Friday, July 30, 2010

Shot through the heart

I've never seen someone walk out of a doctor's appointment until last night, when my four-year-old son did it.

He was cool with everything right up until the doctor walked in. In fact, he was such a Chatty Cathy with the nurse, telling her about how he was going to the moon, which is 44 miles away, and where his rocket ship is and how his Crocs were big boots that he was wearing on the moon...that it must have taken half an hour just to get him on the scale.

I finally told him that it was a moon rock and that if he got on it, we'd see how much he weighed on the moon. He looked at me, considered it for a moment, then stepped on.

And kept right on talking.

For the record, we need to cut back a bit on the yogurt drinks. He's in the 95th percentile for weight, but only the 90th for height. They're not concerned, but used it as a reminder that we should avoid sugary drinks, which in 3B's case is yogurt drinks, since he hates anything fizzy and hardly gets any juice. But I guess we shouldn't have been feeding him a pop-tart while you were explaining this to us...hey, at least it was an organic one.

And once the nurse was done with that explanation, 3B was still cool, waiting in the exam room. He even gave Jewel an exam up on the table, checking her throat, ears and eyes.

But when the doctor came in through the door, 3B didn't waste any time going out through the door. He stood right outside the door in the hallway, arms crossed, glowering back into the room, insisting that he wasn't coming back in.

The doctor didn't seem to know how to handle it, and the chaos wasn't decreased by Jewel's constant and loud chatter. So, I went out, picked him up, hugged him, and finally promised him Burger King after the appointment to get him back in the room.

After a moment or two, he was pretty much like Fonzie for the rest of the appointment, until he realized he was getting shots, which is when the tears started. It didn't help that he was hungry, despite the pop-tart, and tired from a long, fun day with his babysitter and Mama. Somehow we managed to survive--thankfully the nurse returned to give the shots, and so didn't mind that he had wrapped his lovie around his arm to protect himself. I don't care how many times it happens, or how normal it becomes, every time I see my kids upset like that, it makes my heart ache.

He recovered pretty quickly, however, especially when they gave him an Iron Man sticker on the way out..."I'm Tony Stark, and there was an explosion, and I got a piece of metal in my chest, and then I made a suit of armor..."

Back to normal.

The milkshake at BK didn't hurt either.

Hey, at least it wasn't a yogurt drink.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

While you were out

To paraphrase Air Supply, even bloggers need some time away. Perhaps a month is too long, but here at Casa Bradstein it's been on like Donkey F@(^ing Kong. It seems that as soon as we recover from one event, another is upon us. Here, in no particular order, is what's been keeping me from you.

Jewel got two top teeth during one doctor's visit for one of her many ear infections.

We all went to a wedding in King of Prussia. There were no kings and no Prussians, but we still had a great time, especially at Valley Forge.

Jewel had many ear infections.

We all went to Vermont, which also didn't have any kings or Prussians, but did have a sawmill, several barns, a 4x4 to ride, and Aunt D, Grammy and Cousin Z.

Jewel got more teeth, this time on the bottom.

3B threw down many concerts and dance parties. More than you can imagine. It doesn't matter how many you can imagine--more than that.

I left my old job, which means I left my old computer at my old office too, leaving me innernetz free.

From his cousin, 3B learned to say that things are poopy or poopyheaded. Really, it's just convenient to blame his cousin--it was going to happen someday anyway.

I got a custom jersey design from my brilliant cousin, who then departed for a week on a lake in a kayak and a week in Russia on a boat, neither of which had such great innernetz connections.

We ordered a new Mac for Mama's work, since the PC that they provided her was hopelessly outdated and borked.

Also from his cousin, 3B also learned to jump into water, which he previously wouldn't do without being able to hold the hands of whoever was catching him as he jumped. He still doesn't want his face to go under water, but he'll now fling himself four feet off the edge into anyone's hands who will catch him. He spent blissful hours at the lake in Vermont doing this off the dock at Uncle T's camp, and has continued the practice at our pool here at home.

I sent my brilliant cousin's jersey design to the vendor, who didn't respond, then who did respond that they couldn't use it, then didn't respond, then responded that they could open it but not use it, then didn't respond, then asked me to send it again, then forgot twice that my brilliant cousin was waterbound for two weeks, then didn't respond, then recreated my brilliant cousin's whole design just as she was returning and could have sent new versions of the file herself, then didn't respond, then billed me and sent me a new jersey.

I went to work at my new job. It's in an old building, but I'm cool with that.

We gave Mama's computer back to her work so they could install the VM PC on it, which has us both a little nervous and a little frustrated being back to 20-minute startup times and dropped wifi connections.

3B and Jewel went with us on Uncle P and Aunt J's pontoon boat down to locks at Whitehall from the Lake Champlain landing near the farm.

I delivered a new jersey to the one donor who gave $500 in June--no, not a battleship, a new cycling jersey. She'll give it to her brother. Good thing I got it in his size.

My friend's scan came back negative for cancer.

3B went on several canoe trips in Lake Champlain with his cousin, paddled by myself and others.

I was on TV, live from the farm. Well...innernetz TV for all of you who are outside of Portland, Oregon.

Mama and I went on a date, although we missed the first 10 minutes of the movie. I don't think we missed much, though.

For his birthday, 3B partied with a giant rat.

For her birthday, Mama got an hour-long massage, which I wanted to get for her last year, but they don't make massage tables with a cutout for a pregnant belly.

On his actual birthday, 3B had a small party at home with his babysitter and her brother and mom, who made 3B a beautiful and delicious pink cake. Mmm. Cake.

I bought three suits because there's no such thing as casual day at my new job, even if I work under a crypt and next to an empty grave.

We picked a new school for 3B.

I rode countless times to the gravesite of the man who was going to be buried next to my new office, usually leaving home before the sun had broken the horizon and watching it rise over the Potomac as I rode through a tunnel of trees.

Jewel started standing by herself for several seconds at a time last Thursday. Actually, she might have been doing this for a few days with her babysitter by then, but Thursday was the first time we saw it.

I rode through the mobs on the Capitol Crescent Trail to Bethesda a few times as well, which has reminded me why I hate traffic so much--cars, bikes, people, dogs...all of it. Oi.

Jewel took a few unsupported steps last week--the first one to the side, the next one forward.

I rode in my living room at high speed for longer than I care to on days when there was no time to get outside and ride.

3B got addicted to Rock Lobster. You're welcome for the earworm.

Jewel has been saying things like "papapapapapapa" and "mamamamamamama" and "nananananananana" for a few months now. Around the time we were in Vermont, or just before, she started pointedly saying "papa" around me, "mama" around Mama, "nana" around her babysitter (which would make sense if you knew our babysitter's real name) and "baba" around her brother.

3B memorized the lyrics of Rock Lobster after hearing it once.

3B has added many phrases to his repertoire, such as "once again." On the night before his birthday, I told him about how, four years ago, Mama and I were getting ready to go to the hospital to meet him for the first time and how excited we were. He asked if he was born with a diaper on. I told him that he was born naked, to which he replied, "Once again, you had to put a diaper on me."

3B continued to memorize entire books after hearing them once.

Jewel has taken to crawling over to the door whenever I arrive home...OK, whenever anyone arrives. It's adorable to see her face light up, watch her drop what she's holding, and see tip her face up with a huge grin and scoot over as fast as she can to where I am.

I took to using 3B as my reminder system: When we're going to the pool, remind me to bring towels. Dude, he's better than a Post-It or an iPhone.

Oh yeah, 3B's still in diapers. Nope, he's not potty trained. Yes, he's four.

I reserved a rental car for the trip to the Pan-Mass Challenge, reserved a room share with another rider, bought more Gatorade and Endurox than one man should drink in a year then consumed it within the month, bought boxes of Clif bars, bought new gears and a new chain for my bike, bought new socks, bought new gloves, bought a headband that I actually use and like--much to my horror but whattayagonnado?, bought new water bottles, and moved my favorite bike seat from my commuter to my road bike.

I think we might need to send diapers with 3B to kindergarten. Or college. He went from saying he won't wear underwear until he was 5 to until he was 6 to until he was 20. Why did I want a child who thinks for himself?

Jewel now understands when people are leaving, and will chase them to the door, then cry in protest when they depart, which is audible down the hallway. When she does this in the morning as I leave for work, it breaks my heart. Every day.

I enjoyed my new, lower, gears on hills.

Jewel has started sleeping for longer stretches on some nights, up to six hours at a time. However, those stretches are usually punctuated once or twice by two minute screaming fits--just enough to ensure that Mama and I still don't ever sleep through the night, 11 months later.

I realized that I'm not getting any younger.

Mama and I are making a concerted effort to get Jewel to sleep through the night by having Mama sleep on the couch, so neither of us will be tempted to have Jewel nurse back to sleep in the middle of the night. Apparently, however, breast milk is a hard habit to break.

Jewel is still napping and sleeping in our room, which we expect to continue for sometime. This means that Mama and I have almost zero access to our computer, clothes, file cabinet, books, and so forth, because when we can really do something with them is when Jewel is sleeping, but when she's sleeping, we can't get to them. So, uh, sorry if we haven't gotten back to you...or if we don't even know that we haven't.

I reached my fundraising goal--$6,000--for my ride to make cancer history, thanks to a large, last-minute generous donation from my Aunt S...and to everyone else who donated. (You can still support my ride until October. Donate today.)



I'm working to make cancer history. Will you help me?

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