Thursday, September 29, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

 A few recent comments from Biscuit:

Tissue: "Mom, I need a tissue for my nose. I need to get the burgers out." I don't think I want to eat any "burgers" that Biscuit might put in a tissue.

Rock 'n' roll: Jeff and Biscuit were on the way home from day care. According to Biscuit, they were going fast in the green car.

Jeff put a CD in the player, and Biscuit started nodding his head to the music.

"Thanks, Dad," Biscuit said to Jeff.

"Thanks for what?" Jeff asked.

"Thanks for giving me back my rock 'n' roll," Biscuit said. "I LOVE rock 'n' roll."

Explaining to Dad: I overheard this conversation while Jeff was giving Griffin a bath.

Biscuit: Thanks, customer.

Jeff: What's a customer?

Biscuit: It's, it's, it's when a patient goes to see the doctor, but a customer goes to the drum store.

Jeff: Where is the drum store?

Biscuit: Right here, Dad. And you can buy drums at the drum store.

Stream of consciousness:  Biscuit and I were on the way to day care this morning, and here's what I heard from the back seat. 

"Mom, red is my favorite color. Fire trucks are red. Do you know fire trucks are red, Mom?"

We rounded a curve and drove past a fire station.

"LOOK! LOOK! There's a fire truck, Mom. No, TWO FIRE TRUCKS! TWO FIRE TRUCKS, MOM!!! Two fire trucks. Two years. I'm 2 years old. Mom, I'm 2 years old. I see two fire trucks, and I'm two years old."

He paused for about 10 or 15 seconds, then he said, "Fire trucks are red. Red is my favorite color. The fire trucks are red. Red is my favorite. There were two fire trucks, and I'm 2 years old. Red lights are red, too, Mom. We have to stop at red lights. We have to go at green lights, but green is not my favorite. Red is my favorite. Are we at day care yet?"

Stylin' and profilin'

Tonight, Mr. Biscuit is sporting his red cowboy hat. It used to be a sheriff's hat, but he didn't like the star sticker that was on the front of it and asked me to peel it off. His hat is set off by skateboard shirt and his well-broken-in Levis. Did you know they even made Levis for a butt that little?!? And his final accessory? His Lightnin' McQueen slippers. And heaven forbid, DO NOT call them shoes. They're not shoes. They're slippers. And believe me when I say that Biscuit will definitely let you know that you're wrong if you call them anything else.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Three is a magic number

One-and done. It’s a popular phrase out there these days for couples who have chosen to have only one child. Jeff and I didn’t plan to be one-and-done, but unfortunately, that will be our fate. 

It took us three years and one miscarriage to get Biscuit. The process wasn’t fun and included fertility drugs, a lot of frustration and a lot of sadness and disappointment.

So we were very nervous when we decided to try to add another child to our family.

The good thing this time is that we weren’t starting from scratch. Before I got pregnant with Biscuit, my doctor and I figured out that I had some problems that made it a longshot for me to get pregnant. But we lucked out and got the right combination of drugs and treatments, and then Biscuit was on the way.

We tried all the same stuff this time, but it didn’t work. And now, I’ve taken all the drugs I can, and any of the other treatments have really high chances of multiple babies. We wanted ONE more baby, not several.

We’re sad. We’re disappointed. I think Jeff is handling it better than I am. Quite frankly, I’m pretty bitter about it right now just because we’re in a good position to have another child. We have jobs, a house, family and friends, and most importantly, each other. What else does a kid need?

The thing that’s helping me get through this is that I already have Biscuit. He is more than I could have ever hoped for. He is loving and smart and so, so cute. He drives us crazy and amazes us all at the same time.

Even though Biscuit was desperately wanted, we were so scared before he got here. We were convinced we would be terrible parents, and we would have no idea what we were doing. You know what we’ve learned? We’re pretty good parents, even though we don’t have any idea what we’re doing.

I’m sorry Biscuit won’t have the experience of a sibling. I’m sorry that when he’s older and completely frustrated with Jeff and me, he won’t have that sibling to complain to – that person who has had the shared experience of having Jeff and me as parents.

There’s no rule about how many people it takes to make a family. Even though it hasn’t turned out exactly as we planned, our family number will be three.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A thousand faces

Biscuit started making faces the other night, so of course I grabbed my camera. Here are a few of about 25!

Biscuit sends a message

If you've seen "The Godfather," you'll understand my first thought last night when I pulled the covers back on my bed.

I think Biscuit has made me an offer I can't refuse!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Going to the fair

I have a friend who has a knack for getting free tickets to places. I've never asked her if she has "connections," as in, "I'll put in a call to my Uncle Guido." But seeing as we get to take advantage of the free tickets every so often, I just take them at face value and say thank you.

Last Monday night, that friend offered us free tickets to the fair. We didn't tell Biscuit where we were going until we were on the way. We didn't want to get his hopes up in case something happened. But once we got there, he was pretty excited.

I thought for sure that Biscuit would meet the required minimum height standards this year, but alas, he still has another inch to grow. All he could ride was the carousel (as long as an adult went with him) and the giant slide (as long as he rode down on an adult's lap).

We took him on the carousel twice, complete with a minor tantrum as we were exiting after the second ride. He was NOT ready to leave his carousel horse behind. Then he rode the giant slide twice -- once with Jeff and once with our ticket-scoring friend.

We had fair food for dinner (giant corn dogs, fries, chicken on a stick, giant turkey legs)
, played a couple of games (Jeff won a little red bear that Biscuit named Buddy) and were just generally over-stimulated by the lights and sounds.

As we made our way over to the petting zoo, Biscuit saw a horse and wanted to know if he could ride it. It was a full sized horse, so I told him that the horse was too big. "Can I ride the wittle horse?" Biscuit asked. So we got him a pony ride.

He was so excited when we told him he was going to ride the pony. But once he got into the saddle, it was all serious business. I guess he's seen too many cowboys in the old
Western movies. Jeff walked beside the horse while Biscuit was riding, just to make sure he stayed put in the saddle. The ponies were on a harness that moved in a circle, and as they started, Jeff realized that to keep up, he'd be taking a brisk walk. But Biscuit was happy.

"I'm a good horse rider," Biscuit told Jeff. And he was.

I thought Biscuit would be fast
asleep by the time we got home, but he was wide awake, talking the whole way. Hmmm. Wonder where he gets that from?!?

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few recent comments from Biscuit:

Monster removal: "Mom. There's a green monster next to the bed," Biscuit said to me on a recent night.

Apparently, the monster has been there for a couple of days now because every time he and I have been in our bedroom, he has told me that the monster is on my side of the bed.

I walked over to the side of the bed and started shooing my hands and said, "Get outta here, Green Monster."

Biscuit just smiled.

Monsters are easier to get rid of than I thought they'd be.

The nose knows: "Something smells," Biscuit will say to us.

"Does it smell good or smell bad?" we'll ask.

He'll usually answers, but even so, I can't get him to understand that just saying something smells is sort of rude.

Makes sense to me: "In baseball, you have home runs. In football, you have touchdowns," I said to Biscuit this morning.

"Touchdowns?" Biscuit asked.

"Yes, touchdowns" I said, and held my arms straight up like referees do when they call a touchdown.

"But your arms are up, Mom. It's not a touchdown because your arms are up. It's a touch up, Mom, not a touchdown."

I never really thought about it before, but the logic makes perfect sense.

Stream of consciousness: As Jeff was helping Biscuit brush his teeth this morning, he said, “Are you ready for me to check your teeth, dude?”

Biscuit said to him, “No. I’m not dude. I’m Griffin. Can you say that, Dad? Griffin. Grif. Fin. Say it, Dad. Grif. Fin. My name is Grif. Fin. No. I’m not a shark. I don’t have a fin. Sharks have fins. I’m not Grif. Fin. I’m Griffin. Sharks have fins.

Shapes: Biscuit knows all his shapes, including oval and rhombus. Rhombus starts with R. R-r-r-rhombus. Oh, wait, where was I?

Oh yeah, shapes.

Anyway, last night, Biscuit said, “Circles are round, Dad. They don’t have any sides. Squares have sides, but circles don’t have sides.”

Just to carry on the conversation, Jeff said, “Don’t they have one side?”

Biscuit said, “No, Dad. No sides. Circles have no sides. Squares have sides. Circles don’t have sides. They're round.”

He seems to think that the more he repeats something, the truer it gets.

One day, Biscuit was practicing his letters, and he said, "R makes r-r-r sound. Like race cars."

"Or rooster," I said.

"No, Mom. Rooster not start with R," he said with a lot of attitude. "P-p-p-rooster."

I argued for a little while, but sometimes, you just have to choose your battles.

The funny thing is that even though Biscuit argues at the time, 9 times out of 10, the next time the subject comes up again, he's changed his answer.

Just the other day, I asked him if he could tell me some words that start with R.

"Yes. R-r-race car. R-r-rhombus. R-r-rocket. R-r-rooster," he said.

Smart and stubborn. I think this child is going to give us a run for our money.

Monday, September 12, 2011

More new stuff

Sometimes things sneak up on you. Like, I'll suddenly realize that Biscuit is doing something he's never done before, or he's learned something new. I'm always impressed with his accomplishments, but sometimes I feel a bit guilty for not even realizing how they came to be.

Just now, I told Biscuit to wipe his hands on the paper towel beside his plate. He held his hands up and said, "Is the paper towel on my left side or my right side?"

I wasn't looking at him when he said it, so I turned and looked at him and said, "can you say that again?"

"Okay, Mom. I said, 'Is the paper towel on my left side (at which time he wiggled his left hand) or on my right side (at which time he wiggled his right hand)."

When did he learn his left and right?!?

Before we started eating dinner, I asked Biscuit to say the blessing. I'm so used to how he says it ...

"Bwess dis food for our good."

This might not seem big to some people, but tonight, Biscuit said, "Bwess THis food for our good." He's never been able to pronounce the "th" sound.

It's amazing how much little people have to learn, even before they even think about going to school.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A day at the park

There are so many things to do around the town we live in, and we have been really slack about taking advantage of them.

But I told Jeff this morning, that we need to get off our rear ends and go do some stuff. So today we did.

There's a park about 20 minutes from our house that has a really pretty lake with pontoon boat rides, a miniature train and several playgrounds. I think you can tell by the pictures that Biscuit enjoy
ed our outing.


I was making pancakes this morning, and I dropped the measuring cup after I had dumped the flour into the bowl. A thin coating of flour settled all over the top of my stove. I muttered under my breath as I wet a paper towel and started wiping up my mess.

But I couldn't help thinking about how small my mess was compared to the mess left by the huge dense clouds of smoke and dust that blew away from the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Everybody knows about the police, EMS and firefighters who risked (and lost) their lives trying to save people. And most people know about the construction crews who dealt with the twisted steel left at ground zero.

But this morning, I was thinking about the people who had to go in clean up all the other stuff. The people who had to clear out all the paper and other stuff that flew out of those buildings. And that thick layer of dust and smoke that settled on everything in sight. I can't imagine what those people had to see and smell and how long it must have taken them to get everything back to its original state. It's funny the things you think about.

I was asleep when the planes hit the buildings. I was working on the night copydesk, which meant I wouldn't have gone to bed until about 3 a.m. on Sept. 11. So at 8:46 a.m. that morning, I had been asleep for about 5 hours, with a few more hours to go.

I got a phone call from a friend of mine who told me what was going on. I got up, went downstairs and watched the TV coverage. It seemed unreal, like I was watching a movie.

I don't remember what emotions I was feeling that morning. After working for years at hospitals, then newspapers, the process of dealing with disasters in my head might sound a little harsh, but it starts with, "Okay, what do we need to do." I tend to have a hard time dealing with the feelings and emotions of what's going on at the time because I've spent many years in jobs where you had to set aside your feelings to take care of business.

I had that very conversation with a friend of mine last week. Over dinner, we were discussing her new job. She deals with serious situations on a daily basis. One of her younger co-workers was pretty upset over something that happened at work, and my friend was concerned because she wasn't upset. She asked me if I thought she was cold-hearted. I laughed at her because I've had that thought a thousand times before about myself.

The evening of Sept. 11, 2001, I designed the Sept. 12 front page. Normally, you get a list of stories and photos that will be on the page, and you set about creating the page. That night, I had at least six people over my shoulder for pretty much the whole night. It was a little unnerving. We sorted through the many, many photos from that day of the buildings, the dust-coated faces of the people on Manhattan streets, the people who saw no other choice but to jump from the buildings, the bridges filled with people fleeing the city on foot and all the rescue people doing what they do best. We got the paper done, and I went home.

I had a hard time going to sleep that night.

We had to re-live the events of Sept. 11 over and over again for the next month or so as all the details of the events were put together and clean up was under way, and the list of victims was growing. It was a hard time to do what we do for a living. Some said journalists were being voyeuristic and should just leave people alone. But because of their efforts (our efforts if I may count myself among them) we have so many memories captured on paper and video. We have historic newspaper pages, dramatic video footage, beautifully-written stories, gripping photographs -- all the things that will help explain the story to generations to come.

This morning, I watched a show on TV that took professional and amateur video and put it all together as a timeline of that day's events. It was fascinating to observe a family who watched the events out of their living room window. They were close enough to see it happen but far enough away to be out of harm's way. I'm glad I didn't have Biscuit at that point because I can't imagine trying to explain it to a small child.

I didn't really have much emotion while watching the video show. I was more fascinated with the TV crews and reporters who were at the scene and the people who were able to capture that morning on tape. But then I flipped through some other channels and came across one where they were reading the names of the victims. I stayed there for about 3 minutes, but then I had to move on to something else. Hearing those names and seeing the emotions of the people reading them was too much to handle. It brought faces to those who were lost. The thought of losing Jeff of Biscuit or a family member or friend like these people had was just too much.

I don't know if my approach of handling these situations is good or bad or harmful or helpful. All I know is each person has to find what will help him or her through whatever life throws at them.

As much as I hate it, I know Biscuit will have to deal with hard and complicated situations in his life. My prayer for him is that when he has to face hard times, he can find courage and strength and grace and mercy to be his companions.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You've almost got it

For months, Biscuit has refused to do anything once I got out the video camera. But now, he's all about seeing himself on the computer.

He'll say, "I'm going to sing. You want to take a picture of me?"

So here's Biscuit's latest rendition of the ABC song. He never quite made it to the end, but he accompanied himself on the piano.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Riding for the brand: Biscuit and Jeff love Western movies.
Biscuit loves them for the cowboys and horses. And Jeff loves them for, well, the cowboys and horses. One of his favorite sayings from the old Westerns is when a cowboy says he's riding for the brand. It's basically the cowboy saying that he is loyal to the ranch he's riding for. He tried to use the line on Biscuit, but Biscuit didn't really catch on.

Here was their conversation:

Biscuit: I'm going to ride my horse. Say hey to Pinto.

Jeff: Hey, Pinto.

Biscuit: Dad, say "That's some good riding, Biscuit."

Jeff: That's some good riding, Biscuit. Are you riding for the brand? Biscuit: No. I'm riding for town.

Arm strings:
Biscuit and my Mama were sitting together talking.

Biscuit: Your arms have strings, Grandmama.

Grandmama: My arms have what?

Biscuit: Strings. See? (as he rubs the hair on her forearm) I don't have strings. See?

Grandmama: You will someday.

Cookie message
: We had Chinese food for dinner tonight. When it was time for fortune cookies, I helped Biscuit open his.

"Mom, my cookie has a note in it," Biscuit said.

"Yes, it does," I said. "And the note says you will travel many places in your lifetime."

Golden books:
Jeff's Mama saved all of the Little Golden books from Jeff's childhood and gave them to us when Biscuit arrived.

We put them on a shelf in Biscuit's room, and now that he is in his big-boy bed, he can help himself to the books whenever he wants.

It's so fun to wake up to a swooshing sound over the baby monitor and realize it's Biscuit flipping through some of his books.

Biscuit is still obsessed with horses and fire trucks, so books about those two topics are always on top.

The other day, Biscuit brought a book to Jeff and asked him to read it. It was a book about Paul Revere, complete with a horse on the cover.

"What's this book about?" Jeff asked Biscuit.
Biscuit looked at the cover and thought for a minute.

"It's about a pirate cowboy on a horse, Dad," he said.

It sounds odd, but if you look at the cover, can't you see it?

Musical performances

Biscuit entertains us quite often with all the songs he knows. Here are a couple of his favorites:

Monday, September 5, 2011

A wild day

Biscuit and I are visiting with family in Georgia while Jeff stays home to work.

Yesterday, we visited Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia. Here are a few photos:

See this giraffe? See them feeding the giraffe?

Well, this is what happens when that nice giraffe sneezed on Mama and Biscuit.

I found a friend of a different kind.