My Best Parenting Advice

I talk the big talk, but really most of my advice is a little weak.  So dear Violinist, you have a week, and I hope you’re more prepared then I was because I was so damn sure I was NOT having that kid today.  And the kid disagreed.  So I figured I sum up my best jewels in one post.

 

 

The Diaper Bag: Have two.  One that you take with you, and an emergency one with wipes, diapers, a blanket, and a change of clothes in the trunk.  You’ll be amazed how many times you’ll need it.  In the bag you carry, never forget zip lock bags, in case you can’t find a trash, and a small tube of diaper cream because it’ll saves asses, yours and hers.  If you do pacifiers, ALWAYS have two.  Always carry toys.

 

Toys: The best toy EVER is a set of measuring spoons.  They’re shiny; they’re loud; they’re cold to put into a teething mouth.  I learned this from my grandma.  They’re also super easy to clean.

 

Chores: In the next few months, you need to sleep when she sleeps.  Enjoy this because it won’t happen again.  Make sure your sweet husband pitches in.  Failing that, “dishes, your new home is now the dishwasher.”  Use the dishwasher like a new cabinet.  It helps.

 

Naps: When you decide not to sleep when she does, don’t turn off the phone or put off vacuuming.  The kid has got to learn to sleep through distractions, or you’re going to have a hard time with naps when she’s a toddler.

 

Colic: Most kids get some form of it.  It’s normal.  Both my boys had it due to gas.  If it’s gas, Mylocon drops and baby reverse crunches.  Every one told me to cut out things from my diet, broccoli, cucumbers, caffeine, chocolate.  When they got to chocolate, I freaked out and called the doctor, who said don’t change your diet because the baby has to learn to deal with those foods eventually.

 

Random Weirdness: Babies do weird things, like turn purple, shit ALL THE TIME, make choking sounds.  If you have a doubt, talk to your pediatrician before you become Dr. Mom.  This will keep you from freaking out and doing something stupid.

 

Stupid: You’re going to do something stupid.  You’re a first time mom, and she’ll survive.  You’re going to have this crazy irrational fear that won’t make any sense to any one but you.  My mom was worried someone was going to microwave me, and I, well, it still seems rational to me, so I don’t know.

 

Phases: Always remember “This too shall pass.”  This applies to those horrible nights of colic and teething because she won’t do it forever.  This applies to those cute sweet moments because she won’t do it forever.

 

 

Well, I think that covers all my advice, but then I’m aiming low and hope to get my boys out of diapers and out of juvy.  So, ladies, does anyone else have anything to add?

 

 

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Just an Average Day with a Bi-Polar Three-year-old Tornado

Waking up to a tiny voice asking me if he can sleep with me, I looked up to check that it was indeed 6 am and that it was Thursday.  As I tried to keep my hand away from Evan who wanted to pull at the loose skin and mangle it, I made a list of everything needed to be done.  As this was an other day, it meant to empty the dishwasher during the boys’ breakfast, doing the morning exercises, and where did my husband leave the remote.  Since I made French toast yesterday, all I had to do was pop it in the microwave.  I love easy breakfast.  As I tried to return to my dream where Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and I saved the world from aliens (It WAS a good story in my mind.  Too bad I’m not a script writer), I heard the crib music from Sean’s room and his babbling.  I stretched and went to retrieve the baby, who yelled “Mama” as soon as he saw me.  Today was going to be a good day.

 

As it was Thursday, I realized today was the preschool story time at the library.  As I buttered the French toast and liberally sprinkled the powder sugar, I debated whether to stay home or not because Evan was trying to stay up later the last few days (with I need my blinds open {what crazy kid sleeps with their blinds open?}, I need water, it’s cold, can I sleep with you, can you take my pillow and put it in your room), and I wondered if it had to do with the late naps he’s been getting.  Well, I had to discuss this possibility with my advisors, but I waited for a more decent hour, though they are now an hour ahead and it’s cooler in Arizona so they probably wouldn’t have minded an interrupting call in the early morning.

 

My advisors assured me that late naps weren’t the issue.  My mom insisted that I should wake Evan up at 2 or 2:30, not letting him sleep more than two and half hours.  I watched my already behind blog reading disappear as I remembered that I was suppose to make some calls for my husband today (Hmm, I wonder if I could push those back to Friday).  My dad pointed out that we kids did the same thing off and on for weeks and that this could possibly be a phase.  Thanks, Dad.  So story time it was.

 

But when it was time to get the boys dressed, I met with some resistance.  As I tried to get Evan to choose a shirt, he ran around naked yelling, “I’m a pink chocolate skeleton!”  Um, well, then pick a shirt, Mr. Pink Chocolate Skeleton.  “I can’t.  I’m going to be a cotton candy skeleton, and those shirts are not cotton candy.”  You’ve got me there.  Since I couldn’t catch Evan, I caught Sean instead, quickly dressing him.

 

With the pouncing skills of a lion, I grabbed Evan and wrestled to get some underwear on him.  I swear I could enter the rodeo for hog tying.  Threatening to choose the shirt if he didn’t, I wrestled a pair of shorts on Evan.  I wonder if girls are different because nine times out of ten I can’t get Evan to pick a shirt much less put one on.  The only person that can get Evan to dress himself is my Mom, but I think Evan just wants to impress her on how big a boy he is.  So I chose the shirt and threw it on, and I lost Evan when I got the toothbrushes ready.  Let’s just say that fifteen minutes later, Evan’s face was washed, teeth were brushed, and hair was combed, which led us to the battle of making the bed.

 

When all was said and done and both boys were presentable to the world, I had two little tornadoes cruising and crashing through the house.  When I asked if Evan wanted to go to the library, with visions of trying to control two boys who would be railing against their quiet fate with body heaving from The Exercise as I murmur bribes and threats in their ears, Evan yelled, “NO!”  and ran off.  Fine, I didn’t want to go anyway, so there.

 

So as any mother with young tornadoes, I threw open the doors so that they could reek destruction on the land and not my home. 

 

But as I got ready to make lunch, Evan demanded to go to the library.  Excuse me?  Yup, he wanted to go to the library, and he had the tears to prove it.  Are you kidding?  And I did the rookie mistake of trying to reason with a three-year-old, explaining how he didn’t want to go earlier and story time was over and we’ll go to the library next week.  (Good job, Mom; is this your first?)  All of this was met with a building temper tantrum.  Usually I just throw him in his room until he calmed down, but Sean had passed out playing with toys and was now sleeping in his crib.  Ok, fine, what do you want to do at the library?  He *sob* wanted *hick-up* to read *sniffle* boooooooks.  Fine, we can do that.  *Whine*  But we can’t go to the library *sob* right now because Sean is sleeping *sniffle* and it’s lunch time.  *so- “Ok, Mommy, can I have a peanut butter sandwich?”

 

So this is how it feels to live with Sybil.  Awesome.

 

 

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Seanny Says

Sean is an amazing sleeper.  All right, after Evan’s sleeping habits, any kid who sleeps through the night is an amazing sleeper.  But Sean is a deep sleeper, like me (or I was before pregnancy).  He sleeps through the night, since he was a few weeks old.  He sleeps through Evan’s crying as I send him back to bed.  If that isn’t enough, usually Sean wakes up and chills in his crib listening to his little toy aquarium, which is so unlike Evan who would demand to get him out of this crib NOW.

 

So yesterday I finished my blogging as I heard Sean cooing to his aquarium.  Just having a nice conversation with the plastic fish.  I poked my head into the nursery to watch a few minutes of this quiet monologue.  When Sean heard me, he stood up and leaned over the rail to smile at me, and I walked into the room.  Sean became excited and started to jump, holding on to the rail.   I began to jump little jumps.  Sean stopped, and I stopped.  Not sure what exactly was going on, Sean did a test jump and watched me jump once.

 

Realization dawned on Sean.  He jumped three times and then landed on his bottom.  I repeated only to crouch down instead of land on the hard floor with my bottom.  I just tend not to want to break my tailbone.  He laughed and repeated the procedure.  He jumped four times and landed on his bottom as I repeated his steps.  He swayed to the left and to the right and did two jumps, landing on his bottom.  I repeated this too.  Then he varied it a little with different jumps and sways.  When I was ready to leave, I held my arms out to him, and he shook his head no, proceeding to jump more.  As I had been at Seanny Says for ten minutes, I was due for a break, and I was bigger, so I gathered him up and went down stairs to play blocks.

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