Monday, June 21, 2010

The Case of The Missing Pacifier

When your scrunchy, little, tomato faced newborn is wailing like a broken smoke detector, you feel like the whole world would be a better placed if your darn offspring would just take a damn pacifier. When (and if) they do take a liking to the succulent little morsel you keep shoving in their mouth, suddenly life looks a whole lot more manageable. You get three whole hours of sleep at a time (perhaps) and you fantasize about duct taping the pacifier to your baby's mouth. Bliss.

Fast forward 2 years...

You're crawling around on the floor at 1 am in a deranged panic looking for a tiny bit of rubber and plastic that is sure to give your child braces, a speech impediment and cancer. What seemed like an innocent and adorable little soothing device is actually a deal with the devil because now your baby can't sleep without it. Awesome.

We stayed the weekend at Jeff and Gabrielle's, and somewhere between lunch and bedtime, we lost The-Item-Of-Utmost-Importance. The one that is attached to Charlie at all times via a chord and safety pin. I put him to bed with much fear and trepidation, but after an evening of running around Torrey Pines, and eating dinner on the boardwalk in Del Mar, he was so out of energy he didn't even notice his pacifier was missing when I laid his downy curly head, on his soft pillow in his crib pack'n'play. Staying asleep however, was not something his fairy godmother fated his poor, tuckered out mum, and without his ability to self soothe, it was shaping up to be a really. long. night. I tried ignoring him, I tried readjusting his blanket, I tried patting him on the head and assuring him that life would go on without his paci... but it was like trying to reassure teenager they could live without texting.

After waking up out of a dead sleep for the fifth time, there was not a shred of logic left in my brain. Despite the fact that I'm nearly blind without contacts or glasses, and despite it being pitch black in a large house that wasn't my own, I grabbed my cell phone and started crawling through the house on my hands and knees, vowing not to give up until I found The-Thing-Of-Utmost-Importance. How I thought I would be able to find it sightless and in the dark when I couldn't find it during daylight was not allowed to cross my mind. I got the brilliant idea that maybe it had gotten caught on a couch cushion or under a piece of furniture, so as I prowled around the living room in my striped pajama pants and purple cell phone, I came across a pair of shoes, a wallet...then a cell phone, but no pacifier. I ran my hands underneath the couch and could have sworn I heard someone breathing deeply, when I felt someone's breath, hot on my face as I went to scour the cushions, I almost chalked it up to hyperbolic imagination (such was the intensity of my one sighted focus on the quest) but then my hopelessly malfunctioning vision came to the alarming realization I was nose to nose with a strange man who was sleeping on aforementioned couch. While I was trying to decide whether to scream or die of embarrassment, my brain caught up with my mental freak out and I remembered that I had met this man before and been told he would be sleeping on the couch. Which was good. What would not have been good... him waking up to see a wild, blue haired woman staring at him from inches away. So I crawled my mortified, delirious self back to bed...

And found Charlie's pacifier along the way.
In a different couch.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Outgrown Cribs In The Land Filled WIth Snakes

Turns out 4-almost-5-year-olds can move furniture. I wouldn't have discovered this hidden talent if I hadn't nearly slid a bunk bed onto Charlie. Sometimes I think I'm bigger and stronger than I really am, like today when I made a spur of the moment decision to get rid of Charlie's crib and put bunk beds in the kid's room. How I thought I could balance precariously on a tower of tires while I wiggled apart two bunk beds stacked on top of each other, is beyond me. My back is telling me it was a lesson of folly, but my head says well done. Charlie is still alive, and the dog only got squished once, so I maintain it was a success. Jamie navigated the corners and lifted his fair share of the burden, snatching his little brother from the jaws of death every time I started screeching "grab Charlie....grab Charlie quick.

Because you see, Charlie discovered his crib is really just a facade. Those bars that used to look formidable, suddenly transformed into a jungle gym begging to be climbed. Sometimes my kids move to new stages without me knowing it, I'll look at them and think... when did he learn to pedal a bike, or... has that child always been three shades browner than me? Other times like today, a new stage is ushered in with bells ringing and change staring me down with his ugly bushy eyebrows. I don't like facing change nor staring at his ugly face, so I threw myself recklessly into cleaning out the kids room, taking out Charlie's crib and moving in the aforementioned bunk bed. So yes I heard him, Change can go away now (unless he plans on taking away the diapers and leaving a potty trained boy, in which case he can stay).

Charlie was rather ambivalent about the whole process. He went to bed very relieved looking, like he didn't care where or what his bed was as long as someone was still kissing his head, handing him his bottle and praying for him (ha! bottle...he's still got a bit of baby in him left). Jamie on the other hand was ecstatic. He had a few worried moments when his mama wasn't sure the bunk bed was sturdy, but Uncle Vern came to the rescue and fixed the wobblies. Jamie spent the rest of the evening airbending off the bed until he turned the ceiling fan on and promptly whacked himself in the head. Some things you just have to learn by experience. No matter what your parents say, it doesn't make sense until you're rubbing a goose egg on your head.

The other thing Jamie's ecstatic about it snakes. He's obsessed with classifying all snakes as either good or bad. Rattlesnakes=bad, King snake= good. The snakes have decided our house is Disneyland or something, which is seriously about to give me a heart attack. The first time Jamie told me there was a snake on our front door mat, I thought he was pretending... monsters in the closet and all that, but no, there was truly a full grown rattlesnake coiled up against my front door like it was a park bench at the beach. No freaking thank you. I even like snakes. I'm just not sure my kids could survive a bite from a rattler long enough for me to get them off of our remote commune and to a hospital. These things worry me (and now I've convinced everyone to never visit, but honestly, they aren't normally this bad). Two days later I gave Jamie strict orders to stay on the patio and not venture into the tall weeds, he went out to play and came running back in telling me there was another rattlesnake on the patio. Sure enough, he was right again. Thankfully both times Barnabas was between the snake and my children, but still, I have them hog tied and apron stringed whenever we go out now.

A few days and a few good snakes later (this is the story that never ends), Barnabas went out to pee and nearly sat on a rattlesnake. It was a big snake and had a tail that sounded like a Pepsi can full of pebbles, so the dog quickly got wise and skedaddled, and Jamie named it Tricksy (with the help of his Uncle Lulu who is actually his aunt).

I finally had time to take a picture of this one, as it seemed content to hiss and rattle at us instead of dive for the bushes like the other ones did.

So this is what we get for having perfect weather all the time. As long as we stay stuck in 70's and sunny, we're stuck with rattlesnakes as backyard (or front yard) pets.