Monday, November 30, 2009

A Thanksgiving to Remember

The past few Thanksgivings have been a little crazy. My sister, who traditionally hosts Thanksgiving has been in the middle of redecorating/moving/house building for the past several years so things have been pretty unsettled. The food is always good, but the location has been different each year. This year, her house is finally in living condition and we enjoyed what I hope is the first of many Thanksgivings to be held there. (If they sell this house within the next five years, my sister and her fiance should be committed.)

The food was wonderful. My sister prepares the entire meal herself and it is a masterpiece. Everything was delicious, from the sage turkey gravy to the pecan and cream cheese pie. I ate so much I made myself sick.

I'd do it again if I had the chance.

I was wrong when I predicted that Michael would only eat pumpkin pie and whipped cream. This year he refused the pie too and only ate the whipped cream. This kid has no idea what he's missing out on. My sister's sausage stuffing is to die for. Oh well, that just left more for me to eat.

And, eat it I did.

Michael enjoyed seeing the family and getting attention heaped onto him. But, I don't think he really got the idea of what being thankful means. I'm not much for the touchy-feely stuff, but I do think Michael should grow up respecting the fact that he has a very good life and is surrounded by people who love him very much. He's too young to fully grasp that now, but I think it's important to set examples from an early age. So, in between dinner and dessert I talked with him about being thankful and what I'm thankful for. I went around the room and told him why I was thankful for each person there. I thought it was a very sweet and important moment.

My family, on the other hand, suggested that maybe I'd had a few too many drinks. Considering I had only had half a glass of wine and my comments were along the lines of "I'm thankful for Uncle Eric because he kept Aunt Bubbles from killing me when we were kids," I think my show of emotions made a few people feel a little uncomfortable. Oh well, that's their problem, not mine. I love my family and I don't care if they can handle that or not.

Don't worry. I didn't torture them for too long. We were back to playing fart noises on our smart phones in just a few minutes. Serious just doesn't hold up well at family gatherings.

Michael behaved very well through about 45 minutes of the meal. That's longer than I expected. When he did start to fidget and complain, I let him out of his chair to do as he pleased. My sister has two beagles, so her house is more child proof than my house is. I figured he was safe on his own.

It didn't take long before he had joined the dog pack. At one point I glanced under the table and Michael, Duke and Squeak were all dog piled on each other. It was very cute.

The dog play continued even after the meal was over. I'm very glad my sister's dogs are very tolerant because Michael got about as in their space as possible.

It started like this.


Photobucket

No, I don't know what happened to Michael's pants. 3.5 year olds and clothes don't seem to mix.


Laying next to the dogs wasn't good enough, so Michael decided to give the dog bed a try.

Photobucket

Things are going well, so he takes things further.

Photobucket

About here is where I expected things to go wrong, but I guess the dogs just figured Michael was one more puppy.

Photobucket

It makes me wonder, do you think getting some beagals might help him with not wanting to go to bed?

Come to think of it, the beagles cause my sister more problems than Michael's bed time stalling. Scratch that idea.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Joanna's Jumble

I've been trying to think of a cute or witty name for my random posts. I'm not happy with the one I came up with, so if anyone has a better idea, leave it in the comments. So, now for some jumbled tidbits from the last few days.
  • Michael woke up at 3:45 this morning and made sure that Andy and I stayed awake until our alarm went off at 5:00.
  • I'm tired today.
  • Andy has been working on getting Michael comfortable playing in his bedroom in hopes that when he wakes up early he will play in his room quietly. So far, not much success.
  • Michael chewed the felt tips off of an entire package of markers last night. He did it to get attention, but I calmly picked them up, threw them out, and then returned to what I was doing.
  • Michael's teeth were still colorful from chewing the markers an hour later when Andy brushed Michael's teeth.
  • I predict that the child who has eaten chalk, crayons, and markers in the last two weeks will eat nothing but pie and whipped cream for Thanksgiving dinner because turkey, mashed potatoes and corn bread are "icky".
  • Tonight Andy and I are celebrating the anniversary of our first date which occurred the night before Thanksgiving back in 1996.
  • Dude, I'm getting old.
  • Tomorrow we will be driving down to my Sister's for Thanksgiving dinner. We are having deep fried turkey. I'm so excited.
  • Michael has started licking me again. He goes straight for my mouth. It is disgusting.
  • A week ago I was going to do a post about how much things have improved with Michael lately. In light of recent marker chewing, face licking, and night waking I'm glad I didn't. It saved me the trouble of eating my own words.
  • Considering words are not a food item, I'm pretty sure Michael would be will to eat them.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mr. Monk

If you have never seen the show Monk, Mr. Monk is a neurotic, obsessive-compulsive, detective. He's stubborn and everything in his world must be just so. The show is funny because they like putting Mr. Monk in dirty, messy situations that make him very uncomfortable.

Mr. Monk likes to have everything in nice even numbers like 10 or 100. He gets upset if there are 8 napkins or 74 toothpicks. Sort of like Michael who spent weeks asking for everything in 10's. He's now decided that there must be 1000 of everything.

Mr. Monk is very particular about things. He buys the same clothing so it looks like he never changes. He'll make 15 sandwiches until he makes one that is perfectly square. Everything must be just right. So, when Michael asks for his milk and say's "I want it warm, but not too warm." I giggle and say, "Yes, Mr. Monk."

It's a bit of a running joke with Andy and I.

One of Mr. Monk's signature behaviors is how he uses his hands at a crime scene. He lifts his hands up and waves them around to frame what he is seeing. It looks like he's doing slow motion karate chops in the air.

On our ride home from my mom's last Friday I glanced in the review mirror and saw Michael doing the Mr. Monk hand motions. We were stopped at a traffic light and he had his brow furrowed as he looked between the road we were on and then up the road on our right. He was clearly puzzled.

I don't remember how he asked it, the wording was odd, but essentially, he asked me why I drive him to grandmom's one way, but then we come home a different way. I've explained traffic to him before, so I explained that traffic going the one direction is good, but coming back that way has a lot of cars, so it's faster to go a different way.

He seemed satisfied with the response, but I won't be surprised if it comes up again. It just really cracked me up that after all of the joking about Mr. Monk that Andy and I do, Michael has even started doing the hand motions.

Maybe I should have named him Adrian?

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Breakup

I should have known it would come to this eventually, but I'm a loyal person and I tried to be optimistic. I really thought we could make things work.

I guess the first signs of trouble were the complaining. The unhappiness and discontent were so strong I should have seen them for what they were. Instead, I thought that changes would make a difference. I listened sympathetically and when the time came, I followed. In knew the changes were going to add distance between us, but I had faith.

I guess I was just holding onto the past. Things had been so good that I was willing to do anything to keep the relationship going. But, after the changes, things continued to go down hill. I tried to be understanding, I put up with the waiting. But it was all for nothing.

This week I made one last ditch attempt. I reached out, I tried to make the connection. At first, I couldn't get through, but once I did, we just couldn't come to a suitable arrangement.

I had to admit that it was over.

So, last night I broke up with my hair stylist.

Wait, what?

Oh, you thought I was talking about Andy. Oops, sorry about that.

I know it's not a big deal, but, I'm still sad that it had to happen. I really did like the work she did. She was a little flaky, but it wasn't a problem at the old salon. However, when she decided to leave the salon, things started to go down hill. I loved the new salon, but it was a long drive for me, and it was in the other direction from work. The old salon I could just hit on the way home. Then, they started to reduce the salon hours. I had a difficult time scheduling my last two appointments, but this time I couldn't even get through until Wednesday. The salon is closed Sun. and Mon. On Tuesday's they are open from 10 - 3. With those hours, I don't even know why they bother. The rest of the week the salon closes at 7:00, so the latest I could schedule and appointment was 5:00. Not very convenient for someone with a job.

There were other problems too. She was often late. One time I sat waiting for half an hour without her even apologizing for wasting my time. She also complained a lot. At my last appointment she indicated she was having money problems while she kept trying to add on extra services. She seemed to fail to notice that working 25 hours a week may not be enough to support herself.

So, I called the old salon and scheduled an appointment. I was a little nervous about the highlighting, but both the cut and color turned out great. Since their hours are better and the service was just as good, I'm going to go with the new stylist. I hate to dump the old girl, but she did it to herself.

I also have to admit that I enjoyed the gossip. The new stylist gave me all the "dirt" on the old one. That she was fired instead of quitting. Who knows which is true, but the reason given was for tardiness, which I had experienced myself. She also told me that the old stylist had come in for a facial last week and asked if she could reapply...and was told NO. Oh, and finally, the new stylist pointed out everything that was wrong with my last haircut.

I don't know, do you think the new stylist might be trying to "steal" me back?

Whatever, I don't care about the gossip. I care about service and convenience, and whoever does the best job providing them will get my service.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tipping Etiquette

I don't think they cover situations like this in Emily Post.

Michael's hair has been getting out of control lately. I planned on taking him in for a trim while I was at home with him in October, but I had to change my plans when he fell and cut his head. The stitches were right along his hairline and I knew the stylist would have to comb over the injury numerous times during the haircut. I decided to wait until the cut had healed a bit before taking him in.

In the past, he has always been very good about haircuts. So good that I'm normally complemented for having such a cooperative little boy. Yeah, I knew that was too good to last.

I got out of work early yesterday and decided that it would be a great time to take Michael into the salon. He did not agree with me. He let me take him out to the car, but I should have known things were not going to go well when he held his arms over his hair for the entire ride over.

When we got there, there were two stylists and two customers. When the first stylist finished up, she invited Michael over to her chair. He clung to me. I picked him up and carried him over. He clung to me. I tried to put him in the chair and he wrapped his arms and legs around in a death grip. He also started sobbing.

The stylist was really great. She tried talking with him to calm him down. She had a good feel for how to coerce without making him more resistant. There were no other customers waiting, so she spent a good 10 minutes working with me to get Michael to agree to let her trim his hair.

No luck.

I really didn't want to go through all of this again, but I was starting to realize that there was no way to get Michael to submit and that I was going to have to take him home without a hair cut. Then, another customer came in.

"Oh well Michael. She has another customer. We can't hold her up any longer. Say good-bye." I went over to get my jacket so we could leave.

Michael freaked. Full on tantrum. Sobbing and yelling in the middle of the salon.

You want to know why?

Because, and I quote, "I want the lady to CUT MY HAIR!"

Yes, the child that had just spent 10 minutes fighting a haircut was angry because I wouldn't let him get his hair cut. Clearly, his only true desire in this situation is to NOT do whatever I want him to do.

I told him he would have to wait until she was done with the new customer and he casually walked over to the toy bin and started playing with the blocks. He played quietly the entire time and as soon as she told him it was his turn, he hopped up and ran right over to her chair. He sat still for the entire cut and did everything she asked him to do. He smiled and thanked her when she gave him a lollipop. It was as if those first 10 minutes had never happened.

So, that made me wonder, what is the appropriate tipping etiquette when your extremely contrary child throws a fit in the middle of the salon and the stylist remains cool, calm and supportive enough that said child finally gives in to the hair cut? I went with 50%, and I'm pretty sure it was not enough.

When we got home, I tried to snap a picture of Michael, but he was back to being contrary. This is what I got when I asked him to "stand still and look at me".

Photobucket

Clearly, he was done cooperating for the day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And So He Walks

I'm the youngest of three children who are very close in age. Close enough that both my brother and sister were two when I was born. And no, they are not twins, they are just really close in age. As you might guess, when a family has three little ones in diapers at the same time, the kids may not get as much individual attention as an only child gets. As the youngest of the three, I felt the full force of this. Don't get me wrong, I'm not passing a judgment. In fact, it was very liberating for me because I was normally allowed to do things at the same time as they did, not at the same age. But, I think everyone with any experience with families with more than one child knows that the more kids there are, the less coddled they normally are.

Having said that, Michael is an only child. He's also the only child of a somewhat older mother who understands full and well how short his childhood is going to be. I know how fast it's going, and I want to enjoy it while I can. So, it's possible that Michael may get away with some things that many kids, including myself, would never get away with.

One of those things is that I carry him whenever I get the chance. Yes, he's 3.5 and perfectly capable of walking on his own, but I've been saying since day one that I will carry him as long as he will let me and as long as I can physically do it. The fact that he's a darter helped to reinforce this, since I had to pick him up and carry him even when he didn't want me too just to keep him safe.

He's been pretty clingy lately, so he has been asking me to carry him a lot. However, he's also growing really fast. So fast that I swear he grows inches over night. He's really tall and he's no lightweight anymore either. I hate to say it, but I just cannot carry him the way I used to. I can handle short distances, but that's about it.

So, I'm sad to say that my sweet, little, itty, bitty baby now has to walk on his own two feet most of the time.

Sniff, sniff.

I have a feeling that it's more painful for me than it is for him.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Irony

I do my weekly grocery shopping on Sunday mornings. The store is normally pretty crowded then, but it's really the only practical time for me to go. Add to the crowds the fact that I insist on taking Michael with me, and we end up having some very um...interesting...shopping trips.

Some weeks Michael and I fight over whether or not I will buy him some stupid piece of junk toy that has been hung at small child in shopping cart eye level. Some weeks we have fun counting out oranges as I place them in the bag. Other weeks we will fight over Michael's desire to buy more Popsicles, even though he doesn't eat them and we already have a box in the freezer to begin with.

Then, some weeks Michael makes the whole shopping trip a treat. Yesterday was one of those days. He was in a very agreeable mood. He didn't try to convince me to go back and look for toys that don't exist. He didn't fight me to buy the Jolly Ranchers he saw. Not only did he not fight me about having him ride in the cart, he didn't even ask me if he could walk.

But the best part came in the bread aisle. A number of shoppers - all women - were gathered in one area all trying to buy the same brand of bread. I pulled my cart over to the side to wait until others had moved on and chatted with Michael. I don't know what I said to trigger this, but Michael announced loudly, "Mommy, you wear me out."

I gave him an incredulous look and responded, "I wear you out?"

The entire aisle of shoppers burst out laughing.

You know, we all may come from different backgrounds, and have different beliefs, but the irony of Michael's comment was not lost on a single women standing there.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm Not a Short Order Cook

I've been a member of the Baby Center birth boards for almost four years now. I've seen all kinds of crazy posts and witnessed fights that were completely absurd. I also saw some interesting debates on parenting styles and philosophies, and the flaming that normally went with them. I always tried to be respectful to other's views and if I couldn't, I would just stay out of it.

But I did have one hot button issue that could easily get my panties in a wad, and it was a pretty silly one too. These were the posts about kids being fussy eaters back when the May 2006 babies were about 1.5 to 2 years old. We would discuss how stressful fussy eaters are and share strategies on how to encourage our kids to eat more. I could always count on at least one mom jumping on the tread and commenting that you just put the food in front of the kid and if they don't eat it, too bad. They will eat when they are hungry. They always managed to say somewhere in the post that, "I am not a short order cook."

Every time I saw that, my brain would explode and I'd start foaming at the mouth. Whoever made these comments clearly did not have a child like Michael. I always considered that attitude a luxury. I would love to have that attitude, but at that time, I had watched Michael go from 99th percentile for weight at birth down to 15th percentile at one year. Even though his doctor wasn't concerned, I was. Michael did not eat. Sometimes I could get him to eat yogurt or string cheese, but he wouldn't even eat Cheerios. I offered him some foods well over a hundred times and he never ate them. In fact, Michael never actually asked for food (other than cookies and junk food) until he was almost three years old. So, if Michael did ask for a specific food, I've always pretty much jumped on it because, OMG he actually wants food.

I've never pushed Michael to eat. I've always offered, and if he doesn't want it, he doesn't have to eat it. If he would ask for something healthy instead, fine. If he asked for junk, no way.

Recently, with Michael's new debating skills surfacing, this approach has not been working so well. Last night I asked if he wanted noodles. "Yes!" I gave him a choice between dinosaur and Spiderman noodles. He picked Spiderman.

"Are you sure? Once I start making them, you can't change your mind."

He assured me that yes, he wanted Spiderman noodles. Yet, I had a bad feeling about the whole thing.

Five minutes into boiling the Spiderman noodles Michael yells in to me that he wanted dinosaur noodles. I calmly explained that I had started making the Spiderman noodles. He told me to put the Spiderman noodles back. I calmly explained that I would not. He screamed and yelled that he wouldn't eat them. I calmy responded that he didn't have to eat them if he didn't want to. And it just escalated from there.

I ignored him for a minute, but he started making demands for everything but Spiderman noodles. I remained calm and basically just repeated my stance over and over. Finally, I looked at him and said, "You know Michael, I'm not a short order cook." Then I walked out of the room.

He kept on complaining about the Spiderman noodles when I served them up. He refused to come into the dinning room to eat with us. He ordered me to "PUT THE SPIDERMAN NOODLES AWAY!"

So I did.

"I WANT MY SPIDERMAN NOODLES!" He's so predictable. I calmy took the noodles back out of the fridge, warmed them, and told him that if he wanted them he needed to join us at the table. He did join us, still sniffling, and ate a few of his noodles.

You would think that after such a scene, I'd be frustrated and annoyed. But I wasn't. Partly, because I kept calm and managed to get my message through to Michael. But moslty because Michael is growing and developing well and I now have the luxury of not being a short order cook.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Changing Tactics

It's not uncommon to hear people with small children joke that the reason kids are cute is to keep parents from killing them. Really, that may work for the two year old crowd, but by the time they hit 3.5, being cute simply is not enough to make up for their less desirable personality traits. So, they need to come up with a new approach to pacify us. This is where being funny comes in. Cute = good. Cute and funny = great!

Last night during bath time, Michael managed to pull out a number of those less desirable personality traits. It started with his initial refusal to take a bath, which quickly turned into him demanding to take a bath once he realized I didn't care one way or another. We had several discussions during the bath about the consequences of splashing. I was chastised several times for trying to spell actual words with his tub letters - heaven forbid. Finally, we ended the bath with negotiations over how long Michael could remain in the tub. I'm proud to announce that he fully understands that 20 minutes is longer than 10 minutes. After much discussion, he now also understands that insisting on 20 minutes more may just get him removed from the tub immediately.

Not that it was stressful, or anything.

After his ten minutes was up, he climbed out of the tub and let me dry him off. Next thing I hear is a nice loud toot. Michael looks right at me and grins. (And I grin back because little toots crack me up.) He realized that he didn't have anything covering his hiney so he informed me that his toot had fallen on the floor. Next, he turned around and looked at the floor to see where it landed. Imagine his surprise when there was nothing there. He was shocked!

And that's when all of the stress and annoyance from his bath time negations just disappeared. It was just too cute, and too funny. I ended up laughing as I tried to explain to him what happened. *

*Thank goodness that They Might Be Giants Here Comes Science has a song about gas, liquids and solids, or that conversation would have ended up being funnier than Michael's original comment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Little Fish

While we did not send Michael to preschool this year, we did enroll him in several classes at the local community center. I picked Little Chefs so that Michael would have a chance to socialize with other children, and in the hopes that maybe seeing other kids eat food might convince him that eating food is a good idea. He seems to tolerate the class well enough, but seeing other children eat has done nothing to expand his culinary horizons.

The second class we enrolled him in was swimming. He and my mom spent the entire summer at the pool. Michael would spend hours every day in the pool because he loves it so much. My poor mom was exhausted! So, when I saw that Michael was old enough for swimming lessons that didn't require my mom to swim with him, I jumped on the oppurtunity.

Michael loves his swimming lessons and has recently moved from tugboats to speed boats level. My mom snapped some pictures of him one day.

Photobucket

I actually remember doing these very same kicking exercises when I was his age. It's not surprising to me that Michael loves swimming. I love swimming so much that many of my earliest memories are from the pool.

Photobucket

Michael also loves his teacher, Miss Cathy. I have no idea what his Little Chef's teacher's name is. I ask him each week and he never answers. However, I can always tell when he's had swimming because he always talks about Miss Cathy.

I cannot wait to get him down to the beach next summer. I think he's really going to love the bay this year.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Small Gem From Potty Training

Yeah, we are still working on potty training. We aren't getting very far either. With a kid like Michael I'm really not that surprised.

Michael is physically ready to potty train. He does have the physical control needed. He can remove his pants. He knows the sensations. I mean, he is 3.5 years old, and most kids his age do have the physical abilities needed to potty train.

What Michael lacks is the emotional readiness. Right now, he's going through a very insecure phase. The binky, which he was doing well without, is now firmly back in the picture. The night waking, which he abandoned at 15 months, is back full force. He's progressing so quickly cognitively that I think he's clinging to being babyish as a way to handle all of the changes.

I'm fine with that, but it does get a little frustrating. We encourage potty training and try to direct him to using the potty throughout the day. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When he's ready, he'll be ready.

Saturday was a pretty good day for the potty. We were able to convince him to use the potty all morning long. When Michael does use the potty he insists on using the big potty. We have to remove his pants and pull up so that he can climb on up and balance precariously over the bowl. It's pretty funny to watch.

One time, after he climbed off the potty he started to play with the toilet paper. I was expecting him to just start unwinding the entire roll, but instead he tore off a strip about 10 inches long. He reached back, tucked it between his little butt cheeks, and then turned and wiggled his butt at me. "Look mommy, I have a tail."

It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. It just goes to show that potty training doesn't completely suck. Instead, it just mostly sucks.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Photo Mish Mash

We had a number of picture worthy events during my time home with Michael. I'm just going to toss them all out at once for you, and then I may feel a little more caught up. (I still haven't made it through two weeks worth of work email.)

The first big one was Michael falling and cutting his forehead. Remember my overly dramatic post about how horrible it was when he cut his head? Remember how I almost passed out four separate times? I'm sure you all were thinking that Michael must have been severely injured based on my description. Well, here you go.

Photobucket

As I said, I am a wuss! He didn't even cringe this much when he got the stitches, so I don't know why he did for the photo.

We also decided to buy another laptop. We had been thinking about it for a while, but Andy's Mafia Wars interest, my Farmville addiction, and Michael's PBSkids.org obsession pushed us to add a second laptop.

Photobucket

Lady, stop looking at me. I'm not giving up my Pogo-a-gogo game so you can earn your next "Tree Hugger" ribbon.

And finally, we come to Halloween. Our month of building up Halloween with Halloween shirts, Halloween TV shows, Halloween Books, and repeated comments about Clone Troopers worked. Michael not only let us put a costume on him, he even put the mask on for a few minutes!

Photobucket

Wait, who gave my kid a blaster?

Photobucket

That's better. That light stick is about all I'm willing to arm him with.

We went trick-or-treating with the gang of three-year-olds and one of the one-year-olds that live in our community. I cannot beleive how lucky were are to have such a large group of kids the same age living so close.

Photobucket

This was the best group photo we got. I know it's really bad, but what do you expect from three-year-olds?

Michael really got into trick-or-treating last year, so I was not surprised about how enthusiastic he was this year. He was the first kid on every door step, and normally the last kid to leave. Almost everyone just held out the bowl of candy for the kids and said take a few. If I didn't intervene, Michael would have emptied every single bowl into his bucket.

Photobucket

Free Candy and Princesses. Life is good!

It was interesting to see the difference between the boys and the girls. Don't get me wrong, the girls had fun. But the boys, wow, did they go crazy. I spent most of the night chasing these two up to each house and then trying to get them to wait as the princesses caught up. It was a lot of work, but for smiles like this, it was more than worth it.

Photobucket

* I understand Batman wore his cape and mask ALL weekend. You gotta love that kind of enthusiasm.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Negotiations

Michael has always been a staller and a talker, but he's really starting to raise it to a whole new level. It's one of those things I'm really proud of...when it's not driving me crazy.

I've been using the 5 minute warning system for quite some time with Michael. It really helps in transitioning him from one activity to another. I do this by telling Michael that he has five more minutes and I hold up my hand with all five fingers extended. Then I count down each minute and I hold up my hand to let him know how many minutes he has left.

Recently, he has started negotiating with me. When I say five more minutes he'll say that he needs ten more minutes. No, five more minutes. We go back and forth a bit until I offer the option of leaving right now, and then he tells me he's throwing away all of my minutes. When he is really annoyed with me he'll also add in that he's throwing my inches away too.

Then, I count down from five and we leave.

He's also really fixated on the number 10. Not only does he want ten more minutes, he also wants ten hugs, ten "tater totters", or for me to sing Rock A Bye Baby ten times (Not a chance). It's possible that I may occasionally call him Mr. Monk.

He's really having a lot of trouble with night time lately. Between not wanting to go to bed and waking up in the middle of the night, Andy and I have been countering all kinds of crazy negotiations and manipulations. Last night, he threw all of them at us in a series that started at bedtime and ended at 5:00 this morning.

He started with book stalling. I actually let him do a little of this. I value reading together time so highly that I've moved his bedtime up 10 minutes to allow for an extra book. He get's one extra book, and that's it. After that, lights out.

Next he made me restart one of his songs because I had mumbled a few words. Once he was in bed, he insisted that I sing Rock A Bye Baby ten times. I sang it one extra time. He wanted something else, but he already had it so I just needed to point it out before I left his room.

Five minutes later..."Mommy! I'm scared. There are monsters." I went back up and gave him his flashlight.

"Turn the light on for 10." I turned the light on, pointed out all the monster prevention equipment, and then turned it off again.

"Turn it on for 11." I sighed heavily and rolled my eyes. Who taught this kid to count again? Oh wait, that was me. Why did I do that again?

"Michael, mommy really has to go potty."

"OK." And he let me tuck him in and leave. So, it turns out that having to go to the bathroom trumps monster chasing. At this point it's clear that manipulation has come into play.

At 4:00 am, I hear "MOMMY! I DON'T LIKE MY SLEEP!"

Umm...how to respond to that. I considered if I could get way with calling back, "I DON'T CARE!" but I realized I wouldn't get the desired results. So, back in for negotiations. They went something like this:

M: "I want such and such"

Me: "No, let me tuck you back in."

M: "I want such and such"

Me: "No, let me tuck you back in."

Until finally he gave in and let me tuck him in.

At 4:45 we hear "I DON'T LIKE MY SLEEP."

Andy handled it. He manged to get him tucked back in right in time for our alarm to go off at 5:00. At which point Andy walked out of the room and got his shower while I did my hair and make-up. Michael waited patiently for me to come and get him at 5:25 as if he hadn't just spent the better part of an hour trying to get us to take him downstairs.

So, in summary. Michael doesn't like his sleep. He will do anything to avoid sleep. Mommy likes her sleep and will do anything to get her sleep. So far, no one is winning, but Michael is becoming very skilled with his techniques.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Too Much To Catch Up

I'm finally back to work and hoping things return to normal soon. My mom is doing well and she and Michael are enjoying their first day back together while I try to catch up at work. The past two weeks have been very interesting and I've had a lot of thoughts to blog about along the way. I'm guessing however, that I just won't have time to cover them all. Toss in a mother's surgery, a child's stitches, some kind of throwing up illness, Halloween, and Day Light Savings time, and there is just too much material and not enough blogging time.

For today, I just have time for two little stories from Sunday.

Michael woke up at 5:30 (new time) on Sunday, which is my morning to get up with him. He raided his candy bucket as soon as I would let him and preceded to open tons of candy. He didn't eat any of it. Most of it he gave to me, but for some reason the box of Nerds intrigued him. He carried it around for a while playing with it.

Michael now has three imaginary friends; Dora, Alicia, and Ella, who he collectively refers to as "my girls". At one point, Michael dumped the Nerds out on his work bench and asked, "Girls, do you like Nerds?"

To which I could not help but reply, "I think finding girls who like Nerds is a very good strategy for you in life."

Later, Michael pulled a crunch bar out of his bucket and started eating it. He started with the "C" at the beginning then turned it around to eat the "H". After the second bite, he looked at the Crunch bar and asked me if it had seeds in it.

"No, it doesn't have seeds in it. Well, wait. The crunch part is made from rice crisps, and rice is technically a seed, so yes, I guess it does have seeds in it." At which point I could not help but think I am certainly qualified to provide advice about being a nerd to Michael.