Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Wedding March

Last weekend Kirk and I drove out to Wisconsin with my parents to attend a wedding. Kirk had a blast. My sister and brother both came out so he got to spend some time in the hotel with my nephew and then dance at the reception with A1. I knew that he would have fun, but that's not the reason we went. I felt compelled to go. The groom was my brother's best friend growing up. It's the only wedding I've been to for anyone from the old neighborhood. And it's the first wedding I've been to of someone that I used to babysit. All his brothers were his attendants; I probably haven't seen a single one of them since I babysat them. Oddly, that didn't bother me or freak me out in any way. It was neat seeing the boys all grown up. What I did notice, however, was a strong feeling of future-self when I saw their mother. The Mother of the Groom. I really identified with her. It's not like we were ever particularly close, I was just the girl across the street. But this time, I could really see an eventuality for me. It was fascinating. I recently read a lovely line in something about how a son's mother gave him the best gift in loving his wife. Even thinking of it now brings tears to my eyes. I often wonder if I need to have a daughter to carry on the bond with her that I have with my own mother. And it's always been strong but it's most definitely mutated and grown and evolved since I've become a mother as well. And yet I find myself now looking to my mother-in-law. Who thanks me each and every time I see her for loving her son. I can only hope that I'm as gracious when Kirk someday brings home his mate.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Love is a Battlefield

Mr. b and I continue to pick our battles. My sister sometimes claims that we're spoiling Kirk but I just don't see it. Why should I care if the boy wants to wear his jammie shirt as his shirt for the day? It's not like it's particularly obvious that it's pajamas. Why should I care if he wants to walk to the car barefoot? It's not cold out. Sometimes it's just easier to buy him the one dollar Spiderman ball rather than fight with him in the store. I'm not getting him a pony or anything! And we do have rules for him; I could never abide having a no-really-I'm-my kid's-best-friend parenting style. I'm sure things'll change as he gets older. For now? I'm sticking with the lazier method.

Random bits: today Kirk asked for milk on his cereal. That was new. He actually ate about two-thirds of the bowl, too!

He counts thusly: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12. Every. Single. Time.

Play-Doh is endlessly entertaining. Meaning Kirk demands that we use certain colors in certain molds and then changes his mind in the middle.

Help! is now as popular as Yellow Submarine. "Darth Vader Movie" requests are bumping up in frequency as well.

Actual quote: "No, Dada. Don't ever touch Kirkie's green candy." Swearing can't be far off. Heh.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Gettin' the lead out

Well, it looks like we just made it through our very first toy recall. K had gotten the Sesame Street Tub Pots & Pans for Kirk for his birthday. I followed the instructions they sent me and it would seem that we’re in the clear! I had to look for a date code between 1097LF and 1877LF. Kirk’s was 100. Yay! Thankfully he didn’t notice that I had removed it from the shower wall. I’m sure he’ll be excited to have it again though.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sibling Shuffle

Kirk spent the day with his cousins today since K was closed. My sister is hugely (like 36 weeks) pregnant right now and we've been explaining to Kirk that Auntie's got a baby in her tummy. It was just starting to sink in last week when we saw her but apparently he got to see A3 kick and now he really believes it. He kept saying, "Baby comin'."

He's not particularly curious about where babies come from, which I suppose isn't that suprising considering he's still so little, but he was talking about having a baby in his own tummy. I just explained that boys don't get to have babies, only girls. Mr. b added that only grown up girls that are Mommies have babies. Kirk took that in stride except for one thing, I'm apparently not a girl. "Kirkie, boy. Dada, boy. Mama, boy." He refused to believe me when I corrected him on that last part.

I'm not sure if that means he knows, or at least suspects deep down, that there's a real good chance that he won't be an only child. Maybe I'm just reading too much into that. I do know that I have a short reprieve from my planned Pill deadline. I did the menstrual math for our upcoming France trip and if I went off then I'd get my period halfway through our vacation. Nuh-uh. Me no likey. So I'll just do the suppression trick. Of course my sister did not like it when I told her that. She wanted me to suppress this month so my cycle would be a week earlier. But the last time I did that (a friend's wedding in Jamaica) I ended up spotty for the next two months so that would totally defeat the purpose of being rag-free on vacay!

I'm slightly relieved that I can put the decision off for another month. (Or more?) I know that Mr. b was also showing signs of hesitation. My SIL is newly pregnant with their second and their son is younger than Kirk! They apparently started trying when he was barely over a year! I know that two years is an extremely common age gap but it just seems like too soon for me. My sister and I are nearly 3 and a half years apart and we recently discussed how much we liked that. Because of her birthday being after Labor day, it also meant that we were 4 grades apart. So once I left elementary school, we never had to be in the same school at the same time. That was really nice for both of us. Our brother is nearly 2 years younger than she is but again, due to birthday placement, they were only 1 year apart in school. And it was hell on both of them. Her girls are 8 and 5 and so they'll have that nice gap, too. I know that it's human nature to think that whatever difference you have is the perfect amount but I've really been analyzing this a lot. Obviously.

Mostly I'm just not convinced that I'm ready to be pregnant again. But I suppose I need to get it out of the way because I've definitely come around to agree that Kirk needs a sibling.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Two Transitions

We took Kirk to see The Simpsons Movie on Sunday. It's the first time he'd been to a movie theater since he was a carseat baby. He really did pretty well but I ended up spending the final 15 or 20 minutes watching from the entrace hall while holding him. If we had come a bit later and avoided the millions of previews and other bullshit at the beginning, maybe it would have timed out better. We did go to a 10:45am showing but that meant it was pretty much naptime when the movie ended. Nevertheless, it was a great experiment. Kirk had fun and now we know that it's possible to see movies as a family, as long as we schedule it right. I think typically people don't take kids to movies until they're a bit older but he knows about the Simpsons and likes them so we figured it would work out.

We seem to be behind the curve on Kirk's sleeping arrangements however. He's still in his crib and we're not making any move to switch him into a toddler bed any time soon. I think all of the other two-year-olds we know have been transitioned already. But Kirk still hasn't ever climbed out! And so many parents have warned us that we need to treasure the crib time while it lasts because after that the random mid-night appearances begin. Though I think that Kirk needs new bed clothes. When I get him up in the morning he has often covered himself with one or more of the random baby blankets that are piled in and amongst the stuffed animals. Does he need proper blankets? He also doesn't have a real pillow; he's been using my old Boppy for probably a year now. I intended to at least get him a normal pillow for his birthday but that got away from me unfulfilled.

The switch to 2% milk Mr. b was on top of right away though. He took Kirk off whole milk several weeks before his birthday. Apparently the kids at daycare make a note of who drinks red milk (whole) and who drinks blue milk (2%)!

Friday, August 03, 2007


How do you explain something like an historical tragedy to a two-year-old? Of course the TV was on news coverage of the bridge collapse from 20 minutes after it happened onward. Mr. b had to leave so it was just me and the boy. And I was too busy being stunned and answering phone calls whenever someone was able to get through and sending out emails letting people know we were all OK to pay much attention to him. I tried to take time out. We sat on the front steps and watched the rain come in. Kirk claimed he was scared of the "bunder" but I don't buy it. We sat in his bedroom and had a tickle war. But mostly, my mind was elsewhere, trying to process what had just happened. My only attempt to explain it was to tell Kirk that the bridge broke and now there was a big mess. I wonder how much of this he'll retain in memory as he gets older?

I worked from home yesterday and went over to Dinkytown to meet Mr. b for lunch. As I drove by, and saw the destruction with my own eyes for the first time, I gasped, clutched my chest, and fought back tears. It's real. We walked over before eating to look again and take a couple of pictures and just reminisce about all the times we spent in the area, in the neighborhood, under the bridges, along the riverbank.

Mr. b got interviewed by a Sioux Falls news station later that day. A print version is online, with a link to the video.

Standing on University Avenue bridge, looking south onto 35W destruction

Standing on University Avenue bridge, looking south onto 35W destruction