Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Faceplant stunts and baby bumps

I have insecurity issues about my kids bike riding skills. I mean, they can scale the side of a cliff, identify eight different varieties of snake, and lose their shoes at the top of a tree somewhere, but bike riding? Not so great a skill around here. Charlie just flat out hates to pedal, I have to bribe him with his gummy multivitamin just to make sure he can still do it. And Jamie learned how to ride a bike last year, but since it's about as safe around here as wind surfing on Mars...he can't really do it without my supervision. Nothing is flat, there are rocks and crevices everywhere, the only good part is there are no busy streets or cars to worry about. Guiltily though, I haven't taken the time to help tackle the all terrain with him as much as I should.

The weather has conspired against me though. Southern California is locked in one of those La Nina years where it never rains, and is 75 and gorgeous every day. (except on the days where the devil gets mad and tears everything apart with high winds). Such a nice life...until the wildfires sweep through in 8 months... but we won't talk about that.

Consequently though, the nice whether has Jamie begging me outside to go bike riding with him, every single day. He doesn't really need my help...except to keep him from dying. So I jog alongside of him while he pedals happily around two or three acres like it's merely a walk around the living room. I should be grateful for the exercise. Considering the amount of food I'm putting away these days, it's probably solely Jamie's fault I don't weigh an extra hundred pounds. (although to be fair, Charlie does his fair share of keeping me active). Jamie's not terribly good at braking yet, and he's still in that stage where he thinks you have to pedal all the time. So even when he's careening down the driveway with his pregnant momma huffing and puffing distantly behind him. He's still pedaling with all his might while simultaneously bleating like a baby goat "MOMMMM helLLP! I'm going TOO FAST. I'M GOING TO DIE."


"I WANT TO DIE." Translation, 'I forgot how to brake'.

This is both why I do an don't freak out (very often) about where we live. Jamie is not the dangerous sort. He does lots of things that might freak other people out, but he is a fully in control kind of kid. Even on the rare occasion he's not in control (like careening madly down a hill), he'd rather pretend he is. In this instance however, I had visions of him flying off the hill and getting an impressive amount of air... something that wouldn't be terribly fun to land. So I ran like a mad woman after him, yelling at him to steer into a bush.

He did. Which promptly sent him over the handle bars where he landed spread eagle in a bush that swallowed him whole like Jonah and the whale. Typical boy though, he crawled out, climbed back on his bike and said "lets do that again." Meanwhile I'm holding my side with a evil braxton hicks and mentally lecturing Robbie to stay put and wait his turn. Please.

Charlie's drama lately, has been more tooth related. He normally is a champ at the dentist and doctor. In fact they do more on his teeth than any other three year old because he begs them. Normally they have a five minute teeth cleaning for three year olds, but Charlie will happily wear sunglasses and watch Nemo on the ceiling while they pick and clean away. I found out the hard way this is only because Jamie sets the bar high, and Charlie follows suit. I ended up at the dentist alone with Charlie who had four cavities to fill, and Charlie just flat out refused. Refused to stand on the scale to see how much sedation medicine he needed. Refused to eat the applesauce his medicine was in. Refused to let anyone touch him. I bribed, and ordered, and cajoled and begged, and finally the promise of a happy meal worked, and off he reluctantly went. Medicine doesn't work that well on him though (much like his older brother). The twilight sedation wore off in half the amount of time they were expecting it to, and they only got halfway done. Halfway done. They had to be joking. I barely got him in the first time, they were kidding themselves if they thought I could get him to go in again. Our options were either, get him back in and cooperating, or put him under general anesthesia. I had a good long heart to heart with Charlie about the rising cost of college education and how much general anesthesia would cost us (peppered with a liberal hint that maybe he should consider becoming an anesthesiologist when he grows up). But Charlie and I did not see eye to eye. "Not covered by insurance" was not an impressive enough reason to go anywhere near a dentist ever again (and we go to a really awesome-non scary pediatric dentist).

I was so desperate, I took him to the toy aisle and let him pick anything he wanted (which he would get after he had the rest of his cavities filled). He picked Woody, who waited patiently for him in the waiting room like the good sheriff he is. I don't know if it was the presence of Woody...or his magic older brother Jamie. But Charlie trotted back to the procedure room like a patient martyr and survived his oral sedation, laughing gas, and local anesthetic like a champ. He is not a very gracious person coming out of sedation though. More like a hungry bear coming out of hibernation. All growls, and scowls and thrashing around the couch when his pillow didn't behave properly.

I keep catching myself wondering how I'm going to take care of a baby. My kids are "easy" now. They can eat, pee and sleep without any help, but yet they still manage to keep me running after them at breakneck speed. I'm ok with Robbie staying put for awhile, but Jamie can't wait until he's here. He patted my belly this morning and told me quite honestly "You look funny mommy. Like you have a food belly, but only cuter because I know there's a baby in there." "Thanks honey, I like your tummy too.