Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Last Memorial Day, I publicly proclaimed that Hope was teething. A month later, sitting in a hotel conference room at the CdLS conference in Chicago, a woman in our group with a syrupy Midwestern drawl held her toddler and asked a simple question.
How's come nobody tells you these kids take forever to cut a tooth?
I held Hope, pretended to nod sympathetically and thought: "Maybe your kid's choppers take forever. Mine are already coming in. Yee haw."
Nine months later, we're proud announce that Hope has --part the clouds, shout "Heavens to Murgatroyd" and strike up the band -- cut a tooth. And, oh yeah, I'm a cement-head.
After several months of sticking my fingers in her mouth and retrieving them in a pool of saliva and despair, I all but forgot that children grow things called "teeth." Independence Day begat Labor Day, Thanksgiving and even the Feast of St. Pacifico of San Severino. Alas, no Chiclets for the chickie.
We felt bumps around New Year's. I resolved not to get too excited, figuring we may to cycle through another set of holidays for actual tooth-age. But lo and behold, Presidents' Day is good for something beyond Zero Percent Financing With Prices This Low We Must Be Crazy car sales.
As she has for days, Mo jammed her pinky in Hope's mouth.
We have a tooth.
And just in time for our sanity too. We needed a pick-me-up. Hope caught a nasty strain of something that's been going around, lasts forever and causes you to cough like you have the plague. I had it for 2 weeks and was miserable. Ditto for Mo. And we're not 10 pounds with compromised breathing.
So far, Hopesy is managing as well as she can. She's on regular breathing treatments and wearing oxygen full-time until she can get over the hump. It could be a while.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Hope approaches toys with an intensity rarely seen outside of "Rocky" movies. She dives in her Exersaucer like a lunch-bucket working stiff clocking in for another 8 hours and inspects her Happy Meal toys like a jeweler scrutinizing a ruby.
But Hopesy's devotion to toys is fleeting. For weeks, she'll absolutely adore her Dice-K doll or xylophone, giggling at the sight of them and lavishing them with her love. And then -- poof -- the spell has past and she's moving on.
The new objects of her obsession are foam letters. They're intended as bathtub toys, but we keep them in a bucket. Hope sits on the floor, purposefully rifling through the letters until she finds just the right one. She discards the Os and Ds until -- jackpot -- she uncovers the H, K or Z.
Eureka! The mother load! And now, the denouement, the final payoff: She plops the letter into her mouth, sucks on it for 5 minutes, laughing like mad, until, just like that, she's done and back to combing through the bucket for another prize.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Classic good news/bad news this week. Since everyone loves the good news, that's where we start: Hope had a whiz-bang, woowie-kazowie, tip-your-waiters-and-waitresses 50 percent Super Bowl, and not just because she won two squares and $10 in the pool.
It was after halftime. The commercials were blah as ever. We had bellies full of pig-in-a-blanket mini weenies and were looking for kicks. So was Hope. Literally. Laying on her back on a blanket, Hope began her windup: She flapped her warms, shook, shimmied, twisted, grunted and melodically kicked her leg four times on the blanket like she was cajoling a reluctant motorcycle.
Hope got the rhythm. The momentum followed. Like an uncorked, windup dervish, she heaved. Umph. One leg over. Hunka-hunka-oomph. Two legs over and presto! She was on her belly. We cheered like we cared who won the game. We returned her to her back, watched as she began her signature windup: Kicking her right foot four times, allowing the mojo to flow and -- thwump -- rolled over again.
She did it three times that night. Each time, the cheers grew louder. After 15 months and creeping ever-so-close, Hope had finally -- consciously -- rolled from her stomach to her back. We add the caveat because she's been rolling over in her sleep for weeks. But we figure that doesn't count for the Guinness Book unless she really wants it.
We're thrilled, of course, so much so that the bad news seems minor.
Our wood-paneled-dwelling, septuagenarian optometrist, Dr. Speakupsonny, reminded Mo that Hope will need glasses in the next six months or so. Since Hope already wears hearing aids, he thinks she should wear something durable. Something unobtrusive. Something plastic and multicolored.
They are known as the Mira Flex. They are billed as "flexible and safe." Here are beautiful models wearing the glasses whose instructions include tips such as "warm and shape according to need, compensate by overfolding. Make sure the temple is cool before placing on child's face."
Mo is mortified, insulted and practically speechless. One week later, she's still steamed.
"There's no way ... and I mean no way ... I'm putting our baby in Mr. Potato Head glasses."
Upon further review, I'm not sure she's that far off.
(Note: Dad is a dum-dum. An earlier version of this post said Hope had rolled from belly to back, which she's done for month for months. It was the back to the belly that made our zoom-zoom go boomity-boom)