Thursday, August 13, 2009

Debunking, Death Crib for Cutie

Not much going on here, so I have all the time in the world to write a verbose blog entry.

Last Friday, Mama realized that there was nowhere for her mom to sleep when she comes for 3B's baby sister's arrival. We had thought of having Grammy sleep on 3B's big boy bed and having 3B sleep either in his crib, or if he'd moved to his big boy bed, on the infernal futon that's never going to leave our house under his big boy bed.

However, he's only been in his big boy bed for a few weeks now and it would be too much change to have him on the futon when Grammy's here for his sister's birth, and neither he nor Grammy would be sleeping on the top bunk. So it was that we spent last Friday night debunking the bunk beds.

Of course, we first had to disassemble 3B's Death Crib for Cutie...thanks for that name, MrJumbo.

We had prepped 3B for the crib demolition, and he was psyched to help me with the project since it involves tools and bolts and parts and destruction and mayhem.

There's a reason one of his nicknames is Shiva.

He did well with it, although he still gives one whine every night when he realizes that his crib isn't there to sleep in. 3B was the biggest advocate for moving to his big boy bed, climbing out of his crib and marching over to sleep in it, forcing us to make the change, so he knows he doesn't want his crib back, but he still misses his it.

And yes, I did have Mama lift off and move the top bunk when she was nine months pregnant. Hey, I took the mattress off first.

So we slept in on Saturday before heading out the door to a morning Rocknoceros concert at Wolf Trap. We met Aquarium Drinker and his wife and boys in the parking lot, where we all got ready to smuggle in our concert supplies: sippy cups and raisin boxes.

Man, the times have changed.

The show was good, as always. The Rockno boys played a lot of the songs off their new album and the older boys--that's me, 3B, AD, and his older son, who's about 3B's age--went for a walk in the woods while the Mamas stayed behind. The ADs have a three-month old who AD's wife was wearing and Mama...well, Mama's still nine months pregnant, so there was no scrambling up the hill into the poison ivy thickets woods for them.

The ADs had planned ahead, something we seem incapable of at this juncture, and brought a picnic, but the Bradsteins ended up having a lovely picnic at the closest Burger King, where 3B got what has to be the lamest toy ever--a "night vision" GI Joe scope, which is nothing more than a green piece of plastic to look through.

3B's review: meh.

By then, we had already lost something that would consume the first half of our week with a somewhat harried search, but we didn't know it, so we all went home and had a blissful afternoon of nap, pool, dinner and bed.

On Sunday, we fulfilled our promise from July 4: we took him to Fort McHenry.

See, on July 4, we went to a baseball game with friends and stayed for the fireworks. It wasn't 3B's first game, but as we were explaining all the happenings of a baseball game, we talked about the Star Spangled Banner--the kid does like music, after all.

We got the inevitable questions: Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

We have spent the last month and a half then explaining that the there were bombs bursting in air because there was a big fight between the British and the Americans, that there were soldiers and that there was a fort. Of course, we were halfway through that month before we realized that it was really the War of 1812, not the Revolutionary War, but hey, same teams, different game.

The look on 3B's face when we told him that, however, was priceless--I can't believe you lied to me about the war of 1812!

Dude, we didn't lie, we're just slow like that.

So it was that on one of the hottest days of the year, we found ourselves marching around brick paths in and out of clapboard buildings--it was a stifling good time.

The re-enactment soldiers were firing guns as we left the introductory movie ("Why do we have to be so quiet in the movie?!" "I can't be quiet; my voice is too loud!" "I choose that we leave now!"), so I hustled him over to see that while Mama bought snacks.

Of course, the gunshots were loud and terrified 3B, who almost started crying and had to run away. "Let's go home!" If there's nothing else I'm good for, I do excel at introducing our son to things that scare the bejeezus out of him. Great.

Also, have you ever tried to run down a brick path carrying a 35 pound boy on a hot, sticky summer day? It's like falling down a flight of stairs with a kettle full of boiling water--you end up hurt, hot and soaked.

After that, things picked up. There were tunnels to explore--although not as many as I'd hoped for, since this is a pre-Civil War era fort, which means that it's mostly reinforced embankments, not a building. 3B did get to see cots and bunk beds, bomb shelters and gunpowder magazines, and climb up and down stairs and hills. He was, of course, most fascinated by the prison, which was closed and locked off by the time we got there.

We'd thought we might stay for two hours, but ended up staying for over four hours. We were nicely roasted as we got stuck in traffic on the way home and Mama announced that she was having contractions. She was sure they were Braxton-Hicks, and I was pretty sure too since she didn't look as uncomfortable during them as she did during real contractions last time.

Nevertheless, they were coming every five minutes and lasting about a minute each. Mama said that when she sits in one position for too long, this often happens. Since we were stuck in traffic and Mama can't recline because we moved 3B's seat behind hers to fit the baby's car seat into the middle of the back seat, Mama was stuck in that position for over an hour.

As soon as we discerned the pattern, my mind was racing: we haven't gotten a gift for the baby to give 3B when he comes to meet her, we haven't packed our bag, Grammy's not here...and so on. That last one is the most important one, really.

Of course, it helped me calm down when we got home and Mama announced that she had lost her wallet, and that the last time she remembered having it was on Friday. Great, because we'd only traveled a few hundred miles since then, so it could be anywhere in the tri-state region now.

As you can tell, my reaction was not one of calm understanding. Of course, there was little to no air conditioning in our place to help cool my hot head.

Yes, going into the hottest days of the summer, our air conditioner decided to give up the ghost. To its credit, it didn't suddenly fail, but slowly faded away. But around Sunday night we decided that now was the time to replace it. Because we needed one more thing to do.

As we booked the A/C appointments, the bathroom contractors, who we've been waiting on to finish final repairs to our new bathroom for six months, finally called and said they would be coming out this week. On separate days. On days that were already fully booked.

But, you know that if we postponed them, we wouldn't see them again until 3B was entering kindergarten, so we said, come on over, join the circus.

Seriously, what the hell--we had cleared our calendar for this month so that we could chill out, rest up and be ready for 3B's baby sister's arrival. I figure this is just the universe's way of prepping us for the chaos that is soon to come.

Right? All this other stuff will fade away as soon as 3B's sister arrives, right?

That's the wrong answer.

Subscribe to the Bradstein feed--Vorsprung durch Technik!


  1. Your descriptions remind me of East Coast summer days (and nights--no cool relief!). Glad to hear you're enjoying them nearly as much as I did.

    My memory from your sister's experience is that after one kid, two kids is more hectic, and after two kids, three still adds to the frenetic circus, but it pretty much maxes out there. So you can add a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, and it doesn't get more madcap; the fervor just sticks around longer.

    Have fun with that.

    Out here on the Left Coast, we're all waiting with bated breath for the first real contractions, so do keep those updates coming!

    Big warm hugs to everyone--

    Brother #2

  2. I can always complain, but I can't honestly complain about our summer so far. We've actually had mild days and cool nights until now. Bummer for Seattle and Spokane, but good for us.

    I've got my contraction timer ready on my Treo, although it doesn't connect to Twitter. Aren't you bummed that you won't be getting an auto update every 3-5 minutes?

    Didn't think so, but we--and by "we," I mean "I"--will keep y'all posted.

  3. Preparing for chaos is like preparing for sleep deprivation, not really necessary. We do it anyway.

    My answer to the heat: Just keep swimming.

    Did Mama find her wallet?

  4. We like swimming, although chasing a three-year-old across the street to the pool isn't always what Mama wants to do in the heat.

    And yes, she did find it. It was at the ranger station at Wolf Trap, where someone had dropped it off.

  5. don't ask me.
    I don't know.
    I'm fully expecting you guys to take notes amidst the chaos, so you can help prepare us when our turn comes...

  6. I'll be sure to keep my notepad handy. I have it right here...wait, where did it go? I just had it. Oh, gotta run--I'll get back to you on that.

  7. That sounds crazy! If you need some help, I'd be willing to come over and wait for the repair people to show up! I can rearrange my schedule to work from long as I can plug my laptop into the internet! (No wireless.) Let me know if I can help!

    PS - I'm so glad Mama found her wallet!

  8. OK - just have to leave one more comment because the word verification is "sucksmat". HA! :)

  9. LB: I'm so glad that you're like me about the word verification. Sometimes they make me laugh out loud, which is dorky, right? Not if someone else does it, though, so thanks for saving me from dorkitude.

    And thanks for your offer. I think we'll be OK. The plumber is today, the tile man is tomorrow and then, god willing and the creek don't rise, the only two people we're waiting for are Grammy and 3B's baby sister.

  10. Anonymous4:46 PM

    "I can't be quiet; my voice is too loud!" "I choose that we leave now!"


    I'm glad Mama found her wallet. That's a pain in the tuchus to deal with.

    Considering how many times a day* I have to face the evil captcha, I reserve the right to laugh when they're odd.


    *Yes, I spend too much time commenting on blogs.**

    **Yes, I'm a total nerd who puts footnotes in blog comments.

  11. I bow down to your nerdiness, Amama.

  12. I want to hug this post...I laughed out loud at the how times have changed concert prep line, so true!... and hug all four of you guys with excitement over your new baby's arrival!

    We found baby #2 much easier. Funny how easy a newborn seems after a complex preschooler/toddler's been doing the Jedi mind tricks on you for a few years! (Sleep issues and nursing/feeding notwithstanding.)

  13. Everyone says that about #2, and I can't wait to find out...but first I need to fold this pile of laundry on my dining room table. Since you steered us to the book fest for pictures with big foam headed characters, and where 3B learned about Mr. Steve--a day he'll never forget--you've always had sound advice and wisdom for us.