Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Perfect Weekend

We were supposed to go to Houston to visit family this weekend. I hate to say, "I'm glad our nephew got sick," but I kind of am. Does that make me a bad person? Instead of twice making a 3 1/2 hour drive with a toddler, and spending the night in the guest room of someone else's house with a toddler who's testing the limits of his sleep routine, we got to spend an entire weekend together, the three of us. I didn't have to work! While money is nice, time together is, too.

Yesterday, I got to sleep in while Aerie got up with Thumper. Today, I returned the favor. When she got up, I said, "So what do you want to do with the boy today?" She said, "What about the flea market?"

We haven't been to the flea market in years. We always had fun there, wandering around, looking at the huge array of stunningly ugly home decor available in the many booths. It's kind of like a giant garage sale, kind of like a farmers' market, and kind of like a day trip to Mexico. I mean, sure, it was nothing to compare with the Married Geeks' adventures in China, but I think it's good now and again to be reminded what it's like to be the racial minority. It was doubly fun seeing the whole spectacle through fresh eyes, through the eyes of a kid who'd never experienced it before. He was all wide eyes and giant grins from the minute we arrived. Every cheap plastic toy was a treasure that he "needed!" Every stranger was a potential friend. Every electronics display blasting at top volume that weird accordion-heavy-but-somehow-not-polka Mexican music that I'll never understand was an opportunity to dance, dance, dance!

And then, he saw the treasure that he really did need. It was a big kid bike. A two-wheeler with training wheels and coaster brakes. At first we told him what we told him about every treasure he needed: let's look at everything and then we'll pick the thing he wanted most. We told him not to touch. But he couldn't stop himself, and the vendor was quick to jump up and tell us he could try it if he wanted. So he did, and that was that. We bought it. The vendor cleaned and oiled it while we went to find some lunch.

He was reluctant to leave it behind, but we told him the man was going to fix it for him. I was very proud of Aerie: she ate food from a portable kitchen, a trailer with a window in the side, with questionable hygiene. While we stood in line, Thumper pointed at the amazing mulleted perm (or permed mullet?) ahead of us and said, "Look at the long hair! I haven't seen him before!" Then we sat in the sun and ate our gorditas and watched the families strolling by and all the other treasures that the other kids picked. Then we had funnel cake, another joyful new experience for the boy, then picked up the bike and rode it proudly through the flea market on our way out. The vendor told us that we should bring it back when the boy outgrows it; he's sold it three times already.

As we paraded slowly past the booths on our way back to the car, the smile on Thumper's face was the topper for the weekend.

He was so proud. And so happy. And I was so proud. And so happy.

He fell asleep almost immediately on the drive home, but when he got up, he got the opportunity to show it off around the neighborhood. I wonder how old he'll be when the training wheels come off? This kid, he's a pissah, as we use to say when we were Yankees.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

So I've been to a few doctors lately, and whatnot. I'd love to tell you more about the conversation Thumper had with one of them, but it would be wrong. You wouldn't respect me in the morning. Seriously, when I recounted it to Aerie that night after the boy had gone to bed, we both laughed out loud in a particularly "we can never tell anyone about this" sort of way. Good times. I'd bet money that doctor told his wife about it when he got home.

But (one part of) the upshot of all is that I'm in physical therapy now for my long-standing shoulder injury, which the physical therapist believes is a result of me hoisting my giant toddler over my head to carry him on my shoulders several times a day. She thinks maybe I should quit doing that for a little bit of a while.

One good thing is that most of the physical therapy is about strengthening all of my other muscles, particularly my back and "core" (read, "abdominal muscles") so that my left shoulder won't have to compensate for all of its brethren throughout the rest of my body every time I pick the two-year-old-that-everyone-mistakes-for-a-four-year-old up.

So, anyway. I'm finally diversifying my workout routine to include a wide range of upper and lower body resistance exercises, as well as sit-ups and crunches and a yoga ball, etc. All stuff I've known about, considered, and put off. So maybe this stabbing pain in my shoulder will help me get over the hump and actually start losing weight again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Restlessly Running

Thumper's down for a nap, now, and he only tried twice to escape before giving it up as a lost cause. Maybe he's starting to catch on. I had a poor night's sleep last night, though. He kept getting up through the evening, but finally fell asleep before we went to bed. He stayed asleep, too, except for that one time at 5:00 a.m. when he jolted us awake by standing next to our bed and saying, "Hi, Mama!"

But he didn't keep climbing out all night long, and he didn't wander the house looking for poisonous chemicals and steak knives, as I imagined him doing while we slept. Aerie said if he did get up in the night, he'd immediately come looking for us because he's not too fond of darkness, and she was right. She usually is.

Even though he didn't keep us up with his escape artistry all night, he might as well have, because I dreamed restlessly of him escaping, then woke up to listen to the silence for signs that he had actually escaped. Oh yeah, I also dreamed that a junkie stabbed me in the bicep with his needle. Odd. Plus, of course, I had this song stuck in my head all night, which didn't help my rest either:

Despite poor rest, though, I did get up and go to the gym. I think my plan to motivate myself by signing up for a 10K is working: I actually ran for an entire hour, without stopping or walking! I felt pretty good, too! I don't think I got anywhere near what anyone would call a "runner's high," but I didn't feel like I was going to die, so that's a good thing. Maybe, just maybe, a 10K isn't as far out of my reach as I thought it would be. 6.2 miles sounds much easier than 10 kilometers. I think the U.S. should stick to its anti-metric guns.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Riveting Tale for You

Here is this year's high school basketball tournament story, though it did not bring anything exciting like last year's adventures:

I sat quietly and stared off into space a lot.

The end.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It Had to Happen Eventually

Last night, after I'd already read him his books, sang him his song, and gave him his kisses, Thumper suddenly appeared in the living room, unannounced. He was a teary, panicked mess, sobbing, "I dropped my cloth!"

When he was a tiny baby, we used old-fashioned organic cloth diapers as spit-up rags; he became very attached to them, and to this day snuggles with them when he is tired or anxious. I don't think his panic was entirely about the cloth, because he had 4 of them in his bed with him, and though he lost one, there was still an armload of them left for him to cuddle with. I suspect he had some kind of bad dream, and when he woke and tried to recover from it, he dropped a cloth out of reach behind his crib, lost his mind, and climbed right out of his crib for help.

So I calmed him, rocked him, and when he was ready, put him back to bed, and he was just fine for the rest of the night. Now, though, it's nap time, and I'm kind of jumpy. I knew that some day he would figure out that he was capable of leaving his bed any time that he wanted, and part of me is surprised that, with his climbing skills, it took him this long. The other part of me thinks it's too soon. Now, every sound I hear makes me stop and listen. Is it him? I just know I'm going to be working away and jump out of my skin when from directly behind me he suddenly says, "I want my milk!"

And it's just my opinion here, but I think 2 1/2 is much too soon for me to have to have the "Mama and Daddy were just wrestling" conversation with him.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hipster Shoes

He bowled a 59 and even picked up a spare!

Much appreciation to The man with the mohawk for flashing us when we weren't looking.

Monday, March 1, 2010


It's been awhile since I did one of Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenges. This one is "Hidden."

"I don't care if you do it," she says. "You know I love you."

"I know," he says. And he does.

"I just don't want you to lie to me."

But that's what she doesn't understand, and maybe he doesn't either. Not really. It's not the doing; it's the hiding. It's the getting away with it. He can be a good man, he can be a good husband, and father, and son, and brother. He can be everything that everyone expects him to be if he can just have this one thing, this one secret that no one knows. Hidden.
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