Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Effective parenting

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know that I'm a fierce disciplinarian. I'm so intimidating that the following examples of my awesome parenting skillz shouldn't be any surprise.

Example One: "And we shall go merrily to timeout"

Double trouble conspired to tip over the end table. After being told repeatedly not to knock it over, they look at me, giggle, and do it anyway. Then Ella says, "Come on Marian, we have to go to timeout now." And they run off, hand in hand, to go sit in timeout. Without being told.

As if that was not enough, a few minutes later Ella brings her baby doll over to the table. She says, "Mama, New Baby* says she is going to knock the table over now too. But I tell her, 'No no New Baby,' but she going to do it anyway." And the she proceeds to help the baby doll pretend to knock over the table and takes her to pretend time out.

*The dolls in our house have very original names. New Baby was, at one point, the newest baby doll. We also have Cow Baby, Soft Baby, Music Dolly, and Stinky Baby. 

Example Two: "I only has on my bad ears today"

The other day Ella got sent to timeout for not listening. After two minutes I go over there and tell her she can come out. She's sitting there goofing around pretending to be Mr. Potato Head. I figure, whatever, she knows she's free to come out. After a few minutes I hear her call and ask if she can get out. I tell her yes and continue making dinner. Several minutes later I notice she's still sitting there. I peek around the corner and see she's pretending her hands are alligators. Again I tell her she can come out. Ten minutes later she still sitting there. I guess the answer as to whether she found her listening ears was a definite no.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Yes, interwebs, I am 5

Well, at any rate Ella keeps on telling me I'm five. Which I guess when you are two is pretty ancient. She also has told me she doesn't like the lines in my forehead. Thanks, kiddo, guess I'll be taking the money from your college fund and getting Botox.

Anyway, this post has more to do with my incredibly immature sense of humor.

This past weekend, Jim noticed that the caulking on the bathtub had been shoddily done. We had a boring conversation about him replacing it. Nothing untoward about discussing caulk in front of the kids, right?

Monday rolls around and I'm getting Ella ready for school. I head out to the garage to put her backpack and such in the car. The kids dutifully trot out after me, Ella talking a mile a minute about this and that. Now, I'll back this up for a second and mention that Ella has some speech troubles so words don't always come out crystal clear. Thus why I hear my little two year old yell, "Marian! Stop! We don't touch Daddy's cock!"

In true Ella fashion, once she starts talking about a subject she won't shut up. The ten minute drive to school was filled with all sorts of details about "Daddy's cock." Including but not limited to the fact that Daddy's cock was broken and he had to go to the store to buy a new one. And that Daddy's old cock was red but now he has a new white cock.

Whoever said parenting wasn't fricking hilarious?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide- Mommy Edition

I figured since I gave all my readers (yes, all three of you) a handy dandy gift guide for the kids, I might as well make one out for myself. You may send your gift to BFE- just write my name on the box and it will somehow find its way to me, I promise. This gift guide will also serve you well for any other mom of young children on your gift list.

1. Alcohol. Moms have to heavy job of ensuring that the next generation doesn't turn out to be little shits. Doing so means that we have to deal with a LOT of whining and tantrums and utter ridiculous sentences like, "Please stop telling the dog to sniff your butt and go get some undies on." I can give you somewhere along the lines of a gazillion other examples but you get the point.

2. Coffee. This is pretty much self-explanatory. I have not slept through the night since 2011. In fact, I'm pretty positive that I am a caffeinated zombie. I need caffeine like I need oxygen.

3. Babysitting services. You know how every single parenting magazine/website tells you to make sure to take time for yourself, go on dates with your significant other, maybe get your hair cut or fall asleep in a movie theatre? What they don't tell you is that (a) babysitters are freaking expensive and (b) finding the Holy Grail is easier than finding a good babysitter.

4. Everyone else to not have a housecleaning service. I discovered a dirty little secret here in BFE- almost everyone I know utilizes a housecleaning service on a fairly regular basis. While it would be nice to have a housekeeper of my own, I'm kind of a vindictive bitch. It would be far nicer to watch everyone else scramble to figure out how the hell to keep a house halfway decent while doing enriching things with the kids and at least 5 Pinterest-worthy projects a day and pretend that you have all your shit together. I'll smugly watch from the sidelines with my alcohol-laden coffee.

5. Hotel room. I have fantasies about hotel rooms. They all run along these lines: I check into the hotel, while singing, "All by myself! I get to be- all by myself!" (Celine Dion re-wrote the song after having kids.) I change into my super sexy yoga pants and grungy t-shirt. I order room service. I watch crappy cable TV. Maybe binge watch HGTV. After eating a meal in which no one throws food or whines about wanting something different, I go to sleep. I get to sprawl over the entire king size bed and no one wakes me up by snoring or needing to nurse or wanting Mommy to come get the scary things off the bed. I wake up the next morning after 12 amazing hours of sleep. I order room service breakfast. I eat and drink coffee- hot coffee, and not hot from being microwaved five times- while reading a book or trashy magazine. I get to shower and pee without company. If it's a hotel room in a swanky place that has a spa, I will love you forever.

Holiday Gift Guide- Toddler Edition

Since the stores are rolling out all the Christmas stuff, people are making their Black Friday Thursday Wednesday Tuesday shopping plans, and everyone keeps on asking me what the girls would like for Christmas, I figured I'd give you all a handy dandy gift guide for the toddler set.

To make it easier, I'm going to start with what NOT to buy.

1. Any toy that makes noise. In case you weren't aware, toddlers make a ridiculous amount of noise without any help from Tickle Me Elmo. If you give a toddler a noise-making toy, the following things will occur:
  • They will press the damn button repeatedly until you want to gouge out your eardrums with a spoon. 
  • They will press the damn button repeatedly until the toy breaks or the batteries run out. Once it breaks, the ensuing tantrums over the broken toy and demands to go to the store and buy new batteries will make you want to gouge out your eardrums with a spoon. 
Moral of the story: Don't do it. The only exception is if you include a case of wine for Mom and Dad and say these magic words: "It can stay at my house for when Little Susy comes over."

2. Toys that have more pieces than the age of the child. Let's say you are at the store and you see the 100 piece block set. You think, "Oooh, awesome, look at all these blocks! My niece/nephew/grandchild is going to love this! And it's only $10!" Step back for a second while I tell you what's going to happen. Child will see all the blocks. Promptly dump them all over the floor, leaving death traps for the parents. Child will pick out ONE block- you know, the Special Block that was at the bottom of the bin and will require the child to dump out all the blocks in search of this Special Block every.single.time.

If you feel compelled to get the gigantic sets, save yourself some money and divvy up the set between all the kids on your shopping list.

3. Toys with small pieces. I have a deep and abiding hatred for toys that come with small pieces. To begin with, I still have one kid that loves to put everything and anything in her mouth. It's not a lot of fun when I have to tell Ella that she can't play with a toy because it's a choking hazard for her sister or another little kid who comes over to play. Furthermore, the little pieces end up getting lost and then we have a meltdown over "I NEED it!" And I have to explain that I would love to give the piece to her. Except there is a high probability that it's lost in the abyss that is the horrible shag carpet in our playroom. Or possibly taking a voyage through her sister's intestines.

4. Toys that involve a high level of parental involvement. Look, I know the ad shows the parent(s) and kids happily playing with this toy that is too advanced for my toddlers to do on their own but is so super cool that they need to play with it all.the.time. But in real life, Dad has a job and Mom has other things to do than constantly reassemble this thing that is too complicated for the toddler to handle. If you like my kids and want them to eat semi-decent meals, please take a pass on the toys that need an adult every time. Unless, again, you would like to keep it at your house.

5. Electronics. Toddlers are destructive and electronics are expensive. And then there's the whole thing that a two year old does not need an iPad. P.S. If you get my toddler an iPad, you can be assured that I am going to commandeer it.

So what, then, would be a good present for a toddler?

1. Your presence. Even though I'm totally awesome, my kids sometimes get bored with me and like to see other people. Spend the money to come see them. I promise you, they will be thrilled and will be talking about your visit for months.

2.  A membership to the zoo/museum/aquarium/etc. It's something they can enjoy all year long. My kids are 1 and 2 and have the attention spans of gnats (actually, some days that might be insulting to gnats). A new toy is going to be super cool for a week, tops, whereas the zoo is awesome all the time. In fact, some days I'm pretty sure they only keep me around so I'll drive them to go see George and Bobo and the lizards and the bear.

3. A gigantic box. Boxes are cheap and kids love them. Wrap it up in paper for them to happily destroy and you have one amazing gift.

4. Empty toilet paper/paper towel rolls. These are like crack to my kids. Seriously. Combine some with the empty box and you are golden.

5. A personalized photo book. Ella loves looking through our photo albums and seeing her relatives. She'll sit there and tell me all these stories about the photos, real or imagined (like how there's Mommy holding newborn Ella at swim class. Uhhhh....pretty sure that's the hospital bed but okay.).

6. A donation to a charity. Kids are way more perceptive than we give them credit for. Even though she's not quite three, Ella is starting to understand that there are some people who don't have as much as we do. Sure, she may devise devious little plans where (in her mind) some other kid gets all her toys and then she gets new toys (we're still working on explaining the whole charity concept) but she does understand the basic idea of helping out others.