Two Types of Males

My two year old daughter LOVES Thomas the Train. When I say LOVES, I mean like as much as I love sleep....which is no small amount of love but more an obsessive, borderline stalker love. Jim bought her a Thomas train and train tracks. I don't think she's stopped playing with that thing for more than five minutes since she got it. Madelyn's love of Thomas is really cute. Jim and I both smile when we talk about it. We've even discussed having her next birthday party with a Thomas theme. She will be on cloud 9 if we do.

While I love her love of trains and Thomas and think its adorable that she loves a "boys" kind of thing, I can't help but feel bad for Nolan for not having the same opportunity as Madi should the day come that he possibly becomes obsessed with Barbi or My Little Pony . I can't help but feel for him for not having a lot of the same choices that his sisters, and girls in general will have. It's just not the same for males to like or do the cliché girl things.

We celebrate Madelyn's love of Thomas. We tell everyone and everyone thinks its adorable. While I'd like to think we, and everyone else, would celebrate Nolan being obsessed with a "girl" theme, I know this isn't true. Jim, as evolved as he is with his cleaning and cooking and helping with the babies, would not be as proud if Nolan loved dolls. He would not tell all of his friends beaming with pride that we were going to do a butterfly party for Nolan. And even if he was super accepting of it (which maybe he would surprise me), most of his friends and family would not love it as much as they love Madi and Thomas the Train.

Savannah can play basketball, baseball, soccer, and no one would bat an eye or even question it. If she rocked at basketball, people would say that she was fierce and a tough young lady. They would think she was powerful and strong and a good example of what feminism is about. If she wears cliché boys clothes to school, no one will say a word. They will say she is sporty...in a good way.

If Nolan wanted to be in cheerleading or dance or ballet, people will whisper. They will wonder if he is gay and call him femmy and question what I did wrong as a mother. If he wears frilly clothes or a headband or nail polish, people will say he is confused and how dare I set my son up to be bullied. And I'll be honest, I wouldn't let him wear these things to school because in today's world, he WILL absolutely be bullied. Though his sisters will not be bullied by anyone for being more masculine.

If I want to work in a mostly male-dominated industry such as construction or millwork, eyebrows will be raised and people will question whether or not I can handle the work, but if I proved myself to be able, it will be the end of the conversation. As soon as I showed my co-workers that I was strong enough, I would become accepted.

If my husband went into a mostly female dominated industry such as dance or ballet teaching or childcare or even selling Avon, people would judge...especially in the childcare industry. In all honesty, I would question the intentions of a male working at a daycare. And that isn't okay, but I would. After all, why would a man want to work in that field? Well, for a lot of reasons probably but my mind goes to, "What man wants to work with babies all day unless something is wrong with him?" More than likely, he just likes kids.

I'm the first person to scream out, "Boys and girls are biologically different! Stop making everything so complicated! Just let boys be boys and girls be girls." But I think about my little boy and I think how hard it is going to be to be him. My girls can literally be ANYTHING they want to be in life....thanks to those who pushed for equal rights and such. They can be sporty or strong or feminine or artsy or trendy or whatever. They will still be girls, ladies, and someday women. They can be tomboys during the day and go glamorously fashionable at night. Nolan does not have those same equal rights.

There are currently two types of men, "real" men....and "femmy" men. Men who physically work hard and provide and make decisions and lead and careless about their appearance and hide their feelings....they are "real" men. Men who stay at home or do woman's work or prefer stereotypical "girlie" things or have any feminine qualities at all...they are "femmy" men.

It is all getting better. Men can have some TINY amounts of feminine qualities, but have too much and they run the risk of being assumedly gay...instead of just a different type of men. But at the end of the day, there is still very little wiggle room. Nolan will either have to choose between being a real man or a femmy man. Meanwhile Savannah and Madi can be anywhere on the spectrum and still be considered real women.

It just makes me a little sad for my little boy to have only two choices to be as a person. Perhaps things will be better when he gets older.

So many women claim that females have it tough with the inequalities of the world and I agree to a certain extent. That being said, we seem to be so obsessed with all the wrongs being committed against us that we forget that males face some struggles with inequalities as well. The world is getting better and more accepting, but we still have a long ways to go before Nolan can love My Little Pony and everyone will think it is as cute as Madi's love for Thomas.



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What a Puke Day

We were ten minutes away from home after driving Savannah to school when I smelled that unfortunately, all too familiar smell; vomit. It's becoming very familiar lately as Madelyn has suddenly developed car sickness. Well maybe not suddenly developed...maybe she's always had it and thus the crying in the car. I don't know. What I do know is that she just started actually puking.

The vomit has become a regular occurrence now and happens approximately 1/3 of the time we take Savannah to school. Of course she would pick that time as Jim is at work and I have to clean it. I hate vomit. It doesn't phase Jim. So the universe aligns to make me clean it every time.

Anyway, I smelled the smell and turned around to see Madelyn covered in her breakfast after it had gone down and come back up. Fabulous. So I got to drive the remaining ten minutes taking in that lovely aroma because it was raining and I couldn't roll down the windows per two small children in the car. They owe me....big time.

When we arrived at our destination, I grabbed Madi out of the car touching as little of her as possible in the most unloving way possible. If I would have had tongs big enough, I would have used them. A hazmat would have been preferable though. I had neither so I did what I had to do.

Once on the porch, I stripped her down, all the while she is thrashing and flailing because she is cold. I get it kid, it's slightly chilly, but you're throwing puke everywhere and soon there will be two of us covered in it.

Finally, I got her cleaned up and settled and braced myself to clean out the car seat. Let me just say right now that if I were given the choice between biting off my big toes and cleaning this vomit covered car seat, I wouldn't have hesitated to lose my toes via my teeth. No joke.

Some car seats have covers that come off easily with just a few steps. Madi's car seat is not one of those kinds. In fact, it's extra difficult to get the cover off. I guess this is good in the case of an accident but in the case of vomit, it's not. Not even a little.

I had to keep turning and flipping and maneuvering the seat to get all the straps off and the little tie thingies unhinged. Amidst all of this, I put my hand into puke wet stains a thousand times. I think I broke a world record for saying "Ewwwwww!!!!" more times than anyone ever.

Of course, this couldn't stop getting worse. Madelyn, who had by this point had a bath and clean clothes on, decided to pick up some of the straps that were on the ground next to me while I was focused on the seat itself. I looked over to see her put one of the vomit straps in her mouth. I came seconds away from puking myself....for the 99th time in an hour.

I put everything down to wipe her down again. Each second saying ewwwww more and more.

When the car seat shell was stripped and cleaned and wiped and sanitized and hosed down with a fire house...okay maybe not that last one....I put it back together and called it good.

And then found a bunch of chunks on the floor that Madi was not walking in. Puke reflex activated again. Great.

Cleaned her again and hand-washed the puke clothes and puke car seat cover in the kitchen sink. Oh, did I mention we barely have any water at my house currently? Yeah....so its really fun to clean a huge puke mess when you barely have a trickle of water.

Good day all around.

Old people always say that parenting are the best years of your life. "Cherish these moments. You'll really miss them when they're gone."

I can say with 100% certainty and not a shred of doubt in my mind that I will absolutely, positively, surely, never ever ever ever ever miss this day. Or any other day that resembles this day. Or any day that involves puke. Or any day that involves hand washing anything. Or any day that requires me to pull apart Madi's car seat.

But other than that, I'm sure I will miss a few moments....such as now....when the little kids are napping and Savannah is at school.

;)

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Share!

I make my oldest share snacks and such with my two year old because my two year old does not finish anything I give here. Therefore, if my two year old wants a banana, I give it to my 6 year old and tell her to share with sister. Is this fair to my 6 year old to always have to share with her little sister? Perhaps not, but believe me when I say that she needs to learn that the world does not revolve around her. She currently believes that she is the sun and we are all little peons revolving around her.

As all two year olds go, little sister is not exactly excited to share either. If she is the current holder of the banana, she has a hard time giving it back to older sister for her turn to take a bite. But if I tell her to share, she will reluctantly hand it back to big sister. 

Anyway, we're working on sharing and manners in general. But as is always the case, sometimes mommy's plans backfire in my face. When I say sometimes, I mean always. They always backfire in my face.

I stopped by the coffee stand on my way home from taking Savannah to school and got a fiber-enriched 100% organic smoothie with kale and spinach extracts....along with some free-range calcium infused carrot sticks for the two year old to snack on during the drive home.

I'm kidding. I got a Redbull with raspberry flavoring and the two year old got fruit snacks.

I didn't hand her the entire bag because I'm not a damn fool. Okay, I am but not in this specific case. Instead I handed her one by one to limit the amount that would be lost forever in my car, until I sat in the backseat with nice clothes on and then they are magically found on my butt as I get out.

Another lesson learned the hard way unfortunately.

So the one by one plan goes swimmingly until she finishes the first fruit snack. Then, from the backseat I hear, "Share mama, share!"

I know what you're thinking...how cute that she is repeating. You're wrong. Not cute at all for the simple fact that it wasn't in a nice, sweet, polite tone. Instead it was in a tone that can only be explained as a banshee being tortured to death. Actually that sound might have been preferable to Madelyn's whining the word, "Share! Share!"

Now I have quite a bit of patience these days due to being old. The first 2,000 "Share!" whines did not bother me. It was the 2001st time that got to me...and the 30,296 times after that. You see, there are approximately 30 fruit snacks in this bag that I foolishly purchased. Times each one by 11,000 tortured banshee "share" whines and if my math is correct, this totals to a whole lot of "share" coming from Madelyn's mouth.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I thought teaching to share and teaching manners would be heavenly. This wasn't the case after all. I highly recommend not teaching to share...or manners either. It's never a good idea.


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Conned By My 2 Year Old

I assumed I had learned all there was to know about parenting from my oldest. I assumed that she had tried every trick there was. I assumed that I would always be able to outsmart my second and third children having learned all my lessons from being outsmarted by my first on a regular basis.

I assumed wrong.

I usually assume wrong.

I don't know why I haven't stopped assuming yet.

After 18 months of my second child screaming every single time we entered the car, I finally found a trick to keep her from crying (for the most part). If I keep her mouth full, she doesn't cry in the car. So I bring snacks everywhere we go now. It's usually healthy snacks of some kind, but occasionally I'll do junk food.

Okay, that's a lie...it's more like 50/50...ish.

This morning, all I had in the car was suckers. See title of this blog if you're shocked by suckers in the morning.

As soon as my 2 year old started crying, I grabbed a sucker and handed it to her in the backseat while I was driving. She immediately stopped crying. Praise Buddha!

Not even a minute later, she started whining. Dang it Buddha! What the heck? One minute of not crying? That's all?

Thankfully, my toddler is getting really good at communicating her problems to me so at least I know why she is crying or whining.

"What's the matter, Madi?" I asked her.

"Fall down. Oh no!" She whined.

I used my mom translating skills to deduce that this meant she had dropped her sucker. I couldn't look back because we were going around a bunch of corners.

Greaaaattttt....a sucker has fallen prey to my car. Or my car has fallen prey to a sucker? Eh. Why did I think suckers was a great idea? I don't know. I'm new. Clearly.

And she started crying hard again. Still having another 20 minutes left till home, I took my chances and handed her another sucker.

"Tanks. Welcome!" She says when I hand the second sucker to her.  She's very polite, even "you're-welcoming" for me. She also says sorry when someone else burps or farts. I have one heck of a cute, sweet, tantrum throwing, half-evil toddler. Haha...and that's exactly how toddlers are if you are a new or non-parent. Split personalitied.

And personalitied is not a word.

A few seconds after handing her the second sucker, I came upon a straight stretch in the road and moved the rear-view mirror down so I could look at her. I prayed to Buddha that the sucker was not in her hair or stuck to her elsewhere.

It wasn't.

Because it was in her other hand. She scored two because she tricked me into thinking she had dropped the first one.

I was conned by my 2 year old.

I've said it a hundred times, and I'll say it again; Nothing good comes from having intelligent children. Nothing.


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Dangers of Cleaning

I'll admit it, I'm a notorious surface-only cleaner. By surface-only, I mean I clean only what you can see when you come over to my house. And this is only if you give me notice that you're coming over. If you surprise me, there's no telling what condition the house may be in.

I have really been working on my lack of being a good cleaner and I'm making huge improvements, but I'm still no fabulous housekeeper.

I have lots of excuses for this, but the cold hard truth is....

....cleaning is bad for my health.

And also, I'm a horrible housekeeper because my gram spoiled me and I never had to clean.

But also, it's bad for my health.

Yesterday my landlords came over to fix up my bathroom. To you, landlords might mean evil slum lords who take your money and never put anything back into the house. To me, landlords mean my best friend and her family. They take care of the house well.

Unfortunately, my best friend is a cleaning freak. They say opposites attract and I think our friendship proves this. Also, she is a big girl with a big girl job and I'm...well, I'm me. Haha

So when she comes over, I try to clean my house so that she doesn't think I'm some slob. I am a slob but I don't want her to think that. After 17 years of friendship, I think she might be catching on, but just in case she hasn't, I clean before her arrival.

I never deep clean though. I just surface clean. I keep making promises to myself that I will deep clean one room per week so that the rooms never get too dirty. I never keep these promises as evident by my bathroom yesterday.

My landlords were going to paint so I needed to clean walls, nooks and crannies, floorboards, etc. I have never in my life cleaned nooks and crannies. Never. Not once. I've cleaned walls and floorboards every time I've moved out of a house but never nooks and crannies.

But yesterday I had to. They were painting.

And so, I woke up, put on my big girl panties and went to work. It was the most horrible three hours of my life. I would have rather walked on hot coals.

When I was done, I called my best friend..."Please tell me that this disgustingness was not just from us. Please tell me the dirt in the nook and crannies never got cleaned before we moved in???!!!"

Nope. She cleaned it from top to bottom spotless before we moved in. Great. Not only am I a slob but I definitely just admitted that to her. Turns out she already knew and loves me anyway. That is real friendship.

Anyway, my nightmare ended when the bathroom was cleaned. Or so I thought....

Last night as we settled down and relaxed before going to bed, I mentioned to Jim that my right side hurt.

I know what you all are thinking, "APPENDIX!" That's the first thing out of everyone's mouth every single time I say that my side hurts. After I lift up my shirt and show them my 5 inch scar that proves my appendix doesn't live there anymore, they regret suggesting it might be that. Yes people, it's gone. Unless appendixes sometimes grow back, my side hurting is NOT my appendix.

What the pain felt like was right after I had my C-section...and the pain was exactly where the surgeon had stitched everything up together inside. So I touched myself...

My god people, not like that!!! Get your hands out of the gutter! I touched around on my side. There was a lump. As I am not a doctor, I have no idea what it is...scar tissue, cyst, pulled something or other, another appendix??? I don't know. What I do know is that it wasn't there yesterday and neither was the pain.

The only thing I can think is that the deep cleaning caused all of this. I'm pretty sure a doctor will agree with my self-diagnosis. And then he will prescribe me a strict regimen of never ever ever ever deep cleaning again!

I can no longer deep clean ever again. The one time I tried it, I nearly killed myself.

Okay, maybe I just pulled a muscle from doing something that my body is not used to doing....

But either way, there are obviously dangers in cleaning.

I'm just saying, I'd rather not take that risk. I have kids to think about.

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Si!

I'm bilingual in case anyone here doesn't know that. I took three years of Spanish from Senora Lincoln in high school...all three of which were spent doodling on my note pad and planning what excuse I wanted to use on any particular day to get out of class.

Got my period? No, I used that last week.

Diarrhea? Not that desperate.

My cat is sick? Don't have a cat and don't want to send bad ju-ju to that cat that I don't have.

I'm all out of ideas. Come on, Christy! Pull yourself together and think of something to get you out of this class!!!!!

So basically I was a good student who practically speaks the language like it's my first one.

For example, I can say, "Mi ojos es verde." This roughly translates to, "I'm the best Spanish speaker in the whole wide world because I studied very hard in my high school classes."

Not really. It translates to "My eyes are green." That's pretty much all I got from three years of Spanish. In case you missed that. THREE YEARS OF SPANISH...

But wait! There's more!!!!

My best friend Maria speaks Spanish fluently. She took about 30 years of Spanish from her parents. She has told me for about 10 years now that I, when drinking, speak Spanish very well.

I wouldn't know because I, when drinking, drink too much to remember much of anything.

But apparently, with a few shots and a couple beers and a bottle of wine, I speak Spanish better than she does....and she's from Mexico. I can even roll my "R's" which I absolutely cannot do at all even a little when sober. How is this all possible?

Well, it's like the Bible says, "All things possible with Jack...Daniels."

With all that being said, I do not teach my children my second language. This is 50% due to the fact that I don't drink around them and 50% due to the fact that I'm the worst mother ever and can barely get them showered and fed, let alone teach them anything.

So as you can imagine, it was quite the shock to find out that Madelyn (19 months) had picked up Spanish overnight in her sleep. I'm not really sure where, how, when, etc.... Maybe she went to sleep listening to a "YOU TOO CAN LEARN SPANISH IN ONE DAY!" tape. I don't know.

What I do know is that all morning, she is answering, "Si" to every question I ask.

"Madelyn, do you want some milk?"

"Si...guck." Guck translates to milk in Spanish....I mean, Madelyn. Guck is Madelyn for Milk.

"Madelyn, do you want to watch Thomas?"

"Si!"

"Madelyn, am I the worst mother ever?"

"Si! Si! Usted es la peor madre del mundo y yo no sé cómo voy a sobrevivir la infancia!"

(Yes! Yes! You are the worst mother ever and I do not know how I will survive childhood!)

Okay, she didn't say that last sentence, but she has been answering all of my questions with "si" this morning. At first I just thought it was some random sound that she used. I don't even know 99% of what she is saying half the time. She has her own language. I can pick up a word or two here and there, but it all sounds Greek to me.

But then she kept on saying si....so it wasn't a random sound. It was a deliberate yes in Spanish.

I think it is clear what is happening here...

Madelyn has gotten into the Jack Daniels and drunken bilingual-ness is genetic.

That's the only logical explanation. O tal vex estoy loco

One thing is for sure, my eyes are green. That's a fact.


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Touch Nice

So Madi has officially entered into the, "I-will-hit-you-if-you-even-give-me-a-look-that-I-don't-like." stage. She's actually been in that stage for quite some time, but it appears to be in full force now.

Take a toy away from her? Be prepared to be slapped over and over again until she falls on the floor to complete the whole show with a grand finale of a dramatic tantrum. It's predictable and hilarious...not the hitting, but the tantrum.

I choose to take the calm approach with all of this because A.) I've been through it before and it doesn't stress me out. B.) Because I know it's normal and due to Madi not having the communication skills necessary to verbalize, "I freaking hate you mother!" Basically, she isn't just doing these things because she is an ass.

But sometimes she is just an ass.

And I love her. Haha

Whenever she hits anyone (thank goodness we're not biting...yet), I grab her hand to stop the hitting and say to her, "We touch nice!" And then I show her how to touch nice. I did this same thing with Savannah. It worked well. The hitting stage was short lived.

Now, there are a lot of people who favor the, "Hit-them-back-so-they-know-how-it-feels." technique to end the abusive toddler stage. Supposedly it teaches empathy because they will now see how it hurts and will show more compassion.

Two things on this technique; #1, they can barely control this hitting business. Not that they shouldn't be held accountable or disciplined, but it's really out of impulse because they are mad and cannot says, "I'm really freaking mad!" #2, I personally do not see the logic in saying, "Don't hit!" as I'm hitting them. I don't get it and I imagine it's confusing to a little person, but I'm not a parenting expert.

I will say this; Savannah bit my dad once. He bit her back. She never bit anyone ever again. Sooooo maybe in some cases it does work and maybe I'm completely talking out of my ass. Either way, do what you wish. I choose to use what I explained above.

So it's working really well with Madi and she is getting it really well. She randomly rubs strangers shoulders while she says, "Niiiiice..." I may be raising a creeper. It's fine.

Madi even touches the cat and dog, "nice" as she rubs their fur the wrong way and says, "Niiiiice touch." Once she pulled the cats tail while saying nice. All in all though, she is doing really well with this nice touch thing...despite the fact that she might be a creeper someday because of it.

Unfortunately, like many toddlers, she doesn't understand her strength or even that she has to be gentle with babies. I try not to fuss too much over her touching and playing with Nolan. Not only am I not a paranoid new mom, but also because I don't want her to think she cant love on him. So I watch her with clenched teeth just waiting for her to body slam him or something.

It will happen. It's just a matter of when...

Anyway, Madi randomly pokes at his eyes, while saying, "Niiiicee....eyes!" I try to explain that yes those are his eyes, but no we can't touch them." I didn't think I was saying this in a foreign language but apparently I am because she no comprendo. Every day is a game of "poke Nolan's eyes out." It's fine.

Then yesterday, it seemed she finally got it. She walked up to Nolan and I and didn't poke his eyes out. "Yes!" I thought. "Progress!" As anyone with toddlers knows, sometimes it seems like months of lessons that do not work and so when one does, it's like a miracle.

But, instead of poking his eyes out, she calmly (and without anger or provocation) slaps him on his head somewhat hard and says, "Niiiiceee....touch nice!" Nolan of course wakes up, and screams his face off, seemingly saying, "That wasn't a f*cking nice touch, Madelyn!!!"

Madi back up, looks up at me and says, "Uh-oh."

Then she looks at Nolan and says, "What? You okay?"

I think she's getting this "nice touch" lesson anyway....but days like that appears that maybe it's all falling on deaf ears...or maybe I'm speaking Spanish to the girl.


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Jim is Trying To Ruin My Life

I'm not sure when and I'm not sure why, but out of left field, Miss Madelyn went from eating everything and anything she could fit into her mouth to not eating anything hardly at all. She just appears not hungry for the most part. Basically I can get her to eat bananas (but not a whole one) and cheese (a whole block of that though).

I'm thinking this may be some sort of hunger strike due to being stuck with me as a parent. I would do the same if I were her.

I mentioned it to Jim the other day.

"I can't get Madelyn to eat anything lately! Today she had maybe a bite of cereal, didn't touch her perogies at all for lunch, and then had a piece of cheese later in the afternoon."

"She ate really good for me last night!" He said. "I made her pancakes and sausage. If you ever can't get her to eat anything, make her those things. They never fail."

WHAT THE FIDDLE STICKS ARE YOU DOING TO ME????????

This is how you create picky eaters. This is how you get the, "My kid is four years old and all he will eat is chicken nuggets and so I have to make him a special meal every single time I cook because he won't eat anything that isn't chicken nuggets. We also have to go out to eat at only places that have chicken nuggets and god help us if any vegetables touch his chicken nuggets. He will freak out so we have to tell the waitress that no vegetables can touch anything on his plate or we will have a meltdown. He doesn't eat vegetables."

I don't hate many things in life, but believe me when I say, I hate THAT kid!

Dear Christy,

You're the meanest person ever! How dare you say that you hate my kid? You don't know me. You don't know what I go through on a daily basis. You haven't walked in my shoes. I'm boycotting your blog and calling CNN right now so the world will know how heartless you are.

Sincerely, a butthurt fan.

Whooaaaa...slow down there "offended over everything" moms of the world. I don't hate YOUR kid personally. If you have to cook two separate meals for every mealtime in your house, that's cool. I'm sure you're getting really well at cooking two meals at the same time, which means you would make an excellent cook at a restaurant if your current job doesn't work out.

I am not going to have a kid like that. I don't cook well enough to make one meal, let alone two meals. Also, that kind of thing just annoys me. As parents, we all have certain things that annoy us the most. Maybe you find wrinkled sheets annoying and so you never let your kids sleep on them.

My #1 biggest annoyance, beyond whining, is picky eaters. I'm good with not liking a few foods. I am not good with not liking anything besides chicken nuggets. I'm not making any separate meals. I'm not telling any waitress crap like, "Make sure that no vegetables touch his food." I'm not ordering special foods that aren't even on the menu because that's just annoying. I'm a waitress. I've seen it....many many many many many times. I want to laugh at parents of these kids....every time.

And I hear you saying, "But my kid will starve to death if he doesn't get his chicken nuggets."

Maybe, but who's fault is that? His. You tried your hardest. It's on him, not you. Don't let yourself feel guilty over the actions of others.

I'm kidding. He won't starve. Trust me. I'm a professional.

Okay, professional Worst Mother of the Year but still....

Jim and I are going to have a long talk about creating a monster in Madi. And also, I've taken it upon myself to throw away all evidence of pancakes or sausage in the house.

Wasteful or not, a mom has to do what a mom has to do. I'm not having THAT kid. I worked really hard at making Savannah NOT be that kid. Sure, now she eats all day every day and anything in sight, including mustard only sandwiches. But at least no waitress ever has to hear, "Please, don't let the vegetables touch the chicken nuggets. He hates that. We cater to everything he desires because he's five and he's in control here. Clearly."

Ughhh...Jim, what are you doing to me?

He hates me. He's trying to ruin my life. That is pretty apparent.

Disclaimer; if your kid has some sort of medical, emotional, or other valid reason for eating only certain foods, please do not sue me. You are obviously excluded.




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The Distraction Method

I'm a big fan of the distraction method with my toddler...mostly because I'm too lazy busy...yeah, busy....too busy to use any parenting expert approved discipline technique. So I use the technique that I will call the "Meltdown Ender". The Meltdown Ender is very successful in almost every toddler tantrum. It rarely worked for my oldest but that is because she was smarter than me by about 12 months.

This isn't to say that Madi isn't smart. She is very smart. But she isn't smarter than me yet. She is easily fooled distracted by shiny objects. Savannah was more like, "I see what you're trying to do mom. I used that on you last week. Nice try though." ....and that was at 15 months old so you can imagine how things have gone downhill since then. She's basically the boss. I've learned to accept it.

That's why I'm such a big fan of the Meltdown Ender technique with Madelyn...because I actually fool her. It's nice to be in control of at least one my children. I think this is how real parents feel with all of their children. I'm calling it a success that I have control of 33% of mine so far. Who knows, maybe Nolan will bring that up to a 66%? Then I will actually start applying for the Mother of the Year Award!!!

Ha ha ha...probably not though.

In case you are interested in the distraction method, also known as the Meltdown Ender, I will give you an example;

Last weekend we bought Madi new shoes. Being horrible, irresponsible, awful parents, we got shoes that were too big for her. Because the world is working against us, Madi saw the shoes and instantly fell in love with them. They are bright orange tennis shoes that I'm sure caught her eye (remember; shiny objects).

Two days ago, I put the shoes on Madelyn and I could tell they were not just a little roomy, but ridiculously too big. As in, she steps out of them when she walks. Before you start thinking to yourself that we are dum-dums for buying THAT too big of shoes, please know that you're completely right. We are dum-dumbs. BUT, they were only one size bigger than the shoes that are getting too small. It was only logical to go to this size.

Despite the fact that she stepped out of them with each step she took, Madelyn insisted on wearing them two days ago. When I said no and took them away and put the purple ones on, she freaked. Started crying, threw herself on the ground, started banging her head on the floor (like that's hurting me?), blah blah blah...basically she did all the cliché toddler tantrum moves.

Being experienced in this toddler drama crap, I didn't get flustered. I expect it now. It makes me laugh. However, that doesn't mean I want to hear it for longer than necessary. The first time mom either tried to hug the screaming toddler or yelled in frustration. And neither of these work by the way. The experienced mom says...drum roll please....

"Madelyn, where is your baby?"

Madelyn instantly stops crying, wipes her eyes, stands up and says, "Where baby go?" And then walks off to find her as if nothing happened.

Tantrum? What tantrum? Nothing to see here. Move along people....

A few minutes later, she comes back with her baby and all is well in my land. It's that easy friends.

But sometimes it doesn't work. For example, the next day- same tantrum over the same issue and the Meltdown Ender did NOT do the trick. I asked where baby was, where her milk was, where the dog was, etc. She wasn't having it.

What do you do when the Meltdown Ender doesn't work?

Lock them in the basement for at least two weeks of course. That should do the trick. They'll learn their lesson for sure!

I'm totally kidding...in case the police question you.

In reality I just put the tantrum throwers in their room and close the door until they calm down. I don't even play beyond trying to distract for a moment. I just let them meltdown alone where I can barely hear it. No negotiations, no yelling, no hugs.....just calm the eff down on your own while mama goes on about her day.

The phase ends, I promise....in 19 years or so. Maybe you should invest in earplugs. I'm good. I have selective hearing that includes tantrums.






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Silly Fights and Sleeping Babies

When you have kids, their needs are suddenly more important than yours. You often have to put yourself last every second of every day. They depend on you and you no longer have the ability to be selfish and only care about yourself.

And I'm not going to lie to you...frankly it sucks.

From time to time anyway.

Jim and I got into a minor disagreement in which I blew up and turned a mountain into a mole hole with my magical drama queen powers that Savannah may or may not have gotten from me. Okay she definitely got her drama queen-ness from me.

Anyway, we got into a fight over his desire to fill up my car with gas. I know what you're thinking, "Well that is definitely a good thing to fight over!" I know. That's what I thought too. I pick my battles but clearly this one is a battle in which no one should ever just let go if they hope to keep their stance in the marriage.

Okay, it sounds like a silly thing to fight over. And it was, but not as silly as one would think. I'll explain myself.

If my grandpa taught me anything, it's that one should not let their gas go beyond the quarter tank level....and really should keep it above a half. Though I technically learned this lesson, I rarely practice it in real life. And by rarely I mean like I have probably let my car get below a quarter tank every single time with the exception of maybe a Wednesday ten years ago. I'm bad. It's always running on E. Every few days, I'm counting the miles on our dash on the "Miles Till Empty" thingy that was invented for people like me.

Anyway, the other night, I counted the miles and was aware that I was good to get back to work the next day with approximately 1.2 miles to spare. So I didn't get gas on my way home. I knew that I would be fine to fill up at the gas station by my work.

Well, Jim gets real paranoid about that type of thing. My grandpa and him would get along well. Actually they do get along well because they are practically twins. This surprises me because I always said that if my grandpa met my grandpa, he would think he was an ass. I love my grandpa very much. He's the funniest, most giving, smartest, most able man that I know. He would do anything for me if I asked. But he's an ass a lot. That's an honest depiction. Jim...well like I said, he's a lot like my grandpa. Hehehe

So when I informed Jim that I had just enough gas to get to work the next day, he said, "Well then I'm leaving early tomorrow to fill it up for you!" This sounds real nice and everything. He is a very nice and giving husband who would literally do anything for me. However, he already had to be up super early and this act of love (and paranoia) would result in him having to get up an hour earlier or so....like maybe 4:30 and it was already midnight by then.

"No, you don't need to get me gas. I have just barely enough!"
"I'm not having you run out of gas in the middle of nowhere at night!"
"I'll be fine! The "Miles Till Empty" thingy always underestimates."
"I'm going to town to get you gas before work!"
"You don't always need to be a martyr you know!!!!"

I stormed off after saying this. He is always a martyr in our marriage. He puts himself wayyyy out there and goes out of his way to do whatever for our family.

I KNOW....this is nice. Everyone wishes their husband would be more like this!!! I'm a stupid, ungrateful, asshole, brat.

No, I'm not!!!! It makes me sad because he inconveniences himself constantly and never allows me to repay the favors for anything. He won't let me be inconvenienced for him. So it irritates me and I call him a martyr all the time. I feel bad that he goes out of his way at times when he doesn't have to.

For the love of God, I wouldn't have run out of gas!

And if I would have, my grandpa would have come and save the day like always. :)

When I stormed off in my magical drama queen fashion (over something soooo stupid), we were outside. I opened the door in a huff like only a drama queen does and then slammed it as hard as I could at midnight! I wanted him to get the point.

I'm totally kidding about slamming the door. It was midnight and my kids were sleeping. I did open it in a huff but then I gently closed it as quietly as I could because it's a loud door when you close it normally.

Then I felt like a dumb-dumb. It's hard to show how angry you are when you storm off and then close the door as slowly as you can. He laughed at me. He told me this later because he knew it would make things worse at the moment. He knew that I couldn't have possibly been that mad if I gently shut the door.

In reality I was pissed. My anger was at Code Red Level.

Unfortunately, my sleeping kids meant more than my anger. And so I put their needs above my own need to dramatically show my anger. It sucked, as it does most of the time, to be unselfish. I wanted to be selfish. I just could not.

And also, I really hate to wake sleeping babies for anything. Not even my need to be dramatic is greater than my dislike of wake my children at midnight.

But next time, I'm going to walk out to the car and slam the door for no reason and then walk into the house....

Just to prove that I'm a mature adult.

Hahah



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