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Oh Em Gee, Mommy

14 Oct

Those of you who follow my blog know about my four year-old son. He’s a little comedian in the making. Lately, he’s picked up the “OMG” slang from who knows where. Probably his seven year-old sister.

The other day I was picking him up from preschool and there happened to be a huge cabinet in the hallway that isn’t usually there. I was holding his hand as we were walking out and he said, “Oh Em Gee, Mommy! What is that doing there?”

I turned to him and said, “Did you just say Oh Em Gee?”

“Yes,” he smiled.

“Do you know what that means?” I asked him.

“Yea, it means this cabinet is in my way!”

Then the other night we were watching Life on the Discovery Channel. There was this fish that uses its mouth to climb up the rocks behind a massive waterfall to get to the calm waters above so it can lay eggs. It was pretty amazing. My son says, “Oh Em Gee, Mommy! Look at that fish!”

I started laughing then asked him, “Why did you say Oh Em Gee?”

“Because that fish is crazy!”

Well, at least he’s using the term properly.

Overscheduled and Overwhelmed

20 Sep
Why do so many parents feel compelled to sign their kids up for soccer, music lessons, art class, dance, gymnastics, softball, or whatever so that everybody in the family is running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to be on time for all these things? It’s a trend I’ve noticed since having my first child and it has me worried.

At first, we gave in to the pressure to get our daughter into everything possible before she was three years old. We took her to ballet class and she looked so damn cute in her little pink tutu. But, she seemed more interested in making faces at herself in the mirror than she did in learning to plié or relevé. We thought perhaps ballet wasn’t for our daughter so we got her into soccer. She loves to run so we were sure this would grow to be her “thing.” Well, she loved running and did so but everywhere except where the ball happened to be. By the time our daughter turned five, we started to get nervous that maybe we’d never find her special talent. All the other kids seemed to have settled into something that suited them whether it was a sport or a fine arts activity. Desperate, I signed my daughter up for expensive gymnastic lessons at a renowned center for training potential Olympians. My thought was that maybe community center classes weren’t focused enough so perhaps my daughter would do better with tougher coaches. Wrong. She tried very hard but kept getting injured and down on herself for not being able to do handstands or back bends as fast as the other girls in her class.

Then my son turned four years old and I hadn’t gotten him into anything! I panicked! I immediately pulled out the community center guide and got him into a Taekwondo class. He hated it! The first class he cried the whole time because the instructor yelled, which is what they do in Taekwondo , but my son thought the instructor was yelling at him. Every week when Wednesday at 4:30 pm came around, I’d dread it because I would have to literally drag him to class and practically do the punches and kicks with him. After a summer of dragging my kids to classes that were expensive and they didn’t want to go to, I just decided to drop the whole thing and not sign my kids up for anything. *gasp*

It was tough because a lot of my kids’ friends were involved in sports or other activities and I didn’t want my kids to feel left out. After a while with no extra-curricular activity that we had to dash to right after school, my kids seemed to just relax, and so did I. But am I depriving my children of learning experiences because I don’t want to drive them all over the place? Will they miss out on a once-in-a life opportunity to find their talent? I really don’t think so. Stressed-out kids, and a stressed-out Mom, aren’t really in a place to enjoy the experience no matter how cool or life-enriching it may be so I’ve put those worries to rest.

What does worry me however is that my kids may be behind the eight-ball when they do decide to join a soccer team, art class, or try a musical instrument when they are older. Why? Because the kids who have been playing that sport or musical instrument have been doing so since they were three years old and may reach almost professional status by the time they are in their ‘tweens. I worry that we as parents are still pushing our kids into things at too young of an age, and not allowing them to PLAY and be children. Again, I’m not judging anybody because the pressure is real. We feel compelled to get our kids exposed to as many things as possible so they will have all the opportunities in the world. Our intentions come from a very loving place. However, I believe it has be age appropriate and not overwhelm the child OR THE PARENTS! What good are we doing our kids if we constantly complain about taking them to the soccer game, or to softball practice, or to piano lessons? We are sending a weird message to them if we say, “Jimmy, let’s get you into soccer so you can experience what it’s like to play on a team but it’s a major pain the ass for us to get you there.” Maybe soccer can wait for a year or two. Maybe it’s better if you aren’t stressed out, trying to get Jimmy to all his extra-curricular activities THEN get home to do homework, get dinner made, and get everyone to bed so they’ll get enough rest to do it all over again the next day.

As for me and my kids, we are focusing on school, being together as a family, and playing. We’ll have plenty of time to worry about schedules in a few years.

THIS IS MY OPINION and it is NOT A JUDGMENT on how other Moms decide to do things. Are we okay, K? Okay.

(Photo: www.sheknows.com)

What’s For Dinner?

2 Aug
 (Photo courtesy of AllPosters.com)

 My kids ask me every day, “Mommy, what are we having for dinner?” It seems like an innocent enough question but it’s really their devious way of driving me crazy. I step into their trap every time by answering them with something like, “Roasted chicken with green beans and garlic bread.” There is typically a pause before they start…

“I don’t like chicken, it makes me gag!”
“Ewww, green beans? They’re disgusting!”
“Garlic stinks!”

These comments are accompanied by pinched noses and tongues sticking out, sometimes I even get the fake vomiting reenactment.I attempt to remain calm and tell them that if they’re hungry, they’ll eat what I cook for them. This is when they gang up on me (2 against 1) and say…

“I want ice cream!”
“I’m hungry for pizza!”
“Why can’t we have french fries for dinner every night?”

Again, I get snared by their whining and begin discussing the dangers of eating sweets and things that are unhealthy. But, they don’t want to hear it. They just want Mommy to do their bidding…ice cream, pizza, and french fries for dinner every night. I curse the person (or persons) who invented those foods!

The children continue with their tirade as I set the table and begin preparing the food. “Mommy, I’m HUNGRY!!” As I hurry around the kitchen, I tell them “Dinner is almost ready.” And they respond, “We don’t want chicken! Yucky green beans! Garlic, peee yewww!” They begin writhing on the floor holding their stomachs…”Hungry! Hungry!” Anyone walking into my kitchen would think these children were being starved to death, or tortured.

I get the food on the table, the children whine even louder but take their seats plopping themselves down and crossing their arms with a big pout. Meanwhile, me and The Hubby are attempting to enjoy our food. The eldest picks at the chicken with her fork. But suddenly…the youngest is stuffing his face! He’s eating the chicken like it will get up and run off his plate. WTF? We ask him if he likes it and he says, “Chicken is good with ketchup.” Then we see the huge mountain of ketchup he’s piled onto his plate. “Everything is good with ketchup,” he says. The eldest thinks he’s onto something and tries it…”Hey, this is good!” They dip their green beans in ketchup, and their garlic bread.

Dinner tomorrow? Ketchup coated fish with ketchup flavored rice and broccoli covered in ketchup.

Justin Bieber Sucks

29 Jun

This morning my daughter was getting ready for Science Adventures Camp. She was sitting on the floor tying her shoes while her brother was pulling up his socks. My son wants to let his hair grow out just like “James,” his imaginary older brother. See, James’ hair goes all the way down to his toes and he uses his hair as a blanket in case he forgets to bring one to school. Thus, the reason my son wants his hair that long (one day we forgot to bring a blanket for nap time). 

I mentioned that my son’s hair was starting to get long, just like Justin Bieber’s hair. My daughter immediately said, “Justin Bieber sucks.”

I tried not to react because she had never used the word “sucks” before and I didn’t want her to think she would get a reaction if she said it again. So I asked her, “What does that mean?”

“Oh, it means he’s a bad singer. He’s not like Micheal Jackson at all.”

My daughter has developed this obsession with Micheal Jackson after I showed her the Bad video. She thinks he’s a musical and dancing genius. She told me on the one year anniversary of his death just last week that she wished he was still alive so she could marry him.

I guess there could be worse obsessions my daughter could have, like Justin Bieber for example.

A Milestone Reached

8 Jun
Today, I put the last photos in my son’s baby album. It’s something I’ve been putting off for a long time, either consciously or subconsciously.

For some reason, I pulled out his baby album a couple of weeks ago and flipped through it and realized that it was incomplete. For both my children I created a photo album that includes photos of each month of their development for the first year of their lives. I wrote down thoughts and feelings during that time and put it all together in an album for each of them. I had only gotten my son’s album finished up to his 9th month. All the photos and the notes were in there for his entire first 12 months of life, it just wasn’t put together.

After you have your second child you have a lot less time to do things like baby albums so the second, third, or forth (if you’re crazy!) child often gets jipped when it comes to baby albums and memorabilia. I don’t know why I had this urge to finish his baby album but today, I just finished it…and he’s 4 years-old. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Interestingly, I was talking with a mother of one of my daughter’s friends the other day. Her second child is going into Kindergarten next fall and she said the exact same words, “I’m not sure how I feel about it.”

There’s a part of me that is relieved that all the diapers, bottles, pacifiers, crying in the middle of the night, and never being able to put the baby down is over. Then there’s another part of me that’s deeply sad that I didn’t treasure those fleeting baby years more. When your baby looks to you for its existence but also looks at you like you are the most amazing human being to ever walk the earth because you got him a bottle of milk when he wanted it.  Or when he reaches out to grab your nose to make sure it’s real. And when he giggles at a game of peak-a-boo because it’s the funniest thing he’s ever seen in his life. They are all just memories now contained in a light blue baby album yet it seems like it was just yesterday.

Dora, Why Are You So Dumb?

26 May
For those of you who don’t have kids, this probably won’t make much sense. For those that do and have been subjected to Dora the Explorer, you’ll love this:

My 7 year-old daughter and my four year-old son were watching Dora the other day. As it usually goes, Dora and Boots are trying to find something the map told them to find so they can save some poor little, baby fish, pony, dinosaur, iguana, or whatever find its Mommy. In this episode, Dora and Boots have to find the “big ocean.” We enter the scene in progress:

Dora: I don’t see the big ocean. Do you see the big ocean?

*pause*

My Daughter: Dora, why can’t you see the ocean? It’s right there! Why are you so dumb?

My Son: Yea, you’re dumb Dora.

I was eating Cheerios when my children said these things. I proceeded to spew what was in my mouth across the kitchen counter laughing my butt off.

Yup, those are my kids.

Childhood Fears

11 Jan


My seven year-old is going through that phase where she’s facing childhood fears, and it’s tough. The Hubby and I are trying to give her tools to deal with these fears such as telling her that she can replace scary thoughts with happy thoughts. We’ll sit with her before she goes to bed and discuss all the happy thoughts she can think of whenever she feels scared. It works sometimes, but then she still wakes up at 3am and wants one of us to go with her to the bathroom so the monsters don’t get her.

We’ve also tried having her draw a picture of what scares her. Then we ask her to draw how she would stop the monster if she could. She drew a picture of a monster with red glowing eyes who was saying, “I am going to eat you!” She then drew a picture of herself with fists in the air telling the monster to “Stop! And go away!” After that, she crumpled up the picture and threw it in the trash. This helped for a little bit but then she admitted she was still scared of the monster with glowing red eyes who waits down the hall for her when she has to get up and go potty in the middle of the night.

For now, we are still getting up with her in the wee hours of the morning to help her go potty but we’re wearing thin when we can’t sleep well or if we have to get up early in the morning. I try to remember my own childhood fears and when I used to get up and sleep at the foot of my parents bed because I thought there was a boogieman outside of my window. I remember feeling terrified and so alone when everyone was asleep. I just wanted someone to make the boogieman go away…

It’s hard to get inside the mind of your child and help him or her with childhood fears. You don’t want to coddle them because then they aren’t really dealing with the fears but on the other hand, you also want to let them know they are safe and that you will always be there for them when they need you. I can’t wait for this phase to pass. But then there will be another phase we’ll have to deal with…ahhhh, the joys of parenthood.

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