Category Archives: Toddlers

The Lucky Spectator

I get to see some crazy, fun, incredible things each day. Life has been especially crazy lately, with lots on the schedule, lots of work to juggle, and the wildness of my little men. In the past few weeks, a few unexpected things have taken place that seem worth mentioning….to give those of you following our journey a bit of a chuckle. Enjoy! And, as always, share your own crazy adventures! I love hearing about your own excitement!

Enjoy! And, as always, share your own crazy adventures! I love hearing about your own excitement!

And, as always, share your own crazy adventures! I love hearing about your exciting lives as well!

1.) He showed Grampie how to work the DVD player, and told him it was ok if he watched Snoopy. LM1 knows very well that we don’t watch movies in the morning. But LM1 also knows to sneak into the guest bedroom to wake up Grandpa before getting Mom or Dad. And he knows that his excellent vocabulary and persuasive tone are likely to receive compliance from an innocent old man who goes by the name “Guppie” when LM1 feels like being especially cute, because he KNOWS how to say Grampie but knows how to work an angle, too.  When accosted about his actions he said, “Well, Grampie didn’t know how to work the…the… thing…(he doesn’t know that it’s called a DVD player but he knows which buttons to push) so I showed him.”

Right. Ok. Keep talkin’, kid.

2.) He peed on the ferry boat. I swear LM2 was only diaperless for thirty seconds….just before bathtime. So, we were in the bathroom, on a tile floor, and clean-up wasn’t that ridiculous.  But if we’re all being honest with ourselves, he aimed with some impressive precision, titled his (insert your own vocabulary word here) up into the plastic ferry boat and defiled it with a rainstorm of canary yellow. The small ship took the brunt of the storm. So, my floors were somewhat spared. But the boat……well…..the boat needed a little more than soap and water.

3.) He asked the mailman not to hit our mailbox. Because the mulch delivery truck did that a few weeks ago. So, in the eyes of LM1, no one else had better do it again. He’s very protective of our property, for some ridiculous reason, which is completely unknown to me. LM1 watches as trucks and cars drive by and he is just waiting for someone to knock the box and/or post over again. Maybe he thrives on action-packed afternoons? Maybe the bending of the post defied his sense of reality, and he wants it bent again. Regardless of his reasons, the shouting at our mailman comes across as a tad bit snarky. Imagine a two-year-old waving and shouting from the driveway, “Don’t hit the mailbox! Be careful! It’s right there!”
#slightlyembarassed

4.) He wiggled his little toes into the mouth of a baby. Can I first comment on this one with a raving, “Yuck!” and then say that it was hilarious after my initial disgust dissipated? LM2 was sitting in his high chair and a beautiful, gentle, curious, wonderful almost-one-year-old toddled up to the legs of the seat. Said toddler saw the toes, LM2 felt something brewing below, and the two halves came together. Do I call it curiosity on the part of both babes? Do I call it a freak accident? How could I have avoided this? I reacted in a way any mother would: I laughed my mommy butt off. #stilllaughingwhennooneislooking

And…speaking of butts….

5.) He asked why I put coupons in my butt. Well, try to get a free minute in the bathroom, Mommies. It’s no easy task. Try to hide the box of tampons. Try to sneak a moment of privacy. And then fail. When this happens, try explaining to your husband why LM1 thinks you put coupons in your butt. So far, his rationale sounds something like this: “Well, Mommy doesn’t have a penis like me and Daddy. So she needs to put coupons in there.” How do I fix this? #epicmomfail #howtoundothis? #WTF

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Thinking About Potty Training

LM1 is officially asking questions about the potty, his pee, his poo, and the like. So, we’ve offered him the option of peeing on the potty with a semi-convenient potty seat that sits on top of our normal toilet seat. I don’t know that he’s ready to really, truly, officially be a toilet-trained human, but he is certainly curious…..so I am as well.

The musings this little man has undertaken are….well….toilet humor aside, they’re a gas. Here are some of the questions I’ve received since starting this process:

1.) Q: My poo comes out of a different place than my penis. Why, Mommy?
A: Your pee comes out of your penis and your poo comes out of your butt. They’re different things.

2.) Q: If I will poop in my diaper, can I wipe my butt up here? (He wants to sit on the toilet, bend himself over, and reach his own butt in a c-shape position.)
A: Sure. Here’s a wipe. Be careful and don’t fall through.
Q: Why would I fall through?
A: Ask Alice. I don’t think she expected to fall through, either…

3.) Q: Did you hear me make the twinkly sound with my pee?
A: Yes. I heard the “tinkle,” not the “twinkle.”

4.) Q: How much soap until I’m all clean afterward?
A: No one really knows, so we’ll go with one squirt.

5.) Q: Do you wear pull-ups, too, Mommy?
A: No, I wear underwear. Because I’m a big girl and I can control my pee.

6.) Q: Pull-ups are not the same as underwear. Can I pee in them?
A: They’re like underwear, so try hard not to pee in them.

7.) Q: If I promise to pee in the toilet, can I wear only shorts today?
A: Umm, no, there’s still snow on the ground and you’re not a free-baller. Not on my watch.

8.) Q: I will take off my shirt to use the toilet?
A: You don’t have to. It’s not a requirement.
Q: But I am a man.
A: Ok. Whatever you need, Honey.

9.) Q: Will you put my poop into the toilet?
A: How would I do that? That’s your job.
Q: But it’s in my diaper. You need to put it in the toilet so we can flush it. Ok?
A: Gross.

10.) Q: I made a really really big stink-a-rink. Is that funny?
A: Not really. It’s kind of gross.
Q: I will laugh loud. Will you laugh, too?
A: Maybe at your wedding one day… ;0)

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The Latest Logic

Well, it would seem that LM1 is starting to reason. His conclusions are not always accurate, but they are making us smile. Enjoy!

1.) When we found a metal door inside the restroom at the grocery store:

LM1: Mommy, what this is for?
Me: The little door?
LM1: This… (he knocks on it)
Me: It’s a panel to hide away something. Maybe an electrical panel or something having to do with the ventilation in here.
LM1: Maybe it’s where they put the gas in.
Me: Why does the grocery store need gas?
LM1: To make it go.
Me: Where is it going?
LM1: I don’t know. Somewhere.

2.) While we ate breakfast and Daddy got ready to leave for work:

LM1: Daddy’s got to go to work.
Me: That’s right.
LM1: He is going to YMCA.
Me: To work out?
LM1: That’s where he works.
Me: What does he do there?
LM1: He watches the kids.
Me: Are you sure? Why do you think he does that?
LM1: Because they listen to him.

3.) While sitting on the toilet, crying:

Me: Why are you crying?
LM1: Because I don’t want to eat my poop.
Me: Why would you eat your poop? No one is asking you to do that. We don’t do that!
LM1: But you say we eat the blueberries and they are my poop.
Me: (Silence)

4.) While saying prayers before bedtime:

LM1: Thanks, dear God, for a wonderful day.
Me: What else should we say thank you for?
LM1: Grammy?
Me: Yes! And who else? Your cousins?
LM1: We did not see them this weekend.
Me: We don’t only have to say thanks for people we saw this weekend.
LM1: Oh. (confused….)

5.) While negotiating over the chicken and broccoli for dinner.

LM1: Maybe I should have oatmeal.
Me: Maybe you should eat what I made.
LM1: I don’t like it.
Me: Eat 5 pieces of chicken and 2 pieces of broccoli.
LM1: Then I can have oatmeal?
Me: Yes.
LM1: No.
Me: What if I give you juice?
LM1: From the juice box?
Me: Yes.
LM1: I will have 5 broccolis.
Me: Done.

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Beating Winter!

I love the fall because it’s the time of year when I fell in love with my husband. Everything about the fall strikes me as romantic because it takes me back to that time in college when I met this man I had a good feeling about. I didn’t know we would end up together. I didn’t know we would get married and have two kids in Pennsylvania 10 years after we met. I just had a great feeling, and I knew I wanted to keep feeling that way for as long as possible.

So, almost as much as I love the fall, I have to admit that I kind of hate winter. All those sweet, warm, wonderful feelings get warped in my brain as soon as winter hits. I didn’t always hate winter. But since having my kids, it is harder to be outside and it’s harder to get much of anywhere. There are hats and gloves and mittens. There are strollers and carriers to lug around and use or not use (if there is ice or too much snow). It is physically more challenging to get around with all this extra stuff. Then, once we get out, the kids don’t especially like the cold. So our outdoor fun lasts in 15-20 minute increments. WTF.

This leaves us mostly trapped inside. Which chaps my butt and makes me stir crazy. I like to move. The kids like to move. Jack Frost is a force to be reckoned with and there is only so much we can take.

I get kind of sour this time of year and I have tried lots of different things to help change this. The sunlight light bulbs. Going to the gym. Scheduling play dates. Keeping busy.

But this morning an amazing thing happened. A song came on the radio that shot me back into the past. Into my favorite time of year, my favorite moments in life. Those months when I was falling hard for a guy I had no idea would change my life. And it slowly occurred to me that I didn’t just fall in love with Hubs that fall. I fell in love with a season, a city, new traditions, and a new home.

So when winter comes and the first big cold blows through town, I am going to go back in my mind to love. Because to love is to live. And I can blow winter hard on its butt if I can find things to love about winter.

Here are some winter activities I’ll be enjoying…. (though I’m hoping you’ll share your ideas with me!!!)

1.) Making soup. Thank you, Ina Garten.
2.) Group exercise. Thank you, YMCA.
3.) Cross country skiing. The kids are getting snow suits and they will endure 15 minute increments until they love the cold. Thank you, Craigslist.
4.) Museum hunt. There are more out there than I know! I recently found the Reading Public Museum and it’s awesome for the kiddies.
5.) Pen palling. I don’t know if this will work, but I have a sneaking suspicion there is an app for this. Why not make a new friend via old fashioned letter writing???
6.) Pump the heat in our house for underwear dance parties. This may not be energy efficient, but I think it will make us smile. And sweat. And sleep better.
7.) House project. I’m going to get organized!

8.) Podcast exploration. So far I’ve found “The Moth” and it’s pretty amazing.
9.) Wake up earlier. I’m sure that staying up late serves no purpose but to make me cranky. So, HELLO BEDTIME!
10.) Book a vacation. Where to go? Here’s to thinking, plotting, planning, and scheming!

What are YOU up to this winter???

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Crummy Story Time

I’m pretty sure story times almost never look like this. Unless this picture is not actually kids smiling, but kids laughing at the lady pointing to sea gulls. Who cares about sea gulls? These kids are like, “those gulls look like upside down mustaches…”

I have to start this post by saying I completely realize this is a half-lame issue that is not worthy of complaint, but I’m totally gunna complain about it anyway.

I had the fortunate opportunity to take the boys to story time at a new spot last week. I love story time. There may be nothing greater. Ok, there are lots of great things to do with the kiddos, but on a rainy Monday morning, I couldn’t believe I’d found a new spot offering just what the doctor ordered: some stories, singing, and dancing, to kick off our week with smiles. (Read: Yes, I’m a nerd, and I probably should have become a librarian…I certainly have the glasses for it.)

LM1 was totally down for our outing, which only made me more excited. We hadn’t been to a story time in a while. He was excited, I was excited, the baby slept well and was full of yummy food– the stars seemed to have aligned.

Then we got there.

Then we met a woman I’ll just call WS. For Wrong Side. As in, Of the Bed. Because this gal was not excited to be at story time. In fact, I’d say she was pretty annoyed and/or disappointed to be at story time.

Let me just say, if you don’t want to be at story time, you probably shouldn’t participate in a story time intended for 18-36-month-old children. Because they are not listeners. They are not participants. They are really just kinda there because Mommy is praying they will someday become listening participants. For my son, story time is an opportunity to get out of the house, think about books for twenty seconds, and consider how cool it could be to hang around other little kids before deciding to stop thinking about the other little kids entirely.

Well, Ms. WS did not come prepared for any of these facts (Yes, I’m calling them facts because everyone knows this. Someone tweeted it, and now everyone knows). We got some attitude from WS that came out like this:

1.) To a mom whose child didn’t want to sit down (which I find completely normal…and, personally, I refrain from sitting in most situations when I can): “If you can’t settle her down, maybe she needs a break.”

It’s still unclear who needed settling….

2.) To a child who didn’t pay attention to the book she was reading: “Eyes on me. We need to learn to pay attention.”

Uhhh…..what? They’re 1. They’re learning to figure out where their fingers are….

3.) To a child who giggled and ran across the room holding a pretend cookie given out by WS: “If you can’t follow directions, you will have to give the cookie back.”

Who gives a cookie to a one-year-old only to take it back???

4.) To the room in general: “Some boys and girls are not being good listeners.”

???????????????

5.) To herself in a huff of frustration: “I don’t think that will work…we’ll just skip that activity.”

6.) To the entire room: “I am feeling a little sick, so I don’t want to have to shout at you.”

Wow. I don’t want this person shouting at children. I don’t want her shouting, period. Why is shouting an option at all?

Needless to say, it was awkward. This poor woman was working hard to try and get a room of one and two-year-olds to complete kindergarten level tasks and participate in story time by sitting quietly and not really participate in the way they know how to participate……yet…..I’m sure they’ll get there one day. Like, when they’re in kindergarten.

So, after feeling disappointed for myself and my kids, I started to really feel sorry for our humble storyteller. She was having a rough day. She appeared exasperated. Something wasn’t meshing for her, and it was not ideal. I wanted to pull out a magic wand and make everyone more comfortable. Hell, I could have started a stand-up routine with puppets and a bubble machine. But, alas, this could not be.

My take away from the situation was that I need to have more patience with my kids. I probably look and feel and sound like WS a lot more than I realize. I probably say silly things to my kids like, “Listen to me! You’re not being a listener!” And if they had the cognition to answer me in a complete, adult sentence, they would probably say something like, “Well, I’m 2, so, cut me some slack, Weenie-bobbins.” Or they might get witty and say, “I’ll understand to listen to your voice when you listen to my body language. Because right now, I’m more hungry/tired/bored than attentive right now. So, let’s get a granola bar and move on the the next activity!”

So, I don’t know that I want to take the kids back to story time with WS, but I sort of feel like giving her a second chance will be like giving myself a second chance. So…..I guess I’m gunna get that jam on the calendar for another time soon. But I may plan an escape route….in case she brings back those silly fake cookies.

 

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Needing to Belong

It’s absolutely incredible to me that at the age of 2.5, my son is already working hard to feel included. He must be a part of every thing and any thing occurring in the room. He must know what is happening, who it includes, why it’s being done, and what will happen next.

I see snippets of this every day, but found a conversation we shared recently to be exceptionally telling and relevant to what I’m describing here.

I was cleaning up a bit around the house and found LM1 beneath my legs, tugging away at my shirt to ask a question.

“Why I am not there, too?” he said.

“Where, Baby?” I said.

“In that picture. Where is everyone? Why my family is there and I am not there?” he said.

LM1 was clearly distraught and confused and generally agitated. I had to put down the things in my hands down and follow him through the house to figure out what he was describing.

“I’m confused,” I confessed. “Can you show me?”

Without hesitation, he pulled my wet and soapy hands for a quick trip to the table in our foyer. A few days earlier, I propped up a new canvas on the little wood table in our foyer, which shows about 30 smiling members of our family. The picture was a gift for the holidays, and it’s a good one, since so many of the people we love are featured in it. It was a great gift idea, until LM1 noticed his absence from the photo and began protesting this.

“Why I am not with my family?” he said.

I explained as best as I could that this was a photo from a party. It was a late night and he is a little man, so he needed to be home, doing little man things.

“We will go back there,” he said, “so I can be with my family, too.”

“No, Honey,” I said. “The party is over. We can take a picture with you at another party. Just wait and there will be another time for fun and photos.”

He looked like he might cry. LM1 was still confused. I tried to explain that even if we miss a family event or a photo, our family is always with us. We are all together, and we belong to each other no matter what. That’s what family means.

I finally coaxed him away from the photo with some trains and other toys.

But this desire, this burning need to belong and to be included stuck with me. As human beings, we’ve all got this in us at such a young age. I’ve read about it in the psychology books: we want to be a part of things. We want to join a community. We learn to take great pride and comfort in the fact that we belong. I guess this may not be the case for everyone, but I feel this way, and now I can see my son feeling this way, too.

Being a SAHM can be isolating sometimes. I’ve written about this before, and it’s no secret. We spend lots of time alone with our kids when we have to wait through the nap traps, long meals, endless diaper changes, and transportation between schools and doctors and playdates. The truth is that between all of those tiresome moments, I long to belong within a community, too. I want to be surrounded by people. I want to laugh and smile and pose for pics. I want to feel like I belong someplace outside of my house from time to time.

So, this burning desire of his to know “WHERE WAS I?” and “WHEN WILL I BE A PART OF THIS GROUP AGAIN” made me see how similar all human beings are. Age seems to separate us in many ways, but it doesn’t in so many others. LM1 and I love being part of something bigger than ourselves, and I can’t believe that became apparent on a lazy winter morning in our house.

So, we took up a game of memory with Thomas and Friends playing cards. We laughed and enjoyed some time before getting out of the house. And I called my sister for a quick “hey, how are ya” conversation, and laughed at my own advice: family is with us even when they’re not.

Here’s to #simpleblessings and how a babe shows me how to belong.

 

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