Here’s something they don’t teach you in lamaze

We had just come home from a trip to the local grocery store.  My husband was putting away our coats and the boys began running around in the living room.

Come on! son 1 shouted to son 2.  Let’s play! 

I don’t remember what game it was.  Just assume something terrifyingly frenzy, that involved lots of running, shouting, messing up of my already quite messy home, and raising of my blood pressure.

Son 2 replied I don’t do that.  I’m a girl.  With an emphasis on the “don’t” and the “girl”.

I sighed a terribly frustrated sigh and thought grimly This kid is going to start kindergarten soon.  It’s one thing if he marches around the house, demanding that his clothes and sippy cups be in shades of pink and purple only, and it’s another if he does the same in school.

They like to make big deals out of these kinds of things in institutions of the educational type.  When son 2 was delayed in his speech, he was analyzed by six different child psychologists, therapists, and special education teachers.  I try not to think about the conclusions they would reach and the questions they would have regarding my son’s flip flopping on his gender.

Because to me, and to his pediatrician, it isn’t a big deal.  He’s four years old.  Hardly the age where major life decisions are made.  It’s probably a phase that he’ll eventually grow out of.  And if he doesn’t, he doesn’t.  If that’s how and what he chooses to be, then that’s how and what he is.  We all know his behavior isn’t the work of the devil whispering bad things into his ear after we turn out the lights.  I doubt even that spiky tailed mofo can get past the all seeing eye that is the ADT motion sensor.

I keep telling him he’s a boy that loves to do girl stuff, because he loves to do all the boy stuff, too.  And that’s fine.  Boys can love the colors pink and purple, dolls, pretty hair, etc.  But he’s still a boy.  And I can’t check both M and F on his school forms.

I said it gently the first 10 times or so, calmly explaining to him the whole boy with the likes and dislikes of a girl concept.  He listened and said Okay.

Then came the situation mentioned at the beginning of the post.

Oh my Allah!  Omg!  Not again!  Jesus!  Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Stalin, John, Lennon, Yoko, Ono, Rinko, Star! 

That’s how I vent my frustration.  I spout nonsense.

We’ve been through this before, darling I said through clenched teeth.  You’re a boy that likes girl stuff, remember?

All I got in response was a big, Cheshire cat like grin from Son 2.  :mrgreen:

There had to be some way to get him to understand.  I thought for a while about obvious differences between the sexes.

Hair length?  No, that wouldn’t work.

Boobs?  No, I wasn’t going to start that.  The male fascination with the female chest is something they’ll have no problem figuring out once they hit puberty.  The bigger, the better is pretty much self explanatory.

I really didn’t know what to say, so I blurted out You’re not a girl because girls don’t have wee wees.

From the corner of my eye, I could see my husband raise his eyebrows and smirk.  I wanted to pinch him.  He wasn’t helping.  And why was he wearing that expression?

Because he knew what was coming up.

Often I tend to miss the obvious, like the time I thought I was reaching for the minty blue mouthwash and almost gargled with the stuff from the bottle clearly marked Windex.

My husband is a smart cookie.  He knew what was coming next.  He just sat there, arms crossed, and let me deal with what I had started.

Son 2’s eyes got big and round and Son 1 started to laugh.  Bewildered and obviously anticipating something scandalous, they asked the question that I, quite foolishly, hadn’t anticipated.

If they don’t have wee wees, what do they pee out of ?!?!

And they haven’t stopped asking it.  I tell them I will sit down and explain anatomical differences between males and females soon, when I know what to say and how to phrase it right.

It’s better than I don’t know how to tell you this boys, but I have no idea how to approach those kinds of topics with you.  Your grandparents always chose the ‘no’ option when they sent the ‘would you like your child to participate in sex ed classes’ permission slip home.  They were first generation fobs that were scandalized by such a notion because, in the old country, you found out where babies come from on your wedding night.  No sooner.

I’ve got some prep work to do on the topic before I open up my big mouth again and start an avalanche of questions.  Because kids ask a lot of questions.  Their minds and voices don’t have the confines and restrictions of the adult thought process.  And I really don’t want to say anything that might confuse the heck out of them.

I always prided myself on being the most knowledgeable on any topic that was parental, but apparently, mom and child specialist are sometimes two different things.

Who knew?

To 3 or not to 3

This is a picture of me as a baby.  The person holding me is my uncle.

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I don’t know why I look so angry.  My husband says I still make that sour face.  A lot.

Here’s another.

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I’m with my mom in this one.  Apparently I didn’t move a lot as a kid.  Some things never change.

Excuse the quality of the pics.  They’re pretty old.

No, I’m not old.  Just the pics are.

My neighbor from across the street recently had her fifth child.  She gets out of the house so infrequently that I found out she had been pregnant two weeks after she brought the baby home from the hospital.

She’s a little on the religious side.  She likes to tell me that children are a blessing, birth control is a no no, and that we should have as many kids as God decides to give us.

Okay, Michelle Duggar.  You do that.  I’m going to hop on the first train back to the real world, where we have  something called a condom.

As my boys get older, the question of So are you going to have any more? becomes inevitable.  I’ve heard it quite a few times already.  Everyone seems to think that we need a daughter.

My sister once asked me Wouldn’t you love to have a girl? to which I replied Not as much as I’d love to have a life.

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If you listen closely, I’ll tell you a secret.  Ready?  Okay, here we go.

Kids.  Are.  A LOT.  Of work.

Above is the picture of my eldest at around three months old.  Isn’t he such a doll?

But behind those chubby cheeks and fat wrists lies a natural inclination to be hyper.  And naughty.

Here is Child 2 at 1.5 months of age.

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His story is the most famous post on this blog.

He’s the opposite of his brother.  He loves to eat and to sleep.  He also did this thing as a newborn where he would pull a fistful of his own hair and then scream at the top of his lungs.  That was cute but I really hoped it didn’t reflect on his level of intelligence.

When you put the two of them together, you get 4 ounces of getting along, 3 ounces of fighting, and 1 ounce of He’s so stupid and annoying and I wish he was like Mini!

Mini is my brother’s deceased pet cat.  He was also my kids’ first experience with the concepts of death and dying.  I was hoping for some maturity and understanding from them when we mentioned Mini’s passing, but all they got out of it was that he had gone away and was never coming back and hey, that’s a good idea, let’s send my annoying brother there, too.

My kids are my world.  They might drive me crazy, but they also make me laugh.

Like when my four year old comes up to me, points to my breasts, and asks Which one makes ice cream?

I’m guessing that’s some sort of reference to breast milk but I was laughing too hard to inquire.

As much as I love my kids, I’m not crazy about the idea of giving them more siblings.  My experience with raising infants hasn’t been the greatest.  It was challenging, to say the least.

While all the other new parents sailed smoothly, we hit iceberg after iceberg.

Smash.  Acid reflux.

Crash.  Inability to nurse.

Wham.  Being blessed with the one baby in the world that didn’t seem to require any sleep whatsoever.  His idea of nap time was an extra long blink.

The biggest problem of them all was my kids’ inability to put on weight.  They would gain ounces, not pounds.   Both were big babies at birth and in utero, thanks to my doing a really good job at the eating for two part, but my husband was a rail thin child and genetics eventually took over in full force.

Difficulty in gaining weight is a problem I never had.  I can look at food and gain weight.  Even embryonic me must’ve been on the heavier side.

Not my boys.  They both eat like crazy and not one bit of it turns into baby fat.  They have the metabolism of an Olympic gold medalist.

While it’s great for them as kids, as babies it was a nightmare.  Infancy is the one and only time where fat equals cute.  Kid one was diagnosed with failure to thrive and kid two with the audacity to completely fall of the charts.

I know now that children of Indian descent are naturally more petite.  But as a new parent, any minor deviation from normal was the end of the world.  And that’s what it felt like.

It’s tough to look back at their baby pictures and not remember a time when I felt like a total failure at the whole mothering thing.

An especially low point was when a cold ass bitch commented So are you feeding your kids at all or are you eating their food as well?

Apparently she meant it as a joke.  I meant it as a joke, too, when I told her her husband’s tits were bigger than hers.

I’m in no hurry to flunk the test for the third time and neither is my husband.  Sure, number 3 might be the charm, but higher powers seem to be agreeing with us on two being the magic number.  Meaning my ob-gyn and my cardiologist.  The only way I will be allowed to deliver any future child is through cesarean surgery and the pills I pop for my tachycardia are harmful to a growing fetus.

Let’s see.  Stop taking potentially life saving medicine and be carved up like a Christmas turkey, or shut down the baby making factory and be a good mom to the kids I already have?

If anything I’d say God was telling me to keep my uterus to myself.  Okay, God, I get your message.  Sheesh. Now stop sending me those nightmares where I’m giving birth to the Antichrist.

For richer or for poorer, but not during the Colts game

Prayers for the tragedy in France.  “Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it must be attained through understanding” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Welcome to the newly renovated The View Through The Window.  I was getting tired of that old theme and I like to switch things up now and then.  I hope you like this new blog style as much as I do.  Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

He’s the good cop to your bad cop.  The fun loving parent to your disciplinarian.  The one who sneaks your kids candy during time outs.  I quote, “Daddy’s awesome and you suck.”

Point noted.

Husbands.  You gotta love em.  And because we love them, let’s start with all the things they do that make them wonderful :

-He comes home after work.

Moving on.

I’m just kidding.  We all know husbands do a lot more good than just come home from work.  Let’s add to the list.

-He comes straight home from work.

Still kidding.  Don’t get your boxers in a bunch.  The real list follows :

-He comes straight home from work to a crabby wife and hyper kids, yet still manages to remain upbeat.

-Is tired as hell but tells you to take a break.

-Knows exactly what to do when you’re angry.  When I’m mad at him, my husband starts cleaning.  He strongly believes that cleanliness is next to godliness because it prevents your wife from doing that head turning thing from the Exorcist.

-Doesn’t question the logic behind why I can be as grumpy as I want but he gets in trouble for not smiling enough.

-Worked for years at a job he hated because he felt he had to.  His hard work is what made it possible for me to stay at home with our kids.  This is the reason why I call my husband the real superman.  That and because he’s survived being married to me for so long.

-Is ever supportive, whether it’s you wanting to go back to school, starting a blog or turning off all the lights and pretending no one’s home when the neighbor’s annoying kids show up uninvited.

-Is the world’s greatest dad.  My husband has more patience than a monkey has love for bananas.  He can play make believe games with my boys for hours.  I would rather clean the house. Or watch paint dry.  Or clean the house while I watch paint dry.

-He lets you blog about him.

And since nothing and no one is perfect, here are things he does that make him so very annoying :

-You send him to the supermarket for cauliflower and he returns with lettuce.  You ask for parsley and he gets spinach.

-Half your kitchen stuff ends up where it shouldn’t be when he unloads the dishwasher.

-His version of cleaning is to dump everything in the kids’ toy box and/or the closet.

-You can always count on him to not answer his phone.

-Wouldn’t know his way around the kitchen even if it came equipped with exit signs.

-Thinks it’s okay to have a conversation with you when you’re brushing your teeth.  Or through the bathroom door when you’re perched on the toilet.  But thou shall not interrupt the watching of football game.

-Thinks we are out of <fill in the blank> if a sixty second search for it yields nothing.

-Grins and says But I picked you when you tell him his taste sucks.

-Thinks sitting down to pee is a strange and foreign concept.

-His looking for something usually ends up with you finding it for him.

-His lack of attention to detail and failure to pick up on social cues makes you wonder if he spent his adolescent years devoid of human interaction.  When I was pregnant and mine no longer fit, my husband thought it was okay to tell my family I was wearing his underwear.

-Hogs the blanket.  Tosses and turns enough to wake the dead.  My husband’s nocturnal bed shaking (no, not that kind) once even woke him up.  He turned to me, still half asleep, and asked was there an earthquake? to which I replied no, darling, your ass was just doing its sleep aerobics thing again.

-Leaves all pantry and cabinet doors wide open.  Shutting them makes you feel like Vanna White after an exceptionally large puzzle solving on an early 90’s episode of Wheel of Fortune.  You know, before it went all touch screen.

-He lets you blog about him with the condition that you will do a similar post on wives.

Needless to say, I accepted the challenge.

New Year, same crappy weather

Happy New Year!  I’m back!  Literally.

We returned late Saturday night from our mini vacation to the in laws house in Terre Haute, IN.

Here are some pics of the view from their huge living room window.

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I wanted to take more pictures of their beautiful home but didn’t get the opportunity.  I’m lucky to have nice in laws that tell us to leave the boys with them and go out and have fun.  In the two and a half days we were there, my husband and I managed to catch the latest Hunger Games movie and have a belated anniversary dinner.

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Here are pics of the condiments that came with the bread and the soup I ordered because I thought it came free with my meal.

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Terre Haute’s a cute little semi-rural town that’s full of farms, hills, woods, and railroads.  I probably think more of it because I associate it with free babysitting and lots of touristy type of fun, but it’s definitely home to some beautiful natural scenery.  I managed to get a few pictures of the area, but neither my phone’s camera nor the fugly winter weather did the landscape any justice.  I’ll post some spring/summer pictures in the future and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I also hope to devote a blog post to the neighboring city of Bloomington, IN, which houses the main campus of Indiana University and was my home for a few months after my wedding.  I was accepted to IU but unfortunately never attended :(.  Bad decision making at its finest.

Here are some really ugly winter pics of Terre Haute for your viewing pleasure.  It was a rainy, foggy day when I finally got the chance to drive around town for some camera action.

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Terre Haute is home to Indiana State University, which my husband tells me is famous for Larry Bird.  Whoever he is.  The city also contains the Wabash river state park, which we didn’t get a chance to visit, a huge federal correctional facility, and what seems like half the country’s railroads.  It’s definitely train town there.

We had to stop at the local Walmart for some essentials while we were vacationing.  When we got back to the car, I adjusted my scarf and found this. IMG_4752

Yes, those are two and a quarter old french fries stuck to my scarf via crusty old ketchup stain.  I’m on a low carb diet and mostly sticking to it, so they weren’t even mine.  They must have come from my four year old’s lunch, where he was sitting on my lap, and I missed it because they got lost in the folds of an infinity scarf that wraps around your neck a few bazillion times.

And here I was thinking the people at Walmart were staring and giving me the kind of pitying smile you save for homeless people because of the fabulous new way I did my hair.  I was slightly embarrassed at first, I must admit, but compared to the other social and fashion faux pas I’ve made, this is pretty minor.  Let’s just laugh and move right along, shall we?

We came home to a lovely dinner put together by my family <gushing family love> and this. IMG_4856 IMG_4857

Have I mentioned I find winter fugly?

I’ve given up on football for the season, but my husband is still into it because his team, the Indianapolis Colts, are in the playoffs.  He’s not loving the outcome of the first round, though, where Dallas beat Detroit.  My husband feels bad for the Lions because they live in Detroit they play in the same division as the Bears and the Packers and he feels they never get a fair chance.  Lucky for them that this year the Bears decided to suck ass.

I hope not to spend so much time away from blogging in the future and want to thank the internetters who have been wondering where the hell I have been.  I started this blog as a means of catharsis after the demise of my social life around (how old is firstborn child?  oh, yeah, seven) seven years ago and as a way to keep my writing mojo intact.  Soon after, though, I realized I do have a life and it keeps me busy, apparently.  But no worries.  I return, fashion faux pas and all.

This is what I did on no sleep

So you know that really really bad stomach thing my four year old had?  Well, we realized he caught it from the hotbed of germs known as the kids play area at the mall during the busiest shopping season of the year.  In the future we will have to consider exposing them to really shitty illness as a drawback to getting the kids out of the house and away from the TV.

Our son is doing much better now, thank god, and being his regular self again.  But guess who caught it from him?

*Raising hand slowly*

And not just me.  The rest of our little family, meaning my husband and my seven year old, were also not safe from its predatory ways.

This year’s strain of the stomach flu is not the stomach flu you are familiar with.  No, not at all.  This feels more like it should be called Ebola, Jr.  I kid you not.

It leaves you feeling hot and cold at the same time.  It sends its minions to gnaw on the inside of your abdomen.  The best way I can describe the feeling is hot little dull knives poking at your innards.  The pain was what kept us awake the most.  I don’t remember dealing with so much of it during past stomach issues.  It made my not so very religiously inclined seven year old ask if it was time to pray so that Allah could take away the hurt.

You don’t know whether to shit or to barf first, they’re both so overwhelmingly compelling.  There’s an eye of the storm moment after every mad dash to the bathroom, where you think okay, that was the last one, I feel much better, until around 30-45 minutes later, when you’re doing it all over again and you realize the effing remote’s crapped out (no pun intended) and the repeat button is stuck.

The one and only good point about mutant stomach bug, version 2014 is that it moves fast.  The little slut.  The three of us caught it late Wednesday afternoon, and by early Thursday morning, we were able to give the hallway bathroom a break and get some rest.  By Thursday afternoon, I was able to get up, walk around for a few minutes, and attempt to take care of my pretty much back to normal four year old.  Yay for primary caretakers!  Where being sick means you get to do all the stuff you normally do with the addition of being sick.

Protect yourself from this year’s strain of stomach flu as well as you can, internet peoples.  You don’t want to catch this thing, believe me.  Compared to it, the stomach bug you have dealt with in the past is the common household cockroach.  This, my friends, is Godzilla.

If you think you can handle hours of shitting out all your body fluids, caressing your garbage can like it was your breastfeeding newborn, and having your ass make love to the toilet seat, then go ahead and give it a call.  You’ll find its number scrawled on the walls of dirty public bathrooms everywhere.

Ha ha.  That’s a funny one.  Get it?  Walls?  Stomach bug?  Dirty bathrooms?

You suck. 😐

It is now Friday afternoon and we are all on our way back to normal.  Lingering side effects have been a constant state of mild nausea, a heightened sensitivity to smell, and an overall feeling of having a bad hangover.  My nose is telling me there’s an open jar of sewer water somewhere in our house, but my husband is saying just stop complaining, will you? and that I’m overreacting.  Okay, then.

The good doctors and the bad doctor

Note : Some sensitive material of a medical nature and some swearing involved.

We almost lost my youngest back in 2011, when he was around sixteen months of age.  Most people don’t know anything about it because updating my Facebook status isn’t the first thing on my mind when frantically pacing the hallways of the intensive care unit.  It’s not something I like to talk about anyway, but will in order to make the point I intend to make with this blog post.

For Halloween 2014, my son wanted to be Elsa.  As in the snow queen.  He wanted the boots, the cape, the hairdo, and to be belting out Let it Go instead of trick or treat at the top of his lungs.  He practiced everyday, with my scarf tucked into the back of his shirt as a cape.  This, of course, causes me and my husband some concern.

If you’re wondering why, you obviously haven’t been through the hellish rites of passage known as elementary and high school or you’ve stoned yourself enough to have forgotten.  I can just picture the scenario where some smart ass, ignorant fuck of a child, with parents who share similar attributes, introduces the word fag to my sweet little boy.  And this will start the cycle of self doubt and insecurity in him, he who just wants to sing Let it Go and be Elsa the snow queen for Halloween, darn it.

While he walks around the house clutching his Thomas and Friends trains to his chest , I wonder what will become of my baby.  That’s what he is, after all.  My youngest and most likely my last.  It’s something I wondered around three years ago, too, when he lay in my arms, only half conscious, while we drove him to the local hospital’s emergency room from his pediatrician’s office.  He had fallen in and out of consciousness that day, pooped a diaper full of blood, and had spent the whole week clinging to me, not wanting anyone else and not willing to let go.  I felt like a mother kangaroo.  It had gotten so bad that at one point, I walked out of the house as soon as my husband walked in after work.  I told him I was going out and to not call me.  I drove to the nearest park, turned the car off, and cried.

Two doctor visits with the same doctor at our son’s pediatricians office earlier on in the week had resulted in a diagnosis of allergies.  Twice.  But the third time we took him in, right before being sent to the emergency room, a different doctor took one look at him, saw the potential for a lawsuit due to her colleague’s inability to recognize a child near death when she saw one, and sent us on our way to the local hospital, where they hypothesized about what exactly could be wrong with my son until a test for his hemoglobin levels returned at a level of 2.2.  Normal for a child his age is around 14.

A blood transfusion and an ambulance to shift us to the larger Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago were ordered.  They loaded my son into the ambulance with the blood transfusion and an oxygen machine going side by side.  The nice paramedic tried not to make it obvious that he had to keep adjusting the oxygen levels because my son was having difficulty breathing.  We arrived at the emergency room of Children’s Memorial.  Surgeons, nurses, emergency room doctors, and the nice paramedic all crowded around us.  I’ll never forget the feeling of being cared about that I got from that crowd.  It was in stark contrast to the vibe I got earlier at the other hospital.  One smiling, calm face after another introduced his or her self to us and asked that we tell them exactly what was going on, in detail.  Their demeanor made me think that med school must have taught a course on keeping your shit together in the face of doctor doctor please please please fix my kid.

My son was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, caused by too much milk in his diet, which we were giving him too much of because he had been refusing his food while sick.  Have you ever heard of death by cow boob juice?  Me neither.  Apparently the dumb fuck of a pediatrician who diagnosed him with allergies couldn’t connect the dots when I had told her he had been on just milk for days and that he had swelling all over his body.  Swelling is a classic symptom of iron deficiency anemia.  I’m guessing she pulled the degree from Rush out of her ass.

After spending three days and two nights in the hospital, one of which was in the ICU, we got to take our son home, which isn’t something every parent gets to experience when leaving a children’s hospital.  I realize we were the lucky ones.  I will forever be grateful to the doctors and nurses at Children’s Memorial.  How they manage to keep their smiles and their sanity intact with the kind of work they do is a mystery to me.  I know I would’ve gone bat shit manic depressive a long time ago.

It’s been over three years since then and the road to raising two young boys has been only slightly bumpy.  Until this one big bump of my son sometimes wanting to be a girl.  Eighty percent of the time he’s fine with being a boy, watching Thomas and attempting to beat up his big brother.  Then there are those moments when he wants me to buy him a purse with his favorite princess character on it.  Confused much?

I’ve thought about it, and really, the only thing I’ve wanted from my sons ever since they were born is for them to stick my husband and I in the same old folks’ home when we get to the diapering and spoon feeding part of old age, so that we can crap our pants at the same time, eventually croak together, and I can graduate from the school of life with full nagging honors.  Oh, yeah, and for them to be happy.  Super happy.  When you’re a parent, all that matters to you is that your child exists.  Parenting is a one way street.  You give and don’t expect anything in return, although there’s a very good chance you’ll get a lot back. I don’t see how it’s possible to add fine print to the contract that was to love my kids forever.

So no, I don’t care if my son wants to be a queen, either now or twenty years from now.  I don’t care who my boys marry or don’t marry or if they go live with cows on some ranch in Montana.  I just hope that once in a while they’ll leave their bovine pasture and come see us, especially when my husband’s telling the nurses he’s fine with being donated to science as long as it gets him away from me.