On and Off

Owen has a very cute habit of extrapolating words or phrases, usually as a foil to something Jenn & I want him to do. Sayings that are in opposition of our desires and more representative of his own.

Two instances that have both happened this week deal with phrases we use that contain the word “on” and that he has adapted to use the word “off”

For example(s):

  • Jenn asks Owen to “hang on” to her hand as we cross the street and Owen requests to “hang off” once the crossing has been successful.
  • I told him I need him to “take off” his pajama shirt so I could dress him in his t-shirt for school and he informed me that he would be “taking it on” and refused to let me get him dressed.

What will that boy think of next? Stay tuned in (out?)


Owen’s Ouchy

It’s not often as a parent that you experience a feeling of monumental dread or fear.

I’ve already been there twice in Owen’s lifetime.

To expound: last night Owen lost a tooth, his first.

In and of itself, a child loosing a tooth isn’t much of a story. It’s of an order of magnitude akin to “dog bites man” or “water: still wet”.

The major difference in this case being Owen is only newly Two years old this month and he lost the tooth by falling and striking his mouth on an Adirondack chair in our living room.

It was one of those moments when all the air seemed to suck right out of the room and the silence took on a character all its own. After the initial shock and awe, blood rushed out of his head like a faucet and he screamed (bloody, obviously) murder.

We found the tooth next to the chair and consulted with no less than 4 nurses (two in the family and two over the phone) only to discover that so-called “baby teeth” are irreplaceable. Let that double entendre sink in for just a minute; it hurts.

Jenn set about weeping that we’d have nothing but gap-toothed pictures of our son for the next 4 – 6 years, Raelyn kept a very cool head, my father-in-law Marty applied pressure and consoled the wounded (both physically and emotionally) while I got the Advil ready.

A groggy (and sanguine) good-night, a mid-night wake-up to ensure no head injuries and a morning trip to the pediatric dentist all confirm: the tooth exited cleanly and won’t be going back in today or any other day. We’re now on the anxious countdown to somewhere shy of age 8 when, they tell us, we cannot expect Owen to generate a replacement (adult) tooth.

I saw it on the x-ray, but they assure me it’s nowhere near ready to make a public appearance.

So I’m typing this while Jenn, Rae and Owen rest. It’s been a busy 18 – 20 hours and they were all quite tired. Owen earned rave reviews for his demeanor getting x-rayed, poked, prodded and weighed. He even got a compliment on his diction/vocabulary, all despite a man down, dentally speaking.

Some day we’ll get Owen a bridge or something to mask the wholeness of the hole, but right now he looks like he lost a fight with a toddler bully.

I’m just happy everyone is safe and sound. So much worse could have come from that very innocent fall – he was just jumping around and hitting a beach ball after all.

Hug your kids.
Love your kids.
Take pictures of kids while they (and you) still have all your teeth.

Oh, and the first time I got that horrible feeling of dread: when Owen was delivered and the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck three times.

This was so much easier than that, if potentially longer lasting.

Until tomorrow, stay safe kids.

99 Problems

After reading this horrific story of parental abuse, neglect and inhumanity, I felt a horrible chill go through my spine. How could a human being, especially a parent, do this to another human being, specifically their own child.

Please read the story – The girl in the window – and try to keep your stomach from turning or your eyes from welling up with tears over the feral state in which “Dani” was originally raised to the young lady she will hopefully become. Sobering stuff, especially for a parent.

This post is all about saying how grateful I am for the wonderful children I have and humble at the responsibility that is placed on my shoulders. Serious stuff, to be sure, but also really cool. Without getting too sappy (too late) I really feel like a great link in a very long chain, extending backwards to the greatness of the past and forwards to the potential and promise of the future? BLAH! The fact that I believe that, let alone typed it, is more than a little frightening.

In that haughty context, blogging about child’s names and beer podcasting seems less important than ever. Whatever first-world problems I have they’re nothing when compared to the suffering of the young girl in the article above or any number of other more worldly issues.

But then I think that the world will always be cruel and stupid and defiant against the fact that it shouldn’t exist at all. Witness all the fools vying for Darwin Awards and you’ll realize that the whole human race is just one raging all-nighter away from going right down the crapper, if it hasn’t already.

More importantly it makes me think I still ought to go on being as shallow and narrow and selfish as I’ve always been here on the blog. Enough people cover the truly wretched and the truly first-world/minutae (but still very scary) that I’ve got a nice spot staked out just being myself.

Which, on that front, hasn’t been all wine & roses.

Rae started Kindergarten last week and while she’s doing OK during class she’s been quite the terror about bed-time and behavior for us. Nothing we can’t handle but a definite shift that’s obviously been brought on by the stress of a new routine and environment.

We’ll all be fine but I think it shows that perspective isn’t always a good thing or a necessity. While it’s good to break out of your daily doldrums and acknowledge, understand and connect to the greater world, sometimes your problems are more important by virtue of the fact that they’re your problems.

In the end, I think I’ve caught the bug to do something that feels more helpful, inspiring and positive. As the blog is just some vanity (ha!) goof where I get to brain-dump, I’d really like to do a podcast, be it audio or video.

I’m thinking a parenting podcast – not to vent my spleen or rant (enough of that here) but to hopefully provide perspective where it’s necessary for others. In that case, it’d be more like support or camaraderie, a validation that all parents have issues and we’re all trying as hard as we can each and every day, and that we need each other (it takes a village).

More to come.

Damning the Dentist

So yesterday Jenn & I left work early with the best of intentions: take Raelyn to her Dental check-up, do some grocery shopping and get home early enough to cook dinner, get the kids to bed and watch some teevee.

Best laid plans and all that.

To set the stage I must mention that six scant months ago – the very first time Raelyn ever visited a Dentist’s office – we were told she was the best behaved and most hygienic 4-year-old they’d ever seen. Hubris and dumb parental pride had us thinking lightning would strike twice.

Yesterday, however, was every parent’s (and child’s) nightmare.

It began in the lobby. Raelyn was drooling and stupefied watching Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons” on DVD while we (and about 12 other sets of kids & parents) waited nearly an hour past our appointment time to be seen.

I agreed with one gentleman who brought up the fact, loudly, that he’d confirmed his children’s appointments multiple times via phone and email but the dentist didn’t respect *his* time enough to call or email to let him know they were running late.

His righteous anger and tone were spot-on and contagious (who hasn’t been held captive in a waiting room?) until he spouted this whopper: “Do you have any idea what my hourly rate is?”

Me? I have no idea what my own hourly rate is or this douchebag’s is, but I immediately switched allegiances and felt for the poor staff-member listening to this guy’s abuse.

It’s one thing to be angry about being late waiting in line, it’s quite another to throw your class and paycheck in someone’s face/into the discussion. He knew what he was doing, though. I caught his smirk as she skulked off.

On to Raelyn. Our perfect daughter. Our angel baby. The dentist’s dream.

She took two x-rays like a walk in the park. Try to insert the bite-plate for side x-rays and she clammed right up.

I saw it happen and thought it odd, but the tech had her out of the chair and picking stickers before I’d realized that parental oversight and good behavior had lost out to dental expedience.

In the hygienist chair she got brushed and flossed relatively well but the prospect of fluoride, which the hygienist warned her against swallowing because it might cause a tummy ache, caused tears.

After 10 minutes of negotiation, hand-holding, light shaming and cajoling she was over and done with the crying and fluoriding in under a minute. Kids!

Just as we had promised – and she should have trusted – it was worse to overreact than to get it done in the first place.

So now we waited for the dentist. When she said Raelyn *needed* to have those previously-avoided x-rays taken there were new tears. And a new challenge.

Back to step one, with a new tech, we went through fake x-rays on Dad, the promise of twice the stickers as before and another 10 minutes of back-and-forth and still NO x-rays.

For her part, the dentist was quick in counting and examining Rae’s teeth. The good news: no cavities, good brushing and flossing technique and overall high marks. The bad (worst?) news: the dentist said Raelyn could take ALL of the balloons home with her (there were close to a dozen and we were the last folks in the office at this point).

Jenn & I stepped in and told Raelyn she could decide how many balloons to take, but that she’d behaved poorly so she didn’t deserve the whole lot.

3 balloons and 2 hours later we were off to Publix, home and our normal schedule. So much for the dentist.


Bonus Link: since there’s no new Lost tonight (my normal Thursday post) here’s some interesting info on the Time Loop Theory.

Oh, and I wrote my first Ficlet today. Have a go at it.