A Letter From the Binky

Dear Nana's neighbor, Mom's old friend, Ms. Vera, the Ladies in the Nursery, the cashier at Walmart, the woman at the store who called me, "blue eyes" and the nice old man at Ihop:

Even though I cried my eyes out and clawed at my mommy's neck when I saw you, I hope you don't take it personally. You see, this is just a phase and supposedly I'm going to grow out of it one day. We'll see. I think if you maybe brought me a cookie next time, I might work on my attitude a little bit.

Yours Truly,

So, it's me, Sam's mommy. The mom of the kid who cries hysterically around anyone who he doesn't recognize. It's nice to know it's a phase, but it doesn't take the anxiety of the crying away. Sometimes I feel like we can play it off by saying, "oh, he's just tired." It never works and if it were truly the case, my kid would be diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I think its the fact that he looks at you, starts crying, looks back at me, calms down and looks back at you only to begin crying hysterically again. The game is up...I have to say it and get it off my chest. He's crying at you. Something about you bothers him deeply to his inner core. Let's face it, He's just NOT that into you. There I finally admitted it. After months of making excuses and blaming other things. Honesty feels good. Do you need a tissue? I am a good, people-pleasing Southern girl...you have no idea how saying that pains me. But if it makes you feel better, it isn't JUST you.

This week in my house I made a stunning observation. The three of us were hanging out in the living room in our socks watching Blues Clues. I suddenly noticed something funny. I had one a sock with a pink heel and a sock with a grey heel. Sam had on a sock with a navy heel and a white sock. I glanced over at my sweet husband and on one foot was a Nike sock of his and on the other foot was the matching grey heeled sock of mine, hanging off the back of his foot. I laughed and pointed it out to Andy who looked at me and said, "I don't even care anymore." We have officially lost the will to match socks around here. This is not unusual for me. Not unusual for the Binky (because I can NEVER find matching socks when I need them). This is HIGHLY unusual for my husband. It struck me. What have we done to him? He used to be this meticulous dresser and we've sucked him into our world of unmatching socks (well, it's really my world since the Binky doesn't get a choice). What habit of mine might he pick up next? I had a mental picture of my husband walking around the house in my nightly jammie pants/full length nightgown combo or my sweat pants with one of the few maternity shirts I didn't pack away on. Wow, he's a good man. Lounging-around-the-house wear has hit an all time low and I think of June Cleaver and her pearls walking around the house with a duster while her roast cooks. Get a job, June Cleaver - don't you dare judge me!

Updates - Well, since we began our preschool program, we have had to introduce Sam slowly. The first week, he had done well with the 9-12 schedule. I was confident, excited, thrilled. But then came the phone call from the Church that second week. "Rachel...Sam is upset." I heard him screaming in the background. "Really? Why?" They must have done the unthinkable and looked at him. "Well, he's ...um...he's mad at us." I just stood there in the hallway outside of the training I walked out of to take the call. "Mad at you?" He's one...do I even have to entertain the personal feelings of a one year old? "Well, Okay...um....we'll come get him." I didn't know what to do. I wanted him to get used to preschool, but if he won't stop crying (and yes, I've met that version of this child before), there's not much we can do. I walked back into my training and a concerned coworker looked at me and asked what was wrong with my son. "He's mad." Her concerned face turned to a bewildered stare as her tone of voice completely changed. "Mad?" "yep...mad." So that was that...he came home early both days that week and I decided to introduce him into the world of school, artwork, other children and no grandmas slowly. This week he has gone from 9 - 11 and the schedule is working out much better for all of us. I truly appreciate Vera, his teacher...she's a gem! He's in a good mood when we pick him up and he even created some artwork for us this week. You just never know how they are going to react.

Alright, enough random thoughts of a mommy at an unGodly hour.
Good Night,

Live From the Living Room it's Binky!

Or that's what I feel like I should be chanting these days. What a little performer he is becoming. I swear the child even knows how to pause for laugh lines. Although he may come by that honestly...his mother knows how to pause for laugh lines as well. The big difference being of course the fact that he gets way more laughs than I do. I think its absolutely adorable, naturally. Of course I do wish he could tell the difference between laughs, cheers, "no Samuels", "get away from theres" and "What are you doings?" and don't forget "Get out of the trashes". Perhaps he does know the difference and that's the trick...whatever the answer, he likes to perform the actions before these particular reactions...um...frequently. Kids tune in young I'm finding. The other day, our sweet Binky threw himself onto the floor in full, "why can't I eat your cell phone" tantrum mode. As I was sitting there letting him perform his Oscar worthy scene, the child actually stopped crying, looked up through his arms and checked to see if I was eating popcorn and buying this act of his. I wasn't. So he moved on.

I find these days that it's hard to determine actual problems versus problems of someone with 14 months of life perspective. Crying commenses, that's when I start my checklist. Is it teeth? Is it his ears? Stuffy Nose? Is he scared? Is he hungry? Is he tired? Are his socks cutting of the circulation in his feet? Did he see a ghost? Does he hate his outfit this morning? Does he want to get into the kitchen so he can throw cans of soup on the floor? Bingo! Sleeping is the worst. My baby has always been a good sleeper...I'm not bragging, he just is. So when he has nights where he won't sleep, its unusual and I have a hard time believing I'm being played. I know there are nights I am being played. I'm sure he goes back to his crib after being allowed up for an hour at midnight to play and high fives bedtime bunny. I'm sure this happens, but sometimes watching him roll cars on the floor is way easier than the battle of wills that is called "Crying it Out". So shoot me, Babywise...I'm not consistent.

Here is the other thing that I've been thinking about lately. Bottles. Why do pediatricians insist your baby gives up his bottle at a year? My pediatrician asked me this question at Sam's 12 month, "How is he doing with a sippy?". Well, do you mean does he get the concept that it is a different shape liquid container that also has a hole in the top like his bottle? Yes, he grasps this. Has he stopped shaking it to recreate Old Faithful at mealtime? No. That is why he still has a bottle. It's easier on me, his working mom. I tell you what. I PROMISE he won't go to college with it. We will enforce the sippy before he turns 16 as a part of everything else he has to do to get a driver's license...deal?

Weather permitting, we go outside in the backyard a few times a day. He loves being outside and playing with his toys. One of his favorite activities is walking around parked cars to check their tires (fully supervised, activity in which the car has to be on flat ground). This particular activity makes me laugh b/c everytime Sam's dad gets out of a car, he walks around it to look at the tires and check for scratches. Like father, like son?

Lastly, I had to include these pictures. This is a photo opportunity gone wrong. We tried to get some father/son shots outside whilst having a fire in the fire pit. The following is the progression of a Binky that wants to get down and see what's up with that fire.

2009...and we're off!

So there was no easing into the year. January 5th came and we were off. Sam started "school" last Tuesday. Much to my relief, he did not join a gang or get suspended for back talking...(wiping forehead). He did, however, get an incident report written up for him as he ran into a mirror in the classroom the first day. This sounded more serious than it was...as I guess they have to write incident reports up for practically everything. If I had to do that, all I would be doing is writing up incident reports. We just fall around here (me and Sam that is...Andy is remarkably more coordinated). The bump he got from trying to hug the baby in the mirror wasn't even visible by the time I got home from work and was shortly covered up by the knot he received from falling flat on his face trying to run through Nana's kitchen that night.

So school. I wasn't there to pick him up, but the report he got on both days was, "he's busy." He apparently doesn't have time for being consoled, played with or having his diaper changed. Why would he have time for those things? He has cars to roll on the ground and only three hours to get that accomplished. Get out of his way, people. I am loving that this kid has a place to go twice a week to get himself "worn out". I am loving that he is surrounded by kids of my friends and not hanging out in "baby jail" in the living room watching Judge Judy. I am also loving the fact that we dropped his morning nap. After a year, I am seeing glimpses of a schedule and it is welcomed.

Things that just don't seem to change:

Will I always get out two spoons at mealtime? One for me to feed him with and one for him to play with?

Will he always indicate he's finished by doing the "windshield wiper" and knocking the rest of his cheese and crackers to the floor?

Will he always think, "NO SAMUEL," is hysterical?

Will he always hate having pants put on him?

Will he ever walk past a drink on a table ledge and just let it stay there?

Will the Wiggles ever grow old?

Will he always think his mommy is hysterical? - I sure hope so.

Resolutions - Every year, I sit down and I map out a plan that will allow me to take the next 12 months to completely reinvent and change who I am. I always fail, and it makes the idea of just being me for another year seem like a huge flaw or consolation prize. This year, I resolve not to reinvent, only to improve on me. I am pretty darn good in January 2009 and with a husband and little boy who agree, why would I want to be anyone else. Let's ease up, slow down and savor the moments in '09!

Much Love,
Sam's Mommy

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

What an incredibly crazy and different year it's been. We started off 2008 with a one month old and are ending it with a one year old. The differences between the two ages are staggering. Sam gets more and more amused with himself everyday and somedays, I get less and less amused. Stop grabbing my cell phone. Don't pull on the blinds. Who taught you how to turn off the television?

Christmas was nice. I got a lot of time off and spent it with my family. Sam spiked a fever of 101 on Christmas Eve and we took our first trip to urgent care. By the time we got there to the 3 hour wait, Sam's tylenol had kicked in and he was running up and down the waiting room like nothing could bother him. I'm sure the other parents were wondering why we were taking up chairs, but it turned out that he had the beginnings of a respiratory infection and ran a fever for the next two days. After the fever came the stuffy nose that makes them miserable and unable to sleep. It was a tiring few days, in the midst of which, I caught the bug. Now, we are well and this week has been filled with park visits and play dates.

I did call the nurse helpline. I really just wanted to ask them how I could help him breathe better. By the time I got finished answering all of their questions, I forgot what I wanted to ask. The nurse said, "You don't need to take him to the hospital tonight, just keep an eye on him." I said, "okay, thanks." as if that was the helpful info I was looking for then hung up. Totally pointless phone call. At one point she asked me if I could see his ribs while he was breathing. I told her he had finally fallen asleep so I couldn't check. She said it was a perfect time to check, so she would wait on the phone while I took a look. I put the phone down, counted to 20 and then picked it back up and said, "nope, breathing normally." I'm not waking my sleeping baby you crazy woman.

I've spent the week reorganizing my house and packing up infant toys to put in the attic. This is the first time I've done this. It was hard putting away all those toys that latch onto strollers and things, but he doesn't play with them (because they are not my cell phone) so I sadly packed up all the things that promised to make my kid the best and the brightest in those first few months. Surely, he must be a genius by now. I couldn't bare to pack up Roo, his red kangaroo. So Roo made the cut for mommy's sake and will not go in the attic just yet.

In a few days, Sam starts a little program at our church. It's a two half day a week preschool. I'm very excited about it because he's such a busy little boy and it will give him the opportunity to get out and play with the other children. He loves going to Sunday School and I think this will be a great thing for all of us.

Okay, well that's about it from our house. I did get a new camera so the pictures shall continue (are you as relieved as I am).

Hope everyone has a smashing, goal-accomplishing 2009!
Sam's Mommy