A parade in my honor? PLEASE, PROCEED.

As a first-time parent, there are a lot of things we just don’t know.  Sure, you can read the books, talk to your friends, consult with Drs. Google and WebMD, but that’s not always the answer.  And so, in parenting, I have learned three valuable words: figure it out.  Becoming a parent gives you a special set of skills, sort of like the dad in “Taken”, except your skills aren’t so much in murder, terrorist negotiations (well…) and hostage situations (WELL…) but more in deduction, problem solving, blankie locating and grape slicing.  Your prime skill will still be figuring “it” out.  We all know “it” could be a host of things, and when the glorious day comes that you actually do figure it out?!  You will request a ticker tape parade in your honor, because you are now a national hero deserving of speeches and champagne and confetti and cookies and a Federal holiday in your honor.
Earlier this week I briefly mentioned the two year sleep regression.  I even wrote a post on it, although it sits in draft status because a). I’m not sure it’s the most interesting reading for you all (even if it is entertaining) and b). I like to hoard posts like that for days I’ve run out of thoughts.  “Writers” like me tend to squirrel things like that away so you think we’re still “working”, when we really just spent four hours surrounded by Legos, covered in granola and speaking only in a Grover voice (aka “running out of thoughts”).
This particular post is about my triumphs this week – TWO OF THEM.  A record in toddler parenting!
Sleep… So, the two year sleep regression.  It’s like all other sleep regressions, although “regression” isn’t the best term to use as these occur during periods of rapid physical and/or mental development (aka my kid is becoming a genius overnight and therefore is having trouble getting to sleep).  There are three regressions before this one; I’m a follower of this stuff because we’ve experienced all but one, but the two year is a little different because now your kid is smart.  Like, S-M-A-R-T.  You can’t just help them get back to sleep and you’re all done; you have to figure out why the coveted act of sleeping eludes them to begin with.  After a week of 90+ minute sessions of rocking, books, songs, lights on, lights off…I realized something.  This wasn’t really separation anxiety, as some of the books will tell you (one of the signs of the two year regression).  This was Miles understanding that after he goes to bed, his parents are still awake, which is unacceptable (yet another sign of the two year regression). 
Suddenly, Miles was on to us.  He realized we could be having ice cream cupcake parties, and he’s in bed?!  HELL TO THE NO.  I knew he was playing us after Miles and I had a lengthy discussion about fish and how they sleep; Miles was not upset and clingy once we were IN the room, just when we were gone.  As soon as he saw once of us, he instantly smiled, requiring no consolation, and then began requesting stories, songs, games, etc.  And so, after a week of not figuring it out, we decided to put him to bed.  I gave him the big boy pep talk, lots of hugs and kisses, and scooted on out.  Sure, he got pissed off the first night, but I left his door cracked so he could hear that I was having a TOTAL BLAST DOING DISHES, and that was comfort enough.  He fell asleep in 15 minutes.  Choirs of sleep angels sang the Hallelujah Chorus.  Night two?  No tears!  He would occasionally yell, “MAMA, COME IN!” but that was it.  Night three, same result.  After four nights, I finally put the words in writing to my best friend and claimed my victory over sleep protest.  Parents, is there no greater feeling than figuring something out?  
Of course, we’re moving to not only the big boy bed, but the big boy ROOM in a few weeks…because there’s nothing I love more than throwing a monkey wrench into the progress we’ve made.
Green Foods…  Then, as if this week couldn’t get any more miraculous, the child ate THREE SERVINGS of green beans on Thursday night.  This, after a month long protest of all green vegetables at home (because green vegetables at school are apparently far superior to green vegetables at home).  I didn’t really do anything except continue to serve the vegetables, assuming one day, possibly before his 16th birthday, he’d pick one up and eat it.
We sat at the table, eating dinner and talking about the day.  Miles picked up a single green bean and put it in his mouth.  This isn’t uncommon; he will frequently taste the green food, only to spit it out, hand it to me with a reminder of “no mama, no green beans.”  But then, something amazing happened: HE CHEWED.  OMG.  Then?  THEN?!  HE SWALLOWED!  I said no words; I looked at my husband to see if he’d witnessed the event, and he had.  We continued our conversation about holding hands when crossing the street.  And then?  ANOTHER GREEN BEAN.  But still, no words…you cannot acknowledge the consumption of a green vegetable until Miles realizes it was, in fact, a green vegetable, and that he actually likes it.  When he finished all of his green beans and then grabbed two fistfuls from my plate, I celebrated, and gave him ALL my green beans (sorry, Kid Two…we’ll take an extra prenatal vitamin to cover that nutritional loss).  WINNER WINNER GREEN BEAN DINNER.
This will probably change in the next 36 hours, but for now, we celebrate!  These are the small accomplishments that give parents not only a great sense of pride, but also the affirmation that we actually do know what we’re doing sometimes.  Even better?  That we’re actually good at it.  We must celebrate the little things, because they turn into the big things. 
I declared myself Queen of Green Beans and Bed Time, and requested birthday cake ice cream in celebration. 
This week, I win.  WIN!
Ahem, this is a "cookie parade" according to Google.  So imagine more confetti and champagne and me eating cookies while riding in a beautiful gold convertible.

Ahem, this is a “cookie parade” according to Google. Just imagine more confetti and champagne and me eating cookies while riding in a beautiful gold convertible and wearing PJs.

Sunday Mom Confessions

My Sunday Mom Confessions will appear this week covered in every product in the Seventh Generation line that includes the words “anti-bacterial” in it, along with a heavy dose of Amoxicillin with Sudafed and Advil because I finally took my butt to the doctor when my magic powers and herbs didn’t seem to be cutting it.

First, let’s talk about the doctor.  I’m not opposed to medical care; in fact, proper medical care is crucial to our existence.  I follow a standard vaccine schedule with Miles.  I encourage my husband to head to the doctor for any ache and pain.  It’s getting myself to the doctor that can be tricky.  Oh sure, I go for my annual OBGYN appointment (which I have affectionately dubbed “The Boat Show”, only because I get the feeling someone is trying to park a yacht in there with all the cranking open they do) and I go for an annual physical.  But otherwise, I ignore any cold/flu/allergy/possible broken bone until it reaches the point of unbearable pain.

This is when WebMD steps in, urging me to “seek immediate medical attention.”  Again, WebMD knew my appendix was rupturing, so I trust them a lot.

WebMD gave me a list of 50+ things, even though deep down I knew it was just a sinus infection.  Saturday morning, if that’s what you can call it at 3:30am when you’ve been jarred from a seemingly peaceful sleep, I awoke to a strange feeling.  It was actually a horrible feeling; the feeling of my eyes trying to escape from their sockets.  With ice picks.  And chainsaws.  I took four Tylenol (because I’m sensible) and went back to bed.

Drawn to scale.

Drawn to scale.

The pain explosion continued forever.  No amount of Advil, Tylenol, or Excedrin would touch it.  If I looked to the left or right, the exploding eyeball feeling returned.  So I did what any mom of a toddler would do: after his nap, I sat in the recliner with Miles and we watched four episodes of “Roseanne.”  When Evan got home, I decided I should probably get this funk checked out.

I went to Urgent Care.  Ugh, the bane of my medical existence.  I absolutely loathe Urgent Care.  It’s where people like me, the lazy and preoccupied, go when their wounds begin to fester and ooze (or stab through their eyeballs).  Here I am in the waiting room, with a man who “hurt his back” on the job, but has no proof of employment; two men waiting to have drug tests, and parents of twin toddlers who are running around the waiting room like maniacs (something toddlers are completely capable of even when they’re sick).

I’m finally seen by a startlingly cute doctor (this never happens at Urgent Care) and he tells me what I already know, but he gives me the drugs…antibiotics, and choirs of angels sing hallelujah!  I’m not a big medicine fan, but I was getting desperate (also, somewhat concerned it just might be West Nile Virus).

Today, my headache is gone, thanks to stead four hour doses of Sudafed and Advil.  I can feel Big Pharma in there, clearing out the funk that has resided in my sinus cavity for the past eight (!!!) days.  Finally, getting back to normal (seriously, I didn’t even drink any wine this weekend until right now).

And so, with the funky funk packing its bags, here are my confessions of the past eight days…

  1. Miles tried his first ice cream cone.  Is 14 months too young?  I care not one iota; it was awesome to watch the face of a child who has never eaten anything that cold.  You could see the grimace of, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!” mixed with a face of “oooh, gimmegimmegimme!”  Those are my exact feelings toward ice cream, too.
  2. The light bulb in our closet has been burned out for eight days (it extinguished around the same time my plague arrived) which means I’ve been pulling articles of clothing out, holding them in the bathroom light, then throwing them on the closet floor if they aren’t what I need.  I am down to a wrinkled mess on the floor, and sweaters on hangers.
  3. I taught Miles that dusting is fun.
  4. I have stepped on macaroni noodles, lo mein noodles and spaghetti noodles in the past 48 hours.
  5. I turned a pair of sweatpants inside out just so I could wear them in public (you know, the grocery store) without anyone noticing the tomato sauce stain.
  6. Did I mention it’s been eight days since I washed my own laundry?
  7. I also let Miles snuggle with me so we could watch The Cosby Show.  I am not ashamed of our TV time while I’ve been sick; these could be some of the last “snuggly baby” memories that I get.
  8. Miles ate zero vegetables yesterday.  Not that they weren’t offered; he didn’t want them, so I gave up.  Peaches and macaroni it is.
  9. I let a perfect stranger (teenage girl) take a picture of Miles eating his first ice cream cone at dinner on Friday.  He’s cute, I totally get it.  And she did ask permission.
  10. Miles still takes a binky at bedtime (STOP JUDGING).  It’s his one vice; he could go to sleep without it, but it’s easier with it.  Over the past three days, all of his binkies have disappeared except one.  I am at a crossroads: buy more binkies, or wean from binkies?  What if he turns 30 and he still sleeps with a binky?  Well, I hope he has a very understanding wife.

Maybe those aren’t as ridiculous as they usually are after a week in the toddler zone.  It’s tough to be funny and creative when your head is trying to turn itself inside out to escape the mucus.  Truth: I feel a little guilty about the TV, and a little proud about the dusting.  But mostly I feel warm and fuzzy because I CAN FINALLY DRINK WINE AGAIN.

Even though we’ve had the funk in this house, we’ve also had a lot of arts and crafts, pillow fights, book time and snuggles in the past eight days.  Miles has also started saying simple sentences like “Mama’s big helper!” which are simultaneously making me incredibly proud and breaking my heart, because being a mom and watching your child grow up is just emotionally weird sometimes.  More on my Big Helper later, though.

It’s Sunday…10 minutes until True Blood, my last weekend vice before returning to real life.  And I need my Lafayette fix.

Hooker PLEASE,