Friday, March 30, 2012

Remote control

So far, Biscuit hasn't been too interested in messing with the remote control.

Well, he hasn't wanted to use it for it's real purpose. He usually just holds it up to his ear to call the fire department or police or an ambulance.

That all came to an end last night.

Biscuit loves to watch TV by himself on mine and Jeff's bed. So Jeff got Biscuit all set up with his pillow and blanket, then he set the TV's sleep timer so it would turn itself off in 30 minutes.

About 32 minutes later, Biscuit came running into the living room.

"Guess what, guys? Guess what?" Biscuit asked excitedly. And before we could answer, he went on with his story.

According to Biscuit, the TV "went dead." Then he managed to get the remote control off of Jeff's nightstand and turned the TV back on.

Here's his version of what happened:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Missing my boys

I spent a good part of my day as a culinary assistant for a work-sponsored cooking demonstration. I sliced and diced and prepped and bagged and plated and prepared. I did a little bit of everything.

Our morning session was from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., then I went to work until 5 p.m., then I went back to the show and stayed until 10 p.m. It's been a long day, and I'm the owner of some tired feet!

Except for one bad apple (a woman who screwed up the recipe I was working on and dropped a sharp knife into the dishwater I was using without telling me), it was a fun day.

But I missed my boys.

I did get to have a quick lunch with Jeff, but he complained about his job because he was having an especially bad day, and I complained about the crazy woman who sabotaged me and tried to cut off my hand. (Whoa! Did you see that exaggeration? And I'm betting that the later it gets, the wilder that story is likely to become.. So I guess better head to bed before I have her getting arrested for attempted murder.)

Anyway, I'm glad the weekend is upon us, so I can get some quality time with my boys.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Giggle box

It's amazing to me how much fun we've had in the past few days with a fast-food restaurant balloon. 

I started making funny grunt noises when I tried to hit the balloon, and I wish I had grabbed the camera earlier. The laughs you hear below are nothing compared to the hysterics I had Biscuit in earlier.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

School pictures

The first time I heard that Biscuit's day care was going to take school photos, I thought it was a little too early for such a thing. But then I saw the pictures, and I was very pleased.

Check out how cute the pictures have been so far.
But Biscuit's day care has changed the photography business they work with, and we're not pleased.

The previous photographers took the pictures in the morning, then had proof envelopes ready by that afternoon. But these new people, they took the pictures over a week ago. Then, instead of making proofs for us to look at, they printed every photo they took in every size they have available. And the prices are ridiculous! They want us to choose what we want and bring the others back in.

Throw in the fact that the photos are not good, and you can guess whether I'm planning to buy any of them. Two of the poses have fake smiles. One of them is a terribly old-fashioned, forced pose that you would never find a normal 3-year-old boy in. They don't show any of Biscuit's personality.

I realize that I have an advantage when I take photos of Biscuit because I can get faces and smiles and looks out of him that nobody else can. But hey, the other photographers did a great job, and they didn't know him. I have lots of photos of Biscuit that were taken by friends, and they were good.

Anyway, here are the photos. (And just so you know, the angle is a little off kilter because the flash was putting a glare on his face when I tried to take the photos straight on.)


Monday, March 26, 2012

He knows what he likes

A post from The Daddy Man:

These days, Mr. Biscuit is forming strong opinions about what what he wants to do and what he likes.

The other day, Kimmy had plans, so when I picked him up from day care, I asked him, "Hey, boy. You want to go to the pancake restaurant?"

He said, "No, Dad. I want to go to a restaurant called Chick-fil-A." Except he says Chick-fil-Way. "And I don't want to go to that one down there. I want to go to the one that's THAT way." And he pointed to the one 2 miles away instead of the 2 blocks away.

My theory is that since he's not quite big enough for the playground at our usual Chick-fil-A, Biscuit was hoping the playground at the other one might be easier to navigate.I think they're exactly the same, but hey, if he feels that strongly about it, I've got no problem taking him to the one he wants to go to.

Then this morning, Biscuit was sitting on the bed while we were getting ready to go. AC/DC's "Back in Black" came on the radio. I'm a big AC/DC fan, and Biscuit and I sometimes listen to it in the car, which means he's familiar with a lot of their music.

Kimmy leaned her head out of the bathroom and saw Biscuit sitting on the middle of our bed, nodding his head along with the music.

She asked him if he liked that song, and Biscuit said, "Yeah, Mom. I really feel this song. I really feel it."

Rock on with your independent self, Biscuit.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Parenting around the world

A couple of our friends invited us over for a cookout yesterday evening. They also invited their fairly new neighbors, who happen to be in the U.S. on a two-year work contract from England.

First of all, I'll just go ahead and admit that I hung on their every word, just because I loved their accents.

But what was more interesting that their accents was learning about some of their parenting processes.

They have two young children, and as is often the case, one of their children is a pickier eater than the other. I asked the mom how she handles that.

"We make what we make for everyone," she said. "She (their youngest child) often just picks at her meal, but we tell her at every meal that if she doesn't eat her meal, she doesn't get pudding."

I was thinking, "Do they have pudding after every meal?" But after listening to her talk about it for a minute, I realized that "pudding" encompasses all desserts. Then I remembered the line from the rock song, "If you don't eat your meat, how can you have any pudding?"

Then, as parents are wont to do, we started trading kid accomplishments. I told her that Biscuit counts to 27 now, but for some reason, 15 is nonexistent. He never says 15. Oddly enough, when their son was learning to count, he always skipped 15, too.

Then we talked about speech patterns. Their little girl, who is just a few months older than Biscuit, makes the "D" sound for the letter "G." So instead of a dog, she sees a dod.

So I told them about Biscuit swapping out "L" sounds for "W." As in, my firetruck has a wadder instead of a ladder.

I think the thing I most identified with was when they were getting ready to go, their two kids tried to sneak another chocolate-covered strawberry each. I can't blame them. They were delicious.

Their mom was saying goodbye to our host with her back to the kids. She didn't see what they were doing, so I called her name and pointed to the kids.

"No, no, no," she said. "You've each already had one of those." 

The little girl didn't seem too bothered, but the boy was not happy and started to get a little whiny.

The mom realized they had put their hands on the strawberries, so she grabbed a napkin and said, "Since you handled these, we'll take them home to have later."

Well, the boy took that to mean that as soon as they walked across the yard back to their house, they were going to get to eat those strawberries. But the mom broke his heart by telling him that they would put them in the fridge to have the next day.

"But the chocolate will melt. It will melt, and they won't be good anymore," the little boy whined.

But the mom stood strong.

"Listen, the sillier you act about this, the less likely your chances to eat these tomorrow," she said.

Whoa! The words were a little different, but I swear, that exact sentiment has come out of my mouth so many times with Biscuit.

I guess it all boils down to the fact that parenting is parenting, no matter where you come from.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dancing spiders

Don't worry. There are no actual spiders in this post.

Biscuit was playing with his activity table this morning. He switched it over to Spanish and was dancing to the lady singing an alphabet song. He started making some weird motions with his hands.

"What are you doing with your hands, boy?" Jeff asked.

"These are my spiders, and they're dancing," Biscuit said.

Makes sense, we use those "spiders" all the time when we sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sharing memories

One of the things I like about writing a blog is that it will give Biscuit a running account of the first years of his life. I have similar memories in a baby book my Mama made for me. And I have Jeff's baby book, too. So I hope Biscuit enjoys looking back and seeing some of the fun and funny things he did.

But I also want to share my own childhood memories with Biscuit.

It seems like every time I have to memorize a new password or PIN, a memory I'd like to keep floats out of my head. So I've been thinking about writing down some stories for Biscuit and also my brothers kids.

One of these memories came back to me this afternoon.

While I was out for lunch, I was stopped at a red light. To my left, there was a taxi cab. There was a driver and one passenger. Nothing unusual except that the passenger was in the front seat.

When I was a kid, my brother and I got to spend a couple of weeks each summer with our Granny and Grandaddy, who lived a whole state away. That was big adventure for us.

While we were there, we'd usually get to spend a couple of nights with our great aunt and great uncle. They never got to have kids of their own, and I always thought that was a waste. I think they would've been great parents.

Anyway, our great aunt didn't drive, so one day when our great uncle wasn't home and our great aunt needed to go to the grocery store, she called a cab. Saying she was going to call a cab was as foreign to my brother and me as saying she was going to call a UFO to take us to town.

But sure enough, she called a cab, and about 10 minutes later, the taxi showed up in her driveway.

My brother and I got in the back seat, but my aunt, who clearly knew the cab driver, got in the front seat. I was completely flustered for two reasons. First of all, the cab driver was a woman. And secondly, in all the TV shows and movies I had seen, nobody EVER got in the front seat of a cab. I didn't even know you could do that.

We got to the grocery store (the Red & White), and Aunt Loney (not her real name, but that's what we called her) told the cab driver to come back in an hour. We went into the five and dime that was next door to the grocery store. Aunt Loney always let us buy some kind of toy or puzzle or book. Then we went in to get groceries.

Just as we were heading out the door, we spotted the cab waiting for us in front of the store. I was so impressed that Aunt Loney figured out the timing so closely. And I also thought we were big and fancy, for getting to ride in a cab. As far as I knew, that was something people in big cities and movies did. But not that day.

If the cab driver I saw today had looked over at me this afternoon, he probably would've wondered about the silly grin on my face. Hopefully, this story will one day put a smile on Biscuit's face.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

We're almost there

Just for kicks, I went back to see what I was writing around this time last year. And guess what? I was whining and griping about basketball then, too!

We're in the home stretch. It's only a couple more weeks before the basketball season will be over. And I'm as tired of complaining about it as my friends and family are of hearing about it.

And I can't get away from it anywhere.

I took Biscuit to a pediatric dentist this morning. He has to have his tooth filled because his cavity is in one of the molars he'll have until he's about 12. The doctor was WAY too peppy for me, but he had that just-right personality to work with kids.

He gave Biscuit about 80 high-fives, and asked him all kinds of questions about stuff he likes, including the firetruck on the shirt he was wearing. He had this toy drawer full of bright, colorful stuff to choose from and a sticker drawer with every cartoon character you can think of. He told Biscuit that he was such a good helper, he could take one thing from each drawer.

I'm sure he does that with all his patients, but the glow on Biscuit's face made it seem like that was the first time a thing like that had ever happened.

Today's visit was a consultation. They needed to see how Biscuit would behave, so they could devise their treatment plan. From what the dentist saw today, Biscuit will get laughing gas to relax him, then they'll do the numbing gel, then a shot, then the filling. 

The doctor said to me, "By the way, we don't use four-letter words around here." Then he smiled. I looked at him waiting for an explanation. "You know, s-h-o-t." Here's proof of how peppy this guy is. He said they use terms like "sleepy gel" and "nap time juice."

There were so many times I wanted to crack jokes at the appointment. But I behaved as an adult and kept my mouth shut.

The doctor looked at the info sheet I filled out. It listed where Jeff and I work, and that always starts a conversation. People seem to be fascinated by our jobs. It makes me wonder that if people are so interested in newspapers, why have subscription rates dropped at every newspaper I know? People  want to know what you do and how you do it and how you got into doing it. You'd think if there was that much interest, more people would be getting subscriptions.

Then they find out what Jeff does. They always say things like, "Wow! You get to go to all the college basketball games for free?" or "You mean your JOB is watching basketball games?" or "Do you secretly pull for one of the teams around here?"

I get a little defensive on Jeff's behalf. His JOB is not simply watching basketball games. His job is tracking and analyzing the games then writing about them in a way that people can understand not only what happened in the game, but what affect it's going to have going forward. And he didn't grow up anywhere near here, so no, he doesn't secretly pull for any teams.

So in a couple of weeks, I'll quit complaining about Jeff being away at basketball games.

And I'll START complaining about him being around too much!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

Here are a few things Biscuit has been saying lately:

Nails: Biscuit was in the bathtub playing one night. He had boats and pirates and ducks and whatever other toys he could get his hands on all floating around him.

He suddenly stopped playing and started picking at his big toe. "What's wrong, Biscuit?" I asked him.

"It's my footnail, Mom," Biscuit said. "Can you fix my footnail?"

Biscuit had a little chip in his big toenail and wanted me to fix it. Sometimes it's logic over linguistics.

Not a toy: Griffin was getting over a cold last week, so he was a little clingy. I was holding him as he laid his head on my shoulder. And my thoughts were alternating between how nice it felt to hold him like I used to when he was little and holy moly how big this kid has gotten. 

When I used to hold him on my shoulder, his feet didn't even touch my lap. Nowadays, he can kneel on my lap and lay his head on my shoulder.

Anyway, I reached up and was running my fingers through his hair. That's always been a relaxing thing for him. As a matter of fact, he plays with his own hair when he's tired. He's done it every since he's had hair.

So I was playing with his hair while his head was on my shoulder, and he said to me, "Mom, what are you doing?"

"I'm playing with your hair," I said.

"Mom, my hair is not a toy," he said.

Alrighty then. And I stopped playing with his hair.

Toppings: Jeff and I do not agree on pizza toppings. He likes pepperoni and mushrooms, and I ... well, I don't like pepperoni and mushrooms. So we usually order a medium with Jeff's toppings and a medium with toppings Biscuit and I like.

Now, Biscuit has turned traitor.

We were eating our appointed pizzas when Biscuit looked over at Jeff's slice.

"Dad, can I try that red food on your pizza?" Biscuit asked.

"Sure, boy," Jeff said, then he gave Biscuit a bite.

"I like that red food, Dad," Biscuit said. "Can I have some more?"

Oh well. Now Jeff will have to share HIS pizza with Biscuit.

I'm Dad: Jeff was covering a game recently, so Biscuit and I were on our own for dinner.

When I got to the table, I sat down in Jeff's chair. "I'm Dad," I told Biscuit.

"Okay, Mom ... I mean Dad," Biscuit said. "I'm going to ask you a question. Dad?"

"Yes?" I asked.

"No, Mom," Biscuit said. "If you're Dad, you have to say, 'Yes, boy?' or 'Yes, dude?'"

Jeff calls him "boy" and "dude" all the time, but it surprised me that he was paying attention that closely. It makes you wonder what else he's hearing!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Family time

Since Jeff covered the tournament in town over the weekend, he had today off. So on the way to pick up Biscuit from day care, I called Jeff and said, "Meet us at day care, then you can ride with us."

Jeff knows better than to even ask. He just hops in the car when I tell him to, buckles his seatbelt, then waits to see where we'll end up. Back before Biscuit was even thought about, our impromptu trips might have taken us to the beach or the mountains or who knows where.

But nowadays, across town is about as far as we can make it without some pretty major planning and organizing.

I get so out of sorts the closer we get to the end of basketball season. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I also have to remind myself that even when Jeff gets to move on to something else, it takes a while for the three of us to get back into sync. It's the little things that are hardest.

Like this morning. Biscuit has a cough, and it seemed to get worse over the weekend. So this morning, I called the on-call nurse at his pediatrician's office. I had to leave a message and wait for her to call me back. I thought I would make the call, then get in the shower and let Jeff talk to the nurse if she called back before I got out of the shower.

Then it occurred to me that Jeff couldn't take the call because he wasn't home all weekend. He had no idea how often Biscuit had been having coughing fits. He didn't know that I checked Biscuit's temperature several times during the weekend. He didn't know how unusually long Biscuit's weekend naps were.

I was sad because I know Jeff hates missing out on things at home. I was mad because that kind of stuff makes me feel like a single parent. I was frustrated because I knew waiting on the call-back was going to make me late for work.

Big picture, that stuff is not a huge deal. But right now, this morning, it was a huge deal.

Anyway, that's sort of what made me change my plans of going to the grocery store after work. I decided that the three of us were going to spend the evening together. We needed the time together.

So Jeff met us at day care, and we went to the park. 

We played on the slides and the swings, and we sat on the concrete turtles and frogs and pretended they were horses. And Biscuit mastered a couple of pieces of equipment that he wasn't big enough to do last year. And with a little help from me, he slid down the fire pole three times. "THREE TIMES, MOM!" Biscuit said. "I slide down three times!"

We left the park and went to eat Mexican food. Our boy loves to get a quesadilla, black beans and chips and salsa. We were talking and enjoying our food when Biscuit made an announcement.

Biscuit has done great with the bathroom stuff, but he still doesn't understand that not everybody needs to know about his bathroom habits.

Biscuit was about halfway done with dinner when he said, "I have to poo. Guys, I have to poo." And it was loud enough that the tables around us HAD to have heard him. Of course, I'm sure nobody thinks twice about that coming from a 3-year-old. We'll just have to make sure to teach him about discretion before he gets too much older.

We came home from dinner and played a rousing game of Cootie. And for those who aren't clued in to the toddler-game scene, to play Cootie, you roll a die that gets you different body parts of a bug. The first one to complete building his or her bug wins. You have a head and body, eyes, ears or antennae, lips or tongue and six legs. Roll a 1 and get a body. Roll a 2 and get a head. Roll a 6 and get a leg.

Jeff just gave Biscuit a bath, and soon it will be bedtime.

I keep telling myself that soon enough, this will be the norm, not the exception. And until then, I'll just hold on to tonight and my time with my boys.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rescue time

There is some major rescuing going on at our house today. 

All kinds of animals and people have been in trouble, and I can't tell you how many times I've had to pretend to dial the phone to call the fire department.

Biscuit has to put on all his equipment. He has his fire boots, his fire coat, fire helmet, his face mask, his air tanks and his fire dog, Sparky.

Most days I'm convinced that my Biscuit is going to grow up to be a firefighter, but today, with the setup of these firetrucks and rescue personnel, he might be pretty good at making movies. Isn't it cool how all of his rescue workers are lined up?

Friday, March 16, 2012

He's ba-a-a-a-ck!

Biscuit and I had a really nice evening together. It was a nice change from some of the trying times we've had in the past week.

On the way home from day care, I told Biscuit we were having chicken for dinner. The kid likes chicken. Well, when it's cooked certain ways.

"We're having CHICKEN?" Biscuit said. It doesn't really translate here, but the first part of the word "chicken" started in a regular tone, then went up about four octaves at the end of the word.

As we were riding, we talked about a fire truck we saw. Then we talked about a motorcycle. Then we saw some dogs being walked down the sidewalk. Then it got quiet for a little while.

Then out of nowhere, Biscuit said, "I like you when you have chicken, Mom." Not that he likes chicken. He likes ME when I feed him chicken. I wanted to ask him what about the rest of the time.

Then we rode some more.

Then Biscuit said, "It's a nice thing to do, Mom. The chicken is a nice thing to do."

Then we rode some more.

"I'm so proud that you're giving me chicken, Mom," Biscuit said.

He ate well at dinner. His chicken was accompanied by sweet potatoes. And by looking at the pictures below, you can tell I didn't wipe his mouth after we were done. Oh well. We had fun anyway, dirty mouth and all.

Then we went outside to play. Thank goodness for the time change.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our night got better

The time after Biscuit's bath has always been the best time of our evening. He loves playing in the water, so he's almost always in a good mood once bathtime is over. Jeff gave Biscuit his bath tonight. There was some drama getting Biscuit into the tub, but once he played for a while, then got washed up, then got out, his life was much improved.

Here's my clean boy. Biscuit got a haircut this week. He was quite a hippie before we found the time to take him for a trim.

Biscuit is becoming so much more of a little boy instead of a baby, and this is what little boys' legs look like. Poor little bruised-up legs.


He was in such a good mood tonight, we had a dance party. Check him out:

Not nice at all

I think aliens have taken my child and replaced him with a different little boy.

Here are the reasons I believe this to be true:

Scary stuff: Biscuit told Jeff this evening, "Dad, there's a shark and a zombie."

"Oh, yeah?" Jeff said. "What's a zombie?"

"Um, it's a, it's a, it's a, um, it's a man," Biscuit said.

Zombie?!? Who told him about zombies?

Mean, mean, mean: Jeff went into our bedroom to get Biscuit for his bath. He was watching an episode of a show he likes. Jeff had told him he could watch the show, but he didn't realize it was a 1-hour show instead of a half-hour show, and bathtime was drawing nigh.

"Biscuit, let's get your bath,"Jeff said to him.

"But I'm still watching this show," Biscuit said.

"Come on," Jeff said. "We need to go now. And besides, you've seen this one already."

And do you know what Biscuit said? "Go away. I want to watch this."

He's not gonna take it anymore: Last night, I was lying on my size of mine and Jeff's king-size bed, and Jeff was lying on the other side. We both had our backs toward the middle of the bed, and we were both reading. And Biscuit was in the middle of the bed watching his nightly TV episode.

Suddenly, Biscuit started to cry.

"What's wrong?" I asked him.

"Um, I don't have a place to lay down," Biscuit wailed.

"You've got the whole middle of the bed," I said to him.

"No, Mom. That's not my spot. I don't have a spot," Biscuit said.

We went back and forth a few times, then I guess Biscuit was done talking about it.

He slide off the end of our bed and walked to the bedroom door.

He looked back and Jeff and me, threw his hand in the air and said, "I'm outta here!"

It seems like I've written so many bad things about Biscuit lately. He's definitely going through some stuff. He wants his independence, but there are still so many things he can't do on his own. He's testing his boundaries to see how much Jeff and I will take before we push back. He's a smart kid, and he puts things together that are beyond his years. But his emotional maturity isn't quite as far along.

These are the times that try Mamas' souls.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Or else!

Biscuit often says things that seem way beyond his years. Jeff and I always share the same look that says, "Where in the world did THAT come from?"

But sometimes, Biscuit can't quite find the words he needs.

Yesterday, Biscuit was trying his best to get me to move so he could sit beside Jeff on the couch. But he was being very rude about it. Needless to say, Mama don't play that! I assured him that talking to me like that wouldn't get him the results he desired.

At that point, Biscuit wanted to let me know he was serious. So he was trying to come up with some consequences for my action of not moving. The only problem for him is that he couldn't come up with any consequences to use.

Biscuit stammered a bit and looked around trying to find the right words. "Mom, if you don't move ... um ... if you don't ... um ..." You could see the wheels turning in his little head. "Mom, if you don't move over and let me sit by Dad, then ... um ... I'm gonna call you Mom AND Dad."

Well, THAT'll teach me!

I don't even know what that means. And I'm guessing Biscuit didn't either. But that was the best threat he could come up with.

Biscuit did get a seat after all, it just wasn't the one he wanted. I made him sit in one of the dining room chairs for a little while, and you'd have thought I slapped his face off. He was inconsolable. I wanted to tell him to sit in that chair and think about what he'd done, but I didn't need to say anything. He knew what he had done.

He finally calmed down, and I let him come back into the living room. He still wasn't happy, but he didn't mouth off at me again.

I hate having to be so stern with my baby boy. But I'd hate it even more if he never learned that being rude to people is wrong. I guess playing Bad Cop every once in a while just comes with the territory of being a Mama.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Our house is in a bit of chaos right now.

Jeff was at an out-of-town basketball tournament from Wednesday until last night (3:15 this morning, to be exact).

My parents came up Thursday and stayed until yesterday afternoon.

We lost an hour because of the time change over the weekend.

I had to return to the dentist to have a crown done today. I have a temporary crown that will be replaced with a permanent one in two weeks.

Biscuit and I are still getting over colds.

My car is in the shop for a repair, so we have one car between the three of us.

Add up all those things, and you get chaos.

Biscuit was so excited to spend time with my parents. He would play and talk and sing and laugh so much that he would reduce himself to total exhaustion. And when he's that tired, he heads toward grumpiness and restlessness.

Throw in the time change, and Biscuit's schedule was all out of whack. We all got up an hour later Sunday morning. We ran a couple of errands, then my parents headed home. Biscuit was sad about them leaving. But I could also tell that he was really tired. I didn't really want to put him down for a nap because it was already 3:30 when Mama and Daddy left. But I could tell he wasn't going to last through the evening without one.

I put Biscuit down for a nap, and the child slept 3 1/2 hours. I could not wake him up. I tried four times, and his eyes were so heavy that they never even focused on me. I knew my night was going to be a late one. I couldn't get that baby asleep Sunday night until 11:40 p.m.

I finally got to sleep about midnight, then Jeff got home at 3:15. After chatting with him about his trip, I guess I probably got to sleep around 5 a.m. Biscuit and I both struggled getting up this morning, plus we were trying to be really quiet so Jeff could get some sleep.

Jeff was off today, and I had my dentist appointment this afternoon. But because I had the car, a friend of ours picked Jeff up at home and brought him to the dentist office so he could drive me home.

I swear, I feel like I've planned, scheduled, finagled, switched and swapped this past week more than I have in a long, long time.

When we got home, Biscuit was glued to Jeff. He was so excited that Jeff was home.

But Biscuit was also on edge. He was unusually whiny. He cried for no reason. And he didn't want me to have any part of Jeff. I was sitting on the couch beside Jeff, and Biscuit walked up and said, "Move, Mom. I want to sit by Dad."

Excuse me?!? I told him I wouldn't move. 1. Because I wanted to sit beside Jeff and 2. Because he didn't ask or say please. Upon hearing that, Biscuit melted down. He was truly heartbroken. At one point, he sort of crumpled to the floor and sobbed. It took us a good hour to get him settled down and back to his normal happy, easy-going self.

We'll have two days of normal, then Jeff has to cover another tournament this weekend. And I think if we can hold on until then, we'll make it through.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Is basketball season over yet?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Question answered

Remember when Biscuit had the nightmare about the snakes? And I wondered how long he would remember it?

Well, I got my answer.

Last night, Biscuit was having some kind of intense dream. He was clearly mad about something, and he was talking to someone in a very stern voice. I went up and checked on him. He was awake when I got up there.

"Do you remember what you were dreaming about?" I asked.

"I don't remember, but I wasn't dreaming about snakes!" Biscuit said.

Question answered.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Look at that cute baby

For a couple of years now, I've been trying to get Biscuit to understand that his Dad goes to basketball games for work. No matter how I try, the boy just doesn't get it.

"Mom, where's Dad?" he'll ask.

"Dad is at the basketball game," I'll say.

"No, Mom! Dad is at work," Biscuit will say.

"Basketball IS work," I'll respond.

But no matter how many times we've had this conversation, it always comes back to me saying Jeff is at a basketball game, and Biscuit saying he's at work.

Same goes for seeing Jeff on TV. A couple of the colleges he covers have the press table down the side of the basketball court. So depending on the camera angle, we can sometimes see Jeff on TV. But Biscuit doesn't believe it's really Jeff, even though he sees him sitting there.

My parents are in town to keep Biscuit and me company while Jeff is out of town at a tournament. (Is basketball season EVER going to be over?!?) I wanted to show them a project I did recently, so I put a DVD in the player. Just as the index came up, Biscuit walked into the room. I recently put a bunch of Biscuit videos on a DVD, including him eating baby food for the first time, learning to stand, just getting started with walking and lots of other fun and cute moments.

My parents and I were laughing at all the noises and faces Biscuit was making. But Biscuit just kept staring at the screen.

"Mom, that baby is cute," Biscuit said. "He's a cute baby."

"That's you," I told him. "That's you when you were a little tiny baby."

Biscuit kept asking questions. "Why is that baby laughing?" "Why did he do that?" "What is that baby trying to say?"

But just like he doesn't get seeing Jeff on TV, he didn't understand seeing himself on TV, either. Biscuit kept saying "he" when he was talking about the baby on TV. He never quite put it together that the baby was him.

There are so many things Biscuit has learned since he got here. Many of those things have been pretty easy to teach him. Or at least they've been easy enough to explain that he was able to understand them right away. But there are so many concept-type things that you can't really teach. They just come with experience and time.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spit it out

I realize this is going to sound like a completely ridiculous question, but does anyone know how to teach a 3-year-old boy to spit?

To be honest, I figured all boy children would come pre-equipped with things like knowing how to throw a ball, knowing how to make a car noise and knowing how to spit. But alas, I was wrong.

Until Biscuit's visit to the dentist the other day, we had been using baby toothpaste (or training toothpaste, as they call it) to brush his teeth. It's made not to hurt the kids if they swallow it. And Biscuit usually did just that because we have failed in our efforts to teach the child to spit.

Here's how it usually goes:

"Okay, Biscuit," I'll say. "I'm going to take a little drink of this water, but I'm not going to swallow it. I'm not going to drink it. I'm just going to slosh it around in my mouth, then I'm going to spit it out."

Then I take a drink, slosh it around and spit the water into the sink.

"Can you do that?" I asked him. Then he takes a drink, promptly swallows it, then leans over the sink and makes some sort of "pssththhhhhsss" noise.

"See, Mom?" Biscuit will say. "I did it! I did it!"

And I have to break his little heart and say, "No, you didn't do it. Want to try again?"

It doesn't seem like spitting would be a hard thing to teach, but think about it. Pretend you're trying to explain to someone how to do it. It's harder to explain than you'd think.

We got Biscuit some "big-boy" toothpaste with fluoride in it on the advice of the dentist. I understand that Biscuit needs the fluoride, but our pediatrician had told us not to use fluoride toothpaste until Biscuit learned to spit it out. It's not good for him to swallow it.

It's a catch-22.

We'll keep working with Biscuit, and he'll get it when he gets it. But it's just been funny to Jeff and me that something so simple could be so complicated.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has been saying lately:

I love his explanations: "Mom, do you know what a knight is? A knight is a man that when someone needs to be rescued, he does it. That's what a knight is." 

He didn't say it yet: Sometimes Biscuit learns new things, and we just look at him in awe, wondering where and how he learned such a thing. 

And then there are times that he learns new things, and you wish his brain was like a computer desktop, where you could click on the newly-learned-behavior file hit delete! 

One such delete-worthy thing happened the other night when I called him to dinner. 

"Biscuit, dinner is ready," I said. "Come to the table." 

"But I didn't say I was hungry yet," Biscuit said. "I have to say I'm hungry before it's time to eat dinner." 

So I stood there and stared at him as he shifted his weight back and forth from foot to foot. 

"Mom, I'm hungry," Biscuit said.  

So let me get this straight. Less than a minute ago, he wasn't hungry, which meant he couldn't come to dinner. Then his state of hunger magically changed over the course of a minute? 

And it doesn't end there. I've also heard, "I didn't say I was thirsty yet, Mom," and "I didn't say I was tired yet, Mom," and "I didn't say I was ready to go yet, Mom." 

At what point to I get to shake him?!? 

Out of sorts: Biscuit, Jeff and I were riding in the car, and I scolded Jeff about tailgating. A few seconds went by and Biscuit said, "Don't get in a fuss, Mom." 

A nice helper: Biscuit came running into the living room this evening pinching his index finger and thumb together. "Mom, Mom, this nice hermit crab got the booger out of my nose. He's a good helper."

I can't comment on this last item because frankly, I was (and still am) speechless.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A date with the dentist

Biscuit had his first trip to the dentist today. Any time spent worrying about how he was going to do was wasted. He did fine, and it should never have occurred to me that he wouldn't.

He loves going to his regular doctor. He always chats with the nurses and the doctor, and he talks about his visit for the rest of the day.And the dentist was no different. He chatted up everybody, did exactly what they asked him to do, and talked about it for the rest of the day.

Jeff and I needed a new dentist, so I made appointments for all three of us at the same place at the same time. Jeff was at 8:30. Biscuit was at 9:10. And I was at 10. I was a little worried about the spacing of the appointments, but with paperwork, insurance and a toddler to deal with, the time passed quickly.

Jeff went first, so Biscuit and I hung out in the waiting room. There was a big box of toys in the corner, and lo and behold, Biscuit found a firetruck in there. After the firetruck, he went for a big brightly colored mailbox.

An older man in the waiting room was smiling and watching Biscuit as he played.

"Is there any mail in there for me?" the man asked Biscuit.

"Yes. You have some mail in here," Biscuit said. Then he hauled the mailbox over to the chair beside the man. "Here you go," Biscuit said as he handed the man a plastic block from the mailbox. "This is fire mail. That's when a firefighter brings a letter just for you."

"Fire mail? Well that's my favorite kind of mail," the man said as Biscuit flashed him a big smile. That's when I made the assumption (correctly so, I found out later) that the man is a grandfather. He brought his kids to that office. And now his grandkids see the dentists there, too. He, his wife and his mother all still go there as well. Hearing that, as well as hearing good recommendations from a couple of friends, made me feel pretty comfortable about taking myself and my boys there.

They called Biscuit back, and I had to gather our jackets, a police car, two firefighter action figures, a sippy cup of milk, two clipboards, a pen, one of Biscuit's books and my pocketbook. Biscuit followed the hygienist down the hall. And as we walked into the room, I had to smile as he walked straight to the chair and climbed in. He looked so tiny and so grown up all at the same time.

I asked the hygienist if she would mind me taking a couple of pictures. And she said, "I definitely don't mind. As a matter of fact, when parents bring kids in for the first time and don't bring their cameras, I always think, 'This is your child's first dentist appointment. Where the heck is your camera?'"

The hygienist put the paper-towel-on-a-chain around Biscuit's neck and clipped it into place. Biscuit looked at me and whispered, "Mom, this is a bib. I don't need a bib."

I laughed and told him that everybody who goes to the dentist has to wear one of those. "Even Dad is wearing one in that room over there," I said to Biscuit.

The one and only time Biscuit seemed nervous was when the hygienist started reclining the chair. He shifted in his seat and turned to look at me. I reached out and grabbed his hand.

"You won't fall, baby," I told him. "I've got your hand. Nothing is going to happen."

Biscuit opened his mouth really wide before the hygienist was even ready. She checked out his teeth, then used the polisher on him. He sat really still through the whole thing. 

The dentist came in and introduced herself to Biscuit. She was really nice, but she talked baby talk to Biscuit. I didn't talk baby talk to Biscuit when he was a baby! I wondered if Biscuit would notice, and he did. He looked at me with the Belushi/Christmas lights face. I just smiled at him and patted his arm.

I'm sad to report that Biscuit has a cavity in one of his molars, so he has to have it filled. I asked the dentist if she could do the filling there at their office, but she said she'd rather refer us to a pediatric dentist. She said she wanted to make sure that Biscuit's first dental procedure was a good experience for him. Or as good as a dental procedure can be.

Apparently, the two main culprits in toddler cavities are genetics and the fact that baby teeth are more porous than permanent teeth, which allows them to be penetrated more easily. So after I digested everything the dentist was telling me, I started to wonder, "Is there anything I could've done to prevent Biscuit's cavity?" We brush his teeth every day. We make sure he drinks water and not just juice. He doesn't like a lot of sweets.

But thankfully, the dentist only found one thing we're doing wrong. Biscuit is more of a sipper than a drinker. He drinks at meals, but he always seems to have a cup of watered-down juice floating around somewhere. The dentist said to change his sipping cup to water and only give him juice or milk with his meals. That's definitely something we can do.

We can't do anything about how our genetics affect Biscuit, but we can certainly make sure we're taking good care of his teeth. And his first visit to the dentist was a good way to start.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Unsweet dreams

When I was pregnant, I read that unborn babies start to have dreams somewhere around Week 24 of pregnancy. I asked my doctor if that was true, and she confirmed it.

"What could they possibly dream about?" I asked her. It's not like they've had any experiences.

Apparently, they dream about digestion sounds and music and other noises they hear through the amniotic fluid. Granted, all those sounds would be muffled, but they would still be enough stimuli to prompt the brain into dreams.

So Biscuit has been dreaming since before he even arrived.

Sometimes at night, we hear him saying words or short sentences through the baby monitor. We can usually get a pretty good handle on what he's dreaming about. But until last night, he's never remembered what he's dreamed about. Or if he did remember, he wasn't able to put it into words.

About 3 a.m., this scream (actually, scream isn't really a strong enough word to describe the noise Biscuit made, but let's just go with scream) came through the baby monitor.

Jeff and I were so startled, we both jumped straight out of bed. I started yelling Biscuit's name as Jeff ran up the stairs. Jeff quickly took down the baby gate at Biscuit's bedroom door and walked over to Biscuit's bed. Biscuit was too scared and wouldn't even reach for Jeff.

"Turn your light on," Jeff said pretty loudly, trying to get Biscuit to listen to what he was saying. "Turn your light on!"

Biscuit was yelling and crying at the same time as he tried to tell Jeff that there were snakes all over his bed, and one of the snakes was biting his arm. Jeff was having a hard time convincing Biscuit that the snakes weren't real.

Jeff finally brought Biscuit downstairs and put him in bed with us. It took us a little while to calm Biscuit down, but pretty soon, he and Jeff were both sound asleep. I, on the other hand, was not! My heart was still pounding. I just kept staring at Biscuit, like if I looked at him hard enough, I could delete all the bad dreams from his head.

To this point, Biscuit has never been able to recall a nightmare or even a good dream the morning after it happens. And I was hoping that would be the case with this awful snake thing.

But it wasn't. When Biscuit woke up, I asked him if he slept well.

"I slept well, Mom," he said. "Except those snakes were on my bed, and that one was biting me."

We got him ready and took him to daycare as usual. His teachers said he had a good day, and everything seems fine. 

The curious part of me would like to know if he still remembers the dream, but the protective Mama part of me hopes it's completely gone from his little head.

I want sweet dreams for my baby. And I hope that's what he has tonight.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Photographer Biscuit

Biscuit has become fascinated with our camera. Every time he sees it, he asks to take a picture. He always wants to take a picture of me and a picture of Jeff. Then he wants us to take a picture of him.

It's fine. It's actually fun. He gets all excited. He's learning something new. And I would love it if photography is something he gets interested in.

The problem is that the camera is heavy and a little large, so Biscuit can't hold it by himself. So there is no way that I can help him hold the camera, turn the zoom all the way out and end up with a nice photo of me.

I don't like to have my picture taken anyway, but especially close up at a bad angle!

But ultimately, I need to get over myself. Biscuit enjoys looking at the photos, and that's all that should matter.

Here are a few pictures he's taken recently:

A way-too-up-close photo of me that Biscuit took first thing in the morning.

At least it isn't just me. He got Jeff, too.

Biscuit wanted me to take a picture of him making a funny face.

Biscuit wanted to take a picture of the dark. He showed me where he wanted to take it. As soon as he snapped it, he yelled, "I DID IT! I DID IT!"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I lost, and I'm mad about it!

Biscuit loves the fire station he picked out at the consignment sale we went to the other night. At least 5 times since we got it, he's walked over to me and said, "Thank you for buying that fire station for me, Mom. I like it a lot."

Besides the fact that I'm amazed and proud every time he uses his manners, I just love that he's starting to understand gratitude.

Remember the cool retro fire station Biscuit got for Christmas? Well, he has arranged what you might call a "fire station village." He's got his two fire stations, what seems like 85 fire trucks, a few mismatched firefighters and one fire dog named Sparky all grouped together near the fireplace. (I'm not sure if the fireplace location is on purpose or not.)

His new fire station came with a truck, but none of the firefighters he has fits in the driver's seat of the truck. The set originally came with a couple of firefighters and a couple of hoses, but even without those pieces, it was still worth $4 for just the station and truck. I went online to see if I could find a couple of replacement firefighters. To buy them new, they were incredibly expensive. To order one male firefighter, one female firefighter, one fire dog and one hydrant, it would've been $29.99, not counting shipping. I don't think so!

So I found some on an online auction. There were two firefighters and a fire dog of the namebrand I needed, and the highest bid was $2.75. The auction was 19 hours away from being complete, so I decided I would keep my eye on it and bid close to the end. The shipping price was $2.50, so I had some room for raising the bid without breaking the bank.

I waited until 10 minutes before the auction ended, and I upped the bid by a quarter. It was at $3.50, and I was poised and ready to kick it all the way up to an even 4 bucks.

I figured out that normally, raising a bid is a two-step process. You type in your bid and click OK. Then you get a message saying "Are you sure you want to raise your bid to X?" And you click OK again.

Then I noticed a button that said, "One-click bid." I made a bad assumption. I thought I would wait until 10 or 15 seconds were left, then I'd use the one-click bid button, and I'd win the firefighters for Biscuit.

Wrong. The one-click bid button didn't work. I lost the auction.

I was SO MAD! Especially because the other available firefighters were just not what I wanted.

I told Jeff that the whole thing was sort of silly, anyway, because it's not like the kid NEEDS another firefighter, much less two more firefighters and a fire dog. But sometimes, you just want to complete the set.

Or if you'd rather hear the sad truth, I WAS WINNING!!! And I LIKE to win!

Friday, March 2, 2012

'Tis the season

If you ask most people what season it is, they'll say it's winter.

I'd say they're wrong. It's spring consignment sale season!

I went to my first spring sale yesterday evening. Jeff had to a basketball game (tired of reading that yet?!?), so Biscuit and I headed over to a Presbyterian church downtown. I lucked into an early-bird shopping ticket, and I was glad because by the time I got to this same sale back in the fall, everything was pretty well picked over.

A male friend of mine from work was taking tickets at the front door. When Biscuit and I arrived, I introduced the two of them to each other.

My male friend is kind of a big guy, so he didn't notice that Biscuit had stepped forward and held his hand out for a shake. So Biscuit pulled his hand back a little bit then looked at me like he didn't know what to do next.

"Did you want to shake his hand?" I asked. Biscuit nodded his head.

"I'm sorry," my friend said, as he stepped forward and reached his hand out toward Biscuit.

"It's nice to meet you," Biscuit said. And I was very, very proud of him. He was quite the little gentleman.

"That's a nice grip, little man," my friend said. He got a big smile from Biscuit.

Following one of the most important laws of motherhood, I had a bowl of Goldfish in my pocketbook, so I sat Biscuit down under one of the racks and gave him his snack. He sat there and people-watched. Then he saw that they had toys.

"Mom, when you're done, can we go see the toys?" Biscuit asked.

He was being so good, I said, "When I'm done with the clothes, you can pick out a toy to take home."

I got a big smile for that.

We went over to the toy section, and Biscuit immediately honed in on two fire stations. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but Biscuit is crazy nuts over anything to do with firefighters. He looked between the fire stations like he was watching a tennis match.

"Can I get both of them, Mom?" he asked.

"No," I said. You have to pick one."

"I don't know, Mom," Biscuit said. So I picked up the one I thought had more to offer and started selling it to him. "This one has a door that goes up and down. It also has a ramp for the firetruck to roll down."

He finally made up his mind, and we headed to the checkout. I usually have to fight my way through the crowd, swap places with 6 or 8 other women and stand in line for at least half an hour to check out. But with my super-special-early-bird pass, I got in the checkout line with one person in front of me.

We got four pairs of shorts, four shirts, an outfit, a book and the fire station for $25. A pretty good haul.

A friend of mine is a master at these sales. She even sent me a list in chart form this past week. I don't think I can top her sales skills, but it'll be fun to try.