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My Two Sons

July 15, 2011

You know, I’m pretty sure I remember doing this parenting thing before. I remember vaccinations, cranky babies, teething, poopy diapers, sleepless nights…it’s a song and dance you don’t soon forget. It’s funny, though–I still find myself calling the duty nurse to describe a mysterious rash or prolonged crying fit just as if this was my first instead of my third.

Truitt received his two-month immunizations on Monday, and has held world-records for irritability the week long. My mother’s paranoia has me convinced that it has little to do with those terrible shots, though, and more to do with some as yet undefined malady that plagues my little man and terrorizes his system. Perhaps, like Lawson, he is beginning to teeth early, and that is why he has suddenly begun to cry inconsolably at mealtimes that he used to attack with such enthusiasm. (I hear some of you scoffing–“teething at two months? Bah!” Lawson did begin teething at two months, continued painfully for two months, and cut his first two teeth when he was four months old.)

He was pitiful last night, so much so that I found myself cradling him this morning while he slept restlessly with the phone to my ear. “It’s hard to describe,” I tried to explain to  the nurse. “He just cries when he’s trying to eat, like something is hurting him. But he really wants to eat, so he’s mad and frustrated.” Thus it was I found myself making one of those “I-don’t-think-it’s-anything-but-let’s-be-sure” appointments.

It’s always fun getting yourself showered, dressed, and ready to appear in public while taking care of the prince of cranky and reminding Lawson to eat, dress, go to the bathroom, put shoes on, and brush his teeth. I managed, with the minutes counting down until Truitt’s appointment, to hustle us all into the car, Truitt cranked up to new levels of irritability. As we headed out, I calculated that if I only hit three of the fourteen stoplights between home and the doctor’s office I would only be five minutes or so late.

Several miles down the road Lawson’s voice floated up from the back seat. “Are you dropping me off at Grandma’s?”

“No, Lawson, I’m late getting to the doctor’s. I’ll take you after.” There was a long, suspicious pause.

“Uh…..I thought you were dropping me off at Grandma’s–”

“No, I don’t have time.”

“–and so I didn’t put on my shoes.”

Silence. My mouth struggled for words beyond the obvious, I told you to put your shoes on! while my brain raced for solutions. No time to go home. I dialed Anne’s. No answer. Can’t take him in the office barefoot. Can’t leave him in the car. Can’t chain him to a bike rack with a bowl of water.

“I told you to put your shoes on!” I finally wailed.

“I thought you said I could go to Grandma’s today!”

“Later, Lawson, I said later!” Okay, think. In desperation, I turned into Anne’s drive. Maybe she was just outside. Maybe…

There are things you must do in parenting a baby boy. It is critical that you keep a cloth by the changing station, for example, to prevent unpredictable showers during diaper changes. I’ve become so caught up in recalling what it is to mother a baby boy that clearly I have forgotten some of the intricacies in mothering an eight year-old boy. Such as reminding him, for example, to put shoes on his feet–not once, and not twice, but that absolutely essential third time.

“Are there any shoes in Grandma’s garage?”I asked Lawson.

“Yes!” As it happened, there were a pair of practically knee-high hunting boots in Grandma’s garage that Lawson slipped on, sans socks, with his camo shorts and wife beater t-shirt.

And no, amidst the sea of other little boys in their polos and khakis and sandals, I was not embarrassed at all.


11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2011 5:16 pm

    And let it be known my friend that you are not alone…although we are one child apart and my littlest is of opposite gender, I too find myself in those moments where I am questioning my skill as a parent, frantically searching Google images to figure out what this rash is that is plaguing her little face, pausing to deal with the terrible two’s (or as we refer to it in our house – the Jekyll/Hyde syndrome) and then getting the in your face reminders that 8 year old boys don’t hear their mother’s voices and 10 year old girls have hormones already flowing that I don’t think we are fully prepared….

    I definitely chuckled -perhaps out loud, but not because I was taking enjoyment in your situation but because I could see myself and our very morning 🙂

  2. Anaise permalink
    July 16, 2011 7:13 am

    Oh, keep those boy stories coming! I’m going to have my first one, and I’m not so much in panic mode as numbly, confusedly wondering, “What will I do with him?”

    And the shoe thing . . . it so doesn’t happen with girls . . . at least not mine . . . I’m going to have to learn to check for shoes?!?

    You get so many bonus points for not losing it completely when you found out Lawson didn’t have any shoes on!

  3. July 16, 2011 1:13 pm

    I’m always amazed at all of the ‘last minute’ stuff that happens. You think you plan well in advance, the morning goes smoothly, and inevitably (sp?) something ALWAYS goes haywire while trying to get out the door or, on the way/car drive.

    I just shake my head…………

    We Mother’s deserve a whole lot more credit for what we put up with and then look the other way for.

  4. July 16, 2011 3:15 pm

    One of these days I will meet Lawson, laugh, and then pat you on the back and say, “Well done, Lori…well done.”

    Then Lawson and I will have a Nerf Gun war.

  5. July 20, 2011 10:56 am

    Oh my. I feel your pain here, Lori. I had the exact thing happen when we lived in Canada, except we lived only 5 minutes (if I hit the lights right) up the hill from the office, so I ran home making us only 5 minutes late. But since we STILL have this same problem happen what I don’t understand is the logic in a child’s brain of ‘We are getting in the car going somewhere, I don’t think I need my shoes….’ Frustrating beyond belief.

  6. July 22, 2011 7:31 am

    Melinda–Thanks for that comment–so glad to know it’s not just me, and after all these kids! I feel like such an idiot sometimes, especially after that third call to the nurse at Hopkins. 🙂 And the hormones! How right you are!!! The attitude drives me crazy!

  7. July 22, 2011 7:34 am

    Anaise! He’s a BOY! How exciting!!!!!!!!!! I’m so happy for you! Those little guys are so much fun, and so darn sweet. You are going to have so much fun with him. I can’t wait to hear all about him…names, how he just grabs hold of your heart. I felt the same way with Lawson–“what on earth am I going to do with this alien?” You adapt, very very quickly. They’re so easy. Girls are the tough ones, really. And yes, you will have to check for shoes, and remind them to clean their fingernails, and change out of their pjs, and brush their teeth, etc. Those type of hygiene things simply don’t occur to their simple male minds. 😉

  8. July 22, 2011 7:35 am

    Rach–Inevitably: EXACTLY RIGHT. 😉 And you are exactly right as well…we do deserve so much more credit!! All we can do is shake our heads…. and laugh…

  9. July 22, 2011 7:36 am

    Jason–Oh, man–he’s always up for that! And thank you kindly–what wonderful encouragement when I feel like yanking my (now quite short) hair out by the roots…

  10. July 22, 2011 7:37 am

    Nat–seriously!!! Even if they are “just going to Grandma’s house”…you still need shoes, right? Even if you’re just going out into the yard? Right? I don’t think I’m crazy?

  11. August 24, 2011 10:42 pm

    This kind-of happened to me when we left the house and I had, I mean I HAD to stop and pick up milk at the store and I looked down at my six-and-a-half-year-old and he was wearing one croc and one flip-flop because that’s what he found on the way to the car when I told him to get in.

    Seriously, LOVE those boys!!!1

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