Our Sweet Sarah Beth


Darling Little Debbie


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'll Be Sick for Christmas

It's all SB' s fault, really. She started it. She ran a fever off and on from Wednesday through Sunday. While the fever seems to be gone, it has been replaced by a nasty cough. And she was kind enough to share her germs with Jack and me.

Isn't she the most pitiful thing? SB and Bunny doing a breathing treatment.

At least Jack can take good medicine. He's already feeling better after a day or two on steroids and cough syrup. Meanwhile, my pregnant self is stuck with a sore throat and congestion that I can't seem to shake. Did I mention I was pregnant? Because I am. Very. Just ask SB who now calls me "the biggest momma I ever saw." That comment is almost always followed by a big hug around one of my giant thighs, so I can't be mad at her. I'm pretty sure she means it as a compliment. Although she did come into my room a few days ago while I was changing shirts and with wide eyes informed me that "your tummy is too big." Thanks for the pep talk.

For those of you who don't know, here is the rundown:

I'm 29 1/2 weeks, due March 6.
We're having another girl.
Jack is still hoping she will turn out to be a boy.
Her name is Debra Ann, after my mother; we plan to call her Annie.
SB loves to talk to her baby sistah and translates Annie's kicks into words for me and Jack:
"She just said she can't wait to meet me!"
"She just said she looooooves cranberry juice!"
"She just said she wants a poop dog for Christmas!"

Anyway, with Annie counting on me to keep her healthy, I'm trying to muster through this cold as best I can with minimal meds to help me breathe. I'm just praying we are all well before Saturday. My whole family is coming into town for Christmas night, and I am so excited. Especially to see my Texas sister and her family.

Before I sign off to go drink another cup of hot water with lemon juice (oh, where are my beloved RBFs??), let me share 2 things with you. First, a conversation I overheard SB having via telephone with heaven:

SB: Zaccheaus? Hi, it's Sarah Beth....No, we're out shopping. Can I talk to Jesus?............
Jesus? Hi, it's Sarah Beth.....No, haha, no, we're just out shopping. Can I talk to God?..............
God? Hey, Sarah Beth. Do you have toys at your house?...... Ok good. Well, we're out shopping so I'll talk to you later.

Secondly, I realized a few weeks ago while driving SB and my niece to church that we had not really discussed with SB why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. She was in the back seat yelling about the poop dog, and my 5-year-old niece spoke up: "You know what I want for Christmas?" She waited patiently for me to ask what it was that she wanted and then said: "Jesus." That's all. No poop dogs, just Jesus.

So a few days later, I tried to tell SB about why we really celebrate Christmas. It's not all about decorating trees and pooping dogs. It's Jesus' birthday! I tried to relate it to a Christmas book she likes to read, but all SB heard was "birthday."

SB: It's Jesus' birthday?? Well, when is Zaccheaus' birthday?

I know what she's thinking. If she gets presents on Jesus' birthday, why not on Zaccheaus' birthday too, right?

Me: That's a good question. I don't know.
SB: Well, what's he gonna do?
Me: You mean, how is he going to celebrate his birthday? I'm not sure.
SB: When is God's birthday?
Uh oh.
Me: God doesn't have a birthday.
SB: Why not?
Me: Hey, is that a rabbit over there????

I think we might wait until next year to delve into the real meaning of Christmas discussion.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas

No need to sit on Santa's lap this year. Not that SB would ever dare come close to such a frightening figure such as Santa Claus, but as it turns out, we didn't need him to ask what she wanted for Christmas this year. Sarah Beth made up her mind a long time ago, and she will not be swayed.

I noticed lately whenever she is watching cartoons, she pays just as much attention to the advertisements as she does the actual cartoon. And she wants everything.

Mom! Come look at this! Can you pause it?? I want that! Look, Mom, look!

Like I said, she wants just about everything she sees advertised. However, there is one toy on the market that has made an especially lingering impression on my animal loving daughter.

At first, I wasn't certain I was hearing her correctly. I dismissed it the first few times she mentioned it, but persistence finally won out, and I was left with no choice but to investigate. I google searched, "toy dog that poops" and SB wasn't lying, nor was my hearing impaired.

WARNING: If you are easily grossed out, please stop reading now. Go pick up an LL Bean catalog and see how fast you can go through it and figure out which items are new from last months edition. Don't watch this video.

SB calls it the poop dog and has made a game of going about the house, yelling "poop dog!" in each room until she finds me. Just to let me know she hasn't forgotten about it. SB is for some strange reason delighted with the idea of watching a dog poop, cleaning it up and then feeding it back to the dog. I was so horrified at what I saw that I told SB there was no way I was ever getting her any toy that pooped. I told her it was gross and to forget about it.

She didn't.

She was talking to Jack's grandmother on the phone last week and only uttered 5 words before I had to yank the phone away. His grandparents have a dog named Wags and a cat named Kit. SB always asks about them whenever they speak on the phone.

Me: Here, SB, say hi to Gran.
SB: Wags!
Gran told her that Wags was outside and would love to play with her next time she came over.
SB: Kitty cat!
Gran told her that Kit was outside too and would see her at Christmas.
SB: Poop dog!

I guess Christmas is the trigger word for this new Pavlovian response. I frantically grabbed at the phone and prayed the translation had been lost over the telephone wires. SB kept yelling in the background while she danced down the hallway, "poop dog! poop dog! poop dog!" I ran in the other direction, explaining that SB was kind of busy and couldn't really talk at the moment.

I had a few friends over earlier this week, and SB enjoyed playing with their kids while we visited. The next day, one mother called me to say that her son had been asking for a poop dog ever since they left our house. (This happened to be the same mother whos lipstick SB was wearing last Saturday night after dumping out her purse. I don't supposed we will be getting any more dinner invites from them for a while.)

And imagine my humiliation whenever a kind old lady in the grocery line asks SB what she wants for Christmas.

"Poop dog!" She always yells with such enthusiasm. Then they look at me with disdain and quickly select another line. How do you respond to that? I know what they're thinking, what a horrible mother I am for a child to say such a thing. But don't blame me! Blame it on Mattel!

I, like every other good parent, went to Wal Mart at midnight on Thanksgiving in order to secure for my child the best toy for Christmas. I was so excited for her to open up a Barbie Jeep on Christmas morning. I was sure she would be delighted and insist on taking it for a spin around the block despite the freezing weather. I would, of course, oblige and happily chase her down the street while she sped around the block, the happiest little girl in town.

Now I'm plagued by nightmares that SB will rip into the barbie jeep and move right past it in search of her beloved poop dog.

So if you see us out this Christmas season, do me a favor and don't ask SB what she wants for Christmas. And say a prayer that the power of the Barbie Jeep will be enough to overwhelm any feelings for the poop dog.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Child Is This?

So I've been away for a while. What can I say? SB has been keeping me on my toes. I can't succinctly recap the last 6 months, but what I can give you is a small taste of what the last 6 days have been like in our home. First of all, you should know that SB has pretty much always been really really good. But somewhere in the last week, I lost my angel. I'm not sure what happened to cause this change. Read on and see for yourself.

Wednesday: SB and cousins are playing on the swingset at my parents house. Then they decide to help themselves to the inside of my car. I quickly removed them from the car, only to realize they had helpfully locked the doors before leaving...with my keys inside. It was nap time, and did I mention that SB had safely strapped bunny into her carseat just before I pulled her out of the car? So that was a nice afternoon. But it was nothing compared to the storm that was coming.

Thursday: I'm diligently working on the computer, keeping Jack's business in order, and I think about how good and quiet SB has been in her room. Should have been my first clue that she wasn't pulling on my shirt for something to eat or drink or a cartoon...but it wasn't. When I went upstairs to check on her, she immediately ran to her room and closed the door. Not a good sign. When I went in, I saw white. Thick white paste with a strangely familiar scent...desitin. And it was smeared everywhere, including on SB.

Her clothes, toys, furniture, CARPET, everything was covered in a thick, white, scented goo. I was pretty angry. After a small talk and a not so small spanking, she had to throw away her smeared toys and sit in time out while I attempted to clean the carpet. She has had a desitin obsession for a while now, and I thought I had removed all of the temptation from reach. But she somehow managed to find TWO tubes by climbing onto her rocking chair (another big no no) and reaching the top shelf in her room.

Friday: Same scenario, me hard at work while SB was playing quietly upstairs. I didn't wait long to check on her this time, but apparently five minutes was all she needed to remove the peanut butter from the cabinet, hide in her room and empty the container of half of its contents. At least she was kind enough to use a spoon, put it in the sink and return the PB to the cabinet when she had finished her work.

When I walked into her room, the sight was disturbingly familiar, my white nightmare painted brown. I was SO MAD and confused. How could she do this AGAIN? Another talk, spanking and time out while I scrubbed the carpet in a vain attempt to remove the peanut butter. I'm pretty sure some of her pillows are still stained brown.

Me: SB, where did you get the peanut butter???
SB: Bunny gave it to me.
(I ignored the bunny comment)
ME: Why did you do this?
SB: Because I was hungry, and you wouldn't give me anything!

A quick look around showed a plate of crackers and sliced apples on the dining room table and a half-eaten pop tart on the kitchen counter.

Who can reason with a guilty three-year-old??

Saturday: We spent most of the day out of the house, because I was too tired and angry to clean up any more messes and because I was worried what I might do to my child if she misbehaved again. SB played with the little boy next door, we bought and decorated our Christmas tree and went to a friends house for dinner. I was able to relax a little while the kids played after dinner, but when we got ready to leave, I noticed a strange red substance on SB's arms, clothes and face.

After my friend discovered the contents of her purse strewn about her bedroom, we reasoned it must have been lipstick. Another spanking, this time from Daddy. Thank God I was spared from the sole responsibility of punishment this time. Daddy spankings are much more effective than mine, or so I thought.

Sunday: Church, nap, dinner; a pretty uneventful day. Bedtime rolls around, and SB was allowed to fall asleep in our bed, because she is afraid of the dark all of a sudden, and somehow our room is less scary. After getting up 3-4 times to tell me very important things, like how she had decided that she was afraid of Jesus or that she really wanted a poop dog for Christmas (another story in itself), I finally thought she was asleep. I was wrong.

Jack and I were in the living room. My brother and sister were visiting with us. SB was in the hallway. She was timidly calling my name. She knew she shouldn't be out of bed. I got up and went through the kitchen but before I reached the hallway, a strong odor began burning through my nasal cavity. SB looked guilty as hell.

SB's nightgown was covered in something. It was wet but not water, sticky but stinky. I definitely detected the scent of my perfume but there something else as well. Something awful. A full investigation revealed the culprit to be a tube of Jack's muscle rub, Aspercreme to be exact. And it wasn't just on SB's nightgown. It was all over our sheets and Bunny too. Another spanking, since those have been so effective... then she had to go to bed by herself in her room without bunny. That wasn't an easy battle. And my sheets seem permanently oil-stained. I'm still not sure how she reached my perfume, which was on the top shelf of my bookcase, which is shoulder-level to me. I was relieved that she didn't get any in her eyes or mouth! But mostly I was mad.

It was toothpaste and shaving cream on Monday. I sent SB to potty and put on shoes just before we left to run errands. I heard the toilet flush, and I waited patiently for her to get her shoes. When she came back into the room several minutes later, she was missing her shoes but had gained a beard. A blue beard. Of Jack's shaving cream. Which I can only surmise that she climbed onto the bathroom counter to reach. And while she was up there, she helped herself to Jack's toothpaste as well as her own.

Since I had just bought a new package of toothpaste for her, I was most impressed that she had managed to open the box, twist off the cap and remove the safety seal (which, kudos to her, she had thrown in the trash can) before emptying it in and around the sink.

Wednesday: You may have noticed that I skipped right over Tuesday. Mercifully, I had a doctor's appointment late that morning, so my mother volunteered to keep SB all day so I could have a day off. My mother knows about SB's behavior as of late, and hates for SB to be in trouble, so whatever happened at Grandma's house that day, stayed at Grandma's house. I didn't press for details, because I just didn't have it in me to hear whatever horrible things she had done.

Today went by almost uneventfully until I caught SB standing on a table trying to reach something on top of her dresser. Ugh. Then she had to be taken out of the restaurant where we had dinner for throwing something immediately after I said, "Don't throw that!"

When we got home, I sent her to our bathroom to potty before bed. Knowing I couldn't trust her alone anymore, I went in about 45 seconds after I sent her in there. She was standing over the toilet, toilet brush in hand, and I was just too late to stop her from dumping out the comet. I guess she was trying to make up for all of the messes she had made this week.