Finally Sitting Still (But Not Until After We Wrestled In Public)

It’s no secret that my 2-year-old is quite a handful; there is a reason that I refer to him as Big Trouble.  Most of my blogs these days end up being about crazy adventures that I have had with him (and this one will be no exception), but the last few days or so, I have noticed a change in him that I hope is a sign of great things to come.

So, before I tell you another highly entertaining story (at least for those of you that didn’t have to live through it), I must first tell you that not only did my husband and I get to go out to lunch with him for the first time in a year this weekend (MIRACLE OF MIRACLES), he also went to the park and to get ice cream one on one with me and he was calm and marvelous!  Who knew he had it in him?!  Let’s pray it continues instead of me having more moments like the following (which occurred just last week):

My little guy had been complaining of his chin hurting (well he was pointing to his chin and saying “hurts” so I assumed that’s what it was) and he had a slight fever for a few days.  It never got really high, just slightly higher than normal, but then he just wanted to be snuggled for several hours and he wouldn’t get off of the couch.  Something was definitely wrong because you usually cannot get him to sit down for 2 seconds.  So, after a weekend of sitting still (which actually made me miss his usual craziness, if you can believe that), I made an appointment with our pediatrician to get him checked out, thinking maybe it was an ear infection.

Of course the minute we walked into the office, he was back to his usual self with no sign of sickness to be found.  Somehow it always works that way for me.  But, we were there and I decided better to be safe than sorry.  Good thing because it turned out that he had strep and had been trying to point to his throat but mistakenly pointed to his chin.  Lovely!  The pediatrician said to get him on antibiotics immediately before it spread to the rest of the family (he knows how much we like to share germs with each other).

Seeing as though the medicine he prescribed was free at our local grocery store (and we needed a few grocery items anyway), I decided to take the prescription there instead of going to our usual drive-thru pharmacy.  This turned out to be a mistake of epic proportion.  I stepped up to the drop-off counter and handed the prescription to the pharmacist who told me it would be about 15 minutes.  Not too bad, I thought to myself.  We’ll just go and pick up what we need and pay for them and then walk back over to the pharmacy on our way out (at this point I had convinced Big Trouble to sit in the cart).

About 10 seconds down the first aisle, he demanded to walk and began screaming the word, “walk” as though he had absolutely no pain in his throat at all.  Fine, fine, just HUSH and hold my hand. One hand now holding his and the other pushing the ridiculous cart with the steering wheel, we walked around the store looking for the few things we needed at home.  Then we got to the medicine aisle where I wanted to pick up some more Tylenol.  I started combing the shelf for the infant kind because the dropper is so much easier to deal with in the middle of the night, while Big Trouble let go of my hand.  He didn’t go far, so I let him wander back and forth a little while I found the right box of medicine.  I called for him to come back and as he turned around, I noticed that he was thoughtfully bringing me some Beano and a bottle of Immodium from his section.   An old man walking by started laughing as B.T. placed the items he had chosen in our cart.  Fantastic.  Now everyone at the store must think I have some kind of serious digestive issues when even my 2-year-old has the courtesy to pick up these products for me.  I have got to get out of here before he finds condoms or Monistat!   Back to the shelf those products quickly went (I apologize to the stockers who will find these products located by the Motrin – I was too embarrassed to look for the correct spot).

We made our way to the checkout line and paid for our products without so much as an incident (which is kind of a miracle since he was still not in the cart).  Then we headed back to the pharmacy.  I glanced at my phone and saw that we had spent about 13 minutes so I was prepared to wait another minute or two but surely the pharmacist saw that I had a crazy baby with me and would have put a rush on this very common drug that they have plenty of.  No such luck.

We stepped up to the pick up counter and the assistant told me that they were just now mixing up the antibiotics.  Lovely.  I tried to get B.T. to sit in one of the chairs and wait patiently with me, but I think you all know how well that went over.  He couldn’t be bothered with the chairs when there was a display of decorative canes nearby.  He kept calling them bats and trying to take them out of the stand so that he could play baseball.  There were screeches involved as I pulled him away repeatedly, begging for him to notice the chairs (again, the screams of an annoying toddler usually hurries people up just to get rid of them but I assume the pharmacist was slightly deaf because he was still going as slow as molasses).

BALLOON!!!!

BALLOON!!!!

Then he spotted IT; a rogue mylar balloon that someone had left in a corner.  He had to have it so off he ran to grab it.  At this point, I was annoyed by the ‘way past 15 minutes’ it had taken to fill this prescription so I broke down and just let him beat up that poor balloon (I generally discourage this kind of behavior, but I was exhausted; at least I didn’t let him do it with one of the canes).  He had fun with this for another 5 minutes before he finally noticed the chairs and took the opportunity to try to use them as hurdles WITH THE BALLOON STILL IN TOW, practically strangling himself.  Finally, nearly 30 minutes later, the prescription was ready.  I signed the form and grabbed the medicine while giving the pharmacist the evil eye (the guy was on the phone laughing so he totally deserved it – plus it was much better than the scenario in my head where I grabbed a cane and poked him in the eye).

It was finally time to get the heck out of there, but Big Trouble still had the balloon and I had no intention of waiting in yet another line to buy the $4 punching bag.  So, I tried to take it away.  Um, yeah, he wasn’t going to let that thing go without a fight.  He had a kung fu grip on that flimsy string and I was trying desperately not to break it.  Then he had the grand idea of running in circles around me so that I couldn’t get it.  As I tried to catch him, we both got caught up in the string and tumbled to the ground, a la a bad fight on girls gone wild.  So, there I was, literally caught in a balloon string wrestling match on the floor of the grocery store.  Nevermind the fact that it’s disgusting to be on a public floor, I couldn’t get up until I figured out how to unravel us from the string.  People at the bakery were staring; people walking by were staring; people checking out were staring; that *#&%#*^% pharmacist was staring.  It was fantastic.

approximation of how it went down (minus the spandex)

approximation of how it went down (minus the spandex)

Meanwhile, Big Trouble thought I had planned this fun on purpose so he was laughing hysterically.  I finally managed to get us out of the death trap and I punched the balloon directly at the face of the pharmacist (sadly, the helium didn’t let it travel far enough to do any damage).  I picked up B.T. and our grocery items and hobbled out of the store, shaken and filthy, but with my head held high because I had won the battle of the balloon.

Needless to say, it was not one of my finer moments of motherhood and I am lucky that I had kids before I was older and got osteoporosis because I really could have broken a hip.  However, the next few days went by without incident and (as previously mentioned) when the weekend finally rolled around, we got to go out to eat for the first time in a year and he sat there like an angelic child.  I also was able to take him for ice cream while the big kids had a fun day with daddy and he didn’t even make a huge mess (nor did he try to Superman off of the highest point of the playground when we went to play = success)!

I guess the lesson I need to take from this is, for the love of God, “NO BALLOONS”, give him food, and no more using that pharmacy, even if it is free.  I am hoping that his recent calm behavior will continue because God feels as though I have been embarrassed enough for this year.  I must tell you, it is so much nicer sharing a brownie sundae with Mr. Trouble than rolling around on the floor of the grocery store, bless his heart.

My sweet boy sharing a treat with me AT A PUBLIC VENUE!

My sweet boy sharing a treat with me AT A PUBLIC VENUE!

You Never Know….

This weekend, I had the great pleasure of watching my youngest son transform into the spawn of satan.  I don’t know what was going on but Saturday morning he woke up in rare form and continued to act like a monster throughout the entire day.  If my daughter hadn’t had cheerleading camp that day, I might have been able to deal with it better as I could have just stayed at home, but since my older son had another event at the same time which my toddler could NOT attend, I had no choice but to drag him along with me and unwillingly unleash the beast among the wild elementary girls who just wanted to Fight Fight Fight and show off their spirit fingers.  When I describe his actions as horrid, annoying, exhausting, etc., I am not joking in the slightest.  I didn’t even recognize him as my own (although everyone else did since I was chasing along after him in a very defeated manner – I still try even when my efforts seem, and apparently actually are, quite useless).

Over the last few months he has gone from being the sweetest and happiest baby on the planet to being the epitome of what parents fear as their child approaches the terrible twos.  What made this particular day special was that his random epic meltdown lasted ALL DAY instead of just in spurts.  He screamed and threw himself on the ground on numerous occasions as I tried to corral him quietly, he caused me to rip a hole in the butt pocket of my favorite jeans as I tumbled over in a tremendous effort to keep him from leaping off of a pile of chairs, and he snuck out of my kung fu grip long enough to crash the dance floor when the girls were performing to a wretched One Direction song. (insert apology to my mom for torturing her back in the day with N’Sync and Backstreet Boys melodies as I am now feeling the karma in a big way….I would also include New Kids On The Block on my torture list but I think my mom secretly liked Hangin’ Tough with me).  Needless to say, he won’t be attending the football game on Friday so that I might actually be able to sit still and watch my poor uncoordinated child attempt to keep up with the high schoolers and One Direction.

Then, we wake up on Sunday, way too early because children don’t understand that turning the clocks back should mean extra sleep, and he just wants to lay beside me and have a nice, long conversation.  I didn’t understand most of the conversation since he doesn’t always speak English when we have our chats, but it was very sweet, nonetheless. We did some more snuggling, he allowed me to drink a whole cup of coffee without having to reheat it (A MIRACLE), we did some Gangnam Style dancing, he gave me tons of random hugs and kisses, said thank you each time I refilled his sippy cup or gave him a snack, and we even had a nice trip to the store where he sat completely still in the cart, just smiling and saying hello to everyone as we passed down the aisles.  That was the sweet boy I have been used to!  But, of course, none of the irritated parents from cheerleading camp got the opportunity to see that side of my devil angel.

I am hoping the crazy that he displayed in full force at the 3 hour cheerleading camp will not present itself again, or at least just do it in smaller packages in the future!  Every first time parent thinks the newborn phase is the hardest thing they have ever done (I did with my first)….until they reach the toddler phase, which is when we all secretly (or not so secretly, as is the case with me) wish we could have just 1 day of reverting back to the newborn  time so that we have a kid that sits completely still, takes multiple naps, doesn’t talk back and is entertained by sitting and watching you clean the bathtub.  Ah, the good old days.

Moral of the story: don’t judge a parent by their crazy toddler…at least not to his/her face (talking to you mom who kept giving me dirty looks while you were on your cell phone smoking and not noticing that your own daughter was busy showing the rest of 1st grade how she could burp the alphabet – CLASSY!)  It’s a tough job keeping those critters in check so let’s support each other and continue to laugh at the numerous ways our children can embarrass us on a daily basis (and revel in the sweet things they can do too, even if they only do these sweet things when there are no witnesses)!  🙂

A Few Notes For My 2-Year-Old

Dearest son,

I love that you are now able to communicate more effectively with your dear old mom.  However, not everyone is as good at deciphering your comments and actions as mommy is.  Therefore, I respectfully request that you consider changing a few of your newest “habits”.  Such as:

1. Screaming “STOP IT” and/or “HELP” at the top of your lungs every time I try to strap you into your car seat.  As these are the words I will eventually teach you to yell if, God forbid, strangers or perverts try to take you or hurt you, I would appreciate it if you didn’t make everyone else on the planet think that I should be lumped into that group by screaming these things.  I really am only thinking of your safety as I sit on top of you and strap you tightly into the seat (seriously, would it kill you to hold still for 2 seconds so we can go through this process peacefully for once?!).  Just know that you are much larger than your brother and sister, so odds are, you will be able to move up to the less restrictive booster seat at a much earlier age.

2. Yelling, “I’m stuck” whenever I finally get you completely buckled in aforementioned car seat.  I hate to break it to you, but that’s the point of the car seat.  So sorry for the inconvenience.

good times

3.  Cheering for a ride in the cart at the store, then promptly screaming to get into another cart before I can even get away from the cart-storing space.  Contrary to your current opinion, you are not the Target cart inspector so here’s the inside scoop: all of the carts are red, covered in germs and designed to make loud noises as we wobble through the store.  Pick one and get over it. Yes, you can sit in the back as long as you SIT!  Now, stay! Good boy.

4. Going into a corner to do your business and smiling because you know there is really nothing I can do about it.  At least you are now admitting that you are in the process of soiling yourself.  “Are you pooping?” “Yes,” you sweetly respond as you continue to be disgusting.  Well, thanks for letting me know.  Next time, how about heading to the $25 talking Cars toilet you had to have instead of sitting in the corner while I plead with you to be a big boy?  I would appreciate that so much.

what?

5. Purposely doing things you know you’re not supposed to do and then looking at me and explaining, “uh oh accident”.  I blame your big brother for teaching you how to manipulate the word accident to work in your favor.  You are clearly wise beyond your years, but that is still no excuse for your crazy.

6. Randomly sticking your finger up my nose and exclaiming, “this awesome”.  It’s really not, especially when it feels like you might have poked what little is left of my brain.  The same can be said for poking eyeballs, bellybuttons, gums, etc.

I promise there are more things we need to work on, but for now, I think we have our hands full.   Thanks for learning to cooperate with mommy and the rest of the world.  I really do love you, you stinky, screaming, wiggly little mess of a mini-man.

~mommy

A “Quick” Trip To Target

This morning I dropped the big kids off at school and took the little one with me to grab a few things at Target.  It started off with us just getting a box of diapers and a gallon of milk and it quickly turned into a basket full of other grocery items that I had not picked up the day before.  I purposely don’t walk up and down every aisle in their grocery section because I end up grabbing a bunch of stuff if I see it and am reminded of its existence.  This usually serves me well and keeps the total lower.

This morning, however, I kept remembering things as I walked away from the aisle they were on.  I think my toddler and I did the walk from the first aisle of groceries to the back aisle of the groceries a minimum of 8 times.  I’ll chalk it up to getting the exercise that I rarely get voluntarily.  The guys stocking the shelves started giving me weird looks, especially when my son kept tossing items from the cart to them and saying, “catch” as though they had nothing better to do than play with him and/or dodge the larger items flying toward their heads.  I smiled a psychotic, frazzled, so-sorry-my-kid-is-attempting-to-maim-you “mom” smile and hoped they would be too intimidated to look in my direction again.

When we FINALLY made it up to the front, there was one line open.  Anyone who has ever shopped with children dreads this moment.  You know your kid(s) is a ticking time bomb just waiting to be psycho at that perfect moment and waiting in line keeps the adrenaline rush anticipation of the crazy going.  I was personally just thanking God that I only had one of my three there with me at that moment.  Viewing it that way always makes it seem easier.

The poor cashier started ringing up our stuff while also trying to dodge the goodies my son was attempting to toss to her (and by toss, I mean hurl, but in a friendly way).  We had about 4 things left and my dear boy was starting to get the urge to climb out of the cart when the cashier looked at me and said, “the register’s frozen.”  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  After she called 3 useless people over to assess the situation (yes, it was indeed frozen….yes, she did try to push all of the necessary buttons to unfreeze it….yes, we should probably move her to another register….haha, isn’t it funny that we still only have one line open and now there are 14 people waiting?, etc.) she looked at me with slight disgust and told me that we would have to move to another register and ring up all of the items again. LOVELY. (note to self: next time, just let husband pick up the gallon of milk on his lunch break)

We made our way over to the next register as the sea of people in line behind me made a mad dash to customer service to avoid the crazy lady with her item throwing son and her load of groceries that won’t ring up properly.  There was one young lady who actually stayed behind me rather than run away with the masses and as a reward for her bravery, I let her go in front of me.  (Yes, I still remember what it was like before I had kids when I too got stuck behind the mom on a verge of a nervous breakdown and I didn’t like that position.  I am still cool enough to let the childless move on quickly without holding ill will toward them – unless they give me looks indicating they are judging me or my kids and then all bets are off).

Anyhow, we made it back up to the cashier for the second time where my son began to pull everything out of the bags and “toss” them back onto the conveyor belt (see previous definition of toss).  At this point, a salesgirl came over and gave me 2 coupons, each for $3 off, to compensate me for my troubles.  Ok, Target, you are forgiven, especially since my kid decided to show his frustration at the length of time spent checking out by screaming the most blood curdling scream you can possibly imagine.  I’m fairly certain it is still echoing down the aisles there perhaps throughout the parking lot as well.  I overheard one loud (perhaps temporarily deaf) stockboy exclaiming, “OH MY GOD, that felt like he was stabbing me in my ear drum!”  Well said, my man.

I handed over the coupons and paid, accepting an overdue apology from the cashier (I think the scream from my adorable creature son said all the things that I couldn’t in that moment).  Then we hauled butt out of there and proceeded to sit at the light in front of Target for 10 minutes until it finally turned green to let us continue on our path home.  For the record, we live almost in walking distance of this particular Target and probably could have walked home faster – not great after previously mentioned Target experience.

Needless to say, when we finally arrived home at 9:15 a.m., I was pretty worn out.  Would it be too much to ask for a nap right now?  Yeah, probably would be.  Oh, well.  Still had to be better than going to Walmart.

It’s Way Too Quiet

yeah…..

Recently, my kids have been “testing” me….over and over and over again.  They insist on fighting constantly, usually resulting in all of us yelling (the baby usually just screams for fun so he can participate too, but equally as irritating as the fighting).  For the record, I do try to keep an inside voice but sometimes I have to get loud just to make them hear me over their nonsense!  Needless to say, it’s been a VERY long Summer this year with me adding multiple grey hairs to my ever-growing collection.

As such, it was with much joy that I stumbled upon the following scene last week:

imagine a quiet bedroom somewhere in Northern Florida; mom had previously sent her older children to this room so that she could put the baby down for a nap without him waking up 3 seconds later due to a sibling fight nearby.  About 3 minutes into the moment of attempting a nap, mom realizes that things are a little quiet upstairs.  This could be bad, very bad, because this house is rarely a quiet one.  She tiptoes upstairs to have a peek into the bedroom and realizes that both children are reading quietly and big brother is helping little sister out with the words she is having trouble with.  Could this be?  Cooperation without her insistence?! It was a Summer miracle!

definitely a miracle

I was thrilled because it gave me hope that one day they might actually continue this act for longer than 10 seconds at a time!  Success!…..then I walked back downstairs, smiling the whole way down to where my “sweet” child had been laying peacefully on the couch not 1 minute earlier, nice and dreamy-eyed.  I found this scene (NOTE TO SELF – stop leaving snacks on the table because this critter will get it no matter how far you push them back):

What? I was being quiet and self-sufficient.  Want a floor pretzel?

Never a dull moment, especially if things sound quiet.

 

First Haircut “Fun”

Last weekend I finally decided that I could no longer take the ridiculous way my toddler’s hair was growing (he had a nice combo of Billy Ray Cyrus’ mullet and Donald Trump’s swoop – nice, right?).  So, I decided to bite the bullet and head over to a neighborhood barber shop and finally get him a professional haircut.  This trip had been necessary for quite some time, but I had repeatedly resisted because my youngest is what you call “a wiggler” and I had visions of him losing an eye during the process.  For this reason, I purposely went to the location containing a special airplane seat in an attempt to provide the greatest distraction. (For the record, I know all kids are not this way and I wish I knew how some parents received children that sit quietly on their laps during the process – if you have tips on that, please let me know)

We arrived the first thing in the morning and I quickly plopped  my monsterdarling son into the plane, reading for some quick action. (please envision me halfway in the chair myself, practically sitting on top of my son, in order to keep him seated long enough to strap him down like an insane asylum patient – good times)  He was not pleased and he gave me and the stylist a long, hard stare to warn us that he only intended to cooperate for a split second.

He had just started spinning the steering wheel on the plane when the stylist placed the smock thing around his neck, whereupon he started screaming, “OFF, OFF, OFF” in a murderous tone as though he thought she was trying to strangle him. (Cut to mommy pleading with him to continue flying the plane)

shortly after the first screaming episode

He decided to give in slightly, meaning that he stopped screaming but then started looking around frantically for his big sister who had accompanied us on our search for good hair.  I can only assume he figured that since mom was refusing to rescue him, perhaps sister would.  She popped her head around me in an attempt to amuse him and he looked halfway amused.

still not sure about this haircut thing

Alas, this only worked for about 45 seconds before he once again started shouting, only this time he was chanting, “I get down, I GET down, I GET DOWWWWWN!!!”  Right about this time he started trying to figure got how to get loose on his own and he almost did lose an eye when he suddenly yanked his head around in the direction of the scissors.  We had only been there approx. 3 minutes at this point and I was beginning to worry that he would just have to learn to love his new half-mullet (the lady had only made it halfway around his head and it wasn’t pretty).

doing his best to get his eye poked out

Then, out of the seat across from us, we heard a marvelous sound: Donald Duck.  I glanced over and saw an old man, also getting his haircut, but sitting still for his stylist unlike my wiggler, and he was trying to distract my son with the Donald Duck voice.  At first, my son stared at him suspiciously because it didn’t seem right that the voice was coming from a man and not Donald Duck.  (Yes, he does know Donald Duck because we watch way too much Mickey Mouse Club House)  Then he started looking at the man with a kind of admiration, which then led to a smile.

our new friend, Donald Duck

I quickly instructed the stylist to CUTTTTT while we trying to continue with the new distraction!  The poor man was forced to talk like Donald for another 5 minutes just so my baby wouldn’t hurl himself kamikaze-style out of the plane in another attempt to escape.  I was very grateful for this man and his absurd talents.  It allowed my son to at least get his hair shorter than his shoulders and with the Donald Trump swoosh mostly gone, even though it wasn’t completely straight and the front was a little short (this is no reflection on the stylist for I was really just grateful that he survived the war of the haircuts with both eyes intact).

We then received a lock of the mullet for his baby book and a certificate saying that he had passed on from babyhood thanks to his haircut (almost made me cry with that phrasing).  As we left, I let him have his first lollipop as a reward for living through the ordeal (much to the chagrin of my grandma who told me I should never give a child lollipops because when she was little a baby died while eating one – seriously, that’s what she got out of my story of the haircut; guess I should be glad he survived the eating of his first lollipop as well).

Oh, yeah, no choking on lollipops here

Now, I am praying that his hair grows back very slowly so that I don’t have to deal with this again for a long time, which most likely means it will all be back by next week…I will have his second lollipop ready to eat during the haircut this time (sorry, grandma).

Another Adventure At The Pediatrician’s Office

Through the eyes of a 5-year-old

My daughter began telling people she was “almost 5” sometime in November.  Well, March finally rolled around and she actually turned the big 5.  She is quite proud to be 5 and apparently fully grown and tells everyone she meets (usually several times) that she is now 5.

In all of her excitement, she managed to forget that part of the ‘turning another year older’ festivities is a trip to the pediatrician’s office for a well child check-up.  I tend to prefer the well child trips to the sick child trips for many reasons: no one is actually sick, it’s free, and it usually goes more quickly because the office knows ahead of time what will be happening that day.  However, these visits also often include a shot or two…or in this case, THREE, to finalize the big girl’s ability to head to Kindergarten in the fall.

Now, I know it always seems awful when you have to take your baby or toddler to the doctor numerous times during the first 2 years of their little lives, holding them down as they unknowingly wait to receive shots at every visit.  The kid cries and gives you dirty looks while you cry and give the nurse dirty looks for making you hold the poor kid down to be poked and the nurse gives you a dirty look for giving her a dirty look for just doing her job; it’s a vicious cycle and nothing seems worse.

Then the kids get older and start realizing what is about to occur before you even get to the doctor’s office.  They can’t remember something you told them to do 3 seconds ago, but they can remember in vivid detail the horrors of the 1 hour at the doctor’s office a year ago.  Selective memory is a fantastic thing. This is where I found myself yesterday, with all three of my kids in tow.

It is a well-known fact that my daughter is quite the drama queen, especially when it comes to the doctor (see my previous post from our trip for flu shots last year).  I know how dramatic she can be so I brace myself for the inevitable meltdown and try to distract her while in the waiting room. (For the record, I did warn her ahead of time that shots might be involved because I really couldn’t remember what happens at age 5 and didn’t want to lie and say no but I also did what any other intelligent mom of three would do and avoided further questioning):

“Mom, do I have to get a shot?”

“Sweetie, why don’t you see if your brother needs help with his book.” 

“Mom, I’m not getting any shots, right?”

“Why don’t you have a drink of water?”

“Mom, do they have to poke my finger?”

“Let’s go see if you can pee-pee in a cup!”

(Notice my super ability to change the subject to more fun things like assisting a 5-year-old girl with peeing in a cup?  I won’t give you exact details on how that went, but you can imagine the excitement, especially with a toddler who’s trying to reach into the trashcan and a 6-year-old who thought it could be fun to try to pee behind his sister while she was on the toilet with mom’s hand holding the cup)

They called her name quickly, which thrilled me, and we headed back to the area with the scale and the eye chart and all those other little gadgets the nurses use to check growth and ability during the pre-doctor time.

My big girl hops on the scale and says to the nurse, “I don’t want to do the finger poke.”  The nurse just keeps measuring her without making eye contact.

Then she is measured for height and says, “Mom, you can tell her that I don’t need the finger poke.”

I wisely ignore her and comment on how she has grown this year.  Then she gets her eyes, ears, blood pressure and head measured and continues to make the same comment after each test until she is finished with everything but the infamous finger poke, at which point she starts to catch on that no one has really responded and she desperately asks, “I don’t have to get the finger poke, right?”

We have no choice but to tell her that it is time for the finger poke.  Her response was as expected.  “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”  Luckily, the nurse was quick and had a bandaid on her finger before she could react too much.  She still let out the obligatory wail for 3 seconds and then she calmed down as we walked back to the exam room where she got to wear a cool gown with bears on it.

I got a little distracted while waiting on the doctor because my toddler was busy digging in the trash, looking for outlets, climbing on chairs and trying to open every drawer in the room.  So, I forgot all about the shots until the doctor entered the room.  My previously fine daughter then pounced on me unexpectedly, clinging to my hair for dear life and cried out, “HELP ME, MOMMY!  Tell her I don’t need shots today!”

Again, I did my best to distract her by holding her hand as I corralled the baby by wrapping my leg around his waist.  He was less pleased than my daughter.  She behaved very well with each little thing the doctor did and I think she was starting to believe that things would turn out her way until the doctor whispered, “She’s starting school in the fall so we do have a few shots that she needs before she can register.”

Cut back to her screaming bloody murder and crying huge crocodile tears.  For some reason, this made her OLDER brother freak out and decide that he was going to bust out of that room until the shots were over (why he chose this precise moment to have sympathy for his sister is beyond me) and it made her little brother start to cry because he couldn’t figure out why everyone else was crying.  (This is before the nurse ever came in with shots, mind you – a slightly premature freak out on everyone’s part except for mommy, who is still trying to keep toddler in check by yanking him away from the socket with my big toe, which fortunately turned out to be very strong).

Finally, the nurse came in, shots were administered, and everyone calmed down when they all realized that things weren’t quite as bad as they had imagined.  My daughter was actually pretty proud of her Spongebob bandaids which covered her 3 little injection sites and I’m sure will be showing them off to everyone today at school so that they too can see how tragically brave she was.  And, as expected, she walked very slowly to the waiting room and out of the exit while telling everyone who made eye contact with her that she could barely walk because she had to get shots.

Who knows when this drama will end, but I am hoping that year 6 will bring along a girl who doesn’t scream like she is being tortured to the very brink of death over minimal shots and “finger pokes”.  At least I know what to expect at this point.  She’s a drama queen and just playing her role in life.  Nothing a little smoothie from McDonald’s can’t fix! 🙂

Santa Is So Accommodating!

I am not a Black Friday kind of person.  I think the day brings out the worst in people and I would rather just reserve my ‘crazy’ for another day.  As such, I decided to take my two older kids to see the Muppet Movie instead of shopping.  They were surprisingly fantastic, indulging me and my nostalgia, and sat through the entire movie with only one quick trip to the potty.

As we were leaving the theater (which happened to be located inside of a mall), we walked by Santa!  I didn’t realize that Santa would be holding conferences with children this early and apparently, neither did anyone else because the elves were huddled around gossiping and Santa was looking very lonely.  I decided that although we weren’t really prepared for pictures with Santa, we would go ahead and do it so we wouldn’t have to wait in line later (I will still have to take the baby, but at least the line will be short since kids are still in school during the week).

First up was my son who will talk to anyone and will do so for hours if given the opportunity.  He ran right up, sat down and proceeded to tell Santa that he will take anything Santa wants to bring him.  That’s my boy – making mommy’s life a little easier by not asking for anything expensive or specific (I know it won’t last long so I’m appreciating it while I can)!

Ho, Ho, Ho

Then, when I was sure Santa was spent from talking about random things with my son, I turned to my daughter for her turn.  Now, she is my child that screams at every ‘character’ she has ever met from birth (except princesses because she is sure she is one of them).  I thought that at age 4 1/2 she might be beyond that, but despite her initial excitement over seeing Santa, she clung to my leg and began screaming, ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO’ in the middle of the mall.  If you listen quietly, you can probably still hear her awful high-pitched scream echoing down the corridors there.

After calming her down and assuring her that she didn’t have to go up to Santa if she didn’t want to, she decided that she would be ‘brave’ and hold down a conversation from several feet away.

observe her safety bubble

She was very animated and gave her specific requests to Santa and he kept talking to her despite the distance.  Then, Santa got a little sneaky.  He told my crazy daughter that she should turn around and make sure that I know what she asked for so that we wouldn’t be getting her the same gifts and when she turned around, he snuck up behind her so I could actually get a shot of her and Santa together!

she had no idea

He was already back to his chair before she turned back around to say, “thanks” and “goodbye”.  Then she asked to see the pictures and couldn’t figure out how in the world I got a picture of her and Santa!  Tricky Santa!

It could have been a disaster, but Santa worked his magic and it turned out great (minus the few stares from passersby at the girl who screamed and would only talk to Santa from behind the cone).  The elves were still oblivious as we walked away….