The best of April 15th
Wednesday April 15th 2009, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Family

A new day, two doctor appointments, making progress.  After I posted yesterday,  LynnH reminded me, “Alison–you’re ALIVE!”   She was right, and she even got me to laugh over a glitch in the TurboTax software. (When one is trying to enter copyright royalties, do not give the author or artist a screen about rental properties as the next logical step. I’m just sayin’.) Anybody who can make me chuckle over taxes…

…Speaking of which.

Two years after we got married, we knew we had to finish ours early because life was about to get very busy.  Richard was preparing to defend his master’s thesis; that was one thing.

When they told him when he was scheduled to do it, he pleaded for an extra month, which they granted him–because Sam was supposed to show up that week. That was the other little thing.

EveSam arrived on a snowy April 15 and started teaching us what this parenthood thing was all about.  Never was there a baby so perfectly adorable.

My grandmother had been a concert pianist and had taught music at the University of Utah (before women were even allowed to vote!) Our Sam, at four months old, lay in her baby carrier at Gram’s, waving her arms and legs in perfect time to the piano being played. That’s our girl.

I learned what ipecac is when, at 13 months, she scrambled up a chair when my back was turned and snarfed the tomato plant I had in the window; Poison Control recommended I give her the stuff. I’d never heard of it.  In that case, they said, hie thee to the ER, fast.

A week later, I learned how awful it is as a parent to hear your 13-month-old screaming in a room where the parents weren’t allowed in as they x-rayed her fractured skull after she’d climbed up again.  She’d fallen backwards onto the concrete floor of our apartment as I’d raced to grab her to get her down.  No. You do not climb up on the furniture.

Yes I do, she thought, just watch me.

She was our crash course in handling this stuff.

She taught us we could be wise: she ducked her head suddenly into the tub during a bath one day and came up terrified and screaming.  Water was not her friend. That bathtub was her enemy. She fought it with everything she had–till the day,  a couple of weeks later, that her daddy put her favorite toys in the tub. And then her.

She screamed and she fought, as we expected, and then–she stopped.

There was no water in the tub.

Oh, okay. That’s cool!  And so she played with her toys while I did everything I could to make it the Most Fun Time Ever.  After that she had no fear of the tub or water again.  Done with that, moved on.

She grew up to be a kid who could handle pretty much anything.

AnyaAnd one who (ask Anya here) makes better hot chocolate, out of melted chocolate barely diluted, than even Coupa Cafe.  We got spoiled daily when we visited her and her husband last November.

About a year and a half ago, they decided they wanted a cat, and went to their local no-kill rescue center.  They fell in love with the cute black kitten; they got asked if they would take this other one also, since they were attached to each other? More on the cats here.


Sam often jokes about what her cats would do if only they had opposable thumbs; opening the can opener would just be the start.  Me, I’m thinking I’d teach my grandcats to knit. Anya, though–she’s fast and she’s smart.  Give her the taxes to do: the IRS forms would make as much sense to her as anyone.


22 Comments so far
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Oh, yes, Alison, you are very much alive! Your Sam reminds me of our Josh. We’d been in our brand new house merely months when, at about 16 months he climbed the only four drawers in the kitchen, and pulled a knife out of the top drawer and proceeded to carve the top edge of the drawer. Shortly after that he climbed up again, grabbed a knife and tried to slice his own bagel when his Dad’s back was turned. Ah, the joys of the determined child!

Comment by DebbieR 04.15.09 @ 11:03 pm

I don’t think I’d want a cat as a tax accountant. They’re smart, sure but have a twisted sense of humor. Hope your daughter enjoyed her birthday. I enjoyed your reminiscing because it reminded me of so many of the experiences I had with my own growing up.

Comment by LynnM 04.15.09 @ 11:52 pm

Happy belated, Sam! 🙂

Comment by Amy 04.16.09 @ 5:31 am

Happy belated birthday, Sam! Thank you for being so resilient! lol

And thank you, Alison, for sharing… I hope to be a mother some day and to remember that parenthood is a process.

If my child ever gets scared of water, I hope this story comes back to me: what a brilliant way to get a child to trust a tub again! Bravo!

Comment by Suzanne 04.16.09 @ 5:53 am

Happy belated, Sam. Don’t let my Meezers tell your cats what can be accomplished, even without thumbs! For instance, there was the time we came home to find Casper had opened a cupboard and knocked out a bottle of balsamic vinegar. It broke on the ceramic tile, and drained along the grout lines almost to the back door! Now it’s baby locks on our cabinets…to protect against curious cats.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 04.16.09 @ 6:08 am

*g* Your Sam seems to be a good learner, too. Not even several near-drowning experiences ever dampened my enthusiasm for water…my mom assessed the likelihood of me surviving to adulthood, and invested in swimming lessons.(A smart move on her part- I still love the water.)

You have my profound sympathy on the taxes. Ours were horrendous this year (thanks in large part to my husband’s employer, who was acquired, did weird things with stock options and then managed to screw up both his 401k *and* his social security withholding). We hired a professional, and it took *him* over seven hours to unsnarl the mess. I didn’t begrudge a single penny of the fee- he more than earned it!

Comment by RobinH 04.16.09 @ 6:33 am

Happy Birthday Sam!
I can alwasy tell how a kid will turn out by watching the paretns deal with everything in the first few years. You and Richard seem to have done a pretty good job!

Comment by Sandra 04.16.09 @ 7:17 am

What a great post! Happy birthday, Sam. I hope your adorable cats got you something sweet…

Comment by Channon 04.16.09 @ 7:18 am

How fun — you have “grandcats” — I’ve got “granddogs”

Love your blog!

Comment by Bev 04.16.09 @ 8:26 am

Alison, if I sent you a birthday card for Sam, would you forward it to her? Belated, I know.

Your story about the bath water … wait, I think I’ll post this on my blog. I’ve got sevaeral ideas lined up for posting.

Fun time:

Here’s a few more of the political “insights” —

A caucus is something people vote in. Sort of a small booth.
An overwhelming favorite is a candidate that often comes over to the convention and whelms the delegates.
The jobs of delegates is to resent their states.
Noncommittal is to be able to talk and talk without saying anything.
When the radio mentions a landslide, cross your fingers and hope it is talking about an election.
A dark horse is a candidate that the delegates don’t know enough about to dislike yet.
Political science is to try to figure out what makes candidates act that way. 

Comment by Don Meyer 04.16.09 @ 9:43 am

Sam sounds like my Lorelei (all the way down to the skull fracture from climbing). This story, the green baby story, will make you laugh and I am sure you have been there done that!

Happy Birthday Sam! Happy Mommy Day Alison!

Comment by Birdy 04.16.09 @ 9:46 am

What a nice post! I have a “Sam” who goes by the name Elijah. He’s my ER kid…7 times. One of the nurses told me that it’s not unusual to have a child like that. As I told Ben, after he made fun of his brother’s ER visits, “Maybe he’s more of a risk taker than you and that’s why he gets hurt more often!” That shut him up for a few minutes while he tried to formulate an answer.

Opposable thumbs for the cats? I told our dog that the day he gets opposable thumbs is the day I’ll let him do whatever he wants! There’s a Far Side cartoon with 2 cows sitting on a couch and the phone is reading. One cow says something to the effect “If we had opposable thumbs, we could answer that!”

Comment by Robin 04.16.09 @ 9:47 am

What a sweet heart!
I had an upsetting morning, but as usual, your post does much to put the day into perspective.
The house is still not prepared for my chair so my feet are still damaged every day.
I don’t have control over much of my life, but the sun is shining, and I am alive.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 04.16.09 @ 10:19 am

Happy birthday! And congratulations, mom 🙂

Comment by Jocelyn 04.16.09 @ 10:28 am

Speaking of cats and taxes:

Comment by AlisonF 04.16.09 @ 2:57 pm

*hugs & love* to Diana T. Hope your tomorrow finds a better start. <3

Comment by Amy 04.16.09 @ 3:16 pm

Happy happy Birthday, Sam Alison’s daughter. 🙂

Comment by karin 04.16.09 @ 5:49 pm

My goodness! I thought my son was tough! He’s got nothing on Sam! Happy belated birthday!

Comment by Momo Fali 04.17.09 @ 7:30 am

Happy Belated Birthday Sam!

Comment by Alicia 04.17.09 @ 12:06 pm

Happy belated, Sam! I really enjoyed reading your post we love our cat precious and I always worry she will get put into the dryer and forgotten by the toddler
My hubby is TDY for a couple of months so I’m single parenting and working but will try to visit you once a week on my days off hope all is well with you.(((Hugs))) Darcy

Comment by Darcy 04.17.09 @ 12:24 pm

A belated happy birthday, Sam!

Comment by Lene 04.18.09 @ 8:42 am

Happy Belated Birthday Sam!

Comment by Sonya 04.18.09 @ 9:51 am

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