Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall vacation

This is the view from where I'm sitting right now. It's dark, so my camera did some weird things with the focus, but yep, those are ocean waves.


I've been working on a big computer upgrade at work, and vacation time has been scarce. So when I saw a window to get some time off, I jumped on it.

It seemed like my timing was pretty good. The hotel we like had their oceanfront king-bed rooms for $50 a night, so I made our reservation for Monday through Friday of this week.

Then, we heard about the hurricane. And it was heading right over where we were planning to stay.

Things have been so stressful at our house that Jeff and I were just determined we were going to get here. So we called the hotel and asked them if we could swap our reservation from Monday through Friday to Tuesday through Saturday. That would leave an extra day for the storm to move out. They're not that busy this time of year, so they were fine with the change.

But then my car broke.

My first car was a 1970 Mustang. If I opened the hood, I could pretty much tell you what everything was. With the car I have now, I'm barely able to add windshield washer fluid! Everything is computerized and complicated.

We have a good mechanic, so the first step was to get the car to him. At first, he couldn't figure out exactly what the problem was. Then, of course, it came down to computer modules. One bad module was causing several other good modules to freak out and act as if they were broken, too.

My car is much bigger than Jeff's car, so when the mechanic said he could have the car ready by lunch time today, we decided to wait it out, just for the convenience of having more room for packing. But when we went to pick it up, he couldn't get the new part to program correctly. Again, a computer problem.

We thought we'd be leaving town about 2 p.m., but it ended up being 4:30. And it was in Jeff's car. We had to leave mine with the mechanic. Jeff hadn't filled his gas tank because we thought we were taking the other car, so we had to get gas. Then we had to stop for dinner. Then we had to stop at the grocery store (because we eat breakfast and lunch in our hotel room).

We got to our hotel a little after 10 p.m.

We called the hotel before we left home to make sure they didn't have any storm damage and to tell them that we'd be checking in late. Luckily, the storm skipped over the hotel (and the whole area), and the lady at the front desk said to me, "Y'all just come on, hon. Your room is ready whenever."

By the time we got here, Jeff and I were tired and frustrated that we had missed half a day at the beach. But Biscuit ... he was WIDE OPEN!!!

"I SEE THE OCEAN!!!!!!! I HEAR THE OCEAN!!!!!" Biscuit yelled.

We kept having to shush him because most of the other people who are here at this time of the year are going to be fishing. And the fishermen get up early ... really early.

Biscuit has already declared that he wants to spend all day tomorrow digging in the sand. I brought plenty of layers to deal with whatever the weather is, so I hope to make Biscuit's wish come true.

Here are a few more photos from tonight:

This is the view from our fourth-floor room.

I don't think we'll be seeing anyone in the pool.
Can you see the pier in the background?

Too bad the moon couldn't have been full tomorrow night for Halloween.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Doin' the dance

Well, you've seen mine and Jeff's costume. Here's our best efforts at doing the dance. (Well, MY best effort. Jeff just had to stand there!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween dinner party

A friend of mine has had an annual Halloween party for years and years. Well, until last year.

She had an on-call shift for her job and for the first time in, I want to say 12 or 13 years, she wasn't able to have her party.

We all used to work at night, so this party wouldn't even start until about 1 a.m. Then we'd all be driving home in the daylight.

For most of us, those days are long gone. Most of us have day jobs now, and some of have kids. So another of our friends suggested a format change for the party. Why not make it a costumed dinner party?

So that's where we were this evening. A costumed dinner party.

Biscuit has been so excited about getting to dress up like a cowboy. This seems odd to me, seeing as he wears his cowboy costume about every third night. But I guess just having a reason to dress up was exciting for him.

Anyway, here's Biscuit as a cowboy:

Jeff and I had planned an elaborate costume, but we ran out of planning and preparation time. So we looked for something that would be a little easier. We also liked the idea of doing something current and popular.

Sooooo ...

We dressed up like the "Gangnam Style" video.

Here are a couple of stills from the video.

And here's Jeff and me.

If you haven't seen "Gangnam Style," look it up. You'll get a good laugh, and you can let us know how close our costumes were.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall photos

Here are a few photos from the past week:

This is a white chocolate bark I make every year for Halloween. It's
melted white chocolate with candy corn, pretzels and Halloween Oreos.
I took some to Biscuit's day care teachers and some to work.

Remember E. coli? He's the critter Biscuit found at the big picnic at the park. E. coli was bad,
and the police put him in jail. I'm not sure what he did, but he was in jail for quite a while.

I made instant oatmeal packets for Biscuit. I saw a recipe online and adapted
it a little. It's 1/4 cup quick-cook oatmeal, 1 T brown sugar and 1/8 t cinnamon or
1 t chocolate chips. You put the ingredients in snack-size bags. When it's time to
cook it, you add half a cup of milk or water and cook it for a minute in the microwave.
After it's done, you can add dried fruits or nuts or anything else you want.

While I was making Biscuit's oatmeal, I was watching the leaves fall
off one of the big trees in our backyard. They just started to turn yellow last
week, and they're already falling down. I love the color. I hate to rake!

Two of the bigger trees in our backyard.

Explain this to me. The trees in the backyard are turning yellow and orange,
but I have tea roses and old-fashioned roses blooming by the front doorsteps.
I wish this blog had scratch and sniff. This rose is the sweetest smelling flower ever.

Biscuit gets so excited every time we come home at night. The pumpkins
are on a dusk-to-dawn timer, so when the sun goes down, the pumpkins
light up. Every time we pull into the driveway, Biscuit says,
"Okay guys. There's a surprise on the porch. It's a spooky surprise!"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Party time

Biscuit's day care had its Halloween Fall party today. They have a spring party, a fall party and a winter party instead of parties based on holidays. I understand some of them, but today, the kids were dressed in costumes and getting candy, but it wasn't a Halloween party.

Anyway, Biscuit had a rough morning. He's almost well from the plague he and I had earlier this week (thank goodness), but he didn't sleep well last night and was just in a bad place once he got up.

He was excited about his day care party, but he didn't want to wear his black hat. And he didn't want to wear his chaps. He only wanted his vest and boots and red hat. And he wanted a red shirt to go with it. He didn't want his picture taken, but then when I told him that if we didn't take his picture, we wouldn't be able to show Grandma and Grandmama what he looked like.

Then he lost it.

I was trying to get ready for work while Jeff and Biscuit were having their photo session. I wanted so badly to go into the living room to find out what was going on. But I just stayed in the bathroom and finished getting ready.

Biscuit's mood improved by the time we got to day care. It helped that he got to take in his stick horse, Jake. They don't usually get to bring in toys.

Here are a few pictures of Biscuit this morning:

Poor Biscuit. He'll get to wear his costume again Sunday evening and on Halloween. Maybe those dress-up days will go better.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

School daze

Jeff, Biscuit and I attended an open house and dinner at a private elementary school this evening.

It seems that a lot of people have a lot of opinions about public vs. private schools, but Jeff and I haven't figured out our opinion concerning our son in public vs. private school.

So when we got a postcard in the mail inviting us to the open house and dinner. We called them and said we'd be there.

Where I grew up, the school system looked at your address and told you which school to go to. There wasn't a choice. But here, where we live, there are TONS of school choices. And with Biscuit having a late birthday, we have an extra year to account for. This time next year, Biscuit will be almost 5, but he won't turn 5 in time to go to kindergarten next fall. So our choices are to let him repeat a year at day care or find a school with a pre-K program we like.

Hence our trip to the private school tonight.

Now if I typed in the tuition rates, everybody who reads this would have the same heart attack I had when I saw them. Honestly, that's why I never would've considered a private school.

But a friend's wife gave me a nice lecture about how I should take every opportunity to make sure Biscuit gets the best education he can get. She explained to me that private schools have scholarships (even for elementary school kids) and financial aid programs. That's something I had never thought about.

Before it starts to sound like I've made up my mind, let me say that I haven't made up my mind at all. And Jeff is just as unsure as I am. From what we saw tonight, Biscuit already has a firm grasp on a lot of the concepts this school's "junior kindergarten" program offers. He knows letters and letter sounds and can recognize a few words. He knows that if you have the word "cat" and replace the "c" with other letters, it will make new words, such as "hat" and "mat". He knows his colors and numbers in Spanish. He knows a lot of basic concepts that were listed on their junior kindergarten curriculum, such as the fact that plants grow from seeds and what we eat is fuel for our bodies.

I was nervous about going. I think I had all these ideas in my head about what a private school would be like -- how the people would be, whether we'd fit in or not and how Biscuit would be treated.

I never considered the fact that I would be a little disappointed in the level of education he'd be getting.

From what the admissions director said, the curriculum does get a lot more strenuous as the kids go along. The school is for grades pre-K through 12th. And I love that the teacher to student ratio is 8:1. That's something he'd never get at a public school.

But this one evening didn't convince me one way or the other.

The teachers and admissions personnel encouraged us to come back one morning when the classes were filled with kids, so we could see what the school is like on a normal basis. So maybe we will.

We've got plenty of time, so we're also planning to tour a few other schools in the area, private, public, montessori and magnet. I told you we have a lot of choices!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The plague

Biscuit and I are finally on the back side of The Plague. He and I got sick over the weekend with sore throat, cough, body aches and fatigue. It was a viral thing that just took hold and roughed us up some.

Biscuit had a fever from Saturday evening until last night. It got up to 103.5 Sunday night, so he "slept" in my bed, and Jeff slept on the couch because our guest bed is covered in Christmas presents and Biscuit's birthday party supplies, and we didn't feel like cleaning it off at 11 p.m.

Anyway, I said Biscuit "slept" because his eyes were closed and his breathing was heavy, but he crawled all over my king-size bed trying to get comfortable. I was achy and tired and so, so sleepy, but poor Biscuit just couldn't get situated. 

Biscuit started on Jeff's pillow then turned himself sideways with his head near me and his feet hanging off Jeff's side of the bed. Then he turned again, with his head toward the foot of the bed and his feet on Jeff's pillow. Then he scooted even farther down the bed and was lying across the foot of the bed. I was afraid he was going to roll right off, so I hauled him back up onto Jeff's pillow.

And then it started all over again. 

I knew at 3:30 Monday morning that I wasn't going to make it to work Monday. Biscuit and I both slept a lot Monday. Luckily, Jeff had worked Saturday night and was off Monday. So he took care of us.

Monday night, Jeff and I were trying to figure out what to do about Biscuit's fever. We had been giving him acetaminophen every 6 hours, and about 20 minutes after a dose, Biscuit would be running around the house like nothing was wrong. He'd go strong for a couple of hours, then you could see the energy slowly draining out of him. And by the time he was nearing another dose of medicine, he would be lying on the couch.

Jeff called the nurse on call at our pediatricians office to ask if she thought we should make an appointment for Biscuit with the doctor. We normally have a good feel for when we need to take him, but this virus has been really odd. It has all the symptoms of a bad cold except for the nose stuff. Neither Biscuit nor I have had a runny nose, and that's usually one of the main symptoms of a cold.

The nurse was more concerned about Biscuit's cough than the fever. And it was sounding pretty rough. So she made an appointment for Monday morning at 8:30.

We set our alarms, and as soon as I started to get out of bed, Jeff said, "How 'bout you just stay in bed and I take Biscuit to the doctor?"

Normally, he wouldn't have even asked that question. He knows that if Biscuit was at the doctor, I would be at the doctor, too. But Monday morning, I took him up on his offer. I made Jeff a list of answers for some of the questions I knew they'd ask, and I was back asleep before he and Biscuit even left the house.

Biscuit usually does really well at the doctor's office, as long as the doctor and nurses talk to him and let him know what's going on. He's good about asking questions, too.

As Jeff and Biscuit were pulling into the doctor's office parking lot, Biscuit said, "Hey, this is my doctor's office. But what doctor's office do you and Mom go to?"

"Our doctor's office is up by Home Depot," Jeff told him.

Jeff said he thought it was funny when his answer came up in conversation later.

The doctor came in and said to Biscuit, "So you've had a fever, huh?"

"Yes," Biscuit said. "But when I have a fever, my Mom and Dad give me acetaminophen."

Jeff said the doctor laughed and seemed a little surprised that Biscuit could say 'acetaminophen.'

"This is my doctor's office," Biscuit told the doctor. "But my Mom and Dad's doctor's office is up near Home Depot. HOME Depot has race car buggies, but OFFICE Depot doesn't have race car buggies. But they do have a picture of a race car driver at their door."

(And Biscuit is right, by the way. Home Depot DOES have race car buggies, and there's a race car driver who's main sponsor is Office Depot, and they have a big cardboard cutout of him standing at their front door.)

After the doctor heard Biscuit cough, she wanted to send him across the street to have a chest x-ray taken at the hospital.

Under normal circumstances, nobody (not even Jeff) would've taken my baby to the hospital without me being right there! But that goes to show how sick I was. I told Jeff to keep me in the loop, and I went back to sleep.

Jeff said the x-ray tech was really nice and really patient with Biscuit. She explained everything to him, and I wish you could have seen his face as he was telling me about how he got to see his bones on the computer screen.

He was telling my Mama about it on the phone yesterday evening. "They did a x-ray on me, Grandmama."

Trying to keep the conversation going, Mama asked him, "Why did they do an x-ray on you?"

"Because they wanted to see my bones, Grandmama," he said with that "duh" tone of voice.

The x-ray was clear, so Jeff brought Biscuit home and then headed into work.

On their way home, Biscuit said, "Dad, I liked that hospital. Can we go there again some time?"

"We'll go back there again only if we have to," Jeff said.

And let's hope we never have to!

Monday, October 22, 2012

New old jammies

Biscuit got a bag of hand-me-downs last week from a little boy he used to give hand-me-downs to. 

Biscuit's friend is four months younger than him, but his friend outgrew him a good while back. His friend likes superheroes the way Biscuit likes firefighters, and the pajamas he sent reflect that. And even though Biscuit doesn't have any superhero toys or books, he knows who they all are.

Here he is in one of his new-old pairs of jammies:

Also, I've realized that for right now, when I take pictures of Biscuit, I can either get a nice smile or get nice eyes. But getting both is a rare, rare thing.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

Here are a few things Biscuit has said recently:

Telling stories: Biscuit loves for us to tell him things he did when he was little.

Yes, I know he's still little, but he's come a long way, baby, and he likes it when Jeff and I reminisce. 

Yesterday evening, I told him a story about how he used to ask us what was our favorite animal.

"You couldn't say 'favorite animal' so you'd say, 'Mom, what's your fanimal?'" I told Biscuit.

"Mom, when I was a little baby, I was so silly," Biscuit said.

Poor grandmothers: For some reason, Biscuit has been blaming his Grandma and Grandmama for teaching him things lately. He even blamed Jeff's grandma the other day, a woman Biscuit never even met!

"He's a patootie head, Dad," Biscuit said.

"Patootie head?" Jeff said. "Where did you learn that word?"

"Um, I learned it from your Grandma, Dad," Biscuit said.

He'll do things he knows he's not supposed to do, then he'll say, "When I was at my Grandma's house, I learned how to do that."

We've got to watch those Grandmothers more carefully.

Full of bull: How do you explain to an almost 4-year-old that his friends are sometimes full of it?

Several of Biscuit's friends at day care have older siblings. And those siblings tell things to the younger kids. Then the younger kids tell things to Biscuit. And somewhere along the way, some of those things get a little altered in their truthfulness.

For example, Biscuit came home the other day and told me about a conversation between him and his friend Derwin (thankfully not the friend's real name).

"Mom, Derwin said that bampires will suck out all your blood," Biscuit announced with much authority.

"Hmmm," I said. "Well, first of all, it's vampire with a V. And secondly, vampires are made-up creatures for books, TV and movies. So there are no real vampires, which means they can't suck out all your blood."

"But that's what Derwin said, Mom," Biscuit said.

I considered trying to take a polite way out of the conversation, but finally, I just said, "Well, Derwin is wrong."

Then there was the conversation where John (another pseudonym) told Biscuit that minjas know karate. I had to set that one straight, too.

And on another day, John imparted more wisdom. "Mom, John said that firetrucks run their lights and sirens on the way back to the fire station from a fire," Biscuit said.

"Do you think that's true?" I asked Biscuit.

"No," he said. "They only run their lights and sirens on the way TO a fire."

"That's right," I told him. "That's how they do it. Just because somebody else says it's true, that doesn't automatically mean that it is. Okay?"

"Okay, Mom," Biscuit said. 

I know the day will come when my word won't count for as much as it does now, but I'm going to enjoy it while I still have the power.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin painting party

We got invited to a pumpkin painting party by a couple of friends who have a son a little over a year younger than Biscuit. They live about an hour and 15 minutes away, so we told Biscuit where we were going and that it would take a while to get there.

"Okay, Mom," he said. "I'm just going to sit back here and wait. I'm going to have patience."

He tickles me when he says such grown-up things. But he was true to his word. He looked for horses on the sides of the highway. We counted to 100. He asked Jeff to tell him about cars.

Of course, we've always been lucky with Biscuit in the car. It takes 2 1/2 hours to get to Mama's house, and it's rare that Biscuit ever complains. We've even driven 10 hours to get to Jeff's parents house, and we were 7 hours into the trip before Biscuit asked if he could watch a movie.

So today's 1-hour-and-15-minute-trip was not a big deal at all.

We knew three of the adults and two of the kids there today, but we met a handful of new people and kids. I always enjoy that.

The party was planned for the kids to paint pumpkins, but they only spent about 15 minutes painting. Then they were done. And of course, Biscuit went straight for the red paint. It's the only color he used.

It was a nice afternoon, and Biscuit enjoyed a nice nap on the way home.

Here are a few pictures:

I'll be really glad when this fake-smiling phase is over.

I asked Biscuit a question, and this is his thinking face, complete with the finger to his temple.

Painting his pumpkin.

Nap time came on the ride home.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Someone at our house -- I won't mention any names -- figured out that the couch works the same way his felt board does.

His fire helicopter was dropping water (see the blue splash?) on a house that's on fire.

I was surprised to find a firefighter-themed felt board and pieces, but it has been well worth the little bit of money I spent on it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Looking back

I was doing a couple of projects with older photos this evening, and I came across this one of Biscuit.

I'm not sure what he was thinking about, but he was walking across our backyard like he had some serious business to take care of.

Also, he looks so much younger in this picture. The funny thing is that it was taken this past March. It's amazing how much difference 6 months can make in the appearance of a 3-year-old.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Don't talk back

We eat out entirely too much, so I've been trying to make a weekly menu plan for our meals. Until now, I had sort of a defeatist attitude when a monkey wrench would get thrown into my plans. But I've realized that there are some times the plan just needs to be changed.

Tonight was one of those nights.

I realized this morning that Biscuit's library books were due. So I put them in his tote bag and put them in my car. I had a late meeting at work, so Jeff picked up Biscuit. I told Jeff that we needed cereal and a few other things from the grocery store, we needed to return Biscuit's library books and pick out some new ones, and that those errands were going to mess up my meal plan for tonight.

Enter the pancake restaurant.

As we were leaving the library, Biscuit and I started bargaining on dinner.

"Mom, where are we going now?" Biscuit asked.

"We're going to get some dinner," I said.

"Are we getting pizza?" he asked.

I have homemade pizza on my menu plan for Friday night, so I told Biscuit that he would have to think of something else.

"What about pancakes?" I asked.

"Uuuuum, what about quesadillas with black beans and chips?" Biscuit countered.

"Uuuuuum, what about chicken strips and french fries?" I offered.

"Uuuuuuum, what about chicken NUGGETS and french fries?" he asked.

"Done!" I said. 

The pancake restaurant makes chicken strips. But do you know what happens to chicken strips when you cut them into smaller pieces? They magically become chicken nuggets.

Jeff and Biscuit were in Jeff's car. They went by the ATM, and I went straight to the restaurant.

When Jeff and Biscuit arrived, I said, "Hey, I beat y'all here."

Let me say here that Biscuit loves a race. He races his cars and his horses and his crayons and anything else he can get more than one of. But he does not under any circumstances like to lose races. 

So when I said, "I beat y'all here," he immediately said, "Mom, it's not a race. We were not racing."

"We weren't racing, but I still got here before you did, so I beat you," I said to him. It might sound petty, but he has to learn that not winning every time is okay.

"MOM! I said it wasn't a race," Biscuit said with an attitude that I did not at all appreciate.

"Hey! Don't talk to me like that," I said. "You can disagree with me if you want, but you're not going to talk to me in a mean way."

By this point, we were walking into the diner.

"You didn't win, Mom," Biscuit said. And again, it was in a not-nice voice.

I looked at Jeff, who hadn't even sat down in the booth and said, "Can you take him outside?"

"Yep," Jeff said. It was as simple as that.

I ordered our drinks, and it was a few more minutes before Jeff and Biscuit headed back into the restaurant.

As they walked in the door, I could see that Biscuit had been crying. His tears were still fresh.

Remember how Jeff said Biscuit learned to whisper in a sawmill? Well, as they were walking in the door of the diner, Biscuit said, "I'm sorry, Mom. I'm sorry I talked mean to you. I won't do it again." And I know everyone around us heard him.

An older couple two tables back smiled as he said it. The older woman at the table facing me looked up and scowled at me. Normally, I would've ignore her, but as juvenile as it may sound, I scrunched my face up and scowled right back at her.

I told Biscuit to come with me to the bathroom so we could wash our hands. As I was helping him get the soap lathered up, I added on to what I'm figuring Jeff had told him outside. "Biscuit, I don't want you to talk mean to Dad or me anymore. That's not the right way to talk to your parents, okay?"

"Okay, Mom," he said. "I'm sorry."

While we were gone, a nice couple off to the side of us told Jeff that Biscuit reminded them of their son when he was that age.

"He's a nice boy, but sometimes he has to be reminded that he can't talk back to his Mama," Jeff said smiling.

"Ours is 16 now," the man said. "And it isn't any better at 16."

Biscuit was really good for the rest of the night. I don't even want to think about 16!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cowboy conversation

A post from The Daddy Man:

Kimmy had a really bad headache this evening, and since our boy learned to whisper in a sawmill, I thought I'd get Biscuit out of the house for a little while.

When I told Biscuit we were going, he asked if he could keep his cowboy outfit on. He was wearing a vest, cowboy hat and boots. I told him he could, and we headed out.

Our plan was to get milk, but I thought I would extend our trip and pick up some decongestant at the drug store.

Biscuit and I got to the pharmacy counter, and Biscuit immediately noticed the waiting area chairs.

"Dad, I'm going to wait over here," he said.

There was a woman in one of the other chairs, maybe late 30s-early 40s. Biscuit sat right beside her, and of course, because it's what he does, he struck up a conversation.

"Excuse me," he said, "have you ever been to a rodeo?"

"No," the woman said. And before she could say anything else, Biscuit gave her more details.

"We went to the rodeo. And we saw two cowboys on horses. And then we saw bulls, and they bucked those cowboys off EVERY TIME! And we saw bull fighters. Do you know what bull fighters are?"

He didn't give her time to answer before he explained the bull fighters (formerly rodeo clowns).

"The bull fighters help the cowboys when the bulls buck them off, and sometimes they dance."

All the lady got to add to the conversation was that she had seen a rodeo on TV one time. I think she could've stayed completely silent, and Biscuit would not have been discouraged.

I got the decongestant I was after, and luckily for the lady, it was time for us to go.

"Come on," I told Biscuit. "We've got everything we need."

The woman smiled and waved at Biscuit and said, "See ya, cowboy." I'm not sure Biscuit even heard her. He was already galloping down the aisle on his imaginary horse.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The drive home

We drove home this evening through an older neighborhood that didn't have many streetlights.
"Mom, we're in the dark woods," Biscuit said. "We have to be very, very careful!"

"Okay," I said. "Are we on the lookout for anything?"

"Yes," Biscuit said. "In the woods is where you find witches, bears, foxes and fire ants."

"Oh," I said. "What should we do?" Also, fire ants?!?

"Well, for the fire ants, the best way to get 'em is to step on 'em or run over them," Biscuit explained.

"Okay," I said. "But what about the witches, bears and foxes?"

"Mom! There's a witch following us RIGHT NOW!" Biscuit said. "Quick! Drive fast so we can get away from the witch!"

"Okay," I said. "I'll hurry."

"How fast did the police say you can go, Mom?" Biscuit asked. That's his way of asking the speed limit of the road you're on.

"They said I can go 55 miles per hour," I said.

"Is that fast?" Biscuit asked.

"It's pretty fast," I said.

"Good," Biscuit said. "We can outrun that witch, and we won't have to worry about her anymore!"

Oh, the trouble you can find on your drive home.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Talking with Biscuit

One thing I've never mentioned about Biscuit here is that he stutters. He's had his stutter since he started talking. 

It hasn't gotten better or worse, but the sounds he makes have changed a little from then to now. In the beginning, as he was learning words, he got stuck on sounds. Instead of ball, sometimes he'd say b-b-b-b-b-b-ball.

As he started talking more, he started using fillers words, such as "uh." And now, in addition to using "uh" between words, he repeats entire words.

So instead of saying, "Mom, can I have some apple juice?" he might say something like, "Mom, um, um, um, um, can can can can I have some um, um, um apple juice?"

Jeff and I are so used to it that we don't notice it much anymore. And other people have been really nice about it, too.

I read a lot online about stuttering and found out a few things:

1. Stuttering can be hereditary, and Jeff stuttered when he was a kid.
2. Boys have stutters more than girls do.
3. It's not a rare problem for kids between the ages of 2 and 5.

Biscuit started talking early, and from what his teachers say, his speech is advanced for his age. Just this past week, one of Biscuit's teachers laughed as she shared a story with Jeff.

"He got bitten by a mosquito and was showing me the bite spot," the teacher said. "I said, 'Awww, I'm sorry that happened.' And he said, 'It's okay. I'll just get Mom and Dad to put some hyrdrocortisone on it.' I have a hard time saying 'hydrocortisone', and he just spit it right out."

I've always felt that Biscuit's speech was advanced just from seeing the look on people's faces when he talks to them in stores or restaurants or wherever he seems to strike up a conversation. He doesn't hesitate to tell people at car shows that the yellow Barracuda belongs to his Dad. And he says "Barracuda" just as good as anybody could.

So from what I had read and just acting on my gut, I asked all our family and friends not to address Biscuit's stutter. I asked them to be patient and let him take his time. And so far, everyone has given him the time he needs when it takes him a few tries to get out what he wants to say.

Jeff and I were talking about it one day, trying to figure out if we should talk to someone about it. Biscuit's pediatrician wasn't concerned about it, but we wondered if a speech therapist would have the same opinion.

Then I remembered that I had met a speech teacher at a friend's dinner party. I asked my friend if she thought it would be okay to contact her friend about Biscuit, and she said she thought her friend would be glad to help.

And she was. She gave me so much information. And she actually wanted more information from me than I was expecting. She wanted to know if Biscuit stutters on whole words or just letter sounds. How often he does it. If there are any times he consistently does it. She just asked for a lot of information.

I was a little overwhelmed at first because for some of the questions she asked, I didn't have answers.

I said to Jeff, "I feel bad that I've never paid attention to some of these specifics before."

The speech teacher repeated some of the information I had read online -- that stuttering is hereditary, that it's more common in boys, that not addressing it with Biscuit is the right thing to do. But she also gave us some other information -- mainly that for right now, unless the stutter changes in a significant way, we'll be fine waiting until he goes to school to address it.

So for now, we listen for changes in Biscuit's speech patterns and just try to give him the time he needs to say what he wants to say.

My biggest concern for the near future is that kids are mean, and Biscuit is getting to an age where kids are starting to notice how they're alike and different. I also wonder if, once Biscuit realizes his speech is different, that he'll pull back and not be as outgoing and social. I hope neither of these things happens, but I guess we'll just deal with that when and if it comes.

In the mean time, I just enjoy the fact that Biscuit seems oblivious that his speech is any different than anyone else's and that he'll just talk up a storm to anyone who will listen.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Half to death: Remember when Biscuit turned a cartwheel down our front doorsteps? Well, he remembers it, too. 

And now, any time he sees someone on TV fall, he'll say, "Mom, remember when I fell and it scared you half to death?"

"Yes, baby, I certainly do," I'll say.

"It scared you half to death, didn't it?" he'll sayd.

"Yes, baby, it really did," I'll say.

"And then I cried half to death, didn't I?" he'll say.

"Yes, baby, you did," I'll say. 

And he'll just nod his head and smile like it's this great memory we have between us.

The meaning of hope: Biscuit and I were driving home this evening, and for some reason, he said, "Mom, I hope we make it home in time."

We weren't on a schedule for anything and didn't need to be home by a certain time, so I just said, "We'll get home just fine."

"Mom, do you know what 'hope' means?" Biscuit asked.

"What does it mean?" I asked, curious to see what kind of philosphical discussion we were about to have.

"When you say you hope you get somewhere on time, that means that you hope you'll get where you're supposed to get when you're supposed to get there."

Makes sense to me.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bad Dad

Biscuit and I got home from day care one day last week, and as he came in the door, he dropped two cars and a piece of artwork on the floor right in front of the door.
"Are these your things just dropped on the floor in front of the door?" I asked him.

He turned around, looked at the stuff and said, "Well DUH!"

I didn't know my eyebrows could go up that high!

"Excuse me?" I said.

"I said 'duh' to you, Mom," Biscuit said.

"I heard what you said, but I don't want to hear that again," I said to him in a stern voice. "That is not a nice thing to say to me or any other adult. Don't say it to me, Dad, any of your grandparents, any of your teachers or any other adults. Do you hear me?"

"I'm sorry, Mom," Biscuit said looking at the floor. "I didn't know, Mom."

"That's an okay thing to say to your friends, but don't say it to any adults, okay?" I said.

"Okay, Mom," Biscuit said. "I'm sorry.

I didn't hear anything else about it until the other night.

Jeff and Biscuit were sitting at the kitchen table when Biscuit said, "Well DUH, Dad."

And Jeff cracked up laughing. 

Yep. He laughed.

My eyebrows shot up again, and I couldn't figure out which one to glare at first.

"I told you not to say that to any adults, didn't I?" I said to Biscuit.

"Yes, ma'am," Biscuit said, throwing the "ma'am" in there, hoping to stay out of trouble. "But Dad laughed. Dad thought it was funny."

Then I turned my glare toward Jeff. 

"I scolded him last week and told him not to say that anymore, and you laughing at him is not backing me up," I said.

"I'm sorry," Jeff said, "but you should have warned me that he said it. I would've been prepared to hear it at some point."

There have been times when I've had to turn my head to keep from laughing at something Biscuit has said, too. But I still scolded Jeff for not backing me up.

Jeff did go back later and tell Biscuit not to say that to adults. We'll see how long it lasts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happy birthday, Dad!

When I went up to get Biscuit this morning, I told him it was Jeff's birthday. My groggy son opened his eyes wide and stood straight up in his bed.

"Dad's birthday is TODAY?!?" Biscuit asked, with his voice going up about 10 octaves at the end of the question.

"Yep," I said. "Today is Dad's birthday."

"Can I sing to him?" Biscuit asked.

"Of course you can," I said.

As soon as we got downstairs, Biscuit ran to Jeff and started singing. Jeff got birthday cards, presents and a nice dinner out. And as interested in Jeff's birthday as Biscuit wanted to be, he couldn't get past the fact that his own birthday is coming soon.

I could see the wheels turning in Biscuit's head when he asked, "Mom, will I have presents for my birthday? Dad got presents for his birthday. Will I get presents for MY birthday?"

"Yes," I said. And Biscuit looked at me like he wanted more information.

"What will my presents be?" Biscuit asked.

"They will be a surprise," I said.

"How will I find out what they are, Mom?" Biscuit asked. "Will I have to unwrap them?"

"Yes," I said.

"Well, can you tell me what my presents will be?" Biscuit asked.

I actually could because I bought his birthday presents last month so I could start Christmas shopping this month. But of course I wasn't going to.

"If I tell you what your presents are, you won't have a surprise on your birthday," I said.

"Oh," Biscuit said with a sad face and much disappointment. "I guess I'll just wait, Mom."

Yes, he WILL wait!

"Today is Dad's day," I explained. "When it's your day, you can get a cupcake and some presents. But for today, let's tell Dad to have a happy birthday and that we love him, okay?"

"That's a good idea, Mom," Biscuit said.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Clothes make the man (or Biscuit)

Would it be in bad form to send Biscuit to day care in his underwear and socks? Those are the only things that fit him well right now.

He's finally moved into 3T pants, but not all 3T pants. They have to be cut really slim and have the adjustable elastic bands in the waist. And sometimes even that isn't fitted enough. Most of the regular-cut 3T pants will slide up and down on him without even touching his sides or hips. So when my Mama goes shopping and finds a good deal, unless it's sweat pants, I tell her to make sure she keeps the receipt.

And then we get to the shirts. In early spring, Biscuit was wearing long-sleeved T-shirts that were 2T. But by the time we started to buy short-sleeved T-shirts for late spring and summer, he had moved up to 3T. With the weather finally getting cooler (actually colder this week), I did an inventory on his fall/winter clothes. He had a drawer full of long-sleeved T-shirts, so I made him try on enough of them to realized that all his 2T shirts were going to need a new home. I packed them up this week and gave them to a friend. And now we have to shop some more. 

The 3T shirts fit him perfectly right now, but even with a little growth, we'll need to go up a size. So I bought a couple of T-shirts in 4T, but of course they're still too big. Do they make a 3 1/2T? 

I've talked to Biscuit about growing up and getting bigger, so now, every once in a while, he'll walk up to me and say, "Mom, do you see some growing on me?"

And whether I do or not, I always answer the same, "Yes, I do," I'll say. "You are getting bigger every day."

Now if I can just make sure he goes to day care in more than his underwear and socks.

Monday, October 8, 2012

No bull

I was sitting at my desk last week when an email popped up saying there were two tickets to a bull-riding event available to the first person to claim them. I had dinner plans with a friend and had told Jeff he would have Biscuit on his own.

When I found out the tickets had been claimed, I knew exactly where they were ... in Jeff's pocket.

Sure enough, Jeff called a few minutes later and said, "Guess where Biscuit and I are going tonight?"

Jeff picked Biscuit up from day care and brought him home to change his clothes. Biscuit asked if he could take his cowboy hat, and of course Jeff let him. The two of them headed over to the coliseum, and Jeff said Biscuit's hat fit right in with all the other kids there.  

The tickets came complete with a premium parking pass. It was such a good space, Jeff drove around the building looking for it. He couldn't believe it was actually as close as it was.

They got inside and had to find their seats. Two flights of stairs later, Jeff noticed that their seats were way less crowded than the regular sections, and the ushers were wearing white shirts with bow ties and vests. The walked into the Diamond Club where they found carpeted floors, dining tables, banquet tables full of food and drinks and TVs, so you could see what was going on in the arena.

Jeff was impressed by the spread, so he called me and handed the phone to Biscuit.

"MOM! MOM! They said I could have as many cookies and sweet teas as I want!" Biscuit yelled.

Biscuit handed the phone back to Jeff, and I said, "Please don't let him have all the cookies and sweet tea he wants."

Jeff laughed and assured me that Biscuit would eat a meal, then get just one cookie.

Jeff and Biscuit got to their seats and found only three rows in their section. From their perch, Jeff said they could see everything really well.

The P.A. announcer let everyone know that there would be flashing lights and loud noises as they introduced the cowboys who would ride that night and bullfighters (formerly known as rodeo clowns). So through the introduction and the national anthem, Biscuit stood with his hands over his ears. At least he remembered to take his hat off.

The ropers rode out first on their horses. Once the bull riders were off the bulls (whether they got thrown off or they were done with their ride), the ropers helped get the bulls into the exit chute. From what Jeff said, Biscuit would've been satisfied just to watch the ropers ride around for a while.

The first two bull rides of the night were full eight-second rides, so Jeff said Biscuit didn't quite get that it was a hard thing to do. After the second ride, Jeff said, "That's some good ridin' right there, by golly."

The third rider through the next six or seven got thrown off, but Biscuit didn't get that it was a bad thing. After every rider, he repeated what Jeff had said earlier, "Dad, that was some good ridin' right there, by golly."

Once we were all home, I asked Biscuit how he liked it. He said, "MOM! That one cowboy, he stood on that bull for NINE MINUTES!"

"Wow!" I said. "Nine minutes? That's a heckuva cowboy if he stayed on the bull that long!"

But whether it was eight seconds or nine minutes, the bull riders impressed Biscuit. Almost every night since they went, he has staged his own rodeo. He takes his bouncy ball into our bathroom and closes the door. Then when he's ready, he flings open the door and bounces out the door yelling, "YEEHAW!"

So it looks like Biscuit's career path will either be cowboy or firefighter? He really knows how to make his mama worry!

Here's one of the bulls Jeff and Biscuit saw:

This bull's name is Asteroid. Jeff and Biscuit saw him at the event.
These days, the bulls are just as popular as the riders.