Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Ethan!

My beautiful nephew is so big, I can't believe he was just two when I met him. He was so shy. Now he's insane, like Theo. He had an awesome birthday party, Jodi had a guy bring in exotic animals. The kids just loved it. I fell in love with the tiniest little fox.

All the kids got to hold a giant python:

Here's Ethan caught red-handed playing with his girly toys - pet playhouse. But that's okay, he had a Star Wars themed birthday party, so his masculinity is intact. And that's pretty Gianna in the background.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hey, Where are the Chips?


Oldie but Goodie pic
This was at Ell and Glo's a while back...Theo was chubbier than I thought as a toddler

Wide Open Hearts

Congratulations to Michelle and Gigi, foster parents of three beautiful siblings - a newborn, a toddler, and a 4 year old.

Michelle, I don't know how you do it, but you're a hero. Not too many people would take on such a noble effort. Those kids couldn't have been placed in a better home.

I can't wait for Theo to meet his new playmates! They'll be his first real friends in the neighborhood.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bringing Smiles to the World One Punk at a Time

Saturday, mom and I took Theo to Central Park. A woman there was making balloon animals for the kiddies. Grandma was happy to get Theo a couple. Theo had little interest in the final product, he just liked watching the balloons get blown up, and so we stayed a while to watch her blow up balloons for other children. In the end, the balloon lady handed Theo a smiley-face sticker, and he stuck it on his jacket.

Later, on the train ride home, Theo took the only available seat next to a punk-man with multiple piercings,a tattooed neck, and a leather jacket adorned with skulls. After looking at the man for a minute, Theo removed his smiley-face sticker and put it on the man's black leather jacket.

I guess he thought the man could use a brighter outlook.

The Cutest Little Dinner Guest

Being the upper crust socialites that we are, Joe and I entertained dinner guests two times in the past three days. (And being the geeks that we are both nights ended in board games).

Theo's behavior has always been hit or miss during these dinner parties. Both nights this weekend we gave him dinner before the guests arrived to ensure that he would eat. And both nights he sweetly sat at the table with us and proceeded to eat a second dinner.

Both nights he consumed unheard of amounts of sugar, both from beverages served and dessert. He tried to drink mommy's "juice" (the kind in the wine glass) but settled for "I tea." He had a gazillion helpings of cake and cookies and ice cream. The first night he was up until a mind boggling 1AM with no display of overtired crankiness. The second night was a school night and he got hysterical when we tried to put him to bed early. He wasn't having it, not with so much action taking place in the living room.

And so Theo remained as a guest at the table, all the way through dinner, dessert, and games. He charmed everybody. My little socialite sure loves attention.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ah, Short -Lived Years of Loving School

As told to me by Joe:

Theo's bus is supposed to come by 8:20AM. This morning, when then bus still hadn't come at 9, and the bus company was of no help to my very frustrated husband on the phone, he took Theo to school himself.

When Theo realized that he wasn't going to be getting on his bus, but instead was going back upstairs with daddy, he was hysterical. He threw a fit. Even when Joe took him to the train, Theo kept his mad face on the entire time.

20 minutes later, when they arrived at school, Theo brightened up right away. When Joe looked up from signing Theo in, Theo was gone. He had run to the gym so that he could join circle time. The door was closed, and since he couldn't join his classmates, who were singing songs on the other side, Theo stood outside the door singing the songs.

Joe's nightmare of a morning had a happy ending.

(The bus, by the way, apparently shortly showed up after Joe left. So they say.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Potty Progress

Warning: This post contains graphic content. Do not read if you can't handle it.

Yesterday Joe picked Theo up so I could get a manicure. While I was out, he called me, excited about a tiny little poop Theo just made in the toilet.

Joe said: "First he did a big one in his diaper and then he went and sat on the potty. I said, "Theo sat and sat and sat sat and sat sat and sat sat and sat sat and sat." [note: this is Theo's favorite page from the book: Once Upon A Potty]. And out came a little poop!"

"Wow," I replied. "Did you make a big deal out if it, was he proud?"

"Oh, he was so proud! We clapped and wiped and flushed, and then he ran and found his potty book and read it in bed. I'm telling you, our boy is smart."

Even if Theo did poop in there by accident, finishing off a larger poop that went in the diaper, hopefully it showed him what is supposed to happen when he sits on the toilet. Maybe he learned how it feels, smells, looks, etc...

Last night I put underwear on him that looked just like daddy's, but he went and got a diaper. Oh well, one step at a time!

Mets Monster

Uh oh, I've created a Mets monster. We've all been watching the playoffs this week.
Two nights ago I held up my fist and tried to get Theo to chant, "Let's Go Mets!" He didn't repeat it.

About an hour later, I was half asleep toward the end of the game. Joe shook me, "did you hear that, babe?"

"Et's go mmmmmmmmets," said a sweet voice, over and over again.

Joe and I were captivated by his cuteness. For about a minute. Then Theo forced me to do the fist thing and chant with him, and if I stopped, he threw a temper tantrum.

The same thing happened again last night.

My arm was getting tired from waving, so I resigned myself to singing endless rounds of Old McDonald instead. Theo is on an Old McDonald kick because his school will be visiting a farm soon. He has also been singing Farmer in the Dell. (I was happy to recognize the tune he was singing from the melody...not from the words).

Here's how we sing Old McDonald... when I get to "and on that farm he had a..." Theo names something. Usually he says pig, cow, or beet (sheep). But last night he started looking around and naming everything in the room.

And on that farm he had a... chair!
And on that farm he had a... daddy!
And on that farm he had a ... Bruce!
And on that farm he had a ... lamp!
And on that farm he had a ... turtle! (we don't have a turtle but he just saw Uncle Elliot's and Aunt Gloria's and so he must have been thinking about it)

For as long as I've known Joe I've seen him sing HIS version to kids.

And on that farm he had a ... tyrannosaurus rex. And then Joe eats the kid.

Last night Joe did:

And on that farm he had an ... alligator. And he snapped Theo up. Theo cracked up like crazy. It was wild to see Joe do with his own kid what I'd seen him do to so many before. Joe, as a photographer, has lots of funny ways to make kids smile. He has an electric handshake, he performs the taking off the thumb trick, he plays rock-paper-scissors and brings in an atomic bomb, he tells the story of how he was swallowed by a whale... it's fun whenever Theo gets old enough for Joe to use one of his age old games and make Theo laugh. It's things like that that made me fall in love with Joe 6 years ago, and it fills my heart to see him make my own son smile.

Well, I've digressed. I started talking about Theo the Mets Monster and ended up getting all gushy over my husband.

Anyway, tonight's game 7 of the playoffs...come on, come on, come on!!!! We NEED this win. Then it's off to the World Series.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Apple picking pictures added to apple picking post

Bugs Bunny


Theo went to the fridge, opened the crisper drawer, and pulled out a bag of carrots. I'm talkin' unbrushed, unpeeled, big long carrots. He made Joe open the bag and give hm one. Joe was saying, "Theo, what are doing." I said "yeah, Theo, come on, you're not going to eat it, just play with it, put it back."

But Theo proceeded to eat the carrot. And another and another. I hope I didn't poision him by not washing/peeling them, but I didn't want to break his momentum.

That night he also asked for broccoli. And this all happened after dinner. This is Theo's version of snacking.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Thanks, Guys

I received an outpour of affection from you readers in response to the school post, and it means the world to me. It reminds me of why I chose to close this blog off to most and allow only people who really care about Theo to know the private situation we're dealing with. We celebrate his triumphs together and you're all there to lend encouragement on the harder days. Theo and I are lucky to have family and friends who love us so much.

Yesterday I wrote while fresh from the phone call with Grace. So while yes, I am confused and frustrated at times, there are also many times when I'm hopeful and encouraged. A couple of you are convinced in your heart of heart (heart, not hearts - Hamlet) that Theo is fine and will indeed live a normal life. A couple of you advised me not to brush off any labels if it means getting him the help he needs. I am encouraged by both pieces of advice.

Theo is happy, and a sweetie pie. This morning he thought I was leaving without hugging him goodbye (I was just getting my jacket)and he threw a fit. I love my monkey.

Switching It Up

If you read the "poop" post below you'll understand this post.

I almost threw Theo's child seat for the toilet away. It's a good thing I didn't, because this morning he went to the toilet (after wetting his diaper of course) and sat there a minute before getting frustrated. He fetched his potty seat, put it on the toilet, and sat back down.

I think he just likes to keep me on my toes.

Monday, October 16, 2006

How's Theo? I Don't Know

I just spoke to Grace and it turned out to be a tough phone call. Theo is very happy at school and does well with the routines, but during free play he is lost when not given direction from an adult. Someone has to tell him what to play with and after a few minutes he sort of just stops and looks off.

I told her this isn't the Theo I know. That he's so independent, to the point of being defiant since he knows exactly what he wants to play with and is tough to sway when he's made up her mind. She said she wouldn't even begin to describe him as defiant as school. When I asked if he ever whined, she couldn't believe it. Oh no, never!

I'm glad he's not defiant, but why is he so aloof? She said maybe he's just not comfortable yet, and a lot is going around him, and it's only been a month. But Theo has never had an issue with this before. As far as I know he was independent at daycare, as soon as we got there he would run to some toy. He's never had a problem getting adjusted. She did say though, that he loves circle time. They sing about everyone there that day and things like that. But it's very routine oriented. That part was no surprise, he is very routine oriented.

Other things she said -He's very good with sensory toys like playdough. They're trying to show him how to be productive with it. All the running and climbing he does in the playground is good for him. He mostly eats well.

Also very upsetting is that he doesn't seem to favor any one kid. I was hoping he'd have made a friend.

She said I'll be hearing from Jeanie, the speech therapist soon. They would like to put him on the PECS program. I shuddered when I heard that. I have read about PECS and I know it's a program for autistic children. It's a picture exchange communications program. She said it will help him take the words he already has and better develop his understanding. I'm all for anything that will help him... this is just so damn difficult.

As for potty training, Grace was very surprised when I told her what Theo does at home. At school he never tells when he's wet or soiled. But he does stand at the urinals with the other boys, even though nothing happens. She said he needs to communicate awareness of being wet/soiled before they can train him, but now that they know he does it at home, they'll look for it and work on it. And she said by all means I can start at home.

Theo is more different at school vs. home than I expected. And I expected him to prosper more at school than at home. I'm so confused on so many levels. More and more I feel like the clock is ticking, the before- kindergarten-starts clock. I want answers. Is Theo autistic or not? Is he going to have a normal life one day or not? If I knew, one way or the other, I could at least be prepared. I don't know, I'm upset, I just got off the phone with Grace so this is all very fresh. Maybe tomorrow I'll have more perspective...

Playground Reflections

I like having lived in the same neighborhood Theo's whole life (all three years of it). Having gone to the same playground for the three years, yesterday I sat and pondered. There's not much else to do when you're watching your kid play at the park.

I reflected on the past few years of going to that playground. I have pictures of little Theo, not knowing how to walk yet, making his first attempts to climb the ladder that he now scurries up.

While these days I give myself a hernia trying to lift Theo on to the swing, once baby Theo was so tiny he looked like he could slip through one of the leg holes on the swing. He still has no desire to go on the big kid swing, even though he's able.

This photo is from Aunt Gloria, taken in Bayside when Theo was much wittwer

At the playground, there's a bridge that is made up of steps on different levels. I remember Joe teaching him how to go across, slow and steady. We were so proud when he learned the balance required. Now he flies across the bridge as though it were a sidewalk.

There's a once-beloved tunnel and kiddie slide that now goes un-noticed.

The games have changed too. Once Theo couldn't wait to get to the park so he could practice just climbing the steps. I was looking forward to the day I could just sit on a bench and watch him play, and not have to take every step with him. (And sure enough, I am very happy now to plop my lazy butt down while he goes off and does his thing.)

I took him on the slide as a baby, when he couldn't even sit up. He would just lie there and slide with my help. Eventually he could slide on his own, but he couldn't figure out that you need to lift your sneakers slightly or you won't get too far. But now he's the slidemaster. Climbs effortly up the slide, slides down backwards - he can do it all. Although once, I saw older boys go down the slide on their skateboards - I really hope he never tries that. But I'll worry about that when the time comes.

Playgrounds are interesting. For little kids they provide fun in the purest. Then, for older kids they're just a place to go, especially in a suburban neighborhood. When it gets dark, it's a good place to be naughty. My friends and I tried our first cigarette at a playground. As a teen, I went to a playground to kiss my boyfriend. And now, I'm back at playgrounds as a mom. Many old people come to just sit and observe. The playground really does have its place throughout the entire life cycle.

Metrosexual Preschooler

Both Joe and I have mentioned clothing temper tantrums now. It's a losing battle that I decided I'm not going to fight anymore. For instance, one day he decided he was no longer willing to wear pajamas to bed. Only jeans. I protested at first, but I have since given in. It's not worth fighting about. Like so many other things, it'll be a phase that he grows out of. (Coming home and wanting to get into jammies right away being one of them. That was a cute phase.)

Yesterday to go to the park Theo insisted on wearing a long sleeve, button down collared shirt. Ok, Theo. Next, I pulled out a comfy pair of sweatpants, and he threw them, and scooped up a pair of jeans instead. Ok, Theo.

At the park I watched my very fashionable boy play. I couldn't help but be proud of him, with his New Yorker mentality already established.

Morning Routine

Guest blogger: Joe Orecchio

My greatest fathering joy is the daily morning routine I share with my son.

Elyse, my wife, leaves for work earlier than I do, so the job of getting Theo dressed and out to the school bus falls to me. It is a job I am grateful to have.

I shake the sleep from my eyes and get out of bed with the La la la la la of Elmos's world. Theo is usually already up and doing some little boy thing, but sometimes he is a sleepy head in need of rousing. A bit of nudging and light wrestling does the trick.

“Got to get ready for school bug,” I'll say.

“School bug” he'll say as he springs into action.

Elyse will be putting on her final makeup touches and getting his lunch ready as Theo scurries to his drawers and picks out his clothes. This doesn't always go so well. Often he wants to wear a shirt that is dirty or just wrong for school. This morning he picked out one of Elyse's shirts. It can become a struggle. One that I win.

Elyse is usually out the door when I say, “Socks.” With that, Theo runs to the bedroom, climbs on the bed and pulls one of his little pairs of socks from the top drawer. I wait for him on the couch to come out from the bedroom, socks in hand, and crawl into my lap. Once his socks are on, he pops off, gets his sneakers and crawls back in my lap.

With him dressed, I throw on a pair of jeans, my own socks and sneakers as he tugs down my Milledge Mets shirt from my closet door hook. The days are getting colder, so now I throw a sweater over the shirt. I pour a cup of coffee, collect up his lunch and put it in his Spongebob book bag.

This is the moment when Theo gets his lovey of the moment. A few weeks ago it was a little yellow schoolbus. This week it's a red truck. Months ago I was silly enough to believe that his elephant was going to be his Velveteen rabbit, but Theo is a love em and leave em kind of guy. I put on his jacket and book bag as he switches his truck from hand to hand, and then we are out the door.

When I used to take him to daycare every morning, he would grab my New York Times and carry it all the way. These days he runs straight to the elevator button as I scoop up the paper.

Downstairs I sit on the step and once again he crawls into my lap. This is our quiet moment as I sip my coffee, read my paper and he watches diligently for the arrival of the bus. Neighbors pass us with cheerful goodmornings that Theo responds to with either his sweet voice or a wave of his hand. During this quiet moment I'm reading the paper and sipping my coffee, but I'm also cherishing the feel of my boy in my lap.

“There it is!” Theo yells as the bus pulls up. We leave the paper and the coffee behind and quick step it out to the street.

“Morning Theo” the bus driver says as the helper steps out to help him in. I should learn their names some day.

“Give me a kiss,” I'll say and he will, but only in a “I can't wait to get on the bus” quick kiss kind of way.

I then sneak around the back of the bus and mock scare a little asian boy that sits one seat up from the back. I'm not sure why I do this, but every morning the little boy is waiting to be scared and I love his smile.

Theo now has a window seat on the same side of the bus, so when I'm done scaring I tap on Theo's window. He's not that into me at this point. He's excited about his bus ride and the day ahead. He is off for his day, and I'm off for mine. Our routine is over, but I'll have it all back to cherish again the next morning.

This morning he waved as the bus drove away. It is a visual I will use the next time Theo throws one of his shirt tantrums to remind myself how blessed I am to have our morning school bus routine.

Poop is a Part of Life

Last week I wrote a note to Grace saying I'd like to call her to discuss toilet training, and that I thought Theo was ready. She wrote back asking if he showed discomfort when wet.

That's an understatement! When Theo wets or dirties his diapers he takes it off himself if I don't act quickly enough. This reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Maggie changes her own diaper while Grampa, who is babysitting, is asleep on the couch.

Theo still thinks he's supposed to go to the potty AFTER he goes in his diaper. He also refuses to sit on the little child sized seat you put on top of the toilet. I guess because at school they have little toilets and don't need those. And so he hoists himself up onto the big toilet and balances, holding on to the sides. I hope he can still concentrate on the task at hand!

Once on the toilet, he starts singing the potty song I wrote, and makes me sing it. I wrote this song when he was tiny and couldn't wait to sing it with him one day. It's a thrill having your kid sing a song you wrote!

It goes like this:

Poop Is A part of Life

Poop is a part of life
Poop is a part of life
So you put it in the potty
Flush it away
And say goodbye
Until next time

I assure you it has a very catchy melody that goes along with it, and even a big stagey key change if you repeat the verse enough times. It's quite the classy song.

Anyway, today I have a phone meeting with Grace. Hopefully a plan will be in place to get started. We have to coordinate with her and all who babysit him to really get this to work.

P.S. Yesterday he wasn't into wearing a diaper, he wanted to wear underwear. I got so excited that I took him to the park diaperless. When he climbed the ladder and I saw his red underwear sticking out of his jeans, it almost brought a tear to my eye. He was so grown up. Then five minutes later he peed his pants. Luckily I had brought a diaper just in case. But ok, ok, I got ahead of myself! No underwear outside the house just yet!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Close Enough!

Yesterday Theo brought me an apple from the fridge and said, "Open peese."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Warning: Sappy Posting Ahead

I've been very angry with Theo lately. The last couple of nights he has been a horror. But today is Oct 11, and a plane just crashed into a high-rise on the upper east side...sure puts things into perspective.

I'm glad I have family to go home to tonight, a family that includes a sometimes-monster.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Das Boot

As told to me by mom, over instant messenger:

Kanary Kat 303 (2:33:48 PM): Theo had so much fun in the playground in Roslyn and checking out the ducks. And guess what? Remember we once took him there when it was snowing and he lost a boot? Well there must be something about Roslyn, because when we left the playground area and went to the water to watch the ducks, sure enough, we looked down and Theo had only one sneaker on. (It was back at the swings, and we got it, but how funny is that to happen again?)

He was totally mesmerized by the animals, he sat down on the dock as low down as you could sit, and gazed at all the ducks and their babies. Dad got all excited when he realized what he had thought were pigeons were baby ducks. They followed around their mommies.

When we got back, I prepared him a macaroni and cheese, but in the five minutes it took to make, he had fallen fast asleep on the couch.

The Truth About Homemade

Theo has had a passion for applesauce lately. I buy him the kind that comes in individual cups, and I have to hide them so that I can pack them for school.

As I wrote about in my last post, we went apple picking yesterday. I was very excited to make Theo fresh applesauce, something I'd never made before.

This morning I enjoyed coring, peeling, cutting, etc... I placed the final result in a bowl and proudly brought it to the table, announcing my applesauce.

He investigated it for a minute. Then he pushed it away. It occured to me that it wasn't applesauce to him if it wasn't in a packaged cup.

And so I sat there, eating the abandoned applesauce, and pondered: why make fresh pancakes instead of pre-frozen? Why bake cookies instead of buy them? Little kids don't really care about these things. But then I realized the joy of doing these things is mine. It's even selfish in a way. After all, a kid gets to eat a pancake, a cookie, or applesauce much faster if they don't have to wait for it to be made. But I want to feel like a good mom for making it.

It's all a matter of making sure that one day he can throw his wife a guilt trip and say that his mom made stuff from scratch. Indeed, selfish. Mwahahahahaha.

If An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away...


Then we won't be seeing the doctor for months. Yesterday we went apple picking with Jodi, the boys, and my mom in law.

Theo and his cousins are so sweet together. When asked how old he is, Theo holds up three fingers and says "thweeeeee," and the boys think it's the most hysterical thing. So when they see Theo, they always ask him how old he is. The other day my friend asked Theo that question and Theo answered, "four." I was so puzzled. Now I realize it's because his cousin Ethan taught him that.

The boys look out for Theo. Max brought in clothes that he thought Theo could wear. Alexander was very interested in Theo learning to talk at school. And Theo, boy, is he excited to see those kids! He walked into grandma's house over the weekend and waved, "Hi Ethan!" They all immediately got busy playing loudly in the basement. The adults able to watch the Mets sweep the Dodgers in peace, except for the sound of a crash or a clunk here and there.

We stayed the night on Saturday, and yesterday we all went apple picking. The boys were all good little tree climbers, although the little ones required assistance.

Later, my sister-in-law Jodi was very amused with the idea of going to APPLEbees after apple picking. A perfect way to end the day. Well, it would have been more perfect if Theo didn't eat my dessert in addition to his own.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Funny Boy

Theo's sense of humor is improving. He's getting a better grasp on what is funny. For instance, last night he was playing with his toy schoolbus and saying, "choooo chooooo."

We laughed and told him a bus goes vroooooooom.

Theo said, shaking his head, "No vooom. bus choo choo"

A sentence! And a joke! What a great thing! He knew full well that a bus goes vroom. So we continued to banter back and forth and he continued to laugh and insist that a bus goes choo choo.

Another example: last night I lay down in Theo's bed and waited for him to pick up a book, as usual. He dipped into a bag of clothes and held up a hat. I said, "That's a hat. You can't read a hat!" Theo started cracking up. He took out a shirt. "That's not a book!" I played along. Next he held up a jacket, huge smile. Again, "That's not a book! You can't read a jacket!" And so on and so forth as he went through the clothes in the bag, laughing. (Eventually I realized the game wasn't going to stop if I kept laughing, so once I stopped laughing he finally went and got a book).

Let's Go Mets!

We're one game away from sweeping the Dodgers. Last night the three of us cuddled on the couch to watch the Mets win. Not much of a blog entry, but a nice memory that I want to record.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

School Orientation

Joe and I went to school today and asked, "why do we need to meet about Theo's orientation? He's only three."

The school held an orientation so that all the parents could meet all of the department heads. Each department head spoke about what they do, and their field (OT, PT, speech, etc).

It was worth going, and the people were very nice. Everyone really cares about the children. The stinky part was that we didn't get to see the kids.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The ball game

I posted recently that Theo refuses to roll the ball with me unless I have my legs down, spread in a V.

But when he rolls the ball with Joe, Joe must have his legs bent at the knee with his feet on the ground.

Is this a primal instinct for a male to tell a female to spread 'em?

How to Save Money

It was Sunday morning. I had already done laundry/housework on Saturday and didn't want to spend another day in, despite the rain. Joe was working, mom was busy, Lisandra was busy; I was at a loss for something to do.

Ok, I thought. Theo and I can go to the mall. He can play in the jazz playground and we always have fun when we go out on a date.

Theo curled up to me on the bus ride there. Uh oh, was he tired already? We haven't even gottent there yet!

First store, DSW shoe store, and if you know DSW, you know that it's huge. Theo refused to stay with me, and started running around the store and getting lost if I took my eye off him for one second (which I did, many times, to look at shoes). Finally I dragged him over to the shoes I wanted to try on and forced him to sit down while I sported some cute red flats. But Theo wasn't having it. First he threw his toy bus. Then he chucked a turquoise stilleto. Sigh. I knew we had to leave.

I took him to the playground, and got overpriced pizza. We had a good time sharing lunch. Then he went on a few of those quarter car rides. Finally, the sweet bonding I'd hoped for.

My next stop was Gamestop to buy a game. Just as I found a cool DS game I was set to purchase, he ran out of the store and toward the escalator, to head back to the playground. I fled the store and got to him before he could step on.

Foolish and stubborn as I am, afterward I went into Claires to look at some jewelry. That stop lasted all of five seconds, since he immediately attempted to climb the counter.

I gave up and headed home. Of course, he fell asleep on the short bus ride, meaning I didn't get to have my nap when he'd have his at home.

I guess Theo gets his hatred of malls from his father. Next time I want to save money, I'll have to take Theo with me.

I left a mall, a MALL, having only bought an overpriced slice of pizza and a dollar's worth of car rides. I may not have pretty new shoes, earrings, or a cool new video game, but I have a darling little boy. Grrrrrr.

Maybe it's time I put him on a leash.