Thursday, January 15, 2015


Nico turned five today and I have so many feelings. I'm happy, of course, and pretty amazed that it's already been five years since he was born. For the first time, I'm also feeling a little bit sad. Maybe wistful is a better word? I wouldn't wish any of it away, but I'm just feeling a little dismayed that it's gone by so fast. I went back to the oldest photos on my phone last night and started flipping through and I truly barely recognized / remembered baby Nico. I can recall feeling so invested in his every move when he was a baby, doing my best to soak it all in and cling to how he was so I'd always remember, and he's five and that little baby I once cuddled almost looks like a stranger. And in five more years, the little boy he is now will probably seem the same - impossibly far off and yet only a short time ago. Logically I know it's just a birthday, not much of a milestone in the grand scheme of things. Elliott at almost two is probably doing more big-picture changing than Nico at five, but FIVE. It just sounds big. It feels big.

One of the best surprises that came with having kids was how much I enjoy their company as little people in their own right. Nico is sweet and funny and smart and curious and surprises me all the time. He's a bit of an oddball kid, but I don't worry as much about his social awkwardness as I did before, though I'm sure when he starts public school I'll fret some. He's still not a physically daring child, but he'll finally go down slides and jump in inflatables. It's looking like giving up on group swim lessons in favor of private lessons was a good idea, despite the cost - he will now put his face in the water and jump off the side to his teacher. He has a remarkable memory. His fascination with construction vehicles has faded a bit, and he spent the summer drawing electrical lines over and over and stringing yarn between Lego towers. (I heard that my uncle used to string yarn all over the house as a kid, and he grew up to be an electrician.) Just in the past month or so, his interest in building things out of Legos and K'Nex has ramped up, which is an exciting turn of events. He's right on the cusp of being able to read, and I almost can't contain my glee about it.

I couldn't have asked for a more amazing kid, and I suspect it's just going to keep being awesome.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

near miss

We came very close to a day-by-day reenactment of how last year started. Elliott came down with what I thought was a cold, which rapidly progressed to what I'm pretty sure was full-blown RSV. By last Sunday night, he was wheezy and breathing fast and it was bad enough that I broke out Nico's old nebulizer and happily not-expired Albuterol tubes and gave him a treatment while my timehop app cheerfully reminded me that Nico had checked into the hospital for the exact same symptoms a year ago that day. The nebulizer (without the mask, which he vehemently refused) didn't help much, and I was wracked with indecision about taking him to the ER vs waiting to call the pediatrician in the morning. I tried calling the after-hours pediatric nurse line, but of course once we got to the part about him wheezing, the only thing she was legally allowed to do was tell me I was advised to take him to the ER. I had MB come home early from his friend's house (sorry, MB) just in case I needed him to sit with Nico, then went into Elliott's room every 30-45 minutes to hover over his crib and listen to him breathe while wringing my hands. I finally opted against the ER, but when I took him to the doctor in the morning, I had a bag in the car for each of us with clothes and pajamas and our toothbrushes. I was certain, absolutely certain, that we'd get sent to the hospital just like we did with Nico last January. But I was surprised - we saw a super old-school on-call pediatrician since ours wasn't working Monday morning, and he was utterly unconcerned. He told me I needed to use the nebulizer on Elliott with the hated mask every three to four hours, and that as long as he was happily playing while wheezing, I shouldn't worry too much.

I have to admit, I was highly skeptical of this cavalier dismissal of what had seemed at 1:00 a.m. that morning to be a dire situation. After all, Nico was only a little croupy-sounding the day we went in for a steroid prescription and ended up with a three-day hospital stay. I bribed E to accept the mask by letting him watch Kipper the Dog on my phone during his treatments, and at first they didn't seem that helpful. Meanwhile, the daily reminders of N's adventure kept popping up each morning on my phone. After a few days of angst (on my part), though, Elliott ended up making a pretty speedy recovery. By Friday, he only had one treatment the entire day, right at bedtime. As guilty as I felt for considering it as a factor on Sunday night, I'm extremely relieved to not be facing an ER bill.

Luckily we were able to make up the Monday morning music class we missed on Thursday, and Elliott even got a secret carousel ride without his brother while we were killing time before Nico got out of preschool at 11:00. I'll never tell!

Elliott won't tell either, though he's talking so much more just since the first of the year, and it keeps surprising me. At the music class, his teacher was reading a book to the kids about animals and Elliott pointed to the page and said, clear as a bell, "Yook! A horse!" As alarmed as I am by his near-complete de-babying, I'm so eager to watch him grow and learn this coming year. I suspect it will be a pretty wild ride. Hopefully one with no hospital stays.

Reading:  Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King

Playing:  Led Zeppelin IV