Sunday, March 27, 2011

The No-Good, Very Bad Day

It started with Husband being ill with sinuses, and Kittyboy and I scurrying out the door without him, fifteen minutes late to church. As soon as we got there, I sent him to the bathroom, to forestall the five-minutes-in, "I have to go on the toilet!" hassle, since I knew I'd be in front reading. Ten minutes later, "I have to go on the toilet!" We went to the bathroom and then I said we'd just sit in a pew, because it would be disruptive for the both of us to go traipsing back up, and the other two chanters would be more than fine. Kittyboy wasn't happy. He spent the rest of Orthros bugging me about when Sunday School would start, and wanting to lay on the pew and kick his feet. Finally it was 10 and I sent him to Sunday School. One of the benefits, for me, of him being in Sunday School, is that I can sing in the choir. The Sunday School class came in right before the Gospel reading - and Kittyboy started whining for me. And whining. And whining. Finally the teacher let him go up to me in the choir. He wasn't too much happier in the choir - he kept asking me if it was time for Communion, and arguing when I said no. He sat on the floor. He fiddled with the power cord for the organ. He whined that there was no pew. He tried to get under the organ bench. He asked if it was Communion again. He required that I hold a book for him to follow, and sang a little, but then when he wanted to flip pages, I took it away. This did not please him. We had a quiet discussion concerning the fact that I wasn't holding the book for him to play with it, and if he didn't want to follow along, no book. We tried the book again. (By now you've gotten a fair picture of how church went, it was pretty much that)
Finally it was time for Communion! And after that, we went downstairs to discuss, not so quietly, the fact that he cannot be in the choir if he's going to disrupt the choir and prevent me from singing, and if he can't sit with his class, he just won't go to Sunday School, and we will sit in the pew the entire service.
Today was the feast of the Elevation of the Cross, and I had intended to keep Kittyboy downstairs just until the procession and then zip back up just for that. I miscalculated - and Father did the procession before the end of church - and we missed it. I love Soson Kyrie, this is the day we sing that a lot, didn't get to sing it. Not pleased.
When we got home, he was VERY due for a nap. I went to put him in bed, and his sheets were wet. I eyed the humidifier, and sniffed them - NOT wet from the humidifier. He gets out of bed himself in the morning, and he wears a pull-up overnight, so gee, it had not occurred to me to check whether he had completely soaked his bed! I still haven't figured out what happened. All bedding needed to be washed - and his weighted Toy Story blanket was washed just two or three days ago. It takes a while to dry, too. I couldn't believe it. This nap was now going to be delayed by 2-3 hours.
Can't get worse, right?
After this on top of our problems at church, I was Severely Displeased. Then - I carried everything to the laundry room and found the washer full. The dryer was full. What was in the washer was clean and needed drying, so I couldn't toss it back in the hamper. But what was in the dryer, wasn't quite dry. I had to restart the dryer, wait for it to dry, switch out loads, THEN I could start the load on which hinged the very fate of the world, or at least of my afternoon.
Kittyboy started saying he was hungry. He had a bunch of fruit and sweet breads at coffee hour, but being still awake, he was hungry again. This was when I discovered that the rice and vegetables he'd had for breakfast - because they were from dinner last night - which he still hadn't finished for breakfast because we were running late - were still sitting out on the table, four hours later. We'd been in such a rush this morning, I'd not put them away. Well, they were garbage now. Gave him a bunch of grapes. Seriously, he ate a LOT at coffee hour, and he usually has a bird's appetite. I've never fixed lunch after church. He spent the laundry time being, well, tired four-year-old in need of nap. Fun times. Whining, "I want to boouuunce!" I put down his trampoline - in the hallway, because his room's a disaster and I was folding laundry in the front room and the hallway was where I had room. "But I want it in theeerrrree!" My response was less than gracious. Emptied the dryer as soon as the washer stopped, tossed the still-wet things on a table, put The Load of Loads in the dryer. 3:30 in the afternoon, I was finally making Kittyboy's bed. Got it made despite his "help", got him in it, then had to take off and put back on his covers. They were in the wrong order. Not kidding. FINALLY tucked him in to his exacting standards, and I turned on his music.
"Oh, but IIIII wanted to start it!"
Are you kidding me?
Fine. Whatever. I was done. I told him to start the music himself if that was what he wanted, and tuck himself back in. Couple minutes later, crying that it wouldn't play - I went back in. He'd pressed the play button twice, pausing it. I started it for him. I tucked him back in.
Then he began to say that he was still hungry.
I wanted to scream. Husband was up. I gave him a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, and charge of the Kittyboy, because I was VERY MUCH DONE.
And I did the mature, grown-up, mommy thing of hiding in my bedroom.
After his nap, Kittyboy came looking for me. He came in the room, flung his arms wide, and declared, "Mommy, I like you a lot!"
Aww. I told him I loved him, and asked why he'd come looking for me. "I am happy to have you!" That translates, "I want you to be with me!" Awww! I asked him, "Even when I'm cranky and grumpy and yell a whole lot?" And he climbed up in my lap and said quite sincerely, "Yes! When you yell, God forgives you!"
Aaawwww! I take that to mean we're friends again!

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Homecoming Anniversary

We were at the doctor's this morning, just checking on the seasonal sinuses, and Kittyboy wanted me to read him his wristband. He is learning to read, and wants to know what everything says. I saw the date, 3-23, and told him that FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY, he came home from the hospital!
It was a Friday, the 5th Friday of Lent that year. I know that because that night, he was churched after the 5th Akathist service. Between the hospital and home, we stopped at Target, because there was something the nursery still needed - I want to say it was a lamp. I didn't know what to do with a baby in car seat and a shopping cart, and didn't know that car seats fit onto carts, so Husband pushed the cart and I carried Kittyboy in my arms. When we got home, my first phone call after the initial "HE'S HOME! HE'S REALLY HERE!" flurry of calls was to my mother - "Um, Mommy? How do you go to the bathroom with a baby?" And I was shocked when she said, "Oh, you just take him in with you!" But Mother! He's a boy! "Yes dear, but he's a baby. It really doesn't matter!" The second "What do we do...?" question was to NICU the very next morning - "And WHY is it that we are setting an alarm all night and waking a sleeping baby for feeding?" "Oh, because preemies don't always wake when they're hungry." Ah. O...kay.
And it was so weird to have him be really all ours.
He went to church that night, that Sunday, the next week which was Palm Sunday, and we were thinking what we should do about Holy Week and the deluge of services. We'd always gone to all of them before. We decided to take him Palm Sunday evening, Monday through Wednesday, and then start keeping him home Thursday when the crowds start. By Wednesday, we realized that nowhere was he calmer and more quietly content than in church. We continued taking him to all the services, all Holy Week, and he was perfectly happy.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Virtue of Practice

Yesterday was lovely, in the 70s, and the Kittyboy and I went outside. The neighbor boy was out on his bicycle - the boy who's six months younger but about two sizes bigger. It's been fascinating watching him and Kittyboy develop, because since KB was three months early, they're essentially three months apart, and each has done things earlier than the other. I remember being flabbergasted at "Bobby" kicking a ball up and down the street, when Kittyboy was just getting really good at walking. Bobby was big, sturdy, and RUNNING. But when he was running after the sorta-jogging Kittyboy that summer, and the first went up and over a log easily, Bobby put one foot on the log, stopped, and looked at me. He needed a hand for balance.
Bobby potty-trained first. Kittyboy spoke more clearly, and drank from an open cup while Bobby was still fighting to keep his bottle. It's just so cool to watch, who will do what next?
So Bobby rides a little bike with training wheels (and was riding a tricycle last year). It stands to reason, like walking, running, and kicking a ball, it's one of those gross-motor things Bobby does well and with gusto. This spring is the first that Kittyboy's been able to reach the pedals on his tricycle, and he's tried out the pedaling process, but it's all new, and it's all WORK, so mostly he pushes the tricycle around himself.
Well, yesterday he was watching Bobby on that bicycle. Been trying to pedal the trike, but not really getting anywhere. I explained that Bobby's just a little bigger, he has longer legs, and so he's been pedaling since last year. Kittyboy's face drooped, and he said, "And I'm still widdle - wight?"
Ooooohhhhh! My poor baby! So sad!
I told him NO, he is exactly the size he is supposed to be, and everyone grows and develops at their own speeds, and a goodly part of it is practice, too - Bobby's been pedaling since a year ago, and the more you do something, the better you get at it, and the easier it is. That's how it works.
So Kittyboy watched a little more, and then he got back on his tricycle. And he pushed, and he grunted, and he pushed, and he made it the length of the driveway. And I cheered! And I told him that's practice, it just takes work! He got off and turned it around, and went back the other way. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And he was getting up some speed the last couple times! Great progress for one afternoon - he just needed the motivation to keep at it for more than five minutes!
And since he's getting the pedaling motion down, Husband is going to put air in the tires of the tiny little bike with training wheels that has been waiting for a certain little boy to learn how to pedal it. It's his size, but he had to figure out pedaling before it'd be of any use. It should be a little easier, since he can push with all his weight over the pedals instead of having the pedals way out in front of him.
Yay for learning the virtue of practice!

posted from Bloggeroid

Someone told my garden it's Spring...

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Wonderful World of E-readers

Husband surprised me yesterday with something I'd been thinking wistfully might be useful - an e-reader, specifically a Nook. I danced around squealing with excitement as he found church services online, put them in pdf format, and loaded them on, and he said, "I must have made your week - or month..." I said, "No, you made my LENT!!"
I have the complete Orthodox Study Bible. I have the Akathist service, in the translation I like, of which Father never has enough copies. Husband found the Hapgood text - the weekday festal services, such as Christmas Eve, New Year's, Theophany, and St. John the Baptist (just to randomly highlight the busiest two-week period of the year). I'm going to have him find text for the Holy Week services, so instead of a thick book in two hands, I can hold the Nook in one and corral a Kittyboy with the other. He has seriously made my Lent.
One advantage a book will ALWAYS have over an e-reader, however, is the ability to say, "It's around here somewhere," and flip through turning a chunk of pages at a time. As I get more comfortable with the mechanics of using it, though, there IS a function that lets you jump to any page of the book, so at some point, I'll be picturing the physical book and think, "Okay, jump fifty pages from here," and it'll be a very similar process with similar results. It will take practice, though.
I could even copy and paste a series of hymns and prayers into a text file, have Husband convert it to pdf, and put it on there. This is really pretty darn awesome!
Thank you, Dear!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A long walk and talk...

We walked to Salvation Army today, and next time we will be taking garbage bags. I think it must be a whole winter's worth of trash having been exposed by the vanished snow, because I do NOT remember the yards and bike trail being so... dump-looking. Bags and hand sanitizer going in my purse next week.
Kittyboy ate a tootsie roll, put the wrapper in his pocket like a good boy, then half a block later as he put acorns in that pocket, he discarded the wrapper in the grass! I about stopped breathing! He'd certainly NEVER seen myself, Husband, or any friends ever throw any trash on the ground! But then again, our surroundings DID suggest that was perfectly fine...
"The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein." Ps. 24:1
So we picked up the tootsie roll wrapper, discussed that verse, how disrespectful it would be of someone to come throw garbage all around our house, and that if the earth is the Lord's, then we shouldn't throw garbage around it either. And it just looks bad. I told him we'd bring bags the next time we walked.
At some point I used the term biodegradeable, and explained that it means "will turn to dirt". Somehow, from there, we got to dead animals - I think from me saying that dead organic matter was biodegradeable and explaining then what that was, plants, bugs, animals, whatever. So I think he asked about things turning into dirt, so I told him bugs and bacteria break things down, and there are animals and birds that also eat carrion. My little Munster was fascinated. (My brain kept asking, independent of my mouth, how we had gotten from cleaning up trash to discussing decomp and vultures?)
Then he picked up a brown leaf, we talked about chlorophyll, and how it keeps the leaves green and stops in fall. And that leaves also turn into dirt eventually. And dirt is what plants grow in, and animals eat the grass, and the carbon cycle. We'd read about the carbon cycle in his aunt's college ecology textbook.
I think that can be school for the day. Sound about right?

posted from Bloggeroid