Rock Fists

Rock Fists

Monday, April 29, 2013

Times, They Are A Changin?

There's definitely something weird going on.. Not sure what it is though. Daniel has always been big into Superman and Douglas into Batman. It's like blasphemy if you even look at it as the other one will freak out saying "no that's mine"! Same way with some stuffed animals. Douglas has this puppy which he affectionately calls, well, puppy. And Daniel this very soft and cuddly blue bear, appropriately named, well, blue bear. Daniel also has this white pound puppy he just calls white. I don't know where they come up with these names.

Now it gets weird. Earlier this past week, Daniel actually gave, not traded mind you, gave his blue bear to Douglas for him to have in his bed while he sleeps. This is the blue bear that goes with him to his grandparent's house every weekend. He cannot sleep without it. Instead he wants to take this alligator.

This alone, while a little weird, would not have been such a big deal.

However, this past Saturday he allowed Douglas to wear his long sleeve Superman shirt. Ok, he's being nice and sharing his shirt. But then, in a stunning turn of events, said that he could keep it in his drawer! I had to ask him 3 times to make sure I was hearing it correctly. This essentially means that he will no longer wear it. Because they wear the same size shirts, their drawers are kind of interchangeable, however they do have "their" shirts that only they wear. The Superman shirt was definitely one of those and is now being discarded like an expired coupon. Douglas then gave his Batman shirt to Daniel which is now his to wear along with puppy to sleep with.

It gets even weirder. I went in to tuck them in before I went to bed and didn't even realize until the next morning that they had switched beds!!

Are they growing up realizing they want different things?  Are they just going through a phase? What are they going to do next say that they don't want to wear Angry Birds, Ninja Turtles or Phineas and Ferb underwear anymore?  Oh, that is going to be a sad day..

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Where Were You

There are those moments for all of us. Some are personal and some are local, national and even global.

For people who remember, they know where they were when JFK was shot. (Way before my time). They know where they were when the Challenger exploded. (I was in my classroom having recess because my teacher for whatever reason wouldn't let us watch. Another student barged in and told us what happened). They know where they were when 9/11 happened. (I was at work and when told that a plane had hit the WTC, I asked NY or Boston because I knew my mother in law worked at the one in Boston).

But if we think about the ages that we were when certain life events occur, we don't remember much when we're young. I was 10 for the Challenger so I remember that. But I don't remember the Iranian hostage crisis as I was only 3. I don't remember Reagan or Lennon getting shot as I was only 4.

I've struggled going back and forth on whether or not to expose my kids to some of the horrors that are happening in today's very screwed up world. They do not know, to the best of my knowledge about the shooting at Sandy Hook. All I did was come home that night and hug them as tightly as I could. And we snuggled for a long time before they went to sleep. We have never talked about it.

As for yesterday, I don't believe they know either. The TV was definitely on while they were eating dinner, but they did not pay attention. They did not ask what happened, nor did I offer it up. Even though my son had someone running in the marathon for him as part of the Miles for Miracles program with Boston Children's Hospital, he still did not ask. We had been there at the finish line just 48 hour earlier.

Do I show them the video? Do I then teach them about what true evil looks like? Do I save their innocence, even if it's just for 1 day until the next evil comes along in some other form?

I brought them into work with me today. Really for no other reason than just to be with them. It seemed like a good day to do it. We had lunch together in the kitchen. They drew me pictures. It was nice.

My guess is in the future they would not remember what happened yesterday as they are only 5. And even if they did remember, they may not be able to process it completely now so their memory of it would be faint at best.

I think I'll leave it alone and hopefully they'll never know what evil really is.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Be Prone

As in, get on the floor..  See things from their perspective. Babies love eye contact.

No, of course you're not going to fit on their play mat when they are 3 months old, but there's nothing wrong with getting on the floor and playing with them and their toys.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Not sure how many people that are reading this watch How I Met Your Mother, but recently there was an episode where Marshall and Lilly's son Marvin had a huge poop explosion. Anyone who is a parent has probably had this happen. My story is a little different.

The boys were still in the NICU at Brigham and Women's and we were spending one of the many Sunday's we spent at the hospital in the fall of 2007. They had finally been moved to NICU A, which was a step up from NICU B. It meant they weren't as critical which is always a good thing. There was also a little more room as there weren't as many isolettes.

They were still very young, about 8 weeks old or so I would guess (my memory of that time is a little fuzzy). Amy was over hanging out with Daniel and I was with Douglas. And of course, as luck would have it, it was time to change him. So of course I get everything prepared and open up the isolette. Now that they were in NICU A we didn't have to reach through these holes anymore. We could actually just open up the side of the isolette and put our whole arms in which was nice.

So I had everything prepared for the changing. I had the new diaper under the old one, wipes next to me all set to go. Now at this point, they weren't even in regular diapers. They were in these things called wee-pees. I'm not joking, they were so small because they boys were only about 4 pounds or so each, their bodies would have just been swallowed by a regular diaper. So I take off the tabs on the sides of the dirty diaper and lift up his legs to remove and.......


That is my best attempt at onomatopoeia.. He unloaded this vile, green and brown fecal matter everywhere and it just wouldn't stop!! I mean all over my arm, the floor, the entire isolette, the wires, the monitor that was monitoring his heart rate, BP, O2 levels, etc.. Literally everywhere it could possibly be, it was.. So I'm standing there with poop all over the place trying not to yell for someone to help because you need to keep your voices down while in the NICU.. So I'm yelling at the highest level I can, which is about a normal talking level..  nurse...  Nurse..  NURSE!!  Finally I just couldn't deal anymore and a nurse came over and immediately doubled over in laughter..  Yeah, real funny.. although, I'm sure it had happened to her before which is probably why she was laughing.. She knew what it felt like..

So a janitor was called to clean up the floor and take the isolette away and have it hosed down..  Douglas had a quick bath while a new isolette was retrieved and set up.  I cleaned up, but we left shortly thereafter.

Let's just say, we made sure there was always a nurse around every time we changed him from then on.

Looking on the bright side, changing diapers for many years for two boys, I was never ever once peed on. So I have that going for me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

How to Diffuse a Tantrum

For centuries, as long as there have been children, there have been temper tantrums.. Actually, as long as there have been adults there have been temper tantrums too..

But the hard part is what to do once it happens.. You can see it coming too. They ask for the toy and you say no. First, they get really sad when they don't get what they want. With some kids you might even get that lip quiver trying to make you feel badly. Then they might hold their breath.  And when all else fails, they start crying loudly and falling to the floor wailing. Then, the last step is to go boneless. It's really quite simple and depending on the parent, effective in getting what they want.

Except when you know how to diffuse a tantrum. Knowledge is power. Every parent is afraid of that situation when you are in public, perhaps at a supermarket or department store and the tantrum starts.

I have to say I cannot take credit for this. My wife is the one who came up with it.

When you see the tantrum start, follow these 3 easy steps to diffusing most tantrums:

1. Tell the child they are doing it wrong.

Huh?  What are you talking about?  Just trust me. Clearly the child will stop to look inquisitively at the parent trying to figure what they mean. Don't they understand that I am trying to throw a tantrum here?

2. Tell them how to do it properly. Show him that it's stomp, stomp, arm, arm and not arm, arm, stomp, stomp.

You will have the most bewildered child in the world at this point. Is my adult human really trying to tell me how to properly perform a temper tantrum? I'm the temper tantrum master don't they know this?

And then, when you have them all sorts of confused, lay the big one on:

3. Then, you flop down on the floor and flail!

Seriously, just do it. Your child will think that this is so funny and the best thing ever. Don't get me wrong, they will throw the tantrum, but they'll be LAUGHING while they do it.

Not only did you just change your child from crying to laughing in a matter of a minute, you just diffused a potentially embarrassing situation (especially if you are in a public place) and you didn't lose your temper yelling at your child.

While I can't guarantee success, I can say you have a much better chance of making a bad situation into a funny one. It seems to work with a 100% success rate in our house.

And as you are leaving the store, be sure to bow to the rounds of applause from the other parents. You will have earned it.