Friday, August 28, 2009

Let's make a deal

WCK asked if she could have five books read to her at bedtime. Usually she gets two or three. I told her that, yes, if she cleaned up all of her toys without being reminded, if she could get through the entire bathtime/toothbrushing/pajama routine without complaining or yelling at me, then she could have five books.

WCK thought about this for a minute.

"How 'bout just four books?" she said.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another day, another doctor

WCK had never had a nosebleed in her life, until Saturday, when she had three small nosebleeds in one day. They weren't too terrible and went away pretty quickly, in just a minute or two. I spent a lot of time Googling nosebleeds and was reassured that most nosebleeds in kids aren't serious, you should treat them with saline drops and Vaseline, and they're usually the result of a pick (or a scratch, as Jerry Seinfeld would say).

Today WCK had another small nosebleed at school, so I decided to call the doctor's office, just so I could have an actual nurse reassure me over the phone that most nosebleeds in kids aren't serious, you should treat them with saline drops and Vaseline, and they're usually the result of a pick or a scratch.

Instead, the nurse said, "Oh, I don't like the sound of this at all. You need to get her in here right away." She could get me an appointment immediately, but we'd have to see a resident and the "real" doctor afterwards. I agreed to come in, as my blood ran cold, imagining my child with some horrible bloody-nose disease. At least there was no time to sit around and Google "bloody nose disease", or who knows how much more panicked I would have become.

After two hours at the pediatrician's office, two consultations with two different doctors, and a $20 co-pay, I was reassured that most nosebleeds in kids aren't serious, you should treat them with saline drops and Vaseline, and they're usually the result of a pick or a scratch.

The lady at the front desk gave WCK a sparkly Hannah Montana sticker, and she was beyond thrilled, so at least the afternoon wasn't a total loss.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The tooth, the whole tooth ...

WCK had her six-month dental checkup this morning. If you'll remember, her last dental checkup was a little bit, um, traumatizing, mostly for me and for the poor hygienist, who probably decided to switch careers and/or developed a drinking problem because of my child.

Today, though, WCK did a great job. I was so proud. She got into the chair, squeezed her eyes shut, opened her mouth wide, and let the hygienist go to work. She didn't have any cavities, and -- here's the big news -- she has two loose teeth! I know she's pretty young for that, but I started losing teeth at her age, and the dentist said it was OK. Now we just have to wait for the teeth to fall out and for the Tooth Fairy to arrive. The consensus seems to be that the Tooth Fairy leaves $1. Anyone heard anything different?

After the dental visit, I then had to make good on the heavy-duty bribes I had promised beforehand. If I were in charge of the world, I'd make insurance pay for the bribes we offer our children to get them to behave at the dentist and doctor's office. Do you know how much harder it would be to vaccinate so many children against contagious diseases if not for the promise of McDonald's? It's for the good of the nation. I know I'm not alone in the bribing. I've noticed that our local pediatric urgent-care is actually connected to a Toys R Us. Seriously. That must bring in tons of business.

Anyway. We went out to lunch at Panera, and then she was able to pick out one small thing at the above-mentioned Toys R Us. She picked out a "Puppy Pals" game for her little ClickStart computer. WCK's cousin has Puppy Pals for her computer, and WCK has been pining away for it since July. You can dress the computerized puppy in little outfits, including an eye patch, a big floppy straw hat, and a moustache. Worth every penny.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Second day of school!

WCK's second day of school was spent, unfortunately, at home. She got some weird, 24-hour bug (no doubt picked up on the first day of school), so she wasn't able to go. It was a little sad, but she has fully recovered and will be able to go on Monday. WCK has never really had a stomach bug before -- maybe a mild one when she was a baby -- so I have to say I have a new admiration for my parents, who had to clean up after sick children on shag carpeting. I'm glad the '70s are over.

Today we were able to go to a festival near our house with a parade and some carnival rides. We let WCK get a balloon animal on the way out, and she asked for a blue poodle. If you'll remember, whenever WCK gets a balloon dog, she names it Ticklebee. Yes, Ticklebee III is home with us now! Ticklebee, how we've missed you.

I keep thinking that I should learn how to make balloon animals. It just seems like a good skill to have.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First day of school!

Today was WCK's first day of school. This year she'll be going three mornings a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Last year, if you'll remember, I was a nervous wreck about her first day of school. I could barely purchase school supplies without getting all teary-eyed at Target. This year, it wasn't nearly as big of a deal. It was just like getting back into the old routine. WCK already knew her teacher from last year's weekly sign-language lessons, and she knew several of the kids in her class already, so everything went very smoothly.

When I arrived to pick her up, WCK was telling her teacher the story of how she once found a little pink drink umbrella on the ground at the park. This happened months ago, but it was very, very exciting.

"My, WCK," said her teacher, "you certainly have a lot of information that you like to share with me."

Ha ha. Yes. Yes, she does.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Yes. Two posts in a row about Hannah Montana.

Until yesterday, I never understood why thousands of parents would whip themselves into a rabid frenzy of outrage every time Miley Cyrus did something even the teensiest bit skanky. I honestly did not get why anybody cared.

Here's what we did yesterday: WCK and I went to Target, and I let her pick out a new backpack for preschool. She spotted a Hannah Montana backpack and got all starry-eyed. She could not be swayed toward the backpacks adorned with Hello Kitty, Tinkerbell, or even Thomas the Train. She put the Hannah backpack on her shoulders and skipped all the way to the checkout line. About two seconds ago, my child weighed seven pounds and was spitting up on my shirt. Now she's wearing a backpack that proclaims, "Pop! Rock! Glam!"

Next, we went to pick out a video to rent for family movie night. We got -- of course -- the Hannah Montana concert video. The odd thing about WCK is that she doesn't want to watch the Hannah Montana TV show at all; she only wants to see Hannah sing. Boy, was she excited about the concert video. While we waited for Daddy to come home so we could all watch it (and, boy, was Daddy excited about the concert video!), WCK drew pictures of Hannah Montana and told me that she wants to be Hannah Montana. Not just for Halloween, either. She wants to be her, like, forever.

I think that concert video was the most exciting thing WCK had seen in her whole entire life. At the end, she got out her microphone and sang along with the big "Best of Both Worlds" finale. Twice.

During this whole Hannah Montana frenzy that unfolded at our house yesterday, I saw in the paper that Miley Cyrus had been pole-dancing in a skanky stripper outfit on TV. I realize that this happened about a week ago, but I'm very uncool and slow, so I just found out.

OK, crazy, outraged parents: Now I get it.

When your child is in looooove with Hannah Montana, and Miley Cyrus does something stupid, you take it personally. I know it's not rational, but I feel like Miley came over to our house, set up her stripper pole in our front yard, rang the doorbell, and then shook her booty right in front of my own four-year-old.

Granted, WCK has no idea that the pole-dancing incident took place. In fact, I don't even think she knows who Miley Cyrus is. Hannah Montana is always just Hannah Montana. Sometimes she is "the Hannah Montana with the brown hair". When I was WCK's age, I wanted to be Dorothy, and I had no idea that Judy Garland was a drug addict with five husbands. I don't think I realized this until I was about 25.

Also, the Miley defenders say she was not pole-dancing; she was using the pole for balance as she rode around on top of an ice-cream truck. (If you can't tell, I have read about 1,000 online articles about the pole-dancing incident.) If this is true, maybe Miley is a genius. The only thing stopping me from regularly riding around on ice-cream trucks is that there is no way to balance. Finally, a solution! Equip every ice-cream truck in the country with a stripper pole! Think of how great our lives would become!

Yes, I'm trying to look on the bright side, but I still feel betrayed. I'm going to sound like I'm 100 years old and extremely uncool, but I think that if you have little fans who see you like this:



.... you ought not to be doing this:



P.S. I have a question about the concert video, which was my first exposure to the Jonas Brothers. What is the deal with these guys? Do they all look like Screech from Saved by the Bell, or is it just me?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nobody's perfect

Hannah Montana continues to slowly creep into our lives. WCK now owns the following:

1. Hannah Montana microphone that plays "The Best of Both Worlds". We had a few weeks of peace when the batteries died out. Then, during a moment of weakness, I purchased new batteries. Must. Resist. Hannah. Montana. Alas, I cannot.

2. A book filled with hundreds of Hannah Montana stickers.

3. Hannah Montana socks and underwear.

4. A Hannah Montana purse that lights up.

5. A Hannah Montana CD that plays over and over and over in the car. And over. And over.

6. Boxes of Hannah Montana cereal. I didn't even know they made Hannah Montana cereal, but the evil demons in charge of grocery-store marketing put it exactly at the eye level of a four-year-old. They're diabolical.

The cereal is actually not that bad. It consists of fruity-flavored pink and purple puffs, and the box includes horoscopes with fashion tips. They are actually called "Fashionscopes". Here is my Fashionscope: "The challenge of being the first born in the zodiac is to be a fashion leader, not a follower. Get out in front of fashion trends, and be fearless."

It's eerie, really. Ask anyone who knows me: I am best known for my fearless fashion leadership. Just the other morning, I went out to get the paper in neon-pink flip flops, striped pajama pants, and a New Kids on the Block concert t-shirt when there were actual neighbors outside. That's pretty fearless.

Back to Hannah: WCK's favorite song on the CD is called "Nobody's Perfect." The other day she decided to sing it while I made a video on the digital camera. The lyrics go, "Nobody's perfect! Ya live and ya learn it!"

Now imagine WCK jumping around the living room dramatically with her little microphone, as serious as can be, singing her heart out: "Nobody's perfect! I'M GETTIN' ALLERGIC!!"

Oh, dear. I hope she's gettin' allergic to the cereal, because I'm not sure how many more Fashionscopes I can read.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Beer, beer, beer

The fact that we took our child on a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery continues to haunt us.

Today, Jay and WCK went out on a daddy-daughter date. They went to Toys R Us and bought a Batman coloring book and then had hot dogs and root beer at the park. (Root beer, people. Diet root beer, at that.) When they arrived home, WCK was bursting with good news.

"Mommy!" she exclaimed, "Daddy let me drink BEER!"

It's only a matter of time before she tells this story to a preschool teacher and Child Protective Services shows up at our door.

Friday, August 07, 2009

R.I.P John Hughes

I searched YouTube high and low for the final scene from Sixteen Candles. The only one I could find ... is in Spanish. I watched it, though, and realized that even though I can't understand a single word, nothing can detract from its sheer awesomeness.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

She's got the write stuff ... bush baby!

Last spring, WCK's preschool teacher told me that WCK was a little behind in learning to write her name. Because of this, WCK and I have been working very hard this summer on learning to write her name and the other letters of the alphabet. Rather, I've been working very hard to convince her to write the letters, and she's been mostly scribbling or ignoring me or doing whatever she wants.

I've had the feeling that WCK could write the letters, she just chose not to, much like The Great Learning-to-Walk Fiasco of 2006.

She's been piddling around with this letter-writing thing, and I was envisioning her not being able to start kindergarten until she's 25. Then, over the weekend, we were visiting a children's farm that has an old-fashioned schoolhouse equipped with little chalkboard slates and chalk. WCK picked up the chalk and casually wrote her own name, followed by "Mom", and "Dad", just like that. She could write all along! I knew it!

Today, she wrote what I consider her first real, non-name word. She carefully printed, "BUSH BABY."

She started liking bush babies a couple weeks ago, when her Grandma Kathy got her a book about nocturnal animals. She loves nocturnal animals, because they don't have bedtimes. This is a bush baby:



Although, if you Google "bush baby", this photo comes up, too:



Monday, August 03, 2009

Artists

Jay and WCK drew some pictures over the weekend. Here is WCK's drawing of the Rancor Monster from Return of the Jedi:




Jay drew this:



I asked him why Batman was eating a banana. I was quickly informed that Batman is holding a Batarang. WCK could not believe how lame I was. How could I not know it was a Batarang? I spent a good half-day listening to, "Why did you think Batman was eating a banana, Mama? Why? Didn't you know it was a Batarang, Mama? Why didn't you know that? Why?"

Also, if you look very closely at the Batman drawing, you can see the drawing that's on the other side of the paper: ships blowing up the Death Star.

Before you think I am mocking Jay's drawing, you should see a painting that I made over the weekend. It's supposed to be Dorothy and Toto. Note that poor Toto is floating several inches above the Yellow Brick Road and Dorothy appears to have an Amish beard:




I hope that either a) WCK overcomes my art gene or b) any art classes she takes are pass/fail.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Hey, myeloma patients!

Help the International Myeloma Foundation gather info about our dumb disease. Fill out a survey at http://survey.myeloma.org . It takes just a few minutes and asks basic questions about your diagnosis, medications you've taken, etc.