Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I would never. . . .

Before I had any kids, I knew knew that I was going to be the coolest, funnest mom out there. I was sure of it. I also knew my kid was never going to go pants-less into a walmart because I forgot the extra change of clothes and he threw up all his milk. My kid was not going to throw an on-the-floor, kicking and screaming tantrum in public, no less. And my kid was going to be interested in Shel Silverstein books, not some stupid fuzzy muppet that talks in baby talk and refers to himself in the third person.

I had spent years people-watching other parents doing it the totally wrong way. How could I not learn from their example? When it came to parenting, I was set.

Then I had a kid.

And I quickly decided that sanity wins over principle and quiet wins over not letting my 2 year old watch Sesame Street. (What the hell is it about Elmo, anyways? It's like he has magical powers over toddlers!)

So now, after less than 2 years as a parent, with all my principles, high expectations and lofty ideas stripped away, I give you my:

Top 5 Things I Swore I Would Never Do As A Parent. . . Yet I do.
  1. Use toddler speak.  I promised myself that I would never use baby talk, and when Bjorn was a baby, the words "paci" and "baa-baa (bottle)" never once crossed my lips. But this no baby talk directive stopped the moment he began using words. With speech, instead of him following me, I get caught up and actually follow his lead. "Sessee. Sessee Seet. Peeeease." he says. "You want to watch Sessee Seet? Ok. Let's turn on some Mel-mo." Nothing with proper pronunciation, only Bjorn-speak.
  2. Use toddler speak with other adults. Unfortunately, these speech patterns have crept into other aspects of my life. No longer do I excuse myself from a date night dinner with The Hubs to "use the restroom". Now, I have to "go potty".  It is only with extreme restraint that I stop myself from explaining that I have to go "pee pee" or "poo poo".
  3. Give in to tantrums.  Oh yeah, you heard me. Give in to them. Now, I'm not advocating giving into them all the time, nor am I saying that just because you are in public/alone with no one to help deal with it that you should show them that tantrums = results. But sometimes, when the giving in hurts your pride more than your principles ("No, you cannot wear your galoshes to the store; it's a 102 degrees out there and your feet will sweat and you will cry and. . . . oh hell. I let him wear the boots and when he starts to complain, I take 'em off. The kid is 2. He can go shoe-less.) it can be worth it to give in. Because everyone likes to win every once in a while, and if it doesn't happen often, and it doesn't become a habit, then what is the harm? Sticking to your guns 100% of the time can be frustrating and exhausting - for both you and the kid.
  4. Let the kid watch some TV. It is about to be summer in Phoenix, which means 120+ days that boil even the coolest swimming pool. At that point, it it just too.damn.hot to be outside - or even to get into your car to go somewhere cooler. And there are only so many puzzles/books/cars I can play with before I have to throw the kiddo in front of Handy Manny and grab a moment to myself. TV is not the devil, and I won't treat it as if its the worst thing he could be doing. Go ahead and watch some TV, Bjorn. I like TV - why shouldn't you?!
  5. Go to the store - even Walmart - in sweats and without makeup.  This is something I never did before. Even my gym workout called for a cute outfit, mascara and lip gloss. Not anymore. The days I don't wear makeup now outnumber the days I actually do - and most of those days are when I go to work, where makeup is required. (Yes, required!) These days, I won't win a spot on People Magazines Most Beautiful People, but I don't think I'm going to be asked onto What Not To Wear anytime soon.
What do you do that you swore you would never do?!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hubs, 2. Momma, 0.

Last weekend the Hubs went out of town for work. (If you can call sitting 20 rows back at the ACM awards work. If you can call partying with the artists and friends and families work. If you can call seeing Carrie Underwood and Steve Tyler harmonizing on stage just a few feet from you work. Anyways. . . . . )

Bjorn started acting all grouchy and tired the day the Hubs left. From the truckloads of drool and relatively low 99.something fever, I figured he was teething, gave him some Tylenol and frozen washcloths to chew on. The next day, fever was the same, drool was the same and Bjorn was a Grump. Grouch. Crank. Nasty to be around. When he asked to go to bed at 7:30, I got down on my knees and said 'Thank you! Thank you, yes! Thank you!'

Because I am just that good of a Momma.

The Hubs got back Monday afternoon and by Tuesday afternoon he had decided that Bjorn's cough was just not going away and we were taking him to the Doc.

Why hadn't I already taken him while the Hubs was away? Because the last time this cough came about, the Doc said there was nothing you could do for a toddler with a cough but wait for it to go away. No meds, nothing. And because the fever was gone. I was sure the kiddo just had some phlegm from teething, or maybe some allergies. Nothing Doctor-worthy.

But I indulged the Hubs, paid my $40 copay and waited for the Doc to tell us all was good.

Except she didn't. Instead she told us that he had a double ear infection and his tonsils were red and swollen. Probably strep throat, too, but since the meds for an ear infection and strep are the same, there was no need to test him for strep (i.e. stick a huge long Q-tip into his throat and scrape against the swollen tissue) unless we just really had to know. We didn't.

So, I was wrong. It wasn't teething. Or just fussiness. The kid was seriously sick.

The day after we started his antibiotics, he slept 12 hours through the night (as he normally does) and then a four hour nap he had to be woken from. Apparently, the kid was finally able to sleep. He was exhausted.

The first day was no big deal to give Bjorn his antibiotics. He thought it was kinda fun to take the meds from a syringe.

But then, once he got a taste of it and realized that this was no cherry Popsicle, he threw a fit every time I came near with the meds. Arms flying, snot flinging everywhere, cries of animal desperation -anything to stop me from giving him medicine. By Day 2 my patience was gone and I dreaded every med time the way most people dread the dentist.

Until. . . .

The Hubs decided Bjorn shouldn't get all the meds himself and instead "gave" the medicine to the Dog. He put that syringe right up to the Dog's mouth (finger over the nozzle part) and, since Dog will eat anything and lick anything, it looked just like Dog was eating it. And that she was enjoying it. Which only made Bjorn want it.

"More. More. Doggie. More." He said, pointing at himself and then Dog. "More Dog."

So we alternately gave him and "gave" Dog the meds. No fight, no fuss. Now, if we ask him if he wants to take his medication, he goes to find Dog so he can share it with her. All the time asking for more.

And that, my dear Bloggy friends, is why kids have two parents. One to take him to the Doc on a hunch and a whim and one to roll their eyes and go along with it. One to struggle and lose patience and grit their teeth and one to come up with a fun, easy solution. Although I won't admit this often and will probably delete this post before the Hubs can read it and decide that Father really does know best, this week was definitely the Hubs' time to shine. He wins.