Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When the kid is sick

I have been really lucky.  For most of Lila's short existence, she has been pretty healthy.  She's never had an ear infection.  She's never needed to go to the hospital.  So when she actually does get sick it's kind of a novel experience for me. 

I don't do well with throw up.  Or Shit.  Or mucus.  Actually, now that I think about it, every single time Lila has thrown up, shit outside of her pants or coughed up an phlegm ball, its somehow ended up on me.  It seems she saves all her best presents for Mommy!

Now, I don't know what the proper response is when your kid throws up but I know I always feel a little guilty about mine.  Some moms will cuddle their kids and hold a bucket under their chins and tell them gently, "let it out sweety...".  That has not been my typical conduct. 

Lila started out the week with what we all assumed was a nasty cold.  She was sneezing and coughing and miserable but there wasn't much of a fever and for the most part she wasn't too miserable (she felt no need whatsoever to sleep or nap or rest - much to my disappointment).  But as the week progressed, the coughing got worse at night, the nose blowing became more productive (and colorful) and she actually refused a Popsicle at one point (see, that's how we gauge how sick our kid is...if she still wants candy, ice cream or frosting then there's no need to spend the money on a doctor visit). 

On Thursday morning at the crack of dawn, I heard her in her room sort of half-crying.  Then I heard "NOOOO I DON'T WANT MY THROW UP TO COME OUT!!!"  I ran in and scooped her up just in time for me to hear her sputter a little bit out and then project puke across my sweatshirt.  Like I said, my reactions are not super nurturing, so I sat her on the side of the bath tub, told her to stay bent over in case more came out and as she cried for me to hold her I walked quickly to my room, stripped off my clothes, and quickly grabbed a shirt to throw on.   I came back into the room and grabbed a wet washcloth preparing to strip her pajamas off as well.  However, Lila (somehow) had ZERO puke on her.  She managed to completely spare herself any kind of residue except on her chin and when I came back in the room and got her some water to rinse her mouth she informed me that "it feels all better now!"


As an Epilogue to this, I immediately called the doctor because the puke was mostly greenish yellow snot that had drained from her sinuses and I told them I needed to get her in THAT DAY.  By the time we went to the doctor, Lila was acting like nothing was wrong and I felt like an asshole for bringing her in her pajamas when she was obviously well enough to have gotten dressed and partied all day.  It turned out she had a pretty bad sinus infection and she's fine now.  But I can't stop wondering if I am an asshole parent for being so practical when she was obviously so upset by the whole thing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Things I swore I would never do.

Before I was a mom, I knew exactly how to raise children (other people's).  I swore that I would never:
  • Make separate dinners for my kid.  She could go to bed hungry if she didn't like what I made for dinner (...but she will only eat hot dogs and mac and cheese...and if she doesn't eat she doesn't sleep.)
  • Lay in bed with my kid every night until she went to sleep.  They need to learn to sleep on their own. (...but I would rather not fight with her for 3 hours and cannot get any time for myself - or her poor father - until she is out.)
  • Put my kid on a leash. It's mean and people laugh at you. (This, I never did.  But I swear I get why you would.  Toddlers are FAST!)
  • "LET" my kid throw a fit in public.  My kid will be well-behaved. ('s really funny how you think you could control that, but short of bribing there is no good solution but to leave - and then they've won.)
  • Make food into shapes and designs so that it will be "fun" to eat. I will simply teach my kid to like trying new things.  (see above.)
  • Let my kid watch TV.  It destroys their brains and there is nothing good that can come of it. (...No one tells you it's the only way you can get ready for work.  And actually, Lila was counting to 20 and knew her alphabet at 2 years old, so it can't be all bad.)
  • Watch the same movie over and over and over and over and over because my kid would be more cultured than that. (This is simply a joke.  If you want to have a few quiet moments in your house, this is not optional.)
  • Listen to stupid Raffi and other kiddie music ad nauseum in the car (yup....and I sing along at the top of my lungs too).
  • Shop at Wal-Mart because they are evil. (There is no way I am buying ANYTHING at full price when it will only be destroyed the moment I turn my back).
  • Scream at my kid like a maniac and threaten to lose my mind. (Yes, Lila has driven me to the point of sanity.  I am thoroughly surprised the both of us have survived to this point intact.)
  • Talk incessantly about every stupid detail of my kid's life. (Except that it is my (other) full-time job, my greatest accomplishment, and  my biggest source of stress all in one...There's about 80% of the things people talk about.  What else is there to discuss?  POLITICS?)
  • Care what other people thought about my parenting ability. (It is the biggest insult in the world!)
I am sure I missed some, but Lila's imaginary friends need some juice so I have to go and entertain all 14 of them now.  Please, feel free to add on.

For my friends without kids (or who still fantacize)

There is a forum where they discussed a post from BecauseMotherhoodSucks.  I actually enjoyed reading about being child free and remember how awesome it was when I could make simple decisions for myself.  There is more to the site than the discussions, but this is a good place to start.

The Child Free Life Forum.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What's the worst thing a kid can bring home from school?

Lila likes Family Feud.  She is afraid of Richard Dawson, but likes the newer versions.  Even my 3 year old knows a freaky overly touchy creep when she sees one.  Monday night we were watching and one of the survey questions was "Whats the worst thing a child can bring home from school?".  My immediate answer is the subject of this post.

Tuesday and Thursday mornings, Lila goes to preschool.  I get up and take her and I have to pick up any notices in her cubby where she keeps her jacket.  This Tuesday, the day after Family Feud, there was an "Illness Alert" sheet for me.  Guess what's being passed around?  HEAD LICE!!!!

TO me that is the grossest thing I can imagine her bringing home.  I am terrified of having to wash everything she's touched in the last month only to have missed one barette and having it come back. 

I checked her (and made my mother and Ben check me) and so far there's nothing.  But just thinking about it makes my entire body itchy, and as a hypochondriac I am convinced that not only do I have head lice, but I am also likely experiencing some allergic reaction. 

On a related note, Thursday she came home with a beautiful halloween picture frame that her class made that day.  Inside the picture frame is a picture of my kid with a big pumpkin hat on her head taken...wait for it....TUESDAY at school....

So now I have to have a chat with her teacher...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Is your mother an asshole too?

Sometimes my mother really pisses me off.

The kid is going through what I think is a VERY normal part of being 3.  She insists on wearing ridiculous items of clothing all the time.  She got a pair of hot pink rain boots and wore those for 3 days before finding a (too big) Strawberry Shortcake winter knitted hat at a second hand store.  She insists on wearing both whether it's warm, cold, raining, sunny or appropriate for the situation.  Did I mention that she also needs to carry her umbrella most of the time?  And I really don't care.  Most people know that kids go through this phase of wearing weird shit.

Today I brought her over to my mothers (as that is where she stays while I work at my tremendously thrilling library job) and my mother gave her this pathetic look when we walked up to the door.  "Doesn't she look BEAUTIFUL???" I said winking and subliminally urging Grandma to play along.

"No." says my mother.  "She does not.  She looks like you can't afford to dress her."  So, being as quick-witted as I am, I reply "She wouldn't even HAVE rain boots if I couldn't afford them.  She'd still be in flip flops in October."  My mother wearily shook her head. "How can I take her to Wal-Mart today dressed like that?" (Insert truly annoyed comment regarding the irony here).

My kid can wear whatever the hell she wants.  What the hell is this judgement thing from my own mother and why do I even care?  I haven't felt so pissed at any one's comments on my mothering since the "baby competition" we all used to have at Gymboree when the kid was less than a year old (You all know the competition I'm talking about..."My Dalton started walking at 4 months."..."Yeah well my Annabel said Mama in Japanese last week."..."Yeah, well Lila punched your kids in the face and told them she is the boss of them just a second ago because my kid isn't taking shit from anyone.").

God, I hate the constant self-doubt.  Does it ever end?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


First off, let me say thanks. My kid has found a little security object that helps her when she wakes up in the middle of the night so I don't have to get out of bed 42 times in the dark. She truly loves your product and it makes me happy she has it.Now the REAL reason I am writing this:


Lila saw a commercial for Pillow Pets about 3 months ago and screamed a little girl. She desperately wanted the ladybug and would fall all over me begging for it every time she thought about it (which was more or less constantly). Luckily, they were one of those things you had to call a toll free number to get so I could explain that that was the number to call Santa to tell him you wanted it for Christmas. It's impossible to get one before then.

Then you assholes put them in every store on the planet. I found this out when my mother (who literally CANNOT say no to Lila when she cries) brought Lila home with a bumble bee that she saw at Wal-Mart. Lila was ecstatic that Wal-Mart had them at all and said that she would gladly wait for Santa to bring her the ladybug because Wal-Mart doesn't sell them. Lila was genuinely happy to have this item and she thanked her Grandma over and over and over. I actually, for once felt that maybe this was a good thing. As much as I hate the idea of her being spoiled, this one particular item was not like the others. She was still thrilled with it after 4 hours unlike every other toy she sees on TV, which usually lose it's luster as soon as it comes out of the box.

Three days later, Lila and I are walking through the Band-Aid aisle at the drug store, and lo and behold! There is a big cardboard display FILLED with Pillow Pets. Why is the drug store selling a $20 fad-ish kids item next to the hemorrhoidal ointment and antacid tablets? Lila screamed, grabbed all 4 ladybugs and threw herself on the floor and rolled around on them. Embarrassed because my kid looked like she was making fun of people with seizure disorders, I grabbed her up and told her we had to get out of the store before it started to rain (one of many lame excuses I use to get her to move it).
"THEY HAVE MY LADYBUGS!!!!" Lila was squealing and stuffing her face into it. "Mommy doesn't have the money for that right now (and I didn't. I brought a $10 bill with me into the store). The tears were worse than I ever would have imagined. She cried for almost an hour. We got home and I showed her the bumble bee and although she hugged it, it did little to console her. After calling my mother about this dilemma, my mother told me to tell Lila there would be one waiting for her at Grandma's house tomorrow.

This infuriated me but at least it wasn't ME giving in.

She got her ladybug and all was well. She slept with both of them and insisted on taking them everywhere with her (yes, both of them).

Then, the following weekend, we were in Target to get some blinds for our new house. We turned down the wide aisle to the housewares and immediately Lila started crying. A few rows down, on an end display were the beloved Pillow Pets. And two little girls were hugging them and fondling them and throwing them up in the air. Lila lost her shit.

"They're playing with MY UNICORN!!!" She was basically hysterical and since she refuses to ride in the cart she fell to the floor and screamed and cried. I did my best to get her up and explain to her that they belong to Target and technically were in no way "HERS" but she wouldn't stop. She finally stopped crying long enough to walk over to the girls (who were much older and bigger than her) and snatch the unicorn out of one of their hands. Apologizing, I grabbed it from her and gave it back but the battle was on. Needless to say, we DID NOT get blinds that day. And I did not tell my mother about that event.

Seriously, is it too much to ask that your commercials not have mind control messages embedded in them that only children under 9 can decipher? Is it too much to ask that the hottest new toy be confined to the "hot new toys" area in a given store? Or that a store that is better known for it's feminine protection aisle than any cool trendy items WARN ME that my kid may freak out when I get to the end of the feminine care aisle?

Fucking Pillow Pets.