29 July 2009

In Sickness and in Health

Only my husband would break his collar bone on the way to work, and still go into the office for a full days work. When he came home that evening I took one look at the mangled mess that used to be his left shoulder and sent him straight to the hospital, after he ate his dinner of course. However, my anger at him for not wearing his safety helmet has overshadowed any sympathy I might have.

PAUL: When I started to fall, I felt like a complete asshole for not wearing my helmet.
ME: You are an asshole for not wearing your helmet.

Later, after he had some problems connecting a logical thought.

ME: Are you sure your head is OK?
PAUL: Well, wouldn't you rather have a dumb husband?
ME: A dumb husband vs. a smart husband?
PAUL: No an annoying husband?
ME: How about a dumb and annoying husband?

My lack of sympathy has been magnified by the fact that until he heals, he is limited on what he can do with the children. The worst part is that he can't pick up the baby when she cries. So if I want to take a shower, it had better be a quick one, and when I take Asia for her evening walk (which used to be my evening ritual, my hour alone to myself, my moment of peace and quiet, my sanity saver), I have to strap Maggie to my chest.

The most optimistic estimates have Paul healing in 4-6 weeks, but everyone we've talked to knows someone who had the same injury and had to undergo physio-therapy after healing to rebuild muscle strength. So it might be several months before he can pick-up Maggie again.

24 July 2009

Music Appreciation

I visited a friend’s house last week for much needed adult interaction. She has a daughter around the same age as Max, and another daughter about six months older than Maggie. The two older kids were playing with a sing-a-long children’s book. It was filled with the simple songs of our childhood, the songs we all know by heart and the ones that when we hear them as adults get trapped in our head for days and weeks.

The book started playing its tinny version of The Wheels on the Bus, and Max started bopping his head to the beat. My friend smiled at him, and asked him if he knows the song. She starts singing the lyrics, half expecting him to join along with her daughter. Max looks at her funny and keeps bopping his head.
Trying to cover my shame, I look on with a half-smile and a non-committal shrug. Max doesn’t know this song, and he won’t know the next one played either, Row-Row-Row Your Boat. He doesn’t know them because I never play them at home, and he only hears them when we are at other more devoted Mothers’ homes. Selfishly, I don’t play, nor do I invest in music that will drive me crazy. I’m already half-way there, and I don’t need any help finishing the trip.

When I’m feeling especially guilty, I will play the podcast, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child. However, mostly Paul and I play music that we like. So Max might not be able to sing along to Hickory-Dickory-Dock, but he can get down to Barry White, and slow dance with Mommy to Van Morrison.

20 July 2009

Secret Smiles

My mother and I are both convinced that Maggie has been smiling since she was just a couple weeks old. My pediatrician thinks I’m mad, which might be true, but has nothing to do with whether or not Maggie is an early smile-er. Of course Maggie refused to smile during her U3, the German well baby one month check-up. However, can you blame her, she was being poked and prodded, hung by one leg than the other and flipped this way and that at a time of day when she is usually sleeping.

Most people explain those early baby smiles as gas, but gas has certainly never made me smile. Maggie’s smiles are becoming more frequent and more obviously a reflection of how she is feeling. When Max leans down to her and whispers “Hi baby,” tickling her with his blonde fringe, a big toothless grin lights up her face. When I speak dinosaur talk, the rolling lips, the clicking of the tongue or the popping of lips, she looks at me, gives me her silent baby laugh and coos.

Those easy un-conscious smiles are one of the best gifts my children can give me. When everything else seems to be falling apart, and I’m not sure I can take it anymore, just one precious smile from one of my children, and I can go on. This time is fleeting, and one day their smiles will be forced if the photographer can coax one out of them. So please don’t take away my babies’ early smiles, they are my little nuggest of gold, the moments I will hold on to when they reach those teenage years, when the smiles become rare and few in-between.

18 July 2009


As we are learning German, picking up various German words here and there, we find ourselves often throwing in German words to our English speech. This often confuses others, like once when someone asked about Asia's breed, and I responded with Mischling. They looked at me funny, not sure if we were using the German word or if Mischling was the English name for an strange dog breed. Strange would be fitting since Asia is indeed a strange dog, both in appearance and behavior.

I recently signed up to receive a German word of the day via email, and this has become very useful. Sometimes I already know the word, but more often I don't, and slowly I'm building my vocabulary. Like yesterday I learned how to say "Es ist sehr bewölkt heute," which is incredibly appropriate today if I want to talk about the weather.

Earlier this week I received Rührei in my mailbox. This is incredibly useful, as I can't tell you how many times I'm at a restaurant and I see various forms of Ei (sounds like eye) on the menu. I know Ei means egg, and the part of the word before Ei is how the egg is cooked. Every time I ask Paul if he knows how the egg is cooked, and every time he doesn't. So, I order it anyways thinking once I receive my egg I'll have learned a new word. By the time the egg is served however, I can't remember if I ordered the Rührei or the Spiegelei. I mean to refer to a menu or my dictionary when I get home, but I always forget. So every time I return to a restaurant I'm faced with the same dilemma.

Excited I showed Paul my word of the day, and asked him if he knew what it meant. He didn't get it at first, so I covered the Rühr- with my finger so he could get and idea of what the word was about.

"Oh, it's how the 'eye' is cooked."

See how Germanish can get confusing, but also amusing?

15 July 2009

Ring Around The Moon

I'm hot, I'm sweaty and I'm covered in pee because a new brand of cloth diaper we were testing just failed like a sieve. I'm sitting on the bathroom floor in my nursing bra and panties, with a semi-nude Maggie now safely in a more reliable brand of cloth diaper. She is alternately gulping and coughing to keep up with the fast stream of milk rushing from my breast, which sprays all over both of us every time she pulls back. A naked butt blurs past me, as Max gleefully streaks out of the bathroom past me. Maggie dangling wildly from my breast, I race into the living room training diaper in hand just in time to see his baby white butt launch into the air as he trips over his own feet, and crumples to the ground sobbing. It's another successful day of potty training.

You might think I'm insane for potty training Max this soon after the new addition, and I'm inclined to agree. However, this wasn't my choice, it wasn't Paul's choice, and it wasn't even in our plans for the immediate future. It was Max's choice.

It's been a long time since I've gone to the bathroom without an audience. I've long since gotten over the feeling guilty of holding a wailing baby over my shoulder while relieving my bladder. Later, when Max's separation anxiety stage kicked in, I often carried him with me to the bathroom, sitting him in his Bumbo or in a strategically placed playpen outside the bathroom door. Now going to the bathroom with mommy is such a routine he often follows me in chattering away about whatever it is that interests him that day. I'm so used to this routine, that I have to remind myself to close the bathroom door when I'm at friends'.

Last Thursday, we were following this normal bathroom ritual; Maggie briefly occupied in her playpen, when Max looks at me quizzically, "Maxi poops?"

Not really listening, I replied, "Yes, Mommy is going potty."

He repeats his previous phrase a little more loudly and with a whine at the end "Maxi poop-EEEEEEEE?" because maybe now, Mommy will pay attention.

Startled, and a little confused, I looked up at him, "Is Maxi going poop?"

He nods his head yes. I was used to this, as he has been alerting us for weeks now about activity in his diaper. A preliminary inspection reveals his diaper is still clean.

I start to get a little excited, as he repeats his phrase raising the volume each time, "MAXI POOPS!!!!!"

I ask him tentatively, "Does Maxi want to use the potty?" He solemnly nods his head, yes.

"OK," and I start to remove his diaper.

When I pick him up to set him on the potty, he locks his long legs around my body crying "NO!"

"OK, you don't have to," and I put him down.

He repeats his phrase, "Maxi poops.”

This sequence of events repeats a few more times before I get a brainstorm.

I close the lid of the toilet, and ask him, "Do you want to sit on the toilet now?" He nods yes, and I pick him up, he screams again, but I sit him down anyways. After about 3 seconds, he realizes he is OK and starts laughing hysterically.

Suddenly, I remember the children's step-stool potty stored in our other bathroom. We had briefly courted with the idea of potty training this winter, and purchased one, but after reading the first chapter of the book decided neither he nor we were ready.

With Max following me excitedly, quipping his new favorite phrase, I quickly dig the potty out and install it on the toilet, the whole time sure that Max is going to fulfill his prophecy on the floor before I get it installed.

As I'm installing it, Maggie starts to cry, but I don't want to lose this moment with him, so I ignore her. Once Max is safely on top of the pot, I quickly retrieve Maggie who wants to eat. Max is thrilled with this new throne, and chatters away about it for several minutes. I hover over him expectantly holding fussy Maggie. Nothing happens. Five minutes pass. Nothing happens.

Trying not to let the disappointment show on my face, I look at him, and ask, "All done?"


This is going to take a little longer. So, I sit down on the floor to start nursing Maggie who is now voluminously voicing her displeasure at not being fed on demand.

"Mama, Maggie, go!" Have I ever mentioned that the hardest thing about your child learning how to talk is when they start telling you what to do?

"I can't go honey," I can't leave him on my hastily installed potty that at any moment topple and send him plummeting two feet.

"Mama, Maggie, go!" Who is this kid, who has been accompanying me to the bathroom, his entire life, but is suddenly overcome by modesty?

"OK," I relent, and Maggie and I retreat to the hallway the bathroom door open, Max in clear view.

I nurse Maggie, while Max blabbers away. When I'm finished nursing and burping her, I ask him if he is done, and wants to get down. He is emphatic in his dissent. I grab the bouncy chair from the living room and put Maggie in it next to me. I'm starting to get a little bored now as the initial excitement has worn off. I inspect the potty; there isn't even a drop of pee on it. Every time I ask him if he wants to get off, he refuses. So we wait.

Then a bell goes off in my head, my dad potty trained me in 3 days or so he claims. He sat me on the potty the entire time, feeding me food and drinks and entertaining me. So I run and grab his half-drank juice from breakfast and a book, Everyone Poops from the living room. Then I do what every good mother does, and I grab the camera. After a few shots of him reading the book on the toilet, he still refuses to get down from the toilet, yet this is yielding no results, I realized we are going to need a few more books, and a little bit more food. Eventually I install a bedside table next to him, complete with a neat stack of books, and a bowl of grapes, followed by cookies, followed by pretzels. I sat down again next to Maggie, feed her again, and call Paul to tell him what is happening. I'm the pinnacle of patience right now.

Suddenly I hear a stream of pee which Max inspects with his hands. Thrilled, I exclaim, and clap my hands. Maxi claps too. I ask him if he is all done, he still refuses to get off the toilet. A few minutes later, he poops, and I'm so proud of him when I can't get through to his father to share the news, I wake my mom up on the East Coast. .

Since Thursday, the novelty of the potty has worn off for Maxi. When he's not distracted or too busy, or he sees an opportunity to make Mommy put Maggie down, he lets me know when he has to use the potty. Since the first amazingly successful day, we have had a few pees and poops in the toilet, a few pees on the floor, and a whole lot of M&M rewards (read bribes). I introduced the M&M's to encourage Maxi to get off the toilet. Otherwise Max would spend half the day up there.

08 July 2009

Something you never want to hear over the baby monitor

Your cell phone ringing...

Memory like an Elephant (when it matters)

Conversation between my parents, Paul and I. My mother was talking about how she has had a bad memory since she cracked her skull.

PAUL: (exasperated) Are you kidding me? You don't forget anything, your hold things against me that I said years ago. Imitating her in his best mother-in-law voice, "Well you said 'Blah, blah, blah'"
MY FATHER: (laughing) Paul, women have this special memory for the things we say that they can use against us later.
ME: The only reason women have this memory and men don't is because WE ACTUALLY LISTEN.

Sex After Baby

Conversation between Paul and I about 3:00am in the morning, after Maggie woke up to eat.
PAUL: (groggily) She slurps too loudly. I'm going to sleep in Max's room.
ME: (bleary eyed) Humph.
PAUL: Is it OK?
ME: (still bleary eyed) Humph. I'd have a lot more sympathy for you if you helped me over the weekend.
PAUL: Humph. (as he leaves the room)

The next morning.

ME: Do you think you'll start sleeping on the couch now?
PAUL: Yeah, probably.
ME: If you think you aren't getting much sex now, you're going to get even less if you stop sharing my bed.

Paul hasn't left me in the middle of the night since.

07 July 2009

PANIC and running around aimlessly

My first day alone with the two children, and we ended up going to the emergency room before we'd even reached lunchtime. While I was attending Baby Maggie, my two-year-old, Max, got into his father's backpack and swallowed an unknown amount of hand-sanitizer. He ran into me crying, holding the half empty bottle trying to get it out of his mouth.

The hardest part about being in a foreign country where you don't speak the language, is dealing with emergencies,

My first reaction was to PANIC and run aimlessly around the apartment half-crazed, while trying to peel back the label for the promised "additional drug facts." After the 30 seconds which felt like forever it took me to peel back the label I read "Keep out of the reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately."

My reaction more PANIC and more running aimlessly around the apartment half-crazed. I didn't know the phone number to a German poison control, nor can I speak German to someone on the phone. Not being able to use body language makes it almost impossible to communicate even with people who understand English pretty well.

My brain addled by the PANIC I was still feeling, I called my husband. He told me to call the ambulance, which was a pretty appropriate response to the amount of PANIC I was conveying over the phone, though not appropriate to the situation. Max was showing no signs or symptoms of being poisoned and was immensely enjoying chasing his wild eyed mother around the apartment.

The PANIC and running aimlessly around the house half-crazed briefly paused, and I told Paul I was going to call the pediatrician. This led to more PANIC and more running aimlessly around the apartment half-crazed in a wild search for my wallet which has the pediatrician's card on it, because when I am in PANIC mode, my brain can't compute the obvious. The wallet was in my bag where it belongs.

I tried calling, but after ringing a couple times, I got a strange message in German, and elevator music which is not at all soothing while PANICKING and running aimlessly around the apartment half-crazed because your two-year-old just swallowed an unknown amount of hand sanitizer. I hung up and dialed again, and got the same result. More PANIC, more running around aimlessly. I called Paul back and was met by a busy signal. More PANIC, more running around aimlessly.

Not sure what to do, I attempted the pediatrician again, at which point Paul showed up on call waiting. I told him I couldn't get through to the pediatrician, and he sensibly asked me if the pediatrician was open. I retorted, "Of course, the pediatrician is open." He suggested going straight to the pediatrician's office instead of calling.

My addled brain responded with, "THAT ISN'T EXACTLY EASY WITH TWO KIDS," no car, a stroller in the basement bike-room, and at least 30 minute door-to-door commute if I catch the bus at the exactly right moment.

His response, "That isn't the point, is it?"

My response, "Sometimes I hate you for bringing me here where I feel so helpless," which was really my way of saying, "I hate that you are being reasonable, while I am PANICING and running around the apartment aimlessly half-crazed." So I hung up and accidentally turned the phone off, which meant more PANIC and more running around aimlessly because I had to search in our file cabinet for the stupid pin number to turn the phone back on, because I can never remember it. Who puts stupid pin numbers on cell phone anyways?

After more PANIC and more running around aimlessly, I found the pediatrician's card that I had set down in the bathroom during a previous episode of PANIC and running around aimlessly. I looked at the back and realized that the pediatrician’s office was about to close for lunch and wouldn't be open again for another three-and-a-half hours, enough time for the hand-sanitizer to take effect, and my child would no longer be laughing while chasing his wild eyed mother around the apartment.

I called Paul back, and told him that I had to go to the emergency room. Still the voice of calm and reason, he told me he would call a Taxi when I was ready. So after I retrieved the baby's car seat from the attic and put shoes on Max and me, I made sure I had my wallet with health insurance cards, when I realized that I didn't have any cash. More PANIC and more running around aimlessly, I called Paul and told him I didn't have any cash to take a taxi. Still calm and reasonable, he told me to ask the Taxi to take me to a bank.

Once I was in the taxi, the PANIC and aimless running around subsided, because I now had a sense of direction, but mostly because I was restrained by the seat-belt. Max was sitting in the taxi's car seat happily babbling away about taxis and autos. We got to the children's hospital, and we were almost immediately triaged in to see a doctor. This was disappointing to Max who was having fun riding the carousel in the waiting room.

After the doctor contacted a Berlin Poison Institute about Max's choice of poison, she informed me that the amount missing from the 1oz bottle wasn't enough to do any harm. She still did a full examination of him to make sure that he wasn't showing any signs or symptoms of poisoning, and with a reassuring smile she told me that every child this age swallows something like this.

Crisis averted.

06 July 2009

Stroller Poor

When I purchased our fourth stroller, I thought it would be our last. I had no idea that I was already pregnant with my second child. We weren't trying to get pregnant at the time, and we thought by the time baby number two would come along, that Max would no longer need to ride in a stroller. So when we found out that Maggie was on her way, we started to explore how we could avoid getting a fifth stroller.

Our first attempt was to get the Buggy Board, a little board attached to the stroller where the older child can stand. Max did really well on the first test run. He seemed to really enjoy riding the stroller this way, until we reached a familiar path, and Max decided he would prefer to walk on his own. This made it enormously more difficult since Max likes to wander around taking his time picking up rocks and inspecting the bugs.

Paul decided we needed to "train" him to stay on the buggy board. That weekend we took Max shopping. He did great getting there, though it took all four hands to pop him on the bus, followed by the stroller, parking the stroller and getting him seated. Still, something I would be able to manage by myself with practice. Then we go to DM (a kind of CVS) where we needed to pick up a few things. As soon as we entered, Max popped off the buggy board. We tried to convince him to stay on the buggy board, but half way through the store he was too distracted to cooperate anymore. So, our next solution was to try him on the child size shopping carts. Max bounced around the store like a pin ball. Watching him run at full speed pushing the shopping cart through everyone and everything in his way was entertaining, but not practical.

Our next thought was to teach him to walk next to us while we pushed the stroller, holding his hand. Trying to convince a two year old to stay with you when there are so many tantalizing things on the shelves is harder than convincing U.S. Congressmen to impose term limits in Congress. Our next thought was to give him something to occupy his hands, so we picked the biggest item from our shopping bag, and gave that to him to carry. This actually worked several times, and it seemed we had a solution to shopping with our two-year-old on the loose.

Several times Paul and I ventured out with Max, strollerless. Usually our trips ended with Paul carrying Max home on his shoulders or asleep in his arms. Still we kept our heads in the sand, convinced that we would be able to get Max used to the buggy board or walking along side us.

Then Maggie was born. I could carry Maggie in a sling, and push Max in the stroller. This worked the first couple times, until I tried to go down the escalator at the train station. When I would bend over to hold the stroller, I had to use one of my hands to keep the baby from falling out of the sling. Max's safety now depended on my other hand holding the precariously perched stroller on the escalator. On shorter shopping trips I put Max on the buggy board and Maggie in the stroller. Max's first time off the buggy board, I gave him a giant bottle of water to keep his hands occupied. Shortly afterwards he had managed to pick up a Snickers bar and would have fit a few other items under his chin given more time.

The last straw was on the way home, when in typical two-year-old fashion, Max kicked and screamed in my arms the whole way home, while my mother pushed the baby stroller. This was the last straw. My mother wasn’t going to be in Germany forever to help me. I needed a double stroller with all the features I described here, and it needed to seat two children. There isn't a single double stroller that fits into our elevator, so I would have to enter the building via the garage and leave the stroller in the bike room. Still there were features we couldn’t live without, like big wheels for getting on and off the bus and trains. All the inexpensive tandems out there didn't have big wheels, and few of them are designed to balance on the back wheels long enough to ride down the escalator.

There was one stroller, the Phil and Ted's stroller that is ingeniously designed, with an sibling seat that fits under the stroller, but after seeing one in person, and its design flaws, I didn't feel like it was worth the money, 800€ after adding all necessary accessories. We didn’t want to pay that price when we hopefully won't be using the stroller for more than a year-and-a-half.

So it we started looking at side-by-side strollers with necessary feature, like the TFK, Urban Jungle or Easy Walker, but those prices were still sky-high. We looked at E-Bay and visited a family selling their double stroller. Even second hand, we were looking at spending at least 6oo€ for something we wouldn't use for very long.

We briefly considered buying Chariot’s bike trailer that doubles as a buggy. 1000€ doesn’t seem so bad, when a bike trailer can hold the children up until they are about six-years-old, and afterwards can be used to lug around groceries or any number of items you might want to take along with you on a bike ride. This we would be getting a lot more mileage for our money, but it was still a lot of cash, when we are trying to save for a car.

So back to the drawing board and after a full days search online, I found a little known stroller company, which makes the Crown. It still doesn't fit into the elevator, but it had all the desirable features plus some extra perks, and with all the accessories and shipping cost only 350€. The only thing I would change about the stroller is to make a larger storage compartment and to go back to one of their older models where they have two front wheels, not just one. Two wheels makes it much more stable when going up escalators or getting on to buses.

Now if only Pasing Bahnhof would finish the construction on their escalators and elevator, I’d be set.

Update: Within 3 months of purchasing this stroller, it started to fall apart, and I regret not buying a more expensive stroller.

05 July 2009

Seven Year Itch?

This morning when I was getting in the shower:

(Baby monitor goes off)
ME: Honey. can you handle her?
PAUL: Yes. (as he leaves the bathroom)
(Baby monitor goes silent)
ME: Honey, she put herself back to sleep.
PAUL: (no response)
ME: (a little louder) Honey, she put herself back to sleep.
PAUL: (snapping) I know, stop yelling, you'll wake her up.
ME: (defensively) I didn't think you could hear me.
PAUL: (popping his head into the shower) I went in there, I saw her, stop hounding me.

A few minutes later after I emerged from the bathroom, Paul was still in the apartment sitting on the couch with my mom and son. I was surprised to see him there, as he had to go into the office today.

ME: You are still here?
PAUL: (sheepish eyes) I didn't want to leave on a bad note.
ME: (heart melting) Sometimes I have to remind myself why I love you.

This has been typical of our conversations of late, the stress of having a new baby in the house, adjusting to sleep debt and adjusting to juggling two children.

We're entering the seventh year of our marriage and our ninth year together, though we spent so much time together those first two years, you could almost say we were already acting married. Over the years, we've weathered different storms, and right now I feel like our marriage is still very strong and happy. Through the difficult times, we both have had to remind ourselves why we love each other.

I realized Paul was my true love when I realized I could be 100% myself around him. He loved every bit of me, even the scary parts. Our relationship is comfortable like a pair of old tennis shoes. Sometimes they get stinky and itchy, but with a little work, some repairing of the sole or a new pair of laces to add some excitement, we've been able to make them comfortable and reliable once again.

Love you babe!

03 July 2009

The Origins of "Ba-Ba-Boon"

Max, Maggie, Oma (Grandma), Opa (Grandpa) and I spent all Wednesday at the Zoo. Maggie's experience was less memorable considering she slept the whole time.
Max had a very memorable experience. First glance of the polar bear exhibit is a bit dismal. If the exhibit in Berlin is Paradise, this one looked like a trailer park on the wrong side of town complete with floating debris in dirty water. However, timing is everything with the polar bear exhibit, and after my fourth visit to the Zoo, I finally had an "Ah-Ha "moment, and the reason behind the floating debris came clear.
After watching the playful Pavians on Baboon Island, Max perfected the word "Ba-Ba-Boon" because it so much more fun to say with the extra syllable.
Saying"Ba-Ba-Boon" lost some of its charm when the Mandrill intimidated Max.
Luckily the memory didn't last long, and Max has been saying "Ba-Ba-Boon" ever since.
The "Ba-Ba-Boon" might replace the "La-La" (Gorilla) as his favorite primate, as long as the Mandrill doesn't give him nightmares. Hmmm, maybe we should rent Lion King so he can see the Mandrill isn't such a bad guy.

P.S. If you are reading this on Facebook, you can get a fuller experience from viewing my blog where you can watch the videos.


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Adding the extra syllable makes it so much more fun to say.

02 July 2009

Bumble-Bees Say Bzzzzz....

One of Maxi's favorite things to do is tell you what the animals say. When he was just about 1-year-old, he started imitating our dog panting, and the meows of our cats. Since then he has acquired many more animal and bug sounds, and loves to identify the different creatures in his books and on his shelves. Because he loves animals so much, I never guessed his reaction when encountering the real thing.

On our walks with Asia, Max started identifying the various bugs he saw, ants on the sidewalks, butterflies in the fields, snails in the path etc. On this particular walk he saw bees buzzing amongst the flowers. He stopped to look at them, and knowing his curiosity, I told him to be careful, not to bother the bees, because bees sting and stings hurt.

Shortly after we reached the field and started to walk down the path, Max let out a shriek and started crying. I rushed over to him thinking he had been hurt, and in sobs he said "bumble-bee," and put his arms up saying "up-up". I picked him up, and wiped away the tears, after which he immediately stopped crying, so I knew he wasn't seriously hurt. I started to set him back down on the path, which resulted in more crying and shrieking. Paul and I both tried to convince him to walk on his own, explaining that there were no bumble-bees, only flies, but he refused to walk, backing up against me crying and screaming"UP-UP." Once we were safely off the path he piped up "Bye-bye bumble-bee," as if nothing had happened.

A couple days later, Max got something in his eye, and started sobbing "bumble-bee" which leads me to believe that the day we were in the field, Max was reacting to a fly that flew into his eye.

About a week after that, Max woke up with a piercing shriek. Paul rushed into his room, where Max was sobbing "bumble-bee." Paul had to shake out all his blankets and his pillow to show Max that there were no bumble-bees in his bed. My poor baby had a nightmare.