Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Pajina Monolouges (again)

Sweet little baby Marin is now 18 months old. All parents know that 18 months can be a difficult age, that’s when the tantrums generally kick in, but toddlers this age are also so sweet and funny. Although 18 months is better known for tantrums than anything, I think it should also be recognized as the “OCD period”. This is the stage where an open cabinet door must be slammed shut immediately, even if Mommy’s head happens to be stuck in there at the time. The door must close.

Except for all the tantrums, door slamming, and poopy pants, Marin is generally a pleasant companion. She cuddles and gives big kisses and hugs. She dances and tries to sing. If all that isn’t enough then we have the cute little baby voice as well saying, “Hewo” whenever she finds a cell phone and “Yewo” when asked to name any color. When Marin is hungry she will take me by the hand to the kitchen, gesture wildly towards the cabinets and refrigerator and say, “EEEEEE!” That’s baby for ‘eat’. When it’s time for a nap, Marin walks to the stairs yelling, “Ni ni!”

Marin frequently gets a hold of things that she is not supposed to have. Usually she will look at me, smile and run. Lately she has been winning the race that unless I happen to have a surrogate chaser available at the time. If it’s just me, (I’m back on crutches) I realize that I can’t easily catch her and I wait her out. Or I try to trick her to lure her close enough to snatch her. She usually watches me from a safe distance and smiles.

If Marin manages to get her hands on the baby wipe container she will sit quietly and carefully unload every single wipe. Sometimes she seems to recognize her own weakness and will instead bring me the baby wipe container saying “uh-oh, uh-oh” and “hewr”. “Uh-oh” is frequently a warning that she is about to get into something so she knows she had better hand it over before she gives in to the temptation.

A few days ago I told Marin that her big brother Noah was coming to see her and she said, “I know.” Despite being just 18 months old, she seems surprisingly well versed on the happenings around the house. I’m really going to miss it when everyone in this house is speaking proper English.

Claire and Katie can pronounce most things now but sometimes they still say funny things. Katie had an experience at school recently when a little boy walked into the bathroom while she was washing her hands. The little boy proceeded to pee right in front of her. Katie thought it was funny and has been talking about it ever since.

Katie- “I saw Ian’s butt.”
Me- “Oh, yeah?”
Katie- “Yeah. And he had a nut hanging down.”

I finally got tired of Katie talking about “the nut” that I broke down and told her the proper names for both boy’s and girl’s anatomy. This knowledge was thrilling for Katie and she couldn’t wait to tell Claire what she knew. Just briefly Katie appeared to be drunken with the power of knowing more than her big sister. She decided to fill Claire in at the dinner table.

Katie- “Claire, do you know that girls have pajinas? That’s what the butt part’s called. A pajina.”

Then she continued, sounding as if she was giving a detailed job description for a gynecologist. Which, by the way, we did not discuss and I have no idea where this came from.

Katie- “And did you know there are some doctors whose job it is, is to look at pajinas?”

Claire- "Yeah, and they look and they say, 'Hey, your pajina’s not workiing!"

Friday, February 03, 2012

Baby and Bugs (Or, What Kind of Monster Does She Think I am?)

Today I had the baby in the bathroom with me while I took a bath. Unfortunately, she was not the only member of the audience. There was also a cricket waiting patiently to hop at me given half a chance. The baby is not a big fan of the insect world so she gave the cricket a wide berth.

Her sisters have pointed out crickets to her and they think it’s funny when she points and says “Ewww! Ewww!” Of course, I think it’s funny as well. She doesn’t act like she is merely repeating her sisters; she seems to be truly offended by the presence of the crickets.

So if I know there is a cricket in the house, I will ask her where the bug is. Then she’ll point, say “Eww!” and generally avoid going anywhere near it. So then I might ask her if she wants to get the bug. Of course she’s horrified at the notion and she’ll say “No!”

After my bath, I was in the kitchen with the baby, fixing her bottle. She was standing a few feet away, bending over by something on the floor. I walked over to see what she had found and it was a cricket. It was on its back and not moving. I think that must have been the reason that the baby didn’t immediately recognize it. I grabbed the flyswatter and all of a sudden it came back to life. The baby stood way back as I escorted, via flyswatter, the cricket out the back door.

After feeding the baby lunch, I cut up a brownie and put it in a bowl for her. She’s generally a fan of anything sweet so I thought she would like it. I didn’t even give any thought to the fact that she had never had a brownie before. I set the bowl on a rug where she likes to sit and eat snacks.

Me- “Look Baby, it’s a brownie for you. It’s good.”
Baby, looks in bowl, chuckles and refuses to get near it again.
Me- “Come eat your brownie. It’s good.”
Baby- “No!” She was also eyeing the bowl with suspicion.

That’s when I realized what was going on. The baby thought I was giving her a bowl full of crickets.
I had an appointment with a podiatrist today. Prior to my appointment, I was scheduled to stop by the hospital to have x-rays of my feet. I was taken back fairly quickly. The radiology tech finally questioned me about any possibility of pregnancy just a split second before pushing the “irradiate” button. It was exactly as if it were an after thought, as if she was thinking to herself, “She’s going to the podiatrist. Stranger things have happened so I guess I’ll ask. But not likely.” It was kind of a foreshadowing for the rest of the afternoon.

I remember reading an ad in the paper about the hospital encouraging women to come in for mammograms. They were offering a chance to win a free oil change with every mammogram. You know, it’s a small town. Things are a little different here. I’m pretty sure you might have a shot at a tire rotation if you get a colonoscopy. Evidently feet aren’t a big market. There wasn’t even a paid raffle anywhere to be seen. I finished up and gleefully made my way to the nearby building, the only thing keeping me from skipping was my painful feet.

It was the first time that I had ever seen a podiatrist but, boy, was I excited. I wish that I could say that I am exaggerating that but I’m not. I was worked up like an old lady on her way to a Furr’s Cafeteria*. My feet have been hurting that bad.

When I arrived at the office, I had no idea where I was going. I think I parked on the wrong side of the building in a gravel lot. It was raining and I really didn’t want to walk around looking for the real entrance. I saw a door marked simply “north entrance” that looked like it was most likely just for deliveries. I opened the steel door and was on a landing with stairs going both up and down. The sign on the lower lever door said “Hospice”. The upstairs had the name of the podiatrist that I was so anxious to meet.

As it turns out, I was at the back door of one-stop-shopping for old people.

I checked in with the receptionist, took my paperwork and was directed to the tiny waiting room filled with walkers and their owner’s sitting nearby. I squeezed through to make my way to a chair at the end of the narrow aisle and quickly filled out my health history. After returning to the desk to hand in the forms, I asked the receptionist how long it might be.

Receptionist- “Oh, not long. Maybe ten or fifteen minutes.”
Me, glancing nervously back at the walker crowd- “Liar!”

No, not really. Instead I just said “Ok” in a meek voice. Then, I once again ran the gauntlet of aluminum adorned with tennis balls to make my way to a seat. The magazine selection did not look terribly promising so I opened up ‘Word” and took some notes on my phone. Then I checked the clock. Followed by more “Word” and more clock checking. Then I developed a strange little dry cough, which I immediately blamed on the old people.

The old lady perfume was not only making me cough but it was making my eyes water as well. It turns out that I’m allergic to old people, which I did not know. Previously, I had just thought of them as a minor inconvenience.

Fortunately, one of the old ladies was called back and another left with an exiting patient. I was then alone, coughing in the waiting room, tempted to fan the air with a copy of “Modern Maturity.” I had a bad feeling that I was the only patient under seventy-five that had ever been in that office. Kind of like that scene in “Pillow Talk” when Rock Hudson was trying to see the doctor and unaware that it was actually an obstetrician.

The patient ahead of me didn’t take very long. I think she must have just been getting her toenails Dremmeled or something equally simple. I was eventually escorted back to the exam room.

While waiting for the doctor, I did what most patients presumably do. I took an inventory on the things left on the counters and the tray next to me, categorizing them as scary, not-so-scary and what-in-the-hell-is-that. I saw the Dremel with a grinder tip attachment that my vivid imagination just knew would be there and had a brief flash of “Dumb and Dumber.” Of course, that was when the thought of powers tools anywhere near my feet was just funny.

The (young) doctor then came in asked me questions and examined my feet. We went over the x-rays, agreed on my diagnosis (plantar fasciitis and heel spurs) and talked about treatment.

Dr. J., after hearing everything that I had already tried- “You could try an oral steroid but it’s not as likely to help as much as injecting the heel directly.”

Me- “I want the magic cure.”

Dr. J. –“Well, it’s not going to help overnight. It will still take some time.”

Me- “I want the magic cure.”

She had her assistant prepare the injections and sprayed the foot with a topical. It wasn’t as bad as I had thought. I managed to stay still through the injections to both feet and not even come close to losing consciousness. The injections also contained a local anesthetic so when I stood up, I was completely pain-free. So basically, I was conscious and it didn’t hurt anymore. Win-win. And she never even made a motion to pick up any power tools. All in all, a pretty good visit to the podiatrist.

Things old people like (in no particular order):

3.Backing up without looking (maybe it's not so much that they like it, maybe after a certain age they just decide it's unnecessary)
4.Early bird specials
5.Three-bean salad

*Just in case you are not down with the oldster’s, there are benefits to the cafeteria vs. buffet. In a cafeteria, you only pay for the items you place on your tray. Therefore, if you can make a meal out of a dish of green jello, a cup of chicken broth and a baked potato, then that is all you pay for. It kind of does away with the patent leather purse lined with Zip-Lock baggies. And you all know what a mess that can be.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marin is Four Now....

A few days ago, my morning started out bad. The downstairs toilet was clogged, all the clocks in the house were blinking announcing the precise time when the power gone off during the storm and my computer was refusing to boot. I was afraid that something had fried since I hadn't unplugged it. I was working on the computer when I noticed that Marin was being awfully quiet. That usually indicates that she’s busy. Busy is not a good thing when a toddler is quiet and busy. I discovered her in the kitchen already having figured out how to open a bottle of Italian dressing and chugging it like a low-budget drunk with a bottle of Night Train. Needless to say, both toddler and the kitchen floor were covered in dressing.

Everyone always comments on babies and one thing you hear over and over is that they will be into everything in no time at all. There is a reason for that. They are into everything and it’s a little shocking just how quickly they change from being helpless to “helpful” around the house.

Marin still prefers things neat and orderly. She recently made a trip to my bedroom and the only evidence that she had been there was that she tried to make my bed and she accidentally started the music on my clock radio. Oh, and she brought me the empty glass that I had left on my nightstand.

She likes to help out around the house as much as she can. She was helping me mop the bathroom recently and by helping I actually mean running off with the mop. That resulted in me slipping and falling on the wet floor since my main concern was catching her before she threw the mop down the stairs.

Marin found a bottle of Jet Dry yesterday by working around my pathetic kitchen child-proofing job. Once again, she was very quiet and I found her on the stairs applying it to her face as if it were lotion. Claire said that the baby just wanted to be shiny and clean. She has a reputation for that.

When Marin has wet pants or God forbid, poopy pants, she announces it right away with a disapproving look on her face. As if she’s the one put out, not me, by the terrible inconvenience of it all. Please refer to the picture above as exhibit A.

Marin likes to be clean and always wants to take a bath. The fact that someone else is already in the tub does not deter her. She walks in, evaluates the situation and starts stripping. She will come over to the side and say “Me bath! Bath! My bath!” and then start poking me in the ear.

If I don’t let her get in right away, she “helps” by throwing me bath toys, clothes, or towels. I try to bathe with a defensive posture just in case she throws something heavy when I’m not looking. Just today she threw “Seizure Elmo”* when I wasn’t expecting it. He has batteries in his feet and it felt like I had been punched in the gut. If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn he was packing D cells in his feet.

I usually give in on the bath since she’s coming over the side anyway. The other day when she got in with me it was already her second bath of the day.

Me- “You know, you’re probably the cleanest kid on the block.”

Marin, in her ‘Rain Man' voice- “Yeah.”

Marin likes to be clean and organized. Toddler for organized means carrying a bunch of shit everywhere you go, including everything you can jam in a toy purse and then some. Then she has the nerve to complain, saying “heavy” and makes me help carry her stuff, as if I don’t have my own overstuffed and heavy purse to worry about.

One of the other constant battles is trying to keep Marin in the house. She loves to play outside and makes a mad dash anytime someone is going in or out. I used to have a cat that did that and after a while I just gave up and let him out. But I’m pretty sure you aren’t allowed to do that with toddlers.

When Marin isn’t trying to escape, she’s back at work around the house. Which translates into getting into stuff. Marin doesn’t just get into my stuff. She collects things from all over the house. The other day she found N’s wallet and proceeded to transfer all the contents to her little purse. We still haven’t found his social security card.

Sometimes Marin is lucky and has pants with pockets. She loves that since then she is more versatile as far as stashing her loot. She likes to stick an old cell phone in one pocket and a Barbie phone in the other. Dresses prove to be inconvenient for carrying stuff so Marin improvises. She refers to the front of her diaper as a ‘pocket”. One day I pulled three radishes and a penny out of there during a routine diaper change. Well, routine except for the radishes.

She recently brought me a bottle of dish soap that she had to climb to get. She thought it was something to drink and brought me the bottle crying and saying “Mouf. Mouf hurts!” What didn’t go in her mouth was all over her. Imagine a bottle of dish soap covering a toddler. She was back in the bath in no time and boy, did we have bubbles. Then we repeated the whole process a few days later with hand soap.

Despite the fact that Main is literally into everything, she is an absolute doll. She throws her arms around me proclaiming her love, saying “I yuv you!” She breaks out into song daily, singing “Happy burtday you” or “row, row, row butt”. She calls Katie “my Katie” and hugs her at bedtime saying “yuv you, Monkey.” Then we haul all of her crap upstairs to her bed. She must have a cell phone, whatever stuffed animals are currently required and various other things that she finds around the house. In the last week that has included her brother’s X-Box manual, some junk mail and an oven mitt. How could I not be crazy about this kid?

*It’s actually Hokey Pokey Elmo. When he puts something in and shakes it all about it does resemble a seizure. He’s been seizure free for a while now because I’m too lazy to replace the batteries. It practically requires a degree in mechanical engineering to get that battery door open. Not to mention the battery packaging which generally leads to me improvising on tools. I might start off with some nail clippers or something else equally inefficient for the task at hand, then move up to kitchen scissors and dynamite before finally getting the job done.

By the way, I’m not making fun of any people that have seizures. I’m only making fun of a Sesame Street character.

Friday, January 06, 2012