Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bad Dad

A post from The Daddy Man:

Daddy did a bad, bad thing.

When we talked with Biscuit about going to a new day care, one of the things Kimmy asked him was whether he'd rather the kids call him Griffin or Biscuit.

"Um, I think I want them to call me Griffin," he said.

Then I screwed it up for him. I called him Biscuit at day care in front of the other kids before I even thought about it.

Kimmy took Biscuit to day care this morning, and as they were walking toward Biscuit's class, the whole pre-K class looked up and yelled, pretty much in unison, "HEY, BISCUIT!"


I felt bad when Kimmy told me about it, especially with it being only his third day at the new day care. 

He says he likes it when people call him Biscuit -- "That's my nickname, like your nickname is 'Dad'" -- and he knows that we talk about Biscuit when we write on the computer. But if it's not what the boy wants to be called at day care, I should've been more careful.

Kimmy and I talked to him about it tonight and quickly realized our worry was for naught.

"I like it when people call me Griffin AND Biscuit," he said. "It's okay if the kids at day care call me either one."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Out of the mouth of my babe

Here are a few things Biscuit has said recently:

Big-boy breakfast: I made muffins for breakfast last Sunday morning. I put two on Jeff's plate and one on Biscuit's plate.

"Why does Dad get to have two?" Biscuit asked.

"Because Dad's a grownup," I told him.

I walked out of the room, and Biscuit said to Jeff, "Next year, I'll be 5, then 6, then 7, then 8 ... then 20," Biscuit said. "Do you know what happens at 20? At 20, I'm a grownup, and then when Mama makes these muffins, I can have two."

On the range: "Mom, when a bunch of cows run toward you and they stop, that's a herd," Biscuit explained. "But if the cows are running toward you, and they don't stop, that's a stampede."

Teacher ID: Jeff asked Biscuit yesterday evening if he liked his new day care teachers, and Biscuit said he did.

"What are their names?" Jeff asked.

"Um, I don't know," Biscuit said.

Jeff took Biscuit to day care this morning. As they got into Biscuit's room, Jeff stepped over and introduced himself to Biscuit's teacher.

"I'm Jeff, Griffin's dad," Jeff said.

The teacher shook his hand and told Jeff her name.

Biscuit threw his hands up in the air and said, "NOW I know your name!"

Lunchtime: Some people like to eat chicken and waffles. Our kid has a different twist.

We got to day care to pick up Biscuit yesterday, and one of the first things he said was, "MOM! I ate ALL my chicken with chocolate sauce. Are you so proud of me?"

"Yes," I said. "I am very proud of you." And the whole time I'm thinking, "What have they fed this boy that could even slightly resemble chicken with chocolate sauce.

We get a paper every day that tells us some of what they did that day, how long Biscuit slept (they have check boxes for "slept" and "rested quietly." Our boy will never have the "rested quietly" box checked. He likes his nap. The sheet usually tells the topic of the day, like Monday was talking about fruits and veggies. 

Then under the developmental section, it says, "I developed my ..." and then has check boxes for cooperation, independence, self-expression, problem-solving, confidence, team work and helping others. Like for Monday, Biscuit's sheet said, "I shared my opinions with the whole class." (Imagine that!) And the boxes for self-expression and confidence are checked. Yep. Those are two things my boy doesn't have a problem with!

So I picked up his daily info sheet, trying to find out what the heck chicken and chocolate sauce was. I found a note at the bottom of the page that said, "Griffin ate all of his salisbury steak and mashed potatoes." Chicken and chocolate sauce indeed.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New day care

Biscuit started going to a new day care today. I don't want to go into all the details, but we decided that his old day care just wasn't the right place for him anymore.

The biggest and most important reason was because of the curriculum. Because the old day care was part of a chain, the curriculum was locked in with no room for any improvisation. And after looking at the curriculum at the last parent-teacher conference, I didn't feel like it was going to get Biscuit ready for kindergarten. Because Biscuit's birthday is in November, he'll have an extra year before he can start kindergarten. So it was important to us to make sure that the extra year was well spent.

And let me say that if you haven't been to kindergarten in a while, you would be so surprised at what is required of these little people. We didn't even learn our letters and letter sounds until kindergarten. Now, they're expected to know that and much more before they even start kindergarten.

Anyway, we found a day care just 1 mile from our house that has a kindergarten prep class. Biscuit will finish the 4-year-old class there, then move up to the pre-K class.

We went for a tour a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it would be a good idea to take Biscuit. He's like me in that he doesn't have much of a poker face. So I knew I would be able to tell if he liked the place.

Biscuit and I got there before Jeff did. The front door has a 4-digit combination lock, so the assistant director was waiting for us. She opened the door, and Biscuit walked right in. As soon as the door closed and the assistant director turned around, Biscuit said, "My name is Griffin, and we came to see your school today."

"Well, it's nice to meet you, Griffin," she said. "We would love to show you our school."

Jeff was a few minutes behind us, so we waited in the lobby for him to get there.
The assistant director saw that Biscuit's shirt had a car on it, and said, "Hey, that's a cool blue car on your shirt."

"That's not a car," Biscuit said. "That's a Barracuda."

"Like the fish?" the assistant director asked.

"NO! That's not a fish," Biscuit said. "Barracudas are cars. My Dad has a Barracuda, but his is not blue, it's yellow."

"I'd like to have an old silver Impala myself," the assistant director said.

"Yeah, that would be good," Biscuit said, like he knew exactly what she was talking about.

About that time, I looked up and saw Jeff walking up the sidewalk. And I realized that I couldn't remember the assistant director's name. I was wracking my brain trying to remember her name so I could introduce her and Jeff to each other.

Biscuit looked up and saw Jeff and said, "Excuse me, Jennifer, that's my Dad. But some people call him Jeff."

No need for me to be concerned. Biscuit had me covered.

Jennifer seemed impressed with Biscuit. She talked to him a lot, which I really liked. I told her up front that Biscuit was the important one, not me.

And then we saw it ... a firetruck.

We could've stopped the tour right then. This place had a firetruck, and Biscuit's mind was made up.

After the tour, I took Biscuit to his old day care.

As Biscuit and I were walking toward the front door, he said, "My old day care has an America's flag, and the new school has an America's flag, too."

"Let's not talk about the new school, okay?" I said to Biscuit.

"Okay, Mom," Biscuit said. And I was hoping he understood what I was saying.

Jeff and I had called the director at the old day care to let them know Biscuit would be late. We assumed that she would tell Biscuit's teacher and the lady who cooks for them, just for planning purposes.

But as we were walking down the hall, the teacher and the cook both asked, "Where have you been?"

I answered before Biscuit had a chance to. "Tell them we've been out and about all morning," I said.

So Biscuit said, "Yeah, we've been out and about, and Mom said don't talk about the new ..."

And before he could say "new school," I cut him off.

"Let's blow your nose," I said, trying to divert his attention and keep him from telling them about the tour.

Over lunch that day, Jeff and I talked out all the details of the new place and decided we were satisfied with everything we learned. The only negative thing is that it's about $25 more per week than the old place. But big picture, we're fine with that.

When we got home that night, the new day care had called and said they enjoyed meeting us and offered to waive the registration fee ($80!). We filled out all the paperwork, and Biscuit was ready to go.

Our tour was on Wednesday, and we told his old day care on Thursday that Friday would be Biscuit's last day. Jeff and I made some ladies cry that day, but they all said the same thing ... that we need to do what's right for Biscuit.

Biscuit started that day care in February 2009. In his time there, he learned and accomplished so much. We are very grateful that we had such a good experience there for so long.

We planned the time Biscuit spent at my parents house last week as a buffer between the old day care and new day care. Jeff and I talked about it and just thought it would be a good way to transition from one to the other.

This morning, Biscuit and I were in the car, and I said, "Hey, you remember that you go to your new day care today, right?" 

"Yes!" Biscuit said. "Mom, I'm going to go there and play and learn things, and it's going to be awesome."

A minute or so passed, and Biscuit said, "Mom, it's going to be better than life!"

In my head, I was thinking, "What in the world is he talking about?!?" But what came out of my mouth was, "Yeah, it's going to be great."

I have no idea what he meant by what he said, but he was enthusiastic and seemed happy, and that was what was important.

As Biscuit and I walked into the new day care this morning, he spoke to everyone and walked toward his class like he owned the place. I had to call him back over to get a goodbye hug. It makes me very proud to see his outgoing personality and his independence.

Jeff picked Biscuit up this evening. "Did you have fun today?" he asked.

"Yeah," Biscuit said. "I had fun. I played with my friends."

"Which friends?" Jeff asked.

"I don't know their names," Biscuit said.

I'm sure his friends' names will come in time. And for a first day, I'd say this one turned out okay.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Birthday cake and animals

One of Biscuit's friends had a birthday party yesterday at the science center. We got there a little late. We went Friday night to pick up Biscuit and got home pretty late, so we all struggled to get up and get going Saturday.

We fixed Biscuit a plate, and he took his plate over to the table and positioned himself between two adults he didn't even know. He didn't care, either. Just as long as he got to eat his snacks.

Biscuit also didn't mind that the birthday cake was two of his favorite flavors ... chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.

After the cake, one of the science center workers came to get the kids. She said the kids were going to go meet some animals. So of course, all the kids were excited.

I don't know if the science center worker has kids or has worked with a lot of kids, but she didn't work well with these particular kids. She was trying to give them a science lesson on the differences between animals and plants and how humans are animals, but seeing as the oldest kid there was 5 and the youngest was 1 1/2, it didn't go over so well. And you'd think she would've picked up on this pretty early on, but alas, she did not. 

A couple of kids got called down, including Biscuit. She was kneeling on a carpet, and the kids were sitting on little carpet squares around the edges of the big carpet. The woman was talking about what animals eat, and Biscuit and I had just been talking about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. So when the woman started talking about animals that only eat plants, Biscuit yelled out to her that those are herbivores. She didn't acknowledge him, so he said it again ... and again ... and again, a little louder ... and again!

Finally, he got up and walked over and stood with his face about 6 inches away from her face. I was trying to signal to Biscuit that he should go sit down, but he was too intent on telling the woman that animals that eat plants are herbivores.

Finally, Jeff walked over and scooped up Biscuit. And Biscuit thought he was in big trouble.

All Jeff wanted to do was get him settled down a bit so he could see the animals when the woman FINALLY brought them out. But poor Biscuit started to cry. He assumed Jeff was mad at him, and Biscuit really hates being in trouble. It seems to just crush him. So he just boo-hooed.

I finally walked over there and held him for a minute. I explained that Jeff wasn't mad at him, he just wanted him to sit in his designated spot.

And let me take a little birdwalk here ...

I grew up in a small community, 20 minutes from the nearest town. And I guess because it was so small, whether you were actually kin or not, it seemed like everybody was at least distant family. So when my brother and I were bad, it was perfectly acceptable for us to be called down by any number of ladies, including my Mama's friends, our friends' mothers and my Granny's friends. They called you down, and you did what they said.

And it's funny, but when we visit my parents and go to the church I grew up in, and Biscuit goes to the Sunday school class for his age, I fully expect the teachers to make him behave. And they do. And I'm just fine with that.

Some of my friends babysit Biscuit every once in a while, and I fully expect them to make Biscuit behave in an appropriate manner.

See where I'm going with this? There are so many people who care about Biscuit and have his well-being in mind, but ...

That woman at the science center put her hand on my baby's chest, gave him a little push and told him to go sit down. A longtime friend of mine was standing beside me, and if she hadn't been, I might have caused a scene. That woman doesn't get to lay a finger on my kid. Especially when all he was doing was trying to talk to her. I mean, she didn't shove Biscuit or anything, but she completely shut him down. And he wasn't the only kid she did that to.

The kids got to meet a turtle, a rabbit and a duck. The woman did have to get strict with one little boy about not touching the duck's mouth. That, I totally understand. But she grabbed his hand, gritted her teeth and said, "Do not touch this duck that way." Again, I'm thinking this woman hasn't had much to do with kids. The boy's mama was standing nearby. The mom had been sitting with the boy most of the time, so there was no question who he belonged to. Could the woman not have called for the boy's mama to come and pull him back?

She was snippy to some of the adults, too. I saw her hand an evaluation sheet to the birthday boy's Dad. I'm glad she wasn't handing it to me. The lecture wasn't geared toward the kids who were there. She was downright rude to some of the kids and some of the parents. Yep, she would've gotten a bad review from me.

The kids didn't seem to notice anything except the fact that they got to pet a rabbit, a duck and a turtle. And that's a good thing.

Here are some pictures:

The kids used stamps for an art project.

We visited "the body room" at the science center. It's a large room filled
with exhibits about the human body. There's some really cool stuff in there.
Jeff was pulling this handle in and out to show how lungs inflate and deflate.
And because of the noise the thing was making, Jeff looked over at me and said,
"Luke, I am your father." He's my special boy.
This was a stress test. You put your left hand on the sensor,
then use your right hand to slide a ring up the twisty shape
of that wire. And stress part comes when the ring touches
the wire. It buzzes like the Operation board game. Of course,
this didn't faze Biscuit at all. He just kept going, buzzing and all.

See that circle? If you slide the top layer of it to the
side and sniff, you can smell intestinal gas.
And Biscuit didn't like it.
"It won't go away, Mom," Biscuit said. I felt like telling
him that the exhibit was a good reason to learn to read. If he
had known what it was, I bet he wouldn't have sniffed it!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Getting reacquainted

Biscuit said he didn't miss Jeff and me, but I think he was fibbing when he said it.

It's funny because Biscuit thinks that when you miss someone, you're sad and crying. He doesn't understand that you can miss someone and still be having a good time.

Biscuit and Jeff got reacquainted this morning. Roughhousing, playing, laughing and more roughhousing.

Here are a few pictures:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Biscuit's back!

Jeff and I met my parents this evening after worked and fetched our boy back.

Of course, even after a week, he still insists that he didn't miss us.

"Mom, if you miss somebody, you're sad," Biscuit explained. "And I wasn't sad because I love Grandmama and Papa, too."

My Mama said he didn't once ask about going home or saying he was ready to leave. That's his Daddy in him.

Jeff's Mama tells a story about Jeff's first day of kindergarten, and I've thought of that story several times this week.

They had prepped Jeff for what would happen ... he would get dressed, grab his lunchbox, get on the bus and go to school. So when the bus came, Jeff's Mom opened the door just in time for Jeff to walk out the door, climb the steps of the bus and head off to school.

That's exactly what he was supposed to do, except that he missed the part where he was supposed to say goodbye to his mother and maybe even giving her a hug and kiss. He didn't even look at her once he got on the bus. Eyes forward, he was ready to go.

Jeff says, "I had my instructions. I was ready to go to school. So I went."

And Biscuit did the same thing with my parents.

He says he had a really good time. He also said that he did so many things that he couldn't remember all of them.

As we were getting close to home, Biscuit asked, "What town are we in?"

I told him, and he smiled and said, "HOME SWEET HOME!"

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Report from Grandmama's

I've been talking to Biscuit every morning since he's been gone.

I get his report of how things are going, then I get Grandmama's report of how things are going.

The first morning he was there, Biscuit asked Grandmama if she knew how to make pancakes. That's like asking Rembrandt if he knows how to make paintings. So Biscuit got scratch pancakes for breakfast.

After breakfast, they played, then since my brother's kids were out of school Monday, Grandmama told Biscuit he needed to take an early nap so he could go play with my nieces and nephew. He balked at that idea, but once Grandmama told him they were going to a jump place, he laid down and was soon fast asleep.

My nephew called Grandmama's house to see what time they were leaving for their outing. My nephew and Biscuit talked on the phone for a little while.

"What are you doing?" Biscuit asked his cousin.

"Watching TV. What are you doing?" my nephew asked Biscuit.

"Grandmama and Papa only have one TV, and Papa is watching a show. So I can't watch anything," Biscuit said.

Then he set the phone down on the floor and walked over to Grandmama.

"Grandmama, can you call my mom and ask her to bring my little TV, so I can watch a show?" Biscuit said. Meanwhile, my nephew is still on the phone, calling Biscuit's name.

Biscuit was asking if I would bring the little travel DVD player we have. Needless to say, that was not going to happen. Grandmama lives 2 1/2 hours away from us. And even if she lived closer, not watching TV is not going to kill the boy.

Biscuit finally picked the phone back up and started talking to his cousin again. They decided on a time for their outing. Grandmama took the three youngest grandkids to play on the inflatables at a mall. They played for almost four hours ... FOUR HOURS!!! Then Grandmama and Papa took them all out for dinner.

My nephew didn't realize what a commotion he was going to create, but he suggested they go out for pizza. Big mistake!

Papa is not a big fan of pizza, so they decided to go to a fast food place. Biscuit was not happy. Pizza is his favorite thing to eat, so at the mention of it, he was sold. Then they came back to tell him pizza was out and chicken nuggets were in.

Oh, there was drama.

Biscuit even told Grandmama that he didn't like the chicken nuggets from the restaurant they were going to. There's no way he could even know if he likes the chicken nuggets from there because he had never had them before. It didn't matter. He was giving it his best shot.

Biscuit devoured a four-nugget kid's meal, complete with fries and chocolate milk. My nephew had one nugget left, but he wanted to dip it in ketchup to eat it. So he got up to go get the ketchup. Meanwhile, Biscuit saw a leftover nugget and helped himself. Luckily, my nephew thought it was funny and didn't get mad at him.

It sounds like Biscuit is having a good time. And he reminded me again today that he isn't missing me because he likes Grandmama and Papa, too.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Where's my boy?

Jeff and I ditched our boy this afternoon. We met my parents halfway between their house and ours, unloaded his stuff into their car and headed back home alone.

This morning, I went upstairs to get Biscuit's suitcase, and he had already grabbed it and packed it.

He had a fire helmet, his belt, his Yankees baseball cap, a toy baseball bat and a toy fire ax.

"I'm all ready to go, Mom," Biscuit said.

"I can see that," I said. "Can you go play in the living room and let me get your clothes together?"

He went to play, and I emptied the contents of his suitcase into a tote bag and packed his suitcase with stuff to wear. I had everything ready to go, and Biscuit came in with some Spider-Man slippers.

"Mom, my feet might get cold, so I need these slippers," he said. Biscuit wears footed pajamas, so I don't think he'll need the slippers, but I didn't care enough to make a fuss.

"Mom, can I carry some of my animals?" Biscuit asked. He was talking about stuffed animals.

"Sure," I said. And then he rounded the corner with about eight animals (two bears, a horse, two dogs, a dolphin, a giraffe and a cow). "Um, how 'bout you just pick your three favorites?"

Thankfully, I didn't meet any resistance. He grabbed Puppy, Pinto the horse and Grover, a bear that he pretends is a dog.

He wanted to take a bat and ball, his skates (plus pads and helmet), some cars, some firefighters, some cowboys and horses, some of his plastic tools and a flashlight. Luckily, none of these things took up too much space, so I told him he could take anything that fit into the tote bag. Grandmama has toys at her house, so I doubt he'll even play with some of the stuff he took, but if it makes him feel better about being away from home, I'm fine with him taking whatever he needs.

Jeff and I went out to dinner tonight, and I just didn't know what to do with myself. First of all, Jeff and I had uninterrupted conversation. Secondly, I could look at my menu in peace, without having to entertain the little man and help him figure out what he wanted to eat. Then when my food came, I could just start eating.

I burned my mouth on the first bite of my food.

"Whoa! That's hot," I said. And then I realized that my food is usually cooling while I'm cutting up Biscuit's food and getting him ready to eat. But tonight, I could just dig in. It was very odd.

Biscuit is staying with my parents until Friday. We're going to drive halfway to meet them again after work Friday evening and get our boy back.

I was feeling a little guilty earlier in the evening.

"Is it bad that I'm not sad about the boy leaving?" I asked Jeff.

He laughed and said, "It's not like he's never coming back. You know that he's in good hands. You know that he's going to have a good time. So that makes it okay to enjoy your time without him."

Then I laughed and said, "Do you realize that we've had this same conversation every time he's gone somewhere without us?"

Just before we met my parents, I said to Biscuit, "I'm going to miss you while you're gone."

"But Mom," Biscuit said, "I'm not going to miss you."

"You won't miss me at all?" I asked.

"Mom, I won't miss you because I like Grandmama and Papa, too," he explained.

I'm really glad he enjoys spending time away from us. I think it makes him more independent. Plus, I read somewhere recently that kids who have a sense of family and family history deal better in stressful situations because they have a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.

So we'll see Biscuit again Friday, but until then, here is a photo session he and I had last night. He was in the mood to make faces (and yes, he is wearing Christmas pajamas in February!).

We're having our bathroom remodeled, so we took down all
the towel bars and hand towel rings. Biscuit grabbed a hand
towel ring and said it was his hat with a light on the front.

Some of the others are funny, but this one is my favorite. He's my sweet boy.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A little bit of snow

There's a saying around here ... if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes. And this week has been a perfect example of that.

Yesterday, it was 59 degrees in the afternoon. Jeff and I went out for lunch, and we didn't even wear our coats. Then today, we get snow. Big, fat flakes of snow that was so pretty as it floated down from the sky.

And then the sun came out.

And then the snow was gone.

See? Wait 10 minutes.

It was actually more like waiting a couple of hours, but even so, all those pretty snowflakes are gone now.

Here are a few snow pictures:

The wind was blowing, so every once in a while,
the snow would come down in whirling circles.

This cute little cardinal couple were having a
perfectly nice breakfast at the bird feeder, when
Woody Woodpecker showed up and drove them away.

Once the woodpecker got his fill, the cardinals came back.
But Woody had done his damage. He emptied the feeder.

And then the snow started. Can you see the flakes
falling? So the cardinals went back to their home.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Greatest gift ever!

"You are the BEST mom I ever had!" Biscuit yelled.

"What about Dad?" I asked.

"Dad is the best dad in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!" Biscuit said.

Wow. That's high praise. And all we had to do was give him a watch with his favorite character on it.

Biscuit has been obsessed with watches ever since I gave Jeff one for Christmas. He had a plastic watch that came in a firefighter set he got, but it was kind of flimsy, and it eventually broke.

I rambled through my jewelry box and found a watch I don't wear anymore. The battery was dead, but Biscuit didn't care. He loved it.

As he was wearing my old watch one night, he threw his hands up in the air, and the watch went flying across the room. He felt really bad and kept apologizing. I told him not to worry about it because the watch was too big for him. Then he asked if we could get a watch just for him.

So when I handed him the package this evening, and he opened it, he was more than a little excited.

Here are some pictures:


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and although Jeff and I aren't huge partakers of the occasion, we wanted to help Biscuit celebrate.

Biscuit's day care if having a V-day party tomorrow, and the kids will trade valentines. Last year, Biscuit and I made valentines for his class. But this year, with everything that's going on right now, that was not an option. So as I was picking up some groceries last week, I saw some Valentine's Day-related fruit snacks with To: and From: labels on the side. I got a box of those and wrote the kids' names in last night. Biscuit put some heart-shaped stickers with googly eyes on the little individually wrapped packages of snacks. And we're good to go.

We did still want to make something for Grandmama and Papa and Grandma and Grandpa.

And by copying a couple of ideas I saw on the Internet (and copying Biscuit's hands), we found something cute and simple.

For the first one, I traced around his hands with his fingers close together. Biscuit loves for me to trace his hands, so doing these was fun for him.

For the other one, I traced his hands with his fingers spread apart. Then I used double-sided tape to stick two fingers down. This hand signal is sign language for "I love you."

Once I finished with the tape, Biscuit wrote some Gs on the cards. He did the second card first. The reason I can tell this is because the letters actually look like Gs. But by the time he got to the second card, Diego was coming on TV, and Biscuit was ready to go watch the animal rescue adventure.

Of course, I don't think either of the grandmothers will care one bit!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The weather man

Jeff and Biscuit were in our bedroom the other night surfing the TV channels. Jeff saw the weather report coming on, so he stopped to see what it was going to be like for the next day.

After a story about the bad snow storm that was heading through the Northeast, they showed footage of a tornado that went through Mississippi.

There is absolutely nothing funny about such a terrible tragedy, but Jeff and I had to laugh when Biscuit started talking about the "TURNado" instead of the "TORNado."

"Dad, where is Mississippi?" Biscuit asked.

"Mississippi is far away from where we are," Jeff said.

"So it's in a different land?" Biscuit asked.

"Yes," Jeff said. "It's in a different land."

Once Jeff told him that, Biscuit seemed satisfied with the answer he got. We assumed that he had forgotten about it, but then on the way to day care this morning, it was raining, and that set Biscuit off on a monologue about weather.

"It's raining here," Biscuit said, "but it's snowing some other places. I'd like to build a snowman in the snow ... not a big snowman, but a medium snowman like me. And some places have turnadoes."

"What's a tornado?" Jeff asked him.

Biscuit explained, "Turnadoes turn in circles. And they suck everything up inside them."

Jeff said he didn't seem at all scared, just fascinated.

Maybe our firefighter will be an amateur meteorologist.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What's for dinner?

Jeff, Biscuit and I were on the way to dinner tonight, and Biscuit wanted to know where we were going.

"I can't tell you," I said.

"Is it a secret?" Biscuit asked.

"It's a guessing game," I said. "If you guess where we're going, I'll tell you that you got the right answer."

"Okay," Biscuit said. "Hmmmmm."

He named over a few places, and I kept telling him those places weren't our destination.

Then he said, "What about that restaurant with the man on it?"

"What?" I asked. And Biscuit repeated himself.

"Is there a man on the sign?" I asked Biscuit.

"Yes," he said.

"What do you eat when you go to that restaurant?" I asked him. It felt like my guessing game had turned on me.

"Mom, I have no idea what I ate there," Biscuit said.

"What color is the sign?" I asked him.

"Um, I think it's red," Biscuit said.

Jeff started laughing because he knew which restaurant Biscuit was talking about.

I finally had to give up, and Jeff told me the restaurant Biscuit was talking about was Wendy's.


First of all, the "man" on the sign is a little red-headed girl with pigtails.

Secondly, I can remember taking Biscuit to Wendy's but maybe three times ever.

The last time Biscuit went there was with Jeff in October. And the only reason they went was because it was across the street from our auto mechanic's place, and Jeff had gone by to check on my car.

We did not go to Wendy's tonight for dinner. We went to a steakhouse and had a very nice evening.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A little chaos goes a long way

The place where I work is in a sort of chaos right now.

The newsroom is being reorganized, which means that most of the people in the room will have a different job by the end of this month, including me.

The physical newsroom is being reorganized, so our co-workers are scattered hither and yon around the building.

A large media company bought our paper last week, so we're now in the transition of new ownership. That includes a new employee handbook (complete with new employee rules), new benefits (which we learned about this week) and even new paydays (the opposite Fridays of when we get paid now).

All this change has cluttered my brain for the past month.

I told my in-laws that it didn't seem like they had been here long enough this year. They come down the week before Christmas and stay through the end of January. They alternate time between our house and Jeff's brother's house. It wasn't until today that I realized ... they spent the same amount of time with us as they always do, but I worked late a lot of the nights they were here, and even when I was here physically, my mind was often elsewhere.

From what we've heard, the company that bought us could have the power to do some good things for us. But because we've seen so many other papers put through terrible times, it's hard not to worry about our future.

I don't want to sound like I'm whining because believe me, I feel very blessed to have a job. So many people I know have been affected by layoffs and job eliminations.

That said, I'll be glad when the dust clears, and we can find some day-to-day normalcy again.

Because of the clutter in my head, writing blog posts has been a struggle for the last little while.

When things are normal, blog posts pop into my head throughout the day, or Biscuit will say something that makes me laugh, or I'll find a scrap of paper where I've written a note about a post I want to write.

But right now, it's hard to come home and clear my head enough to let those ideas flow out of me.

Besides getting married, Biscuit is the best thing Jeff and I have ever done. And even though I've struggled with sharing things about him lately, he is still just as great as he's ever been.

So cross your fingers, send a kind thought, say a little prayer and wish us some soon-to-come calm waters. And I'll do my best to keep sharing Biscuit with you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Conversational Biscuit

When people ask me questions about Biscuit's verbal-ness, I tell them the truth when I say that he went from being non-verbal to verbal. There wasn't really much of an in-between.

And he talks and talks and talks now. He talks to Jeff and me. He talks to people in line at stores. He talks to other little kids (and I'm always surprised by how many kids are either freaked out by this or are mean to him). He talks to my co-workers when he gets to come by the office. He talks to everybody.

We're starting to have stranger-danger conversations with him now. I tell him that as long as Jeff and I are with him, he can talk to anyone he wants. But if Jeff and I aren't there, he shouldn't talk to anyone. I think it will take us a while to get that message across because he doesn't see the danger in it.

Tonight, we met a sales lady at a women's accessory store. The store is arranged by color, and because the store isn't exactly Biscuit's cup of tea, whenever I make him go in there with me, I give him a job to do.

"Her favorite color is purple," I said. "So let's find something purple."

He's so preoccupied with his duties that he forgets to be bored and forgets to ask me if being in this store is going to take FOREVER!

Biscuit and I were talking, and a sales lady came up behind us and asked if we needed help.

"No, thank you," Biscuit said. "We're just looking for something purple."

"Wow," the lady said. "He speaks well." Then she walked away to check on some other customers.

When Biscuit and I were heading for the checkout, he asked the same question he always asks me.

"Mom, do we have everything we need?"

"Yep," I told him. "Let's go."

We walked up to the counter, and even standing on tiptoes, Biscuit could barely see over.

"Excuse me," Biscuit said to the same sales lady we encountered earlier. "Was I so little that you looked right over me?"

"Almost," she said, looking at me with her eyebrows raised.

"Can you introduce yourself?" I asked Biscuit.

He told her his name, then he asked her name (it was Rhonda), and then he said, "This is my mom, but some people call her Kim."

After that store, we went to get Biscuit's hair cut. He was in major hippie form and needed a good trim.

When the stylist called him back, he looked at me, held up his hand and said, "Mom, I can do this by myself."

So I sat down in the little waiting room. Biscuit had a big mirror in front of him, and I realized that if I moved my chair over a little, and I could see his reflection by looking into a different mirror.

I struck up a conversation with another mother there. Her 15-year-old was getting bangs after letting her hair grow to just past her shoulders. The mother was clearly freaked out on the daughter's behalf. The mother wouldn't dare say anything to the girl. She was letting her do what she wanted. But I could tell that she was anxious to see if the girl liked the bangs when the stylist was done. (She did, by the way.)

The whole time this lady and I were talking, Biscuit was chatting up a storm with the girl who was cutting his hair. 

He told her to make sure not to cut his ear because he couldn't hear if he was missing an ear. He told her that he didn't like the hair dryers because they were too loud, but if she needed to use one on him, she could put it on low, and it wouldn't hurt his ears. He told her all about the cars he was carrying and asked her what cartoons she liked. He explained to her that he was a boy and she was a girl. And his Dad is a boy, and his Mom is a girl, and his Mom is sitting in a chair over there waiting on him. Then he asked her how the chairs moved up and down. And she took the time to show him. Then he called me over so he could show me.

She gave Biscuit a great haircut, and most importantly, she talked to him like she would talk to any other client. She didn't talk to him like he was a baby.

That really means a lot to me, when people treat him with respect, even though he's still a little guy.

By the time we left, he had said at least a few words to everyone left in the place (two female stylists, one male stylist and three customers).

Right before we left, the stylist gave Biscuit a lollipop and said, "You look so handsome." 

He just looked at her, smiled and said, "Yeah."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Car show: We took Jeff's parents to an indoor car show Saturday afternoon, and on the way over, Biscuit decided that we were all riding in an airplane.

"Dad, you're the pilot," Biscuit said. "And Grandpa, you're the co-pilot." I'm guessing they got picked because they were in the driver's seat and passenger seat, respectively.

Jeff asked Biscuit how he was supposed to start.

"You have to say, 'Passengers, we're clear for takeoff,'" Biscuit told Jeff.

"Okay, Roger," Jeff said.

"No, Dad," Biscuit said. "My name isn't Roger. I'm just Griffin because I'm a passenger."

"Roger that," Jeff said, just to pick on Biscuit.

"Dad, nooooo," Biscuit said. He was starting to whine.

"When Dad says 'roger', that's like saying 'okay' or 'I understand,'" I explained to Biscuit.

That seemed to satisfy him for a little while, until he told Jeff something else a pilot would do.

"Roger that," Jeff said.

By then, Biscuit was downright annoyed. He clearly didn't remember what I had told him.

"DAD! I AM NOT ROGER!" Biscuit said. Luckily, we weren't far from the show, and the plane came in for a landing.

Biscuit still asks to take a nap on weekend days. So when I told him we were going to the car show Saturday afternoon, his first question was, "Can I still take a nap?"

I told him I'd put him down at noon, wake him up at 1:30, then we could be at the show by 2 p.m. The one thing I didn't factor in was Biscuit's lunch. He went down so early, he didn't want lunch before his nap. So I fixed him a sack lunch and took it with us.

When we got to the coliseum, I told Jeff that if I couldn't take Biscuit's food inside, I would sit with him in the lobby until he was done eating, then meet them inside.

I walked up to the ticket taker and said, "I have a sack lunch for my son in my bag. Is it okay to take it in or does he need to eat it out here?"

"Well, he's supposed to eat it out here," the man said. Then he glanced over to where Biscuit was standing. "Is that him? ... The little guy?"

"Yeah, that's him," I said. "He had to have a nap before we came, so he didn't have time to eat his lunch."

The man smiled at Biscuit, then smiled at me. "Go on and take it in," he said with a wink.

So as Jeff and his parents perused the flea market area, Biscuit and I camped out in a corner to people watch and let him eat his lunch.

After a few people had gone by, he looked at me with this wistful look on his face and said, "Mom, it's beautiful to see all these people and cars today."

I swear, that kid was born in the wrong decade.

Transportation: I'm not sure where either of these things came from, but Biscuit declared that he would like to visit a big city and ride some things they have there.

"Mom, I would like to visit a big city like Lost Angela and ride the subway and a submarine," Biscuit said, out of nowhere.

"Well," I said, not even sure where to start. "Los Angeles doesn't have a subway, but maybe we can go to Atlanta sometime and ride the one there. As for a submarine, I'm not sure they let just anybody ride on those.

I guess I should feel proud of his answer because clearly, he thinks I hold the world in my hands. He said, "Mom, I know you'll find one for me to ride."

No pressure there.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Love grows

We had a staff meeting at work yesterday, and I found out that a co-worker I really like is pregnant. She's wanted a baby for a long time, and I'm really happy that it's finally happening for her. Since it took us a while to have Biscuit, I can definitely understand how frustrating it is to know what you want and not be able to get it.

I had seen this co-worker in the hallway a couple of times and noticed that she had gained some weight and was wearing loose-fitting clothes. But hey, a lot of us have been there, so my first assumption was not pregnancy.

But a woman in our HR department leaned over at the meeting and asked her if she had found out the sex of the baby. She's having a boy.

So after the meeting, I headed over to talk to the mother-to-be. I told her how excited I was for her and her husband. And then we went off on so many baby tangents, I can't even remember them all.

One thing I did tell her is that right after I found out I was pregnant, I could just imagine the pretty little girl I was going to have. I thought about dressing her and brushing her hair. I thought about all the mother-daughter things we could do together.

And then I had the first dream.

I dreamed that I was talking to a guy I went to high school with. He was a tall guy with dark hair. Then the next night, I dreamed I was driving in a car with a different guy with dark hair. Almost every night for two months, I dreamed about dark-haired boys and men. And I knew that the daughter I wanted was actually a son.

I was a little worried because I just couldn't imagine having a son. Now, of course, I can't imagine NOT having a boy.

One other thing my co-worker and I talked about was the early days of being a parent. 

Every expectant parent knows that you'll be sleep-deprived and that the learning curve of caring for a child is huge. But one thing I didn't expect was how I felt about Biscuit during the first weeks.

After everything we went through to have Biscuit, I had a hard time being happy after he was born. I expected to just fall head over heels in love with him at first sight. 

But I didn't.

He slept ALL THE TIME. And my hormones were crazy. And I was sad a lot. And even when he was awake, he didn't really do anything. He just laid there not doing anything -- well, except crying, eating, pooping and sleeping.

Don't get me wrong. I loved Biscuit from Day 1. I would've done anything to protect him. But it was that motherly instinct love, not the kind of love I thought I would feel.

But as the weeks went by, I started to see little sparks of who Biscuit would become. He started to hold eye contact with me. He started putting his hands on my face like he was trying to figure me out. Then he started to smile and laugh.

Next thing you know, he's walking and talking and coming up to me, grabbing my face and saying, "I love you, Mom."

Now, I can't imagine my life without Biscuit. And I can't believe Biscuit has been around for 4 years already.

So I told my friend that every mom has different feelings about her newborn, and that she shouldn't feel bad or worried if her feelings weren't what she expected. Then I said to her, "Having the baby is hard on your body. Getting through the first weeks is hard on your brain. But once you find the rhythm of it, you are going to have SO much fun."