Monthly Archives: November 2011

when did this happen?

When did we become the adults who come home after a night out and pay a babysitter? I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to this.

Our date nights have been starting once we get the boy down for the night, which means a late night out. We tend to do dinner, and it’s becoming a trend of ours to close down the restaurants we’re visiting. There is something really kind of romantic and lovely about being the last people in a restaurant as they wind down for the evening.

 

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mixer love, day two

The “mixer book” made its appearance at dinner yet again tonight. In fact, it made its appearance first thing this morning at breakfast and again when my wife was trying to get BG ready to go on an outing. This is quickly becoming his new favorite literature.

I kind of blew his mind tonight though, for today, we had received our monthly coupon book from Costco. Inside was a coupon for a red KitchenAid mixer and another for a shiny silver Cuisinart. I cut them out and handed them to him. His mouth dropped, and his eyes widened, and he just didn’t know what to do with himself.

I am leaning toward getting him a toy mixer for the holidays (we were already planning on a play kitchen), but then I thought, maybe that’s not what he wants at all.  Additionally, we have been thinking about redecorating BG’s bedroom because we’re transitioning him to a big boy bed. Perhaps that new theme will not be animals or letters or the solar system. Perhaps, instead, it will be large-scale, glossy photographs of high-quality kitchen appliances. Every two-year-old boy’s dream, right?

I love my quirky little guy.

On a side note, on that playdate we recently had with a mom and her two kids, we learned that the boy, who is just a couple of months older than BG,  happens to be in love with his mom’s Cuisinart. I see a lifelong friendship in the making. Now, if only my son wouldn’t knock him over ever five minutes, they might just have a chance.

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maybe we’re raising a culinary genius–or something

My son is obsessed with kitchen appliances. He is both terrified and in love with our KitchenAid standing mCuisinart Food Processor, 14-Cupixer (I understand the love; I’ve loved this thing for years). He plays almost daily now with our Cuisinart (minus the blade, of course), and he regularly opens the cabinet to admire the waffle iron, begs us to pick him up to pat the coffee grinder, and regularly messes with the toaster settings. This child loves the kitchen and cooking, and it’s a joy to watch.

A day or two ago, we received a seasonal mini catalog from what we call “the red store” (think bullseye). BG likes this store, mostly because they have KitchenAid mixers and so many other appliances just sitting there waiting to be ogled. I admit that I have taken him to this store purely upon his request and primarily to look at small appliances.

KitchenAid Ultra Power Tilt-Head Stand Mixer - Empire Red KSM95ERI didn’t think much of the catalog. J and I each glanced at it amongst some other catalogs over the last few days. But today, when I was looking through it, mocking the plastic-looking party-goers fake-toasting under a banner that read “get together” (seriously),  BG was interested in what I was reading. I turned the page, and on that page was a parade of small kitchen appliances ranging from donut makers to pie makers. But leading the parade was the holy grail: the red KitchenAid standing mixer. BG giggled and squealed and took the catalog out of my hands to admire the shiny, candy apple red mixer.

A few times today, my wife attempted to throw the useless catalog into the recycling, and each time, BG dug it out, finally replacing it with a new book of ours (one can only imagine what his logic was there). Tonight, he insisted on eating his dinner with the catalog open to the mixer page. My wife and I took turns telling stories about the mixer. When it was bathtime, BG stalled. He refastened his booster seat after I unbuckled him. He cried, and then he began shoveling more peas in his mouth because if he was eating vegetables, we couldn’t possibly tear him away from his mixer book. He told us stories about the mixer, and when it really was time for him to go have a bath, he cried and cried–until I told him that we could tell stories about the Cuisinart in the bathtub. And that is precisely what we did.

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when push comes to shove

My son has started pushing other children. He just isn’t around other kids enough to know how not to be an oaf. A mom from our mom’s group came over with her two kids today, and BG pushed them both multiple times. J and I were horrified. Where did he learn to do that? Why was he doing it? Fortunately, the mom was fine, as were the very easy-going kids, but really, where did this come from?

My theory is that he was tired and crabby and not ready for kids to come in and play with his toys, but even so, I am not really sure what to do about this. He is normally so loving. He’s typically the kid who walks up to another kid to give unwelcome hugs, not shoves.

I know he’s bumbling his way through being around other children, that he’s learning very slowly what it is to be a social creature, but it’s hard to see him do this, especially when we’re all trying to make friends. Please tell me this will pass, that there’s some sort of magic trick to give him social grace.

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here kitty kitty (and welcome NaBloPoMo!)

I nearly missed the first day of NaBloPoMo, and that is something I cannot do. I have particiapted every year I have had my blog, and I’m not about to break with tradition. Perhaps having two months of daily blogging so close to one another will lead to better habits. Perhaps I’m dreaming.

But enough with that. There’s a whole month to talk about that. Today is the day after Halloween, and this was the first year BG really got to participate (last year he was sick, the year before he was teeny tiny), so it was a big deal. He loved it all. The pumpkin patches, the pumpkins, the decorations on the houses and the stores, the costumes. I have long adored Halloween, so this has delighted me to no end.

Our boy wanted to be a kitty cat for Halloween. This was born from a book he has–a Karen Katz book in which a baby, dressed like a black cat, is looking for her “Special Pumpkin.” BG read this book every day for the last month, recited pages from it daily, and whenever we asked him about wearing a costume for Halloween, he stated quite firmly, “Dress up like kitty cat.”

The problem was that it isn’t easy to find kitty cat costume elements that aren’t covered in pink and bows and other decidedly feminite features. While I don’t have issues with these accessories, they aren’t necessary. When a child wants to be a cat, the child isn’t looking for lace and bows, right? While I’m a crafty person, I just didn’t have it in me to make a costume–or even ears–I was determined to find something. I went to one of those Halloween stores only to learn that boys are supposed to be characters from cartoons, and they must carry weapons–or they have to be dinosaurs. The girls get the “cute” animals.

When I voiced these complaints, an acquaintance suggested I dress him up like a lion because lion costumes were readily available at a nearby store. I certainly considered this, but BG wanted to be a kitty cat, not a lion. He knows very well they aren’t the same thing. And why should he have to be a lion?

One of the last places I looked was our local market. They had black cat ears and tails (which were all I really wanted), but the ears and tails each had pink bows on them. They had tiger ears and tails, and when I held the two up, my son wanted the cat ears. I found a set of donkey ears and tails, and for a moment, he reconsidered (he has met donkeys, loves donkeys), but he thought better of it. In his mind, one dresses like a kitty cat for Halloween, and so we went with the set with pink bows (which I would later remove).

When we took these to the register, the man working there asked if the ears and tail were for our son. I told him they were, but quickly threw in that we were removing the bows. “He doesn’t care at this age, so long as he gets to be a kitty!” was his reply. He told us about his son loving pink when he was a young child. He encouraged us to enjoy this time when colors are colors and costumes are costumes, and I wanted to hug him. We had asked our son over and over if he really wanted to be a kitty, and he was certain, but we kept hedging thinking maybe he was going to look too feminine. Of course, beneath this is that unspoken concern that because we’re two women raising a son, people will perceive that we’re feminizing him.

But all of that is bullshit.

We have a male cat and a female cat. Cats are not all female. And even if they were, even if my kid wanted to be a freakin’ princess, I shouldn’t care. It’s Halloween, and he’s his own person, and I’m so proud of him.

And for the record, my boy made a damn cute kitty cat:

As for Halloween, it was a hit all around. The grandparents visited Saturday, and we took BG to a celebration at one of the city parks where the kids got to ride the train and trick or treat from stations around the park. It was here that BG had his first mini candy bar (a Twix, if you must know).

He enjoyed every last bite of his “treat” (which is what he seems to call candy) and begged for more. My mom had brought other “treats” in her purse, including a small juice box and some raisins, so she encouraged him to trick or treat from her bag from time to time. It was such a good idea, and he loved the special prizes.

When we all came home yesterday, we got BG into his costume again, and J and I grabbed some hats, painted on some whiskers, and we went out into our neighborhood as a family of cats.

We hit up four houses or so–primarily neighbors who wanted to see BG dressed up. BG had mastered “Trick or Treat!” at the park, so he was a pro once he got to the neighbors. He was appropriately cute and meowed when asked. I think the highlight for him was ringing doorbells. The boy loves a doorbell. One neighbor had a full gift for him–a bag full of goodies including a coloring book, crayons, and more. And she insisted on photographing us. Here we are in all our goofy feline glory:

I have been unexpectedly emotional around all of this. I feel so very fortunate that I get to see the world through this boy’s eyes, that my wife and I get to introduce him to the fun that is living. What a joyful job we have as parents. Moments like these make this all the more poignant.

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