Category Archives: Days with Roan

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby

 “So, how did you get a baby in your tummy, anyway?”

 

Of course.  So.  I told Roan I would answer him as soon as we had lights out, after books and brushing teeth.  I wanted to find out if he was really curious, or if he was just delaying bedtime.  I have to admit – as cool or progressive or open minded or NOT MY MOM AND DAD as I think I am, I was spinning a little.  I didn’t really know what he should know, if there were aspects that would freak him out rather than enlighten him, or even if he would remember to ask me when we had lights out and of course yes he remembered to ask me.

 

So my approach was this: start broad, and wait for his questions.  I felt more comfortable letting him decide how many details he wanted.  So I started out saying that when a mom and dad decide they want a baby, they use their bodies, together, to make one.  Starting nice and easy, I felt totally cool but he jumped up a few levels by asking “What about a mommy and a mommy?”

 

So, off to the reproductive system I went.  I touched Roan on his tummy and told him a female has a reproductive system here, and it has eggs.  A man has a reproductive system in his testicles (met by a “Noooooooo!!” then giggling) and he has sperm.  When the sperm meets the egg, a baby is made.  So if there are two men that want a baby or two women who want a baby, a doctor can help them, by using machines medicine and science to make it happen, but still with these same two parts.

 

He took that all at face value and moved on.  Clearly the next piece is how did his dad’s sperm get to his mom’s egg?  I went ahead and got my science voice on and said that the man uses his penis in the woman’s vagina and that it is only appropriate for adults to do and definitely not kids and not even appropriate for teenagers.  I heard myself and realized that in one 2-minute conversation my son, he had turned me into a right wing, abstinence only, sex is for procreation caricature.  That was weird. 

 

He seemed like he was unscathed by our conversation thus far, and as he ramped up for his next question, I promised myself to try and be more myself, less uptight and started relaxing about answering correctly, thinking about how truth really isn’t going to hurt him.  But here’s the thing – I never had this talk with my parents.  I was so naïve and unquestioning that until about 4th grade I believed a woman got pregnant by asking God for a child and God agreeing that it was a probably a good idea and then presto the baking began.  When a classmate started talking about sex I was wide-eyed, horrified and so forth and really thought she was a mess for making this kind of thing up. 

 

And so.  Calm and cool and returning back into my own skin, I heard Roan begin with “Mom….?”

“Yep”

“I will never….”

“Yes?” 

“Ever…..”

“…….?”

“Change that babies diaper”

 

Fair enough, we’d leave it to Dad, I said.  And then one more,

 

“Mom?  What’s it called?  When you’re making the baby?”

“Uh, yeh well it’s called sex or doctors say intercourse and some people say making love….”

Which spawned his best line to date, “Making BABY love!”  Nice.  Can’t wait for him to break that one out for his classmates.  To the entire collective of parents of Roan’s friends:  you’re welcome for adding “Making BABY love” to the lexicon of the first grade class.

 

Roan, Now.

[Note:  My friend/advisor/comrade Lola reminded me yesterday that I haven’t been asking/pleading/procuring votes for the Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks awards, for which I am nominated.  So here I go: please click here and vote for me, then come back and enjoy the Pistols and the Popcorn.  Thanks!]

 
Roan blows my mind when he draws for me.  It’s not that I think he’s particularly gifted as an artist, but he is awesome at letting me know he thought about me, during the day.  Every day when I pick him up from his class, he has armfuls of paper, filled with pictures, usually specifically for me with either “MOM!” or “JODI!” scrawled on the top to mark intended ownership.  Sometimes, he has typed and printed a message, like, “Hot today parck today ice krem today say yes today” which is quite compelling to a mother like me, who just can’t help but say “Yep yep” when it’s presented that way. 

 
I wonder how long my boy will have his mind so focused on the things we do together.  How long until his autonomy takes over and his life is more about his friends and his experiences with them, than his with me.  I look forward to that for him, for him to branch out and see how he impacts others and they him, but I just cannot help but feel greedy and sentimental about my Roan – the archetypal “mama’s boy” who can still be bribed with extra songs at night, or the promise of me laying down with him for an extra five minutes.  I know these things will change.  But now – while they are still this way, I’ve just got to give words to this time in our relationship and how thankful I am that I’ve been able to have it with such an interesting and sweet boy.


It’s Going (yawwwwn) Just Fine

[Note from Jodi: Many thanks to everyone who helped with support during the broken arm incident.  It’s funny that it helps to hear that other people have been there – and worse – but it does help.  Thank you everyone.  Also, if you haven’t noticed, the Appaman Raffle  is taking place right now, to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation.  Click here to find out what the prize is, and click here to donate any amount to my Personal Livestrong Challenge page.  Thanks!!]


It’s Going (yawwwwn) Just Fine. 

I know that my memories of being pregnant with Roan may be a little distorted.  For instance, when people ask if I had morning sickness with him, I reply that I did not.  I proclaim that it was an easy pregnancy, in which I was finishing up some college courses, secured a great job, facilitated group sessions with drug addicts and worked right up to the day I was to be induced. 

 

However, I do remember one snippet of a conversation with my brother-in-law, Rocky, where I proclaimed that I couldn’t understand why anyone would do this more than once, to which he replied, “It’s because you will forget”.  He was right as rain.  I have been having a fairly easy time thus far being pregnant with Roan’s teammate (whom he is certain is a girl.  I feel it’s a boy.  Anson inexplicably is firm that we have twins though about 6 ultrasounds have shown otherwise.)  Still, before I became pregnant, I could do pretty much everything I wanted to do, PLUS everything Roan and Anson wanted me to do and feel like I had energy to burn.  I was teaching five Muay Thai Kickboxing classes per week, running about 15 – 20 miles per week, and was at this hard-fought place with my body where my weight was cool with me while I was still eating all the things I felt like I wanted to eat.  In short – my body felt like it was my dominion. 


So, predictably I’m about to tell you it’s all changed.  True it has but the thing that’s getting under my skin?  I’m tired.  I’m tired as I roll out of bed in the morning, after I drop Roan off from school, I have to work up my energy to put my house together every day and it takes all my power to show up to Muay Thai.  I feel lucky that the nauseous thing has so far pretty much stayed at bay, so I’m not going to complain (hang on is this complaining?  No no, just documenting.  Seriously.  If you could hear my tone, it would be upbeat and friendly and not whiney at all no sireeebob.  I’m not even bringing up the fact that I’ve broken out my “big girl” clothes.)
 


 This energy deficit was so pathetically evident on Sunday for Father’s Day.  Anson, Roan and I went to a favorite restaurant for brunch (I had yummy Sour Cream Pancakes).  Then we hopped the subway to get to Dylan’s Candy Bar, which is an extravagant candy mecca owned by Dylan Lauren (daughter of up and coming designer Ralph).  Walking in there is like licking twelve lollipops while simultaneously mainlining a bag of chocolate.  The air is sweet and cool and smells of everything good.  Everything.  While Roan was losing his mind going through the three floors of candy shop, I had to go sit down and drink a bottle of water.  Because I couldn’t keep up, because I am 102 years old.  So I finally got my mojo back and suggested we take the Sky Tram over to Roosevelt Island to hang out on the grass by a beautiful little lighthouse and the boys were into it.  We arrived, and this time not only did I sit rather than play freeze tag, I demanded a smoothie.  I don’t know who I am anymore.  It was actually a lovely day and both of my guys love this new more vulnerable and tired me, but I don’t think it’s all that cute. 
 

 

I suppose I can take solace in the fact that the day spent my Roan, as evidenced by him falling asleep one full hour before bed time, and putting up no resistance as we carried him to bed, only muttering “Is your wrist strap on?  Is your wrist strap on?”  That’s very telling, isn’t it? And Anson is laying here next to me, tearing up while watching Extreme Home Makeover (Ok, that’s possibly crossing the TMI line because he will never admit that in public but if I’m lying I’m dying it is happening right now) and it is all of 8:13 PM and I see him fading.  So, in essence, I’m going to frame it up t
his way: being pregnant has finally helped me travel to a place where relaxing on the couch trumps doing dishes, and playing Wii counts as quality time for the family.
  Everyone seems to be adapting just fine.

The Worst Saturday Night, Ever. So Far.

Snap. 

I think that when we see people get hurt it affects us partly because we are vulnerable, it could happen to us, and that is part of our horror. That feeling is amplified by, oh I dunno about a zillion, when we think of our children getting hurt.  So on Saturday night, when Roan missed his footing on the stepstool in our kitchen and my reach didn’t break his fall and he hit the floor backwards I closed my eyes before I looked at him, and I knew somehow – I didn’t want to see.  So I grabbed him close and said, “It’s ok”.  I think I said it as an instruction to myself rather than a comfort to my son.  And when I saw the contortion of his little left arm, then met the horrified eyes of my husband, I knew it was time to be strong and cool and leave my own freak-out until later.  Roan’s arm was clearly broken, and I didn’t have a plan.

 

The best I  could do was, “Anson, go grab a cab.  We’ll take it to the ER.  No wait, should we call 911?  No go get the taxi.  No, should we call Kara or Lola for a ride? They’ll get here quickly.  No just get a cab.  Yes, taxi.  Now.”

 

Only in Brooklyn.  Or Maybe Manhattan.  OK, Maybe any Metropolitan Area.

Just an aside about Anson: he is strong and smart and the most capable person I’ve ever met at the widest assortment of things.  But he doesn’t really function so well under intense crisis type pressure (he almost fainted at our wedding.  That was sort of like a crisis.  Made me love him more, though.)  So while he was out I wondered if he would make it back, or be lying in a heap on the sidewalk.  Roan only cried, and mildly so, for about 3 minutes, and just started asking questions, like why is Dad getting a cab?  Where are we going?  I told him we had to take him to the hospital to fix his arm, because it really needed some help.  His eyes brightened, and he said, “Help like I’ll need a cast?”  I told him for sure he would, and he was calm and waited for me to get my shoes on.

 

Anson returned and had triumphed in a magnificent way.  He did not hail a taxi.  No, he flagged down an ambulance and brought them to our front door.  I grew brand new confidence in that man right then.  We got to the hospital, and Roan was definitely in shock as he had sort of shut down, but he could answer questions, and was as calm as could be.  He mostly complained about the ice pack the paramedics had put on his arm because it was cold. 

 

No Cell Phone Usage Allowed

When my boys went into the X-Ray room I sort of had my own special break down.  I couldn’t be with them because I’m pregnant.  Being alone and knowing that this process was going to be very painful for Roan – moving the arm around in different positions to get all the angles – I couldn’t stand not being in there with him.  So I started texting my family (ignoring all the signs that said not to use cell phones), and when there was more and more and more time passing I posted my situation on Facebook which at the time I felt kind of dumb about doing but I just needed to have some community around me.  And you know – it worked.  I started getting loads of texts and comments and support from my people.  And that helped because I could hear my boy whimpering in the room next door for over ½ hour and I thought I would die not being next to him.

 

Sometimes Rainbows Are Not All That Beautiful.
The X-rays showed that Roan had broken both his radius and ulna in the forearm.
  The doctor said it was the kind of break they’d need to anesthetize him to set.  Since Roan had just eaten, he also said they’d have to wait at least two hours before they did that.  So we were looking at the entire night, in the ER.  Roan and I started watching Tom and Jerry on my iPhone.  He wasn’t complaining, and I was trying to not look at his arm, bent like a rainbow.  He had received no pain medication, but was just chilling and enjoying some Looney Tunes.  I was a proud and sad mama.
 


Making the World Small

Another doctor showed up on the scene and said that since he seemed to be tolerating the pain so well, she thought she could set it just by injecting a local anesthetic into the arm where it was broken.  The idea of that totally threw me – I mean, I didn’t want him to feel that.  But I also knew he’d probably feel better if he didn’t have to be put under.  So we agreed, and I put my forehead on his, and cupped my hands over our eyes, trying to make our world together really small as she put a giant needle into his arm, where it was broken.  He cried in pain and all I could do was kiss his eyeballs, forehead, and cheeks telling him all about the homemade ice cream we’d eat when we got home.  In my life, I’ve never wanted to take pain away from someone so desperately.  But true to form, he
bounced back within a few minutes, and as the doctor began to set his arm, my friend Lola showed up, with a blanket for the boy, a sweater for me, and the calmest sweetest smiles that lifted everyone up.
  Her husband was waiting outside, to give us all a ride home.

 

And…..Breathe.

We got home and set up a Family Slumber Party in the living room.  We ate ice cream and started to watch a movie but Roan fell asleep within minutes.  I don’t think I slept at all, as I kept waking up to make sure he was ok.  Anson was in the same boat as me.  We wondered to each other how we had been so traumatized by this event – a boy breaking his arm.  It’s a right of passage, a common childhood occurrence, and one that we’ve both been through in our own younger days.  But it was really intense to watch Roan have to go through it, and to shine so brightly as he did.  I wouldn’t have been less proud had he wailed like a maniac the whole time, but his peaceful demeanor and willingness to get through it gave me my own sense of peace.

 
So now, with his friends and cousins digging into their own hard-earned money in their piggy banks to buy him presents (Wii games that he can play one-handed), and with cards and designs and flowers and pictures being gifted to him, Roan feels less encumbered and more like a rock star.  He is proud of his new ideas and ways he’s finding to do things one-handed.  He hasn’t complained even once about pain, or anything else for that matter.  He sat and watched me teach kickboxing yesterday, and waited until after class to kick at the bag a little, and do some wicked crosses, as his jab is currently unavailable.  I’m finally beginning to feel a little more normal, no longer on high alert. 


So this is what it is to be a parent, huh?  This is some scary stuff. 

Unreasonably Happy

[If you haven’t seen the amazingness that is called Lori Nelson and the art she creates, click here to check it out. Then click here to donate to my Livestrong Challenege page.  For every $5.00 you donate, a virtual raffle ticket will be generated for you to win a portrait hand painted by the afore mentioned amazingness Nelson.  You don’t have to live in NY to win this, so get to it.  More details here.]


I’m the Friend Who Drives You Bananas

I think I’m mostly a naïve person, and maybe a little careless.  My naivety shows in my belief that everything will just be fine, unless it wont be, in which case, well I probably couldn’t have changed it anyway.  So I live my life in this way, fingers crossed most of the time, but always hopeful that the universe is conspiring in my favor.  I understand that not everyone is built this way.  Some people may be wired exactly the opposite way, and I’m the kind of person that makes them furrow their brow, shake their head and breathe deep. 


One Should Wait Until One’s First Trimester is Over to Announce One’s Pregnancy

This personality trait started shining bright as a lighthouse when I found out I was pregnant.  Of course I told Anson right away, and we kept it to ourselves for a full 12 hours at which point I couldn’t bear to keep it from Roan.  There are a lot of really good, really valid reasons why I shouldn’t have done that.  But there I was on a Saturday morning sitting on the couch eating Lucky Charms with him when I just started a guessing game with him and led him to his big guess that he was going to be granted his wish for a teammate in this household.  Roan was so excited.  He was excited in a way that surprised me – it went all the way down to his core, and made him think about all the things he could do would do with this new person.  That very day he placed his hand on my stomach and said, “I can’t wait for that baby to kick me.”

 

Roan kept it to himself for a full 15 minutes before he began shouting it on the streets.  It was way to early to be telling people, but I couldn’t help but be caught up in his magical enthusiasm.  Again, my naiveties lit up bright by letting it get into the world that quickly.  For me, it was ok, though.  I know all the millions of things that can go wrong; I’ve seen heartbreak with my own mother in a pregnancy that ended too early. Still, in my life I find I hang on tight to these happy things, and if tragedy creeps up on me, I will feel it then.  I will not anticipate it.  So I let Roan and his excitement run loose on the playground, at our friend’s homes, and wherever he needs it to manifest. 

 

Is it Wrong to Call a Closet a Nursery?

I am of course worried about some things – will this
pregnancy be as easy as Roan’s?
  I’m older now – a whopping 38 which in my old digs of Utah is a little old to be having a child but here in Brooklyn, people will likely shake their head and compare me to Bristol Palin.  (Viva la Madres de Brooklyn!!)  We have exactly no spare space.  We have exactly no spare change.  We have exactly no baby supplies as my penchant to get rid of everything that hasn’t been used in the last 20 minutes rules this household. 

 

But mostly, I’m excited to see my boy Roan with his new friend, whom he is anticipating with the most love and excitement that I have ever seen.  He has started making a mental list of what we need to buy, and randomly will verbalize the list, “Hey mom, we can’t wrap the baby in towels so we’re going to have to buy it a blanket, ok?  Also: diapers, cause you know…..”  Roan stares at the printouts from the ultrasound with fascination and sees things that I cannot see.  He’s practicing singing songs, reading books, and has committed to wearing a sling to carry the baby down these Brooklyn streets.  I promise to you:  I will photograph that.


The Yin to my Yang

And my husband Anson, who is one of those people who is driven crazy by people with my sense of “what will be will be”, he’s hanging on tight and trying his best to keep up with his two pregnancy-proud banshees.  Anson wants this child, he’s excited for the future and for where we are now, but he worries so much more than I do.  But too bad for him – all the literature out there says that while your wife is pregnant, she is always right, always just and always deserving of your total support (don’t make me site sources, just trust me).  So this is going to be a good time for all of us.  Some of us may just need to practice our breathing excercises more than others and I’m not talking about me.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and the Brooklyn Bridge

[Note from Jodi: The raffle for All Points West tickets will continue until midnight (EST) tonight.  Click here to donate any amount to my Livestrong Challenge Page.  For every $5.00 donated, a virtual raffle ticket will be generated for you.  Read more about All Points West and how to enter here.  This raffle is to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation.]

 
Saturday afternoon Anson, Roan and I headed over to the Brooklyn Banks.  This is an area under the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge where skateboarders and bmx(ers?) gather to ride like crazy on the ramps and pillars.  On this day there was a skating contest taking place and the scene was a madhouse.  These were my people, back in the day.  I would have could have hung with pretty much any kid there back when I was a little punk myself.  But now – holding fast to my son’s hand and suspiciously sniffing out the pockets to avoid (because let’s face it 5-years-old is just too young to get a 2nd-hand-high) I was the old lady in the crowd.  We found a pretty good vantage point to watch these young boys (there was a glaring absence of girl skaters) fling themselves into impossible positions and land hopefully on their boards, or at least on their bum rather than wrists.  It all came to a crashing halt when Roan muttered the words, “I have to use the bathroom.”


Which brings me to one question:  why have we as a society not figured out how to have plentiful public toilets, which are not scary beyond belief?  I considered ushering Roan to a covert corner but my son is so unbelievably not down with public urination.  Let me just go on the record saying I highly doubt he will ever be ticketed in his lifetime for public urination.  Not his style.  So we wandered out of the fray, found a Blimpie’s (which sublets part of their space to a sushi restaurant and I couldn’t make sense of that.  Sandwiches and sushi together at last?  I dunno.)   We made use of their (harrowing and not-at-all restful) restroom, and grabbed some food. 

 

  
With the stretch of the Brooklyn Bridge in front of us and the most beautiful Spring day gifted upon us, we decided t
o walk the distance home with bellies full of food.
  Roan enjoys walking the Brooklyn Bridge, and it is by far one of my favorite things to do.  You get great views of Governor’s Island, the Verrazano Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan Bridge and of course the Brooklyn and Manhattan Skylines. You’re well above the cars on the walk, and it’s a little amusing to watch the angry bicyclists who are ready to kill all tourists who walk in the bicycle lane (Hey, I’m not saying the cyclists are wrong, just very very angry.  Angry bells being rung up and down that path.   There is a lot of angst happening in that bike lane.)


But then it happened again, “I have to use the bathroom.”  Seriously maybe I should just opt to dehydrate the child rather than try to map out all the best bathrooms in NYC (which actually I’ve done pretty extensively.  I have at least one go-to bathroom in most neighborhoods.  Except China Town, I’m lost there.)  We got to a Barnes & Noble (always acceptable and accessible, same as Starbucks) and eventually found our way home.  We all collapsed on the couch, ate pizza, popcorn and candy bars while watching Ghostbusters.  I’d forgotten how funny Bill Murray was in this movie and how creepy Sigourney Weaver is.  Roan passed out before the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man made his way onto the screen, but thankfully Anson woke up with him at 6 AM Sunday morning to re-watch it with him, leaving me to dream of clean and plentiful restrooms late into Sunday morning.  But I awoke without the answer to my newest life question: what do you do when your kid has to go, and there’s no go-to in sight?  

You See What I Did There?

I understand that I promised an announcement today regarding the Livestrong Challenge and what I’d like to do about it but ladies and gentlemen, I think you’ll have to wait until Wednesday not because I’m a tease or want to build suspense but because the weekend was far too beautiful and action packed for me to tear myself away from the creatures surrounding me.  The creatures call themselves Roan and Boone.

 
We began on Saturday with a street festival called “Touch-A-Truck”.  I couldn’t resist the urge to comment, “How autoerotic” every chance I got because it’s very exciting to me when I get to be ha ha ha clever enough to play with words like that.  However, maybe not so appropriate around children, but who’s gonna call child services?  You?  I thought not.  The magic of the festival was that kids could climb onboard all sorts of city vehicles to raise cash for the YMCA.  So, there was a fire truck, an ambulance, ambulance stretchers, a mail truck, a double-decker sightseeing bus, a police car and more!  Roan and Boone went from one to the next, until they saw the requisite bouncy castle and I had to get outta there super-quick.  Those things undo me.  Always a ridiculous amount of money for the quickest 3 minutes of Roan’s life.  I prefer for him to jump on my bed for free.  Also no random children have thrown-up in my bed.  Only ones I know.  I’ve seen what happens in those castles.

We made haste and crossed the street to spend the afternoon in Central Park.  I don’t even know what we did there but it took us around four hours and everyone had bright pink and red lips afterwards.  I’m recalling ice cream.  A few trains later and we landed at home, with pizza ordered for the boys and Thai food ordered for Anson and Lori and myself.  Boone stayed over for a sleepover (I still feel dirty saying sleepover because it’s a damn lie.  Not too much sleep happening but a lot of dizzying laughter going on.  So.)
 

Sunday we got our entrepreneurial skills on and packed up our outgrown bicycles to swap them at the Brooklyn Bicycle Jumble.  Surrounded by the underbelly of the biking culture and the fanatics, Roan and Boone peddled their wares for the masses, and were successful.  Roan traded up to a bigger bike with handbrakes, and Boone found the bike of his dreams, equipped with grinding pegs.  

 

We headed over to the park to test drive the goods but had to stop by the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. (Ever vigilant, ever true.)  This place = awesome.  It’s true purpose is a writing-tutoring center, but the center is funded in part by the storefront, and hidden in a back room through a secret passage.  The storefront sells superhero supplies, like capes.  They have a cape testing platform (a grate with a high-powered fan situated underneath to simulate wind in the cape), which Roan needed to avail himself of.  His choice? Gold Lamé, obviously.
 

The park was where we all hit our wall, but not before getting in the opportunity to scale a monument which is probably illegal but pretty funny for a picture.  At the end of the day, it comes down to the pictures.  Did we have fun?  Yes.  Can we prove it?  Without a doubt. 
   


So – Wednesday.  I unveil my plans for the Livestrong Challenge and let me just say: the amount of help I’ve been offered by my local friends and business owners have been mind-blowing.  If you are someone who lives in the area and thinks you may want to help get in touch with me man!  I have some great prizes lined up but can always use more.  Do it, suckah!

 

And now I must go pass out.  I am apparently not 5 years old like Roan.  Although to my credit I did not fall asleep while chewing edamame tonight at dinner like somebody I know.  Just sayin’.