Shut it down

3.9_Mac 7

Dear Mac,

You are now 10 months old.  I know this is how things work, but if you could please slow. it. down.  For some reason, 9 months felt OK, but 10 months feels so incredibly close to ONE YEAR.  Not OK.  Shut it down, please and thank you.

You haven’t shown the slightest interest in crawling, but I think you would stand all day if you could.  You’ve started getting cocky.  Look, Ma, one hand!  Look, Ma, no hands!  Sometimes this works.  Most times it does not.  You are taking a few tentative steps with your feet.  Nothing in a purposeful direction yet, but I think the days when I hunch over so you can “walk” around the playground are near.  My back is sore just thinking about it, but I am excited for you.

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Holding you is like trying to wrestle an octopus; you are always trying to wriggle out of our grasp.  Changing time is when you most want to roll.  You have perfected the screaming back arch.  This makes putting you in high chairs, strollers, and car seats much more interesting.  You caught my throat the other day doing this.  That’s a hard head, son.  Feel free to also shut this down.

You have so much hair!  Once I realized how cute your hat hair is, I try to mess it up on purpose now.  You sort of look like a Tweety Bird.  I love it.

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Tooth #2 is staring to make an appearance.  Also at an odd angle.  I will not be surprised if braces are in your and your brother’s futures.  You haven’t complained too much about all the teething.  You do things like suck on your palm and chew on your hand; it seems to provide you some relief.

You have complained about being sick.  After your first bout with illness, you have had another thanks to Henry’s day care aka a kiddo petri dish.  We’ve all been a little sick.  You seemed to be holding off, but now you’ve succumbed.  Your poor cough rattles your little body, and you sound like a two-pack-a-day smoker.  Your nose is running, and you HATE to have it wiped.  I wish I could fix these things for you; I really do.  We even had a family visit to the doctor, but nothing to be done.  Hopefully you will be snot free and chipper soon.

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We were making progress on Operation Sleep-Through-the-Night, but your illness has set us back.  I can’t do any tough love when you sound like a whole pack of barking dogs.  Poor baby.

You are eating three solid meals a day.  You seem to love all food.  Clementines are one of your current faves. I’m psyched that we all eat the same breakfast together now, eggs + fruit or sweet potato or something.  I see you pincer, but you are also a pro at stuffing food into your meaty manos.  You’ll eat merrily along and only later will we realize that you have two puffs and a hunk of apple tightly grasped in your fist.  You can drink out of a sippy cup, but you also enjoy “drinking” from it upside down, smashing food with it, etc.  You have started a super fun new game of throw my fork on the ground and see if Mommy picks it up.  This too, shut it down, thanks in advance.

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Your fierce devotion to your brother continues.  He has started unpromptedly bringing you toys on occasion, and it makes my heart smile.  He also unpromptedly continues to tackle you.  Sometimes you like this.  Many times not.  (Henry, seriously, shut it down.)

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Despite your sniffles, you continue to be our easy-going, joyful little guy.  Your eyes light up when I walk into a room.  You enthusiastically reach for our hands at the blessing before dinner, blessing our hands with smears of food.  You sing and talk and love to look around and see what is going on.  You have started helping a bit when I get dressed and shifting your toy from one hand to another.  Your “move” is sticking out your pointer finger and trying to jam it in peoples’ mouths.  Sometimes Henry is game, but this is confusing for him.  How can he honor the strict “Don’t bite Mac” policy when you are literally stuffing your fingers in his mouth?

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Looking forward to helping you toddle and showing off your chunky thighs as it warms up.  Sigh, even if it means getting older.

Love, Mom

P.S.  More Mac at 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 8 months, and 9 months.


Thoughts from my Sick 8 Month Old

[This was written earlier.  He’s not sick again.]

Poor little guy.  My baby is having his first real illness.  Fever, cough, and runny nose.  My sleep-deprived little brain put together some thoughts from the baby as I went in to administer his first Tylenol of the day.

Hey, Mom.  Mom.  Mom. MOM.  Where are you going?  Don’t go!  Let’s stay and cuddle.  Come on, you look like you need this.  You look tired and a little out of it and, dare I say, cranky?

Ah, that’s better.  Weren’t you just saying how I never cuddle anymore?  I know I’m all independent and #bossbaby all the time, but I still love you.  Let’s have a cuddle.  This one’s on me.

Ooo, the rocker.  Good call.  Let’s get comfortable.  Not there.  Uh, not there.  Ah, yes.  That’s better, right?  I mean, I’m really comfortable!  Your arm is kind of at a funny angle, but you aren’t moving so we’re cool, right?

You have a lovely singing voice.  Were you classically trained?  NO?!?  Well, it’s beautiful.  Don’t ever stop.  Haha, just kidding.  OK, not really.  Don’t stop.  Did I say stop?

Isn’t this nice?  It’s just like when I was really little and we used to cuddle and watch crap TV and you felt kinda guilty about sending my brother to day care so that we could cuddle and watch crap TV.  It went pretty fast didn’t it?

Haha, nice try, Mom.  I know you think I want to be put back in my crib, but I am willing to make this sacrifice FOR YOU.  Don’t put me down.  You need this cuddle.  I’ll let you cuddle me instead of getting beauty sleep back in my crib.  It’s just my generous nature.  That’s right.  I’m a giver.

Is it time for more Tylenol yet?  No?  Well, that’s OK.  We’ll get through this day together, Mommy.  Promise.  I’ll be with you every step of the way.  I’ll never leave your side!  My brother can take care of himself I’m sure.  Toddlers are known for their resilience and ability to entertain themselves.  You and me.  Let’s have a cuddle.

Serenity Now!

A mother’s prayer in a time of (first world) adversity.

Dear Lord,

Please help me to be the mother I want to be when the chips are down,

When the kids are a hacking, snotty, teething mess,

When nothing I can do soothes them or pleases them,

When it rains for (what feels like) 8 days straight.

It is easy to be kind and patient and thoughtful when things are going well,

When they smile and play by themselves,

When they play nicely together,

When they adhere to the nap schedule.

Please grant me patience when they are (unusually) irrational,

Calm when they will not stop yelling, and

Tolerance when they will not let go of my leg.

Please help me to be the mother I want to be when I do not feel well,

When they have infected me (again) and I am a hacking and snotty mess,

When I am tired and would rather lie down than “be the fire truck” (again),

When I feel like I do not have anything left to give.

Please grant me strength to carry their heavy selves when I feel weak,

Perspective to know that these days will not last, and

Cheer during a temporary bout of illness.

Please help my instinct be to smile instead of yell,

Hug instead of sigh, and

Laugh instead of Cry.

(And if you could help everyone feel better again soon, that would also be amazeballs.)



Aristocat Fan Fiction

We’ve been sick around here.  3/4 of us so far.  James is still standing strong.  I hope he stays that way, but I fear it is only a matter of time.  The rest of us are a snotty, feverish mess.

Stage right, enter the TV.  Because we try not to watch too much generally, I feel no guilt about employing this weapon in survival mode situations.  TV, chocolate (mostly for me), PJs all day.  Nothing is sacred or off-limits if it will bring us closer to the goal of renewed health and good moods.

One of the fun things about being a parent is revisiting old favorites from your own childhood and sharing them with your children.  A less fun thing is realizing that many of these films just aren’t very good.  And I’m sorry Aristocats.  You just aren’t very good.  There isn’t that much going on, there is only one kind of good song, and that one cat is, dare I say, a little racist.

This does not bear on my assessment of the film’s merit, but I did not notice as a kid how much Disney was into recycling in the 1970s.  It feels like half the cast of Robin Hood (a film that does stand up IMHO) is voicing the parts here.  Also, the wicked stepmother from Cinderella looks almost identical to Madam, the cats’ owner.  Right down to her hairdo and brooch.  This is just bizarre.  How am I supposed believe that this lady is nice and caring when all I can think is evil Evil EVIL??  Does Disney really only know one old lady hairdo?

But I digress.  I found it interesting that absolutely no mention was made of the kittens’ father.  I mean, kittens must come from somewhere.  They didn’t throw in a line about how the father was gallantly killed in the cat war of ’23 or how Duchess went to the sperm bank and looked at Grade A cat sperm for philosophers and chemists.  Nothing.

So I present the following backstory on Duchess.  A classy cat who mysteriously ended up with three kittens.

Duchess gazed moodily out the window, twirling her diamond collar.  Madam was talking about something again, but Duchess couldn’t make her mind focus.  She took in the room with its plush upholstery and ornate furniture.  It was nice.  No, much more than nice.  It was every cat’s dream.  Or it should have been.  Duchess knew she was lucky, but she couldn’t shake this dreadful feeling of ennui. 

Duchess longed for a cigarette, but she knew Madam wouldn’t approve.  She’d have to wait until after Madam went to sleep.  Duchess had taken to roaming the streets at night.  She no longer bothered to stick to their well-lit and posh area of Paris.  She just wanted something different.  Something to shake her out of this dreadful rut. 

Something outside twitched and drew her attention.  It was that cat again.  That was the third time this afternoon he had stalked down the street.  Oh, he thought he was something, didn’t he.  That swagger.  That cocky swing of his hips.  Even though he clearly thought too highly of himself, Duchess surmised he was probably the kind of cat who could help her find a smoke.

You get the drift.  Or maybe it wasn’t like that at all.  Maybe Madam fixed her up with a nice doctor cat and they were very happy together until he died of Feline AIDS.  (There was random “Feline AIDS” graffiti near our place in Columbia Heights.  It cracked me up every time.)  Or maybe the kittens just showed up on their doorstep and they took them in.

I don’t know.  But I won’t be watching again any time soon to look for more clues.

Image via IMDB