Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Following Directions

It's just after 10:00, and I'm finally sitting down for the first time since Robbie and I got home six hours ago. I really just want to go to bed, but there's no way I could let Aunt Hee-ah-ee face another day without a blog.

You know you've all been there. There are things you need to get done. You need your husband to help. He can't manage to follow directions. Be honest; I know this doesn't just happen at my house. I've decided that I don't want my future daughter-in-law to face these concerns. That's why I've started giving Robbie the opportunity to help me clean the house.

It started with small directions: I put the laundry next to the stairs and showed Robbie how to throw the clothes over the railing to the stairs below. I asked him to take one toy and "clean up". We've moved on from that a little, especially now that Robbie knows "help" and "helper". Today, I was able to show Robbie the dirty clothes in his hamper and ask him to throw them downstairs. And. He. Did. He picked up trash and threw it away, reminding me that it was "yucky".

He's not scrubbing sinks or scouring counters; after all, he can't reach them. Yet. If I can keep building on this interest in being my big "help, mama, help", I may actually be able to come home and put my feet up some time before 10:00. And I may not have to still go downstairs to get my sheets. Because they'll already be on my bed. With hospital corners.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Told You So

My son does not listen. Well, he listens when it's something he wants. That was not this morning. Justin and I were exhausted, but Robbie was ready to play. Big time. We put him in bed between us and dozed back asleep while Robbie watched Sprout (my new favorite channel, by the way). All of a sudden, Robbie dove over me and off the bed.

I'm not sure he had any idea what happened. It seems like the plan was to dive on me, straddle my side, and bounce up and down to wake me up. This is not what he did. The shock kept the tears at bay for about three seconds. I bolted up, grabbed Robbie, and tried to soothe him while explaining to him why that was not OK.

We had a conversation about why you might not want to jump on people who don't know you're coming their way. We talked about the importance of not having stitches in two places at the same time. I really thought I got through to him. And maybe I did. But only for about twenty minutes.

Yes. He did it again. I had just dozed off again when I felt a body hit me and bounce off. We had the same conversation on the way to Robbie's room for a time-out. I'm not sure it stuck that time, either. But I felt a little more in control.

On, On, U of K!

We started the indoctrination early with Robbie. The day we brought him home, he walked into a foyer lined with Kentucky posters. His drawers were filled with Kentucky onesies and t-shirts. Robbie wears UK "squeakers" (sneakers that actually squeak). He sports the clothes proudly, even wearing a Kentucky football uniform and pretending to be Randall Cobb during football season. But, that was nothing compared to when he started to learn words.

Early today, I practiced "Go Cats!" with Robbie. It started at the breakfast table. We tried one of my favorites, but Robbie didn't quite get the spelling. It came out more, "C...C...T...S... Cats! Cats!" He could never get the "A" or the third "Cats!" But we practiced all day. Robbie left voicemail messages for everyone in our family saying, "Go Cats!" earlier this afternoon.

I wasn't quite sure it stuck until the very end of the game. Justin was, in a shocking turn of events, pacing around the living room. Robbie ran up to the TV and started pacing in front of it, yelling, "Go Cats! Cats! Cats! Go!" One of the proudest moments of my life!

Friday, March 25, 2011


While we were at the mall this afternoon, finding out that my computer is so outdated it's "practically obsolete" (to quote the Apple Genius), Justin picked up a Diet Coke. Robbie, now old enough to decide what he wants, waited patiently for Justin to offer him a drink. When Justin didn't, Robbie pointed at the cup and said, "Want. Want." Justin dutifully handed over the cup. And never got it back.

Robbie held on to the cup all the way to the car and then all the way to dinner. At one point, I looked back to find that Robbie had finished the drink, taken the lid off, and fished out a piece of ice. He put it in his mouth, sucked on it for a minute, took it out, and proclaimed it, "Nummy!" Then he offered it to me... I'll have to admit, it wasn't half bad.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fighter Pilot

Roberto has developed some funny habits. Occasionally bathing with a Mylar balloon. Wearing hats, although rarely getting them on correctly. Standing naked in front of the refrigerator. Letting all the water out of the tub and playing in the leftover bubbles. Biting the tips off markers. Tonight, we may have started a new one.

Just before bedtime, decked out in his pajamas and a baseball hat, Robbie found his flight jacket thrown over the railing in the hallway (a habit he learned from his father...), He tried to figure out how to put it on while still holding on to his bottle. When that didn't work, he brought it to me. Robbie handed me the jacket, turned around, and put his arm out for me to slide the jacket on.

And then he went to bed, where I half expected him to take it off before he fell asleep. This is what I found an hour later:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mom and Rob

I'm really not a terrible wife, but it's been nice to have a few days that's just Rob and me. We kind of have a nice thing going. And I like control of the TV. And the fact that the house will stay clean. Plus, it's nice to have a chance to miss Justin a little.

Our morning started off with Robbie looking to help again. He got my gym clothes together in a bag. And then took them out and threw them around my bedroom. As soon as I had them re-bagged, he told me he wanted to help and carried the bag across the street to the grocery store, around the grocery store, and halfway back across the street. And then he dropped the bag as traffic was coming in both directions.

After daycare pick-up and a quick trip to the gym, Robbie and I went to the BX on base to look for Justin's birthday present (no luck). We bought some diapers, pajamas for Roberto, and a new hat. I saw it about the same time Robbie did. He was so excited that I couldn't help but put it on his head to see how it looked. For $5... And knowing that we're getting ready to go on a cruise... And Robbie would surely need something to cover his little head... So, we bought it. To pay me back, Robbie carried both bags of purchases to the car for me. And from the car into the house. When did he get big enough for this? I kind of like it.

Bathtime tonight was another adventure. Robbie has learned how to let the water out of the tub, so he soaks for a few minutes and then plays naked with his toys in the leftover bubbles. He's recently discovered that he likes to run around naked. And, sometimes, you just need to get a snack before you can get your pajamas on. Wh can't respect that? There were cuter pictures, but I know future Robbie will appreciate not having his bottom plastered all over the Internet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy Days!

Yes, that's right! They're here again. Robbie knows that he hurt himself - he likes to point at his forehead and say, "Wow!" He seems pretty impressed with the Band-Aid that he gets to wear over his right eye. Definitely not anything worth holding him back from a new day.

I don't usually get Robbie ready for the day in the morning. Sometimes I get him dressed - if I'm feeling like a particularly kind and loving wife. So I wasn't sure what to expect when getting him out of the door this morning because it had been a few months since Justin wasn't able to take Robbie to daycare.

We got downstairs, and I had my purse, Robbie's backpack, a bag of needlepoint, my gym clothes, and three bags of treats for my students taking the MCAS today. Robbie looked at the bags and looked at me. He said, "Help!" and grabbed the bag with my gym clothes. He carried it all the way to the car for me! And then got a little irritated that there was nothing for him to "help" with when we got to daycare. Nevermind his backpack; that was obviously something that I could carry.

Always one to call things into question, I emailed Justin to see where Robbie picked up this whole helping thing. It turns out that, every morning, Robbie "helps" Justin find his shoes, wallet, watch, and keys. I'm so glad to learn that my boys are actually productive in the morning.

New words include:
Cheese (was that on the last list?)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Emergency Room

The email was short: Rob is hurt. I got it over an hour after it was sent and immediately grabbed my phone. Eleven missed calls. Four voicemail messages. My stomach dropped to the floor. I asked my first period class to please be quiet; there was an emergency with my son. I didn't have to ask twice; you could have heard a pin drop.

The messages were basically all the same. Rob cut his head. Justin was on his way to daycare. They were on their way to Winchester Hospital. They were at Winchester Hospital. Justin's phone was dying. He hoped I'd get the message at some point.

No one was in the office across the hall, so I called downstairs. There was a sub in my room in minutes, while I tried to impart some last-minute wisdom for my sophomores who are taking the MCAS tomorrow. Then it was a full sprint to the parking lot, pausing to assure friends that I was indeed OK to drive. Honestly - I shouldn't have been anywhere behind the wheel.

Lights just wouldn't turn green. Cars seemed to slow down all around me. Rush hour traffic still wasn't completely gone. The twenty-mile trip to the hospital took an eternity. I pulled around to the valet parking at the Emergency Room, threw my car into park, tossed my keys at the startled valet (who was trying to help an elderly woman in a wheelchair - but I had an emergency, right?), and dashed into the ER.

The women saw me rush through the door and knew I was there for Rob. A calm nurse took me back, telling me that everything was fine and Robbie was being a champ. I heard him from down the hall. I'd recognize that laugh anywhere... Yes. Laugh.

I walked into the room, and Robbie bolted for me. He had a cotton ball taped to his forehead and a big smile on his face. It turns out the cotton ball was just numbing medication; the tough part hadn't happened yet. But, while he waited for the inevitable, Robbie was happy to color and run around.

While we waited for the stitches, Justin filled me in on what had happened. He'd been about seven miles down 128 when he got a call from Zhining. Her dialogue went something like this: "Is this Robert's father? Robert's head is broken. There is blood. He needs to go to the hospital. Please come." Let me pause here. I'm sure there's a better translation than "head is broken". There has to be. Justin's imagination immediately went wild as he rushed back to Lexington to discover exactly how Robbie had "broken" his head.

After Justin left, Robbie grabbed a metal Matchbox car, his favorite toy. He ran around daycare like a madman and tripped. As he went down, he landed on the car. And the car kept going. All the way into his forehead.

I was a little horrified when the P.A. came to take off Robbie's bandage and get him ready to suture. The gash was wider than I expected; there was a hole in my little boy's head! The whole process is still a little baffling; thank goodness there were some fabulous women to explain it to us. They slip Robbie's arm into a pillow case, telling him that he got to look like a super hero. Robbie didn't buy it. At all. Especially when they swaddled him in a blanket.

Justin and I held his legs and torso; the nurse held his little head. The screaming started as soon as they began irrigating the wound - twice. Then P.A. covered his face with a napkin (I'm sure there's a technical term, but...) and got to work. It took two layers of stitches and about ten minutes. I could have sworn it was at least an hour. Robbie's screams got louder and his "Mama! Mama! Daddy!" got more and more pitiful. Eventually, he started yelling, "Hot! Hot!" Justin and I just looked at each other and held hands while we kept his legs from moving. It was all I could do to keep the tears from taking over.

As soon as he was all stitched up and unswaddled, Robbie leapt into my arms. He cuddled with me for a moment and was then distracted by the red popsicle the nurse brought for him. Being the good mom I am, I brought out the camera. Robbie's face lit up, and he started saying, "Cheese! Cheese!", posing for pictures as Justin clicked away. He could have cared less about what had happened three minutes before.

The rest of the day was much less eventful. Robbie picked out what he wanted for lunch and took a long nap. We attempted to assuage any fears Zhining had when she called in tears to check on QiQi. After his nap, I took Robbie by to see Zhining. I wanted her to know that he really was OK and that no one blamed her. She burst into tears as soon as she opened the door and grabbed Robbie to give him a good once-over.

There's nothing that can prepare you for what happens the instant you find out something has happened to your child. Nothing. I've seen him bump his head and fall off a chair. I've seen him slam his fingers in a drawer. But not this. Not broken. Not beyond my help. But, you know what? We made it. Justin and I survived it. Together. And with some great stories. Let's be honest; most kids crack their heads open on a coffee table. Not mine. My kid impaled himself on a Matchbox car. My story involves a little translation mishap.

It's not the ideal start to a week, but I think I'll take it. After all, it has a happy ending. And some cool Band-Aids.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stained Glass

There's something about March that makes the weeks drag by. Maybe it's the gray skies. The fact that there isn't a single day off. The lingering threat of snow. And this week was really no exception.

That's why today was so important. No work for Justin or me, but daycare for Robbie. We made plans to take a stained glass class in Portsmouth and had a hard time getting a babysitter. After all, who actually wants to be watching a toddler at 8:30 in the morning? I barely do, and he's my kid. I asked Zhining if her daughter might want to babysit, and Zhining told me to just bring Robbie to her house for the day. Are you kidding me? Do I have the most amazing daycare provider or what?

Justin and I bought a Groupon for a stained glass class in Portsmouth, NH, and weren't quite sure what to expect. We were tired of going to movies or out to eat. We needed to do something together, and I love him for doing something that I would like, for stepping out of his comfort zone. After nearly running out of gas in Georgetown, MA, we got to the class a few minutes late. There were three other women in the class; my poor husband.

We scored class. We broke glass in straight lines and curves. And then we got our projects: clear glass circles. It wasn't quite what I pictured. I thought lots of colors. There weren't a lot of options for how to cut and design it, but I'm pretty happy with how our projects turned out. We got to use glass grinders and metal pushpins to hold the project together. I'll be honest; I didn't understand why we needed special pushpins. Until we brought out the soldering iron. Then it all made sense.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'Atta Boy!

Not that there's ever much doubt, but today was a reminder that my darling son is, indeed, all boy. I went to the gym this afternoon and took Roberto with me. There is a "family" gym with a few treadmills, ellipticals, and free weights. About a quarter of the room is a partitioned off area for kids to play. I like that I can work out and still interact with Robbie; it makes me not feel so guilty about taking time to go to the gym after I've been at work all day.

About 45 minutes into my run, I looked over to see what Robbie was doing in the play section of the family gym. And there he was, in all his glory. Well, some glory. His pants were around his ankles, and he was standing at the gate smiling at me. He attempted to pull up his pants about five minutes later, but his little butt still stuck out over the waist. It's as if he's getting ready for his high school rebellion already.

This is not the first incident with clothing Robbie's had this week. On Sunday, Robbie and I came downstairs to get breakfast started. Robbie was just in his diaper, and I left him in the kitchen while I let Barkley outside. I came back through the door to find Robbie, in the buff, making his first naked man appearance. He looked so proud of himself for figuring out how to undo the adhesive and get himself out of his clothes. He ran around like a mad man.

I have a feeling that, as he learns to undress himself, we're in for a lot of naked time with young Robert. Thank goodness summer is right around the corner!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And The Diagnosis Is...

I worried Robbie had another ear infection. I was terrified it would be another night of screaming and kicking. Mostly because the screaming and kicking started as soon as we got home. Robbie refused to eat dinner and was only consolable with a bottle of milk. At a loss, and with nowhere to take a 19-month-old for walk-in care at 6:30 at night, I called and left a message for our on-call pediatrician.

By the time she called back, Robbie had calmed down considerably. He'd granted us the opportunity to bathe him and get him dressed in his pajamas. Since there was no screaming, I could actually hear what Dr. Sheldon had to say. I explained that I thought it might be an ear infection, but things didn't add up. Robbie didn't have a gross runny nose; everything was still running clear. He was rubbing around his ear, which probably should be a red flag. But, Robbie never rubs at his ears when he has an infection.

While trying to figure out what the problem was, Dr. Sheldon asked me if I'd checked for teething. I told her his mouth was pretty full with teeth, and then it hit me. His two-year molars. He's closer to two than he is to one, so it made sense. So did the rubbing near his ears. He was rubbing at his jaw!

After I got off the phone, I asked Robbie if I could check out his mouth and feel his teeth. I showed him how I was going to do it with Justin, which Robbie thought was hysterical. He took a turn sticking his fingers back into Justin's mouth, which I'm sure my dutiful husband appreciated. Robbie opened wide and let me feel the back of all sides of his mouth. And there it was. A lump on his lower right jaw.

We gave him a generous dose of Tylenol and a little extra cudding. Robbie fell to sleep after an hour (or two) of talking in his crib (yes, we got him back in!). I'll be honest... When I went into his room to turn off the lights on my own way to bed (he's tall enough to reach the light switch now), I could smell him. He had pooped. Majorly. But I wasn't going to touch him. I figured the diaper change could wait until 3:00 in the morning, which is precisely when he woke up screaming for a change. Fortunately, this morning, he went back to sleep ten minutes later.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Justin and I are zombies today. That's what happens when your toddler doesn't actually fall asleep for good until 3:00 in the morning. Since I know you're already on the edge of your seats, I'll fill you in.

Robbie went to bed last night around 7:30. I kept him up an extra hour because of the time change. He didn't actually fall asleep until 10:30, even though Justin and I went to bed at 9:00. Unfortunately, this did not last long. Robbie woke up screaming at 11:30. I only had enough milk left for one bottle, which he devoured. He started screaming again at approximately 11:37. This earned Roberto a trip into our bed until 12:30. Why so short? He never fell asleep. He watched Sesame Street and then decided to use me as a trampoline. In my tired stupor, I took him back to his crib where he screamed until 1:00 in the morning.

We all fell into a light sleep, somehow knowing it wasn't meant to last. And it didn't. Robbie woke up again (screaming, of course) at 2:00 this morning. I rocked him back to sleep, put him in his crib, and crept back to our room. He was screaming within 15 seconds. I told Justin that I couldn't deal with the screaming anymore but that I couldn't make it stop. We waited for another 10 minutes. It only got louder.

My dutiful husband got Robbie, rocked him to sleep, and brought him to bed to sleep with us. As soon as Justin laid down, Robbie started tossing and turning. At one point, Robbie's entire torso was stretched across Justin's face. I'm still not entirely sure how Justin didn't suffocate. Within half an hour, Robbie popped his head up, started laughing, and proceeded to "hop on pop." Then he tried to catapult himself over me to slide off the bed.

I was done. So done. And not at all patient. I knew Robbie was in the mood to play. But no one else in the house was. Not even the dog. Putting him in the crib would only result in screaming, which I knew my fragile mental state could not tolerate. So, I did the only thing I could think of. I took the mattress out of Robbie's crib and put it on the floor with his blankets. I told him he could play or sleep but that I was done with him until 6:30 in the morning.

This is what I found when I woke up at 6:41 this morning (my alarm goes off at 5:55, but a certain toddler turned the volume off on my radio):

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Even though it isn't anywhere near summer (or, in all honesty, spring, for that matter), I couldn't pass up the 99 cent bubbles at Target last weekend. But, like any harried woman, I forgot I even bought them. Until Robbie found them in the bag on his changing table.

I don't know how Robbie knew what they were, but as soon as he saw the mini three-pack, he brought them to me, crying, "Buh-ble! Buh-ble!" Of course, he yells that at almost anything in a jar. I'm not one to squash enthusiasm for summer, especially after the winter we've had!

I opened the jars, and we had bubbles everywhere. I was blowing them faster than Robbie could realize where they were coming from. It was a bubble dream come true. Until Robbie wanted to try on his own. I'll be honest; at first, I did not want to hand over the bubbles. No, it wasn't because I was having too much fun myself. It's because I was envisioning puddles all over my bedroom floor.

Not that my floors were clean. At all. And, once I realized that, and the fact that bubbles are only soap and water, and that there was less than two ounces in each bottle, I handed them over. Robbie managed to blow a few bubbles, but mostly he wound up with the wand in his mouth, blowing hard, and not making many bubbles.

It didn't take long for the bubbles to be on the floor. Two bottles of them. Incidentally, that makes for a very slippery floor. Robbie bit it twice. Hard. But, he kept coming back for more. That's my boy!

Note the actual bubble in the lower left corner!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Good Night!

Bed time has become quite the ritual at our house. Lots of screaming. Lots and lots of screaming tonight. No one could console young Robert. First, there was screaming about his teeth. Both toothbrushes were still upstairs, and I, unfortunately, picked the wrong one to "make". It was so bad that Robbie wanted to walk down the stairs to rectify the situation. I caught him with one foot off the landing...

Things got a little better with a lovely game we call Hop on Pop. For five minutes, Robbie threw himself at Justin repeatedly. And then he found Justin's belly button. A fun game of "Find the Belly Button" quickly ensued. But then it was time for stories, prayers, and bedtime. Robert was having nothing to do with any of this.

He screamed as we put him in his crib, again throwing himself at me and trying to climb out of the crib. I'm definitely one for letting him cry it out, but I also know when Rob has reached the point of inconsolable. And, boy, was he there. I finally realized the problem: his sippy cup. Zhining asked me not to give him bottles any more because he was throwing cups at daycare and refusing to drink. I tried to oblige, but, desperate times call for desperate measures. I've never seen Justin down and up the stairs so fast with a full bottle of milk.

Robbie grabbed the bottle from Justin's hands and thew himself back into my arms as I rocked. After a few minutes, he sat himself up and put his head on my shoulder to cuddle. We read a few books; we made our way all the way through prayers. I told Robbie we could cuddle for a few more minutes or he could go to bed, and he put his head back on my shoulder and his arm around my neck.

I'm heading up to bed myself now, but, before I do, I'll check in on the little man. Zhining told me he's learned to put a blanket on himself before he takes a nap. I'll be curious to see if he does that here, too. I tried to explain it to him before he fell asleep, but, as far as I know, he only understands these instructions in Chinese...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


We are very into oral hygiene. Mostly since Robbie discovered his teeth. As soon as he sees anything to do with teeth, he starts shouting, "Teeth! Teeth!" He cannot be trusted in the bathroom. I have to admit... I've pulled Justin's toothbrush from Robbie's grasp (and mouth) more than once. I'm not sure Justin actually knows this.

Tonight we reached a new level with Robbie's teeth. As soon as he got out of the tub, he immediately reached for his toothbrush and began cleaning his mouth. He offered to brush our teeth, which is getting harder and harder to decline as Robbie gets stronger (and grows longer arms). The brushing lasted a good five minutes; Rob is nothing if not thorough.

But don't think it ended there. Oh, no. My dear child took his toothbrush upstairs while I put his pajamas on. And then he found his other toothbrush on his dresser. So, there I was: barely diapered child double-fisting toothbrushes and footies to put on. Luckily, Robbie was amenable to holding two toothbrushes in one hand for a few minutes. He was not, however, willing to drop either of them for story time and cuddling. This proved to be difficult, as one of us was getting stabbed with a toothbrush at any given moment.

I was somewhat concerned that he'd fall asleep, both brushes in hand. Actually, I was hoping for it. It would have made a great picture. But, I was not to be so lucky. Robbie was extremely irritated that I would dare put him to bed, and he angrily threw both toothbrushes to the ground in protest. And, yes, I picked them up, rinsed them off, and plan to use them again tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Daddy Who?

Robbie is going through a mommy phase like I've never seen before. He wakes up saying, "Mama! Mama!" Only he pronounces it "Ma-mah", with the emphasis on the first syllable, like he's European. I'm not sure how to feel about it. Some days, I'm mildly amused. Others it irritates me almost as much as hearing "Miss!" all day at school. But, I digress.

Young Robert is none-too-pleased to see Justin walk through his door in the morning. As I get dressed, I hear Robbie continue to chant my name. I do what I can to stay out of Robbie's line of sight while Justin gets him ready for the day, but all bets are off when the boys return to our bedroom. Robbie instantly becomes attached to my legs, whether it's holding on with both arms or resting against them as he crouches down to eat cereal. And if I decide to leave the room? Tears. Epic tears. And screams loud enough to wake the building.

And poor Justin. This does nothing for his daddy ego. Just as Robbie can't seem to understand why I would even allow Justin time alone with him, Justin has no idea what he's done to deserve the screams of horror that go along with Robbie being left with him. This morning, I offered some solutions. Perhaps Justin should stop holding Robbie upside-down to play. Justin thinks this should be fun (I happen to agree; I loved being upside-down when I was little), but our vote doesn't seem to count on this one. Perhaps it's that I bring him food in the morning. Maybe it's Justin's crazy class schedule. Whatever it is, I hope it doesn't last too long.

After all, although I fully expect to always be Robbie's favorite parent, it just isn't fair that he bursts into tears at the prospect of time alone with Justin.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Thumbs Up, Dude!

This has been a horrible long winter, and the last week was particularly difficult for me. The days were interminable; I couldn't even think of anything positive enough to blog on a regular basis. It seemed like spring would never come and my child would never do anything blog-worthy again. But then today came.

We slept with the windows open last night. The sun came out and the sky was bright and clear all afternoon. The snow melted from the front yard. And the back yard. And the circular driveway at daycare, which hasn't been cleared since late December. It was as good as spring. Except for the 35 degrees. But who am I to complain?

The afternoon just kept getting better: Justin was home for dinner and bath time, something that rarely happens with his work and school schedule. Robbie, however, wasn't quite sure what to do with both of us home; he spent most of the time before dinner glued to my side. When bath time hit, though, all bets were off. It was all about Daddy.

Robbie thinks Justin is hilarious, especially during bath time. Justin has all sorts of good tricks up his sleeve; one favorite is "opposable thumbs", where Justin shows Robbie how thumbs work. Today, we thought we'd try to teach Robbie how to give a thumbs up. He gets the idea. But he seems to confuse giving a thumbs up with hitching a ride...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Coffee and a Bagel

On my way home from morning errands, I stopped by Dunkin' Donuts for supplies. Mostly coffee. And I did what I always do: I forgot to get a cup for Robbie, too.

I got home, and Justin and I got everything set up for breakfast in just a few minutes. Then Roberto saw the coffee. And screamed and screamed. He did not want his donut. He did not want his milk. No, my child wanted the styrofoam cup. In an effort to stop the screaming and ease the headache I could feel forming at my temples, I got a mug for my coffee and poured Robbie's milk into the Dunkin' cup. I leaned back in my chair, happy to have avoided the near-crisis.

Robbie happily grabbed his big boy cup, brought it to his lips, and took a sip. He looked at me, frowned, and said, "Nait nait. NO nait nait." Justin and I looked at each other, unsure of what to do. We both shrugged our shoulders. I took the cup back, emptied out most of the milk, and poured in a little coffee. It was exactly what he wanted. My nineteen-month-old son had a hankering for a morning cup of joe. I may have to start ordering decaf if he keeps this up...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bed Time

I used to dread the minutes after Robbie had his pajamas on. There's the struggle to read a book. The cries of, "Down! Down!" Trying to squeeze in a few words of prayers. And then the desperate tears to not leave him in his crib.

But tonight? Tonight was different. Tonight, Robbie curled up in my arms, laid his head on my shoulder, and drank his milk. Tonight, he held on tight while I rocked him and enjoyed a few moments of quiet. I even got all the way through our prayers. Even through blessing the animals.

When I tried to put Robbie down, the tears welled up in his eyes. He grabbed my arms and tried to climb out of his crib. And I fell for it. Hook. Line. And sinker. I knew he would wait for me to get to the rocking chair before he tried to make his escape. Except he didn't. He just attached himself to me, placing his head on my shoulder and his arm around my neck. Robbie paid rapt attention while I read two books and never made a move to slide off my lap. He gave me kisses before going back to bed and played peek-a-boo before settling down to read himself to sleep.

I don't know what prompted Roberto to play the role of doting, cuddly son. But his timing was perfect.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Fever

I don't know about you, but I need spring. Like I've never needed it before. Open windows. Flowers. Blue skies. Family walks. Grilling out. But, as I fantasize about spring, the snow is still refusing to melt in my front yard. I picked across an ice-covered parking lot and even more treacherous sidewalks to get into school this morning. There was a little hope, though. About an inch of it. The crocuses have started to come up in the front yard. All 120 of them.

I'll hold on to that little bit of hope as long as it takes. Otherwise, I'll just focus on the cold I haven't been able to shake. Or the laundry. Or the toys that litter the floor. Or how fast the water spreads across the kitchen floor when Robbie dumps out the entire water bowl. Very quickly, by the way.

I"m sorry there's not more to write... My processing is so slow. The other day, while cooking, I had the following thought process: "My thumb hurts. The pan is hot. I need to move my thumb." I am hardly present enough during the day to think of anything to blog about at night. But, that's all going to change tonight. Tonight, I am getting ten hours of sleep. Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be healthy and well and positive. And tomorrow we will all be one day closer to those crocuses blooming.