So Page has been looking into weekend activity options for Ford. She’s been gravitating toward dance/martial arts ideas, while I’ve been trying to find a soccer team that accepts three-year-olds with shorter attention spans than 15-year-olds. So far, Page has a laundry list of options, while all I’ve run into are sports leagues that start at age four. Do none of these people have three-year-olds they need to dump somewhere?!?
This brings us to today…when Page tells me that we’re getting a free test-drive from a dance studio in Durham. I could go on and on about the experience, but all you need to see is the video below. Suffice it to say that Ford wasn’t all that interested.
Truly one of the funniest moments we’ve had as parents. This actually went on for about 10 minutes, until the poor instructor looked up at the camera with an expression of disgust and helplessness. We would have bailed her out, but we were too busy…
…cleaning up the human oil spill named Cal. You see, he was too young for the class, so he spent the hour spraying the studio’s brochures all over the waiting room and chucking my completely full coffee across the floor. I’ve never seen tutus scatter that fast in my life.
"This scalding coffee feels refreshing on my face, Daddy!"
Needless to say, it was a memorable Saturday. Big ups to the Riccobonos and Nelsons for putting up with us. Finally, I’ll leave you with a picture of the boys going down a slide with static cling hair, because…well, because no matter how old you are, static cling hair is funny.
Optical illusion: While that hair may look wind-blown, the children are actually in a stationary position.
Trying to get Ford to consistently sit on the toilet (I still have trouble saying “potty.” It’s a guy thing. Same reason I avoid “cute” and “vaginal delivery”) has been a challenge. One minute he’s into it, the next minute he acts like its lined with barbed wire. We’ve even reverted to bribery. Which brings me to the exchange we just had after he woke up from his nap:
Page: OK, Ford time to change your butt! (editor’s note: yeah, that’s what we call diaper changes)
Jake: We’ll give you a treat if you just go sit on the toilet…
Page: Just call it a potty.
Two minutes pass…
Page: OK, Ford, seriously, it’s time. You’ve got two choices. One, we go change your diaper. Two, we go to the potty.
Ford: [weighing his options]
Jake: Come on, Ford.
Ford: Um…I want to go change my diaper and get a treat.
Page and Jake: [blank stares and stunned silence]
Snap it up while you can, folks! That’s a savings of 99.9%!
In all seriousness, we would have totally offered our kids up for that deal a few weeks ago. Now, before you call social services, let us explain…
Flash back to Dec. 21. The following day we’re set to go to Jamaica for a family reunion until the 29th. Yeah. We go to church. Ford starts running around like his clothes are on fire. Cal, between haphazard cheers for the band, starts coughing. Then he starts wheezing and coughing. Page and I, now the only parents out in the hallway because we apparently have the only insane kids in Cary, decide to be better safe than sorry and take the little guy to Urgent Care.
OK, now flash back to early 2011. Cal, with a weird rash on his hip and some questionable breathing, convinces us to take him to Urgent Care. We are seen by a seemingly nice woman…who sees the rash and the wheezing and…orders up an ambulance and stretcher. For an eight month old. Who otherwise was in great spirits and having the time of his life. Twas my first ambulance ride ever. Long story short, we get to Wake Med and they tell us Cal has RSV and a weird diaper rash, but that basically he was fine and that the ambulance was a tad dramatic. Needless to say, the Wake Med bills were awesome, and Page and I removed the Urgent Care from our Christmas Card list.
Now, back to the original flash back. We walk into urgent care…and who are we assigned to?
Yep. Her. And I swear on my family this is how it went down:
Me: Hello, Dr. _____
Her: Hello, Mr. Fleming.
Me: So…will we be riding in any ambulances tonight?
Her: We’ll see…so what seems to be the problem?
Me: Well, we leave for Jamaica tomorrow, and Cal has a cough, so…
Her: OK, well let’s take a look…
Cal: [going through an exorcism]
Her: [puts stethoscope on Cal's chest...1 second goes by...then 2...3...] Yep, he has pneumonia. Can you get a refund for the flights?
Me: Actually, can I get that stretcher after all?
All expect for the last line are 100% true. Are you kidding me? Pnuemonia? Two hours, a nebulizer and what had to have been a crying-induced coma for Cal later, we were home. Page and I stared at each other. Are we seriously canceling this trip?
Maybe. The next morning we called the airline. Banged our flight (full refund because it was delayed, which seemed crazy, but apparently that’s a legit loophole) and went to the pediatrician, who then ran me and Cal through the same dialogue above except it ended with:
Her: [puts stethoscope on Cal's chest...1 second goes by...then 2...3...] Nope, he never had pnuemonia.
Incredulous, Page and I staggered out of the doc’s office, rebooked our flight for a day later and made it to Jamaica after all. Just a ridiculous chain of events. One that has left us so ticked off, that we’re debating on…wait for it…yes, writing a letter to the Urgent Care to complain. Are we so old that we’re thinking about writing letters now? Either way, not an ideal way to kick off a vacay.
No one wants to hear about Jamaica, so suffice it to say that it was great. However…the trip was bookended by two days of travel. International travel. With long lines. And extra security. And lax Jamaicans who apparently aren’t fazed by two kids who, in concert, sound like this:
Flat out, Ford and Cal were brutal travelers. The worst. Page and I agreed that those two days of travel (especially coming home) were the hardest two days of parenting we’ve ever experienced. I told someone when I got home that I would have given up both kids for a warm shower and a ham sandwich, and I wasn’t even kidding. They even carried it over into the next day for good measure.
Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:
Ford: Montego Bay Airport
Cal: Montego Bay Airport
Ford: 3805 April Place
Man, we wanted to punt those kids. But we didn’t. We held back. So that we could experience things like what happened last night…
Ford and Cal are bathing. Mom is showering. I am apparently the only clean person in the house, so I’m wrangling the boys out of the bath. Cal goes first. He acts like I’m drying him off in sand paper, then begs like a lunatic for one of his 3,491 trucks on the floor. I pick it and Cal up to carry them to the boys’ room. Ford, meanwhile, is doing what looks like water angels in the bath tub. Naked. Cute. As I say something to Page, Cal decides to hurl the truck down the 6+ feet right onto…Ford’s mouth. Holy shnikees, did it look like it hurt like hell. I stifled an “OH!” and watched as Ford’s face went from bliss to shock to pain to crying to bleeding. Man…even typing this I’m cringing. Predictably, Ford is inconsolable until he remembers that he loves band-aids. LOVES them. Kind of random, but OK. So he says between sobs and blood, “I want a band-aid, daddy.” I don’t have the heart to tell him that a band-aid won’t stick to gums and teeth, so I grab (what at the time I failed to realize was the girliest band-aid in the house) a band-aid and stick it on his face as close to the pain as I can.
We called it a band-stache. Whatever. He stopped crying…but from the looks of it, dislocated his left eye in the process.
We hope everyone had a great holiday season and that you’ve all twisted your ankle on small blue trains as much as we have!
A few years back when Page and I first bought our house in Raleigh, one of our relatives said that for Christmas we should be asking for “crap.” A homeowner can never have enough holiday-themed stuff, apparently. So onto our lists it went and eight tiny reindeer later, we were buried under so many candles, serving dishes, Santa salt/pepper shakers, and, well, tiny stuffed reindeer, that we could barely see our homeless-looking five foot Christmas tree from Lowe’s.
Almost five years later (!) we’ve accumulated even more crap if you can believe it. And you know what? It’s intoxicating. I collect limited edition Yankee Candle scents like Ford lusts over Thomas’ friend Elizabeth. And if you don’t get that, then you’re reading the wrong blog…or you don’t have psycho, train-loving toddlers.
Now, onto the crap…
1. As anyone with a nearly three-year-old can attest, the words and sentences are really starting to take shape. And while it’s exciting, it’s also hilarious. Here are a few beauties from Ford this past week:
We have been receiving nightly deliveries from the “poopy S man.” Needless to say, the delivery men/women are thrilled to be hearing that upon dropping off their billionth package of the day.
I just got an iPad…and Ford is obsessed. Except…he doesn’t quite know exactly how to pronounce it. He drops this on me the other night: “Daddy, I want to watch Thomas on your eye patch!” Really, Ford, on my eye patch? No sweat, let me just adjust it…OK, perfect. Go for it.
Relax. He tells me and Page to relax all the time now. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn’t…
“Ford, nice job with dinner.”
“Ford, time for bed.”
Who am I kidding. It works all the time. Impossible not to laugh at him. Which, yep, you guessed it, eggs him on even more. Now when Page gets annoyed with me, thinking I’m hilarious, I tell her to relax. Which, yep, you guessed it, eggs her on not at all.
2. Cool spot to take the kids for the holidays? Sure Mall Santa works and so does ice skating in Raleigh, but check out the Christmas Tree showdown, or whatever its called, out it front of the DPAC in Durham. It’s like running out of a tunnel onto a football field, except there is no tunnel and the adoring fans are dead trees. So, yeah, nothing like that. Bottom line, the lights are cool. Not sure why I decided to take a picture of them on front of the sketchiest tree (unleash dogs organization – tree was covered in chains and surrounded by fencing…yeeeeeah), but here goes.
3. Spanish for Fun Christmas Show tonight. A total cluster as expected, but not as clusterish as it could have been. The songs were great and the kids danced their faces off. Speaking of faces, check out these kiddos below. Big shout out to Gavin, who kept Ford in a lather all night, running wind sprints around undoubtedly annoyed parents. As for Cal, he executed drive-by after drive-by on people’s plates. Seriously, DO NOT put your plate down around this kid. Orange slices and sugar cookies stood absolutely no chance tonight.
And here’s one with Santa, Rudolph and one of Santa’s elves.
Santa time tomorrow for me. So nervous. Is that stupid? I was good until like 10 minutes ago when Page casually drops on me to be sure to really sell the costume, because if Ford and Cal find out its me then that could really mess them up. Alrighty then. Thanks, Mom. On the bright side the good folks at SFF bought me a new Santa suit. Pretty sure they could sense my anxiety in having to wear pants that were essentially knickers and a wig that looked like their toddler room had its way with it. Wish me luck.
Fehling Family bowling debut tonight. 1. Ford, welcome to your future: old man boats (see below). And 2. Bowling alleys need to cut the act and call themselves arcades with lanes. Getting the boys out of there without spending their 529s on skeeball was a minor miracle.
Also – big shout out to Ray Petrino and Matt Illuzzi for their bowling event to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Great job, fellas.
Had to share this one. Took it today…about 10 minutes after the boys’ Halloween Parade wrapped up at school…which, coincidentally, was about 10 minutes after all of the kids decided they were done having fun.
Before viewing, to give it a full-on 3D affect, please turn your volume all the way up and start throwing candy at yourself. Ready?
At last count, it was about 12 crying kids, seven melted Crunch bars and one megaphone.
WNCN-TV Morning Host Phil Sanchez holds the Dads hostage with a Louisville Slugger and tells them how to turn a double play, how to live through Prohibition, and what it takes to survive living in New Jersey. […]