monkeys and marbles

Archive for the ‘the monkey called Zander’ Category

bedtime for the boys started out pretty normal tonight. diapers changed, pajamas on, and teeth brushed, we went into Logan’s room to put him to bed first. as usual, Zander helped us sing “rock-a-bye Logan”, and then yelled “bounce!” as daddy plopped Logan in the crib. i said “sweet dreams, sleep well, see you in the morning!”, blew kisses from the doorway, and closed his door. then it was off to Zander’s room.

that’s when the bedtime routine too a sharp left.

i was giving Zander the usual hugs and kisses before putting him to bed when he looked me in the eye with a quizzical look

Zander: mommy…do you have a penis?

my jaw dropped to the floor. i looked towards Carlos to see his jaw was right down there with mine.

me: [stiffleing a giggle] no, i don’t have a penis. only boys have penises.

Zander: does daddy have a penis?

daddy: [grinning mischievously] yup…daddy has a big penis.

Zander: does mommy have a big penis?

me: no…mommies don’t have penises. only boys have a penis. you have a penis, Logan has a penis and daddy has a penis. but girls don’t have penises. they have vaginas.

Zander: [very serious about learning the truth] oh.

where that came from, i have no idea. what i can tell you is that i was so not expecting that.

seriously…where do they get this stuff?

mr. contrary

Posted on: May 27, 2008

did you ever read those mr. men and little miss books when you were younger? you know the ones…Little Miss Sunshine, Mr. Fussy, etc., written by British author Roger Hargreaves. i did. i loved them.

well, i have an idea for a book to add to the collection. i would name it “mr. contrary”, and it would be inspired by someone very close to my heart. ( i won’t name names…Zander!)

here’s how my story would go.

once upon a time there was a little boy named Zander mr. contrary. he always had to do the opposite of everyone else, say the opposite of everyone else, or just plain disagree with everyone for the sake of disagreeing.

one day, Zander mr. contrary was playing with his mommy. mommy asked “do you want to build a tower with lego blocks?”. Zander mr. contrary said “no, i don’t want to play with lego blocks!”, so his mommy said “okay.”. then Zander mr. contrary whined said “but i wanna build a tower with lego blocks!!!”. his mommy rolled her eyes said “great! lets start building!”.

after lunch when his mommy was putting Zander mr. contrary down for his nap, she said ” i love you!”. Zander mr. contrary said “i don’t want to love mommy”. but when she was leaving the room, he yelled “i love you too!” just as she was closing the door.

later that day, Zander mr. contrary was in the kitchen while his mommy and daddy were washing and chopping veggies for a salad for dinner. his mommy asked “do you want to stand on a chair and watch?”, but he said “no”. as his mommy and daddy went about their dinner-making business Zander mr. contrary started crying. his daddy ask “what’s wrong?”, and Zander mr. contrary whimpered “i want to stand on a chair and watch!”. so his mommy and daddy stiffled a laugh ran right over to get a chair for Zander mr. contrary to stand on.

at the dinner table, his daddy asked him “do you want some chicken?”, and Zander mr. contrary said “i don’t like chicken!”, so his daddy put the fork loaded with chicken back down on the plate. then Zander mr. contrary cried said “but i want some chicken!!!”. his daddy sighed in exasperation picked up the fork, said “okay…here comes some chicken!”, and fed him some chicken.

and this continued until Zander mr. contrary slowly drove his mommy and daddy insane.

the end.

okay, so it’s not totally appropriate for children…and i need to work on the ending a bit. but it’s only a first draft…i’m sure it will be a wonderfully endearing story by the time i’m done…if i haven’t lost all my marbles by then.

the magic of corn
such a strange phenomenon
such a small veggie

no matter how much
we chew chew chew when we eat
it reappears whole

sorry if that’s tmi, but seriously…whaddup with that???

the other day we had corn with our dinner. the next morning i was changing Logan’s diaper on the floor in the living room. as is more often than not, his diaper was loaded with danger full of poop. and there it was…the tell-tale sign of the previous night’s dinner…completely reassembled as if never ingested.

that’s when Zander walked up and asked if Logan had pooped. (yes…he wants to see his brother’s poop all the time, as well has his own…that’s a weird post for another day!) he stood there staring at it as if Logan had been hiding a green, three-headed alien in his diaper.

then he raised his head, his big, blue eyes wide with wonder, and asked “mommy…why does Logan have corn in his diaper?”.

what do you say? how do you explain to a three year old that, for some unknown reason, corn has the magical ability to make it past your chompers and through your entire digestive system with barely a scratch, and then mystically reassemble itself upon its exit? how?

i told him “when we eat food, it goes down to our tummy, and then comes out as poop. so there’s corn in Logan’s diaper because we ate it for dinner last night, and he pooped it out.”. he looked at me like i had finally lost it. kid…i lost it a long time ago…

so i thought about it…how do i explain this to him in terms that he will understand. EUREKA! Zander is addicted to a Canadian show called Mighty Machines. it’s a cute show with footage of trucks, boats, what-have-you that have annoying-as-hell cute little voices explaining what they do. his current favourite is the one about recycling with the crusher, the compactor, etc.

i put on my best straight face and said “well, when you eat food, it goes down your throat like a conveyor belt to your tummy. your tummy is like a compactor and smooshes all the food up, and then it comes out as poop.” (note that i decided to skip the whole intestinal tract/bowl thing…i mean, he’s three!)

his face brightened as he said “oh..ya!”.

so now if you ask him where poop comes from, he will happily tell you a colourful story full of machinery and gadgets.

unfortunately, he never got his answer as to why whole corn was in Logan’s diaper. as soon as i learn the secret behind the magic of corn, i’ll let him know.

Haiku Friday

as if he had hacked into my email and read the message where i told JJ that i would post this morning’s breakfast conversation of it was blog-worthy, Zander was in rare form this morning!

this is the conversation i had with Zander while sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast:

Zander: what dat?

me: what’s what?

Zander: in da kitchen! [pointing wildly towards the doorway to the next room]

me: i don’t know…what is it?

Zander: a cake!

me: no, i don’t think that’s a cake!

Zander: it’s a shirt!

me: [seeing the cardigan that i had taken off and placed on the kitchen table] that’s mommy’s sweater.

Zander: it’s a shirt…and pants…and socks! for daddy!

me: it is?

Zander: what dat noise?

me: what noise?

Zander: i hear dat noise again!

me: what noise is that?

Zander: uh-oh! someone in trouble!

me: someone’s in trouble?

Zander: daddy…daddy in trouble!

me: no…daddy’s fine

Zander: daddy in trouble! where daddy?

me: daddy’s at work.

Zander: oh no! i better help him!

me: why do you need to help daddy?

Zander: i like toast!

me: ya…toast is good isn’t it? and it’s good for you. it helps you grow up big and strong.

Zander: [nodding in agreement] mmm…tasty!

me: yup…toast sure is tasty!

Zander: dis cheese is wet!

me: [examining the cheese] no, the cheese isn’t wet.

Zander: i don’t like dis cheese.

me: [trying to figure out how to explain that marble cheese is the same as cheddar] yes you do. this is just like orange cheese, but they coloured some of it white to make it look funny. see?

Zander: no. i want orange cheese.

me: we don’t have any orange cheese…only marble cheese. it tastes the same as orange cheese. why don’t you try it?

Zander: where are my engines? [referring to the plethora of Thomas steam engines he got for Christmas]

me: they’re in the box over there. on the bottom of the bookcase.

Zander: look at ALL my engines!

me: ya…you have a lot of engines, don’t you?

Zander: better get a track!

me: you want to build a track for your engines? i’ll help you build a big track after breakfast. but you have to finish eating first.

Zander: uh-oh…what dat noise?

me: that’s an airplane flying over the house.

Zander: ya! airplane! where she going? [everyone and everything is “she” to Zander]

me: i don’t know. where do you think the airplane is going?

Zander: she going to da airport!

me: yup! the airplane is going to the airport.

Zander: dis cheese is wet!

….

phew….the conversation didn’t end there, but my brain is too tired to keep going.

when i was looking through my archives for something to post for Scrolling Saturday, i saw this post and new it was the one. it’s the perfect post to follow yesterday’s haiku about how serious my blog has been lately. enjoy!

*** the following post was originally published on July 12th, 2007. ***

After all of the doom and gloom posts of late, what with all the shit that’s been going on here, I thought it was time for some much needed comic relief…and my son Zander was more than happy to oblige.

Allow me to set the scene. It was bath time last night. Carlos had already run the bath, and everything was ready. As usual, we brought both of the boys upstairs into Zander’s room to strip them down for their bath. Zander was stripped down first. Then it was Logan’s turn. That’s when our noses were hit with something so foul…and that foulness was Logan’s diaper.

Carlos: Aw, man! Logan! How can someone so cute smell so bad?

Logan: A ba da….pfpfpfpfpfpfp (I’m not sure how to translate this, but as far as I can tell it means something like “Ha! That’s what you get for feeding me turkey stew for dinner, old man!”)

Carlos: [cough] [weeze] [cough] Maybe we should put a diaper on Zander until Logan is ready for the bath…??? [cough] This might take a while to clean up…..[choke]

Me: He should be okay….Zander…do you have to go pee?

Zander: No!

Me: Are you sure?

Zander: No pee pee….

Me: Do you want to go on the potty?

Zander: Pott’! No no pee pee….

Me: Okay….but tell mommy if you have to pee on the potty.

Carlos: I can hardly breathe…this is so nasty! Yak!

Me: Do you need help?

Carlos: No…I got it…

Me: Good…’cause I didn’t really want to help you anyway! [smirk]

Carlos: Ummm…..honey? What’s that sound?

Me: (I turn around to find the source of said sound) Why that’s your son peeing into the heating vent, dear!

Zander: Pee! Pee! I pee pee!

Me: Yes, Zander…you peed…all over the floor and in the vent…

Zander: I wet!

Me: Yes, Zander…you’re wet…and so is the floor….and the heating ducts….

Carlos: Here’s a receiving blanket…use this….(he throws it over to me)

I start wiping it up….

Zander: (he takes a step back to watch me clean up his mess….and starts to pee again) Pee pee!

Me: (laughing hysterically) Yes, Zander….you’re peeing….

Zander: (nodding in agreement) I PEE!

We all had a good laugh. We needed that…

I am so thankful that there are wood floors in his room, and that a warm bath was waiting for them just a few feet down the hallway!

something happened at breakfast this morning that hasn’t happened in a long time.  Zander threw up.

this used to be a regular occurrence.  so regular, that it was daily for a while.  just the hint of texture in his food would send him gagging, and he would eventually throw up his entire meal.   Zander would be crying from fright, i would be crying from sheer frustration, sadness, and fear that my little boy would never grow because he couldn’t/wouldn’t eat.

this morning was a bit different.  sure, he gagged at some texture and ended up losing his breakfast.  but it was because we have finally been able to move him off of the pureed-to-nothingness jarred baby food fruit to normal pureed fruit cups.  you know…the kind that you and i might eat as a snack.  not only are they so much cheaper, they also offer the same (if not better) nutritional value of the baby food with a bit more texture.  and he’s been really good at eating it, as long as we are spoon-feeding him.  i think there’s a comfort thing there, and we (as well as his Psychologist) are okay with the spoon feeding thing…’cause he’s eating!  i guess the texture was just a bit much for him this morning.
so when he started gagging, i calmly told him it was okay.  when he threw up, i still kept my calm (i’m amazed at myself for that!) and told him it was alright.  he didn’t cry, probably because i didn’t cry.  the only thing he was worried about was getting the puke off him, and i don’t blame him.

whether because of my meds for my ppd, the twice-a-month meetings with Zander’s Psychologist (who has been amazingly supportive and reassuring), or because of the progress he’s made, i was able to handle this morning’s breakfast incident with out trauma to myself or my son.  looking back, i realize how much progress we have made in these past few months.

this time last year, Zander would only drink milk…no solid food whatsoever.  the simple action of bringing a spoonful of pureed fruit or veggies would send him gagging and throwing up what little bit of milk was in his tiny tummy.  he was almost 2 years old and a mere 20 pounds…the same weight he was just after he turned a year old.

when his iron deficiency was diagnosed, we had to resort to force feeding.  i would sit on the couch with Zander on my lap and pry his mouth open while hubby would spoonfeed him a concoction of pureed fruits or veggies spiked with iron-fortified cereals.  he would sputter and gag.  we had to hold his mouth closed so he didn’t spit it out, and i would rock him and sing to him to keep him calm until he swallowed each spoonful.  i cried with almost every meal.  i felt nauseous before every meal, not knowing what horror lay ahead of us this time.

looking back, it is easy to see how far he’s come. instead of force feeding, screaming, gagging and vomiting, our meals have become much more relaxed.  sure, it’s still difficult to get him to eat.  he’s not eating much whole food…most of it’s still pureed.  but i honestly can’t remember when the last time he gagged and threw up was.  he has more energy.  he’s happier and less cranky.  he’s gained weight (he’s up to 29 pounds y’all!).  we can count on him eating something at each meal, which used to seem like an unattainable goal.

i’m so proud of my boy, and what he’s struggle through to get where he is now.  after dealing with this eating disorder for over 2 years, i still can’t imagine what it’s like for him.  can you imagine being scared of food, one of the very things you need to survive? i can’t fathom what that must be like, and that’s probably a good thing.

but he’s slowly but steadily overcome his fear more and more.  on top of his purees, he can now eat small chunks of cheese and toast.  he’ll eat pizza, french fries and potato chips…not super nutritious, but it’s the texture that counts right now.  he’s even started to eat pieces of whole banana!  i never thought i would see the day….

i’m beaming with pride for my 2.5 year old little boy…one of the bravest and strongest little men i know!

last night when dinner was done, Zander told us he had to “go pee pee on da toilet!”.  this has actually, to our happy surprise, become a regular occurrence over the last few days.

some of you (those who followed me over from my first blog) may remember that we attempted to get Zander into the whole potty thing.  he thought it was pretty neat at first, peeing in it a few times and enjoying the accolades he received when he did his thing.  then the novelty wore off, and he didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

fast forward 7 months.  on Friday afternoon we asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty and pee.  he said yes (which surprised me since i’ve been asking him every once in a while for the past few months and the answer was always no), so we asked if he wanted to sit on the big toilet or the potty.  big-boy-wannabe that he is, he wanted to sit on the toilet with his Diego toilet seat.

so off hubby and Zander go to the bathroom while i played with Logan.  to be honest, i wasn’t expecting anything.  in the past the only thing he has done on the toilet is waste play with the toilet paper.  suddenly i hear hubby cheering, so i race to the bathroom to see big smiles on both their faces.   Zander, brimming with pride, said “a peed on da toilet, mummy!”.  even though he had peed on the potty before, this was different.  i could tell he really understood what he had done this time…i could see it in his face and hear it in his voice.

later, after dinner, he said he had to pee on the potty, so we put him on the potty and within 30 seconds he peed.  just like that.  and Saturday morning, as soon as we got him out of bed, he said he had to go pee on the toilet, and he did.  this has been going on since Friday.  he knows he has to pee, he asks to go on the toilet or potty, and he goes.  not every time, of course.  the kid is so busy in Zander-world most of the day that it will take a while for him to use the potty full-time, but this is definitely an excellent start!.

what happened yesterday, however, was completely unexpected.  he was sitting on the potty in front of the TV (don’t judge ;-)) after dinner.  he had already had a little pee, but i knew a bigger one was coming, so i asked him to sit on it a little while longer.  then he turned to look at me and said “a pooped mummy”…so matter of fact, like this was an everyday occurrence.  i checked, and sure enough my son had pooped for the first time in the potty.

i have heard so many horror stories from friends and family about trying to get kids to poop on the toilet or the potty.  my cousin’s daughter was so scared to do it, and later they found out that she thought her “insides” were falling out…how awful!  i was just expecting….i don’t know what i was expecting, but i didn’t expecting him just to poop!

anyway, i’m realistic enough to know that he might not want to poop on the potty again for a while.  but the fact that there was no trauma or anything gives me hope that it won’t be too hard.

plus he didn’t pick his poop out of the potty to show me…that’s a bonus, right?