Archive for June, 2011
Three years

Our little Holden turned 3 years old last week.  It’s just incredible.  Holden has developed into a sensitive, talkative, daring, and above all, HILARIOUS, little guy.  I would say that Holden’s sense of humor is his most defining attribute, at this point.  He “gets” double entendres, puns, and other more subtle forms of humor.  He laughs often, imitates other people’s voices, and enjoys playing “jokes” on people.  At the same time, he can be very intent on doing something, devoting all of his concentration and energy on a goal.  Despite being a bit of a silly joker, he still gets very frustrated if things don’t go according to his expectations, or if he isn’t able to do something as well as he would like.  He has become an interesting combination of perseverance, hilarity, and intense contemplation.  He is dynamic, and I LOVE him.  He is the greatest gift I could ever have been granted.

What is he up to these days?  Well, for starters, he talks non-stop.  All day long.  In his chatter, I often hear imaginary conflicts unfold among the characters in his apocryphal childhood drama, punctuated by a stream of vehicular utterances.  He is a storyteller.

He also understands that text represents words, and he’s beginning to show interest in learning how to read.  He still loves books, as he always has, and now he is learning that letters encode sounds, and that individual sounds create words when put together.  He’s learned how to spell a few words, even!  It’s amazing!  (Sometime, ask me about the R-rated reason that he learned to spell “kitty”).  He’s potty-trained (95% of the time) and he sleeps through the night (75% of the time):)  His favorite toy is still his wooden train set, even after an entire year of nearly round-the-clock use.  He loves animals, carpentry tools, gardening, painting, girls (yikes!), hiking, and making fun of me when I run on the treadmill.  He yells at the cat for being too close to his toys, but shares well with other kids.

He whines a lot sometimes.

He is a snuggler, and I still lay with him in his bed for 5 minutes every night as he drifts off to sleep.  He usually clutches my hand, squeezes it, and smiles back at me.  I kiss him on the forehead and tell him I love him.  He replies “I love you, too.”  Then I close the door, walk down the hallway, and think about how lucky and exhausted I am.  Lucky and exhausted.  The paradigmatic mother.

Here’s some time-lapse Holden:

June 22, 2008

June 22, 2009

June 22, 2010

June 22, 2011

Oh, and I forgot to mention…

…that I am sick again.  Over the weekend I started to feel rundown again.  Slight fever, aches, fatigue, sore throat, ringing in the ears, sinus pressure, headache, ear pain.  It’s now Tuesday and I am feeling about the same, maybe slightly more tired.  Yesterday I managed to get H out of the house on a hike, thinking it would tire him out, but instead, it just tired *me* out.  Today I appear to be paying the price, because I am really, really wiped.

Today I actually locked H out of my bedroom so I could cry.  I cried because I’m at the end of my rope with being sick.  I am tired of being sick for a couple of weeks with a week or so reprieve, followed by more sickness.  I am frustrated with my doctors and my own inability to get myself healthy again.  I am irritated by the well-meaning advice of friends.  Everyone hates to see me like this, and they really do want me to get better, but if I hear “Have you tried getting enough sleep?” or “Eat your veggies!” or “Just eliminate yeast from your diet!” or “Try a naturopathic physician” one more time, I am going to slam my head through a wall.  I’ve tried everything—supplements, exercising, not exercising, neti pot, antibiotics, herbal teas, steam, acupuncture, gluten and dairy free diet for 3 months, etc.  I’m tapped out.  I’m tired of thinking about it, I’m tired of explaining to other people that yes, I really do take care of myself, and no, I don’t stay up till 3 AM shooting heroin.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I am.  I feel like my life is on hold until I’m able to turn this around.  Today, I have so little energy, that I can’t do anything with H.  It’s horrible.  I can’t even contemplate the huge task of starting my business this fall, or of developing my course for the fall, which I still have yet to do.  I can’t think about any of it.  It’s just too exhausting to think about.  And of course, the house reno projects are on hold whenever I feel like this.  Today, my grand accomplishments were one load of laundry, changing the sheets on the beds, doing a load of dishes (but not putting them away), watering the plants, taking H to the park, and answering “Why” questions all day.  That’s it.

So, I guess the only way for me to really deal with this is to just forget about all of the stuff I want to accomplish.  It’s too daunting and depressing to think about how all of that stuff is just waiting to get done.  Forget the business, forget the the house projects, forget the class I’m supposed to teach.  Half ass everything when it gets down to the wire.  Focus on take caring of myself, and focus on H.


Two steps forward, one step back.

That is an apt description for life these days, it seems.  H has taken to potty training in a big way.  He takes it pretty seriously (more so than we do), and within 4 days of committing to underwear only, he began to have accident-free days.  The problem with this (wait, there’s a problem?!!), is that for some insane reason, he has decided to potty train himself for nighttime, too.  Our intent was to not worry about nighttime at all for at least another year.  We were fine with throwing him in a diaper or pull-up for nighttime, and calling it a day.  What has happened instead is this:  H uses the potty before bed.  We put him in a diaper or pull-up, and stick him in some PJs.  We tuck him in.  He proceeds to wake up 3 or 4 times throughout the night to go to the potty.


We are tired.

I can’t exactly say, “Holden, don’t bother with the potty, just keep peeing in your diaper.”  No, that would not be a sane thing to do.  So, we are running with it.  Sleep deprivation and all.

We are exhausted and HE is exhausted, with all of the middle-of-the-night trips to the potty.  His patience and mood have suffered because of it—remember, this is a child who has not napped for an entire year.  Until, a few days ago.  He was actually so exhausted from his nighttime bathroom excursions, that he took a 2-hour nap.  He hasn’t done that in 12 months.  You know what I did while he slept?  I painted the wood paneling in my fucking dining room.

The 2-hour nap from the other day was unfortunately a one-time stint.  H continues to be exhausted during the day—he snaps at me easily, screams at the cat for getting too close to his toys, spits, throws things, and yells.  He’s not like this all the time, and yes, most of this is normal almost-3-year-old behavior, but it does seem to be going to a whole new level since we started using the potty a couple of weeks ago.

Even still, it’s a necessary step that gets us a bit closer to the beginning of preschool this September.  Growing up is tumultuous, painful, exhausting, and beautiful.