I’m sooooo sorry!

Ollie apologized to me the other day.  It went like this:  “I’m sooooo sorry my bum is itchy!”

In other news, Reid has always attracted aggressive attention from other little boys; it’s a weird thing.  He’s so ready to laugh, and to be anybody’s friend, I think, that he submits to abuse.  I think he genuinely thinks the other boy is simply trying to play, and that it’s not personal and not intended to be abusive or bullying, and so he allows it.  He’s a tough kid.  He hit his head on a cement bench when he was about one-and-a-half, and was done crying about it within thirty seconds or less.  They’ve both always been tough like that.  In Ollie’s case, it usually leads to utter fearlessness and lack of regard for his own safety.  In Reid’s case it leads to this sort of naive tolerance that leads other kids to pick on him.  He’s so sweet and so generally happy that, as a parent (or maybe as any innocent bystander watching from the sidelines), it breaks your heart.  The other day, he told his mommy that his friends at school like to play a game with him at lunchtime called “kick Reid”.  It came up because he was kicking under the table, and his mom asked him where he learned that.  He explained the game: the name of the game says everything.  Mommy asked him how the game made him feel, and he eventually said it hurt his feelings.  I wonder if it hurt his feelings in the moment or only on reflection (perhaps upon reading his mom’s reaction in her own eyes and expression).  Mommy talked to his teachers about it and there’s been some indication of similar “play” from another boy — perhaps a ringleader of sorts, and they’re keeping an eye on it.  I’m sure that will be that.

It does break my heart, though.  And what should a parent hope for?  That their kid will see the world with more suspicion and mistrust?  I love that Reid laughs when an older boy “plays” with him by throwing a large rubber ball at him as hard as possible — unless the laughter is nervous or fearful…  it doesn’t seem so, but who knows?  (That did happen, once, by the way, maybe a year or so ago.)  You want your son to be strong and tough and self-assertive, but you also want him to be joyful and happy.  How much do you teach them about the world at three?  It will be interesting to see how Reid’s nature develops as he ages, with respect to this sort of tolerance.

self-maintenance

There’s a huge difference between “potty-trained” and “self-maintaining.”  Reid, the more fastidious of the two boys provided me an excellent example of this, today, when I was changing his underwear.  I need a book, directed at three-year-olds, with diagrams and explanations of where, what, when, why and how to wipe, because I am not getting through.

I won’t even go into the details of the attrocities Oliver has committed in his adventures on the pot.

Back in the Saddle!

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I genuinely blogged about the boys, and a lot has changed.  It’s hard to get back into the swing of posting.

Did a divide-and-conquer day today, with Ollie.  He and Reid played soccer in the morning (Beth and uncle Andre coaching, so I got to cheer from the sidelines).  Reid wasn’t into it until the very end, and then he started chasing pretty hard, kicking the ball and flopping around a lot.  He had a great time.  Ollie, suffering from the same wasting disease (bird-flu, probably) that his mom and dad have, followed mommy around on the field with his index finger jammed in his mouth, and occasionally crying and begging to be picked up.

After the soccer-game, though, mellow-Ollie and I went shopping and came home.  I asked him if he wanted to go see “airplanes and helicopters” (by which I meant the MCAS Miramar aviation museum), and he said no, he’d rather play monorails.  There was some discussion of going to the zoo, but Ollie said he wanted to play monorails and then go to the zoo.  I tried to explain to him that that wasn’t really doable, but he would have none of it, so monorails it was.  Later, he cried when I denied him a trip to the zoo.  This is, I suppose, the risk of negotiating with a three-year-old over anything longer range than the next ten minutes or so.

He’s becoming a brilliant builder-of-Geotrax, is Ollie.  He now builds large, complicated track systems that stretch from his bedroom into the kitchen.  They aren’t ideal for remote-control trains yet, but he’s not into the few RC-trains he has anyway, and would rather line up all of his trains neatly near the tracks.  The fun for Ollie is in building “circles”, not so much in the actual management of trains.  Absent some friction, this works well, because Reid is more interested in the train management part.

After playing monorails for a while, I tucked Ollie in for a nap, and took one myself.  We both slept a ridiculous three-and-a-half hours.  If that isn’t proof that Ollie is fighting off the SARS, I don’t know what is.  The only reason either of us woke up at all was to greet Beth and Reid, since mommy was dropping off the boys to stay at daddy’s house for the night.  Reid and Ollie played trains some more, ate fish-sticks for dinner, and crashed out at about 8:00.  Late for bedtime, by their usual schedule, but I let them stay up a little later to play the Cars Demo game on my XBox 360.  They like to press the green button and crash Lightning McQueen into things.  They don’t care at all about winning the race or anything else, which means I never have to actually buy the whole game.  The free demo version will likely satisfy them for another several months, at least.

Hoping to do the aviation museum or zoo/wild-animal-park tomorrow.  We’ll see, Sundays often turn out to be the three of us sitting around in our PJsunderwear all day watching football, playing monorails, and generally being total slackers.

happeeness!

Both of my sons, for the first time, today, used the toilet. Reid first, and then Ollie a few minutes later. I’ve been reassured that the sloppy-wet high-five I got from Reid shortly following his victory over the toilet was caused by nothing but a freshly-washed hand.

No such assurances were forthcoming regarding the toy car (Lightning McQueen) that was rescued from the toilet after Ollie’s victory celebration. By Ollie. Just before handing it to me. And just after trailing its drippings across the bathroom floor.

one of those nights

So tonight is one of those nights.

Actually, I should back up.  LAST night was one of those nights.  While running through Lowe’s hardware store, Ollie bonked his head on the edge of an outdoor grill.  While the grill probably sustained more overall damage, we still took Ollie and the bloody puncture wound on his head over to an urgent-care facility for attention.  Attention, in this case, means three hours of filling out paperwork, wrangling Ollie (fully-recovered now) and Reid through various rooms filled with various pieces of expensive equipment and sitting on the brand new chairs (one of the nurses yelled this at someone else’s kid — I swear, someone else’s kid) and watching Clifford the Dog: The Movie (or some other such child-oriented hypnosis material).  After the excitement of trying to keep two two-year-olds from driving a toy-train over every defibrillator in the place wore off, a physician tied Ollie down with a papoose (like a straight-jacket for kids — instant burrito — he smiled for most of it), and glued the small hole in his head shut and sent us home.

Back to tonight.  Tonight is one of those nights.  Ollie decided he did not want to go to sleep tonight, and spent the first half-hour after his tuck-in engaging in the following forms of protest:

  • Screaming at the top of his lungs.
  • Crying.
  • Banging on the door to his room.
  • Jumping up and down on his floor so hard that the cookware in our kitchen rattled.
  • Did I mention screaming?  Or crying?
  • Yelling for “Daddy” (this is nice, sort of, but still…)
  • Under questioning, asking for the following: “I want go downstairs. I want watch ‘Thomas.’  I want light on (on other nights, this question has been quickly followed by “I want light off”, so I’m leery).  I want that toy.  I want daddy hug!”  I confess, I caved on that last one a few times.

The best attempt, though?  Banging on the door, and yelling, “DAAAAADDY?!  TRICK OR TREAT?!”

I’m too busy…

So, Ollie and Reid just recently went through a brief phase of using “I’m too busy….” as their general-purpose excuse for not doing something they don’t want to do.  Best recent example was after getting off the “Peter Pan” ride at Disneyland, Ollie — a little shaken from the ups and downs of the ride — was asked if he’d like to go again.  Tucking his chin and tilting his head to the side and offering his most sympathetic look, he very slowly, very quietly said, “I’m too busy to go on Peter Pan.”

Shortly after that, he was too busy to go on Dumbo, too.

od

The URL of my blog is ironic today; today I learned that you can never have the “just say ‘no'” chat with your children too soon.  Ollie got into a bag (yes, we now know why they make child-proof containers) of Advil tablets, and having just been introduced to M&Ms only yesterday, assumed they were the same thing; and immediately proceeded to act upon that assumption.

Beth was only a short hop from a hospital, where she and Ollie (and eventually I; the hospital was a forty-five minute drive away for me — I made it in thirty) spent the afternoon.  The funnest part of course, was having liquid charcoal spat and exhaled at me by my two-and-a-half-year-old son, as I held him motionless with all my might while two nurses worked to shove it down his throat and suffocate him into ingesting it.  A bit of advice for other parents facing the same choice:  if they offer to put a tube down your child’s throat, instead of wrestling with him for an hour, take the tube.

Take the tube.