The winning disease

Kevin, giving Rocco a bottle: “This is a good vintage.  January.” *********************************************************************************************************************************
Thanks for your advice on V’s night terrors—turns out he’s not special at all, thank goodness.  Your advice was so good you’ve earned another cry for help from me.

So Vincenzo turns everything into a competition, and he has to win every time.  “I was the first one down the stairs!”  “I’m the first one to get ready!”  “I was the first one done with my ice cream!”  Does this sound familiar to anyone but me?

We have tried to mess with him 100 different ways.  He’ll yell that he was the first one to get to the table and I’ll say, “Oh darn.  This was a competition for second place, so I guess that means you lose after all.” 

Surprisingly, a temper tantrum ensues.

Or he’ll yell, “I was the first one to look out the window!  Daddy loses!” and I’ll say, “Okay, here’s your first place medal.  It’s really teeny tiny, so you might not be able to see it.”  I  pretend to put a teeny medal around his neck.  Then I put an imaginary gigantic last-place medal on Kevin’s neck and he falls to the ground it’s so heavy.

Surprisingly, a temper tantrum ensues.

Lately I’ve taken to just beating him outright.  If you see the Mom racing her son at the mall and clearly kicking his ass, and as her son screams that she cheated or that he was first or that the race wasn’t fair, the Mom insists, “Nope.  I won. You lost.  I didn’t cheat—I’m just faster than you.”  Yeah, that would be me.

Surprisingly, you know the what happens next.

The situation is only getting worse though.  Yesterday Vincenzo called from his room, “Mom, can you come into my room for a sec?”  “Sure,” I said…and as soon as my foot crossed into his room, he yelled, “I was the first one in my room!  I win!”  And if anyone else ever does beat him in something, he uses our strategy and tells them it was a second-place competition so he wins.  Oops.

At dinner last night, we had this conversation:

Vincenzo: Who will be the first one done with dinner?  Me!  I win!
Me: Who will be the first one to be the last one to finish dinner?  Me!  I win!
Kevin: Who will be the first one to be a daddy?  Me!  I win!
Kevin: V: Who will be the first one to wear a blue shirt?  Me!  I win!
M: Who can be the first one to say, “Vincenzo?”  “Vincenzo!”  I win!
K: Who will be the first one to stop competing?
V: Me!  I will!  I win!  I’m the first one to stop competing!

So.  What am I supposed to do?  Keep beating him until winning seems like a novelty?  State more loudly and more frequently that I’m not competing (as that’s actually the most common strategy I use)?  Stop acting like we’re four-year-olds around him? 


Night terrors

QUICKIE:  Kevin gave Rocco a “Peebody Award” this morning for waking up covered in his own pee.
So Vincenzo does this thing sometimes where he wakes up in the middle of the night screaming, rocking, pawing the air at people or things only he can see.  If we touch him he usually just screams louder.  Last night he actually did let me hold him and then he peed all over me, much to my husband’s amusement.  (“Some kids wet their bed.  Vincenzo wets his mother.”)  If we ask Vincenzo what’s wrong or what he’s dreaming about during these episodes, he manages to throw a couple of garbled, unintelligible words into his screaming.  His eyes are the scariest at these times—black and glassy, unfocused and unconnected to the person inside his body.

The only way we’ve found to snap him out of it is to act cheerful and start reading a book to him as if his head isn’t actually spinning around until eventually he lays down and his breathing slows and his body stops jerking up and down with his sobs.

The whole thing is freaky and creepy in a call-the-priest kind of way.  Vincenzo remembers nothing of it when he wakes up.

I’m just wondering, do anyone else’s kids do this?  Is it normal-ish?  Or should we see someone about it?  Does anyone have any insight about what’s going on in his head?

Say what?

Things that have been said at our house this week:

1.  Kevin nicknamed Rocco “Furious George” for his middle-of-the-night crying sprees.

2.  Kevin was reading a book to Vincenzo that had a flying dinosaur in it and this conversation happened:

V: Oh, I know what that is!  That’s a rectile!
K: What?
V: The flying dinosaur is a rectile.
K: Oh…and so if it couldn’t fly, would that be called a rectile dysfunction?

3.  I made Rocco a mashed yam on Easter and dubbed it the “Yam of God.”

4.  When we all fell asleep one afternoon, Kevin named it “Napternoon.”

5.  Vincenzo is still playing a lot of doctor with us this week.  Some of the more colorful incidents have been when bear came in complaining of a hurt knee so Dr. Alvin chopped his legs off and told him now his knees wouldn’t hurt anymore; when the Mariner Moose came in and basically asked for performance-enhancing drugs (“Doc, do you have anything that will make me stronger and faster?”); and when bear returned to Dr. Alvin’s office later with all the paperwork for a lawsuit.

Parental leave might leave our children permanently scarred for life, but at least Kevin and I are having fun!

Fruit crepes
Fried ham
Starbucks french pressed coffee

Butt out!

Just to show you Easter wasn’t all about the butts, crotches, and garbage cans, here are a few other pictures.  This was the first Easter when Vincenzo actually ran for the eggs like his shorts were on fire instead of sweetly meandering around, picking up an occasional egg and saying things I could put on my blog.  I wasn’t ready for that…but when has he ever waited for me to be ready for the next phase in his life?

Anyway, the pix:








Oh yeah, this guy was there too.


White chicken chili
Parmesan broccoli
Sugar cookies
Spiked chocolate espressos

Butt it’s Easter!

I know everyone is posting pictures of Easter eggs and Easter egg hunts today.  If there was a bridge they were all jumping off too, I’d totally be there.

I just love seeing the looks on the faces of the egg-hunters come Easter morn’.


This is not a picture of my son on Easter.  It’s a picture of Kevin’s butt and someone’s crotch on Easter.


You had no idea Kevin was this tall, did you?


One thing about Grammy and Poppy’s house: there’s guaranteed to be a garbage can somewhere in your picture.  They are either the cleanest people or the dirtiest people in their neighborhood.







But when you can’t lick ‘em, you may as well join ‘em.


WHAT’S FOR BREAKFAST (at Grammy and Poppy’s):
Waffles with blueberry sauce and whip cream
Grandpa’s pepper sausage
Fried eggs
Smoked salmon breakfast casserole
Fruit salad
Easter cookies


Nothing big, so here are some random bits to keep you comin’ back.

1. I just really loved the storefront.  The business’ name is: “Attention to Detail.”


2.  I don’t understand why people rinse fruits/vegetables in water before eating them.  Does showering water on a bunch of grapes send the e-coli germs screaming to their e-coli mamas?  Does it wipe the germs off the apple that twenty people fondled and rejected before you carefully selected it that day?  I just don’t get it.

3.  Kevin is in his second week of parental leave.  Ask me how it’s going. 

“Oh, how is Kevin’s parental leave going?  It’s AWESOME!!!  I love having him around!  We’re getting so much done and I’m finally not tired!  I got a pedicure!  I went for a run!  We now have pavers under the deck!  The path to the playhouse is halfway finished!  We’re going to touch up our paint next week!”

4. Kevin is in his second week of parental leave.  Ask him how it’s going.

*glazed-over eyes* 
*haggard look* 

5  Vincenzo has been playing a lot of doctor lately.  The name of his office is “Alvin’s Hospital for Pets,” and it’s in space (because duh!).  Here’s a typical doctor-patient encounter:

Bear: *knock knock*
Dr. Alvin: Yes?
Bear:  I’m hungry.
Dr.:  That’s an easy fix.  What are you hungry for?
Bear: People.  Specifically doctors.
Dr.:  Well too bad I’m a turtle. 
*punches bear in nose* 
Bear: *knock knock*
Dr.: Yes?
Bear: I’m hungry.
Dr.: What are you hungry for this time? 
Bear: Turtles!
Dr.:*punches bear in nose* 
Bear: *knock knock*
Dr.: Yes?
Bear: My nose hurts. 
Dr.: *fixes nose* 
Bear: Thanks. 
Bear: *knock knock)
Dr.: Yes?
Bear: I’m hungry. 
Dr.: *punches in nose*

White bean huevos rancheros