Wednesday, December 27

Home Again, Home Again Lickety Split

The F.D.A. has recently approved a new form of birth control: It's called Pie on a Plane. Take a childless person of any age and place next to Pie while traveling for any amount of time greater than five minutes on an airplane. Guaranteed upon landing that person will be buying a mega-sized package of condoms if not signing up for an immediate vasectomy. And I really don't think any more needs to be said especially as nothing I can write and truly capture the experience of flying with the Pie.

So the prodigal daughter has returned to the homeland of the Jews, aka Miami Beach. Doodles is thrilled to be in a place where the cookies are plentiful and the Nana will chase him. Pie is ecstatic to have new property to destroy. Adam and my father are so happy to see each other that they can't stop chitter chattering like little girls. And me? I got a spa afternoon at The Standard with my gal pals Tina, Jennifer, and Rachel. My piggies are Bordeaux red, my pores have been steamed, and my belly is sloshing a martini... Ahhhh.

Of course, the Pie was up in the middle of the night and in a fit of anger last night, gnawed a nice size chunk out of my thigh and Doodles is refusing any and all "energy food" and the air conditioning gives me and Adam the sniffles, but if we block that out, all is good.

We have dinner at my grandparents, a visit to the Seaquarium, New Year's eve at my cousins, black-and-white cookies from Epicure to resist, and trips to the park, beach, and pool to muddle through.

I hope that everyone has a fabulous new year. If you don't hear from me again, it's safe to say that I overdosed on Pie on a Plane on the return trip. May your 2007 be scream-free.

From the Mouths of Babes, Part 2

Doodles [on the drive home from Christmas dinner at friends' house]: Why do they have Santa in their yard.
Me: It's a Christmas decoration. People decorate their homes for the holiday.
Doodles: Next year I want a Santa in our yard.
Me: No, sweetie, we don't do that. Jewish people don't decorate with Santa.
Doodles: Oh.
Adam: Your mommy does want an eight-foot menorah in the lawn.
Doodles: I would like that. Next year, I want an eight-foot menorah in our lawn.
Yeah! Eight-foot menorah, here we come!

Me: Doodles, you're only wearing one sock.
Doodles: I know. I had too much sock so I took one off.

I can't get Doodles's paints to work. He's clearly getting frustrated and finally says, "Oy vey! What a day!"

Pie has been cranky all day. Finally, I give in and nurse her. When she's done, she happily hops down and heads immediately to my Martha Stewart magazine. She proceeds to bend down and kiss the cover of it multiple times.

Me: We're going over to J.'s house for a Christmas Eve party. We need to dress up!
Doodles: I'd like to dress up as a witch, again!

Sleep Talking

Let me start by saying this is the heavily abbreviated version of this story. It actually went on for well over an hour.

Anyway, last Saturday morning, I was tired. Pie was up at 5 a.m. and would only be appeased by the thing that only I can give her. I obliged at 5:20. I finished feeding her about 5:30 at which point Doodles awoke as well. I went downstairs with everyone, but by about 6ish, I asked Adam, "Would you mind terribly if I went back to bed? I'm exhausted."

"No problem," he replied.

So off I went back to bed. I snuggled under the covers and by about 6:15 a.m. I was happily back asleep...

...until 6:20 a.m. when this little body slowly opened the door to the bedroom, slowly closed the door, and scampered to the side of the bed until I pulled back the cover for him to slide back in. Wondering how in the heck he got upstairs--I'm guessing that Adam let him past the baby gate to use the train table, which is the toy of choice now, just outside our bedrooms or maybe the gate wasn't closed and he snuck upstairs and as far as Adam knew, he was playing quietly in the playroom.

So I wrap my arms around my munchkin and blissfully begin to drift off, when...

Doodles [in a very loud whisper]: Mommy. Mommy. Mommy!
Me: Mmm hmmm?
Doodles: It's still dark out, isn't it?
Me: Mmm hmmm.
Doodles: Why is it still dark out, Mommy?
Me: Because it's very early. The sun isn't up yet. Mommy is very tired and wants to sleep. If you want to sleep quietly next to me, you're welcome to stay.

So Doodles snuggles into me, and once again, I start to...

Doodles: Mommy. Mommy. Mommy! Mommy!
Me: I'm sleeping!
Doodles: Mommy! Mommy!
Me: Yes?
Doodles: Is today a school day?
Me: No. It's Saturday. Now go to sleep.

Ahhh. Nestle into the pillow. Deep breath and...

Doodles: Is today a work day?
Me: No. It's Saturday. It's a Mommy, Daddy, Doodles, Pie day. Now, I need to go back to sleep.
Doodles: Is today a school day?
Me: Didn't we cover that? No, it's not a school day. Good night, Doodles.
Doodles: What are we going to do today?
Me: Sweetie, go ask your daddy that question. I need to sleep. If you don't want to sleep, you can go downstairs or play with your train table.

Doodles's finger immediately goes into his mouth, and he curls himself into my body, and I do indeed fall back into slumber...

...for five minutes.

Doodles: Mommy. Mommy. Mommy!
[I ignore him]
Doodles: Mommy! Mommy, I'm talking to you!
Me: Doodles, I'm ignoring you! Where does your father think you are anyway?
Doodles: Is it still Hanukkah?
Me: No, Hanukkah is over.
Doodles: I want it do Hanukkah again.
Me: We'll do it again next year.
Doodles: I want to do Hanukkah now.
Me: Go to sleep, Doodles.
Doodles: Mommy, is it a school day?
Me: Arg! No, it's not!

Three minutes of silence. What's that? Has he fallen asleep?

Doodles: Mommy. Mommy!
Me: Grumph.
Doodles: Mommy, can I wear my new shoes to lunch bunch?
Me: You don't have lunch bunch till you go back to school in two weeks. But yes, you can wear your new shoes.
Doodles: S. has shoes like me.
Me: S. is sleeping right now. I'd like to be sleeping, too. Please either be quiet or go back downstairs. I'm very, very, very tired and I really need to sleep.
Doodles: Okay.

I don't even kid myself this time. I just close my eyes and pretend I'll all by my lonesome in a hotel somewhere--anywhere--far far away.

Doodles: Mommy. Mommy!
Doodles: Mommy, is today a school day?

Silence. Can I sleep? Ah, but only if.

Doodles: I want some milk.
Me: Go downstairs and get some, then.

Bless his little heart, he actually listened to me and hopped out of bed and headed downstairs. Adam heard him and took that as his cue to come upstairs to get Pie dressed. He popped his head into my room.

Me: He snuck his way in here.
Adam: I know. I sent him in.
Me: You did what?!?!
Adam: He threw a tantrum. He wanted to go back to bed. So I sent him to you. What was I supposed to do?

Excuse me??. "What was I supposed to do?" Let me think about all the possibilities here. There's "Sorry, your mom is sleeping." There's "Sorry, we don't negotiate with terrorists." There's "Sorry, but I can't hear anything you're saying when you're screaming." So many things! I couldn't believe that Adam willingly and knowingly sent that child to me. "What was I supposed to do?" I can't freakin' wait till the next time Doodles says to me, "But I really want to use Daddy's computer!" Let's see how well the "What was I supposed to do" line flies then!

Wednesday, December 20

Silent Night, Happy Night

I'd be nice and relaxed right now except that my daughter is screaming her little head off in her crib. She's obviously tired but she's teething (a couple of canines just broke through, but we have a couple more to do), hence the cranky screaming, which is sad now but miserable for everyone when it happens at 3 a.m. as it has the past couple of nights. Everyone except Doodles that is who ends up in our bed now every night. He starts out in his own bed, but wanders into ours at some point between midnight and 2 a.m. When Pie's screaming starts, he just burrows down a little deeper under the covers.

Wait? Is that silence? Ahhh... oh never mind.

Anyway, for the first time in a long, long time I have a night without anything that has to be done. Holiday cards are written. Freelance jobs are turned in. Gifts have been purchased, wrapped, and mailed off to the appropriate destinations. I made the decision not to bake cookies for the world this year, so I'm free on that. The only thing hanging over my head tonight is this blog, and there you go, I've already taken care of three paragraphs.

I'm thinking about all the things I could write about:
--Doodles fears of the "Good Night" haven't diminished, but he's learning how to manage them. One night last week, after telling me he didn't want the Good Night to come, he said, "Will you write a sign?" "What should it say?" I asked him. "It should say, 'Don't come!'" So that's what I did. We wrote a sign and hung it outside the front door. We take it down in the morning and hang it backup at night. I wonder if we put the sign on the outside of our bedroom door if we'd get our bed back.
--The holidays are still being discussed big time. At Barnes and Noble the other day, apropos of nothing, Doodles asked, "After Hanukkah comes Christmas. We get presents on Christmas, too?" I explained no, he only gets one holiday. Someone overheard and asked what we celebrate. When I replied Hanukkah, he turned to Doodles and said, "Aren't you lucky! Twelve nights of presents." His friend laughed at him and I told Doodles, who had a gleam in his eye, "Don't even think about it. Eight is what you get." The friend said, "Doesn't Hanukkah have twelve nights?" I replied, "That's Christmas." Jeez.
--We had our annual Hanukkah party. The latkes were fine in the beginning of the evening but by the end, warming in the oven, they were pretty overdone. I think next year, I'm throwing in the apron and buying latkes. The local kosher grocery sells some that, I'm afraid, were better than mine.
--While it was ostensibly a gift for both Pie and Doodles, the train table that appeared the first night of Hanukkah has been nothing short of a miracle for me. That kid (the big one) can spend hours at it, driving the trains around, making up little stories. It's given me all this free time to spend trying to not breastfeed Pie!
--I took the kiddies Christmas caroling at a rest home with our music class teacher. Most of the songs were simply holiday songs, and I just stayed silent during the "Jesus Christ our lord and savior" songs. Doodles and Pie didn't know or understand the words--they were just having fun ringing the bells. Doodles was there with a friend from his (Jewish) preschool and I think they were having more fun than anyone except for Pie who was doing her wiggle dance. Of course the highlight for Pie was the candy cane she was handed at the end. She immediately shoved it into her mouth, realized there was something coming between her and the sweet goodness she somehow could intuit was inside, and thrust at me to open. When I finally got it out of the wrapper, oh nirvana! How can Hanukkah ever compete with a holiday filled with such yummy goodness (and somehow, gelt didn't get the same reaction from her). The biggest meltdown we've had in a long time happened when I took the candy cane away from her when we got into the car. Yes, I'm horrible. Taking a choking hazard from my toddler daughter when I'm about to drive and therefore unable to get into position to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

Anyway, I could write about any of these things, but instead, the Pie has settled down, so I think I'll skip blogging and enjoy my night of relaxation. Grab some dessert, flip on the TV, and do nothing until it's time to snuggle up with my book in bed. To all a Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas, and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 13

Chatty Cathy

Was there really a time when I wished my son would start to talk? Is that really the case? Because, God help me, I take it all back. That kid won't SHUT UP! He is making me crazy with the constant stream of chatter that oozes out of him at all times:

Excuse me, Mommy. Excuse me, Mommy. Excuse me. Excuse me. EXCUSE ME, MOMMY!Is a skyscraper big? When I saw the Wheedle on the needle I was in new york on a skyscraper. Is that a menorah? Does that song have a lot of drums? Mommy, I'm talking to you! Does that song have a lot of drums? Who sings that song? Why? What's that inside the popcorn? Does popcorn come from yellow corn? Why? Is that a Santa? Does Santa eat our French fries? Santa is just pretend, right? We don't believe in Santa, right? But some of my friends do. Does E. believe in Santa? Does J. believe in Santa? Does N. believe in Santa? Does C. believe in Santa? Is C. a boy? Why? Is a p*enis the same as a v*agina? Does E. have a p*enis? Does J. have a p*enis? Does N. have a p*enis? Can I wear soft pants? I don't want to wear jeans anymore. If I don't wear soft pants, I won't be soft! Is that Daddy's remote? Is he sharing? When I grow-up, I'm going to be able to use the remote....

There's more. But at a certain point I just start to tune it out.

And then, this afternoon, as I was giving Sweetie her twelfth feed of the day, he asked, "Can I watch?"
Me: Um, sure.
Doodles: What is she doing when she breastfeeds?
Me: Uh, breastfeeds.
Doodles: Where does she breastfeed?
Me: What do you mean?
Doodles: What is it called? What are your breastfeeds called?
Me: Br*easts.
Doodles: Do I have br*easts?
Me: Well, sort of. But they're different.
Doodles: When I grow up I'm going to breastfeed Sweetie.
Me: God help me if when you grow up, Sweetie is still breastfeeding. Besides, baby, I'm sorry but only mommies can breastfeed.
Doodles: When I grow up and I'm a mommy I'm going to breastfeed.
Me: When you grow up, you can be anything you want to be, except for a mommy. When you grow up, you can be a daddy! But I'm afraid daddies can't breastfeed. That's a mommy job.
Doodles: No, when I grow-up and I'm a daddy, I'm going to breastfeed.

La Leche, take note. I think you have a new poster child.

Wednesday, December 6

The Grinch Who Stole Hanukkah

While I'm not exactly trying to keep up with the Joneses, I have to say our poor little undecorated house is looking a little sad out here in suburbia land, with nary a decoration up for the holidays. I want our house to look cheery and welcoming and fun! So I'm ordering few decorations for us to put up. But what I don't understand is why Adam wants to be such a killjoy! I mean, is there really anything that wrong with an eight-foot inflatable lawn menorah? If that doesn't say, "Classy Jews!" then I don't know what does! Thank goodness I didn't show him the four-and-a-half foot light-up menorah. What he hasn't seen, he can't veto!

Doin' His Thang

It snowed! True, it didn't stick for very long, but actual snowflakes came down from the heavens, leading my darling son to proclaim, "Where are my snow boots?"

"Right here!" I called out, as I retrieved them from the closet. His lovely blue size 5 snow boots that aren't, in any stretch of the imagination, going to fit his adorable size 7 feet. "Um, we'll get you new boots later!"

So yesterday, during a trip to Borders (after a failed trip to Barnes and Noble last weekend where they didn't have what I wanted but it didn't stop Doodles from proclaiming to his father, "We went to the bookstore to buy you a book for your birthday!" Way to be discreet, kid!), we popped into L.L. Bean right next door. "Let's get you snow boots!"

You all know where this is going, right? Remember that obnoxious kid who accused my darling, sensitive son of being a girl? I want to protect my son from kids like this. I really do. But I also want to support him in everything that he does, want him to be able to express himself and make him confident in his choices and his likes.

Give me a break! It was the '80s!When I was eighteen--eighteen, for God's sakes!!!--pink was my favorite color. I loved pink. I wore pink skirts, pink hats (yes, pink hats! Remember, I'm old. It was the '80s), had a pink comforter, pink sheets. Hey, I had matching pink shirts and socks that I wore with my ripped Levi's when I was a cool film student (work with me on the cool, okay?).

So what's wrong with my three year old loving pink? Except that it makes me want to beat up all those punk hooligans who dare to mock him.

In L.L. Bean, he went straight for those pretty pink boots (and they don't even have the lovely pink color on the site--actually, it's called rose blossom, but pink will suffice). And can I blame him? I admit it, I still love pink. It's not my favorite--that would be green for anyone who cares--but it's right up there.

"Those are the ones you want?" I asked

"Yep!" he said.

"Do you like any of the others?"

"I like these."

"Fine with me!" I said cheerfully. The salesman--a relatively young guy--brings out the right size. "Hop up in that seat and try them on."

Doodles climbs up. An older man is trying on boots. He's joking around with Doodles and when the boots come out, he says, "That's a girl color! Why are you wearing a girl color?"

I scoff, "There's no such thing as a girl color."

Doodles happily echoes me. "There's no such thing as a girl color."

The older man turns to the salesman, "That's a girl color!"

The salesman, bless his heart, said, "All colors for all people."

I had Doodles walk around the store with the boots. Hard to tell if boots fit because they're a little stiff, so Doodles is wandering around the store like a little Frankenstein. When we've made a circuit, I ask another salesperson who is standing around, "Do these fit him? He's walking funny."

He bends down and tries to find Doodles's toes. "They're a little big but he won't be tripping on them or falling down or anything." He pauses, looks at the shoes, looks at Doodles, and then asks, "Didn't they have any of the other colors in back?" Sigh.

"These are the ones he wants."

So, I buy Doodles his shoes. I am embarrassed to admit I asked him one final time if he wanted to look at other colors, but he remained steadfast in his choice.

I've got to get to the gym more. I have a hunch I'm going to be beating up a few kids this winter.

Tough Broads

Actually, I probably don't need to beat anyone up for Doodles. The Pie can do it for him. Man, that girl is tough!! She wants to be in the middle of everything. Anytime, anyplace--she'll take you on! Luckily, she has a soft spot for her brother.

Today we went to an open gym, the big kids were on the big trampoline, and--did you know she could do this, because I didn't!--she scampered straight up a ladder--yes, a ladder!--to climb in the middle. Kids land on her? It's funny!

When she wants something? The whole world knows. That screech! That yell! That war cry! When she wants to breastfeed, she whines so loudly, in such a high-pitched wail, that the dogs on the street start to howl as she lunges her body sideways toward my b*reast. Climb up? Slams her hand on the chair and screeches until someone lifts her into the chair. Wants to play with her brother? Grabs him by the legs, tosses him down, climbs on his back, and jumps up and down as if she's on a pogo stick. Wants to go out? Grabs her jacket, socks, and shoes and hurls them at you. Wants to show some love? Grabs your face in her little pincer claws and squeezes with all her might.

Now, she does have her softer side, however it only comes out to her big brother, which I can certainly live with. The other night, she was sitting on the floor, ripping through Doodles's books, as I was doing his good night routine (she goes to bed after he does). As I finished, I asked Doodles, who was a little crankmeister, "Do you want to kiss Daddy and Pie good night?" As he shakes his head no, she stands up, walks over to us, leans into the chair with her little lips pursed. She goes in for the kiss. He denies entry. She tries again with the kiss. He denies again. Persistent kid, she goes back in for the kiss, and unable to stand the rejection for her, I lean in and give her a smooch. Satisfied, she turns around, and resumes ripping up books.

Bring on those big kids. That Pie? She can totally take them.