Friday, April 30, 2010

Battle At The Playground

This was a very big deal for Captain Adorable. Although his role in what happened is pretty clear for me, it is not so clear for him. It has affected him all day and I am sure we will talk about it again and again as the days go on. It is a bit of a long story, but then aren't they all on this blog? ;)

This morning we went to meet a Moms group I recently joined at a public playground. This is only the second time I have joined them for an event and I was the only one there! I arrived at 10:30 (we were supposed to meet at a coffee shop at 10, then walk to the playground at 10:30) and just walked to the playground. No one I recognized was there. I've only met 2 other members. I was annoyed but had no way to get in touch with the contact person. I finally decided to walk back to the car to get my hat as it was becoming more sunny and to look on the street and in the parking area for the other members. I also called my dad, who logged in to the group web site for me and looked up the contact number. By now we'd been at the playground for an hour and no one else was there. I was beyond annoyed and well into anger. I gave up and expected to just spend another hour there with my son and then go home but I sent a text anyhow, just in case. Because I did want to see them.

Meanwhile, Captain Adorable had been swinging and sliding and climbing. He was hungry and asked for something to eat. As it was now after 11:30, we went to a shady spot to the side and he began to eat the strawberries I packed. He was having a good time. Just then we saw the person we had been waiting for! I went to say hi but was also angry and had a hard time being warm and happy. In fact, I am sure I was rather short. We returned to our spot and Capt. Adorable ate part of his sandwich. I was too worked up to eat. Then he began to play tag with some random boy and ran off. I followed, pushing the stroller. You see, although it is a public playground, there is a school right next to it and those kids use the playground as well. I did not want to leave my stroller unattended because I did not know what might happen to it with so many big kids without parents around.

I ended up chasing Captain Adorable and his tag partner around a bit, and then softening my mood and talking to and meeting some of the other group members. A few of us were standing together chatting while still looking at our children across the playground. Capt. Adorable was across the way, near the slide, with two girls, one 4 and one 5. The 4 year old came to get her mom very urgently. Off the mom went. A few minutes later Capt. Adorable came to get me, also very urgently. I was just talking to someone and trying to get the conversation warmed up, so resisted being pulled off somewhere to examine a caterpillar or something similar. When I finally got pulled off, there were the girls and the other mama. I remarked that I had also been summoned and that it must be the in thing to do.

She replied by telling me that in fact there had been a battle! There were some big boys who were being mean to the little group of 3 kids. One boy in particular was mean and threatened to hit the oldest girl in the face! That's when the middle girl went to get her mother and then Captain Adorable came to get me. She told me that she did not know what had really happened, that she had chased him off and his teacher was also nearby while she spoke to him. The school kids went in very soon after that (or at least, that group). Captain Adorable can I describe it? He was stunned. He has still not processed this event hours later. At the time, he was pointing out a boy on the playground and saying he was the mean boy (I asked and it was not the boy). We had to leave soon after and on the way home he told me a story about the event.

This is all paraphrased of course:
There was a mean boy and he hit [insert girl's name]. I went home and got my sword [he doesn't have a sword at home] and I hit him with it. He ran and ran and fell of the bridge and he was dead. Then he came back to life and he was swimming fast and I had to catch him in a motorboat. He kept me company in the motorboat. He was sick and had a snotty nose and I had to wipe it for him. He could not blow his nose.
 This story, thought without the bit about the bridge and the boat, has been repeated several times over the course of the day.

Once we got home, I let him watch Little Bear (so warm and safe) and eat a chocolate bunny (I love my MIL but why oh why did she have to bring such large candy???). I hoped that this would allow him to calm down and decompress. I was also exhausted (I've only been a single parent for less than a week and I am in awe of people who do it all of the time!) and wanted some time for myself. After tv time he painted on his easel (currently on the porch) and then played with scissors and his cutting book. Then we put on socks and shoes and rode bikes out to our neighborhood playground.

I was surprised that he interacted so much with the other kids there, because usually he keeps to himself (having had some other not-so-pleasant experiences with witnessing teasing there). I could tell that the neighborhood kids were not being inclusive and nice, but I kind of figured that if he needed me he would come get me. I did see that he had a stick and another (bigger) boy was pulling it out of his hands and breaking it up, and then kicking the remnants which were still in Capt. Adorable's hands, but not kicking him. I went over to them to see what was going on. If the boys were doing something they should not do in front of parents they would stop (but taking away a stick, well, perhaps they've been taught that? No one likes playing with sticks because of the dangers they represent...) and if my little one needed protection I was right there. (One of the boys had a definite Napoleon complex, but that's a different story. Kept telling me he was bigger than Captain Adorable--not sure he really was, btw!--but when I pointed out to him that he was 5 and Capt. Adorable only 3 he insisted he was younger. Annnnnywho...)

I alerted the other mom to the kicking and the boys were seperated and everyone put down sticks...or so I thought, until a few minutes later when the boys were back, with a girl. They were ganging up against Captain Adorable. I guess the little Captain had said he was going to kill the bigger of the two boys and the girl was trying to protect him. Captain Adorable insisted that he was protecting the girl from the mean boy who wanted to hit her. Sigh.

After that people left. Captain Adorable did not want to bike home, so we walked our bikes. Once home he wanted to drink and eat. He drank well but ate mostly only strawberries left over from lunch. But really what he wanted to do was talk about the events of the day. He wanted me to tell him the story of what had happened at the playground this morning and I wanted to emphasize the difference between this morning and this afternoon. He got very excited and told me another version of the story with the sword, only this time with the children of the afternoon and adding that he was going to take the mean boy to prison. It was hard for me to understand how very confused he was...or was he? It is so hard to tell. I believe him. But I know he doesn't have a sword. ;) Know what I mean?

Anyhow, I tried my best to talk, listen, and reassure. The questions he asks and the concerns he raises are valid and I am not sure how exactly to address them. I am guessing that a lot more of these confused heart to hearts are in our future.

After the talk we played with moon sand outside on the deck, then put a painting in an envelope with a letter to Grandpa and Lita (dictated to me of course) and put the envelope in the mail. Then upstairs for book and bed. He asked me not to leave, but to stay with him. I think he really needed some extra snuggling. I stand by what I told him earlier in the evening. My sweet boy I love you so much. You are strong and you are loved. Even if someone does hurt you it will not matter because you are strong inside yourself. And yes baby, people will hurt you in life, but for the most part it doesn't matter. It only matters about the love. And you have a lot of love.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It Has Been A Busy Day!

I am a little worried because Captain Adorable was asleep in bed at 7:49 this evening. What time might he awaken? I better go to bed early! We've got swimming tomorrow morning and a ton of errands to run afterwards, so I hope we both get enough sleep...

We did have a rather busy day today! Here's the blow-by-blow:

8:30 am Captain Adorable awakens me.
8:42 am Capt. Adorable wakes me up again.
9:15 am We get out of bed.
9:30 am We are dressed and downstairs ready to eat breakfast. We're supposed to meet our friends at 10:30, so not much time.
9:48 am Breakfast finished and video chat with Captain Obvious.
10:26 am After unceremoniously ending the chat with Capt. Obvious, who was making us late, I am frantically securing Capt. Adorable's car seat safety belt. My phone rings and my friend tells me she is really late. I am relieved. We go play in the backyard.
11:00 am Back in the car.
11:01 am Out of the car to go fetch Capt. Adorable's "directions."
11:06 am Back in the car.
11:27 am Park at Annapolis City Harbor
11:35 am Complimentary ride to the nearby playground
12:30 pm Walk to lunch place
12:40 pm - 1:10 pm Lunch and walk around the harbor
1:17 pm Shopping for life vest and safety flares
1:47 pm Home! Captain Adorable has a snack. Much examination of life vests and new safety whistles. Voice chat with Oma and Opa.
2:25 pm Drive down to the water.
2:28 pm - 3:48 pm Put on life jackets, drag loaner dinghy off rack and down to water, and carefully get in! Row to mooring anchor, write our names on with permanent marker, row back. Put much heavier dinghy away (bilge was full of water after our short trip!).
3:58 pm Back home. Inspect and attempt to repair brake light. Can't find replacement bulbs. Decide to go on a bike ride.
4:21 pm Reach playground.
5:31 pm Back home.
6:31 pm Make dinner and talk on phone to my grandma and my parents while Captain Adorable watches some Bob the Builder.
6:57 pm Eat dinner together
7:26 pm Attempt to watch a sailing video. It will not play. :(
7:30 pm Captain Adorable almost asleep on the couch. I quickly get him to walk upstairs (extremely difficult for me to carry him upstairs!). Pajamas and BED.
7:49 pm I sneak out of sleeping child's bedroom, sort laundry, start a load, think about and plan for tomorrow, and start a blog post.
8:24 pm Now.

Looking forward to lots more time on the water. And for those I might have left wondering, no, we are not having another baby (though of course I would love that). We bought a sailboat. We are looking forward to spending lots of time together just the three of us on the water this summer. A good way to reconnect after being apart when Captain Obvious has to travel for work. Sometimes the stresses of everyday and the various events of life pull us apart. I am hoping that the time we spend on our boat will knit us back together.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Missing My Husband

Captain Adorable and I are home again. We left my parents' place in Tennessee at about 9:30 and got home in Maryland at about 7:00. We stopped several times, so I am pretty pleased with this time. No speeding, either. I am NOT getting another speeding ticket (got one last year). We had one evening and morning with Captain Obvious and then he had to leave for work travel. He will be back on Friday. I wish we had more time to spend together before he had to go. Feeling sad and missing him.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Don't Chase That Cat!

My sweet darling Captain Adorable chases cats. Sometimes he does it because it is fun, sometimes because they run off when he appears because he has chased them so often, and sometimes because he is feeling mean. I have asked him not to do this many times. I have carefully explained how this is not acceptable behavior. The behavior continues. I decided to stop giving it so much attention but to give lots of praise for petting the cats nicely. Now sometimes he pets and sometimes he chases. It seems I cannot stop the chasing without some kind of serious intervention, and I am just not willing to take that on as a battle, seeing as, well, although it is unkind, the cats are not hurt by him. They can indeed run away from him, after all.

The little one and I are in Tennessee right now, visiting my parents. There are four cats here. Two of them are here permanently, and the other two belong to my brother and his wife and are just here while their owners are in Australia. One of the two visiting cats is named Tabatha (cute name for a tabby cat, no?). Tabatha is a bit, well, bitchy and high maintenance. She's also a sweet cat when she wants to be, but sometimes she just lashes out. Well, last time we were here, she whacked Capt. Adorable while he was petting her. He was not doing anything wrong, and she did not hurt him physically, but he was very scared and unhappy about her reaction. During this visit, he was chasing her (despite admonitions from his mama and his oma) and she turned around and whacked him. I saw the whole thing. She made very little contact with his arm, and did not break his skin, but he was so hurt that he laid his head in my lap and wept, quietly.

We have talked about how Tabatha and the other cats do not want to be chased and that her reaction was because he was chasing her. He has not chased any cats since that incident. Perhaps she has finally cured him of this nasty habit!

I want to post a pic of her, to show how she is not scary at all, but it will have to wait.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nerve Pain

On a less happy note, and yes this is effecting me enough to get its own post, I am having a terrible resurgence of nerve pain in my back and side and chest (read: breast). It feels like burning and/or stinging. This pain prevents me from using my arm, from bending over, and from any type of reaching or stretching. For a few hours yesterday I was even carrying it in the weird position I adopted right after surgery--about 6 inches from my body. Anyhow, I am telling myself that it is a good sign, that it means nerves are growing back/waking up again and that soon this maddening, weirdly creepy prevailing numbness will heal back to normal.

We're Here

The ride from Maryland to Tennessee was long but uneventful. We stopped several times, but it was still not too bad (we left at about 11:00 and arrived at about 8:00). It is harder for Captain Adorable now that he is more aware of time. Now more than ever he knows he has been in the car all day long, if you know what I mean.

But we passed the time pretty well. We talked and ate bad things (cookies and s'mores crackers). We listened to music. He read a book for almost an hour (I love Richard Scarry!) and watched a video (Bob The Builder) for about an hour and a half. We talked some more. He was so happy when we crossed the mountain! And when we finally drove up the driveway he was beside himself. The dogs were extremely excited and happy to see us, as were Oma and Opa.

As I had promised him, we stayed up late: 10:30! Once in our respective beds, we fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep until 8:00 (almost unheard of in our house). He had a fabulous day helping at the building site and playing outside. I am sure he will have another wonderful day tomorrow.

My biggest problem at the moment is: I have cold feet and I am not sure where my socks are. (I think that will tell you something about how I am feeling as well.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big Drive Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Friday) Captain Adorable and I are driving to Tennessee. He has been waiting eagerly for this journey since Monday, when Oma and Opa left and went home. In fact, he woke me up at 5:49 (yes AM) the next day because he thought we were going to Tennessee then. Cute but damn I was tired. Anyhow, we've spent the week saying today is Wednesday and we have swim class and then playground with your friend, tomorrow is Thursday and we have Music Together, then on Friday we will go to Tennessee, et cetera. There is a whole detailed story I have to tell about how we will pack up our stuff and drive past one landmark and another until we finaly reach our destination. I have even added that he may go for a walk in the woods with Oma and Opa the next morning if he would like, hoping to build some extra sleep into the deal for myself...we will see if that works out.

I am looking forward to seeing my parents, but I am looking forward to my son's rejoicing even more.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Old Grandma's Birthday

Captain Adorable has a lot of grandmas. Fortunately, his actual grandmas all have different names. My mom is called Oma (or Ama), my sweet MIL is called Grandma (or sometimes by her name), and Captain Obvious' step-mother is called Lita (short for abuelita). However, he also has 2 great-grandmas and these are more confusing, since they are both called "grandma" by their grandchild (me and Captain Obvious). I may say to my husband something like, "your mom and grandma are coming over today," or, "I need to call my grandma."

So Captain Adorable has figured out a name for his great-grandma (at least, the one he seems to prefer: my grandma). He now calls her "old Grandma!" I personally think this is really cute, seeing as it is accurate, but also funny because of course an adult could not get away with it. We went to visit her the other day (last Tuesday) and when we arrived at her building, Capt. Adorable asked, "where old Grandma sleeps?" I thought that was funny and repeated it to her, but she either pretended not to hear or actually didn't hear, and I am inclined to think it was the former.

Today is Old Grandma's 90th birthday! We're having a small, casual, family get-together here at our house. At first I had planned a dinner, complete with Captain Obvious' super-tender brisket, but I was informed (by the birthday girl) that it was too much trouble. So, I modified the plans to an afternoon gathering with hors d'oeuvres and a cake. I was informed that was also too much trouble, so I decided on just cupcakes and coffee/tea/water/juice. Next thing I know my grandma is asking me what to wear! I told her we'd make a deal--she could wear whatever she wanted if I could wear whatever I wanted. Then I heard from my aunt that Grandma had requested a birthday cake after all and that she (the aunt) was bringing it from a bakery near her house. So at that point all I was obligated to make was coffee!

I told my dad that not only did that feel weird to me (not celebratory enough or something) but that I was worried my grandma had secret expectations. It is her 90th birthday, after all! Then again, she does keep insisting that she does not want a birthday party (she even canceled the much larger, fancier party my dad was organizing for her). I kept pestering him with are you sure I should make...humus? cupcakes? cookies? bread and cheese? fruit salad (a more healthy alternative to cake anyhow)? until he finally agreed that fruit salad was a good idea. Captain Adorable and I had fun shopping at a nearby Amish market for the fruit together.

The captains are off getting mulch, and hopefully this will keep them both happy and busy while I clean up (cleaning lady was just here on Thursday, but we want the place to look as uncluttered and clean as possible, right?) and make that fruit salad.

Happy Birthday to my Grandma!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Go For It

So, my love and I have recently been contemplating a decision (and when I say contemplating, I mean taking all the actions that will make it actually happen) that is probably stupid. I think we both know it is probably stupid. But oh, so much fun.

Today we had a Big Talk about whether we really should actually do this. We decided, despite my serious misgivings (and his also) that we are going to do it.

Then my Facebook horoscope said this:
An opportunity presents itself that seems too great to pass up -- but you should still walk away from it. There are hidden risks that are almost sure to trip you up and for now you need to stay on track.

Now, I don't really believe in astrology (though reading horoscopes is fun and sometimes weirdly on target). But WOW that advice seems so on-the-button...sigh...

Sometimes ya just gotta go for it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Egg Hunting

One of the first eggs he found.

Look at that technique! He sees; he reaches; he grasps.

Finally the basket just got too heavy. Seriously, he had a lot of eggs! But he does loooooove that little wheelbarrow, so a good excuse to use it was most welcome I am sure.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Dream and Some Stories

This morning, at 6:42, Captain Adorable woke up crying and saying, "I not like taking wings off." I was very confused about what this meant and on further (sleepy) questioning discovered that he had woken from a dream in which Daddy was taking off a bird's wings. It went something like this:
There was a grey bird and he flew into a spider's web. A crane rescued him. He slid down down down. Daddy had a long long net.

I presume that Daddy caught the bird in the net and took its wings off? Was not able to get Capt. Adorable to tell me the end of the dream.

This morning he did tell me some stories, though, and I had to presence of mind to type them while he was talking.
So, there was a bear living close to my house. He came out of his cave every morning. And he got older and older and then he died. I was looking for him everywhere. I do not like bears to die.

So, a long time ago there was a bear. A really nice bear. He came to my house. I take him for lots of walks. And there was a sad bear on the road walking with us. I was trying to make it happy. I gave him a bone; he did not lick the juice out. Then i gave candy to him. That sad bear ate some candy and that bear got happy with the candy!

So, I had a small bird feeder going down to the floor. A boff [sic] had a beak and broke it [the bird feeder] off of my hook. Then I had to fix it and then all the bird seed came out. Then it spilled on the ground. Then the birds came to the bird feeder and I had to pick them up and put them down. [With glee.] It was horrible!

Let me tell you a story about moss. Flying moss brings your trees down and breaks boats down and brings necklaces down. [I am wearing a blue glass necklace that he loves very much.] and then the neighbors had to fix it with a jackhammer!

OK, we're off to the library now!