so, your toddler refuses to wear Band-Aids

Sunday, July 20, 2014

So, your toddler refuses to wear Band-Aids. But she really needs one on her knee for the scab that starts to get busted open every time she climbs up on the stool to see whatever you are up to at the counter. She gets excited about things involving Elmo, even though you've really only let her watch Elmo YouTube clips a handful of times (because you could only hold onto that whole "no screens until 2 years old thing" before you realized that your sanity was also an important part of this mothering equation, and a 15 minute break is not selfish). But you don't have any cool kid Band-Aids with Sesame Street characters on them, and you kinda refuse to spend the money to go get them because you already have the world's largest box of Band-Aids that will take years to get through. So what do you do? Improvise. Get her excited about Elmo being on her Band-Aid by pulling out those colorful Sharpies and drawing something that looks more akin to a creepy red cloud with eyes and an orange nose, but that she readily accepts as Elmo because you keep telling her it is. Then, after you apply the Band-Aid, make as if Elmo-on-her-knee is talking directly to her, and she can say "hi!" back. And then, when she notices that you have an "ouchie" on your leg, be all prepared to apply the same tactics to your own Band-Aid. Stand tall and proud as you sport another poorly-drawn version of something that's supposed to be Elmo, because now you and she have creepy matching "Elmo" Band-Aids at her request, and how many more years will it be before scabs are gone and she doesn't need a stool to get to counter height (if she's even interested in seeing what you're doing) and she wants to do anything but match with you?

parenting fail/success

Monday, July 14, 2014

Parent fail/success: in the busy-ness of Dada getting home, Zoe had gotten hands on a plastic grocery bag. We both are distracted for a moment, then I come around the corner to hear her say "Hiding! Hiding!", plastic bag pulled fully over her head. Immediately I yell "No! No!", Mark echoing as he is right on my heels. We take the bag off, and immediately she is a mess of tears and sobs, scared from our yelling, and not fully understanding what she had done wrong. Poor kiddo probably thought she was being super creative with her hiding "spot", only to have two freaked-out parents yelling at her. It was a good teaching moment ("Plastic bags are dangerous...") but it's hard when you know you scared your kid into crying.

several toddlerhood stages

The various stages of toddlerhood we are at right now:

1. The "I do it!" stage. And whoa, do not try to interfere with this girl - she will snap the top buckle on her own car seat, thank you very much. Especially fun when in a rush.

2. The scream at the top of your lungs for no reason stage.

3. The "oh, you want to put clothes on me so we can go run errands? Let's turn this into a game where I run away in my diaper as soon as I see you getting clothes ready" stage. Nakedness is always preferable.

Target check out lane boy

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Standing in the check-out lane tonight, a 7 year old boy with his grandma in front of me. Out of the corner of his eye he sees my (now quite noticeably) pregnant belly, and looks fit to burst with words. I see grandma watch the scene and start to look a little horrified, obviously concerned that her grandson is about to say something that is going to be a touch on the inappropriate side:

Boy: "You're going to have a baby!" he says, pointing straight at my belly.
Me: "Yup, you guessed right!"
[Grandma winces a little behind him].
Boy: "What is it?"
Me: "Well, we don't know if it's a boy or a girl."
Boy: "I think it's a girl."
Me: "Oh yeah? Well, we will have to see!"
Boy: "If it's a girl, you should name her Amy."
Me: "That's a good name - I will have to put it on my list."
Boy: "And if it's a boy, you should name him Jack."
Me: "I like that one too! You're good at thinking of names..."
Boy: "And if it's a girl, her middle name could be Lee. And the last name should be ______________."
Me: "Oh! I hadn't really even thought of middle names yet."

We continue to banter back and forth, as Grandma continues to have a mostly sheepish look on her face, but also one that has a hint of being secretly proud and delighted.

To that Grandma: wear your delight. He was a hilarious chat in the midst of what would have otherwise been a dull and dreary 5 minutes in the checkout lane. And to be honest, if I have a boy (or girl) like him, I'll be pretty delighted myself.

July 4th memories

Friday, July 4, 2014

Enjoyed celebrating and watching fireworks with friends tonight (thanks, Smiths! So fun to hang out with you and your gang!) and I remembered the 4th from two summers ago when I was pregnant and I thought for sure the baby would start kicking upon hearing the fireworks, to no avail. Fast forward to tonight, and here's what Zoe has to say about them:

"Yites!" (lights)
"Gwig one! Gwig one!" (Big one! Big one!)
"Wahw!" (Wow!)
"Boom! Boom!"
"Yaaaaayyyyy!" (with claps about ten times after they were finished)

There was definitely a little sugar consumption fueling that burst of energy near the end of the day, but it is so fun to think back to two years ago and see and hear how much has changed. She is soaking in everything she can learn!

the ugly days

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

And then there are those days when you feel about two inches small as a parent, because you were already in a grumpy mood near the end of the day when your toddler slid the stool over to where you were pitting cherries so she could watch but she ends up slamming it into your bare foot and *damn* that hurt, and you growl "Be careful! Watch where you are going!" with a face that does *not* smile. No, let's be yell those words. Not in a red-faced way (though you are fully capable of going there), but with an amount of anger that demonstrates a loss of self-control - there's quite a bit more meanness in your tone than you should want. The wave of shame and heartache at not being able to take it back comes fierce and swift, and you start to cry before she even realizes you were mad at her. Scooping her up, you apologize over and over again and say again and again how much you love her, and it's only when she sees your tears that she crumbles and then you both are there in the middle of the kitchen, fingers dripping with cherry juice, eyes dripping with tears, voices wailing. Ok, a little dramatic, but in the moment and with the addition of pregnancy hormones, it sucks. And then, as the parent, your job is also to draw her out of her tears, to distract, but the heartache of the offender stays with you as "nice mommy" comes back and you sing to her and give her bites of juicy cherry. She smiles, laughs, chats on about how the knife you are using to cut the cherries is sharp (I gave birth to the most cautious and observant child ever) and asks for more bits of cherry, and for her the moment is forgotten, forgiven. I wish I could forgive that easily.

And these are the little things you don't post about, because they are wrought with ugly (and I know there are more regrets to come). But these occasionally happen too, alongside the funny days and the dance party days and the cuddly days and all the "please will you stay small?" days. I am so incredibly thankful that we don't live one, long, unending day, but that we get a chance to start another day fresh again: the sun sets, we rest, it rises, we rise again to a new day.

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