Wednesday, September 26

Typhoid Pie and Girl Bear

Some view Kol Nidre as a solemn night for reflection and devotion. I personally see it as a night out away from the kids. Whoo hooo! Atonement time!

We survived the holidays intact. Adam didn't get overly grumpy on Yom Kippur. The kids didn't break anything when we had our break fast at the friends' of my parents. And when I ran my half marathon the next day, I not only broke two hours (my been-trying-to-reach-for-many-years-now goal), but I shattered my previous record. (Old record 2:01; new record 1:52:14.) I have my running partner to thank--she really kept me going when I said, "I don't know if I can maintain this pace," and she said, "Of course you can!" At the end, her husband said, "Wow, how much faster could you have gone if you hadn't fasted?" but I told him I opted to view it as I was that much faster because I was so much lighter, running without my sins (although truth be told, if you count malicious thoughts, raised voices to children, and idle gossip as sins, I definitely wasn't running sin-free. After all, it had been well over 12 hours since the end of Yom Kippur).

I had thought we'd be back to the daily grind--Pie started preschool "full time" (as in three hours a day three days a week) this week. So I loaded up my work assignments and hungrily looked forward to diving in. But wait! No! Nothing ever goes as planned. And today, on Pie's second day of school... she is forced to call in sick. She's got a nice, oozy, puffy eye. Which wouldn't be so bad except that school is closed both Thursday and Friday for Sukkot and also next Thursday and Friday for Shemini Atzeret and Simhat Torah (yes they are off for a holiday that 99.9% of Jews don't know about, never mind all the goyim out there. I myself hadn't even heard of Shemini Atzeret until I saw it was a "no school" day on the calendar and quickly took pains to learn what it was. Frankly, it seems a little dubious to me). And the Monday after? Why Columbus Day, of course. Damn that discovering of America! I took her to the doctor to find out if it was conjunctivitis or just a cold and it turns out, they're one and the same (am I the only one who didn't know that?).

Doctor said she's fine for playdates and the playground, but no school is going to take her. It's just a cold and the stuff that normally oozes out of the nose is now oozing out of her eye. Besides she was unhappy and clingy--she'd been up most of last night. Her eye was gross enough that I was a little embarrassed to take her into public. I put her cool sunglasses on so everyone just thought she was a little hipster instead of Typhoid Pie.

Speaking of school, it's been pretty hit or miss for Doodles. He clearly loves school, but is having problems again with drop off. We talked about it and he simply said, "I miss you when you're not there," which of course about broke my heart. Until we decided on my replacement. Doodles, his teacher, and I were brainstorming what we could do to make Doodles feel better at school when I suggested bringing something in from home. Doodles perked up and said, "Girl Bear!" This was acceptable to all, so now Doodles goes to school with Girl Bear. I've been replaced by Girl Bear. Girl Bear is his mother substitute. And what is my issue with that? Girl Bear is a plastic honey jar. I've been replaced by an empty jar. Made of plastic. Empty. Jar. Sigh. Anyway, I had the idea of filling it up with kisses in the morning so he can shake kisses out as he needs them. It's working with mixed results, but there's been no out and out wailing, grabbing on to me as I leave, so it's an improvement.

I'm sure there's more to tell you guys, but I'll be honest: it's been a day and I'd much rather have another glass of wine than sit at my computer. So, instead, I'll share with you what my friend Bettina shared with me:

Till next week...l'chaim!

Wednesday, September 19

Things of Which We Should Not Speak

We've now entered the era when Pie is speaking. Truly speaking. Which means double the fun for you guys. For instance, Doodles takes swimming at our Y. Pie just watches simply because there was no toddler class at the same time, and the toddler classes are just to get used to the water and the preschool classes are to really learn how to swim. After class, I changed Doodles from his swimsuit to his clothes. Pie leans down curiously, sticks out her finger, and says to me, "Look at p*enis?" I explain that it's a private part, and no, she can't stare at it. That night in the bathroom getting ready for her bath, Pie looked down and then looked back at me. "Where's my p*enis?" she asked. I explained that she doesn't have one. This morning, we did another role call of body parts as I changed her diaper. "Doodles has p*enis?" I respond in the affirmative. She continues, "Pie has gagina?" Again, a yes. "Mommy has a gagina?" Oh, that girl is going to be a hit in preschool today!

Speaking of preschool, Pie went for an hour on Monday. Pie is the only one in class with day care experience. Pie is the only one used to such intense socializing. Pie is the only one who's used to having teachers as caregivers. Anyone want to guess who the only one in the room to cry at drop off was?

One awwww moment: Doodles and Pie have a toy that you can record into. Adam discovered that Doodles had recorded: "I love you, Pie, but sometimes you make me so mad!"

On Tuesday, I dropped Doodles off at school and realized that Pie had a stinky tush. As I insist that my child retain membership in the Clean Tushie Club, I made a detour home to change her diaper before we headed out on our daily activity. I run in, change Pie's diaper, set her down to grab a cup of coffee to go, and then go to head out. It's time to go. We need to leave. So where the hell are my keys? I've been home for no more than five minutes, and I definitely used my keys to open the front door. Check the TV table by the front door. Nope. Check in the cushions of the couch. Nope. Check the diaper changing table. Nope. Check by the coffee pot. Nope. Check the floor between the diaper changing table and the coffee pot. Nope. Check my pockets. Nope. Ask Pie, "Do you know where Mommy's keys are?" Pie tilts her head and thinks, finally saying with a questioning voice, "Stroller?" "Thanks anyway, Sweetie," I say. "We haven't used the stroller in days. See if you can help Mommy find the keys," which is her sign to continue ignoring me. Okay, go back and check all of those places again. One more time. One last time. No keys. Adam never takes the keys to my car with him ("Too bulky," he says), so I give up and head into his basement office to get them. Would you believe today is the one day he took those keys with him? THOSE DAMN KEYS ARE SOMEWHERE! How did I possibly lose my keys in the space of five minutes? That's unusual even for me. I'm tracing my steps one more time, when out of the corner of my eye, I see skulking in the corner of the hallway to the bathroom... Pie's toy stroller. "Stroller?" I mutter. "No, couldn't be." I look into the stroller and don't see anything. I take out the baby doll. I take out the toy phone. I take out the airplane. And lo and behold, what is at the bottom of that stroller? My keys. Moral of the story: Always listen to your child.

Of course, there are those children who don't like to speak. Last year, everyday when I picked Doodles up from school, I'd ask him, "What did you do today?" and I'd get one of three answers: "I don't know." "I don't remember." "I sat and did nothing." Luckily the teacher posted a list outside of the classroom of what they did so I could do a little prompting. "Did you make a bird's nest out of paper? Did you have movement today?" So now, Doodles is a year older and a year wiser. He adores his school--on the front door of the classroom is an elephant with his name on it, and he needs to take it from the door and place it in a "We are here" chart, which is he absolutely loves to do--but I still want to hear about his day. On the first day of school, I put him in his car seat and asked, "So, Doodles! What did you do at school today?" Doodles gave me his most exasperated look and sighed his biggest sigh. "Mom!" he exclaimed. "The teachers posted in on the wall! Didn't you read it?"

And thus, our school year begins.

Wednesday, September 12

L'Shanah Tova

Wishing you a sweet year with no temper tantrums, potty accidents, separation anxiety, spills off the climber, consuming of choking hazards... Oh, wait, that's what I hope my year will be. You have a sweet new year, too!

And So We End 5767...

One of my finer moments, indeed: Standing in the playground next to the elementary school on the first day that school is in session, watching my son holding his crotch as he attempts to scale the climber, and realizing, that, yes, I did just shout at the top of my lungs in front of about 18 parents, "If you need to use the potty, we're leaving right now!"

Doodles ends up in our bed pretty much every night. Usually he wanders in around 2 or 3 a.m., but he was up pretty late on Saturday night and it was a packed day: Town Day in 96 degree weather (lots of booths, entertainment, food, and such), a gymnastics birthday party, and our block party. Sunday he was pretty much a wreck, and he had yet another birthday party in the afternoon. By that night, he was wiped and cranky and miserable and anxious about preschool starting the next day (all of a sudden, he decided he didn't want to go), so I ended up putting him to bed at about 6:15. He fell asleep within minutes. But at 10:30, Adam heard little pitter patters upstairs:
Adam: Hey, Buddy. You're awake early tonight.
Doodles: Yeah, but I went to sleep before Pie.
Adam: Yes? So?
Doodles: So, I sleep faster than Pie.

And Pie? What does Pie have to say for herself these days? Her two current favorite expressions: "Right now!" and "No way!" As in, "I want to see the animals RIGHT NOW!" and, in response to, oh, "time for nap!" a very tearful, "No way, Mommy! No way!"

I'm in the throes of stay-at-home momness. Pie's two-day-a-week daycare ended two weeks ago and we still have another week and a half till she starts her three-morning-a-week preschool (and how am I planning to do work that didn't really fit into my 16-hour-a-week workweek into my new 9-hour-a-week workweek? I'll get back to you on that). Doodles started preschool this week (and, fingers crossed, seems to be happy going), which means I've had some nice alone time with Pie. Who is using it to break me.

Pie and I had to go into Brookline yesterday--the center of all that is Jewish in this part of the world--to buy food for Rosh Hashanah and that girl wreaked havoc in these tiny, cramped stores. The kosher supermarket? Oh, what is more appealing than row after row of kosher cookies? "I want that! I want that!" pointing to every box on the shelf. The selection of Israeli yogurts? Worthy of a chant! "Yo-gurt! Yo-gurt! Yo-gurt! Yo-gurt! YO-GURT!" And look at all those bottles of wine! Must touch every bottle of wine! The bakery wasn't much better, oh Pie with the saucer eyes. "What's that? What's that? What's that?" I had told her she could pick out one thing at the bakery, anything she wanted, and I only blanched a little when she pointed to a very sticky sticky bun, but happily complied when she found an M&M cookie bigger than her head. In true Pie fashion she took three nibbles of it, handed it to me, and asked for an apple. Who is this child? I took her to the bookstore with promises of a new book about the holidays. Pie didn't care. She pulled books one by one off the shelf and sat in the middle of the store. She called out, "Circle time!" and held the book open in front of her and began narrating (side note: Pie has never been interested in sitting and being read to--she's always preferred leafing through books on her own--but I've realized I can get her to listen to a very short story if I sit on the floor with the book open, reading upside down, and calling it "circle time."). People are climbing over her and her pile of books and I'm eying her to make sure that 1) she's not damaging any of the books and 2) that she's not trying to have circle time with a sidur or Torah.

And now I'm off to start my preparations. Tomorrow we have friends over for a Rosh Hashanah lunch and then, in a fit of, I don't know, idiocy? I invited about 20 toddlers and preschoolers over for a Friday afternoon apples and honey snack. Honey. Toddlers. My newly cleaned house. I was thinking what?

Wednesday, September 5

The Screams of My Life

I'm supposed to be blogging, but I can't think about what to write because all I can hear in my head is the echo of Pie's screams. The screams. Oh, the screams! She woke up from her nap today with screams. The screams continued as we came downstairs. The screams continued as we cuddled on the couch. Did Pie want to be left alone? No. Did she want me with her? No. Let's listen: Hmmm, yes, the screams are about 1/2 a decibel higher when I stand up, so I'll sit down with her. Food, food! That always appeases a Pie. Sure enough, the screams abate with a Dora yogurt. Doodles wants a peanut butter (aka chocolate peanut butter, which I felt guilty serving him because it has 7 grams of sugar vs. 1 gram in normal peanut butter, until a friend pointed out that I don't serve it with jelly as most folks do, thereby coming out slightly ahead on the sugar account) cracker, and I oblige. Pie wants a peanut butter sandwich. Does she want a shape? Yes, she does. But apparently NOT THAT BUTTERFLY SHAPE! Scream, scream, scream. Pie is removed from the table. What appeased Pie today? Nothing. Really nothing. She went to bed screaming tonight.

New family rule: If what you're about to do needs to be prefaced by, "Watch this!" then you shouldn't be doing it. That includes propeling your body over the bar of the trampoline Pie got for her birthday. It includes any game that involves my cell phone and a full cup of milk. It includes any performance that involves launching yourself or another child through the air for more than five feet. If you have to say, "Watch this," it's probably better that I don't.

Peter came to town last weekend and we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and head to Kimball Farm. Doodles has been hassling us about playing golf, and Kimball Farm has minigolf. With tiny little clubs just the right size of little people. The site says the course takes about 45 minutes to get through. Except, of course, over Labor Day weekend. I felt bad for the kids because they loved actually playing (if by playing you mean Doodles whacking the ball, walking down to it, picking it up, placing it within an inch of the hole, and hitting it in, and Pie just randomly swinging her club over her head as folks around her test their reflexes as they dart out of the path of her club), but they got to play for about two minutes for every twenty, as the crowds were horrendous.

We played four holes before bailing for bumper boats. The minute Pie saw those boats, she tried to dive over the fence to get to them. "Boats! Boats! Boats! Boats! Those boats! Now! Pie boat NOW!!!" Before getting on, I made sure we could get off early when Pie freaked. We got on the boats. We started going. And good thing people could get off early. Because Doodles freaked. He was riding with Peter so they got out. And then he demanded Adam (who had his own boat) get out too. Luckily, he didn't ask me because there is no way Pie was getting out of that boat. That girl was howling with laughter. I struggled to keep her in the boat, as she wanted to check out the water, but she had a great time. Doodles felt better after a mammoth ice cream and a pony ride (Pie didn't want to ride the pony, but she didn't want to wear a helmet, and the folks there were nice enough to oblige).

Do I have more to say? I can't remember. Because--listen! do you hear that--are those screams? Ohmygod! The screams are coming from inside the house! Everyone, run!! Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!