Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The old switch-a-roo

It started with a pair of sandals. Recently, I was at a department store with the kids, where all their summer shoes were on sale. Knowing I needed an extra pair of shoes for Jesse, I started browsing through the display of boys sandals until I found a pair that would probably match with everything. I had him try one on and it seemed to fit okay. (Didn’t ask him to walk around in it, which was a mistake!) So I bought them.

They seemed to fit him at the store, but after we got home and he put them on himself, he struggled to strap on the upper part of the sandal. Oops.

Okay, I just told myself. I’ve got the receipt. Got the tag. I’ll just take them in tomorrow and exchange them for a bigger size.

Now it was a matter of keeping the sandals CLEAN and in good condition until then. Not an easy task for a 3-year-old!

So I waited until he lost interest in them then discreetly hid them in the store bag, with the receipt and tag, and put them up. Later, he wanted to know where his new shoes were. All I could do was shrug my shoulders and innocently reply, “They’re around here somewhere.” I didn’t think I would have much luck explaining to him the intricacies of making exchanges at a store and why we needed to keep the sandals clean. Eventually, he stopped looking for them and just went off to play.

Early the next morning, I hurried to the department store to make the exchange. I got the sandals in a bigger size. “This is the right size!” I declared to the store representative. She just smiled and nodded as she keyed the exchange into the register.

The only problem is, they weren’t. And I found that out at Jen’s next-to-last baseball game. We were all there and hubby noticed how Jesse’s toes were sticking out over the edge of the sandal. He pointed this out to me and I could only sigh and shake my head. Whoops.

So, the next morning, I was once again off to the department store. This time, I bought the sandals in a bigger size. (Thankfully, they were still on sale. And thankfully, they had those shoes in that size.) This was the biggest size available for these particular shoes. I only prayed that THIS was the right size.

This time, however, I was not alone when I was switching Jesse’s old shoes for the new ones. Jennifer caught me in the act. I explained to her the situation, set the new sandals up in the closet where Jesse had left his old ones, and put the old ones away on a shelf, deciding to toss them into the yard sale pile later.

When I showed Jesse where he’d left his shoes, Jennifer wanted to tell him they weren’t the same ones he’d worn yesterday. They were a bigger size. But I asked her to keep quiet about that at first. I wanted to see how these shoes fit him first. (In case I had to hide them again!) No problem putting them on. No problem strapping them on. His toes were below the edge of the upper part of the sandal. And ... he walked around in them just fine. His feet didn’t slide in them, he wasn’t tripping over his feet in them. Everything looked A-OK. Woot!

So I gave Jen the green light and she told Jesse they were the same shoes, but only a bigger size. He clapped his hands and said, “Yay!”

“They fit!” I declared, holding my arms up in victory.

But I know I am not out of the woods yet. Hubby has not seen Jesse wearing these latest editions just yet. And I can only dread the three words that might come out of his mouth. Three words that will send me into a nosedive: “They’re too small.”

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bloody baseball

Today was Jennifer’s last baseball game. Unfortunately for her, it was not a pleasant one.

During the early part of the game, Jennifer was upset because she hadn’t been able to hit the ball. She kept grumbling, “I suck.” I kept encouraging her to try her best and have confidence in herself. Eventually, her spirits lifted, and we both felt good about her hitting that ball.

Except that it never happened. The second time, she was at bat, I sat with my fingers crossed, hoping she will get just one hit. But then something else happened that made me forget all about her hitting the ball. The ball hit HER – right in the face!

When I saw that happen, I was stunned at first. I was sitting there thinking, Did that just really happen? Did the ball just hit her in the face? IN THE FACE!!!!????!!!!

I blinked, squinting to get a better look and trying to see past the umpire and coach who ran over to her. She was crying and taking off her glasses. And there was BLOOD! Blood came out of her nose. Blood dripped onto her shirt. (I later saw it was even on her glasses.)

I jumped off the bleacher and ran to the fence to get a better look. I was thinking, Oh my God! Oh my God! My heart was pounding. Parents were crowding around me at the fence, too.

The umpire and coach comforted and talked to Jennifer. She was crying pretty bad. The coach walked her off the field and over to the dugout.

I grabbed my purse and nearly knocked another mom over as I ran to the outside entrance to the dugout.

The assistant coach brought Jennifer out. Her nose was bleeding pretty bad. He sat her on the ground and examined her. A lady appeared next to Jennifer and started to talk to her, too, as well as examining the damage.

I stood there in shock, watching the whole thing. My heart was still pounding in my chest. Other parents came over to check on her, too.

I watched the lady help Jennifer. She sure seemed to know what she was doing! I kept asking “is her nose broke?” and they finally told me it wasn’t. (Thank God!)

I couldn’t believe there was all that blood. The whole thing was surreal. I couldn’t believe this had just happened.

Finally, the lady stood, turned around and started talking to me. I had to tell her I am deaf and to please speak slower. She explained that the ball hit Jennifer’s nose and upper lip at the same time. Her upper lip and cheekbones had swelling and Jennifer was in pain. She said I needed to give Jennifer Ibuprofen and it would help the swelling go down. She also told me to use hydrogen peroxide on her clothes to get the blood out.

I asked her if she was a nurse. She smiled and nodded. “Thank goodness!” I said. What a relief there was a nurse here to look at an injured child!!

She went between comforting and helping Jennifer to talking to me. Jennifer was obviously in shock and the nurse checked her to make sure she was coherent. One of the moms I know from last season let Jennifer sit in her chair and we kept giving her tissues to try to stop the bleeding. (The blood was on her hands, too.) Eventually, we took Jennifer to the bathroom so she could wash the blood off. The nurse was so helpful to Jennifer and she really was concerned about her. This woman was missing her son’s baseball game to care for another child. I could only thank my lucky stars for such a caring, helpful and kind person to be there when something like this happened.

We sat out the rest of the game. Even though Jennifer wanted to go home, we had to stay longer for the “award ceremony.” Each player got a medal (no trophies this year), and some kids got two. Jennifer was one of them. The coach had her up first and he congratulated her on playing so well. He was really nice to her and made her feel special. I thought that was nice of him to do that.

Before we left, the nurse, whose name is Kristen, wrote out several kinds of instructions for me for caring for Jennifer. She said to call Jen’s doctor if the bleeding didn’t stop. (It did, thankfully.) I thanked her for her help and she hugged us before we left. What a wonderful person!

At home, I gave Jennifer Ibuprofen and instructed her to take it easy on the couch. I also gave her an ice pack and we worked on using it on either side of her face to avoid swelling. Or even further swelling.

After we got home, I was still in shock over the whole thing. But then I got really angry. It was no fair this happened! Why couldn’t she have a great time? A nice game? No fair!

And Jennifer was mad, too. She said the boy who pitched the ball wasn’t even looking at where he was throwing it. I was mad because he didn’t apologize. I know it was an accident, but he still should’ve said he was sorry! He was the one who pitched the ball! He didn’t even check on her after the game. Grr.

Well, I got over my stewing. It’s like I told Jennifer, “At least your team kicked their butt."

And we did find one thing funny about this whole thing. Jennifer told me the catcher picked up the bloody baseball, looked at it with disgust and said, "Ew." We had a good laugh over that. She also told me that she wondered if her blood was still on home plate.

What a way to end her baseball season.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

No cable? Oh, no!

Last night, as I was trying to relax from a hectic day and just veg out, I sat down on the couch to watch some TV. The baby was sleeping and Jennifer was playing one of her computer games. So I finally settled on an episode of I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. (I blame Jennifer for getting me hooked on this show. Her aunt got her hooked and now she got ME hooked!) The problem was, I couldn’t really watch the whole show. It kept blacking out!

I thought it was a signal problem and thought it would go away. But today, when Jesse wanted to watch Dora the Explorer, it happened again! And it kept happening with other shows and other channels.

Not only this, but all the shows we had on DVR weren’t showing up. It said “42% full” but nothing was there. (Jennifer went into panic attack mode because this meant she couldn’t watch her beloved Dragon Ball Z Kai.)

Hmmm. Something was definitely NOT right here. But for the life of me, I could not figure it out.

So, we have to wait until my husband looks into it.

Meanwhile, we can’t watch any TV – not unless we don’t mind a show constantly going dark. (Ugh!)

The thing of it is, having no cable feels weird. Sure, the kids can watch a movie. (Jesse settled down with Toy Story 2.) But the movie thing does not happen very often. We want our stories!

I’m actually curious about our reaction to this. All this time, I have complained about all of us watching too much TV. (Though I hardly watch ANY TV, as it is! Maybe a show a day.) And I’ve always longed for the days when it was just me and Jennifer. When I couldn’t even afford to have basic cable. (BASIC!!!) We had NO TV. No cable. No movies, either. (I couldn’t afford a TV or DVD player.) Jen and I spent our days doing other things. Going for walks. Reading (a lot of) books. Playing games, doing crafts. And talking – a lot of talking!

I loved those days. We had such strong bonding moments. So much together time. So many memories and lots of laughs.

And we can have that now. So, what is the problem? Is this so terrible?

It seems we have gotten so used to zoning out in front of the TV, we don’t know what to do with ourselves when we don’t have TV. Sure, we still read books – just not as often or as many. We play games – once in a while. And of course we talk, especially at dinner. But it’s like those things just don’t add up as sufficient entertainment anymore.

Could it be an age thing? Jennifer has not outgrown crafts. She still loves them. She loves books, as I do. And we have fun playing board games. So maybe it’s not an age thing.

Maybe we just need to be more creative. After all, that’s what TV seems to sap away from us when we put too much time and attention into it. So maybe if we take our creativity up a notch, we’ll come up with other stuff to do while we wait for this cable craziness to be fixed. It could happen.