Friday, August 30, 2013

Private Parts!

I never thought I would use the words "brother" and "penis" together in as many sentences as I do.  Mainly:  Do not touch your brother's penis.  And, today:  Hey!  Do not put your penis on your brother's face.

There's no way this was good.
Andy's become preoccupied with his little Andy.  I try to be matter of fact about his business, and I have explained that his private parts are just that.  Private.  I've also used the word "special," on occasion.  And I have tried to hammer this into his head:  We do not show people our private, special areas.  We do not talk about them in casual conversation with strangers on the street.  We do not fiddle with them too much when our mother is looking at us.  And, sure, we may take a bath with our brother, but that does not mean that it's a free for all regarding our private, special areas.  And for God's sake, stop drinking the bath water, can't you count how many asses and genitalia are floating in this lukewarm pee water?  Too many.

Honestly, I don't know what I'm doing.  I didn't think I'd have to start having some of these conversations for another couple years, but the questions keep coming.  The odd statements pop up out of nowhere.  A couple weeks ago, he asked to see his best friend's penis.  His best friend is a girl.  I said, "Andy, J does not have a penis.  She's a girl, and her special parts are different.  And you cannot see it, because it is private, just like your penis is private."  Andy pondered this for hours.  I thought that, at least for the day, we had moved past the topic entirely.  Then, halfway through dinner, he dropped his fork onto his plate and exclaimed, "Oh no!  If J doesn't have a penis, how does she go pee pee???"  He was sincerely, horrifically worried.  I tried to reassure him that the girl parts still make pee pee, but at this point, I'm sure he thought I was just placating him, and the glare he gave me was downright untrustworthy.

He is listening to me at least a little, though.  In public bathrooms now, he has started to loudly proclaim, "I don't want anyone to see my penis!"  when I help him into the stall.  "Don't worry, Andy," I tell him, dropping a handful of cheese goldfish onto Alex's stroller tray.  I know, feeding a fourteen month in a public bathroom is probably ill-advised from a hygiene standpoint, but if you have a better way to keep Alex from screaming, I'd like to hear it.  "No one will see your penis," I assure him.  And I smile back at the other mothers who kindly smile over at me and then inconspicuously try to cover their two year old's daughters' ears.

While it's true that it may be time to get Alex out of Andy's bath in the interest of keeping up the "private parts" story, I know for a fact that Andy would not react well to that change.  I have happily noticed that the boys have really bonded, and I truly think that they understand that they are meant to function together, as a team.  As two loud, sloppy cogs in a single machine.  They know they are supposed to do things together.  Andy gets upset if we go somewhere on a Saturday morning without Alex, when Chris is home to watch over the baby's nap.  And Alex is stuck on Andy, keeping within a foot of his big brother and often closer when we are just hanging out.  Alex hugs and tackles and giggles at his big brother in an adoring, wonderful way.  And Andy is quick to introduce Alex as his brother.  "This is my brother," he tells strangers, giving Alex a rough hug and aiming him at said stranger.  "This is Alex."

Plus, maybe it's the lazy mother in me, but really?  TWO baths?  Next thing you know, you'll be telling me that they shouldn't be drinking from the same water dish and should be getting two different bottles of eye drops when they come down with pink eye.  Not that Alex has ever had pink eye.  No, that junk magically disappears from life once you stop sending a kid to day care.  Although, wow.  Considering how many times I walked into day care to find all of the kids, boys and girls, in the bathroom together (with the door wide open), maybe Andy would have a final, lasting understanding of private parts by now.  Minus, of course, the "private" part.

But I digress.  As usual.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bed Time!

Andy's official bed time is 7:15, and Alex's bedtime is 7:00.  I've never understood parents who keep their kids up super late, the only exception possibly being parents who don't get home until later in the evening. But even when I worked, I'd pick Andy up from day care at 5:00, we'd eat dinner, and then baby Andy would be off to bed before 7:00 each night. For me, especially these days, I have just about had it by 6:00 and am extremely eager to start the bedtime routine.  My personal goal is to be laying down on my sofa with wine in hand no later than 7:20, and if I'm even five minutes off on this timing, then something has gone horribly wrong and somebody has some major explaining to do.

Can't you just go to sleep nicely like this
blue bear on the god-damn moon?
That being said, while Alex goes down at 7:00 and Andy at 7:15, they don't actually fall asleep in there for quite some time.  Chris and I close their door and it's like a disco ball immediately drops from the ceiling.  It's a real dance party, with Alex standing up in the crib and bobbing around and Andy doing God only knows, as the amount of jumping and crashing that we hear is borderline alarming.  I don't always go in there to check on them as often as I should, evidence being the one afternoon before nap time when I discovered that Andy had clearly knocked over his lamp the night before and tried his best to clean up and organize the broken glass shards from the CFL light bulb. The CFL light bulb which is filled with mercury and hazardous to handle and obviously some demonstration of my negligence as a parent.  Thankfully, nobody came down with mercury poisoning that day, and the lady on the phone at poison control was nice to reassure me,  "Well, the damage is done, just air the room out, the kids should be fine."  Then I thought I heard her pen scratch as she wrote down my phone number from her caller ID to place on the "Flagged" list.

Sometimes, if I'm lucky, Alex falls asleep before I stick Andy in there fifteen minutes later.  This can work out to my advantage, as Andy loses his dance partner if Alex is already passed out. However, what is happening more often these days is that Andy just takes it upon himself to wake Alex up.  One night, I put Andy in bed, closed the door, and went downstairs to pour my wine.  A moment later, I heard Alex sobbing. I went back up and opened their door only to hear Andy's instant confession from his spot right outside Alex's crib.  "I poked Alex in the eye.  Both eyes. And then I pushed him.  I want Alex to wake up."

Then there's the bathroom breaks, which are seriously out of control.  Some days, I believe Andy saves it all up until after bed time just so he can make two separate, consecutive poops followed by three trips for urine.  I will close Andy in the room, and then he will make his way back to the door, lay down on the floor, press his mouth to the crack between the door and the rug and start calling for me or Chris.  "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy.  Have to go poo poo.  Mommy?  Daddy?  Have to go poo poo.  Open the door.  Have to go poo poo real bad!  Mommy?????"

When we let Andy out to use the bathroom, Alex becomes immediately distraught, as if to ask, "Well, why the hell is HE leaving?  I'm the one who just got poked in the eye!"  So, if I'm feeling like a softy, I will let Andy use the bathroom while I hold Alex so that he can watch and feel part of things.  That way we're all in the bathroom and everybody's happy.  Well, almost everybody.

Andy also enjoys talking to the neighbors from his window.  I can only imagine what the people who walk by my house must think about the little boy in the second floor window who yells out hi and tells them his full name followed by a quick list of favorite shows.

Lately, Andy has been stockpiling money.  He's obsessed with his money and likes to keep coins in his pocket and tucked away in different nooks in his room.  When we are driving, I can usually bribe Andy to be quiet by passing him back a nickel or penny to hold.  Change- it's the fruit snacks of the summer.  Often, Andy will lay in bed and play with his money after bed time.  Although, there have been a couple times now that he's dropped his change right down the heating vent.  Last night, Chris heard uncontrollable sobbing coming from the bedroom, and when he opened the door, Andy was crouched over the gaping ventilation hole, holding the metallic vent in his hand, and crying about the coins he had dropped down there.  Between the amount of food Alex drops in the vent under his highchair and the coins Andy drops down in the one in his room, the ducts in this house are simply filled with treasure.  If you count a half pound of Teddy Grahams and fifteen cents as treasure.

All in all, we usually end up having to go back into the boys' room no less than four times after official bed time.  Yeah, I supposed I could just keep Andy and Alex up a little later, but the FEW times that I have done that (not on purpose, mind you), they still stay up the same amount of time. So, I ask you, what's the difference?  Might as well just put them down at 7:00 and at least get that much more, albeit interrupted, Mommy TV and wine time.

My sister and brother in law watched the kids the other night while Chris and I were at a wedding.  When I was going over the bedtime routine with Marcia, she said, "So, after I put Andy down, that's it?"  To which I laughed and laughed.  I would receive a text later that night detailing Andy's post bedtime bowel movements, Alex's wakefulness, and the whole general mess of things.  But Marcia and Mark did well.  You can't count an unsuccessful bedtime as a failure if you're dealing with lunatics.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A True Friend!

The definition of a true friend:  One who will let you wear his/her pants when you're in a jam.

The other day, Andy, Alex, and I made a plan to stop at the bank and then head back to the park where we would meet up with our friends, H and J. Andy and Alex actually had little to do with devising this plan, although the second I had mentioned the word bank, Andy declared rather bossily that he wanted a sucker.  To Andy, the bank is a magical place where women fawn over how adorable he is and then reward this cuteness with his choice of sucker.  To me, the bank is the place that charged me ten dollars for going under an arbitrarily assigned dollar amount in my money market.  Also, it's the place where I used to spend forty hours a week accomplishing the following tasks:  sitting at my computer, poking around other people's leftovers in the refrigerator, and asking if those cupcakes on the table are for everyone.

We were going to the bank because my mortgage lender mailed me a check for over a cool grand. Escrow overage, said the memo line on the check.  Can you believe it?  Finally, things are starting to go my way.  Oh the things that I will spend this money on.  Including but not limited to giving it back to the lender once they see how much my homeowner's insurance has jumped.  But, alas, we all have our happy moments.

After we left the bank, Andy declared that he had to use the bathroom.  What I should have done was walk him back into the bank and ask if we could use theirs. This would have allowed me to glimpse into the breakroom and possibly see if anybody had put a baked good on the table. Instead, I told Andy to hold it and that he could use the porta john at the park.

Already, the planets were aligning in a not so great way.

The whole way there, Andy whined that he had to pee.  By the time we pulled up at the park, he was so ready to go that he jumped out of his car seat after being unbuckled and ran off to the porta john all by himself.  Yes, I should have stopped him.  But, hey.  He had to go.  Badly.  And it takes me forever to get Alex and our diaper bag and our two sippy cups of water and my one mug of coffee and Alex's two shoes that he's expertly kicked off all out of the car.  So I let Andy go by himself, praying that he wouldn't touch too much of the interior of the actual porta john.  I juggled Alex and our bag and cups and shoes and whatnot over to the park area, where I set Alex down on the astroturf (best park feature ever!) and looked over to the porta john area, which seemed quiet and peaceful and not at all the scene of anything horrific.

Then.  Screaming.  Sobbing.  Something had just happened in the porta john, and my worst fears played through my mind.  Andy had fallen into the toilet.  There had been a strange man waiting for him in the porta john.  Andy was locked in and it would be days before we could get to him.  He would have to subsist on one ply toilet paper and his own urine.

But, no.  Not those things.  I ran over to the porta john, leaving Alex all by himself under the curious eye of another mother (sometimes you just assume that other moms have your back even when they likely don't).  As I was running up, the door flew open and Andy burst out, naked from the waist down, little penis exposed to the world and flapping in the wind.  Tears streamed down his face.  He sobbed, "I dropped my pants and underwear into the potty!"  And when I got closer and looked down into the toilet- sure enough, there were his $3 Garanimal shorts and his Spiderman underwear floating in a sea of.... stuff.

Lucky for Andy, I was in a buoyant mood from getting that money from my mortgage lender.  So, instead of getting angry or upset, I burst out laughing and walked back over to our diaper bag.  Andy trailed behind me, butt cheeks facing due west, eyeballs leaking big fat tears as he struggled to catch his breath.  The other mom looked on at us with more interest as she helpfully blocked Alex from climbing up a park ladder and cracking his skull open.  But, alas, in the diaper bag, I had no spare shorts or underwear.  Just a spare T-shirt.  As if the T-shirt is the article of clothing that you need to have a back up for.

So, Andy still crying and half naked, I got out my cell phone to tell H not to bother to come to the park, since we clearly had to go home.  There was no way Andy could play pantslessly at the park (right?).  On the phone, H listened to our saga and then kindly offered, "I'm already on my way there, but I have some of J's pants Andy can wear.  If he doesn't mind purple girl shorts."

Half a second pause on my end.  Then, "Sure, those will work."

I hung up the phone, rummaged into the diaper bag for a diaper, which I put on Andy so that his junk wouldn't have direct contact with his friend's shorts.  A few minutes later, we saw H and J's car pull up into the lot.  Andy ran over to them in his diaper.  "I dropped my shorts and underwear into the potty!"  he exclaimed to them.  He had stopped crying and was starting to feel a rush from the whole experience.  H helped him put on her daughter's purple girl shorts, which Andy looked down at with a mixture of confusion and reluctance, and then both kids were off and running, having a super time.

And, yes, that is the definition of a true friend.  One who lets you wear their pants.

Thank you, guys!  And if you are ever at the Grant Township park and see some homeless looking kid emerge from the porta john wearing stained, poopy Garanimal shorts and Spiderman underwear- you just tell that kid that Andy says he's welcome.