Category Archives: problems middle class parents have

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

My Second Annual Birthday FREAK OUT

Boopsie turns 2 in three days. How did we get here? In some ways, it feels like she was born last week and I can’t wrap my head around how much she has grown and changed, and how much she continues to learn and do every. single. day. Just yesterday she started singing numbers — one through ten — no problem. And she’s been getting Daddy-o and I to play hide-and-seek nearly every evening after dinner. (We take turns hiding and she goes looking with the other parent.)

But I’m not here to regale you with stories of her intelligence, sass or sweetness… at least not tonight. I’m here to write about what I’m calling my “Second Annual Birthday FREAK OUT.” I had a similar spazz attack last year around this time, but here I am again. I find myself completely torn between wanting to keep the celebration really mellow and relaxed and wanting to turn myself inside out after scouring Pinterest to have a super. cute. birthday. party.

This dilemma (if you will indulge me) came to a head a couple of weeks ago when a very gifted friend posted photos of her son’s second birthday party on Facebook. My jaw almost hit the floor — I was so impressed. She had a construction theme, complete with hard hats that had custom stickers with kids’ names and “positions” on the crew, homemade “construction vests,” themed food (truck wheels that were chocolate donuts, six foot construction bubble tape, cheesy poof “wrecking balls” in the back of a toy truck), a visit to see some big construction equipment, an absolutely adorable cake… it was an awesomely put together and beautiful party.

I saw those photos and the “to the nines” theme she executed and my heart went pitter patter. I considered an “Under the Sea” theme, with 3D fish and seashells. I daydreamed about a Sesame Street theme. I considered a bounce-house.

Then I vacillated, wondering if it was a good thing to do. Too much consumerism. Too much emphasis and attention. I also wondered if I could even pull it off. Besides, she’s turning two. Will she even remember?

After I vacillated, I stewed for a bit. Then I tried to find my middle path. At the risk of sounding lame, I think I found one:

We’re ordering Boopsie’s favorite food. We requested “no gifts” except from grandparents. I got some Elmo cupcake wrappers and some cupcake toppers. We’ll get some balloons.

I’m still worried I’ll regret not “going big.” There’s something in my very nature that often compels me to try and do something awesome at occasions like this… not just pretty dang good. But I’m pulled in about 30 directions at once every day. All the time. And I’m not ever sure that trying to be The Best is good for anyone, even if the effort focused on making a super cool birthday party for a 2-year-old (much less other, more “useful” endeavors, such as work or trying to be The Best parent).

So there you have it: Starting with some adorable photos on Facebook and a daydreams of a 2-year-old’s birthday party and ending with me trying to balance my over-ambitious nature with my desire to relax and enjoy my tot’s birthday. And that is how I arrived at my second annual birthday freak out.

Wish me luck.

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10 Days

Today Daddy-o took off for a 10 day business trip. Yep, 10 days. In a row. And of course I have 8 a.m. meetings tomorrowandTuesday. Sweet. That should work out well, especially since her day care opens at 7:30 a.m. and work is about 35 minutes away. (Although I think I can do tomorrow’s meeting via the phone…. woot woot and thank you Alexander Graham Bell.)

Anyway, Daddy-o is gone for 10 days. On the down side, life gets more complicated, we miss Daddy-o, and it takes oodles of effort to keep the wheels on our little bus. (Seriously! Single parents, you are amazing. I bow to you.) I’m entering “one day at a time” mode, which involves planning for each day

On the upside, I can watch old episodes of Dawson’s Creek on Netflix without Daddy-o judging me. And despite this evening’s post-Boopsie bedtime shenanigans (really exciting things like scooping cat litter, taking out the trash, making sweet potato puree and washing sheets), I just painted my toenails for the first time in approximately six weeks. WIN!

 

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More First World Problems

We are in the throes of preparing to move. We’re only moving about two miles away, but damn it, we still have to pack up all of our stuff.

On top of that fun, the Boopsie has an ear infection and bronchitis. She’s also decided that dinner is for suckers and drinking milk a couple of times a night is where it’s at. I know I can’t hold it against a kid who’s sick, but we will be seeking a remedy to the “night time milk” as soon as she’s better. It’s going to require some serious backbone-building for me and Daddy-o.

I will say, I’m glad my mama instinct wasn’t totally whack. Her cough, which came on pretty suddenly just as a cold was winding down, sounded different than any other cough she’s had. I was certain the doctor was going to tell me she had a virus today, and relieved when we got the diagnoses. Treatable with something other than time. Because I’ve got to tell you, this getting up a couple of times a night business is just wrong.

In other first-world dilemma news, we are hunting for a new day care. The move gives us a nice opportunity to change. Now that we’re looking I’m feeling all unsure about changing her day care — it’s the whole “devil you know” versus the one you don’t business. We’ve interviewed a nice woman with a home day care, and are checking her references. I was hoping for some divine sign that she’d be a better place for Ruby and I haven’t received it yet. I’ve also got a tour lined up at a Montessori school on Friday, but it’s 75 percent more expensive than our current arrangement. And while our current arrangement isn’t terribly expensive, it’s not the cheapest option either. I don’t know what we’re going to do, and of course, I’m torn.

So sick of germs. So happy we changed health insurance to a kind where we pay co-pays instead of out-of-pocket for every office visit. Phew.

And that is the latest dispatch from the land of the privleged. I hope you’ll forgive me.

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The Campaign

I think Boopsie is running a secret campaign to ensure she never has a sibling. (That, or she read my post “Clicking.”)

The evidence:

1) Pooping in the tub. Pooping. In. The. Tub. Three times now. And I’ve tried to help Daddy-o clean up after time #2 and time #3, but I retched. (By the way, what’s going to happen when he’s on a business trip and she poops in the tub? Is there a service I can call for that? I mean, you can hire a poop-scooper for your dog, why not your kid?)

2) Willful defiance. This is how it goes down: I tell her no. She responds by looking at me, smiling, and then doing exactly what I just told her she shouldn’t do. It’s kind of exhausting. I know it’s a toddler thing, but damn… really?

3) Waking up. She’s decided (in the last week) that 5 or 5:30 a.m. is the new ideal time to wake up and party. It doesn’t matter if she’s up later, she gets up early. Really. damn. early. I am not a morning person, and this is trying.

We sold our house and are just on the cusp of buying another. This is not a small deal. (Disclaimer: It’s time for a good ol’ white parent/first-world problem) I’m already trying to figure out how to best manage the move (approximately two miles) such that Boopsie feels as calm and secure as possible. (Yes, I am that anal.) I’m also trying to figure out day care…this gives us the opportunity to explore new day care options… though it’s not smart to switch day care at the same time as we move because that could be too much change for Boo. It all sounds stressful. Hell, it IS stressful. So it would really be helpful if Boopsie would sleep a little later!!!

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Someday I will be able to laugh about this…

Oh what a weekend!

Friday I picked Boopsie up from daycare and learned that she naps in an armchair. And frequently falls asleep in a Johnny-Jump-Up. WTF? How tacky is that? Since when is it okay first for a tot to get so tired that she falls asleep in a bouncing toy? (JESUS that sounds bad!) And since when is it cool for a 17-month-old to sleep in an armchair?

Oh goody! So begins another daycare hunt! (Except that we might move… and we don’t know where… so how do we pick a day care?)

Saturday I was spending time with some friends when I got an SOS from Daddy-o. Boopsie puked. Everywhere. She had the stomach flu. Luckily, she seems to be on the mend. And luckily for me (sorry Daddy-o) I missed the big first barf. Have I mentioned lately that my husband is a trooper?

Today Boopsie woke up… with a head cold. She is sneezing and snotting all over the place. Poor kid. I hope the antibiotics she’s still on for the ear infection help keep her from getting another one. Crikey!

On the upside:

  • I grocery shopped, made dinner tonight and am making this for Tuesday night. (Because I am planning ahead! FTW!)
  • Boopsie signed “more please” today. I nearly peed my pants.
  • She got the stomach flu in the daytime, rather than in the middle of the night.
  • Today we went to the coolest book store ever.

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Filed under adventures, books, day care, problems middle class parents have, problems white parents have

Christmas Recap

Christmas was a blast this year. Boopsie was spoiled over and over and over. She literally has toys spilling out of her closet, her toy box(es), etc. Here are the funny bits.

1) Boopsie’s Favorite Gift: A dancing monkey that sings “Dynamite” that she received from my sister and her children. I have to “disappear” the monkey every once in a while into a closet to get a break (and the batteries are starting to go… by the way, it’s only been two weeks since Christmas). I found a random video of the same thing on YouTube:

2) Boopsie’s Second-Favorite Gift: A deck of cards we had in our basement that has a different cat breed on every card. She looks

Pile of kitty cat playing gards

Super Fun!

at them, talks to them, dumps them out, picks them up and throws a class-A, hard-core hissyfit if we try to take them away. (Good times.)

3) Boopsie’s Least-Favorite Gift: The rocking horse we gave her. It’s a beautiful rocking horse, that neighs and winnies when you squeeze its ears. She’s afraid of it. On Christmas morning we showed it to her, and demonstrated how to squeeze the ears. Her response?

“No.”

I lifted her up and put her on it to show her how it rocks back and forth. Fun, right?

Brown and White Rocking Horse

The Devil's Pony

“No.”

She actually ran away from it. We put the horse in our basement storeroom and let it rest for a few days. A couple of days ago I was putting something in the storeroom and Boopsie was supervising. We saw the horse, so I stopped and petted it, and said, “Nice horsey. Oh, nice horsey. I’m going to give the horsey a kiss.” Boopsie watched all this with some interest, so I said, “Do you want me to bring the horsey out?”

“No.” And she turned tail and split. *sigh*

I guess we should have stopped at the kitty cat playing cards.

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