Saturday, September 05, 2009


I keep meaning to post. Really, I do. And I mentally compose posts, or parts of posts, pretty frequently. I just never manage to remember them while I'm sitting at the computer. So I think I'll open this window and start a list and see where it leads.

1. Knitting. Did I tell you I visited Sarah in Michigan a few weeks ago? It was great. I knitted a lot. We ate yummy produce from a farm stand and I bought some new sock yarn and a book and one of these, which I love. I've been squeezing in a lot of knitting lately--if you're on ravelry, go look.

2. I feel like every third post I say something like, "Avtalyon is being really hilarious lately." But it's true, pretty much all the time. He's such a clown. He isn't just funny, he's funny on purpose, and deliberately does things to make people laugh. He also imitates Iyyar, which is, well, hilarious. Potbellied nineteen-month-old swaggering--yes, swaggering--through the living room in pirate hat while attempting Iyyar's signature tough-guy noises? You'd laugh too. He also imitates Iyyar's firetruck imitation. And does it really well.

3. Barak started kindergarten this week. Totally overwhelming for me--the long day, the schoolbus, all of it. He seems very happy. The first day he came home with a plastic bag full of woodchips and informed me that he and some other boys had found worms and he'd brought some home. I didn't see any worms in the bag, though.

4. Iyyar also started playgroup, at the same place where I sent Barak two years ago. I wasn't thrilled with it then, but then as now it is the best available local option. It's that, or send him someplace far enough away that it won't be walkable--which I don't want to do now for the same reasons I didn't want to do it then. So that's where he is. I'm seeing the same things I saw with Barak that I wasn't happy with then, but she clearly likes me now--I am never, ever late for pickup, which I think is mainly why, plus my checks never bounce and Barak was well behaved--so she took it quite well when I told her I was relocating the cleaning products in the bathroom out of children's reach. A couple of weeks ago Iyyar saw a bottle of Mr. Clean on the counter and asked, "Can I have some dat?" I am not taking more chances than I have to.

5. I am slowly putting together plans for who will do what with the kids when I am IY"H in the hospital having a baby, as well as plans for potential return trips to the hospital should the jaundice strike a fourth time. Which, let's face it, it probably will. What makes me insane is that despite the fact that I've had jaundice requiring treatment with every single child, and that two of those children had bilirubin levels that shot up 10 points in less than a day, well into the scary land of brain-damage-and-death potential, no pediatrician in my practice will go to bat with my insurance company to keep a newborn with elevated bilirubin in the hospital an extra day.

Let's be clear here. What I asked was, "Will you, if I have a baby with a bilirubin over 10 at 2 days, keep the baby under bililights in the mother-baby unit? This would mean that said baby could avoid going home to get sicker and sicker, a return trip to the hospital that would mean a peds admission to an almost certainly highly contagious floor, and the attendant risks/issues thereof." Clearly better for the baby in every way. But no. The answer is always no. Even though, with my track record, this is incredibly likely to be the case. Nobody will even try to get an exception from the insurance company. Avtalyon, by the way, had every risk factor on the list for jaundice, and the wouldn't keep him either. This is why I wanted to be proactive, so I wouldn't again be trying to fight the system while postpartum and still shellshocked from labor.

There is one pediatrician left in the practice--the one who dropped the ball the first go-round with Iyyar. I have an appointment with him on Friday.

6. Avtalyon is getting pretty verbal. He loves saying "thank you," which he pronounces in a way spookily reminiscent of my grandmother imitating my grandfather saying "thank you" in English. Tank ee-you! If I offer him a pacifier, he cries "puggie!" delightedly and then comes toward me with a wide-open mouth. If I ask him what's in his mouth, he sticks out his tongue. He also likes to keep me informed about what he's doing. For example, squatting down with a look of intense concentration, turning purple, and then gasping, "Boop!"

7. It's kind of incredible how much parve stuff is manufactured on equipment that also processes dairy. I went to Trader Joe's today with Iyyar to get the only totally dairy-free rice milk I've found and tried to also get him crackers. Trader Joe's sells a LOT of different kinds of crackers. Only one of them is totally dairy-free. We bought three boxes.

8. I've been giving both kids sunflower seed butter sandwiches for lunch (peanut-free classrooms). They are totally fooled and have not said a word. To make sure the moros know what they are, I wrote on both of the sandwich bags in black Sharpie, "Not peanut butter." Barak came home on Friday saying, "My morah says I can't have tr... tr... turmumps either. " "You can't have tree nuts?" "No." I think I should put a more informative note in his lunchbox tomorrow.

9. Barak has gotten really, really bedtime-resistant lately. We were away this Shabbos and he stayed up till 10:45 with no trouble at all. I tried to get him to go to bed, but he reeeeeally didn't want to, and I just didn't want to abandon the seuda to try to make him, which would have involved waking up the other two and then having to deal with that and probably not getting anything to eat myself. (And there was steak. I wanted some.) Next morning, he was up at 7, bright-eyed etc., to be offered a chocolate muffin (tell me again how this differs from a cupcake?) by the baalas ha'bayis. Not only was he fine all day long, but when we got home, after 10 PM, as I was speedily transferring Iyyar and Avtalyon into their respective beds from the cab, he settled into a kitchen chair and requested Lego (request summarily denied) and then cheese (I relented). He refused point-blank to go to bed, such that forcing him would have required a full-on battle that probably would have woken the other two. As I was considering this, the phone rang, and then I noticed Barak asleep in the chair--he does crack eventually. I hung up. He denied ever having been asleep. Kind of like his father. This morning again he was up at 7, but showing signs of collapse by around 4. As I've been writing this, he's come in here three times wailing for different things. Right now, he's in his room howling for the blanket he pished on the other day. "It's not cozy!" Sigh.

I just won't fight him every night. I refuse. If he doesn't get into bed, I ignore him, turn off all the lights and go work. He does go to bed eventually, but... ugh. Maybe I'm being lazy, or maybe I've just kind of had it for now.

10. I made it to nine, so there has to be a ten, right? Oh, how about the house? Which is a wreck. As always. I try. I try SO HARD. But it is SO HOPELESS. I could spend three hours a day cleaning and doing nothing else and I don't think it would really be clean. Tomorrow Iyyar and Barak have school but I am not working and I should get two hours of free time while Avtalyon naps. If I can avoid napping myself, I want to do a toy and book purge. We have way too much stuff in this house and some of it just has to go.


Anonymous said...
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persephone said...

Turmumps! Ha! I love it.

Anonymous said...

The bit about refusing to even consider keeping baby under bili lights an extra day infuriates me. I do hope #4 beats the stats.

The rest of your post is a delight! Glad that kindergarten is a positive thing, and I'm impressed by the sunflower seed butter. I went shopping with Rob after the trip and we both sat and read ingredients on the peanut butter jars. We were both surprised at how long the list was on all of them, given that we did find one that just has peanuts.

~ Jasmin

miriamp said...

5. best of luck with that! (have you thought of going to the insurance yourself? You never know, might work -- but get something in writing and keep track of the names of everyone you speak to.) Oh, and B'sh'ah tova as well.

8. Perhaps writing "sunflower seed butter" would have been more informative? But yes, a real note should do the trick. The parents of the little girl in my son's class who is peanut and tree nut allergic gave each kid in the class a jar of soy butter. Which, yes, contains soy -- I like the sunflower seed butter better anyway.

9. Been there, done that, when I had about 4 kids I completely gave up on bedtime for years, and am just now trying to get everyone back on a better bedtime schedule, which is all the harder because for years I recommended bedtime, but basically just let them all crash on various couches. Advice? However much you let it slide with the oldest, don't give up on him, make sure he knows what he's supposed to be doing, and don't let bedtime slide for the others! You'll regret it if you do.

10. I'm willing to bet that your house is in much better shape than mine is, because I don't even bother trying to keep up with the mess. (That's a slight exaggeration, of course.) And I know I have more toys than you do -- I really really need to purge, if I can ever find some time when the kids aren't watching me and protesting. (With 8 kids, it's practically guaranteed that at least 1 will protest about each and every toy.)