Monthly Archives: June 2011

Parenting: A Walk in the Park

So this morning I took they boys to the park for a playdate. My husband overslept (we all did), so we had to wake up the kids so that I could drive him to work. I hate waking up the boys because they are just like me and turn into giant grouchy jerks if you don’t let them get their beauty rest, but my lovely husband vetoed my idea to just leave them home sleeping. Hey, I’m not completely irresponsible – the dog would have been here to watch them. But he said no. What an overprotective parent, but whatever. So he goes and grabs the baby and I am stuck getting Logan, who when I enter his room is not only asleep, but has both feet extended all the way through the slats on his headboard. Comfy. Now this is normally something I would get the camera for because it delights me to take pictures of my kids (and husband) whenever they are sleeping in weird positions. But no, we were in a hurry. In my opinion this morning already has two strikes. So I get Logan up and carry him to the car. He doesn’t say a word but rather makes a “what the heck” face. We drop my husband off at 8:30 without incident.

So we are supposed to be at the park for this playdate at 9:00, and we arrive back home at 8:50. This does not look good. So, being the mother of the year that I am, I pop a couple of waffles (fondly known as “rockles” in our home) in the toaster and load Liam up into the high chair and dump a bunch of freeze-dried yogurt and blueberry puffs on his tray. Logan hops up into his booster seat to eat his rockles, and Liam is shoving yogurt bites and puffs in his mouth gleefully with both of his hands. I really hope neither of them chokes (or if one of them does choke, he does it loudly enough for me to hear him from the shower, because that is where I am headed.) So I shower (fairly quickly in my defense), and when I come out I am pleased to see that Liam have moved on to sucking the yogurt essence out of his bib and Logan is feeding his rockle crusts to the dog. Yeah, I know that rockles don’t have crusts, but try to convince my two year old of that would ya, because he carefully pulls off the outside quarter-inch or so, and leaves it on his plate (or if I’m not looking, feeds it to the dog). So we all get ready and load up the car, arriving at the park at about 9:30. Ooops.

So I introduce myself to these new moms and Logan takes off playing. All is good till I see him doing the potty dance at the top of the big play structure. I risk the fate of my baby by asking one of the moms that I just met if she can keep an eye on him while I run Logan to the bathroom (she doesn’t look like a kidnapper or anything, so I figure he will probably be fine). So I coax Logan to come down the slide, and when he does I pick him up and run (yes actually run – see running him to the bathroom was not an expression) all the way across the park, which Logan finds both delightful and hilarious, (great planning by the way – keep the bathrooms as far from the small children as possible – that will end well) to the bathrooms and burst in the door. Logan then proclaims of the public bathroom “ewww, that’s yucky.” I strip him from the waist down because my toddler cannot be weighed down by even shoes while he pees (which by the way is awesome in public bathrooms). I plop him on the potty and he goes. Scorecard reads:

Not So Super Mama: 1

Toddler Sized Bladder: 0

That’s right; I’m awesome. We head back, and Liam is fine. No one kidnapped him or anything, so I’m pleased. All is well until Logan see other kids eating and wants a snack. Now, understand that this is the first time I’ve met these women and several of them seemed a little granola-y. Not in a bad way, just a little different from my family Now don’t get me wrong, we cloth diaper, buy organic when we can, ect. But I had overheard several of the women talking about what kind of foods they buy, and one gal was going wild by purchasing oatmeal for her house and another one does the raw foods thing. We eat healthy, but we’re kind of meat and potatoes people. So the only snack I have in my bag in Goldfish crackers, which we rarely have. I now feel like I’m the kid at the park trying to make new mom friends, and don’t want to stand out with my snacks. But Logan is hungry, so I try to at least slip them to him discreetly, like a toddler / mama drug deal going down in the park. I am secretly worried that they will see my processed, nutritionally void crackers and think that I am a bad mama. And now writing this I realize that giving him those crackers was probably one of my better parenting choices so far today.

Then shortly after consuming his contraband crackers, Logan decided to melt down. He didn’t want to play on the toys, he didn’t want to go eat lunch, he didn’t want to take a nap, he didn’t want to make Mommy pull out all of her hair, oh wait… I think he did want that last one. So I decided that it was time to go. I loaded up our stuff and I went to pick up Liam off the blanket and realized two things. 1: Liam had scooted all the way to the edge of the blanket near a good-sized bald patch of grass. And 2: The patch of grass was bald, courtesy on Liam. A point he proved by giving a big smile with his mouth full of grass clippings. On the plus side there were so many weeds in the grass that there is no way that they were using chemicals to kill the weeds and there were so many bald spots that they aren’t using fertilizer (or they are and they have a chronic problem with babies eating all of their turf…ahem) so I considered that an almost complete lunch for him of pretty much organic greens.

So we finally get going towards the car complete with my grassy baby and my grumpy, whiney toddler and Logan starts screaming bloody murder. It was lovely. Even the weird lady who was wearing two pairs of pants and looked like she hadn’t showered in 3 years was staring. Great. So in my desperation I began to threaten him with possible punishments. And in our house you don’t threaten with a punishment unless you are going to follow through on it. I started out easy; I told him he would have a time out when we got to the car. That didn’t phase him so I pulled out the big guns; no lunch and straight to nap. surprisingly he persisted (this kid loves his food), and low and behold we arrive home from the park and head straight for nap. Then suddenly someone announces that he is “ready to obey.” Tough luck mister. You can eat after nap. And he screamed. A lot. But I dealt with it, knowing that he needed to learn a lesson. Some more conservative parents may look down on me for withholding nourishment as a form of punishment, but they probably don’t let their kids munch on grass either, so whatever. And I would like to mention that when mister tantrum woke up, he was polite and tantrum free.

So the moral of the story: Kids, don’t cross me in public because I will starve you.

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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Parenting


The Walk of Shame

So Saturday was a magical day. My lovely husband allowed me to sleep in (although that did not prevent my toddler from climbing up on my bed, leaping atop me, ripping back the covers, and shouting “Mommy! Mommy! Are you SLEEPING!”). My eyes are closed, I’m immobile and unresponsive, and well, I’m in bed. I know you are two, but come on Sherlock, deduce! So, good morning, I’m up. After my gentle awakening, I shuffled to the kitchen where I consumed a beautiful Krispy Creme maple bar (which we never have in our house). The only reason we have a box of Krispy Cremes in our house to start with is that my husband phoned me during his lunch break on Friday with what he told me was an urgent errand that could not wait. He needed me to head all the way out to Krispy Creme to pick up a dozen doughnuts because it was (I kid you not) National Doughnut Day. Oh, the joys of being a stay at home mom. If the puke, poop, and general childcare don’t keep me busy enough, I have national doughnut emergencies to attend to. I however enjoy the occasional Krispy Creme, so I obliged.

So back to Saturday morning:

I enjoy my delicious day after National Doughnut Day maple bar, check my email, play with the kids, and just have a relaxing morning. Everyone is in a great mood and my potty training toddler is on a roll with zero, that’s right zero accidents all morning. He even goes down at nap time without a huge fight, and Liam (our 7 month old) seems to be in a good mood too so we slather him with sunblock, add a giant hat and some baby sunglasses, and when we are finished he resembles a very tiny, pudgy, happy 80-year-old man. We plop him in his exersaucer on the deck and he’s good to go.

So the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and my husband and I settle in to do some yard work. I am not normally a yard work doing type of mama (to give you an idea I do not, to this day, know how in creation one would turn on a lawnmower), but Saturday was going so nicely that I was into it. I mixed chemicals, I pulled weeds, I stepped in dog poop while wearing flip-flops (not intended, and not technically yard work I guess). The point is, I was doing it, and I was having fun. At one point the afternoon took a turn for the worse when my husband and I had a slight disagreement (okay, that’s a lie, it got ugly) about whether we should apply Round-Up to the weeds behind the garage before or after weed whacking them. Speaking of which, the weed whacker is another lawn appliance that I have no idea how to use. Not that I ever will since I am completely unwilling to be within 50 feet of one while it’s on. I literally yelled to my husband from 50 feet away for a solid 5 minutes while he was weed whacking on Saturday before he noticed me. Then he didn’t even want the water I’d just ruined my throat offering to him. So anyway, we settle the Round-Up / weed whacker debate, by agreeing to do it the right way (which was incidentally the way that both I and the manufacturer recommended).

We finish the yard work, and our boys wake from their naps. We delight them by announcing that we are going to the park. (Well we delight Logan al least. Liam just sort of drools, then smiles, so I’m willing to accept that as a sign of delight as well.) So we arrive at the park and our perfect day continues. We’ve never been to this one before so Logan is running around, having a blast, and Liam is chilling in his stroller, decked out in his 80-year-old man sun gear, peacefully chewing on his hat.

Then it happens, we have our first melt down. Logan wants to play in the splash pad, but we don’t have swim trunks for him with us. It was very warm, and not wanting to stomp on the fun, we strike a bargain. If he goes pee pee on the potty, he can play in the water. My logic for this is that we have 2 extra pairs of undies and an extra pair of shorts in the bag because of potty training, so if he pees on the potty now (instead of in his shorts later) we won’t need the extra shorts, so he can get the pair he is wearing wet in the splash pad, and we can change into the dry stuff when he’s done.

So with the joy of splashing at stake, he forces that pee out in the park bathroom, and we remove his shirt and sandals, and he has a blast in the water. So it’s back to our picture perfect day. Afterwards, he soggily drips out to the car where we change him into his dry stuff. Since the kids are doing great, and we are having a magical family day together, and it’s dinner time, we decide to go out. We pick a relatively popular buffet near the park because I want a huge salad, and they are sure to have something Logan wants.

Dinner starts well enough, for oh, about the first 3 minutes. I bring Logan a plate filled with everything he loves; mac and cheese, pickles, a hamburger, peaches, carrots, ect. I figure that this should buy us 20 minutes since he is a major eater. Not even close. He eats most of his mac and cheese in the first 2 minutes then announces that he is ready to go bye-bye. Not so fast mister. Mommy and Daddy would like to take a few bites of their food. So Logan briefly entertains himself (as well as the not quite as amused diners around us) by standing on the bench of the booth and singing the Belly Button song from VeggiTales and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, very enthusiastically (read: very loudly). We get him to sit down and he demands blackberries. Loudly. Repeatedly. I go to look for some darn berries, and all I can find is a canned berry medley, served on cake. I am desperate so I figure what the heck, and grab him a piece. He enjoys this. He enjoys it all over his hands, face, shirt, pants, legs, and hair. I should mention that he is 2 and a half and usually pretty handy with a fork and spoon, but whatever. He enjoys it, and is mostly quiet (bonus). Until he is done. And then he is loud again, so I do what any responsible, slightly embarrassed parent would do; I run and get him another slice. The quiet doesn’t last as long this time. And I should mention that this whole time the baby has finally had enough of being good-tempered and has decided to fuss so the Husband and I are passing him back and forth the entire meal, taking turns eating one-handed.

So the big event: Logan announces he needs to go pee pee. As parents of a potty training toddler my husband and I snap into red alert crisis mode. I grab the baby out of Matt’s arms, he in turn, turns to grab Logan to carry him to the bathroom because there’s just no time to walk. As he reaches for him, Logan pees. In his pants. On the seat. In the middle of a crowded restaurant. Lovely. Matt runs him to the bathroom with the diaper bag in tow, to clean him up. They return several minutes later. Logan shows up happy, face wiped, hands washed, dry, wearing only his polo, his sandals, and his truck undies. He is happily munching on a cookie.

Right… we used his extra pants for the splash pad. Darn it. At this point I hurriedly tell my husband that I hope he’s done eating because it’s time to go. Of course we are at the furthest table from the door. I march through the restaurant with my pantsless toddler, determined to get to the car (and out of sight as quickly as possible). Logan, however, does not share my shame or my mission. He casually saunters towards the door, stopping to check out what other people are eating, or to roll his fire truck on the ground.  We finally arrive at the car (what seems like) 11 hours later.

Safely on the road I turn to my husband. “Oh my God, that was horrible!” I tell him. He replies, “What? I think that with two kids that wasn’t so bad.” Ah, the lowered standards of having multiple children. As I said, it was a magical day.

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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Uncategorized