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?

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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.

 

Don’t Blame the Cook

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Pippa is a terrible sleeper although admittedly she’s getting better, I mean finally at 20 freaking months, we once again get to sleep almost through the night. Oddly though as an infant she was narcoleptic, she could be screaming her face off one second and then bam she would be utterly asleep. Naturally it never transitioned into her sleeping at night, but she would still randomly, during the day, go into total shutdown survival mode sleep. At one point I researched how early one could be diagnosed with narcolepsy. Not as a baby. She’s mostly grown out of it, except for this one habit of hers… I swear, don’t blame the cook.

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End of a Breastfeeding Era

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I know, you’re probably thinking that based on my sporadic posting that I’m going to tell you I’ve decided to stop blogging. Sorry, you’re not off the hook that easily, I have to have someone to share my awesomeness gibberish with. Today marks one week of not breastfeeding. I left last Thursday for Chicago and then Georgia and was gone almost 5 days during which there was no frozen milk supply or any alternate to whole milk. Granted she’s 19 months old, so it’s not really a problem except she loves to nurse. Apparently not enough lately though, because unlike in January where I couldn’t make it without pumping while we were in Vegas, I had absolutely no problem in Savannah. Simply because there was no milk.

How do you explain this to a 19 month old who clings to you and yells “eat eat eat”?  I thought each day would get better, but it seems each day is a little worse. It tears at your heart, I want to give in to the fact that I know she just appreciates the sheer comfort of it, but at the same time I know I’m just postponing the inevitable. So I redirect, offer attractive snacks at times and in amounts never before heard of, how about marshmallows, disgusting chemical filth I would probably not normally give you, sure you can have fistfuls, how about a sucker or cookie or here just lick the sugar from the bag. Anything to make you happy, since this is breaking my heart just a little bit. It’s made worse by knowing she’s probably going to be the baby forever and you want everything to last forever with the baby, really you just want to stop time and keep them little forever.

Except we can’t. From the minute they are born they are growing away from us, first they roll away, crawl away, walk away, eventually they make new friends and want to play with them, next they are off at school and we become less and less important until finally the day comes when they go out into the world on their own, away from us. Yet no matter where they go, there is a part of them that are always secure in our hearts and it aches a little as if a piece of us is missing, each time they grow away.

Now after all of the complaining about the challenges of nursing a breastfeeding toddler, I should celebrate. I mean really let’s review, I can drink more than an occasional glass of wine, take allergy medicine again, and I’ll never have to pull out that dreaded breast pump again. I should be pouring margaritas and toasting to the end of this era. Yet instead, I just feel sad.

 

The Angry Face

Who wouldn’t want to give that face, whatever she desires!

Freaking Out

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Brecken to me: “Mama I’m freaking out” (please note he’s 3)

Me to Brecken: “Why are you freaking out?” (First time I’ve heard this phrase from him before)

Brecken to me: “I’m just freaking out”

Me to Brecken: “Oh, well you don’t have anything to freak out about, now let’s go inside the Y”

What the bloody H does a 3-year-old have to freak out about? I mean other than that he’s lost Percy again for the umpteenth time or the injustice of his bedtime or that we still make him take naps. Perhaps it’s the therapy he’s going to face later in life for having such an non-empathetic mother who ignored his tiny pleas that he was freaking out. Screw the college fund, I better start putting money in the therapy fund. Perhaps he heard it from one of us, not that we’ve been literally freaking out, but we’ve had a lot on our plate between two kids with colds and ear infections, making sure tubes were still in one child’s ears and getting ready for tubes in the other ones ears. There may have been some internal freaking out when they tested Pippa for strange and rare diseases as a result of her refusal to grow, but all came back normal and she’s apparently just stubborn or perhaps she’s freaking out she’ll be a giant someday and trying to stunt her growth by hiding in the microwave, who knows. On the other hand maybe we do freak out, sometimes.

 

The Tiniest Backseat Driver

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“Sloooooow down, you have to stop” I gaze ahead at the perfect row of green lights, one right after the other. I glance back, “Why do I need to stop?” The response was a quick “There’s a stop sign” as he points to the green light we’re currently cruising through, followed by a “You HAVE to stop ,there’s traffic” as he points to the traffic on the other side of the divided highway. I try to explain they’re on the other side and not really affected by our starting or stopping, when it doesn’t seem to be making any sense I ignore his comments and keep going. Shortly thereafter, I enter the turn lane and slow down so that we can stop for the red light and then turn, “Go faster” he yells, “You have to go faster”.

This is what happens when your, only been 3 for like a minute year old, decides to become the tiniest backseat driver, with only a  basic understanding of driving, namely we go slow or fast and sometimes these things called signs and lights tell us to stop. Nearly every outing results in this fabulous commentary now, at some point in the last few weeks he has become an expert on driving and little will deter him from sharing his opinions. If only he were still like his sister who still falls asleep in the car the majority of the time. And to think I used to like driving in the car and taking them places.

 

 

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