best friends, eh?

so i mentioned the other day that my 2-year-old son dutch has started to call me his best friend. and yes, it’s cute and yes, it warms my heart every time he says it. well, almost every time. i’m feeling a little manipulated by my best friend now. check this out:

example #1 of best friend manipulation:

mama: [working on her laptop. just minding her own business.]
dutch: [pulling mama’s books off of the bookshelf.]
mama: dutch, i’ve told you not to touch mama’s books. you can get one of your books (that have their very own section on the bookshelf), but i don’t want you bothering my books.
dutch: [still bothering mama’s books and starting to reorganize them by placing them every which-a way on the shelf.]
mama: dutch, don’t do that!
dutch: [cocking his head to one side, furrowing his brow, screwing his lips up a bit, and throwing his hands up…] we best friends!!!

example #2 of best friend manipulation:

mama: [still working on her laptop. just mind her own business.]
dutch: [shutting the laptop, while mama is typing.]
mama: dutch, why’d you do that? you can’t close the laptop while i’m typing!
dutch: [cocking his head to one side, furrowing his brow, screwing his lips up a bit, and throwing his hand up…] we best friends!!!

see, he wants me to believe that just because “we best friends” that i’m just supposed to let him do whatever he wants. now what kinda best friend is that? or maybe he just needs a little attention. i dunno. with 2-year-olds it’s sometimes hard to tell.

abused by my “best friend”

i can count on one hand how many physical fights i’ve been involved in in my life so to be struck on any part of my body is quite a jolt to my system. but somehow my body is becoming accustomed to being hit. you know, a quick knee jab to my chest, or a sippy cup thrown at full force that lands square on the nose, or being smacked in the face (accidentally or not). over the past several months i’ve been jumped on, kicked and climbed like a freakin’ monkey bar.

i’m talking life with a toddler boy.

dutch has gone through several phases of what i would categorize as parent abuse. there was the biting phase that came about while he was nursing. i don’t think i need to go into great detail on this one. my baby had four teeth at four months and those suckers keep on coming in. i nursed for a year. so you can do the pain math. i suppose since he had new chompers he figured why not try them out. on mama.

i suppose i forgave him for all the bites, but then he graduated to trying out the chompers on any body part that was readily available…like an arm or a thigh. these weren’t exactly good times here.

then came the pinching phase. i guess he was learning about textures and the cause and effect of squeezing his fingers together tightly with a piece of human flesh between them. this phase was short-lived, thank goodness, but still painful and oh-so-annoying.

next up, the smacking phase. this one lasted a bit longer than the others. we’d be out and i’d be holding my oh-so-cute son and we’d be having a grand time until he’d start to reach for something that i felt he didn’t need to have, i’d say no, and then i’d get smacked. in the face. you know, in public with people watching.

when you’re child is under one and this happens, there’s really no recourse. i mean, really, what can you do? put him on time out? in his crib? and if your child’s age is supposed to equate to the amount of time that he spends in time out, what do you do for an 11-month-old? sit him in his high-chair for 40 seconds? this whole thing was lost on me.

now most of the abuse that i endure from dutch is more accidental. like when he climbs on me and i get an elbow to the eyeball. or the head butt that occurs after he rushes over to me, climbs over the couch where i’m sitting. but we’ve taught him well, so whenever he causes me a bit of pain (which tends to happen several times in a day) he says, “i’m sorry, mommy…i’m sorry…i’m sorry.” and he’ll give me a little kiss wherever the throbbing is happening in that particular moment from the matchbox car that was accidentally tossed. at my nose.

but no apology he’s given yet can match the one i got yesterday. we were laying on the bed watching shrek and he pulled my neck over to him so that i could rest on his itty bitty shoulder. he tugged my neck so hard that i thought he pulled something and i yelled out “ouch, dutch!!!”

dutch: “i’m sorry, mommy.”

mama: “it’s okay.”

dutch: “i love you, mommy. you’re my best friend.”

it’s hard to feel pain when you’re feeling all warm and sunshiney from the love of your 2-year-old son.

next time, i’m pattin’ him down

last evening i did a load of dutch’s dark clothes and when i say his dark clothes, i mean pretty much all of them. all of his jeans and pants he wears during the week, all of his cool tops, and some dark colored pj’s too. i went to get his clothes out of the dryer and [enter dramatic music here] his clothes were all [enter even MORE dramatic music here]

PURPLE!!!!

what the heck?? i was totally stumped. his clothes looked as if he had been tagged by barney. each piece was marked with this purple stuff. i frantically began pulling each piece out bit by bit hoping that at least one thing hadn’t been ruined and then i came across the culprit…a freakin’ purple crayon.

well, isn’t that just lovely?

so i took the crayon out, put another load of clothes (his white stuff) in the dryer and then re-washed the dark stuff in warm water ’cause i figured crayons are waxy and the warm water would loosen the stuff up, right? so the load finished and voila!! most of the purple stuff is gone, but not all of it so i decided not to put the stuff in the dryer again because i didn’t want the remaining crayon on the clothing to melt and create a mess again. i hung the dark stuff up to dry.

then i take the whites out of the dryer and what the heck?? it’s all purple again!! there was another piece of purple crayon the dryer that i had somehow missed!

oh great.

well, at least this was just his undershirts and socks. so off to wash this stuff again! the drama of it all.

i went online this morning to search on such madness because i figured surely i’m not the only mama in the world who has had crayons in the dryer and here’s some advice that i found on getting the stains out of the clothing and off of your dryer drum, you know, just in case you have this little problem one day too.

crayola suggests doing the following in order to get crayon out of your dryer:

To remove crayon stains from a dryer drum, spray a soft cloth with WD-40 and wipe the drum. Next, remove any WD-40 residue by washing the dryer drum with warm soapy water. Then run a load of dry rags through a regular drying cycle.

Please bear in mind, all the stain removal suggestions we offer have been tested in our laboratory, but we are unable to guarantee the results. We recommend you test our suggestion in an inconspicuous area first.

i thought this was pretty darn nice of crayola to add this little note on their site, but should also know that if you have a gas dryer you should the door open to dry out for a day before running. i found that little tidbit on about.com.

and to get the mess out of your clothing, about.com offers this:

  1. Place the stained clothes on a white cloth or a few white paper towels.
  2. Spray WD-40 or apply a product such as Goo Gone onto the stain. Let this stand for a few minutes.
  3. Turn the clothing over and apply WD-40 or Goo Gone to the other side of the stain; again, let this stand for a few minutes.
  4. Take some dishwashing detergent and work this into the stain on both sides.
  5. Wash in hot water with a detergent containing color-safe bleach, such as Cheer with Bleach. Or use a regular detergent and add color-safe bleach.
  6. Check the clothing before drying to ensure that the crayon stain is gone. If not, then repeat washing.

to avoid creating this whole big ol’ mess next time, i’ve decided to just pat dutch down each evening that he comes home from daycare to make sure he hasn’t stashed some little secrets in his pockets that will later be revealed in my dryer.

oh, the teethys

we’re late for dutch’s first dental appointment. he’s only two but it’s recommended by the american academy of pediatric dentistry that your child see a dentist when the first tooth appears. or definitely by the time your child is a year old. well, dutch’s first teeth came marching in full force pretty early. by four months he had four teeth. by six months, six teeth. by eight months, eight teeth. and so and so on. he had a full set of choppers well before any of the kids his age that we knew.

so technically we should have had him at the dentist when he was 4 months. can you imagine? four months old going to the dentist?! i don’t know about you, but i don’t know any one who has taken their 4-month-old baby to see a dentist.

brushing a toddler’s teeth has got to be one of the hardest things i’ve done as a mother. for one thing, at 2 year’s old, children like to exert a certain degree of independence. you know, they feel like they can handle just about anything on their own. but teeth brushing is definitely not one of those things. i mean, sure you can let them brush their own teeth, but they definitely need a follow-up done by a parent.

for instance, i’ll hand dutch his toothbrush with a little toddler training toothpaste on it and he’ll sit there and suck all of the paste off of it and then yell, “i’m done!!” sometimes he’ll actually swish the brush around in his mouth a bit, you know, for all of four seconds and to him, that’s all it takes. but that’s when i usually take over and well, [ding, ding, ding] let’s get ready to rummmmmmmmmble!!!

we brush his teeth often enough, but i’m concerned about the nights when he’s had a bit of milk or juice to drink when he should’ve only been drinking water. and then there are the very, very few times that he’s had candy. like the other morning when i was rushing around to get dressed for work only to find dutch walking around with a green apple jolly rancher in his mouth.

first thing in the morning.

when he hadn’t even eaten breakfast because he said he wasn’t hungry.

and when we hadn’t even brushed teeth yet.

and did i mention, green apple jolly rancher?

i bought the candy for my 12-year-old stepson during the weekend and i’m sure he took the bag home with him, but somehow one little piece must’ve landed somewhere and dutch found it. oh, and i’m sure dutch’s daycare provider wondered why his tongue was green first thing in the morning.

so all of these things were floating around in my mind while i searched the other day for a pediatric dentist, right after a girlfriend of mine told me she had just taken her 2-year-old son to the dentist only to discover he has three cavities.

great.

hopefully, we’ll come out with a clean bill, but mostly, i’m just hoping that my child has an enjoyable first visit to the dentist. you know all it takes is one bad dentist visit to jack up one’s perception and we’ve got a long way to go.

lobster taste on a fish stick budget

your child is showing early signs of being a dc area native when at two years old he requests crabs for dinner.

on the ride home one recent evening…

dutch: mama, i want trabs.

mama: huh?

dutch: trabs.

mama: what dutch? [turning down the radio ’cause he’s talking so daggone low.] i can’t understand you, honey, speak up!

dutch: i want trabbbbbbbbbbbbbs!!

mama: oh, crabs?

dutch: yes.

mama: well honey, we don’t have crabs at home, but how about i make you some fish sticks?

dutch: okay.

we were riding for a couple minutes when we landed right near a red lobster.

dutch: right dere, mama. i want trabs.

mama: oh dutch, that’s not a crab, that’s a lobster.

dutch: i want a lobser.

mama: yeah, i bet.

our first trip to gymboree!

okay, so my blog 365 is really going to the birds already. i skipped a day. surely i knew it would happen eventually, but i didn’t plan on it happening so daggone soon!

see what happened was my neighbor stopped by early yesterday to inform us that she was having her son’s 3rd birthday party at gymboree in oh, a couple hours. now the party was originally planned a couple weeks ago, but it had to be postponed. we weren’t sure when the party would be rescheduled so we weren’t prepared. no card, no gift. and all of a sudden we went from chill relax mode to okay, i guess we need to put some clothes on and get ready to go.

and go we did.

our local gymboree is located in a shopping mall so we skiddaddled on over to join in the big birthday fun. dutch has never been to gymboree and since he only knew the birthday boy and not the birthday boy’s other three little friends he was a little skeptical about participating in some of the activities.

while the other little boys were “racing” on the padded mats, my boy was off to the side watching. then when watching became a bit boring to him he sauntered off towards the 3 foot ball basketball hoop and shot a few balls with his 12-year-old brother who we drug along to the event.

actually, i think big brother had more fun in the beginning than dutch. he got on the “train” with the kids to you know, show dutch how fun it was, but dutch just decided to let his brother choo-choo around the room solo. i thought dutch would be down for the whole train thing since he loves them so much, but i guess seeing four little boys and his big brother walk around the room with hoops around their waists didn’t really say train to him. it just said, four little boys + his brother with hoops around their waists.

but then it was bubble time!! and oh, how my boy loves bubbles. and these weren’t just any kind of bubbles. these were hang in the air forever without bursting freaky kind of bubbles. these were a million bubbles all over the daggone place. this was bubble wonderland!

then came parachute time! all of the parents were told to hold onto the parachute and then to hold it up and then to bring it back down so that the kids could sit underneath and squeal with delight while we did all of the work. there was a lot of movement going on for the parents at this event. i mean, it was like being in aerobics class (from what i can recall because i haven’t been in aerobics class in oh, about 10 years).

hold the parachute up! put the parachute down! okay, now hold the parachute up again! and now put the parachute down! then we sat a few of the boys down in the middle of parachute while we held onto the parachute and ran around in a circle (clockwise and counter clockwise!) to give the boys a little ride.

then there was the sit on the floor and bounce your legs all around game. actually, your child was supposed to be on your lap for this one, but my son was off trying to figure out the balance beam so i just joined in with the other moms sans my toddler.

forget gymboree, i need to find a gymforme just to keep up with the madness of it all.

he’s a wee obsessed with chuck e. cheese’s

we went to pick up my stepson early this morning so that he could stay the weekend with us and on our way home dutch came up with the greatest idea for you know, a 2-year-old. i mean, think about it, if you were 2 how would you like to spend your saturday? oh yeah, baby, you guessed it:

dutch: i wan’ go chuck e. cheese!

okay.

now don’t go getting the idea that i give into my child’s every whim ’cause i don’t. he comes up with some monster ideas at times like asking me to cook him eggs at 3 a.m. in the morning, or asking to go see his lolo (aka grandfather) first thing in the morning when we’re rushing out for daycare. but this particular time, i gave in. hey, i felt i owed the kid. he’s been asking to go to cheesey chucky’s for the past few weeks. i meant to take him during all of those days we were off during the Christmas season, but we kinda never made it.

so today was a day of loud children, probably the grossest pizza on the planet, tickets from games that don’t get you much in the way of prizes (we won 53 tickets which got us 5 tootsie rolls, and i’m the only one who eats them), screams of terror when chuck e. decided to pounce on the scene, and a thousand rides on the fire truck for dutch.

dutchieatchuckie.jpg
“hey, mama… i need more money for this thing!”

and yes, the realization that blackberry’s don’t take great motion pix.