Tuesday, June 9, 2009

No cry. We friends, OK?

Adam, before The Pink Eye Episode.
(We hid the top photo in Aaron's suitcase before he left. In the bottom pic, Adam was trying black beans for the first time over at Uncle Jay & Pete's new house. He couldn't get enough of them. Who knew?)

Adam woke up on Sunday and didn’t even seem to notice that he had pink eye. He looked so pathetic, with his left eye stuck shut, and how did he react?
“Mama, GET UP! I want pancakes!”
Ok, so your vision is the same as a one-eyed pirate’s, and all you can think of is breakfast? You are so your father’s son.

I thought he might be getting pink eye Saturday night, when I noticed some eye goo, so I wasn’t at all surprised to see that he couldn’t open it the next day. That’s exactly what happened to me when I had pink eye in grade school. I remember my mom applying a warm washcloth to my eye, so that’s what I did with Adam. Worked like a charm. His eye wasn’t bloodshot, but he had a ton of “drainage.” (I know, I know, gross.)
Aaron and I called the nurse’s line and we were told that the Target near our house has a weekend clinic. We were able to get him in right away. The doctor, a nice Asian lady who kept saying to Adam, “Good boy. We FRIENDS, ok? No cry. We FRIENDS,” was so short she had to ask for Aaron’s help to reach the sterile gauze pads on the first shelf. (Can you imagine being that small?) I wonder what she would’ve done if we’d been short, too. Maybe she has a step stool hidden in the room somewhere.
Anyhow, she told us to wet the gauze, then wipe the drainage from the inside of his eye to the outside, wash our hands regularly (and his), and then gave us a prescription for an antibiotic. Twenty minutes and $9 later, we had our little bottle of eye drops.
At first Adam let us put the drops in his eyes. By the end of the night, though, he went on an Eye Drop Strike. I have never had to physically restrain him before, and had no idea that a 23-pound toddler could be so strong. I felt like I was wrestling a wildebeest.
I tried reasoning with him (“This won’t hurt, I promise. It’ll be over in a second” and guess what? Two-year-olds don’t know how to reason), I tried showing him how it’s done by putting my contact lens re-wetting drops in my eyes (he didn’t care), I tried boosting his ego (“Don’t you want to be a big boy? Big boys get eye drops”) and I tried bribes (“I’ll give you a cookie if you let me do this.”) His response? “NOOOOO! PUT IT AWAY, MOMMY! NO DROPS!” He screamed and cried and thrashed around and squeezed his eyes shut and right when I thought I was going to be able to sneak a drop in he’d dramatically turn his head like a model in a Breck commercial. That struggle made me realize just how hard this whole parenting thing would be as a single unit. Fortunately I was able to enlist Aaron’s assistance, and then later, I had my dad help me.
When I brought Adam to daycare this morning (after taking the day off yesterday, because the county requires that a child be on an antibiotic for at least 24 hours before returning to daycare and no daycare = no work), I forewarned my daycare provider, Mary, that Adam didn’t like getting the drops and would carry on like a crazed lunatic.
“Let’s try it right now,” she said. “You hold him and I’ll put the drops in.”
She made it sound so easy. I looked at the clock. I was already running late to catch my bus. Didn’t she realize this could be a 10-minute ordeal? I mean, I figured she had experience with the whole eye drops thing, since two of the kids at daycare had pink eye in the last month, but Adam was not as calm as those kids. ((Pink eye is highly contagious among little ones. Not so much for adults since we know to regularly wash our hands. Well, most of us, anyhow. I won’t name any names but there are a few people at work who should be ashamed of themselves.))
I figured Adam would go out of his head at the mention of “drops,” but surprisingly, he didn’t react at all. I wondered if maybe he has selective hearing. (It seems to be a common affliction among most men.) I mean, really, he just about went ballistic whenever I said the word.
Mary handed him two Skittles and he looked at them, blinked at her, willingly LET her put drops in both eyes, and hardly moved an inch. Where was the fight? The screaming and crying? Who was this kid? He turned his head once and made a sort of defeated whimpering sound, but that was it. I swear he behaves better for Mary than he does for me, probably because he already knows how to manipulate me.

In other news, Aaron is in Washington for work (scouting out a beef ranch with the president of Lunds/Byerly’s) and I miss him. He called when he landed in Spokane and then again after he took a private jet to the ranch in northern Washington. I asked how the ranch was, and he said it was a nice house located on 100,000 acres. I can’t even imagine that much land. He was able to call me because they were doing a photo shoot at the top of a mountain and he got cell reception “up there.” As we were talking, I could hear the horses and cowboys in the background. Real live cowboys! I told him to take lots of photos. He’s going down to Yakima today and then to Seattle on Wed. He returns on Thursday.
I would HATE it if he had to travel regularly for work (even if it did include a nice fat raise), and I know he would, too. I would rather live frugally than deal with the consequences of having my spouse gone all the time: doing everything as a single parent, going to bed feeling lonely, just knowing that he’s missing out on big events and simple everyday moments. And I can’t help but think about the high infidelity rate among business travelers, mainly because cheating is easier. (Booze readily available all the time, regularly meeting new people, freedom without home responsibilities.)
My friend Christine travels quite a bit, and you wouldn’t believe the pick-up lines she’s heard. Some of the men are so ballsy they don’t even try to pretend they’re single – as if a wedding band makes them MORE desirable or something. Slimeballs.
Anyhow ...

We’re going to Green Bay this weekend and I’m so looking forward to a little get-away. Our friends Holly & Kevin have an annual summer party (very family-friendly, they even rent one of those bouncy houses for the kids) following the Bellin Run, a 10K race. Aaron will be pushing Adam in a jogging stroller. The last time I ran the Bellin, I finished in about an hour (three years ago, before I got pregnant). I don’t have a time goal this year. My goal is to keep breathing, whether that means barely shuffling along or—as I like to dream—running at an impressive clip. The beer will taste so much better knowing I have “earned” it.

In a few weeks we’re going to a sort of “mini reunion” at Como Park with some of Aaron’s high school friends. There will be 14 kids under the age of 10 (the majority under the age of 5) and 18 adults. Can you say chaos? It will be fun to meet the kids and catch up with the adults. We haven’t seen some of those friends since our wedding four years ago. Four years! The only time I’ve seen some of their kids is in a Christmas photo.

My mom reserved a cabin in Alexandria for our annual family trip. Swimming, relaxing, boating, fishing, playing games, eating, drinking, talking, bonding. I can’t wait.

I’m super excited to go camping at Hok-si-la Campground on Lake Pepin this August. I reserved the group site again, and I think there will be ten tents if everyone goes. Yee-ha!

I’m looking forward to Adam’s second birthday party this August. Two years already?! So much has changed in the past year. Other upcoming summer birthdays: Aaron (36!), Max (2), Morgan (2), Sadie (1), Jods, Megan, and my big brother.

We don’t have any weddings on the calendar this summer, but we were invited to Kylie and Andy’s wedding in Nashville this October (we’re still trying to figure out how we can make that happen) and I was asked to be my friend Julie’s personal attendant at her wedding this January. I love, love, LOVE a good wedding!!! I figured out that I have been to 47 weddings since I turned 18. I might try to blog about it in the future.

How about you? What are you looking forward to this summer?