I think my child is color-blind. I really do. He's learned everything we've taught him pretty well, he learns the names of things very quickly, can put ideas together to make up new 2-3 word phrases, and makes connections well. But he can't figure out colors to save his life. He knows that when asked what the color of something is, he should answer either red, blue, green, or yellow. He's even added purple to his list because it's what Jeff, his favorite Wiggle, wears. But he can't identify them at all. You ask him a color, and even if you've just shown him something blue and identified it as blue, and he's repeated it so you know he heard, he'll guess red. You'll say blue, and he'll repeat, "Blue!" like that's what he meant to say. You pick up another blue car and ask him what color it is, and he'll say "Yellow!" When I mention this to my mommy friends, they say, "Oh yeah, back when Aloisious was doing that, he said everything was green." Meaning, their kids are sooo over that. I think, "Good for Aidan for taking his time on things. He'll get it right when he's ready. Good for him for not buying into the kiddie competition!" And right after that, I think, "I just wish he'd do ONE thing first. Or even second." And I sigh, realizing that if I have to put pictures of animals on his clothing so he knows what goes with what (remember Garanimals?), well, it'll just be the burden I bear.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Weird little song/cartoon that reminds me of the way A. counts.
So I drove by God's Gym today. The most interesting thing about it was the mural of a buffed and posing Jesus on the side of the building. We didn't do enough damage turning Jesus into a blue-eyed white guy? Now we've gotta make him Mr.Universe?
I'm surfing the web trying to distract myself from my bummed-out-ness. I have a chemical imbalance that causes me to get either anxious for no reason or bummed-out and certain that everyone else in the world has a life and I don't, right around the time my estrogen drops in my cycle. It sucks. It causes extreme post-partum depression, which I found out when I had A. and was sure my life was over for the next 18 years, even as I admired his superlong eyelashes and decided he was the cutest baby ever.
Today I made a really hard decision. I decided I needed to stay on antidepressants during my next pregnancy. I hate it. I hate that my brain on antidepressants is so much sunnier, and dare I say it, NORMAL, than my brain off them. I hate it that I can't just casually mention that I have this chronic disease that requires I stay on medication because the stigma is still so strong. I hate that I hate it, since I'm a therapist and absolutely know that the stigma against depression is insidious and harmful. I should shout it from the mountain tops - "I'm depressed and I'm proud!" I've been in therapy, I've done some hard work about beliefs I've carried from my childhood, and some anger about that. And that's all great, but it doesn't change the fact that when my estrogen drops, a wet blanket falls on my brain.
See, the thing is, on Prozac, I'm not depressed. I'm not super-high, either, I'm NORMAL. I have blue days, lonely days, PMS days, but it's all "within normal limits," as we psychologists like to say. When I'm not on them (or they're not working), I look at my life and I think, "I have a great life. I have a great family, a great husband, a great little guy, a great job, I've worked hard, I've found meaning in life, etc.," and yet there's this veil over everything so I can see it, but can't be touched by it. I can't be soothed or comforted by it, and that sucks, because I know I've got it good. Hearing about other's misfortunes and thinking about how lucky I am does not help. I do think positively, I pray, etc., and that helps me cope with the low serotonin levels when they happen. They always pass, sometimes within a few hours, but sometimes it takes longer, and always when my hormones shift. :::sigh::: The worst part is that when the dark cloud hits, I never know how long it's going to stick around. I have faith that I'll come out the other side like I always have, but there is this small fear, "what if this time it doesn't end?"
I've done the research, talked to my doctors and they all tell me that the risks of the almost sure depression/anxiety during my pregnancy and after vs. the slightly possible but so far not found risks of SSRI's during pregnancy seem greater. I guess that while this isn't a flip decision in any way, I'm afraid it may be somewhat selfish. I guess I'm annoyed that I have to make this choice at all. But hey, no one else with a chronic, recurring disease asked to have it, either.
Monday, June 28, 2004
On Saturday we went to our neighbor's church's carnival. We'd seen the sign that said "Free food, games, music!" Of course, we didn't really believe it. Sure, maybe a free miniature Hershey bar and $5 for a hot dog. Guess what? Everything was free. We got to the main table and they handed us a food ticket with drawings of cotton candy, hot dogs, chips and soda, that each got punched when picked up the represented food, I guess so we wouldn't load up on 15 cones of cotton candy (blech). The lady suggested we enter the raffle, and G asked how much each ticket was, and she looked at him and repeated, "It's free." A scary clown gave A. a balloon. A. also earned tickets at the games (sort of - he tried to kill the rubber ducks in the duck pond and got several tickets for that and nearly took out a young boy with a golf club at the putting green) and we traded the tickets in for a plastic truck, a couple cheap necklaces that look smashing on him and a monkey coloring book. We played in the toddler's bounce house, ate hot dogs, chips and soda, tried our hand (or feet) at the free cake walk, and listened to the mediocre Christian pop the hip young Lutherans were singing. Everything really was free, and no pressure to join the church, either. It was remarkable.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Today we went to a new kids-gym thing. It's a wannabe Gymboree, but I like it better - the stuff is newer, they have more gymnastic stuff, and the staff/kid ratio is small (for now). What I really liked was that they played 80's music throughout. "Safety Dance" came on and this dad said as he followed his toddler around, "You can dance if you want to."
So I took the 80's quiz - I took it a while ago and still got some of the same answers wrong. "I wish that I had JESSIE'S girl." Not Jesse's. And you don't get any points if you spell it wrong. Consider that a gift from me to you.
On another note:
You're a Cappuccino!
What Kind of Coffee are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Sigh. I had such high hopes for today. We had nothing planned, except maybe a trip to Costco. I was quite motivated to use the day to get organized, to catch up on scrapbook pages, etc. I did get the fishbowl cleaned, and A. is clean and doesn't seem too hungry, so I guess that's a success. I was just bone tired. Tired down in the marrow. I'm writing this by dragging one forefinger across the keyboard while I rest my forehead on the monitor. And anxious, too, with the hyperventilating and such, for no reason. This is about the time I'm supposed to ovulate, so I blame a drop in estrogen. Can't wait for menopause. To hell with the warnings - I'll take a risk of cancer with hormone replacement over the almost certainty of slitting my throat any day.
And A. was tired too. He went down for a nap a full hour and a half early, which meant he got up earlier than usual, which didn't bode well for the rest of the day. For future reference, A., here are some things to avoid next time your Mama can barely put one foot in front of the other:
1. Don't act like it's the death scene in Romeo and Juliet when I have to part Thomas and Percy (train cars who stick together with magnets) for ONE MILLISECOND to get your arms out of the car seat straps.
2. Don't pile books on my face when I'm lying on the sofa.
3. Ditto for cars and trucks.
4. Don't throw your jammies in the trash. I know you're trying to help, but they don't go there and I don't always see them in there before I throw coffee grounds away.
5. Don't scream that you need raisins in the grocery store when you have eaten nothing but raisins all day long.
6. On a similiar vein, don't eat raisins all day long without pooping. You have no idea how that scares me.
I expect that we are on the same page now. For my part, I will let you eat pretty much anything you want on these days. Cheese, raisins, yogurt, it's all good, right? Papa'll give you some vegetables tomorrow. And any time you want a "Big Huuug" like they say on Teletubbies, I'm your gal.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
Oh my gosh, I can't believe I forgot to mention this! Pudding Pops are back! I looooved these with a love that was probably unnatural. I saw them in the freezer case and, although I didn't buy them because they don't fit with my new low-sugar lifestyle, I was comforted by their return. Strangely, their return was very low-key - you'd think with all the petitioning and so forth going on requesting their return, Kraft would have have made a bigger deal out of it. They don't even have them on their website. Maybe they didn't want to cause riots.
We went to Sonoma today for Dad's Day. A. wore a cute little T-shirt. They were selling a turkey bbq plate in the plaza for $12. Yikes. So we got sandwiches at the Cheese Factory and ate by the playground. A. found a slide that was just his speed (i.e. slow), but it must have given him some gumption because my normally cautious little boy tried over and over to hurl himself headlong into the duck pond.
Much too quick Shout-Out to G., the best father in the universe. According to A., no one is as funny as Papa, and no one chases him quite as well. No one else buys him Thomas the Train Engine and his whiny pal Percy with tracks just because he loves them so. G. lets me sleep in because it makes me a happier person, he makes dinner when I work late, and he lets A. crawl all over him, dump his desk drawer all over the floor and make random calls on his cell phone. He's a great dad.
Friday, June 18, 2004
A friend of mine came over for dinner yesterday, and was telling me about seeing a woman at the swimming pool with scars on her belly. My friend said, "I started thinking about women's war wounds. And the stories our bodies tell..." The phrase "war wounds" stuck with me. Usually war is about defending life and taking life, but for women in childbirth, I guess it can be about giving life, too. I remember reading a theory a long time ago that men go to war because they can't give birth. I don't know if that's true, but I have a 7-inch gash on my lower belly that's as real as any received in combat. Granted, I was numb when they cut me open, but it also came after a 5-day induction and a 30-hour labor. I've got breasts saggy from feeding my baby with my body. I've got stretch marks that would rival any schrapnel scar. War wounds received in combat get medals and are often displayed proudly as a badge of honor. But women just go about their day, and if anyone notices the scar, says, "Oh yeah, I had a C-section." They complain about their saggy boobs because they don't fit the image of the perky ingenue anymore. I don't think we usually think of a C-section scar as a badge of honor, let alone boobs that point down. Is there any other time that a person can go through an intense physical endurance test, get cut open (or perhaps tear), and then feed the new life with her exhausted body? Thinking of a woman's body as a wondrous, life-growing thing is not new, but somehow the phrase "war wounds" really put it into perspective for me. Yeah, I am proud of the scar. I felt like I went through combat to give birth. And I'm so glad the result was this beautiful boy, not a full military cemetery.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Sunday, June 13, 2004
I worked MCT on Saturday and drove from one end of the city to the other several times with only the police radio and the FM band to listen to. Scanning the stations I was reminded of how many songs I don't understand the lyrics to. One of the most recent is the title of this post, which I also thought maybe was "with the birds of shame it's a lonely view." The real lyric, apparently, is "with the birds I'll share this lonely view," which doesn't even match the line's rhythm as it's sung. I like both of mine better.
A SF Chronicle columnist has written about some great mondegreens.
Remember that touching moment in "I'm in the Mood for Love" when the singer reveals his favorite nickname for his beloved?
I'm in the mood for love,
Simply because you're near me,
Funny Butt, when you're near me ...
Oh, and Mila Mitra heard Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" as "I see skies of blue and clouds of white, the bright blessed day, the dog said good night."
Oh man, that's what I thought it was, too.
I still have to submit mine to him:
Neil Diamond: Livin' in Blue Jeans - I dare you to listen to this song and tell me it doesn't sound more like "Reverend Blue Jeans" than "Livin' in Blue Jeans." As a kid in the 70's, I thought the song was about a hippie priest. (Edited to add: Marianne informs me that it's "Forever in Blue Jeans" - no wonder it didn't sound like "Livin' in Blue Jeans." Still sounds more like Reverend to me. Thanks, Marianne!)
There's also some song by the Gypsy Kings that sounds just like they're singing "Dalai Lama y Grand Marinier" - again, whatever the Spanish words actually are, I like mine better.
Greg provided me with one when we'd just started dating and were baking Xmas cookies in my kitchen. We were listening to christmas carols and Frosty the Snowman came on. "Why would you want to build a snowman that was parse and brown?" he wondered. I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't.
And Elton John: "We're the Dark Cloud Society now." Real lyrics: "Where the dogs of society howl."
And, of course, there's always the famous "running like a douche in the night." I also misheard phrases, and, like many, thought that for "all intensive purposes," it was indeed a "doggy dog world."
Tell me some of yours.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
1. Will someone please tell me what the secret is to keeping shorts and pants on little toddler boys? They won't stay up. The 12-month stuff is too tight, but the 18-month (and 24-month) fall down. Actually, the knit elastic-waist ones stay on OK, but denim and khaki are way too heavy and their heaviness just weighs the shorts down until poor little guy has turned into one of those kids with their crotches at their knees. Maybe I should just give up, put boxer shorts under the pants, stick a pick in his hair and be done with it.
2. Please retire "Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten" from all commencement speeches hereforth.
3. I take that back - keep "EIKILIK" and retire all student speakers. Also, no one cares what the President of the School Board has to say.
4. Look at this picture
And tell me it doesn't give you a headache. Thanks to Dan for that one.
Sunday, June 06, 2004
I was reading one of those family/women's mags (Family Circle, Women's Day, who can tell the difference?) and I swear, every other page was some dire threat. "Protect Yourself from Schemes and Scams," "Are Your Kids Safe at Camp? What You Don't Know Could Hurt Them," and "Hidden Summer Spoilers" (ex. Watch out for that wired glass in public buildings! If your hand goes through that, it's worse than going through plain glass! Why that's a "summer" spoiler and not a year-round threat, I don't know). That's actually my gripe with Motherhood magazine too, crunchy as it is. I can't read it without being reminded of Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine. Which, if you haven't seen, you should. It's all about our culture of fear.
OK, so back to the title of this post. I just returned from the stupidest urgent care visit ever (and I've had some stupid ones). I was walking down the street, minding my own business, when my eye itches. I had contacts in, so I skillfully rubbed the inner corner of my eye ever-so-slightly. I know about not rubbing your eyes - I've had contacts, and severe allergies, for over 20 years. OK, so for some reason my contact decided to take a holiday underneath my eyelid. Just at this moment, neighbor came out and wanted to give us some branches off her pelargonium. G. was very neighborly and pretended he was interested in them, I was trying to keep A. from running down the street while propping my eye open. I couldn't get the contact back into place, so I growled at G that I had to go inside and find the damn thing, and I got to a mirror. No sign of it. I was wearing sunglasses, so if it fell out (and I have never, ever, had a contact "fall" out - I'm much more likely to have to peel the stupid thing off my eyeball)I would've felt it on my cheek. I mean, soft contacts don't just FALL out.
OK, so I didn't see it anywhere under my eyelids. Usually I can see the faint blue edge and can drag it down and then peel it off (apologies to those of you with eye phobias), but nothing. I went outside and had G. peer under my eyelid, and he couldn't see it either. It feelt like someone had dumped a box of sand in my eye, and despite lots of flushing, it was nowhere to be found. My eye was red and swollen by this point, and A. kept looking worriedly at me. I smiled and waved, hoping he'd think I was just winking at him. A really long wink.
No luck, so I called the advice nurse. She suggested I open my eye under water by filling a bowl with water and dunking my head in it. Well, I did call for advice. I tried it, and you know what? It's really hard to just open up one eye under water. It's also impossible to do this and not get soaking wet. But no little contact floated up. So she said I had to go to urgent care and get a doctor to take it out. The first appt. was in 2 hours. Sheesh.
So we packed up A., I apologized for making my men go to the hospital with me for such a stupid reason, I paid my $25 co-pay and we waited. And, as you might imagine, waited. And waited some more. The NBA game was on, so that was OK. A. loved the elevators, so he was OK too. G. was worried that he'd have to go in with me and watch them pop my eyeball out. I told him he didn't have to go in with me. Then I started worrying that they were going to have to pop my eyeball out.
I got a doctor who was 22 if he was a day, and a klutz on top of it. He couldn't get the stool for me to sit on right, and he made it way too high. It was one of those round swivel stools in the exam rooms, and I had to sit on it on one side of the eye-examining-machine. Well, it's really hard to sit on one of those when it's too high and your feet don't touch the ground. In fact, I may go so far as to say it's impossible to even get on the damn thing. You can imagine how it rolls away from you on the slick floor as you try to jump on. He said, "Be careful, I've lost a few people that way." He also admitted he wassn't very good at flipping over eyelids, but he gamely tried it in every position imaginable. Arms through eye-exam-machine, arms around e-e-m, swiveled to the side, laying back, standing up. I started wondering if he was one of those people with an eye phobia, and if his skin was crawling at the thought of pulling on my eyelid and that's why he couldn't do it.
Anyway, he couldn't see it either, but unlike me, he thought that meant it wasn't in there. No, no, no - I just went through all this hooha - you are getting out a pair of tiny tweezers and you are pulling something out of my eye, damnit!
He called over Chipper Physician's Assistant and asked her if she sees anything. She's much better at flipping over eyelids. Way too good at it, in fact. It hurt. And she kept telling me "Look down down down down down to the left to the left to the left waaaaay down, waaay to the left, c'mon you're doing great, down down down down" like she's the "yeller" on Survivor and I'm the blindfolded teammate trying to get a puzzle piece into the right square. I yelled, "That's as far down as my eye goes!" and the doctor started to laugh. She replied, "I know - you're doing terrific!" Hey, I guess I can look down with the best of them. Then she wanted to flip over another corner of my eyelid and have me look to the right to the right to the right to the right, I know, you're doing a great job! to the right to the right etc. You know what I think? I think they whispered in the hall and he told her, "The chick in the eye room doesn't believe me that there's no contact lens in there, so go in there and torture her so she knows we really are looking." That's what I think.
So it turns out that I do have a scratch on my cornea, which was dispatched with a bottle of antibiotic eye drops. I'm just realizing now that he never told me how often to use them. He pulled them out of a drawer somewhere, so there's no prescription, which is a good thing, because if I had to shell out $10 more dollars for the contact lens that wasn't there, I'd be unhappy. G. was very nice about it all - "Well, it's good we had that checked." I probably should've told him they popped out my eyeball and looked behind it. At least my hand didn't go through wired glass. Which makes me wonder, if your hand goes through plain glass, do you think, hey, at least it isn't wired? No, I don't think so. I think you say, Damn, I'm bleeding anyway, wire or no wire.
(Sorry for all the cursing, kids, but it's been one of those days).
Saturday, June 05, 2004
No, not on my blog (much, anyway), in real life. I'm joining Mainstreet Moms Oppose Bush and I'm adopting a swing state - I'm going to send an unregistered mom a personal letter and the "10 reasons Bush policies are bad for children." I am very bad on the telephone and don't want to call people, but stickers on envelopes and little kid fonts? That I can do. I think I'm going to do Washington - that's where my Republican BIL lives. The same one who donated to the Bush campaign in my name to get me back for drawing devil horns on his autographed photo of George and Laura. I also did "Stupid" and "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts. He didn't have any sisters so I'm trying to make him feel more a part of the family, you know.
Friday, June 04, 2004
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Thanks to Laid-Off Dad, I discovered The Mirror Project. I immediately recalled my favorite reflective photo of G. When we were pregnant, we received a number of great gifts from his mom who lives in another state. G. liked to take photos of the things she's given us in use and then send the photos to her. So he took photos of the nursery decorated with her stuffed animals and photo frames. What we realized, fortunately, right before we were about to send them to her was that he was naked while taking the photos and that you could see his nakedness reflected in the window, behind the cute frames and stuffed giraffes. Praise the Lord that we saw that before she did. And no, I'm not going to post it. If G. starts doing porn, we're going to get paid for it and that's final.
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Had a Memorial Day BBQ at Other Big Sister's house, and it was very funny to watch A. and his cousin (I'll call her K.) interact. N. is 7 months older than A., and she adores him with every fiber of her being. Except when he plays with her toys. It struck me that they were the perfect Mars/Venus pair - she wanted his attention, hugs and kisses, to sit next to him, etc. He let himself be hugged and kissed a couple of times, but clearly thought she was being a little too high-maintenance. At the table, she wanted to be near him and he really couldn't have cared less. (Sitting 3 people away was just too far! Reminded me of high school where you HAD to sit next to the guy you liked and a real friend would never sit in between you because she KNOWS you like him). And his response was so typical - he can't be bothered when he's eating or watching TV. She was also really, really tired - the toddler version of PMS - and was quick to fly off the handle because THAT'S HER BARBIE PHONE, DAMNIT! A., being the child of therapists that he is, saw her anger mounting and literally ran from it and hid. Taking the Barbie phone with him, of course.