Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Pink Pee

We went to the doctor today because Kaleb's pee was pink. Kaleb and I both laughed about it this morning when we looked at his safety diaper (potty trained though he is we still use "safety diapers" at night). "Is pink pee funny?" he asked as we giggled a bit. "Sure," I said and then realized that pink pee probably isn't very funny since it just might be a mixture of blood and urine.

As we made our way to the examination room at the doctor's office Kaleb let everyone know just how colorful his pee was. "I have pink pee," he told the receptionist, the nurse, and you guessed it, the doctor. After providing a brimful specimen (I've never seen a boy so proud to pee before) we waited for the results.

Dr. Wilcox was puzzled. "There's no blood in his urine," he said. And that's very good news. Apparently pink urine is indicative of kidney problems, so the doctor was relieved to see the test results. "I have no idea why it's pink," he said.

After leaving the doctor's office I hauled all the kids (one on my hip, one clutched in my hand, and one weaving behind) through a mini blizzard to the hospital's lab, carrying a cupful of pink pee. The lady at the desk flashed a look of concern. "There's no blood in it," I said. Her eyebrows drew together. "Hhhmm," she said. "That's odd."

Once home we waited three hours for the results. Their findings? Kaleb's pee, while pink, is in the clear. I suspect Crayola was the pink pee culprit. Kaleb's had a taste for dirt for years (that's another story), but lately I've noticed an appetite for red wax.

I guess in this case pink pee can be funny.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Monday, March 28, 2005

Marginalized Zack Zack

As I read through my posts I realize that both Zack Zack and Leah have been marginalized a bit. Because I have a Princess Post coming I thought I'd at least acknowledge Zack and post a recent picture of him.

I guess when you're 10 months old and live with Kaleb Belknap it's easy to be marginalized. While Zack is loved nearly to death (quite literally) by his big brother, he's merely tolerated by his big sister. But he's all happy-go-lucky little boy.

Just last night while putting him to sleep I heard him burp and then laugh to himself about it. I think that speaks volumes of this little guy's coming attractions. It's also a sure sign that he and Kaleb will be good pals.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Friday, March 25, 2005

New Easter Tradition

So I've messed up my first holiday. Yep. It's only my third time doing Easter as The Bunny and I've already slipped up. Kaleb stumbled upon my stash, which I had strategically left outside in the van until the kids were in bed. He charged into the house so excited he could hardly talk.

"Mom, mom, mom. Is all that stuff in the van for us? Can I see it? Can I touch it? Can I play with it?"

The current tradition is to get the kids just a few things they can play with at church. This year I got sticker books. "The Incredibles" for Kaleb and "Princess Dreams" for Leah. But I was still a little foggy and didn't understand what he found so exciting outside in the van.


"All that stuff in the van. Is it for us? Is it for church? Can we look at it?"

Slowly I realized that what I had left "hidden" in the van was now "discovered" by my little boy. Okay, I thought, this happens eventually, right? Didn't I find Christmas stuff when I was five? Mom's cover wasn't too convincing, that much I do remember. "Oh that?" she had said after I stumbled upon her secret hiding place in the closet (The closet? How sly is a closet? Okay, okay, the front seat of a van isn't very sly either...). "That stuff," she had said, "That stuff is stuff Santa told us to watch for him until Christmas. We're contract elves, working through this Santa Satellite program…" Or something like that. Either way I had seen right through it.

"That stuff," I said to Kaleb. "That stuff is stuff mommy and daddy got you for Easter." Immediately I realized what a bad cover that was. This kid has a memory like a recording device. Next year he'll remember that mommy and daddy and the Eastery Bunny had all gotten him presents. He'll expect it now, every year.

"What did you see?" I asked.

"An Incredibles book with stickers and pictures, and do I only get to use it at church?"

"That's all you saw?"

Okay, I think, this might not be too bad. There's still the little wolverine I had found at Target, along with a Polly Pocket for Leah. Small stuff, well hidden stuff, stuff that had to be in a different bag...

"On top of the Incredibles book was a wolverine toy. Can I just see it for a minute right now?"

I'm worse at this than my mom was. Maybe I can tell him the Easter Bunny lives in our van.

Now that I've put my kids to bed (their hands stained from coloring eggs), I'm wondering how to recover from the Easter slip-up. To squelch the endless questions I let Kaleb and Leah browse through their new sticker books. Since Kaleb didn't find the candy bag I'm thinking that maybe the Easter Bunny will only give candy, and mom and dad can give the cool stuff.

Which brings me back to Kaleb's fascination in distinguishing what's real and what's pretend. Why do parents fight so hard to pretend twice a year? This was the perfect opportunity to be honest with my son and own up to the imaginary. But he's only 3, I had thought. I don't want to blow the Easter fun this early.

I guess I should be grateful that Kaleb hasn't asked, “Is the Easter Bunny real or pretend?” I don't even want to explore the irony in Kaleb wanting the Easter Bunny to real and Jesus pretend.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Is someone coming over?

Everyone that knows me is well aware that I'm not very domestic -- that's a nice way of saying my house is a mess, I'm always behind on laundry, and my family eats a lot of mac 'n cheese. But I thought I had my kids fooled.

That is, until a couple days ago when Kaleb asked, "Mom, who's coming over?"

"No one. Why?"

"Because you're cleaning the house."

That was one of those rare days when I was just cleaning the house because I wanted a path through the livingroom and a clear mother-conscience. Apparently my children are onto me. I'm beginning to wonder how long it will take me to get it. I'm a grown person with an advanced college degree who just can't apply the whole optimal time management thing.

Case in point. Every Thursday twin 5-year old girls come to our house from noon to five. From nine to eleven every Thursday morning I'm madly cleaning the house. The kids' room especially needs to be orderly, a ridiculous notion for a toddler play-area. But it gets done every week only to look like a presidentially declared natural disaster by 5:30. Why clean a house that will only, just hours later, look worse than it did before you started to clean it? Wouldn't an educated person wait and clean after the storm has passed so she could enjoy her work longer?

I do the same thing for the babysitter. Just yesterday I found out my sitter couldn't watch the kids at her house, so I spent three hours cleaning the four rooms I allow people access to (my bedroom and the laundry room are currently off-limits, and have been for a good 36 months now). And after all that work my sitter kindly forgave me for my messy house. "Your kitchen looks like ours does when my mom blows a gasket," she said. Apparently one person's clean is another person's mental collapse. Sigh.

So I've realized that I'm the kind of person who would clean her house before the maid comes. I'm also the kind of person who, when she cleans, doesn't even make babysitter-clean standards. At some point I'll need to embrace my domestic anti-goddess self and call it good. I'm an artist, I tell myself, cleanliness and order are in opposition with my creativity. Why not rejoice and let the world see my disarray?

But there's hope. Today as we were cleaning Kaleb and Leah's bedroom, Kaleb said, "Christian's room is so messy." Christian is my babysitter's little brother. "Messier than Kaleb and Leah's room?" I innocently asked. "So messy," Kaleb said. "And he never cleans it."

Redemption can sometimes come from the little tattlers living with you. I wonder if Christian's messy room is what makes my babysitter's mom blow a gasket.

I'll probably continue scrambling to get my house clean before visitors arrive. And if I ever blow a gasket we might have to let the authorities declare my house a biohazard. But until then, this is just my dirty little secret.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Real or Pretend?

Lately Kaleb's been trying to distinguish between the real and the imaginary. That's a tough job for a 3 1/2 - year old. Two weeks ago he woke up and asked if the sharks were still outside. I looked at him for a minute, trying to see if he was sleep walking. He was awake.

"What, Kaleb?" I asked.

"Are the sharks and the water still outside?" he said.

"There are no sharks or water outside."

"Well, I had a dream that there were sharks and water outside and then Scooby and Shaggy came and saved me," he said.

My kids never watch Scooby Doo so I wasn't quite sure how he even knew who Shaggy was, but I was grateful that they had saved him while I had been sleeping and dreamless in the room next door.

"That was a dream, sweetie," I said. "That wasn't real."

Kaleb's face was set. "Go check, Mom."

It wasn't until I had raised the blinds and proved to him that the sharks and the water had evaporated when he awoke that he believed me. Imagination can be a tricky thing when you're a toddler.

This confusion has extended beyond his dreams. Lately he asks whether things are real or pretend.

"Are trees real or pretend?" he asks.

"Trees are real."

"Is wind real or pretend?" he asks.

"Wind is real."

"Are cartoons real or pretend?" he asks.

"Cartoons are pretend."

And then one day on the way home from church. "Is Spiderman real or pretend?"


I could hear his grunt of disapproval from the car seat in the back.

"Is Jesus real or pretend?" he asked.

"Real," I said.

"NO," he cried. "I want Spiderman to be real and Jesus to be pretend."

I wonder how many Family Home Evenings it will take to work our way through that one.