November 2008


I wished for no traffic. My wish was granted.

We left for Long Island on Wednesday at 5pm and had no traffic whatsoever. Coming home late Friday night? Same thing. Easy travel definitely makes the trip better.

And now, the Thanksgiving weekend in pictures.

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Getting ready for Thanksgiving morning football.

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Chilling out before Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s house.

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Playing with Casey at the Cousin’s Party on Friday.

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Sweet cousins.

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Not so sure about the Cousin’s Party Santa tradition.

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Wondering about that Santa fellow.

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Happy to be home and hanging out with Daddy.

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I guess we’re in the mischief phase now. That phase where the innocent boy morphs into one who looks for trouble at every turn. A boy who hunts for the most unsteady item on which to climb. And then stands — tippy toes — on said item while reaching for the one thing he is not supposed to touch.

A boy who has decided that the best thing about dinner is finding creative ways to eat his food, like using his sippy cup as a fork or his cracker as a spoon. A boy who, if given the chance, would head-butt everyone and everything. A boy who surreptitiously collects his mom’s or dad’s things (anything, doesn’t matter) and then hides them under, on or behind the sofa; in the trash can; on the basement stairs.

A boy who screams all the time. OK, scratch that: We’ve been there for a long time.

But the other stuff is fairly new or, at least, new in its frequency and delight. And it doesn’t stop. It’s all mischief, all the time around here. You may think I am kidding. I am not. You may think I am exaggerating. I am not.

OK, maybe just a little. But only a little.

And now a quick shift: We’re heading to Long Island this afternoon. With any luck, we’ll miss the bulk of the traffic and Conal will sleep for most of the trip. That’s what I’m hoping for. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We’re done with the worst of the illness. But not done with the runny nose.

We’re working on not eating erasers. But not meeting with a whole lot of success.

We’re saying some words. But not very clearly.

We’re struggling with nap time. But getting the nap in.

We’re done with Baby Bookworms. But we have some playdates scheduled to take its place.

We’re still infatuated with the paper recycling basket. But not interested in putting papers in the basket.

We’re in love with lentils. But still won’t eat chicken.

We want to play on the computer all the time. But we’re satisfied with typing on an old keyboard for now.

We’re really into dancing these days. But we’d rather climb on the back on the sofa.

We run away when we’re called. But we give unsolicited hugs and kisses.

We’re a handful these days. But sweeter and more fun than ever.

The good news is that we made it through the weekend. The bad news is that my membership in Mother Wimps has been secured.

You don’t know about Mother Wimps? Where have you been? Obviously not at Chez Jobber, this past weekend.

Here’s the thing. Conal had a fever on Friday. I knew he was off — his nose had been running for two days and, on Friday, he was just off. He was barely eating and wouldn’t nap. I gave him Tylenol, thinking that it would help him sleep. It didn’t. At 4:30 (well after I had given up on the nap) I took his temperature. 101. Not super high, but high enough to freak me out.

He’d never had a fever before. I’d never witnessed my son being ill. It was horrible. Conal was inconsolable. When Owen got home at 6:45, Conal had been crying — more or less non-stop — for an hour and a half. I couldn’t take it. I wanted to cry. I wanted his fever to go away, for him to feel better, for his aches and pains to be relieved.

It didn’t happen.

He slept through night and was a little better on Saturday. But Saturday night? No. He woke up three times, shrieking and clutching Blue Bear. Each time I went up to console him and he was just so sad and scared. It made me terribly sad. And, I’ll admit, scared.

He woke up in a much better state on Sunday and I realized that, yes, I am a wimp. A wimpy mom who can’t handle a simple cold with a fever. Toughen up, you say? I’ll try my best.

You may recall that a few months ago I took Conal to the Children’s Museum and he mistook the pelts for cats. Back then, he didn’t have many words so he trilled. Now, seven months later, he . . . well . . . he still doesn’t have many words. But he has more sounds! Oh, let me tell you, Internet. He has sounds. All kinds of sounds. Sounds for cows. Sounds for ducks. For pigs. For dogs.

And it’s that last one that is important to this little story.

We went to Target today (it was an outing, people!) to pick up a gift. I decided to take a quick look at the sale racks and as I was walking through, Conal started to make his dog sound, a variation on, “Woof! Woof!” I smiled at him. He kept it up. “There aren’t any doggies in here, Conal,” I said. He did it again, this time lunging out of the cart toward one of the racks.

So, I turned to the rack. Scanned the wares. Ah-ha! The fake fur trimmed sweaters. It all became clear.

Apparently, those sweaters look, to a 17-month-old boy, like dogs. That’s right! Those sweaters are furry. Like doggies!

And that’s it! End of the story!

But since it is Friday, I’ll leave you with a glimpse of what goes on around here these days:

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Conal opens them and closes them. Chili gets locked in closets behind them. Conal pounds on them. Chili cries in front of sliding ones, desperate to get out.

We’re battling doors. When the howls and cries and pounding combine, I think it is time to get rid of them. The doors, that is. Not the boy. Nor the cat.

But — oh yeah — it’s cold outside. So, I guess we’ll keep the doors. And the boy. And the cat. And live with the howls and cries and pounding.

OK, lady, you won. You got to use the family restroom at the mall, even though you are one person and I was pushing a toddler in a stroller. Even though the family restroom was put there for the use of — get this — families, it was all yours. I was fine using the regular restroom, awkwardly maneuvering the stroller into the regular stall.

But, here’s the thing: You didn’t need to cut me off in your quest to get to the family restroom before I did. You didn’t need to whack into my stroller. That stuff was a little unnecessary. Maybe you didn’t notice that you resembled a running back, rushing as you were to beat me to the family restroom. But, you did. And it wasn’t just me who thought it. My toddler turned around in his seat to give me a look of utter vexation.

Maybe that was your goal, to vex the baby. I don’t know. I rarely know what goes through minds like yours.

Next time, though? Keep the football moves on the field, OK? Thanks.

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