Friday, March 28, 2008

Don't sweat the small stuff blahblahblah

Great-Grandma Agnes - HOLLA! These are from our trip last August, Coop is 9 months old here.
Great-Grandpa Tony - Yo Tony!

I have been wondering if I and my spousal partner in crime are less concerned about the ginormous number of things everyone else with kids seems to worry about (rashes, hitting milestones on time or earlier, watching or not watching TV etc.) because we are a) older and wiser than the average parent of a 16 month old; b) older and thus more tired than the average parent of a 16 month old; c) generally cool, calm and easy going individuals who don't freak out about a lot in general anyway or d) clueless and thus blissful.

I am going to go with a combination of a and c. And a little of b thrown in. This thought process began with a meeting of the mamas in my neighborhood. We try to get together once a month to get out of the house without kids and men, and to eat a lot of good food and/or drink more than we normally would at home. Not that we drink that much of course. Anyway, there are a few vegetarians in the group, one by choice the others for religious reasons - they are practicing Hindus. There are some who were very into breast feeding and being organic with everything. This led to a discussion about the source of meat in your local grocery store vs. the evil empire, Whole Foods.
I am someone who should not think too hard about the food she eats, about how it was grown, how it was processed, what it was before it was killed for the nurishment of my body, things like that. If I think too hard about it, I won't eat. I might eat jello. No, wait, that is made from gelatin and that came from the hooves of horses and cows and pigs and I just considered that they might have souls and ugh, another joyful childhood tradition flushed down the toilet.

So I don't think too hard about it. I try to be healthy, I buy organic produce when possible, but let's face it, sometimes it is WAY too expensive, and looks like it was left by the side of the road a little too long. I try to recycle, I am good at shutting off lights and not running the water too long when I brush my teeth.

But this one mama, a very nice, intelligent, conscientious woman, would not stop talking about meat. It was beginning to turn on that part of my brain that makes me eat only pasta for a week because no one died, that I know of, to feed me and I am unlikely to catch any diseases from it. Probably. Anyway, then it occurred to me that I still have grandparents alive. I am a product of the 60's and 70's when we probably ate food that was poisoned with DDT. And I am still here to talk about it, with all my fingers and toes, and I gave birth to a son with all of his digits intact. My grandparents are in their late 80's. These are the grandparents who drank and smoked and were kind of jet setty in their heyday and they are still here - see pictures above. So I figure that there is something to be said for one's DNA too. And that sometimes being less stressed, not worrying and chilling out with a hamburger and fries every so often does just as much for your quality of life than being wound up about the source of the burger. I think most things take care of themselves, if you are aware of your life, don't sleep walk through it, and are respectful of yourself, others and the universe. Be responsible, take care of the things you can, but don't get in a tizzy over the things you can't.
My brother would have a different take on this, but that is a different story for a different time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The sweetest thing

What devilishness is this?


Anyone who has had kids will tell you that at some point you have that moment. The one where you are irretreivably in love with your kid. Where you have lost yourself completely and you wish you could hold onto that moment forever. I had one of those tonight getting Cooper ready for his bath. I was holding him, getting a towel out of the closet, when we were the victims of a towel avalanche. I made a squawking sound, which made Cooper laugh. A big fat belly laugh. The avalanche would not be denied, and as more towels fell to the floor, and I made more squawking noises, he laughed and laughed. I was laughing too, and he thought that was funny too. We had about 30 seconds of total, belly busting laughter. And it was magical.

If one can take a snapshot of a moment, and keep it in your heart and soul forever, that is one of those moments. I hope I never forget it.

Since I don't have any pictures of that moment to put here, I will put some from this weekend. Cooper had his first encounter with Peeps, and he was not impressed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Stream of consciousness warning...

Today's posting has almost nothing to do with my darling offspring. Except in that some day, through the wonders of technology, he may be interested in reading what his cracked in the head mother had to say about certain topics. In which case, I apologize now for any embarrassment he may experience upon reading any of the posts.

So I am home for part of the day today because Cooper was sent home with a mild fever from school/daycare. He is now banned from going back for at least 24 hours. Bob and I are splitting the day so that I can go to a meeting at work in the afternoon. So while taking my time getting ready, because I am not on a time schedule to get me and Cooper ready, I decided to whiten my teeth.

I have spent a lot of time with my dentist lately. It started as just my 6 month cleaning, which turned into a "we should replace that old nasty probably poisoning you with mercury silver filling" which was followed up by the need for my first ever crown. Well, temporary crown for the moment. Topics for several other blogs: the ravaging effects of being over 40 on the female body, dentists, Dancing with the Stars (my not so secret obsession) and how funny I think Adam Corolla is. Back to my teeth - during the first visit my dentist suggested, mandated in fact, that I whiten my teeth. Apparently drinking my own body weight each day in coffee and/or tea has a staining affect on my teeth. Who knew. To her credit she suggested I try one of the over the counter products first, since having her do it would cost close to one months worth of daycare.

Which brings me to the primary thought for this blog - units of measurement. If you think about it, we all have our own personal units of measurement we apply to a variety of situations that have nothing to do with minutes, hours, inches, feet, or cubits. Since having had Cooper I use two that I can think of. The first is what the cost of ____ is in daycare hours. We live in the Boston area, and both my husband and I work full time. This means we pay out the equivalent of what could be a mortgage on a very nice vacation home on the Cape, in Maine or possibly a mansion in the Pochonos. Consequently, when we had to have the circuit breaker box replaced because water was getting into it, I did the math and realized that was costing us, at that time, two months worth of daycare. Cooper was only going three days a week then. Because it is a non negotiable expense in our lives, any OTHER expense is then weighed in relation to how big a sacrifice it represents in comparison to daycare.

I also employ the "how much of my precious free and mostly conscious time am I willing to invest in ____ activity" measurement. Since post-baby I have fewer free moments that are spent in a state of mostly consciousness, I have to choose carefully how I spend them. I told Bob last night I was not willing to invest 2 hours of that time watching "I am Legend" that Will Smith movie with viral infected zombies in it. It is a depressing story from what I can tell - everyone, including Will Smith's family, dies from some virus, except for him. Then he discovers there are some other people who survived, but they were turned into zombies by the virus. In the end he dies. I am willing to invest time in a movie that doesn't have a story book happy ending, but not when it involves zombies and whole civilizations being wiped out by viruses. Zombies freak me out and viral epidemics even more. I don't even like the Thriller video.

But I digress. My point is it has come to my attention that children change your life in ways you don't even realize will happen. Sure everyone expects the sleepless nights, the crying that seems to have no cause or solution, the yakking and explosive poop episodes, but I don't think we realize how our priorities will change in such subtle ways. It is very eye opening.

Hey, I guess this did end up being about Cooper after all.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I have decided that this weekend, my son established beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a super genius. He knows a variety of words, and even uses them appropriately. One of those words is "puppy". At first we thought he was using it to indicate one of the three dogs that cohabitate with us. But my husband noticed that while saying "puppy puppy puppy" Cooper was sqatting and grunting, the usual signs that a biological process was taking place in his shorts. So he asked Cooper "are you pooping" to which Cooper nodded. "Do you need to get your diaper changed" Another nod and a toddle in the direction of the stairs, because all diaper changes happen on the changing table in his room upstairs.

SUPER GENIUS - he knows what pooping is, and he has a word for it. It might not be the exact correct word for it, but it is a word none the less.

I am not anticipating that he will be potty trained tomorrow, but the clock is ticking. His grandmother, my husband's mother, otherwise known as Meme in the French Canadian culture that spawned Bob and explains my child's blonde hair and blue eyes, has informed me that her super genius son, father of my super genius, (it apparently runs in the family like the hair and eyes) was potty trained by 18 months of age. I have informed Cooper of this bench mark, however I have also made sure he understands that he has nothing to prove to me. I will love him and adore him and celebrate all of his milestones no matter when he leaves those diapers behind. But I have also informed him that there is an outside time limit - the school he attends requires children be potty trained before they can enroll in the Toddler II class. That is a year and 5 months away. So tick tock....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Growing up sooooooooo fast

Kickin' it old school... My two computer nerds
New kicks!

It is so bizarre that my child is 16 months old. He is a little person now, not a baby. He is communicating with purpose. Not just crying, but interactively. It is amazing quite frankly. I was so proud when each of our dogs was officially house trained (Poncho so totally out did Gus in the genius-house-training department). The pride that I feel with each milestone Cooper reaches is something in the gagillion times more area. He is learning words we haven't even taught him. That happens with kids who spend a giant bulk of time with other people, i.e. teachers at school, I suppose. He is obsessed with steps, as all kids at this age are. And he knows exactly what to do on them. He boldly marches toward them in his tiny little red high top Converse sneakers, grabs that railing (at school they have one at his height and ours) and pulls his little self right up those stairs. I don't even have words to describe what I will probably feel the first day he gets on a school bus. Pride/fear/wooziness with a side of panic.

Cooper's father is a software engineer, consequently we have three working computers, and the desktop PC has two monitors. It might not be surprising that Cooper is obsessed with keyboards too. I took the picture you see with this blog of the Coop and the Bob doing their computer nerd thing.

And finally why will my child wear a baseball cap backwards, but not forward? Why does anyone for that matter? Isn't the point of the baseball cap to use the brim to keep the sun out of your eyes? When worn backwards the only thing it does effectively is give you a funky mark on your forhead from the band on the back of the hat.
Maybe some day someone will take a half decent picture of me and the Coop, and I will post that here. It might help if I learn photoshop so I can suck 20lbs off of me in any picture too. Having a baby over the age of 40 is a freaking miracle, but it has had its drawbacks. Combine that with being part hippopotomus apparently, and you get the idea.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

If a 16 month old could write....

What I imagine a journal entry would look like if Cooper could write:

7am...woke up hungry and with a very full diaper, but Dad resolved both issues without too much prodding from me. Plan for the day - in the ongoing effort to get a handle on the whole cause and effect relationship thing, I will implement several experiments today to determine the possible outcomes of various behaviors. These include but are not limited to making it as hard as possible for Mommy to put my coat on at the end of the day in day care, grab Mommy's arm with my legs when she is trying to put my clean diaper on and drop my sippy cup from the high chair 7ooo times in one meal.

6pm...had a good day at day care. Read 346 books, played with every toy 12 times, each, got to go to the big gym to run around with the toddlers. Outcomes on experiments - sippy cup dropping - no one likes it except for me. Hit one of the dogs on the head, that was an accident but may try to aim for him next time. Diaper/arm wrapping thing - makes Mommy very cranky and apparently makes it very hard to put the diaper on. May come in handy later. Won't utilize often. Coat experiment - very interesting results. First Mommy laughed, then she got a bit cranky, then she used her angry Mommy voice and ultimately used the fact that she outweighs me by a considerable amount to pin me to the ground and wrestle the coat on me. Side observation, Mommy does NOT like it when I whack her in the face with my hand. May try it again under different circumstances to determine if time and place make any difference.