Thanks for the advice…

1.) List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about your parenting skills.

Mama’s Losin’ It

I love when people try and offer me advise on child-rearing. I especially love it from people who haven’t actually HAD children in their house since the 1960’s.

Sarcasm people.

Anyone who knows ANYONE who knows me will tell you that I am always open to advice. I love hearing people’s opinions on what worked for them, how I could do it better, blah blah blah.

I have, however, very rarely used any of the advice I have been given.

I prefer to learn on my own. The only advice I have ever stringently followed is my Grandmother’s “everything in their own time”… and even that took a few tries on her part.

What is it about a woman toting a newborn that makes perfect strangers turn into Dr Spock?

Thinking back on some of the “tips & tricks” I was given, I realize that some of them were a bit over the top… and probably would have resulted in child services knocking on my door.

“Give him an ice cube to chew on when he’s teething”

> When I questioned putting something small in my child’s mouth, the response was “it’s too big for them to choke on”. And in my brain, I was screaming “ICE MELTS YOU MORON…IT’S EVENTUALLY GOING TO BE SMALL ENOUGH FOR THEM TO CHOKE ON”

yes I realize it would melt enough that it would eventually pass, but seriously?

“I wouldn’t let my child use a soother. At least the thumb doesn’t get lost in the middle of the night”

> Right. BUT. I can throw the soother out. Addiction stopped. YOU on the other hand, got to pay for expensive orthodontic surgery to repair your child’s misaligned jaw.. what’s that? FROM SUCKING HIS THUMB.

“Giving them rice cereal too early will only increase their appetite.”

> Seriously? The only reason I’m considering rice cereal at 3 months is because my child already HAS a huge appetite. Moving on….

“Don’t mix bottle and breast…it confuses the child.”

> Let me tell you something. The child will be even more confused if I go insane from lack of sleep/adult time/ability to get ANYTHING done.

Don’t get me wrong…advice can be really great… and I learned a lot by watching other mothers, but I had to bite my tongue a few times when my boys were small…

And if you’re reading this and you recognize that YOU were one of the people that gave me this advice?

Sorry 😉

Secret Mommyhood Confession Saturday

After nearly 13 years of NOT being in school…. I still HATE homework.

I especially hate all forms of math homework.

Ooooh math. We have never EVER gotten along.

Also?

I have to say, it’s probably a bad sign when I’m already frustrated by Peanut’s Grade 1 math homework.

This week? Telling time.

An 8×10 piece of paper with 20 empty clock faces on it. The instructions? Read the time (written below the empty clock face) and draw the hands in the proper places on the clock.

The times? On the hour and half hour.

Every. Single. One.

SO – we get done 4 and Peanut says “this is boring… you just have to change the short hand”.

Yep. Interest lost in 0.3 seconds.

The sad thing is, by grade 4 or 5, he’ll be so far ahead of me in math that it will be like an embarrassing episode of “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader”.

And the answer will be NO.

But until then, I guess I have to be interested, so they’re interested. 🙂

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Secret Mommy-hood Confession Saturday

I’m a part time mom.

I used to hate being called this, but basically, I suppose it’s true.

I’m divorced and have my children 50% of the time, because I feel that children should spend equal amounts of time between mother and father. It’s only fair. Just because he’s a shitty husband, that doesn’t make him a shitty father. Plus, I put myself in his shoes and thought “I wouldn’t want to go for a week without seeing the boys”, so this is the arrangement.

And it usually works out just fine.

My confession is:

<<hanging my head in shame>>

I love my kid-free weekends.

There I said it.

As much as I love my children (and I do love them – more than anything else in this WORLD – and would love to have them with me full time.) I have gotten used to the every other weekend life.

I think it started when I was first separated. That first weekend, I had no idea what to do with myself, while the kiddos were at their Dad’s. I felt like I was just walking around in circles and accomplishing nothing.

That passed pretty quickly.

I soon realized that I could clean the whole house without having to re-clean it 10 minutes later!

OR

I could sleep until 8 o’clock! Or later if my internal clock wasn’t ringing!!!

OR

If I told someone “sure, I’ll be right there” – I could actually be right there.

I know!! – Amazing!

Now – Hubby and I do most everything together… we golf, we travel (relatively close to home, but still…), we camp, go to watch the Jays get slaughtered by the Yankees baseball games and love to have that impromptu date night and pick a restaurant on the fly. We’re best friends, and soulmates.

We have had discussions of adding another little person to our lives. It’s something that we’d love to do while we are still young and can enjoy it. And I have to admit, the longing to have another baby, a little bit of he and I together, strikes me quite often, especially since we’ve moved into a perpetually pregnant neighbourhood.

But there is that ever-nagging question:

Who will take the baby every other weekend???

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Secret Mommyhood Confession Saturday ~ #1 @ midnight

I absolutely cringe when I hear the kids heading to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

I cringe because I know it’s going to result in me having to clean the bathroom the next morning.

Why you ask??

You obviously don’t have boys.

OR

You obviously don’t have boys that refuse to sit down in the middle of the night to pee.

This is where little girl parents are lucky.  They sit down anyways. They don’t stand there, half asleep, oblivious to the fact that the toilet seat lid is down** and they are splashing all over the place.

**I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be complaining about the toilet seat being DOWN!!!

And I hate – almost above all else – cleaning up little boy pee first thing in the morning when I should be enjoying my fat free French Vanilla coffee… or at 2 o’clock in the morning as was the case the other day…

I mean, really – is it too much to ask to at least lift the lid???

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Wordfull Wednesday

a first best friend

I have always been fascinated with the bond that children can have with a ‘stuffie’ or a blanket… whatever their ‘thing’ is.

When I was young, I had many many stuffed animals, but none of them ever had that extra special place with me.  I loved each of them equally and allowed each of them to spend at least one night with me – just to be fair, and be sure that they were equally loved.  Even at a young age, I wanted to be sure to be fair with everyone…

My cousin had a blanket that she took everywhere.  I never understood why.  What was so special about a ratty old blanket that looks like it’s seen far better days.  Surely she would leave it home this time when she came to visit, but no – she would walk in the door, blanket tucked gently on top of her bookbag under the pillow that always accompanied it.

But I have to say, I was a bit jealous.

Peanut didn’t have anything special to him.  He was a lot like me – he plays with most of his toys equally and while he tends to have a special stuffed dog that he sleeps with (sometimes, cuz now he’s “too old for that” ) he has never had a real attraction to one toy in particular.

Monster is another story.  When he was a baby, he refused to be more than 20 feet away from me at any given time.  He was a growth on my hip and wouldn’t go to anyone else…which I loved… HOWEVER – I paid for it when it came time to go to daycare.  I tried to do the right thing… wean him (and myself) into it by taking him for a few hours once or twice a week while I got groceries or did some running around… you know… get him used to the routine.

Luckily, my best friend, S,  was the person who was going to be watching the kiddos when I went back to work.  This made it a bit more comfortable for her to call me 2 hours after I dropped him off and say “ok, you need to come back because he won’t stop crying… and I mean crying

I would, of course, rush to her house, scoop up my little baby who would quiet and fall fast asleep on my shoulder the moment he was safe in my arms.  Did I feel like Supermom? Yes, but I also felt trapped… a situation I had put myself in by not exposing him to other people very often.  That weight of guilt for leaving my child who was reaching out to me with a panicked look in his eye like I was walking out the door and never coming back.  And when I did come back, seeing those little cheeks streaked with tears and flushed with the obvious anguish that he felt watching me leave.  No wonder so many mother’s decide to stay home.  That was painful.

The suggestion was made by S that I maybe try ‘association’ with Monster, I was all over that… try and find something soft and cuddly that would have mom’s smell and remind him of me when he wasn’t with me.

Enter Deedle.

Deedle is half teddy, half blanket.  He has buttery soft satin along the bottom hem of the blanket portion and a satin bow tied around his neck.  When I would rock and snuggle with Monster, I would tuck Deedle between us and rub the satin on his cheek.  Monster would start to coo with a sound that went sort of like “deeedleeeedlleeeeddlll’ thereby inspiring the name Deedle.

The bond that Monster has with Deedle is incredible.  He stays at my house (his choice – because his father has a dog and he is worried that Deedle will become a playtoy for it) so when we get home and Monster takes his school bag into his bedroom and sees Deedle on his pillow, he picks him up and snuggles him. Just like this:


Every single time.

So now I get why my cousin carried that blanket around.

It was her Deedle… and she loved it.