Tuesday, February 21, 2012

balance bike missionaries

We bought jj a balance bike for Christmas (it was $30 at Costco but I don't know if they are selling them now for some reason). Have you heard of them? They look like regular bikes but don't have any pedals, so your kid learns how to balance without having to worry about pedaling. jj rides his pretty regularly, sometimes to the park, most of the time just around our backyard. At first he didn't seem to like it much and fell over a lot, but then he started being able to go pretty fast while keeping his feet off the ground.

Today while at his friend Liam's house, he hopped on Liam's real bike and was able to ride it all by himself from that moment on, without any help or training. He didn't have any accidents, even riding on a downhill slope. He loved it! Yay!

So... I guess now we are the balance bike missionaries. You should get one for your kiddo because apparently they really do work! Looks like we'll be getting jj a real bike for his birthday... (shhh don't tell him)

here's a short vid of him riding while my friend Nola, Liam's mom, looks on:

I guess this also goes to show that you never know what your kid can do until you let him try.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Morning

Note: After reading the following story (which, by the way, is a pretty typical one for me lately), you might be tempted to jump right onto the judging wagon and think it’s shameful or unfortunate that I’m adding another little life to the world when clearly I can’t handle the ones I’ve got. If you are, please go read someone else's blog about how perfect and adorable and angelic their children are instead. What I know with certainty is that this is the right time and the right place for me to be having another little baby, and that being a good mom to multiple kids is just really hard work and often embarrassing. I also know that I might not take my kids out in public ever again. At least until they are in their 20's.

It starts out innocently enough with a trip to Target. Things start to get a little restless when I am on the phone with my sis-in-law and stop paying as much attention to the boys. Bennett starts progressively getting whinier. Then he’s crying and I notice that he has wedged both of his legs and himself all the way up to his tummy into one of the shopping cart footholes. It gets the attention of two different ladies, and all three of us perform the not-so-delicate maneuver of trying to pull him up out of the hole without injuring his tummy all while he’s crying desperately.

He seems happier after being unstuck, and even flashes a smile at the helpful ladies as we walk away (this surprises me because lately it’s been impossible to predict what he will do in any given situation). Bennett expresses concern, however, that we are headed outside and might be going home, so I tell him we will go to the park. Heck, the kids are, all things considered, in good moods, and now that the shopping cart incident is over, it’s no biggie. Bring it on, world; it isn’t even lunchtime yet.

We arrive at the park, a new one we haven’t been to before, and to my chagrin, I soon realize it’s one of those bathroomless parks. Who designs these wastes of space? I also notice that the park is packed. Packed packed packed with people, a lot of them elderly Asian people socializing as well as plenty of children. It’s also a big park with lots of different play equipment parts so immediately it’s difficult to keep track of both of my kids at once.

Bennett and I head over to the swings and I’m about to put him in when a lady rushes over to pick him up and put him in instead. I indicate that I’m just fine putting him in myself, but she insists. Then when I’m about to start pushing him, another, older Asian lady rushes over to push him. “No, no, no,” she says when I imply that I’m perfectly capable of pushing a two-year old in a swing. I mean, I know I’m 8 months pregnant, but Bennett isn’t exactly a tank. She pushes him for a while and I try to figure out when I can run over to check on Joshy on the big kid playground equipment since this perfect stranger is pushing my child in the swing and I’m standing there kind of uselessly. I know Joshy’s up there somewhere but there’s so many kids it’s hard to tell. Finally I spot him and call out his name and wave to him until he sees me.

We play there for a while, and I start really, really needing the restroom. I’m at the point these days that I need to go about once an hour, and more often than that if I’m walking around a lot. I tell Joshy we’re going to have to go pretty soon and he says he needs the restroom too. Fast forward a couple of minutes: I’ve warned the boys that we need to go and I’m trying to get them rounded up to get them out of there but neither of them wants to leave. I’m helping Bennett on a last climbing excursion on the equipment when suddenly I hear,

“Moooooom! I pooped my pants!”

Yes, that voice belongs to someone who belongs to me. I desperately begin to search around for him. I find him, and realize that he is on the top of the big kid playground equipment …. AND HE HAS PULLED DOWN HIS PANTS AND HIS UNDERWEAR.

I’m shocked beyond belief and by this time plenty of people are looking at us. I try to get him to come down, but he utterly refuses, continuing to run along above my head. People around me are gasping.

So I start climbing one of the ladders to get up to reach him. More shocked gasps. Even some yelled ‘NO!’s as the people around me realize that not only do I want to push my own baby on the swings, but I also *gasp* climb onto the playground equipment with my big ol’ pregnant belly! Amidst disapproving protests, I climb up to the top, where I find Joshy who has run away from me and finally pulled his pants back up. I explain to him in a confidential tone that we don’t pull our pants down in public and try to convince him to get down so we can go home.

At this point a construction worker/maintenance looking guy in a vest comes over to the play equipment and asks me if everything is okay. “I saw you on your way up to the top and saw him with his pants down and I wanted to make sure things were all right, you know?” This embarrasses me and creeps me out at the same time and I just want to get out of there.

At some point during all this, Joshy finally runs off in the direction of the car which is a little further than I am comfortable with but now I have to get Bennett so we can go after him.

Bennett utterly refuses to acknowledge that yes, the time has come to leave the park. He starts screaming and runs away from me. I balance my time between trying to pick up his cavorting, writhing, violently thrashing little body and trying to keep track of where Joshy has gone. Finally I get a good grip on Bennett (who is screaming at the top of his lungs and doing his best to make it impossible for me to hold him) by tucking one arm around him and carrying him on my side. I take off after Joshy who is hiding behind a tree somewhere across the grass by our parked car.

Bennett refuses to let up, but finally I manage to land him in the car and close the door behind him (automatic locks would be so nice, by the way) so he can’t run into the street. Joshy is still refusing to get anywhere near me until somebody kindly asks him how fast he can run to his mommy and he runs toward me.

Both kids are now in the car and the only way I get them buckled in is by giving them fruit snacks.

I wonder what all those nice old ladies are saying about me back at the park.