Not All PR Pitches Are Whack

So I’ve been waffling lately, considering what it is I’m doing here on the Internet, why I’m doing it, and at times if I should even continue doing it. I wrote a post called “Un-branded: A Manifesto“, about feeling a little ambivalent about doing sponsored posts, and the feedback I got from my readers helped me clarify how I felt about that. Basically what it comes down to is this: I will not review products, services, movies, books or activities unless it really is interesting to me. Not just beneficial as in free stuff and big bucks, but I need it to actually be interesting.

Sounds basic, right? But JEEEEZ it took a long time to get there in my head. The funny thing is that since I’ve decided that, I’d say the PR pitches I receive have more than tripled. What the? Anyway. I’ve ignored most of them but there are perks to being a Pistol. The major main huge thing is that Roan feels pretty much like a cool guy when I get invited to go places that he actually wants to go. And when he’s proud of his mom, I levitate.

So we’ve got these two really fun activities lined up over this month through Pistols + Popcorn. First, this Sunday Roan and I are going with super-uber-fans Sachin and Ajay to watch the Harlem Globetrotters at the new Barclays Stadium here in sunny gorgeous Brooklyn. We’ve been invited to a meet and greet with the legends themselves at Jay-Z’s 40/40 club. Heh. You don’t hear that every day on the Mommy Blog circuit, no? Roan’s convinced the H-O-V will be there somewhere, putting dishes away or cutting limes or some such since he owns the club and who knows? I’ll get a picture with Jay if it comes up. Otherwise, expect some photos of Roan looking cool standing next to some Globetrotters next week. (By the way, their people told my people that if any of my readers want to attend, they can get discounted tickets here, by entering the code HGMOMMY for this Sunday’s game.)

Also in a few weeks, Roan and I will be traveling with our homies Lola and Javi to lovely Park Slope (an entire 3 subway stops away) to visit a new shop called Hiho Batik. This place looks BOMB. I’ll tell you all about it after I’ve done it, but if you want a sneak peak of what we’ll be doing checkitout here.

And now a toddler kissing his twin toddler brother:

kiss.

I’m Pretty Sure I’m the First One To Ever Say This

But dang. Did someone hit Fast Forward?

About ten minutes ago, I had these two guys:

Shepz + Smitty

I’m serious. It couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes ago that they were born. And they can’t walk or talk. They can’t call for each other or climb trees. They can’t talk about helicopters, and wave good-bye to the helicopters they’re not talking about. They can’t even have a cute word for helicopter like, “Ha-Co-Ko” because they’re only fifteen minutes old. So these videos cannot exist, right?

I try to remind myself to pay attention to these days. And since I cannot describe these days with words, I have to post video. These are  just a few moments in the park, from this past Saturday. Sheppy, talking to me about a helicopter, and then Smith. So excited that he finally scaled a tree and so desperate to share it with SHEP-E (!!!!!), who is too busy playing ball with big bro to care at all.

IMG 2995 from Jodi Call on Vimeo.

IMG 2998 from Jodi Call on Vimeo.

Mystery, Starlux, School, Project Runway, Mondo, Breathe.

You know when that somewhat histrionic friend of yours posts vague status updates on whatever media outlet they’re addicted to? The ones that hint at something great, terrible, impending, or happening, but they won’t just come out and say, “Yo. This is what happened. It made me feel this way.”? And it bugs you, partly because the Human Being inside yours naturally curious about things that are unclear, but also because it’s pretty lame to post something and then clarify that you just actually cannot post about it.

I never do that.

Except now, I’m going to do that.

There’s a project I’m working on and due to the nature of the project, I really can’t talk about it in a public way. So normally I’d just work on it, and leave my Pistols and my Popcorn out of it, but I want to shout from the rooftops now that “Yo! I’m working on something! And it makes me feel really good and happy and productive! And it has nothing repeat nothing to do with children, parenting, me, or my family!” And that’s basically all I can say due to the dangerous nature of me being involved with it. Ok ok just kidding about the danger. But, yeh. I just thought you should know. And I’m sorry that I’ve just become that guy that does that one thing. But I hope we can still be friends.

Moving right along.

Roan - Wild

Epic past few weeks. Epic has become the most overused and totally annoying word in the jibberjabber world of teenagers and pop culture but too bad because I’m an adult, and I’m using it correctly. The end of the summer has happened, and so did our last BANG BOOM POP WOW chronology of events.

Hotel balcony, fake palm tree. Love.

First – as a family, we actually left the eight-block radius we rarely travel outside of (though we stayed in the Tri-State Area). We went on a vacation with my sister Lori and her family, to Wildwood, NJ. Now – full disclosure – at no point did I ever trade, barter, influence or hint at any type of potential review for this hotel we stayed at so our experience there is likely to be exactly the same as yours would be.

Wildwood Boardwalk

And it was totally epic. HAHAH – kidding – it was totally awesome. (Awesome is back, right?) We stayed at a place called the Starlux Hotel. It was lovely. A clean and surprisingly warm pool. A bubbly hot tub. A cool hotel suite (2 bedrooms, kitchenette, balcony, living room) for $135/night (off-season, FYI). They set up cribs for the tiny twin tyrant masters, they had free bicycles to cruise along the boardwalk with, they provided shovels, pails, and boogie boards for the beach, and even have a complimentary washer/dryer. The staff could not have been any more friendly or helpful. One morning they opened the pool early because Boone and Roan asked them to. Seriously. They gave my sister a stamp to mail her rent check. They doted on the twin boys. And always had coffee ready for us in the morning.

Delux Starlux

You’re in NYC looking for a quick beach weekend getaway? This is the jam.

Summit Street Gang, First Day of School 2012

The tragic ending is that the night we came home was the first school night of the year. Roan started fourth grade the next day. (Actually, Roan is a bit square and loves school, loves his friends at school, and was probably ready to get away from the park circuit I had him on during the summer. But still. He likes to pretend that starting school is a drag so I go ahead and help him spin his little fiction.)

Heidi Klum literally glows. She is from a different planet, here is the proof. Tell a friend.

The upswing is that Roan missed the second day of school to attend the Project Runway Season 10 finale taping at Fashion Week. Oh man my son and I love going to this thing. It’s just a little crazy to be a few rows behind Harvey Weinstein, Michael Kors, Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia, Debra Messing and Jennifer Hudson. Like, I totally could have nailed any one of those people in the head with a grape, had I chosen to do so. How many people can say that?

Roan + Mondo

Most importantly, Roan got to talk with Mondo, our favorite Project Runway celebrity. That guy is a supercool dude. He took a nervous 8-year-old boy and put him at ease, showing the greatest interest in the pillows that Roan has been designing. I want to fold Mondo up, put him in my pocket, and bring him with me everywhere I go.

But that’s probably illegal so I will not.

Right? So. Now it’s time to breathe, eat some goldfish crackers, watch a little Yo! Gabba! Gabba! and ask Fall….whatchu got to compete with this Summer finale, hmmmmm?

If There Weren’t Two

On the beach - Smitty resplendent in his Aunties tank top, Sheppard shimmering in sand and a diaper.

Smith is now 22 months old. So is his twin brother Sheppard. My little boys, who absolutely control my time-table for everything are sneaking up on being two years old. And that is just ridiculous, and I am serious. I keep meaning to write about them more, about the details they bring into life. Details. Millions of them. Keeping breakable things high, making chairs unclimbable, closing windows enough that they won’t fit out of them, finding a way to keep an oven door shut, putting hundreds of tiny cars into one box and keeping hundreds of plastic animals in another, deleting cookie monster from their song playlist but adding Korean pop sensation Psy, knowing that the air conditioner should be set at 78 degrees for nap but 72 for night sleep.

I mean. I could just fill an entire library with the details. But the bigger things, they are the things that fill me up.

Bubble-wrap envelope fun time

An entire day can be lived with Sheppard and Smith, with these two and I can end the day feeling like I’ve had no time with either of them. This is the crux of my struggle in the twin mama world. I do feel like I’ve got the logistics down, to keep them happy and to keep them safe. But I also think that if there were only one of them, he might know his mama a little bit better. He may know what it feels like to be held more and stared at more and hugged more. He, alone with his mom, might know what it feels like to relax in her lap without being placed aside while his other demands something different. If there were only one baby, he would likely have slept on my chest more and been taken more places. Because taking one baby anywhere is pretty easy but taking two is mostly impossible.

Road trip fatigue

As Sheppard and Smith’s mom, I feel like I’ve been able to grow and stretch to get to places emotionally that I’ve never had to live before. I’ve had to learn that if a baby is safe, sometimes he has to be left to cry because the other baby isn’t safe, and needs me more. I’ve had to get pretty zen with the sound of a lot of noise around me. Much of the noise is heartbreakingly cute – the “Mama!” and astoundingly accurate sing-song of fake words mimicking conversation. I love that noise. But then there is the other noise, the “NO!?” that comes with a brother wanting what a brother has, and then the crying in stereo that would be better if I weren’t a primal being,  programmed to not be able to choose a favorite son. If there were a favorite, it would be simple. I’d just give him the toy, the book, the plastic whatever. But usually I’m just standing there, dumb. I can’t choose. So I try to offer other things until one of them bites. And that takes a while.

If there weren’t two.

A rare situation where having twins makes it easier

I wonder more often than I would like to admit if I would have been a better mother if I’d had only one baby at a time. I also can’t help but think they need more from me. More hugs and kisses and uninterrupted staring into their eyes. It’s possible that I just need more of that. I wonder if Sheppard may trust the world a tiny bit more if he felt more security and love from his mom. I wonder if Smith wouldn’t have such a hair-trigger from laughter to tears if he didn’t have things he loved constantly taken away by his brother.

It’s hard to know. Of course there’s the other side.

Sheppard would not laugh so heartily, with his full big belly, if Smith weren’t around to be his clown. Smith wouldn’t be such a kissing bandit, ready to slop some love on pretty much anytime, if Sheppard weren’t his willing participant to be practiced upon with millions of kisses. Bedtime would maybe be a struggle, or a sad thing, if they went in alone. But instead, they run to their cribs, kiss me away, and play with each other for a good 1/2 hour before they fall asleep and after they wake up.

Post-bath, Pre-Fun-Time-Bed

They play together at the park, then separately, then back together. And when one notices the other has migrated somewhere else, he always checks in. They answer to each other’s names. Smith still refuses to say his own name, and when prompted to say “Smith”, he says, “S-S-S-SHEPPARD!” That’s his favorite joke. He does it every time.

Swing

It’s the game that most parents play. I could/should be a better parent. If the situation was different. If I had more money or more time or didn’t have to work or could escape to work or was healthier or had more energy or had a better haircut. I mean, I think we all do this? We all wonder if we’ve done our best, and know that we could probably do better with different more customized circumstances. I will always feel that these two – Sheppard and Smith – deserve more than I give them. I feel the same way with Roan though. So I guess it’s just my primal hard-wiring, to have my love for my kids holding hands with my feeling that my overall score is about 7 out of 10. Which, just like most things in life, is going to have to be good enough.

End of Summer Roan

Walking to the park this morning, Roan said he felt like we were walking to school. School hasn’t started here yet, we don’t get there until September 6. So we have one week and one day left of Summer vacation. But today the air didn’t feel as hot and the air didn’t feel as wet. It was hinting that Fall could be somewhere near – but only if you really really listen. And Roan loves his school, and is an avid learner. Still, that kid isn’t ready to say goodbye yet to this Summer.

Neither is his mama.

The Life

I’m the same as everyone else, really – I love time to myself and a good routine that carves out quiet moments that I can count on. Roan being in school will make those times more frequent which is great. But  not as great as having him around. When Sheppy and Smitty take their nap during the day (which totally is rocking my world by the way – three hours every day. Yowza.) Roan and I get some time together that isn’t centered around keeping these little firecrackers from killing each other, themselves, or us. Everything becomes quiet and calm, with the air conditioner playing a sweet ballad of white noise. Roan and I use this time to work on things. I write, he will do a math worksheet. Then we eat lunch and watch a Korean TV show together.

There's always a park in our future

Regarding this Korean fascination happening. I don’t know. The shows we watch are subtitled and so I can claim that it’s a great exercise in reading comprehension for my boy. We just finished one called “Playful Kiss” which had the worst message on the planet. Essentially if you love someone enough, they can be awful to you and then you just keep loving them and then one day, maybe in the final episode, they’ll say something nice. Still – we were captivated. We were both appalled, and we were both captivated. There’s a lot to talk about – cultural differences, colloquialisms, fashion, love. Now we’re watching one called “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho”. A Gumiho is a nine-tailed fox. And this guy’s girlfriend is a Gumiho. In human form.

Whatever. I’m just glad we’re not watching Dora the Explorer, you know? Can’t stand her shoes.

Time for a haircut?

And when our little twin friends are awake, we all get around this neighborhood together. We hit ice cream parlors, we hit parks, we sometimes just park our bodies on a footbridge over a busy expressway and listen to Shepz + Smitty scream ‘TRUCK!! CAR!! TAXI!! TRUCK!! AIRPLANE!! HUMMUS!” at rapid-fire rate (Sheppy loves Hummus more than anything and demands it pretty much all the time. He has garlic breath.) It’s funny and probably a little boring for my 8-year-old to spend an hour watching traffic but he’s not a big complainer, and usually tolerates and even sometimes enjoys these little non-climactic outings.

Finding fun

I just absolutely love having Roan around, to share all these things with; to share in the delight of his brothers learning, to share in the boredom and the excitement of every single day. When he heads back to school, probably some of my guilt will be lifted – the feeling that he’s not getting enough attention, or that he’s held back by having to do things for these little ones. When school starts, he will be surrounded by his friends and have all the proper academic stimuli around and not my homemade math worksheets and Korean television reading drama episodes.

When school starts, Roan gets to be his social self, which I’m learning is different from his home self, which I suppose is actually true for everyone. He becomes slightly aloof and cool. He taps his toe, rather than busting out his highly choreographed dance skills. He smiles more than he laughs. He holds a bit more emotion closer inside. He keeps himself a little guarded.

And I like that Roan protects himself because he needs to be protected. But I hate that he protects himself because I want this world to be safer.

I’ve worked with Roan this summer on finding his voice. He is cautious about expressing opinions, even ones that don’t seem hard to take. He is slow to express preferences about what to do with his friends, and will never ever say he likes one person more than another. Roan is cautious, in the extreme, about sharing information about anyone other than himself and is quick to say he doesn’t like gossip. So much so that I worry about him being able to tell me if things go wrong, with a friend or someone who isn’t a friend. So I’ve made him list things to me this summer. What are three things you don’t like to talk about? That went over horribly. He literally could not even say the words of the topics he doesn’t like to talk about. (Sex, swearing, and talking about things he doesn’t like to talk about). It took almost an hour to get these three things from my boy.

Summer Roan

I’m sure he’ll be relieved that his teachers will not be taking this approach with him. Ah – mothers – crazy, each one of us.

Summer is saying good-bye, it’s true. As uneventful as this one has been, it has also been one of my favorites, ever. The change in the air makes me sad even though it feels good. Having so much time to try to figure out who my son is, this is a true luxury. He’s crazy complicated and super sweet. My Roan. It does feel like we’re walking to school.

I Ain’t Missing You at All

Anson is out of town now, for a long two-week stretch in Minneapolis. I do wish that I could report that he was meeting with Prince, revisiting the Purple Rain days, but alas Anson is too young to appreciate the historical significance of the land where Morris Day, Appolonia and Prince created the most tragic of all love triangles. Instead he is likely riding a Sponge Bob roller coaster in the Mall of America.

Abhorrent, my young child-groom.

Three Boys

It was a pretty awful farewell, though. I’d love to report that his walking out the door went smoothly but there were tears. And stuttered sobbing. And then more tears. All three of our sons were wailing at the same time after he left and I almost ran away because for the first time, ice-cream couldn’t fix it. Can I just repeat that? Ice-cream couldn’t fix it. That scares me. I still kind of need a hug.

Bad Food

I think the gut wrenching sadness was mostly caused by the extremely fun-filled days preceding Anson’s goodbye. First of all, grandparents were in town. Anson’s parents, Duane and Tamra came to Brooklyn to visit, so Anson took days off work, which freed up all sorts of possibilities. There was major Dad face time for all the sons. Happiness like that, multiplied by major face time with grandparents simultaneously is pretty impactful. Out of the two of us, Anson is the most fun and the most lenient (I know, shocking.) Good (bad) food flows, nap times are pushed, hygiene is ignored, and clean floors are abolished. And obviously, with grandparents around? It’s just ridiculously awesome. (Although I must interject that my mother-in-law made my heart sing with joy because she cleaned my house. I know I shouldn’t let her, but sheesh. What a treat.)

Shepz+Smitty, Grandpa+Grandma

On top of that, Roan’s favorite band, 2NE1 (a Korean girl pop group) was performing in New Jersey on Friday night and we had the best seats in the house (once again my friend Kaskade pulled some magical rock star strings. I’m beginning to owe that guy.) This concert led to possibly my happiest moment ever with Roan, when he let go of his collected and calm persona and rocked his gorgeous little heart out. Fist to the sky, belting out who-knows-what-they-mean lyrics in Korean, and having kisses blown to him by his most revered icons, there was something I’ve never seen in my boys eyes. It was light shining straight out of them. He was lit from within, flourescently happy. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

2NE1!

This day was followed by a Roan + Me spa luxury day with two of our best friends, Issey and Jen. The four of us spent the entire day at Spa Castle which is  four-story Korean sauna/bath/pool/massage/restaurant experience. Intensely perfect in every way, we got home water-logged and relaxed to our cores.

Video games, pizza, soda, movies, board games, walks, runs, scooter time, BBQ, Chinatown, shopping, did I mention eating? I’m just saying there was a lot, a whole real big huge bunch of fun packed into a five-day span. And then…

It was time for Anson to leave, with his parents out the door about five minutes later.

It’s hard not to be sad about that much fun and family time ending. Roan and I have decided we have it alright though, because we have each other and well…poor Dad. He’s working early in the morning, with hotel food and the Mall of America his only comforts. I’m guessing it probably is pretty tough on him to leave us behind. So much so that I’ve stopped telling him how Smitty + Shepz couldn’t wrap their little heads around him not being here this morning. “A Dada?” over and over. And how Roan is counting the days until he’s home.

And there’s me. Luckily I have to smile and keep trucking for these boys because otherwise I just may notice how much I miss that guy as well. Two weeks he’ll be gone, and I know – it could be worse, and we’ve gone longer stretches without him around. But he’s an amazing dad and an amazing husband. Makes it sad when he’s gone. I guess that’s a great thing. It will feel so much greater, in retrospect, after he’s home.

Too Fast

Ro + Me

I was laying down next to Roan last night and realized that his body is the same size, basically, as mine. Our heads hit the same place on the pillows and our feet land at the same place under the covers. My hand holds his same-size hand, and his eight-year-old self hogs the covers with about the same strength and voracity that I do.

Why is this happening to me?

I mean I suppose it doesn’t only happen to me. Children grow up all over the world as I hear it. It’s not uncommon. But as I settle in with the whiplash that the speed of time is giving me, I am realizing that those days of hoping Monday will quickly turn into Friday are g-o-n-e. I just would like everything to slow down.

As lazy as this summer has been – by design I under planned it – it too has betrayed me. I didn’t enroll Roan in any classes, and scheduled no trips. I thought by doing this we could spend the days how I used to spend them in my young summers. Sitting on grass, looking for dandelions, going down slides, watching a few clouds and murdering mosquitoes. I wanted to see if we could just spend time together. Without grand plans and big adventures. Just three boys and me, going to parks and playing in a backyard. And it’s been a sweet slow summer. But even now, with it all of these lazy days behind us I feel like it too has gained momentum. We’ve started talking about school and what he needs.

This time is ending.

I keep learning this lesson over and over. These kids of mine aren’t mine for long. And it drives me bananas that I can see (yes, even at their young ages) the possibility that they just might maybe choose to grow up and have their own lives. I don’t know why they would choose to do something like that but all signs point to them being like that.

Bad kids.

Around the campfire

I fear that tomorrow Roan will be taller than me and my twin monkeys will learn that the word is “open” not “omen”. I look at parents who have been there – who made the mistake of letting their children grow up and am in awe that they’re still walking and talking. I understand that I’ll be able to reclaim my own life in full, and revisit the independence of having time on my hands and to myself. It sounds lovely but also sad. I suppose like everything, you have to grow into it. Maybe that’s why children leaving home is immediately preceded by adolescence, so the parents don’t miss them so much? (Ha, I kid.) (Or do I?)

But for now – I’ll just take millions of pictures and try to remember everything they do. I’ll write their stories and tell them to friends. It’s all I can do. I love these three sons like mad.

I Gotcher Coxsackie Right Here, Mr.

A week ago Monday started out with a hot bang which may sound kind of sexy but nay. NAY. Sheppard started burning up with fever, and we all watched with love and doted on him. As you can see in the video above, Smitty was all up in that bidness (my new favorite thing on the planet is the “Hi. Hi Shep. HEY.”) …..which led to Tuesday.

When Smitty (shockingly) started burning up with fever. The rest of us showered the boys in love and Baby Advil, suggesting they eat popsicles and applesauce. Babies get particularly cute if the illness is right. Their cheeks are rosy, they’re very cuddly, and in Smitty’s case, they drool. What? That’s cute to me don’t judge.

Not the best pic of Anson.

Wednesday rolled around and it looked like we might be on an upswing when Anson showed up at home in the middle of the day, fevered and somewhat green. Thirty-five year old men when they’re sick? Not so much cute but still lovable in a sort of…”go ahead and retreat to the basement and come back up when you’re better” kind of way. I knew it was a matter of time before….

Friday, when Roan returned from a playdate with a 103 degree fever and an inability to keep anything – anything - down, at all. But that’s Roan. It doesn’t matter what the illness is, he’s going to vomit. I love him like crazy but that child of mine was built with the most ridiculously delicate stomach of anyone I know. This is somehow contradicted by his amazing ability to ride any roller coaster or spinny ride and beg to do it again. And again. Etc. I don’t know. I just built him, I cannot explain him.

We made it through the week of burning hot fevers, nausea, general malaise, blisters (yeh, the babies blistered up. I believe they had Coxsackie which causes general hysteria around these Brooklyn parts but I must just go on record to say, “Meh.” It was just the same as any other illness, really. Fever, cuddle, sleep. Whatever.) And guess who the last man standing is?

Popsicles Fix Everything

Me! I won! I didn’t get sick at all, in fact I feel strong enough to accept my award to recognize my superhuman care taking of Coxsuckie (heh, see what I did there?), general malaise, vomitus excretus, (whatever, I also won the right to make up my own Latin words), and grown-up-man-who-is-sick-and-wants-to-be-taken-care-of-but-has-to -get-in-line-behind-three-children assuaging. Just wondering if anyone can direct me to where those prizes are given out? I’m wearing lipstick and high heels for the occasion! Anyone? hello…?

Team Call

Are we all sharing this experience? Goooooood.

“Sheppard has a really infectious smile.” Anson threw that out last night just as we finished watching Shameless (our new favorite show). I pulled my body off the couch and smiled in agreement, because you know, I agree. Then he followed up with, “So does Smith.” and of course the inevitable, “Roan, too.” And to make sure he was clear, “They’re all just extraordinary boys.”

Making my way downstairs I ha ha ha laughed at him. Because Anson shares my Crazytown burden of not being able to notice a great thing about one of our sons, without making sure to notice something about the others. I do it too. If Smitty totally nails his first time on a scooter (which he did this week), I excitedly videotape it and send it to Anson. Followed by a video of Sheppard doing whatever. Smiling. Laughing. Eating dirt. Whatever. And of course Roan. At least send a picture of Roan. What’s he doing? Sitting in the shade. Caught it, sent it, maybe even Instagrammed it.

Group "Ta-Da!"

I accept that it will never be exactly equal. We’re raising individuals here, not a team. But we operate as a team. And when we don’t, things fall apart. Or get hard. Or just make me tired. So inevitably I’m wired to think of my boys as my team. And even though I can sit here and tell myself, “Hey sister you’re a total loon, it’s ok to love one of these dudes momentarily with extra-super-duper gusto”, I can’t so much change my impulses to include the others.

If I’m extra-lovin one, I have to extra-love the others.

Actually, it’s not a bad thing if I frame it that way.

But am I absolutely off the rails in this? I mean – I can see how ridiculous it is that Anson can’t notice a great thing about Shepz without noticing the others – and I hope I’m not that bad but I actually know I am. I suspect I am worse. When Shepz started playing in the sprinklers for the first time, I hurriedly transplanted Smitty from what he was doing over to share the experience, the stimulus, the life-changing experience of being sprinkled with water. Then I begged Roan to come and watch because it was so funny, but also because I wanted him to share share share this as well.

In the telling it sounds a bit cuckoo. But I’m not asking if I’m alone in this – no, no. I know I am not because poor Anson my beloved is just as cuckoo. I’d like to know if it’s as common as I hope it is, though. Weigh in – do you feel guilty enough when noticing something great about one of your kids that you immediately notice or include the others? Or are you cool guy enough to understand that they are individuals, experiencing things in their own time?

Babies Don’t Bounce

Shepz (former) Spot

In case you’re wondering, if your child takes a fall from a distance of higher than two feet, and hits their head, a doctor’s visit is in order.

This is what I found out no more than fifteen minutes ago.

And guess where little Sheppard Nelson Call gets to go today! To the doctor!

I’m writing this in-between sessions of smacking my own self in my own self’s head because Shepz fell off the kitchen counter today and gravity, ever constant in her threatening behavior towards my progeny, pulled his body right onto that hard tile floor. I saw it pretty much in slow motion because as Mother of The Year I turned around just in time to watch but do nothing. Obviously his father put him up on the counter and turned away because Mother of The Year would never be that dumb dumb. (This part of the story may be fictionalized slightly.)

After the initial freak out, Shep was acting totally normal – playing, laughing, singing, finding my fat parts and pinching them (I do not know why he does that but he does. Makes me laugh and feel self-conscious at the same time). So I was fairly confident that all was well but since his ear was a little purple (a bruised ear! Yay Mother of The Year!) I was also kind of forced to acknowledge that he smacked his head pretty hard so I called the doctor.

I used to think this was a sweet place for him to hang out, look outside, face certain concussive possibilities...

I’m not entirely certain that her pause after hearing that he sits on the counter every morning as I fix breakfast because that’s basically the only place he wants to be was a judgement, or maybe she was taking a bite of a sandwich. I mean, I know it’s not a safe place but usually he sits with his feet in the sink, splashing everything and allowing me the time I need to do the one million things that need to be done within arms-reach of him. But today I blew it, and gave the boy more space than I should have and bah. Hopefully not a cracked skull. People won’t “like” a cracked skull on Instagram now, will they?

Not to be outdone, about two hours later, while playing downstairs in the cribs, Smitty demonstrated a just-learned brand new trick that I did not see, but fear with all my heart. Roan was playing hide-behind-the-curtain-peek-a-boo with him. And Peek! Smitty is jumping in the crib screaming with laughter! And Boo! Smitty is sitting on the floor, a little stunned, outside the crib.

Anyone know a good source for Toddler-sized armor and 24/7 wearable helmets?

[Update: Shep has been given a clean bill of health by the doctor, who explained that his ear acted as a sort of bumper. Dang, can I make good ears or what?? She also suggested I look into installing seat belts on my countertops.]