Come, Mommy

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sad Discovery

I bought some Coke Zero the other day. We're still fighting this respiratory bug, and I was looking for something to drink that didn't involve tea and/or water. At any rate, Liam spied the bottle and ran over to Kevin, pleading "Soda! Baby's OWN soda! Need Baby's OWN!" Kevin picked him up and replied, very gently, "You know, son, soda's not very good for you."

Liam's face crumpled, he put his hands over his eyes, and murmured softly, "Oh, my..."

Unfortunately this is probably not the only time in life Liam will find something that looks so good but turns out to be bad.


One of the things I am learning from my son, albeit slowly, is the pleasure to be derived from staying in the moment. Not thinking about what happened five minutes ago, or what needs to get done next, but just enjoying the now. None of this washing-the-dishes-to-get-them-done business for Liam. He's all about the splashing, and the suds, and the rinsing, and sometimes it's a sad event to run out of dirty dishes.

At any rate, he devised a game he calls "Pounce". The game is played by lobbing balls of different sizes on top of an overturned flower pot and then listening for the different sounds of the balls making contact with the pottery. The name of the game apparently derives from an idea of Liam's - he sees balls "pouncing" on the flowerpot.

As you may imagine, a sizeable number of the balls never come anywhere near the pot, and instead end up snagged by Casey. This does not bother Liam, who happily shouts "Pounce!" when a ball hits the flowerpot, and "Miss!" when the ball misses. The fun is in playing the game, not in the outcome.

I need to cultivate my inner two-year-old, to worry less about what's supposed to happen and focus more on what is happening. Maybe even become less of a perfectionist. It's a tall order.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

He Took My Bagel!

All of this bad stuff going on in our family this week has had one upside for me. Recently I've found myself missing some of the humor in everyday family situations essentially because I'm focusing on the negatives of a given scene, such as the mess, the tantrums, and what-have-you. But since Bob's accident I've realized that life is short, very few situations are entirely bad, and I might as well focus on the fun stuff around me. With that in mind, here's yesterday's scene:

Liam (talking to dog, bagel clutched in hand): Casey, want some bagel?

Casey (stretching neck out): sniff, sniff, lick.

Liam: Here Casey, bagel! EAT!

At which point Casey grabs the entire bagel from Liam's hand, and, in one gulp, the bagel is gone.

Then Liam ran to me, yelling, "Come, Mommy! Casey took bagel! Baby's bagel! GONE! GONE! Casey took!"

I said to Liam, "But, honey, you offered him the bagel."

To which Liam replied, "No whole bagel! Only one piece! Teeny-tiny piece!"

Apparently Casey was only supposed to take a bite of the bagel? Clearly it's time to teach Casey proper snack etiquette.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ay Yi Yi

This title is the only descriptor for the last week.

Reason 1. Liam and I both got sick Sunday night. Fever, sniffles, sore throat. OK, no school for him Monday, which is fine. I called Gran-Gran to come help us out during the day so I could get some downtime, thanking my lucky starts my mother-in-law likes to spend time at our house. Everything is going swimmingly until Kevin calls from work, giving us Reason 2.

Reason 2: Uncle Bob has been in a very, very bad car accident. It seems a 15-year-old took his mom's car without her permission and ran head-on into Bob, and it sounds to me like Bob's Mustang had to be peeled off of him much as one would peel an orange. He's now in an ICU in Florida, on a ventilator; he has more broken bones than intact ones. He's expected to survive, but his recovery will be long and hard. And the kid who hit him is in bad shape, too.

Reason 3: Because of Reasons 1 and 2, I've been spending large stretches of the night awake, resulting in Reason 4.

Reason 4: Insomnia does a real number on my immune system, so this has gone from a bad cold to bronchitis complete with antibiotic therapy. I'm flat on my back in bed, Kevin is amusing Liam outside with a leaf blower, and I hope with all my heart this clears up quickly. I am losing my mind from stress. I'm quite sure my brain will ooze out my ears at any moment.

So here I am with my jumbled thoughts, worrying about Bob, feeling my heart break for the parents of the kid who hit him, for the kid himself whose life is forever altered by one horrendous decision, and wondering why I'm not getting better after two days of anitbiotics. See what four hours of sleep a night for a week will do to your brain? And body?

Friday, November 04, 2005

The House-Park-Rock

Liam is quite the rock afficionado. He has a small coffee can, thoughtfully donated by Gran-Gran, that houses his collection of pebbles. He picks up these rocks on our frequent visits to local parks, and woe befall the adult who manages to lose one of his treasures before arriving home.

His favorite rock is about the diameter of a half dollar, and maybe a centimeter thick. It looks like sandstone to my uneducated eye, and he dubbed it The House-Park-Rock because he found it in a playhouse in the park. Very literal, my son.

Yesterday, tragedy struck. The House-Park-Rock broke in half as he dropped it into the can. He burst into tears, picked up the two pieces, and cried, "Come, Mommy. House-Park-Rock broke. No two House-Park-Rocks. No-no-no. Broke. Broke. Broooooke. Come, Mommy. Come." (I was sitting beside hime the whole time.) If there's anything that makes my heart break, it's tears on my son's face, especially when accompanied by chin quivering.

I am pleased to report that after several late-night glue trials, along with prayers to the gods of adhesive chemistry, House-Park-Rock has been restored to his former splendor. (Did I mention House-Park-Rock is male? No. Well, now you know.) Liam is beaming - "ONE House-Park-Rock now! Only One! Fixed! Fixed!"

What's keeping me up at night now is that in a few years, Liam will experience problems that I won't be able to fix with space-age epoxies. Will someone please tell me how to keep him little? Forever?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Menagerie House

Why am I here? Lots of reasons. I need a place to think, to write, to vent, to tell funny kid and pet stories. Mostly, I guess, I need a space that is mine. I've recently discovered some mommy blogs and can sense their therapeutic value to the authors; I want in on the action. I've kept a journal off and on since Liam was born, but I can't write as fast as I can type, and this format is as accessible as the nearest keyboard. Maybe I'll find some readers, maybe I won't. Maybe, someday, Liam will read this, and he'll find some stories of his life as a little boy.

Why this particular title? Well, because I hear it about 40 times a day. It's an all-purpose request which can mean anything from, "come here right now" to "I've found something exciting and you have to see it" to "hug me tighter" to "I have a problem and Mommy needs to fix it". Sometimes it makes me feel needed, sometimes it makes me think, "What NOW?" And every time I hear it, I think, "That's my son!" Sometimes I can't believe he's here, and how much I love him, even though he'll be two in a few weeks.