The Boy With The Crazy Hair

See? I’m back! I didn’t lie …

One of the reasons I was gone so long was because I took one whole week off work for the Monkey’s birthday. It just seemed right, and we had an AWESOME time. As part of the Monkey-Palooza birthday week, the Hubbs and I took the little guy to get his first hair cut.

As you can see from the image on the left, he needed it. And that was a GOOD hair day. The Hubbs was referring to the Monkey as “Light-Socket Boy” for months, because whenever he’d wake up in the morning, his bed head resembled … well … someone who had stuck their finger in a light socket.

So here’s the background: We took the Monkey to see the lady who has been cutting my little brother’s hair for … at least 20 years. She’s great with kids, and she’s quick.

My dad originally scoffed at me for wanting to go to an actual barber for this experience. My reply was that IF the Monkey freaked out, I’d lose my nerve and he’d end up with a half-finished bowl cut. You know, cause I rock the Asian pride that way. Either that, or I’d scalp him or cut of the top of one ear and he’s go through elementary school as “Elf Boy.”

And ya’ll know I just couldn’t do THAT to him. So off to the barber we went. In the first picture, we have the classic barber cape being secured to me and the Monkey. Note his expression. He’s not sure about her. He’s giving her “The big eyes”. Also note the binky. The clasped toy — which, by the way, I have NO idea how he got it all the way to the barber because it’s a TUB TOY that isn’t supposed to leave the tub. So Mr. Octopus-Man got to witness the whole shebang.

“OHMYGAWD she’s touching me! Make her stop! It hurts?! IT HURTS!” Oh, if you want what he literally said?

“NAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

The barber had given him a blue comb to play with while she combed his hair. Truthfully, he was fine while she wet his hair down. Fine while she combed his hair. But the SECOND she touched those scissors to his hair? Nuclear meltdown. He was vigorously shaking his head from side to side. Bobbing and weaving to avoid the shears. He was quick like a butterfly, but couldn’t sting (or run) because I had my arms locked around his waist.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I WAS RIGHT, and that if he had pulled this when I was cutting his hair, he would still look like Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

“How could you let this happen, Momma? I thought you LOVED ME! Mean Mommy! Mean Mommy!”

The pleading expression. The eyebrows. Mr. Octopus-Man is completely upside down. (I’m actually surprised he’s still around at this point.) Me cajoling him with “Oh, you’re FINE. Really!” is SO not working. In terms of what he actually said? It was just one long stream — and it consisted of one word that he choked out between huge sobs:
“Momma … momma … momma …”

Why yes, I DID feel rather heartless by not heeding him. Thank you very much for asking …

And see? It wasn’t so bad after all! He’s still in one piece. The binky magically stayed in his mouth the entire time. Mr. Octopus-Man is right-side up again. The evil barber lady is no longer touching his head …

All is well with the world once more!

And I’m totally biased, but look at how FREAKING cute he is! Just look! He’s a little MAN now! He won’t have to blink his bangs out of his eyes anymore! And for the record, he’s had girls cooing at him and making eyes at him since he got the haircut, so it was DEFINITELY a good move.

As for the aftermath, it turns out that I haven’t scarred him for life. He doesn’t hate me. He still loves me. Internet, I give you FORGIVENESS (and quite possibly relief):

Back From The Grave

So … life has been a WEE bit hectic lately — hence me not posting since early this month. Sorry about that — all four or so readers. ūüôā

I’m still working on a couple of … um … personal things, but I promise new posts and pictures in the near future!

Pictures featuring crazy-haired boy (aka the Monkey) and his first haircut; and a wrap-up of the birthday week extravaganza.

More to come soon! Really! (Don’t look at me like that …)

xoxo
The Monkey Momma

The Art Of Self-Feeding

He’s trying, but the Monkey hasn’t mastered the art of self-feeding. Half of his shredded cheese ends up in his lap instead of his mouth. Animal cookies lose their heads and feet before being flung across the dining room during a particularly passionate babble. And yogurt … the boy LOVES yogurt. He’s like a mini Michael Weston with his addiction.

He allowed me to feed him half the container before insisting on taking on spoon responsibilities by himself. At first, he was all poise and manners — dipping the spoon carefully into the plastic container and then bringing the yogurt into his mouth. Maybe he wasn’t getting enough on the spoon. Maybe his wrist was getting tired. Maybe he just wanted to use his hands. But madness — and hilarity — ensued.

So this is my child … on yogurt. And after dinner? He went straight into the tub.

On Being A Baseball Widow

**disclaimer: I like baseball. I enjoy watching it at the stadium and on TV. Just not every day … **

The Hubbs says goodbye to me every spring, about a week before he asks me to vacate the house for a couple hours on a random weekend so he can focus on his fantasy baseball draft. I know its coming weeks in advance: The Amazon shipment of the annual Baseball Prospectus heralds the beginning of the end. When it arrives, he tears into the packaging and reverently picks up the book, running his thumb down the spine, caressing its crisp corners, cupping its weight against his body.

From that moment on, that book haunts me. It absorbs him at the dinner table, making small talk impossible. It sits beside him, open-faced, on the couch — regaling me to the recliner. It sits beside him in the office, graces his bedside table. For all I know, its in the shower with him each morning.

He’s reunited with his lover — and I take turns at being amused and annoyed with the two of them.

That being said, Hubbs has turned down his love affair these past few years. At one point, he was in no less than six fantasy baseball leagues. Team management took up all of his free time. I barely saw him. When I had prepared a beautiful dinner one night of steak with red wine and shallot sauce¬†with smashed roasted garlic potatoes and broccoli, he brought the laptop to the table and ignored me, absorbed in his stats.¬†That’s when I lost it. I continued to “lose it” during the baseball season — which seems to last 75% of each year. After that, he vowed to cut down on the teams. When I got pregnant with the Monkey, I made him promise — to swear — that he’d cut down on the teams again. Because I wasn’t going to be a single parent. To his credit,¬†he did.

This year, he’s down to two leagues. He only picks up the book or goes online when I have the Monkey or after the baby’s in bed. Even then, he still makes an effort to spend time with me, which I appreciate. But it doesn’t mean that I’m not nervous.

Baseball sings a siren song.

Last night, opening night, he sat glued to the TV flipping between two games before and after dinner. When something loud happened during the meal, he was up in a flash, leaning around me to see the action. After putting the baby to bed and talking to my parents, I joined him on the couch for the eighth inning. I did my usual — who’s that, how did we get him, what position does he play? — bit for the new team members. Usually he’ll be amused, but take pride in telling me their stats, their strengths, whether he thought they were a good trade/deal on the free agent market.

But last night, those questions were annoying. My voice was annoying. My presence was annoying. Last night he was focused on his lover. And since she was away for so long, I’m assuming he didn’t want his wife intruding on their quality time.

I’ll be honest: It’s really hard not to be bitter about it sometimes. Its hard to be understanding. It’s a world that I’m shut out of — not that I have the time or inclination to delve into it.

In the end, once the honeymoon period is over, we’ll get him back. (Well, mostly.) In the meantime, I’ll be mourning.

I’ve just been baseball widowed.

Snot-Faced

He came home from day care on Wednesday with clear snot running from both nostrils and a mild fever. The cough started at dinner time, making his little body spasm and hunch forward from the force. I cajoled him into eating four bites of applesauce and two spoonfuls of yogurt. He didn’t even want a bottle or to nurse.

The Monkey is sick. Those words still have the power to make me shiver in terror. In any of the previous 11 months of the Monkey’s life, teething or illness meant a week of sleepless nights spent upright in a chair, near-continuous steam sessions in the shower, and nasal spray.

Thursday morning, snot and mucous still streaming from his nose and coughs getting worse, we beat the doctors to the clinic for a check-in. No fever. No ear infection. Lungs sound good. It’s a cold. Make sure he drinks liquids, keep him warm, wipe the snot, use saline solution up his nose, and baths can help clear the mucous. Make sure the humidifier is on. We could try Vicks baby rub. All were things we were already doing.

We were just going to have to ride it out.

Thursday night, we lingered over tub time, hoping the steam and warm water would help clear some of the snot. I suctioned the visible snot out of his nose, swabbed out a couple of boogers, and added saline solution. I gently rubbed the baby rub onto his chest before zipping up his pjs. I elevated his head a little more than usual, and turned the humidifier on high.

I prepped myself for a long night: I laid out my warmest bathrobe and wore fuzzy socks to bed. I had a spare blanket on the side table in the hall. I even had a bottle filled with room-temperature water ready to go in the microwave¬†case he couldn’t nurse when he woke up.

It was for nothing. For the first time, the Monkey had a cold and slept normally. I woke up refreshed, surprised, and happy. Because its anecdotal evidence that he’s growing out of some of his structural issues. Because it means that the little bumps in life won’t hit him as hard as I had imagined. Because, selfishly, it meant that I wouldn’t be a zombie for the next week.

His symptoms peaked Friday, and we kept him home from day care. His nose was a constant stream of snot … and it may have ruined my sweater. The entire day he clung to me. He didn’t want to sit NEXT to me, he had to sit ON my lap, partially to one side, so he could lean back and rest against my chest and arm. We watched two episodes of “Sesame Street” and half of a “Word World”.¬†He wouldn’t sleep in his crib for naps, but when laying upright against my chest or when held in our Ergo carrier, he slept for an hour. My potty breaks were met with tears, hiccups,¬†coughs, and wails of “Mama! Mama! Mama!”

In other words, he was hyper-clingy. By the time Hubbs got home, we were both exhausted.

He couldn’t nurse that night. I had to pump and give him the bottle of expressed breastmilk. He laid back on his pillow, guzzling as quickly as he could. When he was done, I handed him his binky, told him I loved him, and left the room. He slept until 2 a.m., nursed quickly and easily, and went back to sleep until 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

And while he was still extra-clingy over the weekend, his symptoms improved. He was good about taking naps. And he slept normally at night. THIS is why many parents are nonchalant about their kids getting a cold. Its hard, yes, but not soul-crushing. I never understood it before. For us, colds were harbingers of doom. But this? THIS?

This must be what NORMAL feels like.