Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Swimming lessons, meat-eater showers, and other tales

We have been to the pool five times since it opened on Saturday (twice today, twice yesterday, once on Saturday). Already the pool monitor has asked us if this is going to be a daily occurrence.

She must have met our NICU nurses who would say things like "Once he's consistently taking one oral feeding a day we can try two feedings a day!" and then would be like, "Great! He ate once. Time for two feedings!" and I would think to myself, "You keep using the word 'consistently.' I do not think it means what you think it means."

But on the other hand, Benjamin now takes 100% of his meals orally. So maybe we will end up going swimming every day this summer after all. Only time will tell.

We started on swimming lessons today—both for my kids and for other kids. Yes, I've taken on more pupils. A friend and I are trading services. I'm teaching her boys how to swim (and basically letting them use our pool whenever they want to—we're there all the time, anyway) and she's giving me a friendly discount for the preschool she runs (which Miriam has been dying to attend).

I figure the HOA can't really get upset with that since no money will be changing hands.

It made me think back to when we lived in Egypt as poor grad students and literally worked in exchange for food. Ah, the good old days—when we were poor...and in school...and...oh, wait...

Here we are. Still. No pressure, Honey.

I mean, at least this time we're working in exchange for a service. That's got to be a step up from working for food, right?

Anyway, swimming lessons are going well and Miriam's super excited about preschool since all her friends from church (except one) will be starting kindergarten this coming school year. Need I remind you that there are, like, fifteen kids in her church class cohort? All but two will be in kindergarten next year (well, three, technically, but one boy is moving away, leaving two lonely preschoolers in a sea of kindergarteners). Miriam was bemoaning this fact this morning so I tried to cheer her up by telling her that she'd be going to preschool with Rhett's mom and then Rhett would start kindergarten with her!

"But he's only a sunbeam!" she pouted. "I'm in CTR!"

"Well, you were born in 2009 like all the other kids in CTR but you were born toward the end of the year," I explained. "Rhett was born in 2010 but right at the beginning of the year. So you and Rhett are only 2.5 months apart. Lily was born at the very beginning of 2009 so you're like 9 months apart, which is more than 2.5. Do you understand?"

"Yes," she said. "I get it. So, I was born on my birthday, right?"

Apparently she didn't understand. I should have simplified and said, "Life's not fair." If I was in a really sour mood I would have added my Grandpa Conrad's tagline: "And then you die."

She's alright with not going to kindergarten, though, because she gets to go to preschool. 

Miriam was an absolute riot today. Minutes after having the kindergarten/preschool conversation (and assuring her that, yes, she was born on her birthday) Miriam spouted off about meat-eater showers.

"Mom, do we still have meat-eater showers?" she asked.

"Say what?!" I asked.

"Oh, Mom," she sighed and rolled her eyes. "You know! A meat-eater shower—when a gigantic space rock breaks up into smaller space rocks and then they heat all up when they come through the atmosphere and they turn into flying balls of fire and rock. A meat-eater shower. It happened when the dinosaurs lived and I want to know—do we still have meat-eater showers today?"

I couldn't even correct her I was trying too hard to keep from laughing (until I could run into the bedroom and have a silent laughing fit because meat-eater shower). I didn't want to ever correct her but we ended up discussing meteor showers at dinner, anyway.

She still classifies dinosaurs into meat-eaters and plant-eaters (carnivore and herbivore don't seem to have become part of her vocabulary yet), so it makes sense that she would hear the word meteor (probably on Dinosaur Train) and connect it with meat-eaters.

And speaking of saying things wrong, poor Benjamin has developed a cursing problem. And, no, it's not the word truck this time (which both our girls struggled with, simplifying the consonant cluster "tr" into an "f"), though I'm sure that one's coming down the road, too (a pun! a pun!).

Benjamin often says "sh" rather than "s." And he currently loves the word sit. So...yeah.

He was sitting in the baby pool today, blissfully singing, "Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!"

I was doubly glad that all these southerners think the pool is still too cold for swimming in because, not only did I not have to share the pool, no one else was around to listen to my innocent baby stringing out curse words.

Speaking of sitting, Benjamin has been enjoying sitting on his little potty. I broke it out this morning after Benjamin found the doll potty and tried to use it. No bueno.

He's been excited to go potty all day, though, so we had our first accident-free day in over a week. About time, too, because I was going insane with the number of accidents Benjamin was having (last week in particular when he pooped in all the wrong places too many times).

One day when I was particularly frustrated and was cleaning up one of Benjamin's accidents, I said, "Benjamin! What am I going to do with you?! I think I just need to..."

And Miriam, who had followed us into the bathroom chimed in with, "Be a better mother?"


"Thanks," I said curtly. "I was actually going to say, 'bring out the little potty again,' but, sure—I could probably stand to be a better mother."

Though I'm not sure that's exactly something you want your four-year-old to bring up when you're beyond frustrated with your two-year-old, I think most moms are always trying to be a better mother.

Benjamin hasn't taken to the little potty in the past (or has just sat on it and scooted all around the bathroom making car noises and sloshing pee everywhere) but today went very well. There's hope for us yet.

And lest you think I'm always frustrated with my kids, here's an endearing story from this afternoon:

We'd played at the pool for nearly two hours and Benjamin was in need of a nap, but naps are getting pretty sparse around here lately so I knew it would be a bit of a battle. Benjamin began screaming when he realized I had begun his nap time routine so I said, "Benja-boy! You need a nap whether you want one or not. You can choose to have a nap in your bed or you can choose to have a nap in Mommy's bed but those are your only choices. Which one do you choose?"

"Mommy!" he said, lunging in the direction of my room.

I put him on the bed and he crawled over to Andrew's pillow.

"Daddy side!" he said, proudly lying down. Then he patted the bed next to him and said, "Mommy—by me!" so I lay down next to him and together we had a glorious nap (because together is the only way he naps these days) while Miriam filled her mind with more facts about meat-eater showers and things like that.


  1. I am happy for Benjamin about the potty. I loved my potty when I was a little one! I seriously did. I could tell you stories about my love for it, but you would think it is TMI because I am a grown-up. I loved to go potty at the same time as my mom, her on the big one and me on the little one. I am sure she did not love it the way I did! :o)

  2. And also, "My favorite thing that the museum was the Roaring Boring Alice."