He had been acting sick all morning. I saw the signs. First he didn't devour the pancakes placed in front of him. He only likes pancakes from what we have found- it's his only constant. Then he fell asleep in the car on the way home from the post office. Dude never sleeps in the car. No, he talks everyone's ears off until we can't take it anymore. Then he yells if we ignore him. He will eat in the car- this is the only known way to silence him in transit.
One night as I was clicking the tray into Little Man's highchair he squirmed and told me that it was getting "too tight" in there. He's outgrown the highchair. I cannot say I am sad about this. I hate highchairs. They are hard to clean, (even though mine can go through a dishwasher) and they are wearing on my precious dining chairs. (I am very attached to my dining set, seeing kids scratch it up? Well it scratches my heart)
So he's ready to transition out of the highchair. But he is not stable enough to perch on a stool at the counter island, like his sisters do. We need an inbetween eating solution. I don't want to have the twins at the counter and then put Little Man somewhere else, I don't like treating any of the kids differently. It makes me excited to see them grow up and the differences between the two age groups slowly shrink. I've been perusing the offerings to find the best arrangement for all three kids.
Some things I consider:
- Not wood. I use kitchen wipes heavily, and they are hard on wood. (Never mind the fact that 2/3 options I'm looking at are wood. You just never mind that!)
- Large enough to give each kid ample space. Not only is this important to have enough room for three plates & cups, but the girls already distract each other and oftentimes I end up separating them in different rooms to get them to focus and eat their food. This is my main concern with putting all three together- nobody is going to eat. And they'll play hairdresser with their spaghetti. (already precedence set for this- gah)
- Not too large to take up all the room in our small breakfast-nook-type area. I love the huge open space between the kitchen and living room that we have empty (except for a highchair) right now. It feels so airy!
- The six year olds are small, but are they outgrowing kid-oriented seating/tables? I hope not.
Some of the options are!
The Mammut series at IKEA. Not having a store here, I'd have to ship it out. But it is cheap! And
This rectangle set has a lot of options, benches, chairs, etc. But the price is a whopper. And it's wood/veneer which I'm nervous about with cleanup and durability.
This gorgeous Etsy find has me ALMOST sold. It's wood, sure. BUT IT'S SO PRETTY! I am such a sucker for good design; it's my cryptonite.
What would you do? Seems the pretty vs. functionality/fiscal responsibility war rages on!
In more non-baby news, we're also going to get Little Man out of the crib-turned-toddler bed. I can't even talk about the options here. I firmly want this. And it is wildly expensive. So. A run to the local furniture store will probably be what happens on that front.
I am just so glad to be making small steps to being fully out of baby land. I no longer own baby bottles, binkies, burp cloths, and all that jazz. It is an awesome feeling to be relatively certain on a full night's sleep each and every night. I don't have to carry a baby around everywhere- even though Little Man sure does prefer that method of transportation. (carrying him sure is quicker sometimes) Those last vestiges of baby gear are slowly finding their way out of my house. My purse is a little lighter these days. I may have goldfish crumbs on my shoulder, but it isn't the stained spit up that once graced most my clothing.
The last hold-out is probably the diapers. (shake fist cursing the diapers)
And then we will be a kid-house. (I am decidedly happy about this) Babyville was fun. I've learned that a borrowed baby is the best kind of baby. As they grow, I am falling more in love with my kids. They talk, have their own ideas, we interact! It's fantastic.
- We've had a spider problem. (again) It started when Squirt came downstairs an hour or so after putting her to bed. This was a shock as the girls NEVER get out of bed. This has caused a problem with potty training, but overall is a miracle in which I am perma-grateful. Anyway, she was shaking as she called to us from the stairs. She said there was a bug in her room- and there was: a spider the size of a silver dollar walking around on the wall above her bed. It had a teeny tiny body and scary-long legs. Squirt was shaken, but we calmed her down, and she slept. The next afternoon, I spotted yet another spider on the garage wall. This one was larger, and I could clearly see some alarming markings. An internet search heightened my alarm about (whisper voice) brown recluses. In short- I lost all composure and went nuclear on the situation. I worked my Dad up into a worried froth as well. If there was anything that could not be tolerated, it was the recluses. You have some black widows? That's a bummer, but at least it isn't (whisper voice) a brown recluse! As kids we were told we couldn't have a tree house because black widows would just move in. Spiders were always enemy number one. Probably because we grew up in the desert, and really, deadly spiders (and I guess rattle snakes) are all we've got to be afraid of. And growing up, we never had a snake problem. After some research I decided we were all doomed and proceeded to have spiraling panic attacks whenever I put the kids to bed and left them to be devoured by deadly spiders.
- I had a professional exterminator come out. This was a big deal for me. Not because I'm a cheapskate about this, but because I just do not have much confidence in them. Exterminators, at least the door-to-door kind, have come across to me as hucksters. They are trying to upsell me more and more toxic chemicals. I fell for it once when we bought our first house. The salesman regaled me about making small holes in the walls to kill all the bugs that could be living inside my newly erected house! My Dad would later talk some sense into me- since the drywall is screwed into studs only a few feet apart, this effort would have been pointless. I am not wild about the thought of spraying chemicals in general! But we had been doing a do-it-yourself pest control effort with stuff we bought at the home improvement stores. Either The Husband, designated (by me) bug sprayer, was not doing it often enough, or spiders are just impossible to get rid of completely. (I ascribed to the latter ideal) Additionally, I thought, what all does it take to become an exterminator? A two week course? Then buy some seriously dangerous chemicals online? With the brown recluse scare I was at my wits end and called up an old high school acquaintance that has his own extermination business. I figured he would at least be a little worried about my family's wellbeing above simply selling me product using all kinds of scare tactics. (I was right, he was awesome)
- In an effort to calm me down, my Dad did even more research. (my Dad is also awesome... the awesomest, in fact) He sent me this link that immediately relieved my shaky nerves. At most we have what is called a desert recluse, and is probably the better of the recluses to have. (I would still prefer a zero-recluse population, like any normal person) Not completely benign, but not anything to raze a house to the ground about either. The probability of a spider bite is minute, having the bite become anything like an image search of brown recluse bites, (do not do it. SERIOUSLY. Never, ever do that) it is infinitesimal bordering on impossible. The results after the professional spray has been totally astounding. We've found a few spider corpses, even more crickets and other assorted little pests. I am still feeling the creepy-crawly-itchy sensation a majority of the time. At least I feel safe enough to sleep, and I fret at least 80% less about the kids. Yes, I am a runaway anxiety train... I know.
- The end of the school year is drawing nearer. In one of the girl's homework packets, there was a note that said "Your kids are almost first graders! Where has the time gone?" No. I am not ready to wrap my head around my kids being anything other than Kindergarteners yet. Although all day school? I am ready for that. I've made swimming lesson arrangements. It doesn't feel like I have enough "planned" to get us through the eternity that is summer break. We may just live at the splash pad. I may have no hair left to pull come August. Good times, ahoy!
- Squirt got her eyes examined the other week. After dealing with Bunny's new glasses, this experience was relatively tame. She doesn't need an adjustment in prescription. Which means I will be buying new frames for her (to match Bunny's new super-expensive frames) and hope she doesn't have a growth spurt that may radically change her prescription before the insurance deems her eligible for a lens change. (more expensive!) I briefly considered just keeping her in what she has now, but we all know that is not FAIR. (grumblegrumble)
- In other "fairness" developments, Squirt came home with another birthday party invitation. The only parties the twins have attended are ones in which they have both been invited. Usually by families we know. Unfortunately, Bunny is in a class where we know the parents of her friends/classmates, while Squirt is in a class in which we know zero of the parents. Somehow Squirt's classmates seem to do big, elaborate parties, inviting the entire class. (thirty kids!) This party is no exception. It's at a venue where the hosts pay by the number of kids, so I would be incredibly uncomfortable asking if Squirt's twin can come along. Plus, there is a reason we put the twins in different classes! So they can grow as individuals, having their own friends & experiences. This is great, except for when there is a small inequality. Like when Bunny comes home with a cupcake from class, or Squirt comes home with a special project done in just her class. There is lots of wailing when things like this crop up. I feel bad telling Squirt she cannot go to the birthday party. I also don't want to deal with a very hurt Bunny who would be left behind. There is probably no good answer here. What if all of us parents decided to stop having kid parties all together?! Do something with your family. Or invite only people you actually KNOW.
- Remember last summer when I was super mean mom and bought the girls only bermuda shorts that I knew would last all summer without getting too short in July? (summer weather lasts through most of October here, that's a long time for clothes to have to fit) This year I bought a ton of skorts. (shorts underneath was requested by the school, and I was 100% willing to oblige) The skirt length seemed to have the coveted "room to grow." Well it is barely May, and the skirt keeps creeping up further! These tiny-waisted girls and their hyper-long legs! The skirts barely fit around the middle, so I don't even think I could go up another size without duct-taping the waist. Am I going to be purchasing two summer wardrobes for these kids?
-Little Man's scar continues to heal... just at a glacial pace.
- In other news! Remember the time we put a deposit on a rental house two years ago and it suddenly went up for auction? I just don't feel like combing through my archives to find the post(s), but it was a hard time, awful really. Recently, the owner of the house randomly contacted us, (again, two years later!) telling us that he was now able to refund the deposit. It is a miracle. While I'll admit I have harbored lots of not-nice feelings towards this man for two years, I am so grateful to him now. He was having a very difficult time himself, and made great sacrifices to repay us. I am humbled by the whole situation, and my faith in humanity seems to have been restored. What this man did was undoubtedly wrong, and it all felt completely unfair to me, however I learned a great deal from the experience. Everyone makes mistakes and is a victim of circumstance as well, it takes a very special person to make things right, no matter how long it takes.
Lean in guys, I have returned to the internet with stories. Stories I am inclined to title "How I came to spend excessive amounts of money on new designer glasses for my kids, and how I still have a rumbly tummy about it." Yeah, it's just that interesting. The alternate title goes something like "Also: my kids possess insane abilities to dramaticize just about everything." I am now claiming 'dramaticize' as a word.
So many, many weeks ago during a particularly difficult homework session, (I feel the need to insert my adoration and praise over the twin's schoolwork- they are amazing and surprisingly super good at math... to the point where I may be convinced they are adopted) I had suggested to Bunny that perhaps the reason she was having a difficult time with the sight words was because her prescription glasses needed adjusting. She agreed. So I noted it in my venus-fly-trap-esque brain and made an appointment for both girls to have a little check up at the ophthalmologist. The next double appointment was not for another three weeks, and I figured the problem was minor and could wait.
Clearly, Bunny did not agree on this.
Days afterwards she would inquire about the doctor visit, making pained faces when I told her it wouldn't be for another few weeks.
Fast forward a few weeks, and that morning? That morning was obtusely awful. Little Man woke up a full hour early, which is unheard of in our house- Mommy doesn't function before 7 am as a rule. He then followed up this delightful wakeup call by vomiting the sippie I had just handed him in my hazy sleepy state. Simply? Things were amiss. The girls seemed fine (if not enormously tired from being awoken too early) and I sent them off to school. This was the absolute wrong day to be skipping naps and instead spending long hours in a doctor's office. I called and explained the situation, and rescheduled the appointment even further down to the next month.
The girls were crestfallen at the news, but I thought they had moved on. I was obviously wrong.
A few days later, Bunny was in a foul mood, indeed. She's been stuck in a whiny mood for a while- the twins alternate personalities on what seems to be a quarterly basis- it is just as exciting and lovely as it sounds. At bedtime Bunny whined about everything under the sun- her pajamas were not the right color, she had not had enough to drink before bed, all the usual stuff, until the end where she exclaimed "My eyes can't see, Mommy!" This was a new development and I decided to investigate further. I held up two fingers and asked her to count them. She answered "Um, three?" With lots of squinting and sighing. Red flag number one. I tried it again with the lights on, then put her glasses on, from varying distances, still the same answers. I resolved to pick it up again in the morning to see if she just needed some rest.
The next day I casually inserted my little test. Three? Three fingers?! I am only holding up TWO! And here come All The Red Flags Ever. I marched over to the phone and rang up the doc. In a slightly panicked tone I demanded the next available appointment, it was an EMERGENCY. The next appointment? That would be tomorrow... at 8 am.
No time to arrange child care, or getting Squirt to the bus, I was going to have to take all three kids, in the wee hours of the morning over to what would be an alarming meeting with the eye doctor telling me my child has suddenly gone blind. Deeeelightful.
I had to set my alarm extra early because we go to the farthest regions still considered in town to see what I am hoping is one of the best Ophthalmologists in the valley. I have to take all three of my city's freeways. We only have three, and I have to use all of them. It feels like a trek to get to this outpost. Oh, and yeah, it is rush hour time. I had to stop at a doughnut place to get emergency jelly filled doughnuts & a VAT of Diet Coke.
The appointment is long and tedious. We are moved from one exam room to another, into the waiting room for a while for her eyes to dilate. The other two children are fighting over the Angry Birds game while at the same time being disgruntled at the fact that they do not get their own eyes dilated. It takes almost two hours.
In the end, the doctor concludes that a mild tweak is in order. MILD. And technically it is a LESSER prescription than what she has now. This not-being-able-to-see-two-fingers-thing? Complete fabrication from my six year old. She convinced herself that she needed to see a doctor, and by all heavens, she was going to see that darned doctor- ASAP. Parental manipulation if needed.
I was a little peeved... and feeling very nauseous from my stellar breakfast choices earlier that day.
Then the real fun starts. Bunny declares that she wants a brand new, different set of glasses to be a "New Bunny" as she puts it. Her old glasses are a bit on the small side, having grown into them for almost three years. I gave her a "maybe, we'll see" and headed back to the magical glasses store in an inconvenient location. This little shop had been our saving grace after literally trucking three year old twins and a newborn to 10? 20? places to find the only frames that would fit my daughter's delicate features. So yeah, this is my place.
Turns out my place has changed, and has become "out of network" for our insurance. This is bad, bad news for my pocketbook. We find the only option that suit the girls' faces AND come in pink & purple- the color assignment standard in our home; Pink for Bunny, Purple for Squirt. We divy up toys, clothes, everything with the pink/purple model. So it is kind of a big deal around here, even if it sounds ridiculous to non-type-a-people. It is at this time the lady helping us informs me of the change in insurance policies. The usual $50 copay for glasses is a thing of the past. With their special "no insurance" discount the total comes to $140+. This is for one pair, mind you. I have two bespectacled children. We're talking about $300 in glasses.
I deem this as excessive and impossible, and embark on the most ridiculous flailing and worrying spiral ever. I find an option online for $25, inclusive. However the measurements of the frame are off slightly, and having seen it first hand, sticking tightly to the numbers is important on the tiny features of my girls. One number off and it is comical how ill fitting the frame becomes. The second option is to scour the valley for alternatives, an option I simply do not have the resources or strength to do. After much hand wringing and stress eating, I appeal to the husband- gamble on discount frames, or pony up the funds for the sure-bet. He chooses the latter, and I thwonk my credit card on the counter with conviction. Then slowly sob inwardly at all the money that is walking out the door.
Squirt's appointment is in two weeks. She will want new frames no matter if there is a change in prescription or not- she will demand equal treatment, and she will get it. I will be making numerous runs back and forth to the glasses valhalla shop. This is my fate and I am resigning myself to it... after the ulcer heals, I'm sure it will be fine.
These anxiety issues are horrendous. I made pro/con lists for cheap internet pair and pricey designer frames. I agonized over it, and am only just recently putting it to rest as done... nothing more to do about it now. Also? How messed up was it for Bunny to play me like that? Ruthless, kid, ruthless. Take some pity on your anxiety riddled mother.