Monday, October 17, 2016

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Defining words: We were watching TV this weekend, and on a nature segment, we saw whale sharks swimming on the screen.

I knew Biscuit would like seeing them, so I called him to get his attention. "Hey, check out the whale sharks on TV," I told him.

"Whale sharks suck," Biscuit said.

I was just about ready to tell him not to say things suck when he said, "But not the bad kind of suck. I mean the kind of suck that propels food into their mouths."

Whale sharks are "filter" feeders. They open their mouths
and swim and just take in whatever's in their path.

Sorting out the rules: In Biscuit's play world, a character can be one thing one day and something completely different the next. And sometimes animals can talk and act human-like, and sometimes they can't.

When he comes up with his adventures, he calls them games. So when Biscuit showed me an array of animals laid out on the couch and asked me which one I wanted to be during the game, I said, "Oooo. I want to be that dolphin."

Biscuit said okay and handed the dolphin to me.

He takes his games very seriously, so I always have to question him about the rules.

"So can my dolphin talk in this game?" I asked Biscuit.

"No, Mom, not in this game," Biscuit said. "The animals are fully committed to their animal behavior."

Glad we got that straight. 

Genetics: Biscuit was chatting with someone recently and as I walked up on their conversation, I heard him say, "Well, I look like my dad, but I have my mom's attitude." 

What in the world?! I have no idea if that was a compliment or not!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The looks

Tomorrow is Jeff's birthday, so we took him out for a nice dinner tonight. 

We were sitting at the table, playing some of the games in the coloring book they gave Biscuit. One of the games was called Tricky Truths. You had to share two things that were true and one that was false, and the other two were supposed to try and guess which one was made up.

Jeff and I knew the answers to every one about each other, and we both thought it was kind of funny that Biscuit thought he could come up with facts we didn't know about him. But of course we played along.

Something came up about Biscuit getting in trouble, and what happened next caught me off guard.

"Well, Mom," Biscuit said, "you have these looks."

"What kind of looks?" I asked him.

"Well, this one is for when I'm in trouble," Biscuit said. He said I raise my eyebrows and look at him. And he knows that I've had enough.

"And this one means that I'm gonna get it!" Biscuit said. He said I look at him over my glasses and stare at him really hard. And that, apparently, means that he's in really big trouble.

I knew that I had certain looks that I gave him, but I didn't know he had seen them enough to be able to mimic them!

But I guess that means I've perfected them to the point that when I throw him one of those looks, he better walk a tight line!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Magic Man

Jeff will be turning 50 next Monday, but he's not one for big bashes. His perfect long weekend would be driving out to the beach and just relaxing. So that's what we were going to do.

And now there's a stupid hurricane that should be on our coast by Friday or Saturday. Ugh!

So to cheer us up, I secretly recorded Biscuit practicing piano. If he knew I was recording it, he would've made me start and stop the video until he played the song with no mistakes. So that's why I was sneaky and recorded over his shoulder. It's called "The Magic Man," and this will be his second week working on this song, and I think it's coming right along.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Things he likes

When Biscuit was little, he loved firefighters. Then he moved on to cowboys. Then he moved on to superheroes. If he had a brother or sister, he might be able to share his most current interests with him or her. But since he doesn't, I've learned lots and lots and lots about cowboys ... and firefighters ... and superheroes.

I actually miss the superheroes. I had learned where they all came from, what their powers were, what they looked like and more.

And then there was "Star Wars." Now, I have to say upfront that he's actually moved on from "Star Wars" to "Indiana Jones," but he still has a weakness for "Star Wars." And he's all about mixing characters from different movies, books, etc. into one big complicated world.

When I found out that the new "Star Wars" movie was going to be shown outside in a new park downtown, I knew that Biscuit and I would have to go. But I wanted it to be a surprise, so I didn't tell him.

They were encouraging people to dress up, and I knew Biscuit would be excited about that. And then I wondered if he would like it if I dressed up, too.

So I went into my closet and threw something together, then walked into the living room.

"Who am I?" I asked Biscuit.

Biscuit looked me up and down and said, "Ooo! You're Rey."

He guessed exactly who I was, so I told him what we were going to do the next night.

"Really?" Biscuit asked, his face lighting up. "Can I dress up, too?"

"Of course, you can," I told him.

I wanted to make sure that Biscuit was okay with me dressing up, too. If he said he didn't want me to, I wouldn't have. I mean, I was doing it for him in the first place, and I certainly didn't want to be one of those moms who tries to be younger than her age.

"Do you want me to dress up for the movie, too?" I asked him. "I just did it here at home to make you guess who I was."

"Yes, yes I do, Mom," Biscuit said. "You dress up like Rey, and I'll dress up like Han Solo. Because Han Solo was played by the same actor that plays Indiana Jones. So if I dress up like Han Solo, I can sort of be Indiana Jones, too."

Good Lord that child is single-minded!

So we got dressed up and went to see the movie. It was such a nice night. It was cool (especially for summer here!), and there was a breeze blowing. We stopped for takeout on the way, so we had some yummy food to eat, too.

Playing at the park before the movie.

Biscuit had been playing on the climbing equipment and got all disheveled.
I should've made him tuck his shirt back in because you can't see his
belt or holster. I was nervous about letting him bring a gun, even
a toy laser gun, so he put an action figure of Chewbacca, the Wookiee
that is Han's right-hand man, in the holster. Biscuit didn't want to wear
boots. He wanted to wear his stormtrooper slippes because he
said it looked like he was stomping on stormtroopers (the bad guys).

Rey (left) is from the newest movie, and this picture of Han Solos is from the first movie.

The area in front of the ropes was for people who were sitting on blankets. We
brought our comfy chairs, and we were on the front row with a really good view.

And there's no telling what we'll have to learn about next!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Soccer Dad

A post from The Daddy Man:

You've probably seen the post and pictures about Biscuit playing soccer, and I'd like to set the record straight.

I hate soccer. Hate is a strong word, I know, but I mean it. I've watched and covered it. I understand the game. But I hate it. 

But with that said, I would never discourage Biscuit from playing.

He never even mentioned being interested in soccer until Kimmy asked him about it. Then his answer was, "Dad doesn't like soccer." She was quick to tell him that it didn't matter what I like, it matters what he likes. And I backed her up on that.

So just to show the boy that I'll support him, I've been practicing with him in the backyard. You can tell that he doesn't have much experience, but he's trying real hard, and that's all I'll ask of him.

One evening a couple of weeks ago, I told Biscuit that while he put on his soccer cleats, I would set up the little net that his Grandmama gave him. Biscuit got his shoes one and carefully tied the laces. Then he jumped up and ran out into the yard.

Biscuit started "dribbling" the ball. That's what the soccer people call it when you kick the ball back and forth as you travel down the field toward the goal.

He was making a really good drive toward the net, and I was excited to see him going for it.

But just before he got to the net, he tripped over his own feet, knocking one shoe off in the process and face planted right on the ground. He hit hard! I was a little nervous for him to turn over, not knowing if he had done any kind of damage.

Biscuit rolled over and looked stunned for just a second or two. And while he was still lying flat on the ground, he looked up at me and said, "I lost my shoe."

That was it. "I lost my shoe."

No crying. No drama. Just "I lost my shoe."

I realized that even though he got his shoes tied, he hadn't made the laces tight enough. So I helped him up and told him we would tie his shoes a little tighter so they would stay on his feet.

We played for a little while longer until it started raining, and we headed in to get Biscuit showered and ready for bed. Once I read him a bedtime story and came downstairs, I called Kimmy into our bathroom and told her what happened.

Things are often funny when they happen, but they're always funnier when we can share a laugh after the boy is in bed.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

In sickness and health

You might have remembered all the posts I wrote earlier in the year about Biscuit being sick. 

And now that we're on the back side of it (fingers crossed, knock on wood and any other lucky things you can think of), I can fill in some details. It was a rough time for all of us!

From February through late July, Biscuit got sick every 18 to 21 days (a couple of episodes came even quicker than that). It always started with a fever, and it got to a point that Biscuit could tell us when he had a fever. He knew how it felt well enough to be able to tell his teacher or me and Jeff or whoever he was with.

He missed 23 days of school because of it. Luckily, we had doctor's notes for almost all of them which made them count as excused absences. And Biscuit's teacher was so, so helpful. She made sure that he didn't get behind, and she kept an eye on him. When he would tell her he felt feverish, she would get him to the office and call us in no time. We gave her a nice gift card for a restaurant she likes at the end of the school year because we just couldn't have asked for anyone any better to be watching over our Biscuit baby.

He also missed several piano lessons, baseball practices and games, play dates and more.

I don't remember which illness tipped us off that we should start tracking, but we kept a list of high temperatures, the diagnosis (if there was one) and of course, the date. Jeff actually created a spreadsheet, so it would be easy for the doctor to read.

I kept this shorthand list with me all the time. He had three or four more episodes after this list ended.

June 10 was the scariest. His fever went up to 106.2 and we ended up in the emergency room!

Waiting to be seen by a doctor at the emergency room.

And as you can see, the diagnoses were varied - flu, strep throat, virus, tonsillitis. There was just no answer for it.

There was one early-June trip to the pediatricians' office where Biscuit's doctor wasn't available. So we hesitantly saw someone else. And the guy was a real jerk! He said it was just a virus and basically accused of us trying to make something out of nothing. He even questioned why I was keeping track of it all. I was so stunned that I couldn't respond. And of course, when I was telling my mama about it, I thought of a million things I wish I had said to the man, including, "You can question it if you want, but we'll be right back here in 18-21 days."

Sometimes he would only sleep if I was holding him.

For the next trip, later in June, we were able to see Biscuit's doctor. And he had gotten worried, but didn't want to freak us out. So he said we could just wait it out like we usually do or we could have some blood taken and do some tests. Without much thought at all, I told him we'd like to do some tests.

Between my own brain and other people's questions, I had convinced myself that Biscuit had some terrible, awful disease, and the blood tests were going to prove it. I can't explain to you how scared I was to see the results.

I had a job as a phlebotomist to pay my way through college, so I was very familiar with the whole blood-drawing process. I was torn about whether to share the details with Biscuit in advance or just explain it as we went along. But of course, Biscuit immediately realized that taking blood meant at least one needle. He was petrified!

We had to go to a lab because the doctor's office didn't have some of the tubes they would need for certain tests. And if you're not familiar with the process, each of the tubes has a different chemical in it. The chemical mixes with the blood and allows the techs to run the appropriate tests. People used to freak out all the time, saying, "You're gonna take all my blood!" And I would have to explain to them that even if I took six tubes of blood, it was less than the Red Cross would suck out at a blood drive.

We got to the lab, and the tech saw Biscuit curled up in my lap and said, "Is he really sick?" And I explained that he was more scared than anything else.

So poor Biscuit was dehydrated and cold, two of the worst possible things for an easy and good blood drawing!

As the tech tied the tourniquet around his arm and started feeling for veins, I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn't finding anything worth sticking.

I waited until he had checked both arms, then I said, "I used to be a phlebotomist, and I could tell by the look on your face that you didn't find any good veins. If you need to use his hand, he can take it."

Biscuit and the guy both looked at me with surprise.

Then I explained to Biscuit what was going to happen.

"It's going to hurt when the needle first goes in," I explained, "but if you hold perfectly still, it won't hurt after that. But you HAVE to hold completely still, even if it hurts, okay?"

Biscuit nodded, and the tech got Biscuit's hand ready.

When he put the needle in, Biscuit said, "Ow! Ow! Ow!" but he didn't move a single millimeter. I was hugging him and telling him what was going on and that everything was going to be okay.

The blood was coming slowly, which added even more drama to the situation. And at one point, Biscuit said in a tiny little voice, "I can't take this anymore, Mom."

"Yes, you can," I told him. "You can do this. I know you can."

I started telling Biscuit about some of the patients I had stuck in the past.

"Do you know that some of the biggest babies were these big ol' men with gigantic muscles?" I asked Biscuit.

"Really?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "They would suck in their breath and make all these noises like I was chopping their arms off with a chainsaw! But YOU ... you are being super brave. WAY braver than any of those guys. I can't wait to call Dad when we get finished and tell him how brave you were."

I was so impressed with how well Biscuit handled the whole thing. I thanked the tech when he was done, and he said, "You're welcome."

But then I reached out and put my hand on his arm, made eye contact and said, "No, seriously. Thank you. I know how hard that was."

He pointed at Biscuit and said, "You should thank him. He did a great job, better than some adults."

The good news and bad news was that the blood test results came back perfectly normal. Knowing just enough to be dangerous about the tests the doctor ordered, I immediately looked at the ones that would hint at things like leukemia or lupus. But everything was completely within normal range.

Poor Biscuit would toss and turn so much when he
was feverish. He'd try to sleep in his bed, on the couch, in
mine and Jeff's bed, in my lap, wherever he could think of.
Sometimes, it took hours before he would finally crash.

After that appointment, Biscuit had three more episodes, then it just went away. We counted days and were prepared for the next fever. Even Biscuit knew when it was supposed to happen and noticed that he was still doing okay.

I kept count of the days for a while. At one point in August, it was up to 48 days. I realized that I was going to drive myself crazy if I didn't stop counting, so now I just know that it's been 48 days plus a whole bunch of other days since Biscuit was sick.

We have no idea how the whole thing started, and we have no idea how the whole thing went away. But we're just going to enjoy the fact that our boy is healthy and continue to keep our fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Is that a sign?!

I turned 48 in July. Lots of women fret over their age and worry about wrinkles and all that other stuff, but I'm proud of all 48 of my years. I've done a lot of stuff in my time here on Earth, and I have a lot to show for it.

I have an amazing husband who is absolutely the person I love most in this world. I have a beautiful son who is funny and kind and just crazy smart. I have family and friends and a job and a house and loads of good stuff.

I'm very, very thankful.

I'm so thankful, that the day after my birthday, I bragged on social media, saying, "Well, I didn't wake up with any new aches and pains, so it looks like 48 is going to treat me just fine!"

The next evening, we came home to find THIS on the deck railing, just outside the kitchen window! That's what I get for bragging!

Jeff and Biscuit named him Victor the Vulture.