Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chew, chew

As I've mentioned before, my son has a bit of an issue when it comes to biting and chewing things.  And people.  Actually I guess it's more accurate to say that I'm the one that has the issue with it, but whatever.  It's an issue.  I've tried to be as patient and understanding as possible, because I can't imagine how uncomfortable it must be to have teeth gnawing their way out of your gums like hungry piranhas.  But now that he's got all of his front teeth, he's can do some pretty significant damage. 

Don't be fooled by this innocent grin:

I've tried every kind of teething apparatus you can think of - smooth, rough, squishy, hard, vibrating, edible - all to no avail.  For some reason, my son would rather chew furniture.  Wood furniture in particular, but he'll have a go at our leather chairs every once in a while to keep things interesting.  I'm pulling big splinters of wood out of his mouth on a daily basis.  And I can't give him books any more because he can bite chunks out of them in a matter of seconds.

Consider the evidence:

The crib rail

A hardwood bench

One of many chewed books

The other day I could hear him tap-tap-tapping what sounded like a toy block on a piece of furniture; I looked over to see that he was banging his teeth against the edge - like a flippin' woodpecker!  This can't be other children do this?  I've only known puppies to inflict this kind of damage to furniture. 

I've tried to teach him not to do it.  I tell him "no", and move him away from whatever he's chomping on.  He patiently waits until I stop paying attention for a second and then crawls back.  If he sees me coming he'll crawl away and then looks back all casual like, "What?  I wasn't doing anything."  So he knows he shouldn't do it, or at least that I don't want him to.  So what, then?   

I'm at a loss here, people.  This child never ceases to throw me curve balls.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where's your nose?

I've been trying for the last little while to teach my son the names of his body parts.  He might not be able to say much but I know he's developmentally at the age where he can understand quite a bit.  We sing "head and shoulders" and name eyes, ears, mouth...and every chance I get I touch him on the nose and tell him "Nose." 

Every once in a while I ask him, "Where's your nose?" and then wait eagerly for the moment I've imagined, when he'll put his little finger on his nose and look up at me proudly as though to say, "Here it is, mommy!  Here's my nose." 
But he doesn't do it.  He just looks at me with this kind of puzzled expression.  So I touch his nose and tell him again, "Nose."  He pushes my hand away as if I'm totally annoying him and crawls away to do something more exciting.  Like chew furniture.

Bath time is always a good time to name body parts.  Lately he's taken a particular interest in his littleman parts (maybe he's making sure they're all there after our little testicle scare ).  Whenever I get him into the tub he spends a good few minutes checking things out.  "Penis," I tell him.  He quickly learned to anticipate this response from me; grabbing hold and then looking up at me expectantly.  "That's your penis," I tell him.  He grins.

Well tonight at bathtime we had a breakthrough.  On this particular evening he was much more entertained by splashing the bejeezus out of the water and thoroughly soaking me than exploring his nether regions.  I took advantage of the opportunity for a little anatomy lesson.  "Where's your nose?" I ask hopefully.  Nothing.

You've probably guessed by now where this is going.  I gave it a shot:  "Honey, where's your penis?"  Without hesitation he reached down and grabbed a hold of his little wanker, beaming up at me proudly as though to say, "Here it is mommy!  Here's my penis!" 

Not exactly the way I imagined the moment, but I'll take it.  That's my boy.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Game on

Yay.  Hockey season has begun again (does it ever really end?).  In my household that means a more than occasional argument over what to watch on TV.  Last year we even subscribed to "Leafs TV" so my husband could catch up on missed games later (as well as games he may have missed in the 60s and 70s - don't ask me why anyone would want to watch a 40 year old sports event).  Yet I still seemed to have to battle for control of the evening TV choice.  I'm not really used to having to battle my husband for control of anything.

I will occasionally swallow my estrogen and sit and watch a game - I'm not completely incapable of compromise after all.  And although I don't admit it easily, it is a little fun cheering for the home team.  When they're winning that is.

But I will never be able to understand the importance society places on professional sports.  In fact, the more I think about it the more disgusted I get.  I get athleticism, healthy competition, sport.  But the money.  So much money.  I'll save you the rant - suffice it to say I don't agree with it.

What's different about this hockey season is that I'm decidedly outnumbered now, 2 to 1. 
And it's not just about control of the TV.  As my husband fantasizes about the star athlete and hockey player my son will become one day, I cringe at the fact that I'm destined to become a hockey mom. 

Don't misunderstand me; I do like the idea of the camaraderie of team sports, as well as the confidence, fitness, and responsibility that they can instill.  But I also have memories of my own humiliating and confidence-smushing experiences with competitive sports (an athlete I am NOT - I fit in much better as a band geek).  Plus, I've seen the news about crazed hockey parents that put such tremendous pressure on their kids that it stops being fun for everybody.  I don't really want my son in that atmosphere.

But what am I going to say to the little guy - "Sorry honey, you can't play hockey because mommy thinks that the NHL is a waste of money and Billy's father is a raving competitive lunatic."?  Not likely.  Besides, as I told my husband the other day, who's to say our son will even want to play hockey when the time comes?  Maybe he'll be more interested in figure skating.  I wouldn't be disappointed.     

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What next?

I sometimes wish my worrying mind had an off button.

I took my son for his one-year check up today.  We happily strolled into the office, no concerns.  Until the doctor looks into my son's ears (as we held the poor screaming child down) and informs me that he has an ear infection.  Quite common, I realize, but what concerns me is that I have no idea how long the poor child has had it.  He seems the same as any other day.  Also, as my son squirms on the table to get away from this strange man's probing hands, the doctor informs me that he "can't find" his right testicle.  That it must have "slipped back up", but that I should make sure I can "find it" later.  Right.  No problem doc. 

So we get a script for an antibiotic and are sent on our way.  No biggie right?  Well not quite.  Now I have to worry about my son getting an antibiotic for the first time and having an allergic reaction.  Or experiencing side-effects like diarrhea or thrush.  Or that I won't be able to find his poor hiding testicle and it will be lost forever. 

So I spend the afternoon on the computer researching which drug reactions to watch for and what to do about them, and where to find missing testicles.  And deciding if I should give him probiotics to prevent the diarrhea and thrush.  And what if he's in pain but isn't showing it?  Should I give him something for that?  And what should I take for the ulcer that is now burning it's way through my stomach lining?

As far as I knew this morning, he wasn't even sick.  How, exactly, did I end up here?  In my dark, sick, anxiety-laden worrying place?  (I don't like it here.  I want to go home...).

Believe it or not folks, I'm a nurse.  That's right - the one y'all count on to look after sick loved ones.  So why is it that when my loved ones are sick my ability to cope (or even think rationally) plummets?  Intellectually I know that I can handle whatever illness or emergency the kid will likely throw at me in his lifetime.  So why can't I just relax and deal with the problems as they arise?  Why must I torture myself with the what-ifs

Why, oh why can't I be a calm, sane, happy mommy instead of this uptight, neurotic, fearful one?

This will get easier right guys?

*Update*: Just in case you were going to lose sleep over it, I did find his little nut at bathtime, all safe and sound in it's nest.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

You've got to be sh*tting me! Part 2

*Disclaimer:  Although no animals were injured in the making of this blog entry, it does contain some pretty graphic discussion about pest control.  If you are a hardcore animal lover, please read no further.*

Back to the raccoon shit problem.

So the other day we're all getting ready to visit family for the afternoon, when suddenly I hear a crash in the garage.  I knew what I would find out there before I even looked, but I still just about peed my pants when I opened the door to find the raccoon about a foot away from me, chowing down on a bag of garbage that someone (ahem) left on the stoop.  Run away?  No, not this guy.  He starts reaching his creepy little paw (far too much like a hand for my liking) towards the door like he'd like to come in for a while.

I slammed the door and, like any mature adult would, went running and shrieking for my husband.  I told him that the raccoon was in the garage and trying to get in the house (I may have exaggerated a little for effect).  I don't know what I expected him to do, but I definitely wasn't expecting his reply:  "Well, that's it.  I'm going to have to kill it."  My husband said that.  The one who still reminds me about the day that I put a baby chipmunk out of it's misery after our cat mauled it half to death.  "What are you going to do?  How?  With what?  Are you serious??"  The questions came pouring out of me as I hopped from one foot to the other, following my husband around the bedroom while he got dressed.   "What choice do I have?" he answered matter-of-factly, "It's shitting everywhere and destroying everything and we're trying to sell the house...".  "Should you wear your good clothes?" I asked finally.  "What if there's like....spattering?"

Let's roll it back a bit to a story my brother told me.  About a friend of his who tried to take care of a little raccoon problem using a bow and arrow.  So picture this (and if you're at all squeamish please stop here):  This raccoon is being a nuisance on this guy's deck so he shoots it with an arrow (and don't ask me why he has a bow and arrow) and stakes him right through the chest, pinning him to the deck rail behind him.  Bye-bye raccoon, right?  Wrong.  This little bugger screeched and writhed and finally snapped the arrow, leaving the long part through it's chest and the arrow head still in the deck.  And then it takes off running for the bush, leaving the guy with the decision of having to follow him into the darkness to finish the job or trying to sleep at night wondering if the poor thing was suffering.

What I learned from that disturbing tale was that raccoons are not easily killed.  Not to mention that the raccoon we were dealing with was, like freakishly bold and smart.  And here's my husband going out to the garage to try and take care of our little problem with something far more primitive than a bow and arrow.  Like a shovel...or a hammer (eww).

So out he goes to do the deed and I'm frantically pacing around the house with horrible images running through my mind of my kind, gentle, man doing horrible things to this poor creature.  After an eternity he comes back in house.  I waited, expectantly, for the news.  " away," my husband stammered.  I think we were both equally relieved.

I apologize for the anti-climactic ending to my story, but the sad truth is we are looking into getting a live trap, so we can drop our little friend off somewhere to become someone else's problem.  In the meantime, I cringe as I listen to the pitter-patter of little paws up on my roof in the middle of the night and try not to think about what I know he's doing up there.  Just to be sure we don't forget who has the upper hand though, he occasionally leaves a steaming pile by my front door where I'll be sure to see it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby

Saturday is my son's first birthday.  Holy crap.  I must have fallen into some kind of worm hole or something around February because I'm pretty sure I lost a couple of months somewhere.  For reals.

I'm not sure who has changed more in the last year - him or me.  Yeah sure, so he's grown, and learned to crawl around, and laugh, and stand up, and torment the cat, and climb on stuff, and clap, and wave, and all kinds of impressive things...but I became a MOM.  Okay so he wins, but still.   

When I think back to those first few days after he was born I wasn't sure we were going to make it this far.  I was sooo tired, and all my girly parts hurt so much, and I was a blubbering emotional wreck, and all he did was eat and cry and poop and cry.  I remember thinking (although I never would have admitted it then), What. Have. I. Done?  Okay, you can take him back now.  I changed my mind.  I don't think I'm cut out for this mommy business.  Hello?  He he....joke's over guys....he he....very funny.  Guys?  Anybody?... 

I can't really remember when or how, but it got better.  And easier.  And way funner (yeah that's right I said funner).  And while I still occasionally wonder how I'm going to get through this, I wouldn't take it back.  In fact I can hardly remember how I lived without him, or why I would want to.  I didn't think it was possible to love someone so much.

One of the most special changes in my life since my son was born has been watching my husband become the best dad ever.  I'll admit I had my doubts when I married him.  He is, afterall, a giant child himself.  Literally.  Video games, Family Guy, junk food for meals, zero sense of responsibility...GIANT CHILD.  But all those things are what make him a good daddy. 

For example, when he was bathing the baby the other evening I went in to see what was taking so flippin' long, and there he is blowing great big soap bubbles just to get the baby giggling.  I felt an instant of guilt because I'm all scrub-rinse-bing-bang-done when it comes to bathtime (mostly because I've used up all my creative baby entertaining tactics by that time of day).  But together we're a pretty good team.  And I can tell when Nate grins that heart-melting baby grin at us that he thinks so too.

So Happy Birthday my precious baby boy.  And thank you for changing my life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

You've got to be sh*tting me!

*Disclaimer:  Although I assure you that no animal was injured in the making of this blog entry, if you are a hardcore animal lover you may want to stop here.*

A few weeks ago as I sat in my living room watching TV, I looked out my patio door to see a big fat raccoon staring back in at me.  Startled, I thought out loud, "shouldn't you be sleeping?" as it was mid-day and raccoons are allegedly nocturnal.  I called my husband into the room and we watched for a while as the cute critter explored our BBQ and gazebo. 

But when he began to climb up the gazebo screen, ripping holes in it along the way, I became a little annoyed and asked my husband to do something about it.  My hubby left to get something to shoo it away with; since he was taking too long I took matters into my own hands and hurled a shoe in the direction of the raccoon, which was now perched on the roof of our gazebo.  He just stared back at me mockingly, waddled over to the shoe I had thrown, picked it up and began to chew on it.  My husband arrived with a broom - "How the hell did it get my shoe!?" - I shrugged.  When the raccoon was completely unfazed by my husband's shouts and somewhat amusing gestures with the broom, he resorted to poking at it with the broom handle.  Again, totally fearless, the little bugger just grabbed a hold of the other end in the strangest game of tug-of-war I've ever witnessed. 

Since we were clearly dealing with either the boldest (and perhaps smartest) raccoon ever, or one infected with rabies, we decided to leave it be and hope it would leave on it's own. 
Perhaps the biggest mistake we've made.  Ever.  Because now we had let it win the first power struggle in what would soon become a small nightmare.

The next morning I was leaving the house and was greeted at the front door by a steaming pile of poop.  A little gift from our new friend.  Lovely.  My husband cleaned it up and disinfected the porch to make sure there was no odour left.  But again the next morning - not one, but two piles of poop on my porch.  "What the f**k is this!?  Is this some kind of sick joke?"  No my friends, it was not.  

Later that day my husband informs me that the little bastard hasn't just been defecating on the porch, but has left a nice pile of poop around the side of the house too.  This was not funny anymore. Not at all.  After we cleaned up all the mess and did some research to determine why the little vermin was so attracted to our house, we cleaned the BBQ and made sure that we weren't leaving any food or garbage where he could smell it.  And then we didn't see him for a few days.  We thought we had taken care of it.  Until my husband finds yet another ginormous pile of poop at the side of the house.  "That's impossible!" he exclaimed, "That shit wasn't there yesterday - I checked.  There's no way one little raccoon can shit that much in one day!" 

Initially stumped, it suddenly occurred to me.  The pile of poop was right at the bottom of one of the downspouts from the eaves trough, and it had rained heavily through the night.  That's right folks - that little    f*cker was shitting on my roof.            This is war. be continued...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A little self pity

I gotta get out more.  Like seriously.  I apologize in advance for the pathetic-ness of this entry. 

I think I've checked my email like 5 times today.  Okay, more like 10.  I actually read some junk mail.  I love being home with my son, and I'm not ready to go back to work yet, but dude I'm bored.  I tried all day to get a hold of my husband on his cell and when he finally called back I didn't even really have anything to say other than to bitch at him for not answering earlier - what if there had been an emergency?  He was all "Well, was there an emergency?" and since there obviously wasn't I just got even more pissed off and let him go.  And then I actually sat and watched an entire episode of Yo Gabba Gabba that my son wasn't even interested in.  

Normally when faced with boredom I would simply pack the baby up and head into town for some shopping therapy, but I'm trying not to spend money (since I technically don't have any).  Plus it was pissing down rain and, well, getting rained on sucks.  How depressing.  I'm pretty sure the baby even thinks I'm pathetic.  Maybe he'll take pity on me and dirty his diaper so I'll have something to do.  Sigh.   

Monday, September 6, 2010

Open house

We're in the process of selling our house, which is not a process I enjoy.  It essentially requires making your house look like one out of a magazine that nobody lives in, and then keeping it that way.  Keeping a house clean and tidy enough to have buyers come through at a moments notice is not an easy task, even without a toddler tearing around the house like a Tasmanian devil (keeping it even civilized is difficult with this little monkey).

Plus, it's kinda creepy to think about strangers snooping through your home when you're not there - opening closets and cupboard doors (I have a bad habit of stashing clutter in these places to put away "later"), scrutinizing every detail.  I have anxiety every time we leave the house about whether I've adequately hidden embarrassing unmentionables or forgotten to flush a toilet (yes, sometimes I leap off the toilet just in time to stop the baby from eating a handful of cat hair or a dirty Q-tip out of the garbage and forget to sue me). 

I remember one time when we were kids and my mom was trying to sell the house.  We were rushing to finish dinner and get out so people could come through, and my brother threw up all over the carpet in his bedroom like 10 minutes before we had to leave.  Just thought I'd throw that out there.
I don't know what would be worse - an unflushed toilet or a room that smells like vomit.

I'll be glad when this is over.   

Friday, September 3, 2010

Vampire love in the closet

Here's a confession for you:  I'm a Twilight fan. 

I know...the shame.  But I can't help it.  I started reading the series before they made the movies.  The first book was a gift from my brother ("I know you like vampire stories..."), and then I was hooked.  I've since re-read the entire saga, and I'll admit I enjoyed it equally the second time.  To be humiliatingly honest, I'll even admit I was pretty bummed out when I was done.  What would serve as my indulgent escape from reality now?  It's totally embarrassing, but I don't care...I can't get enough.

Now here's another confession: a dirty little secret that's not mine to tell.  My husband is a fan too - almost as much as I am, but I'm assuming without the Edward dreams.  At first he just watched the movies with me, rolling his eyes and pretending not to like them.  But after watching New Moon (the second part of the series for those who don't know), he was eager to find out what happened next and so started reading my copy of Eclipse.  He was completely absorbed.  Baby screaming, phone ringing, me nagging - he didn't hear any of it.  Let me just clarify that my husband is not a reader - I don't think I've seen him finish a book the entire time I've known him.

So one day my brother comes by and sees one of the books sitting on the counter and says to me with disgust, "Oh god, don't tell me you're reading Twilight..." (My brother is opposed to anything mainstream).  I glanced up in time to see a look of horrified panic flicker across my husband's face as he waited to see if I would blurt out to my brother that he was the one reading it.  I can just imagine the dread he must have felt at the thought of being outed, especially to a Twilight hater like my little bro.  Don't worry love, I thought to myself, your secret's safe with me.  So I kept quiet and smugly reminded my brother that he bought me the book, which he tried to deny at first but then quickly blamed the sales girl for suggesting it to him.  My hubby shot me the most relieved and grateful look ever.

I guess neither of us are ready to reveal our love of a phenomenon marketed to teeny-boppers.  Alas, closet Twilight fans we shall remain.