I have some stuff percolating in my brain but… blah.
- The kids both had terrible tantrumy freakouts this weekend. Max’s, on Sunday night, was particularly bizarre because he was being schizophrenic — screaming rage, laughing, and crying, all due to being extremely overtired, which meant that I really had no idea how to handle him. He was also hitting and kicking me, so at one point, I had him pinned under me while he was screaming in my face and trying to lick me, alternately crying and laughing. (I turned it silly by making his screams sound funny by doing that hand thing that kids do when they’re pretending to be Native Americans when they play… I have no idea what it’s called.) Ultimately, what kicked him out of it and into a normal mood was him suddenly peeing on the floor and then working with Brandon to clean it up. It was… so very weird. Either way, in both cases, I was sort of proud of myself for the amount of calm I kept, especially considering how my ears now react to them screaming (not well). Yay me!
- We saw Anchorman 2 as an impromptu movie after our date night on Saturday and it was very funny. My favorite part, beyond the movie, was the guy in the theater who was hysterically laughing without a care. He was awesome.
- I finally have decided that I really just want to get rid of my motorcycle and I’ll stop being so stingy about how much I sell it for.
So the kids went to a birthday party for two of Katie’s classmates, A and D, at a kung fu studio. In advance of the party, I spoke with A’s mom about Max, who said that he could be included as long as he understood that the weapons they had there were off-limits. Unbeknownst to me, Katie was talking to A and D at school about the party and making sure that Max was invited, and A told her that there were no three-year-olds allowed, but D said that it would be okay if Max came. Apparently Katie was very mad at A and told me this story saying, “I hope that A is nice to me now that I gave her a present and drew a picture in her card.” I told her that A’s mom had said Max was invited as well, and she said, “I was on D’s team about that, and I’m glad that A’s mom was on our team, too.” Then she was super huggy and protective of Max during the entire party. :)
Katie also told me a story about a kid at her school: (paraphrased) “H and I don’t like each other. I’m mean to him, and he’s mean to me. But he hit me and laughed about it because the teacher’s didn’t see and that made me jealous so I hit him back and they saw me and then I got in trouble. But Mommy, now I have a mission: next time he hits me, I’m going to NOT hit him and instead go and tell a teacher, and then he’ll get in trouble but not me. That’s my mission!”
Max, on his end, told me five bedtime stories last night: The End, The Forest, Riding Bikes, Getting Cupcakes, and The Castle. They were all two sentences long but very awesome.
I’ve been trying to reevaluate my need to move the kids along a particular path that isn’t the one they’re telling me they want. I am not sure that I’m always motivated by the most important things in the scheme of things — mainly, time/scheduling.
An example is this morning: I was planning on taking the dogs for their morning walk, and Max happened to be already dressed and wearing shoes (usually I walk them earlier, while he’s eating breakfast). He wanted to come with me, and my initial reaction was to try to poo-poo the idea, because I wanted to get it done quickly so I could get back home and get ready for work. Also, he’s three, and the dogs flip out if they see any other dogs on the walk, so I knew there was a possibility that he’d be overrun by whoever he was walking. But… I remembered what I’d been thinking about above, and decided to bring him along. After all, it’s Friday, it wasn’t raining; there was no huge reason for my attempt to rush out the door on this day. And the walk with him, while slower than normal, was really nice, and we talked a bit and he showed me the neat seeds that had fallen on the ground. We only encountered one other dog, and he listened to me and let go of Nicky before he was dragged over, and laughed that he got a little wet from the leash as a result.
Another example, from last night: Katie was overtired after we picked her up from babysitting (we were at a company party for B) and fell apart. Even though she was screaming at me and angry at me, where my usual inclination might be to eventually give up and decide “enough!”, I stayed with her and tried to calm her down so she could sleep. She eventually said (angrily) that she didn’t want me to leave her — she wanted space but she wanted to know I was there. It was a bit of sweetness that I hadn’t expected.
I swear I will finish this trip entry at some point!
When we last left our heroes, they were asleep. Since our second Magic Morning on January 6 was also for California Adventure (although this time it was an hour later so we didn’t get to experience the “omg why are we outside when it’s still dark out” effect) we decided to change up something: I had wanted to NOT take Katie on Radiator Springs Racers because I knew that if Max knew we went, he would be horribly disappointed (he’s too short), because he loves Cars so much. But, having seen her reaction to the rides the day before, I was started to get a feel for her general fear of “dark” rides and I thought that she would probably enjoy this one. I’m SO glad that we decided to hit it first thing, while Brandon and Max went off and did Luigi’s Tires and Mater’s Tractors again, because the line was super fast (but incredibly, there was still a line, even though we headed there — with the rest of a huge crowd — first!) and the ride was very fun! (Although Katie was a little scared for the interior section of the ride, where you see/interact with different Cars characters and relive some of the first movie).
We joined B and M back at the Tires, and then we headed down to the Midway to do Toy Story Midway Mania again. Around this time we realized that we should probably head back over to the main park for their opening, and walked in and straight back towards the castle and to Peter Pan! We walked by the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique, which I had heard about but which had opened after my last visit (when I was in college, with Jenna!) but I had never, ever imagined that we would go to, because… why the heck would my kids need a freaking princess makeover when they’re already in Disneyland?
So we’re standing in line at Peter Pan and Katie looks over at the entrance. And it’s dark. And there’s a skull and a pirate ship. And just like every other dark ride, she proceeds to freak out, because she doesn’t want to go on any scary rides, and actually legitimately starts to hide her face and whine and pull at me and all I can imagine is that in three years, Katie’s one memory from our trip to LL and Disneyland is that she was scared the entire time and her terrible parents made her go on all of these intense, horrible rides. So, we go on the ride (I had to drag her bodily), exit, and I immediately send Brandon over to check whether or not they have any openings in the near future and it turns out they have one RIGHT NOW!
Hurrah! Max opted for no makeover, but Katie picked out the “diva” look, which included a pink fake hair waterfall piece, makeup, nail polish, and so much glitter that I was incredibly thankful that we were staying at a hotel and not our house. She sat immaculately still while the beautician combed her hair, and I took Max outside for a quick walk through Sleeping Beauty’s castle (which he declared “totally scary”) while she finished up. She was SO FREAKING HAPPY with the makeover that I felt like the world’s biggest meanie mom for not having just gone with it to start.
Anyway! We then decided that because we’d seen Tink’s little hideout the night before (but it was closed), we were going to head over and visit her first thing. The line was one of the longer ones we’d waited in so far, but it was good prep for that day, where the rides were generally the longest of our whole trip. In the end, Katie and Max saw Tink and Silvermist and were extremely cute and excited about it. We went on the Storybook Canal (where unfortunately, a little girl got overheated and vomited everywhere in the line right behind us), and then we delved into Tomorrowland afterward and hit the Buzz/laser ride, which Katie was somewhat scared of but participated in partially. We had lunch while watching the Jedis do their Jedi thing, which was totally accidental timing-wise but which worked out awesomely. Then we went to Autopia, where we got caught in a Real Fake Life Traffic Jam and were stuck in one spot long enough that I had time to make a phone call. (Note to future self: your daughter was a scary driver at five.) Thankfully, I did not get carsick on this ride, because Katie let me control the pedal (which was wonky to start), and she spent the entire time try to see if she could offroad.
The rest of Tomorrowland looked pretty boring to us and it was around this time that we decided with Jenna that we would do more Fantasyland stuff with her, so we trekked over to the Jungle Cruise! Which was actually the Jingle Cruise! Katie was NOT HAVING THE PIRANHAS WHO DARE SPLASH HER AND MOMMY DIDN’T SAVE HER and Max really liked the elephants, which are apparently his favorite roadside attraction ever. We also walked over to Winnie The Pooh (which was awesome and which Max loved), and then back to Pirates of the Caribbean.
Let me tell you about Pirates of the Caribbean.
First off, the line was horribly long (I think 45 min?), and Katie and Max were starting to get worn down, so of course, Katie had a tantrum in the line, which we dealt with, in the line. Then, she was freaking her face off when we went inside and she realized it was dark, and Max was tired and pouty and wanted to be held, and it was hot. Then, we got on the ride, and Katie was climbing me bodily because she was so scared, and she spent the ENTIRE RIDE with her head buried in my armpit, and at one point started SHAKING WITH FEAR (when Bill Nye’s Davy Jones is speaking, projected on mist). So, I’m spending the ride telling Katie everything that we’re seeing, and Max is sitting there with his eyes totally agape, taking it ALL in. And at the end, when we came out, Katie was super mad at us for taking her on the ride to start with, and Max said he thought the ride was “scary” but was still interested enough to talk about it.
So were Mommy and Daddy, for that matter. So, we went back to the hotel (there was no way we were going to reprise the night before!), stopping to grab pizza at some place in Downtown Disney on the way. While we ate, Brandon went down to the front desk to retrieve our Carsland toys from the day prior, and bonus rum-based drinks at Trader Sam’s, for which I am eternally grateful.
And then everyone crashed! Woo!
And as an aside, my feet hurt so much at this point that I went down to the hot tub and soaked them after the kids went to bed and it didn’t really help and I was pretty much sure that I was going to spend the next day being toted around in the stroller. And also also, I spent a lot of time at Disneyland wearing my five- and three-year-olds in my Ergo, because that thing is awesome.
Max is potty trained! Yeah!
On Friday we started after work, and he had two accidents and pretty much was awesome all weekend otherwise — the only other mishap was when he started pooping, realized it, and told me, and finished in the potty. It was so great that we went to the movies this morning (The Lego Movie) and he didn’t need a potty break the entire time (only ended up going at the end of the movie because he wanted gummy bears and he wasn’t interested in the movie anymore).
I love having discussions with him that essentially go this way:
Me: Hey Maxie, what’s on your heiny?
:D It was literally the easiest potty training ever. I think that the reason he dove into it this time, to start, was the idea that he got to control the flow of treats in the house (Katie was helping a bit so she got treats as well). Also, his favorite treat? “Pistachews.” (Pistachios.) I am sure he is part shelled nut at this point :D
Jennifer was given 9 months when she was diagnosed with DIPG in October. I saw her, doing well, in late November.
She passed away this morning. Barely three months later.
I can’t stop crying. I had compartmentalized well over the last few weeks when I knew she was declining but now I can’t stop thinking about things like how it must feel to hold your baby and watch them take their last breath, and how it’s so unnatural and completely the horrendous opposite of holding them when they are first born.
I had this bizarre conversation with Max this morning, before I knew about Jennifer’s passing. He woke up and I went in and he said, “I want to talk to you alone in my room for a little bit.” I cuddled down next to him and replied, “Okay, what about?” “About people.” “What kind of people?” And he said, “People who died.” And I asked him what he wanted to know, and he wanted to know why people died, so I explained that our bodies slowly stop working the right way, but that it usually takes a long time for that to happen. His question literally came out of nowhere.
On the way to school I asked him some questions about his dreams and I’m not sure if I was leading but he said he dreamed about my friend who was old like me, not old like Katie, and had long hair, and was happy.
I held the kids tight this morning. I hate feeling lucky because someone else is suffering.
So, the good news: I have good hearing; very, very good, in fact. I heard tones at 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 hz at less than 15db. She started testing me at threshold and it was a struggle to hear over the constant ringing in my ears, but I apparently managed. :) I also did great on the part of the test where words are said and repeated (I missed one and that was because I was moving so I couldn’t hear the guy).
At my follow-up with the ENT, there was good news and bad news: good news is all of the obvious stuff (this isn’t indicative of a brain tumor or later hearing loss other than that which is normally aging-related), and bad news is that tinnitus is incurable. She gave me the options of using masking noises (white noise, fans), going to a tinnitus clinic in San Francisco to learn to habituate (make my brain used to the noise), or in-ear maskers, which are like hearing aids without amplification.
For me, the fact that I can’t wear earphones for masking constantly (it doesn’t look great to walk into a meeting wearing a headset) means that I’m leaning towards the in-ear maskers. I have an appointment about that later this month. Obviously, I hope that this new “spike” (what they call it when your existing tinnitus gets worse) lessens over time, but considering the fact that it’s been three months, I’m not sure it’s going to get that much better.
Worms, I owe you a huge apology.
This weekend I was sitting outside with Katie and Max while they painted and Katie decided she wanted to pick lemons from the tree. So, I asked her to bring me three. One of them had holes and I started squeezing it a little, and a little worm came out. Katie wanted to see it closer so I squeezed the lemon until the worm plopped out on the pavement.
Katie was super mothering of the worm. She wanted to make sure it had shade, so she moved the lemon just so so there was one cast where the worm was laying. Then, she decided it needed water, and used her paintbrush to paint water all around (and eventually on) the worm. She was asking me why it was in the lemon and what it was doing, so I told her that it was eating the fruit. She said, “I don’t want to get near it now! I don’t want it to hurt me!”
I was like, Katie, worms don’t eat humans… at least, not until they’re dead. (SORRY. ROOKIE MISTAKE OVER HERE.)
Cue: Weekend of Death Obsession on the part of both of my kids!
- K/M: Why do worms eat people?
- Constant questions about how worms turn people into dirt, and if they do that, if the people can come back. (My kids sort of think that reincarnation is a thing, apparently. Katie especially talks about how you come back as a baby after you die… and she somehow came up with that on her own.)
- K: Mommy, if you and Daddy die, I won’t let the worms eat you, I’ll keep you guys in my room and use you as puppets.
- M (to my dad): One day I’ll die. One day you’ll die. You don’t know when I’ll die. Then worms will turn me into dirt.
- Constant questions about how we’ll die, when we’ll die, if we’ll die before the kids or vice versa, etc.
Anyway, after telling Katie that worms turn people into dirt (and I tried to talk a little more about other bacteria and the like that help with decomposition), she decided that she hates worms and proceeded to kill the one we had. Then, later, Max says, “I liked worms… until I found out that they ate people.”
SCIENCE IN ACTION