Vanity, yo

Saturday, March 29, 2014


A few months ago, I saw a picture of myself where the only thing I noticed was that I really didn’t like my smile.

For as long as I’ve been conscious of my appearance, I’ve never been happy with the way my teeth look. Sure, it’s vanity but so what. Some people don’t like their elbows or the size of their head. For me – at this moment – it’s my teeth. They aren't terrible but there’s room for improvement. So I have decided to get them fixed. Bottomline: I want to have straighter teeth when I turn 40.

A non-Biscuit post

This blog is usually about The Biscuit or my relationship to her. This one post is all about me. Because … well, she can’t type yet.

A few months ago, I saw a picture of myself where the only thing I noticed was that I really didn’t like my smile.

image

For as long as I’ve been conscious of my appearance, I’ve never been happy with the way my teeth look. Sure, it’s vanity but so what. Some people don’t like their elbows or the size of their head. For me – at this moment – it’s my teeth. They aren't terrible but there’s room for improvement. So I have decided to get them fixed. Bottomline: I want to have straighter teeth when I turn 40.



My dental situation is not unique. I’m sure there are lots of adults who consider orthodontics later in life. I actually visited an orthodontist about 15 years ago. But I was broke back then and came up with a looong list of things to do with the four-figure sum it was gonna take to do it right. Today, I’m more comfortable financially and want to finally get something done that my family couldn’t afford to do in my childhood.

2014 is a year of transition for us and I’ve made a personal goal to smile a lot more in this one life that I have. Getting my grille straightened out is part of that.

Here’s a nice “before” picture.



The next time you see me – and for the next 18 months – my teeth will be all kitted up. I’ll probably also be wearing my contacts a lot more. The thought of wearing braces AND glasses gives me flashbacks of the harsh middle-school social order.

How do vaccines cause autism?

Friday, March 21, 2014

22 months

Thursday, March 20, 2014
image

No one tells you about how awful “the terrible twos” really are. More on that later.

Current stats: about 34 inches long; more than 25 pounds. These numbers will get updated after her two-year checkup in May.

Tooth count: 16 with the last molars on the way

New trick: combining words

New words: princess, (silly) goose, some, have, want, wheels, bus, around, make, soup, bucket, how about, how are ya, rabbit, white, yellow and Parker. Mama and Dada have become Mommy and Daddy.

The Vimeo page has been updated with new videos. Here’s one:



THE LATEST
We survived Parker’s first ear infection in January. It was a horrible three weeks. She had a terrible cold complete with a nasty cough. All she did was scream and say “NO!”. She wouldn’t eat or drink for almost 3 days and she started losing weight. It was the first time I ever questioned our decision to become parents.

We live in the future, right? I wish babies came with maintenance warning lights, like cars. She never touched her ear so we had no way of knowing that’s what it was. After several days of fever, a pediatric nurse called it after witnessing her cough. With the help of a 10-day course of antibiotics she was back to her usually sweet self.

That said, her meltdowns these days are pretty epic. I’m completely disarmed by them and feel helpless. I think of myself as a smart person who can usually find an answer to a problem but a stubborn 22-month old is a mystery to me. Everyone (family, friends, the Internet) has an opinion about how best to deal with this: ignore them, time outs (for older kids), spankings, extra love, withdraw emotion, let them cry it out, distraction, giving in to their demands … it all seems inadequate.



I know I’m the adult and the one in charge but parenting a toddler it is physically and emotionally exhausting. We’re living with a bi-polar dictator and, while I can’t speak for Andy, I feel pretty stupid when it comes to what to do about it. I wish the Baby Whisperer was still alive to guide me.

To echo the title of a book I’ve added to my list, modern parenting is all joy and no fun. I know that sounds whiny and very first-world-problem-y but I’m really at a loss. I know you’re wondering what sets her off. Every single tantrum results from one simple thing: not getting what she wants. An article I read said, “For children between 1 and 2, tantrums often stem from trying to communicate a need – more milk, a diaper change, that toy over there – but not having the language skills to do it.” Great, right?

Fundamentally, she needs to learn that she is not in charge; we are. Don’t get me wrong. We give her plenty of independence and lots of opportunities to control her environment. I know The Biscuit is too young to have the coping skills to deal with being small in a big world. I’ll have to add teaching her how to accept the things she can’t change to my mom list that also includes language, manners, safety, creativity, love, curiosity and EVERYTHING ELSE she needs to know to be a good person.

Hopefully the next couple of years will fly by. I hear kids are much easier to deal with after they come through this phase, somewhere around 4 years old.

THE POTTY
I bought a potty, just to have around as furniture, so she can used to seeing it. Initially, she was using it as a chair. Then she started picking it up and carrying it around. I bought a potty board book that she likes to read while she’s sitting on it. So far, we’ve only gotten her to put a tiny bit of pee in the potty but it’s coming along.

As with everything related to parenting, there are multiple theories about the best way to do this. The pediatrician says to take it slow, no pressure, just let it happen. Friends have gone the weeklong-intensive route, wherein you let the kid run around naked and don’t leave the house until it’s done. Ew. There are even people who say you can do it in 3 days or less. If it sounds too good to be true …

Stay tuned.

TRAVEL AND STUFF
Since the last post she’s traveled to Saratoga for a 4-day visit with Grandma Lulu (Andy and I went to Miami), we went to Atlanta in January for Gram’s surprise 80th birthday party, and to The Bahamas this month to celebrate Andy’s 35th and escape the Boston winter. We’re talking about 2014 trips to NYC, Denver and New Orleans. If you want us to come visit you, you should say so.

Save the date: The Biscuit’s second birthday is May 17. We’re talking about a party but haven’t nailed down any details yet. Invitations will be mailed next month. It won’t be as big a blowout as the first one but it’ll still be a good time. Yes, there will be champagne. Yes, I’m serious when I request “no gifts.”

A brief exchange on the beach

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Me: How many grains of sand do you think are on the beach?
P: two.
Me: Are you sure? I think there might be a few more.
P: TWO!
Me: Oh.

That’s deep.
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