Boys Have Cooties

As luck would have it, my son got ringworm a couple of weeks ago. He was staying at his dad’s house. It was the Tuesday after Memorial Day and I get a call from the school nurse.

I was in a meeting and she left me a message saying that munch had what appeared to be ringworm on his face and that she’s put a bandage on it. She said we needed to come and get him from school and that he couldn’t come back until it was cleared up.

(Sidebar) This was going through my mind as I’m listening to the message:

Really? How did he get ringworm? He was fine when I dropped him at his dad’s house on Saturday. What happened between Saturday and Tuesday? This is so gross. I can’t believe my precious boy has something like that on his face. EWWW! Let me call his dad.

Conversation with my son’s dad:

Me:  The school nurse called and left me a voicemail while I was in a meeting. You need to go and get munch. He has ringworm.

Baby Daddy: Really? I thought I saw something on his face on Sunday. That’s what it was? Well, why didn’t she call me? I mean I’m on the call list.

Me: (Silent thoughts in my head – You saw something on his face and you didn’t call me?). I don’t know. I’m the mom. She left the message 20 minutes ago. I guess she figured I would handle it. Are you going to get him?

Baby Daddy: Yeah, but I’m mad. It’s not like he has an absent father. I mean I’m here and she should have called me when she couldn’t reach you.

Me: It wasn’t life or death. Stop overreacting. Do you want me to call the pediatrician to see if I can get him an emergency sick visit today?

Baby Daddy:  Yes, please. I’m still wondering what is wrong with the nurse. She should have called me.

Me: Okay, well I’m sure it wasn’t personal. Let me give you the nurse’s phone number so that you can call her directly. I’ll call you back once I get the appointment.

Baby Daddy: Okay.

– Five Minutes Later – 

Me: Okay, I spoke with the pediatrician and munch has a 4 pm appointment. It’s in an hour. Can you get him and get him there?

Baby Daddy: Yeah, I got him. Let me send an email to my team.

Me: Did you speak with the nurse?

Baby Daddy: Yeah, she said that munch can’t come back until it’s clear.

Me: Okay, go and get him. Call me later and let me know what the pediatrician says.

– Ten Minutes Later – 

Announcement to my officer co-workers…My son has cooties. I think you layman’s refer to it as ringworm. I’m so grossed out right now. I hate rashes or weird looking infections and blood. I’m sterilizing his sheets and everything in the house. Oh, God! Why must my baby get cooties? What did I ever do to deserve this? I have to rush over to the medical supply store to buy gauze and surgical gloves.

– Later on that Afternoon –

Baby Daddy: Yeah, the pediatrician confirmed that it is ringworm.

Me: Really? How did he catch it?

Baby Daddy: She said that there are hundreds of place. Told me to put Lamisil on it and keep it covered but that he could go back to school tomorrow. She gave me a note.

Me: How’s my baby? Is he okay? Is he in pain?

Baby Daddy: No, he’s fine. Stop worrying.

Me: Can you please send me a photo so that I can be prepared?

Baby Daddy: Sure

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So, munch has cooties. I scratched a little too irrationally (cause I’m a hypochondriac), wore surgical gloves and was totally grossed out, but I took care of his little ring worm infected body. He’s such a trooper. Me, not so much. I love that little guy though.

Aww, the joys of parenting!

5 Things Having a Boy Taught Me

I read this article entitled “11 Things Only Parents of Boys Understand” and smiled. Some of the things were definitely similar and relatable, but others I’m sure I will experience as Brennan ages. But, that list got me to think what things have I learned since having a boy? What are tips that I could share to other parents to prepare them? Have I learned anything or am I surprised by some of the things I’ve learned?

So, before we begin you must understand this…I never wanted children and when I did get pregnant, I knew it was a boy. I never doubted it. I didn’t need a girl, my sister already had a girl so a boy to love me unconditionally was perfect. My mom warned, “You could have a son that could be a daddy’s boy”. I scoffed and said, “Get real, he will adore his mother.” And you know what? He does. Now, he loves his daddy, but our bond is super strong and I love him more than I thought I could ever love someone.

His Hugs & Kisses Improve My Spirit

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with life or work, I just look to him to wrap his arms around me, kiss my cheek and say “Mommy, I love you.” It makes me smile and I begin to feel better. He is the best comforter I could ask for. Small in stature, but a big heart that beams with his love for me. Last year, I was going through an emotional rollercoaster and my son was the anchor that kept me together. I would literally have breakdowns and fall out on the floor and my son would come over and kiss me and hug me and say, “Mommy, I will protect you.” Not his job, but knowing that he was willing to protect me when I felt helpless improved my spirit and helped me to realize that I needed to get “a grip” because I am the adult and I need to be healthy and functioning for him.
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He Can Rationalize Anything

Brennan has always known his own mind and can rationalize any situation. Doesn’t mean that I agree with his rationalization, but I’m always impressed with how his mind works. Here’s an example: A couple of weeks ago his school had “Lockdown Drill” and he was telling me how he was the best hider and you have to be really quiet and hide so that no one knows you’re in the classroom or they may come in. I was mortified. I cried and his dad tried to calm me down saying “It’s okay. It’s the times we live in.” I was still hurt that my baby had to be taught that after the increased school shootings. He’s only six. The next night when I called him at his dad’s he said “Mommy, I need to talk to you about something.” I replied, “Okay, munch. What’s going on?” He said, “Mommy, daddy told me that you were sad yesterday when I was telling you about lockdown at school.” I said, “Yeah, I was kind of sad.” He said, “Mommy, you don’t need to be sad. Remember on Sunday when we were going to church and I saw that man get arrested and I said I hope I never get arrested and you said, you won’t because even if mommy and daddy are not there to protect you, God is always with you and he will protect you.” I replied, “Yeah baby. I remember.” He said, “Well mommy, I wasn’t scared. God was with me and he was protecting me like you said.” I just cried and thanked God for allowing me to be the vessel to carry this beautiful boy.
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His Aim May Never Improve

It’s true. Brennan can’t pee standing up without getting any on the toilet. It’s hilarious. I’m like dude, “I need you to work on your aim”. I know it takes practice and there are even some men who can’t get it in the bowl, so I’m not that hard on him. I just take the Clorox wipes and clean up the mess. Is it the end of the world? Nope. Do I actually sit on a wet seat if I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Yep. You get used to it.

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 He May Never Be All Star

One of the reasons I constantly put Brennan in sports is not because I want an all star athlete. I want a healthy child. I figure with one day of Physical Education a week, he really needs to get active. So, I put him in sports. He’s taken swim, soccer, T-Ball, basketball and Tae Kwan Do. Basketball and T-ball were an adventure. He never got the hang of dribbling the ball. He would pick it up and run around the court hoping the other players would tag him to try to get the ball. He liked tag. Basketball, not so much. His adventure with T-Ball was hilarious. He literally refused to play, practice or do anything other than sit on the bleachers next to me and his dad. When the coach would ask “Who wants to go up and bat?” He would raise his hand and run out with the other children. He would hit the ball and sit back down. Yeah, that was fun. How about soccer? The very first day of practice he begins to dribble the ball down the field and after 10 minutes grabs his soccer ball and walks over to the bleachers where his dad and I are sitting to announce…”Mommy, Daddy? Can we leave now? I’m no good at this?” We stared at him in shock and said, “No, practice hasn’t even started.” By the end of the season though he improved dramatically, it was his attitude changing that impressed me the most. So, soccer, Tae Kwan Do and swimming are it for now. He enjoys those sports.

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Jake from The Neverland Pirates is the Coolest

Yep, he loves Jake. According to Brennan, Jake is his best friend. He’s smart, has friends and has cool hair. Jake always gets the gold da blooms and defeats Captain Hook. Bored yet? I learn so much about cartoons and how my son’s character is developing because of his love for his favorite television show. He was Jake last year for Halloween and I still can’t get the sound of my niece and nephew laughing at his wig that came with the costume. She asked, “Is Brennan wearing a weave?” Nope, it’s a wig. He even made his real best friend Lauren be Princess Sophia for Halloween. When my best friend asked me to take her son trick or treating because she would be out of town and told me that her son wanted to be a pirate, I was concerned that Brennan would be upset. She said, “Don’t worry, his pirate costume is less flashy than Jake’s. He’s more authentic looking.” What? Yep, Jake doesn’t really look like the pirates in the movie. He even has a Jake book bag, lunch box, pajamas, swimsuit, towel and jacket. Not including the toys, books and action figures. Jake will rule your house!

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He Will Get Dirty & Sick

When I was younger, my best friend and I would say that we would grow up, get married and live next door to each other. Our children would grow up to be best friends like us. I would say, “Only mine will be in bubbles because I don’t want them to get sick or dirty.” She teased me for years. When I first had Brennan he had a wardrobe when he was still in my womb. Whites, creams and pale blues were optimal colors. Nothing was to light because he wouldn’t get dirty. I was too naive. The minute he couldn’t digest the formula and we went on a hunt for something that he didn’t hate was a wake up call. Formula stains don’t come out of a white Ralph Lauren romper. And surprisingly neither does a bowel movement from an exploding diaper. I had to realize it and just say I will buy him what I want and be okay if it comes out the wash looking dingy. I exhaled. But, sickness was something I wasn’t prepared for. It broke my heart when my baby boy needed a breathing machine because of all his respiratory infections at 8 months old. What about when he got bronchitis, got diagnosed with seizures and got swine flu? Yep, he was a sickly child and I had to accept the fact that kids (especially those in daycares) will get sick. It’s life. You just comfort and take care of them, use  your sick leave and thank God that you had the good sense to have a job where you have sick leave.


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I think that’s it. It’s hilarious how quickly they grow up and boys teach you so much about yourself. I’m looking forward to learning more lessons being with Brennan in cub scouts, a team mom and an officer in his PTSA. It’s an adventure with many trying times, but I promise you that you will love every moment of it.

I Have My Moments

A couple of weeks ago, I posted this on Facebook:

From the mommy diaries…I’m gonna pat myself on the back because I rock. After taking care of munch with his respiratory infection this week, missing work, missing his homework and not having time to write, I was able to Google translate his French homework packet in 2.5 hours last night, email the teacher with questions I didn’t understand, go to work today, knock out 2 of the 12 items due, pay bills, order his halloween costume, pay for Tae Kwan Do, order Chipotle for dinner, pick him up, eat and help him with 2 hours worth of homework to have him in bed by 9 pm because tomorrow is another busy day with the start of church school. Whew! ‪#‎momsrock‬ ‪#‎mommymoment‬‪#‎brennansmom‬

As many of you may have guessed, I have a supermom attitude when it comes to my son. That week, I was super proud of all the things I was able to accomplish in the limited amount of time with a sick child. I want to make sure that I am not only giving munch my best, but being the best with juggling motherhood and working. But, I have to admit it does get exhausting.

Why do I do it? Part supermom complex. Part insanity. I’m an overachiever when it comes to my son. I want to show the world that you can have it all. I struggle to make sure that my son never feels neglected by me (physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc.). So, I am the mom who does custom holiday cards (complete with a fall photo shoot) and all. I send thank you cards, teach church school, attend Bible studies, attend PTSA meetings, update his website, blog, write my own book, order uniforms, buy new outfits for school pictures, take him to swimming, soccer, bake cakes, do play dates and attend every birthday party we’re invited too. Why? Because I’m crazy. That’s probably the simplest and best answer I can provide.

If I don’t do it, I feel like I’m somewhat being an underachiever and cheating munch out of opportunities that I didn’t have as a child being raised by a single parent. I feel guilty. I wanted him so much, but I want a career too so in order to make sure there is balance, I want to do it. I need to do it. But, doing it all exhausts me. It leaves me feeling drained and not having enough time to enjoy myself. It’s that whole supermom complex.

How bad is it? Well, this year I wanted to sign him up for cub scouts and went to the first meeting with him and his dad. He loved it! I learned all the wonderful things that the kids do and then I also learned all the things that the parents are expected to do as well. This was a heavy parent involvement chapter. I was cool with it. So, another 3 hours a week of more stuff to do? Sure, No problem. I can handle it. But, not everyone was up for the challenge.

His father had sent an email and said that he didn’t think he should do cub scouts now because he’s being over scheduled. I responded “Bye, Felicia! He’s not being over scheduled. He’s fine.” I huffed, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Supermom can handle it. Right?

Well, I could handle it or so I thought until munch got sick with a respiratory infection and I was out of work, in and out of the doctor’s office and nursing my six year old. I was tired. No school. Well, when you’re in a French Immersion program, you need to be at school. Missed days equal missed learning opportunities. We had to play catch-up. In my exhausted state, I sent an email back to his dad and said, “I think you may have a point in no cub scouts yet. While I disagree that he’s being over scheduled, he has a lot going on and school has always been our main priority and focus. That being said, I will wait until later in the year.”

Yep, I sucked it up and bit the bullet and realized that sometimes life will throw you a curve ball and you need to adjust. You need to regroup and refocus your priorities. I refocused and realized that the most important thing in the world to me is a happy and healthy child. It’s my number one priority. So, I have my moments of clarity that remind me that I don’t need to do it all or be it all. Munch will be just fine.

This is one of those moments.

Momma Gets Tired

The joys of parenthood are often fraught with sickness and germs and all the things that you hate. This includes: sleepless nights, multiple medications, hot bodies clinging to you in pain and just plain exhaustion. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but sometimes, momma gets tired.

This past week, my munch has been home suffering from a respiratory infection. How does a six year old get a respiratory infection? Heck if I know. It started Sunday afternoon when I noticed that he was wheezing when he slept. I started back on the Xopenex because of the change in weather and added Benadryl back into the regimen (parenting an asthmatic child) to try to head off any sickness.  Well, it was too late.

He woke me up at 2:22 am on Monday morning complaining he didn’t feel good and wanted to sleep with me. After being in the bed with me for 20 minutes tossing and turning, he started to cough. Said he was thirsty. I gave him more medications, took his temperature and gave him some juice to wash the taste down from the medications. He couldn’t go back to sleep. Every 30 minutes he was whining about not feeling good. I held him to my chest, took his temperature and just laid with him in his bed trying to provide comfort. The morning came quickly and 6 am reminded me that I had to get up and go to work. I got him up and began to dress him. When I gave him more medications he vomited all over the bed. EEWW! Did I mention I hate vomit and have a bad gag reflex? I had to catch myself. I cleaned him up, changed the sheets and called into the office. I would not be going in.

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After getting him settled in I emailed his teacher and tried to get some rest. Nope. Munch was wired and whiny and wanting his mommy’s attention. So, I cuddled him. Read to him and gave him Popsicles. I fixed soup for lunch and gave him apple sauce and tried to get him down for a nap at 2 pm. He laid down and so did I, but 90 minutes later he was back up and I was too. I put on Netflix and planned dinner. I started washing clothes and checking work email. Before long, it was time to go to bed.

So, not having any sleep and mentally exhausted, I did what ever person does. I got on Facebook. It was on the PTSA school website that I learned about the Human Enterovirus affecting children. Yep, my baby was now a victim of this vicious virus is what I said. (Hey, my baby had swine flu, so I get to be a little paranoid okay?) I began my crazy baby watching while he slept to make sure that he wasn’t dying. Every breath sounded painful and the wheezing was breaking my heart. I kept watch over him like a hawk for two hours. Why?

Because he woke up. After only two hours of sleep, he was up at 11 pm and stayed awake until 7 am on Tuesday morning. I couldn’t take it. So, with 4 hours of sleep, I called out and called his pediatrician to see if I should bring him in. Their response? Yep, bring him in at 9 am. So with munch only having an hour and a half of sleep, I dragged him to the doctor’s office in his pajamas. After testing his pulse oxygen level, doing a rapid strep test and listening to his lungs, the diagnosis wasn’t Human Enterovirus, but a respiratory infection. I was relieved, but when she put the absence note for the full week of school, I paused.

Wow! I can’t take off for the entire week and I can’t work from home. So, while I was mentally preparing him to come to work with me and sleep in my office, his dad emailed and said he could take off and keep him. Whew! One less thing to worry about as I typed my email thanking him for this decision. I put munch in a hot steamy shower and began the nightly medicine ritual to get him healthy again. Once tucked into bed and resting I began my ritual of washing clothes, washing dishes and cleaning the house. He got out of bed at 9:15 pm excited that he had lost another tooth. “The tooth fairy is coming mommy. I get more coins and I am getting my grown up teeth.”

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Simple joy from a wonderful boy reminded me that no matter how tired momma gets, she’s never too tired to be his mom. So, I smiled and said, “I’m so excited baby, but the tooth fairy won’t come if you’re still up. Let’s wash the tooth and put it in a baggie so she can find it.” We did and he was tucked back into bed. An hour later I went to check on him and he was sleeping in the middle of his bed not on his pillows to allow the tooth fairy to leave his coins. I smiled, kissed him and slipped the coins under the pillow knowing that I would miss the days when he grows up and knows this isn’t real, but you know what? I will cherish every moment until then, no matter how tired I am.

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A sick child by any other name is still a sick child…

Okay, so Brennan has been getting sick off and on since birth. His latest bout of illness was pink eye and a virus. We got a script for the pink eye and was told that the virus would just have to pass. Well it passed alright. It passed directly to me. I got sick and it developed into a severe upper respiratory infection. I’m on 3 different meds. It sucks, but at least the baby is not sick anymore.

We are prepping for Nationals! The All American Girl & Boy Pageant will be held in Stamford, CT on August 1st & 2nd. We are hoping to bring home the gold! Brennan won the regional pageant in May and qualified for Nationals. We are truly blessed and happy for our little one. Thanks to all of our family and friends who were able to donate ad space for the pageant. I will let you know how it goes.

Here’s a picture from his regional pageant in May.