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Being Three: Who Pissed In Your Sippy Cup?

being-three

Being three. Holy shit. This was a tough age.

My kid would be so sweet one second and the next, had an attitude and looked at me like she was going to shoot lasers out of her eyes. I remember that it seemed impossible to make my 3 year-old happy.

It’s like me when I’m pms’ing and really want a snicker’s but all we have are peanut butter cups and I’m thinking fuck this, I want a snicker’s. That’s the attitude of a 3 year-old.

And the tantrums. Holy shit, the tantrums are epic. This is the age where vodka came into my life a little more frequently.

They really love to test the limits and figure out how to push your buttons.

But, there are the really cool things that balance it out. When they’re not throwing themselves on the ground screaming, they actually talk to where you can have conversations with them.

With my daughter and I, it was about poop because it made her laugh and my god, handling a 3 year-old is like handling a bomb so you love to hear a laugh from them. It’s much better than the ear-piercing screeching you have to deal with.

The hummingbird wasn’t a terror 24/7, like I’m making it sound. We got pretty lucky with her as she has a pretty even temperament. It could just feel like she was a devil on wheels through much of being three because when your kid acts like that, it feels like the moment is never-ending.

But then she would laugh at a poop joke and my sanity was restored for a short time.

*If You Ever Want To Be In Love

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Being Two: Like A Puppy Who Had A Six Pack Of Red Bull

being-two

If humans ate their young, this would be the age that we’d do it. At this age, they’re fine one second and screaming on the floor the next second because you cut their fruit up the “wrong” way. This is the toddler pms stage and I barely survived. I was also in a deep depression so that made it even worse.

It sucks ass. But when you’re about to run from the house with plans to move to the Bahamas, they do something really cute and then I would feel like such an asshole. I’m certain that kids have some kind of radar for this and it alerts them to enter the cute mode.

They also love saying “NO” at this age all the fucking time. Everything is no with them. For instance, you know they’re tired and need a nap but those little monsters will say no and refuse. Since tying them to a bed is forbidden, you end up with a very cranky, toddler pms’ing 2 year-old on your hands.

On top of that, “the witching hour” comes and that’s when you feel like sprinting out of the house again. No matter how much you prepare for it and try to avoid it, there was always those 2 hours, between 3-5pm, when the hummingbird acted like a lunatic.

I would bribe and beg and bribe some more but nothing ever works with the witching hour.

Finally, my husband would come home from work and I’d hand him our daughter and take off running upstairs. Later on that night, I would tell him what a hell of a day I had and he’d make some remark that she seemed fine when he got home. And then, I smothered him with a pillow.

Kidding. Maybe. Of course.

*Use Somebody

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Being One: Drunk Baby Stage

The hummingbird is nearly seven. 7 YEARS-OLD!! So, I’ve been reminiscing on the years that seem to have gone by way too fast. That used to drive me crazy, when I would hear it goes by so fast. This was before babies though.

It would always be “take in everything, it goes by so fast” you won’t believe how fast it goes” “blink and you’ll miss it because they grow so fast”. But like everyone, I thought I will pay attention to everything my kid does so I don’t miss anything and time will slow to a crawl once I was a mom.

And now, my daughter is almost 7 years-old! Seven!! What the hell?

At the time that she was one, I didn’t realize how bad I had postpartum depression and anxiety. I look back now and want to hug that person. Despite not only having a really rough timeadjusting to being a mom but also embracing it, having a 1 year-old was pretty damn awesome. It’s the drunk baby stage. What’s not to love?

Having a one year old is like dealing with that drunk, unruly friend you used to have/currently have. They’re learning how to walk so they have that nice, little zig zag walking going on. I love the drunk baby walk.

They love doing sloppy things. Sloppy kisses, snotty noses, those lovely tantrums where they can go from happy as can be to pissed off toddler in 1.2 seconds.

They eat like they just came home from a drunk bender, stuff all over the floor, clothes, walls, up their nose. Everywhere.

Being one is filled with temperamental, sloppy, slobbery, drunk walking, I want to pull my hair out adventures.

What did you think when your baby was one? Did you love it? Want to run away from home?

*No One Knows

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Stream

There are times I just want to get on here and write a stream of consciousness. Now, I’m sure you’re sitting there thinking “what the hell, that’s what you already do”. That’s true, but I try to make some fucking sense some of the time… probably without much luck.

Anyway, I thought I would start doing my own little stream when the mood hits so here goes. Also, feel free to write your own stream of consciousness in the comments.

Going back to college has been a much more difficult transition than I was expecting. I have 2 papers due this week and all the usual shit to do around the house so I feel like I’m being pulled in so many different directions… more than usual. It’s been overwhelming and my brain has been so scattered. I feel as old as fuck amongst the little ones, like I should get out a walker and pinch their cheeks, then hand them a quarter for being a good little girl or boy.

I’ve been feeling nostalgic recently and have been listening to a lot of Incubus.

Why the hell didn’t I appreciate my 20’s more? Those were some great years but I see now that I really took advantage of what was right in front of me at the time. Not that I still don’t do that.

The little hummingbird isn’t quite as little anymore. Now that we have her ketotic hypoglycemia under control now that we finally know what she actually has after trying to figure it out for the past 6 years, she is growing so much! I can’t even begin to explain how happy that makes me.

All of these years, she’s had such slow growth because of the hypoglycemia and until recently undiagnosed hyperthyrodism. Before last July, she had gained about half a pound that year. Now that she’s on medication to help both issues, she’s gained 5 pound and at least 3 inches.

It may not seem like a big deal but when you have a child that has an ailment, seeing this improvement has been amazing. Not only her physical growth but her mental and emotional growth has been blowing me away. She’s reading chapter books now and it is the coolest thing to have your child read to you in their tiny, little voice.

*Incubus, of course.

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Specifics

I had an English teacher who would say “Write as if you were describing something to someone who didn’t know anything about your subject”. I always thought that was great advice but I didn’t realize that I would be using it the most when it comes to having a 6 year-old.

Of course I don’t expect her to know the basics and it’s not like she read a life manual in the womb, although that would be nice. But, I never realized just how much I wish I could record my voice with instructions on how to do things because I always sound like a broken record, saying things over and over and over and over again.

I never realized just how specific you have to be with kids.

Wash your hands….. with soap! – I’m always calling this out to her when I ask her to wash her hands and she’ll say “I know!” in response but if I don’t say it and she comes back from the bathroom after she washed her hands, I’ll ask if she washed with soap. That’s when I get her doing the crumpled shoulders, the sigh, and her walking back to the sink to use soap.

The hummingbird still doesn’t understand the importance of washing her hands. She’ll come home from school and crawl around on her hands and knees acting like one of the pups from Paw Patrol while I make her a snack in the kitchen. I’ll say go wash your hands…. with soap and she’ll let me know she already washed her hands. When?, I’ll ask. After lunch, she responds.

Well, you need to wash your hands. Okaaaaay she’ll say. The bird will come back and I’ll ask her if she washed her hands. She says yes but I’ll quickly say “With soap?” Shoulders slumped, she walks back to wash her hands… with soap. Omg, can I start drinking at 3:30 in the afternoon? Are kids allergic to soap? Will I still be telling her this in 10 years?

The soap is right there by the handle of the faucet, yet kids seem to have selective hearing AND selective sight.

It’s right there! – It seems so simple. I’ll have my daughter picking up a mess she made and there will be something right by her foot or behind her, it’s always something close by. Enter selective sight. I’ll tell the hummingbird that the book she’s looking for is behind her on the floor near her left foot.

I’ll be in the kitchen cooking dinner and peek my head into the living room to tell her again. She’ll turn around and ask where. I respond with “On the floor, behind you, by your left foot. No, your other left foot.”

Where?, she says.

By your left foot.

I don’t see it.

Look down by your left foot. Now, look behind your left foot. Do you see it?

No.

It’s by your left foot…

That’s when I point to it.

Where?, she says.

It’s behind you, by your left foot. Right there.

There’ll be a confused look on her face.

I finally walk out of the kitchen, pick up the book, and hand it to her.

OH! There it is, she says.

*Facepalm*

You need to put the tissue over your nose when you blow. – My 6 year-old is getting much better about this now but in the beginning there was this whole thing about her trying to learn how to blow her know which I found hard as hell to explain at first. It seemed like something simple to teach. Just blow out of your nose.

She would be holding the tissue in her hand on her lap while trying to blow and I’d be like whoa, whoa, whoa! Sweetie, you need to put the tissue over your nose so you don’t blow snot everywhere.

Ick.

Bathroom manners and hygiene. – There have been museums I’ve gone to where an automated voice will activate as you’re walking into a room. And, that’s exactly what I need for our bathroom. A child cannot simply use the bathroom and boom, easy peasy. They have to make it a test of your patience and sanity.

Wipe, flush, wash hands… with soap! I say this countless times a day and feel pretty twitchy by the time she’s doing her bedtime routine at night. I’ll sometimes get ready for bed with her and guiding the bird.

Did you flush?

Yes!

She didn’t.

You did?, said with a questioning voice.

Oh, I forgot.

Can you flush, please.

And did you wash your hands?

Yes!

Really?, in my best suspicious mom voice.

Oh, no… I forgot.

Well, wash your hands….

With soap!

*Sara Bareilles

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Failure To Thrive

gymnastics11

*I couldn’t read this back so there’s probably mistakes galore. And, sorry it’s so long.

Just typing this first sentence sends me into a panic from thinking about a terrifying moment one morning back in July. It’s been the main reason I had lost any interest in most things, including this blog. But things have been building inside my head and I need to be rid of them.

I’ve talked in the past about the hypoglycemic episodes we’ve had with my 6 year-old. Within 24 hours of her being born, she was rushed to the NICU for low blood sugar which was in its teens.

The hummingbird was taken off of medication within 2 months of being born and we thought that was the last of dealing with hypoglycemia.

Two years later, I went to get her up one morning and she was still sleeping, which was unusual. I woke her and while I was picking her up, she started twitching and crying while having spasms. She has never gone into a full-blown seizure though.

With each hypoglycemic episode she’s had over the years, there have been some where we could still treat her at home with honey and juice, and some where we would need to go to the emergency room. There were times where she would be released from the ER within 6-8 hours and other times when her blood sugar wouldn’t regulate and kept dropping to scary levels so she would have to be admitted for 1-2 weeks.

To this day, I worry 24/7 I worry about the possibility of her having a low blood sugar episode. Several of her episodes have been when she was sick but then there have been some episodes that have just come out of the blue.

The little bird has had so many tests and been to so many doctors but at the time, they didn’t seem to have many answers as to what was causing this. Also, the bird is small for her age so the specialists we’ve seen believed that there was another underlying issue but hadn’t been able to figure it out.

So, to be honest, I can feel like a wreck most days with the worry of whether or not she’s going to eat enough to keep her blood sugar up. She’s also very athletic and since she’s such a picky eater with not much of an appetite, that makes the worry and stress overwhelming at times.

We always make sure to have snacks with us wherever we go in case she may start showing signs of hypoglycemia. There have been times she had been so low upon waking up that we needed something much quicker to get the sugar into her because she can be very dazed and can’t follow simple instructions.

I usually dip my finger in honey and start wiping it on her lips and thankfully she has always responded to that by getting to where she can take it from a spoon. It’s probably only been a few minutes when dealing with these low blood sugar episodes but it feels like time stands still.

The bird didn’t have any severe episodes for a while and after we started seeing her most recent specialist, for the first time I’ve felt like I can ease up on the worry a tiny bit and I welcomed that.

When we go to her specialist, I cringe when I hear him say “failure to thrive”. It’s something we’ve been hearing over the years and I know it’s because of how small she is. She’s 6 but about the size of a 4 year-old. Hearing failure to thrive makes me fell like a failure as a parent even though I know we do our best. She’s just not a big eater.

Over the summer, my husband booked a cabin where we had stayed the previous year. It was really cool for us since living in Maine for the past few years, this was the first place we’ve lived where we’ve been here long enough to start traditions with our daughter.

We were also celebrating our 100th wedding anniversary in July so I was actually more excited than I was the previous year we went camping. And, yes. I think staying in a cabin is camping and that’s as close to “outdoorsy” as I’ll get.

I’m certain my kid was a fish in another life because she can swim for hours, which is what she and the husband did for the first few days.

We were all having a really great time, despite being a human mosquito buffet for 4 days and missing the comfort of my couch. My 6 year-old was eating pretty good and we were reconnecting as a family so I felt like I was finally able to unwind on our little vacation.

I promised her that we could sleep in the same bed the last few nights, which is a treat for her. I think it may have been my husband walking out of the bathroom that woke me up early that morning but within a few seconds, I felt the hummingbird twitching violently in the bed.

I took her in my arms to try and see if she was coherent but right away I saw that she was having a full-blown seizure. I want to throw up after typing that because all of the fear comes flooding back from that moment. I called to my husband to grab some honey but we found we didn’t have any. In fact, we only had things she would be able to drink, like juice, to help her get her blood sugar up but she was way past the point of being capable of drinking anything.

While I still had her in my arms, my husband rushed back with some strawberry jam that I started rubbing around her lips but she couldn’t even take that. That was the moment her eyes went into the back of her head and the hummingbird went limp. I feel terrible for even having this cross my mind at the time but I really thought the worst, I thought this was it. We had never experienced her in such a terrible state and I went in a state of shock, all while calling her name and trying to get her to come to.

She was throwing up before she lost consciousness so the jam I was able to get into her just came back up. The panic set in since she wasn’t responding and during this whole time, my husband was trying to get cell reception which was non-existent. The hummingbird started to show some signs of coming to… after what seemed like ages when in reality this episode was maybe about a few minutes. It’s strange how time seems to go in slow motion in an incident like this.

I was finally able to give her more strawberry jam on her lips and she was able to lick it off her lips but she still wasn’t responding to anything we said and in a daze. Understandably. The jam was all over the bed and the two of us were covered in it.

We knew we had to get her to the ER but since we were in the middle of nowhere and not familiar with the area, it made a very terrifying situation even worse. My husband found that the nearest hospital was over 45 minutes away and we had to rush the decision of what to do and decided it would be faster to take her to the hospital.

The hummingbird was still throwing up and in between, she started to accept the strawberry jam I was feeding her with my fingers. It was the car drive that lasted what felt like forever. We finally made it to the ER and thankfully, the little bird was in a much better state but my adrenaline was pumping like crazy and I still felt like I was going to throw up my heart.

They told us that her blood sugar was still pretty low at that point and we spent the next six hours there. This episode with her low blood sugar and seizure left my husband and I stunned but we had actually handled it more calmly than previous times with her hypoglycemia.

Reality hit me after a few hours while I was sitting beside my 6 year-old’s bedside. Seeing my child in that kind of medical emergency for the first time when it came to her seizure has honestly fucked me up. Feeling completely helpless while she had been lying in my arms and thinking the worst has guaranteed that my heart will never go back into my chest again.

I was asking the ER doctor all sorts of questions about seizures and having confirmation that there is absolutely nothing that you can do while someone has one made me angry. I felt that this is my child that I protect and love more than anything, yet I just have to let her ride it out was bullshit. I was irrationally angry about it for quite a while. It made the every day stress of dealing with her hypoglycemia shoot up with thoughts of not only dealing with her symptoms of low blood sugar but that now seizures were something that she might experience again.

When we went to see her specialist within the week, he told us that the chance of her having another seizure was high for the next two weeks and it was two weeks of hell. I didn’t want her to leave my sight. We are really lucky that she has the doctor she does because he is fantastic and has this soothing way about him. Although, after that visit, I was on edge.

To help the hummingbird’s blood sugar stay stable over the night, her doctor has us add a few tablespoons of uncooked cornstarch in yogurt that we give my daughter as a snack before bed. The cornstarch helps slows the digestion of what she eats and so far, she hasn’t had any episodes of hypoglycemia since. We’ve been back to her doctor for a second time and it seems like she’s doing much better with the addition of cornstarch. She’s even gaining a little more weight.

There have still been times since that we felt the need to check her blood sugar if she’s acting unusually tired and yes, that weird noise you may have heard a few weeks ago was probably my kid screaming at the top of her lungs. She still hates getting it checked and my heart breaks every time.

I’ve been teaching her more about nutrition and how important it is for everyone, especially for her because of these episodes she has. Things are sinking in for her that while candy is a treat, it’s so important to make healthier choices with food, like sliced avocado or cashews with craisans.

Every day I still feel like I’m teetering over the edge with the worry that this day may be the day her blood sugar takes a dive. It’s not easy when my anxiety already eats at me as it is. I just want to hug every parent out there who also has kids who have a health condition. And then sit down with a big glass of wine and a very loud ‘cheers’ because parenting isn’t easy.

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Who Is That Frantic, Disheveled, Crazy Mom Dropping Her Kid Off At School? Oh, It’s Just Me.

When we moved over the summer, we ended up being only a few blocks away from the hummingbird’s school. I had these images in my head of walking her to school in the morning, hand in hand, with all the time in the world. Easy breezy.

In reality, I think that has only happened once.

No matter how much time we have in the morning before she has to go to school, time escapes us and chaos ensues. Every damn morning.

I make her lunch the night before and have her lay out her clothes for school. I make sure her backpack and school folder are all set to go. Most of the time, I even remember to put her lunch in her bag before we leave the house. Yeah, I’ve gotten the call about my 6 year-old finding that I forgot it. Whoops.

I’ve found that I am happy as hell when she actually wants to eat school lunch since that’s one less thing to worry about getting done.

Despite ALL of the preparation, that easy breezy walk to school ends up being a mad dash to the car and a drive only a few minutes away instead.

Me: We have to leave in 10 minutes! Have you brushed your teeth and hair? No? Well, please do that now. Sweetie, we need to leave soon. You can watch Paw Patrol once you get home from school. Why aren’t you dressed yet? Did you brush your teeth? Okay, we need to leave in 5 minutes. No, you don’t need to change your clothes. Wear what you have on. It looks fine. Please, we really need to go in a few minutes.

Go put your shoes on. Wait, you didn’t brush your hair yet. Go brush your hair. Little Hummingbird?! What are you doing upstairs? I’m ready to walk out the door. Well, come on! Let’s go! Please! We’re going to be late! Why did you change your outfit? And where did your socks go? We need to hurry! Pleeeeease, let’s go!! I don’t know where that other shoe is. Just wear your purple shoes. No, you can’t wear your sandals. Because it’s too cold.

Sweetie, please, please, pleeeease just put on your shoes. We really need to go. Okay, well, I’m leaving. No, you don’t need to bring your My Little Pony stuffie to school. Leave it here. Pleeeeease, let’s go!!!!!! I’m walking out the door for real this time. I guess I’m going to school by myself. Then, come on and put your shoes on. Hurry! It’s time to go!!!

This happens almost every freaking morning. Oh my god.

We end up rushing to school in the car, I park since they don’t have a car drop off/pick up area in front of the school, and we zoom across the school grounds and go inside. As we do this, I see the easy breezy moms walking their kids into the school. Some are pushing strollers and may have a meandering toddler, along with their school age child. These moms don’t even seem to be breaking a sweat. They look so put together and are often chatting with other moms even though time is ticking away before the late bell.

There are a few moms I see with their hair and make up on point. Wearing skinny jeans, ankle boots, and a shirt that isn’t wrinkled. The nail in the drop off coffin is that these moms are almost always holding a Starbucks coffee. The two Starbucks we have in the entire area aren’t close by.

It would be one thing if they had a coffee from a nearby place but they have time to presumably shower in the morning, put on full make up and have perfectly coiffed hair, wear clothes that could go from day to a night out with the girls, get their children ready for school, AND on top of that they have plenty of time to drive 20 minutes to and from Starbucks before dropping their kid off at school.

I’m jealous!

And then there’s me. I’m so busy getting my one child ready for school that there are days I can’t even remember whether or not I even brushed my hair. I’m usually in my pajama pants and ugly but oh so comfy Uggs, wearing my husband’s comfy and oversized warm jacket. I’m also usually starving since I was only able to have a few bites of breakfast in between yelling for my daughter to HURRY UP, and I’m in desperate need of caffeine.

What’s worse is that I’m not much better when it comes to picking my daughter up from school. Except for getting a shower. I’ll get so caught up in doing things around the house and running errands. When I check the time, I’ll be happy to see that I have an hour or two before the hummingbird needs to be picked up.

I’m not sure what happens in that time… maybe I’m abducted by aliens and my sense of time gets screwed up from it but it never fails that the next time I check the clock, it’ll be 10-15 minutes before I need to pick her up. Wtf? So, instead of that easy breezy walk to her school in the afternoon, once again I’m making a mad dash to the car to get there on time. And of course, the couple of times I’ve been a few minutes late are the days she gets out of class early.

I know I’m just not cut out to be that chill mom bringing my kid to school with plenty of time to spare but maybe some day, I will actually have time to put on some real pants. Probably not but I can dream.

*Anna Nalick

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