Grown in My Heart: Poetry Carnival

Most recent fam photo--day downtown didn't work out as planned. We were so hungry and parking was such a pain, we just had a minivan picnic. Go on, tell us we're classy. We know.

It’s carnival time at Grown in My Heart, and this month’s topic is Poetry.

I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve written a poem since I graduated high school. It’s never once occurred to me to record my feelings, my experiences, my family’s experiences or the topic of adoption by means of a poem. NOT ONCE.

So thank you, Marcie, for pushing me out past my blogging limits.

Have a poem ready to go? Are you up to the challenge of coming up with some prose? Post it on your blog and then link up at Grown in My Heart! (Black turtleneck & clove cig not required)

Twenty Minutes Away

So close, and yet a world a way

Twenty minutes via the interstate

If things had worked out differently,

The brother and sister sound asleep upstairs

Would be twenty minutes away via interstate

And we wouldn’t have ever known them.

The way things did work out?

Not better or worse

Just different.

Twenty minutes via the interstate,

Yet a world away.

Sick Day Survival

The following doesn’t substitute for medical advice….I’m not a doctor. I’m the daughter of a nurse, but I don’t actually have any medical training.

So here we sit on the rainy Monday, as I called in to school (again) because MaM is sick. This is sick day #14, I think, for this school year, and only one or two of those was I actually the one who was ill.

Today MaM has some sort of stomach bug, she ran into our room at 5:20 this morning announcing, “I puked up in my bed, Mama :/” Oh my poor baby girl.

Here are some things that I’ve learned about puke-fests, as we’ve had more than our fair share this year:

1) Make things washable & wipable. For some reason, these viruses tend to come on while they sleep. This is why they both have plastic mattress covers & waterproof pillow covers. I can’t imagine cleaning an actual mattress on top of everything else!

2) Line the puke bucket. From about age 3 on, MaM has been able to hit a bucket when needed. I was complaining to my mom one day about having to clean it out….and then she mentioned that somewhere along the way, she figured out to use a LINER. So be sure to secure a plastic bag inside your small trash can or bucket, it makes everything SO MUCH BETTER.

3) Tiny amounts of fluids go a long way. Dehydration is the biggest worry with these stomach bugs. A small amount of water in a straw cup is a good way to push fluids (small amounts at a time). If water won’t stay down,  an electrolyte solution (pediatric or sports) can work wonders. (sidenote – A Franciscan priest shared that detail with my college natural science class, and it’s been a lifesaver for me on many a “day-after-the-party” ) There are pediatric solution popsicles, but they gross MaM out. “I don’t like salty popsicles,” were her exact words. So here’s what I do-I keep them unfrozen and then just put the contents in a straw cup with a little water. She gets the potassium and sodium she needs, and is none the wiser. Here are more details on dehydration:

4)Kids really do need to be puke-free for 24hrs before returning to school or daycare. So if your kid is still not holding anything down at 11:30am, you may as well make arrangements for the next day. As someone who was hospitalized for dehydration due to a child coming back to school too soon (and hurling next to me), I have the utmost respect for this rule.

Even if it means I’m off to call in for Sick Day #15.

Punishment Stool, circa 2010

My quick post on MaM’s “punishment stool” from 2006 still gets a lot of hits. Sometimes I can tell it’s a query about toddler discipline, sometimes it’s from something freaky (my favorite query? “diaper discipline for girlfriend).

I look back on the post and laugh-Jr is SUCH a different toddler than MaM was. I go to that post and think, “wow? did she really do that?” And then I think back to all the chairs I had to move into the bathroom (because she was standing on them), I think about the fact that we DID buy a new dishwasher because that knob she liked to turn was going to be the death of me, and that the following spring we had a whole debacle on Spring Break I now dub, “The Spring Break Nap Time Smack Down” (there was no smacking, but there was JUMPING off of dressers!!).

Jr is so different. Now granted, I’m probably different. I’m older. I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Jr listens when I say “no” the first time. If he doesn’t, he calmly ( and sadly) goes to the time out step. What happened to the stool?? Well, a few weeks after that first post, the stool was thrown. After that, I started putting her on a particular step.

Maybe it’s because we let him watch more TV. Maybe it’s because “the MaM show” distracts him. Maybe it’s because his more challenging time will come closer to age three. Maybe it’s because he still doesn’t sleep through the night and isn’t well rested enough to really put up a fight.

Maybe he’s just a different kid.

I don’t know, but I’m going to enjoy my fairly laid back toddler while I can!