Friday, August 15, 2008

Snoogles at Night

As a parent of an infant, you spend much time observing them. Aside from feeding them and cleaning up their poop, there isn't much else you can do with an infant. The American Society of Pediatrics frowns on turning them into human projectiles and making them perform household chores. Actually, so do the child human services people and the police.

Nyobi and I observe each other the most when there is no sun. Babys do this. This is not related to manipulation of my genetic material when i became a blood sucking lawyer. I call this snoogling. Its a combination between snuggling and schmoozing ones parents. Let me tell you about one particularly long snoogling session to explain how these two opposite states can be combined.

First, Nyobi cries. She is not poopy, hungry or cold. She just wants to be held. The unwitting parent (thats me!) picks her up. She whimpers a little, she grabs a fistful of my shirt in a white knuckled grip. She rests her head against my shoulder blade, her ear curled into my chest and relaxes against me in complete trust. Her other hand creeps up to the side of her head, where she calmly begins to grasp handfuls of her fuzzy hair and pet it. Her head pops off my chest to gaze at me in astonishment.

She begins to suck meditatively at the nuky and lowers her head back to my chest. I rock her. We are involved solely in the physical being of each other. We are snuggling.

Time passes and her breathing becomes heavier, and the nuky slides down my chest, abandoned. I lean her back to stand up and put her in the crib. She smiles up at me. She makes little tongue motions, and grabs my shirt again. After a few more minutes of sunny angelic happiness I stand up.

She smacks her lips and gives a whimper, and her eyes fill with fear. I give her the nuky again, but this is not what she desires. She crabs slightly, and I sit back down. She rests her head against my shoulder, and slowly the whimpering subsides. I relax, she relaxes against me in complete trust.

The nuky falls out, but I'm comfortable. The little hand stops petting its big round fuzzy toy. My breathing slows, and I rest my cheek on top of the small head, appreciating the little fingers and the soft fluff. I smile. Its really not safe to sleep in a chair with an infant though, and you get swollen ankles if you do it too much, so I press her against my chest and go to stand up.

She lets out one alarmed squawk, then begins to whimper. I relax back into the chair and rock some more. She kneads my shirt with her hand and snuffles and smacks her lips in search of the nuky. I find it, and she stares at me with big eyes as I lean her face back to pop it in. She smiles at me for a second, then licks out in search of the soothing piece of plastic.

Plugged back up, she rests her head again. I relax and snuggle some more. She relaxes into me again too, in complete trust...that I'm not going to put her down until SHES good and ready to be put down, which as it turned out the night before last was two o-clock in the morning.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lotion Chapter 3

Coras obsession with lotion did not end with the torture of the cat, nor the over-application of multiple actual skin care products. In fact, she is fascinated by all things smear able. If there is one sentence I utter more as a parent than any other, its "No, Cora thats not lotion, thats ________." Since the Vaseline, there has been butter, various soaps (in different bottles), spray cleaners, tooth paste, mayo, wasabi paste, craft paint, sunscreen, neosporin ointment, acne treatment, makeup foundation, and diaper cream. If it comes in a tube, bottle or jar, Cora defaults to "lotion".

Aside from discovering that bathing your child in dawn liquid dish detergent will remove a liberal layer of butter, mayo and wasabi paste, and that mint smelling two year olds aren't nearly as disgusting as one that smells like acrylic paint, I'm happy to say the worst catastrophes were diverted. We taught her quickly and efficiently that no lotion was edible. Thank God that baby soap doesn't taste that marvelous by the mouthful.

Today was another lotion disaster. In my infinite parenting wisdom, I childproof as the child grows. That means that when Cora started accessing my shampoo and soaps, I moved them to a shower caddy that hangs off the shower head. ("Look mommy! Lotion!" "No Cora that is Mommys shampoo, and you are not supposed to spread that all over the toilet seat!")

I am assuming that Cora learned how to climb onto and balance on the edge of the bath tub. She could now get behind the shower curtain, by the business end. There she could grab the bath poof that hangs off the bottom of the shower caddy, and use it to bang the shower caddy against the wall. Stuff falls off. Specifically, my razor, and a little jar I have that contains sea salt scrub.

For those of you who are not familiar with what sea salt scrub is, its a mixture of scented oils and sugar and salt crystals. You scrub rough skin with it, and the sugar and salt scrape off dead cells and then dissolve. The oil you rinse most of off, but fills the bath with an elegant (and in this case slightly overpowering) herbal scent. It is NOT lotion.

At the end of the previous blog post, I turned from my computer as Cora ran excitedly into the living room. "Lotion!" she said, presenting some well greased hands. It looked like Vaseline.

It really looked like Vaseline.

Which would explain why I didn't even touch it. I grabbed her (thankfully not covered) wrists in shackle like grips and half carried half dragged her to the bathroom. In a deft move I picked up when I discovered that you could not add arms to your body as you add children to your life, I used my elbow to flick on the light.

I promptly stepped on something both grainy and slick at the same time, and proceeded to fall on my butt, back into the hallway, still suspending my two year old in a hung arm position. She giggled and sat down on my belly. My elbow acrobatics gave brilliant light to what impeded my advance. There spread out on the floor was ALL of the sea salt scrub. Coated in the floral "lotion" was my razor blade, with which she had, presumably, scooped the glop out of the container and flopped it on the linoleum. I dropped my grip to sit up.

"Lotion, Mommy!" She said, smearing my face with the gritty mixture.
"No Cora, thats not lotion, thats...."

A Nutritious breakfast

This morning I opened the fridge and gazed inside at the blurry fuzzy mess. It was my first challenge of the day, and so far I was not feeling very up to it. Wait! I hadn't had any coffee yet. That explained a lot.

I poured a cup of coffee added a smidgen of creamer, and a teaspoon of sugar. I stared at it for five seconds, then slammed half of it. The contents of the fridge now were distinguishable as separate grocery items. Now maybe I could concoct a nutritious breakfast from the formerly blurry innards. This was indeed a challenge.

Given recent scientific studies, carbohydrates are bad for you. I'm also lactose intolerant, and I"m cooking for a two year old, which means basically everything i make will fail in some way. To compensate, I've been trying to invent new breakfast greats, especially those not labeled "kids breakfast cereal" or "sugar high in a convenient and kid friendly package."

We eat a lot of eggs and fruit.

Today, my fridge could not cough up a yogurt (my daughters favorite entree) to save its life. Its a good thing I"m not in the habit of killing fridges. Instead I found eggs, 2% milk fat cheese (acceptable healthy cheese if consumed in proper serving sizes), and a baked potato. The potato was small enough to provide the right amount of carbs, even though it wasn't the best whole grain variety.

I chopped the potato into home fries, sauteed them in margarine, then cooked the eggs over medium and topped them with half a slice of cheese each. I put the other half of a cheese slice on my daughters potatoes and voila, protein with fat the stayed on the plate, and potatoes. I would consume ultra processed one serving of dairy, with a meal. This is about all my system can tolerate. Then I added some orange drink for my daughter.

Healthy nutritious and delicious, the eggs and fries even looked inviting with their cheery yellow cheese. We sat down to eat.

Cora finished her potatoes, she ate one half of the cheese on the egg, and then she proceeded to dip her fork into the center of the egg and lick off the yolk. Now, the principle behind cooking eggs over anything is to allow the fatty unhealthy yolk a chance to escape being eaten while still consuming the protein filled whites. This fascinating and drippy method of eating egg defeats the entire purpose of my preparation technique.

Having finished her potatoes, the two year old began scarfing them off of moms plate, ergo defeating the low carb diet plan for her, and making mine lower than low carb.

Well, I thought to myself, at least I defeated the sugar deamons of breakfast, as I idly played with the orange drink container. Glancing at the label, I made the mistake of looking at sugar content...

Sometimes as a parent when you fail utterly at a goal you set for yourself, it is best to step back and examine the whole situation. Here, my mission was thwarted by the eating habits of a two year old, but the primary objective HAD been accomplished. I cooked something that Cora would eat, and eat a considerable amount of, that contained natural calories without the bolstered effects of cereal, and that I could modify slightly to make it tasty and edible for me.

This WAS a nutritious breakfast for a two year old. It was not some fast food billion calorie creation, or an artificial concoction of puffed processed grains and added sterile flavorless nutrients.

I win!!!

I bet you're still wondering how much sugar was in the orange drink....
9 grams.
( most kids cereals have 12-15 grams)

Oh! And did you know that egg yolk is what Michaelangelo mixed with pigments to get all that paint to stick to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? And did you know you can stick all sorts of things to a shirt with the same compound?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Potties and Kitties

The two year old is almost completely potty trained. She just asked me about her puppy or kitty. Who knew two year olds had such good memories.

I'm in trouble.