Wednesday, August 31, 2011

All in order

I'm not sure why this picture amuses me, but it does. The puzzle pieces that fit in the holes are all lying gin a neat row on the other couch cushion.

My Biscuit baby likes things how he likes them. Hmmm. I can't think of anybody else like that.

Too bad that order doesn't extend to the picking-up-his-toys process!

Singin' The Me Song!

Me, myself and I voted, and we all decided that (at least for tonight) ... I ROCK!!!

I just got home from a Zumba class, and I kicked some serious Zumba butt!

A couple of months ago, I got a deal to get 20 classes for $20. And seeing as the classes are usually $5 each, that's a really good deal.

The first class I went to, I was really nervous. I was expecting to walk into a class full of skinny little girls who were in run-four-marathons-in-a-row kind of shape. Happily, I walked into a class of a bunch of women (and one man) who were in all different shapes and age brackets. I fit right in.

Some people would be surprised to learn that I haven't made any friends at my classes, and I don't really talk to anybody. Some of the women hang out after class and chat, but not me. I get in my car, roll down the windows, open the sun roof and head home with the wind blowing in my hair. It's MY time, and I don't want to share it with anybody.

I really enjoy the classes. The music is loud. The dance steps are fun. I sweat so much that it looks like I just stepped out of the shower.
And even though my outward appearance hasn't changed that much, I can tell that my body is appreciating my efforts. I can tell that I've built up my stamina. Walking up stairs, walking up hills ... it's all a little easier these days than it used to be.

Most of the dance steps are built around Latin dance steps ... salsa, cha-cha-cha, mambo ... but our teacher gets a little creative and adds in his own moves. Did I mention that it's a lot of fun?

Tonight was my 16th class, so I've had some time to learn a lot of moves. But until tonight, there were still some steps that I had to cheat on. The technical term is called step modification, but I've always felt like I was cheating. The step modifications are for people who have physical limitations or who, like me, just aren't in good enough shape to do them.

Tonight started with Jeff having to work later than he had expected. So I had to pick up Biscuit. We got home, and I changed my clothes. Then one thing after another started happening. Next thing I knew, it was 6:47, and I was leaving the house. I need to leave no later than 6:40 to make it to class, sign in, get the spot I like and get my head clear enough to enjoy myself. Leaving at 6:47 did not allow me to do those last two things.

I threw my shoes on without even tying them and ran out the door. I caught every single stoplight on the way. It seemed like all the cars in front of me were out to see how slowly they could drive. I kept thinking all the way there, "I should just go back home. I don't want to go if I'm going to walk in late. Why am I doing this?" I walked in and couldn't find my punch card. It had somehow got shifted to the N's instead of being in the M's. Then the spot I like was taken. Then I realized all the spots were taken except for the two right in front of the teacher. I am no way brave enough to take one of those spots.

So I stood at the very back, just off the squishy mats, on the concrete floor, hoping it wouldn't aggravate a couple of nagging foot injuries and a leg problem.

I started moving, and I started feeling good. Next thing you know, we were halfway through the class. It seemed like pretty soon after that, we were doing the cool down.

It was then that I realized, I didn't do a single step modification. Tonight, I did ALL the steps. No cheating!

When I walked in the front door, Biscuit greeted me. "I'm so happy to see you, Mom. Where have you been?"

"I've been to dance class," I told him.

"Did you have fun at your dance class?" he asked (or dance cass, as he says it).

I said to him, "Yes, baby. I sure did!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit is saying these days:

Biscuit finds all kinds of reasons when you ask him why he's crying or upset. A few of them are:
"I need a nap." "I'm tired." "I hurt something." "Something hurts." "My weg hurts." "I hurt my arm."

Pickin' up chicks: I don't know whether to be scared or impressed by his confidence, but as we were walking through the shoe department the other day, Biscuit saw this pretty girl, who was probably in her early 20s.

"What's your name?" he asked her and smiled.

She looked at him and got this HUGE smile. "My name is Samantha. What's your name?"

"My name is Griffin," he said with absolutely no hint of shyness.

The girl looked at me and said, "He is SO cute!"

Then on another recent night, we were heading into a restaurant as a woman and her 3-year-old granddaughter were heading out.

As they walked past us, Biscuit said, "Hey, it's me, Griffin."

The little girl's grandma said, "That is so sweet. Did you hear him?"

"What's your name?" Biscuit asked the little girl. The little girl wasn't talking, so the grandma told Biscuit the little girl's name. Biscuit looked up at the grandma, then right back at the little girl. It was almost like he couldn't figure out why the little girl wouldn't talk to him.

I told Biscuit we needed to head into the restaurant. "See you later," Biscuit said and waved.

I would love to see Biscuit hold on to that confidence and personality.

Firefighter quiz: Biscuit and I pass a fire station every morning on the way to day care. We have to try to find the firetrucks. If they're sitting outside, it's a HUGE deal. If we can't see them, we say they're still sleeping in the fire station. Or as Biscuit says it, they're still "sweeping."

If we see them, we have to ask each other questions. I start.

"What color was that fire truck?" I ask. He answers red.

Then he asks a question. "When the firefighters rescue anybody and they have to climb something, what is it?"

I make a couple of incorrect answers before I give him the right one. It goes like this:

Me: Um, do firefighters climb a chair?
Biscuit: Noooooo.
Me: Um, do they climb a tree?
Biscuit: Noooooo.
Me: Ooo. Do they climb a ladder?
Biscuit: Yeah. The cwimb a wadder. Good answer, Mom. You got it. You got it right.

Then I ask another question, like "What do firefighters use to put out fires?

"Um, wet's see, a hose?" Biscuit says.

"That's right, a hose." I say.

Then it's Biscuit's turn again.

"The firefighters rescue anybody. When they rescue anybody, what do they climb?" Biscuit asks.

Every time it's his turn to ask a question, he asks the same question with slightly different wording. And every time, I guess a couple of wrong answers before I get it right.

What can I say, it amuses him, and it makes us talk to each other all the way to day care.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's a big-boy world

Everything Biscuit does these days is "big boy." He sleeps in his big-boy bed. He eats with a big-boy fork and a big-boy spoon.

Lately, when we're done with Biscuit's bath, he has been asking for a big-boy towel. The ones he has right now are the cute little hooded towels. Although he likes the ducks and frogs and baseballs and basketballs on them, he has decided that the hooded towels are not big-boy. I've been meaning to see if somebody makes some child-themed big-boy towels, but when I'm shopping, I never seem to remember.

My problem was solved the other day when a friend of mine from work brought me something she knew Biscuit would love. She got him
two big-boy towels -- one with trains and one with dinosaurs. Biscuit was quite excited when he saw them.

He got to try out the train towel this evening when he had his bath. "It has TRAINS! My towel has trains!" Biscuit said. "My towel is tall, Mom. It's a tall towel."

It was an unexpected, nice gesture, and we appreciate it.

Dinner's in the freezer

A friend of mine recently bought a cookbook of freezer-meal recipes. Each entry lists the ingredients for 6 servings. Out to the side of that is a table that lists the amounts for 3, 6 and 9 times the recipe. Basically, you can easily make a whole lot of food if you have a desire to!

We went through the grocery store sale papers, gathered our coupons and headed out to do our shopping. We split everything right down the middle, and here's how we fared:

Money: $60
Time: 4 hours
Food made: Oriental Sesame Chicken Strips, Chicken Enchiladas, Cheesy Chicken Bundles and Homemade pizza crusts

We came out with 60 servings of food.

Here's a look at what we made:

This morning

We all slept late this morning ... and it was GREAT!

When I say "late," I usually mean we slept until 8:30, but this morning, it was 10 a.m. before we were all out of bed.

Biscuit woke up about 4 a.m. having a bad dream. He started yelling, "Mom! MOM! I need you, MOM!" There are few things that will get me out of bed quicker. I don't even remember going from the lying-down position to the standing position. I was just suddenly upright, grabbing for my glasses.

I sat down on the floor by his bed and rubbed his hair and head with my left hand. I laid my head on my right arm. Next thing I know, I was waking up. I think I was only there for about 15 minutes, but my right arm was tingling from being asleep. Little man was sleeping soundly, so I made my way back downstairs. I sort of just fell over into bed and crashed. I didn't wake up again until 9:20. Neither of my boys was making any sounds of getting up, so I just closed my eyes and snuggled under the covers. It sounds like a simple pleasure, but it's not one that I get a lot since having a baby.

Anyway, Biscuit has cracked us up several time this morning.

When I heard him moving around in his room, I headed up the stairs. He was sitting on his bed "reading" a book. "Come in, Mom. I read you a story," Biscuit said. I took the safety gate down and went into his room. "Okay, Mom. You have to sit down and be quiet, and I read you a story." I'm guessing he's heard that more than once at day care.

I looked over and saw that he was flipping through a book about the Nativity. He pointed to Joseph and said, "That's Dad." Then he pointed to Mary and said, "That's you, Mom." Then he pointed to Baby Jesus and said, "That's Baby Griffin."

I asked Jeff, "Does it count as delusions of grandeur if the offender is only 2 years old?"

Biscuit doesn't like me to hold his hand coming down the stairs anymore. He wants to hold onto the spindles in the stair rails as he comes down the steps. It's a slow process, but it's all about independence these days. He had breakfast then headed straight to the living room to play.

And here's a good point to say that my living room used to look nice. Jeff and I took our time picking out stuff we wanted. Okay, actually, I took MY time picking out stuff I wanted to go in there. But now, there are three little kid-sized chairs - one bean bag chair and two rocking chairs. There's a bouncy horse that Biscuit has named Pinto. The bottom shelf of the coffee table is lined with six stacks of kid books. There's a giant blue bucket full of toys. And of course it's overflowing. There's a small yellow table with two blue chairs, where Biscuit sometimes eats, but uses for coloring and drawing the rest of the time. I know that soon enough, I'll get this space back, and most days it doesn't bother me at all. But every once in a while, I miss my nice grown-up space.

Anyway, Biscuit has his alphabet cards scattered across the coffee table in the living room. "Dad, what wetter do you want?" Jeff asked for a D. "Okay, Dad," Biscuit said. "D is coming RIGHT up. It make the d-d-d sound." Biscuit shuffled through his letters and took a D card to Jeff.

Then he came to me. I made my request a little harder. "I would like a little R," I said to him.

"Oh. Wittle R. That make the r-r-r sound," Biscuit said. "Wittle R is coming RIGHT up." Then he handed me a card with a little R on it.

In addition to practicing our alphabet, it's been a musical morning. Biscuit has gone back and forth between banging on his snare drum and playing his "rock n roll guitar." It's an electronic guitar with a bunch of buttons that play recorded guitar riffs. It's pretty obnoxious. Jeff found a secret volume button, so it's less obnoxious now than it used to be.

I really enjoy times when the three of us can just hang out together with nothing on the agenda.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Semi-private room

So there I was, sitting in the bathroom.

With no knock or anything, Biscuit comes busting through the door, holding a bag of chips.

"I have chips, Mom?" he asked. "We open the bag?"

"Biscuit, you can't come in the bathroom when I have the door closed," I said to him. "Mama needs to go to the bathroom by herself."

"Okay," Biscuit said as he closed the door.

Maybe 5 seconds later, the door flew open again.

"How 'bout now, Mom?" Biscuit said. "We have chips now?"

"Biscuit! Close the door!" I said to him.

"I can't come in the bathroom, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"No. I'll be out in just a minute. THEN we can have chips," I said to him.

It seems like only yesterday that I still had my privacy. Clearly, those days are gone.

Need for speed

A post from The Daddy Man:

I picked Biscuit up from day care today. As we were driving home, I heard this from the backseat: "Dad, we need to go to the store and buy me more race cars."

"You've got more race cars at home, boy. We can go home and get your race cars," I said to him.

He was insistent. He kept saying over and over that we needed to go buy him some more race cars. He was convinced we were really going to the store.

We pulled into the driveway, and I got out. I turned around to unfastened Biscuit's car seat.

"I'll wait right here, Dad," Biscuit said.

"You don't want to go in the house?" I asked him.

"No. I'll wait right here 'til you come back. Then we can go to the store and get me more race cars," Biscuit said.

Just to humor him a bit, I went and got the mail. Then I carried all my stuff in the house. I came back out, and said, "Okay, let's go in the house."

"No. We go fast in the green car and go to the store," Biscuit said.

I had to drag him out of the car, and he cried all the way in the house. I think he was mad at me because he said, "I don't want you in the living room with me, Dad."

I pointed to my chair and said, "Can I sit over there in that chair?"

"NO!" Biscuit said.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

He's baaaaa-ack!

My sweet Biscuit baby is back!

I dropped him off at day care this morning, and that child skipped down the hall. He didn't walk. He didn't shuffle. He skipped! He also said "good morning" to every teacher as we made our way down the hall.

Maybe he was excited because I told him we were going to a Grasshoppers baseball game tonight.

I needed to stay a little later at work, so Jeff went to pick up Biscuit. Biscuit seemed really excited about the game until he got back to the work parking lot, where he told a friend of ours that he didn't want to go to the baseball game. I told him that Jeff and I were going, but he said he wanted to go home with our friend and play with his little boy. All I had to do was mention that we needed to put on his Grasshoppers T-shirt and baseball hat, and Biscuit changed his mind.

We got to the game and grabbed a spot to sit. Since Jeff often writes about the games, he needs to be somewhere he can move around pretty quickly. And with Biscuit, it's pretty frustrating to be tied to a seat, especially if you get stuck in the middle of a row. So we grab one of the tables up on the concourse. We can see everything that's going on down on the field. We're near food and bathrooms. And Biscuit has a little more room to move around.

When we first grabbed our table, the sun hadn't quite made its way behind the stadium. It was hot. The temperature was in the high 80s, and I swear, the humidity was something like 1,000 percent.

I helped Biscuit stand up and take his hat off for the national anthem. Then the crazy people set off fireworks right when the guy sang "and the rockets red glare, the bomb bursting in air." Biscuit jumped about a foot, and his poor little heart was pounding. I felt so bad for him. I don't think I've ever seen him that startled and shaken up.

Once we sat down, Biscuit wouldn't take his hands down from his ears. I kept trying to convince him that there wouldn't be anymore fireworks unless someone hit a home run. He wasn't buying it.

Finally, I whipped out the apple juice and Goldfish, and Biscuit seemed to settle down some. Not even 5 minutes later, Biscuit said, "I'm done with the baseball game, Mom. I want to go home."

We haven't been to a game since early July, and Jeff was really looking forward to being there tonight. I was determined to talk Biscuit into staying. He asked if he could lay his head on my shoulder. That surprised me because he usually wants to walk around and people watch.

He didn't talk or eat or anything until about half an hour later, when he suddenly came to life. Jeff and I were talking later, and the only thing we could figure was that the heat was sucking the energy out of him. That and he was still traumatized by the fireworks.

By the fourth inning, Biscuit wanted to take a walk with Jeff. They usually walk all the way around the field at some point during the game. By the time they got back, it was the sixth inning, and Biscuit was raring to go.

He laughed and talked and clapped and sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch. He also kept singing the Grasshoppers song -- "Go go Grasshoppers go ... go go Grasshoppers go ... go go Grasshoppers, go go Grasshoppers, go go Grasshoppers, go."

The announcers play all kinds of little snippets of songs, clips from movies and sound bytes from the Internet to get the crowd involved. There's one where they say, "Every-body clap your hands," then you clap to a rhythm. I started clapping along, but Biscuit came over and grabbed my hands.

"No, Mom," Biscuit said. "The man said, 'Every boy clap your hands. Not girls. Girls can't clap. Just boys."

Biscuit high-fived the mascot. He walked about five steps away from me to throw a cup in the trash and got a high-five from a teenage boy for doing a good job. He said hello to the police-man (he says it like it's two separate words). And he talked to a lady in the bathroom whose grandsons are all grown.

He made it all the way through 12 innings, but it was getting late, and we had to head out.

All the way home, Biscuit and I sang songs -- "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," "Old MacDonald," "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," "Bingo" and of course, the Grasshoppers song.

I shared all of these details of the night to say, that at least for now ... Sweet Baby Biscuit is back!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A blessing ... sort of

A post from The Daddy Man:

Kimmy made a nice spaghetti dinner for us last night, then she had to run out to a class. Just as I dished up plates for Biscuit and me, he decided he didn't want spaghetti for dinner. Normally, we wouldn't give in to that, but from what Kimmy told me, he's had a rough couple of days.

I asked him what he wanted, and he said, "I want peanut butter and jelly sandwich." That's an easy fix, so I gave him the sandwich and some peaches. He was pretty excited about the sandwich, but he was just thrilled with the surprise of the peaches.

I figured we'd watch TV while we were eating, so I set him up at his table in the living room, then told him to say the blessing for the food. As most toddlers do, Biscuit was trying to figure out a way not to do what I was telling him to do.

"Biscuit. Say the blessing," I said to him with my voice a little more stern.

Finally, he started saying it. But just to do it on his own terms, he combined the blessing with his peaches.

It went like this: Bless (eat a peach) this (eat a peach) food (eat a peach) for (eat a peach) our (eat a peach) good (eat a peach). Amen (eat a peach).

Chain of events

I never seem to remember from one time to the next how little tiny changes in routine can completely upset the apple cart that is my sanity. One tiny little change turns into a long chain of events that generally leads to utter chaos and drama.

The most recent event started when I decided to see a movie Sunday afternoon with some girlfriends. I made the plan two weeks ago, not remembering that Jeff would be covering a golf tournament through Sunday evening.

I sent an email to my girlfriends and told them that I had screwed up the dates and wouldn't get to go. One of my friends volunteered her husband to babysit Biscuit. To her face, I said, "Okay, let me think about it." But in my head, I thought, "There is no way I'm going to leave my split-personality 2-year-old with this man, not knowing what mood Biscuit would be in or how he would act without me there. This unsuspecting guy doesn't have kids of his own yet, and I didn't want my son affecting that decision!"

But alas, my friend wore me down, and I consented to let her husband babysit Biscuit.

To make sure Biscuit and this guy were comfortable with each other, we devised a plan where they would come over Saturday evening and bring pizza. If anything will get on the good side of my son, it's somebody bringing him pizza.

Before they arrived, I was folding laundry on my bed, and I turned on the TV so Biscuit could watch cartoons in there with me. The show he watched was about a duck, turtle and guinea pig who go around the world saving other animals. The animal i
n trouble that afternoon was a baby kangaroo, which they later learned is called a "joey."

My friend and her husband arrived, and Biscuit saw the pizza box and got excited. I told him to say thank you for the pizza. He looked at my friend's husband and said, "Thank you for the pizza, Joey."

"No. His name isn't Joey," I told Biscuit. "Joeys are baby kangaroos, remember?"

That wasn't the only time, either. He called him "Joey" three or four more times. But the point was that they got reacquainted, and I felt better about leaving them together on Sunday.

The plan for the outing was to leave my house at 1 p.m. to go meet my girlfriends for lunch, then head to the theater for the movie. My plan at home was to have Biscuit down for his nap by 12:45, then when the babysitter arrived, Biscuit would be already be asleep. He usually naps for at least a couple of hours on the weekend, so there wouldn't be a whole lot for the babysitter to do until about 3 o'clock.

Have you ever heard that saying about how the quickest way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans for your life? Well, that goes for raising a toddler, too.

Biscuit just would not go to sleep. I had him all tucked into my bed. I put a long pillow beside him (so he wouldn't roll off the bed), we had counted the covers (sheet = 1, blanket = 2, comforter = 3), I had given him a kiss, and he was ready to go. Except that he wouldn't close his eyes.

I don't know if he sensed that I had I was anxious or what, but finally, he said, "I go to sleep in my big boy bed?" I tried to convince him to stay where he was, but there was nothing doing.

We went upstairs, went through the whole routine again, and he was all tucked in and ready for naptime. And then my friends arrived. He heard their voices as they came in the house and jumped out of bed. It was a couple of minutes before 1 p.m., and I was flustered. I didn't know whether to call the whole thing off or just leave or skip lunch and join them for the movie.

Finally, I said, "Biscuit, do you want to watch TV in my bed?" He said yes in a very excited way and headed downstairs. I tucked him into my bed ... again ... and turned on the TV. Then I walked back into the living room and told the babysitter just to leave him in there by himself. "He will either go to sleep or get bored and come looking for you," I told him.

Lunch was great. The movie was great. And I arrived home to the babysitter and Biscuit playing in the living room. There appeared to be no blood shed, and the fact that the babysitter hadn't run screaming from the house was a good sign.

Let me say right here that the babysitter did everything right. He did exactly what I asked him to do.

But ...

By the time Biscuit finally went to sleep, he crashed hard and slept way longer than he usually does. That meant that instead of waking up at 3 p.m. and having lunch, he woke up at 5:15 and had lunch at 5:30. So to recap, Biscuit went to sleep at least an hour and a half later than his usual nap time, and he slept longer than he usually does. Dinner at 7? Um, no. Usual bed time? Um, no.

Jeff got home from the golf tournament that evening, and I got distracted catching up with him and didn't realize until 10 o'clock ... "Oh, shoot! Biscuit hasn't had a bath." Jeff was off the next day, so he said he would give him a bath that next morning. I dreaded having to rush to get everything done the next morning, but at that point, it was just too late for bath time, so we put Biscuit to bed.

Biscuit was in a glorious mood the next morning. And I say that with all of the sarcasm available. He was whiny. He was grumpy. He was just in an all-around bad state of mind. I felt bad for him because he was just completely out of sorts. I told Jeff to get Bisc
uit undressed, and he could just jump in the shower with me, but Biscuit was having none of that.

"I need a bath, Mom. I don't want a shower. I need a bath. Not a shower. A bath," Biscuit whined.

I was in no mood to put up a fight, so I gave in to the bath. I told him that he couldn't play with any of his bath toys because he were in a hurry. Luckily, he didn't fight me on that.

I was trying to do a really quick wash job on him, and as I was washing his chest, Biscuit looked down at my hand. My index finger on my left hand raked right up his chin, taking with it a chunk of skin.

I had a chunk of my baby son's skin UNDER MY FINGERNAIL!

It took a second for him to realize that I had hurt him, but the wailing that came next just ripped my heart out. I felt so bad. Biscuit was crying. I was crying. Biscuit was bleeding. I was trying to soothe him.

After I realized that he wasn't going to bleed to death, I quickly finished washing the rest of him. I put medicine on it and apologized to him at least 50 times. He was so sweet. He kept saying, "That's okay, Mom. It was an accident." And the fact that he said it was okay somehow made me feel even worse.

By the time Biscuit came home from day care yesterday evening, things were pretty much back to normal. He put on his red cowboy hat and ran around the house saying, "Howdy, pardner. I'm cowboy Biscuit. This is my horse, Pinto."

I'm glad I had an afternoon out. And I really appreciate Joey for babysitting. But it'll have to be a pretty special movie to get me out of the house like that again ... for at least a little while.

Here's the damage I did to Biscuit's chin:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has been saying lately:

Gratitude: Biscuit is pretty good with his manners. He says excuse me, please and thank you, often without prompting. But lately, "thank you" has become "thanks." It sounds very grown-up. Plus, he holds the "s" just a little longer than he should, sort of like, "Thanksss."

Alphabet: Biscuit has some alphabet cards that have letters on one side and animals or objects that start with that letter on the back side. They were strewn all over the living room floor yesterday, and I told him we needed to pick them up. "You help me, Mom?" he asked. I told him I would and figured I might as well help him practice his letters at the same time.

"Can you give me an 'M' card?" I asked him. And he did. "Can you give me an 'S' card?" And he did. The last card was on the object side instead of the letter side.

"Can you give me an egg card?" I asked.

"This is an egg, probably, Mom," Biscuit said. "It's probably an egg."

It's funny to me how he latches on to new words and tries to use them a lot ... probably.

More alphabet: "This is the letter arrrrrrrrr, wike a pirate," Biscuit said as we read an alphabet book he has.

And as a side note, what kind of alphabet book has a question mark and a quail for Q, an insect (a grasshopper) for I and a vampire for V?!? Also, there's a unicorn on the U page, but it has a horn AND wings. Shouldn't a winged horse be under P for Pegasus? I guess that's what you get when you frequent the dollar store for kid books.

Repeat after me: One of the TV shows Biscuit likes will name an object or an animal, then they'll tell the kids to yell when the see that animal or object. The screen then pans to the right until the animal or object is spotted.

Well, Biscuit will often put that into practice in real life. He was playing at his train table the other day and said, "When you see a train and a loader, yell 'TRAIN and LOADER!'" (or train and woader, as he says it) He looked all around his table pretending not to see the train and loader that were right in front of him. Then all of a sudden, he yelled, "TRAIN AND WOADER!!!"

What did he say?!?: Biscuit likes taking the teacher role, where he holds up a crayon and asks, "Okay, Mom, what color is this?" or "What letter says m-m-m?" The other night, he was quizzing a friend at a restaurant. When he got to R, I said, "Can you tell her some words that start with R?"

"Hmm. Race cars, rainbow, rocket and rhombus," he said.

"And what does a rhombus look like?" I asked him.

"Um, a kite," Biscuit answered.

My friend and I exchange looks and she said, "Dude, that's crazy!" To which I replied with wide eyes, "I KNOW! And he says stuff like that ALL the time!"

It amazes me how much they learn at this age. Sometimes it seems like he's a tape recorder, and someone has hit rewind and play, and he just spouts out all this stuff he's learned. I hope his brain stays that open for a long, long time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Meltdown moment

I have snot on my shirt, grape jelly in my hair and a big, fat, ferocious ache in my head.

All I wanted was grits, eggs, bacon and toast for dinner. All I got was a whiny, crying, screaming, flailing tantrum-pitching toddler.

Jeff is covering a golf tournament, and I've just had an exhausting week. When I picked Biscuit up from day care this evening, I realized I had a hankering for breakfast food for dinner. Biscuit and I went to a diner near our house, I ordered our food, then we colored on the paper placemat they brought him. I should've known something was up when Biscuit didn't want pancakes. He always wants pancakes when we go to diners.

He had a car in each hand (as usual), and he asked me to draw a picture of one of his cars. As most of his favorite things are, this car is red. So I drew a red outline. It's a character car, so he wanted me to add eyes and a mouth. Done.

But then I got creative. The car has flames down the side, so I grabbed the orange crayon and went to work. What was I thinking?!?

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! That NOT a firetruck! It's NOT a firetruck, Mom! It not have fire! Take it off! TAKE IT OFF!!!" Biscuit said as he started frantically rubbing the paper, trying to get the orange flame off the side of the car. It went downhill from there.

You know the 5 Stages of Grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance)? Well, they work for dealing with a tantrum, too.

Denial: "I'm going to pretend this isn't happening. It will last for a few seconds, then he'll stop."

Anger: "We'll be right back," I said to the waitress as I toted Biscuit out the door into the little courtyard right outside. A handful of people in the restaurant stared as I hauled him out. I guess they wanted to see what I was going to do. "Biscuit, stop crying right NOW! There is nothing wrong with you. We are going to sit here until you stop crying. There is no reason for you to be pitching a fit."

Bargaining: "Biscuit, do you want your chicken nuggets and fries? Do you want more of your chocolate milk? You can't get more fries and milk unless we go back inside, and we're not going back inside until you're done crying."

Depression: "Ugh!," I thought to myself. "This sucks. I just want to go home. Why did I bother trying to go out? I hate this golf tournament! Why can't Jeff be here?"

Acceptance: "I've ordered food. I can't just leave," I thought. "There's nothing I can do to make him stop. I'll go back in, and if he keeps going, I'll get our food to-go and just leave."

We got back inside to our corner booth. I was really glad I had chosen the booth in the corner. The man in the booth behind me turned around, and I'll tell you, my first thought was, "DO NOT SAY A WORD!" But the man said, "Did I hear you call him Griffin?" I said yes, and he said, "That's our grandson's name." Then he started talking to Biscuit. Turns out, their grandson, Griffin, will be 3 years old next month. Biscuit will be 3 in November. Under better circumstances, that would've been cause for an in-depth conversation. But tonight, something else was on the front-burner.

"Hey, Griffin. What's the problem, buddy? Are you upset?" the man asked Biscuit.

Have you ever seen a child so upset that he almost stutters trying to talk because of the crying?

"Um, I n-n-n-eeed a n-n-n-a-a-a-ap," Biscuit wailed.

"You need a nap?" the man said. "Well, you have to eat your supper before you can have a nap. Can you stop crying so you and Mama can eat your supper?"

"Um, n-n-n-noooooooooooo," Biscuit cried.

The man's wife leaned around and said, "Don't worry, honey. I've been there and done that. It will get better. I promise." I didn't know whether to cry or hug her or sigh with relief.

She said, "I wanted to buy him one of those cookies over there, but you never know whether to do something like that or not." By that point, I had given him a slice of my toast with jelly on it, and he seemed okay for a few minutes. But how nice was that lady for even having the thought to buy a cookie for some random kid she's never seen before?

I've always had a fear of Biscuit making a scene in a restaurant, and tonight was the reason why. I get flustered, I start sweating, my face turns red and I'm just a general mess. I wish I didn't care so much about what other people think, but people who don't have kids and people who don't remember what 2-year-olds are like can send some awful and judging looks your way during a meltdown moment. I feel like standing up and yelling, "He doesn't have a on/off switch. He is his own person with his own personality, his own will and his own ideas about how things should be."

Biscuit never calmed down. I asked our server for a box for Biscuit's food, then shoveled in as much of mine as I could. I spent $8 on two entrees that weren't remotely enjoyed.

I drove around for a while after we left the restaurant. I cranked up the radio and kept checking the rearview mirror until the little man was asleep. When he was so upset at the restaurant, he kept saying, "I need a nap, Mom. I cry 'cause I'm tired." He's heard us say that, and I guess he figured that's what was wrong.

Actually, I think he cried so hard that he made himself tired.

I hope our weekend it better than tonight was. Jeff will be covering a golf tournament from early morning to late evening, so it'll just be me and Biscuit. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Using his smarts

I am always proud of Biscuit -- who he is, what he's accomplished in his short life, pretty much everything about him. But there are some times that I'm even prouder than usual. This morning was one of those times.

We didn't get much sleep in our house last night. Biscuit was having bad dreams, added onto the fact that he has a handful of itchy mosquito bites that he had scratched bloody in his sleep. He was restless and whiny and just downright pitiful. Eventually, we brought him down to our bed, and Jeff moved to the couch for the rest of the night.

This morning, Biscuit was unusually clingy. He even asked me to carry him from the car into day care -- something that almost never happens. Even after I carried him in, he still wasn't too sure about letting go of me. I put him down, and we stood just inside the classroom door until he could get a feel for what was going on.

Biscuit's teacher was holding up signs with alphabet letters on them. She was asking the kids what the letters were and what sounds they make. Biscuit saw this and whispered to me, "Mom, I want to go say wetters."

"Okay, let's go," I said to him. Then I grabbed his hand and led him over to the big rug where they have their circle time. Biscuit sat down, and I headed for the door. I usually drop him off and head out as soon as I can, but for some reason, I stuck around for a few minutes this morning.

The teacher said she was glad Biscuit was there because he knows his letters and he could help out the other kids. I smiled, thinking she was just being nice. But then, she held up a card with a "W" on it.

"What's this letter?" the teacher asked.

"That's a W," Biscuit said. Then the other kids said, "W."

"What sound does it make?" asked the teacher.

"W-w-w-w," Biscuit said. Then the other kids said, "W-w-w-w."

I stood there and watched as this happened five more times. I was amazed. People tell us all the time that he's smart, but I guess it's different when you see it in action.

We are so lucky to have found a day care we like -- somewhere Biscuit feels safe and the teachers help stimulate his learning process. And even more so, we're lucky that Biscuit is able to learn like he does.

A friend of mine recently wrote a newspaper story about her autistic son and a program that pairs special needs kids with horses for therapy. It sounds like the program is really helping her son. And that's a good thing. But it's hard knowing that
even though her son is a bright kid, she has to watch him struggle to learn some things. His brain just doesn't take in information the way other people's brains do.

Every kid is different. Every kid is special in his or her own way. I hope we can encourage Biscuit to become all that he can be while instilling in him a sense of gratitude for just how fortunate we are.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A special occasion

One of my friends was ordained as a minister this past Sunday, and we got to be a part of the festivities.

The tradition is to have the ordination service, then a reception at the church, then a party at the home of the newly ordained minister. I didn't think the new minister should have to plan her own party, so I told her that she could worry about the service, and a couple of my other friends and I would handle the party.

The minister friend's favorite colors are pink and orange, so we planned the party theme around those colors. I was skimming a crafty-type blog one afternoon and came across this entry from a girl who was planning a wedding on a budget. She took dinner-sized and cocktail-sized paper napkins and made flowers for her wedding. It might sound like a third-grade art class project, but they were actually really pretty. She included the instructions, so I followed the process and was pretty pleased with the outcome. I think I made about 20 flowers -- pink with orange centers.

Biscuit watched me make the flowers and desperately wanted to help me. But seeing as the process required scissors, delicate folding and floral wire, all he got to do was

I placed each finished flower in a vase on the coffee table, and every time I added a new one, Biscuit said, "Oooo! Another flower. I have to smell it." He would drop whatever he was playing with and run over to the coffee table, sniff the flower and say, "Nice flower, Mom. It smells good," then he would run back to whatever he was playing with.

I did a lot of cooking and baking the day before the event, and Jeff was working a double shift that day, so Biscuit didn't get a whole lot of attention. But he seemed to take it in stride. Then the day of the event came, and we basically asked him to be on his best behavior for ... oh, maybe 10 hours. And I mean that seriously. We left our house at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon and got back home at 11:20 p.m. that night. There was one meltdown during the whole day. I would say that's pretty good behavior on the little man's part!

Ever since he turned 2, Biscuit loves birthdays. He went to a birthday party in July and will still occasionally sing "Happy Birthday" to the little girl. So when he saw me baking and decorating a cake, then found out we were throwing a party, he immediately decided that it was a birthd
ay party for the new minister. She thought it was great and didn't bother correcting him when he sang "Happy Birthday" to her at least four times.

Biscuit sat with Jeff during the service. I wa
s moving around the church taking pictures. The church has a really nice "chapel" at the back of the sanctuary for kids and parents. It's a sound-proof room with big windows overlooking the sanctuary where parents can take antsy or unruly kids during the service. It also has a sound system, so the parents can still hear what's going on.

Biscuit sat through a good part of the service, but Jeff took him to the chapel as a pre-emptive strike before the actual ordination part of the ceremony took place. Right before they left, I was on the opposite side of the church, and I heard Biscuit heave this huge sigh. Well, it probably didn't seem huge to anybody else, but it was enough to make me jerk the camera away from my face and look to see what was going on. It's funny how you can immediately recognize something as simple as a si
gh when it comes from your own child.

All in all, it was a nice, if tiring, day. The service was well done and my friend is officially a reverend. And as Jeff would say, "Refreshments were served, and a good time was had by all."

Here are a few pictures from the day -- Jeff and Biscuit during the service, the flowers I made, and a family photo taken by one of our friends.

New skills

It’s funny to me how Biscuit’s learning goes in spits and spurts. I mean, it’s clear that he’s learning small things constantly, but every once in a while, a big item will get ticked off the list of "things every kid have to learn."

A small thing would be something like ... landing gear.

The shirt Biscuit wore yesterday had an airplane on it. So I picked him up and zoomed him around the room, all the while making airplane noises and telling him to hold out his arms. As we neared my bed, I said, “Get ready. We’re coming in for a landing.” My plan was to skid him across my bed until his head touched the pillows.

“No, Mom,” Biscuit said to me with a stern look on his face. “The tires are not down. The plane can't land at the airport. The tires are not down."

Biscuit actually says "pwane" and "wand" instead of “plane” and “land.”
But more importantly, how does my son know about landing gear? Did he see it in a book or on TV? Does he secretly visit the airport that’s only about 10 minutes from our house and hang out with pilots?

Biscuit is also picking up a good many words in Spanish. His day care teacher has taught him numbers, emotions, body parts and other words. Most recently, he’s learned the direction words for up and down (or “arriba” and “abajo” – pronounced ah-ree-bah and ah-bah-hoe).

Last night, he held his cup up and said, “Mom, my cup is arriba.” Then he lowered his cup and said, “Now, it’s abajo.” He knows the words, and he understands what they mean.

His Spanish vocabulary is not far from passing mine, so if his teacher keeps teaching him new Spanish words, I might have to get myself a Spanish to English dictionary to keep up!

But the most impressive thing Biscuit has learned recently is counting objects. He's been able to recite his numbers for a long time, but it's only been in the past week or so that he's been able to actually apply those number to objects.

There were four crayons on the table, and I asked Biscuit if he could count them. Usually, he would point to the crayons and count to 10, no matter how many crayons there actually were. But the other night, he pointed to a crayon and said, "One." Then he pointed to another crayon and said, "Two." He kept going until he counted all four crayons. "Four crayons, Mom. Red, bwue, green and orange. Rojo, azul, verde and naranja."

We always count the front door steps as we leave in the morning. But that's routine -- take a step, say the next number. Now, he could stand at the bottom of the steps and just point and count them.

I'm continually amazed at Biscuit's learning process. I wish we could have that learning capacity for our entire lives.

Friday, August 12, 2011

That's not red

We had dinner out tonight, and as many restaurants do these days, they brought crayons and a coloring sheet for Biscuit.

We got to the table, and Biscuit glanced down into the cup.

"That's not red. That's not red, Mom. That's not red," he said. Red is his favorite color.

I glanced into the cup and assured him
that there was a red crayon in there. "There's a red crayon in there, Biscuit," I said.

"No, Mom. That's pink. It's pink, Mom. Rosado. That's pink," Biscuit said, quite sure of himself. (Rosado is Spanish for pink.)

I dumped the crayons out onto the table. He was sort of right. It was red-violet. And the wrapper was pink.

"It's a shade of red," I said to Biscuit, trying to convince him that red-violet was close enough. I was sort of cringing because I just had a sinking feeling that "shade of red" wasn't going to be good enough.

I was right.

"I'm done. I'm done with the crayons. That's not red. I'm done," Biscuit said.

"Would you like a pencil instead?" I asked him.

"A pencil? For me?" Biscuit asked.

As I reached into my pocketbook, I realized that I said "pencil." I didn't have a pencil. I had a pen. Only now do I realize how silly it was for me to be tip-toeing around Biscuit, just hoping and praying he didn't have a meltdown. But I had sort of a lousy day at work, and quite frankly, I just didn't think I could handle a big screaming fit.

I handed Biscuit the pen, and he was so excited. He started drawing lines and squiggles. He seemed pretty pleased with the pen.

"This is a pencil, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

I didn't figure he knew the difference, so I said, "Yep. That's a pencil."

Biscuit held the pen up and looked at it from all angles. "Where the wed, Mom?"

"What?" I asked him.

"Where's the wed in the pencil?" He was asking where the pencil's lead was.

Who is teaching him this stuff?!?

"It's actually a pen. And instead of having lead, it has ink," I explained.

"I-i-i-ink?" Biscuit said, with his voice going up about 18 octaves.

"Yes," I said. "The ink makes it write."

I think I've let some of Biscuit's recent behavior affect how I treat him. He's a smart kid, and instead of trying to placate him, I need to answer his questions honestly and as thoroughly as the situation calls for.

In other words, little man doesn't pull any punches, and I better get my story straight!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

Some recent comments from Biscuit:

Story time: When Biscuit tells us a story, he puts his palms together and holds out his hands. Then he opens his hands out like a book and starts to tell us his story. The other night, he got to a point and stopped talking. So I asked him, "Is that the end?" "No, Mom. I still reading." Then he finished "reading" us his story.

A game of hoops: "What are you doing, Biscuit?" Jeff asked as he watched Biscuit slide a small ottoman from the living room through the kitchen into our bedroom.

"I'm trying to get the basketball into the basket net," Biscuit said. He wanted to stand on the ottoman and throw clothes into the dirty clothes hamper.

"Why do you need that foot stool, Biscuit?" Jeff asked.

"That not a foot stool, Dad. It's a wadder." Even so, who uses a ladder to put a basketball into the net?!?

Straight from TV: Jeff and Biscuit were walking up the sidewalk to come in the house. Biscuit had a cute little march going on, and he was saying, "It's fun to go inside. It's fun to go inside. It's fun to go inside, and this is how we do it." That is a direct quote from one of the cartoon shows he likes. Who says kids don't learn from TV?

The eyes have it: Biscuit expresses himself in such literal terms sometimes. He walked into the bathroom with me the other night. I was just grabbing the hand towel, so I didn't even turn on the light. "It's dark in here, Mom. My eyes can't see." Of course, it probably doesn't hurt that last week's theme at day care was the five senses.

Scamming Dad: Jeff took Biscuit for a haircut yesterday evening. Biscuit asked where they were going. "We're going to get you a haircut," Jeff said. "It's time for a haircut."

To which Biscuit replied, "Is it time for a haircut AND Chick-fi-way?" Jeff said yes, then Biscuit said, "Chick-fi-way, here we come!"

Play time: Biscuit's play time is getting more imaginative. He had some little animal figures last night along with a couple of farmers. They were having some grand conversations. Then something happened to one of his horses. He picked it up and walked over to Jeff. "Excuse me. Excuse me, doctor. We need your help."

Jeff turned the horse over and over in his hands, then handed him back to Biscuit. "Okay, he's good to go," Jeff said.

"Thank you, doctor. Thank you for making my horse feel really better," Biscuit said.

Animal kingdom: Biscuit's question for us used to be "what is your favorite animal," but now, he's getting more specific. He asked me just the other day, "Mom, what's your favorite kind of dog?" He doesn't know Labradors or poodles yet, but he does understand big and small and loud and soft and colors. So my answer now can't just be "a dog." It has to be "a big brown dog" or "a small white dog."

He does know more about dinosaurs. He says his favorite is a Dromaeosaurus because it's fast like a horse. But he also knows T-Rex, triceratops and pterodactyl. I love to hear him say the different kinds of dinosaurs. I know he thinks I'm crazy, but I ask him all the time what his favorite dinosaur is, just to hear him say their names.

But he's getting more specific with other animals, too. I handed him a little plastic frog the other night and said, "Check this out, Biscuit. It's a bull frog." He looked at the frog and said, "No, Mom. That a tree frog."

Jeff was flipping through a book with Biscuit the other night. "Hey, dude. Check out that fish," he said to Biscuit.

To which Biscuit replied, "That is not a fiss, Dad. That a humpback whale."

Ham Biscuit: Biscuit loves to be on my bed. It's a king-size bed that's pretty high off the floor. The only way he can get on it is to use a step I have on my side. (The only way I can get on it is to use the step, too!)

When he's on the bed, I walk into the room growling, telling him I'm coming to get him. Then he crawls from one side of the bed to the other to get away from me. This evening, we were playing our little game, and I caught him. I pretended to gnaw on his leg and said, "Mmmm. I like ham bone. Gimme some more of that ham bone."

"NOOOO! My weg is not ham bone. Here, Mom. Here," Biscuit said as he reached into his pocket. "I have some ham bone for you in my pocket. Not on my weg."

Words from Dad: I heard a partial conversation between Jeff and Biscuit tonight. I'm not even going to offer any setup or context.

Jeff said, "You can't play with your poo. You can play with your friends, but you can't play with your poo. And you CERTAINLY can't play with your friends' poo.

Sometimes you just don't want to know.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Who is this kid?

"I need to calm down in the car," Biscuit said to me this evening in the parking lot of a store.

Somewhere about halfway through my shopping venture, Biscuit decided he had had enough, and he was done. This led to a big, fat meltdown, right in the middle of the store.

I realize as I type this that there are moms who would see one of Biscuit's tantrums and say, "Oh yeah? That's NOTHING." I have to admit that we've been very, very lucky as far as behavior issues go. But sometimes, we get a glimpse of the proverbial 2-year-old, and it just stops us in our tracks.

Who is that kid? Where did our sweet Biscuit baby go?!?

Biscuit has been in a whiny stage lately. Everything hurts. Everything is wrong. Nothing is the way he wants it. Jeff and I can't do anything right.

We hear things like:
  • "My boo-boo hurts." (A boo-boo that is 98% healed already.)
  • "I can't do it, Mom. I can't do it. YOU do it, Mom. I can't do it." (Most of the time it's something that he most certainly can do.)
  • "Mine's broken. Fix it, Mom. It's broken." (This includes any manner of toys that have come apart, a shoe that somehow isn't right, a blanket that isn't spread out the way he wants it, etc.)
  • "Noooooooo. That's not great. That's not perfect for me" or "Not THAT way, THIS way." (Any time anything isn't exactly the way he wants it, i.e. a sippy cup that one of us moves, not having what he wants to eat, not going down the right aisle at the store, not having on a shirt or pants that he likes.)
I realize from reading about different stages of childhood that this is the time Biscuit is trying to gain some independence. He knows how he wants things, but he doesn't have the power, knowledge, strength or freedom to make them happen that way. And once he figures out that he can't, for whatever reason, do what he wants to do, he either melts down or goes back to being helpless and wanting me to do everything for him. It must be truly frustrating for him.

And I can assure you that as frustrating as it is for him, you could probably double that for my stress level!

We joined a group of friends Sunday for lunch at a restaurant. My food was really good, but I had to shovel it down, and I didn't really have time to enjoy it for tending to Biscuit. When he was wee tiny, restaurants were hard for me because I had to eat my dinner, placate the baby, deal with baby food jars and spoons and bibs, and still try to have conversation with whomever was across the table.

Then there was this glorious period where Biscuit was self-sufficient. He was excited about getting to sit in a high chair and eat by himself. He was excited about trying new foods. He was excited about all the goings-on in the restaurant.

Now, it seems like we've reverted. He's in a picky stage of eating, so no matter what we order for him, he's not satisfied. And he's so mobile that he has no desire to sit in a high chair for the amount of time it takes us to get through a salad, a meal and some conversation. And the comings and goings of the restaurant don't seem to hold his attention anymore (and neither do the crayons and paper they usually give him, either).

So he sits there and whines. And pushes his food away. And says over and over and over and over and over again, "I'm done. I want to go home. I'm done. I don't want to eat. I'm done. I don't wike this. I'm done."

And that's what happened Sunday. I heard maybe two sentences of the conversation. And the group included people I haven't seen much of lately, so I really wasn't too happy. At first, my food tasted really good. We hadn't been to that restaurant in a while. But I got to a point where I was so distracted by Biscuit, I just started shoveling it in, hoping we could leave soon.

Mornings have also become more complicated. Biscuit wakes up and says, "The sun comes up, and I wake up to the morning," and you think, "Great! He's in a good mood." And before you can even process that thought, the mood has shifted, and he doesn't want milk, and he doesn't want his teeth brushed, and he doesn't want THOSE pants and THAT shirt, and he wants to go in Dad's GREEN car, not Mom's RED car. And it's all in this whiny, whiny, whiny little voice that makes you want to run screaming from the house.

We were trying to leave the house yesterday morning, and Biscuit came up to me in the kitchen. "My race car is broken, Mom. He is not ready to race. He can't go. He has to be fixed, Mom." He handed me the car, and I messed with it for a minute or so. One side of the car's bumper is broken, so I shoved it back into the little hole and said, "Okay, it's fixed, but you can't pull on the bumper, okay?" I handed it back to him, and he immediately reached up and pulled on the bumper. The bumper came loose again, and Biscuit just wailed. "It's not fixed, Mom. It's not fixed."

These instances of whiny-ness haven't been big, huge tantrums. Nothing has been thrown. Nobody has been hit. No damage has been done. But my baby has shed a river of tears. And I'm betting the dogs in the neighborhood would really like for Biscuit to quit the whining that is
probably high-pitched enough to hurt their ears.

So this evening, we were picking up cereal and apple juice and a few household items, and as we made our way past the toy department, Biscuit asked if we could go down the aisle where the cars were. He very rarely asks me to buy him anything, so I wheeled down the aisle.

Biscuit said he'd like to have a brown race car. So we looked through all the cars they had, and there was not one single brown car in the lot. So I said to him, "I didn't see any brown cars, did you?" He said no. So I said, "Oh well. I guess we'll have to look for a brown car another day." Every time we've had a conversation similar to this one, he says something like, "That's okay. We'll try again."

But not today.

Today, he said, "If there's no brown one, I want that one." He pointed to a $30 character car. He was holding a miniature version of that exact car in his hand. And I was dumb enough to bring this to his attention.

"Biscuit, the car in your hand is exactly like that one, except it's smaller," I said. The sound that came out of my son sounded like an old-fashioned fire alarm cranking up.

"WaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I want a big one. This one is too small. I need that big one. I need it, Mom. I don't want this wittle one. Here, Mom. Here. I don't want this wittle one. I need the big one."

Oh. my. heavens.

I only had a few more things to get, but I had a sinus/allergy headache, thanks to the lovely ragweed that is blooming around here, and that, combined with Biscuit's ... epidode ... caused me to quickly make my list even shorter. I knew I couldn't take much more of the whining and crying. I don't enjoy hearing that kind of fuss in a store, and I'm guessing the people around us in the store don't either.

Biscuit and I made our way to the cash register. And dang if they didn't have a third version of those same character cars hanging on the rack right by the cash register. And he saw them. And he wanted them. And he cried for them. And he said, while crying the most pitiful cry, "Pease, Mom? Pease can I have them?"

Everything in me wanted to hand him those cars. He was heart-broken and sad and tired from the whole event, and there was this little voice inside me thinking, "Just hand him the cars, and this will all be over. Biscuit will be happy. And quiet. And you can have a peaceful evening."

And then that stupid other voice (that I hate so much sometimes) said, "If you give in to this, he'll do this every time he wants something." So I called his name, made him look me in the eye, and I said, "When Mama says no, that's it. Don't ask again."

You would've thought I ripped his arm off and beat him with it. Clearly, it was the worst day of his short life, and his very own mother was the cause of it.

If someone had held a gun to my head, I couldn't have told you the total of my bill at the store. I saw her scan my coupons, then I swiped my debit card, grabbed the bags and thew them in the buggy. I hauled us and our stuff out the door as quickly as I could.

The whole way out to the car, that child was still asking for those cars. At that point, I had said everything I could say, so I just didn't say anything. "Pease, Mom? Pease? I don't want to go home. I need to get the cars in the store."

I guess he realized I wasn't talking to him, so as I swapped the bags from the buggy to the back of the car, Biscuit asked, "I'm in trouble, Mom?"

"No. You're not in trouble," I said to him. "But you have to learn that when Mama says no, I mean no."

"O-ka-aaa-aaay," he said. And by then, he had a bad case of the snubs, where he couldn't get a whole word out without those quick little breaths that crying hard will cause.

I put him in his car seat and was buckling the straps, and that's when he said, "I need to calm down in the car, Mom."

I felt like telling him that I needed to calm down in the car, too. But instead, I said, "Let's go home, have some dinner, then read some books. How does that sound?"

"Goo-ooo-ood," Biscuit said. "Let's go to my house."

And we did.

Sometimes recounting times like these will produce a kernel of wisdom or a life lesson. And I guess it sort of did ... I have to stick to my guns, no means no, etc. But I really just hope that I'm doing the right thing and that we'll all get through this rough patch mostly unscathed. Being slightly superstitious, I think I'll go ahead and cross my fingers, throw some salt over my shoulder and avoid any ladders, just in case.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Recent conversations with Biscuit:

Biscuit: Dad, say, "What you doing, Biscuit?"
Jeff: What are you doing Biscuit?
Biscuit: Um, I pay with race cars.

Biscuit: You pay bean bags with me, Dad?
Jeff: Bean bags?
Biscuit: Yeah. Papa and Josh pay bean bags.
Jeff: Oh! He's talking about corn hole. He saw Josh and your Dad play at the mountains.

Biscuit: Is this MY house, Mama?
Me: It's all of our house -- yours and mine and Dad's.
Biscuit: We all share our house?
Me: Yes. We all share our house.
Biscuit: That's good.

Me: Good morning, Biscuit (as I was waking him up).
Biscuit: Good morning. The sun came up, and I wake up to the morning.
He says this every single morning.

When I get to day care to pick up Biscuit, I like to stand and watch him play for a few minutes. As soon as he sees me, he yells.
Biscuit: Mommy! Mommy! You came back to me!
Me: Of COURSE I came back to you. I ALWAYS come back to you.
He got the line "You came back to me" from a book we read him about a llama whose mama has to leave him at day care while she goes to work. I guess he figured out that he was in the same situation as the llama, so he says "you came back to me" every single day when we pick him up. His teachers thought it was pretty funny the first time they heard it.

Biscuit ran into the living room just now and yelled "I LOVE music" and started to dance.
Jeff: That's some good dancing, boy.
Biscuit: These are my dance moves. This is called The Racecar Dance.

Biscuit: Hey, Mom. What's your problem? State your problem, Mom.
Me: Uh ... what?
Biscuit: State your problem, Mom.
Me: I don't have a problem.
Biscuit: Okay.

Biscuit: Mom, I gonna hide behind Dad's chair. You come find me.
Me: You're not supposed to tell me where you're going to hide.
Biscuit: Okay. But I gonna be behind Dad's chair. Come find me.

Biscuit: Whats we have for dinner, Mom?
Me: (insert food that's not pizza)
Biscuit: That's not great for me.
Me: What do you WANT for dinner?
Biscuit: Um, let's see ... PIZZA!
Me: We can't have pizza every night.
Biscuit: That is not perfect.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Does whatever a spider can ...

Back in June, a friend of mine told me that Spider-Man would be making an appearance at a local comic book store. She told me something about a variant cover ... and the issue ... and the cover ... and ... okay, I had no idea what she was talking about. All I knew was that my son would get to meet Spider-Man.

The deal was that every so often, comic book stores create their own covers for new comic books (called variant covers). The inside of the book is exactly the same as all the others, but the cover is unique to that store. The photo shoot Biscuit and I went to was for a local comic book store's variant cover.

Remember this?

Before I could take photos of Biscuit with Spider-Man, a store employee took several group photos of all the kids who showed up that night. And one of those group photos showed up on the variant cover for Spider-Man #666.

I went to the store yesterday to buy a copy, but of course the store was close. That dang store is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week EXCEPT Tuesday. And Tuesday was the only day I could go.

Turns out, I didn't need to worry about it. The
friend who told me about the photo shoot said she would pick up a copy for me. But before she could do that, another friend at work brought me a copy. He's a huge comic book fan, and I had mentioned to him that Biscuit was on the cover. This guy already had a copy for himself, just because he likes Spider-Man, but he went back to that store yesterday (obviously sometime before 6 p.m.) and bought a copy for me.

So here's the Acme Comics variant cover f
or Spider-Man #666, along with a closeup of my Biscuit baby. Can you see his little head in the front row?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fire Chief Biscuit

Remember a while back when I complained about not being able to find costumes or dress-up pieces for boys? The store I go to must have received an ESP signal from me, because when I was in there the other day, they had pirate garb and fire chief helmets. Biscuit is crazy for all things fire-man. That's how he says it, "Mom, I'm a fire-man," like it's two separate words. So even though there wasn't an occasion, I bought him a fire-man hat.