Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Facebook Status Updates

May 2010:

[True Mama] just overheard the following conversation between her stepdaughter and son:
MADDY: Henry, I'm fabulous.
HENRY: No, you're not. You're a pain in the butt, that's what you are.

[True Mama] was reading a book with Henry when he suddenly asked, "So *when* did Daddy give you his sperm?" It was *almost* worth the financial, emotional and physical cost of IVF to have been able to answer, "We went to the clinic."

[True Mama] is feeling the love. A few days ago, while I was finding a toy Henry needed, Henry said, "You're the best mommy ever." And yesterday I was explaining the meaning of the song "You Are My Sunshine" and he said, "Mom, you're *my* sunshine."

[True Mama] and Henry were walking around the block to catch the ice cream truck when Henry said, happily, "I smell a hint of Bomb Pop!"

[True Mama]'s son had been wanting the baby to be a girl, because his older (half) sister won't do what he says and he wanted a girl he could boss around. But now Henry says he wants a little brother, because "boys are calmer than girls."

[True Mama]'s husband and son were pretending Henry was a dog this morning, and Daddy asked, "So, do you have a bone?" Henry said, "Duh-uh. All animals have bones. Otherwise they'd be flat as pancakes."

[True Mama]'s four-year old likes to pretend he's a stray kitty and that his former owner was Dick Cheney, who did awful things like withhold food and name him "Go Away Kitty." (Hey, Henry asked who our former president & vice president were and I *may* have given him my opinion on them....)

[True Mama]'s son just said, randomly, "Boys are smarter than girls." GAH!

[True Mama] just got back from Winkie's where she went to buy birthday gifts. Henry started picking up toys he HAD TO HAVE and said, "If you'll just buy these from me, I'll be happy" and "If you buy them I'll stop whining." Good Lord.

[True Mama]'s son told her last night that he wants her to live forever, or at least until *he* dies. He said that means I have to eat healthy and not have ANY sugar.

[True Mama] was at the lakefront with Henry yesterday when he noticed a guy with no shirt on whose nipples were pierced. Henry pointed, then said, "I didn't know you could do that."

[True Mama]'s son just said, "Mom, why are you using your tired voice?"

[True Mama] put on her husband's old Austin City Limits t-shirt (a bit too small for him, but good for my pregnant self) and Henry said, "Mom, you look ug-a-ly in Daddy's old shirt. People are going to laugh at you."

June 2010:

[True Mama] sent her son in to wake up her husband at 9am this morning and say, "Daddy, Happy Father's Day, it's time to wake up, mommy wants to go back to bed."

[True Mama] is proud of her son. Henry said, "Jack (our 10-year old neighbor) thinks plastic comes from trees, but I told him that it's made from oil."

[True Mama] was loading the dehydrator up with strawberry slices when Henry came in the kitchen and said, "What are you doing to that poor dehydrator?"

[True Mama] was taking Henry to Lake Park when he said, "I hope there aren't any other kids there. I would like some peace at the park."

‎[True Mama]'s son was trying to think of the name of a city he'd heard me talk about and said, "I don't know how to say it, but if I had to pronounce it I'd say 'Hamsterdam'."

July 2010:

‎[True Mama]'s son saw fireworks for the first time last night. Henry's reaction? "The sky is even more fun than normal!"

[True Mama] let Henry pick out two pieces of candy from his parade stash this morning. As he carried them to the table he said, "Just HOLDING them makes me happy."

[True Mama] was asked by Henry to make him some toast with butter, mayo, apple butter and grape jelly. I groaned and he said, "Mom, muster up all your courage and do it!"

‎[True Mama]'s son was trying to get me to make a craft project with him. After I repeatedly said that I did not want to, he finally said, "You CAN do it! You just don't WANT to!"

[True Mama] has, in her zeal to teach Henry not to waste, created a little hoarder. He refuses to let us throw away candy wrappers, plastic bottles, tiny scraps of paper and even carpet fuzzies/dust bunnies because "I can use them for an art project!" Lord help my clutter-hating soul...

[True Mama]: This is a typical conversation with Henry:
HENRY: Mom, what happens if they're making a ball out of a pig bladder but it's filled with pee?
ME: I guess they drain the pee out.
HENRY: But what if they *can't* drain the pee out? Like if there's no opening?
ME: Maybe they cut a hole in it.
HENRY: What if you can't cut a hole in it?
ME: Maybe they burn a hole.
HENRY: But what if it can't be cut *or* burned?
ME: I guess they'd have to find another pig's bladder.
HENRY: What if there aren't any other pigs?
ME: Maybe they'd use another animal.
HENRY: What if there aren't any other animals?
ME: They go to Target and buy a ball.
HENRY: No, they can't do that. What then?
ME: I guess they give up and take a nap.
HENRY: No, they can't give up. What then?
ME: I don't know, Henry.
HENRY: Tell me! What's your guess?!
ME: I have no idea. You've stumped me.
HENRY: Tell me! You have to answer!

[True Mama]‎'s son dragged his arm in some syrup at breakfast this morning, and when his dad said, "Oh, Henry!" he replied, "I'll worry about me; you worry about you."

‎[True Mama]'s son ran in from playing outside and said, "Mom! It's raining!" I replied, "Well, it's supposed to rain today," and Henry said, "I guess the weather report is right for once."

August 2010:

‎[True Mama]'s son just said, "Mom, you're the best mom in the universe. Without you, I would cry."

[True Mama] discovered last night that James and the Giant Peach is too intense for my sensitive five-year old. After many tears, screeching and "SKIP THIS PART!" we switched to All-of-a-Kind Family.

‎[True Mama]'s son just said, "I know more than Brooke (seven-year old neighbor girl) does. She didn't even know about the Hindenburg!"

‎[True Mama]'s son just said, "I'll do everything I can to make you happy." Aw. I love five.

[True Mama]'s son had a pee accident the other day because his penis was stuck to his scrotum and he couldn't get it unstuck in time. Oh, the things I never thought I'd have to think about...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Swimming Against the Tide

Henry has never liked being in water.

The only way he'd tolerate bathtime as a newborn is if I went in the tub with him. When he was big enough to be bathed without me holding him, he stood up the entire time until he was about four.

He was okay with his wading pool as long as he could stand up in it, but he did not care for regular swimming pools at all, not even when someone he trusted was holding him mostly out of the water.

And sprinklers? Forget about it. Water down near his feet was bad enough; water squirting up at him was out of the question.

But then suddenly, this summer, he began to enjoy playing in swimming pools. One day we stopped by his grandparents' house and my mother-in-law suggested we walk down to their condo association's pool just to check it out. I expected Henry to walk around the edge of it as usual, but instead he immediately began to walk down the stairs fully dressed. I think he would have gotten completely wet if I hadn't stopped him.

A few weeks later we went to a hotel with a pool and once again Henry plunged right in. He took rides around the pool on Daddy's back, played in water up to his chest, and had fun climbing out the side of the pool and then walking down the stairs to get in again.

We took him back to my in-laws' pool after that, bringing kickboards and an inflatable swimming tube. It was crazy how suddenly fearless Henry was. At one point he even went under the water; he was hanging on to a kickboard with one arm and the tube with another but walked out too far and his head went under. My husband grabbed him and sat him on the side of the pool, and although Henry coughed for a bit, he didn't seem fazed at all and wanted to get right back in.

All of which made me think that maybe Henry was ready for swimming lessons. I grew up taking lessons all summer long, and while I think my parents overdid it, I do believe that knowing how to swim is pretty important.

So I signed Henry up for eight sessions of thirty minute lessons spread out over two weeks. He was not happy about it, as I expected, but I was able to coax him there.

At first it seemed to be going well. He walked with his classmates over to meet the teacher, and when she invited him to sit on the side of the pool he asked if he could walk down the stairs instead. He started to head down, and then suddenly he freaked out and came over by me. He clung to me for the rest of the class, despite the teacher's gentle invitations to join them.

I agonized about what to do. Should I force Henry to follow through with the lessons, even if he was only going to watch? Should I bribe him or try to impress upon him how important it was to know how to swim?

In the end none of these things felt right to me. I thought about what huge strides Henry had made from one summer to the next, all on his own. How he hates to be "taught" things. How we're unschooling because I believe that he'll do what he needs to do when he's ready.

I recalled the years and years of swimming lessons I had and how much I disliked them. I never go swimming now if I can help it. My husband, on the other hand, grew up with a pool in his backyard and had few to no lessons, but still enjoys swimming with his kids.

I realized that Henry will learn when he's ready to learn and in whatever way he wants. It doesn't have to be by a certified instructor when he's five.

I mean, look at that smile:

Why would I want to interfere with that?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I had my first "regular" ultrasound today, just two days shy of turning 25 weeks. We had to wait almost forty minutes for the doctor, but it was completely worth it. Not only did we get some amazing photos, but the doctor told us in every way possible that everything looks perfect.

Oh, and it's a boy. :)

When I was pregnant with Henry I could not imagine being the mother of anything but a girl; now I can't imagine not being the mother of boys. I'm pretty excited about having another boy, actually.

And I cannot wait to hold that little hand.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Henry turned five today. Just a few days ago I looked at him playing in the living room and he suddenly looked so old to me. My baby boy is now just a boy. Sniff.

I have to say, though, that I'm pleased to see his behavior is mellowing out compared to a year ago. When he turned four he (apparently) had a burst of testosterone that led to scary fits of aggression. He still he has the occasional outburst, but he's learning to manage his frustrations, apologize when he acts badly and even show appreciation sometimes.

Lately he's been calling people the "best in the universe" -- as in, "You're my best Mom in the universe." It warms my heart. I'm so happy he's my son.