Thursday, September 15, 2011

Line Cutters

I take Zoe back and forth to school.  Making that decision also meant that I'd be transporting other children back and forth to school as well as I am a licensed in-home childcare provider and that every time we  had to make the trek to school, essentially 6 kids had to make the trip too.  But we made the decision to do so because A) I have the luxury of being able to do so and B) We just didn't want her on the bus for an hour so she could travel half a mile away to the school.

It means a lot to me to be able to drop her off at school and see her enter the building.  It makes me feel like she's safer, I guess.  Conversely, being able to drive up and pick her up makes me feel good, too, because - I'll be honest with you - I miss her a lot during the day.

At her school (which houses Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade), there is a "pick-up line."  On any given day the line will reach down the hill that you drive up from the street to reach the school and around the curb & down the street.  This is also the entrance for the school buses to use to get in place for the pick up of children.  It's pretty common knowledge that you don't park "on the hill" because doing so makes it difficult for the school buses to enter and park.  So what happens?  I park on the street, with my turning signal on (which, in a perfect world, would mean that I'LL BE TURNING INTO THE FREAKING PARKING LOT NEXT).  But every day there are jackasses that drive around me and park in front of me.

They're line cutters.

I hate line cutters.  When they cut in front of you in line it's like they're saying, "Look, I know you've been parked and waiting here for the last 5 minutes.  But your time doesn't mean anything.  I'm much more important than you, so clearly I deserve to just be in line any place I choose.  So suck it."

Not only does it piss me off that they do this, but to me that sends the message that they're "easy way out" people.  They don't really care what happens to others as long as they get what they want.  And that's a pretty shitty message to send to your kids.  Inevitably, these are the same people that roll up to pick up their kids, cigarette blazing, and on their cell phone.  When their kid gets in the car, they don't even speak to them. 

So, I guess the lesson I'm teaching my kids is:  Sometimes you have to tolerate idiots.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Monkey is my youngest and last child.  A and I made a conscious decision that she completed our family.  So I guess in some way, knowing she was it, we've babied her much more than we did Zoe.  And because Monkey is so headstrong and willful, I suppose I could confess that we've let her get away with much more than we ever did Zoe.

I realize that's not fair.

But another confession?  There are some days where you just have to pick your battles.  There are some days when, after about the sixth hour of screaming, you give in.  I'm not proud of that, and I know it's not ideal.  I know that psychologically it's telling her, "scream and you get what you want."  I get all that.  But some days it just happens.

But let me tell ya'll.  Backtracking and trying to fix that is HARD FREAKING WORK.  She's older now and (as all mothers would say) very bright.  I can reason with her now, and she understands logical thought (sometimes).

When we started using sticker charts with Zoe for behavior modification and to teach her the value of contributing to the family through daily chores, Monkey was far too young to understand the concept - or perhaps it was even before she came along, I can't remember.  But as Monkey got older, she wanted a sticker chart too.  Now that she's 3, the sticker charts actually mean something to her and she earns them and she's understanding the system well.  Once it's filled up, she gets to exchange it for a small prize or a playdate with a friend.

It's working - this week.  Yesterday was a really tough day on the two of us.  She pushed and pushed and pushed and I didn't give much.  I compromised with her (for I feel that's an important lesson too), but I didn't cave, no matter how loud she got. 

I still think this is fixable.  Wish me lots o' freakin' luck.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

There I Go Again

I have abandoned this blog all summer and again have toyed with deleting it but just can't seem to.  I guess I have more to say.

Sometimes I look at Zoe and Monkey and the sight of them makes me want to cry.  I do confess that sometimes I think I am a horrible mother and that I'm messing them up in a terrible way.  They're both wonderful children, really.  But sometimes I catch one of them out of the corner of my eye and I'm floored by them.  I want to cry with such joy that I had a hand in creating such wonderful and perfect lives.

They are headstrong.  They are both a little wild.  And they're both loud.  But they're supposed to be, whether I have a headache or not, or I'm tired or not.  They're supposed to be like this, for children's imaginations don't know the boundaries of a grown-up's headaches or exhaustion. 

My children are healthy.  For the most part they are happy.  And another confession?  I'm terrified that the time I have with them is slipping away far too quickly.

I'll try to write here more often.  If you read this blog, please take a moment to let me know.  Share with your friends.  Us parent-types have to stick together.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Full Night's Sleep

Let me start off by saying that my 6 year old, Zoe, has always...ALWAYS been a good sleeper.  Our family does co-sleep - and I'm not looking to debate that.  It has just worked for our family.  Neither A or I drink alcohol to excess and VERY rarely even drink alcohol when our children are present, and we are not drug users.  We are always aware of what's going on and it's just worked for us.  Zoe slept with us for the first 6
months of her life.  At that point, we tried her in her crib one night and ever since then she's been sleeping on her own, goes to sleep by herself....always napped good when she took a nap.  She's a sleeping superstar.

Monkey is a different story.  Maybe it was because we sorta knew she would be our last child.  I don't know - but I got in the habit when she was just an itty bitty of rocking her to sleep.  There have been some people who have had the guts to tell me that doing that is "wrong" and that I'd "spoil" her.  Spoil?  Personally I believe that snuggling with our children is important - for all of us.  It unifies the family bond.  Did she get used to me rocking her to sleep?  Yes, she did.  I kind of knew she would - I mean, that's all she ever knew, so of course it makes sense.  Did it get taxing sometimes?  Yes.  But I don't regret one minute of it.  I would rock her to sleep each night and I would place her in her pack & play in our room (she always HATED her beautiful crib) and she'd sleep there about half the night.  Then she'd awaken and we'd put her in bed with us.  We got our ummm.... "couple" time and she got her snuggle time later on.  Everyone was happy.

She transitioned to a toddler bed when she was 14 months old.  From the first night, I sat with her until she fell asleep.  Yes, I guess I "spoiled" her in this way too, but I figure there are worse things in the world than "having to" watch your child fall asleep each night while holding her hand.  While I got Monkey to sleep, A would snuggle with Zoe, or vice-versa (the girls share a room).  At some point in the middle of the night, Monkey would wake up, open her bedroom door and wait at the bottom of the stairs for me to come and get her.

Until three nights ago.  She's got a sticker chart for good behavior and the completion of chores.  I explained to her that big girls like Zoe sleep in their big girl beds all night long, and if she'd like to try that, she'd be rewarded with a sticker each morning.  She was very excited.  That first night (and the next), when she woke up in the night, she called for me, but didn't get up to come to our bed.  I tucked her back in and sat with her a minute and she slept through the rest of the night in her bed.  And then last night - she didn't wake up and slept clear through the night.  I have never been so refreshed.  And I am proud of Monkey's efforts.

Do I think I made a mistake rocking her to sleep and bringing her to our bed in the middle of the night when she woke up?  No.  I don't regret one night of it.  Not one.

A and I are raising a couple of headstrong, independent, loving, cuddly girls.  And I think that's the way it should be.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


As the mother of a 2 1/2 year old, I get asked "Why?" about 140 times on a daily basis.  Look, don't get me wrong.  I'm delighted that she's inquisitive, and wants to know more about the world around her and how it works.  But after about the zillionth time, (confession time:) I just want to say, "Because mommy knows everything and you should just take my word for it."

I get that developmentally she's at the age where she just wants to know the reasoning behind things.  That's a good thing.  But it can wear on your nerves for sure.  For the most part, I try to be patient with her and explain how things are working or the reasoning behind what she's asking about.  But sometimes, just sometimes, "Why?" makes me want to hide in the corner for about 20 minutes to just chill out.

Oh, and also, I hear "Hey Mommy" about 9,000 times each day. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I had considered throwing this blog away.  Many times, in fact.  I blog a lot on my weight loss related blog but this one - I don't know.  I've never been quite sure if it gelled or not.  But sometimes, you just have to write.

Zoe is 6.  She's much more "girly" than I've ever been in my whole life.  Things like outfits matching and looking right matter to her.  Her hair has to be just "so."  She cares very much about how her peers perceive her.  I just don't get it.  I can't sympathize with her because I don't get what all the fuss is about.  However, that being said, I do empathize with her and try to hear her frustrations and help her work them through.  But (confession time:) I often have NO IDEA what to say to her.  My first reaction is usually, "How can this be so important?"  But in reality, though it's nothing to me, and something I know nothing about, it's EVERYTHING to her at that moment in time.

So what do I do?  Sometimes I seek the help of others.  Often, though, I just support her with kind words or offer her options when she has 6,000 reasons why she can't wear anything in her closet or dresser.  It's not easy. AT. ALL.  As time goes on, I'm hoping my patience with this will pay off.

Please let it pay off!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tears for school

I don't know what to do .Zoe  is 6 and has always loved school. Last year in Pre-K there was no trouble about her going to school. She looked forward to it every day. That's the way it's been this year, too.....until after Christmas break. Then her tummy started to hurt a lot. Her anxiety level has shot up. She cries every morning before school. She upsets herself so much about it that she's splotchy when she goes to school from crying.

I've tried to explain to her that sometimes we have to do things that maybe we don't want to. She says she just wants to stay home with me (she's always been home with me). A and I did find out that a friend she's had since she was too tiny to walk has found a new friend and is playing with someone else. The friend is not excluding Zoe, but Zoe's a little jealous of the new friendship.

What bothers me the most is that I don't want her to inherit my social awkwardness. I'm no good at small talk. I'm honestly no good at making friends. I get scared I'll say the wrong thing or that someone won't like me (yeah, I've got some issues). But when Zoe's with me, I try to push those things aside to be an example for her that such things are not scary.

I just don't know what to do to help her. We've had snow days the past 2 days and having her home was wonderful but certainly didn't help with her anxiety.

I guess I'm just muddling through this the best I can.