Friday, 4 July 2014

A Mouse Tale, Or: Vincent Learns About Death. Sort of.

So today was an interesting day. Here's what happened.

The boys and I drove all day yesterday and through the night from south Florida to Illinois. Instead of taking a nap once we got here we thought To Hell With Sleep, it's time to spend time with family. So my littlest brother Corben found a little nest of three mice in his four-wheeler, and instead of feeding them to the chickens or freeing them into the wild, he gets an old Folgers coffee can and puts the mice in there, because they are tiny and cute.

Vincent loved them. He carried those mice in the coffee can with him everywhere for hours, giving them corn to eat, picking them up by their tiny tails and petting them, cuddling them, and making elaborate plans for their future together. As he is not one to waste a good name, he named them all after his guinea pig Wilbert (who was named after the guinea pig at his daycare). So he had Wilberts 1, 2, and 3. And he was happy.

So once my niece and nephews showed up, there was much made over the Wilberts, and as is wont to happen when several children have mice to play with, there were a couple escapees. But Vincent was still content, because he still had Wilbert 3.

For a little while.

Because somehow during the fun and games with The Final Wilbert, he got drowned.

No one is quite exactly sure how it happened.

But, Wilbert 3 was dead, and let me tell you, my youngest baby was DISTRAUGHT. The other kids were all OOPS and poor Vincent was like NOOOO NOT WILBERT, NOT MY BABY.  So Vlad and my niece and my nephews decided that there had to be a mouse funeral, and the best place to have this was in Grandma's garden. Over Vincent's strenuous objections everyone traipsed out to the garden, a hole was dug, and I sat by my youngest as he wept and kept saying "he's not dead! Don't do this!" So all the other kids go back inside and I continued to sit with Vincent and try to explain what happened. And he doesn't understand. He is in tears, and thinks if he could just cuddle him and sleep with him Wilbert 3 will wake up and be okay.

So Vincent tells me we have to take him out of the ground and give him "one more chance." And against my better judgment (because who WOULDN'T be making sound decisions after going on about 36 hours with no sleep) I go along with it because guys, Vincent is distraught and I am damn near in tears myself.

Over a drowned mouse.

So we turn around and walk back to the garden and we exhume Wilbert 3. And it is just as gruesome as you can imagine, and at this point now I am starting to worry that maybe he WAS buried alive or maybe Grandma's garden is an ancient Indian burial ground and fucking Wilbert 3 is going to come back all Pet Semataried because when I don't get enough sleep this is just where my head goes.

At any rate Wilbert 3 is back out of the ground and thankfully his eyes are still closed. But he is damp and matted and dirty and Vincent still picks him up and tenderly cuddles him and pets him.

And I am crying.

Guys it was AWFUL.

So when Wilbert 3 doesn't wake up Vincent hands him to me and insists that I try to resuscitate him and guys when your tearful four-year old begs you to try to save his pet you can fucking bet that you will.

So I start chest compressions.

On a dead drowned mouse.

It doesn't work.

So Vincent carefully takes him back and tries to brush the dirt from his eyes which now gives him the creepy half-open eyes of a dead mouse.  Vincent refuses to recommit the body to the garden, so I talk him into walking over to the woods and we will "give" Wilbert 3 back to his mommy, which means we say a few more nice words about him, call out "Wilbert's mommy, come get your baby!" and toss this drowned mouse into the trees.

So on the way back to the house we talk about how dead means you close your eyes forever and you're really gone and there's no going back, and it's okay to be sad and miss him. And poor Vincent is crying again, and says he doesn't ever want anyone to die, not Bart, not me, not daddy, and not his brother.

And guys I'm crying too because THIS IS HARD.

But he seems like he's understanding what happened, and he's going to be okay. So we go inside and wash up and then Vincent goes back outside to play with his brother and cousins. And after a little while they all start shrieking, and I race back outside because my nerves are just shot.

And guess what guys.

They found one of the escaped Wilberts.

Except Vincent thinks it's Wilbert 3.

The one we tossed into the woods.

The one I did CPR on.

And he is thrilled.

So now I am in the basement and can't sleep again and Vincent is snoring next to me. And all I can think is that He Who Walks Behind the Rows did a Pet Sematary on Wilbert 3 and now there is a zombie mouse outside and yes I realize I am getting my Stephen King mixed up but it is almost 3am here and I still cannot sleep and now I am waiting for Wilbert 3 to come downstairs with a scalpel like a deadly Stuart Little and say HE WANTS YOU TOO ALEAH HE WANTS YOU TOO!

So happy Independence Day people.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Awesome things about parenting boys

With pictures.

1. They pick out things like this:
at the store "for bein' GOOD!" What is this? Well, it has one of these in it:
and yes, friends, those are dog poop bags. Which my four-year old insisted he needed. No, we don't have a dog. He did, however, spend the rest of the day following me around the house asking for poop to put in his blue bags. "Can you just get me some? I need to put poop in here. Do you gotta go to the bathroom? When you go can I go?" (follows me into the bathroom): "Hey, are you poopin' or peein'? Can I see? Can I have some for my bag?" Failing to obtain fecal matter from me, an hour later found him scrounging in the catbox trying to stuff some of her poop in his awesome blue bags. Because clearly, since he now had a container intended for poop, by Merlin's pants he was going to get some poop for those goddamn bags. 

2. Speaking of containers, this is pretty much always an awesome present for a boy:
They can be any size, and made of pretty much any material. As long as it has a lid, they can put things inside. The possibilities are endless. And speaking of things boys like to put in containers -

3. Here are some of the things my boys have collected to put in various containers:

"He's my pet!"
"I need to build something!"
"It might be a DINOSAUR!"
"I need to CLEAN the ENVIRONMENT!"
"These are neat!"
"I need to build something!"
"I can't find some of my Legos and I need to build something!"
"I need the Vampire Castle. And Hogwarts. And the one that has Lord Business!"
"I love everyone and everything EVER. Also I need more containers now. For my THINGS."

4. They like "TO WRESS":
And basically what this means is that nowhere in your house you are safe. Sitting on the sofa? "It's time TO WRESS!" Trying to cook and monitoring a boiling pot of pasta on the stove? "WE'RE GONNA WRESS!" It means that any time you walk around a corner, you first need to attach a mirror to a stick and slide it around the corner to see if anyone is hanging from a rafter wearing a mask and waiting to leap onto your head TO WRESS. It means that whenever you go shopping you have to hog tie them (which is fun and part of the game!) and toss them into your cart and never, even for a moment, take your eyes off of them because the second you do they are hiding in racks of clothing waiting to leap out of them onto unsuspecting customers TO WRESS or crawling onto the top of the changing room partitions and waiting for someone to go inside and take their pants off so they can leap on them AND WRESS. I am now jumpier than a war veteran who spent nine days trapped in a fox hole waiting for a cease fire any time I have to venture downstairs. I can't enter a room without employing tunnel-rat tactics in order to ascertain whether one of my offspring is within, waiting TO WRESS.

5. They like to do things like trick their older brothers into wearing their dirty underwear:

Here was yesterday evening, after I'd told Vlad to get ready for bed:
Me (glancing over): "Are those your brother's Superman underwear?" Vlad (looks down): "Oh. I guess. Well they were in my drawer." Me: "Vlad, Vincent was wearing those underwear YESTERDAY. How did they get in your drawer?" Husband (wandering into the bathroom): "Wow Vlad. You know, your brother doesn't wipe his butt very well. You should probably check those." Me: "What I want to know is how Vincent's dirty underwear ended up in Vlad's drawer." Vincent (piping up from the doorway): "I think Daddy sorted the laundry!"

6. Speaking of wiping one's own butt, this is approximately how much toilet paper the youngest requires after one bowel movement:
 And this is where it usually ends up:

7. Also, did you know that all of these things are weapons?
 "I need this stick because it's my gun!"
 "Don't throw that away it's my gun!"
 "Well you can't watch the tv because I need my gun!"
"I tooked your makeups out because it flips open and it's my gun!"

8. They also need tape and screwdrivers "because I have to fix everything!"
 This is currently wrapped around a stair post. Because there was a crack in it.
This was screwed into a paper plate because by god he needed to put it in SOMETHING.

9. They are artistic. Everywhere. On all the things. My oldest, soon after he learned how to write his name, decided to tag all of my books, the backs of all of my pictures, my school papers, and yes, the wall above my bed, with this legend: VLADIMIR. When asked how his name had gotten written above my bed, directly above where my head usually lay, he offered this scenario: "Maybe Vincent did it?"

Vincent wasn't quite two.  However, once Vincent learned to grasp a pen, pencil, crayon, marker, knife, screw, stick, et cetera, he far surpassed his older brother in both the amount, placement, and quality of his artistic renderings on my walls.

And he elected to cover up his acts with
To "fix" them.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

10 Reasons Why You Should Not Get Your Vaccine Info From Idiots

Or, 10 reasons these 10 reasons you shouldn't get a flu shot are total bullshit. Copied from my Facebook this morning.

First, here's a link to the original post.

Next, here's why it's bullshit:

1. " There is a total lack of real evidence that young children even benefit from flu shots"

False. There is a mountain of evidence, gathered by independent researchers, that shows the opposite. This blog does not cite a source for its claim; however I'll show several in mine.  This article shows that children do benefit from the flu shot
Additionally, do you know who usually dies from flu? Infants, children, and elderly. Thus far this year, the pediatric mortality rate for flu is 28. Know how many have died from the flu shot? Fucking ZERO. Here's another source: THE CDC. I know the Tinfoil Brigade thinks the CDC is a gubment 'spiracy trying to turn your offspring and you into mindless zombies (just like I Am Legend!) but that's not reality.

2. "Medical journals have published thousands of articles revealing that injecting vaccines can actually lead to serious health problems"

Again false. Absolutely no peer-reviewed, reputable medical journal has published any studies with this finding. Guess what motherfucker? Naturalnews doesn't count as a peer-reviewed, reputable medical journal. Do you know what peer reviewed, reputable journals have published? Countless studies showing that any serious side effects from "injecting vaccines" are extremely rare. Here's a link to a literal fuckton of peer-reviewed scientific articles backing that up.

3. "Ever noticed how vaccinated children within days or few weeks develop runny noses, pneumonia, ear infections and bronchiolitis? "

Not only false but anecdotal (as is the greatest percentage of anti-vaccine bullshit I come across). Furthermore, if your kid did get a runny nose, you think that's worse than being on a vent for respiratory failure from influenza-related pneumonia? Are you fucking serious?

4. "It is a known fact that flu vaccines contain strains of flu along with other ingredients" - What point are you trying to make with this one? how the fuck do you think a vaccine works? It's not homeopathy. You don't take the flu virus and fucking water it down to one part per billion and Holy Shit! It works! Surely your google research can show you a third-grade example of how the immune system works when stimulated, and how you need flu virus particles - along with "other ingredients" - to make them effective and safe.

5. "The Flu vaccines contain mercury, a heavy metal known to be hazardous for human health"

The amount of ETHYLMERCURY in vaccines is extremely minute, and once again, Google Warrior, it's fucking different than METHYLMERCURY, which is the neurotoxin most anti-vaccine idiots claim is in vaccines, but is found in fish and shellfish. Take a basic chemistry course, and then shut the fuck up about this. You are wrong. 

Oh, and here's a study on the cumulative effects of ethyl mercury exposure in children from vaccines. Read it. Ponder it. 

 6. "There is mounting evidence that flu shots can cause Alzheimer’s disease"

Find me one - ONE reputable study finding this. The blog states there are plenty - yet doesn't post any citations? This likely stems from the previous concern that aluminum (again, fucking different than Teh Murkeries, geniuses) may be a causative factor in Alzheimer's - which has since resoundingly been ruled out. You know what causes Alzheimer's? GETTING OLD. Find a cure for that and you'll solve some problems.

7. "The Center for Disease Control appoints a 15-member Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). This committee is responsible for deciding who should be vaccinated each year. Almost all the ACIP have a financial interest in immunizations."

Shut. The fuck. Up. On this shit. You know who has a financial interest in you not vaccinating and ingesting snake oils and shit? Mercola. Tenpenney. All their ilk. Here's the ACIP info.

8. "Research shows that over-use of the flu-vaccine and drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza can actually alter flu viruses and cause them to mutate into a more deadly strain."

Flu viruses mutate just fine on their own. That's why you get a new shot every year. This is well-known, well-doucumented, and anticipated. Bacteria and viruses have one goal: to survive in your body and replicate. 

What they often do *not* do is "mutate into a more deadly strain" - why, class? BECAUSE IT WANTS TO SURVIVE AND REPLICATE. IT CAN'T FUCKING DO THAT IF IT KILLS ITS HOST FASTER THAN IT CAN REPRODUCE. The H1N1 is a great example; started out quite deadly, and as the season progressed, it weakened, which increased the infection rate - people didn't get *quite* as sick and stay home; they were able to function a little better, which caused them to be out and about more, infecting more people. 

Want a great example of a virus that DOESN'T mutate and is pretty fucking deadly? The ones causing viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Sudan, Bundibugyo). These are filoviruses, and they kill pretty fucking fast. No need to mutate, they're fabulously deadly on their own. In fact, they kill their hosts so quickly they really *can't* mutate. Filoviruses are non-segmented negative sense RNA viruses. They have only separated into Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus for about 10,000 years. In short, THEY ARE FUCKING OLD AND THEY HAVE BEEN THE SAME PRACTICALLY FOREVER. For those that still don't get it: in the case of flu virus, mutation = less deadly.

9. "In the 1976 swine flu outbreak, many who got the flu shots developed permanent nerve damage."

The vaccine in 1976 showed an increased rate of Guillain-Barre in vaccinated persons - ONE additional case per 100,000. Regardless of vaccination, there are approximately 100 cases of GBS per week. 

I'll state that number again: the '76 swine flu vaccine showed a correlation of ONE ADDITIONAL CASE PER 100,000 PEOPLE WHO GOT THE VACCINE. Go ahead, do the math. I'll wait.

10. "Trying to guess what strain to vaccinate against each season has proved to be no more effective than a guessing game."

JEEEEEZZZUUUUUUSSSS. There are over 100 influenza centers around the world that study this. There are extremely smart fucking people working in them. They do nothing else except study which strains are circulating. They then give this information to the World Health Organization centers in the U.S., Japan, China, the UK, and Australia. Each country decides which strains to vaccinate for and develops their vaccines accordingly. Is it a perfect fucking system? No. But it's a fuck of a lot more effective than sitting on your ass sniffing garlic powder and stuffing primrose oil up your ass while googling how baaaaaaaaad the flu vaccine is and reposting BULLSHIT.