Boot Camp

Attention!  Your mission should you choose to accept it is of utmost importance.  It will be the most difficult job you will ever do and will take everything you got!  In order to prepare you for the mother of all missions, we are going to put you through a series of tests.

Our first test begins now, we will punch you in the stomach off and on for the next 12 to 18 hours.  And, then when you can’t take it anymore, we are going to ask you to do stomach crunches.  I can’t hear you maggots!  Did you say you want your mommy?

After a day of recovery, we will start the next test–sleep deprivation.  You will not be allowed to sleep for the next three days.  Every hour we will blast the sound of a crying baby to make sure that you don’t fall asleep.  You will also be required to get up and feed your demo baby and change his diaper.  If you can avoid divulging all your secrets and begging for mercy, you will move onto the next test.

So, you panty waists think you’ve had enough?  Now the real games begin.  Let me introduce you to Catch the Toddler.  We are using an old greyhound race track, and in place of the rabbit we have a toddler running around the track.  Chasing him, you will need to bob and weave ‘cause this critter don’t go in a straight line.  Every time you get close, that boy darts and runs away laughing.  You’d have an easier time catching a greased pig.  When you do finally catch him, he’s gonna laugh and say “Again! Again!”

Next, we’ll test your organizational skills, memory, and tolerance for chaos and mix it all up with some K.P. Duty.  It’s the birthday party.  After gathering provisions, we will put you in a room with 20 screaming 4 year old children.  While they are all asking you for something at same time, your virtual son will start crying.  Your primary objective is to serve all of the cake, ice cream and punch.  When you fall from exhaustion, then you get to clean up from the fun and games.  I expect the Mess Hall to be spic and span!

For test number five, you will have to get four little pukes out of bed and ready for school at the end of their summer vacation.  Stripping the bed is an acceptable technique for getting them to move.  You may choose to dowse them with water, but remember you have clean up duty when they leave.  You will have to clean the water from the barracks.  While you will be tempted, we won’t allow cattle prods for this test.  If you get desperate, you may use an air horn.  Double time!  I hear the bus coming!

Wipe that smile off of your face!  We’re just getting started.  You still have to teach your little angel how to drive.  First, take out your wallet and hand it to your auto insurance company.  They will be going on your vacation this year.   Buckle up!  Oh, and that screaming noise is not in your head any longer.

I have never seen such a sorry bunch of recruits.  I suppose you are now afraid to become mommies.  Well let me tell you something, the father recruits didn’t make it past the first test.

Family Traditions

One of the best parts of being a mom is creating new family traditions.  Prior to my son’s birth, Memorial Day was for barbecues and laughing with friends.  It was great to have the day off.  Everything shifted with my son’s arrival.  Instead of burgers and beer, we started a new tradition of racing to the emergency room.

“He’s not breathing,” I screamed, as I scooped up my son and ran down the stairs.  I found the Epi pen and quickly treated him.  Even with the epinephrine, he was barely breathing.  We rushed him to the hospital for treatment.  When he finally started breathing on his own, I was so relieved.

“What can we give him to stop these attacks? I asked the doctor.  “They are getting worse!”  They sent us home with a nebulizer and referral to an allergist.  With the nebulizer, we were better able to treat the wheezing before it would turn into a full blown allergy attack.  In order to get him to put the nebulizer tip in his mouth, we told him that it would give him special powers.

In fact, the Albuterol had the power to make him crazy.  He would run in circles, making himself wheeze and vomit the length of the house.  We invented a new family game called Stop the Toddler.  My husband would take one end of the living room and I would take the other.  We would gradually move in on the target until we could tackle him and make him sit still.  During one such game, he broke loose and ran face first into the refrigerator, bouncing back and then continuing to run.  It was like watching Wiley Coyote.

Looking for a way to change this family tradition, we went to an allergist.  “There isn’t much we can do at this age,” the allergist said.  “Until he is 4, you need to keep him away from his allergens.  We can draw his blood and test it for allergies.”

After 6 vials and one terrified 2 year old, we met with the allergist again.  “His immune system is still forming, so the test was inconclusive.  I recommend that you keep him away from anything that you are allergic to.”  He continued, “to be safe, I would keep him away from nuts as well.  I find most of the children with allergies have some kind of nut allergy.”  So, along with avoiding wheat, dairy and soy (which he had vomited back at us), we made sure that he did not eat any nuts.

Also, since he seemed to have a severe reaction to the pollen in May, we built a play land in our house.  Instead of going to the park, we created a park in our living room.  By isolating him and keeping him in a bubble, we reduced his attacks and he stabilized for a while.

So, we thought that we could try to go to a barbecue again.  Within minutes he started coughing so hard from the mucus in his lungs that he vomited the mucus and his food all over us.  In our family, this is called getting slimed.  Apologizing to our friends and cleaning up the mess, we went home for another game of Stop the Toddler.

Hoping to create new Memorial Day traditions, we have started a new round of testing and treatment for his allergies.  Keep your fingers crossed.   If we get our wish, he will barf next year from too many hotdogs and not the pollen.

Ice Ceam, Ice Ceam, I want Ice Ceam!

Wriggling in his car seat the whole way to the ice cream parlor, my son said excitedly, “ice ceam, ice ceam, I want ice ceam!” Jumping down from his car seat, he ran across the parking lot bursting through the door alerting the server to his entrance. He suddenly stopped in his tracks like a deer in a car’s headlights. This was all new to him and he was nervous. Hiding behind my leg, he peeked out surveying the room. “Hi, can I help you?” he heard a voice from behind the counter. Peering from behind my leg, he saw a big smile and kind eyes on his server’s face. “I want ice ceam,” he said stepping up to the counter.

Because he was below the counter, the server had to lean over the counter to take his order. She pointed to all of the flavors which covered an entire wall. His blue eyes grew very large. He had never seen so much ice cream in one place before. Sensing that he was overwhelmed, I stepped in to show him his options. After ten minutes of discussing his options, he finally placed his order.

Reaching into his pocket, he took out a twenty dollar bill and handed it to the server. He smiled and said “keep the change.” Looking down at the face of Sponge Bob on her payment, the server smiled. “Thank you,” she said “It has been a pleasure serving you.” She nodded to me, and I waived a ten dollar bill over his head and handed it to her when he turned his attention to the seats in front of the counter.

I tried to interest him in a seat at one of the tables, but he kept shaking his head saying, “no, no, no.” He sized up his new challenge, saying, “I cwimb, I cwimb.” Realizing that I could not stop him from climbing, I stood next to the stool and spotted him.

Straining to pull himself up onto the seat, he got stuck. Gently lifting him, I placed him safely in his seat. His hands barely reaching the counter he waited for his cup of ice cream. He squealed with excitement as the bowl was placed before him, “Ice ceam yeah!” He hungrily grabbed the spoon and reached up to take a scoop. With his first spoonful, he began to smile ear to ear.

With his mouth below the counter, he continued to reach up taking a small scoop at a time. When he finally grew tired of reaching up for small scoops of ice cream, he grabbed the bowl and brought it to his mouth. He started licking the ice cream and then put his mouth in the bowl. Lifting his face out of the bowl, he was smiling with raspberry sorbet covering his mouth, cheeks, chin and nose. “I yike ice ceam,” he declared.