No, we didn’t go to the ER.

Earlier this week, I posted a question on my personal FB page regarding toddlers and their tendency to shove things up their noses.  The responses I received taught me two things: first, I am amazed at the number of friends whose children have experienced nasal passage blockage from intentionally placed foreign objects, and second, we have a pretty good village of folks.

So Miles may or may not have shoved a fruit snack up his nose.  We lean heavily toward not, but my inner panicking parent needed some information that Drs. Google and WebMD are just unable to provide (side note: why do so many of my questions receive a “seek emergency care” response?)  We were on our way home from school when Miles said from the backseat, “Mama, I pickin’ nose!” (look, we all pick our noses, we have discussed the art of using tissues and such, but toddlers are toddlers so I don’t really freak when gross stuff happens).  So I asked Miles if he had a boogie, and if he wanted a tissue.  Once we reached a stop sign, I turned around to repeat these questions, and that’s when I saw him attempting to shove the fruit snack up his nose.

Of course he’s tried to shove plenty of things up his nose, but he’s never actually done it, he’s more or less pretending so he can get the usual “AAAAAAHDON’TDOTHATYOU’LLGETITSTUCKFOREVER!” response from me.  Because I am the epitome of calm when it comes to shoving peas in your nose.

I gently asked Miles not to do that with his snack, reminding him they were for eating only, and that putting things in our noses can cause an owie.  I turned back to the road since it was my turn, and that’s when I heard it: “OWWWWIIIIEEEEE MAMA!  OWIEOWIEOWIEOWIE!”

Ugh.

I turned around and noticed he was rubbing his nose, and his eyes were watering.  I calmly (not calmly at all) asked Miles if he had put a snack in his nose.  He responded with, “Snack in nose, Mama!”  Double ugh.

The “owie” and nose rubbing continued for a few blocks.  I’m completely fuh-reaking out because I just don’t know if he shoved anything up there, since I was totally focused on operating a moving vehicle and not running us off the road in my state of panic.

We get home, and I do the nose check.  Of course the snacks we buy have to be some damn organic brown rice fruit leather thing that are impossibly dark, rendering me unable to really tell if there’s something shoved in his nasal cavity.  So, you parents who choose to feed your kids the Red Dye 73 fruit snacks probably have one up in a situation like this, because at least you’d see the Day-Glo gummy bear hanging out in there.

I press on his nose, and he says owie.  Did I push too hard, or is there something lodged up there?  I turned Miles upside down and used a flashlight.  He thought this was hilarious.  He also thought it was a camera, as he continued repeating “CHEESE!” the entire time.

I moved on to repeatedly asking him if his nose was owie, if he put a snack in his nose, if he put anything in his nose.  I consult Dr. WebMD, who gives me a list of “symptoms” for “foreign object in the nose.”  Is his nose swollen?  No.  Is he rubbing it more often than usual?  No, because I’ve been doing all the rubbing/pressing/poking for him.  Is his nose bleeding?  No.  Is his nose running?

Hmm.  Is his nose running?  WebMD, are you familiar with toddler noses?  Because they run.  A LOT.  Let’s give a quick rundown…

Reasons My Son’s Nose is Running Today:

  1. It’s cold outside.
  2. It’s hot outside.
  3. We are outside in general.
  4. Flowers are blooming.
  5. He shoved his face in the cat’s belly.
  6. He’s teething.
  7. He found the box of Bisquik, then applied it liberally to his face.
  8. He shoved a crayon in his nose.
  9. He’s pretending to “blow” his nose, but not using a tissue.
  10. He’s a toddler.

So, yes, his nose is probably running.

I really don’t think he can fit a big, square snack up there, but I’ve been wrong before.  To test this theory, I had my husband attempt to shove a snack up his own nose.  See, I’m a rational parent.

After Miles sneezed several times (was it fruit snack related?) and I held him down to use the Nosefrida on him TWICE, we voted against an unnecessary ER trip.  It’s simple math:

length of ER wait + number of minutes past toddler bedtime = NO.

Instead, we agreed to monitor his breathing overnight.  And this morning?  He’s fine.  Now, if he starts sprouting leaves from his nose in three days, I’ll feel an enormous amount of mom guilt but GUESS WHAT?  I feel mom guilt every day, nothing new.

But what I really learned is this: it does take a village to raise a child (and determine if anything is stuck in their nose).  Our village can be in the physical sense, with folks we can depend on to help care for our children, be there for us during challenging times, and babysit when OMG MOM NEEDS A BREAK, but our village can also be in the virtual sense, by having the ability to reach out via social media or email for answers to our questions.  Our village begins as close as our next door neighbors, and stretches as far as the other side of the country.  Grow your village, people.  They will help you SO MUCH.

Side note: I wouldn't let the guy with the wrench near my kids.

Side note: I wouldn’t let the guy with the wrench near my kids.

I am very, very thankful for the friends we have made whom we consider to be our family, because they’ve made all the weirdness of this parenting gig seem so very, very normal.

Next up, transitioning to the big boy bed.  Cue the Psycho violins and sleepless nights.  HELP ME, VILLAGE.

Foreign object free,

K

Yes, I would also like to throw myself on the ground when we’re out of Ben & Jerry’s.

Is there a secret toddler class where they teach children how to writhe around on the ground like snakes?  Because I know for a fact that Miles didn’t learn this adorable trait from me. 
 
I get it, kid…fun stuff is fun, and you don’t want me to take you away from it.  I react in a similar fashion when your dad only gives me two scoops of Ben & Jerry’s…I WANT THREEEEE, WAAAAAH!  But in all reality, as much as you think you’d enjoy it, we can’t spend all day at the splash pad, or the park, or rolling around on the rugs at Target.
 
A few weekends ago, we hit one of our local parks that has a splash pad.  We made an early morning run, after eating breakfast out, so we could avoid the “big kids” (those heathen 7-year-olds…) and so Miles could have adequate space to run around like a maniac.  If you are not the parent of a toddler or young child, you should know this: a toddler doing anything for an hour is the equivalent of you on your first day of Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred.  But unlike an adult, who knows that it’s probably time to call it quits once the shaking knees and urge to vomit kick in, a toddler will continue running around like a maniac until they lay down on the ground and go to sleep.  My child has never done this because I’m one of those weird parents who has their child on a schedule, but I have witnessed the occurrence with other kids.
 
I am not a “nap where you fall down” mama.  I am a “you nap in your crib from 12:00-2:30p so I can read/nap/fold laundry/binge on Tostitos/watch Roseanne” mama.  We never plan activities or get togethers during nap time, because this is a special and sacred time for all of us.  And so, with any outing, it must come to an end so we can move on to other important parts of our day.  I can’t just leave you to fall asleep under a bench.
 
After 90 minutes of running, splashing, finding small objects to shove in our ears, nearly drowning no less than six times and even making TWO NEW FRIENDS (!!!), we knew lunch time was approaching (to be followed closely by nap time) and it was time to do the logical thing: pack up and head home.
 
Logical, right?
 
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.
 
I gathered our sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, shoes, towels, water bottles, more sunscreen, and toys, and loaded them into the truck.  Only one additional item to load: THE KID.
 
Oh, the horror.  The horror and the terror.  Or at least that’s what it sounded like.
 
Me: “Miles!  It’s almost time for lunch! (yay, happy smiles!) Are you ready to go home and have lunch?” (more happy smiles)
 
Miles: *looks at me skeptically*
 
Me: “Look!  I have a banana!  We can eat it in the truck.  Come on, big guy!” (super happy smiles)
 
Miles: *continues looking at me skeptically, turns around and runs to the nearest water feature he can shove his face into*
 
Me: “Miles, it’s time to go.  Would you like to be mama’s BIG HELPER and help me finish packing?”  Note: This “big helper” stuff works 99.98% of the time, seriously.
 
Miles: “No.”
 
Me: *confused look*  Additional note: I am confused because we don’t use “no” in our household; we redirect.  Call me a hippie if you want, but it works 87.88% of the time.  It has zero effect at water parks.
 
Miles: “Waw-duh.  Waw-duh!  WAW-DUH!” (“water”, duh)
 
Me: “Miles, we have finished playing in the water, and now we are all done.  Let’s go home so we can eat lunch.”
 
Miles: “No.  No.  No.”
 
Me: *picks up the child*
 
Miles:  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THIS WOMAN IS KIDNAPPING ME!  THIS WOMAN IS TYING ME TO A CHAIR FILLED WITH BUMBLE BEES!  THIS WOMAN WANTS ME TO EAT OKRA!  THIS WOMAN IS NOT MY MAMA!  THIS WOMAN WON’T LET ME PLAY! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Holy.  Shit.
 
Up until this point, Miles had never really thrown a tantrum.  Sure, he’d get sort of ticked if I wouldn’t let him stick the whisk in the dog’s ear, and as soon as I took the whisk and attempted to redirect him to something else, his normal reaction was to lay on the floor and yell (not scream, just sort of yell) then pick himself up and go about his business.  So while I’d thought those were sort of like tantrums, I learned that they were not.  NOT IN THE LEAST.
 
After 15 minutes of attempting to change him into dry clothes, 10 minutes of explaining why he could not have his wet bathing suit, and an additional 15 minutes of wrangling/acrobatics/Cirque de Soleil, he was finally FINALLY in his car seat.  FINALLY.  I gave him a banana, and we were good to go.  Crisis over.  He happily chattered the entire drive home, ate lunch, and took an epic nap.  I joined him in this epic napping, because I was EXHAUSTED.
 
Last Friday, I arrived at Miles’ school promptly at 5:05 to pick him up…the weekend had arrived, woohoo!  When I walked into the classroom, he and one of his favorite friends were playing on these giant wedges (toddler toys are primarily things that sing, things that roll, things that yell “IT’S LEARNING TIME!” over and over and over, and giant foam things covered in vinyl that kids can get all WWE on without fear of injuring themselves too much).  Oh man, it was adorable.  Running up the wedges, rolling down the wedges, standing on top of the wedges and jumping off.  I talked with his teacher for a few minutes, just to give him some extra play time.  And then, it was time.  Cue the theme from “Rocky.”
 
A similar conversation to the one held at the splash park took place.  It ended with me carrying him football-style, screaming, out of the classroom.  The attempted resistance continued the entire 478 mile trek to the parking lot.  Parents of older kids looked at me with a, “been there, done that” face.  Parents of infants looked at me with a, “THAT’S what happens?!” face.  And we will call that Tantrum #2.
 
How have we learned to avoid tantrums, especially when redirecting isn’t working?  Food.  Specifically, bananas or dried apples.  We keep one of these with us at all times: instant happy smiles.
 
At the end of the day, these moments are few and far between, and the joy that we experience leading up to the Reign of Terror is pretty awesome…
 

 

Here, let me shove my face in this…

 

JOY.

Worth it.

 
Totally worth the sprained knee resulting from Clash of the Car seat.
XX,
K

SAHMcation Recap

Working titles included, “The Longest HappySad Cry of My Life” and “How long has that banana been underneath the china hutch?”  But, for efficient reading, I kept it short.

This past week, I was home on vacation with Miles (hence the term “SAHMcation”)  When we had Miles, I knew that I wanted to utilize some of my vacation time to just hang out with him, and soak up his awesomeness.  This is my second SAHMcation; the first occurred the week after Thanksgiving, when Miles was about 7 months old.

Man, a lot changes in six months.

I remember my first SAHMcation, during the two naps a day phase, when I accomplished both an abundance of quality time with my tiny and an abundance of household drudgery (organizing the linen closet, washing the kitchen cabinets, cleaning the garage) that had loomed over our heads since I hit about 37 weeks pregnant and solidified my spot on the sofa, counting the days until I could see my toes and not belch or urinate every five minutes.  When your child takes two naps that are two hours each, shit gets done.

We are on one nap a day now; granted, that nap can top out at three hours, but it’s still just one nap.  And this isn’t new; we’ve been on this schedule for three months now.  Also, most Saturdays are just me and the kiddo, so it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with how things work when it comes to chores.  It’s simple: the chores that absolutely, positively, must get done are the ones checked off the list.  Well, most of them.  I’ll admit that for the past six days I’ve been drying off with two hand towels after showering because no one has done the towel laundry yet (all of our cats are freeloaders, and I’ve also learned that being home with your toddler full-time causes you to lose sense of all time and space…I asked my husband on multiple occasions not only the date, but also the day of the week, and possibly even what month it was).

I didn’t have a big list of things to get done this week, other than hang with Miles.  I did have a few minor things I wanted to accomplish, and I did successfully complete those tasks:

  1. Clean the microwave.  The sloppy joe explosion seemed to be flavoring other foods I was reheating.
  2. Organize the bathroom cabinet, more appropriately known as “where all the q-tips go to fall out of their boxes and die beneath piles of loose bandaids and half empty bottles of lotion.”

Other things that happened on SAHMcation that I was not prepared to handle…we dropped bottles.  If you have children, you know what I mean.  If you don’t have children, please know that dropping bottles doesn’t involve champagne (ALTHOUGH IT SHOULD).  We went off bottles, for good.  Do you know how much Miles cared about this transition?  Not one single bit.  Do you know how much cared about this?  Enough to cry for 45 minutes while I packed his bottles up during his nap on Monday.

Yes, part of me thought, “Yippee!  No more 4,873 piece bottles to scrub with our three varied-in-size brushes!”  But the larger part of me, and my entire heart, thought “Oh my gosh, there goes my baby…”

And now, I understand why so many moms always wanted to hold Miles and feed him his bottle…he was still little, still tiny, and still still.  The bottle dropping happened by chance, and had I known that the bottle I gave Miles at 6:30am on Monday would be his very last, ever, I would have probably cried…so it’s a good thing I didn’t know.

In addition to happysad crying while packing bottles, I also happysad cried every day after putting Miles down for his nap.  Each day, I’d rock him and sing, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”, the song that I’ve sung to him since he arrived in our world.  Each day, he’d fall asleep in my arms, and I’d hold him just a few minutes longer than usual, and I’d just marvel at this tiny, perfect, precious boy, and I’d remember the days of teeny-tiny onesies and burps and that sweet baby smell.  Each day, I’d grow more and more aware of the amazing and incredible growth that has occurred in just 13 short months.

SAHMcation was void of chores, and had its happysad moments, but I also found a new appreciation for my fellow SAHPs of toddlers because holy cow, it’s the Indy 500 around here all day, every day.  I remember on my first SAHMcation, marveling at my ability to get so many things done during nap one, that I could actually nap myself – for two hours – during nap two.  And I remember a girlfriend of mine telling me that she never ever got to nap (her daughter is two years older than Miles).  Sister, I feel you.  These kids are whirlwinds of squeals and smiles and screams and beating you in the head with wooden blocks because it’s fun.  Right?  RIGHT.

Our days were filled with swimming in the pool, playing at the water table, coloring (and eating crayons), fingerpainting (and eating paint), swinging, walking, running, cat chasing, dancing, singing, reading, stop and take a breath and do it all over again after naptime because MOM THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!  Oh yes, it was a blast – an exhausting blast, but a blast nonetheless.  I marveled each evening at the fingerpaint smeared across the floor, and the toys strewn from here to kingdom come.  But you SAHPs who do it day in and day out, kudos to you, because it’s the most exhausting fun I’ve ever had (Spring Break has nothing on toddlercation, people).

I found that our house is much messier when we’re home full-time.  Laundry, while folded, piled up on the couch.  Bert and Ernie somehow found their way into the freezer, while my bag of frozen mixed vegetables wound up in the laundry basket under three stuffed bears and a mound of wooden blocks.

With no more b-o-t-t-l-e-s in the house, mealtime became even more important.  We did pretty good most days, but there were plenty that ended with me wearing spaghetti, or zucchini being thrown at the cat (this is why I wore the same yoga pants for six days straight – why bother?)  I learned that Miles takes great joy in watching me flinch as he picks up his fork, which encourages the flinging/hurling/throwing of utensils and food.  That’s something they don’t tell you in birthing class: as a parent of a toddler, you’ll flinch a lot.  Every time they pick up a hard toy, or a book, or their food.  I also found half a banana under the china hutch tonight.  I have no idea how long it was there.

Miles also cut his 7th tooth this week, and I finished a 900 page book.  Yes, SAHMcation was awesome.  It was beautifully, wonderfully, messily exhausting in the best ways possible.  And I can’t wait to do it again.

XX,

K

Kitty Love.

Pool Fun.

Picasso.

Time, slow down.

Time, slow down.