Wednesday, August 28, 2013

_____________ and it feels so good

The title of this post all depends on how I spin this story.

Following the lead of so many others this week, I could tell a heartwarming back- to -school tale, a tale that documents how we ended the separate classroom experiment and began our days in the three year old room--together.

In that case, an appropriate title might be: Reunited and it feels so good.

Or, I could parcel this tale in another package, a package that neat wraps up our potty- training adventures and happily proclaims, "We are all potty-trained!"

In this case, an appropriate title might be: Potty- trained and it feels so good.

Yet, as is often the case, the stories are not so simple or so separate.


In February, I mused about our lackadaisical approach to potty- training.

In March, I ruminated over our decision to separate Emily and Andrew at school.

In April and May, I reflected Emily's potty training progress and Andrew's blossoming speech. By the end of May, she was completely potty-trained--even through the night. Drew was definitely talking more, if not always clearly, yet his potty training progress was pretty much stalled.

In June, we celebrated birthdays and wondered how in world our babies were suddenly three.

We watched proudly as they played like big kids in the bounce house and our hearts melted as they started referring to each other as "My Andrew" and "My Emy."

Occasionally, my heart would break, too, when one asked to stay in the other's classroom at school.

In July, the preschool director asked me if I had thought about what I wanted to do when it was time to move them up. We could keep them separate. Drew would move to the three year old room, and Emily would move to the older three/four year old room. Emily was ready. Drew would just need to be a bit further along in the potty training process. She felt we could get him there by August. Or, we could put them back together in the three year old room. Still, Drew needed to work on the potty training.

While I was torn about whether or not to put them back together, I was not torn about the issue of working on Drew's potty training. I felt strongly that he needed to move up. He was clearly the oldest in his room and he needed more interaction with kids more his age. At the same time, I understood the potty training concern, and I felt a bit guilty that we hadn't worked on the issue more.

From there, we got serious. And, somewhere in that process, Drew and Emily tuned into the fact that moving classrooms had something to do with Drew learning to go to the potty.

One day in July, the teacher reported that Emily had been providing Drew with some "coaching." Their classrooms share a bathroom, and Emily joined Drew in the bathroom and told him, matter-of-factly, "If you don't use the potty, you can't go to Miss Michelle's class with me."

We all had a good laugh at her persuasive techniques, and admittedly, we all played into it a little bit. We wanted Drew potty trained and he wanted to go to Miss Michelle's class.

After a couple of weeks of staying dry during the day at school, we decided to go cold turkey on the pull-ups. Countless changes of clothes later, Drew was pretty close to potty trained, even staying dry all through the night.

All the while, he kept his eye on the prize: being reunited with Emily and being in Miss Michelle's class.

As I watched his progress and his perseverance, there was no doubt in mind as to whether we should keep them separate or bring them back together.

So, last Monday, Drew and Emily entered Miss Michelle's class--together.

I know there might be all kinds of educational and social advantages to having them apart. Right now, I think they are learning just fine-- together.

After all, they conquered potty- training--together.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Diagnosis: Miserable

Oh, Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease, has it really been that long?

After digging into the MaMe Musings' archives, I learned that our first run-in with you was back in December 2011. You were the rude awakening greeting us when we returned from our weekend away. You cruel, heartless...

I noticed that beyond the mention of you in that post, there is nothing else but the awful memories to document your stay. And, memories we have. That encounter with you was a great example of how little people germs can attack big people and often the big people are worse patients than the little ones. Oh, yes. Marty got it, too. (For those of you who have experienced a sick husband, you know what I am talking about...)

We thought we were finished with you--you with your nasty blisters, fever, and general feeling of yuckiness.


So when we awoke last Saturday and Drew complained that his feet hurt, imagine my surprise when I saw several small red spots on his feet. A check of his hands showed a couple there, too. No fever. No mouth sores. Usually a bundle of energy, Drew was a little more subdued, a little more cranky.

By Sunday, the red bumps were gone.

Surely, this was the easiest case of Hand, Foot, and Mouth-- ever. Or maybe I had made a misdiagnosis. Dr. Google and I have been known to be wrong...

Then, on Tuesday, Emily complained of a sore on her tongue. No sores anywhere else. No fever. Other than a sore on her tongue, she was okay.

Just a tongue sore? Hmmm, definitely not like our previous experience with Hand, Foot, and Mouth...

By Wednesday, Emily had anything but just a tongue sore. This thing was massive. It hurt just to look at it. Surely, the doctor could do something.

I am sure this just doesn't apply to pediatricians, but why is it that a visit to their office yields so little in the way of a cure or a remedy and often either just leads to a confirmation of what you already suspect and/or instructions to treat with time and Tylenol?

I told the doctor what I thought was going on. She concurred, gave us the same instructions to follow that we had already been following, and sent us home to wait it out.

Did she know how bad this sore was going to get? Did she realize that tongue sore was going to gobble up the one part Mylanta and one part Benadryl mixture and laugh a sinister how- could- you- be- so- naïve laugh? Did she realize it was going to get so bad that Emily would stop wanting to eat or drink or talk? That eventually all intelligible communication would cease only to be replaced with four days of moaning, whining, and pointing?

I am just saying that if the doctor knew how bad it was going to get, she would have given me a prescription for some nerve pills.

Instead, I ended up eating all the things I bribed Emily to eat: popsicles, pudding for breakfast, warm, soft Krispy Kreme doughnuts, yogurt, soggy cereal, baby food. Just kidding, I didn't eat the baby food. I do have limits.

Seriously, in 2013, I can't believe we don't have a better treatment option for mouth sores. They are awful.

How awful?

When Emily won't eat OR talk, you KNOW it's bad. My girl loves both.

How awful?

No ice cream awful...

Saddest, pouty face ever awful...



Much to our relief, Monday brought a break in the awfulness. It was pure joy to hear Emily talk again, to watch her eat again, to hear her argue with Drew again...


Monday, August 5, 2013

Be Who You Wanna Be...

If you've watched Disney Junior this summer, you've probably heard this song quite a few times.

My kids love all things Disney Junior, especially Sophia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

But, at our house, in a cartoon-to-cartoon contest, pirates rule.

They prefer sprinkling pixie dust to twirling pirouettes.

They read treasure maps instead of royal decrees.

They sail pirate ships instead of riding horse- drawn carriages.

Given our current state of pirate- mania, choosing this year's Halloween costumes was easier than outsmarting Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.

Choosing Halloween costumes?? It's barely August!

I know. I know.

For some reason, I seem to be getting ahead of myself this year.

Maybe it's because I remember how hard it was to locate last year's costumes when I waited until the last minute. Maybe it's because I am trying to be uber- organized in advance of my upcoming job change.

Regardless, once the inspiration hit, I decided to go ahead and hit order.

YO HO, LET'S GO! It's Jake for Drew.

YAY, HEY, NO WAY! It's Izzy for Emily.

In case you are wondering what Emily and Drew want to be, I did ask them in advance if they would like to be Jake and Izzy. Happily, they concurred with my decision, which means I get another year of satisfying my urge to dress them in complimentary outfits. I don't know what I'll do when they start taking that whole "Be Who You Wanna Be" thing seriously!


For the record, this post almost caught a trade wind and blew way off- course, as I considered justifying why we aren't opposed to Disney or its princesses. After consulting my internal compass, I decided to stay out of that shark- infested water and avoid the temptation to defend our parenting choices. Obviously, we're not in the anti- Disney, anti- princess camp nor are we mindless participants in their "evil" marketing scheme. We just tend to think our kids will turn out fine either way. Hey, the song says it all: Be who you wanna be...

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