Eric is home with Aria today, as school was cancelled and his kids get another snow day. He called to tell me that my baby was ready to be picked up.. at noon, while I was still sitting at my desk at work.
He was in the process of pseudo-scolding her for wiping her nose on his arm, and told me that he had given Aria some pieces of paper to throw away, because she loves to help, but when he heard a noise he found the trashcan on it’s side and her with old french fries hanging out of her mouth.
“It’s like having a puppy!”
I love it when he gets to experience her in full doses without me around, especially when it’s for a whole day. I often regret how much cuteness I get to experience and how little of it you can really share with others.. I’m sure most of it is “you had to be there” type stuff, that’s just heartwarming or hilarious when you’re watching her, but hearing about it second hand just loses the effect.
So I’m glad Eric is getting to endure toddlerdom right now 🙂
My sweet little girl has been soooo good the last few days. She’s had to endure quite a bit, and she’s handled it like the little angel puff that she is.
Wednesday she was to have surgery to have her adenoids removed. The doctor said they were 100% blocking her nose, which is why she’s a mouth breather, a snorer, and has a habitually runny nose – literally there is no where else for the snot to go but out the nostrils.
Tuesday evening I was getting ready for the morning’s excitement, and really needed/wanted to take a shower. Eric wasn’t going to be home until late, and Aria was wide eyed and bushy tailed, so I had to figure out a safe place to put her so I could wash up. The only thing that sounded 100% worry-free safe was her crib. So I explained to her that it wasn’t a nap, just a few minutes that she’d have to be in there, and I gave her books and toys, repeated that it was just for a little bit, and as I walked to my room I said I would be right in there. She was totally cool with it. She played, read to herself, had a blast, and when I got out of the shower she was still a happy tot. She stood up when she saw me across the hallway in my room and shouted, “Hi!”
I was just so proud of her.. and relieved that I’d managed to finally get a shower in.
The next morning Eric and I rushed around getting everything together. She wasn’t going to be allowed to eat, so we had our breakfasts and made sure nothing was around the house she might find to eat (like Cheerios), got everything packed up and in the car, then I went and brought her down in her pj’s. With some shoes and a coat on, and her beloved blanket, she was ready to go.
For the whole 30 minute ride there she stared big-eyed out the window, or gibbered a little, but never once said that she was hungry or anything. It wasn’t until we were walking in from the parking garage that she said, “more? more?” but that was it. We got to the waiting room and she wandered around looking at the other kids and their big people, and was just so curious about everything. We had to wait in there a while and she warmed up to the idea by playing with the tables with built in toys on the sides, or climbed in the furniture, or wandered around with me or Eric close behind her. Then she started rearranging the kid chairs.
It was odd.. no other kids were as active as her. They were either sitting with their parents, or sitting in front of one of the table toy things and not moving around much, or were sleeping.. she was the only one running around like this was a great place to play. She did annoy one little boy, he was sitting on the floor playing with the activity on the side of one of the table things, and she wanted to see what he was doing, and he kept brushing her away when she’d reach out to “help” him. He was gentle, she didn’t care, and despite Eric telling me to keep her in check I decided not to be a hover mother and let her learn how to interact with stranger kids on her own.
They finally called us and we went to the first room where they asked a bunch of questions, weighed her, measured her height, took vitals, etc., all of which she was wary of but, with encouragement, cooperated beautifully. Then we got to go to the toy room. Oh and what an amazing room it was! She had to stand and take it all in for a minute, because there were just so many toys! Eric and I watched to see where she’d go, and she b-lined for shelves lined with baskets. She immediately started pulling out baskets of Little People animals and just started dumping them. Then she started sorting them back into the baskets her own way.
We were only in there for a few minutes before they said they had a room and were ready for her. I looked at the nurse with the thought of, but she’s sooo happy… but I said something.. I don’t remember what, but basically along the lines of “what does this mean for the toys and my happy child?” The nurse said we could bring whatever toys she wanted with us. Oh thank goodness because that could have been a battle.
So I gathered up all of the animals, put them into one basket, guiltily put the empty basket back on the shelf, and Eric picked her up and off we went.
We got to her room and it had a big hospital crib in it with one side dropped, so it looked like a cage on the bottom. There was a floor to ceiling bubble tower with buttons that change the colors of it. As soon as she was on her feet she ran over and started pushing buttons. Then climbed up on the bench thing around it. She was having so much fun, she completely forgot that it was well past time when she should have eaten breakfast.
I had to put her in her hospital garb at this point, and she looked sooo cute in her little gown and socks, and they didn’t hamper her at all. Each person that came in, the various nurses, nurse anesthetist, the anesthetist, the doctor, etc. etc. etc. each commented on how busy and active she was. Between her climbing, pushing buttons, dumping and collecting animals, etc., she was perfectly content while we answered questions and talked about what was to come, as each person came and went. I think some were nervous about how much she climbed up and down off the bench, so I had to stand nearby and pretend to be concerned, but she totally knows what she’s doing.
Finally the moment came. They gave her a medicine to make her drowsy, and she was finally able to sit mostly still on the hospital crib and play with her toys there, a little loopy, still happy.. oh my cuteness.
Then Eric carried her as we walked down the hallway towards the operating room, and then had to say our goodbyes and go wait in the waiting room.
That was agonizing. Despite the short 30 minute procedure, just waiting and hoping is awful.
About an hour or so later they finally called us back to the recovery area. She was lying on her side with a nurse holding her in place, while another held oxygen to her nose. They explained that she was so congested they had to suck a lot of ‘secretions’ out of her, and she wasn’t getting enough oxygen, so we had to hold a tube near her face until the monitor said that she was in the 90’s. I held her in a rocking chair, Eric held the oxygen tube, and she occasionally came to and moaned a heartbreaking moan. It made me cry and I asked if she was in pain. The nurse reassured me that it was an effect of the anesthesia, that all babies do that, and it wasn’t pain related. They just don’t like the feeling.
Eventually they said she was ok to be without the oxygen and we were cleared to go to the room where we’d be staying overnight. We went up there and Eric and I settled in some. Eric had a migraine and was really out of it, and I was getting a really bad headache too, between not eating for several hours and all of the stress from the morning. I ordered some food for myself and for Aria (Eric was feeling too sick to eat), and the only thing I was allowed to get for her was broth and jello.
Aria was pretty miserable and wanted to be held when she did come to, so I just held her in my lap in a rocking chair in the room, and when my food came I managed to sort of eat from the table next to the chair, carefully over her head.
Before I was finished she came to and looked at me all wide-eyed. Then she told me she was hungry. I tried giving her chicken broth and after the first spoonful she decided that was definitely not for her. She ate the whole cup of jello and I called down for more. Then Eric held her so I could finish my lunch in an effort to appease the growing headache, and then we convinced her that we were all going to take a nap. She had to keep her eyes on us, but as long as were were lying still on the couch and pull-out cot, she would stay laying down in her crib and would try to sleep. But as soon as one of us moved around she would be up and want to be held.
We all managed to get a little nap in and I felt sooo much better after that. Which is good because then Aria was feeling up to moving around. She would climb down out of my lap and try to walk, but would start to fall because she was still wobbly, so after several failed attempts decided to just crawl instead. It was impossible to get her to stop moving, and she was tethered to monitors still, by her feet, to watch her oxygen and heart rate. So she would reach the end of the cable and would get so mad that she couldn’t go any further.
I went to ask the nurses if I could take her to the play area and they said she had to stay in her room but that I could bring some toys back for her. So I did. I tried to not be greedy and only took things that had duplicates, but I also wanted to make sure I found things she would like. So I brought more little animals similar to those she’d had earlier, a wooden puzzle like the ones she loves at home, a Mr Potato Head, and an etcha sketch type toy. All of which came in handy at some point during our stay, as she sat and played really well with each one for a good while. I also was smart enough to bring a bunch of her books from home, so we spent a great deal of time reading those as well.
She was really upset by the monitor attached to her toe. It was making her big toe glow red and it really bothered her and she kept trying to pull it off. I pulled out my phone and turned on the flashlight feature and showed her that if you hold the light behind your fingers, or toes, it makes them glow. I did it to myself first, and showed her it was just a light, but look how it makes mommy’s fingers glow, then showed her with her own hand. Then we put the light under her foot and made her other toes glow. She was amused, and was ok with her big toe after that. She did remind me later about it, and tried to hold my phone under her foot while gibbering and pointing to her toe.
Eric left around 6 and soon after that Aria’s doctor came in. I’m so glad she did because a nurse was in there while she was telling me about her restrictions and stuff, and I asked again about taking Aria to the toy room. She said she had to stay here but that she didn’t need the monitor on her unless she was asleep. So the nurse took it off and Aria was sooo happy to have full mobility back (by this point she was steady on her feet again). She also said she’d need to be on a soft food diet for the next week, and I told her the food people were only letting her have clear liquids. She said she’d change that right away.
I waited a little bit, but Aria was becoming adamant that she was literally starving to death and wasting away to nothingness, so I called down and asked if my doctor had changed her diet restrictions yet. They said she was on the soft food diet, so I got mashed potatoes (because that’s what the doctor kept using as her example), mac n cheese, and applesauce. Aria wasn’t crazy about the mashed potatoes, but she was so hungry she ate a great deal of them anyway. And nearly all of the mac n cheese, and practically licked clean the cup of applesauce. The poor little thing was so hungry.
We spent a lot of time cuddling. Once she was free of her tether she spent some time lying on the couch with me. Like, actually lying still, in my arms, lying down, snuggled. It was heavenly. I haven’t had that from her since she was teeny tiny. And we read a bunch and snuggled in the rocking chair.
At 8 the nurse came in and said she’d have to have the monitor put back on, and Aria cooperated and we started settling down for the night. I got out the goodnight books I’d brought and she was happy to just sit there and let me read them to her, in full. She didn’t try to turn the pages before I’d read all of the words.. it was strange, reading everything on every page. It was only three books but took almost as much time as it takes us to plow through 10 when she’s in control of the pace.
Then I sang to her and put her in her crib, raised the side, told her I’d be right there all night, and went and lay down on the couch. She watched me, to make sure I wasn’t going anywhere, then finally fell asleep. Then I got to eat my dinner, very very quietly.
I managed to go to sleep around midnight, just as a nurse came in to check Aria’s vitals. After I got her settled back to sleep again I finally fell asleep, to be woken again at 2 am for Aria’s medicine. A good solid four hours later Aria’s toe monitor started going off and wouldn’t stop. It woke us both up, a nurse came in to fix it, then gave her more medicine, and just as I got her settled down again the doctor came in. It wasn’t our doctor, but one of her associates. He asked a number of questions, left, came back, asked more questions, and then a nurse came in for medicine… so Aria was wide awake and there was no going back to sleep for either of us.
We played, I fed her breakfast and nibbled off her plate, and started thinking about leaving. Because Eric had gone home and to work I had asked my sister-in-law to come get us and had told her that the estimated discharge time was 10 o’clock. 9 rolled around and we were still sitting in our room with Aria still wearing the monitor and an IV attachment in her other foot (in case of emergency)… I asked the nurse if she knew approximately what time we’d be discharged and she left to go find out.
I decided to try taking a shower and asked Aria to endure again sitting her crib while I was “right here.” She was really good, with her toys and some books in hand, and being able to see me in the bathroom right there, she allowed me to take a lukewarm awful shower.
The nurse came back and said we were free to go, had me sign the papers, and took off Aria’s toe monitor thing. Then she went to get another nurse to help remove the IV attachment. I set Aria on the crib bed and she sat still and watched, very curiously, as the one nurse removed the tape and stuff holding it in place. The other nurse stood nearby ready to pin Aria down. Aria handed the nurse cotton swabs and other stuff, in case she needed them, and just watched. The nurse pulled the needle out. (Ouch!) Aria just watched. Blood bubbled up and she put a swab on and applied pressure while getting a bandaid ready. Aria just watched.
I looked at them and said, “she’s so calm…” They both looked at me wide-eyed and agreed. The extra nurse said, “the only reason I came in was to help pin her down.. I’m not needed..”
Once they left I dressed Aria in real clothes, and she wandered around the room bringing me stuff or throwing random things away in the recently discovered trash can. She climbed under the crib and brought me the emergency oxygen thing and I thanked her and asked if she could put it back where she found it, so she climbed back under and put it exactly back as she had found it.
By the time Crystal called and said she was there we were ready to go, and Aria said bye bye to the room.
She did fall asleep in the car on the way home and took more than one nap.. and she went down for her nap this morning pretty early as well, so I know she’s still recovering. Plus she has to have her Tylenol every four hours, and last night she did wake up at just about every four hours moaning and crying, so I gave it to her then held her until she fell back asleep each time.
I really feel like we bonded some during this whole experience. She’s been really sweet and cuddly, she responds to me really well and hasn’t been defiant.. well except for with kisses. Last night I asked her if I could have kisses and she shook her head. I asked again, again she shook her head and said no. She was sitting in the rocking chair, so I asked her if I could sit with her and read to her. She raised her hands up and I picked her up. Before I could manipulate her around and sit down with her in my lap, she looked me right in the face and puckered up. Soooo sweet.
Anyway, she’s being really sweet, she really likes my company right now, and she’s very trusting and responsive. She doesn’t even argue with me when I tell her that she’s tired (because she won’t stop rubbing her eyes) and that it’s time to take a nap. She just lets me lay her down and then gibbers to herself once I leave the room, until she falls asleep.
I love my little trooper. Just the cutest little angel puff 🙂
..is any toddler that lives. At least I’m guessing that to be true based on my own personal experiences.
But stubborn alone does not begin to describe a toddler. Add to it demanding, whiny, irrational, persistent… and utterly endearing. How is that possible? How can you love unfathomable amounts someone who is so contradictory to what we expect a lovable person to be? Is it the pigtails? It’s probably the pigtails.
Recent examples of stubbornness include:
- I warmed up some spaghetti and gave it to Aria in one of her bowls. I then warmed myself up some of the exact same spaghetti, and had it in one of my adult bowls. I sat next to her at the kitchenette table, but she stopped happily eating her own spaghetti when she saw mine. She then became very persistent that she wanted mine. I tried to show her it was the exact same thing, but to no avail. I took one penne noodle from my bowl and put it in hers, just to emphasize how it was the exact same thing but instead she only ate the noodle I had just placed there, and refused to compare it to her other noodles. I ended up wolfing most of mine down, pouring hers into my bowl, then gradually placing hers back in her bowl bit by bit, until she ate it all.
- Similarly she was determined to have some of Eric’s food, and he tricked her by taking the piece of food she was refusing, pretending to eat it then pretending to break of a brand new piece of food and placed the original back in front of her, so that she ended up eating the same bit of food she was initially refusing. Ah trickery. Poor gullible little dear.
- Cheese is one of her most favoritest foods. I’m not sure if it’s still one of her favoritest foods to eat, but it’s definitely up there as one of her favoritest words to say. In fact, most mornings the first thing she says when we’re headed downstairs is “cheeeeeeese”. I often mentally add in a “Grommit” when she does that, because it’s so fitting. But when actually offered cheese, she now frequently shakes her head. What then, does she actually want? Sometimes I’ll force a bit into her mouth so that she remembers, this, here, that I’m holding, is in fact the desired cheese substance she has come to love.
- One day Eric gave her cheese cut into cute little cubes. She refused to eat it. He smushed it together into bigger pieces and she devoured it. The next day I offered her slices of cheese, and she refused to eat it. I cut it into smaller little cubes, and she devoured it. What gives?
- She thinks she hates applesauce, but in reality she loves it. Every time I show her a cup of applesauce she shakes her head. Once I’ve managed to force a bit onto her lips and she licks it off, she wants more. But she will not eat it without trickery. It must just look disgusting or something.
- She has figured out that the six book limit I set before bedtime can be manipulated. She used to bring one book at a time, we would read it, then she would get down and get another book. When we’d read six I would say, “that’s it, let’s count how many books we read” and I would count the stack. One evening we had reached five books, and I said, “go pick out one more, last book” so she brought me three more. Since then she has begun to bring me every single book she wants to read that night. So we’re reading upwards of ten books a night, because I don’t have the heart to figure out how to stop this madness. However, she often brings me tons of books just to spite my whole plan, and ends up grabbing books she doesn’t really intend to read. So while we may start with a stack of 15 books, we usually don’t actually read all of those because I may open one to have her shake her head, pull it out of my grasp and throw it on the floor. So at least there’s that.
- She still refuses to say mommy. She will yell at the top of her lungs, chasing after him, if “daddy! daddy!” tries to leave the room, but if I get up to go a lot of the times it’s just, “bye dada” to which I always respond, “no, say ‘bye mommy'” and am rewarded with her not even glancing my way, continuing whatever she’s doing, and repeating, “bye dada.” When asked to point to people when I say their name, she can point to every person correctly (no matter who’s asking her to do the pointing). “Where’s grandma? Good job! Where’s daddy? That’s right! Where’s Aunt Crystal? Good job! Where’s mommy? That’s right!” But ask her to say mommy and forget it. Will. Not. Happen. You can see the mischief in her eyes when she says “hi kitty” or “hi dada” to me. Repeatedly as I keep encouraging her to call me mommy. The only times she has ever called me momom were when she was in distress over something, and it’s only happened twice.
- She now over thinks putting on a coat. She used to just go with the flow, and when you held out the jacket/coat for her to put her arm in, she did it. Now she looks at it and thinks, no, this is wrong, my right arm should go in the right side (or whatever rationale toddlers use without knowing right from left). She fought me so hard on it one day that I just let her win and put the coat on her backwards and put the hood over her face. After 4.2 seconds she was ready to let me show her how to put it on correctly.
I have a facebook friend who is prone to explaining away pictures of her toddler’s antics with “because toddler.”