Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Haircut

We have successfully completed our first haircut without incident, unless you consider Max flirting with everyone in the salon as an incident.

I picked him up from his school on Thursday and took him to see Anjie, our hairdresser and long time family friend, at Jessie James Hair Studio. I was prepared for a meltdown since we've had such trouble with anything to do with water lately, but it couldn't have gone any better. Max behaved like a perfect gentleman.

Anjie had a little case to use as a booster, a cape with penguins on it, and some shiny hair clips for Max to play with while she worked. A few snips here and a little buzzing there (which kind of tickled Max's neck) and Max had a new 'do!

He was smiling from ear to ear as all the ladies in the shop admired him. And I'm pretty sure I was smiling from ear to ear with the relief that only a mother can have as her baby boy achieves yet another milestone.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Max and Gigi

When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of months ago we were all very concerned. Cancer is very scary no matter what form it comes in. The whole family has held their collective breath as we waited for details of the treatment and prognosis. As a son, I have tried to be strong and supportive. I feel it is important for me to be upbeat and positive when I talk to my Mom. I admit, however, that I did break down at least once or twice when we first heard the news.

One of the drawbacks to a family member having cancer is the illness becomes the elephant in the room. We all know, but it becomes difficult to talk about it. No one wants to broach the subject for fear of facing the possibilities. It has become even more difficult as my Mom began suffering the side effects of chemotherapy. It was quite shocking for me to walk into the room and see her when she began losing her hair. (Although not as shocking as the first time I remember “catching” her coloring her hair. I had come inside for a drink of Kool-aid and there stood Medusa in front of the kitchen sink, strands of hair sticking out of her plastic coloring cap.)

A bright spot during the last several weeks has been Max. He really loves his Gigi and is too young to understand what is happening. He loves her unconditionally and just beams when she is around. He didn’t seem to notice when Mom began losing her hair. If he did notice, he didn’t care. He has taken a shine to her colorful hat collection, though. As with all hats (and glasses) he will snatch them off of your head and attempt to put them on.

The first time he did this to Gigi I gasped wondering what my mother’s reaction would be. You see, my Dad has been “follicly challenged” as long as I can remember, but my mother was very new to the concept. As with all things, my mother handled the event with grace and class. She went along as if nothing had happened.
Mom has been amazing through every step of her treatment so far. With three chemo sessions down and one more to go before surgery and radiation, we are all in awe of her strength and courage.

Many times I have thanked God for this gift I call Max. His happy disposition and childhood innocence will often put things into perspective for me. I believe that the Lord uses my son to help our family focus on what is important. We are thankful for what we have and just enjoy being together. We should all be content with the little things like sitting on your grandmother’s lap and reading a book.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What do you mean you don't want to take a bath?

At some point during the last month Max has decided he hates taking a bath. This is very troubling to Shannon and I because up until now he has loved playing in the bathtub. He cries at the mere suggestion of a bath. The sound of running water sends him into a panic.

The other night I just said “bath time” and he replied with a pitiful “no”. Then he started waving his arms in front of him like a sailor on an aircraft carrier trying to flag down a plane. It was pretty clear how he felt about the whole idea of getting cleaned up. I probably would have let it go if he hadn't had dried snot on his upper lip and dried sweet potatoes on his chin and neck.

Gone are the days when Max would splash in the tub and play with his toys until the water was cold. He sobs from the time you get him undressed until he has been slathered with lotion and is in his footie jammies. It makes us feel awful.

I don’t know what triggered this aversion to water and we are at a loss as to what to do. We have tried a different bathtub. We tried a shower instead of a bath. We have tried just sponging him off in the sink. We have even tried getting in the tub with him. (Granny Alice even put on her bathing suit and got in with him in an effort to convince him it was just swimming.)

Nothing works. He just cries the whole time.

The real problem (besides feeling terrible that my son is wailing) is that he is mobile and active during his every waking moment now. He is working on feeding himself with a spoon and enjoys playing outside. Both of these new activities are causing him to be dirtier than ever. Now that he actually needs a bath, he doesn’t want to take one.

We will have to find a way to work through it because I don’t want to be the father of the “smelly” kid.