Sunday, October 28, 2012

My daddy says...

You know, the primary program has to have that one kid who keeps people awake. In my ward, you know who that kid was?

If you guessed Sylvia, you'd be right.

I should start before we even got to church. My kids hate sleeping, so they were up nice and early and we had lots of time for breakfast. Since this weekend was full of Halloween parties the breakfast discussion centered around Halloween.

Derrick, trickster that he is, told Sylvia, "I think the Holy Ghost is scary."

"Scary?" she leaned forward, eyes wide and attentive.

"Yeah, I mean, he whispers in peoples' ears and tells them what to do."

I rolled my eyes.

We bundled everyone into the car and I drove away, almost early enough to get to church on time. I sat in the back with a friend and shooed Sylvia up to the stage. She's a little clingy sometimes, and this morning didn't want to sit with her class, so she sat with me until after the sacrament. Then, she followed the procession of stragglers like us to her seat and the program began.

The first song was about listening to the Holy Ghost.

As soon as the song was over Sylvia's girlish voice filled the silent chapel, her little voice just loud enough to be heard all the way in the back where I sat, motionless. She said, "My daddy says..."

I covered my face. I knew what was coming.

"My daddy says the Holy Ghost is scary."

I buried my head in my lap, both to hide my red face and muffle my laughter. I needn't have, though--everyone was giggling around me.

That's my kid.

She did a great job. Other than that little incident, she followed the script just as she was supposed to. She was one of the more understandable kids who spoke, which is pretty good for a four-year-old.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Not baby hungry

For weeks after I had Sylvia I wanted to have another baby. Like right then. Like if I'd been able to get pregnant immediately, I would have. I was intensely jealous of any pregnant woman I saw. I'd see pregnant women at the store, or hear about friends getting pregnant and I'd feel this almost physical tweak in my heart, like I wish I were you, I wish I were looking forward to labor and giving birth and holding a brand-new infant in my arms. I'm sure it was just hormones and the incredible rush of giving birth, but I seriously wanted to have another baby. IMMEDIATELY.

The pangs of jealousy faded as the months went by, and I obviously didn't get pregnant again immediately, but the feelings never completely went away until I got pregnant with Paul. Immediately after I had Paul I was again jealous of pregnant women, but this time it was more superficial and faded very quickly. Now I can see my friends announcing pregnancies and new births and it doesn't feel like I'm being stabbed in the chest. I don't long to feel someone kicking me in the ribs anymore, or wish my sense of smell were so heightened the smell of dried thyme or bad meat sends me to the toilet.

I thought I'd want another kid. I think I kind of still do, but I'm happy with my family. I feel like we're complete at four. Maybe I'll change my mind later; maybe once our big move is over I'll get baby hungry again. I can't get pregnant for the first year we're in Australia anyway--the insurance won't cover it. So I know I'll be waiting, no matter what. I'm wondering if I'll be waiting or simply putting aside thoughts of another child completely. In some ways that's a relief; in others, incredibly sad.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Four things

1. Yesterday we went to the zoo. The first thing Sylvia wanted to see was the compost bin. We spent more time digging for worms in the compost bins than doing any other single thing, except eating.

2. Paul said "owl" a couple of times yesterday. He was just imitating the sounds, but he said the word very clearly. The kid has a good ear, and I think language is just around the corner for him. He uses some signs (when he wants to) and he has at least one 'word' (thanks) that he says consistently and in the correct context. It's not quite thanks, more like 'Tnks,' but it gets the point across.

3. Sylvia's going to be a doctor for Halloween. She was so excited about her costume we had to hide it from her to get her to do anything except play with it.

4.  Paul continues to be a helpful kid. This morning he used my hot chocolate to wipe off the table.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Sylvia has pretty bad teeth. Like, so bad one of them had a gaping hole in it that consistently traps seeds and grains of rice and crap and I have to brush for five minutes to get out (no small feat with a 4-year-old). I blame myself for the situation. Instead of cutting her off, I let her nurse until she was...well, older than she should have been. A fair amount of the nursing happened at night and so her teeth are soft and rotten.

Complicating things is the fact our dental insurance sucks for kids (they have yet to send us to a dentist that both exists and sees children under the age of 12) and the unfortunate situation that Sylvia wouldn't open her mouth for a dentist anyway. I was afraid we were going to have to pay out of pocket for a pediodontist and full anesthesia to get Sylvia's teeth fixed.

Fortunately, we found a dentist who Sylvia worked well with and our insurance would deal with, and so last week Sylvia went in for a couple of fillings. That appointment went really well (Sylvia only needed nitrous oxide to be calm) and she was excited to go back this week. So excited, in fact, that she told the dentist all about our upcoming move to Australia (she and Paul loaded up an empty blue bin--their "big boat"--and floated it to their new home this morning).

Sadly, this appointment wasn't quite as easy, since it involved putting a crown over the worst of Sylvia's teeth. Amazingly, she's still talking about going to the dentist in very positive terms. I guess she realizes most dental appointments aren't so bad after all. Either that or she really likes the toys, cartoons, and laughing gas.

Friday, October 19, 2012


We're working on training Sylvia to sleep through night without wetting the bed. For the most part it's going alright, as long as we make sure she goes once after about 8:30 and don't give her water after that.

However, it's not going well enough I'm comfortable letting her sleep on the floor, which is where she wants to sleep for some reason (that I'll guess is related to how much easier it is to play on the floor and stay awake than do the same on the bed). So last night, when she asked to sleep on the floor I told her no, because it's easier to clean up pee on her bed than pee on the floor.

This morning she got up and told Derrick she'd peed in her bed because I told her it was easier to clean up pee in her bed.


Stupid me, I assumed she would realized peeing in the toilet was the easiest to clean up of all. We had another conversation in which the ranking of the difficulty of cleaning all the places Sylvia might choose to pee was made explicit. I hope this one sticks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bad dream

Last night I had a bad dream. Usually a bad dream (for me anyway) is about me being chased or attacked, or frightened in some way. Not this one. In this one I was angry, unreasonably angry, at Derrick because I felt like he wasn't contributing enough around the house and with childcare and whatnot. Since I was angry, since when I'm angry I throw things, I threw a dirty diaper at him. Mind you, this is all a dream. I have never thrown a dirty diaper at my husband. I have gotten unreasonably angry at him for not helping around the house enough, but I have never thrown anything at him, especially nothing so gross. Anyway, in the dream he got mad (of course) and got me back with the diaper, and then we went through a separation that was lonely and sad, and then I woke up.

I'm not one to read too much into dreams. I had a dream a while ago about Mitt Romney having affairs with beautiful women. Do I think Mitt Romney is an adulterer in my subconscious mind? No, but I do think he is easily wooed away from eternal principles by flashy, worldly desires.

This one's hitting something very true, though. I do get too mad, and I do make bad decisions with regard to the feelings of others when I get angry. Usually I can make the decision to not throw the diaper (figuratively and literally), but sometimes I have a hard time refraining, and sometimes I fail and let it fly. There's a solid enough base to all my relationships that nothing I've said or done so far has hurt those relationships permanently, but I think this dream is my anxiety over my actions and feelings coming out. The only thing I can really do is strive to do better.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Jesus told me so

Tonight Sylvia came up with a new potty song. It goes something like this:

Wherever I go I need to pee
But not in my panties
'Cause Jesus told me so

I hope she's better at following Jesus' other commandments...

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Why do people talk about the weather so much? I suppose it's something universal and, usually at least, non-confrontational. Since I don't feel like anything controversial, I guess I'll stick to weather for today.

Last week was so hot we went through all the ice we could make in a day, so hot even I was drinking ice water, so hot I slept with nothing but a sheet and still left my feet dangling off the side of the bed. Sylvia, unwilling to sleep unless swaddled in one of her numerous fleece blankets, got a heat rash so bad her school called to ask about it.

This week it's cold. Finally I see the changing of seasons here. It actually feels like fall, with the humongous garden spiders leaving webs over every corner and a definite feeling of things ending, of life going dormant overriding even the most manicured and irrigated SoCal garden. Every other year October had just felt dry; this year it feels like the world around me is casting off the last hopeful seeds and cysts before dying, or at least going to sleep. Perhaps spending those last couple of weeks of August and beginning of September in Utah primed me for finding autumn this year, or maybe I'm finally understanding the seasons in this place.

Of course, next year we'll be in Australia. I wonder how the seasons will be different. I wonder how different it will be celebrating halloween in spring, ushering in the fall in March, having a winter birthday. I wonder how long it'll take me to get used to that arrangement of seasons, how disoriented I'll be suffering the heat of summer in January and the cold of winter in July.