Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'll tickle your tummy if you tickle mine...

So this week has been all about exposure -- how was that for a cheap and attention-seeking intro?  Rewind to a little email that popped into my inbox earlier this week, from one PR guy in NYC asking if I would do some advertising for Pampers.  Yeah, I had to re-read that several times, too!  The one and only Pampers asking would I share their new tipsheet with my readers.  My readers. It still makes me LMAO.  After my sides started to hurt, I braced myself and dared to think BIG.  What if people other than friends and family and acquaintances personally besotted with Little Green actually find something here that they enjoy?  Let me start off by saying that I know diddley about marketing and PR.  I am on Facebook and Twitter but only just. And the "tweeting" especially is still something of a mystery.  Who really has time to tweet throughout the day?  I mean, don't you have work to do that someone somewhere, for some strange reason, pays you to do?  And if like me you are a stay-at-home-at-the-moment mom: don't you have skyscrapers of laundry to sort, nutritious lunches and snacks to make in between the cups of java and Ellen repeats? 

Having said all that, a little exposure wouldn't hurt the Little Green blog one bit. So I chanced my arm, as Mr Green is wont to say, and told Pampers ok, then: quid pro quo ('cause, really, who doesn't defer when things turn all scary and Latin?).  Well, they haven't exactly bitten my arm off, but it was a first step of contact and who knows what may come of it in the future.  It's all tummy tickling and back scratching in the social media world.  And though I'm new to it, I'm catching on.  I am quickly making friends and alienating others.  It's a dizzying circus of networks and blogs out there, one which I can't help but feel is yet another excuse to further slice up my already thinly sliced Life Pie.  How do professional mothers do it?  The whole time management thing is Chinese calligraphy to me.  An exquisite and elusive art form I've no hope of mastering in this lifetime let alone the next... 

As it stands the hours of my clock are already compartmentalized to a frightening extent.  When I collapse after LGO is down for the night, some internal switch clicks and I practically turn to Mr Green and say, Ok, you're on.  It's officially Hubby Time. You have my undivided attention for a couple of hours, so make it count.  By the same token, I can't stand to watch TV in an aimless, channel hopping fashion anymore.  Ditto goes for this latest round of Winter Olympics.  I adored watching figure skating and bobsleigh as a girl and now, even though it only comes 'round every four years, and this time it's in my own backyard (one big ass backyard but still....) it's like tick, tock. Another commercial? You only have my attention for 19 more minutes; make 'em count, baby!  If there is a better way, heavenly moms, I'm all ears...

As for the little one, who surely deserves a look-in since it's his blog, after all -- he's swell.  By and large.  Tantrums are increasing in frequency and in ferocity and that is a whole other post I have yet to write.  But this is balanced by the odd, too cute moment that forces me to gush here and you to suffer through it.  There is a framed photo on our end table taken at Mr Green's work do with the three of us dressed in our Christmas best.  It's a nice photo, all things considered, no blinkies and everyone is looking at the camera for once.  Anyway, our little prince delights in picking it up and pointing to each person in the photo and I name each one in turn, saying 'fa-mi-lee'.  Loving this ritual, he then kisses the photo.  Priceless.

Another, somewhat less enchanting habit of his of late is to laugh while mom jiggles her post-pregnancy "jelly".  He seems to find my crater-like belly button equally riveting, and the premature demise of my flat stomach a hoot.  Glad someone does.  Thirty years from now I will no doubt have the last laugh, when I give his beer belly a good prod in front of his girlfriend (assuming he can get one what with the bulge overhanging his belt). Here's to the future...

Oh, and before I forget.  Pampers...  Here are their top parenting tips.  Of course I wholeheartedly endorse their slogan that "when a baby is born, so are the parents". Moreover, I have been prodigiously using their products on my son's butt since his conception.  (Someone smarter than me can do the math, and I'm sure it's truly scary and involves lots of numbers.)  Still, just think of what could have been if the tummy tickling had been reciprocal.  Their logo tattooed across LG's ample "cheeks".  I have the makings of a media whore in me yet.  Too bad for Pampers they didn't see, and harness, my awesome potential.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Grampy Diaries

Hell hath no fury like that of a sickly child. Really. Nevermind PMS. This past week or so has been a living H-E-double-hockey-stick. What started innocuously enough as a case of sniffles quickly turned into a full-blown cold, complete with hacking cough that not only prevented our One 'n' Only from napping during the day but also for most hours of the night... And this went on for oh, about six consecutive nights. So it seems he has inherited his dad's low threshold for pain: he who still trembles in his size 12s at the sight of a dental hygienist and who nearly passed out when I had to have MY waters forcibly broken by crochet needle almost 16 months ago! (But who, paradoxically, doesn't at all mind the tattooist's needle buzzing and slicing into his arm for hours at a time, go figure.) 

Poor LGO. I could not wipe his snotty, ever snotting nose enough. We elevated his mattress, put on the Vicks vaporizer, sang all the lullabies in heaven and rocked him till the sun started shining again. All to no avail. He felt tremendously yucky in his skin and couldn't get comfy enough to get the rest he needed to get well again. Still, his spirit was amazing throughout. He was a chipper little man during the day, even though he must have been exhausted.  His walking has come a long way in the past few weeks.  He is 'running' at times, walking in dizzying circles, and pacing the living room like a caged lion.  His balance and coordination have also come along through practice; he can squat better than his mother, bending to retrieve balls and tiny blocks, then standing again.  He loves climbing up stairs but we have yet to learn a safe way of going down them.  Still no words as such but his language, if it can be called that, is sounding more word-like.  And anyway, even though he isn't expressive, I can tell the comprehension is there -- ie. when I ask him to do something or where something is, I can tell that he 'gets it' -- so this fact alone has put my fears to rest. 

Just as I am a perpetual worrier, LGO is a perpetual late starter, a fact I am belatedly realizing.  And it's no biggie as far as facts go.  But I know I am not the only mother out there worried about her infant's development, or lack thereof.  Said dental hygienist has a tutor for her toddler because the other kids in his kindergarten class already know their ABCs.  Said toddler even asked her if he was dumb, which is telling to his emotional intelligence at the very least.  Asked if he was dumb, at something like 4 years old!  It is not enough for kids to develop at their own pace any more.  It's not enough for parents to worry about things like autism, ADD, and dyslexia; their kids shouldn't just keep pace with their peers but there is the expectation, even at preschool, for them to excel and exceed their peers.  Is the sluggish economy responsible for this parental montessori insanity?  Surely all said parents need shrinks, not the kiddos.  I mean, Kumon!!  What happened to childhood for children?  I've seen the lives of city lawyers close up; no way do I want that kind of dog house existence for my son.  I want a happy plumber or burger flipper.  I want him to enjoy his time in the sun, dissecting earthworms, just as I did.  That's why we moved to the Canadian outback after all.  So he can have the opportunity to play hockey in the street, if he wants to--

But back to the sickness...  Of course this would be the week when Mr Green had to set sail (or Nissan) on business south of the border for a few nights. For Pete's sake and Murphy's law, it figures.  Cue my parents to step in and save the day. It literally took three pairs of hands and round-the-clock shift work to get through last week's wreckage. Never have I been so sleep deprived except for those few bleary weeks last October. Now Little Green is making progress. Not quite so crusty and snotty but oh, how he has grown accustomed to those three pairs of doting hands. The rocking and the lullabying, and the cuddling everywhere but in his crib, till his heart's content. In the space of a week he has turned into a five-star baby and expects that kind of service from now on, if you please. Now that he is on the road to recovery it's a hard withdrawal process. But it's high time to spoil the rod and spare the child, so to speak. He must re-learn how to fall asleep on his own. It's for his own good, I know this. And I don't begrudge all the mollycoddling that went on. It's what little ones need when they are poorly; as vital as vitamin C and as crucial to healing as good ole Campbell’s chicken noodle.

Our poor little chicken noodle. As sorry as I felt for him, I felt just as sorry for myself and for my saintly parents who not only tolerated but thrived on very little sleep for the duration of our 'visit'. I am not someone who can go without sleep. It doesn't take long for me to get very ugly, indeed. I'll be the first to admit that. But isn't it surprising who steps up to the plate in times of need? Remarkable. Assuming you've ever found yourself in a time of need, I'll bet the most help has come from those you least expected, and the least from those you expected most. Unlikely angels. Mine is my stepdad, formerly the Anti Christ. Now a Superstar in my books. I wouldn't even believe it myself; it's the stuff of the worst kind of made-for-TV movie. Growing up, I couldn't stand him and the feeling was oh-so-mutual. He was the muse for my angst and many spiral notebooks filled with angry scrawls and Alanis Morrisette-type 'poetry'. Now he is the Baby Whisperer. So helpful. So considerate and wonderful with my baby boy, exuding tireless patience when LGO is at his most tiresome.

While I sorta wish he'd been like that with me, I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Or any horse for that matter. I appreciate his help. I am grateful for the new understanding and the surprising bond that has sprung out of the weeds between us. It's weird how well we get along now, how similar we are... I'd go so far to say spooky, even. Maybe if he had met my mom sooner -- say, while I was still a baby or a toddler (since my birth father had long gone AWOL) rather than a moody pre-pubescent -- things might have been different. But the past is dead and buried, right? There's no sense even looking backwards when all anyone can reasonably do is walk on the solid ground above it. And so I am looking forward, with a baby nurtured back to health, knowing a good deal of that nurturing came from his grandfather.