Category Archives: Fun

Not a Normal Parent

Every once in a while, I’ll be cruising along when I’m suddenly struck by a realization: I am not a “normal” parent. Now before anyone goes all psycho-babble on me, I realize that there are huge ranges of “normal” and I’m not worried about being “normal”… I basically just have some funny hang-ups.

Case in point: After lots of hemming and hawing (mostly on my part) Daddy-o and I decided to take Boopsie to see her first movie in the theater. Despite my many, many misgivings about the Disney marketing juggernaut and Disney princesses, we decided to climb on the bandwagon and go see Frozen at the cool second-run theater near our house.

As the movie started, a Disney logo appeared on the screen:

Walt-Disney-Screencaps-The-Walt-Disney-Logo-walt-disney-characters-31865565-2560-1440

Boopsie saw it and asked, “What is that?”

Now, any normal parent would say “A castle,” or perhaps even, “Cinderella’s castle.”

Not me. My response? “That’s a logo, honey. A company called Disney made this movie and their logo is a castle.”

Branding education for a three-year-old? Really? Oh my. File that one under “quirky mom.”

 

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Filed under adventures, firsts, Fun, mom guilt

The Things I Will Say Yes To

In our little corner of the world, Daddy-o is the “fun” parent. He’s usually the chaser and the thrower, and I’m usually the one saying things like, “Don’t shake her upside down! She just ate!” or “Please calm down, it’s time for bed.” It’s not all bad. For instance, I’m often the “comfort” parent, and the one Boopsie wants to snuggle with in the morning (which is awesome unless I want to sleep in a little. Eh-hem.)

The downside of being the “bad cop”/stern parent is that I feel like I say “no” a lot. A lot. It’s not that Daddy-o doesn’t or won’t say no, it’s just that I’m usually a little more on top of what the situation is and where it’s headed. You want Froot Loops at the grocery store? No. You want to go outside in your pajamas when it’s 20 degrees? No. You want to throw the ball “10 more” and “10 more” and “10 more times” before bed? No. You want to wear just your undies at the dinner table? Okay, maybe.

Recently, however, I’ve noticed a few things I seem to always say yes to… I guess these are my parenting weaknesses?

Books. Dear lord, please don’t let me go into a bookstore with Boopsie. It will be at least $38. At least. Thank goodness she’s also a superfan of the library, because we would like to help pay for her to go to college some day.

Art projects. “Mama, can we do a craft?” I usually say yes, even if I’m trying to do something like make dinner. (Because nothing says “recipe for success” like simultaneously cooking and crafting with a three-year old. I realized this was one of my key weaknesses a couple of weeks ago when Boopsie was painting and requested that to paint her feet. Yes, her feet. And yes, I said yes.

painting her feet

Sure, why not?

I mean, what can go wrong, right?

painted preschooler feet

Who can say no to those feet?

Truthfully, it turned out okay. And I was happy I said “yes” when I wanted to say “no.”

My third “yes” has to do with food and the grocery store. No matter what the fruit or vegetable Boopsie wants, I will say yes. Jicama? Sure. Five different kinds of apples? Okay, great! I figure it must help balance the multiple “no’s” she hears in all the other areas.

What about you? What do you say “yes” to?

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Filed under creativity, Fun, mom guilt

Painting Party

It’s been approximately 8,000 degrees here (with the heat index) for many days, so we’ve been doing a lot of hiding inside so our faces don’t melt off. The other evening, Boopsie wanted to watch a video and I kept suggesting alternative activities:

“Do you want me to read to you?”

“No.”

“Do you want to make a necklace?”

“No, video.”

“Do you want to paint?”

“Yeah!”

What little kid doesn’t like painting, right? It’s awesome. It’s also messy and I get freaked out by messes (among a few other things). I strapped on her smock, handed over some brushes and paints doled out in an old ice cube tray and she went to town. For more than 45 minutes. To a three-year-old, that’s like six hours.

Much to my chagrin, the brushes quickly became useless, as Boopsie dove in to her chosen (at least for that 45 minutes) art form. Much to my delight, she gave a running commentary while she was painting, and I grabbed a pen and wrote some of it down. (Hellz to the yeah!)

DSC_1930

“I’m painting something for Daddy to see. It’s beautiful and wonderful. It’s a rainbooooooow. I’m making it for Daddy. I’m making a road so he can get through. Look at this it’s a whole bunch of roads!”

 

Toddler finger painting

“Look at the silly water! The peacock is swimming in the water… now he’s sticking his head out. Now he’s swimming.”

So, despite the mess, it was a pretty rad way to spend 45 minutes. Even if it was a huge mess. (I think there’s still paint under her fingernails…)

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Filed under adventures, Fun, Stuff Toddlers Say

Camping With Tots

We just returned from our second camping trip with friends. We went last year at this time, and repeated the trip (to a new location). We came home dirty and tired, and we had a ton of fun getting that way. In our two little excursions, I’ve picked up on a few things that I found really helpful:

Kids swimming


Bring friends. We went with another couple who have two boys (5 and 3), and the kids were built-in entertainment for each other. Plus, it was triple cuteness watching them all learn and experience the outdoors.

Boopsie swimming

Swimming was the closest Boopsie got to a bath during our three-night, four-day adventure. Bring lots of baby wipes. LOTS.

hunting for bugs

Explore with them. I’m trying to unlearn my heebie jeebies about things like frogs and bugs. Fake it ’till you make it, right?

Carrying tot in Ergo

If your kid is an inexperienced hiker, bring your Ergo carrier. I carried Boopsie about 2 miles over two days. Sheesh. Look at how long her legs are!

Other helpful things:

  • Bring a bunch of plastic bags (like the ones from Target) to use as garbage bags around each major meal prep. A clean campsite will keep you from experiencing nighttime marauders. (aka raccoons)
  • What is it with kids and those squeezie pouches of fruit? It’s the new kiddie crack. Anyway, this is the perfect application, so stock up.
  • Bug spray. Sunscreen. Repeat.

Not going to lie… it’s a lot of work, especially in a tent (which we did last year). But it’s so. damn. worth it.

DSC_1757

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Filed under adventures, Fun

Winding down the weekend…

Daddy-o has been out of town (for work) since Thursday morning. Thursday evening I had to call in the cavalry as I got a migraine. Grampie came to the rescue and played with Boopsie while I went to bed with earplugs and a pillow over my face. Things went really well otherwise… until this morning.

This morning Boopsie drank a cup of milk and then coughed… and threw it up all over us. The rest of the day she kept saying she had to “cough” (aka barf), but didn’t. Interestingly enough, those moments seemed to happen as soon as I picked up the phone or said I needed to do something. Suspicious? I thought so.

Tonight at dinner she wouldn’t eat a thing, and talked the whole time about throwing up:

“I need da bucket.”

“Th yellow gonna come out.”

“I gonna cough again.”

I tried to play it very blase… and ended up just giving her a bath and putting her to bed, explaining (as usual) there wouldn’t be any food/milk until morning. Now she’s in there wailing for “milky.” Here’s a few recent pics to help me remember that I love being a mother. (I need the reminder right now.)

Toddler watering flowers

Watering plants in fuzzy polar bear footie pajamas, pink rain boots and her bike windbreaker.

toddler picking yellow dandelions

Picking dandelions…

Black goat with toddler running toward it

Chasing goats at the zoo… apparently Boopsie loves goats as much as I do.

There, I feel much better now. (And it helps that she’s fallen asleep.) Let’s face it, this could be worse: Daddy-o is currently stuck in an airport, where his flight is delayed three hours. Blech.

Now, say it with me… “Please don’t puke, please don’t puke, please don’t puke.”

 

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Filed under drudgery, firsts, Fun

The Secret (Where the Doldrums Lose and Mama Wins)

I have discovered The Secret, at least for my tot and me. No, not that “secret” where you wish and intend for things to happen in your life and they do … I’m talking about the parental Ace card that is elusive and ever-changing. I’ll explain:

This past weekend, Daddy-o had a very serious work commitment, so it was me and Boopsie for the long-haul (with some respite at Grammie and Grampie’s). And all week last week I had a severe case of the doldrums. It was bad. I felt crushed by the routine and responsibility of everything in my life. I was feeling terribly bored — not with the people in my life, but by the day-in, day-out patterns. Get up earlier than I want to, fight my two-year-old to get ready to go, go to work, pick up two year old, make and eat dinner, fight to get two-year-old to bed and chill or try to do something productive. Go to bed later than I should. Repeat. (First-world problems all the way…) I was getting desperate trying to bust out of my dull downer mood. So these are some of the things I tried:

toddler windbreaker with bikes

Damn you, Target.

  • I bought an aromatherapeutic candle called “Be Amazing.” (Yes, really.)
  • I re-started listening to classical music.
  • I bought and read Dream Save Do by Betsy and Warren Talbot from Married With Luggage
  • I impulsively bought Boopsie a spring jacket because it has bikes on it. Thankfully, it was only $15.
  • I tried cooking new things like vegan chili (delicious, actually).
  • I went shopping for myself. Spent quite a bit more than $15.
  • I decided to clean my closet. I didn’t actually clean out my closet.

Basically, heading into a long weekend of single parenting (woe is me, I know), I was a little panicked about HOW TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT THINGS and MORE EXCITED ABOUT LIFE. Add to this a wily two-year-old bouncing off the walls and I was worried about not snapping. But then… magic happened. First, we received about four inches of fresh snow on Friday while Boopsie was at day care. Second, the weather was nice for February — mid- to high-20s. Finally, we were both healthy enough to play outside. The mythical winter trifecta was attained for only the second time this whole season (good snow + decent temperature + healthy). I picked up Boo and we went to a sledding hill I’d never been to before… It. Was. Awesome.

Toddler in snow

“I going to the li-blaly. We got to get more Llama books.”

If someone would have told me last week that the cure for winter doldrums was to play outside in the winter weather I may have punched them. But sledding down a too-big-for-me-and-my-tot hill and following Boopsie around while she marched through the park discussing how she was going to the “li-blaly” (library) to get more “llama books” shook me out of my stupor.

And the best part… the BEST part… is that she burned off so much energy that she went to bed like a dream and slept for TWELVE HOURS. The bells and whistles went off in my head and we’ve dragged her outside to play every day since. On Saturday we went on a walk looking for turkeys near my parents suburban home. On Sunday I took her to the park where she went down the slides at least 20 times. Today Daddy-o took her back to the park for more sliding, swinging and general exploration. Granted, her bedtime wasn’t as smooth tonight, but she ate chicken enchiladas like a champ at dinner. WINNING.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring… a chest cold? Biting wind? I hope to hell we can get outside after work and day care. And I don’t know if I’ve really beaten my doldrums or just beaten them back for a little bit. But I do know (at least for now), my secret to survival is getting outside with this kiddo. Look out, world!

 

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Filed under adventures, drudgery, First-World Problems, Fun, lessons, problems middle class parents have, Stuff Toddlers Say

Proof That I Have Lost My Ever-Loving Mind

Proof, Yo:

Tambourine and Tone Block

I have lost my mind. I plan to give these to Boopsie next week on Valentine’s Day. Damn you, Target Dollar Spot. (But what can I say? She LOVES music and has recently begun to use markers as drumsticks… I should channel that energy, right? Right?)

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Filed under Fun