A week and a half into our school year and Kate is already pulling the, “I don’t want to go,” card. She seems to truly enjoy school now (thank you GOD), so I’m chalking it up to her not being a morning person. Like, at all. She takes a lot of time to get revved up. Usually a show or two, some milk, some cuddling with the dog, some books, maybe half a frozen waffle, a glass of water, a trip to the play room for some mindless entertainment and then a trip to the bathroom. And then, AND ONLY THEN, am I aloud to suggest, ever so sweetly, that it is time to get dressed for the day. If we are in a hurry, and she is not allowed to warm up in her very own way, be prepared for some hysterics. I could tell her we have to hustle because we are going to go to Disney World and MICKEY HIMSELF with all his
angels princesses were coming over to the house to fly us there personally with MAGIC FREAKING PIXIE DUST and she would throw herself on the ground and scream, “BUT I HAVEN’T WATCHED WILD KRATTS YET!!!”
So THAT is what I’m working with. So far this year she has been pretty okay with the whole process of getting out the door, which I attribute to the newness of school. But apparently that wore off this morning.
When I told Kate to get dressed, she told me no. That she didn’t want to. That she hadn’t played yet. So I informed her that it was a school day, and that she had to get dressed and she would play at school. That’s when she brought out the BIG GUNS.
“I don’t want to go to school.”
“I just don’t.”
“Is something wrong?”
“No. I just don’t…. (searching for a reason…) I just don’t like that I have to lay down there.”
“Well, you have to do quiet time here, so just think of it as your quiet time there. I can talk to your teachers and see if you can read a book or something instead.”
“Kate, you have to go to school, so if you have a problem we should talk to your teachers.”
“MOM NO, Don’t talk to my teachers. I just don’t want to go.”
At this point, I am lost. I mean, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want me talking to her teachers because she doesn’t really have a problem with school, but for the life of me I’m not sure what to say next. Do I threaten? Force? Stuff her, leg by skinny little defiant leg into her clothes and strap her in the car? Do I bribe? Plead? Frankly, I haven’t had enough coffee for this. Ben overhears and comes in and picks up his little girl and sits on the bed. They put their heads together and start having a quiet little conversation and I throw my hands up and walk into the kitchen to feed the child that is currently NOT testing my patience today.
Not three minutes later, Kate comes, skipping out of the bedroom fully dressed and ready to eat breakfast. I stare, in pure wide-eyed amazement at my husband. He smiles and I mouth, “WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HER?!” He shrugs the modest shrug of a man who knows he has done something truly amazing but doesn’t want to let on that HE thinks he just performed a miracle. I make a mental note to buy him a beer and give him a good smooch the next chance I get.
We finish getting ready for school and get loaded up in the car and start down the road. It is quiet for a bit and then Kate says,
“Mom. Do you know what Daddy told me?”
“He said that if I go to school every day, and then go to school every year, that someday I will get to go away to college. And then, after I go to college, I can have my own house. And when I have my own house, I can FINALLY get my kitten or a puppy.”
A lightbulb went off. Genius. My husband is a PARENTING GENIUS. He used bribery, but in the best possible way. He played the long game. He took preschool and packaged it with a lifetime of education and topped it off with the one thing she DESPERATELY wants but can NEVER have, as long as she lives under the same roof as my highly-allergic husband. A cat. He bribed her with the hope of a CAT in TWENTY YEARS. The man should belong to MENSA.
“But, I’m really going to miss you when I go away to college Mom.”
Ah. There it is. Out of the mouth of babes, a gentle reminder that I don’t have forever. While I struggle to make it through the here and now, sometimes I need to think like Ben, and focus on the long game. And try to find joy in every difficult, head strong moment as it happens.
Now you’ll have to excuse me. I’m going to buy my man a beer.
Thursday Friday friends! This week had been a whirlwind full of new schools, angst, bodily fluids and a little mania, so we got slightly off course. However, I have a #tbt that fits perfectly with my week, a gem from back in 2011 when Kate was potty training. Reading it made me feel slightly better about life, because whatever was happening in 2011, Kate NEVER poops her pants now (uh, obviously). So even though sometimes it feels like I will be throwing away soiled underpants for a lifetime (seriously Beckett? At Chic-Fil-A?!?!?) let this serve as a reminder… THERE IS AN END. POTTY TRAINING DOESN’T LAST FOREVER. Enjoy, and happy Thursday Friday!
Yesterday I was having a rough day. Not only was I coming down with a cold, but I had no energy and no patience. After ten plus days of 100+ degree weather, I was toast. All I wanted to do was lay in bed with the a/c turned down to “FREEZING”, while reading some senseless romance novel and rubbing lotion on my ever-expanding belly. Instead, I found myself rolling around on the floor of our play room, reading a book about Elmo’s first day of school for the 500th time and playing dolls while my two-year old literally used my aching, 35-week pregnant body as a jungle gym/barca lounger.I finally needed a break and hauled myself into Kate’s mini-chair (which I barely fit into). She followed me from across the room and handed me one of her dolls. “Say HI” she demanded for the millionth time. I burst into tears, tossed her doll across the room and sobbed “I don’t WANT to say “hi” Kate. Please, please for the sake of mommy’s sanity, please PLEASE play BY YOURSELF for just one tiny moment.”
Kate looked at me with VERY little pity for a moment, then wandered across the room to find where I had thrown her doll while I continued to boo-hoo. And in a case of perfect timing, Ben came home while I was still pulling myself together, so he got the full tattle-tale report from Kate who indignantly told him I threw her doll and cried. I gave her the stink eye, but apparently she is impervious to its power because I swear she just smirked at me over her dad’s shoulder and repeated “and then SHE CRIED daddy!”
Ben decided I needed to get out of the house so we packed up and headed to the mall to run some errands. He promised to be in charge of Kate and let me just wander around, leaking hormones and hopefully de-stressing. We walked into the mall and I mentioned, “By the way, keep an eye out for the closest bathroom everywhere we go. You want to be able to book it if she has to go.”
I don’t know if that comment jinxed my poor husband, or if this was all destiny, but not five minutes after I sat on a bench to do a little zen people watching, I saw Ben RUN out of a toy store with Kate in his arms. He ran down a hallway that I knew to be a dead end and then came running back out with panic on his face. I decided to take pity. “Bathroom?” I called. He nodded and I trailed him shouting directions to the closest toilet. He disappeared in the men’s room as I came huffing around the corner. I sat outside and waited to see if he needed any help.
Five minutes later, I heard Kate giggling and saying “OHHHH BUBBLES.” Another minute or two and Ben popped his head out of the bathroom to ask if we had any extra clothes. I had to tell him no, I had been a little too mental when we left the house to be my normal, prepared self. He popped back into the bathroom and then came out carrying Kate with paper towels wrapped around her bottom.
“Can you tell she is naked under there?” he asked me.
Not to get into too many details, but apparently Kate had some bowel troubles and Ben had to throw away her panties and wash out her pants. Which meant he had to carry her through the mall half-naked. With me trailing them, alternating between laughing out loud and then giggling to myself the whole way. Because, when it happened to me, yeah, it was pretty traumatic. But to see my daughter poop on my husband? That is some funny stuff right there.
We get to the car and use every wipe, sanitizing gel and napkin we can find to ensure both Kate and Ben are squeaky clean. And thanks to an extra set of Kate clothes in the car, we are able to head back into the mall to finish up our errands. The only real issue is the leftover poop stains on my husband’s long-sleeve work shirt. He rinsed and rolled up the sleeve to hide the offensive stain, but wasn’t sure if it was enough.
Ben: “Can you tell I’ve got crap on my sleeve?”
Me: “No, but you are wearing an undershirt, why don’t you just take your button-up off?”
Ben: “Gross, no. I’m wearing a V-neck”
Have I mentioned how much I love my husband?
I think parenting can be summed up in three basic emotions. Love, fear and guilt. I mean, obviously there is a pinch of anger and sometimes a heaping serving of humiliation, but for the most part, at least in my world, I’m consumed on a daily basis with love, fear and guilt.
I am swamped with love when my kids wake up in the morning and roll into our bed, all snuggly and warm and wanting nothing but to be near us. I love their hugs, their smiles, their fingers, toes and eyelashes. I love when they laugh. I love their discussions with me and with each other and with the dog. I love reading them stories. And wrestling and tickling and even the moments when they get in trouble and they come to me with sad eyes and tell me they are sorry. So much love.
And, because of that amazing love, I am also swamped by fear on a daily basis. I see danger everywhere. All strangers are potential abductors. That ladder on the playground is a broken arm waiting to happen. The neighbor’s dog is a menace. The rake in the yard, the couch in the living room, the neighborhood pool, all electrical outlets, lightening, hot dogs and grapes, butter knives, anything with wheels, plastic golf clubs, PENCILS, you name it, I bet I can explain how it could seriously and irrevocably injure my children. It is all out there. Just waiting to inflict pain on the two most important people in my world. But, since I can’t let my kids live in a bubble, I have to just sit back, swallow the fear and let them go on coloring and eating with utensils and PLAYING (dang it). But the fear. It is always there.
And then we come to guilt. Ahhh, my sweet friend guilt. I am SWAMPED with it. I feel guilt about the amount of time I breast fed. About not ALWAYS buying organic. About losing my temper. I feel guilt about not always wanting to play whatever pretend game Kate wants me to. I feel guilt about needing me time. I feel guilt about serving my kids junk food because it is the only thing they will eat. I let them watch too much TV. I forget to give them vitamins daily. I can go an entire week without doing ANYTHING educational with them. I lie to them sometimes because it is easier than dealing with the truth. I’m not always happy. I don’t always teach by example. I yell at them for yelling at each other. I tell them gentle hands but swat them when I lose my temper. Guilt. I lay in bed each night and think over the day and chew on those moments of failure, rolling them around and around until I cry sometimes because the enormity of raising children that you LOVE so much feels like an impossible task. And I constantly fall short.
Today Kate started her second year of preschool. And I spent my entire morning feeling guilty. When our family moved to our current home almost two years ago, we enrolled Kate in a great preschool that she loved. She fit right in, had friends and really blossomed. I, however, felt it was lacking. Class days were only 2.5 hours and it was completely secular (no holidays could be discussed, let alone any kind of beliefs).
After much thought, we decided to send Kate to preschool at our church this year. We want Kate to have a strong foundation of faith. To that end, we want her to feel like her church is a second home. Make friends with kids she will grow up with in youth group and be comfortable with the ministers and other church family.
I know all the reasons I chose to make the move are important. But when I took my wild and fearless child to her “Meet the Teacher” and she didn’t speak but one or two words, I felt guilt. When I took her to school this morning and I dropped her off, I felt guilt. When I peeked back in the room and saw her standing next to one of the walls instead of sitting at one of the activity tables with all the other kids, I felt guilt.
And when I got a call 30 minutes later that she had gone to the bathroom and thrown up, I felt guilt. Like, punch in the stomach, kick in the balls, guilt.
I know that it is only preschool. I know that ultimately, she will be fine. She will probably be more than fine. One she settles in at school, she will be a rock star. Because she is my Kate and she is amazing.
But that doesn’t stop the guilt. It doesn’t make it better. Kate has never thrown up due to nerves, yet I wonder if that is what happened. She doesn’t have a fever and bounced back to being her old self as soon as I arrived to pick her up. And so, because I can’t know exactly what caused it, the guilt of making a decision that possibly stressed my daughter out SO MUCH that she became physically ill, is making me ill. And afraid. That I did not make the best choice for my daughter. Because I love her, so very, very much. And I want it to all be okay.
Love. Fear. Guilt. Ain’t parenting beautiful?
I’m laying in bed nursing a terrible head cold while Ben takes the kids to the gym, so I can get some rest and they can have something to do and he can work out, which I think means watch something on his iPad for the allotted two hours of child care. Or, NOT… no, sorry, I’m mixing up MY workouts with his. He actually works out. So this is how we are spending our holiday. Happy Labor Day!
Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. I know this because I looked it up on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website and it told me so. Labor. I know ALL ABOUT labor. You know what I call labor?
And we are in the throes of it. Right down deep in that thick, dirty, dark and scary part of potty training. The part where you want to believe you’ve got it all cinched up, until someone poops their pants in the middle of the library and you are all, “Hey, whoa there buddy, slow your roll. THIS IS THE LIBRARY MAN.”
It all started last week. I’ve been purchasing potty training tools on the down low for the past month or so, just knowing that when it was “time” I wanted to be “prepared” — ha, like anyone can be prepared for toddlers and bodily fluids, but hope springs eternal.
Well, I wasn’t ready last week, but when we got home from Target Beck dragged a package of super hero underpants out of the bag and said, in his sweetest voice, “PEEEEEAAAASSSSEEEE?” and then he batted his big ol’ blue eyes and I handed him my credit card, the keys to the car and a pair of underpants.
Huh. Now what? See, I was not ready yet. For Kate, she had been reading potty books and sitting on the potty before bath every night for months before we really started the good stuff, like panties and bribes. But Beck jumped the gun on me, we hadn’t gotten there just yet. So I rushed to iTunes and downloaded the only cartoon about potty training (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, for the win!) and sat his little underpant clad tushie in front of the iPad and told him, sternly, to pay attention. About 15 minutes in, as Daniel gets a high five for going on the big boy potty, Beck unloads his bladder on our kitchen table bench. Riiiiight.
So I grab him, run to the little potty and let him finish. And then scream like a pre-teen at a Bieber concert, give him an M&M and a few stickers and then let him flush the big potty. He was pretty proud of himself.
So then for the rest of the day we played downstairs and he ran to the potty every time he had to go, and we did it. WE DID IT ALL DAY LONG WITHOUT ANOTHER ACCIDENT! There was some leaking before he caught himself a few times, but he was getting better and better at knowing when he had to go and by the end of the day I was all, WHAT? POTTY TRAINING GENIUS UP IN HERRRRRRRRR’.
The next morning he woke up, took a duece in the potty and I got all smug.
And that was my downfall.
Because I was all, “My son is a freaking genius. Potty training GENIUS. He is TOTALLY potty trained after, like, 12 hours right? So lets get out and run some errands. Lets go to the library. Hell, lets go to DINNER.”
I got all crazy. I have no excuse. Except, while I couldn’t remember much of Kate’s potty training experience, I knew it was easy. She was just easy to potty train. Except for that ONE accident. THE ONE. But I was all hopped up on my son’s incredible awesomeness that I didn’t do the one thing you should ALWAYS DO.
LEARN FROM HISTORY. Don’t repeat the same mistakes.
I didn’t do that. I laughed and maybe spit on my potty training history.
And history gave me the big F-YOU by taking Kate’s big potty training snafu (which involved poop and a Target) and jacked it up on steriods and let it loose in my sons underpants.
He pooped in the library. He pooped in the restaurant. He pooped in the last pull up we had and then he pooped while GOING COMMANDO (Ben’s fault here, I take no responsibility for thinking a potty training toddler should EVER go commando).
It was, in the middle of dinner, when Beck got off his chair, stood up and poop slid out of his shorts and down his leg that I learned my lesson. And ordered another glass of wine.
OHHHHHH. Right. 12 hours accident free AT HOME does not a potty trained child make.
So it is a work in progress. WORK. LABOR.
Happy LABOR Day, friends.
May your labor be a little less messy than here at The EdelSpot.
So Mr. EdelSpot has taken a new job. A new job where he may be allowed to work from home more. Which sounds like a dream. Or it did to me, until I thought back to the times he has worked from home in the past. It goes a little something like this.
“Daaaaaaaaaddy. Oh DAAAAAAAADDY. Why isn’t daddy opening the door. I can see him in there. He is looking at me and mouthing something, but he isn’t coming to the door. Oh well, I guess I could JUST YELL LOUDER!!!! DAAAAAAAADDDDDYYYYYY!!!!! You know what, he can’t hear me because he has that phone up to his head. Maybe if I rattle the door he can hear me. Here, just a little harder and I THINK I CAN GET IT OPEN. Nope, just need to kick the door a little maybe. Here, a big KICK!! What, No, Mom, I need to talk to Daddy. Don’t pull me away from the door. It’s my DAAAADDDDDYYYYY. (Insert shrill screaming as I drag her from the office doors). DAAAAADDDYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Now, flash to 15 minutes later when whatever business call Ben was on has ended.
“Um, yeah. Sorry about that. See, Beckett had a poopy diaper, so I had to change him and she slipped me. I mean, she saw that moment of weakness when I accidentally got baby shit on my knuckle and was scrubbing my hands clean and decided to make a break for the office door. I thought it might be quieter if you just WAVED YOUR DAMN HAND AT HER SO SHE COULD QUIT SCREAMING AT YOU, but I see how that was not an option. Because you needed your hand to do something important, like, oh, wait, NO YOU DIDN’T YOUR WERE JUST TALKING. So, tell me, why didn’t you just WAVE YOUR HAND AT HER? MY BAD for thinking that was an option.”
Obviously, Ben gets annoyed at my suggestion that he go jump in a lake, and I get annoyed that he thinks I can wrangle my children every time he gets on the damn phone, because that man is on the phone ALL THE TIME, and then we both quit speaking to each other and someone slams a door. And a preschooler or toddler then has to go to the door to peek inside and whisper, “Daddy? You mad? Can I come in? Want to play?” And he gives me THE EYE and I drag both kids upstairs to do something quiet. Like, um, hm, ummm, quiet, let’s see, ummmmmm, yeah. We don’t DO quiet. Guess we will go to Target for a few hours.
Miley, Miley, Miley.
If you have been hidden under a rock for the last 24 hours, you may have missed the VMAs (that is Video Music Awards) on MTV (that is Music Television I believe). I missed it for sure, because I haven’t watched that channel since about Real World Season 6 and I think they are on Real World Season 55. However, what I COULDN’T miss was when the Titterverse had a giant and simultaneous brain explosion when Miss Cyrus took the stage to perform.
So I did what any mature adult would do. I rose above and ignored the gossip. Ha, no way, I rushed to YouTube to see what all the fuss was about.
Okay, I get it. From the dawn of time, “artists” have been pushing the envelope. Hoping to make an impression. When I got online to make my own Facebook statement of indignation, a dear friend reminded me of the influences we had growing up. For heaven’s sake, Madonna released an album called Erotica with a companion photo book entitled SEX. And yes, lest you be confused about what the photos actually were of… it is what you think. Britney made school girls naughty(er?), wore skimpy clothing and I believe, during one certain tour, pretended to pleasure herself in a bathtub.
So yes, my friend is correct. Miley Cyrus’ decision to use a foam finger as an, ah, um, ahem, sorry, can’t go there. Whatever she was doing with that finger, is not a new phenomenon.
But thanks to the great double-edged sword of technological advancements, I think it IS more problematic to our children than what we saw growing up.
I was free to make all kinds of mistakes when I was growing up. Say, for example, I decided to “be like Madonna” and recreate a scene from SEX (this did not happen by the way.) The only people who would have known were the participants. Sure, maybe someone blabs, there is some gossip for awhile and then things move on to the next teenage scandal.
Let’s say that same thing happens today. First, someone takes a cellphone pic, obviously. That gets posted to SnapChat because kids are dumb. No, that isn’t fair. Kids are not dumb, but it is PROVEN that the part of the brain that controls reasoning isn’t developed until a person is well into adulthood. Children sometimes make bad choices – it is actually NOT 100% THEIR FAULT. So anyhoo, someone posts this pic to SnapChat and they think that is the end of it. But a “friend” of theirs gets a screen grab of the pic. They post it to Facebook and Twitter. Hashtag “time to ruin a few lives.” Maybe someone took a cellphone video, posted it to all the above, maybe Vine. Now, not that teenagers need it, but all those bullies out there have new ammunition to use online and in person. Maybe these poor kids change schools to get away from the harassment. That doesn’t matter, because the kids at their new school know how to use GOOGLE for God’s sake, and they found the photos, the videos and now have both a new target and new fun fodder. So THEN what? Homeschool? Suicide? Let’s talk about the future. THESE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS COULD BE AVAILABLE WHEN YOU ARE LOOKING FOR YOUR FIRST JOB. It is the Internet people. It is not kind.
As an adult, you may be reading this and thinking I’m going overboard. NO I’M NOT. This kind of activity and bullying is happening every day. It is terrifying.
And that is why we can’t just laugh off these types of “performances” and roll our eyes and say, “OH MILEY.” Chuckle and think how ridiculous we all thought she looked. Because for everyone of us who are unimpressed, there is someone with an undeveloped frontal cortex who is seeing a role model, and who has the tools and access to emulate the things they are seeing and share it with a very, very wide audience.
Look, I made a ton of mistakes growing up, and I am not foolish enough to think my kids won’t make them too. Normal, natural, growing up and learning from them mistakes.
But now, more than ever, I believe that we have to be vigilant about what our kids are seeing and TALKING to them about it. About the dangers of social media, about privacy and how to protect yourself. We can’t immediately change the world, but man, we have got to find a way to help them navigate it.
And pray there isn’t a cell phone around when the worst mistakes happen.
This week I was lucky enough to attend a small CPR course at a friend’s house. While you may ASSUME I am extremely calm and collected during an emergency (I know, I give off that super calm and cool vibe, right? Ahem) my husband can attest that I am, in fact, NOT calm in an emergency. Just ask him (or my neighbors) about the time I “cut off my finger.” And since it had been more than four years since my infant CPR course, I thought a little refresher couldn’t hurt.
It was so amazing.
I’ll be honest. As a parent, I experience a lot of fear. Fear of cars, fear of pools, fear of fire ants and snakes and hot dogs and corners of tables and dogs and grapes and playground equipment, and on. And on. And on. Life with kids is one big fear fest, because the number one job we have, above all else, is to help them survive childhood. But the little buggers seem pretty determined to throw all caution to the wind and live like there is no tomorrow. CAN’T THEY SEE MY GRAY HAIRS?? They are giving me gray hair. Make them stop.
But I digress. The point is that a lot of the situations I fear grow bigger (and scarier) due to a feeling of total helplessness. For example, I know the general idea of how to do the heimlich. But the idea I’d ever have to use it scared me. For obvious reasons, but also because I wasn’t exactly sure, HOW to do it. Where do my hands go? How hard do I push (or pull?) What happens if they don’t stop choking?
This course gave me a feeling of power and knowledge. I still hope to never use anything I learned, but man, what a great blessing to have been given the opportunity. I strongly urge anyone (parent or no) to either take a course, or at least hop on YouTube and watch a few videos to spruce up your knowledge of CPR and choking rescue tactics. Hell, while you are there, watch the video of the cat on the Roomba too. It’s delightful.
In the meantime, here are a few quick visuals on how to do CPR on an adult or child (not infant). The techniques are basically the same, but a few things to note:
1. Always check for signs of breathing, make sure the area is secure and yell for help. If someone is nearby, have them call 911 and grab an AED if it is available. Don’t be afraid of the AED!! It has clear, verbal instructions once you start to use it, and greatly increasesthe changes of a positive outcome. If no one is around to help you, start life-saving CPR FIRST before calling 911. Immediate action also greatly increases the chances of a positive outcome.
2. Compressions on an adult need to move the chest approx. 2 inches. On a child it is 1.5 inches. The amount of force differs, so you may only need one hand to compress a child and two for an adult. The images from our session don’t show the use of just one hand, but be aware that you will need less pressure for a child.
3. On an adult you begin with 100 chest compressions followed by two breaths, the begin a pattern of 30 compressions and two breaths, until help arrives. With children, you skip the 100 chest compressions and begin the pattern of 30 compressions and two breaths until help arrives. If no one is available to call 911, once you have done 5 sets of 30 compressions and 2 breaths, you may break quickly to call 911 and then resume CPR.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, my VERY SIMPLIFIED, CPR for dummies visual overview. *Please note: I’m not a medical professional, or hell, even CERTIFIED in CPR. There are a lot more great details that you need to know and again I urge you to take a course yourself. However, knowledge is power, blah-dy-blah-blah, and I took all these great pictures, and I didn’t DO THAT FOR NOTHIN’ so here you go.
Happy Throwback Thursday friends! Todays #tbt is from exactly two years ago, August 23, 2011. I have to say, re-reading this post makes me realize how much Kate has grown and changed in just two short years, which makes me both happy and sad. While she is growing into a true force of nature that I am so proud of, she seems less like my baby and more like a little girl every day. But here is a quick window into sweet two-year-old Kate.
We had a friend who told us once that his main goal in life was to keep his daughter off the pole (as in the stripper pole, for all you innocents out there). I think he was joking, but in my mind, that seems to be an admirable goal, though not my MAIN goal.
Honestly, I find it is pretty easy to joke about what you do and don’t want to see your kids get mixed up in when their biggest choices revolve around wearing Elmo or Tinkerbell pajamas. But as I see all my friends posting photos of their kids heading off to school for the first time this week, I’m reminded about how quickly they truly do grow up.
And it scares the bejesus out of me.
Seriously. I sometimes find I’m barely equipped to mentally stay ahead of my two-year-old. And I think I’m going to be able to keep a TEENAGER in line some day?! Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahahaha. Yeah, I’m not too confident either. Because no matter how solid the foundation we provide or the safety measures we put in place (or the chastity belt we purchase), our kids are going to have outside influences that affect them no matter what.
I had my first experience with outside influences today and it gave me a flash of the future. And, DUUUUDE.
It started out innocently enough. Kate is currently in love with all things Disney princess. We play dolls. We play pretend. We watch movies. Yesterday, we put on makeup, dressed up in our best ball gowns and had a ball, complete with music and dancing (I was the handsome prince. Naturally).
Today, while playing pretend, Kate reached her hand down to me and said, “Do you trust me?” A million points if you can name that movie (points for what you ask? Haha, NOTHING! But I bet you feel like a winner if you knew the answer…) It is from Aladdin, and it happens twice in the movie. It is always said as Aladdin reaches down to help Jasmine onto his magic carpet. It is lovely, and romantic and sweet.
And, I thought it was pretty cute that Kate was re-creating a moment in one of the movies. So I reach up, told her I trusted her and she stepped over my lap onto the “carpet” — and then cocked her head to the side, opened her mouth wide and leaned down to give me a smooch.
Did you get that? MY TWO-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER TRIED TO OPEN MOUTH KISS ME.
I tried to explain that we don’t open mouth kiss people (ever. Until you are married, or at least able to insist he buy you a drink first) but I’m not sure if the message sunk in. Because that is how they kiss in the CARTOONS my daughter watches (insert head slap). I’m not kidding, check it out next time you are watching. There is no chaste pucker and peck kisses in Disney movies. These are princes and princesses IN LOVE. Which means OPEN MOUTH KISSING (and probably some under the shirt-over the bra action, but everyone gets married so fast in these things they don’t really have time to get to second base in the story line). I was all worried about the violence in some of these cartoons (Lion King anyone?) but now I see there were tons of other influences at work that I just didn’t pay attention to. So many things that seemed so innocent to me as a thirty year old woman, seem kind of seedy when your toddler (who doesn’t know any better) tries to replicate it. Seriously, if she asks for a crop top like Jasmine, I’m sending her to a convent for pre-K.
I figure that just as long as an open-mouth kiss doesn’t lead to the pole, we will be fine. But I will admit, the incident started to make me think about what it will be like 14 years from now, when I have to ground my daughter for sneaking out to neck with her senior boyfriend because she, like, “LOVES HIM MOM,” and she just doesn’t understand why I’m “RUINING HER LIFE” and she “HATES ME” (ouch).
Yeah. Did I mention the future scares the bejesus out of me? I’m going to go snuggle my toddler now and thank God I have THIS time with her. When all I have to worry about is some trampy princesses and dodging some slobbery kisses.
A sane person should never have these conversations. And I’ve had them all. GO FIGURE.
“Don’t wipe your boogers on your car seat. Well, I can’t REACH a tissue, I’m driving. Okay, fine then, wipe them on the car seat. Just don’t eat them.”
“Do not let the dog lick your food before you eat it. I don’t care that you are sharing, don’t share. Yes, you SHOULD share with your friends. But do not share with the dog. Yes, unless he is starving, then you can share. No. Jackson is not starving right now.”
“I don’t know what lady bugs eat, but I’m fairly certain peanut butter isn’t it. I’m also fairly certain that petting her like that is going to kill her.”
“Sure you can clean all the bathroom floors, what a fun game. Here is a wipe. Yes. Yes that IS gross. Here are some plastic gloves to wear. Now get to cleaning.”
“I am NOT calling you names. Hellion is a term of endearment.”
“Everything that is covered by your swimsuit is private. Do you know what that means? Good, so what are your private areas? Yes, and yes. And no. That is your armpit, it’s not private. Okay, fine, sure, it’s private. Don’t let anyone touch your armpit.”
“If you sit still, I will give you a cookie. No, you know what, if you sit still for just five more minutes, I will give you 10 million dollars. Fine. I’ll keep the dollars, here is your cookie. Sucker.”
“Be a giant! Come on, be a giant and eat your trees. Yummy. See? Mommy is a giant, YUM! Ew, yuck, yeah, don’t eat those. Let me put some butter and seasoning on those trees, plain broccoli is super gross.”
“Go play. Mommy just needs a few minutes of privacy. Don’t bang on the door with a toy Beckett. Kate, I can hear you telling him to bang on the door. Stop it. Guys, seriously. Just a minute. Go away. GUYS! THE NEXT SET OF FINGERS THAT REACH UNDER THAT DOOR ARE GOING TO BE CHOPPED OFF SO HELP ME GOD.”