I Survived

When I was a kid, there was a place on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland  that had literally thousands of t-shirt designs that you could get ironed on to a blank t-shirt of your choice.  I’m pretty certain I got a Ghostbusters design because I was hip like that. My dad got a shirt that declared, “I survived Catholic school.”  He of the nuns-rapping-on-knuckles-with-rulers generation wore it proudly for many years.

If that store is still open, I would like them to make me a “I survived flying with a 19 month old twice in four days” t-shirt because damn, I earned it.  This past weekend, Rex, me and his grandparents flew out to California to meet up with Mr. X who was finishing up a business trip and to visit some of his relatives who live out there.  Three days later we repeated the insanity and flew back to Texas this time with Mr. X in tow.

In his defense, Rex was as good as a 19 month old toddler could be meaning he cried, but not too much, he played “boo” with the lady behind him who thought it was just adorable, even after the 30th or so time and he deigned to sleep in his seat for the 20 minutes we descended into San Diego.  The rest of the time he sucked the very life force out of me as it was primarily my lap that he anchored yet wiggled all 32 pounds and 34″ of himself around.  To avoid this life suckage on the plane ride home, I thoughtfully placed Mr. X next to Rex since Mr. X did not have the pleasure of Rex’s company on the flight out because he was already in California. Best decision EVER.

I’ve learned a few lessons from this adventure which I will now share with you, good reader, so that you can avoid my mistakes.

  1. NEVER FLY WITH A TODDLER.
  2. Repeat 1.
  3. If you MUST fly with a toddler, draw the limit at short duration flights to destinations within one time zone of your own. Limit these trips to mercy visits to elderly relatives who are on their death bed. Do not go unless you have received a note from said elderly relative’s doctor confirming that they are in fact dying and will not last longer than one week.
  4. Even then, weigh carefully whether or not this relative will provide a decent inheritance upon their death to justify the colossal effort that is flying with a toddler.
  5. If you do fly with a toddler, despite items 1 – 4, don’t bother buying them their own seat.  They will whine to high heaven while sitting in their expensive seat and car seat that you dragged onto the the plane and buckled into said seat for their comfort and safety.  They will literally try to throw themselves out of the seat into your lap.
  6. Don’t bother with the portable DVD player with the DVDs of John Deere tractor equipment moving earth.  Your toddler will much more interested in opening and closing the lid of the DVD player, banging the entire apparatus on the tray table or worse, throwing it on the floor.
  7. See item 6 with respect to the Magnadoodle.
  8. Praise Grandma’s quick thinking in buying cheap car toys from Target and bringing them along as these, far more than the expensive toys you got, will keep his attention for more than 5 minutes.
  9. Check the toddler’s diaper often for a Code Brown while hoping and praying that the child has the good sense to wait to void until you are at least within range of the airport so that you can legitimately strap him in his car seat rather than risk death by insanity at having to change a child in an airplane lavatory.
  10. Congratulate yourself on surviving the flight with your hair, sanity and clothes mostly intact.  Then go back to one.

CSI: Toddler Room

There is a pint-sized biter in Rex’s toddler room.   One of those adorable little persons is sinking their fangs into the delectably chubby limbs of their unsuspecting classmates.  Rex was not in this new classroom a full week before he was a victim of the Little Chomper.  We were told that Rex had it coming attempted to pick up the other child’s sippy cup after the child had put it down  thus provoking the bite.  He came home that day with a nasty looking welt on his arm but otherwise seemed no worse for the wear.  Less than a week later, I received a call from the daycare reporting that the same child had bitten my child again! and this time, there was no apparent provocation on Rex’s part.

Not the Culprit - Via Creative Commons

Our concern for Rex’s safety soon morphed into anger that the Little Chomper was allowed to roam free in the general population after such heinous crimes against my sweet blonde cherub.  Because, now, it seemed like Rex’s bites were personal.  Little Chomper obviously had it out for my kid since LC had bitten him twice, one time of which was unprovoked.  Typical toddler behavior you say, total vampire tendencies I say. It is obvious that Little Chomper vanted my baby’s blood.

For their part, the daycare has been annoyingly adult about the whole thing.  They won’t share with us the identity of Little Chomper because they’re progressive like that or perhaps they knew that if we were told we would give the kid the evil eye every time we dropped off and picked up Rex.  And rather than put the offender in the stocks (I bet those Puritans would have obliged me) to ponder his or her biting ways, the plan going forward has been to keep Little Chomper and Rex separated in the classroom.

This plan so far seems to be working.  There have been no further biting incidents against Rex. But, Mr. X swears that Little Chomper struck again the other day and this time the victim was Rex’s BFF.  Mr. X might even have figured out the identify of the Little Chomper.  Better get those pint sized stocks ready.

Another Beginning’s End

It was actually a fluke that I ended up being the one who dropped off Rex this morning at daycare, his last morning in the Infant Room.  Since the daycare facility is located at Mr. X’s place of employment, he usually is the one to take Rex in while I (shhh) secretly go back to bed for a few or more minutes of shut eye before beginning the day.  But, last week, we learned that Mr. X was needed out of town all of this week and so very early and not so brightly Monday morning he was off. I have been on day care run duty all week, the Transition Week.

We’ve known for a few weeks now that Rex was going to be transitioning at the end of July to the Toddler Room from his current homebase of Infant Room. This week has been spent on the actual transition process.  Monday he spent a few hours in the new classroom, Tuesday a few more and by yesterday (Thursday), he was still in the Toddler Room when I picked him up at the end of the day.  But, each day he has still started off in the Infant Room with his beloved Miss R, with today being his last day with her.

I was very aware as I dropped him off that this was the last day of donning the booties over my shoes and washing my hands before I touch anything in the classroom.  It was the last day of seeing smaller babies who aren’t able to feed themselves yet and cribs.  In a way, it was the last day of Rex’s official infancy.  I remember so well the first day that we dropped him off when he was 7 weeks old. That day, we brought him in his car seat with a pack of bottles already pre-filled with forumla. Today, he walked in and sat down at the table for breakfast.  He even tried to use the spoon.  We have all come so far.

Rex is ready to move on, though. There have been numerous reports this week of how fanatastically he has taken to the new room and how when he is back in the Infant Room, he climbs onto the tables and stands on them.  I know he’s ready and we’re ready for that next stage of development. But, we were all very close to Miss R.  She was such a comfort last summer when we felt like we were in over our heads – she knew that we were doing the best possible job and told us so.  She gave us much needed reassurance that our kid was perfectly normal, even when he was screaming and we were at our wit’s end.  This morning, she and I both got a little verklempt at our parting and her parting from Rex, one her favorites.  Rex, for his part, was way more interested in his breakfast and getting as much of it as possible on his face and clothes.

As I was leaving the campus heading back home, I remembered that earlier this week as I was driving Rex in, “Closing Time” came on the radio. This was a favorite of mine in college because, hello, closing bars was one of those Bucket List – College Edition things you just had to do (although, in truth, it’s hard to close one in New Orleans, because the bars never close. Seriously. I think my closings were elsewhere on vacation or spring breaks.) But, a lyric that I didn’t really pay much attention to in college, stood out to me this particular morning that seemed to sum up the situation perfectly:

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Yeah.