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I can’t believe Cootieboy is eight years old. How did that happen? He’s in the other room right now, entertaining some friends. I let him have a sleepover last night with a few of his friends. In a couple hours our neighborhood pool will open and I’ll be taking them over there to swim until the parents come pick them up. Based on the various child behaviors from last night and this morning, this is what I’ve determined about Cootieboy. 1) He’s boisterous – and not in a bad way. He thrives on energy. Especially the energy of his friends. 2) He’s kind – this morning one of the kids was very upset about not getting Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast, so Cootieboy willingly gave up his own bowl for the other child and opted to have something else. Not every kid would do that. 3) He’s sweet – this morning when he woke up he came into the room where I sat, and just walked into my arms for a hug. He nestled into me while I quietly told him how precious he is to me, and when I was done telling the tale of his birth all those years ago, he whispered, “Thank you, Mama,” and gave me a kiss. 4) On the downside, he leans towards overreaction sometimes. He loves a good fight and sometimes goes too far. Hopefully that’s something he’ll bring under control soon (read: before puberty hits and throw his hormones out of wack). 5) He is cute. And I mean CUTE. The dimple, the shaggy blond hair, the freckles. He continues to get cuter each year and shows no signs of stopping. He may not be the tallest boy in his third grade class this year, but he just might be the cutest. 6) He’s smart. Sometimes he’s too smart for his own good, but for the most part he’s quick to learn and quick to understand. Having said all that, I feel pretty lucky to have this kid in my life.

He’s FOUR Now

CootieBoy desperately wants to be five years old. Everytime we told him his birthday was coming up he’d cry, “I’m gonna be FIVE!” Uh. No. Four. “But I wanna be FIVE!” he’d cry again. But it’s not 1-2-3-5, I’d explain. He’d start crying. “But CootieGirl is five – I wanna be five!” *sigh* And then there was this exchange this morning: “How old are you, mama?” “I’m 39.” “Wow…that’s old.” Gee, thanks, youngster. At four, my little devil is rambunctious, energetic, fun, and active. But he’s also a great cuddler, loves to give hugs of all sizes (we give varying degrees of hugs in our house) and is quick to say “I love you” (and yes, half the time it’s to suck up when his sister is misbehaving, but I’ll take it). He loves the Wii (thank heavens he’s receiving a new game today so I don’t get pestered with “I wanna play Indiana Jones” every day from here to eternity). He loves stomping in puddles. He loves to push me out the door when I drop him off at daycare. He loves making silly sounds and even sillier faces. He likes to pick out his own clothes to wear each day. He loves to go to the pool but hates to get his face wet. He loves Scooby Doo and Tom & Jerry cartoons. His favorite foods are baked beans, corn and Spagettios with meatballs. He doesn’t like when people yell, and if he gets yelled at he’s quick to say “You hurt my feelings!” He’s a charmer and a sweetheart and sometimes I love him so much my heart hurts from the power of it.

The Kid Has a Sense of Humor

CootieBoy is a born actor. Yesterday he was entertaining me in the office. He was sitting on my lap, and we were just talking, having a good time. He happened to have some princess advertisement in his hand, as well as a Shrek toy nearby. CootieGirl walked in, saw the Princess ad in his hand, and FREAKED. She picked up the Shrek toy and said, “I’ll trade you. You give me the Princess, I’ll give you the Shrek.” CB said no, and rightly so since the Shrek toy was something he already had been playing with. I began to explain to CG that she should find something ELSE to attempt a trade – something he wasn’t already playing with, but she quickly burst into tears, lamenting over the fact that CB wouldn’t share. After about 30 seconds CB couldn’t take it anymore, and handed the Princess ad to CG. She stopped crying, thanked him, and walked out of the room. CootieBoy turned to me, crumpled up his face, and started to MAKE FUN OF COOTIEGIRL by fake crying. As a mom, I know I should have said, “CootieBoy, don’t make fun of your sister,” but the non-parent in me thought it was frickin’ hilarious.

CootieBoy’s Latest Doctor Appointment

Cross-posted from Cootiehog. You know it’s not going to be a good morning when you have to give your son a bath for the second day in a row because the diaper rash is so bad he won’t let you wipe his butt down. That’s what I got to do this morning. Then I had to attempt to clean up the bump on his butt, which started draining as I put on a new clean diaper. And then you know it’s not going to be a good doctor appointment when your son begins screaming the minute he sees the brightly colored waiting room because he remembers what happened last time he visited. Oh joy. Fortunately, within about 30 seconds of me signing in, CootieBoy was called back, saving the other waiting room folks from the histrionics. And he never really quieted down after that. Not when he got weighed (34 pounds, 50th percentile), or measured (36 inches tall, 25% percentile). Not when she looked in his ears, or his mouth. He did quiet down when she listened to his heart, and he enjoyed telling her about colors and shapes. But when she went to check his privates and the diaper rash and the bump, he FREAKED. Fortunately, the doc made quick work of draining the bump and we quickly got CootieBoy dressed again. He sat on my lap, hiccuping and repeatedly asking for CootieGirl or Daddy, or to go home. When I mentioned that CootieBoy rarely ate meat the doctor opted to do a blood culture to make sure that he isn’t anemic. She left the room and I managed to get CootieBoy completely calm and quiet. We were giggling over pictures of him on my cellphone when a nurse came in. He took one look at the bandaid in her hand and went ballistic again. She managed to prick his finger, but then she could get him to relax enough to put the dripping blood in the tiny container in her other hand. Two other nurses came in and between the three of us, we got him pinned down so that the blood nurse could finally get her sample and put a bandaid on his finger. But blood was EVERYWHERE. All over his shirt, our hands, etc. Just a mess. The nurses left, I wiped CootieBoy down, cleaned myself up as much as I could, and got him to wash himself at the sink. He was THRILLED when the door opened and the nurse said, “Okay, you can go!” He beamed and RAN from the room. *lol* We got two prescriptions for the bump to heal. I hope we don’t have to go back there until his 4 year appointment. I want him to stay away long enough that the horror of his last two visits disappears from his mind. Maybe I’ll take him there a couple times over the next year just to “hang out” – not for any actual appointment, but just to say hi to the nurses and doctors. Maybe having a few “non” visits will make him feel better about the place. Upon arriving at school he immediately asked for CootieGirl, who gave him a big hug. When they broke the hug CootieBoy said to her, “I feel better now, Vwee-ya.”

He’s Not My Baby Anymore…

Today is CootieBoy’s third birthday. I cannot BELIEVE he is already three years old. All the things about CootieBoy:
  • He hates boredom – he would much rather be running, jumping, playing than almost anything in the world.
  • He loves to make people laugh – he definitely has a sense of humor and always makes faces that he knows will crack us up.
  • He is VERY independent – he has reached that stage where only HE can put on his shoes, only HE can put on his shirt, only HE can put in that DVD.
  • He loves animals – since we moved to this house, where the cats are forced to be social due to no attic and no basement, he has really grown attached to the animals. Stinky in particular – he hugs her often, despite her vocal protests.
  • When he’s happy, he loves the world. When he’s angry, he hates the world. Yep, he’s an emotional one. Sure, CootieGirl cries at the drop of a hat, but CootieBoy shows a HUGE range of emotion and we often experience about ten of them each day.
  • He loves music – he loves singing and after hearing “Defying Gravity” from the ‘Wicked’ soundtrack he is already singing some of the words along with the song. For his birthday he received a 10-piece musical instrument set. It has a triangle, maracas, tamborine, and several other things. He LOVES IT (thanks Auntie Jen & Uncle Beau!)
  • He is competitive – we notice it with CootieGirl a lot. When he’s by himself he is fine, but when CootieGirl is around he instantly becomes competitive. For attention, for toys, for “winning”. That competitive edge will have to harnessed so it doesn’t turn into bullying later on, but if the roughness can be taken out and the determined drive encouraged, he will be very successful in school, sports, and real life.
  • He is handsome – oh sure, I’m his mom, so I HAVE to say that, right? Well, even if I wasn’t his mother I’d know he is handsome. His mischievous eyes, his cute dimple, that blond hair. He’s a charmer and beautful and sometimes I catch my breath when I realize that Denis and I together equals such a beautiful boy (and girl – CootieGirl is beautiful as well).
I suppose I can’t called him my “baby” anymore – he’s THREE! Today we’re going to Greensboro to pick up my keyboard, and while there we’ll take the kids to a children’s museum as well as at least one other kid-friendly place. Then tomorrow after church CootieBoy and I are headed to Charlotte to see “The Lion King”. So it’s going to be a good birthday weekend for him, I think.

X-Posted: CootieBoy’s Sleeping Habits

I hope I’m not jinxing it, but the past two nights? CootieBoy has slept all night and not crawled into bed with us until 7 a.m. (which is what time we get up during the week anyway). He’s done this without the benefit of those Calms Forte pills because a couple days after we started giving him those pills he got a MAJOR (and I mean *major*) diaper rash. We stopped the pills in case that was the cause of the rash (which took almost a full week to disappear). Now that the rash is gone I may give him pills again to see if the rash comes back. If it does, no more pills. But every night as he goes to bed he asks for his “candy”. But he and I have a nice quick routine now. We’ll get under the covers on his bed and read a long story (although last night he wanted to read Peanuts cartoons, but the only problem was they were all in French (don’t ask), so he basically just listened to me fake-read French for about ten minutes while pointing at the pictures), then I turn out the lights and he and I lay in the bed for a couple minutes (usually during this time he’ll either cuddle with me or push me out of the bed – depends on his mood). He then pronounces that he wants Daddy, I get up and say, “Okay, I’ll go see if I can find him,” I leave the room, close the door, and that’s it. No crying for Daddy. No fussing about going to bed. No crying because I’m leaving. It’s a nice routine and a calming one at that (for both of us, since I get 5-10 minutes of laying in a comfy bed in the dark too). And to have a full night’s sleep the past two nights without the benefit of CootieBoy running in and slamming the door behind him has been nice. Of course, it probably helped last night that he didn’t get to bed until almost 9:30 p.m. since Denis kept the kids up so they could see me when I got home from Book Club.

Off With His Hair!

CootieBoy’s hair was just too much, so today I shaved most of it off. He wasn’t into it at first, until he realized he could watch himself in the mirror. And there’s nothing the boy loves more than looking at himself in the mirror. I’m going to see if I can make it to July 1 without cutting his hair again. Somehow I doubt it. In other news, CootieBoy’s bed is now back in his room and he is okay with it. He’s been great about going to bed – few complaints, settling in easily. The first night back from our Christmas trip he did wake up in the middle of the night and protest, but settled back after a while. Then the next night he woke up again and I completely ignored him and he eventually went back to sleep. Last night, however, Denis got up and brought him into the bed with us. I didn’t even realize it until I woke up and found myself hugging the side of the bed with CootieBoy’s foot in my back.

Reduced to Bribery

I know parents should have to bribe their kids to do ANYthing, but that’s what we’ve been reduced to because it WORKS. You know how giving CootieBoy medicine is akin to giving a cat medicine? Well, the “mad dad” or “mad mom” looks aren’t working anymore. Nor is pinning him down and forcing the medicine down his throat. Denis found a granulated Mucinex that worked though – I called it Pop Rocks and he took it the first few times. But then he figured out that it was medicine and refused it. So this morning, because his cough was pretty active, we opted to give him liquid medicine. 1/2 a teaspoon is all he needed, and yet he acted as though we were forcing him to swallow a whole half gallon. “Will you take it if CootieGirl takes it?” I asked him, to his immediately positive response. I gave CootieGirl an 1/8 of a teaspoon, which she gladly sucked out of the syringe. I loaded up a 1/2 teaspoon and he attempted to flee the scene. After trying the “mad dad” thing, and the pinning him down thing, neither of which were working, I opted for bribery. “Do you want Pop Rocks?” I asked him. He nodded, so I went and got the packet of REAL Pop Rocks. I help up the syringe in one hand and the Pop Rocks in the other so he could see them. “You get these,” (shaking the Pop Rocks), “after you take THIS,” (shaking the syringe). Shocker of shocks – he opened his mouth and eagerly sucked down the medicine with nary a complaint. As promised, I laid out 5-6 little Pop Rocks in the palm of my hand, which he scooped up with a smile. That little bugger.