15 April 2012

But it's just keratin! and other things that don't provide any comfort

Whoa...March 3? That was the last time I posted? Well, look, stuff happens, right? One day Eamon will look back at all these entries and see the giant hole and ask, "What happened there, Mom?" and I'm going to look at him knowingly and say, "Stuff, darling. Stuff. A lot of it."

But now is not the time to discuss any of that stuff. Now is the time to discuss something that I've mentioned before, though I doubt that anyone remembers and might worry just a tad about your sanity if you did: Eamon's toenails.

Eamon has possibly the weirdest toenails. You've seen what happens when people decide to go for the Guiness Book of World Records and grow their nails freakishly long so that they (the nails) curl around?

Well, Eamon's nails do that, even before they've gotten off the edge of the toe. To make matters worse, he screams bloody murder each time you go near him with a nail clipper. Always has. He's generally such a calm, laid back kid that even though I know that nails are made of keratin and have no nerves, I find myself wondering if maybe, just maybe, it really does hurt when I cut his toenails.

I try using logic: "Eamon, it I DON'T cut your toenails and they all get in-grown and that will REALLY hurt." He remains unswayed, as evidenced by his screaming and crying. I've tried singing or making it into a game. I've tried distracting him. There is nothing, nothing, that can make him feel better except for me to PUT AWAY THE NAIL CLIPPER ALREADY.

Perhaps the hardest thing is knowing that I am willfully doing something that is causing my child pain, whether it be physical or emotional.

No one else ever cuts Eamon's toenails. They are more than welcome to, but strangely enough, no one ever volunteers. And I get it. It's a miserable experience. Occasionally I have assistance, but I've learned how to sort of sit on him so that he doesn't squirm and make the clippers slip.

Someday, of course, he'll get it. One day, when he has a child of his own and he's sitting on her as she screams like he's ripping out rather than cutting her toenails, he'll realize that as much as he hated getting his toenails cut, I hated it more and what it took for me to do it anyway.

Because sometimes...you just have to get your toenails cut, Eamon Wolfe.

I love you, kiddo.

Now let's go do some stuff.

03 March 2012

Super-E vs. Germ Warfare

Someone woke me up at 6:24, which honestly isn’t bad for this particular someone. He probably waited as long as he could, but his Nyquil-addled mother had forgotten to put a pull-up on him last night, and this morning he had a tiny accident that he was eager to keep from becoming a big accident.

So I stumbled into his room and we stumbled together into the bathroom and then everything was better except for the fact that now we were both unalterably AWAKE.

“Mommy,” he said, looking at me seriously, “We have to clean the house. Mommy, Daddy, and Eamon made a mess this week.”

Inwardly, I groaned. I had said these words last night right before he went to sleep, in that Nyquil-induced haze. I figured if I took it just before his bedtime, it would kick in right after I put him down, but I severely underestimated its power and its ability to make me hallucinate that I would get a great night of sleep and wake up fully well, refreshed, and ready to take on the world. Instead, I barely slept (again) and woke up ready to shuffle blearily from room to room muttering that we really need more tissues.

It all began Monday when a plague came to settle in our house. Eamon fell first with a runny nose and cough. On Tuesday my throat started to hurt and the air molecules kept pricking and burning my skin. By Wednesday Aaron was coughing and feeling terrible. By Thursday, Eamon had almost completely recovered and literally ran circles around both of us while we coughed and sneezed and passed the tissue box back and forth. The dishes and the dirty laundry piled higher and higher because it took all our collective energy just to make Eamon dinner and put him to bed.

Then Friday, aka last night, Aaron had to go to Alexandria for the night for work. And we both groaned, because the last thing he wanted was long car ride in traffic, and the last thing I wanted was to be left alone with a half-sized human dynamo while I just wanted to crawl under the covers and curl up with my box of tissues.

I always fear that the days when I am weakest—sick and by myself—are the days that Eamon will decide to throw non-stop temper-tantrums or tear apart the house. But I really should know better by now. Last night, he graciously accepted that Mommy was too tired to deal with dinner and acquiesced to dinner at Red Robin. He ate the chicken off my salad, MC-ed imaginary conversations between the 12 different dinosaurs we had brought with us, and afterwards we went to the mall play area outside of Macy’s so that I could sit and let the other kids tire him out as he ran around. Then we went home, I took the probably ill-advised Nyquil, and he went to bed and slept peacefully all night.

This morning, after the first burst of drama, we helped me stay committed to what would have been a laughable goal of cleaning the house to any adult…but he’s a kid and takes these things seriously. Eamon helped me load the clothes into the washing machine. He helped me take the clothes out of the dryer. When I washed the dishes, he stood on his stool beside me and handed each dirty dish to me. I taught him how to turn on the dishwasher, and we went outside to take out the trash together.

We haven’t stopped moving—Eamon because he’s always been a child-sized bundle of energy, and me because I fear inertia: if I stop moving, I might not start again. We wander from room-to-room, putting away clothes, tidying here or there.

I’m not saying it’s been perfect. At one point, after we tidied the den, he took a pack of cards and threw them into the air so they blanketed the ground. He immediately heard my gasp and saw my look of horror. “Oh no, mommy,” he said. “I’m sorry. I’ll cooperate. Here, I pick up cards.” And he picked them all up and put them on a TV tray.

“I cooperated, mommy,” he told me again. “I am a superhero.”

And I threw my arms around him and told him that yes, yes he was.

25 February 2012

Apology to About 140 Parents

I know that I am that parent. It was always inevitable, and although I make lots of noises about trying to not be that parent, in the end I just buy Eamon’s teachers superfluous Valentine’s Day presents to make up for my crazy.

Exhibit A is the email that I sent to Eamon’s teacher recently. I debated whether I should send the email for a long time. I finally decided that as an advocate for my child, I had a duty to send such as email because quite frankly we had a problem: Eamon keeps maturing and growing up.

I partially blame the school and their insistence on the children becoming independent in both action and thought. So they had a right to know that I have this horrible, dreadful suspicion that they might want to promote my child to the next class.

This means that he would leave the warm safety of the Toddler Class and jump head first into the controlled chaos of the Children’s House, where he would be expected to (1) Learn Things and (2) Self Monitor and (3) Not Run Around Roaring at Everyone Like He’s a Giant T-Rex.

And as his mother, the person who probably knows him better than anyone, I know that he’s more than ready for the first thing: he can count and has great number sense and can sort of add and subtract with manipulatives; he’s fascinated by the words in the books that we read and has known all his letters and their sounds for about twenty years now.

And he’s getting better with the self-monitoring. Sometimes he even tells me he’s sorry before he does something: “Sorry I threw that, mommy. It was a bad choice.” I then point out that he didn’t throw anything, and he cocks his head as if I am a person of small intelligence. “No mommy,” he says slowly, “because it was a bad choice.” But sometimes he announces that he’s throwing something as he throws it, and then shrugs and says, “Oh, that was an accident. I didn’t do it on purpose,” and then he picks it up and heaves it across the room again.

But the Not Running Around Roaring at Everyone Like He’s a Giant T-Rex? No, that is still very much a priority for him.

At his school, though, they keep pointing things out to me: “He’s doing so well with the toilet-training!” “He does great taking off his shoes and putting on his school slippers, all by himself!” “He’s so good about working with all the little kids!” “He can do almost everything in the classroom for himself!” (A prerequisite for teaching toddlers is that you must speak in exclamation points.)

And I just raise a suspicious eyebrow.

I’m not trying to hold my child back…not really. It’s just that over the last three years, I’ve learned a couple of things: (1) I have this tendency to push myself and everyone around me almost to (and occasionally past) our breaking points; and (2) Eamon DOES NOT do well with being pushed.

Illustrative point: swim class. He had been taking swim lessons since he was 7 months old, so he understood blowing bubbles and kicking and reach and pull arms. He outgrew the baby classes, so they promoted him. And they kept promoting him. And I beamed with pride.

Then they promoted him to group classes, where he goes in the water by himself without a parent, and everything fell apart. He had to sit too long while the instructor worked with other kids. He didn’t understand how to blow bubbles while kicking while reaching and pulling. He didn’t understand the complicated questions the instructor was asking. She was frustrated. He was frustrated. I sat on the side a nervous wreck, unsure when to intervene with my misbehaving child and when my presence was just making it worse.

But three months later, we signed him up for the class again, and he did brilliantly. He understood about sitting still and waiting his turn. He understood about keeping his hands to himself. He realized that he could blow bubbles while kicking while reaching and pulling. He knew the answers to all the complicated questions. His new instructor breaks into a huge grin whenever she sees him and he loves her, too. I watch and clap quietly on the sidelines, beaming with pride.

I am the kind of person who is bored unless things are just a little too difficult. I am only comfortable when I am slightly outside my comfort zone. And I absurdly assumed for years that everyone else was like this, too, even though it is obvious that my husband and his offspring are completely the opposite. And they are both very bright, so it has nothing to do with intelligence…just how we all respond differently to pressure.

Therefore, when Eamon’s teachers talk about promoting him to the next class, I panic. I’ve tried to push him and reaped the consequences, so now I’m probably TOO cautious. I’ve burned my child before.

All this is what led me to write a long and rambling email to Eamon’s teacher in which I argued all the reasons why we should definitely promote him and all the reasons why we definitely should not, because I don’t want him to be bored and I don’t want him to be frustrated, and then lamely conclude that I wasn’t going to push either way and it was all her decision.

I can imagine her rolling her eyes while reading it, because that’s what I would have done when I was teaching.

But that was before I became a parent and realized: it’s hard. You want nothing but the best for your child but sometimes there’s no way to know if something is a good idea until you try it and it works wonderfully (potty-training) or you try it and emotionally scar your child for awhile (swim lessons).

His teacher responded to my email, and not by calling CPS because Eamon’s mother had clearly gone insane, which I thought was generous of her. She just kindly said we'll talk about it in two weeks when we have parent-teacher conferences.

And in the meantime, I need to say: I’m sorry to all those parents of students I taught. I’m sorry if I ever rolled my eyes when you emailed me ten times in one day, or if I was condescending when I assured you that it was just a phase, or if I ever just got annoyed when the “quick conference” you requested rolled into its second hour.

If I could go back in time, I’d give each of you a giant hug and say, “You’re doing great. I know you love your child so much that sometimes you physically ache because your paltry human form can barely fit all the hopes and fears and worries and dreams you have for this tiny person who means more to you than anyone or anything. But you are here and you care. And that’s why it’s all going to be okay.”

12 February 2012


I haven't been posting as much lately. I'm not sure why. It's not that plenty isn't going on. Something happens, and I think: yeah, that needs to go on the blog. And then I compose the entry in my head. And then I sit down to the computer to write it. And then I spend the next 2 hours looking at all the Captain America costumes with a 3 year old draped over me saying, "That one, Mommy. Try that one."

So I'm going to sift through all the piled up ideas sloshing around in my head, and boil them down to this: Eamon rocks. I always knew I would love my kid, but I was completely unprepared for how much I was going to LIKE him.

Something has happened over the last few weeks in which Eamon has come out of his latest "snotty independence" streak. You know, the kind where everything is "NO!" and "I DO IT!" and "DON'T HELP ME!" The kind where he questions you on everything from why he has to go to bed to why he has to wear shoes to why he can't eat Oreos and bacon for lunch. And the questions aren't the gentle-inquiry variety, either, but a defiant, twitch-inducing, "WHY?"

But we survived that. And now he's still independent, but...sweeter. Helpful. He's now the oldest kid in his class at school (there was one older, but he moved up to the next class), and we've had nothing but great reports about how helpful he's been with the other kids these last few weeks. His teacher was out with the stomach flu for several days, and apparently Eamon stepped up and really helped out with the teaching assistant and substitute.

He's been the same way around the house. If I need to vacuum, he's right there, asking if he can vacuum his room. He helped carry all the Christmas boxes back upstairs to put in the attic. He wants to help make his own meals, is saying "please" and "thank you" without much prompting, and has been randomly giving kisses and cuddles.

And then there's the superheroes.

We are obsessed with superheroes around this house.

And I literally mean "we."

Aaron loved superheroes as a kid, but I somehow missed the boat. And it turns out: they are awesome, and I can't believe it took me until age 31 to figure out how awesome they are. They are like science-fiction soap operas. I marvel at the complexity of some of the issues (for instance, Ironman's "let's-get-them-before-they-get-us" versus Antman's "violence-only-as-a-last-resort"), and the flavorings of mythology mixed with science. And yeah, I know it's not hard science (we're not talking Michael Crichton, here), but some of the ideas presented are becoming less and less far-fetched.

So Eamon and I share this new-found obsession with superheroes. Aaron is slightly more mature about the whole thing, having grown up knowing about the awesomeness. But Eamon and I have the bug hard-core. I'm pretty sure that Eamon only toilet-trained because there was superhero underwear in it for him. I spend Saturday mornings reading Wikipedia articles on superhero characters while E watches the Avengers. Most of our books are about superheroes and I have no problem with washing Eamon's spiderman pajamas over and over so he can wear them almost every night.

(Yes, apparently I have the same interests as a 3 year old boy. What about it?)

All this means that more than ever, I love hanging out with my child. In fact, I need to finish writing this blog, because someone is reminding me that those Captain America costumes aren't going to look at themselves.

14 January 2012

Potty Love: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pee

After exhaustive research, I’ve come to a remarkable conclusion: kids are not made in a factory, assembled with interchangeable parts. I know. I am baffled. But all evidence points to the truthfulness of this statement. In fact, one might go so far as to say that every child is unique, and therefore what works with one child might not work with another.

That caveat firmly in place, I will now relate Successful Strategies to Toilet-Train Eamon Wolfe. They might work for your kid. They might not. As I stated in the previous entry, I’m not an expert in toilet-training; I’m just an expert in Eamon…and even then there are some things about him that remain a mystery to me. Mothers looking to potty train in the future: do what you will with this information. It worked for our specific child at this specific point in time.

Strategy #1: Wait Until He’s Ready.
Eamon is very bright, very socially advanced, and very emotionally immature. He’s tall and looks older, but he’s physically immature in controlling his own body. Toilet training at age 2 was never realistically considered. He would use the toilet at school but other toilets scared him. He wasn’t ready.

And Eamon, like his father, puts a lot of pressure on himself. I don’t think I’m going too far when I say that failure probably would have scarred him a little emotionally, and we would have had to wait even longer to toilet-train to get over his fears. So even though it meant cringing slightly at all those Facebook posts from mothers with younger children who successfully toilet-trained, I’m glad that we waited. It was right for Eamon.

Strategy #2: No Pressure.
Eamon is a perfectionist. He always has been. His father is the same way, and I have seen first-hand the defense mechanism that can go along with caring too deeply when you are secretly afraid of failing: the desperation to convince everyone that you don’t care at all, that you never cared, and that you think it’s all a waste of time, anyway.

I didn’t want this to happen with Eamon. Other than the first day in which I allowed him to change underwear if he peed, there were no rewards or punishments for using or not using the potty. I was pretty firm about this, despite the advice of almost everyone. I know my husband, and I know my kid. I also taught a few students like this, and the only strategy that ever worked was to logically lay out their options, explain the pros and cons of choosing each, and leave them to make their own decision. They’re smart enough to realize when they are being manipulated, and it only makes them rebel.

Therefore, when we introduced the potty to Eamon, we explained the benefits: no more sitting around in wet or poop-filled diapers. You will get praise at school. You can wear superhero underwear. There are no superhero pull-ups. Everyone will think you’re a big boy. But we can’t make you. It’s up to you.

There were no M&Ms, no sticker charts, no toys or cars. Ironically, I had been saving up kids’ meal toys since Eamon was born for a toy chest JUST FOR THIS PURPOSE, until I realized this would be the worst possible thing for Eamon. I knew Eamon would do use the potty if he wanted to. If he didn’t, no inducement in the world would make him; in fact, it would offend him to the point where he would dig in his heels even further.

It worked. He cared more than anyone about doing a good job. Without any added pressure from us, he gets upset if even a drop of pee gets on his clothes, and we find ourselves reassuring him that it’s OKAY, that he’ll GET IT, and he just needs to keep practicing. I can only imagine how much more upset he would have gotten knowing that in addition to not being perfect, he also lost a chance at a coveted toy. It would have been too much.

In the end, he used the potty because he wanted to.

Strategy #3: Prepare for the Worst
At first, I was so worried about Eamon being successful that I asked too often if he needed to use the potty. In trying to ensure success, I put more pressure on him. There were a couple of very tightly-wound, unpleasant days in the middle until I learned to just stop asking.

This meant being prepared for accidents. Instead of asking him 50 times if he needed to pee before we left for work/school in the morning, I just got up about 10 minutes earlier so there would be time to clean up/change clothes after an accident. Instead of insisting he use the potty before we got into the car, I just put a towel down in his carseat and packed a change of clothes. Conversations that had been filled with yelling and tears now went something like this:

ME: E, do you want to use the potty before we get into the car?
EAMON: No, no, no!
ME: Okay. The movement of the car often makes people have to pee, but I’ve put down a towel in case you wet yourself, and I have a spare change of underwear and pants here. Come on, let’s go.
EAMON: (thinking) Mommy, I want to use the potty.

Not surprisingly, as soon as I relaxed, Eamon relaxed. He peed on himself a couple of times, then learned how to tell when he had to pee and hold it until we made it to the potty. I just accepted that I would be doing more laundry, and now he’s almost mastered it.

Strategy #4: Don’t Ask for More Than He Can Physically Do.
As I have said, Eamon is not physically mature. Even though we suspected he was ready to train during the day, no one had any expectations of him making it through an entire night. He can be a heavy sleeper, and wakes up pretty soaked every morning. That would have invited failure and tears on everyone’s part.

Therefore, we just casually slip a pull-up on before he goes to sleep. We don’t even talk about it, so it’s not a big deal. We put his precious underwear on over it.

Interestingly, when we wakes up in the morning, one of the first things he often says to me is that he has to pee. Even though he has a pull-up on, even though it’s already wet, he doesn't want to use the pull-up.

We’ve even seen this at nap-time. The first day he protested wearing a pull-up to nap, and I said that if he could wake up dry from naps for awhile, he could forgo the pull-up. And gosh darn it, he has woken up dry for about 4 days in a row. We will see. Wearing an unused pull-up doesn’t hurt anything.

Strategy #5: Lots of Extra Love and Attention
If Eamon successfully used the potty, we gave him lots of hugs and kisses and told him he should be proud of himself. When he successfully pooped on the potty, there were even more hugs and kisses and phone calls to grandparents to let him know what a milestone this was.

And when he didn’t make it to the potty on time, there were lots of hugs and kisses and assurances that it was fine and that we loved him so much and he was really doing a great job.

It's a stressful time. He needed it. And I'll always take advantage of any excuse to hug and kiss him more.

So, that’s it: our no-frills strategies to toilet-training Eamon Wolfe. For anyone else who is toilet-training out there: good luck, and may your training be as successful and seamless, no matter what strategies you use.

08 January 2012

Amazing Adventures in Underwear

I am suddenly desperately aware of the absence of carpet cleaner in this house. I keep looking anxiously to the spot where the carpet cleaner used to stand, a gaping void of nothingness where there should be something.

And I look at the carpets, which right now are clean and blissfully ignorant of the fate that might soon befall them. The couch, likewise, has no idea of the coming storm.

And then finally, I look at the ticking time bomb: my cherub of a son, happily sipping on milk as he watches The Fantastic Four cartoon, clad only in a pajama shirt and Captain America underwear.

“You can’t pee in this underwear,” I remind him. Again.

“Why?” he asks.

“Because there’s nothing to absorb the pee. It’s not a pull-up. The pee will go everywhere. All over you, all over the carpet, all over the couch…you can’t pee while you wear underwear.”

“Oh," he says, and goes back to watching TV.

I persist. “If you have to pee, you have to tell Mommy, and we’ll go to the potty. And I’ll take you every 20 minutes or so until you go, anyway. But you cannot pee in underwear. You have to use the potty.”

“Oh. I don’t wanna use the potty.”

“But you HAVE to, if you want to be like Captain America and Ironman and Thor. Thor doesn’t wear a pull-up, does he? He uses the potty.”

Eamon shakes his head. “Thor doesn’t use the potty. He flies.”

“Well, yes, he flies, but when he has to pee, he uses the potty.”

Thoughtfully, “Thor doesn’t have to go pee. Ever.”

And I realize with despair: this is true. Never in any superhero cartoon have I seen The Thing or the Black Panther stop mid-battle and announce, “Hold that thought, Dr. Doom, potty-break!” The absence of superhero potty-breaks, just like the absence of carpet cleaner, is tragic.

There are any number of resources about Elmo using the potty. Videos, books, decorative mugs, etc.. But where is the 30 minute special on Spiderman and His Amazing Toilet Adventures? Eamon has gotten to the age where Elmo no longer holds sway, but if only the Human Torch could explain the ins and outs of how little boys use the toilet, Eamon might understand.

I suppose that “experts” would tell me that I shouldn’t be trying to toilet-train a child who emphatically insists that he doesn’t want to use the potty. But just because someone is an “expert” in toilet-training doesn’t make them an expert in Eamon.

Eamon has never felt a sense of urgency about any physical milestone. He has no problem staying at the stage he’s in as long as humanly possible. He rolled over the day before we had a check-up in which the doctor asks if your child can roll over…and if not, you get the “Hmm” and the eyebrow raise. And he didn’t roll over once, but constantly after that.

Then with walking…he liked crawling. Crawling worked for him. He took one step on his birthday, fell flat on his face, and refused to try again. By age 14 months, we were pretty sure he could walk if he wanted, but he didn’t want. My parents finally bribed him with teddy grahams one day, and by the time I came to pick him up, he was running across the room.

I think it might be the same with the toilet. I have a feeling that he’s ready, but he has no interest. And because he’s Eamon, that interest might not come for a long time if he’s not properly motivated. So I’m trying to figure out how to properly motivate him.

First of all, Eamon is not motivated by food. M&Ms don’t do a thing for him. Anything edible is right out.

What he does love is superheroes, so we went out and bought him a ton of superhero underwear. I washed them all last night, and this morning he found them, took them all out of the laundry basket, and surrounded himself lovingly with them. Then he sat on the pile, like a dragon on his precious hoard. I put him in Captain America, but he wanted to wear Ironman. No, Wolverine. No, Thor.

“You can change your underwear…” I said, slyly. “…when you use the potty.”

“Okay,” he said cheerfully. I had brought his Elmo potty downstairs into the den, so he could continue to play and yet not be far from a “toilet.” Eamon yanked off the Captain America underwear, sat on the potty, and immediately peed.

Success! Feeling like a toilet-training genius, I helped him into some Thor underwear, took the potty apart and washed the inner bowl, congratulating myself on my ability to manipulate a three year old.

Two minutes later he announced happily, “Mommy, I gotta pee again. Yup, I do.” He yanked off the Thor underwear, sat down, and peed a small bit more.

We changed him into Wolverine, then I went and washed the potty, wondering if I was losing control of the situation.

Two minutes later, you know what happened. I helped Eamon into some Ironman underwear, and found myself washing the potty yet again. Yes, by this point it was abundantly clear which of us was being manipulated, and it was the person who was washing the potty for the third time in fifteen minutes, not the little person turning in mad circles trying to see the Ironman picture on the back of his own underwear.

And that’s where we are now, an hour and a half into Eamon’s Amazing Potty Adventures. The carpet cleaner has been a non-issue (so far), I still have no idea if this potty-training this is going to work in the long-term, and the only real conclusion anyone can make is that, without a doubt, my three year old has outsmarted me. Again.

Update: Eamon just had his first accident. He came over and announced, "I peed on Ironman, mommy. Yep, I did." But he had only peed a little, so I put him on the potty, where he preceded to pee...and pee, and pee. So even though it was an accident, he realized what he was doing, STOPPED PEEING, and came over and told me so that he could finish on the potty. That's progress, right?

18 December 2011

A Little Peace and Quiet

It happened yesterday on the way to the barbershop.

I was chattering, “You’re going to be a good boy, right? I mean, you’re going to make good choices? Sit still? Don’t cry? Don’t squirm or fidget?”

There was no sound from the backseat. I turned around and saw Eamon staring quietly out the window.

“Because if you’re good we can go to Barnes & Noble and get some Spiderman books.” (Does it count as bribery if you were planning to do it anyway?) “You like books, right? Would you like some Spiderman books? I mean, you can get another superhero if you want, like the X-Men or Captain America or—”

“MOMMY! STOP TALKING!” yelled Eamon suddenly. “You talking too much! I wanna be quiet. YOU be quiet now.”

“Excuse me?” I gasped.

Eamon thought for a minute, and then added, “Please.”

This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not like this. When I was younger, my mother used to ask if I talked just to hear my own voice and tell me I just had to be quiet for awhile because she needed some peace and quiet. Then I had a child, and it was supposed to be MY turn to tell someone they talked too much. I have been anxiously awaiting that moment for almost three years now.

Instead, at his insistence, we drove the rest of the way in silence. He did say "please."

I used the time to reflect that, probably soon, he would also be telling me to clean my room and not stay up all night reading.

(EPILOGUE: He was a good boy, he got the Spiderman books, and later when I was telling Aaron about the incident, Eamon piped up from the back seat, “What you TALKING about, Mommy? You no make sense! You crazy.” Sigh.)

I mean, he LOOKS like the kind of kid who talks a lot, right? And he DOES. Just not as much as his mother, apparently.