The Boy has been throwing his cup on the ground when he is done with it. The Man and I come downstairs and there is his (spill-proof sippy) cup on the floor. The Boy points at it and says, “Look!” while laughing. Although somewhat bothersome, we let him do it and discuss with him that it is okay to do that at our house but that he cannot do it anywhere else. He understands and agrees.
He eats snacks in the morning with his drink, whether it be crackers or dry cereal. We just give him the box and he eats from it while he watches his movie. Let me say that I realize we are doing him a disservice by allowing him to mindlessly munch on an unlimited amount of food, and we plan to have a more structured morning when kindergarten starts, but back to the story. I come downstairs one morning to find that in addition to throwing his cup on the ground, he has thrown his cereal box on the ground. There lies the cereal box, cereal scattered all over the carpet like colored confetti. Trying my hardest not to laugh at his attempt to push the envelope, I said, “WHAT is this?” He didn’t have an answer for me, just looked up at me with a little smirk and those big blue eyes that were a little unsure of whether or not he was in trouble.
Trying to remain composed the entire time, I informed him that this was unacceptable behavior and would he please clean up all of the spilled cereal. He got to work and I went into the kitchen where I couldn’t control myself any longer and I laughed so hard my face hurt.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Most mornings The Boy sits on the couch downstairs and watches a movie on DVD that he chooses, eats a snack, and drinks milk or juice. Please note that we have at least 50 DVDs for him to choose from, probably more.
The Man is fixing a beverage for The Boy to drink and The Boy comes in to the kitchen with his hands behind his back and here is what ensues:
The Boy: “Hey Dad, guess which movie I picked.”
The Man: “Oh, honey I have no idea.”
The Boy: “I’ll give you a hint – it’s green.”
The Man: “Um, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?”
The Boy: “No.”
The Man: “I don’t know dude. You should just show me.”
The Boy: “I’ll give you another hint.”
The Boy proceeds to take The Man by the hand and lead him over to the shelf where his DVDs are kept. Then he looks at The Man and says, “Which one is missing?”
The Man obviously cannot identify which movie is missing and tells The Boy that he does not know and again, could he please just show Daddy which movie he picked.
The Boy, feeling as though Daddy is not trying hard enough to play his guessing game, takes the movie out from behind his back, throws it on the ground and then points at it on the ground and indignantly shouts at The Man, “LOOK AT WHAT YOU JUST MADE ME DO!”
Of course he was immediately sent on a time-out for multiple offenses (throwing, yelling, tantrum), but when he told me the story, we couldn't help but laugh.
The Boy was in a Mood this morning. He said his pajamas were wet and when The Man inspected the jammies, he said that they were not wet. The Boy vehemently disagreed and insisted on removing his clothes immediately. Then he got into bed with me. He was not there more than thirty seconds when he said with disdain, “Something smells gross.” I said, “Is it my breath? Does it smell like onions?” This is a joke that we often make in our family. Obviously not finding me funny at this time, he gets out of bed (still naked mind you) and goes and sits in the middle of the floor, crosses his arms across his chest, and sits pouting until The Man comes out of the restroom. That’ll teach me.
The Boy is expanding his vocabulary. He has been using the following terms on a very regular basis lately: Of course, which comes out o’ course, well, and so.
“O’ course, my grandma picks me up from school on Wednesday.”
“Well, I [emphasis on I] don’t like that.”
“So, Dad, how did you sleep?”
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Did you know that you can cheat at counting?!? We are driving (why do I feel like all of our stories take place in the car?) and ask The Boy if he could count to 100 by tens. He says yes and he starts, “Ten, twenty, thirty…” Then he begins wiggling all around in his car seat and I’m thinking, "What are you doing," but I don’t want to interrupt him so I don’t say anything. “Forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety, one hundred!” By this time he is really straining in his seat so I finally tell him to sit correctly and I ask him, “What are you doing?!?” Then I realize what he was straining to see – the speedometer on the dashboard of the car! He was looking at the miles per hour numbers to count by tens, the little stinker.
We give him a hard time, exclaiming, “You can’t do that!” And his response, a classic response from The Boy: “I was just looking.”
This leads me to another classic. The Boy thinks that by saying things like "I was just looking" completely negates the accusation against him. For example:
He comes into bed with us when we all wake up in the morning. The first thing he does is put his toes on my legs. The Man and I have an electric blanket on our bed and The Boy’s mattress rests on a block of ice, or so you would think since it feels like he is laying bricks of ice on my legs. I scream from the shock and I say, “Your feet are cold!” And every morning his response is: “I’m just going to warm them up.” As if that makes them any less cold!
Monday, January 28, 2008
The Boy is going to kindergarten. There's nothing I can do about it. I thought that I would be okay with it when the time came. But I'm not. And since I'm not okay with it I thought it would be nice to put it off as long as possible. But I can't. So it's done now. We forked over the annual registration fee to hold his spot today at lunch. The most expensive lunch trip I think I've ever taken.
The good new is that The Boy thinks his new school is great. If you remember, there was a time, not so long ago, when I thought he would never be comfortable with this transition. But send him and his dad to ONE open house and there goes our savings account! Just kidding. We don't have a savings account.
I have until August when it will truly be official, and approximately seven therapy sessions until then. And we have all the fun stuff to do, like purchase school supplies, buy uniforms and get them embroidered with the school logo.
It reminds me of a quote from You've Got Mail: "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms." Joe Fox played by Tom Hanks.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
One of The Boy's favorite things to do is gross me out. I'll make a great big deal out of something that I don't even find too gross just to hear him giggle. Sometimes I'll even start it and then get grossed out when he keeps it up.
I learned about an educational concept called scaffolding where you teach children to expand on a concept. I try to incorporate disgusting things into the scaffolding so that it doesn't seem so much like learning. Hopefully I am not cancelling out the benefit of scaffolding by being disgusting.
Normal scaffolding is basically having kids use their imaginations. If The Boy says they discussed exercise in class, I ask him to tell me about the exercises they learned, ask him to make up his own exercises, ask him the benefits of exercising, ask him how animals exercise, ask him if trees or cars can exercise, etc.
Gross scaffolding would be to say that swimming is exercise. What if we went swimming in a pool of potty? And that's where it starts. He thinks up anything he can relating to exercise and pairs it with some sort of bodily function. And I scream loudly in shock and disgust and hope that his brain is growing smarter.
I did not intend for this to happen, and I'm not sure if I like it or if I think it's gross, but here is what happened:
I was my hands a lot. Incessantly. I think my therapist doesn't believe in labels because I consider my hand washing (and other things I do repetitively) to be OCD but he has never said that. Anyway, my hands are dry. All the time. I keep lotion nearby to offset the constant hand washing. I recently purchased a different size/type of container of lotion for my desk and I ended up placing it next to my computer tower on my desk. I go to use some for the first time and the lotion is warm. It surprised me and it felt good.
But did you ever hear about those wipe warmers and how they grew moldy? My fear is that this lotion will do the same thing.
After writing this, I think I'm going to relocate the lotion. I just can't handle the idea of washing the lotion off after I put it on after washing my hands. That would be a vicious cycle and I don't think I'd get much work done.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Numbers are very important to The Boy. He assigns a number to the level of importance of something. At first it was just 1 through 10. Examples:
"I am ten starving" means he's really hungry.
"I am one tired" means he's not tired at all (which he will tell you all the time, even as he's crashing into his bed).
Then he learned about 11 through 100 and we got more extreme. Example:
"I am one hundred bored" - you guessed it; he's really bored.
Finally, my favorite, are the "biggest" numbers of all, which of course, do not exist.
"Mom, I love you one hundred million sixty five hundred billion trillion one hundred percent forty seven thousand one hundred sixty million."
I love him the same.
Quite often The Man and I spell things out to each other in order to avoid The Boy understanding us. For example, "Do you want to go to M-C-D-O-N-A-L-D-S?" Only a couple of times has The Boy caught on and asked, "Mommy, what are those letters you just said?" At which time I either knew what was decided and told him what the letters were, or I told him that it was grown up talk and he didn't need to worry about it.
Recently, The Man wanted to tell me about the tiger incident at the San Francisco Zoo, and he spelled out the word "killed." We may or may not be overprotecting The Boy by doing this, but we try not to discuss death if not related to our family (i.e., a grandparent, pet, etc.), and fortunately we have not had this issue come up yet. The Boy was not interested or not listening and never even asked us about what we were talking about.
Since then, two things happened that lead me to believe that my spelling days are soon coming to an end.
First: our friends do not share this protective view with us and share many things with their daughter that I (I won't speak for The Man) feel are inappropriate. She watches television shows that involve murders, sex outside of marriage, etc., and they are very blunt with her about news stories and life. I am not judging at all. I love this family and I think their daughter is great. I am simply stating the difference in parenting styles. Anyway, we went to the San Francisco Zoo together months ago. About two weeks ago, we are all at lunch and she says something about a tiger from the zoo we went to killing someone. I am horrified and look over at The Boy and he doesn't seem to notice, probably distracted by something shiny. I think The Man may have asked her not to talk about it because she didn't say another word. Whew. I guess I'm going to have to start preparing myself for potential questions in case his classmates or a friend speaks with him about something that we would normally shield him from.
Second: I was touring properties with a potential vendor. I know that he has a daughter and he knows that I have a son so we often ask each other about the other person's family and sometimes that leads to other topics. So zoos came up, and I asked him if he had heard about this incident in San Francisco and in describing the what happened I spelled out the word "killed." I remembered later because he gave me a strange look and I thought, "What?!?" and I wondered later why he would look at me like that. As I retraced my steps in the conversation, I realized what I had done.
Friday, January 18, 2008
I feel like we had a shotgun house purchase; similar to a shotgun wedding. I was pregnant and we needed a place for the baby to live. Our one bedroom apartment with two cats was not acceptable.
When making our first home purchase, it never occurred to us (or to me anyway), to think about school districts. We had just created a little peanut, who was a surprise, and all we cared about was that the place was nice and in a relatively safe neighborhood. I really did not think I would even live to see the day the little peanut turned five.
Now the little peanut is The Boy and he is indeed five years old and I am still alive to see it. And now he has to go to kindergarten.
For which neither of us is prepared (clarification: The Boy and I are not prepared; I think The Man is fine). About six months ago I briefly looked into elementary schools; both private and public, and mostly found that it was too soon to do anything. Come back at the beginning of 2008 is what I was told. That was fine with me. I figured that would give me six months to emotionally prepare myself for this giant transition.
Of course six months flew by. First there was summer, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and The Boy’s birthday. Whew. And I am (surprise!) not emotionally ready to deal with this. He’s my baby. He doesn’t want to go to kindergarten and I want to tell him that he doesn’t have to. He can stay in my arms forever.
To make matters worse, I have no clue what we are going to do. The day care he currently attends only drops off and picks up to in two school districts, and we do not live in either of those school districts.
If we went the regular route, he would attend the local elementary school which is down the street from us. Remember earlier I said that we wanted a relatively safe neighborhood? Well, our condo complex is gated and it IS relatively safe (plus or minus one drug addicted neighbor, but that’s another story), but the surrounding area is NOT. At all. So the public school he is supposed to go to is not an option.
Then I thought a magnet school would be great, especially this one that is a Spanish Immersion school. But then I find out that we are not in that school’s district. The Spanish Immersion magnet school in our district is in the next town over, which is inconvenient and impractical. And moving to that town is favored but not plausible. So the magnet school he could go to is not an option.
Finally, we pay so much in day care costs now, why free up our cash? Let’s send him to a private school. I have researched several and find that the extended care for many of the schools is exorbitant. I fear that the remaining few will be a “you get what you pay for” type scenario. We are going to explore those options in the coming weeks.
I did receive some useful information from the teachers at his day care. They said that this one district is pretty easy to get transferred into because they need students. If we are successful with that then he can go to a public school of our choosing (more cash in our wallets), the day care can drop him off and pick him up (convenience), and he will still see his friends and be in a familiar place every day (comfort). Wow, the best of all worlds. I know what I’m dedicating my prayers to.
And this is just kindergarten! I know whatever we end up doing, we will make it work, and The Boy will be okay. But I’m still stressed.
There was a store in a high-end retail center in town where I purchased many an over-priced article of clothing for The Boy. We drove up last weekend and IT WAS CLOSED. I bought his first pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans there, before I had even purchased a pair for myself. I seriously could have cried. I could cry right now.
Now I will have to find another place to purchase my ridiculously priced, yet totally awesome, designer jeans for The Boy.
Let's take a moment to remember the store.
Now that The Boy is five, it's as though four were a distant memory. We discuss things that happened at Christmas and he wistfully states, "Yeah, I was four." Like, those were the good ol' days and now he's just a wise old man looking back on his life.
To get to our house, one can turn right on our actual street, or one can be on the street before our street and go a back way. The Boy calls the street before our street, "straight."
There is a signal at this road and at one point we actually did go straight on this road and it was discussed that we were going straight. So that became the standard name for this particular direction. Now, when coming from another direction, we must make a right turn to go on the road before our street, yet the boy still calls it "going straight." We have our blinker on, but he says, "Go straight, okay Dad?" Yes, Dad replies, as he turns left.
The Boy talks. A lot. I'm glad to have a healthy young child who is able to speak, and at one point I had convinced myself that he was never going to speak. But right now, I just want quiet sometimes. So I invented The Quiet Game. And guess what? It backfired on me.
The idea is that whoever speaks first loses the game.
At first I was able to get a good 30 seconds of quiet out of The Boy. Then he would say something that was obviously so important that it could not wait another moment. And The Man and I would laugh. Which encouraged The Quiet Game to become let's be quiet for 5 seconds and then say something so that Mommy and Daddy will laugh.
Then The Boy decided that HE would initiate The Quiet Game. Imagine how much noise and talking must have been occurring for him to be the initiator. We were then able to obtain perhaps a full minute of silence. But The Boy's rules for winning and losing the game are different that Mommy's rules. If The Boy decides that he does have something to say and that he must spit it out, lest he "forget," he will say, "I have to say one thing and then we'll start where we left off." So he graces us with his knowledge and then The Quiet Game is usually over. There is no going back to where we left off.
At least he still sleeps. A little bit.
The other night we are driving home, and The Boy starts talking about dinosaurs. He says dinosaurs before dark and dinosaurs before land. We don’t know what he is talking about and after talking about it later, we think “dinosaurs before dark” might mean Night at the Museum, and “dinosaurs before land” might mean Land Before Time? Anyway, I ask The Boy, “Dinosaurs before land? Where did the dinosaurs walk if there was no land?” To which he replied what he felt was the only obvious answer, “Pennsylvania!”
The Man was raised by hippies. Real life hippies. Like, they hung out at Haight-Ashbuy, People’s Park, and shopped at the free stores.
While raising The Man, they were never afraid to openly smoke the good stuff ALL THE TIME around him. I will not go into the horrifying stories that I have heard at this time, but I’m pretty sure The Man had a contact high from conception until he moved out of his parent’s house.
Here is the proof. At the fragile age of 8 ½, The Man wrote this story at school:
January 26, 1987
The Smiling Guy
One day there was a smiling guy and I glued his mouth shut. Then he turned gray. A group of people gathered around as I painted stripes on him. Thunder struck and he spread on the ground like peanut butter. It began to sprinkle and he flew high into the sky. Night came over him and
he turned to toast. He threw himself to the moon. The next afternoon he came to school. It was Tuesday and he couldn't do anything. I don't play with him anymore because it's stupid to try. His glory is to be better than me. Not a chance! He wears grumpy gloves and he sprains and scrapes himself all the time.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Occasionally, we try to expose The Boy to things other than video games. For example, he has a puzzle of the United States. He knows a lot of the names of the states and he can do the bigger states on the puzzle on his own. And really, who knows what they talk about at school. I can barely get him to tell me what he had for lunch, let alone pry any information out of him about his educational experience. But I was truly unaware of the extent of his knowledge of geography until The Man recently told me this story:
While getting ready one morning, The Boy and The Man are watching The Weather Channel. Doppler radar shows green near where we live and shows pink to the northeast. The Boy knows that green means rain. He asks The Man, “What does pink mean?” The Man tells him that pink means snow. So The Boy steps up to the television and points to a blue lake on the Doppler map where it was showing pink and he says, “It’s snowing in Lake Tahoe.” He was right! I couldn’t believe it when The Man told me.
This is hands down my favorite “mainstream” store. It’s not as big as Gap, Gymboree (Janie and Jack's sister company), or Old Navy, but it is by no means a unique boutique. The outfits are beyond adorable, the quality is superior, and the prices are not extreme.
I don’t remember how I first heard of Janie and Jack, but I fell in love with them right away. I was so sad when I realized that my son would soon be unable to wear their sizes, which stopped at 5T not too long ago. Then, I was elated to learn that they would be expanding their sizes to include size 6 through size 8. Oh joyous day!
I have never actually ordered anything from their website. The website is where I find the outfits I like, as I do not have a Janie and Jack in my town (Dear Santa, next year for Christmas I’d like to have a Janie and Jack open up at the mall by our house…). Then I find an excuse to take a trip to Pleasanton, San Francisco, or Sacramento, and I make my purchase there.
I like the way the website is organized. You can either view the clothes by category (i.e., pants, shirts, outerwear, etc.), or you can view the clothes by outfit (i.e., By the Seashore, Classic Train, etc.). You can also sort so that you can see only the items available in the size you need, and you can see a few items on each page or View All on one page.
The biggest reason that I have not ordered online is because I despise shipping costs. I’m sure that with the price of gas these days that it costs just as much to drive to Sacramento, but I feel like I’m getting more out of my money by somehow. Occasionally I will receive e-mails from Janie and Jack with a free shipping code if you spend more than $100.
Pants come in elastic waist or adjustable waist, so order a size larger and your kid can wear the pants again next year. The quality of the clothes is spectacular. They wash well and don’t wear out quickly, so they will last through years of wear with your child. Also, I have found that this brand has great resale value on eBay.
Finally, be sure to sign up for e-mails and check out their sales. Sales up to 60% off make the somewhat higher prices easier to accept.
*Please note that I have no affiliation with Janie and Jack, nor have they asked me to promote their site. In fact, they do not know that I am writing this review and I hope I wasn't supposed to ask permission first!
Monday, January 14, 2008
During a recent trip to the grocery store, I walk through the dairy section. I'm feeling pretty great, like a young, hot mom, and then I hear this:
A woman speaks to her junior high/high school aged daughter, "Honey, can you please grab the cart for me?"
Daughter's reply, while rolling her eyes, "Mo-im. I don't want to push the cart. I feel like a mother."
Ego balloon officially deflated.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The Boy and The Man recently went to Toys R Us. On the way out to the car, they passed by a mattress store. The Boy asked what the place was and The Man told him it was a mattress store and asked The Boy if he wanted to go inside. Sure, so they went inside and checked out the beds, but The Boy was not impressed.
As they were leaving, the sales person said, "Thank you, come again." To which The Boy replied, "I don't think so."
We have Guitar Hero for the Wii and The Boy likes to listen to Daddy’s “Med” Zepplin CD, which he calls Guitar Hero. Example: “Daddy, can we listen to Guitar Hero?” means that he wants to listen to Led Zepplin.
On the way home from school, we are listening to music in the car and The Boy is playing air drums with all his might and then he tells Daddy, “You’re a Drum Hero.”
The Boy was sick on Tuesday and we kept him home on Wednesday too, just to make sure he had enough rest. The Man thinks he had what I had at Christmas. Whatever it was, it was not fun. Three years ago he was sick like this and we ended up taking him to the emergency room. He was such a trooper but it was a miserable experience.
Wednesday was his birthday. Happy 5th Birthday, Hunny Bear!!! We stayed home to rest. We played all day and he took a fabulous nap (to make up for only sleeping for three hours the night before). Who am I kidding? I took a fabulous nap, too. He opened up a present from Mommy and Daddy.
His party is on Saturday for which I can hardly wait. He still has a little bit of a tough time understanding that his party is not on the same day as his birthday. We told him that he could pick where he wanted to eat dinner on the day of his birthday and he picked McDonald’s. Then he said, “Where are my friends going to sit?” It was useless to try to explain it to him.
Occasionally, we go to this lovely place for Sunday brunch. The Man and I went on a date one time, all other times we went with others or just our little family. However, I vow that this last occurrence will be our last as a little family until The Boy is older.
No, it is not a place designed for children, but in the beginning The Boy thought this was the coolest thing. He called it “crunch.” And he behaved really well, sitting in his chair properly and eating his special crunch breakfast.
This last time was what I would consider just short of a disaster. The most disappointing part was that he specifically asked to go to crunch, so I thought he would enjoy the special treat and be good for it. Not so much. He ended up on the floor three different times due to messing around in his seat, one time almost tripping an old lady. How is that possible? I don’t know. I couldn’t end up on the floor of a restaurant if I TRIED. Okay, maybe if I had a couple of Long Island Ice Teas, but seriously, how does this happen to a sober person?
So until he’s older, maybe seven or eight, it will just be a date place for Mommy and Daddy. Which is actually fine by me. I need an excuse to date The Man more often!
Monday, January 7, 2008
Everyone who was sick or knows someone who was sick over the holidays, raise your hand. Okay, you can all put your hands down. Now that we have established that everyone was sick over the holidays and I’m not special, I’m going to tell you how it was so awful that I was sick over the holidays.
We went to lunch with some friends the Sunday before Christmas and I had a chicken pita thing that I always have. I felt fine but started burping Sunday afternoon. Then on Christmas Eve, we drove to the Bay Area to visit my aunt and her family. I sat in the back seat so that I could entertain The Boy by reading books, playing games, and watching a movie. I have done this many times before and I have been just fine. When we got there I felt a little funny but disregarded it. I ate the great lunch that my aunt prepared for us. Then I really started to feel funny so I went to the restroom, started vomiting, and didn’t stop through the drive home or even after I went to bed, and it did not stop until 3 a.m. What was I throwing up? I wasn’t eating at that point; I couldn’t even keep water down. I’m a tough cookie when it comes to being sick; I don’t normally complain and I keep up with my household chores as much as possible. I didn’t do a single thing from the time we got home until the day after Christmas. I didn’t see The Boy set out cookies for Santa, I didn’t help wrap presents, I didn’t go to Christmas at my in-laws’ house, and I certainly did not do any household chores. I thought I was going to die. I seriously thought it was not going to stop. EVER.
Of course it did stop. And the day after Christmas I was able to walk around a little bit, although I felt like I needed a nap every time I climbed the stairs.
Then the fun started.
Finally on Thursday I felt good enough to keep The Boy home from “school” (day care) and we played all day with new toys and had lunch at Daddy’s office. It was so much fun.
Our friend opened up a restaurant in Lodi at the beginning of December and I have been assisting him with start up and hiring. I went with him to a networking meeting Friday morning and then I prepped the food for the lunch hour, served lunch, and then prepped food for the dinner hour. It was long day but it was SO much fun.
On a side note, I purchased black flats specifically for this day as the only black shoes I have currently are a pair of pointy-toed knee high boots and a pair of high heel Mary Janes. Both are very cute and comfortable for the office, but not practical for working in a restaurant for twelve hours. However, the new shoes, although now I think they are more broken in now, were not comfortable by the end of the day. I have drawn the conclusion that there is no shoe available that would be comfortable for standing on your feet for an entire day. On a positive note, I got a cute new pair of shoes!
Saturday we went out for some much needed retail therapy. We drove to Roseville Galleria, then we went to Arden Fair in Sacramento and then to this little high-end retail shopping center, which, if you ever visit, you must eat at this spectacular restaurant, Piatti. Anyway, I purchased some stuff from Williams-Sonoma that I am now in LOVE with, and I spent way too much on a pair of pj’s for The Boy, but I don’t care. I love it.
Now I’m back on track and hope to continue my blog.