Sunday, October 23, 2011


Jinxed, or Happy Accident. I couldn't decide on the title, so I flipped a diaper.

Jinxed it is.

I mean, I post about warding off germs, and Felix gets one "aitch-e-el-el" of an ear infection. Two non consecutive days home from school and a treatment with third string antibiotics. (I buckled and spent an extra $2.99 to get it flavored with high fructose corn syrup, trans fatty, cancer causing strawberry elixir. Okay, I don't know anything about the ingredients, but the lady at the Walgreen's drive-through was sooo nice, and looked like I could trust her when she offered. I mean, she said that she just flavored another omniceph with it earlier in the day, and as far as she knows, that kid isn't in the PICU, yet. What I do think is that the "flavor" is probably just a bunch of ADHD causing dye and sugar...Felix apparently doesn't care and takes each dose like a champ.)

The thing is, Felix isn't a"melter" like Miles when sick. Miles gets fussy, but in a helpless "melty" way. Miles is a Mama's boy through and through. I mean, his phrase du jour is "Mommy...I need you!" I hear it at least 5 times a day. One might think he is incapable of doing things like spooning his own oatmeal. Or walking without holding your hand. In fact, someone today asked me (right after trying to convince me that my boys were twins): "so he (pointing to Miles) is the younger one, right?" Nope. I'm holding the older one, and the younger one is ready to go back into the Goodwill donation center with you and work. And yes, he'll say "hi and bye" and freak me out because there is very little stranger danger going on.

When Felix gets sick, at least not that lethargic "oh my God my child is dying in my arms sick" we have had 1 time, he gets downright angry. And when he gets an ear infection, he gets angry and physically abusive.

And not in a hitting or biting way, in a "I am going to throw my 24+ lbs around while you try to hold me. In fact, I'm going to kick, scream, and attempt a backward swan dive into whatever blunt object might be within diving distance. BUT, if you put me down, I'll arch my back, and ask for you to pick me up. So we can go through this painful exercise all again. ALL DAY."

What is the same about both boys is that they demand when you hold them that you stand up and MOVE. Been like that since birth. I'm just like, "PLEASE can I sit and rock you for a spell?"

First problem: we never invested in a rocker.

Second problem: we've always caved and done the baby shuffle standing up. Sometimes, hours on end. Children are creatures of habits, but my thighs and arms, now sinewy sticks, need a break. 

But I mean, at least let me cuddle with you in the comfort of a chair or something?

Nope, never. Must.Be.Standing.

Does this count as toddler colic? If so, can I get an award? Or a rocking chair?

(Eric's response: "stop feeling sorry for yourself.")

So Felix goes all Greg Louganis on us all of the time when he has an ear infection, refuses to take Motrin, and somehow expects us to channel Jack Hanna and figure out the best hold for the wild beast. There is no other way to explain how he flips backward in your arms and tests your bicep strength. I'm calling up Arnold Shwarzy and asking him to add holding an ear infected Felix to the presidential fitness test. After singing every song in hopes of distraction, shuffling around the room, readjusting to avoid blunt trauma to his head or your private parts, he usually settles in the torticollis/uterus hold where he shoves his bum out, cocks his head in the crook of your arm, and lets his arms dangle. It's charming. I have to get a picture some day. Prior to a year it was kind of cute, now it looks like toddler origami.

At the same time your heart bleeds for the child, you also want to protect yourself from things like limbs to the groin, or him successfully leaping out of your arms onto his head (Have I mentioned he can for real life Mary Lou Retton somersault on the ground and in his crib?)

I think I've used all my famous people references for today.

Back to the ear infection. I promise it leads us to the happy accident.

So--Felix is miserable. Loud. Abusive. And downright just not pleasant to be around. He also likes to repeat "No no no no no no no!" over and over as he does his alligator rolling in your arms. If I had a limb free, I'd get the Flip an document it just so you know I am not exaggerating.

We go back in 2 weeks to the pedi to get an ear re-check. The infection is in the ear that his tube fell out. Grrrreeaat. I don't know what that means, but we go back to the pediatric ENT in December. Yeah, and we are pretty sure his torticollis is doing an encore. Sheesh!

What this all means is that our nights and some of our days have been spent trying to manage a really uncomfortable boddler (baby-toddler. Not quite a full fledged toddler, but certainly not a baby!), and the sympathy pained brother who cries wolf and demands just as much attention. So my plans to finish things, like birthday gifts, was sidelined. But I did finish yet ANOTHER set of bunny/twin hats in time for a friend's shower this week.

(Is the government putting flouride AND clomid in the water now?). Yet, I still had to finish a monkey for a 1-year-old's birthday gift this weekend.

I was on the LAST arm, just getting to the thumb (and then all I needed was a tail), when I ran out of yarn. Rats! So I piled the boys into the car to head to Lucifer's Lair--aka Michael's Craft Store. I was armed with Annie's bunnies as currency for the boys.

All around, bad decision. I barely make it to the yarn section because of the 11 trillion distractions for children 3 and under. The boys were racing the aisles while I looked and looked and looked and looked for that same yarn I had purchased not too long ago.

Gone. Nowhere to be found.

What am I going to do? I mean, I could easily skip the tail. I had a dog and cat with no tail, and I'm not knitting an opossum or anything...but the THUMB?

HELLO! OPPOSABLE THUMB! Kinda like the defining characteristic of a monkey, right?

I had zero time to start a new monkey. For no reason but because I had a new Michael's app with a 50% off coupon, I picked up some really cool yarn to make Miles's and Felix's monkeys, and a very inexpensive component for next month's random act of kindness.

I already knew I had to ask for 2 transactions because if not, I'd get 50% off my $1 purchase, and pay full price for the yarn.

SWEET! The line was short. But the lady in front of me was returning a CLEARANCE item. Really? And then everyone in the store piled behind me. The Annie's crackers lost their charm: Felix shoved his down his cleavage, and they started to come out his pant leg and lodge into his diaper (I found one next diaper change smudged in his tiddly bits), and Miles ate all of the "brown ones" and refused to eat the tan ones. Great. I have a food hoarder and reverse racist on my hands. I was in a panic. I pulled out $1 snakes from the front area and told them to play nicely until we could get buy them and go home: snakes and inexpensive item in one transaction, expensive yarn and 50% off coupon app in the other.

But then the boys ran to the Halloween display beyond the register and started scaling the scarecrow and humping a huge glittery pumpkin. No joke. Full on scaling and humping. You can guess who was doing what.

Clearance woman finally finished after management was called in, and the line behind me was growing by the minute.

(DEAR MICHAEL'S: PLEASE EMPLOY MORE PEOPLE SO YOU CAN OPEN MORE THAN ONE REGISTER! YOU HAVE GOT TO HAVE THE MONEY IN YOUR BUDGET. FROM THE LOOKS OF IT, EVERY MIDDLE AGED WOMAN IN SWEAT PANTS IS BUYING COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF CRAFT SUPPLIES EVERY DAY. Maybe Cain can add something about this to his 9-9-9 disastrous economy plan. 9-9-9-9. At all times, 9 Michael's registers open.  Rant done. Apologies for the political jab...sort of.)

People behind me were whispering--was it my unruly children? Clearance woman? The fact the bottom of their shoes were coated with tan Annie's bunnies?

I don't know, but as soon as it was my turn, I shoved all the items on the counter and did 1 transaction. So glad I saved 50 cents. Insert sarcasm.

I got home, still without a plan on what to do about the monkey, until Eric suggested just making new limbs in a different yarn.

I was desperate, and doubtful. But we looked at my stash of yarn, and decided it might work. I could make arms, ears, and a tail in a few nights and we would be good.

But then the ear infection.

So the day of the party, I still had an i-cord tail and assembly whip stitching to do. But no time. In the card, I mentioned the 2nd part of the gift was "still in production."

As "luck" would have it, Felix was so sick, we couldn't make it to the party anyway. (And I missed one of the biggest XC meets that was hosted at Marist. And the neighborhood Halloween party. And we enjoyed the beautiful weather for all of 3 minutes because of the sickness. And I'm pretty sure I said "I am the worst Mom" about 10 times after losing my patience and getting angry because all I had to eat from an early wake-up until 6pm that day was a tiny organic smoothie from Trader Joe's. It was not my best day.)

But last night after the boys were in bed, I finished the gift--so now tomorrow we can bring a finished "Oliver" to school for a special 1-year-old!
(Like the background artwork? Courtesy of Miles! A numerous day project at school painting on wood with acrylics. Pretty nice, eh? And he knew it would match the new smart)

Eric and I agreed that the mix of pattern and solid actually looks really cute!

Unlike Tortellini the Elefante, I like naming each of the monkeys. I've already made a Ned, Madelyn, and Jack. Oliver: to finish Maggie, Ava!

I just have to stop writing about germs and sickness. (Do you think if I write about getting any anonymous check for a million dollars it will happen?? I mean, that's what that whole Secret book I never read was about, right? I'll let you know if it happens. I'll be posting from a new iPad 2, while en route to a year long exploratory journey across the country with our boys in trekked out RV driven by some guy named Zeus.)


  1. First of all, I love the monkey with the alternative limbs/ears - good suggestion, Eric!
    I am so so sorry about the tough illness. Poor Felix, poor parents and poor "neglected" older child... I hope he's doing better by now.
    BTW - You are not a "worst Mother". Please give yourself a break and feed yourself, honey. I love you all!

  2. I love Oliver! He looks great with the green limbs! The hats are also super cute.

    Sending hugs to Felix to feel better soon!!!!

  3. I forgot to applaud Miles's artwork. It's stunning. We used to say at school that our students' works could be shown at a museum with no one realizing it wasn't professional art work.

  4. Oh! Now you have a Miles, Linus, and an Oliver! The trifecta! :D in a mere two beings! hee!

    I'm with you on Michael's. WHAT IS THE DEAL?!?!