Let’s try to leave the house!

I think the most exciting thing in life post child is going to run errands all alone. This makes me sound lame and whatever, but I’m telling you, its totally true. There is a cartoon I’ve seen on a few different places that is really hysterical because it shows a mom running errands all alone and she’s all, “Oh look! I got groceries and then ran into the bank and got a cup of coffee and it’s all only taken me an hour! la la la”  Then it shows her trying to do the same errands with her kid and the kid won’t get out of the carseat, and it takes forty minutes to strap the kid back in, and the kid is dropping all the groceries out of the cart etc. etc. The same errands take like 10 hours with children. I’m only exaggerating by like 5%!

Lately leaving the house with the Kid has become a marathon event!! I mostly just laugh at it because really, there’s not much else you can do! This evening I ran out to Target ALL ALONE and it was so amazing! I just put on my shoes, grabbed my bag and phone, got in the car and DROVE AWAY! Then I shopped and was back in an hour. Amazing!

When I leave the house with the little one, it goes like this:

Me: Are you ready to go the Storytime at the Library??

Her: Nods head yes (she’s not really a talker yet!)

Me: Okay, let’s get your shoes…where are your shoes??

Her: Points at where the shoes are. I go to get them. She runs away and laughs.

Me: Come on, let’s put on your shoes so we can go!

Her: walks one step towards me, turns around and decides to start examining her stuffed animals.

Me: Shoes! Look! Let’s put them on! (I shake them, kind of like a puppy might enjoy)

Her: Ooh! (Runs to me and finally sits for shoes!)

Me: I get one shoe on her and she tries to run away and yells at me like I’m stabbing her with hot coals even though SHE came over the shoes to begin with! I wrestle the other one on. She runs away and does some spins and laughs.

Me: Okay, where’s your coat! I get it and she runs to me again! Excellent! This will be so…

Her: Grabs the coat and includes it in her spins, cracking up.

Me: Sits down on the floor and takes a breather…this is going to take awhile!

***

Finally we are in coats and shoes. I assemble milk, water, snacks, diapers, etc. I run out and put these in the car first while she continues to play inside. I come back and we say Okay! We are leaving!! I pick her up, and lock the door. She wriggles away and runs to all her crap on the porch.

Her: shows me bubbles, points to her wagon, claps excitedly, jumps up and down, runs to the stairs, runs back to the wagon, points at the flowers, looks for her gardening gloves.

Me: yes all these are awesome! We can do them all later! Story Time starts in 10 minutes! Don’t you want to see your friends?

Her: Nods head yes! Comes towards me! Turns around and races back to the wagon and gestures that we should go gallivanting about town in it!

Me: Finally scoop her up, she cracks up about this. I plop her in the car and she proceeds to wriggle out of the straps of her carseat as soon as I get an arm in. Finally after about 5 minutes I trick her into submission. I hand her her water. She chucks it. I hand her her snack. She chucks that. I go to close the door, she cries because where are the water and snack?! I finally start the car and we  are about to leave when I remember her milk is still on the porch. Crap!

And so on, and so forth. I like to leave a nice half hour cushion of leaving the house time before any important event. I’m always late anyway though! That kid likes to be fashionably late I guess!

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Having a Bad Week? Let some Young Art Students Cheer You Up!

I’ve had a very long week this week, not sure why, but I can’t fall asleep at night! I’m up til like 1am and then of course am zombie lady the next day. Why this very evening I was SO tired that when the husband came home from work, I fell asleep for a full 30 minutes and woke up having no clue any time had passed! Whoops!

However, I was super busy this week but I’ve had some great days at work and home. My kid and students never cease to crack me up! I figured I’d pass some of the gems on to you!

Just this morning I was teaching my first graders about Hundertwasser and was telling them a bit about him, including that he died in the year 2000. The kids were all like, I wasn’t even born yet!! (OMG I AM SO OLD) “Oh wow, I’m OLD!”, I said to the kids, “I was 20 when he died!” Some smarties did some quick math and shout out, “Wait, Mrs. M you are 32!????!!!! I thought you were 18!”

Ah, yes children, learn the art of lying to a woman about her age now! It never gets old!! 🙂

*******

My own kid just recently has begun the final stages in bottle weaning…dun dun dunnnnn! That really just means that currently she drinks most of her milk out of a sippy except the night time bottle, which she always has chugged in her room and then immediately tosses aside and demands to go to sleep. This is awesome. Why do I want to change this? I asked my husband. Why can’t she just chug a bottle til she’s old enough to know better?!

Blah blah something about dental hygiene, the doctor will yell at us! He says.So FINE we started the slooow process of de-bottling as I assumed it would be the hardest habit to break. Well. Now she drinks the bottle still downstairs, then brushes her teeth, turns off the tv and goes up for books. We read..she looks at us and cracks up because she thinks its hysterical to be read to at night without a bottle. She climbs off our laps and investigates her room while we keep trying to read and eventually she just takes the hand of whoever is doing this night time thing that day and makes us put her in her crib. Then she says be gone with you and rolls around laughing hysterically til she falls asleep! Clearly the child is beside herself with the routine change…ha! I am hoping then that next week when we ditch the bottle for good she won’t mind one bit.

But…I’ll mind! That makes it official that this crazy baby is now a crazy toddler. They grow up so fast!!

********

Last story:

Oh yeah….I’ve been having a hard time with my Kindergardens this year because they have switched to half day programs at my district, and to compensate they only come to Art TWICE A MONTH! Total bummer, particularly, it seems for retention!

We have so far learned about 2 famous artists, and are on our 3rd now. Every week I try to recap by asking, “Who have we been learning about?” And every week every single child in all 8 of my classes gleefully exclaims “CLAUDE MONET!!!!”

yeah well, that was great BACK IN SEPTEMBER! How on earth do they not retain a single other name!? I make them shout the names and whisper the names and sing the names and still…Claude Monet! I tell them how there are so many artists they are all important and its good to learn all their names etc. Still…Claude Monet!

I mean, just today this is the actual conversation we had:
“Here is a new artist! Are you ready for his name? It is Piet Mondrian! Can everyone say his name?”
“MONDRIAN!”

“Hooray! So What is his name?”
“Mondrian!”
“And next week when I ask you who the artist is we just starting learning about, what will you say?”

Giant pause…then….

“CLAUDE MONET!”

Oh crap!!

 

Mean Mama Bear

Last night was a date night for the husband and I. The little one was at her grandparents at their request and we never like to deny anyone seeing the Kid, so she went off to eat cookies and play with crayola fun bubbles, and we went to see The Hunger Games.

I’d actually never heard of the movie or the books until they started releasing the trailers and my sci-fi obsessed husband made me watch them. He’s read all of the books and was intrigued by the movie, I figured it looked interesting, so why not? However, I didn’t realize that I’d agreed to see the movie ON OPENING NIGHT.

I also didn’t realize that this movie makes teenagers even more crazy than Harry Potter and Twilight COMBINED. No really, I’m fairly sure I am right! We ended up SURROUNDED by teens. They clapped and cheered when the little dancing popcorn guy came on for crying out loud! They collectively cooed ,”Awwwwwwww” every five minutes over something or other that totally confused me as to why it was an awwww. But, I digress.

So anyway, the husband and I went with a couple that we are friends with. We got tickets online and met them at the theater. Right away we realized this was crazy. The place was PACKED with teenagers super psyched to see other kids kill each other for sport! It was totally insane. My husband and his friend went to the food line. His fiancee and I agreed to wait in line for the theater. We get in line and stand around and whatnot, and we are in the middle of it. Suddenly they start letting us in and the line starts moving. Suddenly this woman and a million kids like RUSH past us and I was so floored that someone would actually just shove through you like you’re invisible that I loudly stated to my friend, “Did we just get shoved aside? I can’t believe we just got SHOVED aside! Holy crap we were standing right there!”

I mean, c’mon people! Everyone gets passive aggressive sometimes…and in such a case usually when I make a statement like that the other person either doesn’t hear me or doesn’t care and I feel better that I said something to them but not really, and they feel better because they got to be a jerk and shove me aside to see a teenager movie. But this time, the mom turns to and looks horrified!!!

“OH MY GOD I AM SO SORRY! I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THAT, I’M JUST SO FLUSTERED, I AM WITH 15 TEENAGE GIRLS! I JUST DIDN’T EVEN…”

At this point I turned beet red and felt super bad for her. I mean, geez! 15 teenaged girls?! That’s a suicide mission! I promptly told her not to worry about it, that she was clearly a saint, and we took our spots in front of her and all was fine.

3 Minutes later the line hit a standstill and as I turned to my friend to ask why she thought we stopped the line broke out and everyone behind us, led by the Mama bear basically steamrolled past us. I thought to myself, “Oh, it must be playing in two theaters and they are going to the one on the left!” How naive was I?! EVERYONE TRAMPLED PAST US AND RUSHED THE THEATER! We went from being in the middle to dead last in the line!! We got in and just dove for the first four seats we saw, down in front, not even trying to look up at the good ones first. When we DID get settled (3 rows from the front, sigh!) I glanced up and who do I see in the ultimate best seats in the last row at the top?! Passive Aggressive mama bear! Damn she outplayed me! She was amazing, I have nothing but a horrified awe for someone who actually makes the person who is RIGHT feel badly, and then manages to sneak up to the best seats ever. Holy crap. That woman is an animal!

But it did get me thinking…like, what was the point of me passive aggressively muttering at her anyway? I just felt kind of foolish when she called me on it. It’s a stupid line to a stupid movie, and at the end of the day she had her own crap to deal with, even if she really did do something that was kind of rude.

Not that I won’t stop doing that sort of thing from time to time, I guess its kind of human nature…but it’s probably healthier to just stand up for yourself and not mutter cryptic things and hope/not hope the other person gets it!

Improve Your Life by 15%!*

You may or may not recall that back in January I had a super big case of the Winter Blues…I was feeling like I wasn’t doing anything, I was sick of the mess around the house and never wanted to accomplish anything because I was cranky to start with!

But! I sort of gave myself a new life motto and it totally seems to be working! I decided instead of being winge-y and complaining, I was going to just start DOING stuff. Ha! It sounds stupid and overly simple and well, it kind of is. But its certainly easier said than done. I decided to start small and just DO some things each week that would make a big impact over time.  So I feel like I should share what I’ve learned and maybe some of my ideas can help improve your life too!

1. I was super upset because I felt like I didn’t have any friends nearby, or anyone for Kate to play with other than my friend Jen. It’s hard being a semi-stay at home mom. You are just alone with the kid a lot so you want to find other mom friends but particularly where I live most are kind of judgey and stuck up and not very friendly! And then when you are at work, you are only there a brief part of the week so no one tries to get to know you. And you are so busy making sure all your stuff is in order that you don’t have time to try to make work friends anyway. So yeah, it was kind of lonely!

What I decided to DO was find some friends! You know I tried meetup.com, which did work sort of, but still at any meet up I’ve gone to so far it appears my kid is STILL the only one that runs crazy all over and drags me with her..so that doesn’t really let me chat up the other moms in the room! So since that wasn’t overly working I decided to just DO MORE with the kid. We started playing outside more, cold or hot. We started taking more trips to do stuff like run around Starbucks, or visit the book store, we started being brave at Storytime and asking other moms to go to the park! And now I was so brilliant last week that I suggested to the three moms I’ve been chatting with that we start a weekly play date and they all agreed! Super exciting! Friends for Kid and friends for me!

Work is still sort of another story but I just try to be friendly and smiley all the time. I still don’t have time to leave my classroom much though. At least having friends elsewhere makes it all a bit better anyway!

2. I was feeling like all I did at home besides care for the kid was chores. And that once I did them, everything just piled up again and I would just get SO stressed. The worst things for me were the ironing, bathrooms and dishes.

So I started doing stuff in smaller bursts more frequently. I made Wednesday nights ironing night and I put on crap tv shows like American Idol and only Iron for like 30 mins or so. At the end of that time I just stop and do other stuff. Miraculously after doing this for a few weeks the ironing has actually totally stopped piling up and just now I only was down there for like 15 minutes and there is nothing left to iron even! It doesn’t even bug me to do it that much!

I also started trying to wipe the sinks and stuff once a week, not going crazy, but at least the bathrooms look a bit better longer. We still have to scrub every now and then but at least it’s not mortifying should someone show up to pee unexpected!

Dishes I now do ASAP. I don’t let them pile up or sit if i can help it. It’s totally worth it to spend an extra minute emptying the dishwasher while the kid is eating breakfast and be done with it!

3. I’ve been sad because my jewelry classes are not really picking up as much as I’d hoped. My husband suggested sending flyers out to libraries and I was sort of blah about it, but I DID it and guess what? Two more people called already!

So there are my 3 big ones, I definitely am feeling much better about life since January. Perhaps at this point the sun and spring weather helps too! But either way, I think I’ll stick with my new motto!

*Percentage completely made up.

Daylight Savings/Oh how I love the Spring!

So as you are aware Daylight Savings happened this weekend, meaning the world loses an hour of sleep! Oh no!

I must say,  I am in the minority I’m SURE, but I actually LOVE Spring Daylight Savings time. I don’t care that we lose an hour, we GAIN SUNSHINE! Warmth! Flowers and the ice cream man! How can that be bad people? How!?

Besides all this awesome warm weather, sunshine and happiness that comes along with the Spring, I also don’t much care about Daylight Savings because I have a kid. A kid who is not yet 2, which means that she has her own alarm people, and Daylight Savings doesn’t mean crap to her!

It was FAR worse in the fall, when everyone else gained an hour of sleep. Oh no, not us! She wakes up generally between 6 and 6:30, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. If she’s cutting teeth or sick, she can wake up as early as 5am!! In the Fall…she was cutting mega teeth and then Daylight Savings hit. The cherub awoke every day for about three weeks at 4:30 am. That’s right. 4:30. In the freaking MORNING. That was a good time for everyone! She finally adjusted/her teeth came in after like a month or so, but that was ROUGH.

For this current time change, all we did was keep her up like 15 minutes later and she asked to go to sleep anyways cuz she really relies on her routine at night to get to sleep. So she went to sleep at 7:45 (6:45 I guess?) and slept til 7 this morning. I think with spring we are the only people who kind of GAIN an hour!

So anyway, I am psyched for warm weather and sunshiny days. Which means there will probably be a freak snowstorm by the weekend!

Parent of the Year!! (or not!)

My daughter is currently cutting her first molar (or maybe its the eyetooth? hard to tell, she bites me when I go searching!) and also one of her bottom front teeth. She’s been a real trooper so far, mainly in good spirits, sleeping okay at night (sometimes she’s been crying for a second but goes back, poor thing), but stuff must be a-rumblin’ today because she has been completely miserable! So miserable, in fact, that I was at the point of trying anything at all that worked to make her un-miserable. We watched tv all day! She didn’t even really care about it most of the time but anytime I tried to turn it off she’d freak so I just said, “okay! Mickey mouse all day! Let’s do this!” Worst parent ever. Right?!

This leads me to now admit, as long as I’m admitting things, to the other terrible things I’ve done as a parent!

Ahem.

1. I let her play with a clean wipe while I’m changing her. Often, she sucks on the wipe and I take it away as soon as we are done. Listen. She’s crazy! She half the time is pleasant and delightful when getting changed. The other half, she screams at you and does a tuck and roll to get away- diapered or not. Poop or not! If a wipe keeps her still, she’s sure as heck going to eat a wipe!

2. I give her toys that are supposed to be for 3 year olds. Look, I feel I’m not the only one who does this! Toys for 15 month olds SUCK. They are lame and useless and kids KNOW this. The fun stuff is for 3 year olds! I watch her like a hawk generally and always when there are small things she might deem good to eat! Her favorite things (magna doodle, Lego type blocks) are for 3 year olds. Her other favorite things are household items which have no age suggestion so whatever!

3. Sometimes I fall asleep when she is playing. This one is sort of bad. I KNOW! She is a pretty independant player though. She likes to do her thing and as long as I’m in the room, she’s cool! She brings me toys and things from time to time, but often goes like 45 mins without wanting to hang with me. But she won’t let me watch anything I like on tv so what happens?! I doze people! I doze off! And she thinks its funny and hits me on the head with the remote control to wake me up!

4. When she does something she shouldn’t, that is dangerous but not like, life threatening, I’ve taken to singing the song “Dangerous” by my favorite MC,  Busta Rhymes. (You know, “This. is. serious. We can make you delirious. You should have a healthy fear of us because too much of us is Dangerous!”) I like to make her dance to it and swing her arms in the air and sing it and she cracks up. But uh, now she will PURPOSELY do these dangerous things and then look at me with her arms in the air ready to dance! Whoops!

5. Well, I don’t have a number 5 yet, but hey, she’s only 15 months. I’ve got YEARS of terrible parenting mistakes left to do and then admit! (Maybe)!