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Into The Wild: Installment 1

Our three-year-old daughter’s adventurous spirit has been well documented within the pages of this blog.  From her finicky diet to her affinity for her birthday suit, we have tried to nurture, if not sometimes corral her spirit.  This weekend M adds a new page to her short, but accomplished adventure resume.  She ventures into the wild.

A couple of months ago we decided that we would let M go stay a week with her GG (the wife’s mother) at her house at Lake Conroe.  As you know, M is only three and we like to think that she is rather dependent on her parents still, but we figure why not give it a shot.  GG is all for the idea and agrees to bring M back at any point during the week in if/when she misses her parents so badly that she can’t stand to be away any longer. 

D-Day was yesterday.  We drove M down to Conroe as if it were a typical weekend trip. We have been talking to her about staying with GG for several weeks now and she has been hot and cold on the idea.  Some days she is all for it, while others she expresses that she does not want to be away from Mommy and Daddy.  We are worried about when we go to leave and she realizes that she is not going with us.  Will she fling herself onto the hood of the car?  Will she lie in the driveway behind the car so that we cannot leave?

That moment came this morning.  I pack up the car, load up little B and we go to tell M that we are leaving…without her.  Expecting the worst, we give hugs and kisses and wait for it to sink in that we are leaving her.  Apparently, she has dealt with this and is moving on because she shows no sign of distress over the fact that her parents are leaving her.  In fact, all that she was worried about was when GG was going to take her to play on the beach.  The wife and I are taken aback to say the least.  We are starting to feel like the parents of Christopher McCandless and our daughter is going off the grid, and into the wild…

I think that we have convinced ourselves that M is going to freak out and want to come home with us.  When she not only wants to stay, but does not really care that we are leaving, no is wanting us to leave so that she can go play in the sand, we end up the ones that are upset.  Our parent-egos have taken a direct hit.

We drive home without our little adventurer and the conversation is mostly about taking wagers on how long she will last before she wants to come home.  We both agree that she will last one or two days at most and then GG will be bringing her home Tuesday or so.  Of  course, after our Skype conversation with M this evening, we may be changing the betting lines.  She is so uninterested in talking to us this evening that our parent-egos are practically reduced to rubble.  We are expecting her to be saddened by coming to the realization that Mommy and Daddy are not going to be there tonight, or in the morning.  What do we get? “Good night Mommy Potty, good night Daddy Poop!”   Are you kidding me?  This kid is happy that we are out of the picture!  I feel like the parent of a Menendez brother.  Should I be looking over my shoulder for a hitman? 

After that Skype call I reopen the betting windows and the over/under is looking more like Thursday or Friday now, if she even wants to come home…Stay tuned for a daily installment on the progress of M’s 1st adventure away from home.  How will she deal with the homesickness?  Will she set out on foot to get back to her beloved parents?  Will she disown her parents for a life of lakeside living?  Will her parents crack before she does?  Place your bets!

My Little Nudist: At It Again

One generation removed from the flower children of the ’60s, I find myself struggling with the notion that my three-year-old daughter is a would-be nudist. (see ). 

Yesterday afternoon I am doing some cooking out on the grill and it was still in the upper 90-degree range, so I decided to hop in the pool while the grill heated up.  Of course nothing gets by M, and she had already noticed that I am wearing a swimsuit despite my best efforts to conceal the fact.  I had not been outside for more than two minutes when I hear the faint rumblings of her little hands banging against the glass door.  Knowing full and well that she will not give up, and that the glass pounding is only going to intensify, I relent and let her come outside with me.

Not being able to withstand the heat any longer, I step down into the refreshing pool a couple of steps and of course M had a radar lock on me.  She immediately has both feet in and is standing on the top step holding her somewhat 1960’s era throwback dress up around her thighs so that it did not get wet.  Of course she is not going to be satisfied with just getting her feet wet.  She is so close to reaching her goal of swimming that she will not be denied.  I tell her that she can not swim because she will get her dress and panties all wet.  I am thinking that will halt her progress, or at the very least, send her back inside to hassle Mommy about putting on a swimsuit. 

As I expected, she steps back out of the pool and heads back toward the house.  However, what happens next is NOT something that I expect.  I turn around to look over at the grill to see if I still have a few minutes to enjoy the water when I hear this almost wicked little cackle from behind me.  I whip around toward the pool steps to see my toddler wearing the exact outfit that she was born in.  That’s right, she is standing there completely naked on the top step to the pool maniacally giggling.  She is oh so proud of herself.  All that she is missing is a peace symbol-laden headband and a hand-rolled joint and we would have a Woodstock re-creation.

I immediately break out laughing.  It has to be the cutest, funniest thing she has done in a while.  Of course, I can not deny her access to the pool, so I let her experience her first skinny dip.  In fact, I have not even skinny dipped in our pool, so she is crossing new boundaries all around.  I swear I can hear Jimi Hendrix wailing out the Star Spangled Banner on his axe.  I can smell the marijuana in the air as freedom and love flow through my veins.

The Man

After a quick “swim” (she does not know how to swim yet, so Daddy floats her around as if she were swimming) around the pool I land her back at the steps and we both get out of the pool.  (If I don’t get out, she won’t either).  I wrap her in a towel, stick a flower in her hair, and send her in to regale Mommy with the tale of her freedom swim.  Needless to say, Mommy is not very happpy with M…or Daddy for that matter. 

I continue to chuckle to myself as I unconsciously flip sweet corn and chicken on the grill.  I had hoped that the whole nudity phase was coming to and end, but now I can’t help but wonder if my sweet little daughter could be Janis Joplin or Gypsy Rose reincarnate…


Gypsy Rose, Stripper of all strippers

The Great Janis

Children And The Future

People start having children for a myriad of reasons ranging from pregnancies planned down to the minute detail,  to just plain ole accidents, or even adoption.  We planned both of our children with careful and exact detail.  We employed the use of ancient Mayan and Aztec calendars, along with astrological signs and a fortune teller.  In fact, we had the timing nailed down so precisely that my wife became pregnant with both children on our very first try.  I suppose for those that struggle to conceive, this would be a blessing.  For me, it was a beating.  I missed out on all of the no-strings-attached love-making that had been promised by the ancient prophets…and my drinking buddies. Instead, it was wham, bam, thank you sir.  I felt that I had been sexploited.  Nonetheless, I got over it and we now have two beautiful children with promising futures, at least we like to envision their futures that way.

Many parents have plans for their children’s futures.  Some parents start planning their children’s careers at day one.  I imagine these people sitting in their nursery and baby has just finished up a nice feeding with mom and is handed off to dad.  You might think that dad is going to rock the baby to sleep, or swaddle him up for the night, but instead he whips out his Make Your Baby A Doctor For Dummies handbook and they immediately go into illustrations of the nervous system.  There are, of course, parents at the complete opposite end of this spectrum that have, and never will have any ambition for their children’s futures.  I envision a typical scene in such a household where the baby is in the garage scrounging around for food on the floor.  The mom is just settling in with her heroin rig.  She flicks the air out of her needle and the slips away into unconscious bliss.  Dad is not there because he is doing 5-10 for assault with a deadly weapon.  These are extreme illustrations and most parents fall somewhere in between.

Like most of you, we find ourselves in the middle of this spectrum, if not more toward the front half.  Of course we have a plan for our children’s futures.  While we may not be doing flash cards with the bones of the body on them just yet, we do some things that are helping our children progress toward our vision of their future.  Our work with M (our 3 year-old daughter) is tracking nicely and we are starting to see some positive results.  B (our 8 month-old son) is just crawling now and starting to pull up on things.  His training will really start once he is walking.  I have already bought him one of those little walk-behind toys to help him master walking.  This toy will be the start of his training.  You are probably asking what our plan is for our children that requires us to work with them and train at such an early age.  I am going to provide you with a glimpse into my children’s futures.

Picture, if you will, the wife and I in our summer attire.  We are lying on barcaloungers by the pool and catching some rays.  The wife is sipping on a cocktail that is topped with a miniature umbrella and I have an icy imported beer.  I look over at her and say, “Should we give the kids a little break?”  “Oh I suppose. They have been working really hard lately”, she responds.  “Well, they work hard because they have been properly trained”, I say as we clink our drinks together.  Oh.  What’s that?  You want to know what this dream sequence has to do with the kids? 

Remember that walk-behind toy of B’s that I mentioned?  What about all the games that we played with M that involved picking up dirty clothes or dusting furniture with her stuffed animals, or even moping the floor in her costume?  These activities seem meaningless when you look at them individually, but as a whole, they are the foundation for our children’s futures. A future that enables the wife and I to enjoy those cocktails, and enjoy those barcaloungers.  I think you are getting the picture now.  We are training our children to be our slaves.  B’s toy has been training him to mow the lawn since he started walking!  All of the games that we played with M that were so fun to her were training for her future as our house keeper!  It will be only a matter of a couple of years before the rewards start to roll in. 

and she thinks this is a game...mua ha ha

You may be thinking that they are just children and that they should not have to work so hard.  The beauty of this is that they think that they are playing games, or playing with toys!  I think this future will work out just fine for them.  It could be worse.  They could be scrounging around on the floor for food while the wife rigs up and I snuggle up with my cell mate, Leroy.  In fact, while the kids are “playing”, I think I will go do some online shopping for barcaloungers.

A Weekend of Firsts

This weekend offered many firsts for our kiddos (and us for that matter!).  The wife and I thought that it might be fun to take M & B on a picnic.  In our heads we had it planned out that we would hit a shady park around lunch time on Saturday and we would have an authentic picnic.  However, the fact that we have two children that are of the age in which a daily nap is still a necessity, our vision of a proper picnic would not work.  Instead, after noon naps, we packed up a bevy of snack foods, loaded up the rug rats and headed out to have our makeshift picnic. 

We decided to venture away from our regular park and went to find a new spot for our picnic.  We searched online and settled on an old park near downtown Plano.  We selected this park partly because it was playing host to an event that we just had to witness.  That’s right, The Texas Tree Climbing Championships…in Plano???  Last I checked Plano was filled with overpriced homes and hordes of affluent drug addicted high schoolers.  I don’t recall seeing any trees that could serve as the championship of anything other than a coveted HOA yard of the month award.  Needless to say, we had to go if only to poke fun at the event.

We get to Bob Woodruff Park and we follow the signs pointing toward the” Tree Climbing Event”.  We get out of the car and, as expected, I am not seeing trees that are much different or larger than those on my street.  Oh well, we are here and we might as well set up our picnic and make fun of the arborlogical dorks.  We walk from the parking area on the sidewalk which quickly ducks out of the standard park clearing into a heavily wooded area. “Wow”, we said as we walk toward what have to be some of the larger trees that we have seen in Texas.  

Turns out that some of these trees are friggin’ close to 500 years old!  Maybe these arborlogical dudes are not dorks afterall…on second thought, they are still dorks…they are grown men…climbing trees…We decided to stay with the other 100 or so spectators (20 of which were a latino family having a cookout that just happened to be in the same place as the tree climbers).  So we spread out the ole blanket and broke out the snacks.  We stayed long enough to see two contestants and we had our fill of watching grown men do what we all did when we were 12.  I could swear I heard them announcing the next event, “Attention all sling shot and rock skipping contestants…”  as we made our way back to our car.  All in all, our first family “picnic” was a success and I am looking forward to doing it again (only without the overgrown kids hopefully).

Another first that was experienced this weekend was that I took M to see a movie in a theater.  I did not know what to expect because the girl cannot sit through a DVD at home without losing interest or talking the entire time.  We load up and head to the theater for the first showing of the day.  I was thinking perhaps the theater would not be crowded in the event that M decided to talk over the movie like she does at home.  As we pull into the parking lot I see few cars and the outlook is good for a small crowd. 

After a brief explanation to M on proper movie etiquette we make our way to the ticket booth.  At the last minute I make the judgement call and decide not to see the 3D version of the new Shrek joint.  I could see the excitement on M’s face.  It is the most awesome thing to witness a child in full amazement of what they are seeing or doing.  Her eyes were lit up and she was grinning so big that her eyes were squinted.  I can’t explain how it made me feel to see her so excited.  Next stop, the snack bar!

Just when I thought that her eyes couldn’t get any wider, they almost popped out of her head when she was standing, nose pressed to the glass of the candy display, and she heard me say, ” You can have any candy you want”.  While I was not pleased with her selection of Dots, I upheld my word and bought them for her.  Those have to be about the nastiest candy of all of the available choices.  Of course, that did not stop her from eating most of the box during the movie (aside from the couple that I had…I had to test for quality…yeah that’s it). 

We made our way into theater number 15, a fully packed, number 15.  “Oh great”, I thought as we grabbed the last two available seats.   My little etiquette lesson must have done some good because she hardly uttered a word during the entire movie except to tell me she needed to potty.  AND we only went to the potty once during the entire movie!  I could not believe that I walked into a movie theater with a three year-old and we sat through the entire movie in silence and only one short bathroom break.  It was at that moment that I realized that my toddler handles a movie better than her mother.  I think I just found my new movie date!

3 Ladies and A Tent

So two of my buddies and I decided it would be a good idea to do a daddy-daughter camping trip.  We all have daughters ranging from 3 to 6 years in age and none of them have been camping before.  A weekend was selected and a camping location agreed upon.  After a week’s worth of negotiations with my wife, we wer finally cleared for take-off.

We made nature our bitch

Rather than take the economic option and carpool, I was forced to take my own vehicle in the event that M could not handle life on the prairie (I conceded this point during negotiations).  This actually ended up being a nice decision because of all of the crap that I had to bring for a one-night  camping trip.

The items required for M were as follows (keep in mind this was a one-night event): M had 2 pants, 5 shirts, 3 panties, 4 pairs of socks, a blanket, 2 stuffed animals, 1 princess miniature camp chair, 1 sleeping bag (princess graphics of course), 2 pairs of shoes, 1 towel, 1 pillow, 2 gallon-sized Zip-Lock bags full of every child medicine known to man.  Turns out that the only item that I was short on was princess band-aids (I was only outfitted with 4, and once one of them was issued, it seemed that all of the girls mysteriously developed injuries), and last, but not least, a little potty for the girls (this had to be one of the most valuable items we had…guess I just assumed that nature-potty-ing came natural to little girls like it did for us boys…I don’t want to even think of the issues we would have had without that miniature miracle of modern convenience…).  In addition to the food items that I was assigned to bring for the group, I had to bring the food items that are M-friendly because she is still a pretty dedicated non-meat-eater.  To say the least, the back of my SUV was crammed full (I think it took longer to load and unload than the duration of the actual trip). 

A short two hours (and 3 pit stops) later we finally arrived at the camp grounds.  While we didn’t get the perfect site, we were able to get a pretty good one.  We attempted to bribe the girls with a little snack in hopes that this would keep them occupied while we started setting up tents.  Of course this did not work.  I counted at least 15 times that there was a toddler/pre-schooler diving into the tent as we attempted to set it up.  I won’t even get into how the air mattresses were treated as trampolines…That being said, the tents went up without a hitch.

One down, one to go...

It was about this time that the third daddy-daughter team arrived (conveniently just after all of the hard work was done hehe).  The only reason I mention the late arrival of our third tandem is that they stopped at the general store up the road from the camp site and my buddy unwillingly made a purchase that would haunt us for the rest of the trip.

Inside this standard little general store, tucked away in the back corner behind the fishing lures and Little Debbie snakes was a little display/dispenser of highly polished, multicolored rocks.  The idea being that you grab a little draw string bag and fill it with your choice of as many stones as you could fit for a flat rate.  Well, my buddy, being the great dad that he is, lets his daughter get a small pouch of said rocks, and any of us would have done the same.  However, what my buddy did not know, what any of us did not know, was that these little rocks would be the center of much controversy amongst the daughters.  You would have thought that this little girl was the Pablo Escobar of geodes with the way that the other daughters reacted upon seeing them…”yo man, how much fo just one rock?”  “I need it, I gotta have it, man” “you got so many rocks, I’ll do anything…cain’t have just one?”  The dialog may not have been quite so Menace II Society-ish, but you get the idea.

crack rock anyone?

Despite the small spats over the rocks, things were going pretty well.  We took the girls on a nice little hike and let them throw some rocks into the stream.  They would have stayed there for hours if we had let them.  It was not just picking up rocks and throwing them into the water.  No, they had to find the perfect rock. “I have an idea, let’s toss that bag of multi-colored rocks in the creek, whataya say?”, I said…in my head.  It was great to sit back and watch them interact with one another.  My 3 year-old was on an entirely different plane than the older girls, but yet they all agreed on one thing, throwing rocks into the creek is big fun.  Big fun until my daughter looses her footing and takes a little spill into the drink.  Needless to say, our little hike was over shortly thereafter.   

We get back to camp and it’s time to get the camp fire up and going.  To the girls, the lighting of the camp fire meant one thing, and one thing only, SMORES!  So we start cooking up some burgers and dogs when we realize that we forgot to bring any type of eating utensils, plates, cups, etc.  Thankfully we were eating a typically hand-held meal, so this was not a huge issue.  It just bruised our all-knowing camping egos.

gratuitous art shot

So, the girls ate a combined total of one hot dog (no bun), 1/2 of a hamburger, and one hand crafted peanut butter and jelly sandwich (one guess as to who ate this…) This might be cause for concern had they not eaten a bucket of trail mix, a bag of beef jerky, several snack packs of goldfish, fruit snacks, and a drank gallon of Capri-Sun throughout the day.  It should be no surprise that dinner obviously did not take long to finish.  Bring on the smores.

The smore feast was a really fun period in the trip.  None of the girls had eaten smores before and it was quite a treat for them.  They had a blast roasting marshmallows although all agreed that they did not like the “black” part.  You can imagine the sticky messes that ensued as the girls picked away the charred exterior of the roasted marshmallows to reveal the melted center.  I think I am still picking sticky goo out of M’s hair…(hold your “Something About Mary” references please)

mmmmm smores!

As the daylight faded to dark, the good times roared on for the girls.  We provided them all with their very own identical flashlight (you would think that this would keep them from fighting over the flashlights…and you would be wrong).  I ended up having to provide my daughter with her own (you guessed it) princess flashlight so that everyone knew which one was her light. Ahh to get into the mind of a toddler…We also had a special treat of glow sticks for the girls to play with in the tent.  (Between the “crack” rocks and the glow sticks, Insert your rave jokes here.)

que the trance dj

Roughly 10:30 PM

The girls’ normal bed times range from 8:00 to 8:30 PM.  It was around 11:00 PM that the screaming and giggling finally died down and they all passed out.  The daddy’s stayed up until around 3:30 AM enjoying some fire-side beverages, stoking the fire, and solving the world’s problems.

I crawl into my tent and just as I get comfortable I hear the crunching of sticks and leaves outside as someone approached my tent.  Then I hear the dreaded, “Merrit is awake and needs to tinkle”.  Are you F-ing kidding me!  I get up, grab a very groggy and cranky M and head out to the potty.  She does her business and I head back to tuck her into her sleeping bag alongside the other girls.  Of course she would not just go back to sleep, she wanted me to sleep with her.  When I tried to take her over to my tent you would have thought that I shot her dog.  Needless to say, we had two six-man tents and 5 people ended up sleeping in one tent and one lucky daddy had an entire tent to himself.  No, that lucky daddy was not me…

You would think that since the girls stayed up until 11:00PM or later that they might sleep in, but you would be wrong again…After such a late night and the fact that we were short on eating utensils, we decided to scrap the delicious bacon, sausage and egg breakfast that we had planned (and were soo looking forward to!) to opt for the Pop-Tart variety.

As we ate our “fresh” pastries, the daddy types sleep-packed and tore down camp while the daughter types tried to score more crack from one another.  The time was about 10:00 AM when we were finally ready to hit the road home.  You can probably guess our first stop. Yep, that infamous  general store to score some rocks!

and the late night finally gets its revenge...

Is My Daughter A Nudist??

A disturbing trend has begun in our household.  My 3 year-old daughter is becoming a nudist.  The first symptoms began as rare instances when M would somehow end up clothes-less on a random weekend day.  Soon, like the spread of AIDS in an African village, the instances became more and more frequent.  Now, it seems that M somehow ends up stripped down to her panties almost every day after we get her home from school.  The reasons for shedding her clothes range from understandable to complete nonsensical.  For instance, she sometimes spills her drink on her   shirt or dress.  Naturally, she doesn’t want to sit around in wet clothes, so she takes them off.  The problem is that the wet clothes never seem to get replaced with dry clothes…or any clothes.  Instead, she would rather lounge around in Dora the Explorer panties munching goldfish.  If she were a balding, unshaven, beer-bellied man, you would only need to replace those goldfish with a Pabst Blue Ribbon and you would have yourself a textbook example of trailer trash.  I suppose you might need to replace the Dora panties as well…maybe not.

Lately, it’s gotten so bad that if so much as a drop of juice or a smidgen of ketchup hit her clothes, they are off and she is free…I fear that, at the rate we are going, she will have dreadlocks and be living in a tent in the back yard by the end of summer.  Her name will change from Merrit to Moonbeam and she will craft the finest hemp products that she will trade for organic food and non-animal tested-products.  I can still be a proud daddy…

So, I ask you fellow parents, Is this a phase, or is this just the inner hippie in my daughter coming out?  Is this something that all toddlers go through? Embarrassed parents just toss this tidbit into the pile of bones in the closet to save face during those  “look-what-my-toddler-can-do” conversations they have with other parents. You know those conversations with those annoying parents? Mine would go something like this: “Little Jimmy can write his own name and he’s only 6 months old”, says one proud (but lying) parent. I rebut, “Well, my little Moonbeam just fashioned this blanket from the grass clippings in our yard.” 

I suppose in either case, it’s not the worst thing a little girl could do…thank GOD she finally got through her cocaine phase…

Children’s Programming: Disturbing or Hilarious

Hello blogosphere! 

First, let me apologize for my long absence.  There is no excuse other than the fact that I am lazy, which most of you already know anyway.  I am trying to get back on the blog horse and I would  like to announce my return with this small tidbit on today’s programming for children.

As you know, I have a 3 year-old at home who is allowed to watch some children’s programming channels each afternoon.  The main channel that M watches is Nick Jr. (formerly Noggin).  On the whole this is a great little network for kids and parents alike.  Programs like Dora the Explorer, Blues Clues, Yo Gabba Gabba,etc. do actually provide somewhat educational information for the kiddies.  For us adults they provide an endless supply of gay songs that stick in your head to help you through your otherwise dull work day. 

One of these normally educational programs that my daughter likes to watch is called Ni Hao Kai-Lan.  This is a show about a little girl from China and her little random animal-like friends.  The show teaches common words and phrases in Mandarin Chinese as well as Chinese culture and values.  Typically the show will select one word or phrase to focus on and that word or phrase will be repeated many times throughout the show.  If you have toddlers I am sure you have seen this program.  Well check this out…

I am home with M yesterday because she has Scarlet Fever…that’s right, I said Scarlet Fever.  You would think that I had just taken M for a ride in my hot tub time machine back in time to europe or the old west, but this disease bacteria still flourishes today if you can believe that.  More on Scarlet Fever in a future blog.  Back to my story…SO, M and I are home and I am letting her watch all of the television that she can handle because she doesn’t feel good, and I am trying to do a little work from home.  I hear the familiar opening theme song to Ni Hao Kai-Lan come on and I do a little asian-themed dance in my head.  I am sitting on the sofa about 1/2 listening to the television when I hear something that immediately grabs my attention.  It’s the word of the day, SNOW, or in Mandarin Chinese, xue. 

What grabbed my attention was not that I was excited to learn a new word in Mandarin, but that this word when spoken in the language, sounds a lot like the word, “SHIT” in English.  So I am working away when I hear Ni Hao say, “blah, blah, blah, SHIT, blah, blah”.  Naturally, my head whips up and my eyes narrow in on the television.  It’s the same double take we do when we hear what sounds like sex noises on television, or actually see nudity.  Whatever you are doing you stop in your tracks and watch…don’t say you don’t, because I know I am not the only pervert here (at least I tell myself that)…ANYWAY, Ni Hao now has my full attention.  As I watch the show they continue to say “SNOW”, but in Mandarin.  This word sounds so much like “SHIT” that I start laughing uncontrollably at the television because of the context in which they are using the word.  “Lulu has a basket full of “SHIT” and so on…I may have peed my pants a little…

And now…for your viewing pleasure…I proudly present, Ni Hao Kai-Lan and “SNOW”.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Is this Disturbing or hilarious?

Little Trooper

One of the negatives to daycare is that your children often get sick…a lot.  Most of the sickness occurs between infant age and roughly two years of age.  I call this the sick zone.  The payback on having your kids sick early is that by the time they hit school age, they have been in contact with most sickness out there and have developed a pretty strong immune system, as opposed to a child that has not been exposed to other children as much.  We now have a 5 month old baby boy who is smack dab in the middle of life in the sick zone. 

So about two weeks ago we start noticing some signs in our son’s daycare room about some of his “classmates” contracting RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus).  For those of you that are not familiar with RSV, I will give you a link so that you may read up.  In a nut shell, it is a respiratory virus that is the leading cause of pneumonia in children under the age of 1 year. RSV can be pretty bad stuff, especially for an infant.  So we notice the sign at daycare that a child has come down with RSV, then another child, then another…At this point we are starting to prepare for the worse , which would be B would come down with RSV too.  We are on high alert at home.   If that child made one strange noise my wife was hovering like the black CIA helicopters.  You know the one’s on TV that just appear out of nowhere at just the right moment.  That is my wife.  She could be in a deep sleep and that baby monitor will click the wrong way.  You have never seen someone move so fast!  It’s like tossing a happy meal and a 40 into a pack of wild homeless.

Despite our efforts, last Tuesday we notice the cough starting to set in and the sinuses starting to get stuffy.  We go ahead and take him to the doctor on Wednesday morning hoping to catch whatever he has in its early stages.  Of course, he gets diagnosed with RSV (this makes a total of 8 out of 16 babies at his daycare).  On top of the RSV our little guy appeared to have a slight ear infection.  So we get home Wednesday with his new medicine regiment, which is antibiotic twice a day for the ear infection and breathing treatments on the nebulizer every 4 hours.  The Nebulizer has been a smart buy.  We bought it when our daughter had gotten sick as a baby and have gotten much use out of it since then, including myself for a spell. If you have the choice in renting or buying, buy.

I stay home from work with B last Thursday and Friday and we stay holed up all weekend.  My wife takes Monday off this week and B had oringinally been cleared  to go back on Tuesday.  Well, he didn’t seem like he was improving as they said that he should. Thus we took him back to the doctor Tuesday morning.  The good news from that visit was that the RSV was starting to subside and his breathing sounded good.  Don’t get me wrong, the child still has a horrible cough.  I mean the little guy will get to coughing uncontrollably until he vomits, which starts the coughing all over again…it’s bad.  I can’t help but think of the Exorcist when he projectiles…I know I am a bad parent…The bad news was that his slight ear infection has progressed into a pretty bad infection in both ears.  We were sent home with a stronger antibiotic and instructed to continue on with breathing treatments.  You would think we were in the clear, right?

Turns out that B is allergic to penicillin.  He had a “mild” reaction to the antibiotic that left is little infant body covered from head to toe with hives!  He looked like I had taken him out back, tied him to the fence and took target practice with a BB gun.  Back to the doctor.  Prescribed new antibiotic and Benadryl every 4 hours. 

3:00 AM Wednesday morning:  The hives have not only not gone away like they said that they would, they are worse!  They look like they have just joined and his whole little body is just one swollen hive!  Back to the doctor.  Prescribed a steroid to combat the allergic reaction and another day at home.  Yes, one of us has been at home with him for an entire week!  In that week the poor child has ingested mild antibiotic, stronger antibiotic, non-allergy causing antibiotic, breathing treatments, a jug of Benadryl, and a jug of Tylenol, topped of with steroids!  I am just waiting for the “roids”  to kick in, and B stand up in his crib and rip his onesie open like the Hulk! 

We will see how the little guy does today on his first day back at daycare.  The one thing that I have gotten from this is  B’s little way of saying, “thanks for taking care of me, Dad”.  I am now sick…

RSV Link

Is Barbie A Stripper?

Wow!  Did my Super Bowl Party take a strange turn for the worse.  I take my 3-year-old daughter to a friend’s house for the Super Bowl.  Knowing that there would be other similarly aged girls at the party, M carefully packed her Hello Kitty backpack with some party supplies.  At the time I thought nothing of the items that had been selected.  She had a Snow White doll, a random Barbie doll, some stickers, and other miscellaneous small toys.  No big deal, right?

We had not been at the party more than a half hour and the backpack came into play.  The dolls came out and the stickers were applied throughout my friend’s house.  It was not until all the adults at the party started to gather around one of the televisions for the game when the random Barbie doll that my daughter had brought became the punch line of the party.

After a few beers and a second look at this Barbie that I had probably seen on thirty other occasions at my house, I noticed what all the other party goers were chuckling about.  My daughter’s Barbie looks like a stripper!

Let’s break down her look and you judge for yourself.  Starting from head to toe, Stripper Barbie has to be wearing hair extensions.  There is no girl who can get locks like that without the help of a weave artist.  She has the tale-tale stripper makeup job.  There is enough eye shadow on her to repaint my house.  If I only liked sparkle-blue…She is wearing a skimpy little top with sparkles that, if you tilt Barbie just right you can make out the words “I’m Easy” on her top.  Moving down to her skirt…if that’s what you want to call it.  It barely covers her ambiguously gendered bottom half.  Here’s the most stripper-ish thing of the entire ensamble…Barbie is wearing a G-String!!   Don’t even get me started on the hooker boots that she is wearing…

I don’t know whether to stuff a Monopoly dollar in her tiny g-string, or just confiscate this Barbie for my personal use.  Either way, it’s very creepy.  What is next?  Is the Pimp Ken doll on the market?  He comes with a fur coat, cane, and a felt hat.  He also has the bionic bitch slap feature and says, “bitch betta have my money?”  Or maybe it will be Strung Out Barbie.  She comes with her own heroin rig and has removable teeth and throws up when you press her tummy.  I could go on for days.

Perhaps we should take a closer look our children’s toys, or maybe we leave them as they are so that we adults have something to laugh about…

P.S. Please don’t judge me for posing Barbie in provocative positions…I sort of got carried away…

The Other Woman In My Bed

Exhibit A

We always thought it was funny when our friends would tell us about their children sleeping in the parent’s bed.  We never understood how that could happen.  We had the perfect child (don’t we all).  In fact, we used to try to bring our toddler into our bed when she was sick or scared.  M would lay in the bed about 5 minutes and then she would ask to go back to her own bed.  We had it good and those other parents were suckers.

That was then.  In recent months our three-year-old daughter has started to infiltrate our bed.  At first it was once or twice a week.  She would wake up from a bad dream and would come to our room crying at three o’clock in the morning.  We would of course scoop her up into our bed for comforting (with the knowledge that she would be heading back to her bed soon).  After waking up a few times with a small foot in my face, or rolling over and bumping heads with her little head, I noticed that M had decided to stop going back to her own bed.  No big deal, right?  I mean, it’s only once or twice a week…

I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Now, it is commonplace to wake up in the morning with two women in my bed.  M’s sleeping in our bed has gone through a process of evolution.  At first, it was the five-minute visit every now and then.  Now it has evolved into a nightly occurence.  She even brings her pillow, blanket and Haiti (her stuffed Monkey).  It’s like she’s slowly moving into our room!  Which brings me to the most recent stage of her sleep evolution.  Skipping her bed and going straight to ours… 

Yep, last night we put M to bed in her bed like always.  We read the stories, said the prayers, fetched the water, applied the band-aids, and assembled the sleep brigade of stuffed animals.  She was down for the night.  The wife and I were in watching television and M had allegedly been in bed for about an hour.  My wife went back to our bedroom to get ready for bed and she got a nice surprise when she walked in the room.  There was M all tucked into OUR bed.  She had her blanket and Haiti.  M had herself all  propped up on the pillows like she was about to watch some Letterman…wide awake.  When questioned about why she was in our bed her response was, ” I just wanted to snuggle”.  As hard as was to turn down that snuggle, we shuttled her off to her own bed…in tears.  Not to worry, she was in my bed this morning as if she had never left. 

I now find myself calling out for help to those afore-mentioned suckers…  HELP!