Showing posts from August, 2008

Mistakes of the Past

Yesterday morning I noticed that Vivi had scribbled all over my husband's meditation cushion with a black Sharpie marker. Granted, we don't do a lot of (or in my case, any) meditation around the house these days so the cushion has become more of a throne for our toddler. Nonetheless, I was horrified to see Vivi's mark. Mama: "Hey V, I see that you drew on Daddy's cushion." Vivi: "Yes mama. I do dat when I was two." Mama: "Oh really? How old are you now?" Vivi: "Mama, I five. I know better." In other news, Vivi has started pulling the arms out of her doll Mariella's sockets. When I tell her that losing an arm really hurts Mariella, she seems completely unfazed. Personally, I must admit that finding a doll's dismembered arm tucked between the couch cushions REALLY freaks me out. Note to self: Keep an extremely close eye on Turtle when s/he arrives.


I should have known better. Vivi fell asleep in the car around 11:30 this morning and instead of taking her straight upstairs to her room and letting her sleep, I woke her up with the hope of getting some lunch into her. I thought she'd sleep longer on a full stomach. Stupid...Stupid...Stupid.... After lunch, I read her a story and put her down in her crib. It was 12:15. At 12:30, I hear, "MAMA! MAAAAAMAAAA! MAAAMAAA? Come here please." I yelled up the stairs, "Vivi. It's time for a rest. I'll come up after you sleep." Clearly, she needed to up the ante. "MAMA!! I takin' my diaper off." Oh god. I went upstairs and found her naked from the waist down. I said, "Vivi, did you go peepee in your bed?" She replied no and when I asked if she needed to use the potty, she again replied no. I put the diaper back on her, read her a story, and said, "Time for your rest. Mama will come back after your sleep and w

Two Versions of the Same Story

Last night, my husband had a hot date with his friend to watch the men's Olympic marathon so Vivi and I were home alone. I really don't mind having a girl's only evening since it usually means a couple of hours to myself after Vivi goes to bed. It's the big events that often happen before bed that often make me wish for some parental reinforcement. Vivi and I agree on the basics of what happened last night: Daddy left at about 7:30 and we were planning on taking an evening stroll around the neighborhood before bed. As I was getting a clean diaper for her, Vivi went out the front door. This is how Vivi relayed the story of what happened to Daddy this morning: "I go outside on sidewalk and Mama say stop. I no stop. I going faaaasst. Mama run and catch me and I say 'Sorry, mama.' Mama very angry. Mama say no safe for me. I get big boo boo in street. Mama say Vivi sit on naughty step for two minutes. I sittin' and mama in livin' room and she very ang

Nonsensical Sponges

All the more experienced moms and dads out there warned me that toddlers are walking sponges absorbing everything in their paths but I really had no idea the extent of it. Now, I am starting to get just how amazing and perplexing their little minds are. Like most parents, we noticed when Vivi would copy us. The other day she grabbed her purse, headed for the back door, and said, "I'm off to see my patients. Be home by 6:30." Of course, she doesn't have patients (that we know of) but her daddy does and he's always cruising home on his bike at about 6:30. Or, somewhat unfortunately, she has started yelling, "Oh, stupid dogs!" whenever we walk by our neighbors incessantly yippie ankle-biters. I would like to blame this on my husband but he would have the sense not to mutter complaints about other people's dogs in front of our kid. I do not have that sense and thus it is a direct quote from my mouth. It seems Vivi has taken to doing more than quoting


As I've written before, I am no big fan of the summer but being pregnant makes it about as enjoyable as a root canal. Since most human pregnancies run about 40 weeks, I've done my best to limit any overlap between carrying a child and the summer heat. (I am just that type.) I admit that being nauseous and tired in July and August is still probably preferable to being 32+ weeks pregnant with heartburn in the middle of the heat but I'll complain about both because that's what I am good at. I think the reason I am cranky is because I just haven't been my usual peppy self. My house is a mess. I've barely cooked. Longstanding playdates and appointments have literally vanished from my consciousness and I've found myself groveling for forgiveness. The one prenatal workout I did resulted in a yucky cold that I currently have. Oh, and Vivi has joined a pack of wild wolves and seems to be thriving despite my absence. As my sister in North Carolina says, "Things

Babies, Babies Everywhere...

My husband, Vivi, and I have a very important meeting tonight. Normally, a very important meeting on a Monday night would involve me, the TV, a bad reality show, and a telephone with speed dial to my friend Kathy. Alas, this is no such rendezvous. Our meeting tonight is with our midwife to inspect the little critter that took up residence in my belly about twelve weeks ago. Yup, that's right, I'm pregnant and we couldn't be happier! Some observations about being pregnant the second time around: -I just knew . I had a good idea the first time but that was because we had been trying to get pregnant and I felt the odds were in my favor. This time I actually knew within a couple of weeks that something within my body was very different and we weren't trying. -It is crucial to have Vivi clean up her toys before bed. Last night, I got up to use the bathroom and stepped on a lego. Swearing while hobbling around on one foot can't be good for a growing baby. -You really

My New Friend Gus

Vivi and I returned from an exciting five days in Vermont. It isn't often that I use the words Vermont and exciting in the same sentence but since our trip was to see Vivi's new cousin, there was no other way to describe it. Little Augustus came into the world a week ago and we've been in a tizzy ever since. Here he is: Gus is Vivi's first cousin on my side and we are elated that she'll have another child to play with when we make trips to Vermont. (Not that Grandma and Grandpa and Bear, the chocolate lab, aren't enough....) When Vivi first saw him, she said " Gramma , this is my new friend Gus." Things are looking good for future play dates ! It is amazing to be around a newborn. Not only because they are just fascinating little creatures but also because, as the parent of a toddler, I have come to realize that my memory stinks. I really don't remember Vivi ever being like Gus-- sleeping the vast majority of the day, not being able to see me,

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Well, we've done it. After much deliberation, my husband and I decided to let Lu, our Chinese babysitter, go. As I've written before, I was not without my conflicts about the situation . Lu clearly loved Vivi and for many months, they shared a wonderful, fun relationship. I put my own inability to communicate with Lu aside because Vivi really seemed happy when they were together. Like her father, Vivi has a remarkable ability and confidence with words. She was an early talker and it was not a surprise to us when Vivi's language surpassed Lu's several months ago. It didn't seem to be a problem though until May when Vivi started to say, "Mama, I no want Lu coming to our house." She would fuss on Wednesday mornings and not want me to leave. Plus, I could see that Lu had no idea what Vivi was saying. Unlike me, who could use props and gesticulate until Lu understood, Vivi couldn't do that as effectively. Still, I struggled with the power I had as a paren

Car Seat Troubles

As if parents today just don't have enough to worry about, a recent study by the Michigan-based Ecology Center has added another concern to our list. It seems that those seats we are required by law to have to keep our children safe in the car may be off-gassing toxic chemicals. The Ecology Center tested 62 leading-brand car seats and found that one-third had one or more components containing high levels of toxins linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, and other health problems. Well, that's just great. Until I heard about this study, I had no idea that car seats could contain lead or arsenic. We have all heard about the dangers of those substances but apparently bromine (neurotoxicity, cancer), chlorine (hormone disruption), and antimony (cancer) were also tested by Ecology Center. Am I the only one who is starting to think she needs a PhD in chemistry to keep her kid safe? Below I have listed the best and worst car seats. Keep in mind that not all car seats

Daddy's Girl

I'm not sure what happened but I seem to have fallen out of favor with my daughter. I'm no longer the chief snuggler or storyteller or general all around companion. I have been displaced by my husband and I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's not that Vivi doesn't still need me for the basics. This morning she said, "Mama. I need to have my own crumpet........please" when taking nibbles of my breakfast didn't suffice. I also seem to be her parent of choice to deal with the inevitable clean-up that follows, "Mama, I just peed over dare." But the cuddles and fun? No mamas allowed. Yesterday, she was upstairs in my husband's office inevitably tearing the place apart while my husband was on the computer. When I went up there to see what was going on, I was greeted with "No mama. You no come in here. I wid daddy!" This morning, my husband and Vivi were reading a story on the couch when I sat down next to them. "Mama. Yo

Escape Artist

I knew on Wednesday that something was up. I put Vivi down for her nap at around 12:30. She was clearly tired and went into her crib with little protest. Within five minutes, I heard her talking to herself. She sounded pretty happy so I left her there and she soon got quiet again. About half an hour passed and I heard her again. Since she wasn't yelling for me, I didn't check on her. Then the talking and the noise started to increase and I had an inkling that I should probably see what was up. I was glad I did. When I opened the door to the room, she was sitting on the futon and tearing pages out of her books. She proudly exclaimed, "I eating paper all up!" Now, I've known that she could climb out of her crib for a while but since she has never done it during nap time before, I guess I didn't think it would actually happen. Why not? Because I am clueless, that's why. (To be fair to myself, I suppose that eating her books wasn't the first thing I