Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oh, come on. II

A couple of items from the NYTimes.

First, about families who are hiring occupational therapists to teach their children how to hold pencils and crayons:

"One father on the Upper East Side said anxiety about his son’s grip — his 3-year-old holds crayons in his fist — propelled him to seek therapy.

“The nursery admission people tell you they want your child to be ready to learn how to write,” said the father, who spoke anonymously so his son wouldn’t run afoul of nursery school administrators. “And I knew they would take one look at the way my son held a crayon and he’d be out of the running.”"

I mean, really. How pathetic have we become? I say "we," but I really mean those fancy-schmancy private school families in New York and, well, Los Altos, maybe. TZ doesn't hold his pencil properly, but his handwriting is fairly neat, for a 6-year-old boy. Although to be perfectly honest, it would solve a problem if I could just hire someone to teach him (his teacher is clearly not doing it) because he won't listen to me about it and I'm sick of nagging.

Speaking of sick, then there's the House Republicans' and conservative Dems' refusal to pass the health care bill. It's not fair of me to say just pass the damn thing because I don't even really know what's in it exactly. I'm just going on blind faith in Obama and the Democrats in Congress that it's sort of what I want--a tentative, half-assed but better than nothing move toward universal coverage (as if I understood the complexities involved in making that a success and a reality), and deletion of the anti-abortion language that was in House Version 1.0. Just effing cooperate, just do what's right and not what's politically expedient. Hah.

I said that RT ordered satellite service for the Olympics, but as it turns out, I've watched about half of it on my laptop anyway. Watching it on TV, even with Tivo, turns out to be an enormous time sink. I love Shaun White--how does a person get to be that much better than everyone else in the world? And he's only, what, 23? He's just a baby. Really.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Not Even a Little Bit Practical

And yet I've gone and purchased myself a spot at the Birthing From Within workshop, a three-day affair at the end of April.

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know--Birthing From Within is a bit airy-fairy for me. I much prefer the straightforward, no-nonsense Bradley method. None of this "draw a picture of your deepest fears and go on a Birth Tiger Safari (trademark sign)" baloney. And yet...

There is something mystical and magical about birth. There is. Or there can be. It isn't the transformative rite of passage in this culture that it could be. Maybe that's the medical folks' fault for replacing mystery and the metaphor with science and technology, or maybe it's just the way we are today--no heroes in the true sense of the word, no legends really, no true rites of passage for the culture as a whole. Not that doctors and hospitals are bad for birth. But the longer I live, and the more I read, the more convinced I am that modern obstetrics has missed something big, and in the process, women who give birth are missing it, too.

So off to Birthing from Within I go in April, to do all those La-La-land exercises that make me so uncomfortable. I can't see myself leading a Birth Tiger Safari, whatever those are, but you have to in order to be come a licensed BFW mentor (a Bear (experienced mentor), rather than a Mouse (novice/initiate)--see what I mean? I just don't know if I can go through with it). But maybe after the workshop I'll be a changed woman, and I'll want to.

Why am I doing this again? It's too late to go into it now, so all the thinking will have to appear in another post. In any case, the credit card number is in their database, so I'm committed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Oh, come on.

I mean, really. Scarlet fever, head injury, and now croup and two ear infections. What in tarnation is going on? K, the little one, woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday with that awful croupy cough and strider (doctor talk for ugly, painful-sounding breathing--when you can hear the poor kid's strangled voice with each inhale and exhale), and has been feverish and croupy ever since. Today we found out that in addition to the awful cough he also has an infection in each ear. So more antibiotics for us, yay. I'd say no, but he has been feverish for four days now. Luckily, he loves his meds.

Tomorrow's the last day I get bargain basement prices on the Birthing From Within birth mentor/doula workshop in May. Do I go for it or let it go? I want to go down that path...I think. Right? Right? Actually, maybe not. It's not even a little bit practical.

Friday, February 19, 2010

ski injuries

Up at Badger Pass in Yosemite, T spent a day snowboarding and almost a day skiing; last run of the day, of course, and we're going to try an intermediate run. It's a little too close for comfort as we move forward to get onto the lift, but T decides to go for it, and I decide to let him. The chair comes swinging around way too fast and knocks T off his feet, but he manages to cling onto the side of the chair, half on, half off. "Jump!" someone says, and he drops off, and moments later so do I. I cross over, and he's floundering in the snow, in tears, speechless. We manage to get back on the lift (I don't know why the lift operator didn't stop the lift, or why I didn't ask him to), and halfway up, T says his head still hurts, and he can't ski down the mountain. He falls off the lift at the top, blames me (of course) and complains about his head again.

Skip to the end of the story, five hours later at a children's hospital in Fresno. T has been on a backboard since the top of the mountain, completely immobilized and miserable and weeping. But it turns out after the x-rays have been examined that he's fine. And yesterday (the next day) it's as if nothing happened to him at all.

And then we watch all these horrific wipeouts on the women's and men's downhill, and I think, "What was I worried about?" Although probably they all were x-rayed just in case, as well.

In other news, Apolo Ohno is just such a hottie. And his teammate, J.R. Celski, is half, too. I couldn't be prouder.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Speed Skating and Scarlet Fever

RT signed us up for satellite so we could watch the Olympics on TV. Tonight, we watched speed skating--the mens' 5000m. 23-yr.-old Dutchman Sven Kramer won by several seconds.

Sez TZ: Mom, do you think I could be faster than that guy when I grow up?
M: Well, maybe. If you work really hard.
TZ: I think I can go faster than him.

Afterwards, the boys did laps up and down the hall, playing Olympic speed skater. Drove me a little nuts so close to bedtime, but it was better than Clone Wars.

Poor TZ has scarlet fever. I know, who gets that anymore? Mary Ingalls actually went blind from it in one of the Little House books (By the Shores of Silver Lake, to be specific). Turns out that scarlet fever is just a variety of strep. The good doctor, who needs to work on his manner with patients, prescribed some liquid medicine, which TZ rejected. After whining and weeping about how awful it was going to be, and lots of dramatic sniffing and gagging, he spat it out three times. So I called and got a prescription for pills, which hopefully he'll swallow. Ha. Is it cruel to tell him he'll go blind if he doesn't take his medicine? So far, he seems to be getting over the strep anyway, as evidenced by the speed skating.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bloody Valentines

My sweet-natured TZ and I made Valentine's cards for his classmates last night; I never could stand the little packs with the cheesy Valentine's Day puns that you buy at the drugstore, even when I was in first grade. He wanted a Clone Wars theme, which I couldn't handle. I just can't put an automatic weapon, even an imaginary one from another galaxy, on a Valentine's Day card, I told him. It's not right.

So fine, pirates. Doing battle with daggers, cutlasses, pistols, and cannons. And knights about to run each other through with their broadswords. It seemed more, I don't know, chivalrous and gallant when I bought the stickers, but my darling one created scenes in which characters are locked in mortal combat, or in which one character is menacing the other at point-blank range (the cards were small). It ended up being a lot more violent than a clone or Anakin just posing with a blaster or light saber and looking tough and inappropriately sexy. TZ covered the inside of each card with hearts, though. Cancels out the bloodlust on the outside, I hope.

Which is better: