Friday, July 31, 2009

Thanks be to God, my husband lost his job!

As my handful of readers may have noticed, I have been missing for a while. No blog entries.

It has been a horrible, no good, very bad month of July and I am glad today is the last day! Kick rocks down the road, July! Your outta here! If you don't want to read my mini- pity party, then I suggest you skip this one.

There is a line in an Indigo Girls song that says, "Every five years or so, I look back on my life and I have a good laugh."

I hope in five years I am laughing about this because right now, I don't find it very funny.

I have been emotionally exhausted, stressed out, sick to my stomach, riddled with anxiety and insomnia. I have been so distracted that I put a bag of frozen blueberries in the microwave instead of the freezer, I put dish detergent in the pots and pans cabinet, and one day, I actually spent two or three minutes looking for my cell phone WHILE I WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE ON IT!!

I can say with certain confidence that I snapped last night.

There is a little residual snappage left over this morning, but I am trying to let go of my fears and take it one day at a time.

The month started with the air conditioner in our rent house breaking (which of course we had to get fixed so our renters didn't melt in their beds), the air conditioner in my car broke (which of course we had to fix so our little Peanut didn't turn to peanut butter in the backseat in the 95 degree Arkansas heat), and we had to buy new tires for my car because they kept going flat and my steering wheel kept shaking like I was driving on a never-ending dirt road.

Things break, now we broke. No moneys.

Then, I found out my endometriosis is back and will have to have surgery again. Shortly afterwards, last week, my husband's cousin passed away. Then, our son got a sinus infection and has been fussy and sick for over two weeks now. Then, this week, my husband's uncle passed away.

And then yesterday, just when this no good month was almost over, my husband lost his job.

(Pause for sympathy)

His company cut his position, and a few others, due to economic cutbacks.

I had a complete breakdown yesterday after I found out. Total breakdown. I mean, seriously. WTF? Can we have something good happen to us, PLEASE??????

I lost it yesterday.

But, I'm comin' back around.

And a lot of it has to do with my husband and his attitude about the whole thing.

He has never been satisfied in this job because he didn't make much money, he is tired of living paycheck to paycheck, and he wasn't passionate about his work. I asked him last night if he was okay and he said, "Yes, losing my job has given me renewed faith in God."

I looked at him like he was crazy. I said, "What? Getting fired gave you renewed faith in God?"
We have both been feeling pretty abandoned by any kind of higher power lately. And his paycheck is our main source of income.

He said, "Yes, last night I got down on my hands and knees and prayed for help in finding a new job where I am happier and where we can have financial peace, and then today I got fired. God is telling me something."

He's right.

So, here's to letting go of the past, letting go of expectations, being grateful for the future, and looking forward to a new beginning for us and a new job for my husband, whatever that job may be.

But... I'm not laughing yet. Although, on a lighter note, my 3-yr old nephew told me yesterday that he has a hot dog in his pants, which did provide a few seconds of comic relief.

Today is the last day of July. So far, nothing worse than my husband dropping his hair gel in the toilet has happened.

I think we're gonna be okay.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Walking the Plank

I'm kind of sick today.

I woke up with a sore and itchy throat, runny nose, little nausea, headache, ear ache. I think it might be allergies. No fever.

And I have a burn line on my face from a rogue flattening iron.

It really isn't a good time to feel bad.

We are officially trying to have another baby. I saw my OBGYN on Monday. She suggested that I have surgery. Again. For those of you who do not know my medical history (and you might be grateful for that), let me quickly fill you in.

I have endometriosis. My husband and I tried to get pregnant with our son for 12 months until we realized it wasn't happenin', no matter how hard we tried.

I had excruciatingly painful menstrual cycles for years that would keep me bed-ridden for the first two days of my cycle. Even prescription pain meds couldn't put a dent in the pain. So, I marched into the doctor's office after a year of negative pregnancy tests and said I wanted somebody to do something about it immediately because I was in pain, I was tired of having my menstrual cycle run my life, and apparently, I was infertile. I spent that appointment crying to my OBGYN, while she offered me Kleenex and a scheduled date for laproscopic surgery.

My surgery revealed three different types of endometriosis, lots of scar tissue, and the main reason for my infertility. My left ovary was glued to my side with scar tissue and had pulled all of my reproductive organs to the left. My organs were in the wrong place. No wonder I couldn't get pregnant.

After two weeks of recovery and another two weeks of feeling great, I finally had a positive pregnancy test! It only took a month after surgery. Thirteen months total. And now, we have a perfect 11-month old son!

But, unfortunately, that nasty endo is back. My symptoms have slowly been resurfacing over the last few months. My doc suggested I have surgery immediately or start trying to have a second baby now...and if I am not pregnant by the end of fall, have the laproscopic surgery again before the end of the year.

The problem is, besides the possible impending surgery, is that I'm not sure I am ready to be pregnant again. I want another child, but now? I'm not sure I am ready to have another c-section, another six months of sleepless nights. Another run at breastfeeding. Another battle with post-partum depression.

I told my husband last night that I feel like I am walking the plank. I am scared to death to have another child, but I am being forced to walk that plank and unwillingly jump off because of my health. He said that is how he felt the first time. We had to rush it the first time as well, because of my health. This time though, he feels great about it. Our viewpoints are reversed because I felt great about it the first time. I wasn't frightened in the least about becoming a mother (giving birth was a different story!). I was thrilled at getting to be a mother. I just didn't count on the c-section and the long recovery. I didn't count on battling post-partum depression for the first six months of my son's life. I didn't count on having lemons for boobs that wouldn't produce milk. I wasn't prepared for my failed attempt at breastfeeding to be such an emotional rollercoaster. I wasn't prepared for how much my life would change.

My husband said he thinks I am feeling overwhelmed because, besides raising my son full-time, I have two part-time jobs to which I take my son. It gets tricky. Plus, trying to keep up with the household and my sanity gets tricky tricky. But, other women do it. Some women stay at home with 4+ kids and that has GOT to be more overwhelming than my situation.

Plus, if we have another baby, I would have to quit both of my part-time jobs because I can't and won't haul a one-yr old AND an infant to work. My sanity can only stretch so far before it snaps. The problem is, we can't afford for me to quit my jobs.

I also don't get out much. I have found that having kids causes a rift between you and your friends who don't have kids and you get called less and less because you can't drop everything and go out to dinner, or to have drinks, or to the pool, or shopping. I have to have advance notice to find a babysitter. And I can't always even answer the phone, anyway. Bye social life.

I love love love being a mother. And I can't figure out how I filled my time before I had my son...and I don't want to know. My life right now is what I always wanted (well, minus the fat bank account, but who's counting? Not me because it wouldn't take long). I know that children are a blessing worth more than anything on this earth. The love between parent and child is the greatest love I have ever felt and I am sure that once the dream for a second child becomes a reality, the fear might melt away and the financial puzzle pieces will finally fall into place. To watch my son's face light up when I enter the room, or bury his head in my shoulder when he is feeling shy, makes me feel all warm and glowy inside.

What will it be like when he is no longer my primary focus? When he has to share the limelight with another? When he is no longer the only center of my universe? Parents out there: how do you share your affections with multiple children equally without feeling like you are neglecting one for the other?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gabba Gabba Hey!

As you all know, I am new to motherhood. I also watch my three-year old nephew twice a week. So, I am learning nursery rhymes and lullabies and have spent quite a bit of time looking on the internet for forgotten lyrics and poems from my childhood. I am exposed to cartoons again for the first time since I was a kid. I used to know everything there was to know about the Smurfs, Dungeons and Dragons, Monchichi, the Care Bears, the Snorks, Scooby Doo, the Flintstones and you get the picture.

But these days I am left wondering, what happened to all those cartoons and what is up with the new ones? I sometimes sit on the couch in a kind of trance, mesmerized by these new cartoons (or at least new to me), even when my son is napping and I have the option of actually watching adult TV without a child clawing at my neck or standing in front of the television, banging on the screen. Something fascinationg about these shows lures me in, loosening my grip on the remote (and ultimately, reality), and I end up leaving the channel on Sprout for hours.

My brain is turning to mush. I can no longer think of words like "chair" and "restaurant." I just say things like, "You know that thing that is in that place that we went to the other night." My husband looks at me, lost.

I no longer say, "Yes, that's right" in response to others. I say, "Right-a-rooni, Pos-i-tooni!" like Pinky Dinky Doo. I want to punch myself.

And, I am left with questions...many questions.


What in the heck are Hoobs? Why do they call kids "Tiddlypeeps"? And they call older people "Wrinkly peeps"?. That can't be politically correct.

Will there be permanent psychological damage if I let my son watch Yo Gabba Gabba?

And what is up with DJ Lance Rock and that hat? Did a stoner inspire the names of the creatures who live in his ghettoblaster (Brobee? It sounds like two stoners greeting each other at a party: "Brobeeeeeee...What's up, dude?") Did a Napoleon Dynamite-like teenager come up with those creatures (a blue-cat dragon? Is it a cragon? Or a drat?) And if someone thought YGG was a good idea for a children's show, how bad must the other show ideas have been to be turned down?

Where are Max and Ruby's parents?

Why are Caillou and Little Bill both bald?

Does anyone else have a teesy weensy tiny crush on Joe from Blue's Clue's? It's a sickness.

Is Thomas & Friends supposed to act like a sedative? Because if so, it works. So sleepy...can barely keep my eyes open...soothing voices...trains I dreaming...

Shouldn't Lazytown be rated "R" for disturbing characters and inappropriate craziness? That show scares the crap out of me. Ziggy reminds me of the homicidal doll, Chucky, and Robbie is creepier than Hannibal Lecter.

I don't even know what to say about that weird Wubbzy kid. Wow.

I have to admit...when I first was introduced to all these cartoons...back when I was still pregnant and my then 2-yr old nephew would watch them endlessly, I was perplexed and a little irritated by them. I couldn't figure out how some of them made it on the air.

But now, after almost two years of exposure, some of these shows are growing on me! Yikes!

I like Blue's Clue's, albeit only the ones with Joe. Steve makes me want to hit him or hold him down and brush his hair. I'm not sure which impulse would win.

I find myself slightly excited when Yo Gabba Gabba comes on (I told you my brain has turned to mush). DJ Lance Rock's orange jumpsuit is somewhat soothing and his big smile is contagious. I thought the episode with Jack Black was so funny that I saved it permanently on my DVR!!!

The kid's show I don't mind the most is, of course, Sesame Street. It reminds me of my childhood. Probably because some of the clips they show are from the '70's! Anyone else remember the pinball machine animation where the narrator counts, "12345 (pause) 6789 10 (pause) 11 12!" I saw it yesterday and was jolted back to my days of bad perms and purple corduroys.

I've got to get out more.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm okay with it

So, we aren't perfect parents. None of us are.

For the first time in my life, I'm not afraid of not being perfect. I have been my worst critic throughout my life (well, almost. My grandmother was pretty good at critiquing me. When someone gives you wrinkle cream for Christmas and you are only 20 years old, I think that person has critiquing down to an art form...).

But, for some reason, I'm not very hard on myself as a parent. I don't feel like I am failing. I don't care what anyone else thinks. My son and I stay in a bubble together in public. If he throws a temper tantrum because I took the bag of potato chips away from him that he grabbed off the market shelf like a quiet little ninja, for some reason, I'm not worried if other people hear him. My son and I are in a bubble. Step away if his tantrum bothers you. I'm dealing with it.

Perhaps I am not hard on myself because I know I am trying my best. And I know I will never give anything to my son but my best. I know that this is my world, my family, my lesson, my responsibility, and I know that whether or not I always do the right thing, I am still a great mother.

This is why when "incidents" occur, I don't punish myself. I am momentarily panicked, then I realize my son is fine, then I laugh and vow to be more careful next time. We are learning about parenthood everyday, just as our son is learning about his surroundings.

For instance, when my son was about three months old, my husband was watching him. Not having been a parent before or left alone with the baby too often, my husband put our son on the couch and walked into the kitchen. Baby alone on the couch. Baby. Alone. On. The. Couch. I'm sure you can all see what happened next. Baby rolled off the couch onto the floor. Thank goodness for carpet and low-to-the-ground couches. My husband returned to find our son lying on the carpet, cooing and perfectly fine. Nevertheless, he felt terrible! My husband may have even shed a tear or two.

Lesson learned. Baby can now roll over, so don't leave him unattended in high places.

Another lesson: Just a few days ago, I placed my son in his jumperoo to watch Baby Einstein while I made myself breakfast. I usually let him hold the DVD case because he likes to turn it back and forth in his hands and look at the pictures on the front and back. This time I thought, Hey, I think I will open the case so he can open and close it as well as look at the pictures. A couple of minutes later, I returned with my rice cereal and tapioca english muffin to find him eating the paper insert from the DVD. A quarter of it was gone. Nowhere in sight. He had swallowed it. I've been looking for paper in his poop ever since.

Note to self: will eat paper.

A couple of weeks ago, I took Max on one of our almost daily trips to the grocery store. My husband likes us to only buy what we are going to eat for dinner that night so we can avoid buying more than we need and wasting food. Makes sense to me, but that means I have to go to the grocery store ALL THE TIME. Ack.

Anyway, I always disinfect the grocery cart before I put Max in the seat. I carry alcohol wipes with me in the car. This particular day, I wiped down the cart, inserted Max, and turned away to shut the car door. When I looked back at Max, he was sucking on the grocery cart handle!!! Yuck a duck and gag me with a spoon!! Gross!! I panicked and pulled his mouth away from the handle. I didn't know if I was more concerned that he was sucking on all the chemicals I had just rubbed on the handle, or that he might be sucking on a section I had missed with my germ-freak-mommy rub down! I was mortified. What kind of diseases were on this cart anyway?

Then, a few days later, he did it again!! This time I was in line at the check-out and the girl behind the counter said, "You really shouldn't let him do that. Grocery cart handles is one of the dirtiest surfaces there is."

Ummm, ya think?

Yes, I make mistakes. My son fell off the couch. He ate a Disney advertisement. He licked God knows what off a grocery cart. Twice. But, it happens. And he is perfect. He is fine. He is healthy. He is amazing.

And tonight, I think he said, "Mama" for the first time. I heard it over the baby monitor. I went running as fast as I could, tripping over Meeko, into his room because I was so thrilled and excited! He was standing against the bars of his little prison crib saying, "Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma" over and over again. I'm starting to think he has known how to say it all along, but he saved it for tonight to lure me into his room because he didn't want to go night-night. What a baby genius!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Meeko the Menace

My husband says he has been widowed by the computer.

Yes, I do spend more time on the computer than I used to since I started my blog. It is my window to the outside world. It is my way of talking to adults, even if it is indirectly. I need this quiet time. My life can't be all Thumbkins and Spike TV.

But, it is getting late (which is almost 9 pm to me), so I'd better go spend some time with him before my strict 10 pm bedtime. And no, I'm not part of the elderly community. I just like to go to bed early because my son wakes up early and if I don't get enough sleep, then it is no fun for anyone.

Speaking of sleep, I was playing with my son in his room a few days ago and when I emerged...this is what I found:

Our bull terrier, Meeko, sleeping on the couch...

Yes, the very one that hopped in our bathtub a couple of weeks ago (I Hear the Wheels of Progress).

He knows he is not supposed to get on the furniture. He KNOWS this. Just like he knows he isn't supposed to pee in the house. And like he knows he isn't supposed to drink out of the toilet, eat from the bathroom trash, lick the baby, chase Pia (our black toy rat terrier), jump on guests, eat food off the table, eat the baby's toys, or bark when someone knocks on the door.

But, he does it all anyway. Why? Because he just doesn't care.

I have never owned a dog who just didn't care. About anything. The rules, getting wet, where he sleeps, what he eats, again, THE RULES. He just doesn't care. I also know that Cesar Millan would say that his behavior is our fault, which is probably true. We rented multiple episodes of his show, trying to learn how to tame the white demon. But, I'm not so sure about this one. We could be the most responsible dog-walking trainers and Meeko would still act like a crazed chimpanzee let out of his cage.

He is the happiest, go luckiest dog I have ever met. His tail is ALWAYS wagging (and knocking things off shelves in the process). He is the most frustrating and stressful dog I have ever met. He is too big and muscular for how friendly he is. But everything we say, everything we teach him (which, I admit, hasn't been much), goes in one pointy ear and out the other.

He can also be scary and unpredictable. He has nipped more than one of our friends (granted, all of them but one were provoking him) and he is so big that we are afraid he might accidentally hurt other dogs, or our son, with his over-the-top enthusiasm.

When my husband and I got married, Meeko was two years old. He had already lived two years of bachelorhood, freedom to run the house into the ground, freedom to make the place smell as much like him as possible.

Our first year of marriage was hard. Why? We had adjustments like everyone else. We were both in our thirties and both used to doing things our own way. But, mostly, ...yes, I said mostly, it was hard because of Meeko.

When I read Marley and Me, I could relate. Meeko was the single, biggest stress in my home life. Still is.

In the beginning, I wasn't used to dealing with such an overactive, hyper, domineering, jumpy, giant, strong, stubborn, and ditzy dog. My doggie contribution to the marriage, Pia, is small, well-behaved, she listens to commands, and for the most part, she is quiet. Pia knows what I am about to say before I say it. It's amazing. Meeko has no idea what you are talking about even when you say his name. He just looks at you like he is thinking, "Meeko? Who is this Meeko character they keep talking about?"

There were nights in that first year when I would just cry because Meeko had raised my anxiety level so high that I thought I might not make it through the night. If he had poop or vomit accidents, they weren't easy clean-ups. It could take hours. One night he had diarrhea so bad in his kennel that it took me over two hours to clean it all up. He had kicked the poop out of his cage and sent it flying all over our bookcases, the books, the stairwell, and the floor. And of course, my husband was out of town that night.

When we have guests over, we have to worry, "What are we going to do with Meeko?" And God forbid someone come over unannounced. I left our den door open one day to let a breeze blow through the screen door and my poor, unsuspecting neighbor stopped by to drop off a baby blanket for Max. I heard Meeko barking like a mad dog, but I didn't think anything of it because he barks like that when he sees animals on TV. Or when Pia bravely ventures off the couch (the only place he can't get to her and torture her). Or when he looks out the window and sees someone taking a walk on our street. Just any reason, really.

I finally went to see what the fuss was about and saw my neighbor cowering outside the doorway, terrified Meeko was going to tear through the screen at any moment. Which is a legitimate fear. He has jumped through THREE of our screen doors and left big gaping holes.

Ah! As I write this, I can hear him peeling out in the hallway, right outside our sleeping son's bedroom door. Great.

Just a few of his idiosyncrasies:

He has lived with Pia for over three years now and still, he takes every opportunity to sniff her butt. Not only does he sniff, but he sticks his nose halfway up her butt and pushes her around the room.

When we sit on the couch watching TV, he circles us like a shark, around and around and around, his tail cutting through the air and whacking anything in its path.

He breathes heavily at all times, as if he is in a constant state of uncontainable excitement. His mouth is always open and he drools, leaving little pools of drool on the floor around the house.

He is impossible to control in the car. He spins in circles on the seat and won't lay down.

He stinks up a room, even after he has had a bath. There is no getting rid of the stench.

His breath smells like anal gland juice.

Speaking of anal glands, he takes every opportunity to expel them, usually when he gets too excited because someone new has come to our home. Then we have to spend the rest of the evening explaining that our house doesn't smell like this all the time. We swear.

He eats underwear, used Q-tips and used Kleenex. Just helps himself to a trash buffet and digs in.

He eats plastic toys. We have found chunks of missing toys in his poop.

He likes to stand in our closet, be really still, and ever so slowly, move back and forth underneath our clothes so they lightly brush against his back. We think he might be contacting the Mother Ship and my husband's first bull terrier, Obi. And now, the bottom hems of all my white clothes are brown.

Everytime we open the fridge, he is there, sticking his nose in the drawers and knocking over bottles on the shelves.

He follows us EVERYWHERE. He can't stand to be in a room alone. Ever. If you close a door to keep him out, he will hit the door with his nose until he gives up and lies down on the ground right outside so you trip on him when you come out. Or he will pee right outside the door so you step in it when you come out. Either way, it's unfortunate.

He sheds. He is loud. He drools. He prefers the toilet to his water dish. Every winter, he develops skin problems and we have to buy creams and pills and gels until we find something that works. We usually have to shave patches of his fur and it takes months to grow back.

He sunburns.

He loves playing with bowling balls, soccer balls, basketballs, and has chipped his teeth chewing on balls, rocks, trees, and poles.

He loves to play in the water hose and has chewed up our hose in the backyard into little pieces.


that dog loves us to death.

When Steve leaves town, Meeko carries a sock or a shoe of Steve's into his bed with him at night and sleeps with it. Or he will lie next to the front door until Steve comes home.

Whenever I pet him and give him a little pat on the head, it sends him into a frenzy and he runs through the house at top speed, bursting through the baby gate and running into appliances. Baby talk also drives him into maniac mode. He feels no pain, no matter how hard or what part of his body he hits on the coffee table.

Sometimes we talk about giving him away...and then immediately change our minds when we see him sitting still for a moment, looking at us with his head cocked and his tail wagging. He is part of our family forever, it seems. And we do love him. Sometimes, we just don't like him very much.

Ah, now I can hear him eating from the bathroom trash. Better go before I have q-tips, Kleenex, torn up toilet paper tubes, shredded Kotex pads, and drool to clean up. Again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What's up with that Farmer?

So, just a quick post since I haven't written recently. Too busy with the Peanut.

My husband and I purchased some toddler tunes for our son a few days ago. You know, stuff like The Wheels on the Bus, I'm a little Teapot, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

I am home most days with our son. We play in his room a lot and have been listening to his new music. Non-stop. He loves it. It is starting to make me nauseous.

I remember all the songs from my own childhood, so I sing along and do the hand gestures for him...the whole bit. However, now that I am older and some might say wiser, I am wondering what in the h-e-double toothpicks were some of these people thinking when they wrote these songs?

For instance, where is Farmer Dell taking everyone? And why does the cheese stand alone? Is it stinky cheese? Moldy cheese? Does that mean the stinky cheese doesn't get to go? And where are the farmer, his wife, the child, the dog, the cat, and the rat going?

What is up with the Thumbkin song? It is weird enough as it is, but I didn't realize there are lyrics for every finger on the hand. So, what happens when you get to the lyric about the middle finger and while your child's middle fingers are talking to each other ("How are you today, sir?" then "Very well, I thank you!"), he/she is flippin' the bird to everyone else in the playgroup?

Who is eating Peas Porridge nine days old? Who likes it like that?

Just some things I've been wondering about.

Gotta go watch The Bachelorette (yes, I admit it. I watch it), so I will just leave you with a joke from his toddler CD:

"Why is 6 afraid of 7?"

Punchline: "Because 7 8 9!"

I love kid's jokes.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Again, The Light Side

A few months ago, I wrote an entry following my conversations with my nephew, MP (The Light Side). I babysit him all day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays while my brother-in-law and sister-in-law work. We have a great time together and I am very lucky to be able to spend as much time with him as I do. My son goes with me to my sister-in-law's house and it is great for the two little cousins to spend so much time together.

I have the funniest conversations with MP. Small children have a way of putting things simply and in perspective for you. Children are fascinated by so much, especially the things we, as adults, started taking for granted years ago. MP's sweet, round face lights up for everything from watermelon, cheese sticks, and popsicles, to bugs (yuck!), bubbles (sticky!), and plastic chattering teeth (you know, the plastic teeth that chatter and move across the floor when you wind them up? I have to admit, I kinda like those too.).

Well, we've had some more talks lately and I thought I would share them with you again.

Three-year olds are straight-forward with language and naturally have not mastered slang, lingo, idioms, or informal expressions. I sometimes forget that when talking to MP.

One afternoon a few weeks ago, he was swinging a Star Wars lightsaber around the living room. So I said, "MP, I like your lightsaber!" And he said, shaking his head, "It's not a lifesaver, it's a sword." If he knew what "Duh!" meant I'm sure he would have said that to me next. So I said, "No, it's a lightsaBER. Like the kind they use in the movie, Star Wars. Star Wars is my favorite movie!" (which is true, it really is) So he said, even though to my knowledge he has never seen Star Wars, "Star Wars is my favorite movie, too!" So I said, "Wow! We both have good taste!"

This is where he got confused. He just stared at me for a few seconds and said, "Aunt Amy, we don't eat it." Again, insert "Duh!"

I said, "When someone says someone has good taste, it isn't the same kind of tasting that we do when we are eating food. 'Having good taste' means that the things we like are really cool!"

He just looked at me like he felt sorry for me and my misinterpretation of the English language and said, "Aunt Amy, but we still don't eat it."

I gave up. "That's true," I said. "We don't eat it."

Another afternoon, we were sitting at his toddler table for snack time, discussing his friend, who we will call "JJ". I also watch JJ, a precious 3-yr old boy with curly blonde hair, on Tuesday mornings and JJ had just left for the day.

I asked MP, "Hey buddy, did you have fun with JJ today?"

"Yes," he said with a mouth full of goldfish.

"Yeah, JJ is a pretty cool kat, isn't he?"

MP swallowed, looked up at me, frowned, and said with angry conviction, "Aunt Amy, don't call him a cat!!! That's not very nice!!!"

I tried to explain what I meant and he just kept repeating, "Don't call him a cat!! That is mean!!!"

How do I argue with that? In the way that he understands language so far, he is right. Calling someone a name is mean.

I absolutely love how he makes me see things from a simpler perspective. Life is simple. Adults are the ones who make it difficult.

Lately, he has been learning about the difference between boys and girls and he is very anxious to share his knowledge. Several times he has pulled down his pants to show me his big boy underwear and once pulled them down and said, "Look Aunt Amy! I have a weiner!" This past Tuesday, we were standing in the dining room and he turned around, slapped his butt and said, "Do you think I have a pretty cool bootie?"

I had no idea what to say.

Yesterday, I was reading him a book before his nap. It was an alphabet book and the word for the letter "U" was "udder" with a picture of a cow.

I said, "Look at the cow, MP! Cows have udders and milk comes out of the udders."

He again shook his head and said, "No, cows have boobies."

Pause to stifle laughter.

"Well, udders are like boobies because milk comes out of them both, but on a cow, they are called udders."

He paused and thought about it.

"Oh. Cows have udders." He thought about it some more and then...a revelation!

"Oh, cows have udders! Just like you, Aunt Amy!"

Wait. Did he just call me a cow?