May 31 2007, 10:20 AM
Oh, Gren. There should be some sort of Bustie sanctuary up in the hills somewhere, where Busties in need can go & stay. It would be free, supported by Busties who have made it big & by the sales of our handicrafts...
Try not to worry too much about moving the Bean again. The important thing is that you're trying to find a safe home for him. The mold isn't your fault - nor is the mister's sadly-all-too-common lack of step-it-up. Is it possible to sell the house as a tear-down? You'd at least get money back for the land, which could be a good bit depending on where you are. I don't know your emotional history with the house, but I think at this point it might be ready to let it go, especially given the pervasiveness of the mold. With another one on the way, I think you need to find a safe, stable home, one that won't be another enormous stress in your life - that might mean sucking up a rental for a while. It also might mean the Mister sucking it up & putting school on hold for a bit, if that's at all possible. You working your ass off, with a bun in the proverbial oven & a wee one to take care of, while he goes to school isn't a long-term solution in my mind. I know education leads to better employment, but sometimes you just need a second paycheck coming in to get your head back above water.
I might be speaking out of turn here, and if so, I do apologize - I don't know the ins & outs of what got you to where you are right now, and you've got enough to think about without me telling you what to do. I just hate to see you going through this, and want to help as much as an imaginary online friend can. (((Gren)))
Life here is splendiferous. Tartlet is walking & communicating like a pro all of a sudden, and has stopped the daycare drop-off freakouts. He is ridiculously happy, and that rubs off on all of us. I wish I could bottle up his laughter & send it to all of you - some days, I think it could cure cancer.
May 31 2007, 10:45 AM
or it could be supported by the scientologists. i hear they're loaded, and we could always claim to be an offshoot (although if that whole thing about the adult pacifier is true, i dunno)....
thanks for the sympathy, guys, and thanks, tart, for the words. of course i don't mind, and i've thought everything you said about maybe not being in school right now. i wasn't being entirely fair, though, in that the mister's grandparents are actually paying tuition, and given his lack of work experience/skills it seems to both of us unlikely that he'd be able to earn enough to make up for the childcare he avoids us having to pay for, but maybe not. he was earning 40k as an admin for the first year we were married which, while not a ton, is probably more than childcare would cost. anyway, it's a complicated equation. he has one year left, and i don't think he'll actually make any more money when he HAS his english b.a., but i could be wrong.
i'm ready to let the house go if that's what need to happen. i just can't get letting it go to pencil out. my mother (she of the perfect credit report!) actually suggested defaulting and letting them foreclose, but since (with my poor earning power) one of my only senses of financial security comes from my good credit, i can't see doing it. selling as a tear-down would probably leave us about $200k in the hole, maybe more, and i don't know if we could afford to even rent with that kind of debt hanging over us.
and then, in some ways i wonder if this isn't the universe's cosmic way of making me see a difficult situation (the mold, the relationship, hell, the whole situation - yesterday i was wishing i'd died two years ago so none of this would have ever happened) through and actually FIXING it rather than running, which has always been my habit (and which i've always done responsibly in the sense that i never MADE commitments i would have to break).
we do have the option of going to my parents' farm an hour away in the country for the summer. it's rustic (generator, no constant electricity), but at least the air is clean, and if we can dump, say, 80 grand or less (where does one get that kind of money?) into fixing the house and make it work, and we can get the work done in the next two or three months (before i'm due), that is probably the most sensible option, much as i hate the uncertainty. i think. i guess.
right now i have three HEPA filters on full blast and all the windows open. it's freezing and it sounds like a jetway in here, but i'm operating on the theory that air exchange is good, air filtration is good, and if i have the 1600-sq-foot filter in the bean's 100-square-foot room, maybe it'll keep the mold at bay enough that he doesn't die from taking his midday nap. the mister's immediate reaction was, "let's go to a hotel," but i think that would suck. as much as i hate being in mold, i think that staying a few more days while we figure out the extent of the problem is better than blowing a grand spending ten nights in hotel and then still not knowing what's up.
it's hard not to wallow. but the bean is great; he naps like a pro, he doesn't, apparently, want to nurse any more (i think i do, wah!), and he said this morning at breakfast, referring to the "healthy lifestyle" photo on the back of the cereal box, "that guy got happy! that guy got a apple!" it makes me smile, but then i feel like crying.
May 31 2007, 11:15 AM
Grenadine, I'm popping in here as someone who has previously Lived With Mold. FWIW, I lived in 2 places, one after another, in a damp Irish town for about 18 mos. total. Mold is certainly bad for you; I credit the first place with giving me bronchitis. However, I lived in the second place, which grew mold primarily on one wall of my bedroom, for about a year and didn't get ill again. I would clean the mold-area regularly with a strong chemical spray, but as you probably know that only clears away the surface mold. Disgusting, yes, but there were no further effects health-wise.
In a nutshell, while mold is certainly unhealthy, I would guess a week or two more shouldn't do too much damage, although obviously the baby may be more vulnerable. The ventilation measures you're taking sound good though.
Sorry if I'm intruding. Good luck with it all; you sound like you are doing an awesome job on all fronts.
May 31 2007, 12:36 PM
You know, I hate it when these kind of "wow, that really sucks on so many levels" things happen. I mean when life piles it on you.
It reminds me of another situation I'm currently involved with.
I have a friend who's disappeared from her usual cyber haunt, and I was worried, and I've now heard through her close friend of many years that yes, there is reason to be worried. Making it simple, she's had some very rough times in the past, and now her husband is out of work, and she is afraid of losing, well, a lot, including her house.
I hear this all second hand, as I've been unable to reach her. I've phoned a few times, but nothing, and I suspect phoning me back right now is financially out of the question.
Part of me thinks if I do reach her, what do I say. I know that being a friend isn't about "fixing" things, and I'm certainly reminded of that here.
Anyway, gren, you and everyone else are impressing the pants off me right now. And I agree about a few more days in the house to sort things out not being the worst thing. I think it's what I'd do.
In our area we have similar financial woes. When I was looking for work after coming back from the UK I was seeing jobs in my field advertisted for $29,000/year. Um, I was making that before I went to grad school and had to take out the humungous student loan! And that was nearly ten years ago. Housing here has almost doubled in price since I left only 4.5 years ago, however. We've now been back in the US for exactly one year (well, me back, and him here) and we can't seem to get our savings even to the $10,000 mark, in spite of living with my parents. Things keep happening that cost us money we don't really have to spend. The paycheck I just got (for one month) won't even pay for my root canal. It sucks.
And I totally understand what you mean about the good credit. I'm that way as well, in part for similar reasons.
As someone who is worrying a stupid amount about the disruption that travelling to the UK will cause for notbob, I know it's a bit, well, ironic for me to be saying what I'm going to say but I'm saying it anyway.
You know, on some level where your worry isn't the loudest voice, that the stability in a child's life comes mostly from the people in it. Yes, not living in a war zone I have the luxury of saying that, but you get my point, I think.
So while of course environment is important, a HUGELY important part of that environment are the principle caretakers in the child's life, particularly mom.
May 31 2007, 02:26 PM
anoushh, you've been a great friend to me here, and that's all you have to do if you get hold of your friend. i'm feeling quite isolated from my friends now because i moved when pregnant (the first time) and have since been pretty busy with all the things you're busy with. i have a couple of friends i really should contact, but all i have to say right now is "woe is me" and i really don't want to dump that on them...but i'd jump at the chance if THEY called me! contrariwise, i have one friend here whom i'm avoiding because i can't stand to listen to her attempting to solve all my problems without even understanding them (that is SO not what you were doing, tart; you were commiserating and identifying the issues with the situation, which is really helpful; she's one of those people who starts spouting solutions and won't let you get a word in edgewise). so anyway, anoushh, don't worry about how to be a good friend - just being there is really all you need to do.
i am stress-eating junior mints. bye, bye, teeth!
thanks to you and and tart and moxie and sybarite and all for being friends to me. i need it right now, and having women i respect offer a little sympathy helps me to feel i can, myself, be someone i respect instead of just wallowing and throwing a kicking tantrum on the floor, which is what i'd like to do.
btw, mox, i think all complaints about pinkeye are justified, regardless of the context.
and syb, thanks for the reassurance. my mold is highly toxic and causes (among other things) liver and kidney failure, pneumonia (which the bean got last fall, which is how i found out), brain deformities in fetuses, asthma, etc. -- and it's airborne (not all mold is) in 100x the outdoor air concentration. but it's true that there are other common household molds that are relatively harmless (they're irritants but not toxic). however, it's still nice to know you survived.
maybe i will beg the mr's grandparents for a loan to fix the house. they said no to a loan to buy a new house, but this is a bit different.
i guess we may well not get to harvest the peas, zucchini, and tomatoes growing in the backyard.
Jun 1 2007, 06:39 AM
gren, cripes almighty, sweetie! The "woe is me" times are exactly when you should reach out to old friends! Not that I'm great at that either, mind you...
You might want to check into your homeowners insurance...some have no-mold clauses, while other's don't. Also, check into grants/etc. from local historical commissions, state health boards, etc. There should be friggin funds out there to fix toxic woes. What state are you in? PM me...I might be able to do some research through work channels here.
I'm curious, and mostly b/c it sometimes helps to enunciate when angry, what the Mr. is doing (or not doing, as the case may be) to help the situation? You are right, that trying to remember the good is about as hard as anything in this situation. At the same time, try, if you can, to let him be an active participant in solution finding...like, don't just shut his ideas down b/c they weren't in your original plan/thoughts/concerns/worries. Its HARD not to do, I understand. You're all in this together, though. Its what makes families strong...figuring out shite in a shite-storm together.
Family housing on campus, maybe?
Anyway, my heart goes out to you all. Seriously.
Jun 1 2007, 12:48 PM
Ok, this is small stuff compared to major mold problems, etc, but man, today is one crap thing after another. Not huge ones, admittedly, but a hell of a lot of small ones.
And I still havent' been able to reach my friend.
I suspect not-bob is getting his first tooth in. I think I can feel a small bump. He woke up again last night at 3, WIDE awake, and wouldn't go back to sleep until I gave him a bottle. Been ages since that's happened (unless you count two nights ago, when it also happened.)
This is getting me all worried--needlessly--about his sleep again.
He was in a fine, fine mood yesterday, which was nice.
I, on the other hand, am tired, my back hurts, my shoulder hurts, it's too hot, I hate summer, I forgot my purse at home, and it just goes on.
Jun 1 2007, 12:59 PM
thanks, mox, i'll do that. i'm 90% sure there's a no-mold clause in our insurance, but i'll double-check.
and i do have a couple old friends i regularly talk to and have moaned to about mold; i just don't want to call the ones i've been putting off calling for months anyway and be like, "hey people! mold!"
mold testers and mold remediation contractor came today and said they don't see any evidence that it's in the walls and they do see it "on" the walls (what is called "settled spores" as opposed to actual growth -- essentially it's hanging around waiting for an opportunity to land somewhere hospitable and grow), so we're going to have the contractor do an "air scrubbing" and complete mold cleaning next week and see how it tests after that. i'm hoping...meanwhile, i'm having the mr. pick up some microban (the cleaner the professionals use) on the way home from school today so we can wipe down the bean's room right away. that combined with the filters should keep things at bay for the next week. after the professionals come, we'll re-test.
moral: have mold testing done before you buy a house and have a humidity gauge on, at least during the rainy season.
anyway...yeah, mox, i think it's important to articulate when angry. actually, that's one of my biggest communication issues with the mr -- the angrier i am, the more likely i am to articulate, in exquisitely organised and probably very discouraging detail, exactly what's wrong and why it's so troublesome to me. he's more of the silent brooder type, and he becomes increasingly inarticulate the more upset he is. he's also someone who processes very differently than i do...i tend to methodically reason through to the end and very quickly come to the conclusion that makes the most sense to me, which i then stick to; he tends to vacillate wildly for a while (e.g. "we should go to a hotel. do you remember HOW SICK we all got here? this place is toxic. we should burn it down." and "i think it'll be fine. i don't think there's mold in the walls. i think the cleaning will fix it. it's okay." -- both statements made by him in the last 24 hours). i am unused to (and unappreciative of, it must be said) the dramatic absolutism with which he tends to greet problems, so it makes me more stressed as i try to figure out what really makes sense -- and that makes me angry with him. essentially, what usually happens is the he makes these dramatic, impassioned, absolutist blanket statements reacting to a problem, then reacts the exact opposite way ten minutes later, while i am coming to a conclusion, deciding he's an idiot and a spaz, and getting increasingly resentful for the added stress he's helped me develop by making alarmist proclamations about how WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE RIGHT NOW FROM THE MOLD. RIGHT. NOW. DIE. AND DEVELOP BIRTH DEFECTS. RIGHT. THIS. SECOND. A. BRAIN. DEFORMITY. IS. BEING. CEMENTED.
actually, i think part of the problem is that i have this very democratic and cartesian view of how our decision-making process should go and i tend to try to promote my logical and democratic ideal by soliciting his opinion before it's really ready for public consumption. i should know that he's too emotional and reactionary to be ready to participate in calm discussion until later...but in my little world, he should be the one to make that call and calmly tell me that we should talk later because he's too busy processing right now.
he's also a "blocker" (i learnt this term from a teacher-training session on group work roles...the "blocker" is the person who's always raising objections to other people's suggestions but not offering any solutions himself -- in short, a purveyor of DEstructive criticism with an ego that demands he be included in the decision-making process). so our conversations are like this:
me: do you think we should have the remediation contractor open up the walls and look for mold?
him: WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW
me: do you think we should go to the farm for the summer and have all the walls torn out?
him: I WOULD HAVE TO QUIT SCHOOL SUMMER TERM
me: i'm not convinced this "air scrubbing" is going to solve the problem. what do you think?
him: THIS PLACE IS TOXIC IT WILL KILL US
me: of course, we might want to get the contractor's opinion of the best steps to take, but i hate not knowing if there's mold hiding in the walls...
sigh. i'm aware, you see, that my tendency is to GET RID OF THE PROBLEM NOW, EXCAVATE, FIND IT, RIP IT OUT BY THE ROOTS. and i'm aware that sometimes it makes more sense not to be quite so extreme (for example, we decided to keep the asbestos vinyl tile that was on the floors when we moved in and lay the new wood floor over it. even though this was what all the environmental professionals advised us to do -- tearing it out would have been much more hazardous in terms of exposure--, his refrain was "RIP IT OUT RIP IT OUT ASBESTOS IS BAD" the entire time, and i had to be the moderate and reasonable one. it gets tiring).
ETA: oh yeah: the other constant style strain in our relationship is that i strongly believe that you do your work first and THEN take a break. so when the bean goes down, i'll do dishes, sweep, mop, do laundry, grade ten papers, bleach the tile, and then take a break. the mister is just the opposite. he'll take a break for the whole !U@!*(@!!!!! time, which drives me crazy and perpetuates the already uneven distribution of labour. that man's capacity to sit on his ass and look up random crap on wikipedia AMAZES me.
anyway, i think i'm no longer making sense. we're definitely getting the strength of our relationship sorely tested, as we've had just about every stress possible in the first three years of our marriage (unplanned pregnancy? check. unwanted state-to-state move? check. death of close relative? check. conflict with in-laws? check. abandonment by best friends? each of us, check. employment woes? check. renter bouncing checks? check. etc. etc....)
i'd be interested in hearing about the problem-solving conflicts the rest of y'all have with your partners, though. it's such higher stakes when there's a young child involved.
anyway, it's friday, it's sunny, and the bean is napping so i'm going to eat ice cream clandestinely (since he's allergic, i can't eat it in front of him).
Jun 1 2007, 01:10 PM
If one of my long--or not so long--lost friends called me up and then needed some moral support, I'd be glad he or she had felt I was someone worth talking to, and would be happy to hear from the person again.
I know what you mean about not wanting to dump on your friends, but unless you are a "dumper"--and I'm more than sure you aren't, gren--it's really ok, and part of what they are there for.
PS: easy for me to say on this end of it, but when I'm feeling down I have a much trouble with it as you do.
Jun 1 2007, 01:13 PM
anoushh, it's great that he's getting a tooth! i don't know if you've tried frozen (damp) washcloths, but many swear by that for chewing and gumming. also, refrigerator-chilled teething rings.
don't worry about sleep patterns. i know we are programmed to worry, but i'm convinced it's not the best way to do this job. he will have weird sleep for a little while, then he'll be normal, then he'll be weird again, then he'll be normal, then he'll go to college and be even more weird you can imagine, and even more out of your control. and it will be ok.
okay, people, i am off to KILL EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE with microban (it has a long list of things it kills on the bottle, including herpes, athlete's foot, etc....i should spray it on some people i know.)
eta: anoushh, i'm so glad we share the same emotional/social problems...
. but it's actually self-protective, too, you know. it's a lot of WORK to explain to someone you've been out of touch with what's going on.
Jun 1 2007, 01:28 PM
Yeah, it is a lot of work. I know what you mean. It's a tough balance at times, figuring out what is best, isn't it?
(Ok, that's an understatement, espcially in regard to parenting.) And I know just what you mean about the comfort of shared feelings and experience.
I know you are right about the sleep. That's easier for me to believe at 7 months than it was at 7 weeks, but it takes a lot of effort not to sucumb to the worry. But I'm trying, as I think it's a waste of energy to worry about this.
He likes his fridge teether toys, so we'll keep giving them to him and try the washcloth.
DIE MOLD, DIE!!!
Jun 3 2007, 10:03 AM
annoush- since not-bob is over 6 mos old, you can use motrin (infant). He's a big kid, right? Start him at 1.25 ml every 6 hours (or at bedtime), and see if his teething discomfort abates. we tried EVERYTHING else, and finally realized that they call it "pain reliever" for a reason. Plus, at 7 months, you've got sITTING and CREEPING keeping his little mind active, eh? Expect it again at 10 and 12 months. Or whenever a tooth, huge motor skill or huge cognative skill shows up.
Gren- I'm going to play devil's advocate, for the sake of sorting thing through, ok?
With all the stressors, and a pretty perceptive idea of your vastly different communication skills, why do you expect something of the Mr. that isn't HIM. Unless he's said he's willing to change, of course. I guess I'm saying approaching a marriage like you approach academics or teaching doesn't always work.
THAT I figured out the hard way. Moxieman and I both are bottlers and I have some seruous passive-agressive streaks in me. Its taken us the sum total of our 10 years togehter to come to a place where we can argue or deal with signigicant stressors effectivly. I'd be happy to talk it out more, if you want.
Ok, my lunch is ready. moxette is snoozing away, and i'm off to have frozen pizza, fold some laundry and watch SNL.
Jun 3 2007, 12:53 PM
i see what you're saying mox. the thing is, i don't expect the mr. to be someone other than who he is, but i DO expect him to (and he acknowledges this expectation is reasonable) be aware enough of how he is to temper its effect on others, i.e. me (for example by knowing he should wait to talk rather than spouting alarmist proclamations about how bad off we are and how we should move to the other side of the globe and live in a glass, fungus-resistant box...). that has definitely been my struggle, though -- identifying what changes to expect and what changes i might wish for that are unreasonable. the age/experience difference (7 years) is also problematic; on the one hand, there are legitimate ways in which he needs to grow up, but on the other he's not, as you point out, going to grow up into an entirely different person. and then i don't like having the "i'm more mature" attitude -- even if it's true, it messes with the balance of power too much.
i don't know. i have to eat lunch now, too, though, while i can. and we are wiping down the house (walls, floor, ceiling) with microban and washing everything yet again, so hopefully the air is better already.
Jun 3 2007, 03:32 PM
hi there... i'm peeking in the door after a very long bust hiatus. (i used to be spelled cucumberfruit, but a dingo gobbled me up sometime close to when the boards switched formats.) i used to post in here when i was pregnant with my first, and now that i'm pregnant with my second i'm remembering how this thread got me through so much before. my daughter is now 3.5 years old, and i'm 9.5 weeks pregnant (and i haven't vomitted since week 7).
grenadine, the whole mold thing sucks, and i hope microban and the other measures you are taking get you some clean air. my partner is also in school, and has been in school for years and years and years, and the burden of being the one who works, the one who problem-solves, the one who cleans, and having a young one in the house and another in the womb totally resonates with me! to have the mold issue on top of it all... i'll scream with you.
Jun 4 2007, 11:10 AM
hi, cucumber! welcome back!
(i wonder if men just don't have any kind of global consciousness of what needs to be done because they aren't expected to be caretakers and household managers - something many women have done from a young age)
in other news, a semi-disturbing article in the ny times on 'redshirting' kids (keeping them back so they'll be a year older and perform better). as always, a lot of it comes down to income, which is argument enough in my book for not doing it:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/magazine...&ei=5087%0A
what do you guys think?
Jun 5 2007, 07:16 AM
((gren)) I'm so sorry for all your mold problems, and the Mr. issues too! I agree that men just don't seem to be wired for the caretaker role. Even my hubby (who I wouldv'e sworn would be the best mr. mom ever when we got married) seems clueless most of the time now that Jaslet is here. And I'm not just thinking that my way is the only 'right' way (even though it is
Anoushh- I'm agreeing with you about the whole sleep issue. I'm starting to just roll with it a lot better now that he's almost 6 months and fairly well-adjusted. So far this week, we've had one night of sleeping thru the night (11 1/2 hours straight), one night of waking up at 4:30am to eat and last night with a wake up at 11p ready to play then 3:30am for nursing. This kid just does not seem to have an idea of what consistency is nor do we have any semblance of a nap schedule. But I figure that'll just mean that he'll be a very flexible and laid-back youngster.
Hope everyone else is doing well!!
Jun 5 2007, 07:19 AM
Hey everyone! It must have been a busy week, as I haven't posted, although I can't remember what I've done! Oh, we went to a wedding, sans Monkey who stayed with Grandma. MissChani was well behaved, although it was stressful trying to anticipate her every need in advance to keep her quiet.
Nothing really new here. Everyone has been healthy for 2 whole weeks! I'm skipping exercise class today because I feel the need to avoid mental exertion, and it's too complicated to leave the house these days.
Jun 5 2007, 11:07 AM
grrls, why can't I change my avatar? It says I've changed it, but it keeps putting up my weirdly stretched kitty cat!
Jun 5 2007, 11:24 AM
chani, we are seeing monkey kissing misschani. at least i am!
ah, those busy weeks. i have those now and i strongly suspect i'll have more come september.
jas, when i think of men and parenting i think of the time i was driving with my best friend in the first car i ever owned (when i was 25). before that i'd barely driven. out of nowhere, he remarked, "wow! your 360-degree awareness has really improved!" and i realised that the last time i'd driven him (we went to chez panisse and then home to the housesit i had in tiburon and i ran a red light, among other things) i had had very poor "360-degree awareness." the mr tries, and he does fine on individual tasks; it's his 360-degree awareness that sucks. it's like he's driving a milk truck with the mirrors ripped off.
Jun 5 2007, 02:14 PM
Ok, that sounds like a great avatar. Except I can't see it.
How strange is it that grenadine can but I can't?
I'm having serious overload of really annoyingly stupid and frustrating stuff. Latest? Well, too many to mention. But one was yesterday going to the PO to get the young man his passport and waiting 1 1/2 hours before realizing we (I) had forgotten his birth certificate at home.
That's just one of many similar stories of late. Arrggghhhh!
Jun 5 2007, 02:15 PM
Wait--it's listed under "personal photo" in your profile! Strange.
Jun 5 2007, 02:20 PM
if you can't see chani's new photo, go to "tools"/"internet options"/"delete cookies" in your IE. on my mac at home, firefox updated automatically, but IE (which i have here at work) and many other browsers want to just stick with their stored data unless you force them to update.
anoushh, they spelled the bean's middle name (which is my last name, argh!) WRONG on his social security card and i STILL haven't gotten around to changing it.
Jun 5 2007, 02:34 PM
Psst...hitting the refresh button always works for me.
Jun 6 2007, 08:01 AM
Actually, even rebooting the computer didn't do it, but removing the cookies did! Thanks gren!
am printing out daysheets to chart missc's sleep on. with monkey i found that seeing a pattern and anticipating it was reaaly helpful in reducing fussy times and getting longer naps AND reducing my frustration.
also useful: new acronym to explain bad spelling/grammer
NAK - nursing at keyboard
Jun 6 2007, 01:36 PM
MissChani has slept all day today!! As you can tell from my proliferating posts!
I got half way through the redshirting article and then zoned out since we have a different system. Here we have preschool, jk and sk and I have no idea what the difference is between any of them. It seems so far away right now, but I suppose it's not... I'd better start asking the other moms!
I have a babysitter tonight so that I can go out for coffee with the girls. I am DEFINITELY looking forward to getting out of the house.
Jun 6 2007, 02:44 PM
maybe it's not been an issue for you, chani, in which case you're lucky. i have a late fall birthday and remember being constantly aware, as a child, that there were kids in my class over one year older than i because their parents had "redshirted" them, either because of academic or social concerns; the mister, who went to high school in america's corn-and-brats-chompin', sports-worshipin' dairyland, has several classmates who are two years older than he is (and he's a spring bday and not particularly young for his grade in the first place) but who graduated the same year -- they were redshirted DUE TO SPORTS (as in, if all our fifth graders are 13, you can bet we'll kick ass at the junior football tourney, or whatever it's called).
now that the bean is walking and talking and i interact with a lot of parents in parent-child situations, i see how competitive and product-oriented parents are. there's a mother at our community playgroup who constantly badmouths her son, who's the same age as the bean, right in front of him -- she has this running diatribe about how "his older brother could play beethoven's fifth on the piano while reciting the magna carta, in latin, at this age, but i can't even understand his nonsensical babbling; his older brother could out-dunk shaquille o'neal by age two, and he can't even make a basket." it drives me crazy; when the bean (who is obsessed with making baskets and is a fairly coherent talker) does his thing, it's just one more excuse for her to verbally abuse her kid. i want to take her aside and say, "you know, your child is perfectly normal, and all you're doing is MAKING HIM HATE YOU AND WANT TO BE A FUCK-UP."
then at the art class we've been going to, it's crazy how people try to control EVERY LITTLE THING THEIR KID DOES to make sure the "product" is just the way it's supposed to be. the teacher always sets up tables and has a process for each one; at one table, for example, you can paint on paper that's taped to the wall and then take it over and shake sand into the paint. at another, you can splatter paint on paper and then put it in a box and roll marbles around in it to smear the paint. and instead of letting their kids (the class is for 18 mo. - 3 years, and most are 18-26 mo.) just experiment with the media, make messes they can't make at home, etc., these parents are WRESTING the papers from the kids and FORCING them to "follow the steps" to make the right product. they look at me as though i'm a bad parent because the bean just wants to paint on the paper and doesn't care about putting sand in it afterwards. i've actually seen parents CORRECT their kids' drawings or take a perfectly absorbed, interested child away from one activity because "now you have to put it on the table and stick feathers in it!" WTF? don't they realise they're training their kids to be creatively stifled, paranoid ADD sufferers with no self-confidence or ability to explore? or kids who see art time as a time to have power struggles with their parents (and i applaud those kids!) as to what it's "supposed" to look like?
seriously, i know i sound like a madwoman, but those of you who have younger kids, you'll get there. it's unreal. and i connect these things (the redshirting and my playgroup/art class experiences) because they are linked to the common attitude of "how can our kid be more impressive than other people's kids?" and "how can we tweak the system so we look better?"
Jun 6 2007, 05:48 PM
Luckily, I have very little contact with that breed of ubercompetitive people. I'm sure it'll come though, and I'll be in your situation trying not to yell at them!
Jun 7 2007, 09:48 AM
gren, I can SO totally see that! We're pretty lucky so far, in that the other parents we come into contact with are more generally interested for the sake of striking up their own creativity (oh, yours eats blueberries...i wonder why i never thought of that, thanks!) than for competition. Her daycare goes from infant to kindergarten (like a wee-wee elementary school).
They move kids "up" three times a year...she's just about (on monday!) to move to the "walker's" room (apx 14 mos to 2.5 years). There are 5 girls from her current infant class moving "up"-they're all 12-14 mos old. And, they've played with the "big kids" on and off (the rooms are joined by sliding door) forever. I'm more worried that we'll have parent competition in the 3 and 4 yr old rooms...although, it should be the same basic kids she's with now, so I don't know why I worry.
One thing I LOVE about our daycare is that its run by our public school system, so its very educationally based. For an infant, that translates to "creative time" in the high chairs playing with random, MESSY substances...paint, jello, whipped cream, bubbles...textures, projects, etc. They start this as soon as the babies are old enough to be in high chairs! The first time moxette did a red fingerpainting...some paint was in her hair and we thought she had a headwound at bathtime!
We did meet a neighborhood mom last night at the park with a little one 1 week older than moxette. Man, this kid was AWESOME at running, steps, etc....clearly an early walker. I was watching her in amazement, and the other mom was watching moxette with a sigh (oh, I wish mine was 12 mos old when she walked instead of 9...she would have gotten hurt so much less...and she wasn't bitchy at all about it). I think if we can strive to appreciate the unique-ness of each child, we'll all be better parents, and people.
Chani, you all are Canadian. You're generally nicer, more polite folks than us Yanks.
Ok, um, this is WAY longer than I mean it to be. Short version-Competitive, controlling parents suck.
Jun 7 2007, 11:40 AM
yeah, mox, you're right about those canadians. that's why i'm trying to emigrate...
but seriously -- it's everywhere.. even if they're not comparing verbally, they're oppressing their kids trying to make them "perform" better than other people's. ugh.
we have been frantically stowing all loose clothing and fabric in the house in trash bags, then left when the mold cleaning crew got there with a car full of them. we'll be at the beach for the weekend while they (hopefully) remove all traces of mold (or remove all traces of surface mold and enable us to find out about The Lurking Deep), so i'll wish everyone a good weekend now.
p.s. mox, that high chair painting sounds fun! i love when daycares do messy stuff like that (it's so much effort to do at home).
Jun 7 2007, 11:46 AM
Yeah, i'm totally the "let daycare have the shitty parts" mom. LIke, I KNOW we need to start weaning moxette off bottles for nap/bedtime. Right now, on a "normal" day, she gets 3 or 4 bottles...5am, naptime (1 is great...sometimes 2), and bedtime. Sippy cup the rest of the day. So, once she's through this transistion to the new class, bye-bye bottle at daycare (and hence bye-bye nap bottle at home). I figure, that will give her a good 5 days sans bottle at nap before I get her at home...I pay them good money to help me with the shite parts. This is actually the scheme the moms of the other 2-14 month olds (moxette and 2 other girls share a birthday!) concocted to get the girls off bottles together. They'll do it very easily if "the gang" is all going together. Its a little scary, but cute.
Jun 7 2007, 02:37 PM
Thirding the pro-canadian sentiments here.
I'm only going to say that I feel like crap. Yesterday was 1) root canal (redone after my incompetant UK dentist, oh, FORGOT and entire root in the tooth), 2) consequent huge bill (we are never going to get a down payment on a house with all this crap coming up) and 3) developed nasty cold symptoms later the same day (which means not-bob will probably have a cold in a couple of days. Crap.)
I do think he's teething--the bump that went away is back, and he's mr. crabby pants sometimes for now apparent reason. 45 minutes after a dose of ibuprofen and my laughing boy is back.
Oh, and before I go:
DIE MOLD, DIE!
Jun 7 2007, 02:50 PM
oh, anoushh...((())) there is an important lesson to be learned here: the british are mocked for their teeth for a reason.
and don't worry about the down payment. with good credit, you can buy anything! it doesn't matter if you'll ever be able to pay for it!
heh, mox, coordination of bottle giving-up...
oh, and mold? listen to what the woman says.
Jun 7 2007, 07:10 PM
Roseola. moxette's mystery fever is roseola. I was freaked the fuck out, until i read in 3 different sources that the dangerous part is the fever, not the rash. The rash is an afterthought, physiologically speaking. If its not getting better tomorrow, we call the dr. again. sigh...
Jun 8 2007, 10:36 AM
Yipes, Moxie... well, at least you have a diagnosis now, right? Hope my tiny DIL is feeling OK...
Tartlet is back with the hacking cough again, but no actual puking this time - he seems to be able to catch it & swallow :X The more worrisome thing is the 2 nosebleeds he's had - one while we were walking home from school last night, and one first thing this morning, after he'd nursed & falled back asleep in our bed. They're not gushers, but certainly enough to make me wonder WTF is up. Tartman thinks it's dry air - um, it's summer in the mid-Atlantic region. There is no dry air to be found around here until September... I'm thinking it's 1) trauma from all the coughing, breaking a blood vessel in his nose, 2) delayed reaction from some random faceplant, 3) worms. Outerspace worms. In his brain. Yeah, that's the one.
Is it possible to get a nosebleed from teething? We've got 4 up top on the verge of breaking through... he rubs his face like crazy when he's teething, maybe he just rubbed too hard yesterday...
Sorry I've been a bit AWOL lately - work's requiring more attention than normal all of a sudden... Love to ally'all!
Jun 8 2007, 11:33 AM
tart, i'm a worrywart, so I'd say 2 nosebleeds in 1 day bear a call to the Ped. So, on top of all the crap with this virus, she also has another tooth cutting through. poor thing. But, once this one is in, I think its on to molars...fun? Not so much looking forward to that. Looking forward to carrot sticks? Yep!
ok, back to work.
Jun 8 2007, 06:42 PM
I say Pooh on teething!! Jaslet seems to be teething in full force the past 2 days. He's been a clingy, crankerpants during the day and at night. Last night he went down at 7p then was up at 11p, wouldn't go back to sleep until I nursed him then gave him Tylenol at around 12:30a and was back up for the day at 5a. So in all I got about 4 hrs sleep
Daycare said he was a bit cranky today too. He's asleep with Tylenol on board right now and hopefully it'll last (fingers crossed and wishing hard). I think I might call the Peds tomorrow to check if we can try Motrin even though he's not quite 6 months yet.
Oh! And we're gonna try rice cereal for he 1st time this weekend. I feel alternately excited and sad about starting solids. It's gonna be a neat new step in development but also kinda like and end of an era.
Jun 9 2007, 09:16 AM
Holy hell, Jasmine. How did Jaslet get to be 6 months old already?! Next thing you know, all the Bustlets will be headed off to college/work/Europe/backpacking in Tibet, and we'll have to start the Empty Nest thread...
A word of caution - do not be disappointed if the rice cereal is met with less than resounding delight... it really does taste like wallpaper paste. Don't be afraid to try fruit & veg instead - pears, sweet potatoes, bananas & applesauce went over much better than cereal in our house. (Watch the last two, though - they can block up the bebe right quick if they eat too much at first.) wholesomebabyfood.com is a great resource for navigating the waters of solid foods.
I called the ped last night, and she was very reassuring - nosebleeds are far more common than we as parents think, and her thinking is that it's just irritated sinuses from a cold or seasonal allergies, especially given the cough/drainage. If he has any more in rapid succession, we're to take him in, but for now a few shots of saline up the nose & a cough suppressant without
a decongestant is the work order. Have I mentioned how much I love our ped? I wish we could convince her to leave Chicago... finding a new one here is not high on my list of looking-forward-to's.
I'm so inspired by your daycare's messy play, Mox - we're getting our butts outside this weekend & having some paint/pudding/shaving cream fun... We have a "water table" already - the concave top of the Rubbermaid tub that holds all my gardening supplies - and I'm asking the grandfolks for a kiddie pool for the summer. I want to get some grass down in the back yard, but I think that'll have to wait til next year - the whole thing's decked over right now, with a foot of pine needles trapped underneath... former-owner-directed
It's hot & gorgeous here, and we're off to Grandparents Part II (of IV) for the afternoon - Tartlet's going to hang out & get loved up while Tartman & I go on a date
. Woo hoo! Have a super weekend, everyone!
Jun 9 2007, 09:33 AM
Yeah, I had a nasty nosebleed yesterday and I have a cold. Probably the same kind of thing.
(Strange, though, as that never happens to me.)*
Bananas are not a hit with not-bob, though they don't produce such a huge shudder as avocado did.
We gave him a bit of tahn the other day (it's basically watered down plain yogurt--a common armenian drink) and he LOVED it.
The magical tooth is gone again, but I know it will be back.
Have a great weekend, everyone, especially tart!
*hmm, maybe it is worms from outer space, though. I should have thought of that....
Speaking of worrying--and all kidding aside here--I still haven't been able to reach my friend. Now quite worried.
Jun 9 2007, 10:10 AM
jas- moxette hated rice cereal, but LOVED oatmeal. If jaslette doesn't dig the cereal, try another. Also, try mixing it with breastmilk or formula...supposedly that helps the putrid taste.
Ok, moxette and moxieman are napping...i suppose I should too.
Jun 9 2007, 05:44 PM
Okay, so our first foray into the world of solid foods went fine. Not a big resounding YAY! but not a total failure. I may have watered down the cereal too much with breastmilk though, it was awfully runny.
Teething is still in full effect.. gotta run. Jaslet is crying his head off! grrr, stupid teeth!!
Jun 10 2007, 11:12 AM
1st time we made cereal we followed pkg instructions and it was quite thick. Monkey LOVED it, we couldn't shovel it in fast enough.... until he made an enormous heave and vomited ALL of it up!
so thin is probably better!
Jun 10 2007, 07:18 PM
I am so sick.
I hope the mold hasn't come for revenge after what I said....
Jun 11 2007, 05:10 AM
Now, showing at the local multiplex, this week's Double Feature:
"Revenge of the MOLD..."
"Rice Cereal...the ATTACK"
one's gotta giggle a little at life sometimes.
Speaking of which, my kid has figured out the all-pervasive child skill of prolonging bedtime. WIth books. Each time I say, "OK, moxette, go see daddy for your bath (after 5 books!)", she just grabs another book and PLOP, right back into Momma's lap. I was actually giggling over it last night. She did get a SHORT bath, much to her dismay. Kidlet, we still have bigger brains!
Jun 11 2007, 11:42 AM
i promise not to send the mold your way, anoushh. also sorry about your friend. hang in there.
we're back in our house after "air scrubbing;" the test crew came today to take air samples. we should find out by thursday how the air is looking now. i'm a bit scared and also a bit discouraged because the humidity readings they took today were high (over the outside humidity), which means that either the house is a humidity suck or it has a leak.
the movie opening this weekend will be either "MOLD: The Final Battle" or "An Uneasy Peace," depending.
Jun 15 2007, 04:26 AM
gren- what happned with the mold? I was thinking about you yesterday. And how is the wee bebe girl baking away?
We've had a delightful week here, now that the roseola is gone, the tooth is out and its been 80deg and sunny every day! Moxette had her 15 month well-baby visit this week (2 weeks early, but she needed a FU from an ear infection anyway). I got some serious validation from our doctor, which I KNOW I don't NEED, but made me feel great none the less. He more or less said "she's smart, curious and a trickster. Whatever you're doing, keep doing it."
Thus validating my basic parenting philosophy of "do what works for your own family, and cause no harm in doing it." He also confirmed my thoughts that waiting until after she's well settled in the toddler room at daycare to start cutting bottles was good...18 mos-2years is his goal. I can't even say how important it is to have a Pediatrician one trusts and respects.
Jun 15 2007, 12:43 PM
Yeah, I've been wondering too.
Why is this thread in this section? I always feel like it's mocking me.....
Jun 15 2007, 01:08 PM
this thread is in this section 'cause it was inspired by an unplanned pregnancy, i think, thus sex-/relationship-related in its origin...
but i agree, i don't need to hear it right now (especially when i glance at the forum and see the spate of replies in the "fantasy fucking" thread and none in here...the contrast is rather, er, stunning)!
the wee girl is kicking away. i dunno if she's got more room than her brother, but she's a real acrobat. i wish i could lie down all the time.
still haven't gotten the air quality tests back...today or tomorrow, i think. meanwhile my in-laws are here and we're not really getting along...hopefully we'll all survive the week intact. i wish i had a basis of affection to fall back on with them, but i really don't.
mox, you're so right that having a good ped/good relationship with the ped is so important!
the bean has been fussy lately. yesterday morning he said "i wanna go to the doctor," but i think he was just responding to my telling him we would if he was feeling bad, not exactly saying he NEEDED to go...i think. mostly i think he's picking up on my anxiety and the in-law friction.
tomorrow we all leave for a week at the coast with the mr's entire extended family. i wish i weren't pregnant so i could drink.
Jun 15 2007, 02:14 PM
gren, you could fake a cold and take a benadryl...if i remember, that's on the "approved" list...
here's hoping for some relaxation on the trip and clean air to return to!
Jun 15 2007, 03:17 PM
yeah...too bad methadone isn't on the "approved" list...i'm going to need some serious sedation.
hey, universe? if the air comes out ok, i promise i'll behave myself at this reunion...
Jun 16 2007, 08:12 AM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANOUSHH!
(p.s.: mold tests in, results inconclusive -- or rather, hard to interpret. have to talk to the people later today)