Tag Archives: parenting

what would jesus do?

Last fall, we signed up Monkey for baseball. We were thrilled with the organization, the fields were close to home, loved our coach, and Monkey enjoyed himself immensely. Monkey’s game improved and he developed friendships with his teammates. DW took photos at every game and shared them on the team site, much to everyone’s delight. (Her photos are practically pro level at this point.) When the season ended, the team was invited to the coach’s house for a BBQ and awards celebration and it was great. DW asked at some point toward the end of the season if the team would be together for the next season and the coach said he couldn’t guarantee it, but he hoped so.

Fast forward to spring ball. We signed Monkey up and discovered he had a different coach. DW took Monkey to his first practice and noticed that all the kids already knew each other – it was obvious they were all on the same team last season. Hmmmm…

Last Saturday was Opening Ceremony. DW sees our old coach and notices that the team is made up of EXACTLY the same players – minus one, of course. Now, we hate to go there, but the only possible thing we can figure is that they wanted the lesbian family off their team. I suppose it’s possible there was some sort of glitch in the system or something, but really, what are the odds?

Monkey has expressed sadness several times at the loss of his old teammates, though he has already found buddies on his new team (as is his way – dude is one of those “life of the party” types that kids are typically drawn to). Prior to last Saturday, we just explained to him that they switch teams up and while we’re sad we don’t have the same team, we are really happy with the new team we’re on (and we are – perfectly nice coach, kids, etc.).

Now we know there will come a time when Monkey’s current team plays his old team. Kid’s pretty sharp and I’m sure will notice it’s the same team – minus one, of course. I am so pissed off. I’d really love to say something to the coach, but this is totally one of those things where he’ll never admit it even if it’s true. You can’t prove it.

It’s just so “Christ-like” to hurt the feelings of an innocent kid because you don’t approve of his parents’ “lifestyle.” I’m really furious, even though I’m really trying to just assume the best – it was something out of the coach’s control, a glitch, something. If we end up getting passed off to yet another team next season, we’re out. I’m just sad for my boy and have to come up with something to tell him when he encounters his old team on the ballfield and wonders why he isn’t with them.

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4.5 (aka what the hell happened to my sweet kid?)

It’s so hard to find a moment to blog these days. I really don’t want to abandon the blog, but I must admit that I’ll likely be a sporadic poster as life continues to get more chaotic and hectic. The older my two get, the crazier it seems, if you can imagine 🙂

We are in 4.5 year old hell with our Monkey. He’s so hard to handle these days, it’s insane. He absolutely does not listen one little bit. He doesn’t respond to positive or negative consequences. He’s just a tasmanian devil of a child. He hits us and his brother for no reason, just out of the blue. He throws toys. He yells and screams. He does mean and/or annoying things just for the sake of it. In between all of these things, he cuddles in my lap, tucking his long, thin legs into his chest and pressing his head against my heart. I say, “I love you, S!” He says, “I wuv you, too, Mama!” But I must admit, the vast majority of the time is wild child with a few bright spots. I’m hopeful this turns around soon as we are pretty fried. Camp starts in 9 days. Counting down! Are you mamas of 4 year olds experiencing this? Anything working to calm the savage beast?

The MM is wonderful. Super mellow and sweet. He started walking a bit about a month ago, but has stalled out. He will stand up and take about 7 steps before plopping down on his butt. He claps and says, “Yay!” He is ticklish and his laughs and giggles just about break me with their cuteness. The teething is really bad for him lately – gums are red and swollen, poor guy. Still, sleep is not an issue with him (thank you!!!!).

We are all looking forward to our annual beach trip with my family in late July. A week with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents. I can’t wait to sip an ice cold beer on the hot sand. Aaaaaaahhhhh.

I interviewed for a new job earlier this week and it went really well. So well that they want to create a senior level position just for me. It is in my area of expertise (current position is most definitely not and I’m not happy there), and they are 10 minutes down the road. No commute and I could come home for lunch! Score! Cross your fingers that they are able to put a package together that is equal to or better than my current position.

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mean boys

I started this post yesterday, but had to update that just this morning my baby Marshmallow started crawling! OMG, what happened to my newborn????

Now for my not so nice post. My sweet not-quite-four-year-old Monkey has been getting his feelings hurt at school by a boy (I’ll call him A) who has been his BFF for the last year. We have not been fans of this friendship as both boys are way too rough with each other. They alternate between hugs and smiles and kicks and slaps. It’s been a trying year for all involved, but Monkey just thinks the sun rises and sets on A. He talks about him all the time, wants to bring him things, etc. Just loves this kid.

A couple of weeks ago, A’s mother approached DW and mentioned that A has been telling her that two other boys (L and R) don’t want to play with Monkey. Pissed us both off and we were like, well what do you expect us to do with this information (except be pissed off). A’s mom is from another country and English is her second language, so it’s hard to figure out where she’s going with stuff sometimes. Then DW and I went out of town for 2 nights on business and Grandma stayed with Monkey. She dropped him off at school and then texted DW that she asked Monkey on the way to school, “What are you going to do at school today? Play with A?” My boy said, “No, A won’t play with me. R and L won’t play with me. I’ll just be a helping hand.” When they arrived at school, Grandma witnessed A pulling L and R away from Monkey and telling them not to play with him. Monkey got teary and the teacher stepped in and got him involved in something else. My poor baby – and we weren’t home to smother him in hugs 😦

Monkey talked about it and cried a few times afterwards. A and the others were also name-calling, mostly about Monkey being a “baby.” Monkey is most definitely a “young 3,” so there’s some truth there which makes it even meaner, if you ask me.

Coincidentally, our school is having a bit of trouble (long story), so for a while we will be having 2 sessions rather than 1. We decided to move to the session that A (and L and R) are not in. It has been going well – no problems. Teacher says both A and S are doing well apart. Yesterday Monkey was invited to attend both sessions due to an absence (4 hour school day – woot!), as was A. When we arrived at the end of the day,  A and Monkey were all over each other (in a good way), smiling, hugging – Monkey just looked SO happy. His teacher said there was some trouble (and tears) in the early session (when L and R are there), but they had a ball during the afternoon session. So I guess that group together is an issue. I think it’s the A/R combo as L was in soccer with Monkey over the summer and we’ve had play dates with him. He’s a sweet, quiet kid and I can’t imagine him doing this.

Anyway, my heart is a little broken over this. We talk about it with Monkey but I’m not sure if there’s more we should do with him to help. Have any of you encountered this stuff yet? If so, what did you do?

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perfectly imperfect

We went to water the plants at Monkey’s school on Monday with another mom and her daughter. We planned to bring along bubbles, thinking the kids would like to do that, and I thought the baby would like it, too. I had a whole image of how this scene would play out – and then I thought about the reality.

Imaginary scene

Baby F and I would sit in the shade on our picnic blanket. Monkey and his playmate would skip happily around us chasing the delicate bubbles that I would blow in the breeze. The baby would coo and wiggle in delight. Butterflies would lazily dance in the air as birds chirped up in the trees. A fat squirrel or two would play in a nearby tree.

Reality

There is no shady spot and it’s hot as hell already, so I’d keep the baby in his stroller with his shade pulled. The kids would rush me to take control of blowing the bubbles, a shoving match would ensue, and the bubble formula would end up spilled all over the ground. The baby would be fussy. Not a butterfly in sight, but a few flies annoying buzz around our heads. A bird poops on my freshly washed hair.

Am I right or am I right, Mamas? Okay, maybe I exaggerated the “reality” a bit, but just a bit. In real life, what happened was that Monkey was going nuts so Mommy took him ahead to school while I nursed the baby and pumped some milk from my overly full breasts. The baby and I then went to school where bubbles had already happened. I don’t know about you, but I have these imaginary scenes all the time that in reality play very VERY differently most of the time. Such is life with young kids and once it’s over, it’s kind of comical.

Now for a bit of status:

  • Potty training: Is going really well! Monkey has been out of diapers completely for over a week and has had very few daytime accidents (none in the last 3 days). Overnights are tougher, and we’re starting to wonder if we need to use diapers for nighttime as he pees the bed pretty much every night (sometimes twice). He has managed to stay dry 2 nights. Any advice? I do worry that introducing diapers at all is a bad idea as he is a stubborn boy. If he knows they are here, there is a good chance he’ll revert.
  • Aggressive behavior: Continues. Monkey loves his baby brother and oftentimes is very gentle and sweet with him. That said, he also can’t stand when the baby cries. We have to race to get to him before Monkey does or M will hit him. Hard. I’ve been trying to be empathetic (“It’s hard to have to share with baby, isn’t it?” “Baby cries can be really annoying, right? But when it happens, just go into another room. If you have to hit, hit your Superman punching bag.”), but it’s not really working. I’m hoping that school will help as it will be a place all his own where he can really get his yah-yahs out.
  • Soccer: Has fallen apart. He loses interest quickly and just wants to go play on the nearby playground. Today we left before the session was over as he told us he’d rather go home than keep playing. Sigh. Time will tell if it’s a maturity issue or a matter of finding That Thing he loves to do.
  • Baby: Continues to be a model infant. Sleeping great, very little fussing, tons of smiles and coos and sweetness. Love that boy!
  • Work: Begins again on August 19. I’ll be working from home, so not a big deal. We have someone coming once a week for half a day to watch the baby while Mommy works at Monkey’s co-op and Mama works in the next room. This means…
  • Date nights: CAN START HAPPENING!!!!! We plan to see how we like the sitter (recommended by a co-op family who loves her) and if it’s a fit, we’ll start booking her once a month to get out the house! WOOHOO! SO excited at this possibility!!!!

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#2?

So lately we been seriously leaning toward having a second baby. I think if I had my way, I’d wait another year, but I’m not getting any younger and I’m feeling like I want to do it. I’m going to make an appointment with our RE to have an initial discussion. EEP! Edited to add: Meeting with Dr. Q next Wednesday at 10:30A.M. OMGOMGOMG!

I’m hoping to get some feedback from those of you with more than one child under the age of 3 or 4 to weigh in on a few things that I’m wondering about:

  • We co-sleep and I’d like to continue that. I’m thinking initially we’d sidecar the co-sleeper for the newbie and keep Monkey between us.  But what happens when the baby is too big for the co-sleeper but still too small to expose to Monkey’s wild sleep antics? Bed against a wall with Monkey between DW and the wall and baby2 between me and DW?
  • How do you handle naps when you’ve got 1 napping mid-day and the other napping twice a day (one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon)? Are you stuck at home all day every day? Monkey would go nuts! He has to get out at least once a day, but I’m wondering how you do that with the whole nap thing.
  • I’ve told DW she will need to become a pro-babywearer as that seems to be the best way to handle having a newborn and a toddler. It’s what I see all the moms in this situation doing.
  • How will I ever wean Monkey if I start nursing a newbie?

If we end up going for it, I’m figuring we have about a year before there is a newborn to worry about. We are also thinking about signing Monkey up for pre-school starting next fall (we’d initially thought we’d wait another year). That would help. Of course, I still don’t even have my period back, so who knows…

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montessori

I’ve officially fallen off the Nablopomo wagon, but I will still attempt to post more frequently than I usually do. With Thanksgiving coming up, I doubt I would have been able to keep it up anyway.

One of the parenting sites I follow posted this blog post on setting up your toddler’s environment in a Montessori way. I finished feeling guilty because we definitely restrict Monkey’s access to certain areas in our home. It made me wonder how many parents are actually doing things this way.

We keep Monkey completely out of the kitchen using a baby gate. There are two reasons for this:

  • The litter box is in there (far from our food prep area – it is next to our washer and dryer at the far end of the kitchen). The thought of him messing about with litter or worse just makes me queasy. Toddlers and litter boxes do not mix. And no, there is no other place in the house for it. Our 2 bathrooms are too tiny to hold one and when we did our remodel, we had a space fashioned specifically to hold the litter box.
  • The oven is in there. One of my major Mama paranoias is scalding by pulling a pot of boiling liquid off the stove. Even though Monkey isn’t in there, I am in the habit already of pointing the handle to the inside of the stove.

We also keep him out of our office, but we are readying that room to be Monkey’s room in the coming months, so that will soon be a non-issue. We used to close our bedroom door, too, but he can open it now, so that’s free territory. To put things into perspective so y’all don’t think Monkey is closed off in a single room, he has free reign of the living room, dining room, and entry (and now our bedroom and master bath). He also gets taken out to Monkey-specific activities (park, Gymboree, indoor playroom, swimming when the weather permits) twice a day, and naps for about 1.5-2 hours each day. So he isn’t really “stuck” in one spot for hours and hours.

Still, this post got me thinking about ways in which I might make things more interesting and interactive. I’ve been feeling bad lately, too, that we have no space to do things like set up a water table or more sensory-type activity play areas. We have outgrown our condo, but aren’t going to be moving until DW can get back to working part-time (we’re thinking when Monkey starts pre-school next year).

Do you have your kids shut off from certain areas of your house? How do you handle things like litter boxes or other icky or dangerous items? Any of you living in small spaces able to do the Montessori thing successfully? Inquiring minds want to know…

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