Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Proud Mama

Friday was a big day for WC. If he maintained his behavior he would be allowed to test for his gold belt in karate. And he did. But before that I received a note from school on Wednesday that Friday was awards day and my child would be receiving an award- didn't say which one. I hoped it wasn't award for the most punches thrown in a 6 weeks. Thanks for the plenty of notice. I have very little time left to take off work and had already planned to leave early for the gold belt test- which started at 4pm. Again, thanks from the working parent here.
Since the people at school already think my sister is his mother, I decided to go to his awards ceremony too- which meant taking the whole day off.
There I sat on the bleachers with the other parents. Most of whom had their camera's and a few videographers in the bunch. One gentleman in front of me had a video camera that would have been worthy of filming a news story. There are documentaries that aren't shot on as sophisticated equipment. This is a kindergarten awards ceremony- not the Nobel Prize.
And me, I forgot my camera. How? I'm obsessed with photos. I had to settle for the camera on my phone. The children began to file in the gym. A woman next to me stood up and yelled, "Yoo whoo, princess!" waving her arms up over her head, "I love you!"  Now, I'm all for letting your kids know how much you love them, but dial it down a notch.
WC enters the gym and he scans the audience until he sees me. We lock eyes and nod acknowledgement. And that was it until the end of the ceremony.
He received two awards- one for good grades in the 2nd six weeks and another for perfect attendance.
After the ceremony I made my way over to him on the bleachers where he showed me his awards and we talked a little. He kept leaning over to hug me and I would hug him and kiss the top of his head. A boy next to him asked if I was his mother. And a few minutes later after WC had hugged me several more times, this little boy then leaned in for a hug himself. I have this child, who I don't know, wrapped around me. I gently pat his back and then he lets go, smiling. Guess sometimes, if you need a mom hug any mom giving out hugs will do.
Then after school, I picked him up and we got ready for the gold belt test. We arrived out there a few minutes early. With less traffic to contend with it didn't take as long to get there.
WC was nervous. We ended up talking with the owner of the school, who explained to WC what to expect. I'm very impressed with this man. He owns two karate schools. He's never personally had my son in a class before yet he knows his name.
For the test, parents are allowed to sit on the floor in the class- whereas we are usually outside watching through the glass. Which, didn't work out so well for me with CJ there. Due to work, Jay was unable to attend. My parents and friends ran late- also due to work. Initially I was there alone with CJ. And he kept wanting to go out on the floor with the karate students. Finally, I noticed my parents sitting out in the traditional viewing area. And I took CJ out and deposited him in my moms lap. He was thrilled by that development. I was able to enjoy the rest of it in peace.
WC earned his gold belt. He's very proud of it. Over the weekend he kept wanting to wear it around the house with his everyday clothes.
Afterwards, my friends arrived and they have two boys also, aged 4 and a half and the other just turned 2. We all went out to dinner to celebrate WC's accomplishments. I think he had a terrific time. And I'm very proud of him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Expletives & Ears

Tuesday evening I receive a call from my sister as she is picking up WC from after school care. "WC got in trouble for using a bad word and I don't know what to do."
I'm all about the context of a situation, so I ask what happened.
In after school care he was working a puzzle and piece wouldn't fit right and he uttered, "damn."
"That's it," I ask. "He didn't yell it at someone or anything?"
"Nope and she even said if she hadn't been standing right there she wouldn't have heard it."
And she goes on to say she doesn't feel she could discipline him because she would feel like a hypocrite. That's probably one reason he's using the word due to Aunt Potty Mouth, but honestly none of us- other than CJ- is innocent of using that word. Usually it is under a frustrated sort of context.
He knew better than to use the word. And was very upset that she was calling me. I honestly fail to the see point of getting my panties up in a bunch over it. If we make a big ole deal about it then that word and others like it just become more attractive. Because let's face it- forbidden makes it more exciting. And it gets the grown ups all nervous to boot. So I just told her to tell him not to say it again and just go home & do his homework.
I'm not at all sensitive to language. It just doesn't bother me. I grew up with an uncle who peppered every other word in a sentence with a colorful word. After a few years I came to the conclusion that it was because he didn't have a broad enough vocabulary to adequately express himself without those words. It was sad.
Cat later told me that she asked him who he heard that word from. He named us all- even Grandma. I really wasn't surprised. It isn't like we use it in normal conversation. But trust me, if  I drop a casserole dish full of raw food on the kitchen floor the word 'darn' isn't what's coming out.
I may should have addressed the issue with him when I arrived home but before I made it there I had to pick up CJ.
When I arrived at mom's to pick up CJ, he was sobbing. She said he woke up from his nap, holding his ear & crying. He'd done nothing but lay on her with his ear up against her. He'd had a cold for the past week, so I was 99.5% sure it was an ear infection. So, I drove 25 miles in rush hour traffic towards home with him crying the whole way. We stopped at the clinic in the drug store to the see the NP. Luckily, there was no one in front of us. Which is a miracle. People in the store probably suspected we were murdering him in there the way he screamed. But he cooperated with her- even though he cried the whole time. She wasn't used to children & I don't feel she did a thorough job. She said she couldn't see the ear drum and didn't know if it had burst. But she declared it was an ear infection and prescribed the familiar pink goop of amoxicillan. 12.5 ml 2x a day! Seriously? That might as well be a gallon jug of medicine. Drug companies need to be forced to actually administer medication to small children- maybe then they'd come up with more concentrated dosing.
The NP said if he isn't better in a couple of days to bring him back. But I think if he's not then I'll take him to his pediatrician- who isn't rattled by a little fit throwing.
Once we were home, I immediately gave him a dose of ibuprofen. Then the antibiotic- which surprisingly enough he took without issue. He went and climbed up on the couch and curled up. I assumed he was out for the night. But about 20 minutes or so later he sat up and said, "Hi WC." Like he'd just gotten home. Then he jumped down and ran off playing with his big brother. By the time Jay arrived home, he would have never known there was anything wrong with CJ if I hadn't called him from the pharmacy.
On another note: WC received a certificate from karate, it's time to test for his gold belt. The one thing is that his teacher has to sign off on it. I sent it to school with him on Tuesday and haven't received it back yet. I'm praying since we haven't had any more hitting incidents since Mr. H spoke with him then she will sign off on it. He is doing so well in karate that I pray she will sign off. If she doesn't I don't know how long we'll have to wait until next testing.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Wonder if...

Occasionally, I get random thoughts in my head; they always begin with, "I wonder if I can..."
The weekend before last I ended up with 5lb bag of apples. Why? Well, they were cheaper than the 3lb bag and just seemed like a good idea at the time. After a week of apples there were still lots of apples left. Not being one to waste I had to think of something to do with them. And what better thingto do with nutritious fruit than to cook it in lots of sugar. I decided to make an Apple pie. Then my brain went, "I wonder if I can make my own pie crust-from scratch." Then the other half of my brain went, "Why when Pillsbury has you has done the work for you?" But the 'wonder if' side of my brain is very powerful. It's gotten me into loads of trouble. The first thing I did was pull out my handy-dandy cookbook and take a look at what would be involved. Not many ingredients- 4 total. But there wasn't just a recipe- there was a two page spread on how to get it right and side bar to pinpoint what you did wrong- after the fact. My next level of research was to take it to the Internet. I found many ways to make a pastry crust and double the number of ways to screw it up. But armed with plenty of info and a bit a insanity I went for it.First you build your dough with flour and fat. It's taken some time for me to come to terms with the fact, that I am a messy cook. And sometimes, I'm just a freaking disaster.
After Jay & I first moved in together we struck a deal, I'd cook the dinner & he'd clean it up. Then he realized what the hell he'd gotten himself into. And to this day, he will clear the table and prepare most of the dishes for the dishwasher. He and I differ on the cooking pots sometimes- no it really doesn't require "soaking" for three days. But to this day he refuses to clean the stove top, counters, cabinets, floor, walls or ceiling. I think that he's reneging on his deal- he says the deal wasn't to clean the whole room.
Back to the pie. I followed the instructions for a two-crust pie. It seemed dry but you're not supposed to over-water it. Maybe it's like Gremlins. I didn't end up w/ enough dough for a full top- so I cut it in strips & made a lattice. Well a faux- lattice since I attached two pieces before remembering that I shouldn't attach the dough at the side until after I interlace it. It wasn't exactly pretty. But my boys ate it, even crust-phobic WC. After being so worried about the crust the thing I didn't like doing the most was peeling & chopping all those apples.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Where is it?

From the title of this post you'd think I'm talking about my sanity. But not this time. Yesterday the calender told me it was November. Where has this year gone? I love this time of year and look forward to sharing holidays with my children but it's all going way too fast. I'm scared to blink.

My mother called me and asked when my in-laws were doing Thanksgiving. I have no idea. Usually the two groups overlap and we're left rushing to two different meals being held at the same time. Which is a drop off from when Jay & I first married and had four Thanksgivings to attend. My mother said her family is tentatively having lunch- which means by the time every one gets their act together (several pull themselves out the bottom of a bottle of Jack) and show up lunch will turn into 4pm. Ever since of the cousins discovered they can now put photos on DVD they make montages of hideous childhood photos and dead relatives set to sappy music and now it's not a family gathering until half of them are in tears. Relatives...you gotta lovem', right?

Don't get me wrong, I love photography and preserving memories. But I can seriously do without them dragging this out at every family gathering and sitting through a slide show of grandparents while Alan Jackson's Remember When plays. And people sit around and sob. Every stinking time? Why? I can see this once or even twice a year, but on the 4th of July? And they wonder why I don't come around. Maybe because I don't like being bummed out.

Oh, I'm not ready for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Debate

On several previous occasions I've referred to my youngest child as "peculiar." And in true CJ fashion, he never ceases to amaze me with what he does next. On the positive he doesn't cry for me while being dropped off at daycare/preschool anymore. At church he moved from the nursery to the 2 year old room in August. They move everyone up according to what year they will be in school. Initially, I didn't have as much of an issue leaving him in the 2 yr old room as the nursery- he didn't cry after me. There was a cool train table and other assorted new toys that struck his interest, so off he'd go not the least bit concerned with me. That is until about a month later. One Sunday morning he began to cry when we pulled into the parking lot. He cried the entire trek into the building and to the room. He clung to me when I signed him in and retrieved a pager. I told the girl that once he became interested in something he should be fine and left. Then about 20-25 minutes later- after two songs, a couple prayers, three bible reading and maybe the Nicene Creed later...just as the preacher is starting his deal the pager goes off. I opened the door to find CJ right there. He had to be nose to the door, blanket in hand. The instant he saw it was me, he yelled, "bye." I spoke to the girl briefly who said he wouldn't do anything but scream, they tried everything to get him interested in different things, they tried leaving him alone and still he just screamed, cried and pitched a fit until she told him they were calling his mom. Then he quit and stood right at door like I found him. I really wanted to hear the sermon, so my only option was to take him into the Sanctuary with me. We don't have one those handy cry rooms like some churches- where you can take your unruly tot and still hear the preacher but the rest of the congregation can't hear their ruckus. So in we went and he sat in my lap and did a decent job of being quiet, just grateful to have what he wanted...me. But this incident has set a dangerous precedent. He doesn't want to go back to the nursery at all. And of course at his age he can't sit quietly for the length of the service. Heck, WC doesn't even do that either. He goes to children's program and they come in right before communion. It's difficult for WC to make it through communion quietly. And yet that still doesn't sink in to Jay who stresses out way too much having me bring CJ in with me. The least little noise CJ makes, he's freaking out. Yes, CJ talks in the service. I do correct him. He isn't throwing fits- which he is capable of at the drop of an animal cracker. So Jay & I are at odds over it. I don't think it's a big deal that he makes a little noise during the service. Jay feels that it isn't fair to me to have to deal with him. It doesn't bother me. It's sort of peaceful for me to have him sitting curled up in my lap during the service. I work outside the home 40 hours a week and if my child doesn't want me to leave him when I don't have to then I don't want to. He says I spoil him and maybe I do.
Wasn't it Jesus who said to bring the little children to Him?
And besides if there are people around me who don't want a child in the service then they can go across town to the church that has a sign posted outside of their Sanctuary that reads: No Children Allowed.
Maybe I am wrong and it would be best to try again to make him stay. At least bide myself a little time before they make me come take him, so he doesn't have to sit through the entire service.