Friday, February 09, 2018

Stories from this week

This evening we were watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympics while chowing down on pizza when I noticed that something was wrong with Benjamin's mouth. He was chewing funny and his teeth looked all wonky. It took a minute of staring at him to realize that he must have a wriggly tooth.

"Benjamin!" I said excitedly, "Do you have a wriggly tooth?"

"I wish I did," he sighed forlornly. "Everybody else has had a wriggly tooth."

"Come here, let me see," I said.

He came over and obligingly opened his mouth for me. He has a wriggly tooth, alright! It's so wriggly it's almost ready to pop out of his mouth. He showed it off to everyone. Grandma teasingly offered to pull it out and then Daddy genuinely offered to pull it out (what is it with Daddies and wanting to pull teeth out?). He let Andrew give it a few good yanks before I convinced Andrew to let it fall out organically, or at least give Benjamin a little while to enjoy wriggling it now that he's aware of it. How that boy managed to go this long without realizing his tooth was wriggly is beyond me!

(Side note: Rachel just lost a tooth (on a piece of popcorn, no less), though it's her...ninth (I believe)...which is much less exciting than a first.)

It does explain his lack of appetite. I've been a little worried about him because Zoë has been so sick this week, but he hasn't acted remotely ill. He's just been refusing to eat quite a bit of what we've been offering him at mealtimes in favour of things like yogurt and applesauce. So his appetite isn't suffering, per se. He simply is having a hard time biting and chewing.

I'm happy with this explanation because the only other explanation would be a stomach virus. Zoë's developed some poor eating habits the past few weeks and has also been refusing her dinner in favour of just applesauce. I even started mixing baby cereal into her applesauce so that she wouldn't get diarrhea (this is a trick I learned when she was about a year old and would only ever eat yogurt). She often has a pretty good appetite but lately she'll pick one thing and will eat that and then declare that she's "done." And by one thing I mean, if I give her three green beans, some potatoes, some lettuce, and a piece of meat, she'll eat one green bean. And then she'll be done. But the next day will she eat green beans for me? No. No, she will not eat green beans. She'll refuse to eat anything. It's been rather frustrating.

So on Tuesday night (I think) she was once again refusing to eat dinner, but she was interested in having a cookie for dessert. We had made cookies for a funeral and delivered them to the church that morning, which she was both happy to do and rather worried about.

"Why are we giving them our cookies?" she asked.

"Because they are sad," I told her. "And sometimes a cookie can help cheer you up."

"Why are they sad?" she asked.

"Because someone they loved died and they miss him."

"Oh, so they need a cookie?"


"Where are the sad people?"

"They are in the chapel, but we're just going to sneak into the kitchen."

"And the sad people will come get them?"


She's wasn't only concerned about the sad people getting cookies. Naturally she wanted to know if we were giving away all of the cookies or if we had reserved some for, well, her. I told her that I had kept a few aside for our family so she'd been looking forward to an after-dinner cookie all day long.

But she would not eat her dinner.

"Eat some rice," I said. "You like rice."

"No, I don't want rice," she said.

"Eat a carrot," I said. "They're so yummy!"

"No, I don't want a carrot," she said.

"Have some lettuce," I suggested.

"No, I don't want lettuce," she said.

I told her that if she didn't eat any of her dinner, she wouldn't get her cookie. She screamed. I put her in timeout (because I am so over the screaming). She agreed to let me feed her some dinner so I fed her like a baby and she fought it the whole time.

"Swallow!" I kept telling her. "Please just swallow. You've been chewing that bite for five minutes. It's time to put it into your tummy..."

She was being such a pill! But she finally ate a few bites of rice, a piece of lettuce, and one steamed carrot. So I gave her a cookie, which she stuffed into her mouth and swallowed lickety-split. By then it was bedtime, so we got the kids into bed and settled down for our evening routine. I had just started pumping when I heard Zoë start fussing from her bedroom. I called to Andrew to go check on her because we're trying to do some nighttime potty training right now and often she (and other children) will stir and fuss before they either (and ideally) wake up to pee or (less ideally) wet the bed.

He hopped up and ran in there and was bowled over by the stench of...vomit.

So I stopped pumping and instead helped clean up Zoë and her lovely little mess, which fortunately wasn't huge, given how little dinner I'd basically forced her to eat (which I wouldn't have done if I had known she had a tummy ache (Reid's been teasing me mercilessly about sending her to timeout for having a tummy ache—but I swear she gave no indication, other than refusing to eat her dinner, which she's been doing routinely lately anyway)).

Then she was up and screaming about everything all night long. She even screamed at Andrew when he took away her full throw-up bucket so he could rinse it out.

"Hey! That's mine!" she shrieked.

"I'm just going to rinse it out," he said. "It's yucky."

"It's not yucky! It's just mine throw up!" she yelled at him. "Give it back! GIVE IT BACK!"

At around midnight we got into a fight about whether or not it was nighttime when I told her that it was definitely time to crawl into her bed and try sleeping.

"Mommy, it isn't dark outside," she said.

"It is," I said. "Look outside!"

"Why is it?"

"Because it's the middle of the night."

"No, it's not."

"Yes, it is."

"IT ISN'T!!!"

She yells a lot when she's healthy and, frankly, she yells a lot when she's sick. She just yells a lot. Thankfully all her yelling today was vomit-free! So that's a good thing, because I don't think she would have wanted to miss out on pizza night.

We had to have pizza tonight because this morning when we were making our plan for the day, Andrew said that he might just run out to get some P-I-Z-Z-A for dinner.

"Pizza!!" Benjamin cheered, because apparently he can decode spelling verbally now.

"Wha-ha-ha-hat?" Andrew sputtered. "No. Who said anything about pizza?"

"You did!" Benjamin said. "And maybe we can watch an M-O-V-E!"

"A move?" his big sisters said teasingly.

"No, a movie!" he shot back. "Learn how to spell!"

A friend on Facebook pointed out that it's National Pizza Day, so we basically had to get pizza for dinner after learning that...and after accidentally telling Benjamin that was the plan because he likes to hold people accountable for their promises, though I'm not sure he'd want to be held accountable for all the promises he makes. And boy did he make some big promises this week!

On Wednesday when I picked him up from school he was hanging around a cute little girl named Hannah. We walked with her and her mom (and triplet toddler siblings (every time I see them I count my lucky stars that Zoë is just one toddler, even though sometimes she feels like three toddlers)) for a little while before we had to turn away.

"Bye, Benjamin!" Hannah sang out as she skipped along, her two little braids bouncing on her back.

"Say goodbye," I prompted him.

"Bye, Hannah," he gushed, and then he looked up to me and said, "I'm going to marry her!"

"Oh, you are, are you?" I asked.

"Yup!" he said. "I kissed her!"

"When?!" I asked, shocked.

"Today," he said.

"What? Why? Where?"

"I just...wanted to. And she did, too! We played a hide and seeking game in PE and Hannah and I hid in the same place and we kissed."

"Where did you kiss her?"

"Behind the door."

"Yes, but, like, on her cheek or...where?"

"Of course on her cheek! Mom, I couldn't kiss her on the lips! That would be just too dangerous!"

"Agreed," I agreed. "You know, I think Hannah is a lovely girl, but I don't think you should be kissing her."

"Why not? I kiss you! I kiss Zoë! I kiss Grandma!"

"Yes, but I don't think you should go around kissing your schoolmates."

"Hannah's not my schoolmate," he objected. "She's my best friend. And I'm going to marry her."

He talked the whole way home about how he was going to get a "full job" when he grows up so that he can save money to move back to Utah and when he gets here he'll find another "full job" and then he'll just go to Hannah's house and say, "Do you know who I am?" but she won't know because he'll be all grown up and will probably have black hair (or brown, or blonde) and he'll say, "Here is my five-year-old coat," because he'll be saving this year's coat for this very moment, "Now do you recognize me? It's me, Benjamin. Let's get married!"

It's basically foolproof!

Hopefully he can save the rest of his kisses at least until after he's shed his first baby tooth!


  1. That is the best marriage proposal EVER!!!! I am laughing so hard!!

  2. Oh man, you have a kisser. Ahhhhh

  3. I like that the coat will be what Hannah recognizes... cute story!