hand, foot, mouth, hoof, etc.

joyous day, calloo, callay, to borrow from my beloved dr. seuss.

it appears that we have a wild outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in this house. (or, for those of you who like the beavis and butthead-sounding name, coxsackie. uh huh, she said coxsackie, uh huh. yeah, whatever.) yesterday, we confirmed that the fever and the bumps all over jools' legs were not a reaction to his ridiculously-rare flu shot but were, in fact, a result of this lovely virus. best of all, one hour before i was going to leave for the pediatrician's office, the school nurse called me and informed me that BC was suffering from a fever and could i possibly come and pick her up?

after waiting to see whether BS could pick her up (he couldn't because some not-so-nice-person had their car blocking his at the parking lot and couldn't be reached), i whooshed over to BC's school, only to have the school nurse MIA while my daughter slept on the cot. meanwhile, a helpful second grader informed me that the nurse would be back soon. nice to know there's supervision going on in that there school.

so the nurse returns and decides that she will go find BC's backpack. considerate and sweet of her, right? wrong. after 10 minutes, i nearly sent out a pack of dogs in search of the nurse, who clearly traveled to Honduras to look for this little princess backpack. (there are only 4 kindergarten classes in the school.) long story short, we went searching for the nurse, the nurse missed us, and voila! more time wasted. ultimately, we found each other and raced out the door. i had 30 minutes to get to the pediatrician's office, a 20 minute ride when it isn't rush hour. which, btw, it now was.

but wait. there's more.

we walk to the car in the parking lot. i open the car door for BC so that she can climb in. "mama," she says sleepily, "where's my car seat?" yes. my beloved BS removed her car seat and put it in the other car that morning. he did not replace it with anything, not even folger's coffee. now, BC is a month and a half shy of 6, which is the age when kids can officially be car-seat-less in our great Commonwealth. however, on this date, there happened to be 50, yes, 50 police officers across the street from BC's school. some wild protest was underway, and they needed a flock of folks in blue to monitor it lest things get ugly, i suppose. my luck. i am breaking the law, and there are many, many cops to witness it.

somehow, i managed to slink by the whole lot. i raced home, found the other car seat, threw it in, got everyone safely belted up, and raced for the doctor's with 20 minutes to spare. only, sadly, the two slowest drivers on G-d's green earth were in front of me. fortunately, BS dozed off in the car. jools, being a toddler, doesn't quite grasp mama's guide to colorful speech. although, i suppose, if i hear him utter the word "fuck" this week, there will be no way of telling his caregiver that he is trying to say something in spanish. i don't think that excuse will work this week.

so whoopee! 2 for the price of 1 at the pediatrician's office. 5 minutes late for my appointment with an office jam-packed full of germy kids. life just doesn't get better than this. and nevermind that i was there two weeks ago with a daughter who had contracted fifths disease. both kids officially have coxsackie disease. nevermind i have been without sick leave since april 1. nevermind that mama has a huge contract to negotiate at work. we can't be bothered with such minor bits. we are far too busy contracting all of the great pediatric rashes of the western hemisphere.

today, hand, foot, and mouth. tomorrow, beri beri.
  • Current Music
    "what'd i say?" - ray charles

the definition of success

my 16 month old son now can sing along with the Stones.

while we drove to pick up BC from school, jools and i listened to "shattered" on the classic rock station. next thing you know it, i hear a little voice from the back seat:

"shat-ta! do be! shat-ta shat-ta."

ok, so it isn't shakespeare.
  • Current Music
    "shattered" - rolling stones

there she goes again...

BC somehow managed to attract every mosquito within a 1 mile radius between the time she walked from our front door to the moment she closed the car door. by that time, she had at least 10 angry mosquito bites, and they looked itchy as hell. the four of us then started our daily drive in to work/camp/day care, and this lovely little chat, worthy of one of those Reader's Digest columns, took place.

BC: mama, why do i get so many mosquito bites?

Me: because, honey, you are so very sweet!

BC thinks a little.

BC: mama, how come they don't bite dada?

Me: because he isn't so sweet.

(BS grimaces.)

BC thinks some more.

BC: mama, how come they bite you?

Me: because i am so sweet, too!

BC pauses.

BC: you know, maybe we should stop eating so much junk food?
  • Current Music
    "yes sir, that's my baby"

syd barrett is not baby friendly.

i've been home all week with a very sick little boy. by wednesday afternoon, i came down with a bit of what he had, so i wasn't feeling stellar, either. by today, though, we were both on the mend.

that being said, we've been in the house a lot. i've been putting on all sorts of music thanks to my subscription to comcast rhapsody. its like having an even larger record cabinet. through it, we've learned that my little Do loves brazilian samba soul.

but Do does not appreciate syd barrett or any early pink floyd. in fact, it creeped him out so bad, he toddled out of the room as fast as his little chubs could carry him.
  • Current Music
    bike - pink floyd

pleased to report

today, jools decided to develop three new and exciting skills.

1) he now says "uh oh!" sometimes appropriately, even.

2) he loves to dance. he does a little deep-knee action. like he's dropping a load in his diaper. repeatedly. he does it whether he is listening to music (the favorite du jour - "polly wolly doodle" by dan zanes (formerly of the del-fu-egos, as we like to sing it in this house thanks to juliana hatfield) or whether he has just pushed the little button next to his horsie's ear. it sounds a bit like the pythons hitting the coconuts in "holy grail."

3) he shakes his head "no." usually, he does this when mommy is singing.

in short, i'm in trouble.
  • Current Music
    polly wolly doodle - dan zanes and sheryl crow

they taste like chicken!

BC is completely wigged out by the cicadas. she begs me to carry her to the car; begs me to carry her everywhere. they are dead and dying; they are flying about. its really gross, to be honest, and i am grateful i don't have to feign interest in these disgusting, wriggly things that are eating up my hostas.

so there we were, on our way to hebrew school, when BC spotted a bunch of cicadas on the walk. "mama, PLEASE pick me up, they're there, they're THERE!" she is frightened as hell, so i do what any other mother does - i pick her up, her long, gangly legs wrapping furiously around my waist in an effort to avoid all contact with the pavement.

then up bounds her little friend Zach - all bright-eyed in that way only three-year-old boys can muster. "Look!" he says enthusiastically as he thrusts something in BC's face. "I brought my bug catcher FULL OF CICADAS!"

i thought my daughter was going to faint dead away.

BC is well on her way to inheriting the kind of awful luck and timing that her dear old ma possess ;-)
  • Current Music
    "the itsy-bitsy spider" - carly simon (yeccch)

death and friends

well, you can't exactly start humming uplifting tunes with a subject like that, can you.

two colleagues of mine lost fathers/stepfathers this week, one last night. one is a colleague who i really particularly have grown fond of over the past few months. i feel pretty terrible for him - his dad was very ill for a long time, and the measures taken to help him only made things worse due to inept caregivers. while i imagine my colleague is relieved on some level to not have to handle the stress of really poor care for his dad, i am quite sure there is a bit of grieving going on. as i have only known this person for about 6 months, i wouldn't dream of imposing myself into the situation. i want to be respectful. i want to be thoughtful. i just wish there was something i could do. death makes us all realize how futile our efforts can be at times. our efforts to comfort can never truly match the efforts of time.

it makes me realize on a certain level, though, how fortunate i have been to once again find a group of people who i get to spend each day arguing with, laughing with, and really enjoying. i even have a great team who amaze me most days with their sense of humor, their terrific work, and just their plain kindness. (not to mention their tolerance for my off sense of humor. at least i don't get the david brent award. yet.) i have been lucky, over the years, to mostly find funny, warm, and intelligent people in my immediate work circles. sure, there are those who i didn't click with - that is just inevitable. you can't like everyone, and not everyone will like you. once you get over that, it's all gravy. i mean, shoot, i am actually still friends with most of my former supervisors! and not because i kiss up, either. i have never been very good at that, and i frankly don't need to do that, even if i could. it isn't my style, which probably is why there are a few folks out there who are not terribly fond of me. oh well.

anyway, i am even boring myself at this point. i guess i am feeling a bit somber. i guess death isn't something i really enjoy talking about. maybe woody allen can make a career out of it. but i don't think i can. not today, anyway.
  • Current Music
    "goodbye" - elton john

natural childbirth?

just inspired by a discussion about artificial milk (READ: formula) and how some terms people use are sometimes not as sensitive as they might be... i just posted this to dcurbanmoms, and i will likely get skewered for it in the morning... here we go...

this discussion reminds me a little of another term i so enjoy hearing bandied about: "natural childbirth."

as opposed to what - unnatural childbirth?

i know historically, there was a time when mothers were completely anesthetized before childbirth. i know, also, because by the time my mom had me, baby #3, her OB didn't believe her when she told him that she was in labor. by the time anyone dealt with her, she had no drugs -- nothing -- and had me - something she hadn't expected as a mom in the 1960s. in a word, as she put it, "ouch." (and boy, was she mad when the OB, who was too busy on the golf course apparently, billed her for delivery services when she knew full well that he wasn' t there -- only the nuns and the nurses, LOL!) i know we have come a long way (baby), and how wonderful that people have so many options - and also more medical safeguards for the baby's and mother's life, should they be necessary. bully for the women (and men) who helped us evolve to this point.

but natural?

ok, i opted for an epidural. for me, i was able to be more focused with this medical intervention. but i still sweated like a longshoreman and huffed and puffed and worked pretty freaking hard to have my children. i would call it unnatural if, perhaps, someone decided to try and extract my babies through, i dunno, my nostrils (which, if that was biologically possible and the only way they could do it to keep them alive and healthy, you know i would have given it my best shot, unnatural or not.)

gosh, i sure wish advocates would call it something like "drug-free" instead of "natural" childbirth. everyone who experiences childbirth experiences a natural experience, no matter how many drugs or interventions, imho. after having my first child, i know i *really* didn't appreciate it when someone close to me tried to put me down because i had an epidural (gasp!) while she not only had multiple drug-free births, but also remained a size 3. she acted as if she was the winner of the ironman baby birthing competition. all i could think was: 1) how wonderful that you had the choice to have those healthy, drug-free births - but hell, my goal was to have a healthy baby and make it through myself - by any means necessary; and 2) how i hate you for being a size 3 ;-) (just joking on the latter point, btw. some of my dearest friends are size 3s, so please, don't jump on me for this one.)

anyway, just a thought. a rambly one, but a thought nonetheless. here's to natural childbirth - drug-free; with drugs; C-sections; VBACs; and everything else that i am too tired to list. we all want healthy babies and we all want to live through the experience as well. by any means necessary, i say.
  • Current Music
    "court and spark" - joni mitchell

ask a silly question...

BC: momma, where do you park a love car?

Me: (not knowing where this is leading or what a love car is, but realizing we just read the book "Wig," a very silly children's book that is an illustrated book set to the B-52s song): i don't know, honey. where do you park a love car?

BC (spoken like barry white) : in the loooooooooove parking lot, mama!

i don't know what that means, but i nearly fell off BC's bed when she said that.

in other news, BS is sick. basically, we got home, he went upstairs, and that is pretty much all i've seen of him. i am currently living a glamorous life. i am cleaning poopy baby clothing (someone had a blowout this morning that covered him, literally from head to toe, in poop -- and apparently, he had another one at school. joy.) i am doing dishes. i am ordering water filters for our system - apparently, we have lead in our water system, just like DC. i meant to do this a month ago, but today's washington post was definitely a kick in the pants.
  • Current Music
    "wig" - b52s