Category Archives: Trucker

Dear Trucker, 36 months !?

Dear Trucker,

You came into the world three years ago.  You came quickly, immediately giving me the gift of your birth story, which I will cherish more than any other gift and hopefully remember until I am thick into dementia.  You came smiling.  You came chunky.  You came with a full head of spiky hair.

And now here you are.  You are three.  You started practicing for age three at about age two and three quarters.  By this I mean, you started trying to do everything completely by yourself, meeting any unsolicited help with screams of protest.  Ah, three. It is a long year.  Also, it is a year of showing the world that you are no longer a baby.  You clearly need to teach Mommy that you are not a baby.  You can speak in full sentences.  You can almost ride a bike without training wheels or assistance from me.  You have your own ideas and your own taste.  You don’t need me to feed you.  (Though sometimes you still request it.)  You’re here! You’re Trucker! I’ll get used to it.

You sing all of the time.  Real songs, made up songs, made up songs with words that are made up.  You also love to dance.  You are not a big fan of food.  Mostly you like meat.  Which is what I liked to eat when I was pregnant with you.  You also have an unwavering love for chocolate milk. I realize now how the younger child gets spoiled.  There’s something about knowing that there will be no more babies that makes a mom want to baby that last one.

Of course, you are still in love with trucks.  You have branched out to airplanes and hovercrafts, tractors and motorcycles.  But nothing makes your heart quite as happy as a shiny big rig or a car carrier loaded with cars.  Your favorite book right now is Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. I love that we can’t go to bed without looking at the pickle car or looking for Goldbug on at least three pages.

Oh, and you are a charmer.  You got your first crush at your uncle’s wedding. A fourteen-year-old niece of the bride became your princess.  You danced with her and her mom all night long.  Even though the wedding was weeks ago, you still look up at me at times and tell me that you are going to dance with her tonight.  She liked you back.  She said that she was going to go back home and tell her friends that she met a cute boy from New York.

I love you, my sweet boy. Thank you for teaching me to face the day with a song.

Love,

Mommy

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The Donor Mark

My son has the likes-to-watch-sports gene.  He did not get this from me.

I don’t plan to point things like this out to my kids.  There’s this unspoken fear of the moment when we will need to address the fact of the donors in our kids lives.  There is also this urge to pretend since we don’t know who the donors are, that we can make them go away.  Part of me wants my honey and I to be the only important people in the creation of our kids.

The other part of me knows that the donors are important.  Not only are they important, but I feel like even though I don’t know their names or their adult faces, I feel like we live with them.  We know them better than we know our good friends.  I’m so glad for them.  I’m so glad for whatever circumstances lead to them walking in to the cryobank, filling out all of those forms, walking uncomfortably into a little room and producing for us the ingredient that would eventually become our sons.  I am confident that wherever he is, Trucker’s donor is either thinking about throwing or actually throwing a ball.  Cakie’s donor is charming someone at this very moment.  I’m sure of it.

The discomfort comes from knowing that the donors are a question mark.  Will the boys be driven to try to identify them?  If they do find them, will these men disappoint my sons?  Since I have two different donors, will the boys have two uncomfortably different experiences surrounding their donors?  I am sure that they will want to know them, even if we down-play their role.  Once they take a biology class and see the fruit flies and their eye colors,  once they read a study on identical twins, or venture into my grandfather’s meticulously researched geneology of his side of my family, they will want to know.

I know this.  But I wish I could take that donor question mark and stretch it straight into an exclamation point.  A sure statement, showing a strong emotion.

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Filed under family, IUI, LGBT, my second son, my son, sperm shopping, Trucker

Birthday Parties. Meh.

Let me just start this by saying that I am a big fan of the birthday. (Mine is in just a couple of days!)  I’ve always enjoyed my own birthday.  I’ve thrown countless surprise parties for friends and family.  And even though I am older and find less hoopla in order for the day, I still demand cake.

Throwing parties for one’s kids, on the other hand, is … uh.  It is a mix of fun and uncertainty.  Take Cakie’s birthdays, for example,  we’ve always taken great joy in making him a very special cake (guitar, Diego’s head, Superman).  We’ve also always had his party at home.  They have always been fun.  This year, for the first time, we are shelling out the big bucks to have his party at a place that does everything for you.  I am not excited about the big bucks.  I am excited about the does everything for you.  But I can’t help but think that we’re still going to be going crazy the day before.  I still want to make a special cake, but I don’t really, really want to, if my ten zillion dollars includes an ice cream cake.  I don’t know who to invite.  We bought the package for twelve kids.  But most of the folks at his daycare, as a rule, don’t RSVP.  And since I have been to several of these parties at the same place with the same kids, I see that people bring siblings, even when the invitations specifically say, please do not bring siblings.  And why would that worry me?  Every extra kid is another thirty bucks on top of the ten zillion dollars.  Then this morning came the expected snafu… one of Cake’s friends at daycare has the very same birthday.  So today we got the evite for his party at the same time and the same day.  My honey didn’t seem phased, saying we could just invite kids who are not from the daycare.  But, umm, I feel like we kind of need to invite Cakie’s friends.  On the other hand, maybe thirty kids won’t show up, and we’ll get to keep our home and our car instead of handing it over to the Bouncy House place.

Trucker’s birthday was last weekend.  I aimed for the number-of-child-guests-matches-the-number-of-years-old-the-child-will-be rule.  Since he was turning 2, I ended up with four child guests.  Because I’m not so great at math.  The goal was to keep things simple.  But I went overboard anyway, and cooked up a storm.  After the fact, I realized that this was probably my last kid party to which I could have just invited my-own-aged friends.  And though some of the parents I invited are my friends (Hi, sn!) I felt like I could have made it more fun for me by inviting one other baby, and a bunch of my friends.  Though I know it is not supposed to be all about me.

This is all to say that I never realized how complicated all of this is.  And I don’t know that I am making it complicated.  I think it just is.  I’ve done my best to keep it simple.  Like I say to my students when I teach math (yeah, they let me do that, can you believe it?)  I always like to find the most efficient strategy that gets me the right answer.  Because I don’t like doing extra work.

I want to most efficient birthday party strategy that doesn’t cost me the down payment on a new house and doesn’t kill the joy and creativity of having the party in the first place.  And that would be?

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Filed under family, my hon, my second son, my son, Trucker

Dear Trucker, (Two Years!?)

Dear Trucker,

You are going to be two years old on Sunday.  Never mind the fact that you have looked like a two year old for the past six months.

You have all of the passion and strength of a two year old already.  You are constantly exploring your world, and finding dangerous things, which as your mother I am obligated to remove from your hands.  This often ends in a fists-clenched, floor kicking scream fest.  I don’t blame you.  I do not like when new and exciting things get yanked from my grasp either.

You don’t look out the window at trucks as often.  You do love your toy trucks.  Especially if you can hook one vehicle on to another.  Awesome.  Another trick you do is to fill up the back of your dump trucks and spill them on to the floor, or balance other cars and trucks onto the back of a larger truck.  After a recent weekend trip to the beach, you have widened your horizon to include boats and planes.  While we are in the car you still gladly point out each truck, taxi, bus, and sometimes even car that passes us.  If you happen to spot a river or ocean out the window, you scream “WWWWAAAAAAAADAAAAAH.”  It sounds a little unsober.  I love it.

Everything your older brother does or says, you do and say.  Sometimes I can’t handle the cute.  If Cakie strikes up a conversation with one of our neighbors on the elevator, you will just start talking as well.  Never mind that you aren’t saying words we recognize.  You are learning from your brother how to be a friendly, social person.

You are a junk food junkie.  It is not my fault.  (Entirely.)  You just love meat.  So when I cook dinner and serve you the meat and vegetables, you eat the meat.  That is all.   But I keep serving the vegetables.  I do and I will.  You love pizza and hot dogs.   But I get the pricey organic ones from the coop.  The pizza is just a bi-product of having two working moms.  We indulge once a week.  You have had some good broccoli moments, which I’m hoping will bloom into a full-on love affair with broccoli, much like the one your brother is having.  (You like to do everything he does, remember?)

Another wonderful development (wait for it….)  You drink your milk from a cup!!!! Yay!  One day you demanded milk and pointed to a sippy.  So I filled the sippy and you drank it.  Mama suggested giving the bottles away, which I plan to do.  We’ve had a little resistance in the morning, but you are giving in.  And growing up.  Thank you for making the bottle-weaning business not-so-hard for Mommy.  Mommy is very very grateful.

Your movement-prodigy skills continue to amaze us.  Now, not only do you ride a scooter, you do tricks on it.  You can ride while lifting one leg behind you in an arabesque.  You can ride leaning all the way back on your standing leg, while stretching your other leg behind you into what is essentially a split.  You ride wiggling the handlebars quickly from side to side.  I call it the weeble-wobble.  And to stop the scooter, you put your foot down toe-top down on the ground and drag your leg elegantly behind you.  It isn’t so great for your shoes, but it looks very fancy.

Thank you for everything, my boy.  We think you are the bee’s knees.

Love,

Mommy

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Filed under my second son, Trucker

Weaning, Take 4

S’s mom asked me to write about how I deal with tantrums and pre-tantrum behavior.

Mmm.  Not so well.

Actually, what this post is really about is the fact that in T-minus a few days, we will be weaning Trucker from the bottle.  This was the hardest thing we had to do with Cakie.  Everything else —  reading, potty training, weaning from the breast, everything — was easy with him.  But the bottle weaning was rough.

Sooooo… we decided, since the daycare ladies have actually stopped giving him bottles, and we have pretended to them that we have stopped giving him bottles, that we actually will once we run out of this last box of evil drop-in bottle liners. Cake we bottle weaned at 15 months.  Trucker is just shy of two years old.  We’ve just been — uh — busy.  Or maybe avoiding it.  The doctor said it should be done around 15 months both as a precaution for teeth and as a step away from babyhood.  What do you guys think?

I’m mushing two posts together, really.  I do expect bottle-incited tantrums.  Which is why I’ll now address mer’s question about how we handle tantrums.  We consider tantrums to be a point at which the baby has lost all sense of control.  So our strategy is to let them work it out.  We’ve learned that if we pay the tantrum any mind, we are feeding the beast. This works best at home.  The middle of the aisle at Target, for example, is a bit more trying.  But basically, we say to the screaming, kicking baby,  “Wow.  You are really upset.  Mommy’s going to go over here and (polish the silver, read this magazine, write a poem, heat up some broccolli) while you work it out.  I’ll be right here.  Love you.”  Then we give the kid some space, we let them know that we care, but pretty much ignore the tantrum until the baby runs out of steam.  Even though he may not understand me, I try to explain to the baby that this is not a means to an end.  “I understand that you are very upset, but you still have to get in the stroller because mommy’s going to wet her pants if we don’t get home.”  I do pick my battles.  But I try not to give in to tantrums because I fear that they will happen more often if the baby gets his way as a result of them.  But I also understand that the world is huge to the baby.  The thing he wants is the most important thing in the universe to him in that moment.  So I kind of understand the urge to kick and scream.  Sometimes I wish I could do the same.  I don’t know if this is helpful or not.  I hope so.

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TRUKKEN*

*TRUKKEN — When one goes Truckin’ at Ikea.  (Note the awesome assembly of excavators on the other side of the parking lot.  Toddler heaven.)

This blog is turning into a place for me to post pictures of my toddler looking at trucks.  Fascinating, right?

Well, if you can think of something helpful I could write, let me know.  My “How-to” posts seem to get the most play.  I love to be helpful, though I’m not much of an expert at anything except posting pictures of my toddler looking at trucks.

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Filed under Trucker, Uncategorized

Brothers

Trucker has started to want to play, in earnest, with his big brother.  I get these crazy drives to get them out of the house.  We have very sensitive, annoying, downstairs neighbors.  And we have the TV.  Sometimes I just want to pull them away as fast as I can from both.  Such was the case the other day.  I got them out of the house in record time.  I had Cake’s scooter and Trucker’s cloth-covered volleyball.  We were ready for action.  And then we got downstairs.  Rain.  What was I thinking?  Why did I assume it would be any different than it had been for weeks.  But I couldn’t bring them back up to the apartment.  I just couldn’t.  Mind you, I didn’t even have a rain cover on the stroller.  I live in a Brooklyn neighborhood where the immigrants, be they from Mexico or Poland, all dress their babies in layers and layers and blankets and a rain cover on even the slightest dip below 70 degrees (I exaggerate, but you get the point).  And the older residents have no problem telling you about anything they disagree with in the way you’ve chosen to dress your child.  So I was already going rogue just by being outside.  I told Cake we could go around the block and then go home.  But by the time we got around the block, Cakie was on autopilot and headed right for the playground.  OK.  WTF?  Why not?  So we went to the big open paved area where C usually rides his bike.  Mind you,  Trucker was wearing cotton pants.  No rain boots.  No jeans.   He just had cotton pants and a jacket.  The place was covered in puddles.  But the brothers?  They didn’t care a lick.  They started kicking the ball around.  Trucker was shrieking his head off with laughter.  So was Cake.  It was as if they were both brought to this planet to play this kick-the-ball game in this puddley yard on this cold rainy day.  The ball, being covered in cloth, became a big sponge.  The cotton pants, being fulumped into puddles, also became cold, wet sponges on the baby’s little pudge legs.  But the laughter did not stop.  It was so fun for them, but a little hard for me.  At what point do I step up, be a mom, and make them go home for some warm clothes?  It sucked.  But at one point I finally gave in to my mom side and tried to get them to leave.  Oh!  The drama!  People probably thought I was beating poor Trucker as I tried to get him into the stroller, so long and mournful were his cries.  I wish I could have just let them play and play.  But I was kind of worried about how cold they were.  I was cold and I wasn’t even wet.

I’m glad I didn’t go right upstairs, though.  And I’m glad I went to the playground and not just back home after we went around the block.  I look forward to more Cakie – Trucker fun.  I feel so lucky to have these happy brothers.  So very lucky.

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Filed under my second son, my son, Trucker