Toddler

I Voted! And My Toddler Helped! Kind of!

We walked as a family to our polling place today. My East Coast friends (who live three hours in the future) had a lot of posts about how they cried at the polls. Making history! Feelings!

I didn’t cry, but Charlie almost did. As we left, it became apparent that he wasn’t going to get to meet Hillary Clinton OR Donald Trump today. This voting experience was not what he signed up for.

“Where’s Her-Larry Cinton and Donald Trump?”

“They’re voting in New York. Everyone votes close to their house.”

“Okay, let’s go to New York now.”

“No, buddy, we’re going to go home after this.”

“BUT I WANT TO SEE DONALD TRUMP!”

Last night I asked Andy if he knew what the J stood for in “Donald J. Trump.” He said, “I don’t know. John? Jerk?”

Charlie was within earshot and thought this was the greatest comic masterpiece since Tartuffe. So obviously, he marched out of the polling station chanting, “Donald Jerk Trump! Donald Jerk Trump!”

We told him that we weren’t allowed to say what we think of the the candidates inside the building. So he went back to his previous talking point: “But where IS Donald Trump? Let’s go see him.”

“We’re not going to see him today, honey.”

“Okay, let’s go see Her-larry Clinton.”

So far, it’s been an awesome day and I’m glad I got to share it with my guys. But now that he mentions it, it is pretty disappointing that we don’t get to meet Hillary Clinton today.

Maybe tomorrow.img_3445img_2411

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Murder Veins 2: Revenge of the Great Saphenous

Charlie’s on day 2 of summer camp (woooooooo! Best $150 I’ve ever spent!) Yesterday he went swimming, which I didn’t know was going to happen or I would have properly fretted in advance of the trip to the pool. The day school didn’t pull one over on me: I signed a theoretical release form saying it was okay to take him on whatever field trips may happen this summer, up to and including a pool visit. I packed him some swim trunks and sunblock on the off chance they might come in handy this week.

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Me with correctly timed Valium and the dope shades they give you before they turn on the lasers. Procedure #4 of 10.

I’ve been going through a bunch of vein surgeries. I’m halfway through a set of 10(!) of them, and I’m in an insurance-mandated, three-week rest period between the “Cut & Thread & Zap” and the “Just Cutting or Whatever Because I’m Not Going to Google What a Phlebectomy Is Before I Get One Because That Sounds Gross.” There are five of each genre. There should have only been four of the Cut & Thread & Zap.

It was advertised as an easy procedure.The room wasn’t big enough to accommodate me, three health-care practitioners, that big blue sheet (like from when I had a C-section), the zapping machine, and a husband to hold my hand. So the husband fell off the guest list. Hell, there wasn’t room for my purse. I put it, along with my shoes, on the medical scale wedged behind the operating table.

Maybe 45 minutes into it: “Katherine, we are going to stop. We will try again in a couple of days. I will write you a prescription for Valium, and your husband can come in here with you.” I’m super-tough in a lot of circumstances, both physically and emotionally, and I’m often surprised by what things hurt so much that I break down. Getting a catheter woven into the vein that runs from my knee to my groin, even with a few shots of novocain, broke me down in all the ways. Apparently my veins are thicker than most (though the assistant with the thick European accent said they were “very sick,” and it took some back-and-forth for me to understand what was going on). “You mean it didn’t work?” I asked.

I was nervous, and that made the vein seize and stutter (and another word I can’t come up with right now but means both of those things at once). Crying didn’t help the matter, and I fucking cried. Those factors, in conjunction with a general Bad Case of the Leg Veins, meant they only got the catheter about halfway in, all told. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. I said it over and over, until it made sense that none of what I had just gone through will make me any better.

Two days later, we tried again, with a husband and some Valium. I took the medication too early, I think, because I was stone-cold sober and anxious as fuck by the time we started. But I had Andy holding my hand. We got through it, and the doctor noted what a remarkable husband I have, because “none of the other husbands do that. Well, okay, one other one did.”

By the fifth surgery, we had it dialed in. It hurt, but whatever. I took my Valium at the right time, so I found the affair stressful and painful, but there was nothing akin to freaking out. To keep my mind off the leg stuff, Andy had his phone and was searching Zillow for houses in L.A., where we’re moving this September. Occasionally he’d say, “This one has a pool. That would be nice.” Whenever he said “pool,” I saw an image of Charlie’s little blond mop, his shoes and clothes still as on he floats face-down in the water. “I don’t think I want a pool.”

Andy dropped off and picked Charlie up from summer camp yesterday. All at once, I got the report that it was Pool Day, and that Charlie had literally jumped right in. He had a great time and talked about it all day and as he was falling asleep last night. Got a little sunburned on his lower back. Big success.

How did he know to jump right in? How did he know how not to drown? How do pre-school teachers not feel terror with the notion of just taking a big group of two-to-five-year-olds to the pool for a little swim? How was he not scared?

Maybe he takes after his dad.

When I picked him up today, Miss Ann let me know that when it was time to pick up toys, and they turned the lights off and sang the clean-up song, he got very upset and started hitting himself. His teacher said she walked him over to the toys and helped him pick them up, but she seemed concerned about the hitting. I said that over the last month or so, when he’s been very upset and seems like he wants to hit or bite me, he instead bites himself… kind of hard. He’s doing a good job of being gentle with everyone else, but he seems like he’s turning his frustration inward. Miss Ann said I should talk to his pediatrician.

Maybe he takes after his mom.

Potty Training with President Carter

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Charlie showed early promise as a potty-training prodigy. At maybe 18 months, he used the potty twice in one weekend, of his own volition, with precise aim and everything. I was so excited that I think it freaked him out, and he refused to pee pee in the potty for months to come.

At Charlie’s parent-teacher conference (a thing they do for 2-year-olds! Who knew?) his teacher stated that he didn’t seem that interested in potty training. She recommended bribery. With candy.

Somehow, we’ve so far managed to convince Charlie that candy isn’t something that exists in the world. For a while, this could be said of sugar generally, but the kid wants to eat Nutri-Grain bars for breakfast. Who am I to stand in the way of his dreams? More importantly, once he knew a sweet morning meal was a possibility that life afforded him, I couldn’t unring that bell.

I got Charlie a snowman Pez dispenser for Christmas, because I’m not a monster. At first, it was one Pez for a solid pee-pee attempt, but Miss Ann said that won’t do it. No participation awards in potty training. Pez is for closers. Now we’re at two Pezzes per pee-based victory.

When the snowman dispenser ran out of Pez, we obviously needed to purchase a set of four presidential Pez dispensers (for the candy).

Now, when Charlie needs to pee, he’ll usually just pee in his diaper so he can keep playing with his trains uninterrupted. But he sometimes asks if we can go find President Carter and have some Pez. I’ll tell him that yes, he can have Pez the next time he goes pee-pee in the potty. A moment of reflection. Then:

He’ll pee-pee in the potty, fight me about how many thousands of times he can flush the toilet, stand on his stool to wash his hands at the sink, start to freak out that he just wants bigger soap, refuse to dry his hands, have feelings about putting his diaper and/or pants back on, receive two Pez candies, and conclude the transaction with an appreciative “Thank you, President Carter.”

While he may not be the potty-training prodigy I’d initially hoped for, he can tell the difference between a Jimmy Carter Pez dispenser and a Gerald Ford Pez dispenser, so I’m calling this a win.

The Anthopodgedy Catalogue, as Read by a 2-Year-Old

March 2016, Dresses

(and Spring Shoe Preview)


 

“She wants a boat.”


 

“What’s he doing?”


“She wants a sweater.”


“She’s going to jump in the water.”


“Woah! Look at those ones!”


“I’m reading it, Mom!”


“I’m all done reading it.”


This has been your March 2016 Anthopodgedy Catalogue.

In Love and Barf

Charlie hasn’t yet for sure and explicitly said “I love you” to me yet. Though he shows affection and I totally know he loves me, I’m looking forward to hearing him say it. I thought in the wee hours of this morning, the time had come.
Charlie barfed seven times between 1:30 AM and 8:30 AM. It was a rough night for both of us. As I was comforting Charlie in between rounds 6 and 7, he looks up at me and says,
“Mom? I wuv y–
Mom… I wuv your pants.”
Even when covered in vom, they’re pretty good pajama pants. Grey cotton. Setting the world on fire.
I love your pants too, bud.

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We are at our finest today.

Blizzard Prep: Toddler Edition

Charlie’s getting some telework in before the blizzard hits. Just wants to be safe in case we lose power. His supervisor reminded him that, while all employees are encouraged to stay safe during this historic weather event, these Central European train videos aren’t going to watch themselves.  

 
Upon waking this morning, Charlie looked out the window and said, “Look, Mom, the grass is made of snow!” Followed up by, “Shit, I’ve got to yell ‘toot toot!’ at like three hours of steam train footage before my clients get on the road. Better put a pot of coffee on.”