Monday, November 25, 2013

Pee Pants

I don't blog often these days.  It takes a really good story for me to want to update this thing.  A story that, when it is happening, makes me want to laugh, cry, and pull my hair out all at once.

Tonight I have such a story.

It's a harrowing tale of pee, broken merchandise, and excellent customer service.

It all started with a trip to Hobby Lobby.  I had to return a couple of things and Lewis wanted to do some Christmas shopping.  After I returned my items I found myself with an empty bag.  I remember specifically thinking that I wished the clerk had just thrown the bag away.  Not knowing what to do with it, I just stuffed it in my pocket.

Poppy and I browsed while Lewis and Jack were off on a secret mission.  Amidst our wandering we happened upon a quite excellent Christmas present for Jack, so we took it up front to pay for it and wait for the boys.  I noticed them near the cash registers and was just about to call and see if I needed to stay away so as to not ruin any Christmas surprises when I got a call from Lewis instead.

"Jack peed his pants."


I was planning on taking him to the bathroom before we left the store, but apparently he just couldn't hold it (we are still working on having him tell us when he needs to go).  Thankfully we had packed an extra outfit.  I took Jack out of the cart and set him on the floor so he could waddle over to the restroom.

If you've ever been to Hobby Lobby with small children, you may have noticed that it is not exactly a suitable place for them to be unconfined.  There are lots of really tempting displays for them to touch.  Displays with breakable items.

Like the one right next to us of fake fruit in ceramic dishes.

I was just telling Jack not to touch when he pulled the plastic grapes he was manhandling right off the shelf along with the mug they were sitting in.

We now needed a broom along with a mop.

Jack and I waddled (literally in his case) off the bathroom and I stripped him down just in time for another customer to come in: old lady, probably has lots of grandkids - she just chuckled knowingly.  I got him dressed in the fresh clothes only to discover that my foresight in packing did not include extra shoes or socks and the material out of which his pants were made caused the urine to roll right down to his heels.

So there I was with a barefoot kid and a pile of soggy clothes in a public restroom.  And I was thanking my lucky stars that I still had the bag from my return cause that gave me somewhere to put the clothes.  Except for the shoes.  Jack needed new ones anyway, and our next stop was Walmart, so into the trash bin they went.

"Are we pushing our luck?" Lewis wondered aloud as we headed off the Walmart.  "Nah," I responded.  "We'll be fine."  The kid only pees about every two hours, after all.  The Hobby Lobby incident was an anomaly.

Famous last words.

As we walked into Walmart Lewis and I cracked jokes that we were that family - the one out and about in 35 degrees with a barefoot kid.  "It's a good thing," Lewis said.  "In twenty years when I see a guy carrying a shoeless kid into Walmart in freezing weather I'll be able to sigh and say, 'been there!'"

First things first we went to the shoe section and spent five minutes negotiating with Jack over why he needed the higher-quality shoes over the exact same pair we had just thrown away which wasn't available in his size anyway.

Then we went about our business, gathering supplies for Thanksgiving.  We couldn't have been in the store more than thirty minutes when we were ready to check out.  So as to keep both kids wrangled and happy (Jack hates riding in the back of a cart) we had two separate carts and Poppy and I were forging on ahead to the shorter lines when I heard my name, looked back, and saw the boys back twenty yards, unmoving.

"He did it again."

You've got to be kidding me.

The trips to Lowe's and Cafe Rio we had planned were abruptly cancelled and I ran back to the home goods section to grab a towel for Jack to sit on on the ride home.

And now as I sit here at my computer I can't help but chuckle at the ridiculousness of our evening out.  I have to.  If it's not ridiculous, it's just sad.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the wonderful people that helped us during our pee pants saga.

-The staff of Hobby Lobby who quickly mopped and swept up our mess, wouldn't let Lewis pay for the broken ceramic, and graciously said "no apology necessary" when Jack and I went over to say thank you to the guy mopping after he was changed.

-The checker at Walmart who gave us half off the new shoes when Lewis told her why we needed them.

-The jewelry clerk at Walmart (in front of which accident #2 occurred) who told Lewis, "No problem, honey, I've got grandkids and I know just what it's like," and quickly got a clean up crew to that mess (I wasn't there for that conversation, but in my head she said all that with a southern accent).

-The staff of Chick-fil-a who got our order filled quickly and deliciously when we were hangry in the drive-thru.

Meanwhile, Poppy Jane decided to make a break for it in the check-out line, in spite of the seat restraint.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Escapee

Poppy woke me up to eat at two o'clock this morning.  As I made my way to her room, I noticed something disturbing about her brother's room next door: the door was wide open and the bed was empty.

Fearing the worst I flew back into the master bedroom and woke Lewis up.  He went downstairs and found Jack, sitting quietly on the couch in the TV room in complete darkness.  Lewis took him back upstairs, read him a story and (at Jack's insistence) sang their bedtime song and Jack went right back to sleep.

While the entire incident was over in less than five minutes, it left me with a few questions and concerns.

1. How did Jack get out of his room?  Months ago he figured out how to open a few of the doors in our house (although they all have the same type of doorknob, no two doors in our house seem to open and shut the same way), but then he forgot and I've seen no evidence of his re-learning, although he has come close several times.  However, based on the fact that he pounded on his door to get me let him out this morning, I tend to not think he magically figured out his door in the middle of the night, and then forgot five hours later.  Since attempted kidnapping has been ruled out, it seems more than likely that I didn't shut the door all the way when I went to check on him before going to bed last night.  It's finicky, and this is not the first time he's gotten out because of an unlatched door (although the last time was when we were still up).

The imp in question.

2. How often does Jack get out of bed at night to try to open the door/see if it's already open?  How long does he spend awake each night?  If we let him keep any toys or books in his room would he ever sleep?  (Actually I already know the answer to that one: no, no he would not.)  Is this the answer to the great mystery that is toddler no-reason meltdowns?

3. How long was Jack out of his room?  Is he the reason Poppy woke up in the first place?

4. What exactly did he do after he escaped?  Were his activities limited to descending the stairs and sitting on the couch?  Did he try to turn on the TV or play with any of his toys only to put them back precisely where he found them before engaging in couch sitting?

In sum, I really wish my house was equipped with indoor security cameras.  I'd love to review those tapes.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Wasp

Jack got stung by a wasp today.

We had been playing outside all morning, and it was time for him to take a nap.  Lewis was gone helping his brother, so Poppy got to join us for reading a book and singing a song before Jack went to sleep.  Just as we got settled onto his bed with a book and both kids on my lap, Jack said, "Ow."

Now, Jack has not yet learned how to manipulate with the word "ow."  I'm sure the phase where he'll say that word at any and everything is coming, but we're not there yet.  So when he says "ow," he means "ow."

He had scraped his knee outside, so I looked to see if it was rubbing somewhere.  And that's when I saw the wasp.  Crawling on his shirt was the biggest, most menacing wasp that every existed*.

My first inclination was to swat it off of Jack and hightail the both of us out of there, possibly screaming.  But remember that Poppy was with us, and as talented as she is, her neck muscles are still a touch weak and hightailing anywhere with an infant is typically less than recommended.

So I gently slid out from under Jack, placed Poppy on the bed...and watched as the wasp buzzed down from Jack's shirt onto the bed and towards my daughter.

If I were a cursing woman, this would have been a prime time to quote Mrs. Weasley in the seventh Harry Potter book as she engages in battle with Bellatrix Lestrange.

I snatched Poppy off the bed, shuttled Jack out the door (who was looking curiously at his arm where the wasp had stung), and looked back in time to see the wasp zip over the window blinds.

Naturally I did the logical thing.  I shut all the other doors upstairs so it couldn't get in any of those rooms.  Did I shut Jack's door effectively trapping the wasp and preventing it from traveling through the open areas in my home?  Don't be silly.  That would be preposterous.

By the time it occurred to me to maybe do that, I couldn't see the wasp on the blinds any more.  So we left the house completely.  I took the kids outside and called Lewis to come rescue us.

Meanwhile, I examined the sting on Jack's arm.  The last and only time I was every stung by a wasp, it had gotten stuck somehow in the waistband of my skirt and stung me about half a dozen times before I got it out, so I wasn't sure how a single sting should look.  Plus Jack has allergies**, the potential for a reaction was there.  It looked okay, though, and he wasn't acting weird, so I let him run off and play.

Lewis arrived along with his brother and asked me where the wasp was.  "I know where it's not," I said.  Apparently he found that less than helpful.

But as it turns out leaving Jack's door open neither hurt nor hindered the location of the wasp.  Lewis found it still among the window blinds.  His brother joined him in the room and they shut the door, probably the keep my children away from the trauma of watching them dispatch of the creature.  I don't know what their methods were, but it sounded gruesome.

The moral of the story is, if you or any of your kids are going to get stung by a wasp, do so on a Saturday when your husband can (relatively easily) come home and rescue you.  And if you're my neighbor, maybe spray for wasps.

*Its stature may have since become exaggerated in my mother mind.

**Although just to peanuts now.  He's officially outgrown the milk allergy - yay!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Two Jack Stories

Number One:

In my church, the first Sunday of every month is set aside for fasting and testimonies.  As many as are able abstain from food for two meals and donate the money they would have spent on food.  Then in our church meetings, everyone has the opportunity to share their testimony to everyone else, a declaration of what they know to be true (in the gospel), and experiences that have backed up that knowledge.

I rarely share my testimony.  It's not that I don't have one (I very much know the teachings of my church to be true - to find out more, go here), I just don't often like to speak off the cuff in front of a large group of people.

But this past Sunday, somebody (name starts with J and rhymes with "stack") forced my hand.

My little boy is a wee bit attached to me, so when I stepped out of the chapel to feed Poppy Jane, he had a bit of a meltdown (the microphone to the chapel is piped into the nursing lounge, so I could hear him).  Eventually Lewis took him out into the foyer to calm down, and when Poppy was done eating, I was able to sneak back into the chapel without Jack noticing.

As I was sitting there, enjoying the testimony of a lovely woman who recently adopted a young almost-toddler, I noticed the top of a small head of blond hair skimming the edge of the stand wall, between the podium and where the people waiting to share their testimonies sit.  Huh, I thought.  I didn't think this woman's new son could walk yet.  Nor did I think he had hair that long and so similar to Jack - nope, that is Jack.  What the what?

The hair in question.

I passed Poppy off to my neighbor sitting in front of us and made my way to the stand, snatching Jack.  At this point it would've been more embarrassing to go back to my seat, so we stayed up there so I could share my testimony after all.

In the meantime, Lewis appeared in the open doorway next to the stand.  Apparently he had let Jacko go play on the chairs by that door while he talked to some friends, not knowing that the door was open (it's usually shut), and Jack - who has been trying to get up on the stand for months - saw an opportunity and did not waste it.

Number Two:

With the exception of his over-attachment to me recently (even more than usual), Jackaroni has been remarkably delightful.  He's had fewer meltdowns and more laughter.  Fewer tantrums and more joy.  It's been wonderful.

Except last night he turned into an unholy terror.  A demon straight from Mount Doom.  I thought I might die, or at the very least have my ears explode from all the screaming.

I had just gotten back from the chiropractor (I'm receiving treatment for a vertebral subluxation - go ahead and pity me, I won't mind) to find my brother, my husband, and my two kids hanging out in the living room.  One sniff near Jack told me he was in need of a fresh diaper.  I changed him and then set to work ordering our Pass of all Passes (if you know what that is and want a killer deal on it, go here and order one quick - the sale ends tonight) (then come swimming with us).  This required quite a bit of effort, and Jack was not making it easy by insisting on joining his sister in my lap, banging on the keyboard while I was typing important information (like our credit card number), and screaming as shrilly as possible when I tried to stop him.  I finally finished and decided we all needed to go outside.  Jack always calms down outside.

Outside earlier that day.

But not today!  He wailed when his uncle blew the bubbles he requested.  He sobbed when I tried.  He shrieked as loud as he could when I asked him if he wanted to go back inside.  He nodded emphatically when I offered to take him to the playground.  Off we went.

At the playground it was more of the same.  Shortly after arriving, however, Andrew asked about the dinner I had tempted him with, so we went back inside to make it and to muffle the screams.

As I cooked, Jack stomped on my feet and pushed my legs to get me to pick him up with my hands covered in raw chicken.  And he screamed.  And screamed.  And screamed.  At long last Lewis made the executive decision to put Jack to bed early.  Yes, please.

Finally, there was peace.  Dinner made it to the oven in a flash.  I could hear the bath running upstairs, and Lewis struggling to get Jack calm enough to take off his clothes.  Then I hear my name, called by Lewis in his "get up here right now, this is serious" voice.

I found them in Jack's room, where Lewis declared he may have found the root of Jack's mood and handed me the diaper he had just removed.  I turned the diaper over in my hands.  Nothing seemed amiss.  The wetness indicator line showed that it was a little wet, but that was all.

Wait.  Jack's diapers don't have a wetness indicator line.

Poppy's do.

I had stuffed my 21-month-old son into his two-month-old sister's diapers without even blinking an eye.


Poor little Jack.  Squished in an excessively too small diaper, and his mom about dies laughing.

We elected to cancel Jack's early bedtime, and he came back downstairs as his normal, pleasant self.  We enjoyed a lovely meal of oven-baked chicken, cornbread, strawberries, and grapes.

It's no wonder Jack was such a crab.  His panties were literally in a bunch.

Yep.  That one's on me.
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