Monday, January 28, 2013

Andy and Alex Lion!

Getting the boys to bed is an hour long task, sometimes longer.  First, we start with the bath.  I have been giving Andy and Alex the same bath now that Alex is able to sit up on his own.  Of course, Alex likes to suck the bathwater up through a wash cloth, so doing this in a shared bath becomes doubly disgusting- that's two sets of genitalia floating in the water, two butts, the possibility of two little boys leaking out a little pee, etc.  But, in the interest of just getting the bath over and done with, it's better and faster if they just bathe together and ignore the obvious health hazards involved when the baby decides to ingest as much lukewarm penis water as he possibly can.

It's all cute and adorable having the boys together in the same tub, but Andy hates to share the tub toys.  I have tried to explain that the tub toys belong to no one.  That they are to be used by anyone who sits in the tub- be it Andy, Alex, or a traveling band of gypsies that stop by for a soak.  Andy is not satisfied by this explanation of possession equaling temporary ownership, though, and inevitably, after he has made Alex cry by taking away the ninth tub toy from him, I am forced to remove Alex from the bath while harshly chastising a smiling Andy.  I put on Alex's diaper and pajamas and then get Andy out from the tub.  Andy proceeds to run around the upstairs in his hooded towel pretending to be a princess.  Sometimes he declares that Andy is a princess- and Mommy is Shrek.  I am trying not to take that too personally.

Capturing Andy to put on his nighttime diaper and pajamas is like completing an obstacle course followed by a rigorous workout.  After managing to grab the little booger, the only way to really get him into his pajamas is by sitting on him while tugging on the clothes.  Then we go downstairs to get milk, head back upstairs, and read about fifteen books.  Finally, Andy will find Chris and tell him good night and then come back into his room where I've been waiting for him while trying not to drift into my own story-induced slumber.

Andy will turn out the light and then climb into bed where I have to lay with him for about five minutes.  It's during this time that we talk about Andy Lion and his little brother Alex Lion.  Andy and Alex Lions are two lions that live at the zoo and have the exact same daily adventures as Little Boy Andy and Little Baby Alex.  I think this must blow Andy's mind- that there are two lions with the SAME NAMES as him and his brother and THEY DO THE EXACT SAME THINGS that he and Alex do!  There is one major exception, though.  Andy Lion learns lessons quickly, especially about sharing tub toys or listening to his lion parents or not biting or hitting and about eating all of his meals.  Andy the little boy- not so much.

Andy loves talking about the lions, and now every night he demands lion stories.  I lay in bed with him recapping his day in lion form, and Andy soaks it up, sometimes adding in names or places or things the lion like to eat (did you know lions love cake?).  This is one of those special moments that we share each day- you know, the kind of special moment that you half adore and half wish you'd never started because now it's just one more thing that delays bed time.

Finally, after the lion stories are over with, I leave Andy in his room and go find Alex, who has usually been given his final bottle of the night by Chris.  I smother Alex in kisses, double check the abscess on his butt like the borderline OCD mom I am, and then it's back upstairs, where I stick Alex in his crib, and take Andy to the bathroom one last time (toilet training is awful for getting kids to bed on time).  Then it's downstairs for me where I pop open a bottle of wine, lay down on my favorite spot on the sofa, and pretend not to hear Andy calling out for me in the night.

Around nine-thirty, I'm fast asleep.  Sometimes, just sometimes, the same can be said for the boys.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Buttcrack Blues!

The nurse at Alex's pediatrician office didn't know how to spell the word "diarrhea" as she updated Alex's chart.  "How many R's?"  she mused.  "How many H's?"  I found this incredibly suspect considering that, as an alleged pediatric nurse, this has to be a word that she is forced to write down at least six times a day.  I tried to help her out but I think she may have just incorrectly attempted a few spellings before shrugging off the whole thing and just scrawling out "the shits."

Breaking news.  This baby's ass is disgusting.

Alex has had severe diarrhea from the antibiotics that were given to him after he developed a pus-filled abscess right in his buttcrack.  He's off the antibiotics now and the abscess seems to be shrinking, slowly, but also seems to be regenerating more pus.  The doctor today, on Alex's third follow up visit, finally gave me the number to a pediatric surgeon who may have to remove it if it doesn't make better process in the next couple weeks.  Holding the card to a pediatric surgeon- even for something which I have to hope and assume is a relatively minor procedure (right?)- made me want to sob a little.  I don't want my poor baby to suffer through any disease, malady, plight, blemish, infection, inconvenience.  And I certainly don't want him to have to see a surgeon of any sorts.  I need Alex's little buttcrack bump to heal, immediately, so we can just forget the whole thing and go back to normal, not butt-focused life.  This sweetheart of a little boy sure is growing tired of having me poke and prod so much down there, and spending so much time near the asses of my two children- Alex with his abscess and Andy with his potty training work- is just plain draining.  I'm forgetting what their faces look like.

Alex is still smiling, though, because he's the world's happiest baby.  Andy is still smiling, too, even though he knows that Alex has a "sick butt."  Chris is smiling because hockey's back in session and his hair has been looking phenomenal lately. And me?  Well, I'm smiling, too.  Even though I feel a little sick and vomity about the whole thing, I know that Alex is and will be a-okay.  Even if they lance off this abscess and have to put his butt in a cast.  Which I'm telling myself right now is the worst that could happen even though I've made the mistake of Googling this whole thing and reading about staph infections and super bugs and blood poisoning and let me tell you right now, if you're senseless enough Google it, too- do NOT look at the Google images.  Oh boy, big mistake.  Where do they GET these pictures???

Anyway.  Still smiling.  Deep breaths, Mommy Jackie.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Potty Training Update!

I'm starting to think this potty training thing is overrated.

Andy hasn't peed in his pants in a full week.  He has gained complete control over his bladder and even woke up this morning with a dry diaper after being asleep for TWELVE hours.  Of course now, he wakes up, runs into my room, and urgently states, "Bathroom" immediately upon waking, instead of fooling around in his bedroom for a little bit or just sneaking downstairs to cause a little early morning mayhem.  So, that's fine- I drag myself out of bed and take him to the bathroom.  The other morning, he did his business and then I went and just peed after him, before he had a chance to flush.  It was super early, and I too had a full bladder.  Andy started SOBBING, though. "No Mommy pee pee on Andy pee pee," he bawled, big fat tears rolling out of his eyes.  I haven't seen Andy cry his sad cry in some time, and it was disconcerting, especially since I was barely awake.  I guess he thought I was diluting his magic pee pee with my ordinary, not so magic pee pee.  "I'm so sorry," I kept saying to him.  "I won't ever pee on your pee again."  This promise meant nothing to young Andy, who instead seemed to hold a grudge against me for the remainder of the morning.

This baby knows what's up.
So, now we leave the house and Andy has become a bathroom tourist, hitting the public bathroom every new place we go.  Taking a two year old to use a public bathroom is not all that easy, especially when you have an infant to deal with as well.  It takes forever to get all us into the bathroom and then undress Andy from the waist down, get him on the potty, watch him go, help him dab off any excess urine, help him down, help him flush, and then get him redressed, all the while praying that someone hasn't quietly wheeled out my little Alex, who usually is just waiting in the stroller outside the stall due to logistics.  If anybody's looking to kidnap an incredibly sweet, adorable little baby, just follow us to the bathroom, because I've made it quite easy.  But just be aware, if you're looking to kidnap my baby for a hefty ransom, you're out of luck, because the only currency I seem to have available these days is Arby's coupons and some Zelda rupees, if you can figure out a way to cash out from my Nintendo.

Anyway, so there's that- using every public bathroom multiple times ten minutes at a time.  Of course, I'm very proud of Andy, yadda yadda yadda, but sometimes when we're out and he's in a pull-up, I just want to tell him, "For God's sake, just pee in your pants, it's fine."  I know I can't let him do that, of course- it would undermine all of my training- but I didn't realize just how CONVENIENT a diapered butt could be.  I took it all for granted!  I didn't think this through!

And then there's the matter of number two.  Who does number two work for?  Not Andy, that's for sure.  He's had two small successes in the last two weeks with his poo, but for the most part, he refuses to make his deposits properly.  For those of you are not parents and still reading this blog, I apologize for talking so much about bowel movements.  Just for the record, I'm also completely grossed out by all of this and never imagined a life for myself in which so much of my time and energy would revolve around another person's poops.  Anyway, Andy, who was quite regular and prolific before embarking on potty training, is now only going once every couple days and can't seem to manage to do it in the potty.  I know this is pretty normal for a two year old who is newly training, but I just wish that he could make it happen.  I'm trying to pump this kid full of water, juice, fruits, and fiber, but he's refusing these items as if he knows what the outcome will be.

Hopefully, this is all a phase.

For real, though, I am very proud of Andy.  He was two and a half on Saturday, and I think he's doing quite well overall.  I think it helps now that I call the diapers "baby diapers," and Andy is not interested in being a baby anymore.  The other day, I tried to give him one of those snack-pack little cups of applesauce, the kind that look like they're in baby food containers, and he balked, yelling, "No BABY applesauce!  That's baby food!"  He knows that Alex eats baby food, but as big brother, he eats REAL food.  Real food that is BIG and not in BABY containers.  He knows babies sleep in cribs, drink from bottles, have binkies, and have to be told "NO DON'T EAT THAT" when they start gnawing on their big brother's favorite train.  And Andy is a big boy and considers himself more on the same plane as his parents, especially when it comes to eating, disciplining his little brother, putting on deodorant (Andy insists on having me or Chris "boop" him with some deodorant in the morning- don't ask), putting on his own coat, and selecting his own items at the grocery store, which I have to sneak back out of the cart and hide somewhere in an incorrect aisle when Andy's not looking (Target employees, I'm very sorry).

My little boy, he's growing up.  I just wish someone would help me get the point across that pooping in the potty is also a major part of being big.  Like, super major.  Just ask Andy's dad.

Alex, I hope he takes his time growing up.  As much as I'm happy for Andy on his potty training quest (even despite my grumbling), it makes me a bit ver klempt to think of how big he's getting.  I need Alex to stay little and cuddly and kind of adorably helpless for as long as he can, otherwise I'm going to end up begging Chris for a third baby, and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get it.  Because as Chris has always said, he only has two hands for smacking, and that's nature's ratio.  One kid per hand.  Of course, together we have FOUR hands, but the car really only comfortably seats two kids anyway, and then there would be the matter of hauling THREE kids to the bathroom and most definitely losing one, so let's just forget the whole thing.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wicky Woons!

Chris and I have this way of encouraging Andy to call things by their incorrect name.  Whenever he refers to something improperly, and it's funny, we just go along with it and kind of egg him on.  For instance, Andy calls his teddy bear his buddy bear.  We heard him asking for his little buddy bear once, and we thought it was so adorable that now we don't have teddy bears in this house, only buddy bears.  We call  pancakes "cancakes."  Lotion is "rub rub," and now Andy's even got me calling Alex "Ollis," which is how Andy has taken to pronouncing it.

The biggest thing, though, is crab rangoon.  Whenever we order Chinese food, we order crab rangoon- or, as we now all call it, wicky woons.  The first time Andy tried to pronounce crab rangoon, it came out more like Rob Maldoon, which sounds like a good name for, say, your tax accountant.  Well, Rob Maldoon morphed into Robby Maldoon, and before you know it, Robby Maldoon became wicky woon, and now everyone here- including Ollis- thinks of those deep fried wonton delights as wicky woons.

This is a wicky woon.

Yesterday, we ordered our Chinese, and not once did Chris, Andy, or myself refer to crab rangoons as anything but wicky woons.  It's not even like we're trying to be funny anymore- it's just what they're now called.  "Andy want wicky woons!" Andy kept saying.  I offered wicky woons all around the table, ate about three wicky woons myself, and Chris commented on how good the wicky woon sauce was.  And I got to thinking- we're not doing our kids any favors.  One day, Ollis and Andy (Annie, as he calls himself) will be out for Chinese food after some baseball game and they will place an order for wicky woons, thus stumping everyone at the restaurant.  And that will be our faults as parents, yet another thing that we failed at simply because we thought it was funny.

But somebody at that Chinese restaurant probably *will* laugh after they figure out what the hell Ollis and Annie are talking about.  So- yep, totally worth it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's Our Potty And We'll Cry If We Want To!

Perhaps the problem is that the library does not stock picture books about potty training that are relatable to Andy.  Why, for instance, can't I find a book entitled "Caillou Takes A Dump?"  This is the kind of literature that would fast track Andy right to the potty.  Instead, we're stuck with "Once Upon A Potty," about a self-important mother and her milk toast little boy whose one redeeming quality is that he has a butthole, which he is quick to bend over and show us.  Surprisingly, this does not keep Andy's attention.  I mean, where are the trains in this book?  The buses?  Is this kid Caillou's neighbor?  How am I supposed to make this interesting for Andy?

So, we've introduced underwear.  It's getting to be about that time.  Andy will be two and a half in a week, and he has all the signs of readiness, including my favorite, which is "knowing where things go."  Ha.  So far, we're not doing all that great.  I mean, we're doing okay, but I've managed to completely stress out my poor kid who has gone from peeing on demand when it's convenient for us to now yelling NO! and hitting the toilet as if he's angry with it (which I believe he is) when I try to drag him in there.  I do not have the right temperament for this sort of thing.  The books say to be patient and supportive and act like this whole thing's no big deal.  I am zero for three so far.  Oh, sure, it's easy to be patient and supportive and nonchalant when it's just the two of us and baby Alex is fast asleep somewhere.  But, Andy, if you keep interrupting Alex's bottle no less than four times with four separate accidents and four refusals to finish up on the potty while your little brother WHO DOES NOT ASK FOR MUCH tries to get in just ONE quick meal- well, really, how do you expect me to react?  The baby is screaming, there's pee on the couch, we're running out of clean underwear, and it seems to me like you're just being an uncooperative jerk.  There.  I said it.  I called you a jerk.

(I understand that I'm probably the jerk here.  But, come on.)

"I hope you remembered the
The thing is, I know Andy can do this.  He has long stretches with a dry diaper, he's told me in the past when he needs to go, he loves flushing his pee pee and telling it bye-bye, and he seems to relish wearing underwear, especially when his little penis pokes out the opening and instantly gives him something of interest to look at and touch.  How many times are you supposed to ask your two year old son to stop playing with his penis, I wonder?  Once?  Non-stop?  Or, like most things, do you just look away and ignore it?  Whatever.  That's probably the least of our worries these days.

Plus, Andy is smart.  Like, really smart.  I may be just a smidge biased, but the boy has brains to spare.  I'd like to say he gets that from me, but Chris is the smart one while I'm more the neurotic one. So, mastering this whole potty thing should be a piece of cake, as long as I put my neuroses on hold and stop screaming at him.  Oh, and maybe if I offer him cake.  Like, just keep a cake in the potty that somehow rises up out of the tank after a successful pee and flush.  Now THERE'S an idea:  toilet cake.  Ha.  And you didn't think I was the smart one.

Anyway, we've had a couple of funny moments since starting this whole training thing, despite all of the screaming.  The best one was when Andy walked in on Chris using the potty and knelt in front of him and stuck his hands on his knees, much like I do with Andy.  Like, Mommy coaches Andy to pee and Andy coaches Daddy.  We thought that was pretty hilarious.  Also, Andy's potty face when he tries to push is the best, and it's always a scene out of the hospital, with me as the birth coach ("You can do it!  I see something!  Pushhhh!  Almost there!") and Andy as the one in labor.  Seems appropriate, somehow.  I also really enjoy it when Andy has a success and then runs out to tell Alex.  "Alex!  I went pee pee potty!"  I can't bear to break it to Andy that Alex doesn't give a crap.

I got a couple books from the library today.  So little of these books is devoted to the younger sibling of the child that is potty training.  Once again, Andy's needs trump Alex's needs, which is the most upsetting to me.  So, what do I do?  Duct tape Andy to the potty whenever I need to give Alex a mere ten minutes of undivided attention?  And how much cake do I let Andy eat while he's duct taped in place?

Anyway.  We'll all figure this out, as we always do.  In the mean time, I will try my best to relax a little more and prioritize a little better.  I will also start penning "Caillou Takes A Dump" post haste. Also, Caillou's getting smacked in this book, and not necessarily as part of the potty training process.  Just once- not terribly hard, but certainly hard enough to get the point across.  He really deserves it.