At the Moment

An Experiment Goes Awry

I think I might have inadvertently poisoned my oldest son.

Here’s the thing – Dude never has any energy. He’s worse than a limp rag and his favorite saying? “That takes too much effort.”

Yes, he’s the epitome of lazy.

Some of this, has to do with the fact that he’s a teenage boy and could care less. Some of it has to do with the fact that he’s a teenage boy and he physically requires a lot of sleep, even though he’s too stubborn to see it and often fights me on the whole sleep issue.

But some of it is because he’s lethargic. The boy sits around, all day, every day (when he’s home from school that is) and stares at his computer monitor. So OF COURSE, he’s going to be tired. Think how tired you get when you’ve been sitting around all day – like say, waiting for your flight or at the hospital waiting to hear how a surgery went. Sitting around is exhausting.

And our bodies were designed to MOVE. So I know a big part of why Dude complains about being tired all the time is simply because he DOESN’T MOVE. (I’ve since made a semi-deal with him — I won’t nag him to get out of his chair if he will take the initiative and walk on the treadmill once in a while).

However, and I haven’t told Dude this, I suspect one of the reasons he might be tired all the time is because he’s inherited my anemia. I first found out I was anemic when I was pregnant with Dude and they prescribed iron supplemants. Ever since then, I’ve taken iron (Slow Fe is good to take if iron upsets your stomach) and I can REALLY tell a difference when I haven’t taken it in a while. I’m sluggish and I just don’t have any energy at all.

So I can definitely relate to Dude’s tiredness. It sucks when you can’t even summon up the energy to move across the room, let alone clean house, cook dinner, pick up the kids, laugh with your spouse ….

I’ve given Dude some of my iron supplement in the past, but only sporadically, after all, I have no idea why he’s so tired and like I said, it could simply be because he’s a growing teenage boy and his body demands more rest right now.

But I’ve been experimenting with him, just to see if it has any effect. And Dude is so trusting of me that he doesn’t think twice whenever I give him something to take (I regularly give the kids vitamin C pills, or general vitamin pills), which is sort of scary shouldering all of that trust.

I haven’t really noticed a significant difference with the iron (again, it was a pill here and there, nothing consistent), but I have noticed a difference in his energy level whenever he drinks a protein drink right before bed at night (he mixes the protein in with his milk).

But again, we’re not consistent with anything and Dude continues to complain to me about his lack of energy (I really think a large part of his problem is his physical inactivity).

I talked to Kevin about his complaint and he looked up some natural alternatives (we’re not big doctor/drug people – if we can find a natural remedy, we’re going to take it). And he suggested that maybe he was low on vitamin B.

I swear, our cabinets look like a health food store – we have nearly every vitamin made on our shelves and that’s mainly because Kevin has been trying different combination of vitamins in an effort to help him sleep better.

(Which by the way, he’s still not sleeping through the night. He’s not waking up with headaches anymore, now he’s waking up hungry. And this is even when he eats something right before bed.)

So, I thought I’d try vitamin B on Dude. I gave him a super-complex vitamin B supplement on Saturday and Sunday he woke up with a raging headache. In fact, he had a pretty bad headache all day Sunday and all he wanted to do was sleep. I caught him, several times, sleeping throughout the day.

At first, I was really annoyed and just thought he was being lazy. Then I thought maybe he was coming down with something though he said his sinuses were fine, but his throat was dry and achy.

He took some NyQuil before bed Sunday night and woke up Monday feeling great.

Okay,” I told myself, “his body just needed the extra rest. No big deal.”

Only, when Kevin got home from work last night complaining of a raging headache and feeling really tired (he went to bed at 8:30 last night), I began to get suspicious.

I asked Kevin if he happened to take one of those super-complex B vitamin supplements and guess what, he had.

So now I’m thinking that that had to have something to do with Dude feeling bad on Sunday. I mean, it’s just too much of a coincidence NOT to be, you know?

I haven’t told Dude my theory, I don’t want to freak him out, I’m already freaked out for the both of us, but it taught me a valuable lesson on being more careful what I give my children.


Do You Have a Mini-Me? I Wish

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My boys could not look any more different. My boys could not BE any more different.

And neither boy looks anything like me. Well heck, look for yourself.

Me and B - 9/09
(Me and Dude)

Me and B - 9/09
(Me and Jazz)

Now granted, Dude has my darker coloring. And he’s tall, which seems to run in my family. But his eyes are close, sort of like Kevin’s. And I can’t tell you how many people have said that Dude looks like Kevin – I still don’t see it. (Though they do sort of have the same mouth).

Jazz is fair skinned and blond. And if you compare Jazz’s baby picture to Kevin’s baby picture, the two are nearly identical. There is no question that Jazz has a lot of his father’s family in him.

So when the boys came along and not only didn’t look like me but didn’t look like each other, I admit, I was a wee bit disappointed. I envy mothers who have children that look like each other and there is no doubt that they are siblings.

My boys don’t really resemble each other in any way – either in looks OR personality.

I’ve gotten speculative looks. And I know some people were dying to ask me if they had the same father … and I’m here to tell you, they have the same father. It’s just when it came time to throw the second embryo into that gene pool, someone did a really good job of mixing it up and then adding a few ingredients in just for good measure.

Not only do the boys not look anything alike, they have completely different personalities. Which has been a HUGE challenge for me, as their mother, to parent them over the years. I can’t handle Dude the same way I handle Jazz.

Dude has my temper. And he’s really quiet. I’m lucky if I can get him to respond in more than one syllable to me. I’ve learned to not really give Dude an option. If I want him to do something, I give him two options, one of which he’s expected to pick. I simply can’t tell him what to do anymore, it’s a constant negotiation and the boy is sharp. He’s old enough to see through my little bag of tricks and he’s smart enough to give me counter arguments, ones that I sometimes don’t have a rebuttal for. It’s quite annoying.

The most effective discipline for Dude is to take his computer away from him. He goes absolutely berserk when that happens. And we’re really cruel about it, too. We don’t physically take his computer away, we take his power cord away. So he’s forced to stare at it but know he can’t use it.

I know that sounds terrible, but it’s effective — we don’t have any problems with Dude misbehaving, let me tell you. But he’s a good kid. He truly is. He’s kind, and soft hearted and really smart, much smarter than he gives himself credit for.

I have learned to keep my mouth shut around him. He knows, only too well, how and when to push my buttons and of course, there are times I allow him to do so. So now, it’s much smarter on my part to simply say what I have to say and walk away from him. He will stew about it for a bit, but he generally comes around eventually.

Dude will fight sleep with every fiber of his being. He’s a night owl, so he would prefer to stay up until 4:00 a.m. and sleep until 1:00 p.m., if I allowed him. But of course, that’s not possible given, you know, REAL LIFE. So Dude and I have had some MAJOR sleep battles over the years. It’s settling down now though. He has a bed time during the week, but can stay up later on the weekends.

Now taking things away from Jazz doesn’t work. He just finds something else to do and he’s perfectly content to settle for option B. That boy could entertain himself with a paper towel tube and a rubber band – oh wait, he has. He can find entertainment in the smallest things. That’s great, overall, to be able to use your imagination like that, but it really sucks when you’re trying to be a disciplinarian.

Jazz is stubborn. And by that I mean, that boy won’t budge when he sets his mind on it. I remember when he was a baby, and I would feed him veggies or fruit, he would hold that food in his mouth FOR AN HOUR before I finally gave up and told him to spit it out. I’ve had to learn the fine art of compromise with Jazz. Dude is pretty stubborn, too, but Jazz takes the prize.

Jazz has no concept of hurry. We’ll be running late and it’s as if Jazz deliberately slows down either to push my button, to avoid the stress of the situation; he doesn’t care if he’s late or maybe he simply thinks it’s no big deal, I don’t know. All I do know is that it drives me insane.

Jazz HAS GOT TO HAVE SLEEP. He simply can not, and will not, function if he’s tired. Even as a baby, he was inconsolable when it came time to sleep. I couldn’t keep him awake to save my life. So sleep? Has never been an issue between me and Jazz.

I’d have to say that Dude is most like me, hence the reason we clash so much, but I definitely see my stubborn streak in Jazz. I wouldn’t go so far as to say either one of my kids are a carbon copy of me and you know what? I’m glad. In fact, I’m downright relieved. I think they have an eclectic mix of me and Kevin’s personalities and I hope our parenting skills (or lack thereof) have helped mold them into great people.

Wait, what am I saying, THEY ARE GREAT PEOPLE. We’re very blessed to have such awesome children.