Come, Mommy

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

One Sick Puppy - Now With Update

So we've hit another childhood first around here. Leonard's never really thrown up or had a tummy bug before, but as of this morning, the stomach flu is in town. Leonard's been a bit cranky the last couple of days, and it all hit home this morning when the real pukefest began. He threw up in bed, looked at me and asked, "What did just happen, Mommy?"

We got him cleaned up and changed, the bed stripped and changed, and then he threw up on the floor. He looked up at me, eyes bright with fever, and excitedly exclaimed, "Mommy! I'm a real doggie now! I puked just like Casey!!"

And so went the day. I'm very grateful for our large washing machine and the extra sheets and towels we've been stocking up on for the birth. And Leonard is exhausted. He expressed it best at 3:00 this afternoon when, after he had thrown up on both of us for the third or fourth time, he looked up at me, tears in his eyes, and whimpered, "It's not so easy being a real doggie, is it, Mommy?"

The poor little boy great big doggie. I sure hope this turns out to be one of those one day wonder bugs.

Updated Wednesday at 5:45 AM: Leonard has puked on and off all night. Now Kevin has the bug, too. This might be manageable if a) I don't get sick myself, and b) I don't go into labor in the next couple of days. Everyone send positive thoughts this way, OK?

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Monday, February 26, 2007

The Line Between Imagination and Schizophrenia

is a thin one indeed. Just a wee tiny sampling of conversations from this weekend and today:

1. Liam: "Mommy, can you get me some soy milk?

Me: "Sure, honey, just hang on a minute..."

Liam: "I'm NOT "honey." And I can't hang on!"


2. Me: "Leonard, would you like grilled cheese or mac 'n' cheese for lunch?"

Liam: "I can't tell you because I'm a dog and dogs can't talk. WOOF!"


3. The two of us were walking through a parking lot:

Me: "Leonard, please hold my hand for the parking lot."

Liam: "I can't because I'm a dog and you are the Mommy Doggie and dogs don't have hands."

Me: "Well, can we hold paws, then?"

Liam: "Um, sure, dogs can do that."


4. At a restaurant:

Hostess: "Does your son need a booster seat?"

Liam: "I'm not a 'son'! I'm a doggie! Woof-woof-WOOF!"

Hostess: "Oh. Well, would you like a booster?"

Liam: "No, thank you. Great big doggies don't fit in booster seats."

Hostess: "Ah. Good to know."


5. At Liam's friend Isaac's house:

Isaac: "Do you want to play, Liam?"

Liam: "I'm NOT LIAM!!!"

Isaac: "You are right, and you are L-"

Liam: "NO! I'm not 'Right'! I'm Leonard!!"

If this keeps up much longer my next post will be an open solicitation for Haldol.


Friday, February 23, 2007

37 Weeks

Liam: "Mommy, why isn't my baby brother born quite yet?"

Me: "Well, he's just now big enough to be born, but he probably won't be for a couple of weeks yet."

Liam: "Well , when the midwives come to help him be born, will you make sure they know my real name?"

Me: "Well, sure, kiddo...."

Liam: "NO!!! I'm not kiddo!"

Me: "Um...Liam?"

Liam: "No!!!! I'm not really Liam anymore!"

Me: "Um...Donald the Tickling Shark?? No?? Who are you?"

Liam: "I'm Leonard the Great Big Doggie Who Goes 'WOOF'!!!"

Me: "Ah..I see. So that's why you're wearing Casey's collar?"

Liam: "Yes, you see, I said WOOF and he gave me the collar. Because he knew I'm a doggie now. I change like that."

Me: "Yes, you do. It's fun, but very confusing, son."

Liam: "NOOOO!! I'm not Son!"

Me: "Sorry, Leonard!"

Liam: "Mommy?? Please tell my baby brother to be born soon. I'm tired of waiting. Also, I know he'd like to see my "doghouse" and play with my kitty and tiger. "

Sounds good to me, kiddo Leonard. I'll see what I can do to pass on the message...

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

In Which I Get A Taste Of Teenage Conversation

Liam came running in tonight after a trip with Kevin to buy some ice cream.

Me: "Did you guys go to the ice cream store?"

Liam (giving me a funny look): "Yeah, Mommy, because that's where the ice cream is, you know."

Oh, right.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Normally Valentine's Day is not something we really do anything about in terms of celebration here at the Menagerie House, but we had a confluence of circumstances that led to at least a nod towards the day this year. You see, Schnorpfest '07 is entering it's third and hopefully final week, and has expanded to include colds for both Kevin and I along with sinusitis and and an amoxicillin prescription for Donald the Tickling Shark. Then, too, we were treated to an ice storm last night and this morning, so Kevin worked from home and eventually gave up on that after his company closed their gates early this afternoon.

If you have two sick adults who need to entertain a small boy with a minimum of physical exertion, and you can't really go anywhere, what should you do? We simply declared today to be a holiday after all and baked a cake. So in the picture above we have Donald the Great Big Shark Who Tickles People and his first ever effort at decorating a Valentine's Day cake. It turned out to be quite cute, and quite tasty! The only sad part was telling Donald that his new goldfish Gold, Goldie, and Orangey aren't really meant to share his cake...

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Friday, February 09, 2007

What Does Donald the Great Big Tickling Shark Buy At The Pet Store?

This morning I suggested to Donald that we should go to the pet store to get some more aquatic plants for our fish tank. He agreed this was a good idea and grabbed his wallet and pretend car keys. We got to the store and picked out a couple of plants to provide some cover for our shyer fish. And then we reached another milestone in childraising. My son declared he had enough money to buy himself a pet.

Now, I fully expected any child of mine to ask for a pet of his own sooner or later, but I didn't expect it to happen this soon, and I didn't foresee the offer of financial responsibility, either. Unsure as to how best to proceed, I asked Liam what kind of pet he wanted to purchase.

"I want to buy one of those teeny-tiny goldfish over there, Mommy!"

Liam pointed to a tank of feeder goldfish - you know, the kind that become dinner for other, bigger pets, and are sold for about a dime apiece. My heart began to melt, and I would have agreed immediately, but I just had to find out how he was planning to pay for the fish. He started rooting around in his wallet, opening various zippers and pulling out several pretend credit cards. Then he clearly was struck by inspiration and opened the center compartment to reveal two quarters- "Look, Mommy! Actually, I have money! I have coins! Can I pay with coins and not a toy credit card?"

I looked at the price of the goldfish and told him he could buy three goldfish with his two quarters. I have never seen such happiness - he wanted to buy one fish, and ended up able to buy three. He carefully told the sales associate exactly which fish he wanted. He paid for his fish, we brought them home, and he put them in our tank with only a little help from me.

My son may exist primarily in he dreamy world of imagination that 3-year-olds are known for, but today I got a glimpse of things to come - independence, self-assurance, and admirable problem-solving ability. I just hope I get to spend a bit more time with Donald the Great Big Shark Who Tickles People before he decides to morph into a mature boy.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bits and Pieces of Blah and Brrrrrrrrr!

It's cold in New Jersey. Not as dangerously cold as Upstate New York, but chilly nonetheless. The little boy previously known as Clifford has changed his ID again, and is now Donald the Very Big Shark Who Tickles People. Yesterday Donald declared he couldn't go outside because his "fins might freeze," so we have been devoting ourselves to other, indoor pursuits. To wit:

1. We have determined that the freezing point of Windex is somewhere around 10o F. That determination was made when we briefly opened the French doors to clean off the doggie noseprints on the outside glass. Also, Windex makes lovely frost crystals.

2. We have determined that Whiskercicles are adorable. Whiskercicles are what happens when dogs run around madly in this weather for five minutes or so. Their breath freezes on their whiskers, and the result really is worthy of inclusion on Cute Overload. I must try to get a picture.

3. We have determined that the best way to spend a cold afternoon is to invite some good friends over for a playdate. The only hard part is at the end when Donald the Very Big Shark watches his friends leave and says forlornly, "Why do they have to leave? I like them! Will they come back sometime again? Because I like them!"

Thank you all for coming and breaking up the Winter Blahs for us! Hopefully next time we do this it'll be a bit warmer and everyone can venture safely outside without fear of freezing fins.

4. This is The Greatest Thing to wear in cold weather. Kevin and Big Shark gave it to me for Christmas, but it's been so warm I haven't had much opportunity to wear it. It's really comfy and toasty. Thank you, guys!

5. This is one of the best documentaries I have seen in forever. It really communicates the competitiveness one finds in the synthetic organic chemistry community, the difficulty of natural products synthesis, and to me, the truly amazing thing is that the race to physostigmine detailed in this show is not all that different from the races to other products that go on these days, despite all our advances in instrumentation and technology.

Percy Julian was a contemporary of my grandparents, who were also organic chemists. They spent much of their careers looking for non-petroleum energy sources (yes, the alternative energy movement has been around for a long, long time), particularly during World War II. The description of Julian's work into the uses of soybeans for everything from oil to paint is bringing back a lot of memories of stories my grandparents told me.

6. In fifteen days I will be 37 weeks along, which is the magic number as far as a homebirth is concerned. If I were to go into labor before then, I would have to deliver in a hospital. If I can make it two weeks and a day, then this baby can pop out any ole time he so desires and we can welcome him into the world at home. That is definitely something to look forward to, and is a big help in chasing away the Winter Blahs.

And that is it for now. Towards the end of the week it is supposed to warm up above the freezing mark again. I'm hoping the warmer weather will awaken my brain, and inspire me to post something of note.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

What Does Clifford Buy At The Pet Store?

Well, we went to buy a fish tank filter. We got the filter, and couldn't leave until we had bones for the Great Doggler, T-Bone, Mac, Cleo, and Clifford himself. (I took this picture while we were stopped for gas. I'm pretty sure I don't want to know what the gas station attendant was thinking.)