Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Let's Get An Ice Cream!

My daughter Lauren (4) loves going to the doctor.  She always has.  She's the only kid I've ever seen that actually gets excited when she hears a trip to the dr is on the agenda.  This goes for both regular check-ups as well as visits when she's sick.  Strep throat culture?  Bring it on!  Check the ears for infection?  Pee in a cup?  Check and check.  I've actually seen her...sick as sick could be after vomiting all night...get excited about the prospect of heading to the Dr for a hydration check.   She enjoys being the patient and all the doting and attention that comes along with it.  There's a certain drama to it fact I've seen her - on route to the dr's office - sitting in the back in her carseat with the back of her hand dramatically thrown over her forehead and she gazes out the window - Scarlett O'Hara style.  In fact, this year for Halloween she's even chosen to be a nurse....

  Clearly, her dramatic flair comes from Brian.  Anyone who knows Brian can attest to the fact that he's quite the drama king.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and has been known on many occasions to break into song - both singing and dancing - while in the middle of the grocery store.  He also enjoys tap dancing, playing dress up, watching old Judy Garland movies, and talking about feelings over chamomile tea.   I'm kidding, of course...well, except for the dress up thing.  (Brian, if you're reading you know where my grey pencil skirt went??)

Anyway, Ben (3) on the other hand, hates going to the doctor.  So much so that I actually have to lie to get him to the dr. I have to tell him where going to buy sneakers or something.  I feel awful doing it, and I'm sure he's scarred for life because of it...but after the incident the other day, I've learned it's the only way...what incident?? you ask?  Here you have it...and welcome to crazytown...

 Last week both kids were coughing, sneezing, runny noses...and both were running a temp of around 100 degrees.  This obviously warranted a trip to the dr, who totally rocks and was nice enough to fit us in that same afternoon.  So I secretly told Lauren, and it went without saying we wouldn't mention it to Ben.  Of course just as we were about to leave the house, I totally slipped up and said something about going to the Dr's.  Course, once Ben caught wind of that, all hell broke loose.  He immediately took off his coat and sat in the middle of the living room floor and refused to go.  I tried telling him the dr. would only examine Lauren, but he wasn't buying it.  So I decided to take a hard line and told him he was going whether he liked it or not. That he was sick and the dr needed to check him to see if he needs medicine. He blatantly refused. We now had 10 minutes to get to the Dr - who luckily is right down the street from us - so I figured I had a little time to bribe him into going. Wasn't happening.  He laid in the middle of the floor and went limp like a protester about to be arrested.  I literally had to drag him out of the house kicking and screaming.  This was no easy task.  By the time I dragged him to the car and managed to shove him in the backseat, I was out of breath and just exacerbated.  We now had 2 minutes to get to the Dr's office.  Lauren was of course in her carseat buckled and waiting eagerly, watching the Ben fiasco unfold.   Once I had him in the car, he went limp on the floor and refused to get into his carseat.  At this point, he was in full meltdown mode and I physically couldn't force him into the carseat.  So I got in the car, started it and told him that if he wasn't in his carseat and buckled in (he can do it himself) by the time I start to drive, that the police were going to come and arrest him for not obeying the law.  Being sick and already upset, this threat just threw him into a tailspin, and he basically turned into a rabid animal backed into a corner. Lauren - who still doesn't quite get the fact these are just empty threats - started freaking out, crying, telling him "Hurry up Ben!!! So the police don't put you in jail!"  Which made him protest more, and Lauren get more upset.  2 hysterical kids, both sick, one on the floor - and we were late for the Dr.  All I could think was the Dr wouldn't take us when we got there because we missed the window of time and wouldn't be available.  Beyond frustrated and totally affected by the 2 kids screaming and crying, I can only imagine what my blood pressure was at that moment.  I made one last ditch attempt at screaming at Ben to get in his no avail.  And then I finally did what any mom on the brink of crazy would do - I called my mother.  My mother should be recommended for sainthood, as she will answer her cell phone anytime I call in the event it's some type of emergency.  She'll even answer it when she's in a meeting with a room full of hospital executives.  So my poor mother answers her phone to hear Ben flipping out, Lauren crying hysterically, me screaming "I think I see the police coming!" to Ben in hopes of scaring him straight.  "OH MY GOD!!!  WHAT'S WRONG MELISSA???!!!!"  I can vaguely hear my mom saying over all the craziness.  I gave her the 5 second version of the goings on and once she realized we were ok - crazy as all hell, but ok - she told me to be careful driving and to text her when we get to the Dr so she knew we made it ok.  We hung up, and I hugged my steering wheel and started crying, totally defeated. What else could I do?  While I was there, I thought maybe a quick prayer would help this situation, so I silently asked God - "Please don't let me lose my shit".   In those exact words.  "Don't let me lose my shit".  Used to be I prayed for a good day, health, to hit the lottery, etc.  Now this is what it's come to. Sanity.  I pray for sanity and an abundance of wine.  Needless to say, Ben finally - albeit reluctantly - got into his carseat, and the Dr took us even though we were 20 min late.  $46 in co-pays later, and with only a shred of sanity left, turns out both kids were ok - just a cold and no antibiotics needed.  Oh, and from now on the code for "Dr's Visit" is now "Let's get an ice cream".  I can only imagine what Ben will be telling his therapist 20 yrs from now..   :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Break Out The Winter Coat and Orange Flip Flops - It's October in New England!

It's October - YAY!  My absolute favorite month of the year.  We live in Connecticut so the leaves are changing colors and it's so beautiful.  The thing with October in New England, though, is that it really depends on what kind of a mood Mother Nature is in on a day to day basis. You may need a winter coat one day and shorts and a t-shirt the next.  Even a few hours can make a huge difference...I've actually put the heat on in the car driving Lauren to preschool in the morning....then had to put the AC on for the ride home when I pick her up 3 hours later. 
Lauren having fun trying to catch falling leaves

Last week was a beautiful summer like week in October so I decided it would be nice to take the kids apple picking.  So we put on our shorts and flip flops and hit the apple orchards.  Upon our arrival, we were handed a bag and sheet of paper with a list of the like 67 different types of apples that were available for picking.  There was a chart with the names of the apples along with several categories of which apples were good for different purposes.  So Gala apples are great for pies AND sauces, where Red Delicious aren't good for either, only eating.  Idared are great for pies, but don't try and put those buggers in a sauce.  My head was spinning.  Macoun MAY be ok in a pie, but not a sauce.  Oh Jesus, it was just too much info to process. There was too much responsibility involved. Who knew?  Whatever you do, don't mix the Empire and Jonagold together or else you might summon a demon.  Do not taunt the Granny Smith apples.
So off we go trying to navigate our way around this huge orchard, following the signs to the various types of apples. It was a free for all, with kids picking any apple they could spot and tossing it in the bag. At one point I realized we didn't have any apples good for making applesauce.  Oh no, I wasn't getting backed into a corner like that! I will make sauce if I damn well please.  When did this fun fall activity become so complicated?  I don't remember any of this going on when I was a kid.  We showed up at the orchard and picked whatever the hell we wanted.  Sometimes it wasn't even an apple....sometimes it was a winning horse for the races at Suffolk Downs.  Oh wait, that wasn't apple picking.  No, those were the good old days when kids were allowed at race tracks to see the ponies.   I'm from Boston.  In Boston back in the early 80's it was common place for families to throw the kids in the back of the Chevy Nova - sans seatbelts - and head down to the racetrack for a fun family night out.  What?

Anyway, by the end of the harrowing apple picking experience, we were hot and tired.  So obviously this would be a great time for the corn maze!   The corn maze is one of those things that sounds like a fun idea.  Until you get lost in the middle and need your phone GPS to get out. We got exactly half way through the maze when Lauren announced she needed to use the potty and Ben decided he didn't want to walk anymore and wanted me to carry him. So I put them in the little wagon supposed to be used to haul pumpkins around, and made for an exit...or what I thought was an exit but was actually another dead end.  They both weigh just about 40 pounds, so I have 80 lbs of babies in a little wagon, hauling them around and lost in a corn maze.  And it was hot. I felt kind of like a pack mule.  So I asked Siri for help.  She kept telling me to start out by going west and take a left onto Route 83.  Screw you, Siri.  Words were had and needless to say, Siri and I are taking a little break from each other.  We eventually found our way out a half our later, the kids declaring me a "hero"...and sung the theme song to "Higglytown Heros" all the way home. 

Hayride in New England

So far October has been a productive month.  Along with the fun fall activities and overdoing it with the Halloween decorating, I decided to finally take down the 80's pink flower wallpaper that's been plaguing my kitchen.  For 3 years, since we bought this house, we've talked about all of the different things we'd do with the kitchen.  And finally, one morning last week as I was sitting at the kitchen table drinking my coffee, staring at the hideous wallpaper, I reached over and picked at a little tear at one of the seams.  It peeled back pretty easily, so I kept pulling at it.  Flash scene to 3 hours later - the kitchen furniture and appliances moved to the center of the room, and me peeling off the last bit of wallpaper behind the fridge.  The room was  littered with old wallpaper remains... and it was finally done.  Just like that! I texted a picture to Brian at work.  He knows me.  How I'll just decide to do something and go for it kind of spur of the moment.  Like the time I hired Julio, a young, latin, live-in handyman who closely resembled Mark Consuelos to do house repairs in a uniform consisting of tight black pants an no shirt.  Now all that's left before we paint is to get that pesky wallpaper glue off that's still stuck on the walls. What a pain.  Wallpaper should seriously be illegal.  People who try to obtain and use wallpaper should be put on a "watch list" of sorts.  At the very least, there should be support groups available to those who have been impacted by the effects wallpaper has had on users and their loved ones. 

And now if you'll excuse Mcintosh and Honeycrisp apples have intermingled and have become radioactive.  Happy Baking :)