Category Archives: Family

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

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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!!!!!

 

 

Know You’re a Mommy When; Elf on the Freaking Shelf Style

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If I had a day without kids…

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If you asked me what I would do if I had an entire day without kids…

I would sleep in and then have a leisurely casual breakfast at my favorite coffee shop with my husband while reading the newspaper and enjoying a latte.

We’d spend the morning poking around downtown shops and plan our next vacation before stopping somewhere new for lunch.

In the afternoon, we’d catch a movie and snack on candy in the back of the theater, head home and read a book over a glass of wine/beer before trying a new recipe for dinner

We’d meet friend for drinks and then come home and fight over the remote in bed while catching up on tv and talking about our day.

That’s what I would say I’d like to do if I had a day without kids, but if I had a day without kids…

I’d wake up at 6:30 a.m. frantically wondering where the screaming alarm clock was and why there were no yelling demands for cereeeeaaaal and MAAAAMAAAAA, and I’d be wide awake and unable to sleep, wondering if they had already woken their babysitters. I might get that latte and coffee shop where we’d talk about the news and briefly enjoy the quiet and then wonder what they were up to and if they were behaving. We’d go shopping in the morning where I’d involuntarily turn around to the sound of every random child’s voice and be constantly looking for my small companions even though they weren’t there. Lunch would be somewhere completely child unfriendly where I would savor the ability to eat a meal at a restaurant without having to entertain anyone and then we’d head to a movie preferably devoid of children all while trying to avoid the nagging sensation to check in on them. Dinner conversation would eventually turn to the kids, what stages their going through, who needs what, what funny things they did, then with no one to tuck in and say good night to, we’d fight over the remote and wonder when we should pick up the kids.

Lies Parents Tell Themselves Before Children

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“We’re never going to sit in a restaurant while our children scream”

“We will never ever bribe our children”

“My children will never have snotty noses, where are all the tissues?”

“Our children will never be that naughty”

“If our kids cry like that, we’ll leave the store IMMEDIATELY”

“We’ll never let our children sleep with us”

“Our kids clothes will always match”

“I am absolutely going to have a natural childbirth” (Major props to you that do!!!)

“I will never quote my mother”

“Our house will never look like that”

“Our kids will never have that many toys”

“Our baby will sleep through the night, and if she/he doesn’t they can just cry themselves to sleep”

“We can do all the things we did before with kids”

“Our kids won’t fight like that”

and the list goes on and on and on…I mean it this could be like a 10 parter!

It’s like from the moment you recognize that you want to or will have children, you start mounting this little righteous front about how you will be a superb parent. Most likely setting yourself up for complete failure. Maybe you are the supermom who can do it all but if you’ve never bribed your child in a moment of weakness/emergency or forgotten to swipe the permanently dripping green snot off their nose in a sleep induced coma after two weeks of circulating the flu around your house, I will be amazed and perhaps inspired to reach a new level of mothersainthood, that even the church doesn’t recognize.

So we tell ourselves these little lies and they build up into this attitude. Then we have children and we become completely fucking unglued. That’s okay though, as long as we can bend, stretch, flex, adjust and grow in our attitude towards parenthood we’ll be okay. The biggest thing is to not be too much of a critic on yourself. If you bribe your child the moment you walk into Target, 4 days a week, you’ve got a problem. If you pull it out occasionally in times of emergency or just to retain your sanity (as long as your sanity doesn’t require it 4 days a week) so what. If your toddler spent the better part of her first 1.5 years sleeping with you, I’m sure there was a reason, we sure had ours. It’s not like most people take a perfect crib sleeper and toss them in their bed for funsies. So don’t get down on yourself if you told a few lies before this whole adventure began. Look back on them, recognize them and laugh at them.

And remember, I’m only writing this post so I can feel better about myself, not make you feel worse, no judgment over here. What’s the best lie you told yourself before kids?

A Letter to Today’s Youth

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Dear Today’s Youth,

Stop growing up so fast. Do you really have any idea what’s in store for you? Today, my 3-year-old told me that he wanted to grow up so that he could go to work. My response? “No, you absolutely do not, enjoy this time to play” We’ve always advocated play and fought the good fight against the media, technology companies, Disney and retail stores like Justice and Abercrombie and Fitch kids divisions who keep trying to turn children into miniature adults. Children these days have so many different devices from the time they can hold them on, that it’s amazing they can see straight. There are actually toys designed to hold Mommy and Daddy’s iPhones for use by a 1-year-old or less.  But do they seem any happier or better for it? What is the benefit of growing up from a teen or preteen’s perspective? I remember thinking that growing up was synonymous with freedom, and that no one would be dictating what I did so naturally I would always be happy and entertained. Really, life would be good. What these mini adults fail to realize is that adulthood comes with its own new set of challenges. Competition never goes away, that popularity contest that exists in middle school and high school, simply transitions to college and then the job market. There is no point when everyone on the planet suddenly becomes on equal footing, a high school nerd is rarely transformed into Cinderella upon entrance into college. That’s not to say that she can’t find new friends, increase her support group and perhaps avoid past bullies. Then there’s the fact that at some point the near majority of individual’s parents will eventually stop bank rolling their lives. Hence your fabulous new ability to choose to do whatever you want, hopefully within legal limits, is again limited by your financial situation. This situation often doesn’t improve anytime in your young adult immediate future. Most of those fortunate to go to college leave school strapped with debt and fighting fiercely for a job that will pay the bills. Eventually, you get married and you have children, often not much more financially well off, now your responsible for another human being, maybe multiple. That tiny little baby depends on you 24/7. So while you are still “in charge” and able to make all of your decisions, those decisions are dictated by new responsibilities. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but why on earth does a 13-year-old think she wants to grow up. Enjoy having summers off, sleeping in, not having any responsibilities to dictate your days, read, go to movies, sit by the pool, take a nap, because while you continuously nag about having nothing to do, I assure you that any one of us young adults would happily trade places with you for a day.

Then, just maybe, you would realize how silly that mini skirt looks, and enjoy the fact that you have nothing to do on a random Wednesday afternoon in June.

All my Love,

Your future self.

 

The Three Phases of Valentines Day for New(er) Parents

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Phase 1: Valentines Day Before you Had Children-

You plan the entire night in d.e.t.a.i.l. and nothing will deter you. Your favorite restaurant doesn’t take reservations on Valentines Day, eh what’s a two-hour wait when you have nothing better to do. You go to your favorite italian restaurant, wearing a new outfit after having spent an afternoon admiring the flowers you received. You order whatever you like and stuff yourself silly while drinking copious amounts of wine and watching gossiping about all the other people around you and what they’re doing. Then you head home to do unspeakable things that will launch you into the next phase of Valentines Day.

Phase 2: Valentines Day with a New Baby-

It’s okay, a new baby doesn’t have to change things. Maybe you don’t want to pay a babysitter while you sweat out the 2 hour wait at the bar for your favorite restaurant. Pshhh no biggy you can go to a restaurant that you enjoy that’s not your favorite. You make a reservation, hire a babysitter, skip a new outfit for yourself, outfit your new baby in something ridiculous that says something like Mommy’s Little Heart Throb and in a mildly panicky state you hand over your new baby to some teenager while you go out to enjoy an adult evening without the youngster. You spend the entire evening talking about your baby, rationalizing that it’s totally normal as is your irrational fright that the babysitter has somehow put him in the clothes washer and turned it on, how misguided were you trusting today’s  youth, and eats a little faster. Then you go home, find relief that the not so misguided youth has actually kept your baby alive and put him to sleep so you proceed to do unspeakable things that will launch you into the next phase of Valentines Day.

Phase 3: Valentines Day with Multiple Children Under 3-

You’ve now rationalized that your husband’s recent sporting goods purchase is gift enough, chalk up the sweater you bought earlier in the week to your gift and consider major gifts done. You find yourself eating a heart-shaped pizza the day before Valentines Day with the kidlets in tow because you just have too much going on on the real day to get any kind of “special meal” in. You haul the kids to Barnes and Nobles to pick out Valentines Day gifts, where they are enamored with the train table and could care less about the books. You dash into the local candy store for your husbands favorite chocolate covered potato chips, buy your favorite candy as well and call the day done. You prop the candy up with the new pilates mat you bought him, which you would have bought him anyway and are good to go. You can cross Valentines Day off your never ending to do list and go back to getting things ready for a birthday part this weekend and all the other shit you have to do. New outfits for anyone? Hahaha, you just hope you made it through the day matching and with clothes that aren’t covered with stains, snot and food bits. If it’s a good day you’ve remembered the kids should wear red/pink, but really it was whatever you grabbed out of the drawer first that was seasonally appropriate.

Valentines Day Done. 

 

Happy Valentines Day from My Cracked Pot to Yours!

and in case you need a last-minute e-card, here’s a few of my favorites

Happy Valentines Day

 

 

Know Your a Mommy When; Grocery Shopping

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