Category Archives: 2 Year Olds

When Role Modeling Doesn’t Work …Just Start a List


They say the best way to teach your children is to model the behavior you want them to have. Clearly that doesn’t work with mealtimes, because regardless of how clean and well “normal” my husband and I eat, like using our utensils, putting the food in mouth, politely chewing it and swallowing, our kids clearly aren’t getting it. And no my kids aren’t that little, it’s not like I expect an 8 month old to use a fork properly. Now my 2.5 and 4-year-old, hell I’m just happy if they use their utensils. Today’s lunch was a running commentary of things we DON’T do with our food, mostly directed at that 2.5 year old. So in case you weren’t aware here’s 10 amazing food revelations we covered today at lunch:

1. We don’t feed the dog our food.

2. We don’t try to put peas in our straws, it messes with our ability to drink (and someday when you’re a mommy and secretly drinking wine from a straw that will really really matter).

3. We don’t pretend rice is glitter and shake it all over and put it in our hair, it’s not pretty or sparkly.

4. We don’t make our food rain, we eat it, it’s not coming from the sky it, we’re not going to use it to prove gravity.

5. We don’t use our utensils to rapidly stir our non liquid no stir needed foods, I know how mixer works thank you very much.

6. We don’t eat with our fingers or when Pippa’s in an especially awesome mood with her mouth like a dog, we’re a smidge classier than that.

7. We don’t smash our rice into clothing, hair, the table, really anything within arms reach, yes rice is soft, yes it smashes easily, you figured that out the 1st time nothings changed by the 10th please move on.

8. We don’t dump our food off our plate, just for funsies.

9.  We don’t try to see how many pieces we can break our piece of cheese into, while I’m all for setting records we’ll assume this one’s taken.

10. and last but not least, let’s take more than 2 bites before yelling “ALL DOOOOONE”.

This was not an area that I expected to still be this much of  a challenge. Yes some days are better than others but really does anyone else out there have a 2-year-old they basically have to feed if they want them to actually eat the food? And no for you people thinking that I’m cooking them crazy concoctions, lunch was a total kid meal of white rice, peas, cantaloupe, crackers and cheese, all things they generally like, it’s wasn’t a try something new day, gourmet food or anything on the weird side. Just lunch, meant to be eaten.


A Blender Full of Lunch!!!!!



My Daughter Eats Crayons


My first child had unusually particular tastes. He never ate anything that was not edible, and refused to eat several things that were. You don’t have to believe me but it’s true, although we routinely vacuumed and generally tried not to give him small objects to test this strange set of circumstances, he was not a child who learned through taste. He never picked things up off the floor, rarely chewed on toys unless he was teething and after so long it just became a non concern. I didn’t wonder about him eating small parts, I didn’t worry about toys with small pieces he was just completely uninterested. And then came his sister. Everything goes into her mouth and has since she was old enough to put things into it. To my knowledge she’s never swallowed a hard object, although she has eaten a dishwashing pod and licked lotion and suntan lotion off her hands/arms. She’s tried to eat her butt paste and frequently takes bites outs of crayons. I think she’s either licked or chewed on nearly every toy we own, she even likes to chew on the corner of books. Once while we were painting in the bathroom, she walked in, dipped her hand in the paint can and licked it. I feel like the poison control lady may know me by name. Please don’t think we’re careless, poisonous liquids/cleaning supplies are in a locked cabinet or beyond her reach, with the exception of the one time she got ahold of the dishwasher pod. One doesn’t generally think their 2-year-old will eat the paint while their painting. Or perhaps I’m just naive. Thankfully we use mostly natural products so we’ve never had an issue. But when does it end? This strange phase has lasted nearly two years, she is 2.5 next month and today, she unwrapped her crayon and took a massive bite out of the middle, chewed it for a bit and then decided nope not something to swallow and spit it out. As I’m typing this she’s chewing on my iPhone cord. Do I have two different extremes or do most 2 year olds just like to eat crayons? Also do you think the Crayola ones taste better?


Please substitute Crayons for Dirt


Some People’s Kids or a Rant to My Former Self


Prior to having children it was easy to scoff at the misbehaved hooligans you saw in restaurants and shopping centers. What were their parents thinking bringing them here, at dinner time, as if children need to be fed. They are ruining everyone else’s meal. And that child climbing on the clothing rack in the supermarket, where is the control? Does no one control these children? Egads, what is wrong with these parents. I tell you some people’s kids. Internal thoughts of your’s truly only a few years ago and admittedly even now but only in extreme cases. Fast forward about three years.  Today, I felt like that parent, the one who all the people are silently cursing in the restaurant for bringing havoc on their lunch. My lunch partner who is also a parent wasn’t even fazed sighting that he’s two and really you can’t expect much more. Yet his constant climbing from the booster to my lap, trying to get down and run around, yelling and banging silverware, spilling every drink in a 2 foot radius was enough to make me not want to venture to lunch again in the near future unless it involves fast, and I mean freaking speedy food, with little to no possible time between ordering and arrival. So why did I risk it, because the food previously mentioned that is “fast” is also often times the worst, so every now and then I like to test the limits and see if we can go somewhere with a little better food and a little slower delivery. Apparently, we cannot. So as I lugged my children away leaving an absolute disaster at the table because to attempt to clean it would have only offered more time for their destruction, I mentally apologized to each of the other patrons and hoped they would be a little more judicious in their complaints against my children than I have been about others in the past. Because really, some people’s kids. Only F%C$ now that’s my kid.


Unattended children sign at Squeeze Marfa

Unattended children sign at Squeeze Marfa (Photo credit: TheSeafarer)

Potty Training in the Dark


Where the capital H have I been? I know, that’s clearly been on your mind, like you don’t have 30,000 other more important thoughts. But just in case, a teeny little part of you wondered, I’ve been heavily involved in shit, literally, I’ve been in the trenches. The trenches of potty training, oh and in Chicago and cutting all my hair off in some kind of last hurrah to my 20’s which are almost over. This is not a fun task [potty training, turning 30 seems painless so far but ask me in September], in fact initially it’s far worse than changing diapers unless you loathe diapers like me, then it’s about even. Taking Brecken’s lead he picked the date we would finally get rid of the diapers. I then grabbed a shovel, calmly scooped up all my mommy morals and natural parenting philosophies and buried them in the flower bed and went out and bought snazzy things to bribe him with. The results, we are nearly a month free of diapers. This sounds like victory but it’s kind of been like riding a roller coaster in the dark, that you’ve never seen before in the light so you have no idea when the twists and turns will hit you. The first day went super, he earned a shiny Thomas the Train backpack to keep all his future matchbox cars he would earn by pooping on the potty, really I threw away all scruples, buried them. Poop = car and it worked, the key is recognizing when to take away the cars. I think the only piece of advice that I could truly give that I believe could/should be repeated from our experience, we started on a Saturday when we both would be home and I think that was key! In the early days this is a two parent job, because at least one of you will occupy a LARGE chunk of time [like all day]to nagging, dragging, encouraging, cheering, entertaining etc. to, in and around the potty. Anyway it was smooth sailing for the first week, then he regressed and started pooping randomly in his pants except he wasn’t wearing underwear yet so it would just fall through, a good and bad thing all at the same time, see below. We went back to the cars briefly and he seems to be back on track, he seems to have finally got it down that we’re not going back to diapers and this is his life now. So as not to bore you with a novella about potty training, unless you actually want the stinky details, in which case send me a message, I give you:

5 Highlights  Horrors of Potty Training a 29 Month Old Boy

  1. Poop Talk: Little Boys love to talk about Poop. The length, color, smell, you name it they discuss, describe and relish in their accomplishment. Albeit when potty training we want them to accomplish this, I could do without the narrative, because I assure you each time it happens, and having a son gifted with regular bowel movements this is quite often, I get to hear a fabulous narrative such as “Look Mama eees a big one ees lotsa poop, I flush it bye-bye, bye bye poop”
  2. Pooping in Party City: Nothing like a quick trip to Party City for some decorations and regardless of plenty of bathroom stops, he drops a deuce (Jeff’s term) in the middle of the aisle, remember the part above about not wearing underwear, so it literally was in the middle of the aisle. Clean up on aisle 10!!!! Apparently when your child poops in Party City you have to clean it up yourself. Lucky for me this was Jeff’s story.
  3. Penis Songs: In case you ever wondered when the male ego first begins talking about his penis, I would say around the age of 2. In our house he sing songs about it, and not just at home, when we visit Chicago too. It can take many different forms but usually includes some kind of ownership of said business “I have a penis, I have a penis” or This is my penis, this is my penis” I think my all-time favorite is when he sings “Don’t touch your penis, don’t touch your penis” Note we’re very big into repetition here.
  4. Peeing in the Grass: Clearly a milestone in all male children’s lives because I sure do not recall every relishing any experience that necessitated peeing outside lest ever actually wanting to pee outside. Brecken however will quite happily mark his territory. Newest Mama Mantra “Pee goes in the Potty” and I spent forever on a probably way over his head about how pee can’t go in the ground because it could make our plants sick but water makes them feel good story”
  5. Flashing in the stacks: We have really been working on Brecken taking his pants on and off himself, on a recent trip to the library Brecken told me he had to go potty. I was on the computer with Pippa in her car seat on the floor next to me and said just a minute, so I could gather all my stuff. Brecken knowing we were basically right by the hall with the restrooms promptly dropped trough and gave the entire library a show of his naked rear end  and his precious penis. Thankfully he didn’t break into song. I’m pretty sure I literally dove at him, mortified, pulled up his pants and hauled him to the restroom. He was oblivious to the whole episode.

Doesn’t he just look bigger now that you know he doesn’t wear diapers?

B checking out the water display at the Chicago Children’s Museum

Know you’re a Mommy When; Underwear Style


Really, it should say, The WHOLE WIDE WORLD knows you’re a Mommy when…

Le sigh.

Haircut Defeat


I caved. It was too much pressure, but at least I caved listening to what I think was a logical argument or at least logical enough to wear down my defenses. Also I only caved minutely, in the grand scheme of things many of you won’t be able to even tell he got his hair cut. I have a little envelope with wisps of golden blond hair to prove you wrong. I heard all kinds of complaints, from “he looks like a girl, his hair is too long, it has to be too hot, and if you cut it, it will only get curlier”, to all kinds of praise “don’t cut it, he looks adorable, I love those curls, the curls really suit him.” While he was occasionally confused by some strangers of being a girl, I have found that strangers constantly mistake children of the 2 and under variety of being the opposite gender, when he was a baby I could have him decked out in blue with a football on his chest and they would come by our stroller or shopping cart and say “what a precious little girl” and I would be like “what you blind” at least that’s what my internal Mama defenses would roar, I would usually just mutter something like “Thank You, HE’s six months old (with perhaps a touch too much emphasis on the he). Anyway, I digress.

After lots of people saying it was too hot for such long hair, combined with the fact that it was getting super long in the front and wildly uneven, I caved for a 1/2 inch trim. That’s it. Oh and I wasn’t paying for it. So my mom, a big defender of the let’s get this kid a haircut idea, orchestrated the whole thing, down to getting him some new books to look at while it happened. She actually did a really good job of distracting of him and making it fun, but let’s make this clear, this kid made OUT. Pre haircut he got a yogurt parfait from McDonalds to eat, then he got to look at no less than 3 new books during the 8 minute haircut, which she bought for him. We opted not to have his wet at all for fear he would flip so it was a dry cut, we also left the area around his ears for last because of his history with ear infections he is very sensitive to people getting anywhere near his ears. Inevitably one side did have to have more than the 1/2 inch taken off because it had grown so much longer on one side than the other so to even it out he had to have more cut. Also the hair stylist confirmed my suspicion that his hair is still filling in and he still has baby hair that is being replaced, one of the reasons I didn’t want to do a major haircut. We ended about to argue over whether to cut his front shorter,but Brecken ended any discussion and with a flick of his hand at where the scissors were hovering above his head, he was DONE. Then he got a sucker for having not interfered with the whole process until the very end. Jackpot.

Now how long before everyone wants a 2nd haircut, probably like a week. SIGH. Overall though I was impressed with how well he did and our ability to get out of there intact without his hair looking awful due to some snap movement of his head, hand or both. I was also impressed that it only cost $10.00, we took him to The Ultimate Salon and Spa in Onalaska and it was very reasonable and she did a really great job with him. We will definitely go back.

So for all of you that have been waiting, here’s the pictures…

Has anyone else had a fun or horrible 1st haircut story?

(Immediately post hair cut, aka the brief time period it actually looks shorter)

What it looked like 45 minutes later

and the Curls Survived!!!!!

Sometimes I IGNORE my Children!


Not only do I sometimes ignore my children, instead of feeling guilty about it, I’m getting better at it. Gasp, I’m a horrible mother, I know I read minds too, just kidding. But, I’m fairly certain that’s what some of you are all thinking. Before you get your undies in a bundle, let me elaborate. I don’t ignore my children by leaving them in hot vehicles (and if you do, please stop), I ignore (usually relative to my 2-year-old) his never-ending stalking, whining, crying and hanging on me to put my attention into something anything else. In fact, sometimes I even stalk over to the computer, get on any website (yes sometimes it is Facebook other times the newspaper) just to be doing something so that he sees I am busy and busy with something he can’t help me with and therefore I won’t be busy placating him. It’s sort of very anti-attachment parenting of me, which I generally try to follow, but as Brecken gets older, I think his needs and mine are changing.

So why do I ignore my child? Because if I don’t he will drop down drag himself around the house attached to my ankles, leg(s), hanging on my shirt tales generally all while crying and whining and making obnoxious noises for no intelligible reason. Generally he can’t even tell me what he wants and not because he doesn’t have the vocabulary to do so. He is very  verbal and can effectively communicate all the essential needs like I’m hungry, tired, poopy, need to potty and so on and so forth. When left to his own devices though, magically more often than not all this screaming and crying ceases and he wanders off to PLAY by himself in his playroom or somewhere else in the house. He may pop up in ten minutes or a half hour with a “boat” built out of duplos or a book that he asks to be read, but he is no longer screaming and whining and crying when he does so and I am generally happy to appease him. That’s not to say that during this quiet playtime I don’t get all super secret agent spy like and stealthy pop my head in the playroom undetected to make sure he’s okay and contentedly playing by himself, but otherwise I don’t interfere unless he comes to me with some creation he’s cooked, Duplo masterpiece to show off or book to be read. So you might call it ignoring but I like to think of it as letting his imagination thrive. Maybe that’s just what I say to make me feel better about it but I really think it’s better for both of us than him laying on the ground holding onto my ankles screaming bloody murder. Not that I’m not neurotic, to the point I may or may not have run a google search before admitting this little secret to the world to make sure I wasn’t causing major psychological harm by employing this glorious yes I just said glorious technique. Interestingly, the results of that google search, that I may or may not have run, indicate that I’m not the only one!

Do you ever ignore your children?