Friday, January 23, 2015

Business Travel and an Incredible Conversation with my Boy

I was out of town all last week for business.  My mom came in town to take care of Sidekick so I knew he was in good hands.  I had been preparing him that I was going to be gone for a few days and that Grandma was going to take good care of him. Each time he said, "Don't leave me, Momma."  Boy, did that tug at my heartstrings.

I wasn't sure how to handle communication with him during my absence.  I wasn't sure if Skyping with him and/or talking to him would be harder on him, so we played it by ear.  If he seemed sad or needed me, we would Skype or I would call.  He didn't care that I was gone!  A couple of times he asked my mom about me, but my absence didn't seem to bother him.  So, I went five full days of not seeing/talking to my boy.  I appreciated my colleagues' interest in where Sidekick was and if I was doing okay without him.  I laughed every time and told them I was totally okay (and I wasn't lying).

I hadn't seen him since Sunday night, and didn't see him until I picked him up from school on Friday.  That was a long time!  When I showed up, he was playing with something.  He looked at me and went back to what he was doing.  He took a double take, yelled "Momma", ran towards me, wrapped his arms around me, and told me how much he had missed me.  There is nothing better than that!  How can I love this kid so much?

In all honesty, I didn't really miss him (which I feel guilty admitting).  I knew he was in good hands, and I honestly enjoyed being away from him and being "free".  Yes, I was stuck at a sales conference and in meetings all day and events each night, so I wasn't doing anything fun, but I didn't have feed my kid, get him ready and out the door for school, bathe him, walk the dog, etc.  I felt free, and I loved it!  When I got home, it was a bit of a transition and was thrown into our regular lives once again.  Every once in a while, out of the blue, he'll say, "Don't leave me, Momma."  I have to reassure him that I'm not going anywhere again for a long time.

We had an interesting conversation the other night.  My best friend and her family are coming in town this weekend.  While we were talking about seeing them, for some reason this is how our conversation went:

Sidekick:  We don't have a Matt (husband/dad).
Me:  That's right, Buddy. We don't.
Sidekick:  We don't have a Lauren, eeder. (one of my friends' daughter)
Me:  No, we don't. 
Sidekick:  It's just you, me and Ah-mee! (what he calls Dog)

He was so proud of himself for his realization of who/what our family is.  He was so happy!  I had to take a deep breath during this conversation because I never thought we'd be having a conversation like this as soon as he turned 2 1/2.  I'm amazed that he is so aware of the world around him and that our family is different than 98% of the families he knows.  I'm also grateful that he is weaning me into this difficult conversations to come about how our family came to be. I guess my idea that we wouldn't be talking about this for a couple of more years was wrong.  I've always been an open book with everyone about how Sidekick was conceived, so I'm certainly not going to hide it from him, but Wow!  I wasn't expecting the questions/conversations to start so early on in his life. 

For my fellow SMCs... when did your kids start realizing his/her family is "different"?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2 1/2 Years Old!

People told me when Sidekick was born to get ready for how fast time goes.  I never believed it, but holy crap were they right!  Today Sidekick turns 2 1/2 years old!  I really can't believe it.  When I was pregnant with him, I tried to imagine what he would be like as a baby.  When he was born, I tried to imagine what he would be like when he was one.  When he was one, I tired to imagine what he would be like at two.  Here I am six months later, and I am still amazed at this little creature I made and grew inside of me.

I never imagined:
  • He would be fully potty trained all day/night by 2 1/2.
  • He would be playing on a soccer field all by himself.
  • He would know all of his letters and be able to read 25ish words.
  • He would be able to count to 20.
  • He would be such a helper: feeding Dog and giving her medicine, loading washing machine, emptying dishwasher, sweeping, etc.
  • I would be having full blown conversations with him.  (I literally just thought at this point he would be starting to form sentences.)
  • He would be so sweet, loving, and kind.  When he does things that are "good" or "right", he follows it up with, "That make you happy?"

I never imagined he would be so funny and say such funny things without even knowing they are funny:
  • "*Sidekick*, should we get some gas?"   "Yeah, Momma, I need some ass!"
  • "Momma, there is pee pee in my penis."
  • Sidekick likes to tell me if people are boys or girls. I'll ask him about different people in his life and he'll answer, "Boy" or "Girl".  After playing this game for a while in the car, I asked him about Dog.  He quickly said with complete irritation for such a stupid question, "Momma, Ah-mee (what he calls Dog), is a puppy dog!"
  • "Ah-mee (what he calls Dog), dontcha lub me?  Why you no snuggle wit me?"
  • I was getting Sidekick out of the car and he accidentally hit me with a book he wanted to take to school.  Without pause he said, "Sorry, Honey" and started walking in the building.
  • "I like dead raccoons." He said after seeing road kill on our way to soccer.
  • "Why I go school, Momma?  I can't see."  (We had an abnormally early morning because I had to get to an early sales presentation and it was still dark.)
  • "Momma no have a penis???  Momma have a butt???" (When getting him ready for bed one night. Not sure what prompted that.) 
  • "Nice to meet you, Moon." (Sticking his right hand out and reaching for the sky.) 
  • "Momma, don't zip my penis."
  • "I'm not a monkey, Momma. I *First and Last Name*." (He quietly said that out of the blue in the car on the way home from soccer.)   
So, 2 1/2 years into his life, and I think we've done a pretty good job getting through each day and living life to the fullest.  Next week I have a sales conference so I won't see Sidekick for five days.  My mom is coming in town, so I won't worry about him, but as we've been talking about me being gone, Sidekick will say, "Don't leave me, Momma."  Breaks my heart but makes me happy that I am his world because he is mine. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Potty Training (and some other stuff)

If there is one thing that I have truly been worried about since being pregnant, it's potty training!  I know that sounds so silly, but it's the one and only thing about which I've had anxiety!  Sidekick could have been potty trained a couple of months ago, but I'm the one who didn't push it.  Let's face it, diapers are so darn convenient.  He's been waking up dry in the mornings since before he turned two years old, so naturally the kid can hold it 12 hours, so daytime potty training should be a breeze.  I've worried about when we are out and about and he has to go potty. 

I figured since he would be home for two days this week plus the weekend with no soccer, this would be the week to concentrate on it.  Yesterday we stayed home all day (which I absolutely hate to do) so I could focus on potty training. He wore big boy under pants and stayed dry all day.  The problem is, he didn't poop all day, and pooping in the potty kind of freaks him out, and he's only done it one time.  I've even bribed with a bowl full of dollar store toys and whenever he poops on the potty, he can have one.  He just likes to look at them and remind me that he only pees on the potty. 

This morning, he told me that he wants to wear his airplane underpants to school.  What??!!  So, armed with two extra pairs of jeans and underpants, a shirt, socks, and shoes, I took him to school in his underpants.  He was so excited to tell his teacher and the director, and they were so proud of him.  So I sit here needing to take the Xanax I've never had (or any anxiety meds for that matter) wondering how he is doing.  I'm pretty much expecting to have some poopy underpants to clean tonight, but maybe he'll surprise me.  He's a couple of weeks shy of being 2 1/2, so I'd be one proud Momma if he was successful with this! 

A couple of other things... lately, Sidekick has been waking up every night crying and yelling, "I need a hug!"  I've heard from a few other people with kids the same age that their kids are waking up also.  What's up with this?  Anyway, I'll let him stand in his crib and cry for a minute until I realize that he's not going to settle back down, so I walk into his room, give him a hug, and he lays back down quietly.  That's it!  How can I turn down a need for a hug? 

We've had a couple of talks before bedtime that he doesn't wake Momma up until the sun wakes up.  Every morning since, when I walk into his room, he says, "I didn't wake Momma up.  I make you happy."  He is the sweetest little boy!  I just want to wrap my arms around him and never let him grow up.

Finally, Whistle (his Elf) hides in some fairly difficult places, and Sidekick finds him right away regardless of what room Whistle is in.  He'll walk into a room point to him and say "hi" and then go on with his day.  Lately, he's been telling me that Momma moves Whistle every day.  Really???  Can I not even stump my own toddler?  He's not buying it!  Sigh.  He's too young to not believe in all of the magic of Christmas.  Maybe next year he'll buy into it and forget that the thought I moved Whistle.  The rate I'm going, next year he might not believe in Santa (who he still doesn't like by the way).  This kid needs to let me have some fun during the holiday season!

"Ready or not, here I poop!"

Yep! Sidekick yelled that as soon as we got home from church last night.  Never did I imagine I would be so happy to hear such words out of his mouth.  He is officially potty trained!  I know I wrote previously how much it sucked, and it did really suck.  A lot.  It's the hardest thing I've had to do as a parent thus far.  Honestly. 

I never used pull-ups with him because I never saw the point in them.  I didn't want to confuse him when I put underpants on him since pull-ups and underpants are put on the same way.  I stopped putting diapers on Sidekick cold turkey right before Christmas (thinking the timing would be good because he'd be with me a lot because of the holidays and the days he was at school, there weren't as many kids for his teacher to juggle plus worry about him).  Sidekick got the peeing thing down pat!  No problems whatsoever.  Easy peasy.  He never had an accident.  The pooping thing was an entirely different issue!  Holy shit!  (haha no pun intended!) This kid refused to poop on the potty. I bribed with him a bowl of Dollar Store toys in his bathroom, watching extra TV, going out for ice cream, eating a cupcake, and even wrapping "big" presents that he would otherwise not get. His stubbornness was shining through.  The kid could not be bribed, much to my frustration. 

Over the course of nine days, he pooped in his underpants two times and one time in the bath tub. Are you doing the math?  That's not very often.  Why?  Because he was holding it in!  Little shit!  (again, no pun intended.)  I finally asked him what he wanted when he pooped on the potty, and his answer was, "Baby Jesus."  What?????!!!!  Like that's easy to produce. 

Last Friday, I bought some prune juice (so yuck!), picked him up from school, filled up a sippy cup with "special" juice (because he doesn't drink juice), brought his potty into the living room (which he doesn't use because he prefers the toilet), turned on the TV, and told him to poop on the potty.  Within about two minutes, he told me that he was pooping!  OMG!!!  I was so excited and so relieved because his poor little belly was so firm and distended, and I knew he wasn't feeling well.  He immediately asked for his present, and we celebrated by eating mini cupcakes. 

Over the course of four hours, he managed to squeeze out a little more poop three times just because he wanted another present that was wrapped.  I gave him another little one and bribed him by rewarding him with another cupcake.  So, just like that!  Sidekick is fully potty trained and has been great all weekend. 

I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would ever be talking about pooping so much, but it stressed me out, which in turn stressed out Sidekick.  Not a good combination. 

My hellion of a kid that was around during Christmas has gone away and my sweet boy is back.  Thank goodness because I was having a tough time dealing with him.  My favorite line when I laid him in his crib on New Year's Eve was:

"Happy New Year, Momma.  You're stuck with me."
Seriously, where did that come from?  I think that he knew we had a rough ten days also, but that no matter what, we are stuck with each other, and thankfully that's not a bad thing. We make a good team.
Happy new year, friends!  May 2015 be more wonderful than you could ever hope, pray, or ask for. Thanks for joining us on our journey.