Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Passy Episode

I took the boys for a walk this morning. I wanted to get out and enjoy the cool weather before the weather turned warm, so we left early (for us) at 9:30. We had a lovely walk around our 1.5 mile circle, that is, until about a half mile from home, I realized we were missing the passy that had been in Daniel's mouth when we left. I dug around in Daniel's seat, hoping to find it crammed under one of his legs. No luck. I turned the stroller and walked back a few paces, trying to spot it on the ground. As I needed to go to the bathroom rather urgently, I decided to walk the last half mile to home, relieve myself, get some water for the boys, and walk the circle again to find the rogue passy.

Now, my boys love going for a walk, but they have about a thirty minute tolerance for the stroller, plus Daniel was overdue for his morning nap by the time we started our second circle around the neighborhood. Five minutes in, Daniel was crying. Ten minutes in, screaming. Fifteen minutes in, full-blown meltdown. No sign of the passy.

To distract myself from the natural disaster in the front of my stroller, I listed all the upsides we were enjoying thanks to the lost passy.

1. The seatbelt straps of the double stroller were tested against the full might of a fifteen-month-old's tantrum, and were not found wanting, although he did manage to pop out one side of the removable stroller shade by vigorous flailing.

2. My patience increased. (Lord, don't I have enough patience already?)

3. I had an unplanned double workout today. Thanks to the screaming, I walked faster and my heart pumped rapidly.

The downside: I found the passy about thirty paces back from where I had noticed it missing, and my child screamed all the way home.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What to eat

"What am I going to eat?" Usually a question I ask while peering into the recesses of the refrigerator, but a question that took on a whole new meaning for us this past week. We went to the allergist Tuesday and after a screaming, thrashing ordeal drew three vials of blood in order to do food allergy testing. The doctor tested for ten different foods, all of the most common allergens plus cashews, almonds, and rice. Friday the nurse called and said the doctor wanted to speak to me. As I sat waiting on hold, I thought to myself that Daniel must be allergic to something, because if he wasn't, the nurse would have just told me.

When the doctor started talking, I found out that Daniel was allergic to eight of the ten foods the doctor tested for: peanuts, cashews, milk, eggs, wheat, almonds, soy, and rice. I've never even heard of anybody who is allergic to rice! The only two foods we tested that he wasn't allergic to were fish and shellfish. I sat there stunned and tried to ask a few intelligent questions. I confirmed that since I'm still nursing Daniel, I would need to eliminate all of the same foods. When I hung up the phone, I felt like a deflated balloon.

Philosophically, I'm always for whole foods and making meals from scratch, but realistically, I'm tired, and sometimes, I just want to pop a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner. Unfortunately, the list of forbidden foods could easily be the ingredient list for any American convenience food I could think of. Pizza? Obviously not. Sandwiches? Nope. Hot Dogs? Maybe without the bun? Can't have that either. Fast Food? Restaurants? A minefield waiting for an allergic reaction to happen. I was overwhelmed. Completely, utterly, absolutely overwhelmed.

Once I finally emerged from the initial shock, I decided I needed to take action. Specifically, I needed to make a list. So I listed all the foods that we could have. It looked like the world's healthiest diet, except for the bacon. Tons of veggies, seafood, all kinds of meats, fruits, and obscure grains like millet and quinoa (so obscure that blogger's spell check doesn't recognize the word "quinoa"). Olive oil, grape seed oil, canola oil. Well, I have been trying to lose weight...

Friday, September 3, 2010

What nobody told me about being a parent

Nobody told me how stressful parenting is. Seriously. Like, being an air traffic controller pales in comparison. After all, not only are you responsible for saving lives, but those lives belong to tiny little beings who are more precious than anything else in all the world to you.

Nobody told me how messy it gets when children are around all the time. No matter how fast a mom moves to clean up, the children will always move faster to make a new, and probably bigger mess.

Nobody told me that being a parent means you don't get to sleep ever again. After a baby wakes you up every single night for months, your body forgets how to sleep through the night, even when the baby does.

Nobody told me how quickly your ideals can go down the toilet. Like when your picky 15-month old child will only eat beans, meat, and baby food. Although the faint hope remains that he will someday eat a balanced diet, you find yourself immensely grateful that he eats anything at all.

Nobody told me that raising two boys was like refereeing a never-ending hockey game. Someone is always running around, getting in a fight, hitting someone, or taking something that belongs to someone else.

Nobody told me how easy it would be to forget how much you wanted your children before life became catastrophe following crisis, or how you would have moments where that mother-love for your children would flash so clearly at the oddest of times.

Nobody told me that to love your children with all your heart can be the most exquisite pain and the most beautiful pleasure.

If somebody had told me, I might have been too afraid to embark on this journey, but I would have missed out on two of the greatest joys of my life.