Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New toys

I love a good deal, and we got one tonight.

As you know, our Biscuit has been whore obsessed ... I mean, horse obsessed. So I've been on the hunt for a toddler-size rocking horse. I was also hoping to find one that wasn't as big as our house. Lord knows the child has enough toys already!

I looked at new horses. They run about $70. But I was really excited when I went to Craigslist and found exactly what I was looking for being sold by someone who lives in one of my friend's neighborhoods for $20.

When we got to their house, Biscuit went straight for the horse. He tried to get on but it had the safety seat on it. It's made for 1-year-olds up to 3-year-olds. But we could tell that he loved it even without being able to get on it.

Jeff handed over the $20 and started walking to the car with the horse. And Biscuit immediately jumped on the seat of
a tricycle that was sitting right next to where the horse was. The woman said, "That's for sale, too, if you're interested." She said she'd take $10 for it. The trike looked brand new. She bought it for her daughter, but the little girl wasn't interested. The good thing is that I had checked the price of those trikes, too, and they run about $30.

So we got $100 worth of toys for $30. I like good deals.

Here are pictures of what we got. (And of course, I'll post pictures or videos of him using them as soon as I can.)

The horse has a rocker base, so Biscuit can bounce on it or rock on it. He also has crinkly ears that Biscuit likes to squeeze.

The tricycle has a push handle so we can help him learn to ride it. Until then, the handle folds under to make a rocker.

Three little words

I have dinner with some girlfriends on Tuesday night. Sometimes Biscuit goes with me, and sometimes I get to leave him with Jeff.

Last night, the boys stayed home while I went out.

I had some errands to run before dinner, so I left work and ran out and about to get stuff done. As I was leaving a shopping area and heading to the restaurant to meet my friends, I called home to see how they were doing.

Jeff had warmed up some leftovers for their dinner, and Biscuit was chowing down on some baked sweet potato.

I asked Jeff if Biscuit had a good day, and he said he seemed to be in a good mood, but every once in a while, he would wander from room to room saying, “Mama?” like he was trying to find me.

Jeff handed the phone to Biscuit, and we had a chat. I asked him if he had a good day, to which he replied, “Day.” Then I asked, “What are you eating?” to which he replied, “Eat, eat.” Then I asked, “Are you having sweet potato?” to which he replied, “Tato.” He’s been quite the little parrot lately. Jeff actually looked at him this morning and said, “Biscuit want a cracker?”

I was getting close to the restaurant, so I told Biscuit I had to go eat my own dinner. I said, “I love you, baby.” And he said, “Love you, Mama.”

That’s the first time he ever said that. Jeezy Pete! I almost lost it.

Isn’t it amazing the emotions that can surface from three little words?


I didn’t feel like cooking dinner the other night, so I called Jeff and asked him if he would pick up a pizza on the way home. Our Biscuit baby loves pizza. And when I say he loves pizza, I mean he LOVES!!! pizza.

We had takeout pizza a couple of Saturdays ago, and Biscuit ate two slices. I couldn’t believe it. TWO SLICES. That’s how much pizza I usually eat. We had some leftovers, so he also had pizza that Sunday for lunch. He only had one slice then, but that was only because I had some other stuff to go along with the pizza.

Sunday dinnertime rolled around, and I had cooked a chicken casserole and made some mixed veggies. I put Biscuit in his high chair, and he yelled out, “SEET-SAH!” And I said, “No, we have chicken casserole and mixed veggies.”

Again, he yelled, “SEET-SAH!” And again, I said, “No. Chicken casserole and mixed veggies.” I set his plate on his high chair tray, but there was nothing doing. He wouldn’t eat a bite of it. He cried and cried and cried with the most pitiful pouting face you’ve ever seen. I finally got him to eat a PB&J sandwich, but it was after much drama.

So I knew when I asked Jeff to bring that pizza home the other night that Biscuit was going to be a very happy little boy. Little did I know.

Biscuit and I were reading a book on the couch, and we heard the front door opening. I said, “I wonder who that could be?” And Biscuit said, “Dada!”

He ran to the door to greet his Dada. Jeff had barely stepped through the door when Biscuit saw the pizza box in his hand.

“SEET-SAH!!! SEET-SAH!!!” Biscuit screamed. Then he shot like a bullet down the hall and into the kitchen. When I caught up with him, he was banging on the side of his high chair saying, “Up, Mama. Up. Seet-sah.”

Needless to say, by the time I got his pizza cut up into bite-size pieces, Biscuit was about ready to eat his high chair tray. He ate 1 1/2 slices and then asked for fruit (pronounced fut).

He was in the best mood for the rest of the night. I guess we know what to do next time he’s in a bad mood … just get him some seet-sah.

Ready. Set. Go!

You never know what words, phrases or actions kids are going to latch on to. Like this one that has been going on at our house.

For the past couple of days, Biscuit has been standing really still, then saying, “Set. Go!” and taking off running. He’s not racing with anybody. He’s standing by himself when he does it. It’s really funny to watch him do it.

So I asked Jeff, “Have you been having races or something with Biscuit? He’s been doing the ready-set-go thing.” He said no.

Then I asked the day care teachers if they had been talking about it or maybe it was in a book they had read. They said no.

Then I traced it back. Two of my friends babysat Biscuit on Sunday afternoon so Jeff and I could go to lunch and a movie.

I had dinner with one of the friends last night, and I asked her if she knew anything about it. I immediately knew the answer because she had a big smile on her face when she said, “Why do you ask?”

I finally got it out of her that while we were gone Sunday, they had races in Biscuit’s Cozy Coupe car, and sure enough, they started each race with “Ready. Set. Go!”

I made sure both of my baby-sitting friends knew that I thought it was funny, and that I was just glad they had fun with Biscuit.

But then I had second thoughts about telling them that he was repeating something they had said. Now they know how susceptible he is. And now they know they can teach him to do and say whatever they want. I wonder what they'll teach him next time they babysit? Now I'm REALLY scared!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Potty mouth?

I've heard horror stories about toddlers learning inappropriate words and using them at all the wrong times.

One of my favorite stories was from a pediatric doctor I worked with when I was a phlebotomist. The mother of one of his young patients shared a story about her little girl going down to the front of their church for the children's sermon. The minister always commented on how nice the kids looked, so when he saw this little girl smoothing out the full skirt of her dress, he said, "That sure is a pretty dress you're wearing this morning." To which the little girl replied, "Yeah, it's pretty, but it's a bitch to iron!"

The mother said her face turned several shades of red as all the parents in the auditorium turned to see her reaction.

So when my little Biscuit called me "whore" Saturday morning, then pointed at my bra Sunday as I was changing my shirt and said "boob," I was more than a little concerned.

Don't worry. He hasn't gotten a potty mouth yet.

Saturday morning, I was sitting on the couch, and Biscuit climbed up to sit with me. He was sitting on my leg. He looked me right in the eye and said, "Whore." I raised an eyebrow and said, "What did you say?" And he repeated it ... several times. So I asked him again to repeat himself. And he said the same thing over and over.

Finally, I said, "I'm not sure what you're saying, Biscuit." Then, he started bouncing up and down on my leg and said, "Hore!"

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!" I realized. "You want my leg to be a horse. I get it."

Then Sunday, as I was changing my shirt, he pointed at my bra and said, "Boo, Mama. Boo." Again, I gave him a perplexed look and tried to figure out what he was saying.

I glanced down and realized that he was saying "Blue." My bra was blue, and they've started with colors at day care.

I know the day will come when he blurts out something he isn't supposed to say, and I know it's going to be at the most inopportune time, but I just wasn't ready for it to happen yet!

It's a hat!

I got a pretty handmade basket as a birthday present a few years ago from some friends. They got it at Ten Thousand Villages, a store where they send some of the money back to the person or people who created it.

Silly me, I've been using it as a decoration in my living room. But apparently, the lid of it functions quite nicely as a hat.


Shut up and bag!

When I roll my buggy full of stuff up to your cash register, don't assume that because I have a child in the front that he is the one who's been riding around the store screaming. And even if you do assume that, do not say to me, "This must be the little man who's been making all the noise around the store."

I will not be amused.

You will be lucky that I won't say anything to you about it. But I don't want to set a bad example by putting you in your place in front of my child, who is sitting quietly in his seat.

And to set the record straight, he was not the kid making the noise. He had one whining fit and started saying "Eat, eat" because it was his dinner time. And that was it.

So there!

Belated Father's Day

Jeff has had a terrible virus for a week. It started as a cough/cold-type thing and went into a belly illness. So Sunday, he really didn't feel like celebrating Father's Day. Not even the meal I had planned that would end with homemade chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

You KNOW he was sick if he passed on that!

So we picked Biscuit up at day care this evening and went out for a Father's Day meal. A steakhouse at Jeff's choosing.

Biscuit is getting the hang of the coloring thing, so the server brought him crayons and a kid's menu to draw on. We ordered our food, and he colored patiently until the food came. I'd like to officially thank the person who came up with the idea for crayons and paper as a way to pass the time between ordering and eating.

The only problem is that he thinks of the crayons as an appetizer, so we constantly have to pull them away from his mouth.

Jeff and I had salads and steaks. He had fries, and I had a sweet potato. I ordered a chicken kids meal for Biscuit. He had chicken, baked sweet potato and bread. Then he wanted to try one of Dada's fries. Then he asked for another one. Then he wanted the pineapple that came on my teriyaki-marinated steak. Then he wanted a bite of my sweet potato, even though it was exactly like his own. Then he wanted a bite of my roll. Then he asked for another one of Jeff's fries.
Apparently, everything is better when it's on somebody else's plate.

It amazes me that the kid can eat and eat and eat at some meals, then at other meals, he'll have two bites and he's done.

I had to laugh because while Jeff and Biscuit were playing on the couch after we got home, Jeff tapped on Biscuit's belly, and it sounded just like a ripe watermelon! I think Biscuit enjoyed the Father's Day meal as much as Jeff did.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Win, Lose or Straw

BISCUIT CAN USE A STRAW!!!! Do you understand what this means?

Sing it with me ...
"No more sticky sippy cups in my pocketbook ...
No more sticky sippy cups in my pocketbook ..."

Hauling the clean sippy cups around was not a big deal, but after they were used? ICK!!! And I had to put them right back in my pocketbook.

This might sound like a small victory to you, but let me assure you, this is HUGE for me.

Yay, Biscuit!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Protecting Biscuit

In Biscuit's life so far, I have been in charge. Not in a dictator way, but in that I choose his meals, pick out his clothes and make all the other daily decisions that keep him safe and healthy.

Last night, he had a bad dream. He started tossing and turning and then shouted out, "Nooooooo!"

It was scary. In that moment, I couldn't protect him. I couldn't fix the thing that was upsetting him.

And I realized that it was a small taste of days to come.

I want my Biscuit to be independent. I want him to make decisions small and large - from "I'd like to have oatmeal for breakfast" to "I think I've decided what my career will be."

But wow ... it's going to be hard to watch it happen. Any one of those decisions could get him hurt in some way. Any one of those decisions could leave him disappointed or sad or upset and that already breaks my heart.

There's a great term for those mothers who constantly hover over their kids ... helicopter moms. I know some of those moms. I don't want to be one of those moms. I think they do more harm than good because instead of guiding their kids, they smother them. But I tell you what, I understand the desire to do it. I can see how it happens. And I'm already fighting the urge to be that way with my own son.

I've worked hard to surround Biscuit with all the family and friends I can. I want him to know that whatever he does and wherever he goes and whatever he decides, he has a large group of people supporting him and loving him, no matter what. People who will be there when he needs them,
even if he makes a decision they don't agree with.

And as I think about all the people in Biscuit's life so far, I think he has a pretty good start.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TV time

I was gone most of Sunday, so that left Biscuit and Jeff on their own. And of course, that's where it started.

Monday morning, Jeff put Biscuit up on our bed with me. Biscuit looked at me and said, "Mama, WOW ... pice. WOW ... pice."

I couldn't figure out what he was saying, so I kept asking him to repeat it. Finally, I got it.

"Jeff, how much TV did y'all watch yesterday while I was gone?" I asked.

"We watched a couple of baseball games. Why?" Jeff said.

"Was Staples one of the sponsors?" I asked.

"Yeah. They kept showing that annoying commercial where they say, 'WOW! That's a low price. WOW! That's a low ... uh-oh."

It was then that Jeff realized what was going on. Our Biscuit had been corrupted. One of our most hated commercials had made its way into our home and into our child.

Okay, it wasn't that dramatic.

Anyway, the first video is Biscuit watching the commercial on my laptop. The second one is a primed example of how kids will never do their cute trick while the video camera is in your hand! I was trying to video him saying the line, and he decided to spice it up by adding "baby" at the end. Then the last video is an outtake that was too cute not to post.

Bye-Bye Wa-Wa

Biscuit loves to take baths.

He likes to splash in the water, and he has a few toys he plays with, mainly a couple of slotted cups that lets the water sprinkle through.

Biscuit is very patient as I soap him up and wash him down, even his ears. He names body parts as we wash and willingly lies back in the tub to rinse the soap out of his hair.

Basically, the only bath-time problem I have is getting him out of the tub at the end. He doesn't like it when it's time to dry off and get dressed.

I've made several efforts to get him out of the tub, including having Jeff meet him at the edge of the tub with a hooded towel. "Look, Dada is here to get you." But no dice.

I've tried bribing him by saying, "Let's go put your shirt on. Your shirt has a ball (or dog or car or whatever) on it." No luck with that, either.

But a couple of days ago, I accidentally kicked the stopper out and the water started draining out of the tub. I had read early on that you shouldn't drain the water while the kid is in the tub because it often freaks them out. But I figured since it was already done, I'd just see what happened.

Biscuit looked at the drain then looked at me as if to ask what was going on. I wasn't sure what to do, so I started waving at the drain and saying, "Bye-bye water. We'll see you next time."

And whaddya know? The boy starts saying, "Bye-bye wa-wa. Next time," while he waved at the drain.

And of course, once the water has drained out, there's nothing else to play in. So he stands up and is ready to get out and get dressed.

I think the saying "Necessity is the mother of invention" includes the word "mother" for a reason. Whatever the situation, the Mamas figure it out!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

You're too quiet

Every morning this week seems to have had a different theme for Biscuit. It's almost like he woke up with something on his mind.

Tuesday morning, it was frogs. "Fog, Mama. Wibit. Fog." Over and over and over again. Frogs go ribbit, Mama.

Wednesday morning, he was obsessed with the shirt he was wearing that day. It was a gray T-shirt with a basketball on it. "Ball. Shirt. Shirt. Mama. Ball. Ball. Shirt. Mama."

Thursday morning, he woke up early, so I put him in bed with Jeff and me. Then he had to name off everybody's facial features. "No, Mama. No." He doesn't put the S at the end of nose yet. "Eye. Eye. Eye. Mama." And on he went through nose, eyes, ears, mouth, hair, hands and teeth. He named them on me. He named them on his Dada. Then he named them on himself.

But Friday morning, Biscuit was eerily quiet. He was just standing in his crib waiting for me to pick him up. No crying. No talking. No nothing. It was creepy. I started feeling his face and forehead to see if he had a fever.

"Good morning, baby," I said to him.

But he just whispered back, "Hey, Mama."

My boy loves to eat, especially in the morning. If you even say the word "eat," you better have something ready to go in his mouth.

So I said, "Are you ready to eat?"

"E," he said in this quiet little voice.

I have a standing dinner date with some girlfriends on Tuesdays, and this past Tuesday, one of my friends witnesses Biscuit pitching a little fit. I forget what it was about, but less than three minutes after the fit, Biscuit was laughing and talking like nothing ever happened. She was amazed at how quickly his mood shifted. And I just said to her, "Yep, such is the life and temperament of a 1 1/2-year-old.

But even though I had told my friend that just Tuesday, this sudden change in Biscuit's demeanor was just freaking me out. Biscuit was fine. He was just having a quiet morning. But of course, it's my job as the Mama to worry that something is horribly amiss!

Jeff got him ready for day care, and I dropped him off. When I picked him up that afternoon, he was back to his talkative self.

It's just hard to imagine that the baby Jeff and I made has turned into this little person who has his own moods and emotions.

The Sesame Street War







Such went the argument a few days ago between my grown, adult friend and my 1 1/2-year-old son.

Some restaurants bring out crayons and a paper placemat for kids to draw on while waiting for the food to arrive. And Biscuit is starting to understand that crayons are cooler if you put them on paper instead of putting them in his mouth. So I thought it would be a good idea to get a couple of coloring books and some crayons to take with us to restaurants.

So my grown, adult friend, Biscuit and I went to The Dollar Store before dinner the other evening. I picked up a couple of Winnie the Pooh coloring books, but my grown, adult friend is a huge fan of Sesame Street characters and insisted we buy their book. We grabbed some cheap-o crayons, and we were ready to go.

When we got to the restaurant, I pulled out the Sesame Street book and the crayons. Biscuit flipped through the coloring book and found a page he wanted to color. He pointed at the character on that page, and that's when the arguing started.

Biscuit pointed to Zoe, who is an orange girl character, and said, "Melmo." I didn't know Biscuit knew any of the Sesame Street characters' names, but then I remembered that he has a counting book, a book about shapes and one about colors that all feature Sesame Street characters.

My grown, adult friend HATES Elmo. She says he's stolen the thunder from all the other characters. So she was quite dismayed when Biscuit mistook Zoe for Elmo.

I tried to argue my son's case. "You realize you're arguing with a 1 1/2-year-old, right?" I asked. "Plus, it's a coloring book," I explained to her. "These are just black-line drawings. If she was colored orange, he wouldn't have called her Melmo."

But my grown, adult friend wasn't buying it. "He has to learn!" she said. "We have to teach him!"

"I'll get right on it," I told her.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Conquering the animal kingdom

Biscuit now has several animal sounds down.

He knows cow (mooooooo), pig (grunt, grunt), duck (cack), chicken (bock), dog (whoo, whoo), cat (mouw), bird (teet, teet), frog (wibit, wibit) and bear (rarrrr). And this past weekend, his cousin added goat to his repertoire.

She was so excited that she taught him something. She came running up to me, carrying Biscuit in her arms and said, "Aunt Kim, check this out. Biscuit, what does a goat say?"

Biscuit looked up and said, "Mmmmmeeehhhhh" and sounded just like a baby goat.

Friday, June 4, 2010

School pictures

These are Biscuit's school pictures for Spring 2010.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mama-Son Dates

When Jeff works in the evenings, I've been trying to plan dates for Biscuit and me. Nothing fancy, just something to break up our routine.

One evening last week, I picked him up at day care, and we went to a nice playground at a nearby park. They had bucket swings for toddlers and a couple of small slides. The one drawback was that it had rained some that afternoon, so Biscuit's shoes picked up some mud and wet mulch. Plus, the swings and slides were a little wet.

Biscuit had on play clothes, so when I saw this pretty little girl in a fancy little outfit heading for the slides, I sent Biscuit down a couple of times to dry off the slide with his rear end. I figured I'd rather see a little dirt on his butt rather than on that little girl's pretty outfit.

The one weird thing at the park was that I don't really know the rules. I grew up in a small community where any available adult helped us or called us down or patched up our skinned knees. But how does that work in a city where you don't know the other kids or parents?

One little girl was sitting on a swing yelling for her daddy to come push her. She was less than 10 feet away from me, but I didn't dare go over to push her. I didn't know how her parents would respond. I really hate that it's like that. I love kids and wanted to talk to and play with all of them.

Of course, when I thought about it the other way, I don't think I would appreciate some stranger approaching or talking to Biscuit when I wasn't around.

On another date, Biscuit and I went by and got some takeout dinner then went to a pretty garden to eat at a picnic table. He wasn't tall enough to sit on the bench, so I set him on top of the table. He thought that was pretty cool.

After we ate, I thought he might enjoy walking around for a while. Everything was fine. He was pointing and saying, "flowers," "trees," "dogs," "duck," "baby" and "shoes" for everyone who passed.

But then, he saw a statue. A bronze statue of two people sitting on a fence. To say he didn't like the statue would be quite an understatement. He scotched his feet and wouldn't move another inch once he saw them. I tried to explain that they weren't real people, but he was having none of that. I finally had to pick him up and backtrack in the other direction to get around the statue. Unfortunately, there are several statues around the garden, so we had to avoid several areas.

After we had walked for a while, we found a bench along one of the sidewalks and sat down to people watch. And dog watch. And flower watch. And tree watch. And duck watch. And baby watch. And shoe watch. You get the idea.

Biscuit said "shoe" twice for each person who walked by. This was accompanied by him pointing at their feet. Then a lady came by and threw him off completely. She had taken her shoes off and was carrying them in her hand as she walked.

Biscuit looked at her feet, then looked at her hand, then looked at me. I think he was confused about why she would be carrying her shoes instead of wearing them. He pointed at her hand and said, "Shoes." Then he pointed at her feet and said, "Toes." Then he looked at me. Then he looked at the lady and repeated his pointing and saying "shoes" and "toes."

She just laughed and kept walking, but poor Biscuit just kept talking about it. I tried to explain to him that it was okay if she carried her shoes instead of wearing them. Luckily, a man with a dog came by and all shoes and toes were forgotten.

I've enjoyed this time with my boy. I hope we get to go on more dates soon.

Learning how it works

We read book after book after book to Biscuit. Even when we really, really, REALLY don't want to read anymore, we do. We figure that as long as he's interested in reading, we'll do everything we can to encourage him.

But we're also trying to teach Biscuit to have a little patience, something his mother sorely lacks from time to time. When we are busy or eating or can't read him a book for some reason, we try to explain to him that we can't read right this second, but as soon as we're finished with what we're doing, we'll read to him again.

I probably don't need to say that no matter what we're doing, he doesn't like to hear the word "no."

I was eating breakfast the other morning when Biscuit brought in a book for me to read to him. He held the book up and said, "Read book, Mama." I told him that I was eating breakfast and would read to him as soon as I was finished.

Apparently, he didn't like that answer. He threw himself and the book in the floor and cried and cried and cried. When I finished my cereal, he was still lying in the floor. So I stepped over him and went to the living room.

A few minutes later, Biscuit came into the living room and picked up another book. He handed me the book and said, "Read book, Mama." Then he tilted his head to the side and said, "Peas?" (His way of saying please)

I guess Biscuit is learning how the "you can catch more flies with honey" thing works.

Welcome to the jungle

Biscuit's cousins from Apex gave him a really cool puzzle.

The removable pieces are animals. Each one has a little handle so they're easy for Biscuit to lift them out. And they have sensors under the pieces, so when he puts the pieces back in their holes, you hear the noise the animals make.

The funny thing about this puzzle is that the sensors are solar, so if Biscuit leaves the pieces out, every time the sun goes behind a cloud or we turn off a light in the living room, wild animals start yipping, growling, howling, chirping and whatever other noises they make in our living room.

The first time scared us to death, but now that we're used to it, we just say goodnight to the living room jungle before we head off to bed.