Holy Hell. What is happening to my sweet baby boy?

I called my sister and Mother last night in hysterics. One has raised five children, the other is raising six, and both are educators with masters degrees in child development and early education. Naturally, I felt that they should be the first to hear the news that I feel that my son needs a psychiatrist and may be headed toward a future as a psychopath.

OK. So that statement is ludicrous and far from any realm of possibility, but I do feel that we are at a pivotal stage in which our proper handlings of his recent behaviors are monumental in his understanding of what it means to make a loving and positive impact on society as a human being.

Zachary is pushing three and a half and spends one half of the day completely out of control. He seems to have two personas. The one that wakes up in the morning, happy, calm and perfectly lovely – “Mommy, I love you.” “Can I help you with that? I would really like to help today, Mommy” “Isabelle, would you like me to hold your hand?” This child walks with a steady gait and exhibits manners that would earn us a “Parents of the Year” certificate.

Then there is the other, who rips through his clothing and transforms our perfect child into the Incredible Hulk. This horrifying transformation is somewhat predictable, and while we do see glimpses of his green eyes throughout the day, he mostly lies dormant until around 4 pm. He tears through the house singing like a 70-year-old chain smoker in a way that causes polyps to grow on my vocal chords just by listening, tackles his sister to the ground in the name of “play”, grabs toys, barrels into us with a force that has knocked the wind out of us on several occasions, (or, has left my poor husband doubled over in the kitchen for at least ten minutes trying to ease the excruciating pain with happy thoughts that perhaps he is now infertile), and throws us all into a black hole while trying to get out the door to run errands. Dressing him is like trying to shimmy a unitard onto a baby donkey, and reasoning with him is like begging an intoxicated person to stop slurring his speech and bumping into walls.

During these bouts of complete and utterly painful chaos, there is absolutely nothing that works but waiting it out. We have tried time-outs, taking toys away, going into a dark room, away from stimuli and holding him, and deep breathing (the last one is for us). I have even gone as far as to lock Isabelle and I in her room as a way of removing ourselves from this behavior (because I can’t in good conscience lock him in his own room). While that does seem to be the only consequence that actually seems to bother him, it still doesn’t exorcise the demon. He falls asleep exhausted at 8:30, after umpteen “Zachary, you are too smart and wonderful, and have too much to offer the world for us to allow this behavior” talks (all of which go right over his head, of course. He’s three for heaven’s sake), and wakes up in the morning, fresh and lovely again as if his alter ego didn’t have his mother up all night crying the evening prior.

The obvious issue here seems to be that there is a food allergy of sorts. But anyone who has tried to pinpoint a food allergy causing something short of anaphylaxis, knows that this can be a wild goose chase of frustration and confusion. But, we will continue to look into this theory. The other is that he is extremely over-tired. Try as I may to get him to nap, he refuses. If we are in the car at 4:30 or 5:00, he is out within 30 seconds. But, napping this late and going to bed at 10:00 p.m. is not an option. We are strict about bedtimes and covet the post-8:30 hours that are OURS. We are not forfeiting those.

So, while I do encourage thoughts from all of you on this, I also encourage you to read this article that my blessed sister sent to my inbox at 1:00 a.m. This is comfort to anyone in the midst of the “half-years”, or anyone experiencing PTSD from living through them years ago.

http://planningwithkids.com/2009/11/17/characteristics-of-three-and-a-half-year-old-behavior/

This article describes my son to a tee, and gave me much comfort this morning as I read it and thought perhaps he is not going to become a mass murderer after all.

How many months until age four?

*Fact Check- All statements are true and correct….Unfortunately

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One Hilarious Christmas Wish

em and nick

 

 

 

 

 

 

All my brother asked for this Christmas was for me to record “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with him. 

em and nick recording

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here it is…Utter hilarious, joyous, genious.

http://www.kennethrozek.com/Christmas/babyitscoldemilynick.mp3

 

em and nick recording 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you all had a blessed and beautiful Christmas, in from the cold!

Love,

The Motherfog Family

Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Future…

We decorated our Christmas tree last night. The sweetness of the ritual actually matched with the expectations of such highly anticipated events.

Every year, it seems that we suffocate these precious moments with whimsical visions of what they should be, and quite often they don’t measure up to the glorious recollections of decades past.

Each December, as the holidays have rolled around, there has most often been a distraction or at times, a heaviness, drawing me to an agitated distance from the moment.  Decorating trees, for example has felt like a chore,  either because of a busy schedule or just an absence of good old holiday spirit.

“Let’s just put it up fast and keep the ornaments to a minimum so we’ll have less to put away. We’ll do this right next year”

Why is that?  Lets go back.

2006– My Dad Passed away in April of that year.  The first holiday without a dear loved one sucks no matter how much spiked eggnog you drink or how zany-fun your family members are.

2006

2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2007 -Exactly one year prior, we had moved to Los Angeles with Wicked.   Doing a show on Christmas Eve is not a terrible way to spend the holiday, but you can’t bring your family on stage with you…especially if they live on the opposite coast.  But, I was about 12 weeks pregnant, so that was exciting, and we were only contracted to stay in LA for another six months.  After that, it was back to our families in the East!

2007

2007

 

 

 

*Spoiler Alert – We stayed in Los Angeles for five years.

 

 

2008– we were supposed to be enjoying our new baby girl who would have been 5 months old. Instead, we were in the thick of fertility treatments. Thanks to dear friends who became family, we were able to distract for brief moments with some Hanukkah  joy.  We became honorary Jews for the five years we were in LA and we miss it and them dearly.

2008

2008

 

 

 

 

 

*Spoiler Alert – We found out on January 2nd that aforementioned  fertility treatments were a success!

 

 

2009– Zachary Nicholas was born! A very special Christmas indeed. But, there was something bittersweet about having our first Christmas with our new baby, 3000 miles away from our families.  But, I must repeat, an amazing, blessed year.  One of the best of my lifetime.

2009

2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2010 – Decorating the tree with a 16-month-old in a cast, (broken leg number one) while 33 weeks pregnant with and eager fetus causing contractions two minutes apart for hours and days on end is slightly less than fun, just in case you were wondering.

2010

Don’t let the smile fool you. I have formal acting training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Said contractions sent us to the hospital for preterm labor to ring in the New Year with apple juice in the maternal fetal care unit.

New Year's Eve 2011

New Year’s Eve – 2011

 

 

*spoiler alert-Isabelle Anne hung on for three more weeks and was born at 36 weeks, a perfect and healthy 6 lbs, 1 oz. The other best year of my life.

 

2011– we threw up an artificial pre-lit tree and let it shine ornament-less in a sea of empty boxes while we packed for our cross-country move from LA to NJ, scheduled for December 26th.

2011

2011

 

 

 

*Spoiler Alert – The trip across the country was a complete debacle.  More on that here.

 

 

2012 – No move is planned…for at least for another year.  And, employment is on the horizon. Not just any employment. Employment that excites (and terrifies) me beyond anything I have ever imagined. Huge life change.

More on that later. Back to last night’s long-awaited tree decorating evening of utter, priceless, memory making, delicious, please freeze this moment in time, perfection.

IMG_1116

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need I say more?

A Very Rozek Christmas

EASTER IN NY 2006 (10)

 

 

 

 

 

This is what my sisters do in their spare time.  Amazing.  Unfortunately I was left off the list when the whistling talent was handed out.   The whole thing is brilliant, but the end might be my favorite part.

Way to Go, Girls!

Rozek Girls- Jingle Bells Medley

What’s this whole red and blue thing about, eh?

My trip to Canada was brief, as are most of my business jaunts. I like to get right home to the hubby and kids, but I could have tolerated just an hour or two longer this time. By the time I wound down from the show and jammied up for bed, it was 1 a.m. The car picked me up at 4:15. I settled myself into the black sedan and hoped to drift off during the hour long trip to Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

Within seconds, I knew the driver was a talker, something I normally don’t like, especially at that hour, but I was quickly drawn into our conversation and we pulled up to my terminal before I could say “Oh man, I’m sorry if I drift off on you. I can barely keep my eyes open.”

This delightful, roly poly fellow, with the innocent face of Santa Clause began talking about his hobbies, love of soccer and adventures of being a limo driver- a job he searched out post-retirement just to keep from setting a bad example for his teenage sons by lying on the couch all day.

The chat found its way to a story of an altercation. I don’t remember the details, but it involved a robber of sorts that he chased after on foot.

“Wow! Were you terrified?” I asked.

“No. Not really. So few people have guns in this country. They’re extremely hard to get”

A target shooter himself, he explained that in Canada the process to own a fire arm is long and drawn out. He had to take classes, have an affidavit signed and notarized by his wife stating that she was comfortable with her husband keeping a weapon in the house, and once all of that was completed, there was a mandatory one month waiting period before the gun could be obtained. They call it a “cooling off” period.

Naturally, this brought the conversation to the States and its total jackassery concerning such issues.

“What did you guys up here in Canada think of the election and the three ring circus it rode in on?”

“I didn’t really follow it. But what’s this whole red and blue thing about, eh?”

Oh, Canada. Might you have room for four more citizens? Two of them are extremely adorable. I can have them dressed in maple leaves and singing “O Canada” in harmony, lickety-split. Just think about it and get back to me. We’ll be rehearsing.

Fact Check:
All statements are true and correct. Even that which is most offensive- I was awake and in the car at 4 a.m.

Oh, Canada

Off to Canada for a concert. Let’s hope I make better choices this time…

Sleepwalking across the border

Bop Bust Buzz

Here’s the long-awaited bop verdict, folks. For those of you who don’t know what a “bop” is or why we are awaiting a verdict, read this.

Much to our surprise, taking the bops away from the three-year-old could not have been less of an issue. Aside from engaging us in an admirably well-played, yet futile negotiation, his bedtime was painless and bopless. Although, he did calmly tell us the next morning that he “wished for his bops during the night”, he hasn’t mentioned them again. He actually sleeps more soundly now without the plastic-to-wood clacking sound as they fall from his bed, waking and reminding him of what he now knows, he doesn’t actually need.

Done and done.

His sister, the 22 month old, on the other hand is a different story. After four nights and five days of screaming and crying until we’ve spent an hour and a half rocking her to sleep for both naps and bedtime, we have seen no progress. In fact, the days of late bedtimes and restless naps have taken their toll, and in her exhausted state, it seems to be getting worse rather than better.

We’ve aborted mission.

After an hour of screaming, 17 visits to her room to rock her, rub her back, change her diaper and tell her firmly that it’s time to go to bed, I caved. I ran to the drawer, grabbed her addiction and put it in her hand. She was out before I made it to the door and wasn’t heard from until 6:30 a.m.

In a year, should she not as gracefully accept the bop banishment as her older brother, I will surely admonish myself repeatedly and with great disdain. I invite you to do so as well.

But, here are my questions…

How much damage can be done to her jaw and teeth in the ten minutes a day she uses a pacifier to fall asleep? It falls out within five minutes of her slumber and is lost in the blanket or in between the crib rungs and mattress for the remainder of the night. Is it worth the loss of a much-needed nap and a consistent and peaceful bedtime?  Is it not just a better idea to wait until the child is old enough to understand (and has already dropped the sacred nap so there is less at stake), as clearly displayed with my son? Or is there some other horrific side effect of which I am not aware?

Honest questions, people. Thoughts are welcome.

Fact Check:

All statements are true, correct and un-fluffed.