Children

Meltdown on aisle 4

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Meltdowns…those are always fun.

It’s funny how good you become at spotting a meltdown on the horizon.

And when you have more than one child with the proclivity to meltdown, that only multiplies the awesomeness of the adventure!

We have meltdowns for both logical and crazy reasons:

  • Because Momma said “no” when I asked if I could eat candy just before dinner
  • Because I couldn’t get my 100th plastic dinosaur in the $1 bucket at the grocery store
  • Because I didn’t get to say the dinner prayer by myself
  • Because it is bedtime
  • Because Daddy got my socks out of the drawer when I wanted to get them
  • Because I have to wear a dress to church
  • Because sister turned on the porch light when I wanted to
  • Because the blanket I used on my homemade fort isn’t big enough to cover all of the furniture I used to make said fort
  • Because I am not the first in line at the garage door when we are going somewhere in the car
  • Because we are taking one car instead of the other
  • Because my favorite shirt is in the washing machine
  • Because my Minnie Mouse fork is dirty
  • Because I have to wear a coat when it’s cold outside
  • Because the frog doesn’t want to be picked up
  • Because the balloon got stuck in the ceiling fan and popped

The above is a very small selection of the wonderful reasons the world wrongs us in our daily lives. As parents, we see these thunderstorms brewing and our mission is to change the weather pattern such that the meltdown is avoided, or at least, diminished in volatility.

Sometimes there is no escaping a meltdown. We just brace for it and try to seek shelter so that the child can go through the process with as little impact to the general public as possible.

So as the children navigate through the tidal wave of their feelings and emotions, we steer them as best as possible. It is astounding that so much emotion is housed in such little bodies, but through this process we see them learning (ever so slowly) that life is not fair.

Life is not fair.

You know what? Sometimes you won’t get the 100th dinosaur. Sometimes someone else gets to the door before you do. Sometimes your favorite shirt is in the washing machine. Sometimes someone else gets the Lion King dinner plate instead of you. And sometimes it’s not your turn to play with the toy, sorry.

Children

In Case You Didn’t Know How to Care for a 4 year-Old

Attention to our friends and family!! We moved our blog so please be sure to “Follow Us” (even though you already had done it before) so you’ll get the newest posts!

So recently it was time for baby girl’s annual check up at the doctor. Firstly, I did not realize how modest my littlest little has become! But she certainly let me know when it was time to strip down to her undies (the usual protocol at the doctor’s office).

Actually, let me back up a smidgen and say the girl is brave! When it was time to get the finger prick to check for anemia, she as awesome! Now, I can get myself worked up to the point of almost blacking out if I am left to sit and wait knowing a finger prick is coming. I can handle blood draws and shots in the butt, but a finger prick? Let the cold sweats begin…no idea why.

But baby girl? No big deal. In fact, not only was she brave, but they gave her a zebra striped band-aid. Totally worth the inconvenience of the finger prick in her eyes!

Fast forward to the room and preparing for the visit with the doctor.

The look on baby girl’s face upon finding out that she had to take her shirt and shorts off? Um, excuse, me, what? She was not on board with this request. At all. Until I showed her the special “doctor blanket”. This was enough to convince her to go against her modest tendencies and strip down to her underthings.

But once I got her bundled up in her “doctor blanket”, she was good.

Uneventful check up…all looks good. And then it was time for shots. I was dreading this part because I knew it would not go well. But holy cow, it did. It went fabulous. It was something to behold. Baby girl laid down and the nurse prepped her legs for the injections and baby girl looked up at me, exhaled and held my hand and then…nothing. It was over.

Can you even imagine this? Her big sister would be on the ceiling with fear and objection. Baby girl? No big deal. Satisfactory payment received with a Bugs Bunny band-aid and Daffy Duck band-aid (one on each leg).

Now…how does this relate to my catchy blog post title? Here it comes…

The doctor, upon wrapping up a positive exam, confirming that baby girl is in excellent health and has established great habits of eating, activity and learning,,,proceeds to hand me this: ( I usually scale down pics for the blog but I left this one big so you can also bask in the community over-reach into how to interact with and generally raise a child at the 4 year old stage)

I get the intent is to be informative and helpful but seriously, I don’t need to be told to respect my child or to ask her about her day. It’s not my first day on the job with my kid. I mean, thank goodness the American Academy of Pediatrics has given me this fact sheet so I know not to let my kid cross the street alone.

Here’s the thing…there are definitely situations where this information is completely valid to hand to a parent. Going through a full examination with my kid and the kind of invasive inquisition I was subjected to in regards to baby girl’s general livelihood? Doc, you should know not to give me this piece of paper. Nothing says “Mom, you’re doing a great job!” like an spec sheet on how to care for a 4 year old like she’s the new family pet.

So…to the American Academy of Pediatrics: please refrain from fire hosing all parents with information if they already are demonstrating that they know it. Maybe offer the information on a case-by-case basis as needed? Just a thought.

Children

Where did we go wrong?

Rise and Shine, Beautiful!Today started out like any other day. The alarm spoke, I resisted, it spoke again, and I begrudgingly listened to it.

I stumbled to the bathroom to get my day started and that’s when I called my own parenting into question. How could I have let this happen? How did this just slip by all these years with no guidance from me? I can’t believe I became “that person” and I knew I had messed up my child(ren) forever because of my own carelessness.

You think you have all the time in the world to nail down all the principles and base standards before the world comes along and tries to negate those teachings and infect the kids with alternative beliefs. In reality, time is so very short and I feel like I missed an opportunity I may not ever get back.

My mind began to spin on the damage control I can do…heck I don’t even know at this point who my “problem child” is! All I know is I HAVE to fix this…now!! Some may even say this isn’t a big deal, but it starts with the little things and just snowballs. I have to get my kids back on track before its too late…

So this is my new parenting goal…I have to solidify deep within the bellies of my children, nay, in their DNA.

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Toilet paper goes on the roll with the paper going OVER the roll, not under it for heaven’s sake. Seriously, I contemplated taking a personal day from work over this. You just can’t be too careful with these things!

 

 

Children, Family

Pinch Me!

This day went like most others…not really anything to write home about.

Kids played, they did school, they played some more, they ran errands with Daddy, they made lunch, we all ate dinner together, they argued, they laughed they cried. They spent some time in time out. All normal things in the course of the day.

And then something amazing happened. Just amazing. This happened:

Maddux

Boy child decided that he really wanted to vacuum. In fact, he didn’t even come right out and tell us. I found him playing with baby girl’s Minnie Mouse play vacuum, just humming the motor sounds as he moved methodically back and forth.

I saw his technique and the dedication to his craft so I asked him, “Boy child, would you like to use the real vacuum and vacuum the family room floor?”

Oh, the joy in his eyes! He couldn’t nod his head quickly or harshly enough to convey how much “yes” he wanted to.

Never one to miss an opportunity to bribe my children, I told boy child to go brush his teeth and get his jammies on. If his teeth were sparkly and his jammies on, I would get the vacuum for him to use.

I have never seen such efficiency. Or quality of work. Or enthusiasm for cleaning. Pinch me! I have a child who wants to clean!!

Who is this boy? And what is going on?? You know what- doesn’t matter. He wants to vacuum, who am I to stand in his way?!

So I plug the vacuum in, and he insists on stepping on the release to bring the body of the vacuum down and he gets started. Man, he’s good. He’s got the wire in his grip so he doesn’t accidentally run over the cord and suck it up.

And then…he did something that made me speechless.

He started moving things around so he could vacuum underneath! Praise God, my boy is thorough!! He did a phenomenal job and his heart was full of clean, vacuuming joy! That is until he got to the best part…

Stepping on the lever that automatically winds up the long, twisted cord back into the hungry belly of the vacuum cleaner.

The smile on boy child’s face and his tip-toeing around his own handiwork was a sight to behold.

And just like that, he was off to something else he wanted to do.

 

Children, Family

I’m kind of a thief!

9eea464898656e7fa5931defa7e5cfc610ff95dcThat’s right…a thief.

Well, thief is a really strong word. Actually, I collect my payment without bothering the debtor with the details of repayment specifics.

See, it’s much easier to just quietly collect my payment than to go back and forth on negotiation and who said what and terms of agreement. Let’s not get caught up in the details.

Of course, my little debtors don’t really know they are indebted to me. But they are. Oh, they owe me big time! But that’s ok…I collect when I can and they are generally none the wiser.

I’m kind of like a repo lady but I only repo perishable goods.

I think you know where I’m going with this…are you with me?? I go through my kids candy stash like it was my own. Of course, I leave the super awesome candy that the kids have already inventoried, bar coded and sorted. And I apply a percentage-type fee. So baby girl’s stash is a little less picked through than boy & girl child’s stashes.

There are three generally lucrative times in which I collect payment from my unsuspecting brood: Christmas, Easter and Halloween.

I do not apologize for this method of payment. I stand by my actions and I believe there are more out there like me! Which leads me to the following:

Children, Family

Meet Arby’s

IMG_1154This is Arby’s.

Arby’s is a little white-tail fawn. Adopted by boy child during a family trip to the mountains, this little deer is one of many special little friends in boy child’s crew.

So, the name? Three guesses.

It’s funny how boy child finds names for his little critters. And he’s not one to flip flop on the name, with it changing each time you ask what the name is. He names his friend and that’s it’s name, end of story.

So, among others, he has Mavis the turtle, Frankie Jr., the little whale shark (not to be confused with Frank, the big whale shark), Pleasant the pheasant, Beluga (the beluga), Hootie the barn owl, Snakie…the snake. Ok, I know some of these names aren’t all that creative. But by golly, you better not call them by another name.

And then there’s Arby’s.

Arby’s…not Arby. Arby’s…like the restaurant.

Because that’s where we ate right after “adopting” the little deer. And it was good. Boy child remembers this meal because he got to have a warm salty caramel chocolate cookie as a special treat since we were on vacation. He also remembers the restaurant and every time we head back to the mountains, he is forever connected to Arby’s- the deer and the eatery! So he has all the components to remind him of this happy memory he will never forget.

Regardless of what friend boy child has chosen to bring with him on any given travel in the car whether near or far, what tickles him and the girls is that every once in a while one of his little friends gets to drive the car!!!

It takes a bit of serendipity…dropping the animal in Daddy’s seat of the car, Daddy being in a playful mood, whether the animal wants to drive, whether we are running late, traffic in general, and if everyone is paying attention to the driver when it happens.

Imagine the sight of Arby’s plowing down the highway without a care in the world and feeling the wind in his fur. And the kids are in heaven with giggles and laughter!

What do your kids name their stuffed animals?

 

Children, Family

Ugh, what’s that smell?!

dsc_0399So…we’ve had an interesting conversation this weekend.

Something has happened enough times that we need to talk about it before it becomes a widespread problem. This is not something to take lightly, either.

And I feel like I’m doing the world a favor by nipping this in the bud now. So…you’re welcome, world.

A child, who shall remain nameless, stinkered in the car. Stinkers are flatulence…passing gas…floating an air biscuit…a fart. That’s right, one of our dear ones farted in the car. In the winter. When we had the heater on.

And it was a silent one.

Can I tell you how much I did not enjoy the invisible slap in the face? It just quietly wafted into the front seat. Where I was strapped into my seat and unable to move.

So…the discussion:

“Dearest children,

If you need to stinker, please say excuse me when you do it so we can roll a window down before the stinker permeates into the fabric of our clothes and the upholstery of the car. I know sometimes you “just have to” and that’s ok. But please don’t forget there are other people in the car who do not want to smell your stinker, let alone have it sneak up on them.”

Their response?

Giggling.

 

Children, Family

Yeah, that’s a chicken on my head!

img_7226Are you able to laugh at yourself?

Or are you one of those people who gets really uncomfortable and then angry or embarrassed when something happens that causes other people to laugh at you?

I’m not talking about bullying or taunting at your expense, I’m talking about when you do or say something you have no one to blame but yourself.

Like if you accidentally pass gas while someone is praying…I don’t care how old you are, that is funny and I’m not going to able to keep from giggling.

I’ll tell you one thing we are trying so hard to instill in our children is their ability to laugh at themselves.

Their favorite joke to tell each other as young children is: “(Insert name here)! You belong in a tree because you’re a nut!” (compliments of Family Guy- which they absolutely DO NOT watch) They go bonkers with laughter when they say that to each other. And it’s always well placed because whoever is being accused of being a nut is, in fact, being a nut at that moment!

Not only does laughing at ourselves reduce the amount of bickering and arguing sessions that we have to settle, but it also gives the kids reminders that life is fun, sometimes funny things happen, no one’s perfect, don’t take everything so seriously, see the humor in things, laughing at each other isn’t the same as making fun of someone, don’t sweat the little things…the list goes on and on.

Humor is so necessary because this world is really stinky these days! It needs more laughter- it sure does a body good.

As a kid, I struggled to laugh at myself. I was always embarrassed and that really sucked. I feel like I missed out on some fun because I was so busy being irritated or embarrassed at any attention thrown my direction.

Once dear husband taught me how to really laugh at myself, I saw how liberating it really is. It’s diffusing. It’s fun. It makes awesome memories and great stories. I hope one day when the kids are grown and we are all sitting around the table, they remember some great stories and we all reminisce about how much we all enjoyed those times.

Children, Family

This is gonna be awesome!

35e3ad13-fc53-4b67-9bf0-688f5e047981-jpgSo baby girl is in that phase where she’s really into imaginary play. On any given day, we’ll catch her in the middle of a well-thought out plot of a class picnic where one of the friends is new and another somehow gets injured and then all the other friends console the injured friend while baby girl performs surgery.

And she talks and talks and talks all through this imaginary play.

Recently, she was assembling her class into order for a story that she was going to read them (she cannot read…this is irrelevant). Bless them, girl child and boy child even accommodate her imagination by “dropping off” their own animals for school. They even go through a good-bye sequence to preserve the authenticity of baby girl’s school.

Once all animals are in their seats and in order, she begins handing out things? I really don’t know what the purpose is or what those objects are in her world. Maybe it’s a snack, maybe it’s a pair of scissors. Again, not relevant.

So as she delves into her story, which she tells with surprising accuracy, the opportunity to be a fly on the wall presents itself and when that happens we try to take advantage because it’s only a matter of time before she says something either adorable or hysterical.

On this particular occasion, as she was passing out the things to her class, she was mentioning reminders like being quiet because the story was going to start and staying in the line. And then, we distinctly heard her whisper to herself:

“Oh, this is going to be awesome!”

And I’m pretty sure it was awesome. At least all the animals in her class thought so!