i’m so gucci

i was chasing dutch around this morning in my attempt to get us ready and out of the house at a decent time. it’s so not easy now that he’s an active 2-year-old. but i managed to get him still for oh probably about 32.7 seconds. just long enough to wipe him down with a soapy washcloth and then he somehow got free again.

he was running all around the house butty-naked when i was finally able to snatch him up and bring him to the bedroom to get him dressed.

dutch was giggling the whole time (because for some reason this whole running from mommy in the mornings thing is quite funny to him) and i said, “dutch, you are so goofy!!”

his response: “you gucci, mama!!”

ya just gotta love this kid…

it’s my birthday

it’s my birthday… it’s my birthday… get busy… it’s my birthday…

i don’t know about you but whenever a new birthday rolls around i tend to reminisce on allllllll the others.

i remember living room birthday parties when i was 6 and 7. living in s.e. plenty of friends and family. cake. bobbin’ for apples.

at 14 me and two best friends, shawn and michele, planned a big house party in michele’s basement to celebrate all of our october birthdays. we spent days and days making up a dance routine to utfo’s “ya cold wanna be with me”. ’cause you know, we had to make a “bumpin'” entrance…

two-toned guess jean jumpers. guess sweatshirts and fly hair-do’s. fresh white k-swiss tennis shoes… if you were living in the dc area in the 80’s then you know what i’m talking about.

we invited EVERYBODY in the neighborhood, all of our friends from school and cousins. we told all the cute dudes from around the way and a couple of ugly ones too ’cause you know, had to make sure the house was packed.

black lights and glow in the dark trouble funk go-go posters on the walls. loud music. ll cool j. salt ‘n pepa. doug e. fresh and the get fresh crew. chuck brown’s “run joe.”

talk about the good ol’ days…

when i turned 16 my pop took me to new york to see “cats”. i had been dreaming and dreaming and dreaming of going there and finally it happened. we had a blast. well, except i had some nasty, gooey lobster dinner at this fancy dancy restaurant we went to, but other than that it was good times.

21. college. i posted a sign outside of my dorm counting down the days to my 21st birthday. by the time it came everybody stopped by to wish me a happy birthday. all of my friends bought me a bottle of wine and signed it. i still have it.

ooooooooooo… my dirty 30 party was one of the best!! dc’s bar nun. everybody came out even a particular ex-boyfriend. who knew that in less than a year we’d be getting married.

yeah, you could sit around and feel all blah, blah, blah about getting a little older when your birthday comes around, but it’s best to remember all the good times and know that just being here is a blessing.

my birthday highlight today so far: dutch in his carseat this morning whispering “happy burtday to you… happy burtday to you…”

blink frenzy

i picked dutch up from daycare yesterday and i noticed that he kept doing this weird blinking thing.
“yeah, he’s been doing that all day. watch him and make sure he’s okay,” eva the daycare provider said.
no. i’m planning on going home and ignoring him! of course i’m going to watch him, lady!!
as soon as we got in the car i asked, “dutch, do your eyes hurt?”
blink. blink. “no, mommy…”
“are you sure ‘cause you keep blinking and mommy just wants to make sure your eyes don’t hurt.”
blink. blink. “look mommy, truck!!” blink. nose scrunch. blink.
uhhhh. okay. he can see the truck so maybe that’s a good thing, right?
i looked in the rearview mirror and he just kept doing this blinking thing and all i could think of was the little kid from jerry maguire. you know, “did you know that that human head weighs 8 pounds?”
i mean, sure he was cute and all, but i don’t want that for my dutch. i mean, could all this blinking stuff really mean that something’s wrong with my child’s eyes? oh goodness, there he goes again. he’s blinking nonstop!!
i asked him about things that we were passing just to make sure he was seeing things okay.
“hey dutch, what are those kids doing over there?”
“play ball, mommy.”
okay good. but then i figured even if his vision was a little blurry he would probably be able to guess at that one.
so later on that evening after quite a few more blinks and nose scrunches he asked to watch “go, diego, go”. i popped in the dvd and then stood in the kitchen where i knew he’d be able to see me and i held up various objects.
i held up his monkey cup.
“hey dutch, what’s this?”
“monkey.”
then i picked up a shoe.
“hey dutch, what about this? what’s this, buddy?”
“shoe.”
then i found a smaller item. a matchbox car.
“hey dutch, and what’s this?”
“pizza.”
uh-oh!! i wasn’t sure what to do. should i google “toddler blinks a lot”? or call his doctor (who he just saw last week for his check-up) and say, “hey doc, dutch sure has been doing a lot of blinking today. what do you think that could be?”
so i did the next best thing. i asked my best friend who just happens to work in dutch’s doctor’s office and she said, “well, you know the pollen and ragweed is pretty bad…”
oh, ragweed and pollen!! so he won’t have to wear silly goggles?
great!

just wanted to let you know…

that i do fully intend to add pictures to this blog. i know it’s kind of boring to just see chunks of text on a page with no full color pics to go along with it, but the truth is i haven’t had time to do all of that. i just want to you realize that i’m aware of it and it’s gonna happen because sometimes pictures just bring a story to life.

and i know it would’ve helped with this one…

a good girlfriend of mine suggested that we hook up with another mom friend and take all of our boys to a local park for the kinderfest festival. it’s an event that’s held annually for preschool and kindergarten aged children and they all kinds of activities like a hay maze, hay ride, face painting, scarecrow stuffing, moon bouncing, farm animal petting and loads of eating and drinking.

it started out as a good idea, but what the kinderfest folks forgot to mention is this:

because of global warming early october no longer feels like fall. it’s more like mid-summer so if you don’t have a bottle of ice water in hand during your walk from your vehicle to the park chances are you might feel a bit lightheaded and pass out along the way.

that walk from the parking lot to the park will be about a mile or at least feel like one in the blazing sun.

a nice cool cup of good ol’ lemonade will run you about $4. (actually, i wouldn’t have cared if it was $19.95. it was just that daggone hot.)

enter the johnny b. quick portable potty with extreme caution in temperatures over 90 degrees. (do i need to even get into details on this one?)

seating in the shade is limited. bring your own tent.

young children are often rude. be prepared to defend yourself against them. (such was the case of the beautiful little girl with lovely curly locks who walked over to us and said that her bottle of water was empty and then told us she was planning to throw the bottle at us.)

farm animals stink and the heat makes the stink worse.

you’ll never figure out how to get to the pumpkin patch from the hay maze so either have someone pass you a pumpkin or consider your $1.50 in hay maze tickets a loss.

the moon bounce will feel like jumping up and down in your microwave. let your children enter at their own risk and don’t blame us if they come out looking like they need oxygen.

we’ll have some woman with a hideous voice singing opera as your live entertainment. either bring ear plugs or have your children scream loudly to drown out the sound of her voice.

oh, the joys of potty training!!

i bought dutch a potty some time ago. i knew he wasn’t ready but i guess some part of me was just hoping that my little genius which catch on quickly and be out of diapers in no time.

to my surprise the first time i sat him on the potty he made a pee-pee!! i sat him down and the tinkle music played on the potty and i was dancing. oh, i was so excited like “i knew it! i knew he’d catch on quickly!” i was just counting all the dollars i would save in diapers and was making plans to go to dsw to buy a new pair of shoes with his former diaper money and everything. but it turns out that it was just the luck of the wheel. it must’ve just happened to have been coming down the pipe at that very moment because it’s the first and last pee-pee he’s made on the potty.

a big mistake that i made was buying a potty that actually functions as a step-stool. i don’t know who came up with this idea, but my guess is that its intended use is for children to later be able to step up to the toilet or even to the sink so that they can brush their teeth or wash their hands. dutch uses it in the living room to try to feed his four goldfish. he also uses it in the kitchen to push buttons on the microwave.

oh, and that tinkle music i mentioned earlier. he figured out a way to get that to play without making a pee-pee. he takes the cup from the potty and pours water in it from the bathroom sink. where’s the motivation??

i’ve made the mistake of asking him if he needs to use the potty on numerous occasions. after he’s eaten or had a drink i’ll ask, “dutchie, wanna go potty?” “no!” of course he says no. he says no to everything. so i’ve tried sitting him on the potty and that lasts oh for about 0.5 seconds before he’s running off to the next thing.

it’s not all going totally awry. i believe we’re making small strides. he now, at least tells me sometimes when there’s an occurrence in his diaper. “mama, i poop!” but “poop” can mean so many things to my little man. either it’s pee-pee, poop or a poot. anything three, pick one.

sometimes it actually is poop like last saturday morning. “mama, i poop!” i changed his diaper and then 15 minutes later… “mama, i poop!” so i said, “dutchie, you pooped again?” “i pooped again.” now every time that he poops it’s “mama, i pooped again.” and again and again and again. it’s just one long poopy string that i’ve started by asking “again?” a never ending poop cycle.

the short order cook

i guess that’s what i am. but to know me is to know that i’m actually not a cook at all. in fact, i can pretty much count on one hand the meals i can actually throw down with and i’m not going to share what they are ’cause i mean, it’s all just too lame. but that whole cooking thing changes after you have a child. it actually should change after you get married, but at least my husband is able to warm a pot, you know?

but back to the tot of the house. it’s all good during those infant months. you can pretty much get away with feeding your child just about anything. a jar of this, a jar of that. they pretty much lap up whatever’s offered on a spoon. but my child started singing a different tune around 1. he’d push the bowl away (most of the time on the floor). eventually he started saying, “no” then it was, “mommy, i don’t wan’ it…” and now he makes special requests. great!

this evening i made chili. not that it’s a dutch favorite, but he loves rice and i can usually get away with feeding him other foods as long as it’s served over rice. but tonight, no, dice on the rice. i kept asking, “dutch, are you hungry?” “no.” and that’s not unusual because he rarely ever says yes. and by rarely i mean i think i’ve heard him say it all of three times.

he’s had a runny nose and a little cough so i figured that was the reason he didn’t have much of an appetite. even though i always feel awful when he refuses to eat before bed, but what can i do?? you can’t actually force feed a toddler dinner (can you?). so tonight i put him in bed (my bed ’cause he doesn’t want to sleep in his own bed all of a sudden and that’s a whole different story) and he says, “mommy, i wan’ rice… i wan’ eggs…”

he loves eggs. he requests them all the time. i’m worried about his cholesterol even because i’m sure that a 2-year-old should not consume as many eggs as my child does. but he hadn’t eaten since lunch and it was 9:30 at night when he brought up this whole egg deal. i mean, really… can you deny your child food? it just ain’t right. so i scrambled him some eggs. in fact, the only reason why i have time to write this blog is because he’s in his high chair eating eggs and watching the game on tv with his daddy right now.thank goodness he thinks that meals basically consist of one food item because i sure didn’t feel like peeling and cutting potatoes and frying bacon too.

his addiction

i can’t really remember the first time we gave dutch a popsicle, but I’m pretty sure things really picked up when he spent the weekend with his lolo and nana this past july. we went to pick him up that sunday and they announced, “he ate about 7 popsicles yesterday!!”

great!

and no, dutch’s dear grandparents didn’t just sit there and offer him popsicles every 5 to 10 minutes (which was my first guess). my little guy was quite sneaky about it. he loves ice so he’d ask for ice and once his nana opened the freezer to get out the ice, he’d grab a popsicle. not ones to say no, his lolo and nana gave dutch all the popsicles his little heart desired.

and i believe, that’s how it all started.

now we must keep popsicles in the house. we must. if there are no popsicles then there is total chaos complete with yelling, whining, crying and tantrums.

these can’t just be any ol’ run of the mill popsicle, i must add, these popsicles have to be a particular color. oh yeah, my boy is prejudice when it comes to his popsicles.

my husband had the audacity to go out and buy a box of popsicles that were purple, YELLOW [gasp!!!!], and GREEN [oh, the horror!!!]. when dutch saw those green and yellow popsicles you would’ve thought that his world had ended. that elmo had died. that calliou had been canned. that dump trucks ceased to exist. GREEN and YELLOW, PEOPLE!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!

dutch doesn’t know his colors yet, but he sure knew he didn’t want a green or yellow popsicle. excuse me, “papu…” as soon as i pulled one out of the box and tore the wrapper off all i heard was, “nooooooooooooooooooo mommy, no papu!!!”

papu = popsicles

and then he went on to beg wildly….

“peas papu, mommyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy… daddy, peasssssssssssssssss!!!”

peas = please

and we get this all day, every day

when he first wakes up, “peas papu, mommyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy… daddy, peasssssssssssssssss!!!!!”

of course we don’t give in to breakfast papus, that would just be insane. but there has been a saturday or two when he’s had one awfully early.

and it’s not always in a begging, whiny, annoying voice. sometimes it’s a cheery, bright sunshiny voice like, “papu, mommy?!” complete with the most gorgeous smile you ever want to see. And sometimes it even comes with a “I luh you, momma…”

luh = love

momma = mommy when he really, really wants something and wants to sound cute about it.

oh yeah, he knows how to work it.

as soon as i pick him up from daycare it’s the same thing every day, “peas papu, mommyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…” i’ve tried to explain to him at least a hundred times that my honda accord did not come equipped with a freezer in which to store papus.

he doesn’t get it, nor does he care to get it.

sunday i went to the grocery store and i was on a seriously tight, tight budget. i mean, so tight i wasn’t sure i could fit in a box of 24 popsicles.

hmmmmmmmmmmmm… 24 of our usual brand of popsicles for $3.95 or 24 of X brand of popsicles 2 for $3.00. do the math. that’s $1.50, people. i went with the latter. i figured they were his usual favorite colors – red, orange and purple – so what’s there to be mad about, right? and guess what, he didn’t know the difference.

he has, however, been a bit upset lately that his father has laid down the law and set up “papu restrictions”. he can now only eat them between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. i wonder how many he can fit in during that time?

chuck e. no no

fridays are the absolute best, right? you’ve got the entire weekend to look forward to. lazy mornings, full days full of nothingness if you’re lucky…

so this past friday evening i said to dutch, “what do you want to do tomorrow? it’s saturday, you know…” and of course he kind of looked at me with a blank stare ’cause at 2 it’s not like he can really wrap his mind around the idea of a “weekend” or a “saturday” just yet. so then i threw out a couple of suggestions. i asked if he’d like to visit some friends that we haven’t seen in a while and he shut me down pretty quickly and announced, “no, i wan go chuck e. cheese, mama…”

i just kinda stared at him in amazement because i could not believe at just 2 years old (i mean, he just turned two like a week and a half ago) he’s making requests for chuck e. cheese’s already. already!!

i thought i had time before this all started. i wasn’t asking my pop to take me to chuck e. cheese’s until i was at least like 8 or 9, or maybe even 10, but then again, maybe that’s when chuck e. cheese’s first opened. but still… you get my point, right?

dutch’s daycare provider eva first took him to chuck e. cheese’s when he was around 6 months old. i was totally grossed out about the whole idea because now that i’m a mother and not just a kid trying to score a million tickets playing skee ball… chuck e. cheese’s is just a big ol’ germ pit.

think about it. people take their little gross, germy, snotty kids and just plop them right into that ball pit thingy where they grab at the balls and grab on each other and it’s just disgusting and before you know it your kid has a runny nose and you can’t figure out why. well, the why lives in the nasty ball pit, believe me.

i couldn’t understand why dutch needed to go to chuck e. cheese’s at only 6 months old anyway. i had already warned her against putting my child in the germy ball pit so there wasn’t much else he could do there. but she took him anyway, along with the other kids, and they took pictures and rode on a few rides and the day was done.

other than meeting eva and the kids at chuck e. cheese’s for a going away party for a young girl whose family was planning to move out of state, i haven’t taken dutch there. he only goes with eva and they’ve been a few times.

the seed has been sewn.

there’s no turning back.

let the years of gross pizza and dodging snotty kids in the germy ball pit begin!!

daycare drama? don’t start none, won’t be none…

two years old is such an interesting age. dutch has an entire vocabulary of words. some are made up (i like to think of him as like an e-40), some are dead on correct and clear and some of it still a bunch of mush that no one can really distinguish.

he started out with the basics: mama, dada, dutch (yes, his own name was actually one of his first words, go figure…), bird, woof-woof and so on and so forth. then he started to string them and form sentences. how exciting!! that brings me to last tuesday morning. we were heading out the door on our way to daycare. late as usual. he was searching for a last minute toy to grab (a little car ride entertainment) and i was searching for my keys (again, as usual) and trying to make sure that i had everything we needed when dutch stood firmly in front of me, looked up, and said, “i don’t wanna go eva’s…”

eva is his daycare provider. a kind and loving woman from ghana who has done daycare for over 12 years and who loves our son to pieces. she always called him the “prince” and it’s something i think we’re paying for today, but more on that later.

“you don’t want to go?? why?”

as if my child could actually articulate a “why” i asked over and over… “but why, dutchie, why?? did something happen at eva’s? tell mommy.”

of course he didn’t go into a long explanation of why he just kept repeating “i don’t wanna go eva’s.” the whole way to eva’s he repeated, “i don’t wanna go, eva’s… i don’t wanna go, eva’s… and he was still saying it as we pulled into her driveway and around to her front door. i explained to him that i had to go to work and that i’d be back to get him as soon as i could. and he responded with his usual, “o-tay, mama…” sounding sad and the whole nine.

the more and more i thought about dutch saying he didn’t want to go the more and more concerned i got. i’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories and crazy things that happen at some daycare centers. the abuse that sometimes happens. the lack of attention. the intense punishments. the yelling and cursing. all that. so i decided that when i got to work i’d give eva a call to find out just what happened on monday that made dutch not want to come back. but first i emailed my husband.

if you know my husband, you’d be surprised at how cool he was when i first explained how the morning went. he figured that it was all a part of dutch working out his new vocab and that everything was probably fine.

then i called eva and she assured me that dutch’s day had gone swell and that he didn’t want to leave when his daddy came to pick him up the day before.

so why’d he say he didn’t want to go? well, i figure that he probably just thinks we ditch him at daycare so we can come back home and watch tv all day and eat popsicles. i mean, who wouldn’t want to stay home and watch “hip hop harry” and “calliou” all day? not to mention we keep a stock of popsicles and eva doesn’t.

i’m sure a lot of words like “work” get lost in translation when you’re talking to a 2-year-old. i remember distinctly when i was in the 2nd grade and my teacher said that she was going on a diet. i was horrified. not because she didn’t need to lose the weight, but i truly had no clue of what a diet was. i thought a diet meant going on a cruise vacation. i can recall picturing her on a huge white ship that looked much like the love boat. and the worse thing about this “diet” was that i thought it meant we’d have to have a substitute teacher and being the little nerd that i was, i hated subs. so you just never know what a child is thinking.

after work i went to pick up dutch and he was his normal, cheery self. it was if he had totally forgotten that he had been stuck at the one place he didn’t want to be all day. once we got situated in the car and were on our way home i asked him how his day went and he said, “mama, i wan go to eva’s…”

late nights and diego to boot!

i kinda had a hunch it was all a bit too good to be true.

my almost 2-year-old son’s bedtime was 8 o’clock on the nose and for about a year and oh, what joy!! after middle of the night wake ups to nurse and early morning rises, my boy had fallen into a great routine. dinner, bath, bed at 8. my husband and i bragged to friends and neighbors…

“oh, he’s in bed at 8 o’clock EVERY night…”

“never fails, he’s yawning by 7:45 EVERY night…”

“your child isn’t in bed until 11 (hee-hee…) i don’t know WHAT i’d do if that were me!!”

something told me that my husband and i shouldn’t have taken so much pleasure in listening to other parents’ bedtime stories. but we did. and now we’re paying for it.

my son first climbed out of the crib about two and half months ago. my husband and i were lounging on the couch, watchin’ a little tv and all of a sudden we heard the doorknob to our bedroom turn. we looked at each other in horror as if we thought some evil spirit had invaded our space and was walking around twisting knobs for the fun of it. but nope. no ghost. it was something much, much worse… an escaped toddler!!

he tried climbing out of the crib once again, but the second time wasn’t as successful. all we heard was a huge BOOM! and then the wailing that ensued afterwards and i knew it was time to lower the crib to last level. if that didn’t work i knew it’d be time to make his go-go gadget crib do what it was meant to do… transform into a toddler bed.

neither my husband or i were exactly excited about our son having freedom. you know, the kind of freedom that you have when you sleep in a bed without railings. it was just too much for my mind to process. it was bad enough that he had outgrown his bouncy seat, then his swing, then his walker… he never cared too much for his playpen so there were only a few places left where i could secure him for a few minutes-his highchair and his crib.

amazingly either lowering the crib worked or he was just so darn tramatized by his fall that he didn’t make another attempt at climbing out of the crib.

“YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! we’ve still got time,” my husband and i thought.

then it happened. my son got sick. if you’re a parent then you know that the one thing that can totally break your heart is seeing your child ill. my son had a cold, but colds usually trigger his wheezing and then there’s the whole nebulizer treatment thing and it’s just icky and i feel so bad for my baby that i tend to spoil him just a wee bit more. so what i did-and trust me, i’m paying big time for it now-is i let him sleep in the bed with us.

oh, silly, silly mama…

it’s been about two months now and getting him out of our bed has been the hardest thing i think i’ve ever had to do. i put him in the crib and then the crying starts. i mean, how long do you let your child cry?? i’m new at this so usually around 15-20 minutes i’m a sucker for the tears and i rescue him. sure, it’s the wrong thing to do. i know. but i do it anyway. and i’ve been doing it. like i said, silly, silly mama…

but then i ran to target about a week ago to buy him some diapers and it hit me!! toddler bedding!! that’ll do it. if his bed looks like a big boy bed (as if he really knows what THAT is) then maybe he’ll want to sleep in it.

and that’s what bring me do this wacko-diego-dom. diego’s a cool character. i guess he’s teaching some great skills and all that. honestly, i don’t know what the heck he’s teaching because i usually tune him out. i find him to be one totally boring kid. but my son lovessssssssssssss diego. and he doesn’t even watch the show that much. i think he just likes the idea of diego. whenever he sees a product with diego on it and he loses his little mind.

“mommy, go-die…” he doesn’t pronounce diego’s name like dee-a-go, it’s more like “day” and i’m pretty sure he believes that “go” is the first part of his name as well. but it’s cool. like i said, he’s almost two so he doesn’t lose any cool points for enunciation yet.

so anyway, back to target. the only toddler bedding they had was this diego stuff. now granted, it was a good idea for me to get it since my son loves diego so much, but i honestly had something totally different in mind for his first “real” bedding set. you know, something like this never mind the fact that it’s $150, i’m just telling you what i had in mind.

but i was desperate. and my mind was running wild. “if i get this diego bed in a bag thing then maybe son will go to sleep in his own bed… i bet it’ll work!!! ibetibetibet!!!” i was so freakin’ excited about my purchase that i drove home like a madwoman. i snuck into the bedroom and got the bedding all situated and then came the unveiling of his “big boy bed”!! yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

or at least that’s what we thought.

my son wasn’t very impressed by the whole thing. sure it was diego. sure jaguar was there too… sure, sure, sure, mommy.

so now we’re quietly placing him in his bed once he’s fallen asleep.

sure he likes to jump on his new big boy bed.

sure he likes to point out the monkeys and the birds on the comforter.

but he sure isn’t going to bed at 8 anymore.