Thursday, May 29, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys

My husband and his nephew slamming the cheese. Can you believe that his nephew is the one who snapped the shot one the left? Do we see a future in photography for this kid or what?

Boys will be boys, which I saw in proof at my nephew's fifth birthday party. The kids were playing a game called "Slam the Cheese." It entailed running towards a giant wedge-shaped gym mat and then knocking it flat by hurling one's body at it. After the kids had gone, the party coordinator asked if there were any parents who wanted to take a gander at the cheese. I, of course, volunteered my husband. I figured he would reluctantly oblige with a token cheese-slamming, but noooooo - He sprinted at that cheese, gaining such momentum that he was airborne before slamming into it with the force of ten linebackers. I swear the building shuddered when he landed. As he the dusted himself off, I could tell he was secretly satisfied by the thorough slamming the cheese had suffered at his hands.

My young son was also exhibiting some typically male behavior. I'd handed him to my sister-in-law's friend so I could inhale some pizza in peace. While I was eating, I glanced over and to my horror saw that Benjamin was also eating - or at least attempting to eat. He had turned his face towards my friend's chest and was having his way with her right breast. If that wasn't bad enough, he was leaving a telltale wet mark on her sweater. I was mortified. What kind of man was I raising? As the mortification subsided, the hurt set in. Why did he feel the need to turn to other women? Was he not getting what he needed from me? I soon realized, however, that his oral fixation was just that and nothing personal, for when no breast is readily available, he is content to suck on his fist.

Hopefully one day he'll outgrow the oral fixation. After all, who wants to see a grown man walking around sucking on his fist? I will, however, be more than happy to watch him conduct the occasional cheese-slamming with his father.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Boy

And to think I was worried that motherhood would be boring.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Male Bonding

It's no secret that Oliver has been less than thrilled by Benjamin's arrival in his kingdom. On top of the fact that he's been robbed of our time and attention, his physical space is also diminishing. He used to count the entire main floor as his puggy domain, but now he has to share it with a myriad of baby-related items - a pack-n-play, activity mat, infant swing, various baby carriers, and - worst of all - a big green exercise ball.

You're probably wondering what an exercise ball has to do with babies (other than the fact that I should be using it to restore my postpartum tummy to it's pre-pregnancy shape), but let me tell you, it is a LIFESAVER when Benjamin is being fussy. At first whimper, I just pick him up, sit my tush on the ball, and start bouncing up and down. Voila! It tames the savage beast every time. Unfortunately, the ball has the exact opposite effect on Oliver. He is absolutely terrified of it and will go so far as to hide in another room away from food and water when it rolls near. Hopefully, he can make peace with the ball, so that he and Benjamin can continue working on their shaky relationship.

The relationship between father and son, on the other hand, is growing stronger every day. In Benjamin, Vince has found a male ally with whom to play video games, make a mess at mealtimes, and fall asleep without first brushing his teeth. It's a good thing they're both so cute, or else I'd be forced to put the smack down on their bad behavior. Also, it's not like Benjamin is picking up any truly heinous habits from his father, though I was somewhat bemused to happen upon the scene below...

All he needs is a beer in his hand to complete the tableau.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Courvoisier, Anyone?

We discovered this weekend that Benjamin has a thing for the ladies. Vince's cousin Ed, his wife Grace, and their kids Hana and Jet were in town, so they dropped by to visit. As you can see from the images above, Benjamin was perfectly happy to pose for pictures next to Hana. The smile doesn't even leave his face when he loses balance and starts tipping over. But it's a different story when we try to get him to take a picture with Hana's brother Jet. Man, it was like pulling teeth. Or it would have been if he'd had any teeth to pull.

Even newlywed Lisa wasn't safe from Benjamin's advances. Look at him shamelessly flash his flirty eyes and then resort to stripping off his clothes to win her affections. It's a good thing Lisa's husband doesn't know what a little lothario my son is, because otherwise she wouldn't be allowed to visit us anymore.

Lest Benjamin grow up to rely on his brawn and not his brains, I purchased an educational book for him at the neighborhood library book fair. The book was appropriately entitled "Dinosaur Ben." I'm referring to the "Ben" part, of course, and not the "Dinosaur." Anyhow, Benjamin's reaction to the book was startlingly similar to his reaction to baby Jet. Could it be that he didn't inherit my love of books? Banish the thought! I think the solution is to invite one of his pretty aunties over to read to him. Maybe if he can keep his clothes on long enough, he'll learn something!

Tummy Time, AKA Torture Time

Ok, moms, level with me here... Do any of your babies actually enjoy tummy time? For the uninitiated, tummy time is a necessary evil pediatricians exhort parents to inflict on their little ones. It involves placing our babies on their tummies so that they can practice lifting their heads and strengthening their neck muscles. Until they get strong enough to keep their faces from smacking into the floor, however, tummy time is pretty much synonymous with "torture time." Benjamin enjoys it until his little neck gets tired and he finds himself face-down in a pool of his own saliva. I guess I wouldn't much enjoy being forced to do something I wasn't good at either. Especially if I could hear my mother smothering the sound of her giggles in the background.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My First Mom's Day

To celebrate my first Mother's Day, Benjamin and Vince took me out to breakfast. I marked the occasion by attempting to put all my pregnancy weight back on and ordering half the menu. As the waitress brought me my crab cakes, eggs benedict, fried potatoes, waffles and coffee, she smiled and said, "Happy Mother's Day." That's when it hit me: Holy Sh*t. I really am a mother. There's nothing like being on the receiving end of all those cutesy Hallmark cards, poems, and flowers to really drive motherhood home. And just in case that wasn't enough, Benjamin further reinforced my new role by vomiting in my hair and then farting on me while I changed his diaper.

I had already opened my Mother's Day gift of a new camera from Benjamin several weeks ago. Vince told me that Benjamin "felt bad about breaking my old camera." Quick backstory: In the hospital when my OB told Vince to get his camera ready because the baby was about to be born, he reacted by freaking out and dropping the camera on the operating room floor. In any case, I ignored the fact that Vince was scapegoating an innocent and have been using the camera ad nauseum. But so I would have something to enjoy on Mother's Day itself, Vince asked me if there was anything special I'd like to do. I told him with complete honesty that I would love for him to watch Benjamin all day long so I could do some laundry and clean the house. I'm one of those anal-retentive types for whom clutter equals claustrophia and mess equals stress, so I wanted nothing more than to spend the day vacuuming, dusting, cleaning, mopping, and organizing. At first Vince pouted at my request, because he had been looking forward to spending his day playing Grand Theft Auto IV, but he soon came up with a solution. I hope Vince realizes that he is the one who will have some explaining to do when one day Benjamin asks, "Why are those ladies hugging those poles?"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Look Ma, No Hands!

I want to once again extol the virtues of the humble baby wrap, previously lauded on my list of Top 5 Postpartum Lifesavers. With Benjamin tucked snugly in my wrap, I'm able to perform a variety of exciting tasks such as doing laundry, checking emails, mopping the floor, browsing the stacks at my local library, and using the ladies' room. I recently started nursing Benjamin while he's in the wrap, thus freeing up another eight hours of each day! Feeding myself, however, has proven to be a trickier endeavor. A few days ago, after Benjamin spent an afternoon hanging out in my wrap, I noticed a disgusting curd-like growth in the folds beneath his chubby chin. Upon closer inspection, I discovered the curds weren't curds at all; rather, they were the remnants of that day's lunch of chicken fried rice.

Something else the wrap allows me to do is to knit, which I had not done since giving birth. After a nearly 11-week-long hiatus, I finally picked up the needles this week and resumed working on my entrelac blanket. Man, it felt goooooood. It felt like I was being reunited with a long-lost friend. A long-lost friend whose other friends had moved on to better things and left her in the dust. You see, shortly before Benjamin was born, I'd taught my mother how to knit entrelac. My mom, whose knitting skills may be trumped by only God Himself, promptly knit up a quick test piece.

That's her little "test piece" above, on the right. She has since begun working on a second entrelac blanket. That's it on the left, looking like it's going to annex my blanket. Does this woman have fast fingers or what? I'm convinced that she derives superpowers from her shiny purple stirrup pants, though. They're like her magic cape. Or her equivalent to Superman's red tights. If I can find a pair of my own, then maybe I'll have the flying fingers, too!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Creature of Habit 3

As detailed in previous posts, the members of my family are all creatures of habit. It should come as no surprise then that the newest and smallest member of the family is also a creature of habit. He's a bit more devious than we are, though. Witness how the tiny trickster manages to get others to be party to his habit every single time.

My Dad has some odd habits of his own. My favorite is his habit of buying toilet paper - yes, toilet paper - to bring back with him to China. He does this every time he visits the States. And it can't be just any toilet paper; it's has to be Charmin. He claims that the TP in China isn't soft or sturdy enough for him. I just wonder if he's able to say that with a straight face to the airport security guy who's checking his luggage.