We bought a snow suit for The Who last December, in Boston, when we got smacked with a huge snowstorm on our vacation. He wore it once — and not even on that trip. Just the once. I mean, he was a baby, y’know? Despite the every-other-day snow we got here, it just wasn’t worth it to bundle him into the thing just to sit him on top of a snowbank and snap a picture. So, yeah. Just the once.
Which is why I was psyched to find out that the snowsuit still fits him this winter. Still, as anyone who has ever been packed into one (and/or packed a kid into one) knows, snowsuits are a giant pain in the ass. So, despite the every-other-day snow we’re getting here this winter, too, he’s still only been in the suit once.
This morning, we woke up to snow. Falling snow, which is more enticing to me than just a bunch of snow that fell overnight and so instead of sitting out this storm like we’ve sat out the rest, staying inside with too much Barney’s Christmas Star and puzzle-“building”, I stuffed that child into that snowsuit and dragged on some warm clothes and boots of my own and out we went. And it was probably the most fun we’ve had spontaneously in a long time.
It was a bonus that our pals called us while we were walking into town so we got to hang out with them (and get a ride back home! Do you have any idea how long it takes a 2-year-old to walk half a mile in a snowsuit and giant Elmo snow boots?)
Totally successful snow day. So successful that I wouldn’t even be devastated if day care was cancelled tomorrow. (I mean, I’m not hoping for it, but I’m just saying I wouldn’t be devastated.)
Last week — Wednesday, I think — The Who stubbed his toe. Or his foot. Or maybe banged his knee. I’m not sure, actually, because he was on the other side of the bed and I could only see him from the waist up when some loud cracking noise happened and then he went down into a crumpled heap of sadness. When he recovered, we wiggled all his toes and pushed around his whole foot and ankle to see if anything was exceptionally painful, but nothing was and so we carried on with the bedtime routine that we were in the middle of. (For the record, the bulk of his injuries happen right near bedtime. Despite knowing that he is accident-prone when he is tired, we can’t seem to keep him out of harm’s way entirely. Witness: the big purple lump on his eyebrow from a one-step tumble last night.)
Getting out of his bed Thursday morning, he complained of his toe hurting him when he walked, but again, we didn’t see anything and nothing hurt to touch and he seemed recovered within an hour, but then Friday morning, I noticed him sort of favoring his right foot. More toe-wiggling and careful watching, but again within an hour, he seemed back to normal. Saturday and Sunday and even Monday seemed fine and I mostly forgot about it until this morning, when he was clearly limping. He was still joyfully running around, but he was definitely guarding his right foot (toes?) I sent him on many little errands (“Can you put this in the diaper pail?”) so I could observe him walking many steps and decided that a quick visit to the pediatrician was in order.
Ha! Gotcha! There is no such thing as a “quick” visit to our pediatrician.
Fortunately, I have the World’s Most Cooperative ToddlerTM (especially when I am well-prepared with snacks, toys, and BlackBerry apps) and although we spent the better part of 4 hours in that building, the closest we came to any kind of meltdown was when I threw away some of his Cheerios that had fallen on the floor. (I just pretended to take them out of the trash and pretended to put them back in his cup. Problem solved.)
The Who is a charmer, man. He had everyone in that office chatting and smiling as he limped around like he owned the joint.
Giggling and running into the front office, even softening Miss Lucille, the often-grumpy receptionist. He climbed on and off the scale, ducked into all the examination rooms, chattering at the crying babies, and told anyone who would listen (med students, residents, nurses, other parents) about the firetruck we saw on the way to the office, its great hood hydraulically lifting for some kind of maintenance.
The doc ordered an x-ray just to be sure, although we all doubted anything was really broken. (How could he be so joyous with a broken bone? Of course, we’ve all seen stranger things, which is why I was there in the first place.) So, after a pit-stop for lunch, we made our way down to the bowels of the hospital in search of Outpatient Radiology.
We walked. And waited. And registered. And walked. And waited some more.
Finally, got the pictures taken. I wore a stunning turquoise lead apron for my role as “foot holder” and The Who held a red lead blanket over his lap as he skeptically eyed the nurse taping his toes to the film.
And there you have it: Baby’s First X-Ray. We’ll have to wait and see what the results are, but in the meantime, the patient is resting comfortably, a belly full of Cheerios and a morning full of adventure.
It was just one of those nights. The Who and I arrived home from daycare just as m* was pulling into the driveway and so we all came in together, all of us tired, our patience low. We had all worked hard at our various jobs and still, dinner had to be made and eaten, baths taken, lots of negotiation still on the horizon. A toddler doesn’t just stop wanting to play or chat just because he is tired or just because his playmates are tired. So, on we go.
When it was time for bed, he put up a fuss, but headed for the stairs all the same. It’s almost rote now. Despite protesting, his little feet carry him to the stairs when bedtime is announced, almost independent of his brain. He climbed up one step, whining. I was throwing something away and turning the corner to follow him up the step when he toppled down, hitting the floor, face-first. I gathered him up and sang to him, kissing his sweaty forehead as his sobbing slowed and we made our way upstairs. No time for a bath, we chose jammies, distressed that the ones he really wanted were in the laundry still.
On the big bed, where we read stories, he hunkered down into the flannel sheets, his binky in his mouth and his di* tucked under his cheek. I rubbed his back after we finished stories and his eyelids grew heavy and I could just feel his comfort — in his Moms’ bed, back rubbed, comfort items all present and accounted for, sleep just a moment or two away. But then when we picked him up, kissed him goodnight, and carried him to his crib, he just wailed, reaching for the big bed, hoping against hope that he would be allowed to return to what felt so good just a minute ago.
He went to sleep just fine, ultimately. I heard him calm down as m* sang to him and I could see him on the monitor, drifting to sleep with his monkey and blankets.
But now I miss him. I hate how sad he was when he went to bed. I hate that he fell and hurt himself. I hate that, despite his crib really being the best place for him to sleep**, he was content and happy on the bed and we had to move him from it. I hate it all. I just want to go in there and hold him on the rocker, and kiss his little head. Of course, I’ll wait ’til tomorrow. But, still.
*Di. Di is The Who’s “lovey.” It’s a cloth diaper. It’s actually many cloth diapers, all interchangeable. I owe the genius of this to my aunt and little cousin, the originators of the “di.” We love Di. All hail the mighty Di.
**I know that many people disagree with me here. For several reasons, The Who sleeping in his own room in his own crib is the best choice for our family. ‘Nuff said.
What am I doing wrong? Two out the last three naps have resulted in mass hysteria upon wake-up.
The Who has never been a pleasant riser. I hear stories about babies who happily greet the day, laughing and talking to themselves in the crib. Babbling joyfully. (I was one such baby, I am told.) The Who greets the day with a scowl and a whimper that swiftly becomes a whine and eventually an all-out cry if I don’t get to him fast enough. This is pretty much the story every morning, but nap times are more of a crap-shoot. I have a thousand guesses about the reason, the most plausible to me is that he wakes up hungry. But who really knows? For as articulate as he is, there are still some really key questions that he can’t answer. One of them is “Why are you crying?” The answer is, invariably, “yeah.” And although I think he does understand hunger (he will regularly say, “[Who] want something to eat,” and then gladly chow down) I don’t think he gets the kind of hunger that comes after hours of sleep and results in a really pissy mood.
Maybe, also, he just hates the feeling of being groggy and confused, which is how I feel after napping or sleeping especially hard. I hate waking up in a dark room in the middle of a day. Maybe he hates being confined in a crib when he wakes up. Maybe his hand fell asleep. There are a hundred reasons why he might wake up cranky and usually we can work with it, but sometimes, his wake-up is just ridiculous.
His whine escalates within seconds to the kind of crying that leaves him hiccuping and cough-heaving, threatening a much bigger mess than just a teary, snotty face. And there’s really no calming him for a long time. He doesn’t know what he wants and so is in a constant state of dissatisfaction. “Do you want to get out of the crib?” “No. No get out of cribby.” And then, a beat later: “The Who wanna get out of criiiiibbbby!” [wail, wail, wail, sob.] It’s useless to remind him that he just told me he didn’t want to get out of the crib. And it goes on like this. The Who want that book. The Who don’t want booooook! Cry, cry. The Who wanna go downstairs. Me: Ok, let’s get out of the crib and go downstairs. “No! The Who don’t wanna go downstaiiiiirs!”
You catch my drift.
Today, he was pissed because he asked to turn off the noise machine, then told me he didn’t want to turn it off and that I should do it, so I did. Then he wanted to do it, but it was done. And I kept a firm boundary. “You told me you didn’t want to turn it off, so I did it. You can do it next time.” You can imagine how that went over.
It’s now an hour after waking up from [a good, solid, 2-hour] nap and he is finally content, having had a sandwich and some milk. An episode of Barney is holding his attention as I write.
My wife reports that this never happens with her and that she regularly witnesses power struggles between The Who and me. There are bound to be power struggles with a 2-year-old, since he wants to do everything his way and that’s just not always possible (or safe or preferable.) But what can I do to reduce the drama at wake-up? Do I just snatch him out of the crib and bring him downstairs, despite his protests and stop all the negotiations about what he wants and doesn’t want? That seems awfully dismissive. Do I continue to refuse to recognize and respond to his whiny, crying voice? That seems like a good boundary to set, but it seems to be very hard for him to hold it together. Do I try to go into his room and open the curtains as soon as I hear the first hint of a peep coming from him to try to get in before he has time to really erupt? Some combination of these things?
He really is a pleasant child most of the time…