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January 15, 2016 12:53 pm

Dentistry

A few years ago, one of Wesley’s routine dental checkups revealed he had a few cavities on his molars. We are very good about brushing his teeth, but everybody’s bacterial flora is different and his seems to trend toward the tooth decay kind. My beloved family dentist referred us out to a pediatric dentist because, he said, he could do the work but can’t do the sedation, and he doesn’t want to traumatize him and make him hate the dentist, so it’d be better to go to an actual pediatric dentist who will make it a friendly procedure.

That dentist was located in a bigger town an hour away, because while they have an office here where we live, Wesley’s dental plan is through Medicaid and the office here doesn’t take Medicaid.

At our first appointment, with a two-month-old Thora in tow, the dentist asked if I breastfed her. I replied that I did, and he (a dentist, mind you, with no formal lactation training) told me not to breastfeed her on demand – I should instead keep her in a crib, take her out to feed her, swab her mouth with a cloth or a special infant toothbrush, and then put her back in her crib. To prevent cavities. I guess? On the teeth she didn’t have yet? This is patently incorrect information and I was SEETHING and he must have noticed the face I was making because he backtracked a little and said, “Well, it’s your choice but that’s what we recommend.” I was texting my IBCLC mom in a fury before we even left the parking lot.

Later in the appointment he made a point to tell me that “juice is bad for kids’ teeth” as though I had no idea, and without first asking me if we let Wesley drink juice. (He’s allowed to have it elsewhere, but we don’t keep it in the house.) I was convinced it was because he was on Medicaid, and OBVIOUSLY if you are on Medicaid you are the sort of person to put Mountain Dew in your baby’s bottle at night.

So! We got off to a bad start, but this was the only dentist that would do the kind of sedation required for the appointment who also took Medicaid (I called EVERYBODY in a 60 mile radius) so we were essentially stuck.

He had caps put on four of his bottom molars. This was done at two separate appointments, because they failed to explain to me at the first appointment that they wouldn’t be doing all of them at once and I was confused why they were having me schedule another appointment.

After he had the caps put on, he was in INTENSE PAIN for… weeks? I’d say? The caps go a little below the gumline, so I assumed this was par for the course and we gave him ibuprofen for the pain for a few days, and while he continued to complain about it occasionally, it eventually went away and we assumed everything was fine.

He had a cleaning several months later and everything looked good. I should note here, that every single time I spoke with them on the phone, I requested the office in our town as it was mere blocks from where we lived versus an hour’s drive away. I was told every single time that while yes, it’s the same dentist and many of the same hygienists, it was a completely separate business and they don’t take Medicaid so nope, had to be the office an hour away.

(This makes me so annoyed for people who don’t have it as easy as we do – what if you only have one car and your spouse takes it to work? What if your car won’t make the hour’s drive in wintertime? What if you can’t find childcare for your kids’ siblings? What if you can’t afford to take off work for most of the day to travel for an appointment? The whole system is so stupid.)

The next appointment for a cleaning was set for the beginning of December. Daniel took the morning off of work and we made the drive down there (because siblings are not allowed back with older children, one of us had to stay with Thora and the other was allowed to go with Wesley). During his cleaning, the hygienist was asking about the weather and school and we revealed that I actually had to get him out of school early to make the hour’s drive to their office. She looked very surprised and said, “Well, you know we have an office where you live, right?” And I replied that of course I did, but I’ve asked about it every single time and was told we couldn’t go there because he has Medicaid and they don’t accept it. She exclaimed, “Oh! Well our main dentist retired in July, and we hired a new lady and changed some things around, so that office actually accepts Medicaid now!”

What. WHAT?! Why was a letter not sent? Why was I never told I had the option to take him to our local office? I initially scheduled for November and they ended up canceling due to weather, so I spoke with them several times on the phone making this appointment. Why did they not mention any of that info to me?!

Wesley got his annual x-rays, had his cleaning, and then the dentist (the breastfeeding comment guy’s son) came by and very quickly showed me a glimpse of Wesley’s x-rays and pointed out a darkish area underneath a molar and was like, “Welp, looks like that tooth is dead so it’s like a sliver the body is trying to get out and there’s a small infection so we’ll just pull it and put in a spacer to keep the gap open for his permanent tooth and it’ll be a piece of cake okay see you later bye” and hustled us out to reception.

I was extremely stunned and didn’t have any questions because it was all so fast and I really didn’t even know what sort of questions to ask. I dutifully scheduled the appointment for his extraction at our local office since that was apparently an option now, and we left. I felt sick. The appointment was three days before Christmas, and if it was anything like having his caps put on, it would ruin his entire Christmas vacation, not to mention the holiday itself.

After working myself up into a frenzy about it for days, I finally typed up a page-long list of questions I had for the dentist, dropped it off at their office (since it’s approximately a 90 second drive from my house), rescheduled Wesley’s appt for January, and waited for a call back. The dentist called me back and addressed most of my concerns. He kept saying it would be “really easy” and would be “a piece of cake” and it’s “really no big deal.” He interrupted me and talked over me many times, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. He also indicated that “once this is all over, you’ll laugh at how worried you were about it” which I found incredibly condescending. Don’t talk down to me because I’m advocating for my child! And I wouldn’t have to do it if you would just explain things thoroughly the first time around.

The closer we got to his original appointment date, the more he started complaining that his tooth hurt. I decided to attempt to reschedule his extraction and got his original date back, December 22, with only a slight time change. The hygienist tasked with administering his “loopy medicine” (I’m not actually sure what it is, but it makes him a little more relaxed and silly so he’s easier to work with, I guess) got tired of negotiating with him to take it and smushed the Dixie cup up to his face, spilling it all over his cheeks, hair, shirt, pants, and the bench he was sitting on, and then wiped the medicine from his cheeks into his mouth with her hand, smiled at me, and said brightly, “it’s the squeegee method!”

I texted Daniel angrily.

The extraction itself went pretty smoothly; Wesley got a minuscule amount of the loopy meds so he wasn’t very loopy when they did it, but he cooperated okay and they let him pick out two prizes and he got to go home for a day of popsicles and movies.

I felt like he healed just fine. He wasn’t complaining of any pain, the spacer didn’t seem to bother him, and the gums looked pink and healthy.

Until three weeks later when he started complaining that his tongue hurt. It seemed like maybe it was rubbing on the spacer, like what happens when you have braces, so we tried to get him to tough it out. When that didn’t work, he also started saying his cheek hurt. I kept peeking in his mouth but I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. No redness or swelling, no “rubbed” areas, nothing, except that I could see his bottom 6yr molar coming in, so we assumed it was severe teething pain. We started giving him ibuprofen at night to take away the pain so he could sleep.

After a few days, he started complaining of the pain during the day. This was unusual – he would be fine one second and then would clutch his face and start howling. Friday it happened a few times, and he got up a few times at night because it hurt. Saturday was MISERABLE. He was howling on and off all day, constantly clutching his face, and then he was up every hour all night long. I think he finally slept from 3-5am and that was the longest stretch all night. And this was WITH ibuprofen on board! Something seemed wrong.

I called his pediatrician, who advised that yeah, six year molars can be tough but maybe call his dentist? So I called his terrible dentist and they said it sounded unusual and that I should bring him in.

We went in this past Tuesday. They took an x-ray of the area that hurt, and after the dentist took a look, he informed me that THAT molar was infected, maybe abscessed, possibly dead, and they would need to pull that one too and here’s a prescription for antibiotics your appointment is on Tuesday any questions okay byeeeee

I was too overwhelmed and stunned to think of any questions to ask in the moment – since we were doing this all over again less than a month later I mostly felt like my questions had been answered the last time. He then suggested that perhaps this was a congenital thing and those teeth were just doomed to begin with, which I think is complete BS. As though the caps his office put on had nothing to do with his teeth dying?! Way to absolve yourself of all responsibility, sir. That comment made me furious.

He said it’s sort of unusual for an infection to travel from one tooth to another like that, but I am convinced that it happened because they didn’t prescribe antibiotics the first time around. I know antibiotics are over-prescribed and I don’t like contributing to antibiotic resistance and all that, but this would mark the first time in his life that he’ll have had antibiotics for anything. I even asked, in my page-long list of questions, if we could leave the tooth and treat with antibiotics, but he said that the tooth is like a sliver that the body is trying to work out of itself so we can’t just do antibiotics and leave the tooth. He never mentioned prescribing antibiotics to get rid of the existing infection.

I asked him how we could have possibly missed this the last time around, because we were JUST HERE. He pulled up Wesley’s x-rays and we discovered that the x-ray had taken a picture of the top of the problem tooth, but not anything under the gumline, so there was really no way to tell at our routine appt in December if that tooth was also bad. There’s a chance it could have been infected then too, I guess, but since their stupid x-ray didn’t even show the roots of the tooth there’s no way to tell.

When he was writing the prescription for the antibiotics, he asked if Wesley remembered his last appointment. I was like, “Yes? What do you mean?” and he was like, “Well, I mean does he remember coming in and getting his tooth pulled?” and I was even more flummoxed and was like, “He’s nearly six and not a potted plant. Yes, he remembers coming in here. And every time we come in, it seems like it’s something new and more terrible.” and he was like, “Okay, I’ll prescribe Versed for this next extraction – it takes away your memory so he won’t even remember having it done.” I didn’t really have a response to that, other than shrugging.

I dropped Wesley off at school, filled his prescription, and started freaking the hell out.

He’ll have no left bottom molars for the next four to six years until his 10-year and 12-year permanent molars come in. That seems like a LONG time to be chewing on the other side of your mouth – is that going to mess up his musculature? His bite? Is it going to make his top molars weird or loose or something because they won’t have any pressure on them for six years? Is he going to need expensive orthodonture in the future to fix the problems this plan will create?

WHO KNOWS, BECAUSE THIS DENTIST DOESN’T OFFER INFORMATION TO ME

The next day, I called the other office in town that takes Medicaid. They were sort of helpful and offered an emergency appointment to see him the next morning, but they also indicated that they’d take additional x-rays (versus using the ones he JUST HAD the day before) and that they refer any “special” cases out to Wesley’s terrible dentist anyway – it doesn’t usually go the other way around. They’re kind of the basic level of care and if anything is complex at all we’d be right back at that office.

Based on that info, I declined the emergency appointment. I felt like what I needed was somebody to look at his chart, look at what has been done to him over the last year or so, and tell me if anything hinky is going on. I mean, yeah, bring him in if you need to but it doesn’t need to be another full exam with x-rays – we literally just had that done. Request those records instead!

Another day went by with me freaking the hell out, trying to figure out who to call and what to ask of whom and just feeling sick about the whole thing. This morning, I finally called my dentist (the one that referred us to this terrible place to begin with two years ago) and his office was so reassuring and helpful. The lady on the phone was like oh gosh, yeah, I’ve got his chart here – let me just ask the dentist what he thinks.

They came back and told me no problem, bring him in on Monday for a consultation, we can request his records, and we’ll take a look at them and see what options you have. I quickly asked if they could give me a ballpark estimate on what that might cost because we’d be paying for it out of pocket, and she took a moment and then said the dentist agreed there would be no charge for the consultation.

I am in tears writing this right now, because THEY ARE SO NICE. I have been so stressed out over this dentistry debacle for going on two months now and the fact that they are willing to take a look at Wesley at no cost to me is such a relief that I almost don’t have words for it. I have been going to this practice since I was three years old and even though my dentist has now retired and someone new has taken over, they are just as compassionate as ever and I will happily recommend them to anybody.

Based on this consultation, we may end up keeping the appointment for the extraction, but at least I will feel like I exercised all my options to figure out if we have any alternatives. Plus, if that recommendation comes from my dentist, who I trust, I can feel confident choosing that plan of action versus being suckered into it by the other guy and not having my questions answered. Or having them answered in a way designed to make me feel stupid for asking.

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January 1, 2016 11:57 pm

First

A lot has been going on these past few months!

Wesley started Kindergarten and it’s been so fun seeing all the schoolwork he brings home. Over the course of a couple months, I read the first three Harry Potter books to him for his bedtime stories and gosh, is there anything better than sharing interests with your kids? He is obsessed with all things HP and listens to wizard rock constantly – I find papers all over the house with song lyrics he’s written down. 

I maaaaay have let him know that the west coast Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens this spring and now we’re both dying to go. 

Thora requires constant vigilance. She made it onto our roof this summer while we were installing a drip edge. Daniel had his back turned for approximately 45 seconds and she scaled the ladder, wiggled through the rungs and then just crouched up there until Daniel heard her shoes squeaking on the metal and went up to retrieve her. 

At a few days shy of 20 months, she still doesn’t put herself to sleep so we rock her to sleep in the Tula for her nap and at bedtime. She loves putting on her own socks and shoes, brushing her teeth, and getting into trouble.

She plays a game where she says “I’m mommy” and I say, “no, I’m the mommy!” and she says “ah-I’m da mommy” and so on. (It’s way funnier than it sounds.)

She loooooves Wesley and calls him “Weh-wee” and they usually get along really well until she shouts at him or something and he gets his feelings hurt. He is fantastic with her and is always happy to help out. 

She doesn’t sleep through the night yet so sometimes we’ll try to stick her in with Wesley when she wakes up. He volunteered the idea and reported back that he “tried to snuggle with her but she just wanted to sleep in the crack” which says a lot about them both, I think. 

She’s still allergic to dairy – it’s not an anaphylactic thing (yet?) but she gets a full body rash if she eats anything with cheese or milk or butter. Possibly eggs too, we’re not sure. Wesley is pretty conscientious of it which is great – he moves his milk cup or cereal bowl out of her reach if he leaves the kitchen before he’s finished. 

She still nurses a couple of times a day as well as morning and bedtime, but she can easily skip the daytime sessions if I’m at work or something. She’s also mostly nightweaned; very occasionally Daniel isn’t able to get her back to sleep at like 3am so I’ll nurse her to make it easier. And she’ll happily demand to nurse if I’m in bed, so after six months of being SUPER GREAT at not sleeping on the couch, I’m often back there so that I don’t have to nurse her all night. Sacrifices, man. 

Daniel gets to go to El Salvador again in a few weeks while I am stuck at home with the kids, BUT this time I’m not six months pregnant, super sick, and parenting a 3.5yo so I am pretty sure it’ll be better this time. It does make me fantasize about running away to Canada by myself for a weekend though. 

What have you all been up to? Who even checks in here anymore? Haha. 

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October 2, 2014 5:31 pm

Struggles Update

[Note: This was written over the course of various days throughout September. Ignore the “todays” and “yesterdays” etc. as best you can because they’re irrelevant but I can’t be bothered to change them. Sorry, and thank you.]

——

We finally had a good day! Wesley woke up cheerful one morning and wasn’t aggressive toward Thora or rude to me, and he kept it up until bedtime. He thought about having some meltdowns at various points during the day, but he was able to talk through them instead and seemed really committed to being nice. He worked hard to do it and I was really proud of him.

I NEEDED that day, badly.

——

Then last night, Wesley got really upset because Daniel had shared some coconut water with him but there was none left to have seconds. I kept trying to talk him down, but he laid on the floor and kicked some giveaway boxes, and then pulled a huge stack of meticulously folded blankets off a chair and grabbed the corners of each one to shake and unfold them, and then he threw them all around the living room. After there were no more blankets to mess up, he moved to the coffee table and used his whole arm to sweep everything on it onto the floor. I figured he needed to get the destructiveness out of his system so I just let him go for it.

I was talking to him the entire time and he just kept saying he was mad about the coconut water. Then he said he wanted chocolate soy milk, knowing full-well that we didn’t have any in the house, so he got worked up over that too like it was some giant conspiracy against him and what he wanted to drink. Finally, I got him to admit he would like regular milk and some water.

Again, I was talking through this whole fit (“You’re really upset there’s no more coconut water! You’re so mad you’re throwing blankets!” etc.) and ended up talking a bit about problem solving. I indicated the blanket mess in the living room. He brightened up and his whole demeanor completely changed. “Mommy! I know how to help! I will fold some blankets and you can fold some and we can work together to solve the blanket problem!”

So we did.

The rest of the evening wasn’t perfect by any means, but he did fix the blanket mess he created and was happy to do so. I felt like once he understood that I sympathized with him and what he wanted, he was able to see how he could help fix the mess he created.

——

Today, he got up grouchy again. I can usually tell what kind of day it’ll be based on how he reacts to me nursing Thora in the mornings. He’s often very annoyed by it, and responds by getting in her face and making loud noises, pinching (usually ears or cheeks), bending her free arm the wrong way, or snuffling at her feet. This morning he did all those things while I tried to talk to him about what he was feeling.

The best I got out of him was that he doesn’t like it when I nurse her because he wanted to go to a park. (?)

I finally got us all ready to go and we went to the Farmer’s Market, where he had a meltdown over cheesy popcorn. Then at Daniel’s work, I had Thora in the carrier and was talking to one of Daniel’s bosses, when Wesley was apparently annoyed I wasn’t paying attention to him so he jumped up and slapped Thora upside the head/face and she started screaming.

*large sigh*

It’s difficult for me to judge whether or not this is all within the realm of normal. I’ve never heard anybody talk about their four-year-old behaving this way, but I kind of figure they’re probably too damned embarrassed to admit it. I know I’m embarrassed. Parenting is unfortunately one of those life skills that’s constantly on display and constantly under scrutiny. I mean, really, what’s the best way to respond when a kid slaps an infant in the face because his mother was having a brief conversation? It’s not like there’s one right answer, though there are many wrong ones.

——

I hate to admit it, but it’s a little gratifying when he completely loses his shit like this when Daniel’s around. Partly because I feel like it usually sounds like I’m exaggerating when I try to describe my days, and partly because I can see how quickly it tests Daniel’s patience and then I get to feel like a martyr for having to manage it EVERY DAMNED DAY by myself.

——

As I’m posting this now at the beginning of October, some things have improved and other things have gotten worse. He’s less violent, which is a huge relief. There have been several occasions where he resorts to punching or scratching as a first response, but he’s getting a bit better at just glaring horribly at us instead. I’ll take it.

He’s gotten more rude verbally though – everything is “peenie pee poop butt penis” and he says things like “excuse my FARRRRTS” when he burps which turns a perfectly polite response into something gross. He called Daniel a penis head the other day and BY SOME MIRACLE I did not laugh out loud but ugh it’s exhausting. I tried making a “bathroom words stay in the bathroom” rule, so if he wants to call someone a “peenie-weiner” he can, but he has to be in the bathroom. It sounded brilliant – I read it online somewhere, ages ago, and stored it in the recesses of my brain for exactly this moment – but it totally does not work. He just shouts “NO!” and runs away or he calls you a rude name. Or just quietly says “poop” at you to let you know he will not be controlled.

It’s the defiance and the mansplaining that really wear me down day after day. He clearly thinks I have a brain the size of a walnut and has no qualms about (incorrectly) explaining familiar concepts to me. “Mommy, Thora is crying. You have to go get her and change her diaper.” “Mommy, you are doing the laundry wrong.” “Mommy, that’s not how you make eggs. YOU’RE DOIN’ IT WRONG!” Ad infinitum.

He’s still iffy about Thora needing to nurse or take a nap. I think it’s because he knows if she’s already napping we can’t leave the house. He makes up all these plans in his head about his daily activities and then gets SUPER PISSED when I don’t do them, except A) it was something he made up, and B) sometimes he totally fails to even tell me about them. So I’ll start transferring her into her co-sleeper and he’ll start having this full-body screaming fit about going to a park, when this is the first I’ve heard of it.

Writing that out, maybe we need to actually make plans every day? Before we get up in the morning? That sounds exhausting, but maybe it’d alleviate some of the “but I wanted to do THIS today” fits.

He does go to preschool 2x/week now, which I love. Mondays he only goes for 2hrs and normally he’d do that on Wednesday too, but it only costs me $15 to leave him there for the whole day (it’s at his daycare) so I happy throw fistfuls of money at the daycare provider to have a day to myself once a week.

Anyway. Things are sort of better but “less horrible” is still sort of horrible, so there you go.

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August 9, 2014 2:52 pm

Struggles

Those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably noticed a theme to my updates recently, and that theme is Wesley’s behavior and my inability to understand what’s going on in his head. Just today I had to drag him, screaming, out of the coffeeshop Daniel works at, and once we were at the car he clawed Thora’s head hard enough to leave marks and then at some point in the car on the way home, he dug his fingernails into her fat little arm hard enough to make her bleed.

I tried to get him to eat his lunch – he threw his shoes on the kitchen table instead – and when he refused to eat, I carried him (kicking and screaming) to his room for naptime. Once we were in his room, he grabbed a ukulele and swung it from behind his back, over his head, to throw it across the room.

I sobbed on Wesley’s floor for a good fifteen minutes after that.

——

There are many points during any given day where I feel like I’m raising a tiny sociopath. I love him to bits, but I see now why my mother-in-law calls this age the “fucking fours.”

He loves Thora, but he always wants to be RIGHTINHERFACE and he frequently scares her by running up behind her, jumping, and landing next to her while making a loud noise. He hoots and shouts in her face. I cannot count the number of times I say “back up, please!” or “please don’t shout at her face” in a given day. Far too many. And he ignores me every single time.

I’m afraid to take him anywhere in public. Anything I say could set him off and he’ll be throwing himself on the ground, kicking, and scream-crying at the top of his lungs. It can be anything from “Please don’t poke me with that stick” to “We’ll need to leave in five minutes.” He’s completely unpredictable and I walk on eggshells around him, even in our own home. I hid in the kitchen yesterday to put away a puzzle so that he wouldn’t see me, because I was afraid he would come unhinged if he noticed me.

——

I finally broke down and bought a parenting book for the first time in yearsPeaceful Parent Happy Kids. I saw it recommended twice within three days and it seemed like it would address a lot of the issues we’ve been having.

Reading through it, it seems so obvious – the tantrum that’s happening is actually about something else: their “emotional backpack” is full to overflowing, and you need to empathize with them to help them get all their feelings out before they can start acting rational again. It’s all about empathy. This is the easiest thing to do – “Oh buddy, I’m sorry we’re not able to get kettle corn today. I see you’re very disappointed. Now you’re crying. You’re very sad we can’t get kettle corn today.” but it feels SO WRONG and SO HARD and SO STUPID when you’re in the moment. SO UNBELIEVABLY SCHMOOPY AND STUPID. It’s very simple and yet so hard to actually put into practice because FFS, you just threw your shoe at me, I AM NOT GIVING YOU KETTLE CORN.

When trying out the techniques in the book, I find that they sometimes work short-term, but the jury is still out on whether they work long-term. Like, it seems to help him stop crying or throwing a fit in the moment – certainly much better than other methods – but it totally has not reduced the frequency of the tantrums. Yet, I guess – I will persist.

——

Clearly, Wesley is hurting. A lot. And I feel terrible about that. My plan of action right now is as follows:

1. Keep up the empathizing as outlined in the book.
This does seem to help.

2. Give in to his “regressive” requests more often.
Lately, he’s been wanting me to put his shirt on for him or scoop his breakfast yogurt or be his “bathroom buddy” – all things he’s been doing by himself for YEARS at this point. I give in sometimes, but sometimes I really need him to just put the damn shirt on already. I will try to make a point of giving in more often to show that it’s still okay to ask Mommy for help even if you don’t truly need it.

3. Get some one-on-one time with him.
This will be hard for me. He doesn’t listen to anything I say and routinely hurts me (kicking, pinching, etc.) and as a result, I’m finding myself not really wanting to hang out with him. Plus it’s hard to do with a baby sister who needs her mama every two hours to eat. But! I will do my best. This is also a technique in the book.

4. Continue praising good behavior.
I’ve always made a point to “catch” him being good and praise him for it. “You were using a very gentle voice with Thora! Thanks!” or “Thanks for using your manners so well at the store. You stayed right by me and were walking instead of running, and you asked before putting things in the cart.” I will definitely continue this, as I think it helps reinforce – for BOTH of us – that yes, he is a good kid at heart.

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December 21, 2013 7:41 pm

Naughty List

Wesley’s Nana and Papa took him on this boat ride “to the North Pole” extravaganza the other day. Santa was there, and he started the boat ride by reading out a list of names of kids on his nice list. (Names of the kids on the boat.)

Except… He didn’t say Wesley’s name! Nana and Papa started to try to explain this away when Santa cried out, “Ho ho ho! Santa has made a mistake! There’s a page two to my list!” and went on to call Wesley’s name.

Later at dinner, Wesley piped up:

“Did you know? I was kind of surprised to be on Santa’s nice list. I have been very naughty at my home.”

Nana said, “Well, you’re probably trying to turn it around, right? And be very nice?”

To which Wesley replied, “Not really?”

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November 25, 2013 8:21 am

Morningtime

This morning, I woke up and peeked at the clock. 6:58. Too early for me. I closed my eyes, guessing that Wesley would probably sleep for another 30 or 40 minutes.

At 7:00 I thought, ugh, I’m not going to fall back asleep, may as well check my email. I had thirty glorious seconds to myself before Wesley appeared before me.

WHYYYY

He only ever gets up early on the days where I should be able to have a little bit of quiet time in the mornings. Like, if I were to get up early to get something done, that’s the day he’d manage to not sleep in. The days where I have to leave for work on time? I’m waking him up at 8:03.

Then he always asks “Is it morningtime?” Which, yes, technically it is. But I just wanted a few minutes to check my email and Twitter without a toy train whistle being volume-tested by my face!

I don’t know. Mostly it’s just baffling that I can be clomping around the house getting ready for work and he’ll sleep through that, but heaven forbid he sleep through my quiet unlocking of my phone.

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November 16, 2013 10:49 am

Snow Day

Wesley went on a walk with Ona (his grandma) and Al, and Al kindly pretended to be a dragon so Wesley could chase him with a stick. The mischievous dragonslayer:

snowday

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November 15, 2013 4:55 pm

Llama

I was listening to a holiday station on Pandora today when a Josh Groban song came on. Wesley took one look at the album cover and asked me, in all seriousness, “Is that guy a llama?”

The background of the photo did sort of make it look like he had llama ears coming out of his hair, if you are far away and squinting, but I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

Clearly I’ve let him watch The Emperor’s New Groove one too many times!

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November 13, 2013 10:00 pm

Bath Night Policy

I can’t remember if I’ve written about our household bath night policy or not, so if I have, please forgive me.

Daniel and I trade off whose night it is to give Wesley a bath and put him to bed. If it is your bath night, you can elect to skip the bath and simply put him in his jammies, brush his teeth, and tuck him into bed. However, it remains your bath night until you actually give him a bath.

So in theory, you could elect to just do jammies four nights in a row if you want, but you’re stuck with bedtime for that long. Boo! So it behooves you to actually bathe him in a timely fashion.

I tend to skip the bath on my first night “on” and do it the second night. Sometimes third. The absolute WORST is when Daniel gives him a bath the very next day so I only get one night off. Blergh!

It’s no secret that I dislike bath nights. They just take so long and everything is annoying and by the end I am so grumpy and exhausted I just want to go to bed myself.

Plus, there’s the bedtime snack issue. Unless you spend about an hour coaxing Wesley to finish a bunch of snacks, he will allow himself to be put to bed and the he’ll start sobbing that he’s SO HUUUUUUNGRY and he won’t go to sleep until he’s eaten.

It is beyond frustrating.

All this to say that today Daniel offered to trade me dish duty for picking up some extra bath nights and YESSSSS BY ALL MEANS. I don’t like doing dishes but they are not nearly as arduous as a bath night.

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November 12, 2013 7:32 pm

Eleven Twelve Thirteen

Three things that made me happy today:

I got a good night’s sleep! The Unisom didn’t mess me up today. Whew.

Wesley used the word “clever” correctly in a sentence. I loved it!

I spent a few minutes looking at pregnancy apps with Wesley and he was tickled that the baby is now the size of a lemon. (This was after he kept falling on me on the couch and pressing his pointy little hands into my gut without warning, and I had to ask him to stop because it hurt. Yow! Then I felt bad because he got worried that he might hurt the baby. Oops.)

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November 9, 2013 8:20 pm

Backseat Driver

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Wesley is still rear-facing in our car. After a sleepover at Grammie’s house in which Daniel transferred the carseat to her car, I switched it back to ours when I picked him up.

I couldn’t figure out how to adjust the angle on it though, and after wrestling with it in the freezing cold for many minutes I decided to just forward-face him so we could get home.

Oh my heavens. He talked the ENTIRE TWENTY MINUTE DRIVE HOME about anything and everything he saw.

Mommy why are we going this fast is there a policeman on this road why do you have the wipers on why are the wipers going that fast how do you turn them on it’s too bright behind us Mommy how do we get home are we going the right way why is it raining why are we turning here are we home yet was there a train on those tracks Mommy did we need to stop for a train there you leaned the car when we turned why are we turning here what is this road called

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I had my audiobook of The Name of the Wind playing at the time and I asked him if we could listen to the book quietly and he said “Sure!” and kept talking.

I found the whole thing very funny, but my WORD he was chatty – is that something that happens with every kid when you turn them around? He is forward-facing in the two other sets of grandparent’s cars so it’s not like this is the first time or anything. Does the novelty wear off eventually? I don’t know if I can handle the constant commentary!

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November 7, 2013 2:19 pm

Kid Artwork

Self-portrait:

Self-portrait, by Wesley. He says the three lines on the top are his hair.

Drawing on a cardboard box:

Cardboard box drawing.

And possibly my favorite thing ever, this funny little creature drawn in sidewalk chalk:

Chalk art.

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November 6, 2013 8:55 pm

Helper

Wesley has been uncharacteristically cheery and helpful over the past few days. (Knock on wood.) As in, instead of dramatically throwing himself to the floor and whining if you ask him to pick up his jacket, he’ll brightly say, “Sure!” and do what you’ve asked.

It’s fantastic and I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it IS sort of making me wonder when it will inevitably end. (Please not anytime soon.)

Tonight, it was my turn for Wesley’s bedtime routine and we were joking with him that I was tired and that he should put me to bed instead. He happily brushed my teeth (skipping only… all of my upper teeth) and tucked me into bed.

In exchange for his delightful mood, I have been much more likely to sit and do art projects or science experiments with him. I should probably be doing those things anyway, but it’s so much less stressful when you’re not wondering when he’s going to angrily swipe the tub of glitter onto the floor because you looked at him wrong.

Anyway, I am sure this is a phase, as are all things with children, but it’s been a great few days regardless.

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November 4, 2013 8:38 pm

Onward and Upward

Now that we have rounded the corner of 3.5 and are heading toward four, I wanted to post a few things that have made me smile at this age:

Wesley has started to draw things that are recognizable as humans and I LOVE IT. He even drew a self-portrait the other day, complete with big hair.

Earlier today, I asked him to go peel me a hard-boiled egg and he happily completed the task and did a great job.

He apologized for poking me with his fingernails when he grabbed my arm.

Sometimes he will explain to me how to construct a letter. Today, it was a capital A.

I said something to him today and finished it with “you get what you get.” He looked bemusedly at me and said, “you get what you get and you don’t get upset.” I asked him where he heard that and he replied, “from myself.”

The other day he told me he was going to ask Santa for an iPod. I don’t know if Santa will come through on that one – I may have to encourage him to think of a few more ideas!

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November 3, 2013 5:41 pm

Babysitter

Today Wesley told me that “the baby will cry if you go to work, but I will be home and I will take care of the baby.” I asked him if he knew how to take care of a baby and he replied, “Hmmm.”

Then told me about how the baby will need a crib but his bed is big enough that he could snuggle with the baby there. And that he knows how to babysit.

This sibling thing is going to be hysterical, I can tell already.

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