Monday, March 23, 2009

Talk Therapy

Max is sick. Yesterday was really terrible; he was throwing up constantly and couldn't keep down Tylenol or Motrin, which meant that his temperature was 103.7 and going up. We took him to the E.R., where we discovered that Children's Tylenol comes in suppository form. Thank God.

Today is better, but he's definitely not well. He's at least able to eat, but he is feverish, coughing and snorting and horking. I mostly just kept him home to give him a chance to lay low for the day. The cure seems to be rest mostly.

Unfortunately, we weren't set up to spend Sunday in the emergency room or Monday at home, as the pantry is largely bare at this point. After I dropped Dan off this morning, we had to stop at the grocery store so that we could eat today.

Every once in a while I get it into my head that I am cut out for stay-at-home motherhood. With another bun in the oven, it makes a fair amount of sense, although maybe not on a permanent basis. Typically it lasts only long enough for me to remember that Max is three-and-a-half years old, and we've been encouraging him to learn to talk for the last three-and-a-half years.

It started in the grocery store. "Look, Mom, roses!"

"I see them."

"I like roses. Do you?"


"They smell nice. Can I smell them?"


"Mmmmm, they smell so nice. Remember when Daddy and I brought you roses?"

"I remember."

"That was at your old office. Remember?"

"I remember."

"We brought you pink and white roses. Remember?"

"I remember."

"You had them in a glass vase on your desk. Remember?"

"I remember."

"Mom, we should buy yogurt while we're here."

". . ."

"I like yogurt. It's so yummy. Do you like yogurt?"


"I like cherry yogurt. It is so yummy. It's not disgusting at all."


"Mom, we need milk. Are you going to buy milk?"


"What kind of milk? Red milk?" His milk isn't actually red, just the kind that he gets comes in a container with a red label and top.


"I like milk. It is so yummy. Thank you, Mom, thank you for getting me milk."

"I....You're welcome?"

"We need fruit too. I like fruit. Do you like fruit, Mom?"


And so on, through the entire grocery store, with a kid with a motorboat engine attached to his tongue, through the single open grocery store line with the checker that I cannot stand, the one who loads my groceries willy-nilly into bags without regard for the logic of putting away groceries (Hello, why would you put ice cream in with the bread and dried pasta? Those three things obviously will be put away all in the same place.) and leaves my bags piled up behind her as she starts to bag the next person's groceries and I lean awkwardly around her and my growing pregnant belly to try to load my cart. Grrrrr.

So out to the car with Max and my groceries, Max who hasn't stopped talking since 6:15 this morning, Max who barely stops talking to sleep at night. Hoist the kid into his booster seat, while my back complains. "Mom, what was that noise? Did you hear that noise?"

"Which noise?"

"The noisy noise. Was that a car?"


"Was that our car?"


"Was that the lady's car?"


"Which lady?"

"The...tall lady."

"Which tall lady?"

"I...don't know."

"Why not?"

"Because, sometimes Mom just makes up the answers."


"Because sometimes the questions don't make any sense to me, buddy."

Then to the nearest mailbox to drop an envelope in it. "Why are we going this way, Mom? What's over here?"

"The mailbox."

"What mailbox?"

"The mailbox where I'm going to mail this card."

"What card?"

"This birthday card."

"Whose birthday? Mine?"

"No, your birthday is in June."

"I like birthdays. We have cakes and goody bags and ice cream at school. I like cake. Do you like cake?"


"I like chocolate cake. It is so yummy. It is not disgusting. Do you like chocolate cake?"

". . ."

By 10 in the morning, I am totally exhausted by this kid. It's not that his behavior is bad--it's not. It's terrific. Everything I ask him to do, he does without complaint. We've finally instituted a bedtime ritual that seems to keep him in bed at night, he loves to help us, he doesn't run away from us in public, he shares willingly, he's mostly pleasant and sweet and adorable. The problem: he's three and a half. And he's awesome at it.

And keep in mind that this is him dosed up on cold medicine. This is him dopey, this is Max set on about 4. This feeling of having to stay a step ahead of his constantly-racing mind is like running a marathon, all day, every day.

Kimberly's Sprout has learned to crawl, which for a visually-impaired parent presents a set of problems that I think I would find totally staggering. I admire her fortitude. My own fortitude, however, is pretty well up against a brick wall. I am watching far less TV than usual these days, just because I need the time without a voice bashing up against my eardrums in order for my brain to reset its counter. The New Girl is making it increasingly difficult to get any sleep at night, between heartburn and the constant movement, and between my increased state of total and complete fatigue and the need for my brain to be turned on constantly around my kid, I am desperately in need of a week or so spent in silence, staring off into space, reading People Magazine, and contemplating my increasingly-protruding navel.


LPC said...

You could try reinforcements? When my kids were young I spent most of my time with my best friend and her kids. She hated talking. Me, I'm not so good at the physical stamina and sensory overload of things like Chuck E Cheese. So she took the lead for activities, I took the lead in the inevitable talking on the way home in the car:).

Kimberly said...

What a mixed blessing, the highly verble child. I didn't feel like doing anything the entire nine months I was pregnant except sit around with my feet up. I love your description of audio described life with Max. Thanks for the shoes. I did hear that Stride Rites were the best. I'll try to call some time this week. I hope Max feels better.

Gridlock Reigns said...

You will look back on this blog post wistfully in several years when your conversations look more like this...

How was your day, Max?

What did you do in school today?

What do you want for dinner?
*shoulder shrug*

The conversation usually deteriorates from there.

The again, he may be loquacious forever.

Let's hope for a happy medium.

Anonymous said...

This sounds exactly like my 3 year old daughter. I'm not even pregnant and her constant chatter has me longing to crawl into bed around 10 am! It's weird to complain about her to my mom friends because her behavior/personality is lovely...I feel guilty for longing for the silent teen years!!Glad to see I'm not alone.