From the Mouths of Babes: Proclamations of Love

standard March 13, 2009 1 response

“What is going on in here?” I asked Little L who was making more noise than a herd of hysterical elephants despite having been in bed for well over a half an hour.
“Mama! Mama!” She greeted me with sheer delight before letting go of the crib railing she was banging on and searching around for her bottle. “Ah doh! Ah doh! Ah gone!” She said, shaking her empty bottle in my face.
“Yes, I can see you’re all done with your milk and that it’s all gone. That happens when you drink it all up. Now it’s time for you to have a great big nighnigh.”
I settled her back onto her mattress and tucked her blankie and MooMoo cow next to her before going to tuck C in again.
“Mama? Mama?” She called again from the crib. I turned to look at her and she flashed me her biggest, goofiest, most mischievous grin. “Mama? I dov ou.”
“I love you too baby. Sleep tight.”

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Yeah, so maybe she doesn’t like honey. Whatever.

standard January 16, 2009 4 responses

Yesterday I learned that the red stains on Little L’s shirt weren’t tomato sauce as I’d first assumed, but ketchup. Ketchup. Ewwwww.

I have a bit of an issue with ketchup. As in, I hate the stuff with a passion. Dunking french fries in ketchup? Disgusting (Why would you do that when luscious mayo tastes so much better?). Dousing meatloaf in ketchup? Evil. Seriously, I won’t even kiss M after he eats some.

C, who clearly shares her mother’s good taste, can’t abhor the stuff. She’ll howl if anyone brings any even close to her plate. So it wasn’t so crazy for me to assume that Little L would follow in our footsteps and also shun the sweet (pretend) tomato sauce. But, nooo, apparently my youngest child takes after her father’s palette. Blergh.

It took me a while, (and I might have made Little L cry* when I told her that I now had to disown her, but it was OK, because her daddy would now love her twice as much as before) but I think I have finally come to grips with the fact that the ketchup shunners will not outnumber the ketchup eaters in our family. And I’ve also accepted the fact that maybe this is a good way to get Little L to eat a little more.

Which is how we come to tonight. Because today I figured that if Little L was amenable to dipping fries in ketchup, maybe she’d be willing to try dipping other foods in other dips, and yes, maybe we could lure her back to our side of the ketchup fence. So I let her dip her chicken nugget in honey (my sauce of choice – don’t knock it ’til you try it). She took a tentative bite and at first she seemed to like it. And then she made a face, and another face, and gagged a little, then gagged a lot, and then she started throwing up. A lot. Everywhere. Like a fountain. A never ending fountain of yuck.

Of course we had come in M’s brand new car. The one that doesn’t have diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, or the massive layer of discarded clothes that litter the bottom of my car. Which left us with exactly nothing. Or rather, a disgusting baby and nothing to clean her with or to change her into.

I picked her up at arms length and went to see if I could find a miracle in the McDonald’s bathroom. And I didn’t. Want to know what I found instead? McDonald’s is now saving money by not stocking paper towels! How nice for them. How impractical for moms of babies coated in ick.

I stripped Little L and resisted the urge to chuck her clothes. I gave her an impromptu bath in the sink and tried to dry her off under the hand blowers. (She was not a fan.) I dressed her in my sweater. Then we went back to our table, where I let her eat fries dipped in ketchup, because I know when I’ve lost and I’m nothing if not able to admit defeat gracefully.

*note to self: 17 and a half month old babies understand way more than you give them credit for.

Original It’s my life… post.

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The sweetness of the middle of the night diaper intervention

standard November 27, 2008 2 responses

Every night before getting into bed I tiptoe into the girls’ room. I listen for a moment to make sure everything is right – quiet breathing from both beds, humidifier hiss, space heater hum. I tuck C back under her covers – she tends to sleep with one leg slung over the duvet, like me, and if my grandmother is to be believed, like my grandfather used to – and then I grab a clean diaper and gingerly make my way around the toy booby traps littered everywhere to Little L’s side of the room.

I quietly lower the side of the crib and gently roll my sleeping baby onto her back. I do a quick butt pat to see if her diaper feels squishy and full, and, since it usually is, I gently unzip her fleecy pajamas. As the cool air hits her round belly her little legs jerk up in protest and her face scrunches itself into a comical irritated grimace. She flails around for a moment until her hands encounter a stray pacifier, which she maneuvers into her mouth without ever opening her eyes.

She instantly relaxes back into sleep and her legs straighten themselves out. I slide first one pudgy foot out and then the other, holding them both in the air so I can slide the clean diaper under her. Her feet are warm and soft and I can never resist planting a gentle kiss on the tender soles.

I change her diaper quickly and marvel at how small and pudgy and babyish she appears in the dead of the night. There’s no frenetic movement, no clingyness, no whining, crying, just sweet sleeping baby. Asleep like this and so trusting of me she is once again my sweet innocent baby, not the fiercely independent toddler, desperate to keep up withe her older sister, constantly moving, talking, growing.

I make sure her diaper is snug and slide her legs back into the jammies. I zip them up carefully and roll her back onto her side before covering her with a light blanket. I strategically scatter her pacifiers around her head, check that her sippy is filled with water, and brush her hair back from her face before murmuring a quiet I love you.

She rarely wakes during these stealth night time diaper changes; they’re my secret moment with my baby, my plump sweetly sleeping baby.

One of the many mysteries of parenthood

standard November 7, 2008 2 responses

This morning my darling children decided to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5am. Now, I don’t know about your household, but ’round these parts, we don’t get up until 7ish. So, at 5am, after a fitful, not so restful night, you can imagine that I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be up.

I sent C back to her bed in a hurry and I retired to the couch with Little L. Now, on most mornings when Little L and I don’t exactly see eye to eye about whether or not we should be up, I can cuddle with her on the couch under a big comforter and she’ll usually go back to sleep. Sometimes it takes a bit of persuasion, but it’s usually a guaranteed thirty or forty more winks.

This morning she was having none of it. She’d been up and her beloved big sister had been up, ergo, it was clearly time for everyone to be up. I lay with her on the couch, pinning her tight against me, hand holding her pacifier in her mouth, for a long, long time. Usually if I hold her like that she goes back to sleep in minutes and we enjoy a long lazy sleepy snuggle. This morning she fought me and struggled. She stuck her fingers in my eyes and she even tried to see if she could get away with biting my arm.

Which is when I realized that I had somehow misplaced the pacifier.

OK. So here’s what I don’t get. If I am lying on the couch on my side, and my rather small daughter is lying next to me, and there is nothing else on the couch other than the comforter, and I have been lying quite still and holding the baby in place, how is it possible that I lost the pacifier? I looked everywhere the pacifier could have been; under the cushion, under the baby, under me, on the comforter, everywhere. Needless to say I didn’t find it.

Since Little L doesn’t sleep without the pacifier and by then I’d been fighting with her for over an hour and a half, I finally admitted defeat and let her get up. Once we were off the couch I did another thorough pacifier search, but I never found the little sucker.

I found it tonight. A foot away from the end of the couch. Seriously. Can you please explain that?