Archive for January, 2012

A pain in the neck


Owwwww. And I do mean OWWwwWWwww.

Yes, I am complaining. My neck is killing me, thanks to my extremely strong-willed toddler. I initially hurt my neck in December… it sucked, but compared to how I feel now, the pain was more of an aggravating nuisance. I was trying to get Nathan into his car seat and he bucked up and threw one of his mega tantrums, hurting my neck and back in the process. I tried to wait it out, but ended up going to the doctor in the beginning of January. He told me I had a pinched nerve and prescribed an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory). I didn’t take it at that point because the pain was waning, so I saved it in case it flared up again.

Then a couple weeks ago, I reinjured my neck. I was trying to get Nathan into his high chair (due to having a teeny tiny house, we need to move our island out of the kitchen so we can move a table in… until then, I’m stuck with putting Nathan in his high chair) and of course, he would have none of this high chair business. So he threw another tantrum and wrenched my neck in the process. An hour or so later, I was putting away clean laundry. As I reached above my head to put away some blankets, I heard an audible pop! in my neck and then felt blinding white pain.

It’s been severe agony ever since.

I haven’t lost my range of motion in my neck itself, but I can’t shrug my shoulders. The only semi-comfortable position I can sleep in is on my stomach with my head turned to the right. Forget about sleeping on my right side or back. I have throbbing pain all through my neck radiating down into my right shoulder and also up into my skull- pain that’s so intense that I’m finding it hard to concentrate. And then the icing on the cake- a couple days ago, I started getting these flurries of piercing of headaches in the back of my head that radiate into my right eye, which I’m sure is related to my neck injury. It feels exaclty how I imagine it would feel if someone was stabbing me with an ice pick. Each one only last 1-2 seconds… 5 at most… but they are debilitating because I only get a few seconds of relief before the next wave hits. Fortunately after about 5-10 waves, they will dissipate for a while. But when it’s happening, it’s absolutely excruciating. I’ve tried everything… OTC medications like Tylonol, Ibuprofen, and Aleve don’t work. Neither do topical creams or numbing agents. Heat and ice don’t work either. I took my prescription NSAID, but it didn’t do a damn thing. Additionally, it made me gain 5 pounds in 4 days (which I have thankfully lost already)… and since I have been working my butt off getting down to my goal weight, that was unacceptable. Since there was no progress anyway, I discontinued using it.

I guess another call to the doctor is in order. My grin-and-bear-it attitude has not been successful. I think this is something that probably can’t just be “waited out.”

I HATE going to the doctor. It’s a pain because I have to try to figure out babysitting… there is no way I would take him with me- he’s in his I’m Into Everything Around Me phase, and it’s exhausting taking him anywhere where he has to sit and be quiet. Plus I hate being around sick people. It makes me feel all anxious and stuff. The last time I went for my neck, I was sitting out in the waiting room (which, for some ungodly reason, is not divided into a sick side and a well side), watching in horror as sick people coughed their noxious sputum all into the surrounding air without even attempting to cover their mouths. I could practically see the droplets reflect in the sunshine shafts as they hurled through the air. Kinda like how you can see dust dancing. Only this was disgusting sick people mucus, not dust. I cowered in chair in a corner that was as far away from everyone as I could get, trying to take slow, shallow breaths. I don’t care how silly/paranoid/neurotic that sounds. I don’t want someone else’s toxic sick mucus droplets incubating in MY lungs, no thank you. The office even supplied masks for those with a cough, but not one single person used one. They just open-mouthed coughed all over the place.

Seriously. HOW HARD IS IT TO COVER YOUR MOUTH? Did their mothers not teach them proper MANNERS? To everyone who is sick and coughs without covering their mouth, here is a big fat FUCK YOU, ASSHOLES. I hope your mucus boomerangs back into your lungs and makes you DOUBLY sick instead of infecting other people. Self-absorbed nitwits who don’t think about other people. And for God’s sake, DON’T COUGH ON YOUR HANDS. It’s nasty. We touch lots of things with our hands, and all those germs are transferred from your hand to anything you touch. Cough into your elbow. My toddler even knows how to do it.


So yeah. Anyway, being a parent is hard. Not just mentally, but physically as well. It wasn’t so bad when he was a little baby, but now he’s all big and strong-willed and determined, and even though I’m in great shape, I’m still no match for the ire of a disgruntled soon-to-be three-year-old.


What a day.


There is something innately endearing about a child putting his or her shoes on the wrong feet.

Nathan is completely enamored with his fireman boots. They were a Christmas gift from my mom, and let me tell you, Nathan can’t get enough of them. The first thing he does in the morning, before he’s even out of his PJ’s, is put on his boots. He clomps around in them all day, just as proud as he can be. Never mind that half the time they’re on the wrong feet. That stuff just doesn’t matter when you’re two years old.

I love this age. Well. I LOVE the age, but dislike the phase he’s going through right now… we’re going for yet another round of NOT MINDING! It’s driving me completely bonkers. For example, we got into a bit of a power struggle today. There’s a local mommy group in my area that meets once or twice a month for lunch and play with our kids. There was one today, and before I even left the house, I had inhibitions about attending. Nathan was in one of his moods, and I could just feel that things probably wouldn’t go smoothly.

I made his lunch (which is pretty much mandatory whenever I take Nathan somewhere. He’s incredibly picky, and coupling that with an intense desire to run amuk with the other kids makes Nathan want to completely forgo his dinners.) So it’s just easier to bring his own lunch, and we rarely get into power struggles over it.

Not today, however.

I told him after he ate his lunch, he could get down and go play with the other kids. Well, Nathan would have none of my rules, dontcha know. He balked. Loudly. He wanted to completely skip his lunch and go play, but unfortunately Nathan without food is a very-hard-to-manage Nathan. So I tried to compromise and advised him to eat just half of what I packed. No success. I tried to bribe him with a cookie. Nope, still didn’t work. Applesauce? He took a few bites and then had enough. Then he tried to pick up his plate and move it away. Finally, I told him to open his mouth and I would feed it to him. COMPLIANCE! Never mind that my child is nearly three years old now and I had to hand-feed him his lunch. All I was worried about was getting food into that grumpy little belly while simultaneously sticking to my rule of eating before play.

But then he went kinda nutzo. He had no sugar (the cookies “mysteriously” disappeared into my own mouth), so I’m not sure where all the crazy energy came from. But he started running around the room, yelling and bouncing around while his wavy hair flapped crazily around his head. I watched in horror as he forcefully yanked toys away from other kids, stole their stickers and decorated his own torso with the loot, and danced around like a jumping bean that had been soaking in adrenaline for a number of days. I tried to reprimand him. When I saw him jerk toys away from other kids, I immediately went to him and gave the toy back to the other child, explaining to Nathan that he needs to share and be nice to others. I took the stickers off his torso and handed them back to the kids he stole them from.

But the ultimate embarrassment was when Nathan physically shoved another little guy down, causing him to cry. One of the volunteers approached me and told me what Nathan did, and I immediately whisked him away into a corner for timeout after I making him apologize to the other boy. I told the mother I was terribly sorry, but she was a bit of a bitch about it. Yeah, I know my child hurt her child, but guess what? It happens. That does NOT mean it’s ok, but it IS to be expected with two and three year olds. But she was absolutely bitchy about it. As I was apologizing for my son’s actions, she didn’t even acknowledge me. In fact, she turned away from me and ignored me as she held her crying son. I totally get that she was upset, but there was no need for her to be rude about it. So I just shook my head and left her alone.

That’s ok. Her child will shove another kid one day when he’s around Nathan’s age. Hopefully the parent of the child he hurts will be nicer to her than she was to me. After being shunned like that, though, I won’t be apologizing to her again if my child ever behaves inappropriately towards her child again. Nathan will apologize to the child he hurt, but I won’t go out of my way just for her to reciprocate with rudeness.

Yes, I’m a little pissed off at her arrogance.

But enough of that. Arrogant, bitchy people are everywhere in this world. I am quite sure I will encounter many, many more throughout my life.

So yeah, Nathan has his super sweet, precious and endearing moments… but this belligerent phase he’s going through right now is driving me insane. I’m hoping this phase doesn’t last long. I want him to be sweet again. Don’t get me wrong, he totally has a multitude of sweet moments. I’ve noticed he gets really wound up when we’re out in public, especially if there’s a lot of other kids around or bustling activities. I’m going to have to figure out a way to work on this…

In the meantime, I’m going to soak up every single sweet moment he has. I know his not-so-sweet moments are just a phase that he will outgrow with love and patience. I’ve had SO many people tell me the Terrible Two’s are nothing compared to the Terrifying Three’s. He’s almost three. I hope this behavior is not a taste of what I’m in for in the coming year!


Hands down, the best response ever.


Nathan and I went to the store today. He was very well-behaved for someone who’s not even three yet. And by that I mean there was no screaming, meltdowns, or throwing objects. His inquisitive little fingers only touched a few things and he only yanked himself away from me twice. He can’t get far… he always wears his monkey harness when I take him out in public because of that time he dislocated his elbow twice in one week trying to get away from me.

So anyway, as we were leaving we passed an older gentleman standing beside the door talking to someone. As we walked by him, Nathan looked up at him, waved, and said, “Hi Papaw!” (He calls his great-grandfather Papaw, my dad Papa, and Paul’s dad Grandpa. He has a habit of calling complete strangers who look like our relatives by the name of whom they most resemble.)

Without missing a beat, the man waved back and said, “Well hello there!” When one of the people he was conversing with looked at him quizzically, he replied with a broad grin, “Well I did have a lot of fun in my younger years…”

And hours later, I am still laughing. That is the best response I’ve ever heard.


The race is on


Racing! I can’t help but smile every time I look at this picture. He’s just so adorable with his curly hair and legs that don’t reach the pedals. It won’t be long before he can play this for real without having to sit in his daddy’s lap. (Before I took the picture, he sat in Paul’s lap to race because Paul’s legs reach the pedals. When they were done, Nathan was content to sit in the seat and pretend like he was still racing.)

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