Thursday, July 30, 2015

25 Reasons My Scale is a Liar

On my 29th birthday I went to Old Navy to buy myself a pair of fat jeans. I cried in the fitting room and vowed that I would make some healthy changes before I hit the big 3-0. Granted, I had a five month old baby and a two-year old at home, leaving me with pregnancy weight and little time on my hands for exercising. And though I had plenty of reasons to wait to lose those extra pounds, I knew it was all those excuses reasons that landed me crying in a fitting room at Old Navy in the first place. 

And so I kicked all those reasons to the curb and just did it.
Now I’m walking the fine line between managing my weight and obsessing over it. I realize that my weight fluctuates daily for a variety of reasons so instead of aiming for a special number, I have a five pound window and as long as I’m in the zone, I try not to let the scale bother me.  But it does. So every time I get on my scale and see a number I’m not in love with, I remind myself of all the good reasons the scale is a liar. And then I laugh because I think I’m funny and it burns calories.

  1. These jeans are heavy
  2. My hair is wet. Must weigh at least 5lbs.
  3. It’s a new moon. Gravitational pull is off.
  4. My yoga pants are heavy.
  5. I’m holding a 25lb toddler. Naw, he must 30lbs…
  6. I exercised a lot this week. It must be muscle weight.
  7. My socks are heavy
  8. I’m going to start my period
  9. I’m retaining water
  10. I just had a baby. (20 months ago…)
  11. I’m breastfeeding. At least 2 lbs of that is milk. (Ok, I can’t use this one anymore, but I have!)
  12. I’ve been sick
  13. It’s Girl Scout cookie season
  14. Batteries are low in the scale.
  15. It’s humid. (The air is heavy, not me.)
  16. I had dental work this week and I could only eat ice cream. Totally not my fault.
  17. I’m on my period
  18. I’m dehydrated
  19. I haven’t pooped yet
  20. I ate a big breakfast
  21. I went out to dinner last night
  22. I drank too much water
  23. Steak was on sale at the grocery store
  24. My floor is uneven and it throws off the scale.
  25. It’s April 1st and even my scale’s in on the jokes
This post originally appeared at Mom of the Year. For a less serious look at the world of parenting meet Meredith.

Monday, July 27, 2015

22 Lies My Kids Tell

Did you see this gem last week from HuffPost Parents on white lies we tell our kids? Guilty as charged. Primarily we say them with good intentions -- to avoid a meltdown or maybe to have a moment of parental peace. But while I'm guilty of a fib here and there for my own sanity, my lies pale in comparison to the whoppers that come out of my children. Here are some of my favorites.

1. I washed my hands. With soap.
2. It was an accident.
3. He hit me ON PURPOSE.
4. I saw my brother drop my car behind the 150 lb bunk beds. *Cue 20 minute search and vacuuming underneath the bed.*
5. It was a joke. *Obviously*
6. I went to the bathroom. *Does potty dance*
7. I was being VERY gentle.
8. I cleaned everything up.
9. I brushed every tooth and I used toothpaste!
10. I don't know what happened.
11. I'm not whining. *Said in whiniest voice ever.*
12. I don't like pasta.
13. I'm not hungry! *Cue hangry meltdown in 3, 2, 1*
14. I didn't have a cupcake. *Licks frosting off face*
15. This is what I want to eat. No, seriously. THIS is what I want to eat. *Takes one bite*
16. I want to go on the giant Ferris wheel! I won't be scared. I promise.
17. It wasn't me.
18. I'd rather watch TV before bed than read books.
19. I do not have poop in my pants. *Entire room drops dead from smell wafting from diaper*
20. I napped.
21. I AM getting dressed. *Fast forward 20 minutes. Still wearing pajamas*
22. I'll be good. *Crosses fingers behind back*

Tell me I'm not the only one with little fibbers on my hands. Post your favorite #liesmykidstell to Twitter!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

You do not like them so you say...try them! Try them and you may!

Love Dr. Suess? Read on to get the printable!
Shortly before Knox was born, Dash went on a food strike. I wish I was joking when I say that he refused to eat anything but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for almost a year. Mister Sir and I were so exhausted once Knox arrived that we decided it was a battle we weren't able to fight. We made a rule that he could have one PB&J a day (unless we were desperate) and a vitamin to ensure he was getting enough nutrients.

Eventually, I put my big girl pants on and decided it was time to tackle the picky eating beast. Let me tell you, it was rough. We struggled. We cheered every bite of new food until we were blue in the face.We drank excessive amounts of wine with dinner. Sometimes we yelled. We threatened. We bribed. We sent him to bed early and hungry. And we learned. We learned a lot.

10 Tips for Tackling Picky Eaters

1. Trying is the first battle. In the beginning we started small. We made our picky eater try a few bites of everything on his plate. Once he tried enough to satisfy us, he could have a treat like applesauce or yogurt to help ensure he was full. Something to keep in mind when trying new foods - I've read that kids need to try a new food at least three separate times before they can truly say they like or dislike it. I found this to be true in my house. If they don't love those Creamy Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas the first time, try them again in two weeks. You may be surprised.

2. Stop serving fruit for dinner. I used to always put fruit on my kid's plate for dinner because I knew it was something they would definitely eat. The thing is, sometimes it was the ONLY thing they would eat. They managed to fill their little bellies up just enough on their fruit that they weren't motivated enough to try the other things on their plate. Every mom has their "slam dunk" item that ends up on the plate to ensure that their kid won't starve. But hunger is a very powerful tool. Use it to your advantage. I'm not suggesting you starve your children. I'm saying that a kid who didn't fill up on fruit is more likely to try what's on his plate because he's hungry.

3. Try hidden veggies. I hope my children will like vegetables some day. Today is not that day. Vegetables are still a hard sell in my household. Serving straight veggies requires a lot of encouragement from me and some days I just don't want to fight the good fight. Other days I serve my children a pile of broccoli and I expect them to eat it. I can't hold their hands forever; I will not be the mom that sneaks into their college dorm rooms to add pureed carrots to their Easy Mac. At some point they will have to put on their big boy pants and eat vegetables because they are good and good for them. Period. In the meantime, while it is my responsibility to ensure they are properly fed, I occasionally serve my kids hidden veggies for my own sanity.

4. Serve smaller portions or let your kid serve themselves. My kids are generally hungry, growing boys and I am accustomed to heaping food on their plates. When we started trying new foods I reduced the portion sizes significantly. If they liked their dinner, they could always have a second helping, but if getting them to take two bites of everything was a battle, then at least food wasn't being wasted. Another tactic worth trying is to let your kid choose how many scoops he wants; it's great opportunity to give him a little more control.

5. Use a timer if necessary. Dash is the king of stalling. He can sit with a single piece of food packed tightly in his cheek like a little squirrel until you lose your mind. We would harass him endlessly to take another bite and cheer "Chew, chew chew!" like maniacs for over an hour. Finally we bought a timer (I recommend a sand timer for little guys or something that has a visual of how much time is left.) We set it for 35 minutes and stopped harassing him. HE was in charge of finishing before the timer went off and if he didn't he would be hungry. Giving him a little more control made a world of difference. It took a few months, but now we rarely need the timer.

6. Try dipping sauces. My kids are crazy about sour cream. They like it on chicken, quesadillas and a variety of other things. If my kids actually eat their veggies or chicken with a side of ranch or with some shredded cheese on top, I consider it a win. Have I made their meal slightly less healthy? Yes. But they are still getting the necessary nutrients with less of a fight. Even adults don't always love their vegetables plain, why would I expect more from my kids?

7. Give up the afternoon snack. Once again, a hungry kid is more likely to try their dinner.

8. Don't make your kids a separate meal. It's a slippery slope and the next thing you know you'll be a short order cook at every meal. Making a spicy chicken pasta for dinner? Set aside some plain chicken and pasta before you season it. I still make my kids a different meal on occasion, but I wonder if it would have been easier if I had never gone down this road in the first place.

9. Offer rewards cautiously. I'm a believer that my kids shouldn't be rewarded for things they should do anyway. Kids need to eat. Should they be rewarded for doing something that is basic to their survival? Probably not. But when we first started to work on trying new things, we offered small incentives if they emptied their plate. Remember these Magic Grow Capsules? Dash got to grow one after dinner if he finished his meal. Eventually he started to finish his meal without being bribed and we just let the incentives die out. Other great incentives are high-fives, fist bumps, and the fruit you didn't put on their plate for dinner.

10. Avoid the power struggle when possible. Sometimes you have break out the "I AM MOM, HEAR ME ROAR. You will do what I say because I am the parent and I know what is best for you." Like eating your vegetables so you can grow up big and strong. But my son is strong-willed (not unlike his mother) and he loves a challenge. I found that when I dug my heels in, so did he. However, when I put the ball in his court, he took it and ran with it. Anywhere you can give your child (a reasonable amount of) control, do it. Do you want corn or peas with dinner? How many scoops of green beans do you want? Do you want ketchup or sour cream with your chicken? This is also how we arrived at the timer. When we put him in charge of eating his dinner before the timer went off we removed the power struggle. We no longer had to tell him to take a bite and chew it up. We no longer had to threaten that he'd lose his reward if he didn't finish his dinner. The battle was against the timer, not against us.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Maybe you are tired of packing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every time you go to a birthday party because you know your kid won't eat any of the delicious food that is served. Maybe you shook in your boots when your son's preschool told you that they have a No Peanut Butter policy due to food allergies. I've been there. I am not a nutritionist. I am not a child psychologist. I am not a doctor. I am just a mom who has fought a long, hard battle with my son to try to encourage him to eat a healthy variety of foods. I'm sharing what I've learned in hopes that others may benefit from my successes and failures. It's a long road, but this is one time I can say that the grass is a little greener on the other side.

Need some inspiration for your picky eater? Find the Dr. Suess Try Them & You May printable here!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dear New Mama

Dear New Mama,
There are a million advice columns out there that will tell you all the things you need to know about caring for that sweet baby peacefully sleeping on your chest right now. I know because I read them all the day my husband went back to work and left me alone to care for our new son just five short years ago. Now as I sit here nursing our third child, I'd like to share whatever wisdom I've gained so that you, new mom, might be more prepared for what the next year may bring. I'm no expert. I'm just a mom like you. My advice might not be any more useful to you than the last Dear New Mom post you read, but perhaps you'll find comfort that every other new mom out there has been in your shoes and lived to tell the tale. Or maybe, you'll find a tidbit of knowledge that sticks and helps you find your new normal. 

1. Acceptance is the key to surviving without sleep. At 3am, I used to bargain, beg and plead with my son to go to sleep --  too delirious to think straight. "If I could just get 2 more hours before I have to be up for the day, I'll be able to survive tomorrow," I'd tell myself. And inevitably he'd wake up again just as l drifted off to sleep. Make no assumptions about how much sleep you need or want; no matter how little sleep you tell yourself you need, you'll somehow find yourself below the minimum threshold and it will crush your delirious, sleep deprived self. Which leads me to item number two...

2. It's enough. No matter how much sleep you had last night, decide that it is enough. Because it is all the sleep you got and it will have to be enough. The half a load of laundry you managed to put away today? It's enough. The amount of time you spent playing with your child between laundry and dinner prep? It's enough. If you gave it your best, it's enough. There is so much to juggle, don't kill yourself over not doing enough for your family, your child, your household, your job. If you gave today your best effort decide that you did enough. Maybe you'll accomplish more tomorrow. Maybe not. But whatever you do, it will be enough.

3. Know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. You know how people are always saying "sleep when the baby sleeps" and you are thinking "HA! But when am I going to shower or eat or do some laundry because I really need a shirt that doesn't stink like sour milk?" Often you may find that you need to power through a few things while the baby sleeps, but know when to throw in the towel and take a nap. You can trudge through your chores bleary-eyed or you can leave that big stack of dishes for later when you can tackle them in a more productive state.

4. It's lonely. Get thyself out of the house and to a mother's group, a coffee shop, a park or anywhere else you might find an equally tired and overwhelmed mother to commiserate with. This is of the utmost importance for your sanity.

5. You will judge other moms for their parenting choices. Stop Judging. You are spending every waking moment trying to be the best parent you can be so naturally when another mom chooses to parent differently, it may make you feel insecure. You may feel the need to defend why your style of parenting is best. I've found that as long as your kid is healthy and happy there's no wrong way to parent. Moms are different. Kids are different.  What works for you might not work for someone else. And if you choose to have a second child you may find that the parenting style you've worked so hard to perfect, isn't effective with your second child. By all means share what's working for you. But reserve your judgement. An older, wiser, more experienced you will thank you later for not alienating your new mom friends by making them feel inferior. 

6. Resentment is a (relationship) killer. Resist the urge to resent your husband. When he comes home from work exhausted from another day of sitting in a comfortable chair in front of a computer and going out to lunch with his coworkers then proceeds to ask what you did all day as if it wasn't obvious by the spit up on your shirt and the crying baby in your arms...resist the urge to resent your husband. He doesn't fully understand what it is like to be a new mother, but most likely, he's trying to figure it out. He is also struggling to get comfortable in his new role as dad and possibly bread winner. In his mind getting to stay home in your pjs all day sounds awesome and he might even be a little bit jealous. You are both in new territory with new roles so try not to let resentment get the best of you. 

7. Bump uglies, do the horizontal mambo and make love often. After all it's how you got into this mess and you'll be surprised how much it will help you out. I know that sex is the last thing on your mind after having a clingy baby projecting bodily fluids at you all day, but being intimate reminds you that you love each other when the days are long and hard. If you have to, put it on the calendar once a week and do it whether you feel like it or not. Or just get in bed naked and see where it takes you.

8. Apply the Occam's Razor Rule of Husbands daily.

9. Be gracious. Forgive yourself for being impatient. Forgive yourself for not being the mom you hoped you would be. Forgive yourself for not being the wife you used to be. Forgive your husband for not being the dad you expected him to be. Forgive him for not being the husband he was. Forgive him for not understanding how hard you are trying and how much feel like you are failing. Forgive him for expecting more. Eventually you will both be comfortable in your new roles as parents and partners, but until you figure it all out, be gracious with yourself and one another.

It's hard out there for a new mom. You will get the hang of it. In the meantime, meet me at the coffee pot. 



Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Suburban Dictionary

I cannot tell you how often I am left without words to describe the chaos that occurs in my house. Sometimes it feels like the world is moving in slow motion around me and I think "This is so outrageous, I COULD NOT make this up!" And so, I've carefully created an arsenal of words that help me articulate the indescribable moments of parenthood.

Baubleholic - a kid with an affinity for cheap toys commonly found in party favor bags, the treasure box at the doctor's office, Happy Meals, etc. Can also apply to pieces of broken toys. (Why do they want to keep broken shards of toys???? WHY?)

Booty Call - The holler from the bathroom that informs you someone needs to be wiped.

Buellered - When your kid fakes illness. Named after the king of invented ailments, Mr. Ferris Bueller.

Buzz - A handy code word for fart. Kids have an addiction to bodily functions and sometimes you need a slightly more discrete way to discuss them. For example, Is someone buzzing in here or does someone need a change? 

Circle of Turdom - when your children alternate their foul behavior, never giving you a break from their incivility.

Coffee - Liquid happiness providing parents the strength, patience and will to carry on.

Cryfecta - When everyone is crying but you. Coined by the classy Doyin at Daddy Doin' Work after surviving one.

Elbow Missiles - The secret game children play where they elbow you wherever it will hurt the most. Neither children, nor adults are aware of their active participation in the game until someone takes an elbow to the eyeball, nose, rib cage or the family jewels.

Hangry - A combination of hunger and anger that is a powerful force to be reckoned with, especially in children.

Hot Dog Party – When your child wakes up in the middle of the night and starts bouncing around like they are supposed to be awake at that ungodly hour. Or when you attempt to put them to bed and they suffer from a sudden surge in energy. Coined by the Pigeon from Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late, who'd rather have a hot dog party than go to sleep.

Legoed - When the kids leave out their toys (with Legos being the worst offender) for painful late night encounters.

Meltdown-ageddon - The mother of all meltdowns. Usually occurs in children and is closely related to hanger. Can also rear it's ugly head in parents when denied coffee or sleep.

Mama-shed-a-saurus - That unfortunate period of time about 3 months after your baby is born when your hair starts falling out in clumps and you become a walking, hairy dinosaur.

Mortifend - Your kid's ability to both mortify you and offend others with a single comment. Like shouting "Are you peeing out your butt?!" in a crowded bathroom. On the bright side, this effect happens in reverse when they are teenagers.

New Mom (or Dad) Smell - A nice way of saying you smell like sour milk, formula and as if you haven't showered in days.

Peek-a-boob - whether you are breastfeeding or not, kids have an incredible ability to grab your shirt in just the right place offering anyone around you an impromptu peep show.

Poonami - A wave of poop, usually overflowing from the back of a diaper.

Scurf - the sticky, food encrusted, booger infested grime small hands leave on every surface

Scrump - The crumbs or remnants of food left in the bottom of the bag. Originally used to describe the fried chunks of batter from the bottom of the KFC bucket, but expanded to include the last remaining nibbles of any food. Commonly used to describe the crushed goldfish and other sketchy items from the bottom of your purse.

Shuzz - More than just a fart. (Shuzz happens people. I know. I do the laundry around here.)

Threenager - There's all this talk about the terrible two's but three is really when the attitude starts. This is when they develop a serious affinity for looking you right in the eye and doing exactly what you told them not to.

ToyNado - a whirlwind of toys covering every imaginable surface that makes you want to get out a couple of trash bags and purge.

Whammer -When it's not just whining, it's non-stop whining, crying and yelling. Loud and sustained high pitched complaining. Can be used both as a verb and a noun. Examples: The kids have been whammering about going to the beach ALL DAY. Also,  I do not want to hear another whammer escape your lips.  

I know you all must have some words you've invented too. Share them in the comments and I'll post a version 2.0!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Breakfast in a Mug

$5/4 at Target!
I wanted to pick up a small token of appreciation for the teachers at Dash's preschool, but I was at a loss for what would make a good, inexpensive gift. I wanted to get them something that was both useful and thoughtful and since he had four teachers this year, it had to be the right price too. Then I stumbled upon these beauties at Target. They were four for $5 and I began to formulate the perfect gift...Breakfast in a Mug. Or in this case a travel cup.

I made a batch of fresh blueberry muffins for the kids' breakfast. I didn't need all those carbs tempting me. So I wrapped one up for each teacher.

I wasn't sure if his teachers were tea or coffee people so I decided to add both. I riffled through my tea supply and picked out some chamomile, English Breakfast and vanilla chai. 

Later, I picked up a pack of the Starbucks instant coffees. (Just to clarify I am a Peet's person and I feel very strongly about it, but Starbucks is walking distance from my house. Stop judging me.)

I added some bows and a little note that said, "Thanks!" on top and voila!

Since I had the blueberry muffins and tea on hand, my out of pocket expense was $15, which works out to $3.75 per gift. Not too shabby!

These would make a great gift for any affair. You could make them up for bridesmaids and hand them out on the morning of the wedding. Or for Boss Appreciation Day. (Which is Friday, October 16th this year in case you are wondering.) You could even whip them up to welcome a new neighbor into your neighborhood.

Who would you make them for? Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Occam's Razor: The Rule of Husbands

If I had a nickel for every time I got in an argument over something ridiculous with my husband we'd be filthy, stinking rich. But since they don't hand out nickels for bickering, I've been trying to find a more harmonious way to coexist with my husband. It's taken me years to develop this little gem of marital wisdom, so try not to laugh at its simplicity. We'll start with a little example:

I'm counting down the minutes until my husband gets home because it has been a long day with all these monkeys hanging off me and I can't wait for a break. The hour in which my husband usually arrives comes and goes with no husband in sight. So I make a mental list of reasons he's not home yet.

1. He stopped by the store to buy me flowers on the way home because he knows that I've had an exceptionally difficult day. 
2. He stopped for take out so I don't have to cook tonight.
3. He got caught up in a few final things at work or his train was delayed and he's running late.
4. He's bringing home a surprise house guest! Maybe my sister or my bestie who both live in the city where he works.

The most expensive flowers my husband has ever purchased.
They are from the bush in our front yard. 
Tell me I'm not the only one who comes up with romantic reasons my husband is not home yet. Anyone? I mean don't get me wrong, he can be a very romantic guy, but with three kids, a dog and a fixer upper house, our idea of a romantic evening these days is putting Business Time on the calendar and then going to bed at 9:00 pm. Sure, it's possible that he's got some sort of elaborate plan in the works, but is it likely? Nope. Am I smart enough to know this after 8 years of marriage? You'd think so. To make matters worse, once I've concocted all these romantic plans only to have my bubble burst, I am actually disappointed. I set unrealistic expectations for my husband, and then when he failed to meet them, I was crushed. So when my husband finally walks through the door instead of being happy he's home, I'm disappointed.

Now in the heat of the moment, all this makes perfect sense, but as I type this out it seems so absurd. And believe it or not scenarios like this have resulted in arguments or just general dissatisfaction with my life. Why? Because my husband did not read my mind and bring me flowers?  And so after binge watching the geeky Sci-Fi show Eureka a few years ago where the concept of Occam's Razor comes up repeatedly, I developed the Rule of Husbands.  

The principle of Occam's Razor is "when you have two or more competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better." When applied to husbands it's just "the simplest or most obvious explanation for your husband's behavior is usually the right one." Back to my earlier scenario about "why is my husband late?" He's not buying me flowers. He's not picking up take out. He's just running late. It's the simplest, most obvious answer.

This rule comes in so handy when you are sleep deprived, upset, perhaps a little hormonal or when a sensitive subject comes up.

Did he leave the minivan on empty because he's mad at me? Or did he just forget?
Did he leave these dirty socks next to the bed to annoy me? Or was he just in a rush to get out the door this morning?
Did he forget that it's his turn to get up with the baby or is he just so sound asleep he can't hear her?

Maybe I'm the only crazy lady who thinks like this. If I am, feel free to let me know in the comments and I'll go crawl in in a hole of embarrassment. But the next time your husband does something that leaves you wondering "What was he thinking?" let the Rule of Husbands be your guide. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Eating Humble Pie

Parenting is a tricky beast. I've only been at this gig for five years, but every time I think I have a handle on it, something unexpected happens and completely knocks me off my parenting pedestal. It’s rather humbling. My sister-in-law calls this the “I've got this” moment. That moment when you think you've mastered a parenting skill or successfully taught your child something useful. Without fail, immediately after you have claimed yourself victorious, the world will come crumbling down around you. It has happened to me enough times that I have become wary of calling any parenting endeavor a success, but when I‘m stupid enough to ever think “I've got this,” I’m always surprised to find myself flat on my back at square one wondering what happened. I've found that the only way to survive this vicious cycle of successes and failures we call parenting is to find the humor in it. To ensure I never get too caught up in my parenting victory dance, I present to you my favorite moments where I had the pleasure of eating humble (parenting) pie.

1. If you haven’t heard about it yet, the rumors are true. Eventually, your child will sleep through the night. Really. When my oldest turned one, it happened to me. It happened again when my youngest was about 11 months old. From time to time, they catch a cold or get some new teeth and I have to get up again. These things happen. But at some point, sleeping through the night became the rule, not the exception. Slowly the zombie looking back in the mirror every morning faded into a girl I once knew. For just a moment I took my sleeping for granted. And that night, at exactly midnight, we woke up to the sound of the stereo blaring in the living room. We were panicked that there was an intruder and rushed out to make sure everything was ok. Apparently, my son had accidentally set the alarm on the stereo. Naturally, he slept through the entire thing.

2. Coffee. It makes my world go ‘round. I was preparing to return to reality after a long stay-cation over the holidays. I knew my husband’s first day back to work would be rough for everyone so I prepped the coffee the night before so all I had to do was (bribe one of the children to) push the button. The next morning I poured my first glorious cup, effortlessly. I turned around to tend to something (I have no idea what could have been more important than coffee) and my 18 month old reached up to the kitchen counter and exploded my coffee everywhere. I didn’t even know he could reach that high! So much for being prepared.

3. It was liberating when my son started feeding himself. I could do the dishes, or make myself a cup of coffee while he happily shoveled oatmeal into his own mouth. Ah, the taste of freedom. One morning I caught him eating his breakfast with his hands, practically bathing himself in oatmeal. I scolded him and told him he needed to eat with his spoon. He scooped up a big spoonful, plopped the oatmeal into his palm and licked it off. I guess technically he used his spoon.

4. Those of you who have a boy know that diaper changes can be touch and go. You have to be lightning fast because you never know when your son’s going to go “old faithful” on you and treat you to your first shower in days. When my oldest was just a few months old, he got me TWICE in one morning. Being the amateur that I was, I assumed that there was a one in a million chance that lightning would strike more than TWICE in one day. I foolishly headed out for a little shopping with my bestie and when I was changing him in the car he got me a THIRD time. I wept a little for my car upholstery and then soldiered on.  The real pièce de résistance was when we returned home and he peed into a basket of clean, folded laundry, three feet from the changing table. You’ve got to admit, the kid has style.

5. After 2 ½ weeks of bribing my son to do the deed on the potty, he got down from his seat at the breakfast table and completed his business without any prompting from me. I was jazzed. I thought I could officially call my son potty trained. I knew there would be accidents from time to time going forward, but I thought it had finally clicked for him. I awarded him his prize for using the potty and got him ready for preschool. Once both boys were ready, I took a few minutes to put myself together and gulp down my coffee as I basked in my potty training success. And then it happened. Five minutes before we needed to walk out the door number two #2 arrived. In his pants.

In the end, I’m a little wiser and a little more cautious. I know that the moment I start to strut towards the parenting pedestal, I’ll find my humble pie waiting for me.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Parenting Truths

Over the last few years of raising my boys I've learned that Murphy’s Law rings particularly true for parents. In fact, parenting has turned me into a borderline lunatic who irrationally fears that flushing a toilet on the other side of the house will wake my sleeping children. I swear that you could run a jackhammer outside the kids’ window and they won’t even bat an eye, but if you sneeze on the opposite side of the house, they will most certainly wake up. Children DEFY ALL LOGIC. And with this in mind I decided that Murphy’s Law needed an addendum for parenting.

Some parenting truths based on Murphy’s Law of Parenting.

  • If you absolutely cannot be late, a child will urgently need to poop the minute everyone is buckled in the car.
  • If you skip any portion of the bedtime routine or attempt to rush it in any way, the process will take 3x longer than usual.
  • If you score an uninterrupted shower, whatever kept the children from harassing you will be extremely messy and you will emerge from the cleanup as if you hadn’t showered in days.
  • If you attempt to take a nap when the children are napping, some idiot will ring the doorbell and they won’t even be selling Girl Scout Cookies. If you’re lucky, the dog will bark and wake up the whole house.
  • If you put up a gigantic neon NO SOLICITING sign that’s visible from space, someone will knock on your door anyway. They won’t be selling Girl Scout Cookies either.
  • If you are out of milk, toilet paper and bread, a child will wake up vomiting at 3am and thwart any attempts to go to the grocery store.
  • If someone compliments you on your well-behaved children, they will act like turds until they wipe the smug off your face.
  • If you schedule a date night two weeks in advance, one child will have a fever of 101.4 and the other will decide that bedtime no longer applies to him.
  • The phrase “getting lucky” will mean that bedtime took less than two hours and you can go to bed early.
  • If you have 4 hours before you need to leave for the zoo, three hours will be spent drinking coffee and lollygagging on the internet, and the last hour will be spent as a crazed headless chicken searching for a left shoe.
Am I alone in this? Or do the most ridiculous things happen to other parents too? Share your parenting truths in the comments!