Monday, November 8, 2010

Well...

It was a weekend of mixed success. Great behavior one moment, disaster the next. While I suppose I'm grateful for the great moments we do get, I find myself baffled as to why the switch has to flip, leaving us with a crazy child.

Friday night turned out about as good as it could have. Of course, it started out with a quick but disasterous stop at Wegmans--literally less than 10 minutes. The first half was fine. I got Jacob to help me push my cart (like a character in one of his favorite books), and we picked up just a few items that we needed for the weekend. But by the time we got to the register, he was impossible. He wouldn't walk, he was sprawled on the floor, and I was literally dragging him through the checkout. I was trying to hold onto him with one hand and pay with the other. Never again do I not put him in a cart. Embarrassing.

The concert was fantastic, and although there were a couple hiccups, having Jacob with us really wasn't too bad. I prepared myself for the worst, and while there were split seconds of it, it wasn't an all-night thing. The standing show actually turned out to be a great thing. Jacob had room to move, which most of the time was good. While we were waiting for the show to start, he was playing hockey in the area around us. I did have to remind him to keep his stick down, stay nearby, and not shoot his hockey puck too hard (it was a soft puck), but he was pretty good. But the second the music started he was petrified. I had to hold him and he wouldn't look up for anything. He reacted much the same to the circus last weekend. I don't know if it's the noise, the darkness, or something else, but it was a carbon copy. He remained attached to me for the full 20-30 minutes of the first act, though somewhere in there he fell asleep. My arms were aching but I managed to make it through. He woke up at the intermission, and by then we had found ourselves a place to sit on the floor. I gave him a drink and a snack, and he seemed to relax a bit. When the music started again, we sat for a bit, then stood so he could see, and he was fine. Eventually he wanted to get down and play, and for a while he did very well. Then he wanted to run and got a little rowdy (during the worship part of the band's set...ugh), so we ended up exploring a bit--the open area near the entrance, the lobby, etc.--and from then on we alternated between nice play, rowdy play, and running around. He's got no fear running away in a crowd, which is a scary thing. No matter how many times we explain the dangers, he doesn't quite get it. Ugh. It ended up being a late night, but it was a great show and bedtime still went smoothly, so all things considered it was fine.

Saturday Jacob woke up happy and Craig took him to the arena for the Amerks' morning skate, figuring it would give Mary and me some uninterrupted chat time. They had a lot of fun and Jacob has been talking about it ever since. He even got to sit on the Zamboni and honk the horn! I have a picture of it, but I don't have access to it at the moment :( We met them for an early lunch and that experience was less than ideal. Jacob is going through a phase where he thinks it's funny to throw things on the floor at restaurants--napkins, coasters, food--and he was in rare form for this meal. Of course, before our food ever came, Jacob got this "look" on his face, followed quickly by some very obvious pushing. He had to poop and wanted to go to the bathroom (progress!). I took him in and I knew he had already pooped a bit, but he said there was more and he wanted to sit on the toilet. So, I carefully pulled off his diaper and awkwardly sat him on the toilet. I couldn't get his legs apart enough to point his penis down, so I was praying he didn't have to pee until I could do that. He pooped quite a bit, and then we had the awkward dance of trying to wipe him. I still have no idea how it's supposed to work. He clenches his butt cheeks, I can't see anything, and it's all just weird. I tried to put his new diaper on standing up, but that did not work so it was back to the changing table to finish up. Oh, and then handwashing was just awkward because I have to lift him and wash both our hands at the same time. Places should have to put in kid sinks and toilets. Seriously. It could have been a movie, I swear.

Jacob's behavior was bad enough that we didn't even do our usual stop at the PetSmart near the restaurant. We just went home and put him in bed. And then he SLEPT. After over three hours (and naps for the two of us as well), I went up to wake him a little before 5pm. We had a low key evening, but thanks to the long, late nap, Jacob was awake late (relatively quiet and in his crib, but awake).

I read a blogger (or rather, a guest post from the blogger's husband) over the weekend who stated that time changes as a parent are reverse what they were before, and I couldn't agree more. Pre-parenthood, spring forward and its loss of an hour were tough (still are), but if the worst thing that happens to your kid now is a late bedtime, it could be worse. At least there's the chance that they'll sleep in. If they're not tired yet, there's nothing you can do. Fall back used to be great thanks to that extra hour of sleep, but with a child, they wake up an hour earlier regardless so your extra hour of sleep is worthless. Jacob woke up at 6:30 on Sunday, even with his relatively late bedtime (or at least, when he actually fell asleep). He's never up before 7am, so this was a tough pill to swallow on a morning when we were supposed to wake up pleasantly refreshed. Boo.

Craig had to work, so Jacob and I were on our own for church. The first half was fine. He ate, drank and drew relatively quietly. The second half was our usual nightmarish behavior--rolling around on the floor, yelling, trying to draw on things other than paper, running around, throwing a door stop--and I was instantly on edge. We made one quick stop on our way home to pick up the massive pack of printed pictures from our summer (50% off at Walgreens!), which had its own annoying moments of him needing to be carried and not wanting to walk nicely, and then he briefly fell asleep on the way home. He woke up the second I put him in his crib (of course), so instead we headed down to lunch. I planned to do an early lunch and dinner so we could have a normal dinner before the hockey game at 5pm, so his waking up worked out okay. Lunch was a bit rough but manageable, but eventually he was spending more time playing with his food than eating it, so it was up to bed. He took another marathon nap, and after the two-hour point I woke him up so we could head out for a couple stops before a quick dinner and the Amerks game.

We first headed to get his hair cut. Jacob hasn't had a haircut since August, I think. He got it cut pretty short that time, so it has lasted a while. But his sideburns were getting pretty bad and his hair kept falling over his collar. Usually we leave it longer on top because of a nasty cowlick, but this time the woman just buzzed it all off short. It might grow out a little funny, but for now it's ok. He looks super cute, as usual. And it would have been perfect timing since Jacob's school pictures are tomorrow, but alas...he fell on his face (literally) on Friday and has a major brushburn on his nose. Ugh...one of these years we'll get one worth buying. Anyway, he did great for the whole haircut...just chatting about the sports on TV and the sports equipment that hangs on the walls of the shop. Even still, I would LOVE to figure out how to use clippers enough to do that myself!

Our next stop was the library. I had been wanting to take Jacob to the library for a while, but it just never happened. Now that he's getting into certain books at daycare, I figured it might be fun to go get some of those, as well as some new ones I've been thinking about getting him, and give them a test run. Against my better judgment I let him bring a hockey stick in with us. Sometimes he's really good with it, just doing his moves and holding it nicely, enough to keep him distracted and prevent him from screaming that he wants his hockey stick. But sometimes he's a maniac and runs around like a "hockey guy", at which point I regret letting him have it at all. Unfortunately the library visit was more like the latter. At one point he was screaming bloody murder in the middle of the library and I just wanted to die right there. Hello, incompetent parent. Or at least, that's what it felt like everyone was thinking. We were in line, so it was just awkward to leave because, realistically, we'd either have to wait in line all over again, or if we left, I wasn't sure when or if we'd ever want to go back. We were there and I wanted to get it done. He'd been so good for his haircut that I had been optimistic, but no. Not good. He also ran away a lot, and as a result, I had to make good on my threat to skip the hockey game. He was acting horribly, and I wasn't going to take him there like that even if I knew he'd probably be an angel once we were there. Now he has to wait another two weeks before we can go to a game. Hopefully he understands why we didn't go. I did explain it to him and he was even mentioning it when he was talking on his toy cell phone (to Daddy, maybe?) and to the doctor this morning. Lovely. Hopefully it sinks in. I doubt it, since he was running away and acting crazy at the doctor's this morning, too, even after I reminded him about last night.

Regardless, I pushed through and we got five books. Two are "Llama Llama" books that Jacob loves. He can recite whole parts of them perfectly. One of them, "Llama Llama Mad at Mama" seems to be a particular favorite. I don't know if it's because he relates to it (you know, being trapped on errand runs with me), or if he just likes the visual of a cranky llama throwing Cheezee Puffs on the floor of the Shop-O-Rama. I also got two Dr. Seuss books--Horton Hears a Who and one about a moose. I wanted to get the classics (Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) but couldn't find them. The library seems to have a lot of special displays (by character, themes, holidays) so maybe they were there. Needless to say I wasn't high on patience to search. I also got The Runaway Bunny, by the people who did Goodnight Moon and My World, both of which Jacob enjoys. I really want him to grasp the central concept of the book that no matter how much he tries to run away, I will always catch him, so he might as well just stay with me instead, but I think it might still be a little beyond his comprehension. He seemed to like it, though, so we'll see. As a whole I really like the concept of the library. More variety to our evening reading, an encouragement to love books, and an opportunity to "test drive" any I think we might like. I tend to forget how much I loved the library as a kid, and I want to instill that in Jacob as well. The sheer volume of books is a little overwhelming, and I'm a little annoyed that our library isn't exactly close--at least a good 10 minute drive. I was spoiled as a kid, having it within easy bike riding distance and on my way home from school, but if we end up sending Jacob to the Christian elementary school I'd like to send him to, it's a very quick drive from there. That's still a while away, though, so for now I just need to force myself to make it a priority...and get the books back on time!

One last thing for today. I mentioned earlier that we went to the doctor this morning. It was for his now-bi-annual visit to the pediatric pulmonary specialist. We hadn't been there in six months and we won't have to go back for another six. She's feeling confident that the reflux symptoms aren't an issue anymore and he's just dealing with normal kid sickness issues now, but he's going to stick with his current meds until we get through cold season. It's ok, because he takes them easily and they're currently free. Still, she noticed that his ears were looking iffy, so we're on to another round of antibiotics. We'll have to follow up with his pediatrician in a couple weeks to make sure it's gone, and there's still a chance that he'll end up with tubes. We'd done so well for so long, but now he's had three ear infections within a few months. He really does seem to get a perma-cold this time of year, with a consistent runny nose and a bit of a cough. When he's truly sick the cough gets painfully worse and the nose runs constantly, but it's tough to notice when one cold ends and another begins, or when another ear infection takes over. Jacob isn't easily affected by all of this (thank God), but it always makes me feel horrible when he gets another diagnosis that we had no idea about. It seems like something is constantly draining, which is why the perma-cold never seems to go away. Hopefully someday we'll get it worked out and he'll just be a normal kid.

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