Monthly Archives: April 2011

Wuv You

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It happened on Wednesday night when I opened the back door to get Robbie out of the car. As I peered into the car, Robbie turned from his car seat, looked at me, broke into a huge grin, and said, “Wuv you”. To me. Unprompted. For the first time in his life. And I think he really meant it.

Later that night, Robbie was in bed and I was rummaging around in our room getting ready for our vacation. I kept hearing, “Mama! Mama! Mama!” After the fourth or fifth time, I finally asked Robbie what he needed. The response? He giggle followed by, “Wuv you, Mama.” That was all it took; my heart melted for a second time.

I stopped rooting through my drawers and went in to see Robbie. We made googlie eyes at each other for a few minutes before I reached into his crib to give him a hug. Robbie held me tight and said “happy” a few times. I’m not sure that he’s ever hugged me back before. Well, other than when I’m torturing him by leaving him with a babysitter or, worse yet, his father.

I always know that I love my son, even on the days when it’s hard to like him. But it’s days like this that I know I live for him, for the moments when there is nowhere I’d rather be than listening to him laugh and play and even call my name a hundred times. Especially when it’s followed with a “wuv you.”

NASCAR

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Justin sent me an email today letting me know that he went to Babies R Us over lunch. To buy clothes for Robbie. After we spent money at both Kohl’s and Target this weekend getting him outfitted for our cruise next week. Generally speaking, Justin is not allowed to shop for clothes by himself because he goes overboard. Today, we made an amendment to that. Justin is not allowed to shop for clothes by himself because he has no taste.

Rob wears Polo shirts (generic, of course) and madras shorts. He wears shirts with dangerous animals on them (Justin’s rules – nothing wussy or cuddly for our kid!). Robbie dresses like a little Justin. Minus the every day button down shirts and Chinos. We save those for special occasions.

So, when Robbie and I got home today, Justin proudly showed off his purchases. He’d received a $10 coupon and only spent $7. That should have been the first alarm. Justin smiled broadly as he pulled the first outfit from the bag. And I nearly dropped Robbie I started laughing so hard. He bought a bright yellow muscle tee and some long jean shorts. You know, a little something like this:

Pass the coozies! And bring on the NASCAR. I think we have a new fan.

Walking the Walk

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Robbie, Barkley, and I went for a walk around the block this morning. It took us nearly 45 minutes. Robbie picked up every piece of mulch, tossed every rock, and walked up every front walk. He threw his hat up in the air and ran the other way when I leaned down to pick it up. Robbie helped hold the leash. He raced up the hill on the third leg of the block. He tried to help carry the dog bag after Barkley pooped but declared it to “tinky” after closer inspection.

Barkley helped along the way by stopping to sniff every tree and light post. He stepped on and around his leash. He purposefully ran the opposite direction of Robbie after the “throw-the-hat-and-run” game. And I thought it was so tough when it was Barkley and the stroller… I had no idea what was coming down the pike.

It’s afternoons like this that make me realize why I need an hour at the gym before coming home for dinner and bath time. I can’t keep up with my kid. He makes me tired and frazzled (and exceedingly happy). But, in all candor, it takes less energy to run five miles than it does to chase my kid around the block…

Time

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As my mom says, “The days are long but the years are short.” As spring starts to finally reveal itself, I find myself realizing how true this is. Justin, Robbie, and I took a walk to the park yesterday and we passed many of the families on our street. The one with young children? Except now they’re in second and third grade. And my baby? Running down the sidewalk at break-neck speed. It just all seemed so… Wrong. I am supposed to be pushing a baby in a stroller. The neighborhood kids are supposed to still be in pre-school and kindergarten. I am still supposed to be in my twenties.

But, time goes on. Justin and I spent some time today on the front porch while Robbie took a nap looking back at our life in Boston – and speaking with nostalgia about our time in Georgia. I’m not sure when, exactly, we changed. I know it was gradual, the evolution of ourselves and our marriage. Some days I long for Warner Robins, for summers with cookouts and beers. For Friday nights at Margaritaville. For Sundays longing for an open liquor store – or even a restaurant that would serve it. Others, I think about how much easier life was when we rented an apartment. About how excited we were to move to Boston, all the adventures we had that first year here. And now, I look back to life in our house before Robbie was born. And when he was just a baby and the house was mostly still ours.

I would love to go back. Not to do anything different, but maybe just to enjoy it more. Relish being carefree. Take more time to enjoy Justin and the little family that was just the two of us. Savor the time when Robbie was just a baby and not a toddler, yearning for independence. And, maybe, that’s the real reason I blog. Just to be able to savor. To make the years a little longer, too. After all, how long will Robbie be yelling, “Ready! Ready!” while Justin and I scurry to get everything we need to head out the door. All the while, holding a sand shovel and my purse. Yeah, I think I’ll take the long days.

Hat Head

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We’ve gone through different stages with Robbie. You know, balloons, eating only oranges, balls. We’ve been on hats for a while but last night took it to an all new level.

Since we had parent night last night, Robbie stayed at day care until a little after 7:00. When I got there, Zhining asked me if we usually put Robbie in “double pajamas.” I must have looked confused, so she explained that there were two pairs of pajamas in Robbie’s backpack. So she put both pairs on him. About that time, Robbie popped up from the crib, smiled at me, and said, “Hot, mama. Hot.”

We got home after a few pictures of Robbie in his double pajamas, and Robbie went to sleep with his hat on his head, water in his cup, and Moo the giraffe tucked under his arm. And I didn’t think anything else about the hat. Until 5:45 this morning when I got up to go to the bathroom.

By the time I got back upstairs, Roberto was wide awake and calling for me. I walked into his room to change him, and there he was. Standing in his crib, grin on his face, hat on his head. And it didn’t come off until near bathtime tonight.

Potty Time

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I’ve been waiting for this moment for the past year. Specifically, since I bought him a potty for $5 at a consignment sale when he was nine months old. It’s been sitting in our bathroom due to lack of storage, taunting Robbie with its singing handle and toilet paper roll. Robbie plays with it occasionally, putting toilet paper or a shoe in. You know, productive stuff.

Tonight, we hit a turning point. Robbie stood up in the bathtub, said “Poop”, and then tried to climb out of the tub. I asked if he had to poop and he said, “Pee pee”. We talked for a minute about going to the potty. I asked Robbie if he had to go to the potty. He looked at me and said, “Pee pee” again. And then he did it! All over the floor.

I screamed, “In the potty!”, making Robbie jump, and, in turn, stop going to the bathroom. He looked at the potty and back at me, smiled, and ran to the potty to sit down. He never did use the potty tonight, but he sat on it and told me what he should do on the potty. It’s the first time he’s ever seemed to really get what the potty is for.

I know it’s best not to be too optimistic. But, we leave for our cruise in nine days and Roberto can’t go in the pool if he’s still in diapers. I know I always work best with a deadline; maybe it’ll work for my kid.

On Your Mark…

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Last April, Justin and our friends Micah and Allie ran a 10K in Cohasset. Robbie and I waited at the finish line. Listening to them talk about the race made me decide that I was done being the fat wife at the finish line. Even though I’d been told that I would never be able to run, I decided I was going to. Slowly but surely, I built up my endurance and even managed to run some 5Ks without stopping.

But this Sunday I took it to a new level… You know the aforementioned Cohasset 10K? Yeah, I ran it this weekend. Seriously. Micah and Allie picked me up Sunday morning and we headed down. I met up with my friend Anna from the gym and we were all set o run it together. And run it we did.

We might have been slow, but, by God, we were steady. We ran all but about 200 yards of the race. Including the monster hills. Sure, my time wasn’t exactly what I was aiming for (1:15 was the target; 1:22;45 was the actual) but I don’t care. I did it. And you know what? It felt great. I’m so ready to sign up for my next one!

Saturday

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I was nervous about Saturday. Terrified, actually. I was facing 48 hours of alone time with Rob Manna, a daunting feat for even a more experienced, kind, and patient mother than I. So I did what any of you would have done: I over-planned. We dropped Barkley off at PetSmart and were at the gym by 8:30. I ran/walked/made it through four miles and Robbie played nicely by himself for an hour. Then it was off to Jenny Craig for a big weigh-in. Last week, I lost 4.2 pounds (meaning 28 pounds since January and 80 pounds since Robbie was born).

Since I hit such a milestone, I decided I needed a change. I felt different and needed to look different. It was time for a new haircut. I wanted to go drastic but wasn’t at all sure the direction that should take… Having worked hard for the last two years to get “long” hair, I didn’t want to go too short. And I have a very definite part, which makes bangs difficult. Thus, the reason I’ve had the same haircut for the past six years… But, after much discussion, we took off an inch-and-a-half, cleaned up and shortened the layers, and cut some sweeping bangs. I have to be honest; I looked fabulous! Just like the new person I felt like inside. It feels nice to finally match how I feel.

After a brief nap, Robbie and I hit the road for a, well, road trip. We headed up to Salisbury Beach to the arcade on the boardwalk. A friend of mine works there, and she suggested I bring Roberto up for a little while when I mentioned my apprehension about our weekend alone. She tossed me a roll of quarters and told me to have fun. Robbie just stood there, in awe of the big kids, flashing lights, and ringing bells. And then he was off! Running around like a madman, throwing balls, hitting buttons.

We hit the skee ball slopes first – one of my favorites! Robbie tried to throw the balls up the ramps for a little while but quickly grew tired of it. He figured out a better way: climbing the ramp and walking to the end to throw the ball in one of the holes. Unfortunately for our ticket gain, Robbie tended to just throw it into the gutter…

He rode the bulldozer and took his turn at the merry-go-round. He straddled a motorcycle and tried to drive fast cars. Robbie bopped ‘gators on the head and tried to feed Big Bertha. He shot some basketballs and had nice people give him their tickets. And he left with not one but two balls.

We made it home in time to pick Barkley up from PetSmart, make a batch of cookie dough, and toss Rob into the tub before heading out to watch the Kentucky game (well, I guess it turned into the UConn game, but whatever).

Part of what I really like about Robbie growing up is that he’s a great partner-in-crime. He has a great sense of humor and likes to have a good time. He’ll laugh for a good five minutes and dance his head off and not care that anyone’s watching. If anything, this Saturday, I learned that I need to live my life a little more like my son. And that’s a lesson I definitely needed to learn.

Head Banging

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It’s been a long two days. Very, very long. Temper tantrums galore. Usually, they amuse me. Robbie slowly sits down on the floor, looks behind him, and lays down – all while screaming loudly and checking to make sure I’m watching. And then he does it. He starts banging his head on the floor. Repeatedly.

Lately, though, they haven’t been quite so entertaining. This is probably because Rob and I have been on our own for five days now, and the temper tantrums have occurred daily. Actually, it’s often two or three times a day. In the morning, after he’s changed and I dare put him down to finish getting dressed myself. When I pick him up from daycare and he has to stop playing and put his coat on to go home with his terrible mother. At the gym when he has to play in the kid’s area while I run (although, lately, he’s gotten better about this; today he quietly played for the full 70 minutes!). And then at home when dinner isn’t just what he wanted or I dare put him in the bathtub. Last night, he screamed like a banshee when I picked him up and tried to put him in the tub. It took five minutes to get him in (I know I should pick my fights, but he was filthy). When I did, he screamed like I was pouring boiling water over him instead of the then tepid water.

I wound up getting Robbie up before I went to bed last night. I brought him in bed to cuddle with me, to let me have a few nice moments with him. He didn’t wake up, but he did move around to snuggle a little closer to me. I tried to keep those moments in mind this morning when the meltdowns of Day Five kicked in. Literally. I got kicked in the face at 7:07 this morning and didn’t respond well to it. Fortunately, tempter-tantrum-having-toddlers tend to quickly forgive their temper-tantrum-having mothers.