Friday, October 23, 2015

To the parents of the boys on the train today....

On my train ride home today, two young boys -- not more than 11, but probably 10, probably 5th graders -- sat across the aisle from me. They were going home from the private school that is down the street from my office. They chatted and played video games on their phones.  They kept asking each other what stop this was, and what stop they had to get off at.  Reminding each other, really....

I kept wondering whether I'd be brave enough to let my 10 year old ride the train home by himself (well,with a buddy).  I believed this was a great thing for them: independence, responsibility, resourcefulness....  And all within a limited sphere:  just catch the train home with your pal, don't get off at the wrong stop, do get off at the right stop. It was totally within their capabilities.  And this limited independence is exactly what will help these boys become well-functioning adults.

But even though I recognized all of this, and even though I admired these boys and how well behaved they were (their parents should be very proud), I concluded that I probably wouldn't be brave enough.

I thought of The Boy and I was terrified at the thought of setting him out in the world on his own like that.  No, I couldn't do it.  A lump developed in my throat at the thought.

Indeed, I think I paid so much surreptitious attention to these boys because I was thinking of my own boy and how I would hope some adult on the train would silently and secretly watch over my son if he were out on his own. I was fully ready to step in, help them, protect them, if they needed any help.

But they didn't need any help. They were fine.  They had this handled. They knew what to do.

At one point, one of their moms called to make sure they'd gotten on the train. "Yes, MOM."  And she told them that she was in the car in the parking lot at their stop.

And soon, their stop came and they got off, easy as that. I watched them descend the platform steps.  They were confident, unafraid. I want my kid to be like that.

I just need to be like that first, confident and unafraid to let my boy venture out.

Right now, he's only 4 and a half, and he's no more ready to be set out on an almost-grown-up adventure than I am ready to allow it.

Maybe, in five and a half years, when he is 10, he will be, and maybe -- MAYBE -- I will be too.

For now, I'll just send out my thanks to those two good boys' moms and dads for the unintentional lesson in setting your little bird free.  I'll remember it.  It may not be the train, but I'll remember that he needs independence to become a good adult.  And I'll treasure the time right now, when I can keep him, mostly, safely under my wing.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oral antibiotics are ruining my day.

My son has an ear infection. I'm not sure how many ear infections he's had since June of this year, but this may be number 4. 

He's had trouble with his ears from the start. He got his first set of ear tubes when he was eight months old. When he was two years and a month old, he got his second set of tubes and had his adenoids removed.

He's four and a half, now. Tubes usually fall out after about 18 months, but The Boy's tubes stayed in a little longer than two years, but we were unaware of that until this summer.  (Or maybe we just assumed, but I swear some pediatrician or another along the way had told me, at least, that he/she thought the tubes were out.)

Anyway, in June he was taking swimming lessons and we, thinking that the tubes had fallen out, did not put ear plugs in his ears (which he hates anyway) or make him wear a swim cap (which he's not a huge fan of either, but will wear).

He quickly developed swimmer's ear (an
infection of the ear canal, basically) in his right ear. This likely had nothing to do with his tubes being in, but with an enormous plug of ear wax in that ear, which held water in there, encouraging infection. He was in a lot of pain. We put saline drops in his ear (mistake), and the previously mentioned enormous wax plug thus emerged as he screamed and writhed in pain. It was pretty awful. 

We took him to the doctor, got the diagnosis and he was prescribed Ciprodex ear drops, twice a day for seven days. It's not easy to administer the ear drops. He does not gently lay on his side and allow us to drip, drip, drip them into his ear.  He fights and fights hard. It takes one of us holding him down and the other one frantically trying to get the drops into his ear while he still manages to wriggle around in his other parent's grip. Everyone breaks a tiny sweat from this exercise, but we fairly efficiently get it done. 

Ciprodex for seven days twice day was the prescription for the intervening infections as well. It's a fun, twice daily activity for the whole family.

With this latest infection, we have, yes, the Ciprodex again, but something new too:  an oral antibiotic.

Specifically, this is penicillin. That was a tiny problem in the beginning because when The Boy asked how it tasted neither his dad nor I could taste it and tell him because we're both allergic. But we didn't want to TELL him that we are allergic to penicillin because he'd then tell us HE was also allergic...because he frequently develops temporary allergies to things he doesn't like or doesn't want to try.  So we were vague about why we wouldn't taste his medicine for him saying that it's HIS medicine and we aren't allowed to take it, etc. Fairly unconvincing, I thought, but he decided he would taste it himself and said it tasted like raspberry.

"Great!", I thought. This stuff tastes good. This is going to be easy-peasy. But no, no, nothing is easy. He soon began all of the arguments for why he can't take the antibiotics, mostly variations on the theme of "I don't like that medicine."  Arguments to the contrary like, "I know, but if you don't take the medicine, the infection could get worse and you could lose your hearing," fell on (pardon the very tasteless metaphor) deaf ears.

And, unlike the Ciprodex, where we can manhandle him down and stick the stuff into his ear forcibly, he has to let you give him the antibiotic. He has to open his mouth and take it and swallow it. He has to willingly do that. And you have to convince him to do that.

Well, I do. Every day. Twice a day. Morning and night.

I've tried things to encourage cooperation:  I drew a chart on the side of the bottle with spaces for each dose that we can mark off each time he takes it. Progress!  He's unimpressed. 

The medicine is a chalky white, so I let him choose a color of food coloring to change its color. This was really fun!  And he chose yellow. He really got into it.

Except that he's no fool. He knows that the medicine is the same medicine. It's just yellow, now, and looks like tempera paint.

And the dose is so large that hiding it in food or drink is impractical. Besides, we've tried that before with other medications and he detects it. Sharp cookie, this one.  Tough nut to crack. 

Which brings me to the mornings, when we are all under a time crunch to get to work and school....

The begging, pleading, cajoling, threatening, sending to his room, and, yes, yelling that goes on for 10 to 30 minutes prior to his grudging acquiescence to take the effing sunny-yellow elixir is never fun and always frustrating and stressful.

But the added pressure of time in the mornings turns this joyless task into a nightmare of anxiety-driven frustration and rage (on the part of mommy) and of jumbled obstinance and fear (on the part of boy). Basically, I have to yell at him before he'll take the medicine. I yell. He gets sober.  He gulps it down.  Done.  I feel like the shittiest mom in the world. He happily skips along on his day, recovered seemingly instantly from the fraught stand-off that occurred moments before. 

And I carry it with me, into the car, onto the train, into my office. All day, thinking and wondering how I may have damaged my son by my lunatic, but somehow necessary behavior, until I, of course, will do it again that evening. And the next morning. And evening. And the next.

I start out every encounter not wanting to yell, and occasionally, in the evenings, with the wealth of time, I can keep psycho-mommy chained up. But not in the morning. Psycho-mommy's got to get this shit done.

Today's yell wasn't even words. Not, "You will sit down and take this medicine right now!" articulated at volume.  No, today, when he started in on his explanation that he doesn't "like that medicine; it looks like paint," I had no words. Instead, a guttural, primal, "Ahhhhhhh!" emerged from my throat like an animal under attack. On the bright side, it worked really well and he took the medicine in record time this morning. (Nevertheless, I don't wish to repeat it.)

Only eleven more doses to go!  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Gummy Legos

I'm sure you've seen this video:

It's an instructional video for how to make gummy Legos.

If you have a Lego-obsessed child, perhaps many people have posted a link to this video on your Facebook wall. Maybe, after the fifth or sixth time someone did that, you casually browsed for Lego silicon molds and, even more casually, ordered a few of them to be delivered to you for free via Amazon Prime. And maybe your Lego-obsessed child saw the molds after they arrived at your door, and pestered you daily about what they were for. And MAYBE, it rained on a Saturday morning, and you needed an activity to do with your child.

If it all happened that way for you, then stop reading. You know this story. You lived this story. If not, well, here's a recipe and a little exposition. 

To make Lego gummies, you need the following ingredients:
2 packets gelatin
1 package of jello
1/2 c cold water
1/4 c corn syrup

Mix the water and corn syrup together until the corn syrup is dissolved. The water has to be cold, according to the video, or your gummies won't be clear.  This step takes a long time (because the water is cold)...but not as long as the next step. 

Now, you will put your water/syrup solution into a pot over NO heat. You will pour in the two gelatin packets and the package of jello, and you will stir this cold mixture until all of the lumps disappear.
The lumps will be copious. You will start stirring this concoction with your child who will exclaim:

"It turned purple!"

"It smells like grape!"

And the always heart-melting, "I always wanted to cook this with you!"

But soon, the character of those statements -- commensurate with your child's age, level of patience, and mood --- will change:

"There sure are a lot of lumps."

"Why it take so long to stir all the lumps?"

"Are we done now?"  ("No, we will never be done.")

At some point, your child may dismount the step stool he/she was standing on and begin singing, "Lego Gummies, Lego Gummies, Lego Gummies," while spinning in the middle of your kitchen like a girl tripping at a Dead concert (or Phish, for you youngsters).

And then you will say, "Do you want to go into the living room and play with your Legos while I keep stirring?"  Yes, he/she will want to do that.

So you will continue stirring, attempting to get all the white bits to dissolve, and your kid will have a luxuriously long Lego  session:  plenty of time to switch around heads on many, many, many Lego men. 

Finally, it will look like this:
There will still be tiny lumps in it, but you won't care. 

Time to get this stuff on some heat. Set your burner to medium low. (On my cooktop, the heat setting is numbered 1 through 9, and I chose 4.)  Set your pot of goo onto the burner and cook until fully dissolved, stirring occasionally so the stuff doesn't burn. When it's clear, you're done. Here's what mine looked like:

Not remarkably different in the picture from the pre-cooked stuff, but the liquid went from slightly opaque to see-through. 

Next, the video says you can pour your liquid straight into your molds now, but that doesn't resolve the problem of the foam that has developed on top. That won't make a pretty gummy. The video's suggestion for dealing with foam is to pour your liquid into a heat resistant glass, let it cool for 10 minutes, skim the foamy film from the top, put the liquid into a condiment bottle and then squirt it into your molds. Here's what I did:
Gravy fat separator:  probably gets used once a year, if that, around the holidays, and IF I make a turkey. Worked great for this application.  Kitchen multitasker:  Alton Brown would be proud. 

Now, you're ready to dish out your gummy syrup into the molds. Or you would be if your molds were dry.

Ideally, you would have unpackaged your molds and washed them at least a day before embarking on your gummy adventure. But this is not the ideal world. This is the world in which you washed these little molds with all of their crevices mere minutes before starting your series of long, slow stirs. So before you dish up your liquid, be sure to dry the inside of your molds with a hairdryer to ensure all the little crannies are dry. It won't do to go pouring your liquid into wet molds, thus, (potentially) ruining the syrup you've just stirred your left arm off for. 

Your strange hairdryer activity will draw the attention of your child again, who will come into the bathroom to watch. Your spouse might come into the bathroom too, and remark how surprised he/she is that those molds take so long to dry. 

"Nooks and crannies," you'll say. 

Finally, your molds will be dry. And you and your child will return to the kitchen to dish out the goo into the molds. You'll do it; child will watch. This stuff is hot and sticky. Don't let the kid touch it. 
Once dished into the molds, your child will want to eat them immediately. You will explain that we have to wait for them to cool and set up. 

"How long," the little cherub will ask.

And you will reply, "Five hours," which he/she will not fully comprehend, but will accurately describe as "a long time" before immediately asking again whether he/she can eat a Lego man gummy.

Finally, after lunch, and some play, and a nap, and a stint in the fridge to hurry the gummies along, not quite five hours will have elapsed. Time for a gummy snack!

How did they turn out?

"Yummy!," your child will exclaim. 

Yep, we'll make 'em again. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Episode IV: The Mom Jeans Awaken

A few years back, I wrote several posts endorsing various brands and styles of Mom Jeans, jeans that fit the post-baby bod without making you look like this:

Those other jeans are still great. I still have pairs of the Eddie Bauer and Levis. But I have a new love, a love that surpasses all other Mom Jeans loves.

Okay, yeah, it's Talbot's, and Talbot's just screams "middle aged lady clothes."

But I just turned 45, dammit. I am totally, absolutely in the Talbot's demographic.  And I embrace it. 

These jeans may not be for everyone:  The waist comes up pretty high. But not like the picture above. See?

They're cute!  Don't believe me because that's a model in a size 0?  Check me out, then, in my size 12s. 

(Yes, that's the office bathroom mirror. Don't hate.)

Okay, so you can't see the waist because my shirt is untucked, but they're cute, right?

And they are sooo comfy.  There's a little bit of Lycra so they stretch a little, and, therefore, don't bind in any way. (In fact, I could probably easily wear a size 10 in these jeans because of the stretch.) 

And let me just advocate a little bit for higher-waisted jeans:  High waisted jeans don't cut your curvy hips in half. You're less likely to get plumbers crack with high-waisted jeans.  High waisted jeans, by their nature, hold your soft mommy belly in. They do not force your softer side out of the top, like so much sausage out of its casing, thus preventing the muffin top.  And, even though they are higher waisted, these jeans do not seem to cup your bottom so that it looks like a weird, rounded W. 

In short, I ❤️ my new Mom Jeans from Talbot's. If you're looking for a new pair of jeans, try them out. (They're having a $20 off sale right now!) :-D

Monday, September 7, 2015

"Heather has Two Mommies." published an article a few months ago entitled The Straight Parents’ Guide to How Not to Raise a Homophobe—and How to Be a Better Ally .  I started writing a blog post inspired by it then, but I am just getting around to finishing it now.  Hey. I'm a busy working mommy....

Anyway, the article gives some suggestions on how to talk to your kid about same-sex-parent families, and how to make the reality that they exist a -- well -- reality for your kid.  Because, whether you approve of them or not, these families are in your neighborhoods and their kids are in your kids' school.  And about the last thing any parent wants (or ought to want) is to find that their kid is bullying or teasing other kids because of who their parents are.  Even if you're a straight "gay ally," you can't just assume that your attitudes are going to rub off.  So a little attention on the part of the parents is in order.

I confess that my own ability to talk to my son about same-sex parenting has been made infinitely easier by our having a few same-sex parent friends.  It's easier to point to The Boy's own friends and say it's like Suzie's dads or it's like David's mommies.  Also, the book, And Tango Makes Three, helps.

So I frankly wasn't ever expecting any questions from The Boy on this topic. I assumed that since he sees same-sex parenting first hand that he'd just assimilate it without questions other people get from their kids.


Kids are curious.  And they can see that their families look different from each other. Frankly, I shouldn't have been surprised to get a question about same-sex parenting because I've already gotten questions about mixed race kids (and my kid has half-Asian cousins!), kids of different races entirely, the different religions he has encountered among his friends, and "what is God."

Kids notice differences, and they ask questions about those differences, not to be malicious but because they are little detectives, little knowledge sponges, investigating their worlds.  Kids just want to understand why things and people are different. They aren't judging.  They haven't learned to judge yet. It's we adults with our years of "experience" that judge the differences as better, worse, or not at all. 

So, one day The Boy asked me, out of the blue on the drive home from school (as there is not a warning system for "hard" questions), about Suzie's mommy.  Suzie (not her real name, obviously), has two dads.  And The Boy simply asked, "Where is Suzie's mommy?"  It's not that he thought Suzie shouldn't have her two daddies, but he thought she should have a mommy too. He has a mommy, after all.  So I very matter-of-factly explained the truth:  Suzie's mommy couldn't take care of Suzie, so she gave Suzie to Mr. Jack and Mr. Richard (also not their real names) to raise, and now she is their daughter, so she can have a wonderful life."  He said, "Her mommy couldn't take care of her?"  I said, "No, she couldn't, so Mr. Jack and Mr. Richard adopted her and they are her parents."  And he accepted that explanation without a blink, no further questions.

The key to responding to these questions is to remain calm, to stick to the facts, to make the answer age appropriate and, if possible, to answer the question in the most direct way possible. There's no need to introduce politics or sex or anything else into the conversation with your kid. Frankly, a little kid isn't going to understand the nuances of sexual relationships. They're still in the just-the-facts stage of development, and that's where you should meet them.

Also, answer the question posed to you and then stop there. Your kid doesn't want or need your baggage in trying to process his or her world.  It's very similar to explaining to your kid how he came to be in your tummy, and then came out of it.  Real life example:  "Mommy did you poop me out?"  "No, honey, I did not poop you out. Poop comes from a different place in mommies' bodies than babies, but those places are close to each other."

I'm sure there will be more questions one day, and more complicated questions as time goes by, and The Working Dad and I will field them as best we can.  As long as we are honest, I think it will be okay. Because I do think that honesty is the best policy even with -- especially with -- your kids....  Cheers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Texas, Our Texas

I'm about to rant here because I don't want to do it in news media forums. Here we go:

I've seen quite a bit of schadenfreude in the national media, sometimes in articles proper (opinion pieces), but often in the comments sections to articles, about the recent flooding in Texas. They mockingly say it's God's wrath for fracking, for the state's failure to recognize the reality of climate change, for homophobic legislation, for xenophobic policies, for mistreatment of the poor and/or women, or for some combination of all of the above. 

If you have read much of my blog, you know I'm of a liberal bent. 

I'm especially liberal for Texas. And I am, you know, a native Texan with ancestors buried in this Texas soil dating to before the Civil War. 

And just as I am embarrassed about certain policies of my state government, (Hello, Jade Helm is not a Federale plot to "take over" Texas...whatever that means...because, um, we're already "taken over" by virtue of a certain treaty from 1845), I am embarrassed -- no, enraged -– by my fellow "liberals'" glee in the face of the suffering of so many in this state..."because Texas."

People are dying, people are left destitute, homeless, children and families are missing, swept away in the very houses that were meant to keep them safe from the storm. This is no time to dance in the streets or on their graves.

Our first responders are out there risking their lives to save the savable, one has died in Oklahoma.  Don't be so heartless; be the person who believes in love. Remember "love is love"?  Live that principle.  You know, some of, surely some of, likely some of, the victims are gay or women or of color or are immigrants or are environmentalists too.  Are they just collateral damage?

I get it:  Texas is the big dumb bully of the Union. But these people, these missing families, are not Rick Perry or George Bush or Greg Abbot suffering, these are regular people, four year old kids, six year old kids, babies, parents, grandparents. They need your help and compassion, not your holier-than-thou condescension, not your mockery.

You know, maybe if you, despite your disdain for Texas politics writ large, actually did something to help, maybe it might change a mind or two.  If you want compassion for your pet cause, maybe you need to show a little fucking compassion yourself.  Turn the other cheek and all that. Be the better person. That's right:  I used "the F word"...because I'm pissed. (There, I cursed again. You knew "piss" was a curse word, right?)

Okay. I'm done ranting.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A little bit imperfect is still mostly great.


Yesterday, I posted this picture to Instagram and Facebook, mainly to show off my CAbi top for my friend who is a CAbi consultant (and who had good-naturedly teased me about all my Jamberry nail posts). I didn't really expect for this picture to generate, at present count, 57 "likes" and a lot of very flattering comments about my appearance.  (Fifty-seven likes!  That's a number usually reserved for adorableness a la The Boy!)

mean, I'm always confident.  And I think I'm pretty, but I don't always like everything I see in the mirror.  Even in this picture, which got such praise, I found fault with the size of my hips and thighs and calves, and debated whether to post it or not.

This is my four years post-baby body. It's also my middle aged lady body, rapidly hurtling towards 45 years. This is a lady who is 15 pounds heavier than when she found out she was pregnant in July of 2010, and 20+ pounds heavier than when she got married in January 2008.  The dominant sizes in her closet are 12s and 14s, a few generously sized size-10 tops, and size ladies large or men's medium tees and cardigans.  Her measurements on the date this photo was taken were as follows:  bust 39, waist 33, hips 43.  Not quite a perfect hourglass, but close . . . .

I beat myself up about this body a lot, and always have.  (It's the national pastime of most American women, I think.) And as I age and the metabolism slows and weight loss gets harder and harder, I can, at times, be really judgy about myself, my diet failures (late night snacking - gah!!!), my sometimes not-so-great exercise regime.  But comments from folks like "you are gorgeous," "WOW," and "you always look amazing," made me think. I mean, they made me step outside myself and look.

Is this perfection -- either by my own standards to some industry standard?  Well, no.  But this looks good.  (I was about to write the clause "even if I'm a bit more hippy than I'd like," but I stopped myself. This looks good.)  At 44.75 years of age, I know how to work with what I've got, even if what I've got is not my idea of ideal.  And I owe it to my Facebook friends for pointing that out to me yesterday.  My husband and son always compliment me, but you can fall into the habit of taking those comments for granted.  (I should stop that.) 

Of course, this doesn't mean that I won't stop trying to get the last 15 pounds of "baby" weight off, but it was so nice to be reminded that a little bit imperfect is still mostly great. Thanks, friends.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Our Self-Subjugation

We make it hard on ourselves.

I mean, individually, we women, we working moms, we stay-at-home moms, we something-in-betweenness:  we set impossible standards for ourselves.

We put pressure on ourselves where none needs to be:  breast feeding, home schooling, family dinner, organic foods, television, co-sleeping, cry-it-out, baby wearing, attachment parenting, time outs . . . our weight, our looks.

And we judge our friends as harshly as we judge ourselves.

I guess I was reminded of this recently, by this video, a Similac formula commercial, for Pete's sake.  It shows us all in all of our self-righteous glory -- even the baby-wearing dads.

And while we are judging -- ourselves, our friends -- we are doing only one thing.  With all of our self-imposed requirements of parenthood, we are subjugating ourselves as people.  We are crushing ourselves under the weight of expectations that we have no right to demand.  Enslaved by the breast pump.  Defeated by words like organic, natural, free range and whole grain.  Conquered by a thousand "better" methods to discipline and control (indeed, subjugate?) our children.  A tyranny of a crowd of "better ways" and obligations and judgments and joyless self-sacrifice . . . all in the name of "good parenting."  We hold ourselves back and down with our lofty ambitions, instead of pushing ourselves up and forward.

We are parents.  We are love.  Our children are joy.  We should rise and praise and smile and encourage.  Just as we do with our kids, we should do with ourselves, and each other.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so let us all be thankful." --  Gautama Siddhartha, the Buddha 

I am thankful for my health, and my family, and my job . . . and I am thankful for you diverse crowd of parent peers who do things differently than me, or the same as me, or somewhere in the middle.

I am glad we are all trying.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I'm not going to do it anymore.

I fought with my son today. 

About sweatpants.

Let me explain:

Because he hadn't been potty trained a year yet, and because he has trouble with jeans flys (and because I don't like the look of elastic-band jeans), I took to dressing The Boy in fleece sweatpants this past fall. But I've gotten a little tired of the sweatpants. And I think his dad has as well.  And they're not exactly a polished look....  Still, he does look cute in them, because he looks cute in everything.

So I decided to try to transition us out of sweatpants.  Accordingly, when I bought some new size 4T pants for the guy recently, I did get a couple of pairs of sweatpants, but I also got these cute elastic-band gray cammo cargo pants.  They even have lots of cool pockets for carrying rocks and acorns and hotwheels and sticks!  With these awesome pants, I would move The Boy into normal pants and away from the sweatpants. 

These were the pants that I wanted him to wear today.  The cute elastic-band gray cammo cargo pants. 

He demurred.

Actually, he flatly refused; I got irritated; he said he didn't like them; I asked him why; he said that they were too big; I said, "You can't know that; you've never put them on;" and just like that, I was trying to force the pants onto his little body while he said, "Stop it, stop it, stop it!"

That's when my husband said, "We don't have to do this today," and he went to the closet to retrieve some sweatpants.

And he's right. We didn't have to do that today. Who, other than me, cares if he wears sweatpants today?  Completely irrational behavior on the part of the mommy....  Basically, I didn't get my way.

For better than 15 years, I've given the following advice to people in various circumstances at various moments in time:  If what you are worrying about or upset about will matter in 5 years, then it's probably worth your worry today. If it won't matter in 5 years, you should let it go right now. 

Whether The Boy wore sweatpants or cargo pants today will not matter in 2020. We wouldn't even remember what he wore today at all, five years hence, but for that pointless fight that was entirely my fault and this blog post. 

And The Boy looks adorable today in his black sweatpants and green Lego men shirt (which is, in fact, the item of clothing I laid out that is actually too big). 

So I'm not going to do it anymore. I'm going to take my own advice. If it won't matter five years from now, I'm not going to have a battle with my son about it.

Before I went to work, I apologized to him for the fight. He seemed unphased, but who knows. I hope the memory of battling his mom over cargo v. sweatpants will not linger for him (like it will surely linger for me), will not be one of those childhood memories he carries forever. But from now on, I vow, I resolve, not to sweat the small stuff. Life's too short to fight your kid over, e.g., sweatpants.