Tag Archives: parenting

When did Trouble get so big?

9 Aug

Someone should tell this guy that he can’t get into everything until he can walk for real.

Maybe someone should also stop letting his dad dress him 🙂 Or are polo onesies and athletic shorts an acceptable combo?

Poor Gemma…wherever she goes, there he is a moment later, wanting what she has, whacking at her toys, pulling on her ponytails, anything to get her attention and her things. His interest in anything remotely resembling a baby toy is long gone, and his favorite pastime is emptying…toy baskets, bookshelves, blocks, dishwashers, crayon boxes, puzzles, etc.

His being able to reach into the toy box brought a whole new world to empty – at least the whole top layer within reach of those adorable little dimpled hands.  Cupboard locks have been reinstalled and I am readjusting to having my doors slam shut every time I pull them open an inch and forget about that little catch needing to be pushed down.

I can’t say I really blame Gemma for getting frustrated – I get a little frustrated myself when I’m working in the kitchen and he is pulling himself up with his fingernails by the sensitive skin of my calves, slamming the oven drawer into my shins, showing up inside my fridge the second I open it, pulling the sharpest knives out of the dishwasher, and opening and closing the pantry door with his body blocking entry or exit.

But we are all adjusting quickly since I’m sure it’ll only get busier from here!  We just try to think of any possible distraction that might keep him busy for a minute or three.

Until he realizes there is grass to eat, throws up, and moves on to taste the dirt and flowers.

I am beginning to realize how true a line I read recently is: when you have boys you spend their lives trying to prevent them for killing themselves.  I can’t even count how many times each day I pull something out of this guy’s mouth or pick him up after a crash down from a chair or coffee table whose distance he misjudged. He sometimes thinks he knows how to walk and turns away from whatever he’s holding onto so he can gracefully fall face-first into/onto the nearest hard surface.

I don’t plan to get anything done, besides keeping him alive, until he’s at least 26.

Unless he is safely strapped in somewhere, busy just oozing cuteness!

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Blinded by the lights

8 Aug

With my kids being under the weather for the past week or three, I’m reminded of just how much I hate having to turn on lights in the middle of the night.

I don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night to soothe away bad dreams, re-insert a soother, remove a pudgy leg from where it’s wedged between crib bars, or wipe a small bottom.  All these things can be (and are) done by the soft glow of the hall nightlight.

When, as a parent, you have to turn on a light at night, you know there’s trouble.  If I have to also find my glasses, the trouble is epic. It means I am doing laundry (which means something aimed at my gag reflex is on sheets and/or children), or giving up entirely on the night’s sleep, or looking for a missing limb, or piggy, or blanket.

Or possibly I am just trying to annoy Carl/let him know I have been up for QUITE SOME TIME.

Recently this problem was made worse by the installation of “energy efficient” light bulbs.  They started out in the bathroom, but if you have ever tried to do your makeup in a Walmart and hoped you would look ok in any other lighting, you know how badly that worked out.

Not to mention, when the bathroom light was left on and I looked down the hall, a “Twilight Zone” pool of glow emerged from the bathroom door. I was spooked.

So the lightbulbs moved into our walk-in closet, because, Carl reasoned, it would be nice to be able to see our clothes clearly and there are no mirrors around.  Unfortunately, this is still the light I turn on if a certain little one needs to use the bathroom at night, which means I feel like I am being woken up to take her to the bathroom in Walmart.

Unlike a lot of people, I actually have nothing against Walmart.  I frequent their stores and take full advantage of their big-box prices.  I believe they have things figured out when it comes to mass selling, even it is does kick small businesses where they notice.

However, the lighting makes my eyelids squinch in on themselves, my lashes stand on end, and my cerebrum curl into a quivering ball of discomfort.  I do not loiter in Walmart.  You may have noticed similar lighting in dollar stores, or, as they are more commonly called these days, Dollar Plus stores.  AKA…stores like any other? Yes, I think so. Stop trying to be special, dollar stores where I need many dollars.

Anyway, this is obviously not the feeling I want to create in my home. Not in the daytime, and definitely not at night.

Energy efficiency be darned, if this is how it’s gonna be. Earth, your sun is lovely and I use it often for light. I won’t shower daily or drink bottled water.  I will bring reusable bags to the grocery store and I will use my glass bottles as vases. Please don’t ask more of me than that.

Don’t even talk to me about cloth diapers.

*Interesting note: I learned that Walmart is in fact actively committed to trying to get these more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs into all homes, and being lauded for their “green” efforts! I guess they practice what they preach and are using these bulbs in their stores as well. Little did I know my comparison to Walmart lighting was indeed so accurate.

Daddy’s girls vs. Mama’s boys

25 Jul

Why does “Mama’s boy” have such a negative connotation, while “Daddy’s girl” is considered sweet and acceptable?

I think both are sweet and should be encouraged, maybe not for all of life, but certainly for the childhood years.  Kids should be attached to both parents in this way, preferring them over any other adult or peer influence…the time this lasts is all too short as it is, and boys no more than girls should not be expected to start life with an independent, emotionally closed off, self-sufficient approach.

Personally, I would be offended if my baby boy wasn’t a mama’s boy.  Really, I carried him for 9 months, brought him into the world with gritted teeth, fed, bathed, clothed, entertained, and comforted him, and am one of only a handful of people he sees on a regular basis and knows by voice, smell and touch.

He sure as the seasons better love the stuffing out of me.

Let me go to my mama.

I am going to be thankful for and enjoy the snuggles now and hope to be the kind of mother who can accept it and assist him when one day that love and devotion transfers to a new lucky lady. For now I’ll take my cuddles and chuckle inwardly (and outwardly) when he clings to me with a big goofy grin when someone else offers outstretched arms.

I like morning people

21 Jul

I feel like there is a lot of disdain for people brave enough to announce they are a “morning person”.  People sigh, roll their eyes and inform such people they’re crazy, then whisper behind their backs about how annoyingly perky these morning people are first thing in the morning while coworkers or spouses are still nursing coffees and fighting contact lenses into gluey eyes.  This can be seen in the sheer number of cartoons/expressions about being a morning person.

Why don’t we have this same reaction when people announce “I’m a night owl”? Somehow no one holds any bitterness towards these people, who are most productive at night and stay up ’til all hours, eliminating any possibility of becoming a “morning person”.

Really, the whole term “morning person” is kind of ridiculous – we’re all designed to need sleep and to get up in the morning, so really, we’re all “morning people”, whether we like it or not.  Not “doing” mornings really isn’t an option, folks.

I think these disdainful night people just secretly wish they were morning people.  Morning people seem to genuinely look forward to a new day or week and are happy to see people and ready to interact the moment they make contact.  These people seem to have a jump on the day ahead, have better hair days, more coordinated clothes, dinner in the slow cooker before they leave for work, and fresh breath, all things non-morning people wish they had.

I don’t hate morning people.  Maybe because some days I am that morning person, who is just thankful to be alive and healthy, enjoying the fresh morning air that not too many people are breathing yet. I love that feeling.  Other days I am definitely that night person, grumbling jealously about morning people but also gloating in my late-night productivity and taking gloomy pride in the bags under my eyes.  But if I could choose one, I would definitely opt to be a morning person every single day.

Maybe having kids causes you to look at it differently – kids are the most enthusiastic “morning people” you will ever meet, and they can also be pretty determined night owls.  If you have a baby and a toddler, you know exactly what I mean – a fresh little face with wide eyes stares you awake, wanting you to play at 6 a.m., oblivious to the fact that another fresh little face wanted to eat at 3 a.m. and play at 4:30 a.m.  Time to become a morning person and a night person, and fast, if you want to survive.

I like morning people and night people.  The ones I can’t stand are “midday people”.  Really?  Who has energy at midday?  I would happily sleep through the 12:30-2:30 portion of every day, regrouping from my morning person enthusiasm and winding up for some serious night owl productivity.  Siestas really are the way to go.  If you’re going to sneer at anybody, leave the morning people alone and save it for the midday people – then again, maybe that has to do with having kids who nap at midday…

Either way, morning people are good people.  Let them brighten your day!

Milestones

18 Jul

About a week ago K-fer reached what is, in my mind, a pretty big milestone.  I know crawling, walking and talking are some of the biggest, but I’d say this ranks in the top 5 along with those.  He mastered fork skills!  I’m a proud mama, and he’s a proud, adorable boy.

Now, I know the big trend these days is to let babies feed themselves, so they can experience texture and improve their motor skills and be more willing to eat different foods and blabbity blah blah.  And I also know I have many negative personality traits that could use some work, and one of those is saying “blabbity blah blah” about things people do that I don’t agree with – I’ve been told it’s a little bit less than nice.  I’m sorry.  That area clearly needs a bit more work, and I really will try.  And I truly don’t judge you if you do it, I am just secure in the fact that it is not for me.

One of my traits that may be seen as negative that may or may not be related to my baby-feeding methods is my slight (maybe more-than-slight) tendency to OCD.  I like piles straight, I like my kids’ toys put away exactly as they arrived from the store, lined up in their dishrack or stacked from biggest to smallest, I like symmetrical lamps, and yes, I like my kids’ meals to land up at least 90% in their mouths.

Really, I’m pretty sure this trait is the only thing that keeps me cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes, so I won’t be trying to improve that area anytime soon.

This is why it’s a good thing I’m married.

I tend to think a child probably shouldn’t be allowed to feed themselves until around age 2, when motor skills are reasonably developed and they also have the mental capacity to understand where food belongs and that trouble will ensure if food starts making appearances on the wall across the table.

Carl, thankfully, gives kids a little more credit.  While I was happy to continue inserting food into K-fer’s compliant 10-month-old mouth, Carl quickly grew bored with this tedium and, while I wasn’t watching, showed the little guy how to use a fork!  What a good man.

In other news, over the past couple days both at home and in my sister’s kitchen with the help of my beautiful sister and mother, I’ve made 7 new recipes I can’t wait to share with you!  Once I emerge, hopefully unscathed, from the resulting pile of dishes and scribbled recipe notes, there’ll be a bunch of goodness coming your way 🙂

Happy Monday!

Picnic!

22 Jun

 

Gemma loves to eat outside (as long as no bugs are in sight), but so far this year it’s been mostly too cold or too hot so a breezy warm day was just what we needed!  There’s something about the excitement of being outside that means she will eat pretty much anything I put in front of her, so I figure this summer this will be a good way to introduce more raw veggies and dip under the guise of “fun”.

She really is lovely company, my little conversationalist, and with Kristopher napping we didn’t have to worry about little fingers snatching the food or little mouths full of grass, which made for a nice relaxing snack time!  Now that she’s given up napping we’ll have to start doing more lunches outside since there won’t be such a rush to get the food down and get her into bed…we’ll save that for dinner time 🙂

 

A guest post by the kids

19 Jun

Dear Daddy, we are here today to tell you…

Why you are the best Dad ever: 

You tell us that you love us

Even when we’re bad,

You take the time to talk to us

And find out why we’re sad.

 

You laugh at every trick we have

And teach us new ones too;

You change our stinky diapers;

Wipe us when we use the loo.

 

You build the best block people

And treasure chests and trains,

You let us jump in puddles

Every time it rains.

 

You hold us when we’re cranky

And when mommy needs a break.

You teach us how to exercise

Yet always share your cake.

 

You try to get some work done

But we always find you there

And you love us all enough

To be distracted from your chair.

 

We love each moment with you

And that’s why we wake you up

To tell you about piggy

Or to fill our pink juice cup.

 

We give high fives and sweet kisses

And clap and sing along.

You encourage us to learn and grow,

And show us we belong.

 

Seeing you’s exciting,

We bounce and jump and giggle

And show how much we love you

By the force of all our wiggles.

 

You never act too old

To enjoy our childish games

And we love to watch you trying hard

To hide your giant frame.

 

You spend time with us gladly

And never make a fuss

When mom goes off to school

And leaves you just with us.

 

You work hard for your family

Where you feel you’re called

And set us the example

That money is not all.

 

You tell us we can be

Anything that we might choose

And that even if we fail,

Your love we’ll never lose.

 

You tell us that we’re charming

In our dresses or our jeans

You make us feel self-confident

And foster self-esteem.

 

You tell us that we’re special

And show us that it’s true

When you shower us with snuggles

And discipline us too.

 

You show us how to balance

Work and life and love,

And you’re such a special daddy

We give you all our love.

 

So much love,

Gemma (3) and Kristopher (9 months)

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