Saturday, December 17, 2011

good days and better days

Hard as it is to fathom, I was just writing (and, gratefully, deleted) a very ungrateful post.  How can I be so ungrateful?  And, dare I say it, about Christmas?  It's too awful to contemplate.

Mid-way through, my Gorgeous started doing an amazing booty dance to the theme music to "Tangled," reminding me what an ungrateful wretch I was being.  Seriously - just like that.

Practice what you preach, Sister.

Being involved with different volunteer opportunities and opening my eyes a little has been a constant reminder that I don't have bad days.  I have good days, better days, and some really great ones.  I don't wonder where my kid will get food or clothes, or whether he'll live to see his next birthday (a few freak, irrational panic attacks aside), or whether I married the right man, or why I'm unloved or alone.

Good reminder.  Back on track.  Lucky to be here.

Merry Christmas!

wait for it....

From vaca - we're at our island away from the island, and it's about 4:30 - time to start packing up for the "ferry" (if you'd seen it, you'd know why I used quotation marks).  My little Irish-skinned boy is very fair, so he's never been in the hot sun without one of those swim shirts that's SPF a billion or something.  However, it was late in the day, weaker sun and such.  And we needed him to dry out.  So Steven took A's shirt off to dry, and A happily romped some more in the ocean.

Calling to his little friend Ava, 6 yrs old:  "Wow!  You wouldn't believe how wonderful the water feels on your skin without a shirt on.  You HAVE to try it!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

the most annoying sound on earth or the cutest vacation story ever? both?

We were driving from our resort to the airport, a trip that should've taken about 20 minutes and took over 2 hours.  There was construction on the island, and the drainage isn't good, which causes a lot of the roads to flood.  Lethal combination.

Factor two:  the cars you rent on St. Martin are atrocious.  They sort of run.  The first time I had to apply the brakes, I discovered that it had no brake pads.  None.  Just grate and squeal.

So, we're driving through the rain on the way to the airport, brakes squealing.  After a few minutes, we realize that Aidan's in the back seat humming, nay, singing along.  Squealing along on the same note as the brakes.  They'd go off and on, and he'd "sing" along with it as they did.  He sang along with squealing brakes.  Tell me that's not the coolest kid ever.

THIS is vacation

I'm not going to lie - I'm typing this from St. Martin.  THE St Martin.  It's always amazing to have a week off, and even more amazing to have a whole week (a whole week) with my boys.  Even more amazing in a place like this.  Our condo is literally 5 feet from the ocean - if we open the balcony, some of the waves crashing in splash onto it.  We can hear the waves and the crashing and feel the breezes all the time.  Pretty great.

Today, though, we lucked out.  We met a guy in the swimming pool the other day who recommended a day trip to us, and we took it today.  Thanks, Tony.  Amazing day.  We took a ferry over to an even smaller, uninhabited island.  It's got a couple of restaurants, chairs and umbrellas, and a really calm piece of ocean - soft, soft sand.  It was so perfect.  It's supposed to be awful out this week, but today the sky was blue, blue, blue.  Just blue sky with the palm trees, the ocean, some good food and my boys.  Little man floating in the ocean with his noodle, playing frisbee with us in the waves, laughing, building castles with his little friend Logan who happens to be three years to the day younger (met them today), making friends, touching the VERY fresh lobsters in a cage waiting in the ocean for someone to pick them for lunch.  I know I'm fortunate all the time - days like today are just beyond.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

um, what is that?

Aidan has a terrible mark on his shoulder that wasn't there earlier in the day.  Steven asked where it came from, and he showed us.  Turns out, he was sucking on his own shoulder to see what it would feel like.  That's right - he's given himself a giant (for him) hickey.  Seriously?  Do other children do this?

Things I'll miss

I was very sad when Aidan aquired "L"s.  There are other things I know I'll miss, for example:
  • peek for keep, e.g., "He peeks on telling me, but I already know!"
  • "bictroller" for controller and "bictrol" for control.  "Where's the bictroller?  I need to pause the TV"
  • "Mommy, I can't hear the music--can you speak it up?" or "It's too loud, would you speak it down?"
  • be-chother, as in "We love bechother"
  • beleven, the number after ten (though I've heard him say eleven once or twice already)
  • "salty chips" - the kind with a hint of lime; has nothing to do with salt
  • "even" at the beginning of the sentence - "Even I got to have ice cream last night!"
The time approacheth, and too fast....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

wait for it....

Today I got an awesome story on the way to work about Aidan's amazing strength.  Did you know that sometimes he can touch an animal and turn into that animal?  (During these times, he doesn't keep an Aidan face - he'd have a cheetah face, for example.)

He also is able to make hyenas back off.  How?  He punches them in the stomach.  The stomach is back behind the head, Aidan, how do you keep them from biting you if you're punching them past their heads?  He tapes their mouths closed, like we saw the man on TV who was moving crocodiles and taped their mouths closed before moving them.  "I use duck, duck......a duck and a goose tape."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Love those little ever-turning wheels!

Sometimes on weekends when Aidan calls out in the morning that he's awake, I tell him to crawl in with us and snuggle for a few minutes instead of going right downstairs.  There's a shot he'll go back to sleep and I might not have to get up at 7am.  I tried it this morning, and it worked for at least half an hour - victory! 

Our friends came to visit yesterday; their youngest is 7 months old.  I held him until he fell asleep on me, and what an amazing feeling!  I remembered and miss when Aidan was tiny and would fall asleep on my chest.  Mmmm.  So, when last night we were watching some TV and relaxing before bedtime, it was an extra special treat that he fell asleep on me.  Couldn't tell you the last time.

So, fell asleep on me last night, then again this morning snuggling all warm from sleep.  Heavenly.  Great way to wake up, too, today--his first words this morning were, "Bee starts with B."  Right, Aidan.  "So does blasting bomber."  Odd that there was no hello or anything, but to be fair, those words all do start with B. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Drama in the Discovery room

Discovery is Aidan's current room at school.  This is the story he's been telling me over the last several weeks, which culminated last night.  You should be aware that, when you're on the outs with him or his friends, they commonly say things like, "Then you're not part of my collection!" or "Then you're not invited to my birthday!" or "Then you're not invited to my playdate!"  The actual existence of these activities at all or in any kind of near proximity is completely immaterial to the threat.  All of the players in this tale are Discovery kids.  Please let it be known that I have never encouraged marriage proposals or considerations in my four-year-old son.

Addison was going to marry Phillip.  Aidan was going to marry Alexa, because you should always marry someone taller than you.  Alexa wanted to marry nobody because her parents were divorced, and she didn't want a divorce.  She asked them to get back together so that she could get married someday.  No go, so no marriage for Alexa. 

Addison "fell in love with" Aidan, and Phillip was not happy.  Addison was no longer invited to Phillip's party, and Aidan was going instead.  (ed - interesting that Aidan received no blame in that)  Despite her love for Aidan, Addison would marry nobody, and Aidan would marry nobody.  (ed - I am unsure as to the details of why they would marry no one at that time)

Addison "tricked" Aidan.  She had said that she loved Aidan but would marry nobody, but has since decided that she will marry Phillip afterall.  Now she and Aidan are both invited to Phillip's playdate (formerly known as his party).  Aidan will still marry nobody, because nobody's perfect except us (Team Driver).  He doesn't have to marry anyone, right?

At one time during this drama, Aidan asked whether he had to marry anyone.  "Of course not, Aidan.  If you don't want to marry anyone, you don't have to."  Okay, then he would marry no one.  Unless Conner wanted to marry him - could he marry Conner?  "Sure; if you and Conner want to get married when you grow up, you go ahead and get married."  Very reassuring at the moment, but the next day back to marrying no one.

I had no idea this sort of drama started so early.  Amazing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I find my son's taste in music hilarious.  On any given day if you ask him his favorite song, he might name "Old Time Rock and Roll" and "The Little Sister Song," ("White Wedding"), or "Bennie & the Jets" or any one of a number of old Michael Jackson tunes.  Then again, he's really into Maroon 5 lately - loves "Moves Like Jagger" and others.  Also loves CeeLo Green, and Lady GaGa's a fave too.

I didn't think I'd have to put on the pop stations for a four-year-old, or that he'd somehow know the lyrics to pop songs.  Of course, I didn't think I'd have to put pop music on for my husband to car dance to either, but that's another story.  On the bright side, he's getting much, much better at finding the melody line of a song--very encouraging to the musician in his mommy.  On the not-as-bright side, I'm becoming way to familiar with pop music.  Waayyy to familiar.

Modesty is not his virtue

On being told that it was time to leave because the Halloween Spooktacular was over, Aidan told me, "If I'm still here, Mommy, it's still a party!"  He said it with conviction, too - not like he was making a point, but like he was stating the obvious.  Excellent.


"Mommy, why I can't say, 'Oh Jesus!' when my Vacation Bible School songs say 'Oh Jesus' all the time?" Well, Aidan, it's all about context. Sometimes when you say the same words they mean different things depending on how you say them. "You mean like when you call me 'Nutball' it's okay because you love me in the whole world?" Exactly!
(He did not learn that from me.)

How is it October?

I'm working on a large project now for my client, and clearly I have a lot less free time than I've had recently. Ugh. He's so hilarious right now, and I'm missing golden quotes!!
Last weekend we went to Homecoming at OU. We rented a giant house for the weekend with friends and had a blast. But first, we went into town. We told Aidan we were having lunch at the Flying Buffalo (BW3). He said, "I'm not eating; I'm just drinking." Definitely his father's son.

Monday, July 11, 2011

faves from last night

Coming home from dinner last night, Aidan did NOT want to take a shower or bath. Steven and I had different favorite quotes from our discussion about bathtime (should people really have to discuss whether or not bathtime will occur?).

I had given Aidan the choice between a shower or a bath. ("I do not want a shower OR a bath.") Steven told him that he needed to choose, or Steven would choose for him. Steven's choice would be a shower, and for good measure, Steven mentioned that he'd throw A in before it warmed up, and the water would be cold. Steven's favorite line from last night: "If you do that, I will FREAK OUT!"

Trying to ease the pain and bring things down a level, S then mentioned that after a bath or shower, he'd smell really nice - his hair would even smell nice. My favorite line from last night: "If you make me take a bath and my hair smells nice, I will fart so that it stays stinky!"

Let it not be said that he didn't go down swinging!

Monday, June 13, 2011

walking down the stairs this morning,

Aidan was riding on my back. With arms tight around my neck, "Mommy, I nine-ninety-nine love you!"

Friday, June 10, 2011

thankfully, the conference call was on mute

I took Aidan to work with me today; I really only needed to stop in for a few minutes, and I thought some people would enjoying meeting or seeing him. It worked out that I could just reserve an office for my conference call, and he watched a DVD while I took the call. Perfect.
Mid-call, he paused the DVD player and asked as a Croc'd foot came up to his face, "Mommy, can I smell my feet for a second?" "No, Aidan, put your feet down." "OK." Probably fifteen minutes later, the foot came up again, with a little hand reaching over to remove the sandal. "Mommy, it'll just be for a second; can't I smell my feet really quick?" "No, Aidan. Put your feet down."
Are other people having these conversations?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

you don't know what it'll be, but you know it'll be hilarious

Today's episode happened this morning as I was getting ready for work. We did a bunch of landscaping on Monday and are watering so that the flowers will take root. I asked Aidan, as I was putting on my "face," whether he'd bring the sprinkler in (drag it onto the deck so that the hose wouldn't stay in the grass all day). He excitedly yelled "Sure!" and I thought to myself how lucky I am to have a boy who loves to help that much. I heard him tear up the stairs and out onto the deck. I looked out the window to ensure he was on track and in sight, and before I knew what was happening, he was running around naked in the back yard through the sprinkler like the little nutball he is! Apparently, he misheard me and thought I'd asked whether he wanted to play in the sprinkler, not put it away. (How that equals naked, I'm still not sure.) I called out to our neighbor, Marvin, "Sorry about the naked!" He answered, "Hey - that's how we all came in!" Thank goodness he has a sense of humor (and two kids)!

Monday, May 30, 2011

the birth of the "l"

My son doesn't "do" Ls. He "w's" them. "He-wo?" is what he says when he answers the phone. Strangely, we get the occasional L in Spanish - he'll sprinkle an "Hola" in with his "O-wa's."

Dad's been working with him to see whether he can do an actual L sound, and it turns out he can. He doesn't do it all the time yet, just sprinkles them in here and there. Today he said, "ladies." I knew he could; I wasn't worried. However, it saddens me just a little to hear his baby sounds disappearing. He's got a great vocabuwary and is very expressive, even with the "w's." I'm not a bad mom; just a wittow notstawgic.


This morning my son told me that he'd learned a new Backyardigans song called, "Who the hell are you?" I doubted that there was such a song, and he told me that it was different Backyardigans, going on to tell me all about the parallel-universe characters in that version, and even "singing" a bit of the song.

When we discussed that those are words we don't really say, he was very worried about Santa, which confused me. Turns out he believes (don't know whether it's true) Santa says, "Who the hell are you?" in the movie, Elf. If it's true, thanks Favreau. If not, my kid really is sneaky.

Monday, April 25, 2011

If you're a good boy

"If you're a good boy during swim lessons and you listen, you can get a 'meal' (a Happy Meal) after your lesson. If you don't listen, you still get to eat, but you get an angry meal at home, not a Happy Meal. I listen!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How long is six days?

Forever, when it's the last six days of busy season. It's 12:48, I'm still up doing chores (until a minute ago) hoping to hear a Jeep in the driveway. Oh - honest! I hear a Jeep!

Cool story

The last two days in a row, I've heard a pretty cool story in the car on the way to school. You see, it turns out that, prior to being my son, Spiderman discovered Aidan in a spaceship right in front of his (Spiderman's) house. He discovered him and named him, coincidentally, the same name we gave him - first, middle and last. Amazing, right? Then there was some sort of transition, and he came out of my belly and now he's my son. Occasionally, when I'll mention something to him, he'll say, "Mommy, that was before I was your son; that was when Spiderman found me in the spaceship." Excellent.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Exactly how old am I?

I was at the science museum with Aidan on Saturday morning to see a preview of their dolphin IMAX film. A volunteer was welcoming us prior to the movie; I'm guessing she was 20ish, maybe a little older. She told us that the movie featured music by the popular musical group, Sting. The popular musical group, Sting? Do people really not know who Sting is? What's become of our public educational system?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

See, I told you, Mommy

There's a lot of that going on around our house right now, along with a lot of "See, I was right and you were wrong." It doesn't matter whether he actually has told me, either. It also doesn't matter whether I had said anything contrary to the rightness - if he's right, I must be wrong. Or if something occurs in the matter of course, it must prove something about him right.

Let's say, for example, that we're driving to school. Let's say a school bus gets on the highway, and we've not spoken of school busses for a year. It might provoke a, "See, Mommy - you were wrong, and I was right. I told you we'd see a school bus this morning!" Endearing? Not so much.

Tonight, driving home from Sam's Club, I got this: "Aidan, somebody's not always wrong, and no one's always right." "I am, Mommy - I'm always right, and you're always wrong. I just am. See, Mommy?"

I am a pushover

I bought Rice Krispie Treats at Sam's Club today. On the way home, he asked, "Those rice Christmas trees. Are they full of sugar?" in a hopeful sort of voice. I told him they had lots and also marshmallows (a favorite - puffy sugar). He's never had one, but is convinced he'll love 'em.

Bella, revisted

Feeling a little guilty.

Spoke to Aidan's teachers today, and while Bella has her struggles, she's getting better and is judged through the eyes of former behavior. Oh, and Aidan pushes her buttons to see what will happen, then gets upset when, inevitably, it does. Hmmmm.

Aidan mentioned a day or two ago that Cindy told him to stop bothering her. I asked him why she said that, and he said, with honesty, "I don't know." Another hmmm. Teachers say the kids are working on that too.

No provocation is reason for someone to hit, but he does provoke her. Also, one teacher saw the "punched in the face" incident, and her observations about it were significantly different than Aidan's.

Working on giving Bella the benefit of the doubt. Working on how I can coach Aidan to be a better friend too, or remove himself from the space of a person who's bothering him, and not to bother others.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


There's a child in my son's class named Bella. I truly love children, all children, and she's a challenge for me. Aidan likes her and considers her a friend, and yet. She's got a violent streak like nothing I've seen. I'm not often at school - I'm there every day, but for a few minutes at a time. I've witnesses her shrieking generally, shrieking unkind words, shoving down stairs, pushing, hitting, throwing things at other children. All this, and she's improving. Last year she chucked a chair at Nora's head, making a big egg and drawing blood.

I know that I don't understand what happens for someone else, in someone else's family or mind. I don't know what is going on for this child, other than I'm aware that she spends quite a bit of time at Children's Hospital. For what, I don't know. She appears healthy, but that's not an indicator, I've learned from my weekly volunteering at that same Children's Hospital. Her parents both seem lovely and clearly care for her dearly.

Why does Aidan continue to want to be friends with her, despite the fact that she hurts him several times a week? I don't know. Today he told me (unprovoked; I try not to say negative things about her, and I try to treat her like I treat the other children when I see her) about how she punched him in the face on the playground while he was climbing up the climber outside. He was afraid that she'd push him off and he'd fall to the ground. Late last week, she scratched his arm and drew blood. A couple of weeks ago, I hung out with them in the muscle room for a few minutes. She had her hands around his neck.

Last night, Aidan punched me in the face. That's not like him.

I've expressed concerns to his teachers, and today I started documenting the nearly daily incidents that he tells me about, unprovoked.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First day at the park - check!

Thursday night was about 65 degrees and breezy - it was gorgeous. I stayed up until 12:30 working, but it was worth every minute in order to spend an evening at the park with my boy.

He's a new boy at the park this year - his climbing is hugely improved, and his fears are many fewer. He was bursting with the enthusiam of springtime, a ball of energy. It's amazing how grown up he seems in comparison to six months ago, the last time we went.

He'll go to kindergarten in a year and a half. Wow.

I did it!

I just realized that I hadn't posted about this; my nervousness must've been greater than I realized. I just taught my first college class, and graduate level, at that. I did it. It's something I've wanted to try for a long time. Today was the final, and grades are complete. I had a healthy respect and nervousness for the process and about providing value to a room full of people with high hopes and expectations.

I did it.

I taught accounting for financial statement analysis purposes, the first course in the Masters of Finance and Economics program. The amount of work that went into preparing it was even more than what I anticipated; countless hours. If I'm invited to return next year, my (huge) investment in preparation will pay off exponentially. One hopes.

I got to know 25 very interesting, quite varied people.

There were no teaching materials other than a text. I'm used to teaching for a review course, and from prepared materials. This was all new. It's also a completely different ballgame to teach history majors pretty complex accounting issues than to teach them as review to accounting grads. Their beginning level ran from never having had algebra before to one CPA. They hung in there, most of them, and really learned a lot. My initial concern was that my course would be much too easy, and that we'd finish the material a few weeks early with me scrambling to fill the last couple of classes. Instead, we did not finish the material we'd intended, but I believe the students have a good foundation for their next class, as well as for reading and analyzing financial statements, which was our goal. I'm proud of them.

I'm also proud of myself.

"What does 'flippin' mean, Mommy?"

That about covers it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

change in plans already!

He'd rather be a superhero than a dentist. Did you know that college is where you choose what you want to be? You can choose what you want - a doctor, a dentist, a superhero - and then they give you sticker so they know what you chose. When you're done, you're a superhero!

Plus, he knows a lot about superheroes. He doesn't really know a lot about girl superheroes, though. Like Wonder Woman is a girl superhero. (Maybe he could learn about them when he's at college?) No, he doesn't really like the girl superheroes as much. Did you know that boys really like the boy superheroes, and girls really like the girl superheroes. He'll just be a boy superhero.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Had a very interesting conversation with Aidan in the car this morning.

We started by talking about a harmonica he got for his birthday; he's pretty excited about playing it. That got him thinking that I should dance the hula while he played (I haven't danced the hula before - it must be what the harmonica sound reminded him of). Then he asked if I had a hula dress, and when I told him I didn't - we'd have to make one or pretend - he said that I could just wear the "marriage dress" he'd seen in the pictures with Daddy. My wedding dress? Yes, that one. Could he have a wedding dress someday? Sure, if he gets married and wants to wear a wedding dress, that would be fine. I asked him if he knew who he wanted to marry when I grew up? He'd marry himself. Did I know that a person could marry himself? No, I did not know that. Then he said he'd marry Addison (a friend at school) because he'd like to marry Addison, and when you get married, that's when babies come out. And you get to move away. I asked him if he wanted to move away from Mommy and Daddy, and he said that's what you have to do when you get married. I asked, like how Mommy and Daddy don't live with Grammy and Poppie? Yes, like that. But they would like to live someplace with sunshine and seashells. On a beach in Hawaii. (Don't know where that came from, unless he's retained where we got married or because he saw Lilo and Stitch recently, which might also explain the hula, actually).

So, let it be known: Aidan's future is determined. He figured out last week that he wanted to be a dentist (because our dental hygienist let him assist with my cleaning after his), so apparently he'll be a dentist married to Addison (and wearing a dress during the ceremony) living on the beach in Hawaii, and babies will have "come out."

It was all I could do not to crack up, but I so wanted to hear what was coming next that I held it together.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

it will come

I get pretty giddy as the sun comes out and it gets even a little bit warmer. My tulips are popping out of the ground, and my forsythia's budding, letting me know that spring will, in fact, come. Soon it will be my favorite week or two, when our street is up one side and down the other will all sorts of blooming trees and bushes, the air fragrant with one thing or another with each few steps. Just typing that brings a smile. Aidan and I will stroll, and we'll stop to smell everything. I think we'll have a scavenger hunt. Yum.

the rights and privileges associated therewith

Aidan is very anxious to exercise what he believes should be the rights and privileges associated with turning four. It seems that every day he's proclaiming at least one more of them that he's thought of.

Again the other day, he told me "When you're four, you make the rules and growups have to listen." Nope. Still no. The other night, the rule thing didn't get him anywhere, so he told me he was making up a law. Oh really? Yes, he told me, it was a law that he would go downstairs and watch one of his shows (TV) before bedtime. Of course, I put him to bed with flagrant disregard for his law, and he was completely incensed. Felt apart. Total meltdown. I don't believe his outrage came from going to bed; he really doesn't mind that. He just kept telling me, through the tears, "You broke my law! You broke my law!" It took a lot not to laugh, for several reasons.

First, I completely remember the outrage and indignance that he's feeling. I have distinct memory of being in those shoes, even yelling at my dad at a similar age that just because he was the dad and I was the daughter didn't mean he would always be right and I'd be wrong. What if he was wrong and just didn't know it? Had he ever thought about that? I know in my heart why he's so upset, infuriated; I understand how unfair his situation is and will be, so there's a laugh of recognition (and now understanding) brewing in the whole situation.

Second, it's pretty funny that a four-year-old (today!!) would be so insistent that he makes the rules and laws. I must, however, be proud of his self confidence. When he's sure he's right, he's sure he's right.

Third, I love the problem solver in him. If he doesn't get his way at first, he'll try two or seventeen other approaches, fully believing that the current one will work.

Fourth, he doesn't "do" the letter l. So, "You broke my law," comes out, "You broke my waw."

The combination of these four things was nearly insurmountable. However, I was able to suppress it until I leaned down to kiss his forehead, at which time he couldn't see my silly grin, and then recomposed myself to say good night. Another day to come, more injustice in the universe.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

this morning's gem

"Jesus is like a basilisk person."

Torn about explaining or not, but because I probably won't remember for more than an hour, I will (despite the fact that I think it's more effective on its own). We were in the car, and minds will wander. He's been watching educational TV about animals and is fascinated by the basilisk, a lizard that's able to skim/run across water. Then his mind was wandering about God and Jesus, and how you can't see them, but you can talk to them anytime you want to. Then, out popped the gem.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I celebrate Sloan

Tomorrow is Sloan's birthday, "March forth." He would be 43, and it seems incredibly unfair to me that he won't be. It also seems incredibly unfair that he suffered so and so long, physically, before he passed. He is beautiful and thoughtful and kind and funny and talented and generous and selfless and brave. He has celebrated my brother endlessly; sadly, he found it hard to celebrate himself. He always felt a little unworthy, which seems unfathomable to me.

I'd like to kick a few people who contributed to his notion, for example, his "original" family. He was removed from them, a bad situation, and placed in foster care for many years, which turned out to be some worse situations. One year, his birth grandparents actually sent him a bakery-made birthday cake, from what I understand, his first birthday cake. I think he was 10. He was so thrilled - they remembered him, they made an effort! He took a bite and choked - they'd had the baker overdose it with pepper to make it inedible because somehow a beautiful ten-year-old not only wasn't worthy of a cake but was worthy of that? Unthinkable.

I am proud that Sloan knows that I celebrate and have celebrated him. He knows how special he is to my brother, too - right up until he was no longer conscious and able to talk, Brett was in constant contact despite their distance (Sloan lived in NC). I'm grateful that Sloan found, finally, a family who did love and celebrate him. My heart's broken for his dad, who lost his wife in May and his son in August - also unthinkable.

I can't find reason in it. I can only take the lesson to let those I love know that I love them and not to waste time on things that aren't important. and be grateful.

Sloan, I'm celebrating you, and I hope that you know it. I hope you know that you're missed and so very loved. I hope you are no longer feeling pain, and that you're at peace. We all love you.


My friend Jeri had a son the other day, and so now Annelise has a brother. We went to visit, and Aidan had a fabulous time with AE, basically ignoring the baby. No problem.

While we were leaving, he asked me, "Mommy, who can be my brother?" There is no forthcoming brother, but I don't want Aidan to feel left out. He's got Audrey, his little cousin, but she's a girl. I mentioned Conner, my husband's best friend's son, who's 5 months younger than Aidan and lives about an hour away, and who he's called his brother for years (as many years as he's been able to talk, that is - admittedly not many). He perked up and said, "Yes! Conner is my brother."

Then he did what he's been doing lately - expounding upon a principle he's just worked out in his head. "Sometimes, Mommy, even if you're almost the same age or the same size, or if you live close or far away, it doesn't matter. Someone can still be your brother. Even if they're far away, they can still be your brother. Sometimes."

That's right, Baby - sometimes.


"Sometimes, Mommy, when you're almost four, you make the rules and grown-ups have to listen."


I put it in all caps because he says it like that - deliberately, and with the gruffness of a 65-year-old smoker. He's digging classic rock right now (which isn't what I learned to be classic rock, but is now mysteriously stuff that I grew up listening to - a thoughtstream for another day), most especially Seger's "Old Time Rock n Roll" and Billy Idol's "White Wedding." Apparently, those were the first two songs that came on when Daddy put the classic rock station the other day, and they're now the bar against which all other rock is measured.

Anywhoo, he somehow learned about air guitar. He gets a really pained look on his face and scrunches his hands into claw-like forms, then plays, sometimes sitting, sometimes laying on the floor. There's a little of everything. He's got a new move in which he puts one hand behind his head and points with the other. I asked him what it was the other day, and he says it means, "That's the truth!" Others have asked the same, and he's pretty consistent in his story, so clearly he's got the soul of a Baptist preacher in addition to the sensitivity of an artist.

Sometimes it's not a full dance and air guitar; sometimes it's just a scrunched up face and head nodding. He's also started yelling, "Bomp, bomp, bomp," like imitating the guitar or bass line. He doesn't seem really to get that that's what that means, though, so he kind of yells it out at random times.

He also has informed me that, while he does like ROCK N ROLL!, he doesn't really like when girls sing it. Pat Benetar was singing on the station I use to try and find his classic rock, and he was not pleased about it.
"I'm better than that, Mommy."
"Better than that?"
"Yes. I'm really, really good at singing rock and roll. She's not. I'm better."
He also gets frustrated when boys sing who sound (to him) like girls. "I don't like that either, Mommy." Fair enough; point taken.

I've got to go now; I've purchased his two faves from iTunes and am about to entice him into entertaining me for as long as my stomach can take the laughter. I'm wondering, does this count as burning calories?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

a rough patch here and there

My uncle is fond of telling me, when I'm in a rough patch, "without its stones, the brook would lose its song." Hmm.

We've gotten stitches recently - unfortunately for Aidan's later telling when he's impressing girls who see the scar on his chin (that will, inevitably, be there due to the obvious mediocre stitching job done) ask what happened, he fell coming in the door during a snowstorm. That's a little rough patch - you can't take the gorgeous out of Aidan, and it's really under his chin anyway; you can't see it unless he's looking up.

A more rough, rough patch is what I'm hoping is a phase. I keep thinking of the poem my dad used to say when I was little (and had curlier hair)
There was a little girl, and she had a little curl
right in the middle of her forehead,
and when she was good, she was very, very good,
but when she was bad, she was horrid.
I think the poor kid's me. You either got one or the other from me, and that's about what you get from him. This morning OSU cheerleaders and Brutus came to his gym class. He loves them, knows some of their cheers, and was saying he hoped that Brutus would be there when he saw the cheerleaders. Auspicious beginning, and we should've just left then. He wouldn't participate; he didn't feel like doing the things they wanted to do. He elaborately yawned, said he was tired, and draped himself across the floor or me. He wouldn't interact, and when they'd try to talk to him, he was poopy, for lack of a better word. I think at the beginning he might've thought he was being cute/shy, but it got worse and worse, and we eventually had to take him out of the class. Really?

Last night we went out to dinner, and he was delightful. The waiter even commented that they have lots of kids there, and his behavior had been exceptional. We were so proud; I think it made us cocky.

If he gets in a mood, he makes angry faces, he tries to hit my face, he's just awful. Last weekend we left his friend's house when he wanted to stay (which would've been a nonending condition), and he was poopy for hours. It could be something small - once I "broke his rule" by getting him new socks (because his feet grew), and he was awful for hours. He doesn't like new things or change; wants everything to stay the way it is. Sometimes he snaps right out, and sometimes it's like he's determined that everyone should be miserable.

Wish I had the solution. I've tried about every approach I can think of, and almost nothing works. All I can do is hold on to the "very, very good" portions. He is the most snuggly, loving, sweetheart boy. Every night when I ask him what he'll dream that night, he says something about me. He and I will make cookies in his dreams or some other fun thing. He's effusive in his affection. He just needs to work out how to be disappointed without falling apart.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

what must I look like normally?

This morning Aidan needed something while I was getting ready, so I ran downstairs, one towel around my neck covering what needed covering (never sure which windows might be open in the morning) with another around my waist. He pointed at the "skirtish" towel and said, "Mommy, your towel looks pretty."

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's official

Aidan's in full pretending mode. It's been coming on for awhile, but we're there now full stop, as they say. He's been having a blast with his Batcave (the only thing he wanted from Santa) this weekend--the only characters he has for it are Batman and Robin, but he has more than one of those, so the extras play other parts. He'll tell me, "Santa didn't bring me the Joker, so this Batman is the Joker today," or "This Batman is Batgirl now." Important that I, while working in another room, am clear about who's who.

He's also been playing Santa quite a bit, donning his Santa hat (which is too small and barely hangs on to the back of his head), building a sleigh out of footstools and ordering around the reindeer in Santa's very authoritative voice ("ON Dasher....ON Dancer....ON Cupid"), checking his list (which happens, it seems, to be housed in the text for the class I'm preparing to teach this quarter; unfortunately for me this causes some challenges in preparation), and bringing different presents to those who deserve it. Oftentimes Santa will ask what we'd like to get. When I reply, for instance, "an airplane" knowing full well he has a dozen toy airplanes at hand, he'll say, "I'm so, so sorry that I have no airplanes." Then one will appear.

This brings me to a wonderful story about Christmas that, I promise, ends well. As I mentioned, he only wanted a Batcave. He told Santa in person, he told the Elf on the Shelf repeatedly, he offered to give up other presents so that Santa would know what he really wanted. In fact, he dictated a letter to Santa to ensure a Batcave, despite telling him 4-5 times on his lap, I'm digressing for a moment to transcribe it here (tried to attach for added value of baby voice and interesting pronunciation, but was unable due to technical difficulties):

Dear Santa,

How are your reindeer? I want my; I, I, I LOVE you! Thank you for coming, and for taking pictures (I believe this refers to having his picture taken with Santa), and don't forget to know I want...a Batcave. a BATCAVE. I want...a Batcave. Don't forget, I want, to know, I want...a Batcave. (Then, an aside to his uncle who's writing the note for him,) "Are you drawing a Batcave?"

I find it hilarious for several reasons:

  1. I love the change from, "I want" to "I love you!" Hey - put in a good word before you go for what you want. Approach is everything.

  2. I love that he asked for the Batcave, what, 4 times in 20 seconds?

  3. I love at the end, where he asks his uncle whether he's drawing a Batcave? See, it's hard to get good help these days. It's important to follow up in case your instructions weren't clear.

Back to our story - jump to Christmas morning. Aidan gets about halfway through his multitude of presents, looks around, and doesn't see a package large enough to be the Batcave. He becomes visibly upset, almost welling up and says something along the lines of, "I don't see a Batcave." We'd been having him "read" the tags to us - he recognizes an S, D, M and A and could tell whether things were to or from Santa, Daddy, Mommy or Aidan. We asked him to read the tag on the next present from Santa (you could tell it was from Santa because of the wrapping paper), and this is what he "read:"

Dear Aidan,
I know you've been a really good boy and I'm so, so sorry but I forgot your Batcave. I'm sorry.
Love, Santa

Later, of course, there was another present we hadn't seen way behind the tree. Wouldn't you know it was a Batcave from Santa?! When Daddy asked him how there could be a Batcave when Santa wrote a note apologizing that he forgot it, A told us, "I think I was just messing with you about the note." Ya think? My hunch is that this "not having" whatever we ask for from Santa goes back to the Batcave experience.

I love that kid.