Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let Me Be Clear On This...

My bad. I shouldn't have labeled the last post. Instead of sharing something funny that Aaron said, I have received criticism for something upon which we have not yet completely decided. (And I don't mean you, Tami! Thanks for the support.)

So, let me clear something up here by saying that Tim and I won't be letting Aaron decide his own fate when it comes to his urethral problem, but since he is getting older, and it is his penis, we think it is a good idea to ask him his preference. Furthermore, we like the fact that our urologist is not in the habit of suggesting circumcision as the first choice. When we met with him, he said that there are too many of them done, and that there is no need for circumcision. That was our feeling, too, when Aaron was born, and the reason why we didn't have him circumcised at that point.

When Aaron goes to the bathroom, the urine backs up under the foreskin, causing the foreskin to balloon out. The urine eventually leaks out, and Tim has taught him to wait until the urine is all out, then he carefully wipes his penis, and the toilet (if there are drips on it). Along with the ballooning penis (and I don't mean to be funny here), his urine stream (prior to trying the steroidal cream) would go everywhere: the walls, the floor, the toilet lid. No matter what Aaron did to try to get the urine into the toilet, most of it was missing the actual bowl.

Our pediatrician checked Aaron out and said that his urethral opening was very small at the tip of the penis, because the foreskin there was very tight. The urologist explained that he agreed, and that the skin actually looked a little like the tightness that happens with scar tissue. Retraction of the foreskin, which usually occurs in uncircumcised males between 10 and 14 years of age, is a long way off for this kid. He is five. If he cannot go to school and urinate without getting urine on the walls and floor, he is going to be teased mercilessly.

The questions I have for the urologist at our next visit are:
1. Can we try to use the cream a bit longer? I think it has helped a little. The urine still backs up under the foreskin, but his stream is straighter.
2. If we do nothing, is there a health issue with urine that backs up under the foreskin, i.e. bacterial infection?
3. Will his skin retract normally when he is older? And if so, can we just try to get through these next few years?
4. If Aaron was his child, what would he do? (Whether or not he can really answer that one, I don't know.)

Anyway, poor Aaron has his life spread out here for all to hear, but hey, as I said in the last post, privacy is at a premium at our house.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Like Father, Like Son

A couple of things you need to know to understand the funniness behind one of Aaron's comments:

1. Privacy is at a premium around here. The girls are good about knocking on the bathroom door or bedroom if the door is closed, but Aaron and Melina haven't quite learned that trick yet. Furthermore, we are a pretty open family, and nudity is just a normal thing here. That is not to say that the adults in the house parade around naked. But all children have seen their parents in the buff, and the kids still bathe together at times.

2. When Aaron was born, we chose not to circumcise him. Unfortunately, he has had some urinary issues as of late that have forced us to see a urologist. The urologist told us that the urethral opening was too small, and that when Aaron urinates, some of the urine backs up under the foreskin. The options to take care of this are: a. steroidal cream; b. a dorsal cut to the foreskin; c. complete removal of the foreskin, a.k.a. circumcision. We opted to try choice a for three months and reevaluate.

3. Aaron loves to imitate Tim. Often, he will put on his "Daddy shirt" to look like Tim. When he does that, he finds it hilarious if I can't figure out who is who.

Do you know where this is going? I am sure you do.

The steroidal cream does not seem to be having an effect on the urethral opening. Because of that, Tim discussed with Aaron what the other options were. He explained the dorsal cut and the circumcision, and asked Aaron what his choice would be. According to Tim, Aaron wants to "be like Daddy" and therefore, has chosen to have the circumcision.

At lunch today, this is what happened:
Me: Aaron, Daddy says that when we get the skin on your penis cut, that you want to look like him.
Aaron: Yes. Because then I will look like Daddy, and when we are going potty, you won't be able to tell who is who.

Seriously. He said that. I stifled most of my laughs, but some of them escaped. I cannot tell you how much I love that little guy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cloud Running

Dear Nike*:

I LOVE running. I started to run back in 1991 and I haven't stopped since that time. Well, I took some time off while I was pregnant, but aside from that, the feet have been hitting the pavement quite regularly. I was a fan of the Pegasus shoe for a very long time, and consider them one of my all-time favorite shoes.

In 2003, I moved to another state. While I found a super running store, I had to switch from you. Why? The store didn't carry Nike products. So, I was fitted for another brand, and I happily traversed the roads in that shoe for a couple of years.

Imagine my surprise (and delight) when the store informed me that they now carry Nike! I am a lucky person: my feet do not pronate or supinate, and while I have somewhat of a decent arch, it is neither too high nor too flat. Therefore, I am able to try many different types of neutral running shoes. "Would you like to try the new shoe?" the saleslady inquired. "They are the XXXXX's like running on clouds. You will love it!" How could I not try them?

So, I did. I tried them on the pavement outside the store as the two little ones played with the toys inside the store. The shoes were incredible. My feet really did feel like they were running on clouds, or pillows, or both! I felt they were worth the little bit extra that I'd be paying for them. When I brought the shoes home, the twins loved the colors of them. Happy people all around!

Well, a couple of weeks later, I am not so sure about worth of these shoes. On each run, my feet feel fantastic. I could run forever on the shoes. But I think the cushioning in the feet might be making the rest of me feel "not-so-great." My legs are sometimes sore (I first attributed the feeling to the fact that I had been running on snow, but the snow is now gone) and my back has been a bit angry. Pregnancy, sickness, and depression cannot be the cause, as I am not any of those. And, these "not-so-great" issues started with the arrival of the shoes. Coincidence? I think not.

I am willing to give these shoes another couple of weeks. I am hoping that in the end, I write you another letter, one that extols the virtues of these wonderful shoes and tells you that I have never run better. I will, as they say, keep you posted.


*Disclaimer: this is only a personal opinion. I didn't feel right putting in the name of the shoe, and I certainly didn't want to be slapped with a defamation lawsuit. If you want to actually know which shoes I tried, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Just Because

Sometimes things happen during the day that crack me up. Today, something happened, and I had to post it, just because. This just because moment was funny, but I couldn't laugh out loud. Why? Because a certain red-head actually did something quite inappropriate, and laughing about it would have indicated consent.

I was preparing lunch, and Melina, who had previously been in the family room with Aaron, wandered into the kitchen. I looked at her. Upon each cheek, there was a small piece of black electrical tape, about the size of a postage stamp. On top of her head sat another piece of black electrical tape of the same size.

Me: Melina? Why do you have electrical tape on you?
Melina: Heh!
Me: Aaron? Why does your sister have electrical tape on her?
Aaron: I don't know. I didn't do it.
Me: Aaron, please come into the kitchen.
[In he comes.]
Me: Aaron, the only other person in the family room with Melina was you, so you must have put the electrical tape on her. Did you do it?
Aaron: Yes.
Me: Why?
Aaron: She messed up my thing. [Things are quite the rage with Aaron. His thing of the day was some construction that allowed his toy Rocky to watch TV from behind the living room couch, and the TV is in the family room.]

I explained to Aaron that his actions were not appropriate. I told Aaron that taking the tape off of Melina would cause her some pain (she briefly whined when I took it off) and he needed to say he was sorry. He did apologize, and I am sure Melina had no idea what he was apologizing for. He went ahead and ate lunch without another incident.

Inside, I was laughing: not because anything about what Aaron did was funny, but because the look on Melina's face when she came up with tape all over here was just priceless! I really should have taken a picture.