Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring Break, Here We Come

As they say in Minnesota... UFF-da!  I'm really dragging today.  That's because I forced myself to stay up and watch the Oscars in their entirety and K. decided to wake up - and stay up - this morning at 5:30 am.  I don't know what I was thinking.  Oh well.

In more exciting news, this will be my last post for awhile, as K. and I are headed to sunny Florida on Wednesday to visit my family.  Hooray!  We'll be back at the end of next week.

I am really looking forward to warm weather, (hopefully) the opportunity to finish a couple of good books (I realize this is a most optimistic goal), and take advantage of free babysitters! Ha!

Take care everyone, and have a great week.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Little Irish Rose

Now that K.'s approaching what I like to call the "pre-preschool age," I've been looking around at the various options we have here in the northern Virginia area.  I'm a bit daunted by the talk of waiting lists and (in some rare cases) interviews (!) that are required as part of the application process.  

Amid all this talk, my husband and I often say that maybe the best preschool K. could ever have is what he has already with his grandma 1-2 times per week.  My mother in law lives about 10 minutes away from us, and I take K. there on Tuesdays, when I work downtown, as well as on many Fridays for a wonderful "Mom's Day Out" sort of thing.  

Well, the last time I came to pick him up imagine my surprise when she showed me how she taught him the words to a song!  And not just any song, mind you.  

They sang it together, my MIL singing and K. following along, missing lots of the pronunciations, of course, but doing his very best, and it made my heart just melt:

I've got rings on my fingers
Bells on my toes
Elephants to ride upon
My little Irish rose;
So, come to your nabob
And next St. Patrick's Day
Be Mrs. Mumbo Jumbo Jijiboo O'Shea!

It was an old Irish children's song I'd never heard before, but I looked it up when I got home and here's the scoop, thanks to a Yahoo! message board:

"'I've Got Rings on My Fingers' is a popular song written in 1909, words by Weston and Barnes, and music by Maurice Scott.  It concerns an Irishman named Jim O'Shea, a castaway who finds himself on an island somewhere in the East Indies, whereupon he is made a king by the natives who like his red hair and his Irish smile, and they dub him 'Jijiboo Jhai.'  He then sends a letter to his girlfriend, Rose McGee, imploring her to join him."

Hearing K. attempt, in his tiny high-pitched voice, "Mrs. Mumbo Jumbo Jijiboo O'Shea" just kills me, it is so precious.  

My goal, now that I know the chorus, is to practice this little ditty with him so that we can videotape K. singing it for St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Very Good Day

Sometimes young children will remind you to look on the bright side of things, even without realizing it.  

That happened to us this morning -- paaaaaaaaaaainfully early this morning, as K. decided to get up at 5:50 am, begging and pleading for a bottle and, after I unsuccessfully tried to catch a few Z's while he drank his milk, demanding that it was time to "Play, play, play!" - and, when it happened, it sort of yanked me out of my feeling-sorry-for-myself-when-am-I-ever-going-to-get-to-sleep-in-again A.M. rut.

We were in my room, with the blinds drawn (because, again, it was painfully early in the morning, although by this time the sun was starting to creep out).  

K. announced, "Mommy, open window... see Very Good Day!"

He was only parroting what I say every morning when we open the blinds, but at that moment, I realized how right that statement was.  Of course!  Why wouldn't it be a very good day?  It's all in your perspective and how you view your own morning when those blinds go up.  And, if my only concern in the world (at that moment, at least) was that I didn't get enough sleep, despite the fact that my family is happy and healthy -- well, I need to suck it up, to say the least. 

I told my husband, who was in the other room at the time, and we agreed.  I know it sounds like a Hallmark card, but it's true: Every day is an opportunity to start fresh, and K.'s words were the perfect start to what promises to be a Very Good Day after all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dogs: The Drama Continues

After thinking maybe we had seen the end of K.'s weird collective alter-ego, "The Dogs," they seem to have resurfaced, big time.  

Perhaps it's because he is just getting over an icky cold-like thing, so he's not at his 22-month-old best, but today, lemme tell you, he was in RARE FORM.  

First off, he's reverting a bit (maybe, again, because he's sick) and demanding, I hate to admit this .... bottles.  

[In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that we are nowhere close to being a completely bottle-free household.  In fact, bottles are still very much a part of our evening regimen.  I try to justify it by saying he never sucked his thumb or took a pacifier. I also justify it by pointing to ample evidence (thanks, Us Weekly!) of a totally bottle-addicted, nearly 3-year-old Suri Cruise.]

Anyway... after offering every other kind of sippy cup under the sun, ("NO NO NO NO NO! WANT BOTTLE!") I gave in and gave him warm milk in a bottle, which he happily chugged for about 8 seconds, then proceeded to shake it upside down all over the kitchen floor, narrating as he went: "Dogs spill milk!"  

Those pesky dogs emerged again today, at lunchtime.  So... he's been eating very birdlike amounts at meals, but I've resolved not to stress about it because, again, after all he's sick and there are only so many times I can offer him various foods to eat.  Well, after consuming a meager amount of macaroni and cheese, a handful of raisins (thank God he likes these), and some more milk (fortunately no pouring this time), he announced that he wanted Rice Krispies. Still feeling a little of that irrational parental anxiety that makes you insist to yourself that your child will wither away to nothing due to lack of food intake, I complied, pouring them into his dish.  

He then took a handful, dumped it on his high chair tray, ate precisely 4 Krispies, and then THREW THE ENTIRE BOWL INTO THE AIR, YELLING "DOGS THROW FOOD!"

Two words... naaaaaaap time!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lyle Lovett and My Son... Related?

I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Wish I Could be Fun and Amusing, But...

... I'm sick.  That means my brain is not functioning properly and you will be lucky to get a coherent blog post from me today.  Sorry.

It's strange, I literally felt myself getting sick last night.  First my ears started hurting, then that icky scratchy throat feeling, and by the time it was bedtime my nose was completely plugged.  It shouldn't be surprising, as Kibi has had this since Wednesday.  So the two of us are pretty pathetic today, sporting running noses and achy heads, and sleepwalking around the house. Fortunately, he just went down for what I hope will be a long nap, so I can be free to veg, sleep or do whatever it is that I'm going to muster the energy to do today.

Thinking "deeply" for the last 30 seconds, I've come up with some of the positive aspects about being sick:

You can wear "fat clothes" (ie, sweatshirt and sweatpants)

You can lie in bed and watch television during the day and not feel guilty

If your child is also sick, you can (bonus!) BOTH lie in bed and watch tv and not feel guilty

You can eat snack-y stuff all day rather than attempting a balanced diet (well, in my book, anyway)

You work the  sympathy angle with your spouse/significant other

And now I'm off to do all of the above things... hope everyone else is doing well.  Enjoy the three-day weekend!  Oh, and HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Three Friends at the Park

Yesterday we had an absolutely gorgeous day in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  The sun was shining, the sky was bright blue with clouds skittering by, and everyone, it seemed, was out and about.  

I took Kibi to the park to meet his good friends C. and S., and they had a great time swinging, playing on the jungle gym, and exploring.

During a bit of a break, we even managed to snap a photo in which all of them were actually LOOKING at the camera!

I love this, don't you?  I'm going to save it and bring it out again at their high school graduations.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Have You Ever Been So Tired, Part 2

So I did it again - two self-inflicted coffeepot incidents in two months.  

This morning, I was sooooo tired ("How tired were you?") .... that instead of forgetting to put the coffeepot in the stand, I forgot to put the COFFEE in.  

So when I rushed to the coffeemaker after hearing that glorious "BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!" I was dismayed to find very hot... water.


Monday, February 9, 2009

I'll Just Call This One 'Number 2'

OK, there's no genteel way to say this, and what I am about to tell you pretty much directly contradicts the "clean freak" fetishism I described the other day, but I have to vent.  So, here goes.

K. is obsessed with P-O-O-P.  And not just saying it, but, um.... trying to touch it.  

Yep, that's right.  

I should also tell you that I am the biggest fecal-phobe you ever will meet.  It took me months to be able to change K's poopy diapers without dry heaving.  And those of you long-time blog readers will laugh to remember the near nervous breakdown I had last summer when I discovered K. juggling some sort of animal feces at a rest stop on our way to the beach.  Don't even get me started telling you what happens to me when someone in my proximity has to unclog a toilet. 

So anyway, I am probably being paid back for being overly sensitive to All Things B.M.

Anyway, I can't pinpoint it, but I believe K's obsession stems from a book we took out at the library recently, called Doggone Dogs.  It's a charming book, really - perhaps a little "old" for K. (there's a lot of humor that parents will appreciate more) but he really took to the pictures of these 10 dogs and their crazy capers in the local dog park.  The climax of the story (at least for us) comes when all 10 dogs decide to relieve themselves on the lawn at the park.  The verbiage is very clever: "Call the troops, we need 10 scoops, to clean up all these doggone poops!"

Well, perhaps I enjoyed reading those lines a little too much, or with too much energy, because K. has nearly memorized them himself.  And when it comes to diaper changing time, he sings them on cue.  

You're probably thinking, "That's a little gross, but hey, it's also very cute!" No? Well, sure, except that now, he's personalized it to the point in which "The Dogs" have become a strange sort of alter-ego.  To wit: lately, when I change a "#2 diaper," he immediately swings his hand around "back there" and tries to touch "down there", all the while announcing, "DOGS TOUCH POOP!"  To which I of course say "NO NO NO!  WE DON'T TOUCH POOP."  To which he retorts, "DOOOOOOGS TOUCH POOP!" (as in, "You didn't hear me, Mom.  I'm talking about the dogs, NOT myself, even though the person who happens to be reaching around to touch his own stool is, in fact, me.")

This also extends to other situations in which K. knows he should not be involved.  Some of my favorites:

"Dogs throw food on floor!"

"Dogs boom head!" ('boom' = hit my own head on some sort of hard surface repeatedly)

"Dogs hit [our cat]!"

"Dogs splash water!"

And so on and so forth.  It reminds me of that old Family Circus cartoon where the kids came up with "Not Me," the little Pillsbury Dough Boy-looking creature who always took the blame for any household missteps.

I'll admit that the "dogs"/alterego thing is sort of intriguing from a psychology perspective, but I just wish it didn't have to center upon my child's bowel movements.  Because despite his using it in all of the above scenarios, the one he comes back to again and again is the peculiar announcement, "Dogs touch poop!" with the accompanying hand gestures. 

All I can hope is that this, too, shall pass.  Anyone out there have similar horror stories? 


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Like Mother, Like Son?

When we were back home the other week I had the chance to scan some old pictures.  I came across this picture of me, (above, bottom) at about six weeks, and was struck by how it reminded me of a photo that was taken of K at about six weeks as well (above, top).  

Sorry K's photo is so dark - it wasn't one of the best in the series, but it was included in the complete set the photographer gave me and I was struck by how that pose in particular looked so much like my baby picture, that I had to post it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Have you ever seen that scene in The Aviator where a young Howard Hughes is being bathed by his mother and spells the word QUARANTINE over and over, and she tells him, ominously... "You're not safe." The perfect example of germaphobes gone awry?

Well, I am starting to worry that I am raising K. to be a similar clean freak.  

Lately he's taken to announcing things that are unclean in any way, shape or form.  
A crumb found on his high chair tray. 
A drop of milk on his sleeve. 
An errant piece of cat food on the kitchen floor.  
And (my personal favorite) the floor of our car ... 

In fact, the other day he announced, "Mommy, clean car!"  To which I yelled at him: "Get off my BACK, willya?"  Just kidding about that last part, but I'll admit I sort of felt like it.  It's depressing when a 21 month old has to be the one to remind you that you're a slob.

Anyway, while we were in Ohio last week, this manifested itself in a rather humorous way, although I think my mom is secretly worried about him.  My parents have a woodburning stove, and so part of the fun K. had was helping Grandpa build a fire in the fireplace, handing him sticks, kindling and cardboard, etc.  One day my mom took him out to the back porch to bring in some firewood and when they returned, she announced that K. had refused to help her carry in any of the small logs: "DIRTY!" My mom professed surprise to see "a little boy who is not interested in getting dirty".  Which immediately sent me into a tailspin wondering if my mother thinks my son is not demonstrating enough masculine qualities, then chastising myself for even worrying about this, then reminding myself, "Not that there's anything WRONG with that...", then repeating the process in my head over and over.  Argh.

Anyway, I'm assuming this will be a passing phase like so many other things we've encountered the last nearly two years.  Although it did slightly bother me that he didn't want to walk on the sidewalk outside of art class today because the brick walkway was "too dirty."  But then, he went on to say that the sidewalk was also "too leafy" and, finally, "too bumpy".  So I'm a bit relieved, thinking that this sounds more like the echo of one of those "That's Not My ______" touch-and-feel books so popular with toddlers.

In any case, I'll keep you posted... hopefully you won't have to picture me scrubbing K.'s legs raw, forcing him to spell Q-U-A-R-A-N-T-I-N-E to my satisfaction.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pronoun Perplexity

Here's a tricky one for ya: how do you teach a child the correct usage of personal pronouns?

I discovered the difficulty of this task after hearing K. say, "Hold you! Hold you!" and realizing he meant, "Hold ME."  Of course he would say it the other way, though, since he is used to hearing me announce my intentions.  At first I thought this was cute (well, it still is, actually) but then I started to think about how I would help straighten him out without complete confusion.

This also translates to other things, like, "Mommy, change you!" when we have a wet diaper.  I've started gently correcting him by saying, "Change ME!" and usually he dutifully repeats me, but the next time he needs something, the "you" is back once again.

It's strange that the "you" comes only at certain specific times.  All other times he uses his whole name: "K. eating"... "K. playing"... etc.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?  I'm sure the "you"/"me" mixup will work itself out eventually.  Right now I am more amused by it than anything.  It also reminds me just how amazing it is how quickly young children develop language, no matter how complicated our English grammar rules may be.  It's quite a miracle!

About Me

Arlington, VA, United States
Maestro and mom to a wee virtuoso

I'm #1804