Sunday, February 12, 2006

First Movie, Part 2

Well, we did it. We took the Craker to see his first big screen flick.

The short version was it was a success.

And if you care to keep reading, the L-O-N-G version: since J and I don't date anymore, I had forgotten how darn expensive it can be to go to the movies at night. Tickets for 3 (no kiddie discounts? WTF! He's 2! Doesn't the world owe me something for nothing?) and J didn't want to share popcorn with him. It cost like a gazillion dollars. And while we skimp on the drinks and J and I share a miniscule drink along with really salty snacks, you just can't skimp on the popcorn. I mean it was his first time. And he's never had popcorn before, because of the whole you can choke and die thing.

Being taking-our-2-year-old-to-the-movies virgins, we didn't anticipate the fact that Cracker, at a mere 29lbs, would not be heavy enough to keep the seat from trying to fold up on him. We get into the theatre early and immediately we can see that this is going to be an issue for the entire flick. Right before George comes on, I spot a woman a few rows behind me with a little kid and some sort of booster seat. "Wow, that's great!" I tell her. "Where did you get that? Can you rent them here, or did you bring it from home? We totally need one of those!" Instead of being a sympathetic mommy colleague she is disgusted with my total-idiot-taking-my-2-year-old-to-the-movies-virgin-self. "They are right there!" and she points off behind her. "Where?" Ugh. "Right THERE, NEAR THE DOOR!" Huh? What? Where? So after getting up and surfing through the crowd I find no less than 100 of these magic boosters right inside the door waiting to be used and for free. I literally must have tripped over them on the way in. But still, it is so much to ask that veterans not look down at the rest of us? We've all been that mom once.

Now the seat folding on my child problem...solved. And while he's not too happy about sitting, the popcorn is buttery gold, and he's having the time of his life even if he doesn't want to be there.

But then, the movie starts, and the Cracker is immediately in love with Curious George. Infatuated. Total success! He doesn't blink, he doesn't twitch, he doesn't all. J and I get bored and start waving fingers in front of his face. The only sign he's still alive is that he strains his neck to the side because we're obstructing his view of the gigantic screen.

On the way home what does he ask to eat? Nananas. The one fruit he has never really taken to. But hey, if it's good enough for a monkey...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

First Movie, Part 1

Me: J, I've thought of the perfect thing that we can do tonight as a family!
J: Huh?
Me: I've thought of the perfect thing that we can do tonight as a family!
J: Okay...
Me: And you can even SLEEP the entire time and still get credit!
J: Okay... (scared now)
Me: We can take the Cracker to see his first movie! Curious George!
J: Isn't this opening weekend?
Me: (Mumbling)
J: Didn't it just open this week?
Me: ALL THE MOMS ON THE INTERNET ARE DOING IT! I'm so excited that I'm getting in the mood.
J: Get your coat.

Friday, February 10, 2006

For all of you on pins and needles

We got the magic call today...we're enrolled officially in preschool for the fall! It was a terrible, exhaustive search, and I actually thought it might kill me. After every visit to a promising candidate I'd get terribly disappointed, thinking that maybe what I had in mind just wasn't out there. And then I found IT, the preschool of my dreams! And then I spent weeks wondering if they'd have room for us, and what the heck would I do if they didn't? The only thing that kept me sane was the fact that we were first in line on the list for new students.

All this for 2.5 hours a day 2 days a week. Sheesh.


(Now my deposit check just better not get lost in the mail...)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Best New Phrase of the Week

"HAY GUCK" as in a truck that transports hay...duh.

According to the Cracker, cows and "orses" eat hay, but no one else at the "E-I-E-O" does.

And for those of you who didn't already know, ducks are NOT birds. They're DUCKS. They swim in the water, but they do not fly because they are not birds and they are not airplanes. And if you happen to see a duck fly as the Cracker has on numerous occasions, well, you deny it over and over, because who likes to be wrong?

And so our newest expression is "When ducks fly!"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Breakfast is always yogurt since my dear son still refuses to drink milk. YoBaby, our brand of choice, comes packaged in three different flavor combos: apple and blueberry, pear and peach, or banana and vanilla. The Cracker decided a few months back that he only eats banana and vanilla.

So every morning I ask for Your Majesty's choice...banana or vanilla, pronounced by the Cracker as "nanana" and "fower" (because you know vanilla is a flower and not just a bean, or at least there is a picture of a flower on the package, so go with me on this one.) Usually we start with "nanana" and then move to a "fower" and then for #3 it's totally up in the air. But this morning I was told "No nanana, no fower.!" Yeah, I don't think so.

There is no pie in my house. The only time there is ever pie in my house is when my parent's visit twice a year. Other than that, you will not find pie here. J doesn't like pie, and I don't want to eat a whole one myself. My tushie doesn't need that.

Toddlers never forget. It's pretty creepy.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


WARNING: Sentimental Mommy Post

Before the Cracker was born the number 3 never had any significance in my life - it was just another number. If you had pushed me about the number 3 I would have told you about how my aunt gave me an "I'm Three" necklace for my third birthday (Carrie Bradshaw style) which instantly became one of my most prized possessions until I accidentally swallowed it. My poor mom actually had to watch for it to pass, dig it out, disinfect it with only God-knows-what and give it right back to me. (And of course it was still one of my most prized possessions because what 3 year old would care that it had been part of a number 2.)

But all that changed when after 42 weeks and 1 day of gestation, the Cracker entered the big wide world on 3.30.2003.

And tonight it hit me, really hit little boy, gulp, is about to turn 3.

I feel like crying.

Adult birthdays are supposed to be hard. The grand majority of the population either ignores them or gets depressed. But I never realized how hard this birthday was going to be.

Subconsciously, I realize I've been preparing for it since mid October. Two weeks after he officially turned 2 1/2 I changed from "he's almost 2 1/2" to "he's going to be 3." Nice strangers would kindly inquire "oh, when's his birthday?" Me: "Umm...March." Crazy lady! Doesn't she know that's 5 months from now?

I am a stay-at-home mom. Not right for everyone, but right for us. 99% of his awake time has been spent with me. The Cracker is unrequitedly attached to only four people in the, J, and his grandparents Nana and Pappy. The end result is that those four people are his world, and he and I are best friends.

We don't hire babysitters. Money spent on childcare thus far...$0, no kidding. (Admittedly, not the healthiest thing we've ever done for our marriage, but we've still got the love.) We have no family in town. Including dragging J on an all day trip through Ikea, we've probably had 5 dates since he was born, most of which have lasted less than 4 hours. Locally, when I've needed help, my mommy friends will have him over for a play date. Those adults though, in his mind, are his friend's moms, not his friends.

You get the idea, right?

Suddenly he's almost 3, and man, that's depressing. It's not that I want to wish him all the way back to infancy permanently. Those times were precious, so sweet and dreamy, and I'd never trade those memories for anything. But honestly, toddlerhood kicks their ass. Watching a little person search so hard to find out who they want to be, all the while having an unbreakable sense of self, knowing exactly who they are in that moment. (Hmmm...we're going to story time at the library? I think I'll wear my $2.99 red plastic fireman's hat, a Thomas the Tank t-shirt under my chicken costume from last Halloween, and my bear slippers. Yup, that works!)

So as he runs full steam through toddlerhood, constantly chasing after independence, he always comes back to me looking for grounding when the world gets too big and scary. I'm not just his mother; I'm his tour guide, his constant companion, and occasionally the big cheese that gives him time-outs. Hell, in the eyes of an almost 3 year old I actually know it all, or can at least fudge a damn good answer. But still, more than anything, we are best friends. Flame me for saying it, but it's the strongest bond you'll ever experience and if you haven't been there for yourself there just isn't any way to explain it to you. And I know how lucky I've been. At the adventurous age of almost 3, it's rare to find a little guy who still *needs* insane numbers of hugs, kisses and at least an hour of pure unadulterated cuddle time each day. No matter what gets him down a hug from me always solves it.

So what makes me sad about 3 is that I know this time is coming to an end. As much as I want to deny it with my whole heart, I know that in another 3 years, when he's 6, I will no longer be his best friend. My little boy will no longer try to stall my leaving for 45 minutes of alone time at the grocery store with a thousand "bye-bye mommas" and an even greater number of hugs and kisses. Instead of my cutting it off with "I love you with all my're making me laugh! But I'm really leaving now...Seriously! I am! Just as soon as I stop laughing and get one last hug" I'll be the one trying to squeeze out another moment.

And that breaks my heart.

The Potty Update

A few nights ago, after a bath, the Cracker was running around nekkid for all of 5 minutes while we hunted down all the junk it takes to get the Cracker to bed.

*diaper insert for extra absorbency
*waterproof pants (no leaks here!)
*tooth brush
*tooth paste
*clean-ish sippy cup of water
*favorite blankie, aka night-night blankie
*favorite stuffed animals
*blankies for favorite stuffed animals

Normally one of us gets it together while the other watches him in the bath, but we were both far too lazy.

So, the Cracker is running around nekkid, goes into our office/music room, and turns on J's keyboard and starts to play. (Totally sidetracking here, but oh my God, I just have to tell you how cute it is! He sings too! Current favorites include his own version of the alphabet song, Old McDonald Had a Farm, and an original piece about Nana and Pappy going home on an airplane.) Anyway, after a minute of playing he just lets loose and starts peeing on the carpeted floor...the carpet in our 7 month old house. I let out a yelp, and he immediately stops. "Sweetie, we pee on the potty, not on the floor!" With a serious face he says "Uh oh. Oh no Momma. (And now giggling) Eeeew!"

And, of course, I am totally out of Resolve since the cats have been gacking all friggin week, forcing me to unearth the steam cleaner from the disaster we call our garage. (But we can get both cars in, a feat of which we are immensely proud.)

We quickly usher him to his own little potty, and after a few minutes of funny faces and deep thought, he finishes what he started. "Mommy is so proud of you! You went pee in the potty! Hooray!" And of course, if you pee in the potty at my house, you get a cookie. "J, where is that box of vanilla wafers? I have to give him a cookie! Right now! He went pee on the potty! Where are they? Find them!" "Uh, I ate them..." And so, out of desperation, we gave him an Oreo. Nothing like giving your child a cookie right before bed with the only natural ingredient being sugar, don't cha think?

Sadly, as with the two previous pees in the potty since October, it was just another isolated achievement.

And that, my friends, is this month's potty update.