The Fevers. They're Back.

I have a recipe for today but I don’t think I can give it the time it deserves, so I am going to save it until next week.

Emory is quite ill. The fevers are back.

Last year he suffered from fevers that brought with them Febrile seizures. That duo seems to be making an encore presentation this year. And I hate them. So, I’m trying to keep his temperature down as much as possible, switching between Motrin and Tylenol. It’s gonna be a long day and night. We’re a tired bunch.

Do you have any tricks for fevers and colds? I’m all ears and a little desperate. Or if you wanna come over and keep us company; there’s only so many times a family can watch Night At The Museum and we’ve cruised way past that allotment.

I have heard “Starve a fever. Feed a cold” which is a good thing since he won’t eat anything—not even cookies! Thus far, the only thing I’ve gotten him to eat has been watermelon, which is super since he doesn’t seem to want to drink fluids either.

My poor child.

Give Me A Bappy!! I Want A Bappy!

Today is Tuesdays With Murray, which means I’m supposed be writing about Murray. And I have a story to share. But Internet? It’s been a really rough four days and my brain is out of batteries.

You see, Toby and I decided (out of nowhere) that we were going to take away the bappy. Y’all are like, What the hell is a “bappy?” That’s what my son calls his pacifier. He loves his bappy especially when it’s time for night-night or he needs to calm down.

Well, we decided it was time. Just like that. We figured we’d see how it goes for a day. And then when the world didn’t end, we kept going. This is day four and it’s been OK. I won’t try and make things sound too terrible. He has slept relatively well. Things are OK at night. We’ve gotten several desperate pleas for a pacifier, but we usually distract him until he forgets. And those pleas (not to jinx it) are becoming fewer and fewer in number.

But, what’s a nap?

There hasn’t been much napping and when he does nap, it’s a fall asleep where you’re sitting type of thing and it usually takes place the hours right before the bedtime safety zone. The other night he fell asleep eating at 5 PM. I knew that was going to mean later we’d face a great deal of trouble getting him to sleep, but at that point? I so needed a few minutes to myself that I just let him sleep for a while.

The part that’s been REALLY difficult are the tantrums. They don’t happen all the time—most of the time he’s wonderfully funny and sweet and I mean that. But when the tantrums do happen? There’s absolutely NO calming him down. I swear there are dozens of Brooklyn residents that think we beat our child. But that’s a story for another day. I’m not sure if it’s that we took the pacifier away, or if we’re just knee-deep in the terrible twos, but lately the tantrums have been brutal.

So, my days have been tiring and rough lately. And I need a break. I haven’t said that in a long time, but I do. I need a break. And now that winter is upon us and he isn’t in school at all (I will explain whole not moving situation soon) and we don’t have the ability to hit the playground, the days are killing us both. I need to get lost in a movie or something, with a pacifier.

Quite frankly, I have no idea how the anti-TV parents do it. Because the only (and I mean ONLY) downtime I get is when he watches Sesame Street or Night At the Museum for the 100th time. (Incidentally, whomever gave that movie an abysmal 2.5 stars was not a child nor did they speak to children. Stupid, adult movie reviewers.)

Some of you are probably wondering how I’m writing this post—like, what’s he doing right now. He’s building a choo-choo track in his room and begging for me to join him. So, I gotta go lay down some railroad, my friends. But I’ll try my damnedest to have a halfway literate Murray post up later today.

Because this one? Not so much.

Overcoming His Fear of the Subway

There was a time not so long ago that Emory was terrified of the subway. All we’d have to do is get near an entrance and he’d begin screaming, “NO CHOO-CHOO! NO, MAMA!” Whenever Toby Joe left for work, he’d ask that he not ride the choo-choo. And on several occasions we’d wake in the middle of the night to him screaming about it. It was a little sad.

Something had to be done. It’s downright impossible to live in New York City and not use the MTA. The subway is a must. My son was going to have overcome his fear. But how?

We’ve been working on him slowly over time. At first we just talked about it a lot. Toby would get home from work and talk about how great the choo-choo was. (Which is hilarious for reasons I’m sure you are all aware.) We’d discuss its tracks and where it would take us. We told him there was nothing to be afraid of. We compared them to Thomas and his brood. And then we started taking him on it again.

At first, he was guarded and pensive. But we talked him through it and once he was on, all was well. That took a couple of weekends of riding it together as a family.

On Saturday, we set out early to see the ice skaters and tree at Rockefeller Center. We rode the L train to 6th Avenue and then the F Train uptown. He loved it. He loved every minute of it. When we arrived at our destination, he didn’t care about the tree or the skaters; he wanted to continue riding the choo-choo.

My son’s fear has folded in on itself and has turned into a passion. Instead of throwing fits for suggesting he ride the subway, he’s throwing fits when we’re done for the day.

Now, Mama has to overcome her biggest fear: maneuvering toddler and stroller all by myself, up those stairs, and safely.

First Haircut!

Emory had his first haircut yesterday. I love his curls, and I’m all for longer hair on boys, but the back of it looked like an albino Brillo pad. Trying to comb it had become impossible. Whenever I did try, he would scream, “OW! OW! OW, MAMA!” And most of the time I hadn’t even touched him yet. Needless to say, I was concerned for the safety of our hair stylist. But I was pleasantly surprised.

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I’m not sure if it was the race car they had him sit in, the new toys all around him, or the fact that a new and intriguing, heavily tattooed man was the one doing the cutting, but he was a perfect angel for the duration of the haircut.

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It wasn’t until we were leaving and he realized he wasn’t going to be able to take the cool new stuff with him did he begin to put up a fight. This is what I get for scheduling his haircut at a local children’s toy store. And I realize that I probably rewarded bad behavior, but I had to get out of there with a little bit of dignity. That’s how Billy Bee came to live with us.

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I personally think he looks a lot more like his father now.

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He’s losing his blond hair, which I knew was going to happen, but it still makes me a little sad. It appears he’s going to end up with the nice White Trash brown his mother and father grew up with.

NaBloPoMo: Toddler Politics

Emory is going through a strange phase. At least I hope it’s a phase. He’s never been a really outgoing kid, but he’s always been unabashedly joyful. (Remember this post?) But recently, he’s become a great deal more introverted and shy. He’s also easily spooked and/or scared away from a situation. And I think that some of the other kids pick up on this.

Now, I’m going to try really hard to complete this post as unbiasedly as possible. I would hate for it to come off as my suggesting that my son is perfect (he’s not) and sweet and all the other kids are beating up on him. That’s not the case at all. I know firsthand that life throws at us strange relationships and confrontations; it’s natural for folks to not always get along. So I’m going to try and finish this post as neutral as a mother possibly can; I’ll present the facts and hope that someone out there has some answers.

Lately, Emory has been reacting to other more outgoing and vivacious kids’ by cowering. It happens while playing with kids he knows and doesn’t know. For example, he’ll be on top of the slide waiting to come down and another kid will come over and say MINE! (Perfectly normal, even Emory does it!) and instead of waiting or stepping aside, he’ll cower—sometimes he runs away. And more recently he’s begun to burst into tears. If he’s near me, he hides behind my legs. It’s really quite hard on my heart, but I want to teach him to face his fears and embrace confrontation in a healthy manner.

Lately, we’ve been telling him after the fact that when kids are mean to him it’s OK to say, “Please be nice to me.” He’s starting to understand more, so we want him to confront the situation instead of running to me or running away period. And bursting into tears solves nothing. Plus, it breaks my heart.

Just last night when Toby Joe asked him how his day went and he answered by telling him that a kid was mean to him.

A few weeks ago, all three of us were on the playground and one of his friends pushed him away and said, “Emory no! GO away!” And he ran away sobbing, like the kind where no sound comes out and no air gets in. As he walked toward Toby Joe and me he said, “I’m so sad, I’m crying.” It was heartbreaking. I wanted to scoop him up and protect him forever, but life doesn’t allow for that a great deal of the time, so we’re trying to introduce him to a happy medium. Does that make sense?

Naturally, I can’t help but blame myself for taking him out of school. But that can’t be it, can it? He sees and plays with other children, it’s just not always the same group of kids. Plus, he’s just two. I didn’t go to school until I was five. Certainly this can’t be that, right? It’s not like he’s not socialized.

I do hope that this phase goes away. My once joyful kid now reacts to others with wariness. And I don’t know how to help him without changing the world and I’m too busy to take that on. ;]

Has anyone else had a kid go through this? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Maybe he’s just going to be a more apprehensive kid. I’m ok with that. But I’m not ok with this manifesting itself in other ways and he thinking twice before doing something creative and carefree.

Wanna See My Kid Eat Dirt?

Friends of ours visited last weekend. We met them for brunch and then we hit the playground because that’s what all the cool kids do after brunch. While there, something came over my son. I’m not sure if he was trying to show off for Gayla or what. But he started to imitate Cookie Monster. Here’s the video.

He’s done this before, just not with dirt.

Thoughts on ways to let him know that eating dirt isn’t how you pick up girls?

Emory And Toby Joe Swimming

By far my favorite shot taken while on vacation. What kid doesn’t love swimming? Look at the joy on both of their faces! Priceless.

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Nemo is one of Emory’s favorite make-believe creatures.

One Of The Hazards Of The Job

Emory hasn’t ever been a very good sleeper. He’s great with napping, but nighttime is a different story. He hasn’t ever slept through the entire night. And I think we’ve tried everything. For whatever the reason may be, Toby Joe and I weren’t blessed with a sleeper. After two years we’ve just gotten used to the fact that we’ll probably never sleep through the night ever again.

But last night was really bad. We had just returned from Jersey, so perhaps he was confused. I don’t know. Whatever the reason may be, Em did not fall asleep until about 10 PM. And it was fitful. He woke up again at midnight and stayed up until almost three. Granted, he did doze off a few times, but only for 15 minutes here and there. And so I slept on the couch and tended to him whenever I could. Unfortunately we live in a New York City apartment (i.e. small), so even though I did the legwork last night, Toby Joe was unable to sleep through it.

All this to say, that the entire family is running on about four hours of sleep today. And it ain’t pretty, people. All the coffee in the world couldn’t bring a smile to my husband’s face as he left for work this morning. I’m barely moving, barely functioning and I’m slightly annoyed and partly jealous over the fact that somehow my two-year-old, the same two-year-old that kept us up all night, is running around with all sorts of energy today. Where does he get that from?

Oh, the humanity.

I’m also working right now. This morning I delivered a great deal of work to a client. The last couple of days have been very busy for me. Couple that with Emory’s inability to sleep through the night, and you’ve got yourself a big ol’ mess of a mom.

But I still kept up my end of the bargain and made our daily jaunt to the playground this morning.

Sometimes Emory poops while at the playground. I don’t know why this is. All I know is that an hour into our fun, he looked at me and said, “Mama. Poop.” like he was answering a question. He said it in such a way that made me feel silly for not knowing it.

“Mama. Poop.”

And then he pooped. And I was prepared for it. I changed him right there in the park.

We played for a bit longer. We did some swinging. We walked along the track and hit the wooded area he used to run around in when he was a wee baby. We stopped by the dog run. We walked through McCarren Park, and past the tree that looks just like a vagina. (Yes, I’ll get you pictures). We visited the grocery store, talked to a neighbor. We did it all. I did it all. I did it all looking like this:

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It could have been worse I suppose. Instead of wearing the re-sealable sticker that comes with the baby wipes, I could have actually had shit on my shirt.

But, people? If you see someone walking around like this, don’t be afraid to tell them that they’re wearing trash.

Three (I MEANT FOUR!) Photos

It’s been brought to my attention that I’ve been a little depressing as of late. Oh, Internet, you don’t even know the half of it. But there’s been some laughter here as well. Every time I sit down to write, it’s either too depressing or it’s filled with anxiety and worry. I am working through this. I’m not sure if it’s PPD or what, but it’s not been easy. (Damn hormones.)

Anyway, here are a few pictures.

My Angel by you.

My kid loves puddles, the muddier, the better.

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And here is a shot of Emory and Murray conspiring together.

Em and Murray conspire. by you.

I’ll be back soon. Murray keeps threatening to update for me and believe me, people, THAT WON’T BE PRETTY.

Update, woman! by you.