Sometimes denial pays off

Immediately after blogging about my beloved cat, I found him. Go figure. In a last-ditch effort to locate him, I went back to the area he spends the most time in and did one last check. I was sort of talking to myself when I asked “Whit, where the heck have you gone?” I was answered by a pathetic Mew. My first thought was that I was either hallucinating, or that I was hearing our other cat, Tess. So I called out again, “Whit? Where are you buddy?” Another Mew, decidedly less hallucinated, and definitely not the bitchy meow of Tess. I scrambled to locate the sound before he got tired of answering me, and finally tracked him down, sleeping inside a wall in the basement. So all is well, once again.

Sad

My cat has disappeared, and I’m afraid he won’t be coming back. He was the sweetest living creature I have ever known, and I am convinced he has gone away to die, because he couldn’t bear to hurt us by doing it here at home. He has been sick for a few weeks, and I was desperately trying to save up enough money to take him to the vet, but now he’s been missing for 3 days, so I’m feeling that I missed my chance.

For the past 2 weeks, he has remained in his new favorite spot in the basement, where it is nice and cool. Every night before bed, I would check in on him, and he would look up at me with his innocent little eyes and assure me that he was still here and doing alright. I forgot to check on him 2 nights ago, and fell asleep without a second thought. Last night, I went for my usual check-in, and he wasn’t there. I was immediately concerned, since I hadn’t seen him around, and assumed he was in his spot. Heath and I tore the house apart looking for him, and have found no evidence of him. I have no idea how or when he got out, but I am convinced he is no longer in the house. I am certain that we have checked every space in the house where a cat of his size could possibly hide (he was the Shaquille O’Neil of cats). And yet, I am completely in denial. I continue to check the same places over and over, hoping that by some miracle, he will be in one of them eventually.

This morning, I asked Reed if he had seen him, since he sometimes has a knack for finding Whit’s unusual hiding spots. Reed went on a similar quest to find his beloved pet, with whom he has been best buddies since birth (Reed’s, not Whit’s. The cat is older than Reed is.). After his search proved as fruitless as mine had the night before, I sat him down and explained that Whit had likely run away, and probably wouldn’t be coming back. He is also in denial, constantly suggesting new places he hadn’t looked yet, but none of them were spots I hadn’t already checked myself.

I feel like the lowest form of human today. I was entrusted with the care of a kind, caring, defenseless creature, and I let him suffer. It was not by choice, but that doesn’t make me feel any better right now. I let him down, and even in the face of this, he still wanted nothing more than to save me the heartache of watching him die. I want nothing more right now than to hold him and cuddle him and sob into his big furry head, but instead I sit here sobbing to myself, wondering what has become of my little friend. I’m too sad to care that I lost out on 2 jobs yesterday that I really wanted. Jobs that I was quite upset about until I discovered that Whit is missing. Now I’m glad that I don’t have to go off to work and put on a brave face today.

If you see a lovable black-and-white, cow-spotted cat that honestly believes himself to be a dog, please let me know. I’d like him back now, thank you very much.

Two Wheeled Wonder

Okay, that title is a little misleading. It’s actually more like the 4 wheeled wonder. Reed received a new set of training wheels this week, and has been tearing around the neighborhood ever since. It seems he’s a natural. I expected to have several weeks of practice, with me pushing from behind while he hung on for dear life. What I actually got was 2 practice tries where I gave him a little push to get the pedals turning, and him taking off into the sunset. He can stop on a dime, and hook a U-turn like a pro. I’m fully impressed. Finally, something is going smoothly with him. Hurry, document it for posterity!

As for the whole bedtime thing, it’s been a roller coaster week. The first 2 nights went mediocre at best. The 3rd night was better than I could hope for. After a little cuddling and talking, he was asleep in under 2 hours. Then there was last night. After several hours of physically restraining him, he finally crashed, leaving me exhausted and cranky. I’m crossing my fingers that it starts getting better soon. Otherwise, I may have to start Googling military schools.

Same song, second verse

Day 2 of the “make him sleep or else” strategy went about like last night. I can’t be sure exactly when he went to sleep, as I also dozed off on his bed, but when I woke up at 10 PM, he was snoring, and that was that. That’s not to say we didn’t have our power struggles before then, but I was worried when we started this thing that we’d be up till all hours of the night getting him to sleep. I think I may bring a chair into his room tomorrow, since my back is killing me from his bed, and since laying with me seems to have the same effect as an IV line of pure sugar. He has a tendency to break out laughing for absolutely no reason, and the more he laughs, the more wound up he becomes. I just don’t understand the boy. Owen apparently doesn’t understand either, because both nights, he has stood in his crib peeking through the small opening in the door watching me cuddle with his brother, and sobbing his little eyes out because he can’t join us.But let’s not open that can of worms, shall we?

In other news, I have a job interview on Tuesday. I am both elated at the prospect that someone wants to hire me after my 13 month hiatus, and devastated because I won’t be able to use the lack of interest in my resume as an excuse to stay home with the kids a bit longer if they offer me the job. But for the moment, I’m trying to remember that they’re just eggs, not chickens. Don’t want to jinx myself, after all.

One day down, only the rest of my life to go

Well, we had our first night together last night. After 2.5 hours, Reed was finally sleeping deeply enough for me to sneak out. Today I am so stiff I can barely turn my head. This better work soon, because I don’t know how long I can keep this up. I must admit, though, it was nice to get up this morning, and not have to clean up the messes from last night. I didn’t get much done afterwards, but hopefully as time goes on, he’ll sleep earlier, and I can actually accomplish something.

This morning, as a reward for going to bed so well, I let him come on a little field trip with me. I got a new yard toy for him on Freecycle. We went to pick it up, and you should have seen his eyes light up when I put the new dune buggy in the front seat of the car. That made last night worth it, no question.

I guess I’m getting soft in my old age.

Goodbye Mom time

Reed had therapy today. Unfortunately, therapy seems to have become my punishment time. His therapist has informed me that since Reed can’t be trusted on his own, he must now be attached to me at the hip indefinitely. I may not let him out of my site the entire time he is awake from now on. At bedtime, I am expected to sit on his bed and hold him down for the 3 hours it takes him to fall asleep until he is able to put himself to sleep. And I thought my house was a mess now! When exactly am I supposed to do laundry? Load the dishwasher? Bathe? Does this mean I can no longer use the bathroom by myself? Hmmm. This therapy thing is backfiring on me here. It better be worth it!

A Day of Disappointments

I’m bummed today. I had 2 major disappointments today. First, we scheduled Heath’s Vasectomy. I am very sad about this. I am not ready to declare that we will never have any more kids. I realize that we can’t afford another baby right now, but I’m not ready to rule it out forever. But, Heath feels that 2 kids are enough, and I’m supporting that decision.

Second, I went to a local gym today to find out about membership, and discovered that I can’t afford it. I was really hoping that this gym would be something we could manage, because I really want to lose some of this baby weight. I can no longer convince myself that I’ll just get pregnant again and gain it all back anyway, since I won’t. I’m ready to return to myself, but can’t.

I’m too depressed to rant. I’ll vent twice as hard tomorrow, I promise.

Okay, I’ve done the Mommy thing. Can I quit now?

This day just gets more fun every minute. Reed has now broken out his bedroom window. It began several weeks ago, when he poked a large hole in the window screen with a screwdriver. Then he started tossing household items out into the yard through said hole. After about a week of this, the top of the screen mysteriously came loose from the frame (I didn’t see him actually push it out, so I’m not sure if it was intentional, or if it came apart on it’s own from him leaning against it, to see the carnage in the yard). Today was no exception. When his other efforts to wreak havoc on the household at bedtime were being ignored or flat-out thwarted, he resorted to evicting our stuff again. When my hairbrush went flying, I had had enough. I went into his room and locked the window. I thought that would help. Boy, was I wrong!

About an hour later, there is a loud banging noise from upstairs, followed by the unmistakable sound of a large quantity of breaking glass. Heath went up to investigate, and returned grim-faced. He’s broken his window by beating on it with a bottle from the recycling bin. Yay.

Can I be done now? I’ve done enough disciplining in my life to raise septuplets. Come to think of it, perhaps I should have Reed X-Rayed to be sure he doesn’t have a few siblings stashed in there somewhere. I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy. That’s a lovely condition which basically means that I got the morning sickness of every woman who’s ever been blessed enough not to suffer from it in all of history. After 9 months of daily medication, IV’s and just generally feeling shitty, Reed was born a week overdue, weighing in at nearly 10 pounds. Then my milk came in. The lactation consultant I spoke with on the phone asked me how many babies I’d had, when I told her that I’d just finished pumping 25 ounces of milk, and my breasts weren’t even beginning to soften. When I told her I’d given birth to a full term singleton, you could hear her eyes roll from a county away. She advised me not to pump unless I absolutely couldn’t stand it anymore (I couldn’t. My breasts were so full, it hurt to breathe), because I didn’t want to encourage the milk production to stay high. So I suffered. I suffered from mastitis, blocked ducts, and every other breast-related problem you can think of for the first 3 weeks until my boobs finally figured out that there was only one baby at this all-you-can-eat buffet.

3 days ago, he nearly set our house on fire. Apparently, he has figured out the stove controls. I heard him in the kitchen, and went up to investigate. By the time I was 1/2 way upstairs, I could hear the click,click,click,click of the stove trying to light. The whole kitchen smelled like gas (luckily I heard him up there and it was only running for a minute). He had lit one burner, and the other one is tricky to light, so it was just running the gas and the igniter, but hadn’t lit. There was a bunch of stuff sitting on top of the stove (I had been re-organizing the cupboard above the stove and had stopped to take a break). I’m just so glad none of it caught fire before I got up there. I shut the stove off, and grabbed the stuff off the top (burning my hand in the process).

Now this. I’m beginning to think I’ve had enough mothering for a while. Where do I file the paperwork for a substitute for a few weeks?

Little Boy Blue

My son is blue. And I don’t mean sad. This morning, while we tried to sleep in a bit, Reed decided to make a concoction in the kitchen. Since we lock the fridge at night, he had to use what he could find in the cupboard. He decided that spices and food coloring would do nicely. He is blue from his elbows down, and has a neat ring around his mouth. Have you ever seen The Abyss? You know that scene where Ed Harris digs his wedding band out of the toilet, and his arm is blue for the remainder of the movie? That’s what Reed’s arm looks like. My only hope is that the blue washes off before his first day of school in 3 weeks. My kitchen now smells so strongly of sage, bay leaves, and onion powder that I can barely breathe. Other casualties include: the Italian seasoning, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, and the other 3 colors of food coloring. I must admit, if I wasn’t so furious, it would have been impressive. It made quite an interesting swirl down the drain as I rinsed out the mixing bowl he had filled with nearly my entire spice inventory.

So much for sleeping in.

Biding my time

It has been a very long week. Something has happened every day this week to push me further over the edge into insanity. When I was a kid, and I’d misbehave, my mom would tell me that I was driving her crazy. I always assumed she meant it in a figurative sort of way. Now that I’m a mom myself, I understand that she meant that I was, quite literally, driving her crazy. And for that, Mom, I’m genuinely sorry.

To say that my oldest is a challenging child would earn you an award for tact. Reed is the sort of child that doesn’t push boundaries, he rips them to shreds, stomps on them, and then sets the pieces on fire. Each day at our house is a struggle to keep him from hurting someone. Most of the time, his mischief is purely curiosity playing out in the overclocked mind of a hyperactive 4 year old. I can’t believe that most of his crap is intended to hurt anyone (although he often does). Other times, however, he seems bent on destruction. When he’s run out of inanimate objects to reduce to rubble, he starts in on the animate ones.

Now please let me take a moment to tell you the other side of my little man. If you ask him at any given time what he’d like to do, his answer will almost always be to curl up in my lap and read a book. He breaks into tears if we don’t spend at least 10 minutes cuddling on his bed every night. And though he often gets carried away, he lives to wait on his little brother. Poor Owen is usually buried under a mountain of toys because Reed has difficulty with the concept that Owen gets overstimulated if he has too many choices. For Reed, the more toys you have to play with, the better. He picks me anything that flowers in the yard, and puts them in a vase full of water himself.

Everyone I know that has raised an intense child like Reed tells me that this stage will pass. He will get older. More mature. He will find constructive outlets for all this energy and curiosity of his. It is this reassurance that helps me hang on to my last shred of sanity. Until that day comes, I am biding my time, and trying not to search for airfare to the Caribbean.