Dear Jack

I received this email from YET ANOTHER person who didn't bother to even read my blog before they tried to get me to pawn their agenda.
"Hi!
In light of the recent news regarding the pending child abuse case against Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson, the subject of spanking as a form of child discipline has been brought back into public scrutiny.
Here at www.kidsinthehouse.com we have videos with top experts from Harvard and Stanford, including Robert Brooks, PhD and Carol Dweck, PhD discussing how spanking negatively affects children.
Decades of research have shown that spanking is not an effective disciplinary tool and that it actually contributes to multiple negative resulting behaviors in children. Instead, they learn that aggression is a way to solve problems- Is this what we want to teach our children?
We would love for you to help raise awareness by featuring some of these videos with top experts discussing the negative consequences of spanking."

I wrote back;

"Hi jack! Thanks for writing.

I don't spank any of my kids for the simple fact that there are more effective ways...meaning other things work better. I've learned that through trial and error you have to outsmart your kids, not overpower them. I like to work smart, not hard.

That being said, of all your experts, which ones are parents? Because I tend to find that experts never have kids. Real parents with real kids know there is no such thing as a parenting expert, nor is there a one size solves all when it comes to raising kids.

I have three kids. They are all very very very different. That means each of them need varying discipline techniques. Multiply that by the number of kids in the world and I can't imagine there is any right way to discipline.

Also, you do know that experts change their "must do" or "must NEVER do" weekly when it comes to the right way to parent right? So if I'm following today's advice on how to be the perfect parent, then tomorrow I'm doing it all wrong and possibly stunting my child's emotional, physical, and social well being for LIFE...all because I followed the experts advice o' the day.

I hate parenting experts Jack. I don't necessary agree or disagree with spanking but I'm not going to share your info with my audience because parenting experts are (in my opinion) the least knowledgeable people when it comes to parenting.

But best of luck to you Jack! I wish you well in your project."


When people start actually reading my blog BEFORE they email me to spread their agenda, I will consider helping them out.

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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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Just Say No to Crack

Actually just say no to everything. We both know that it's practically your job as a toddler. In fact, you do your job of saying no to everything that you should get a raise and a promotion. Saying no is your passion and you give it all you've got 24 hours a day. If only everyone was so dedicated...

I had a sneaking suspicion this morning that my toddler, Madelyn needed her diaper changed. Call me paranoid but when I see her drawers drooping enough to get looks from even the biggest fans of sagging pants, I grab the wipes. This morning was no different. Her pants were sagging so much that I'm not sure how they didn't fall all the way to floor, only to have her step out of them and pee on everything. That's what kids do because they hate us parents and try to ruin our lives and then accuse us of trying to ruin their lives over something silly like making them wear their purple socks when all they want to do in life is wear their pink socks because all the other girls in their class wear pink socks and if you make them wear purple socks, their life will be over forever!!!

This happened to a friend of mine....

Okay, it happened to me.

Okay, it happens to me daily.

BUT ANYWAY....

This morning I was certain that Madelyn needed her diaper changed so I asked, "Madelyn, do you need your diaper changed?" Though it seemed that she did, maybe I was wrong. I've been wrong before....pretty much about everything.

"No." She answers.

Oh, okay. My mistake. Carry on.

How silly of me to assume that a simple drooping diaper as such;

 


would be any indication of a soiled diaper.

After all, it was merely circumstantial evidence that would hardly hold up in court. I had nothing concrete. I was left with no other choice but to believe her when she said that she did not need her diaper changed.

However, my motherly instinct just wouldn't let the issue go. What if she truly did need her diaper changed? What if she was just saying no because that's the standard answer that toddlers give to every question?

What if I was indeed ruining all three of my children's lives???!!!! First with the purple socks and now with the diaper that should have been changed.

I evaluated the situation at hand.

If I did change her, I might ruin our bond forever. "I told you no and you went ahead anyway with the diaper change! You never trust me!"

If I took her word for it, I might ruin our bond as well, "When I said no, I was really screaming yes in my head! Yes I needed my diaper changed! Why would you believe a two year old who says no to everything?!"

To change or not to change? Life is full of tough choices like that.

In the end, I decided to just change her diaper because let's face it; it was fuller than a model after two M&M's. The seems were about to burst causing pee to go everywhere and on anything. The dam was about to blow.

And I think we all know what I found....a dirty diaper that needed changed despite the answer of "No" that I got when I asked Madelyn if it needed changed.

These kids just say no to everything...I'm hoping they say no to crack when they get older, including the drug and the body part. The body part is only cute when you're two and you have a sagging diaper in the morning.



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Dog Food Snack- Guest Blogger!


I love guest bloggers! They remind me that there are moms out there who make mistakes almost as bad as mine. I especially love this guest blog because it's happened to me...many times. Today I'm featuring my newest blog friend who writes a blog that is near to my heart. After reading her "Worst Mother" story, check her out at http://maniacmom.weebly.com/. She has a ton of good info mixed with personal stories.

Dog Food Snack!

Motherhood is a crazy adventure. There are things you never thought you’d find yourself doing or saying. It turns your life upside down and changes you overnight. There are days I find myself thinking, “Really? I thought this was a good idea?” I’m usually up to my elbows in dirty diapers, have three loads of laundry to put away, a bathroom to clean, and my head has rolled under the bed.

But most days it’s the best adventure I could ever imagine taking.

But, then there are moments that I can’t help but stand in shock thinking, “Crap. My son is turning into me.”

Chase, my two year old, is wickedly smart. He may not be talking yet, but the brain this kid has is astonishing. And as time goes on, he’s got the most sarcastic little personality. He is also terribly funny without trying hard at all. He’s constantly outsmarting people, including myself. Which, like any normal parent, has me extremely worried. I found this out on a day not too long ago.

We have six dogs that live with us. A black lab, a husky, a brat terrier, a pug pit, a chihuahua, and a chiweenie. That’s a lot of foot traffic even without counting people in the house. Chase loves them (even when they don’t love him back). He’s constantly chasing them, playing ball with them, sneaking kisses from them, and pointing out their poop in the backyard. Needless to say, he’s never lonely.

One afternoon, I was having just a plain ol’ bad day. I wasn’t in the mood for anything and Chase was wearing me out. I was about 8 months pregnant and going insane. And Chase, being the little booger that he is, decided to push my buttons.

He had just woken up from a nap and was wanting a snack. Being pregnant, I was planning on giving him something quick like Goldfish, pretzels, or Doritos. I kept offering him them over and over, finally putting half a handful of each in a bowl and basically telling him to deal with it (not one of my prouder mommy moments). Chase was still unhappy. I told him to either eat that, or go outside and eat some grass. He one uped me.

About ten minutes later, I realize that not only have I not seen my Bug come running through the living room in a while, but it’s also become very quiet. Too quiet. Scary quiet. And anyone with a toddler knows that’s when you need to get up and go find the monster. And find him I did. In the office. Surrounded by dogs. Eating with them. Eating dog food with them. As an alternate snack than what I had given him. Just like I told him to.

Um. Well. First of all… “GET THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!”

Chase looked up at me with his big brown eyes as if meaning to say, “What?! You told me to go find something else to eat if I didn’t want the snack you gave me. So I did. And man is this stuff awesome!” And of course, the dogs are sitting around him, as he hands outs pieces of dog food for them, because he’s polite and has to share his food. After nearly choking my kid trying to wedge the dog food out of his mouth, I sat down in front of him.

“What the hell dude? Do you have to outsmart me while you’re this young? I can’t have just a few more years being the smart one in the house?”

Chase is a wonderfully funny two year old. He’s my baby boy that drives me crazy. He can be very loud and obnoxious, but one of the sweetest kids I’ve ever met.

He’s also smarter than me already...

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Inside Voices Please

I'm just going to cut to the chase here; Madelyn has no inside voice. This would be fine if she were blessed with a cute, tiny girl voice but she wasn't. Instead, she was blessed with a deep, loud, booming, not tiny girl voice. Her bark doesn't match her bite...or something like that.

Her inside voice is "outside-ish" that we can't go anywhere that requires quietness. The library is out. Hospitals are out. Church is out.

Yeah...that's why we don't go to church....

Her voice was not such a big deal before we had a newborn, but now we have a newborn. It's not a problem now either though because the newborn sleeps through everything. Fireworks, sirens, thunder, Madi's non-existent quiet voice....he doesn't wake for nothing. But if he was normal, I could see how it would be a problem. Thankfully it's not. But it could have been.

However, it is a problem when I'm trying to sleep. Early in the morning, such as noon, is really not a good time for me to hear, "Mommmm...mommmm...hello? Hello?!!!!!" It's like she thinks just because she's awake that everyone else needs to be. And I don't slowly wake up either. I wake instantly to an enormous, almost manly voice. She even talks in her sleep like this. Who talks in their sleep loudly? Madi, that's who.

I thought at first that maybe it was just me that thought her voice was much larger than her body. Then, Jim mentioned it one day. She had been standing next to him and calling for him like he was a football field away. "Dada!!! Dada!!!"

"Madi, dada is right there. No need to yell."

Then she looked at me as if to say, "What are you talking about? I wasn't yelling. I was using my inside voice."

No. No you were not. You were using a voice that says to the world; I am girl. Hear me roar! And roar you do!

I'm fairly good at keeping my kids quiet and well-behaved in public. I may or may not threaten them with embarrassingly horrible antics that will endure the entire span of their teenage years....think driving them to school in the worst lemon car that I can find, complete with backfiring every three minutes and smoke coming out so thick that the fire department is called every morning.

That or I could wipe smudges off their faces with my spit everywhere we go....

Either way, though Madelyn is behaving in public, I will still get glares in public and hear the occasional, "Can that kid get any louder?! It's like the mom doesn't even care about what people think!"

I don't but that's not the point.

The point is that keeping my kids from acting like monkeys in public places is one thing I do happen to do well....and Madelyn is threatening the one thing I succeed at...but she isn't even being bad. She just sounds like she is out of control.

I considered getting her hearing checked because if her voice makes my eardrums tremble, I can't imagine what they do to hers. But then I remembered that she can hear me sneaking into the bathroom from all the way across the house with the television on 3,876 because Savannah clearly does have a hearing problem.

"Potty?! Potty mama?" She says as she comes booming to the same room in which she loves to witness someone going potty. For all her obsession with watching ANYONE use the toilet, she sure has no desire to use one herself. And if you think her voice is loud with regular talk, you don't even want to hear her scream over a forced potty attempt. That loudness isn't even describable. There are no words to describe how loud she is when throwing a tantrum. I need ear plugs.

I'm serious.

No I'm not. But I do occasionally wish I had ear plugs. Such as early in the morning (noon) when I'm trying to get a few more winks of shut eye.

By the way, that's a silly phrase as no one can wink and have "shut eyes" at the same time. Oh, English language, you are such a goofy guy. And you sound even goofier coming from a tiny girl with a motorcycle guy's voice.

That is all.


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