A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: meal time

Food and Thought

My son is a good eater…not a perfect one. Often he will engage in random tantrums because he can’t have more tomatoes, broccoli, or some other food that has me mentally fist bumping and busting a finely choreographed move. The only way I was able to get Little Man to stop pilfering all of the bananas…sort of…is by driving into his expanding brain that too many bananas will interfere with his ability to poop, which is funny. Mr. Man has absolutely no trouble in that department. Bananas might actually do him (and me) some good. I try to remember these primary food preferences when I allow him to stuff himself with chocolate, nuggets, and fries. Warrior Queen demonstrates the same food preferences thus far, so maybe I can consider this piece a parenting win?

Warrior Queen is passionate about blueberries, delicately lifting each one to her mouth, concentrating on the tray before her. Periodically, she’ll notice my stare, rewarding me with a newly toothy grin before continuing on her berry mission. Fierce Girl also enjoys strawberries, even if they pale in comparison to the blue counterpart. I cubed six reasonably sized strawberries today for her enjoyment. She finished her serving, and indicated she wanted more; but I decided to give her some previously prepared chicken in the fridge. She warily looked at it and selected a piece. But, as soon as the small bit of poultry lands on her tongue, Warrior Queen looks up at me with a finely tuned stink eye, and a general expression on her face that I can only describe as resembling the look if I had taken a dump in her mouth. Immediately, she began crying, tilted her head down so the chicken could fall onto her high chair tray. I get it. I feel the same way about baked chicken.

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(Retired–Now What? has a similar disdain.)

In general, my daughter has a flare for the dramatic. It was an evening about a week or so ago. I was in our office completing some work when I hear the resident ten-monthish-old screaming quite passionately. My husband was with her, so I remained assuming she pooped…or was sat on or something by her big brother. Even though the predictable responses for her various crying fits did not occur, it wasn’t my problem. My husband did not ask for my help, so I let it go. When I ventured into the room holding my family, my husband informed me that the screaming was due to Warrior Queen finishing her serving of ice cream. I get it. I feel the same way about…most food terrible for me.

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(The Angriest Babies in the Whole World knows what it looks like when you are about to be smite by a baby.)

Shaking my head, I refill my small plate of chocolate. I swear I didn’t make even the slightest crinkle in the plastic, but Mr. Man honed in, and descended upon me, leaping and skipping the way he does when he is all abuzz with happiness and excitement. He already had his evening treats, but, of course, I cave and give him a share of mine. I justify the indulgence as this the only time of day he has sweets at all…most of the time. He did eat a good dinner after all (sigh). As I remove myself from the room to return to the office a single thought occurs to me: What am I gonna do once Warrior Queen is old enough to stake dibs on my chocolate stash?


Breakfast of Champions

I’m still sick, but reverted back to my pre illness state of coherence, so I vaguely make sense in brief conversations, but I can’t actually remember the conversation once I’ve journeyed ten minutes from it.  It is a pretty wicked cold that passed to my husband…because of the, “what’s mine is yours,” jazz.  So, as the less sick spouse, I took the kids out early this morning for breakfast before a visit with my parents.

My cold is well into its second week, but I can’t remember exactly how long I’ve had it.  Existing in the throws of early infant days hits my memory profoundly, leaving me to feel as though I’ve always been sick.  Taking my children to breakfast this morning reminded me of my real life, not this current experience of me periodically in tears from exhaustion and frustrated with my poor husband who certainly didn’t ask to share my earlier misery.

While the first reasonable night’s sleep in almost a week greatly improved my homicidal perseverations toward humanity…and the idiots sharing my road; preparing breakfast wasn’t something worth tackling.  We ate at a local diner with questionable interior design, but the best vegetable omelets I’ve ever eaten; even the mushrooms are fresh among the impressively plentiful variety of roughage.

Our trio entered the virtually empty space and chose a seat.  My son in a high chair looking at the traffic along the rotary outside, pointing and unintelligibly discussing the various trucks passing.  But, I hung on every word.  My daughter sleeping in her bucket.  I ordered my meal and my son’s blueberry pancakes (The blueberries are fresh and the amount almost ruin the integrity of the cake!).  The service is usually slow at this establishment, but I soaked every piece of this morning.  I basked in one of the wait staff commenting I had beautiful baby boy, even though I changed her out of her brother’s pajamas…because Warrior Queen is an infant and resembles this:

(Pat has a better hairline, but this is the identical facial expression just before spit-up seeps from her mouth or she is about to take a dump.)

I reveled in my son’s excitement of having a return to a typical peaceful and low key outing.  I felt exuberance anticipating my omelet…my son was equally invested in the arrival of his food.  The meal arrived.  My son expressing his excitement with his mouth agape in an “O” that wraps around and hugs his teeth.  Eyes wide, he waited patiently as I cut his stack of pancakes, but really he was transfixed by the bacon.  I completely understand his reaction.  Bacon is fabulous, and I would sign any petition enacting it as a superfood.  Yeah, I get that it has fat and yadda, yadda, yadda, but who isn’t so happy they almost wet themselves while eating it?  But, maybe it’s me.  I have twelve more baby pounds to lose, so my order arrived with the Canadian counterpart cooked well.  It’s a deficient alternative, but kept me from snatching my son’s pieces out of his hands and mouth.  We all have our strategies.

My daughter woke, so my attention vacillated love between my blissfully eating son and my daughter who also seems to relish our typical togetherness atmosphere.  My meal was rewarded with smiles, and I barely missed my breakfast lacking the salty magnificence of regular bacon.  My fierce girl is almost laughing, some of her smiles so large gasps sporadically escaped her mouth.  My son occasionally looked down and pointed.  Maybe he would smile or comment on his sister’s excitement.  He looked back at me after each gesture with his fist of bacon or fork of pancake, before cramming the selected food in his grinning mouth.  He looked at me with all the love I’m tickled he still has, seemingly every tooth on display in between mouthfuls.

It was such a simple morning, and some day these simple moments might be more difficult to come by.  Even though my children won’t remember, I hope I can always replay every expression of theirs in my mind, cementing anything from having the chance to wipe my mind’s eye clean.

Travel Log

There is one significant distinction between schlepping one kid around and the addition of another.  With one child any daily traveling was mostly uneventful.  I could go an entire outing not having to change a diaper or even stop to eat…But, I love to eat, especially out, so Mr. Man luncheons were often superfluous additions to our schedule…  Sure, there was the occasional public tantrum that amounts to a belly flop dive in the middle of a main walkway, or my son jamming something horrible in his mouth as I do a Matrix style freeze frame deciding on what level my freak-out should be.

With two, however, dumb shit happens just about every schlep; It’s pretty remarkable, actually.  It isn’t so much that things become heinous or terrible to endure, but as events unfold I’m acutely aware of how stupid and unnecessary the situation is, yet completely unavoidable.

The toy-play bonanza historically was my go-to, especially during pregnancy.  Reliably uneventful, mostly free from stupid stuff occurring.  Now, however, I carry two.  I took my little ones to a different one to vary things.  I’m still adjusting and stick to the reliable and pleasant…for me…  Things were going well.  I’m dancing around to the surprisingly good and kid friendly music with the almost six-week-old Warrior Queen snoozing away in my carrier.  I feed her without incident.  My daughter is pro spit-up, so lasting through an entire feeding without such an event occurring is remarkable in and of itself.  It was time to go, so I didn’t bother to tuck her back into the wrap.  I carried her and began my trips to and from the car that I parked just outside the door.  Little Man was last, and so far mostly oblivious to my actions; his girlfriend was working.  Warrior Queen was buckled in, and I hustle to get Mr. Man who tantrumed for a brief moment for show…all moving according to plan…until I smelled it.  No way I’m leaving my girl in the car while I take my two-year-old to the bathroom to change the noxious lump he was harboring in his diaper…car trunk it is…  The change was awkward, but easier than usual…I didn’t get kicked in the face and Little Man giggled as the wind danced across his bare bottom.  The situation wasn’t catastrophic or all that unmanageable, but stupid nonetheless.

Park and playground outings are becoming more reliable sources of entertainment as my son has started liking the outdoors.  I’m still hesitant to go to them as a mainstay occupation, as he doesn’t endure all that long and I don’t like bugs.  I will, however, take him as an auxiliary activity, especially if I can rope in a friend or two to join us.  One particular playground outing occurred in our town.  The structures are new and the area expansive, as the playground is part of a larger recreational area.  My son was running along the field and the perimeter of the woods selecting and handing me random rocks, acorns, and pine cones.  I’m not sure why; he started acknowledging that I toss them almost as soon as he hands them to me.  He doesn’t seem to care even when I’m not all that covert about the sudden nature expulsion.  I don’t know what dead animal my son eagerly grabbed, but he managed it full fisted…I calmly asked him to release the decayed bit of fur or feathers while internally running though the possible diseases leading to death my son exposed himself to…and that’s why parents carry hand sanitizer…except this parent.  I clearly need to get on the bandwagon…

I really haven’t been carting two children for more than a few weeks, this week was the first time it was my show for the duration.  How can such a short time span yield so many stories because I’m not all that interesting of a person?  Mondays we tend to go to a free library program that is pretty good and short.  This particular Monday I’m describing, though, had us leaving the house late, but I couldn’t say why this day was such a problem.  I’m pretty good about getting out of the house.  I guess it was just a lot of dumb little things like a bag of crayons getting tangled on my purse strap (They are both inanimate objects.  How did that even happen?), and the same purse getting caught on the garage door knob as I was exiting carrying the bucket car seat…I need to get a different purse.  We arrived at the library just as the program started, but it was at capacity.  I take the kids to the walled in patio because it would be safe from anything eventful, right?  Wrong.  My torrid tangle of toddler managed to dump over three pots of dirt that looked to be a children’s group planting project before I even had a moment to register the destruction before me.  I wonder if they have “Wanted” signs at libraries.

Another day later during the week, we were on the way to the bonanza.  I missed the drive thru turn, so decided it would not be a day for an iced tea…totally changed my mind after the following disaster.  Then, I was on a mission.  But, the initial pursuit was not meant to be.  The later attempt not much better, sadly yielding empty hands.  No lemon, fine, but then they tried to hand me an iced green tea.  I have a newborn.  What’s the point of that?  The cashier tells me that they were out of the regular.  I think they just messed up my order.

In between the depressing iced tea fiasco, I took my children to our less frequented indoor play spot; it was Little Man’s girlfriend’s one day off…bad sign.  Usually my son handles disappointment pretty well…for a toddler, which translates to him refraining from burning down the establishment.  But, this day it was bad enough his squeeze was absent, but he REALLY was unhappy we could not join the music class in the back room.  I get it.  The guy had a guitar, and Mr. Man will be the next frustrated musician complaining about the industry and poo-pooing the latest talentless rage while he continues to live in our basement.  For the first time ever he wanted to leave after only an hour, but it was time for my fierce girl to eat, so my son would need to wait.  Not usually a problem, c’mon, this place has toys, slides, and a bouncy castle…  But, alas, he started launching a wooden toy that might be a Jetsonesque lamp for the full size doll house.  I had to stop feeding the Warrior Queen so I could snatch my son for a time-out.  As I tended to him, my girl started exerting her hunger battle cry, which oddly is less dramatic than the poop one.  Holding my son’s leg with one hand, I plunked the bottle back in my daughter’s mouth with my other hand.  I did that twice before my son gave in and demonstrated dramatic “gentle hands” with every object he selected from the floor.  Not soon enough we are able to leave.  I tried to be quick, but my Mr. Man completely lost whatever miniscule cool he had.

Ten or so minutes from home we drive past a pretty good playground.  I had been feeling bad that on such a beautiful day I chose to take the cherubs somewhere inside.  It was still early, so we stopped.  My son doesn’t last all that long on playgrounds, but it’s always more than ten minutes.  Little Man enjoyed the swings and wanted to leave much sooner than the typical thirty minutes he usually indulges before running cattywampus on every structure he can manage.  Sounded good to me though.  I was schvitzing up a storm.  But, on my son’s lead, we enter a grocery store and proceeded to roam aimlessly like crazy people before he fell and slammed his face on some part of the cart with a car front stores started getting in solidarity with parents…kind of, have you tried maneuvering these things?  Maybe the real reason for fleets of them is so at the end of a long shift employees can watch and amuse themselves even if they have to perpetually fix displays.  Regardless, my son could sport a shiner badge of honor for his clumsiness…

Everyone buckled in the car for our journey home, the drive surprisingly quiet.  Both kids wanted to be fed almost immediately upon entering our homestead…because they always want to eat at the same time.  Some day that will be sweet, but not this day.  Little Man finishes his meal, my daughter lagging.  My son was tired exhibiting his telltale impulsiveness.  He climbed on the table winging his unfinished and half chewed food everywhere.  I ignore him and continued to feed his sister.  The only indication of my annoyance was the vein about to rupture in my forehead.  Mr. Man either realized his commotion wasn’t working or he developed a last ditch appreciation for my mental state, climbed down from the table and in a sleepy daze snuggled into me while I sat uncomfortably in a mild contortionist pose at the kitchen table.  I couldn’t resist giving him smooches.  After all, everyone is a douche when cranky…pretty sure I’m not an exception, but I’m hesitant to ask my husband.  Maybe I can’t avoid dumb shit from happening now that we are a troop of three, but at least I earn my sofa time.

Damn Spot!

My son is particular, perhaps compulsive at times.  His speech therapist said that wee ones with language/speech delays often are…It’s a control thing.  I’ll accept that rationale with a sigh of relief it isn’t a peculiarity he inherited from his parents, and I can continue to delude myself for the time being that we aren’t nurturing through modeling the least endearing quirks of Sheldon Cooper.

My son absconded my chair at the kitchen table, which not only enlists me to be the sole parent preventing him from launching his body onto the table during dinner, among other annoying behaviors occurring when my son becomes sleepy, but it also enables an awkward conversational format with my husband, as we now sit next to each other at a large square table.  Sure, I could sit across from him, but for whatever reason I don’t…Let awkwardness prevail, I say!

We used to have the chair portion of a travel high chair installed on Mr. Man’s seat to use as a booster when he would no longer sit in his high chair.  That didn’t last long for Mr. Independent.  He soon moved straight to sitting on a chair by his grown-up lonesome.  But, such a transition did not occur before a small bit of carnage occurred to our K-mart table set.  This week my husband switched out the chair Little Man had been using with the aesthetically damaged one.

The damage on the seat is a small discoloration caused by the rubbing of the plastic against the wood; why would Little Man even notice?  But, oh, he noticed…  Just before climbing onto his seat first thing in the morning, he viewed the chair’s oddity, and requested a napkin.  I hand it to him, and he became Lady Macbeth…just as successful too…  Subsequently, he refused to sit on the chair, opting for his original seat location we established for my son when he first began eating solids.

My husband asked why I didn’t change the chairs back to their original status.  I told him I want to look at him again while I’m eating.  But, alas, my son came to terms with the chair’s imperfection, and my husband and I returned to gazing at the woods behind our house with the chance observance of each other in the windows.


Close from the Start…Rollin’ Along…

I took both kids to my favorite bit of bonanza yesterday.  My son attends a class that ended up cancelled without me receiving notification, but it ended up as an unplanned opportunity to bring both offspring to an activity because my mother has a cold.

My son continues to melt me with his gestures toward his sister.  He views his child care responsibilities seriously; a pox on the parent who deprives him of his parade to our sofa or kitchen table carrying his sister’s bottle.  I think one of his favorite duties, however, is the shared one of helping feed her.  Now he’s starting to dab her mouth of milky drool when she is chillaxin’ in her swing.  It’s all so sweet that I can barely stand it…but maybe it’s still the hormones…

My little man seems to know his sister’s hunger cues better than I do.  On two occasions he’s heard her fussing and walked to the refrigerator to retrieve a bottle.  As the Warrior Queen’s mother, I assumed it was too early for her to experience hunger pangs, but my son was correct on both occasions.  She downed at least a couple of ounces.

The other day was another occurrence in less than two weeks of Mr. Man foreseeing his sister’s needs, which brings me back to the slice of heaven play spot.  My son was enjoying himself among the other children.  A beautiful day and the end of the latest class cycle prompted very few kids in attendance, but the quality enabled my son to find consistent playmates throughout the morning and early afternoon, so he was larking it up.  I’m wearing his sister in the blessed carrier my sister-in-law gifted to us, chatting with a friend who met us with two of her cherubs.  It was approaching the Warrior Queen’s next feeding, but usually when I wear her the meal delays.  At that specific time she communicated no indication she was hungry, just continued to snooze peacefully cuddled against my chest.  Suddenly, my son escapes the children’s play area (because he can work the child gate barricade).  I assumed he wanted another snack, as is his usual protocol.  But, this time he began fishing out all of his sister’s formula from my bag.  Within a minute at most the Warrior Queen awakens and wants her meal…three for three, Little Man, well done.

Bon Appetite

Dinner the other night was a conglomerate amounting to a serious cluster fuck by its truncated end…I found it hilarious for lack of a better reaction.  Mr. Man is transitioning to shortened naps, which is an exceptional experience in the first weeks you are acclimating to a newborn.  Mind you, he isn’t sleeping more at night, at least not yet.  He’s just waking up an hour earlier from his nap, which yields a very unpleasant Little Man an hour-and-a-half later.

We don’t eat particularly late.  That night it was six, but the Ides of Evening was upon us even at such an early hour.  I’ve long since given up on waiting to feed my son dinner until we are all ready to eat, but he LOVES family dinner, so often he’ll eat just after his nap at around four or four-thirty, and eat with us as well…I kinda love that about him.  The problem is that while he loves his dinners with Mommy and Daddy, his general disposition by the time we eat leaves much to be desired.

The dinner in question, for instance, started out with Mr. Man eating everything but the lovely piece of salmon in front of him, but ended with him raining seasoned rice everywhere and us on the verge of having to replace all of our feeding accessories from the spastic tornado I call my offspring.  Most people can imagine the disaster of broken plates and such, but in case you’ve ever been deprived of the experience of cooked rice confetti, this stuff is like the slug of the carbohydrates food group.  It doesn’t really clean, it just drags a trail of suspect residue all over your wood floors when you are trying to clean it up.  But, I am missing a few caveats to this particular family dinner occasion that the creators of Maalox envisioned during their patent process.

My son climbed onto the chair that used to be mine, but he absconded it some time ago so that I am forced to sit next to my husband.  Our dinner conversations have become a music video where no one actually looks at each other, but are forced to express themselves while looking longingly and with great animation out the window.  Knowing that my son has a very short duration these days for the dinner he loves so much, we inhale our food not even wincing anymore for indigestion.  But, tonight no time traveling worm hole would have helped this meal end with less of a disaster.

Within maybe five minutes of my husband and I sitting to eat, my son begins creeping his whole body onto the kitchen table.  Fully practiced in this brand of toddler, we know full well that this is a prelude to my son suddenly launching himself on all fours so he can dunk his hands in our water glasses and tip over our plates.  The extra joy of the evening, however, was the Warrior Queen, who I was wearing in a new and fabulous baby carrier, decides at that very moment she is hungry too.  So, my son is escalating his total doucheydom, I’m feeding the baby, leaving all of my dishware exposed for exploitation by Mr. Man, and my husband is ready to plotz because he can’t move fast enough between the celebratory food expression everywhere and the possibility of broken dinnerware.

Mr. Man keeps climbing on the table immediately after my husband takes him off, but it isn’t a quick kind of thing.  Each time my son climbs on the table, my husband has several failed attempts to grab a limb that my son manages to keep maneuvering out of his reach.  Simultaneously my beloved is moving the most fragile of our dinner accessories.  As my son is giddy with excitement, he’s throwing his food on the floor, and I’m continuing to feed the baby watching it all unfold like I was blessed with Gallagher tickets.

I have no notion of how long it took for all of this to transpire, but both of us ceased to be hungry, and drew straws as to who would be herding this particular cat and helping Little Man receive some much needed shut-eye.

A Stranger is Home

Even as a two-year-old, My son is exceptional when it comes to sharing.  He takes turns with ease, and is generally considerate of other people.  He certainly has his moments, but mostly he acknowledges the needs of other people.

Little Man did not visit me in the hospital, and I missed him profoundly.  Hearing him uttering his “Yeah” to my questions on the phone the night before returning home had me virtually weeping with a surging and longing heart…but that may have been the hormones.

I finally walk into our home, my husband carrying our tiny fierce one.  My son looked at her a bit and walked off…quite anticlimactic.  But, I know Mr. Man.  He needs time to be left alone and consider things, so my husband and I allowed him his space regarding our new family member even if my parents did not.

The first evening was rough for my little man.  It didn’t appear that he was particularly unhappy having a sister or unwilling to share me.  While I held my fierce girl, I interacted with my first born, and he was content.  There were no tantrums when I asserted that I needed to stop a book or game to feed the Warrior Queen.

But, during dinner I saw a flood of emotions emanate suddenly from his sweet, beautiful, tortured face.  The entire day I focused on my son, giving him all the attention I was craving over the few days in the hospital.  The sudden acute distress puzzled me.  My son barrels off of his chair and runs weeping into our family room.  I follow him and sit on the floor unsure of what he needs.  He finally manages to sign “music,” and I ask if he would like me to sing a certain song.  Calming he asserts, “Yeah,” and sits between my legs.  My poor uncertain boy wanted me to sing the same tune I uttered to his sister during her last bottle two hours prior.  Once I finished, he trotted off to rejoin my husband and parents at the kitchen table, smiles abound.

After that instance and through the next day or so, it became increasingly clearer that my son is willing to share me, but required the reassurance that there continues to be a unique place for him in my thoughts and heart.  Little by little I’m providing him security that he, in turn, expresses with interest toward his sister.

It started with my daughter sleeping in her swing.  My son plucks a baby blanket off our sofa, and places it over her, walking away to play.

The next day my son was the first to rise.  He finished his breakfast but remained at the table when I heard the Warrior Queen stirring upstairs.  I excused myself, telling Little Man that I would be back with his sister.  While I was upstairs, he ventured over to the gate, waiting for us to make our entrance.  He pointed and smiled, following us as I grabbed a bottle out of the refrigerator.  Mr. Man clutched his milk cup, and joined his sister for her breakfast, handing me a cloth to wipe her mouth when I requested it.

Each day there is another effort of care he expresses toward his little sister.  He continues to keep her company drinking his milk while she enjoys her bottled meal.  He still lightly lays a blanket over her when he worries she is cold.  He continually checks on her in her swing, ensuring her well being.  If she isn’t wearing a hat, he will stand in front of her holding it waiting for me to walk over.  Little Man is afraid to hurt her, so even the lightest touch is something he avoids.  My son wants her to be happy, and enjoying pushes in a swing, is quick to do the same for his sister.  Redirected the first time for too strong a force, he is content with light, gentle nudges.

Transitions have never been particularly easy for him; probably a trait inherited from me, but he is a wonderful big brother.  In time he will see it too.

Catastrophic Atrocities and the End of the World as We Know It!

A typical morning in the life of experiencing a toddler with the number of personalities that would make Sybil cower in shame.  My little man is very sweet and loving so much of the time, but then there are moments, and they are moments, peppered throughout the day when all happiness grinds to a halt and ruination overcomes his beautiful face.

This morning he ate breakfast as he normally does…simultaneously shoving multiple chunks of strawberries in his mouth and grinning at me while making it rain cereal all over the floor.  He eats what he eats and scampers off to play.  I want to hurry us out the door, so the cereal explosion will wait until later.  I bide my time until he is distracted before clearing his breakfast plate, but it seldom works.  Mr. Man glances up and spies me covering the plate of remaining strawberries he proclaimed he no longer wants, as well as restoring his milk cup to the fridge.  Well, apparently what actually happened is I kicked a puppy and urinated on a kitten because a screaming blur of two-year-old runs at me, tugging my shirt and pleading with me.  If he had the vocabulary I’m sure he would be making the case that the milk should spoil and I should leave the pieces of strawberries on the table to turn into potpourri.  But, it isn’t just that he is upset with my actions that is always astounding, but the instantaneous waterworks and abhorrence expressed so acutely on his face.  If I returned the warming milk and fruit to the table, his devastation would immediately lift.  Mind you, he wouldn’t return to the table to eat the food he fought so nobly to protect; he would resume his play that consisted of launching all of his toys across the rug as though he were an Athenian Olympian.

Over the course of an hour while I prepared snacks and such for our outing, my son intermittently played independently among sudden, more enduring tantrums that included launching plush and paper-based toys into our kitchen sink until I gave him the stink-eye stare down that I can’t believe worked, or him pulling on whatever appendage that was convenient before passionately slamming child proofed cabinets and attempting to dislodge the oven door from its frame.  I’m not daft; I understand this behavior was prompted by justifiable grievances…like not allowing him to gnaw on the random cords in our pantry or suckle the assortment of brooms we have hanging in the very same closet.  I completely understand that I’m a terrible, terrible Mommy for not permitting him to horde the glass jar of gefilte fish that we have no choice but to house on a refrigerator shelf he can easily reach.  Even more evil is that I won’t hold him at that very moment because I’ve learned that his true desire is to scout the top of the island for stuff he can pull down, forcing me to lumber after him pregnant or not.

But, alas, he is a toddler.  When I sit down for a moment he’ll cuddle me or try to cover my feet in my favorite soft, fuzzy socks.  He loves little more than endless renditions of his current Dr. Seuss favorite or burrowing in the blanket I’m crocheting for his sister.  It’s in those moments that I’ll happily oblige him…until I realize he’s soiled his diaper.  During those very instances he perceives I’ve come to such a conclusion and dashes off in mischievous giggles, and the chase is on.

Tenacity and Grit

I haven’t provided an update of sorts specifically regarding my Gestational Diabetes progress for a bit, so perhaps now is a good time while my son tinkers at my feet in his fleece dinosaur jammies with a badly brutalized old USB cable, mouse, and an eclectic assortment of random toy bric-a-brac.  I figure I can launch into a few sentences until he decides to duel with the diaper bin; my son’s last call announcement to his ability to sustain play independently.

My fasting levels had been borderline almost from the get-go, but given that almost all of my after meal levels have been golden…and I vomited in the nurse’s trashcan over a miniscule needle the first visit…the clinic personnel were willing to let it ride as long as possible before I start injecting insulin before bed.  I made it longer than I thought, a whole two weeks before altering my bedtime routine to include this newest pleasure.

Last week was my first week taking insulin.  I developed a certain process with the various sticks, having the nurse do it first in the office a couple of times before I venture on my own.  Mind you, I’m well aware my needle phobia has nothing to do with the acknowledgment of actual pain; it’s completely irrational, but that doesn’t matter.

Fast forward to my first night thirty minutes before going to sleep as directed.  I begin the process of situating everything.  I have the trusty injection pen, which I had been assuming would be a blunt end that I hold to my leg, and simply push a button to receive my insulin dose.  It isn’t, as I’m attempting to control a wave of panic examining the device, I realize that I will be, in fact, injecting myself…sans blunt end…sans magical button…  But, I did it…incorrectly…but, I did it nonetheless.  It bled…a lot.  I forgot to count, needle still imbedded in my thigh when adrenaline set-in and my hands began to shake.  The needle bent, but the full insulin amount managed to make its journey.  It didn’t hurt.  I began sobbing, laying on the bed, violently shaking.

I was fine; I told my husband as much.  It was just adrenaline, and the remaining week had little drama to the general festivities.  Sure, there was the night that I didn’t check the gage to see if the full insulin amount was through…It wasn’t.  I had to stick myself again.  And, there was last night with a perfect stick that had no feeling whatsoever to only realize I forgot to actually turn the dial for the proper insulin amount.  Had to stick myself a second time once again.  Oddly, the insulin is a more pleasant experience than the glucose monitoring.

Then there are the other pieces of this diagnosis that I’ve had to come to terms with throughout this, surprisingly, short time span.  With insulin means more appointments…many more.  Appointments I cannot bring my son as chaperone.  My husband and I worked it out as I knew from the moment I was told, but it’s all so overwhelming and I am very pregnant, so any difficult news becomes absurdly catastrophic.

My diet is draining, and contrary to what the internet consistently indicates, maintaining a “healthy diet” is maybe ten percent of managing my food intake and glucose levels.  It continues to be more thought than I’d like incorporated into every eating experience, and I’m tired of eating nuts four times a day, and with all the cheese I eat as a safe, virtually carb free protein, I may never poop again.  It isn’t about forgoing my precious chocolate, which I have.  There are surprising, healthy things I cannot eat or have to limit significantly.  The amount of food I can eat is greatly reduced from any other point in my life, so I’m almost always hungry with little I can do about it.  Now I’m at the peak of my insulin resistance, which restricts my food variety and amount all the more.  Sometimes it bothers me more than others.  To reframe the situation into a slight glimmer that I will appreciate after my daughter is born, I am on track to only gain twenty-five pounds from this pregnancy.  Six weeks ago the likely target was thirty-five.  I’m told this is what happens with Gestational Diabetes.

Sunday night, however, I completely failed at this diet thing for the first time since this whole business started, and I loved every minute of it…when I wasn’t torturing myself with guilt for my weakness.  It was a two-year-old’s birthday party, and, I have to say, I don’t know the last time I had such exquisite gluten free, organic chicken nuggets…Yes, there is such a thing.  I don’t know what was in them.  I didn’t care, as they complimented the two (albeit small) slices of pizza and sliver of cake I scarfed just before…It took every part of me not to weep in the process…Oddly, my glucose level was twenty points lower than when I ate a can of chickpeas…

So, I’m thirty-four weeks pregnant today, and another week closer to my tenet vacating the premises.  I have my first ultrasound in ten weeks in a matter of days.  This practice gives me 3D images, so I’ve actually been able to see my beautiful baby girl all along; I’m told from here the pictures will accurately reflect her appearance at birth.  Moving forward this will be the first of many, many ultrasounds and non stress tests I’ll have until she is born.  But, I have a feeling there will be tears this first time even if I see her and don’t feel this experience is worth it just yet.


I don’t always drink from a bottle, but when I do, it’s a Nalgene…

Clearly my toddler is ready for the big leagues.  He has mastered the fine art of persuasive discourse; perhaps he should be a lawyer, pointing his way in court in an effort to convince a jury of his peers who hopefully know how to use a toilet.  When that effort does not work, he will roll out the big guns…incessant whining and shrieks until anyone within a five mile radius acquiesces to, ideally, something more benign than world domination.

While I am fully aware my son is plotting something that will likely be posted on uTube as an embarrassing twist of fate that earns significant advertising endorsements, but for the time being he is manipulating his way into drinking from my water bottle.  However, it isn’t just the adult-like act of utilizing my hydration apparatus; he also must take off the cap each time before replacing it between sips…obviously Harvard awaits?

My son has even more sophisticated sensibilities, or at least tries to.  Eating leftover asparagus tonight that will never be tasty no matter how much I kid myself.  In raw determination my son trails in my wake as I retrieve my plate of limp vegetables from the microwave.  Using his aggressive pointer finger, he insists on a sample despite my insistence that he will not like it.  I can only refuse so long before cutting a piece with great stringy difficulty.  He takes the bite, and his fingers immediately take-up the task of spelunking in their recovery deployment.  Mr. Man unceremoniously drops the barely chewed asparagus to the floor amid a chorus of “I told you sos.”  I hold out my palm in an effort to have the vegetable taken off the floor without me having to actually bend over (Don’t judge, it’s been a long day…).  My son picks it up instantly, but shoves the piece back in his mouth with another valiant effort to swallow his vegetable road kill.  The next phase begins; he spends the next few minutes chewing and removing this now fairly grotesque and vaguely recognizable mass of green.  Eventually he swallows, but imagine my surprise upon viewing his determined pointer at my plate of wilted greens.  Oh yeah, he earned his ice cream tonight; the spoils of war…

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