Milo started his occupational therapy sessions two weeks ago. It’s going really well, which is good considering that it’s costing us a small fortune ($95 a week! good-bye haircuts/color & babysitters for me for the foreseeable future!). He really likes the therapist, and looks forward to going there. She’s given me some activity suggestions to practice with him, and shown me how to set them up so that they’re most useful. The best part is that he’s now amenable to practicing these activities at home.
Before we started therapy, I could never get him to sit and color or practice holding a pencil or any of things he should have a basic facility with as a 3.5 year old. I’ve set aside 30 minutes of the day (usually when Zach is napping), and we do some “homework.” I alternate between various activities: line tracing, connect the dots, simple mazes, coloring, folding, cutting index cards, lacing/sewing cards and some more physical activities like wheelbarrow walking, tossing rolled up socks into a basket or tug of war with a towel.
I love this kind of stuff. I’ve been so jealous of those of you posting pictures of your kids sitting down with activity books or coloring or practicing writing. I love doing “school stuff” with kids. I’m not so good at the “get down and play with trains/trucks” or roughhousing, which I particularly dislike. But now that I can convince Milo to sit down and do some work, I actually feel useful. I throw in a 10 minute Spanish lesson, where we go through vocabulary words and phrases, and by the end of it, I’m in such a good mood. In a way, that $95 a week is buying therapy for both of us.
I don’t understand why everyone is so bummed about turning the clocks forward. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just one less hour to fill on this cold Sunday with some kind of productive activity, one hour closer to the children’s bedtime. Only 4.5 hours left to go!
Did I mention that the possible Yellow King from True Detective is my neighbor? His wife is a mom-friend of mine (they have a son Zach’s age), and we do playdates and take a music class together. She was laughing about how her husband might want to wear a hat or something when he takes their kid to the playground for the next few months.
It must be strange to be a character actor like that - you play significant parts, but instead of being recognized as “oh that actor so-and-so”, you’re recognized as the character itself. “Oh look, honey, there’s that guy who played the violent child killer on that show. The Yellow King goes to our playground!”
I’m a little shorter of patience than normal (my patience for the nonsense of small children not being great to start with) this month because Matt was out of town two Thursdays ago through Monday, then left again on this past Thursday until Tuesday. That’s a lot of winter weekend days indoors to fill when any kind of noisy activity triggers furious ceiling pounding by our dear neighbors downstairs.
Happily for all of us, we’ve been on a minor upswing lately. Even though the fighting and the screaming are still sometimes enough to make me wish I’d never had children, it seems like they sense when I’m about to reach my breaking point. Just as I’m about to start pulling my hair out or google “one-way airline tickets to Chile for one adult,” these two monkeys of mine get it together.
I spent the first part of this morning listening to them quarreling and scrapping over anything and everything. The most ridiculous fight this morning was because Milo decided that Zach was hugging Big Baby too tightly. (Zach’s baby doll; Milo’s beloved doll is named Sweet Baby.) “He’s hurting Big Baby! Make him stop, mama! I want to be gentle to Big Baby. He isn’t a good daddy to the baby,” Milo declared before deciding to pummel Zach into good daddy behavior.
I decided to escape into the shower for ten minutes of (relative) solitude and peace. When I came out, they were both in Zach’s crib, laughing quietly. Milo was “reading” to Zach out of their favorite train book. “This is a diesel train, Zacky, and this is the Flying Scotsman. Dat train goes between Lodon and Innabarrel [London and Edinburgh, for those of you not up on international train schedules]. Zach nodded his head in agreement, and pointed out other trains for Milo to name.
There was a full half hour of peace and joyful playing before the next fight broke out. I guess I’ll put off buying that airline ticket for a few more days.
"I don’t have much of a paternal instinct. I mean, I like kids, but only if I can hand them back to their parents and go about my business."
Me too, brother. I’m still surprised sometimes that I have two (planned for!) children. Sometimes I think I was probably meant to be just a fun aunt. Luckily for our family, my husband has more than enough parental instinct for both of us.
"This is what Batman does."
I made him this Batman cape, and I think it’s safe to call it a success. He’s been running around the apartment striking Batman poses and wrestling imaginary bad guys since we got back from school.
The downside is that he’s also been examining Batman pictures pretty closely, and he’s also requested (demanded, really) full length gloves and tall black boots. Apparently, both of these items can be easily obtained from “the Batman mitten store and the Batman boot store” so there’s no excuse for me to slack on this request.
I fussed (gently, I swear, more of a tsk of annoyance than an actual fuss) at Milo last night while he was getting ready for bed. I was not prepared for him to promptly burst into tears, nor was I prepared to hear him wail, “You yelled at me! My hearts are broken now, mama!” in a super serious, non-fakey, full-on burst of sincere, heartfelt sobbing. He cried for a good thirty seconds as I tried to comfort him. As I hugged him, he lifted up his tear-stained face to me. Bottom lip trembling, he asked, “Do you still l-l-love m-m-me? Am I still your sweet boy?”
This came on the heels of a 20 minute sob fest on the subway after school the other day. He thought that his friend Willa was mad at him for some reason, and he cried piteously all the way home because he wanted to give her a hug and ask her to still be his friend. He’s so goofy and happy and rambunctious most of the time, but I’m learning that underneath all that wildness is a very sensitive kid who takes small interactions to great heart.
I don’t often reblog things, but I’m a big fan of this Tumblr lady. She’s full of positivity, and I’ve always been impressed by her energy and can-do attitude. Also, I like to exercise vicariously through her.
She’s only a few votes away from the number one spot, so let’s show her some Tumblr love and help her win. Vote for #7 (Boston Marathon Treadmill).
I usually hate contest and I never want to spam you guys. But my design for the Another Mother Runner Treadmill Contest was chosen.
Here’s the deal, I have to run either in the morning when its dark or at night when its dark and I run on busy roads. I am scared to death of getting hit by a car…
After a great three-day weekend spent at my in-laws’ house in MD, we’re back to the grind of winter in our tiny apartment. My in-laws have a relatively small, modest house, but it always seems so spacious to me. There’s a semi-open living room/dining room plan that opens to a beautiful back room, with the bedrooms on the other side of the house. There’s a washing machine! Positively mansion-like, in my book.
If you’re a small child, you’ll take off running in the living room, round the curve to the dining room, round the curve to hit the straightway down the kitchen, then round again to the straightway down the hall until you round back into the living room. The boys will run this circuit for an hour, shrieking with laughter the whole time, making enough noise fit to raise the dead. The noise level can be deafening, but because there’s room to step away from them and there’s no need to shush them (don’t disturb the neighbors!) or plead with them to stop running (don’t disturb the neighbors!), I feel so less stressed out. I want a house. Or a ground floor apartment. Sigh.
Anyway, we’re back in the city. I’m already dreading the school pick-up in an hour because it means we’ll soon be back in our tiny apartment, and I’ll be stressing out as to how to constructively use those 4 hours before bedtime in a way that doesn’t involve watching Curious George or me pleading with them to not make so much noise. What kinds of indoor activities is everyone else using to help whittle away at these cold weather days? I need ideas.
My 3.5 year old hates puzzles (plus toddler just tries to rip them to pieces instantly) and hates coloring/drawing/crafts (plus toddler just tries to rip them to pieces instantly). Both love to play with the train table, but generally start fighting over the trains within 5 minutes. Big kid somewhat enjoys blocks, but toddler knocks them over, creating massive fight that usually involves wooden blocks being chucked about. They also argue about what types of books to read (toddler can’t understand why anyone would read something that doesn’t involve a train going through a tunnel), so much that a previously enjoyable activity has now become a battleground full of tears and tussling.
The obvious solution is to get new children.
(And the first one to tell me how your nice quiet girl child loves to set up quiet tea parties with dolls or plays librarian or loves to sit and draw quietly and independently for hours or how you two sit peacefully and calmly rearranging her dollhouse gets an express mail box full of two rambunctious boys. They’ll probably come out of the box fighting, be forewarned.)
Recipe for a delightful Saturday afternoon: At the inlaws’ clean & cozy house, children out with daddy & nana, glass of malbec, and four great library books from which to choose (got a little deep in the 900s yesterday). I don’t even have music on because I’m enjoying the sound of silence so much. Also on hand, a fridge full of delightful snacks to nosh. Did I mention there’s a cake being picked up from the bakery? So, cake! #books+snacks+nokids=winning (at Silver Spring, Maryland)
The boys are in their bedroom playing “pretend” with Matt. Milo came running out to the living room a few minutes ago a little frantically, saying “where’s my purse? I need my purse! Oh, there it is! I have my purse! I’m coming back, Daddy!” and then ran back to his room. Apparently they were going on a train ride, and duh, of course you can’t go for a train ride without your purse. Matt asked where they were going, to which Milo replied, “Cincinnati!”
I don’t know, but I can’t help but feeling that if you’re taking pretend trips, maybe you should aim a little higher than Cincinnati. At least make it out to Chicago, right?
I was sitting on the couch this morning with the big kid, reading the Times while he watched Curious George. He looked over at me and took my hand. “Mama,” he told me solemnly, “I love you. You are my best most favorite mom.”
The best part was that I didn’t even ruin the moment by pointing out that I am, in fact, his only mom etc, which was my initial impulse because, you know, I’ve never met a compliment that I couldn’t deflect with a self-deprecating or sarcastic remark. I just smiled and told him that I loved him so much too.
Also, it’s 9AM, and I had to go into the boys’ room and make sure the baby was still breathing because my kids tend to keep farmer hours. Still breathing! Happy weekend, you guys.
Milo is playing over by his little kitchen, and he’s dragged some empty wine bottles out of the recycling. He’s singing a little song that goes like this: “Five more beers to go, five more beers to go/and then I’ll be soooooo happy/beers beers, make the people haaaaaaapppppy.”
On the recommendation of our pediatrician, I took Milo up to see an ENT today. Because, oh my, the snoring on this kid is out of control! Not to mention this rather terrifying sleep apnea-sounding thing that he does. Naturally, I chose the least convenient ENT I could find to make the appointment with because why not.
The kid’s got some fluid behind his ears, which caused him to fail a hearing test. We’ll have to go back in 6 weeks to get it checked again. Hopefully, the fluid was just a lingering (but temporary) residual of the nasty cold he had for several weeks, and his hearing will be back to normal. I also get to administer a sleep apnea test at home to him. Can’t wait to see how that goes!
As I was signing the paperwork to have the test equipment delivered to me, the nurse informed me that insurance usually doesn’t cover more than 75/80% of the test, but that usually that meant we’d “only” have to pay $200-300 out of pocket.
Oh hey, no biggie. Just add that on to the $95-$120 weekly we’ll soon be paying for Milo’s occupational therapy! Our insurance would actually cover at least 60 OT sessions, but since there are ZERO pediatric OTs anywhere in NYC who take our insurance, we have to pay fully out of pocket. KIDS, MAN. Too expensive, let’s send them back and use the refund to go to Belize for two weeks.
On the plus side, I may have just lined up a good freelancing gig. The details are still fuzzy, and I’m not sure how/what to charge, but it could work out to be a good thing, a welcome change from brain inactivity. At the very least, it could keep Milo luxuriating in private OT sessions for the next six months.
Older ladies of NYC, please PLEASE stop yelling at me, tsk tsking, clicking your teeth or using any of the other ways you indicate displeasure in the way I parent my child on the subway or the street.
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