. You know, play loud 80’s hair band music right outside his door, give him lumpy pillows and take away all his blankets. And send him to bed without dessert. I mean, that’d make ANYWHERE else seem dreamy, right? Right???

Aw, poop.

07 Feb 2011

I’m a Princess

10 Comments Family, Toddler

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. I mean, yes. I’m that kind of princess, too. That’s been established. But now, I’m a real princess. The kind with a wand. And I talk like Glinda the Good Witch.

Garrett has been handing me pens and sticks lately and asking me to be a princess. So I do it. And he’s either Garrett or a super hero or some other guy and we save people together. It what we do. At home.

Last night I was at a superbowl party and Russ and G-Man were home having their own party. I called at 7:30 to say goodnight, and G said, “Mom, be a princess.” So I told him I would do that first thing in the morning. “NO! Be a princess NOW!”

I was sitting with four or five other people and I felt my face turn bright red. It was like when you first start dating someone and they say something sexy on the phone and you don’t want to say something back because your embarrassed around others. It was just like that. Only it was my three-year-old son and he was asking me to be a princess. I swear I am not a blusher. But I was blushing. I ran out of the room to try to find some privacy, but there was someone in the office and someone in the guest room.

So there I was, in the hallway, on the phone with my son, speaking in a high-pitched vibrato saying:

“What did you have for dinner, Garrett?”

“I’m Robin.”

“What?”

“I’m Robin, Princess.” (Robin, as in Batman and Robin)

“Oh, I apologize. What did you have for dinner, Robin?”

“Macaroni, a sandwich and Jell-O”

“That sounds delightful!”

“OK, Princess. Goodnight! I’ll give you back to Russ.”(Garrett calls us by our names when he’s in character.)

Then Russ got back on the phone and the flush started leaving my face.

It was one of those moments that you can only have if you’re a parent. Or a girl making sexy-talk on the phone with her new boyfriend. You know… One of those moments.

10 Jan 2011

Kids Say The Darndest Things!

3 Comments Toddler

Here are my favorite G quotes from the last two days:

After going #1 in his pants (just a little), he asked me to take him to the potty. “Mom! I peed in my underwear a little!”  Me: “Oh! Did you do it on purpose?” Him: “No. I did it on the couch.”

When I told him he’s a nice person, he said: “I’m not a person! I’m a man!”

“Dad, I’m not having a hard time. I’m having a soft time.”

To the kangaroo at the zoo: “Don’t worry, little kangaroo. I’ll protect you. I’m going to come back later and check on you.”

Upon waking up from his nap: “Mom, we’ve got to go back to the zoo so I can protect the kangaroo!”

“Dad, you can be my age. And I’ll be your age. And then Bogie will be your age and Mommy can be my age!” Us: “That’s a really good movie pitch.”

03 Jan 2011

Target Bags Suck

15 Comments Personal Crap, Toddler

Okay, so today was a great day. I took G to school and he did SO WELL! Neither of us cried! I then proceeded to have an incredibly productive five hours:

I shopped at Trader Joes.

I wrote.

I did dishes.

I straightened up.

I planned a road trip with my husband.

I lovingly made some brothy, vegetable-filled chicken soup to help me with my quest to eat better. It took a long time. I nursed it all day while I was doing all these other things.

At 3:00, I tasted the soup. It was very good. But the carrots weren’t cooked enough. So I left a flame underneath the pot and left to pick up G-Man.

He was having a total blast when I got there, so I stayed with him about thirty minutes and chatted with the teachers about his day. He was playing with the new kid, and they were running back and forth pretending to be gorillas. It was cool seeing him embody something that wasn’t a dinosaur.

Then we went to Target and I gave him a blueberry sucker. We were having a great time shopping. He’s always so good at reminding me what I need to get, “Mommy, don’t forget we need milk!” We like shopping together at Target. He asks for things. I say, “No.” He reacts well to that most of the time. We were there for about 45 minutes. He was almost done with his sucker, and his lips and chin were bright blue.

We finished shopping and checked out. Remember my “Jesus Lady” at Target? Well, this was the second time I’ve gone through her line recently when she’s been PISSED! I mean, PISSED OFF, man! Remember when she was all, “I’m happy and blessed every day!”? Apparently, she is no longer happy or blessed. She’s pissed. That has nothing to do with the fact that she sort of bagged my stuff crappily. Is crappily a word? If it is, that’s how she bagged my stuff.

I had parked out front and the carts lock if you try to take them to the sidewalk, so the guard was kind enough to unlock the wheels for me. Garrett and I got the cart out to the car, and I started unloading. About half-way through the ten or so bags, one of the bags broke open. It just broke open. No reason, except for the fact that Target bags suck. They’re thin and lame and if you put anything heavier than a feather in them, they break. This particular bag had a glass bottle of maple syrup in it, and a box of Kix.

At this point, there was a puddle of syrup, glass and a box of Kix on the sidewalk by my car. I needed that syrup, and that box of Kix. So I had to go back inside and talk to a manager who told me to go back upstairs to get a new box o’ Kix and a new bottle of syrup so he could replace them for me. I was a bit frustrated at that point, when Garrett handed me what was left of his sucker. There was maybe three licks left, so I thought he wanted me to throw it out, which I did. That is NOT what he wanted me to do. He wanted me to hold it while he had a sip of water. But now it was too late. Said sucker was in the trash.

Cue loud, painful, sad, pathetic, angry-at-mom crying. He was sobbing as we went up the escalator, begging me to get the sucker out of the trash. I couldn’t believe it. Things had been going so well. We were having so much fun. Then the syrup, and the sucker in the trash, and the manager and the sweating. Did I mention the sweating? I sweat when I get nervous or frustrated. It’s attractive.

I managed to get us out of there in one piece, giving G another sucker, this one banana-flavored. I apologized for the misunderstanding, and he adorably said, “You don’t have to be sorry, Mommy.” I took a deep breath. I drove us home.

When I brought all the bags into the kitchen, something smelled weird. There was steam coming out of the pot on the stove. It had been on all this time, about two and a half hours longer than I had already cooked it. I tasted it. It had an odd aluminum flavor that wasn’t there when I had left the house. Understand, I took a long time to make this soup. It was made not only with love, but also with entirely organic ingredients: Organic chicken, organic broth, organic tomatoes, organic carrots, organic celery.. .You get the idea. So it was pricey. And it was precious to me because it was going to help get me through this initial week of not eating like shit.

Now I was trying not to cry. First I sweat, then I cry. Those are my coping mechanisms. I’ve been sweating, crying and eating a lot the last six months. Now I’m trying to just cry and sweat.  I didn’t cry, but I did bang the cabinets a lot as I was getting out the ingredients to make pasta with homemade sauce. I was pissed.

I let the soup cool and put it in a container in the fridge. I’ll try it again tomorrow. I’m just hoping whatever that taste is, isn’t something toxic or poisonous. Because I’m probably going to force myself to eat that damn soup.

My mom came for dinner, we all watched some of the Stanford game, and now G is in his awesome robe about to get into bed. All is right again. I just wanted to share with you one of those hilariously frustrating “Mom” moments that I’ve become so familiar with. And I’m blaming it all on the frigging Target bag. Did I mention they suck?

22 Dec 2010

I Ain’t Didn’t Get No Sleep, So I Tired

11 Comments Toddler

Allow for me to describe to you the last several hours.

Garrett went to bed at 8:30 and I proceeded to try to plan an upcoming trip we’re taking. At 10:00, I woke Russ from Garrett’s floor (occasionally, he or I will sleep next to G’s bed for a bit), and he and I watched some House Hunters, and made fun of the people on TV.  After some marital canoodling, it was time to do a crossword puzzle and go to sleep. It was midnight, but I knew Russ was waking up with Garrett this morning, so I was about to get eight hours sleep.

At 3:00AM, I could hear our cat Sonny meowing. Sonny’s an outdoor cat, and he’s taken to SCREECHING in the middle of the night, until one of us brings him some food (even though his bowl is full) and tells him we’ll see him in the morning. It’s raining in L.A., so I’m feeling extra bad for him.  I held him for a couple minutes and went back to bed.

At 3:48, Garrett magically appeared in our bed. Russ had apparently taken him to the bathroom and now G wanted to sleep with us. This doesn’t happen often because G likes his own bed. But when it does happen, he’s usually great at going to sleep, or asking me to take him back to his room.

This time was different. Garrett was talking. He was talking a lot. It was like someone was paying him by the word. Then he was thirsty, so I got him some water. I guess the lack of sleep made me not put the lid on right, so at approximately 4:23AM, Garrett spilled the water all over the bed and all over me. He was apologizing profusely as I changed my pajama pants and got a towel to sleep on. Then Garrett decided my collar bone made a comfortable pillow. Then my stomach was where he wanted to lay his head. Then the talking started again. This time he wanted to know if the sun was up and if it was wake up time. It wasn’t. Not by a long shot.

4:55 AM. Garrett wanted proof it wasn’t wakeup time. He made me pull back the curtains to show him that the sun wasn’t up yet. I did. Then I told him I was taking him back to his room, which was met with a big, whiny, “Nooooo! I’ll stop talking. I promise!”

Then Sonny’s screeching started again. This never happens. We usually get one screech a night, we take care of him, and he’s good until the morning. This time G heard the screeching and it freaked him out. So I put on my robe and slippers and put Sonny in the soft carrier he sleeps in. I zipped it up and brought him in the kitchen. Side note for you cat lovers:  Sonny pees all over the place. He’s been fixed, but it doesn’t seem to matter. If he’s loose in a house, he’ll mark it. The entire house. That’s why he’s outside. He’s been outside for seven years now, and he’s doing just fine.

Back to my story. At 5:30 AM, G asked once again if it was wakeup time, and if he could have a snack. This time I said, “Yep. It is. Let’s make it happen.” So that was my night. It’s now 6:30, I’m writing this post, and G is on the couch, full of Kix and blueberries, watching Spongebob Squarepants. I’ll wake Russ up in about an hour and I’ll go back to sleep. Hopefully, Garrett will take a five-hour nap around 10:30.

I got about three hours sleep. And somehow I still really love this kid.

Then again, I might just be delirious from lack of sleep and really hard rain.

16 Dec 2010

No More Naps

9 Comments Toddler

Oh dear god. I think it’s for real this time. No more naps. We made it three years and almost three months of blissful, three-hour naps daily. But now he goes in there, sits for a bit, then calls me. I kiss him. I leave. He calls me five minutes later. Then it’s time to admit he’s not going to nap and I give him a book or DVD, he sits in there a little longer and then it’s over. It’s over.

And just in time for his three week break from school!!!

We’re lucky his naps lasted as long as they did. A LOT of kids stop napping at TWO! But holy cow. This shit is serious now. Break time is OVAH!

Right this very second, he’s sitting on his rocking chair with three books, reading very sweetly and quietly. This should last about four minutes and then we’ll go play.

This kid is growing up and going through phase after phase in the blink of an eye. Everything seems to be going by so quickly, it’s just crazy. I want to hold on to each moment before it flies away.

He was an infant just seconds ago. I would hold him and breast feed. Then he was drinking milk from a bottle and eating real food. Then he was asking for mac and cheese and apple juice. Then he knew every kind of dinosaur that ever lived and was reasoning with us and…

Oh crap. He’s in the living room. He’s walking toward me with a Toy Story stamp.

Napping phase is over. Moving on to the next one.

I love this little, non-sleeping boy.

But, good lord I’m going to miss his naps.

06 Dec 2010

Give Santa Some Space!

15 Comments Toddler

We’re trying to explain to Garrett that it might be a good idea for him to get rid of some of his “baby” toys to make room for the new toys that Santa will be bringing in a few weeks. It’s not going well.

How do you explain these concepts to a three-year-old? So far he likes the idea of “lending” them to a baby to enjoy for a while, but then taking them back when he wants them. Now you might say, “Oh, don’t worry. He’ll forget about it as soon as it’s gone!” And to you I say, “You obviously haven’t met my son.” Garrett remembers everything. You can get nothing past this kid. For example, we went to a place last week where, ONE YEAR AGO, Garrett threw some pennies in a fountain. Last week he said, remember when my pennies went in there? Okay? Get it?

So what do we do? We have a very, very small house. Very. And it is already overrun with toys of all kind. They’re not organized at all. I’ve tried, but it’s nearly impossible to get all the “costume-related” toys back in the “costume-related” toys bin, and the musical instruments back in the musical instruments bin and the dinosaur paraphernalia back wherever the hell it all goes. And I’ve completely overdone it for Christmas. He has so much coming to him. What have I done???

I’m only asking that he get rid of a small fraction of the stuff he plays with, just so Santa can bring him more… Stuff.  My mom says I should surreptitiously take the toys, but if you read the second paragraph you’ll know Garrett will notice they’re gone. Last night we may have threatened that Santa has no interest in bringing him anything if he doesn’t comply. He called our bluff. But I think I’m going to lay it on even thicker tonight: “I’m going to make Santa cookies, so I’ll be doing my part to make sure he comes. All he’s asking is for you to get rid of two or three of your baby toys.” Think that’ll work? Me neither.

I’m calling a contractor. We need a play room.

23 Nov 2010

Mr. Sandman

5 Comments Toddler

Growing up, I was very attached to my parents and so I was never thrilled when they left us with a babysitter. (Except for the period of time when our sitter was an extremely handsome guy who lived down the street.) Whenever our folks went out, which was pretty much every weekend, they would promise to wake me up when they got home so I’d know they got back safely. They’d always give me a kiss and tell me they were home and that they loved me. That was pretty fantastic, and made me feel very secure.

The whole babysitter thing is new to us around here, because for almost the entire first three years of G’s life, we took him everywhere with us or had our friends come to our house. Our friends have been beyond generous with their acceptance of our son and they’ve made us feel like he’s always welcome. But it was time for us to start doing some things with just adults, and allowing ourselves to stay out later.

So tonight our sitter came, this was her second time here, and G seemed a little perturbed, but not extremely upset. When we left, he gave us huge hugs and told us he’d miss us. We got in the car and drove away and we were half way down our street when my phone rang. “I miss you, Mommy!” I told him we missed him, too. “Are you just going to do work and then you’ll be home?” I told him we were actually going to dinner and we’d be home after he was asleep. “But I miss you!” I told him we’d come kiss him goodnight when we got home. “You’ll tiptoe into my room?” I told him we would. After several “I love you”s we finally hung up. I took a deep breath.

When we were just sitting down for dinner with our friends, my phone rang again. It was 7:30, so he was getting ready for bed. This time when I picked up the phone he was sobbing. “MOMMY! I MISS YOU!” I stepped away from the table. “I miss you too, honey.” He asked when we’d be home. I told him after he was asleep. He was crying so hard, but trying even harder not to upset me. Classic Garrett. We rarely hear him this worked up. He was doing that hard cry where the breaths are so big and each word is a struggle to say. “I just miss you and I want to hug you”, he said. I said, “When we get home, do you want us to wake you up and I’ll rock you for a little bit?” He said yes through huge sobs. “Will that make you feel better?” Yes again through bigger sobs. I told him I love him so much and he said goodbye.  Deep breath.

I knew he’d be okay so I allowed myself to have a fantastic time with fantastic friends over fantastic food and wine.

We got home at 11:30, paid the sitter, (GOOD LORD, THEY’RE EXPENSIVE), and walked back to his room. Russ picked him up and held him. He was sound asleep. “Buddy”, he said, “Do you want Mom to rock you?” Garrett nodded, still asleep. So I held him, rocked him, stroked his hair and kissed his forehead. “I love you so much, buddy”, I whispered. “Do you want to get back into bed?” He nodded again, eyes still closed.

I’m not sure if he’ll consciously remember any of that, but we never tell Garrett we’re going to do something without completely following through. And it was just as comforting for me as it was meant to be for him.

It’s officially my birthday. Russ will let me sleep in tomorrow (actually today) morning. But I can’t think of a better way to start my birthday than by looking into that kid’s face. I’ll make Russ promise to wake me up before they leave for school so Garrett can tell me he loves me and kiss my forehead.

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