I just planned my meals and made a grocery list for the week. Ride my coattails.
Every Saturday I bring you a parenting mistake my husband and I have made. Please have a laugh or cry at our expense — we really are good parents, I swear.
This is a mistake I have yet to remedy, which is pathetic because I made it months ago. It started with a good decision. There are two classrooms at my daughter’s daycare for two-year-olds. She was in a classroom with a “difficult” little boy. Everytime I was in the room, the teacher had the boy in time-out. It was a very tense atmosphere, and not one I wanted for my daughter.
I liked the teacher. She’s sweet and young, but stressed and had developed a bad dynamic with this particular boy. On one occassion I actually saw her grab him from the corner of my eye. I didn’t see what led up to it, perhaps she was blocking him from hurting another child, but the tone and intensity were all wrong.
So, after my husband and I had some discussion, I spoke with the assistant director of the center and asked for Nora to be moved to the other classroom. I explained my concerns about the amount of attention focused on one child.
Here comes the mistake. The evening before, I’d had a very friendly conversation with this teacher. And the very next morning I asked for my daughter to be moved to another class. It was two faced. When I saw her again I could see that she was hurt and a bit confused. I should have had a small private discussion with her about my reasons, without laying any blame at her feet. I didn’t. I still could, but I haven’t.
Remember the post about my “I Still Gotta” list and how I try to keep that list as small as possible? I feel it necessary to report that yesterday one of the items that didn’t make it to the list came back to bite me, or, more precisely, stab me.
There is a hole in the lining of my coat that I haven’t bothered to mend. Occasionally, I have to stick my hand through the hole and fish out loose change that’s fallen by the hem. I didn’t realize that a pen had slipped through the hole, too. As I was crossing the street, the pen got jammed between my legs and stabbed me in both thighs. The business end actually made me bleed. Besides the danger to my person from doubling over in pain in the middle of a downtown intersection, there was my wounded pride to confront. I am sure I looked like a crazy idiot, flailing and cursing in the street. As I limped to my office building I scolded myself; am I so incapable of handling all the little details in life that I can’t find the time to stitch a pocket lining?
A day later, I have come to my senses again. There is now a bruise above my right knee where the sharp end of the deadly Bic stabbed me. Did I sew up the pocket when I got home? I did not. I visited the chickens and read a stack of stories with my daughter. I don’t need the stress involved in becoming the Woman With No Holes in Her Clothes. It’s worth the occasional puncture wound for a (slightly) more carefree existence.
The sun is shining in Portland today, but not for long. February in the Pacific Northwest means it’s been gray and rainy for a good three months. It can bring even a toddler down. Here are some guaranteed joy makers to give your toddler (and yourself) a mood lift:
Walking by a classroom full of toddlers yesterday, I saw two teachers blowing bubbles onto the heads of their charges. There was a broad smile on every pudgy little face and every sticky little hand was in the air, trying to touch the ephemeral sphere.
On your next trip to the grocery store, pick up a little jar of multi-colored sprinkles. Just four or five poured into a little hand and you get delight without a sugar rush.
Stickers and Temporary Tattos
Dollar stores are great places to stock up on stickers and tattoos. I have a hypothesis that letting kids indulge in temporary tattoos at a tender age can prevent rebellious ink addicts later on. Perhaps just wishful thinking?
Strip your baby naked and let him draw all over himself. Sensory delight!
Set up a soft space and give your tot a crash course in tumbling.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve building forts from a card table and sheets. If you’re lucky, your kid will invite you in for a nap.
Have any mood lifters of your own to share?
Last May, my daughter started showing interest in using the potty. She liked reading stories about kids using the potty, she liked sitting on her chair. However, she wasn’t making any deposits. Several times a day, she would drag me to the bathroom and I’d pull her pants down so she could sit. And sit. And sit. She was missing a piece of the puzzle.
Then I got an idea, a wonderful, awful idea.
I am rather a small person and not well endowed in the buttocks region, so I lowered myself onto her little potty chair and peed. Then I showed her the results. Her little eyes widened and she smiled in comprehension. I dumped and rinsed the potty and she sat down and peed. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!
Obviously, for you J-Lo types, this approach is not practical. And, of course, some of you will just think I’m looney. However, the lesson here is that sometimes little ones need to see how something works, as their language skills just aren’t at a place where a verbal explanation is going to help. In such cases, show, don’t tell. It’s just crazy enough to work.
Is your livingroom strewn with toys? Are there dirty clothes on the bathroom floor? Does the garbage need to be taken out? Does the dishwasher need to be unloaded and immediately reloaded? Would you rather be laying in a lump on the couch than doing anything about it?
Allow me to introduce seven minute clean-up. It’s a little technique my husband and I developed back in our childless days, before we even knew what a messy house looked like or what it meant to be truly exhausted. Basically, when you hate that the house is a mess but don’t have the energy for serious cleaning, you shout “Seven minute clean-up!” and set a timer, then everyone in the house cleans their butts off for exactly seven minutes. As soon as the timer goes off, everyone stops cleaning and (hopefully) assumes a vegetative state.
The beauty of this technique is that no reasonable person can refuse to lend a hand for only seven minutes and it really can make the house look better fast, thereby decreasing the guilt involved in laying around doing nothing. I know, genius. You’re welcome.