Make A Wish, Little Monster

Last week I submitted the referral for Jack’s wish to the Make A Wish program. If you are living in a hole (one with internet access?) and are unaware of this program, it’s a charitable organization that grants wishes to seriously ill children. From what I understand, most of these kids want to go to Disneyland. Jack, being Jack and ever-unique, wants something very different.

At first, Jack said he wanted to act in a movie as Charlie (of Willy Wonka fame). I thought that was pretty interesting. His dad suggested meeting a football player, which Jack had absolutely no interest in. It was a few weeks later when he settled on wanting to meet Lady Gaga and become one of her “Little Monsters.”

I’m not sure what exactly first drew Jack to Lady Gaga. There were a few songs on the radio and he immediately loved them and protested if I tried to change the station. Then he began requesting that I play Lady Gaga songs every time we got in the car. That led to asking to see her pictures (he declares that people are beautiful based upon their voices on the radio) and then a whole new level of fascination developed. Once he learned that she dresses up in crazy outfits (he thought the meat dress was hilarious), his artistic little heart was completely smitten. After all, Jack has dressed up as one thing or another – or just pretended to be some magical monster or alien – just about every day of his life. In fact his daycare provider quickly learned not to call him “Jack” upon drop off, and instead asked who or what he was that day.

So, one evening he and I were sitting at home hanging out. Jack was dressed as a bat and we were discussing his wish in between his eating everything in sight (he was on the steroid at the time). I figured I’d show him one of Lady Gaga’s music videos. Well, once he saw one, he wanted to watch them all! I sifted through the videos and picked the most kid-friendly ones (this does NOT include Paparazzi!). After watching a half dozen of her videos, Jack decided he needed to make a video, as well, to go along with his wish!

Now, Jack is not very athletic. He was never the kid that swayed his diapered booty to music and he does not sing – nor does he allow most people to sing in his presence. Partially because he is noise-sensitive and partially because he gets incredibly embarrassed by grandiose displays. Up until this evening, I’d only heard him humming (but I wasn’t allowed to acknowledge it) and the only dancing he’d done was in my arms as a baby. Not to mention, he had already begun chemo and was generally low energy, sore, and pretty blah.

I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when I turned on some Lady Gaga music and found myself recording this low-quality video (the darkness is one of many reasons we left our apartment in the city) of a dance routine Jack came up with on the spot to go with his Make a Wish application:

We should hear back this week from the Make a Wish Foundation about when they’ll be out to interview Jack regarding his “one true wish.” I can’t wait!

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The Face of Triumph

Thanks to Plum Organics for sponsoring my post about fun kid photos and the stories behind them. Enter Plum’s “Babies for Yum Caption Contest” on Facebook and you could win a $100 gift card or Plum goodies.

For Jack’s fifth birthday, I wanted to do something different.  I didn’t want to add even more toys to his already bulging pile (I am pretty sick of stepping on Legos) and he’s been very adamant lately that he wants to spend time with me (usually instead of going to daycare), so I thought a shared experience would be a great alternative.

David and I discussed a trip to Disneyland but, after looking at the insanely high cost a trip like that would be and taking into account that Jack has fun playing with things like cardboard boxes, we thought something close to home would be just as good.  It didn’t take long to decide on Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo – they have a TON of rides that are tailored to younger children and, since I wasn’t sure how Jack would react to the rides, there are many animal exhibits as an added benefit.  I figured we couldn’t go wrong.

I was right!  Jack absolutely loved the theme park (EXCEPT for the roller coaster, which he “kinda hated”).  One of the coolest things about the theme park was the selection of carnival games.  I know what you’re thinking – carnival games are typically quite scammy; however, there was a balloon game with a little sign that said something like “children play until they win.”  I was beside myself with the AWESOME (especially after recently experiencing a fundraiser carnival where Jack tried several times to win and had no luck, which led to a meltdown).  I forked over $5 for a couple of darts and on his 4th try Jack managed to pop TWO balloons with one dart, shocking all of us!  Rather than go for one big prize, he decided on two smaller stuffed dolphins, one of which he gave to his 2 year old cousin Sabrina.  He named the blue one that he kept Splash.

Here is a picture of him posing triumphantly with his winnings (doesn’t he look so blasé?):


And the gold medal goes to Jack!

Jack was super happy to have won and Sabrina was delighted with her dolphin.  Neither child let their new toys out of their site for the rest of the day.

Let me tell you – that was the BEST $5 I have ever spent!

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

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Luck, Leprechauns, and Little White Lies

Leprechaun with rainbow

Image via Wikipedia

Jack didn’t want to leave the house to go to daycare today.  He was whining and moaning about how much he HATES getting dressed and how it’s “stubborn” that he has to go to daycare.  I then came up with the brilliant plan of telling him it’s a SPECIAL! DAY!  He perked up and asked what I was talking about.  I explained that it’s St. Patrick’s Day and some people believe that it’s a good day to catch leprechauns.  He had no idea what the heck a leprechaun is, of course.  I explained that they are little people from Ireland who hide a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  I showed him pictures on the internet, which he loved.  He asked me if leprechauns were for real life and I said I didn’t know and there are definitely some people who do not believe they are real.

I figured he would like this whole idea but I underestimated his enthusiasm.  He wanted to hear all about it so I let him know he should wear green today so he could be extra lucky and maybe catch a “tricky leprechaun.”  They hide and you have to be on the look out, you know!  In fact, I’ve never even see one because they are so sneaky!  Well, he filled in the rest.  These little suckers apparently wear green as camouflage so that it’s difficult to see them when they hide in bushes and trees.  And “no one knows if they are going to be on top of the tree or behind the tree!”

Jack picked out a green monster shirt to wear.  His theory: “Maybe I can scare the leprechaun with this monster shirt and he will run away and leave his gold for me to take!”  Very clever, I thought.  He also came up with the idea of putting traps at the end of the rainbow.  “Well, mom, you just don’t know which end of the rainbow he’ll be at!”

It was so hard not to crack up while he was telling me all kinds of new things about leprechauns even though he hadn’t heard of them before today.  We saw a neighbor’s nanny as we were walking to the car and Jack told her all about the special day and how he was going to catch one of those leprechauns!  He made sure his friends at daycare were wearing green.  I suggested he work together with his little friends and maybe they could find a leprechaun.

I then told him good luck and left for work.

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I’d like to call this red Lego Friday

I woke up at 8am this morning and Jack informed me he had a Lego lodged in his nose.  I was not able to determine WHY he had stuck a Lego up his nose until later, but I could see that it was a small, one-unit round Lego.  I grabbed a pair of tweezers to try to get it out but could not get a handle on the friggin’ thing.  Oh, and Jack doesn’t know how to blow his nose.  I know, weird.  I woke David up to see if he had any ideas.  He also tried with the tweezers but then sent me to the store for a nasal aspirator.  I stopped for some coffee, as well.  Hey, I needed something warm to hang onto!

Back home and the nasal aspirator didn’t do a damned thing.  Then we tried to get Jack to sneeze with pepper and feathers.  No go!  I started to get more desperate.  I tucked his right nostril closed, had Jack close his mouth, and tried to suck that puppy out of the left nostril with my mouth.  Yeah, ewwwww.  Also, salty!  I tried a couple times and it just wasn’t working.  ARG!

So at 9:30am we trotted down to Kaiser’s emergency room.  An ER nurse advised me to try reverse-CPR by pinching the unaffected nostril closed while blowing in Jack’s mouth.  Jack thought this was hilarious.  I tried several times and again, no luck!

In comes the doctor.  She had me try once again with the reverse CPR and saw that the Lego didn’t move.  She then got a few tools (longer tweezer type things with no sharp edges and an alligator clamp) and the nurses held Jack down, instructing him to only say “stop” if he felt pain.  Jack pretended he was a dragon and told them “the dragon is scared.”  Telling them about the dragon distracted him enough and the doctor was able to use the tweezers to get the Lego out.  Jack was as good as new!

We got a nice souvenir out of that $100 trip – the doc put the Lego in a specimen cup and gave Jack an Iron Man sticker.  It was then that Jack told me the little red Lego was dragon fire…he had wanted to breathe fire out of his nose.  Now that he has the Lego in the specimen cup, it is venom.  Awesome.

Happy black Friday!  And remember – the ER does not participate in post-Thanksgiving sales.

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Trip to the SF Zoo

Sunday Jack and I went to the San Francisco Zoo.  A trip to the zoo was on my list of 110 Goals for 2010 and when I happened to look on the website Saturday I found out kids were free in August.  Off we went for some more mom/son time.  We rented a little push Jeep thingy because Jack “doesn’t like to walk.”  He did like to stand in it, though, and stick his legs out.  Kid likes to give me heart attacks!  At least I got exercise pushing my 40 lb kid around for a couple hours.

The zoo was bigger than I expected and we didn’t get to see everything in our 2.5 hours there but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We took pictures together in a photo booth and Jack posed by this begging giraffe.  Probably only in San Francisco can a kid wear sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt in summer.

Strangely, Jack would not let the photographer at the entrance of the zoo take his picture so there are no pictures of the two of us.  He hid his face between his knees.  I could tell the photographer was getting a little upset that he couldn’t get Jack to cooperate so we had to make a break for it with my muttered apology.  Poor photographer probably wasn’t ready to be tested by Jack’s stubborn willpower.  😛

It was really nice to get two adventures in with Jack over the weekend.  I was a little alarmed when at one point Jack said to me, “Mom, you shouldn’t be a mom.”  I had to gather myself a bit before asking for more information about that statement, and I was relieved when he said, “You are fun and I like you and you should be a dad.”  Hm, okay then.  At least he likes me!

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