Category Archives: Examples of great parenting

Six-Year-Old Logic

Yesterday I was driving Lucy home from theater camp and we had this conversation in the car:

Driving by a construction site close to our house

Lucy: “Wow, I just want to go climb that giant mountain of dirt:

Me: “I know you do sweetie”

Lucy: “Don’t you?”

Me: “Not in these pants”

Lucy: “You should change when you get home”

Me: “I’m going to, I’m going to take off my good work pants and probably just throw a dress on”

Lucy: “Don’t put on a dress, wear shorts and T-shirt like me. Do you even own shorts?”

Me: “Sure, somewhere but I think when it’s this hot a dress is the coolest thing that you can wear”

Lucy: “But you shouldn’t wear a dress, or a skirt because then someone could see your underwear”

Me: “Aw sweetie, it’s ok. I don’t plan on showing my underwear off, besides we’re going to go home and hang out with our friends”

Lucy: “Yah, but you can’t show your underwear to our friends, the rule is only family, or people that are living with us”

Me: “That’s a rule?”

Lucy: “Yeah, if your friends see your underwear than they’ll know how big they are and then they could buy some for you”

Me: “Okay, let me get this straight. You don’t want me to wear a dress today because Stacy might see my underwear and buy me some?”

Lucy: “Yes, and there is nothing more boring than someone buying you underwear!”

Me: “okay, so I should go home and wear shorts to save Stacy from being bored by buying me underwear?”

Lucy: “Yes!”

For the record I did end up putting on jeans when I got home – I most definitely don’t want to be blamed for anything that might happen if I wore said dress.

7 Things She’ll Talk About To Her Therapist

I have a lot of Mom friends who are constantly worried that they aren’t ‘doing it right’ that they are screwing up their kids in vast and various ways.  I, too, often wonder how many years of psychotherapy Lucy will need to be able to get past her childhood. I am sure every parent out there has the same fear, but today I am here to make you all feel better about yourselves and superior to me in every way.

Today I’m giving you a list of the ways that  KNOW I’m fucking up my kid, things I do that simply aren’t right – I know they aren’t right and yet I continue to do them. Please feel free to comment with your own unique parenting downfalls.

In the meantime, here they are in no particular order:

  1. I laugh when she falls down. I know, I know… I simply cant help myself. (Sidenote: this really upsets her, no parent should do this, ever).
  2. On the weekend I’m pretty laxed about brushing her teeth or giving her vitamin pills. Seriously, it’s like a slumber party up in here on the weekends – normal rules do not apply.
  3. I bribe her with candy to be good – sometimes its the only way that ever happens.
  4. I watch her sleep – I’m super creepy Mom at night time, someday I’m afraid she’s going to wake up and find me sitting next to her, drinking a glass of wine just watching her sleep for minutes at a time.
  5. I put parmesean cheese on all her vegetables – I know this is going to ruin her as an adult when she’s out on a date and complaining bout plain broccoli.
  6. I steal quarters out of her piggy bank ( mostly for parking) sometimes I take dollars when I really need them. I don’t think I’ve ever replaced anything.
  7. I hide in the bathroom to text my friends so that I don’t have to play barbies with her.

You are welcome internet – you are welcome.

Macro Vs Micro Parenting

I work with a lot of really smart people, people that seem to know a lot of things about a lot of things, and recently after desperately trying to understand an article I was cataloging I asked one of our economists about it, he looked at me and said “oh, I have no idea, that’s microeconomics and I study macro”.

Huh, isn’t that nice to be able to segregate your focus on one smaller portion of something- kinda like going to the hair dresser and being told, “oh you want bangs, you gotta talk to the front of the head girl – I only handle what’s in the back.”

Anyway, this entire exchange made me start thinking about micro vs macro parenting (go with me on this). I’m constantly struggling between trying to be a good disciplinarian and trying to compensate extra love for the relative cruelty of the world at large.

Micro parenting looks at the day to day – did you eat your vegetables? Did you clean your room? Should you be allowed to go to the pool if you talk back to your mom?

The microparent operates like parents from generations past, no lip, no excuses – direct punishment, direct reward. Do something wrong and there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Macro parenting looks at the bigger picture – how can we forgo an afternoon of fun when terrible things could happen at any moment? Why say no to going to the beach when the climate crises tells us there won’t be a beach there for much longer? Why am I worried about your room being clean when Donald Trump might be our next president!

Macroparents watch a lot of news and can’t help but see the world around them in future terms, they may also read a lot of post apocalyptic literature. Macro parents weigh the severity of their children’s wrongdoing against societies wrongdoings.

Which approach is better, who knows? Can we achieve a balance and not completely screw yo our kids, who knows? What’s the point of this post, who knows? Where do I work – at a shoe store.

Tough(ish) Love

As a parent I can’t help but wonder how much I am screwing up my kid. I think the art of child raising is a lot like the old time travel conundrum* you know where you have to decide if going back to change the outcome of an event makes it better or something else worse.

When I first got laid off I thought ‘oh, I’ll save so much money and just pull her out of aftercare’ and then I thought, ‘ooh, I don’t know – is that going to be better or worse for her?’ Not often, are the kids in daycare buying her ice cream just because she sat still during an eye exam, not often do they let her pick out something from the Disney store because she managed to not wonder off in Target while they were shopping. They don’t scoop her up from every scratch and bruise and kiss it and tell her everything is ok – they punch her in the arm and tell her to suck it up.

Sometimes I think she really should be punched in the arm and told to suck it up, you know because life is hard and because she is my daughter she’s probably going to fall down a lot. But I can’t be the one to do that, it’s just not in my DNA, I have a crazy strong maternal instinct to protect her and assure her that everything is going to be okay.

Maybe I’m really doing her a favor by not subjecting her to too much of me – everyone knows I’m better in small doses.

Not today though, today I’m picking her up from school and letting her pick out a new shower curtain, you know, because she was tired of the old one…

*Might not be old or even a conundrum

 

A Message for the Future Me

I can’t wait for Lucy to start giving herself a bath – I want to put that out in to the Universe (in print) because I know there will come a day when I am old(er) and nostalgic and I’ll turn to someone near me (perhaps a stranger on the bus) and lament about how I miss when my daughter was young and I bathed her. But for the record, it’s hard. First, bath time is 8:00pm, by 8:00pm I have been awake for 14 hours – 10 of those hours were at work or trying to get to work, an hour was spent trying to coerce Lucy in to doing 15 minutes of homework, an hour was spent prepping and/or cleaning up a semi-wholesome meal. Bottom line is by 8:00 I am tired. TIRED.

So I’m tired and Lucy’s hair is about 3 ½ feet long and needs to be washed well, conditioned copiously and brushed out – she doesn’t like water in her face and I need to use professional hair products so when shampoo accidently seeps in to her eyes she reacts as if it were bees and not Paul Mitchell’s moisturizing serum. She doesn’t like to wash herself, she’d much prefer that I act as her handmaiden and do it for her – same with her teeth, so when I insist she does it herself she cries. She is also tired so she can cry really easily and for long, extended periods of time… this goes on seemingly FOREVER.

By the time she is clean and ready to get out she no longer wants to get out she wants to play in her dirty, soapy bathwater and will only remove herself when I promise her a good story time that I’m frankly, a little too tired to read.

She’ll get out of the tub and instantly be FREEZING TO DEATH, she will overdramatically fall into the fetal position on her bedroom floor and not move to help you dry her or dress her but the second she is warm and dressed she will suddenly be FULL of energy and will jump on the bed repeatedly until you have to yell and threaten to take something away from her for her to calm down.

She will want to snuggle while you read which is great except that her hair is still very wet and she will ensure that whatever you are wearing will get very wet too, she will only half pay attention to you as she asks every 15 seconds for you to hand her the milk that she refuses to hold on to but needs placed on her dresser after every swallow.

After the required two chapters of reading she will once again get very weepy and insist that you sleep with her, that she misses you and that she can’t POSSIBLY FALL ASLEEP without you. At which time you will firmly but gently extricate yourself from her bed feeling shitty that you don’t spend enough time with her but also very very ready to go downstairs and drink the glass of wine you poured for yourself that is waiting on the kitchen counter.

You spend 5 minutes reconnecting with your husband before you both fall into a semiconscious stupor and turn on mindless TV until you are too tired to drink anymore wine and you’ll head upstairs and check in on Lucy who is snuggled and cute and quietly snoring or muttering to herself and your heart will melt and you will almost bring yourself to tears because you feel like you are not doing enough, not there enough for her, you will brush her hair out of her face and kiss her on the forehead and try very hard not to think of the 5,673,128,789 ways that life can hurt her and you will want to keep her young and protected forever. You will feel this way for about 24 hours until its bath time again and you are tired and her hair is dirty and all you want to do is relax.

Pre Schooler’s Course Catalog

With a nod to our friends at The Ugly Volvo I have decided to write my own Pre Schooler course catalog, these are the classes we will be offering this semester:

 

SLOW DINNER 501: MWF 6:00-7:30

Think you took a long time sucking down toddler food? Think again! In this course we will teach you how to take forever to eat your dinner. We will bring in a world renowned chef and cook you a delicious and wholesome meal – if you finish it in less than 90 minutes, you fail.

 

GETTING OUT OF BED 20 TIMES 101: TR 8:00-10:00

This course is offered in conjunction with another class entitled “How to ask the most ridiculously inane questions – especially late at night.” We will focus on teaching you how to sit in bed and holler for your parents so loud that the neighbors across the street will be able to hear you, we will also teach you how to sneak out of your room at least 10 times before you fall asleep.

 

GAMES ON PHONES 206: S 11:00-3:00

This course is designed to introduce you to the world of stupid kid games available to you on your parent’s phone. Want to dress up a Unicorn? Or Make a Fish fart? We can do that. For this class the final exam will involve seating you in the back of your Parent’s car and asking repeatedly if you can play a game on the their phone – the longer you can keep it up for, the higher your grade will be.

 

WHINING 701: MWF 5:00-7:00

This is a Graduate level course, where we will hone your whining skills to the level of professional. We will concentrate on peak times of the day, like directly after your parents get home from work.

 

SUDDEN MOOD CHANGES 101: S ALL DAY

This course is designed to teach you to go from ecstatically happy to unbearably miserable in the blink of an eye. We will also help you to recognize that the reason for these sudden mood changes is all the fault of your parents and we will show you ways to blame them for making you unhappy.

 

SOAP IN PULBIC BATHROOMS 201: F 6:00-7:00

Don’t have to go to the bathroom? Of course you do! You don’t know what color soap might be in there! Sign up for this class and we will explore all the different kinds of soap dispensers available in restaurants and stores in your area.

How to explain robots to a four year old

We went to a Halloween party this year where someone had taken a big cardboard box and made themselves a pretty cool Wall-E costume. Cool until he realized that he could not get food or drink from his hands to his mouth due to the limited mobility of being trapped inside a huge cardboard box.

Based on this one point of reference Lucy jumped at the chance to watch Wall-E this weekend when it came up in discussion during the pizza and movie night movie selection. My husband and I were thrilled because Wall-E (as I’m sure you all know) contains not a single princess. We started watching the movie and this happened:

“Mom, where is Wall-E? Is he inside that robot?”

“No, sweetie Wall-E is the robot”

“What? How could he get inside the robot?”

“No, sweetie, Wall-E is the robot”

“Is he hiding in there? Will he come out soon?”

“No sweetie, Wall-E is the robot”

“Mom, I don’t understand when he is going to come out of the robot?”

“Mom, why does he have wheels – robots don’t have wheels, how does Wall-E have wheels?”

“Wall-E is a robot, robots are machines, they move I many different ways – like the car, the car is a machine that has wheels.”

“Our car is a robot? Is there someone hiding inside the car too?”

“Be quiet and watch the movie”

“Mom… ”

“Yeah?”

“When is the princess going to come out of Eve?”

Ode to the Helicopter Moms…

Check all that apply:

___  Your child’s face is plastered to everything you own – your cell phone case, your credit card.

___ Your facebook profile photo does not contain you.

___ The walls of your office resemble something like a crime scene investigation of a deranged stalker.

___ It’s hard for you to go anywhere without your kids because you might miss an opportunity to show them off.

___ At night after they are in bed you can spend hours on your computer looking at pictures of them.

___ you write a blog called “sticky jam hands”

 

There is help and there is wine and I’m pretty sure they are the same thing.

I’m a god-damn hero

Over this past weekend I attended a wedding of a good friend of mine. It was a beautiful wedding, in a beautiful garden, filled with beautiful people. It was only marred in one way – my husband. Now, my husband has a history of getting inappropriately drunk at weddings and thus being referred to as “that guy”. As in, “Oh yeah, your husband was ‘that guy’ at my wedding.”

For this particular wedding I inexplicably decided to try and beat him at his own game. After the ceremony and during cocktail hour I stood in the bar line double fisting some seriously souped up gin and tonics, I didn’t stop there, once seated  I spent more time making trips to the bar than I did socializing at our table.

I knew that this would not end well, but at the tine I seemed powerless to stop it.

My favorite part of the evening came before I lost all control of my senses and had made my way to the ladies room only to discover someone’s grandmother (I assume she was with the grooms family as her grasp on English was tenuous as best ). She was struggling because somehow she had gotten the zipper of her dress caught in her underwear.   Next thing I know I am undressing this sweet little old lady on my knees of the bathroom (cocktail still in hand) as I worked her zipper out of her giant granny panties and thus somehow saving the day. It was as close as I got to intimacy that night being too tired and incapable of doing anything other than falling in to bed, completely dressed, when I finally did arrive home later in the evening.

Sunday arrived much too soon and for the first time in her entire life Lucy was awake and in our room at 6:25am, I wanted to crawl inside myself and never come out, her Dad clearly felt the same way. It was a long day for all of us and by far not my proudest moment as a Mom but I think what we all need to remember here is that I got to second base with the grandmother of the groom…

 

Things I learned on Mother’s Day

First, I have to begin this post with perhaps the biggest Mother’s Day lesson of all and that is if you plan on having a wonderful family filled day outside for Mother’s day then you should not (should not) spend Saturday randomly texting co-works and neighbors to come over and experiment with different sangria recipes. You should not (not) make it your goal to get rid of (i.e. drink) the two boxes of really bad wine that you inadvertently purchased for your house warming party. Two boxes of wine for those who have not been to my house recently equates to 8 bottles of wine. Eight bottles. In one afternoon. The day before mother’s day.

 

This really just sets a bad scene Sunday morning when your over-eager three year old runs into your room wishing you a wonderful mother’s day and giving you homemade presents wrapped with enough tape to stop a black bear. Lucy likes to wrap up trash (backs of old stickers, grocery store receipts, etc) in construction paper with rolls of tape to keep them closed. It’s cute but hard to deal with when she is sitting on top of me and I have to pee so badly that the only thing more pressing at that moment is getting some water, water to lubricate my mouth enough to talk and to swallow the four extra strength Tylenol I know I’m

 going to need just to make it to the breakfast table.

 

Being hung over on Mother’s day is a lot like being hung over on Christmas – totally inadvisable.

 

Being the consummate professional that I am I did manage to rally and make it not only downstairs, but through 3 cups of coffee and a potato and bacon omelet. I was almost feeling normal when I opened the present that Lucy made me at preschool – it was her hand prints, a really cute poem someone vaguely famous wrote about motherhood and included on the back where questions that Lucy answered:

 

    • I love my Mom because: She buys me nice things oh no – first I rarely buy her nice things, I rely on her grandmother to do that… but I’m not very enthusiastic about this being her line of thinking. And while I’m on the subject I’m also not real enthusiastic that while reading her a  bed time story last night she says to me “you know what I really love? Daddy, I can’t wait until Father’s day…” (and people wonder why I drink so much)

 

    • My Mom loves me because: I make her smile – aw that one was really sweet, of course I would love her if she makes me smile or doesn’t – on some days there is very little smiling…

 

  • My Mom is good at: Doing Work. Ugh… really? not giving hugs, or fixing her boo boos or playing school with her of brushing her hair or making sure every baby doll in the house is safely bedded down for the night, or reading to her sometimes for 4 or 5 hours at a time. Nope – I’m good at working. Awesome.

 

Next year I’m going to a spa.

 

 

 

 

I’m not proud of any of this

Motherhood has gifted me with multiple personalities. I like to refer to them as the “Overachiever” and the “Loafer”. The Overachiever reads a lot and explains in great detail science and physics and goes out of her way to plan fun craft projects and asks Lucy every day when she picks her up from school to recite her full name (first, middle, last)her home address and her alphabet. Overachiever makes up songs to remember important numbers and  she warns her about stranger danger and explains to her how compound interest is calculated and how all of her clothes are manufactured. Loafer Mom spends a lot of her time on her phone – tweeting imprudent things (#profoundBecca) and texting pictures of her latest tattoo to friends across the country. Loafer Mom gives her candy to be quiet and pays little attention to things like bedtime when she thinks ignoring it might allow her to sleep in a little bit the next morning. Loafer Mom is unconcerned that her hair is seldom brushed and that she only gets vitamins on weekdays when her Dad remembers to hand them out. Loafer Mom loves wine.

I like to think that overachiever has a higher percentage of participation in this whole child rearing thing but I don’t know… I get the sense that overachiever tries really hard but often falls short. Overachiever works all day and has excellent intentions while boarding the train in the afternoons to go home and participate in some interactive play and to make a wholesomely well balanced family dinner, but at some point right around the time that she is trying to wrangle a tired and cranky Lucy into her jacket after school, right around the time that Lucy starts to whine about not wanting to sit in her car seat and not liking any of the music that is on the radio – right about at that time Loafer Mom (devil in the ear Loafer Mom) starts whispering about how it’s all going to be okay, that she can just drive home, put on some sweat pants and enjoy some wine while she turns on an episode of Olivia. Loafer Mom knows how to make everything all right. Sure – overachiever might try to ignore this, go home and suggest story time but it really only takes one small breakdown or one suggestion to play the insufferable “Mommy and Baby” game again for the Loafer to finally say ‘enough is enough’ and to go lock herself in the bathroom to find out what’s trending on Digg while slipping into a pair of yoga pants and her favorite sweat shirt.

I used to think that if I was a stay at home Mom that Overachiever would completely take over, being laid off a couple years ago quickly taught me that without work to keep her strong Loafer Mom rapidly took power. Loafer Mom discovered that it was okay to have wine with lunch. She learned that showering everyday was totally unnecessary when devoid of meddlesome coworkers. She learned that huggies diapers would hold more pee than you would think.

Monday night both Mom’s emerged nearly simultaneously – it was a warm spring day and Overachiever decided to take a trip to the park, she was in full bloom and running around and pushing Lucy on the swings until she was told to be sleeping beauty and to go lay on the bench. At this point tired and thirsty Loafer Mom sauntered to the bench, laid down and started texting on her phone, she ignored Lucy in hopes that she would self engage and leave her alone. This tactic didn’t work and Lucy rushed her and tried hard to physically lift her head from the bench. Loafer Mom dug her claws in and as Lucy struggled she got her finger stuck in one of the holes of this hard metal bench. Overachiever was back in a flash and tried desperately to calm her down and work her finger out – she called her husband (ever the Overachieving Dad) and had him bring olive oil while she stroked Lucy’s hair and found funny you tube clips for her to watch. Her finger was traumatically disengaged just short of calling the fire department. However – half way home, Lucy in her arms Loafer Mom came back, blaming Overachieving Mom for being in the park in the first place and rushed the rest of the way home to put on yoga pants and start and episode of Dora while pouring herself a glass of Chardonnay.

 

 

 

Ms. Sassypants

I live with a short sassy tyrant, it’s equal parts infuriating and hysterical. Here are some highlights from the last four days of our lives together:

  • Saturday  while enjoying a late morning snuggle in our bed her Dad offered to help her get down when she realized that she left something in her room, and instead of thanking him or saying anything nice she belts out: “Yeah, because it’s always all about you Dad!”
  • Sunday night after her Dad had given her a bath, washed, conditioned and brushed out her unreasonably long hair I picked her up out of the tub, wrapped her in a towel, carried her into her room, dried her off, slathered her from head to toe in lotion and put her in her favorite princess pajamas before sitting down to read her two bedtime stories. I asked her to please grab the milk I had left on her dresser, she looks at me, rolls her eyes and says, “Why do I have to do everything?
  • Monday night it was her Dad’s turn to read to her and when I went into her room to wish her a goodnight before  time story, she grabbed my face kissed me hard and pushed me away from her as she screamed “I’m so done with the hugging and the kissing!”
  • Tonight while we were eating dinner her Dad said something silly and she turns to him and says, “Dad you are so ridiculous I cant play with you anymore!” when he asked her what the problem was she told him, “I cant be your friend until you stop being funny.”

True Story. Good Times.

Ode to the third year

There once was a cranky three year old
She whined all  the time
She didn’t like you if you said ‘no’
Her favorite word was ‘ mine ‘

 
She hated eating dinner
Unless it was mac and cheese
She would beg and beg for dessert
But rarely ever said ‘please ‘
 

We would love her and hug her
And say she was cherished
Until she pulled away saying
“Now I’m embarrassed”
 

She is so grown up
Yet still a baby
She’s wonderful
But drives us crazy

Because I care

I currently have several friends that either just had or are soon expecting their first baby girls. I couldn’t be happy for them with their little screaming bundles of oppression joy.

But I thought I would take a moment to share with them some really exciting things they have to look forward to – once their little poop shooters grow up and turn three, below are just a few things that one can expect:

  • She will be obsessed with poop. You will not go to the bathroom without someone running in after (if she’s not already in there) jumping up and down shouting “can I see it? Please Mommy just let me see it!”
  • She will be very annoyed by bookmarks and will begin to pull them out of every book she finds laying around the house.
  • She will pick up on your vernacular until one day you walk into her laid back in the bathtub and when you ask her what she’s doing she’ll say “oh, I’m just chillin like a villain with my baby, Mom”. Or every time you take a picture of her with your phone she’ll ask you to send it to her. When you ask her what her number is she’ll say “five”.
  • She’ll pick the most opportune times (usually in line at Target) to reach inside your shirt for no reason and say really loud to anyone whose around “I like your squishy boobs Mom!”
  • Hide your make-up. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
  • When you get her up for nap time she will often times be wearing 3 pairs of underwear 4 shirts and leg warmers and be mad when you tell her she has to go put on pants. Because its January and its cold.
  • She will never want to wear socks. Even during a polar vortex. No socks. No.
  • One day you will pick her up from school and ask her how her day was and she will say “We can talk about it during dinner Mom, that’s when we discuss how everyone’s day was. Right now I just want to be quiet and listen to Adele.” and you will wonder what the hell happened to your little girl.

I remember when Lucy was still just a little gurgling crawler before she could forms words and I couldn’t wait until she talked. All of my Mom friends warned me not to rush it, but I knew they were insane and I couldn’t wait to hear the pearls of wisdom that would emanate from my little angel.

Hahahahahahaha.

On underpants, make-up and some much needed peace and quiet

Last Sunday Lucy was in her room, taking her ‘nap’ when I heard a whimper than turned into a cry for help. I went in to her room and there she was struggling because instead of napping she had taken off her pants and proceeded to put on every pair of underpants that she owns (approximately twenty). She was then trying to take them off – pulling the ones underneath off first. She had (obviously) gotten them tangled tightly around her thighs and could not move as they slowly cut off circulation to her lower legs.

~

On Monday she was getting ready for dinner – in our bathroom when, after 15 minutes or so, I went in to check on her. She had pulled out my makeup and was proceeding to ‘powder her face’. I asked her what she was up to and she stated quite matter of factly “I just needed to put on some makeup because I look horrible right now.”

~

Tuesday night, in the hopes of not getting my make up all over the bathroom floor  went with her to get ready for dinner and insisted that she use her own bathroom. I followed her in there and asked if she needed any help, she turned to me – pushed me out of the doorway and said “no, Mom what I really want right now is just some peace and quiet.”

Ba dum dum dum

Thanksgiving and the end of an era… Oh and did I mention we are moving?

This year we did anti-Thanksgiving. We cleaned out the refrigerator and made chili and didn’t go anywhere or have anyone over. Right now the house is in shambles – six days to moving day and it looks like its six days to moving day… Today (black-Friday) I took Lucy out to run some errands with me and she was so excited that there are Christmas decorations up and Christmas displays out and about and she wanted to look at, touch and to buy everything… I had to keep reminding her that Christmas would be at her grandmothers this year – there will be no time to decorate at the new house. I feel terrible about all of this – what if this is the first holiday season she remembers and I totally phoned it in? She had white fish and macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving diner – made up only slightly by the store-bought pumpkin pie I got to keep one small modicum of tradition. I totally suck as a parent.

I’ve been struggling recently with Lucy’s monthly newsletter – she’s becoming so grown up I know at some point I need to respect her privacy and not splay all of her adventures and heartache and misadventures all of the Internets. I justify doing this up until now because this site it only really accessed by close friends and family but not always… today I checked the site stats and there were 20 hits from Germany last Friday – 20 pictures clicked on and what? Downloaded where? I have nothing protected I have nothing encrypted. I think it might be time to discontinue these public forums of her sprouting into adulthood. Those who know me well can see her anytime and her grandmothers get nearly daily pictures via text message.

I’m not going to shut the site down but I am going to protect her. A new chapter is beginning in our lives and I think this needs to be one of the changes that has to happen. I will still continue to rant and blaspheme as much as I can, when I can. I have a feeling that life in the suburbs might spark more angst and material than I am currently used to.  We have already been dragged into some weird neighborhood politics and we haven’t even moved yet. I’m really looking forward to this….

Just a typical Monday night

This afternoon I came home from work, completely exhausted from my day. Lucy was having a melt down because another kid in the neighborhood hugged me – hugged me, she was so distraught that I literally had to just throw her over my shoulder and drag her into the house fireman style along with her bag and my bag and a random sampling of dirty coffee mugs from my office and her fuzzy pink hoodie and her favorite teddy bear and Ariel and Ariel’s hairbrush.

I dragged everything and everyone inside, kicked off my shoes, started a pot of boiling water for a quick and easy spaghetti dinner as I broke up a cat fight with my foot and ripped a hole in my stockings. I threatened death to the little kitty if she ate one more unattended stick of  butter off the kitchen counter when the doorbell rang.

I was trying to get rid of the reformed crack head selling subscriptions of unpopular magazines as I smelled the unmistakable smell of cat urine. I quickly closed the door and began the hunt for the offending odor just as the water on the stove began boiling over.

I was on my way to take care of that when I heard a life screeching wail from Lucy upstairs, I ran up there as the smoke detector went off, seemingly trying to drown her out.

I discovered Lucy standing on our bed, pants around her ankles, very expensive anti aging nighttime face cream all over her hands from being rubbed in to her private parts, a $40 a bottle of anti aging serum she mistook for butt cream. And you know? Anti aging serum apparently stings really bad when rubbed on sensitive areas.

I swept her off the bed, threw her in the tub with the water running, ran downstairs to stop the infernal smoke detector as my neighbor called to make sure we are all okay.

I took the boiling water that has mostly spilled all over the stove off of the heat as I ordered a pizza, wrapped Lucy up in a silky bathrobe, turned on Dora the Explorer as I resumed the hunt for the rouge cat pee.

Now I’m relaxing with a large cocktail while I fold two loads of laundry…

How was your day?

I remember a time before she could talk…

A conversation in high volume traffic this afternoon

“Mommy”

“Yes?”

“Mommy”

“Yes, honey”

“Mommy, I have to tell you something”

“Ok”

“Mommy”

“Yes”

Mommy, I have to tell you something”

“Ok”

“Mommy”

“What honey?”

“Mommy, you need to look at me.”

“Ok, hold on”

looking back over my shoulder

“Yes honey?”

“Mommy, I have something to tell you”

“Yes?”

“Mommy”

“Yes, honey”

“Mommy, I have a window!”

 

 

How to tell if you are a Mom

1.) If you are wearing two different pairs of shoes right now.

2.) If you have ever put scotch in a baby bottle to sneak it on to an airplane.

3.) If you have ever arrived at the mall before it opened.

4.) If you have ever been watching TV, found candy in your bra – and eaten it.

5.) If you have ever shown up to work and realized you still have conditioner in your hair.

6.) If you have ever volunteered to help someone move (or insert other awful tasks you would never have offered to help with 10 years ago) just so you could get out of the house.

7.) If you have ever accidentally dialed your pediatrician when trying to order a pizza.

8.) If you can recite word for word three entire books.

9.) If its a rare and exciting event to go to the bathroom by yourself.

10.) If you have fallen asleep from pure exhaustion before getting to the end of this list.

 

Parenting Tips

#1. If all else fails – put cheese on it.

#2. When taking your toddler to a bar try to sit in front of the staging area – that way your child can suck on lemons. It’s fun and staves of scurvy.

#3. It’s totally acceptable for old McDonald to have babies, treats and fairies on his farm.

#4. You’re not a bad person if you tell your child that not brushing her teeth makes Elmo cry.

#5. Make sure you have enough tiaras for everyone – even Daddy needs to be a princess sometimes.

 

 

Mommy’s Little Helper

One of the most amazing things about my daughter is her stoicism, she is unlike most two year old that I know in that she does not complain when she is sick, or in pain. She falls and more often than not gets right back up and continues on. When she gets sick we often don’t know it until it gets out of hand and her doctor looks at us like a DPW worker when we do finally take her in to get checked out. This was exemplified last week when Lucy was complaining that there where ‘bubbles in her ears’ and we laughed and said everything was fine and she probably just needed all the wax cleaned out.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning when her daycare called because she had a 103 degree fever and a trip to the doctor confirmed she had a ‘raging ear infection’ one so bad that her doctor was surprised Lucy hadn’t been crying in pain for days… Hardcore antibiotic treatments and the ear pain started to go away but they did nothing for the lingering, hacking cough that accompanied the infection.

The three of us had two sleepless nights rocking Lucy and trying to get her to drink some water to help her unrelenting cough. By Friday morning we were all tired, cranky and on our last thin nerves. And then my husband, my glorious husband discovered children’s Nyquil – safe for children two and over. I don’t know where he got it, I don’t care that the entire box is printed in a mix of Mexican and Cantonese. I didn’t ask any questions.

Channeling her inner ancestry and all of the generations of substance abusers that came before her, Lucy loves medicine, she gets so excited whenever she’s allowed to drink cherry flavored syrup or gets drops in her eyes. She was just as thrilled with this third world, back alley Nyquil as we were.

And it worked. She got drugged every four hours through the night for the next three nights until her cough had gotten better and she was able to sleep on her own.

She’s better now and doesn’t seem to be permanently scared in any way. She not shaking with withdraw or anything. I am adding this new remedy to the basket of goodies I buy all my friends when they find themselves with child.

Happy Day.

You would think there would be some intermediate step between Sex & the City and Roseanne

There was a time in my life when I was urban chic and I wore heals to work and I bought wine in bottles and I had a professional highlight my hair. I lived in the city and tried to channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw. I swore that when I had kids I would teach them French and not let them watch TV and feed them only wholesome organic food. Unfortunately I have noticed a marked decline in recent years of my chic-ness and last night I believe I reached an all time low.

I drove home from work in my subcompact car, took off my 2 year old beat up flats  and poured myself a large glass of wine out of the box  in the refrigerator. I parked Lucy in front of the TV and went into the kitchen to make HAMBURGER HELPER for dinner. Hamburger helper! that is neither organic nor wholesome nor even made with real cheese. And what’s worse is that when grocery shopping this week I opted for the cheaper meat – you know the 80/20 instead of the 90/10. I served the Hamburger Helper with white bread and butter (I hang my head in shame).

I don’t know when my inner Carrie Bradshaw was snuffed out and replaced with an alcoholic Rosanne Conner, but when I was upstairs later, a little drunk and trimming my hair with cuticle scissors I thought its high time for a new outfit and a night on the town.

Progress

This winter has been exceptionally mild and easy to deal with and I know that I have very little room for complaining but I am so excited nonetheless for the resumption of daylight savings time. I feel like everything gets better when the days get longer, you have more time to spend with friends and family, you don’t have to put on sweat pants and huddle under a blanket promptly at 6:00pm. It’s like a new lease on life and I am thrilled THRILLED it is here. Big *sigh* of happy.

I am hoping this spring also brings the end of the uncertainty of unemployment, either by finally finding that perfect job or by the arrival of publisher clearing house and an over sized check. However it plays out, I am ready to move on and not spend my days in flux wondering what’s coming around the next corner. Being home with Lucy and watching her grow during this amazing and transitional time has been priceless but I am quickly falling behind on my five-year plan and the small enjoyments of day-to-day life with her right now are somewhat inconsequential if we fail in our big plan.

Oh the sad realities of adult responsibilities.

On a lighter note, I know Lucy is growing up because last night when she peed on her carpet, she pointed to it, said “mess” and got a washcloth out of her clothes hamper and tried to wipe it up…. It makes a Mother proud 🙂

Adventues in parenting… and carpet cleaning.

Recently Lucy has started trying to help me in all sorts of ways – she likes to pick things up, unpack groceries… stuff like that. I try to encourage this – you know because I’m so lazy. However last Friday I learned two very important lessons 1.) She’s a little too young to really be helpful and 2.) It’s important to pay attention.

 Last Friday morning we were out running errands trying to get supplies for my first book club meeting. Have I mentioned Susan & I started a book club? I think our nerd meters just clicked up another level. Anyway, I was out buying cupcakes and wine… standard book club fair. I stopped at a bakery, you know like a real bakery, not the one in the back of the grocery store. Look at me being all fancy pants.

 The bakery gave us a dozen individual desserts including handmade crème puffs and red velvet cupcakes in a cute pink I’ve-been-to-the-bakery box. I gently carried it to the car and set it on the floor of the front seat and Lucy & I made three more stops before coming home. Once home, hands full, I carried the bakery box and bags of groceries out of the car and set them on the table on the front porch while I searched for the keys that I had had in my hand not 10 seconds ago. Once I got the door open Lucy, being helpful grabbed the bag containing the bakery box and tried to carry it inside, she banged it on the ground, dragged it to the door, over the threshold, knocked it against the door jam, ran inside and in her excitement to be home did a little twirl which launched the cute pink box out of the bag spilling most of its contents onto the living room rug. The dog was instantly on the scene eating one crème puff in a single gulp and getting a honey bun stuck to his front paw.  

 Fast forward to 5:00 that evening, we were upstairs so that I could change my clothes and try to appear less ‘unemployed.’ Lucy was helping by bringing me things that I didn’t need out of the bathroom. I was standing in the closet; I knew she was sitting behind me playing with some treasure from the bathtub. I located the shirt I was searching for and turned to her to discover that the treasure she had found was her bath soap, and not the little one we use every day but the big refill bottle – you know the 48oz bottle? Somehow she had managed to pry the top off and poured the entire 48 oz of Johnson & Johnson head to toe wash all over her and the carpet in our bedroom.

 It’s super important to pay attention and in the future I’ll make sure to carry the cupcakes myself.

And now for something completly pointless…

Lucy is sick – which means I am sick – which means it’s time once again to abuse one of my favorite drugs… Nyquil. I would, however, like to make a suggestion to my friends at Vicks. Instead of using obscure dosing instructions (how much is 2 tsp. really? Is that a big swallow or a little swallow? I’m not a scientist). I think it would be better to use language everyone can understand like: “A bottle this size should last you at least 5 days” or “If you finish this bottle within 36 hours you should consult a doctor” or “If you wake up more than twice during the night coughing and decide to keep taking more of this product there is a good chance that you won’t hear your child when s/he wakes up in the morning.”

Just a few things to keep in mind Vicks – if you decide to update your label.

~~~

Saturday night I had a chance to get out of the house and hang out with some friends for a good old fashion girls night. It was wonderful to talk and catch up with them. And as much as I love my husband (and I do!) it’s a refreshing change to chat with people who don’t giggle every time I say the word ‘duty’.

 ~~~

Is it just me or does it seems wrong that people buying a house in Canada should be included in “International House Hunters”?

Thanks Dad

When I was a little girl we used to spend our Christmas vacations in Florida visiting close friends of my parents. And every year on our drive down south my father would remind me about swamp flutter monsters. You know swamp flutter monsters, that come out of the Florida mist and travel through the heating vents in people’s houses and feed on little children. I don’t ever remember being able to sleep on these trips but would just lay in bed terrified that the monsters would find me and I would wonder how much it would hurt when they ate me up.

It wasnt just when we where on vacation that my Dad terrorized me, when we where at home he was always telling me that I was not his real child, that I was switched at birth in the hospital. He would tell me that my real name was Pheobe Hackenbusch and that my Mother was cross-eyed, my father only had one ear and I had 6 brothers and sisters. He would tell me how poor the Hackenbusch’s where and how they lived in run down shacks we would often come across on the back roads of Pennsylvania. When I was being bad he would sometimes put me in the back of the car and drive to the closest run down shell of a house and threaten to leave me there.

I obviously survived my father’s twisted sense of humor but now that I am a Mother I realize how totally messed up this all was. I want a lot of things for Lucy – happiness, healthiness, financial security and MOST importantly to never be afraid of imaginary monsters or to worry that her parents are going to give her away to a large, poor family straight out of Dileverence.

We have a cat door cut into the door to our basement and sometimes my husband likes to stick his hands through it and be the “monster in the basement” and Lucy loves it, she goes running to the top of the basement steps squealing with laughter wherever she hears her Dad downstairs, but sometimes I worry if she lays in bed and wonders what other monsters are hanging out in the basement. And then I worry that maybe I’m projecting my own childhood fears onto her.

Is there no end to randomly weird stuff we as parents needs to worry about?

Footnote:
 I wrote this post in my head late last night while I was laying in bed unable to get to sleep – a little high on Nyquil wondering what the creepy noises I heard where coming from. It should be noted that in my head it was a lot funnier and not so sad about how I was tortured by my father as a small child. You can skim that part.

Deep thoughts on Sesame Street

Things aren’t like they used to be. ..This is not about walking up the hill to school in the snow both ways – although I did do that for a while in third grade, except school was downhill – I walked uphill in the snow to get home and that sucked just as much. No, what I would like to talk about is sesame street and how it’s ruining the youth of today.

When I was a kid Sesame street was a place, a comfortable stomping ground you visited every like day at 10:00 am (I might be getting some of these details wrong.) But my point is, it was a familiar place with familiar people who taught you to spell and count in catchy repeatable rhymes that stuck with you and made you smart. I remember curling up in front on the TV with mashed eggs in a bowl (this was my childhood’s equivalent of egg salad, because my Mom is way TOO smart to ever tell me I was eating salad – thanks Mom) and sing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 and watch the ball roll around the screen and it was cheesy and fun.

The sesame street of 2011 is barely recognizable anymore, first of all you get no sense that they are on a street or even in a neighborhood – the intro song is basically a rapped out version of the original song (and not in a good way). The whole show is a nightmarish collection of small attention deficit segments where they cut from fairy school to Elmo’s world, back to some inner city play ground. There is no homey feel of muppets hanging out together and learning valuable life lessons from Gordon and Maria – half of it is animated and rarely to you see the best characters at all – you know snuffleupagus and the count (who, by the way, when he is shown  has undergone a serious transformation and barely resembles the count of the late 70’s).

Maybe I’m getting old and jaded – maybe I’m not real good with change (actually I can attest that both of those things statement are completely true.) But, I really think that a lot  the problem with today’s youth and one of the reasons that there are so many of them diagnosed with ADD and put on medication, might just be that  the TV shows they watch have  reduced their attention spans to a miniscule amount. When I was an undergrad I took a communications class where my professor lectured about how the average american adult only really has an attention span of a half hour at most because that’s how long our “shows” are, but what happens when our kids only have to pay attention for 3-5 minutes at a time, what happens when they go to school and their teachers lecture for an hour at a time?

I don’t have any answers. It’s clear I should probably go play outside.

Please sir, can I have some more?

When I was little my Mom used to feed my sister and I cream of wheat – the old fashioned cream of wheat that tasted like nothing and had the consistency of snot. We would complain loudly and protest that we were being served gruel.* I would fantasize that I was little orphan Annie and some day Daddy Warbucks would come to get me and feed me donuts for breakfast.

Recently and probably a little ironically I have started making cream of wheat for Lucy in the morning – its quick, easy and really fills her up. Every morning I  have to resist the urge to make snide comments about my own shortcomings as a Mom… I think it would probably be bad form to tell my daughter that if she’s really lucky some large bald man might one day show up and take her away from all this. Fortunatly for her (and me) she loves it and can’t seem to get enough – of course I give her the flavored kind, the one that doesn’t taste like snot…

*Honestly I might be wrong about my sister complaining about the cream of wheat, maybe she liked it? She seems to like it now as an adult – it might have just been the vitamins we had to take that she would loudly protest. O man she HATED those things and never ran out of hiding places to vanquish them to… I’m not really sure why, personally I liked the purple ones – yum, grape Flinstones! The point it we were NEVER happy at breakfast time.

Baby’s first hurricane

In order to prepare for Irene I left work early yesterday and headed to my local target for baby food, water & D cell batteries.  I drove out of west Philadelphia and it was like all rules of human civilization suddenly no longer applied – people were driving like maniacs and abandoning their cars anywhere they wanted and the hurricane was still two days away…

Target itself looked like what I would imagine a third world market to look like on the eve of the apocalypse – people were panicked,  shelves were empty and the lines to check out extended well past the middle of the store. As I walked in they announced that they had run out of water but were in the midst of unloading a new shipment.

I went to get batteries – they had everything but D cells, I gave up and went in search of the promised stacks of new bottled water… It wasn’t anywhere, I finally flagged down a woman in the telltale red shirt and asked her where I coud find water – “Oh, that’s already gone honey…”

I decided at this point that it was time to give up and go get the really important hurricane supplies.  I piled Lucy back in the car empty handed, drove to my closest PA state store, bought 5 bottles of wine and a fifth of gin and headed home.

I am all set – come on Irene!

Hurricane preparedness kit
Hurricane preparedness kit