Tuesday, September 29, 2009


In a strange turn of events, both children went to bed early this evening. I might regret sitting around on the computer later when I don't get to clean the kitchen, but I am in need of some decompressing. For me, that means my 'puter time.

I should mention that I really don't get much of it. I used to, it's true--The Boy would frequently take his midday nap on my lap, and I'd be able to catch up on everything at that point. But now, I can occasionally pick up a quick email check for 2 minutes but sitting down to write in the blog is a bit more challenging.

So today's entry will likely contain a little bit of everything.

I have decided to make the Shema a part of The Boy's nighttime routine. "Shema" means "hear" (as the imperative, a command). The first line of the prayer, translated, is "Hear, O Israel, The Almighty is G-d, The Almighty is One." It goes on to say that "You shall love G-d with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might" and discusses how the person should remember and share these words, including to teach them diligently to their children.

I was thinking yesterday about my religious responsibilities to my children, as their mother. Right now, my obligation to them is mostly to attend to their physical needs, because they are little, but if I can bring them to a religious service, it's a bonus. More to the point, my own religious obligations and needs must take a backseat to those of my small children, until such time as they are more independent and can allow me the freedom to worship.

I'm not an exceptionally observant Jew. My husband is not Jewish. Most of my friends are not Jewish. My community, while we have plenty of Jewish families, is not necessarily a Jewish community. I belong to a congregation that is much less traditional than the one in which I grew up, and while I rather disliked most of my social experiences in synagogue when I was growing up, religiously it worked for me. I started attending Reform Chavurah in college, and I have affiliated myself as Reform almost by default since then. That said, we keep a Kosher home, I could speak and read pretty good Hebrew at one point, and I am well-versed in Jewish rituals. We light candles on Friday nights, and I bless my children. When my family and I get together for Jewish holidays, it is always a lovely experience (at least from the standpoint of the actual religious celebrations, family discord notwithstanding). I like the fact that Judaism isn't just something that you experience once a week if you do happen to drag your behind to services--there are several little things that happen every day, even in my relatively secular life. Regardless of my affiliation.

I want my children to feel a part of everything, so I bring them to Jewish places/events, such as to my aunt's house, when we can. Would love to go for Sukkot, which is a fun holiday for the kids (it's the one with the little houses) but The Boy is likely not going to have good counts, so travelling and being around a bunch of people just won't work.

We should be done with this chemo stuff soon enough and then we can get more religiously involved. In our congregation, with the family, and in a few more years, I look forward to being able to volunteer for Chai Lifeline.

Anyhow, today had some real winner moments after which I felt the need to punctuate with an interjection of "super-fun." I should also mention that I am going to try harder to take better care with my children and be more understanding and patient. I do a good job, but I do get frustrated. And I want to try and say nice things about them. But sometimes the things that aren't nice are the things from which we learn. And the things that really bring on the larfs. Later. After it's over.

Physical therapy today was, once again, poorly timed. I asked her if it would be possible to find a better time than 12:45 for his sessions, because most of the time, he either needs to be woken from his nap, needs a nap and hasn't gotten one yet, needs to eat, needs to eat again...you get the picture. She'll see. Today's session consisted of an hour-long temper tantrum punctuated by brief moments of physical activity, and those only because we tried to force it.

The Boy is getting that nasty bum rash that he gets post-chemo. He needs naked time, although I thought that perhaps putting him in his little underpants would do the trick. Problem is, he will pee or poop in those without giving it a second thought. He does get uncomfortable after it happens, which may be a sick and twisted way to potty train, but with an infant in the house I just can't abide the mess because I have to clean it up right away. I don't know though--I do have to clean up diapers anyway, so what's wiping pee off the floor too? I just worry that he'll pee through his underpants onto the floor and then slip and hurt himself. I don't think that we have any clean ones left after this evening.

By the way--three hours today of having on no pants. Completely dry. Including while he slept. I put him in a diaper right before PT and he pees, AND leaks.

He peed on the chair. It was due for a cleaning anyway, so I have my Woolite Heavy Traffic rug cleaner going to work on it. This is one of those things where you spray it on, and when it dries, you vacuum it off. Works pretty darned well. I just have to run the vacuum without waking the children.

Meatball seemed to be back to his old shenanigans with the nursing. He fusses, he pulls off for no reason, and I never know when he is done. I need to watch my diet--no dairy pretty much AT ALL for at least another month. I had made the mistake of thinking that because he was getting better that I could have the occasional bagel with veggie cream cheese. No such luck.

Good stuff--The Boy ate quite a bit today. Big bowl of Rice Chex for breakfast, a snack of salmon (yes, salmon) and several low-salt Triscuits for brunch, a late lunch of chicken and grapes, and nothing but noodles for dinner, followed by a small bowl of Rice Chex.

Successful grocery store trip today. The Boy helped pick out food while Meatball rode along contentedly in the ErgoBaby carrier. By the way--loving it! I'm so thrilled that he fits in it now.

More good stuff--I finally got to the cleaners today to drop off Musical Daddy's shirts.

And, as I had previously indicated, the children went to bed early. I have already heard several protests from The Boy. Not sure what's wrong with him but I'm hoping that he gets over it and continues to sleep.

Meatball is really doing is darndest to screw with my head in terms of our more attached way of raising our kids. While I have always thought that putting the kid down to cry after trying everything to comfort him is the wrong thing to do, and surely there must be something else to try so that the child isn't unduly upset, I can see that Meatball rather prefers it. If he just wants to be put down to go to sleep for awhile, trying to comfort him to sleep usually fails miserably and he continues to fight and protest. Sometimes he does fall asleep in my arms or on my shoulder, but it's rare. Whereas The Boy has always been a super-snuggler. Putting Meatball to bed at night sometimes requires that I leave him to cry if he has not fallen asleep nursing. It takes no longer than 10 minutes for him to sleep, generally much less. And a lot of times, it is just at the point where I say, "I should get him and try to nurse/hug/comfort some more" that he quiets down and sleeps for a few hours.

The Boy has awakened and is crying. I'm still not sure if he really needs anything or if he is just mad that I'm not there. Unfortunately, I have a funny feeling that he has pooped yet again and I have to go in there and aggravate his poor little bum.

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