Tuesday, April 27, 2010
"A run-in?" I asked. "With who?"
"Thin air," she said. "He was booking it across the playground when all of a sudden his feet shot right out from under him."
I asked her what happened next. I could tell by his face that it couldn't have felt good when he fell.
"He surprised me," she said. "He didn't cry at all. He just jumped up, pointed his finger to the ground and yelled, 'No, no, no!' He yelled at the ground. I couldn't help but laugh."
His face looks kinda pitiful, but I couldn't help but laugh at him, too.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday morning eased my worries, though. Biscuit and I walked into the toddler room and about 6 or 8 kids ran over to greet him. "Griffin. Giffin. Gwiffin. Fiffin." There were 6 or 8 kids and 6 or 8 pronunciations of Biscuit's name!
I told Jeff, "It was just like on "Cheers" when Norm walked into the room."
One little boy even came over with a ball and handed it to Biscuit."Here, ball," the little boy said. "Ball," Griffin said.
I translated this conversation to mean ...
Little boy: "Good morning my friend Griffin. How are you this lovely morning?"
Biscuit: "Just fine, thank you, and you? Shall we run screaming to the other side of the room and play with the ball you just handed me?"
So that's what they did.
I did get a quick half-wave goodbye and a smile. So I figured I could start my day feeling okay.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Biscuit got a ride-in car from Santa at Christmas, and I push him around the house in it. We have the perfect circle to ride ... living room, dining room, kitchen, hall, entryway, living room, repeat.
He also has a teething ring that looks a set of keys on a fob. There's a horn button and a button that sounds like a car cranking up.
This morning, I had a proud moment. My boy put the car and the keys together. I was trying to get him ready for day care, and he got away from me. When I tracked him down, he was sitting in his car banging the keys against the dashboard, looking for an ignition hole.
That's my boy!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I think if he had to make a list of his top 5 things so far in his life, it would go:
5. Anything with wheels
He can't always be outside, eating bananas, throwing balls or riding or driving a vehicle, but there's pretty much a book with us wherever we go.
He's picky about his books, too. You can't just grab one and start reading. HE has to pick out what we read.
If you're sitting in a chair, he'll hand his book to you then throw his hands up for you to pick him up so he can sit in your lap. And if you're sitting on the floor, he'll grab his book, turn around and walk backwards until he gets to you, then he'll just flop down in your lap.
The other cool thing is that he's really familiar with some of his books now. He growls at the right spot in his "Cranky Bear" book. He goes nuts as soon as he sees the policeman on the horse in his police book. And when Clovis the Tiger gets ready to jump in the water, he makes a big "SPLOOSH" sound.
Jeff and I both love to read, so I hope his love of books sticks with him.
Well, she said that while Biscuit's hair was still long, he was her usual sweet, little baby. But since we got his locks chopped, he bit a kid and went through a couple of days of hitting. So she said his week of being Unsweet Biscuit was our fault and told us not to cut his hair anymore!
Here's my shaggy, sweet baby and my mean, little short-haired boy!
Monday, April 19, 2010
It was his first full-time day in the toddler room, and he got to spend his evening with two of our friends while Jeff and I went on a date.
Mama didn't handle the whole day anywhere near as well as Biscuit did!
Biscuit has been in transition from the infant room to the toddler room for a few months now. He's learning to feed himself and has been getting along well with the other toddlers, but he's still a good bit smaller than the other kids in the class, so the teachers have held off having him with the toddlers full time.
But two weeks ago, we got the official letter saying that last week would be his transition week. He would start out in the infant room, then spend most of the day with the toddlers. It worked well, so today was the official move-up day.
I'm not sure why, but it was pretty emotional for me. Just seeing him with all those walking, talking little people in the toddler room was overwhelming. He's moving from being a baby to a little person. And I'm not ready!
I asked about how his days would go, and the teachers told me that he'd get to go outside twice a day (and I guarantee they'll have to fight to get him to come in), they have story time and song time, they learn colors and numbers, they practice manners - please, thank you, etc. and probably his favorite thing, they get to eat at a little table instead of high chairs. He thinks he's Mr. Big Shot when he can eat outside of his high chair!
I was nervous a good part of work today. And it was for no reason at all. He did great. As a matter of fact, when I walked into the toddler room to pick him up, he wasn't ready to go yet. For me, it was a mixture of "My little boy isn't excited to see me," and "Yay! He likes the toddler room!"
The best part for me is that we don't have to carry snacks or sippy cups for him. In the infant room, parents would bring whatever the child could eat. But in the toddler room, they're mostly on the same eating level, so they all get school-provided snacks. Plus, he's learning to drink from a regular cup, so we don't have to send his sippy cups anymore. It wasn't a big deal to provide those, but every morning, we had to write his name and the date on each thing we sent for him. It was a tedious task that we don't have to do anymore.
And for the biggest advantage ... he costs us $10 less each week. The older they get at day care, the cheaper the rate is because they don't require as much hands-on care. Once he's potty-trained, he'll get even cheaper!
Two of our friends volunteered to babysit tonight so Jeff and I could go on a date. They've sat with Biscuit before, so I knew everything would be fine. Last time they kept him, he was getting over a cold, and he was having some pretty severe teething pain, so, they didn't get to play a lot because he just wasn't up for it.
But tonight, he was in a great mood, his allergies weren't too bad, and the weather was nice enough for them to take him outside. I warned them that there might be drama when they made him come inside, but apparently, they had an idea I hadn't thought of. When it was time to go in, they said, "Hey, let's go inside and have a banana." The only thing my baby likes better than outside is bananas, so good call on their part!
Meanwhile, Jeff and I had a nice steak dinner then rambled around the bookstore for a while. It was nice and relaxing, and we made a pact on the way to the restaurant that we wouldn't talk about work at all.
But even though we were having a great time, and even though I knew that everything with Biscuit was fine, and even though I knew that if anything was going on, the babysitter friends would call me, and even though ...
"Jeff, they would call us if something was wrong, wouldn't they?" I asked.
"Yes. They would call," Jeff said. And he didn't say it with any attitude or in a making-fun of me way or anything.
I told him that other than the fact that worrying is what mamas do, I have no idea why that question would even cross my mind. First of all, the chances of anything going wrong are really, really slim. He's with two competent people who have been around him plenty of times before. They know what to do in case of an emergency. And secondly, they wouldn't hesitate to call if they needed us.
But any of you other mamas know exactly what I'm talking about! It's one of those things that comes along with growing eyes in the back of your head and being able to call your kid on raiding the cookie jar before his hand ever touches the lid. It's what mamas do.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
We gathered a couple of boxes of stuff for Goodwill. Then we ran a few errands. Then we went to our friends' new house to help paint and pull down wallpaper for a little while. Then we grabbed some pizza and came back by another friend's house to pick up a couple of pieces of furniture.
So we've been in and out of the car, and Biscuit has been making the rounds. He played with one of his friends at the first house we went to. Then he squealed over and chased two cats at the second house we were at.
But through it all, he was a little trouper. No meltdowns. No tantrums. No drama. He was a sweet, sweet baby.
Biscuit has been struggling the past couple of weeks with seasonal allergies. This might sound a little crude, but it's been snot, snot, snot! With a bunch of coughing thrown in. We feel so bad for him.
So with all the big doings and the allergies, Biscuit was wiped out by the time we got home. I barely got him in his pajamas before he was falling asleep.
He had been asleep for 45 minutes or so when he woke up crying. I went in to get him, but he wanted his Dada. So Jeff held him for a while in the rocking chair, then Biscuit squirmed to get down. Jeff let him go, and he walked straight to the refrigerator. He pointed, then he walked straight to his high chair. We got the point.
Jeff poured him a sippy cup of water, and we gave him some mandarin oranges. He ate his snack then wandered around the living room playing for about 15 minutes. Then he crawled in Jeff's lap and settled in. Jeff took him to bed, and all is quiet again.
I guess even babies sometimes need the occasional almost-midnight snack.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Saturday morning was a little creepy. It was so foggy when we got up that we couldn't even see the boats out our balcony door. We walked across the street to the beach and even standing on the sand, you could hear the ocean, but you couldn't see it. It was really creepy!
We decided to give Biscuit an Easter egg hunt on the beach. He picked up a couple of eggs, but he was more interested in chasing the sea gulls. Needless to say, they didn't like him as much as he liked them.
Biscuit had a hard time walking in the sand. We kept moving him down closer to the water on the packed sand, thinking he would like walking there better. But every time, he would move right back into the softer, deeper sand. I finally figured out that he was freaking out about the ocean. He didn't want to have anything to do with it.
We picked up some sea shells for Biscuit to take back to preschool. One of his teachers said she has a jar of seashells at home that she would add his to. He didn't understand that, but I thought it was really sweet.
We didn't want the Easter bunny to have to find Biscuit at the hotel in Wilmington, so I just decided to pack a basket for him myself. Not smart on my part, I hadn't put the basket in a bag yet when we were still packing.
I was sticking stuff in bags and Biscuit walks into the bedroom and says, "Book. Book." And without even looking, I said, "Yeah, book."
Then he walked out for a few minutes, then came back. "Ball," he said. "Yeah, ball," I said.
This went on three or four times before it occurred to me to see what books and balls he was playing with. And guess what? They were books and eggs from his Easter basket! He had emptied the whole thing. I put everything back in, double-bagged it and stuck it straight in the car.
He didn't seem to mind Sunday morning when he got to take everything back out of it again.
I talked to Mama, and she was telling me about her church's sunrise service. I told her that being able to sit on the sand with the morning sun shining on my face, I didn't need a church to have a worship service. That was about as spiritual as you can get.
The whole wedding/Easter weekend was great. The wedding was beautiful. Our small little Easter celebration was great. It was overall just a good trip.
Oh yeah, and the boy still likes to travel, which is just an added blessing.
The hotel where we stayed was a place Jeff and I had stayed before, back before Biscuit was even thought about. It’s on the sound in Wrightsville Beach, just outside of Wilmington.
The rooms are nice and big and are kinda like efficiency apartments. There’s a full kitchen and living room, as well as a queen bedroom and a queen Murphy bed in the living room. And since it’s not on the ocean, it’s affordable, too.
At the end of this post, I’ll put in a column I wrote for the paper about the first time we stayed at this place. It was pretty funny.
Anyway, having the kitchen was great with Biscuit. The kitchen even had a dishwasher, and anyone who has a toddler knows that a dishwasher is a blessing … cups, pacifiers, spoons, even some toys.
We had a great view of the sound from our balcony, and thankfully, the railing was really tight, so we could let Biscuit stand on his own while we were out there. And in his current stage of independence, that was a good thing. He learned how to say “boat,” and he already knew how to say “bird,” so he was having a great time out there.
We had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner Friday night. The wedding was at Aerlie Gardens, only 10 minutes from our hotel. It was really pretty with the flowers starting to bloom, although all of our shoes were coated with pollen when we got back to the car. The rehearsal dinner was at an oceanfront resort at Wrightsville Beach, also about 10 minutes from where we were staying.
Biscuit was wide open the whole night. Poor Jeff was the sole wrangler since I was a bridesmaid in the wedding. Biscuit socialized and just couldn’t find a stranger. He went up to the groom’s dad, who is in a wheelchair, grabbed the wheel and said, “Vroom. Vroom.” I apologized to this man we had never met before and told him that anything with wheels is a car to Biscuit. He laughed and thought it was pretty funny.
When the bride finally made her way over to visit with us, she reached out to hold Biscuit. He leaned out for her to hold him, then he promptly put one hand squarely on her boob. Granted, it’s not a small target, but I still explained to the boy that there’s protocol for that sort of thing and that you have to build up to a boob-grab. Plus, I told him that the groom is way bigger than him and might not like him getting handsy with his soon-to-be wife. I’m pretty sure Biscuit didn’t understand what I said, but I swear, the child looked at me and just grinned!
My 1-½-year-old is already a dirty old man!
We got to spend some time Saturday morning and Sunday morning on the beach. Biscuit wasn’t too sure about it. I’ll share more about that later.
We had to get to the wedding pretty early, so by the time the ceremony rolled around, Biscuit was getting antsy. He had been so good for so long, and he just didn’t want to sit still anymore. Luckily, with the wedding being outdoors in the gardens, Jeff just carried Biscuit around for a while and that seemed to satisfy him.
I guess the excitement of the night before caught up with him, because Biscuit didn’t see too much of the wedding reception. He fell asleep about halfway through. Unfortunately, I left the stroller just outside of the reception tent, and the dew had fallen and made the fabric seat wet, so I had to hold him. I love to hold my sleeping baby, but that 21 pounds gets heavy after a while!
Everyone bragged on how good Biscuit was the whole weekend, and I agree. He had fun meeting everyone, and so did Jeff and I.
Here’s the story about the hotel:
Greensboro News & Record (NC)-May 29, 2007
Trapped four flights up, but, hey, who cares?
BY KIM MILLS
I was recently held captive by a sunset.
Actually, I was held captive by a locked fourth-floor balcony door that forced me to enjoy that sunset.
And how did I get stuck on a fourth-floor balcony, you ask? It's my husband's fault, of course.
Jeff and I went on vacation for our anniversary, splitting a week between Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach.
Our hotel at the beach was on the harbor side of the island, and there were plenty of goings-on to keep my attention as I sat on the balcony.
Boats, jet skis and windsurfers were cruising around the harbor.
Traffic was picking up on the bridge as people came over from Wilmington just in time for the early dinner specials.
And employees at the restaurant next door were setting up the patio tables for the dinner rush.
Jeff decided to come out and join me, and before I could tell him to check the balcony door, he had already slid it closed.
"Did you make sure that wasn't locked before you closed it?" I asked.
"Um, no," he said.
I got up and grabbed the handle and pulled. Nothing happened. I moved into a steadier stance, grabbed the handle again and pulled harder. Nothing. The door was locked.
My husband is a calm man. His feathers rarely get ruffled, and this situation didn't seem to concern him in the least.
"What are you going to do about this?" I asked.
"Enjoy the sunset, I guess," he said.
So, if you can't beat 'em (and I was plenty ready to beat him at this point), join 'em. So, I did.
I sat down in one of the rocking chairs and finished my Sprite.
After a little time passed, a nicely dressed couple parked their car across the street and started walking toward the restaurant next door.
Jeff looked down and in a very polite but way too quiet voice said, "Excuse me. ... Excuse me," and got no response.
So, I yelled down, "Hey! Up here on the fourth floor!"
The couple looked up. We explained our situation. And they said they'd be happy to let the hotel manager know so he could come let us in.
Meanwhile, a couple of guys from the restaurant kitchen were taking a smoke break.
One of the guys yelled up, "Are y'all stuck up there?"
I said, "Yep. And if they can't get us down, you might need to send some food up!"
He laughed, snuffed out his cigarette and went back into the restaurant.
Apparently, he felt the need to share the news with his co-workers because a few seconds later, about six other employees came out the back door of the restaurant to stare up at the idiots stuck on the balcony.
I could feel my face flushing with embarrassment, but when I looked over at my husband, the whole experience was put into perspective for me.
He was wearing this huge grin, doing his best parade wave to all the gawking restaurant employees below. The sunset behind him was something you'd see in a photography book. And if all else failed, the restaurant guy was ready to send up some fried shrimp.
By letting go of my worry, I had just experienced one of those moments that I will always remember.
Kim Stacks Mills is down from the balcony and back at her job as day desk chief for the News & Record.
We’ve been reading the book together, and any time we find something he has (eyes, ears, nose, ball, etc.), I stop and show it to him in the book, then show it to him in real life. I thought this would help build his vocabulary, but until today, I didn’t know if it was working or not.
Jeff and I were playing outside with Biscuit, and I got something in my eye. As I was rubbing the side of my face, Jeff asked what was wrong, and I said, “I’ve got something in my eye.”
Biscuit said, “Eye, eye” and pointed to his eye. I was so surprised and excited.
I made a big deal about it and said “yay” and “good job,” to which he always claps for himself.
Then, he stuck his finger up his nose and said, “Nose, nose.”
I looked at Jeff as if to ask whether we applaud him knowing his nose or tell him not to stick his finger up his nose.
Then at the same time, Jeff and I both went, “Yay! Good job!” and clapped for Biscuit. And of course, Biscuit clapped for himself, too. Good job.
My baby LOVES outside. So one evening this week, I had to fight him to get him in the house so I could make dinner.
I let him climb the deck steps by himself, but as soon as I opened the back door, he took one step away from me. “Come on. We have to go inside,” I said to him.
He took one more step away from me. So I responded by walking over and scooping him up before he could move again. This, he did not like.
I set him down in the kitchen, and he assumed this whiney, pouty position that was cracking me up.
He bent his knees a little, dropped his arms by his sides, threw his head back and just wailed. He sounded like Chewbacca in “Star Wars.”
“Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh,” he whined and stomped around the kitchen.
I couldn’t say a thing. I actually had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. I knew if he saw me laugh, that would be my downfall.
Oh how I wish I had video of that moment to show him in about 10 years!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Is up to date on all his shots.
Only wants to eat every other meal and often changes his mind from one meal to the next about what he likes and doesn't like to eat.
Would include his toys, but he'd rather have glass candleholders and remote controls to play with.
Doesn't like to be clean unless he gets to splash all the water out of the tub, soaking the walls and carpet.
Has the cough and laugh of a 30-year smoker, but it's really just seasonal allergies.
Does come with occasional moments of sweetness including open-mouth kisses on your cheeks, cute smiles and some kickin' dance moves.
Serious inquiries only. You've got our number.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
This morning, Biscuit walked into the kitchen, pointed at the stove and said, "Ha. Ha. Ha." He wasn't laughing. He was trying to say, "Hot."
About two weeks ago, Biscuit snuck behind me while I had the oven door open. Usually, Jeff keeps him occupied in the living room while I'm cooking, but he crept up on me before I knew it. He reached out to touch the oven door, and I grabbed his hand just in time to keep him from getting burned.
"HOT!!!" I yelled. I scared him and he cried, but I told him that he scared me, too. I barely got to his little hand in time. So I picked him up, lowered my voice and said "hot" over and over again until he repeated it after me. I was holding my hand out toward the stove but not quite touching it.
The next day I walked over to the oven, held my hand out and said "hot." Then Biscuit copied me and did the same thing. But we haven't talked about it since then.
So this morning, when he walked in and recalled our "hot" lesson, I was surprised, impressed and proud.
Then this evening, I caught a whiff of a dirty diaper, so I said to Biscuit, "Let's go change your diaper." Usually, this means I have to chase him down, then carry him into the bedroom to change his diaper.
But tonight, I told him we needed to change his diaper, and he got up, walked into the bedroom and stood by the bed. He knew where he needed to be and what was going to happen.
It amazed me.
But then it all comes crashing down ... and he bites a kid at day care and gets written up ... and he pitches a hissy fit in Michael's while I'm trying to buy some cupcake cups ... and he wads up his kids' menu at Chili's and throws it in the floor.
The thing that helps me get through those moments is remembering all those other amazing moments. And so far, we've been lucky enough to have way more amazing moments than crashing-down moments. Let's hope it stays that way!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Then, all of a sudden, for no reason, Biscuit decides that his life is the worst thing EVER!!!
I try talking to him. I make all the silly noises and faces that usually make him laugh. I try to give him a snack from the little container of Cheerios that all moms of toddlers are required to carry in their purses. Nothing worked.
I asked Jeff if he would walk with him and see if that would help. I took Biscuit out of the buggy seat and stood him on the floor. Jeff reached his hand out to grab Biscuit's hand. But before that could happen, Biscuit laid down in the floor and wailed.
I looked at Jeff and he looked at me, as if to say, "Who is that baby and why is he having a tantrum while we're trying to get groceries?"
Apparently, this is not Biscuit's first tantrum. I was informed at day care that Biscuit wanted a toy that another little boy had, so he tried to take it from him. When that didn't work, Biscuit laid in the floor and cried.
It's happened a couple more times at day care and at home. At day care, they put him in a high chair and give him a book to look at. That takes him out of the situation and gives him time to cool down. Plus, he's starting to put it together that there are consequences.
When it's happened at home, I basically step over him and go into another room. I figure any attention I give him will encourage him to throw another fit the next time he wants my attention. And as for stores, we pretty much just remove him from the scene of the crime as soon as possible.
I asked one of the day care teachers if tantrums were common. She assured me that it's a phase that most toddlers go through. Experts think that it mostly comes from frustration of not being able to communicate well and not yet understanding concepts like sharing, plus throw in some teething pain and us trying to ween him off his pacifiers. It all adds up to rough times for Biscuit.
But I'm glad it's a common phase, and I hope it doesn't last too long. Or as I told the day care teacher, "He needs to quit with the trantrums, 'cause Mama don't play that!"
So I'll come back to our busy weekend and tell you about our trip to the grocery store today.
Biscuit is usually good in the grocery store. He says hey to everybody and wants everybody to stop and talk to him (I have NO idea where he got that from!).
But lately, I've had a hard time getting through certain parts of the store, namely the produce department and the baby aisle.
My Biscuit baby loves bananas. He REALLY loves bananas. So when I walk through the produce department, and he SEES bananas, he GOES bananas. He starts reaching toward them saying, "Eeee. Eeee," which is his way of saying that he wants to eat the bananas ... RIGHT NOW!
It does not go over well when I try to explain to him that we can buy the bananas to eat later, but we can't eat them right now. He can see them in the buggy. He can even almost reach them if he turns sideways in his seat. But they're just out of reach ... literally and figuratively.
I try to distract him with all the other colorful produce, but he just gives me the stink eye.
Then we move through the rest of the store, and he gets distracted by all the people and other stuff to look at.
On lucky days, we don't need anything from the baby aisle. On the unlucky days, we repeat the produce department performance once he sees the apple juice, puffs and all the other snacks he can eat.
How our trip to the store ends usually depends on who's in line with us and what the cashier is like. If the cashier and people in line talk to him, he's fine. He loves making new friends. But if he's stuck in his seat, in line, with nothing to do but wait, it doesn't take long for him to start getting antsy (I have no idea where he gets his sometimes lack of patience, either!).
Of course, sometimes when he's making new friends at the cash register, I get distracted and have to remind myself to pay attention. This happened a few weeks ago at Target, and I ended up stealing a watch.
I was looking for a dressy watch that looks more like a bracelet, and I found exactly what I wanted for $12.99. I was excited about it, so I put it in the buggy. Then I realized that Biscuit still had on his jacket. So I took it off him and dropped it in the buggy.
We did the rest of our shopping and when we got to the register, the cashier was making a big fuss over Biscuit, and so was the lady in line behind us. I was so distracted that I walked out of the store and didn't even know the total of my bill. I just swiped my debit card, punched in my code and waited for the receipt.
When we got to the car, I started loading the bags in the trunk. I noticed my new watch in the bottom of the buggy. Assuming it just fell out of one of the bags, I tossed it in with the other stuff, put Biscuit in his car seat and headed for home.
When we got home, I took the receipt out of my wallet to double-check everything. I usually sort of add up my purchases as I shop, but the total on the receipt was a little less than I thought it would be. I scanned all the items listed and realized that the watch wasn't on the receipt.
I took the watch and never paid for it. Then I realized that it must've been under Biscuit's jacket, and I never put it on the conveyor belt at the checkout counter.
I immediately started to panic. I was a thief! A jewelry thief! A $12.99 jewelry thief, but still, a thief nonetheless.
I called Target and told them what happened. It took several times to explain what had happened. The customer service rep thought I had paid for the watch but it wasn't in my bag. I said, "No. It's just the opposite. I didn't pay for the watch. I never took it out of my buggy. I thought it had fallen out of one of the bags but it hadn't. I never paid for it."
My voice was getting a little more frantic as I tried to explain what had happened. The voice on the other end of the phone was just as calm as she could be. "Just pay for it the next time you come in," she said.
I couldn't believe she was being so nonchalant about it. I guess she figured that if I was calling to admit what happened that there wasn't much reason to be upset.
The next day, I took the watch to the service desk to pay for it. Again, I had a hard time making them understand what happened. And then, once they figured it out, they treated me like a saint. They made a huge deal about how impressed they were that I came back to pay for it.
I know it sounds weird, but I got mad at them. Don't praise me for doing what I should do. I'm not being some selfless hero, I'm simply doing what I'm supposed to do. The odd thing is that when I've polled several people about what they would've done, I've had mixed reaction of people who definitely would've paid and people who say they wouldn't have worried about it.
So anyway, we've had some interesting times in stores lately. Maybe now that basketball is winding down for Jeff, I'll be able to do my shopping by myself, so I can concentrate on what I'm doing!