Three is an interesting age. The three-year old mind is exploding with new thoughts and absorbing more information than you ever will again in your life. Never underestimate your three-year old's ability to both remember and invent. You might say Annie's bedtime routine is a classic example. We've done all of the following steps for over two months now.
Kiss, Hug, Honk, and Rub
Annie chooses the order of the four actions guaranteed to make a toddler go to sleep. Seriously, there was a study on this somewhere. She often picks kiss first and then asks for exactly three kisses on her back and "no extras". Step two is usually a nose honk. This has morphed from a run-of-the-mill honk of the nose to a multi-part honk, complete with high or low pitched catchphrases based on how hard Annie squeezes my nose. We then move on to a very generic hug, with absolutely no strings attached. Lastly we do the rub, in which I rub Annie's head and she giggles. Then she rubs my head, and if I don't giggle exactly the way she expects, we try again. This could be a different giggle every night.
Don't worry folks, I wouldn't let my first child go to bed with such little fanfare.
She next asks me to say "I love you across the hall," which means I need to slowly walk across her room while saying I love you.
Once I reach the bedroom door, we enter the final--and most serious--stage of Annie's good night routine. By the way, she calls this whole thing her 'tine. This is where I whisper the classic nighttime well wish...sleep tight. You might think I'd close the door here and be done with it, but instead we first have to cluck like a chicken, flap our wings, and say bock bock bock--really. And then we have to flap our outstretched arms like a bird and say flap flap flap--I shit you not. Finally, seriously finally, Annie says "good night, goodbye, I love you" and I walk out the door. If Annie isn't satisfied with any part of her bedtime extravaganza she will scream until I come back and fix the grievous mistake I made.
Keep in mind, I'm a pretty good parent. The problem is that every little step was a slippery slope, and before you know it, BAM!, craziness. Now that I've learned this, I stop her before she can add anything new. Lately she has been trying to get me to draw circles on the wall with her in between kiss, hug, honk, and rub and I love you across the hall. No way kid, I'm too smart for that.
Most of the things that my kids do to surprise me fall under the sudden violence or sudden bodily excretion categories. Yesterday, though, Annie did something that flipped me upside down and shook me around a bit. She balked at finishing her dinner last night, and when I told her she would lose one of her pacifiers if she didn't continue, she told me, "I don't want my Bobs anymore. I think I'll throw them out."
A few seconds after she climbed the stairs to her room I heard her open the garbage can. She was back in her seat soon after. When she told me she was done eating I had no recourse save for shocked acceptance. She went to bed later and barely gave her old life, or her bobs, a mention.
In accordance with child rearing law, the Bob Fairy came in the middle of the night and brought her her first bike.
The next time you find yourself telling acquaintances how brilliant or "ahead of the curve" your child is, remember that you are talking about the same kid who pulled poop out of her diaper during lunch and continues to use her spoon in a convex rather than concave manner. I'm not saying your child isn't awesome, they all are, but it might do you some good to take the bad with the good; you'll end up enjoying the good that much more.
At long last the conundrum of running errands with your newly potty trained toddler has been solved. No more searching for clean bathrooms or "holding it." No more sacrificing the progress you've made by wearing a diaper just for the store. With the spare water bottle from your cabinet, um "My Pee Pee Bottle", you simply stand your kid on that table in J.Crew and let 'er rip. No privacy needed.
Maybe you have heard that 800,000 doses of Swine Flu vaccine have been recalled for what is being termed a "loss of strength." The doses in question are somehow 12% below the government standard of effectiveness. This is a new concept to me. Could they make a vaccine that is 12% above that standard? Would that vaccine be more likely to give your child actual Swine Flu? Is the goal for companies like Sanofi Pasteur - who made the vaccines in question - to try and thread the needle and nail the effectiveness right at 100%. This all seems a little suspect.
When I called our pediatrician today to find out if the doses that Annie and Tilda received last week were on the recall list, the answer was "They haven't let us know yet." Hmmm. Hardly encouraging. When I asked the nurse when they thought they might "know," she said she wasn't sure. Great.
The question is, if my kids doses are 12% less effective than expected, should they get another two doses instead of the typical one? Nobody seems to have a definitive answer on that one. It sounds like a judgement call. Good luck parents!
Woodward! Bernstein! Get on this Eggo shortage story, like, today. Petula Dvorak's article, though entertaining, is not enough. We need answers. We need in depth analysis. Pictures of the closed plants. Interviews with Kellogs' executives on why they aren't relocating all the little old ladies from the "Tennessee waffle factory" who are making waffles from scratch every day and boxing them up for my large scale consumption needs. Like Elaine and the Today sponge, I will be stocking up.
In eight grocery stores across Maryland, Virginia and the District, I found warnings of a dire situation and a tough year ahead. Signs taped to the freezer doors warn of a "shortage" and allude to a "situation." A Giant supermarket in Rockville said it best in two, purple-markered words written next to a column of empty shelves: "Eggo problem."Get out your hockey gear. If I see you at Giant today and there is only one family sized box left, it's you or me, and one of us is going into the glass.