Friday, August 20, 2010

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all."

I saw this saying on a sign this week, and it made me smile because it's so true. It's not that turning into my mother is a bad thing. My mom is fantastic; she's a wonderful mother and an amazing grandmother. A true lady. It's just ironic when I catch myself doing, saying or thinking the things that used to drive me crazy when I was a kid.

Here's my current top 10 list of things that show I'm slowly but surely becoming my mom:

1) I don't really function very well until I've had a cup or two of coffee every morning.
2) I reminisce about the days when a gallon of gas was less than a dollar.
3) I've become a cheerleader for team fruits and vegetables.
4) I believe fast food restaurants are the devil.
5) I'm impressed when I'm still awake after 11:00 p.m. Sigh.
6) I remember when a little cough or sneeze was just a little cough or sneeze.
7) I haven't said it out loud, but I've definitely thought: if this child doesn't hush I could give her something to cry about!
8) I'm constantly frustrated with "kids these days" and their lack of customer service.
9) I've made good friends with the crockpot.
10) As much as I hate to admit it I've licked my finger to "clean" my baby girl's face. I know, I know.

I actually hope I can become half as successful as my mother. I mean look at how incredible I've turned out! :) And my sister's pretty okay too. :) The truth is if someone ever thought I was like my mother it would be a huge compliment to me. She is the best woman I know. Loving. Beautiful. Smart. Selfless. Growing up, she constantly put her family's needs before her own. Before having a chid of my own I could never understand why she always preferred to go without in order for us to have more. Now, I know. It's no longer about me whatsoever.

"I didn't listen to her because she was my mother & wouldn't know anything until I was much older."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hmmm...Time-outs really aren't working like I'd planned

So I have this sweet baby girl who likes to live on the edge. Among other things she's a climber. And she's ridiculously fast for someone so small. Her favorite thing to climb is the furniture and then she proceeds to pretend it's a trampoline. (No wonder I already need a touch up to cover this gray hair!)

Since she really isn't concerned about the dangers of cracking her head open on the hardwood floors or breaking any bones rationalization doesn't help. So my husband and I are now sending her to time-out. The funny thing is (well, it's not too funny) she really doesn't care. She either blows kisses to the wall (imagine a very dramatic "Muah! Muah!") or she passionately declares her love for us ("I love you, Mommy! Daddy, I love you!") or she plays the drums on the floor to pass her whopping one minute and 45 seconds of time. According to the "experts" the length of a time-out should match a child's actual age. We can't just leave her there until it makes a stronger impression. Can we?

She'll tell us no when we ask if she wants to go to time-out, and after a warning we do follow through with the time-out. But it's just not working. Tonight, she actually put herself in time-out before I even had time to say a word. She had a very covert exit strategy out of the family room, right into the living room and immediately onto the couch. I suppose it was worth it to her to get one or two good jumps in before I pulled her down. Wow! I have to give the girl props for tenacity, but at 19 months. Seriously? I guess it's time for a new plan.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I'm feeling a little needy...

*I need a maid and a dog walker.
*I need for this month and fiscal year at work to be over.
*I need more hours in the day.
*I need better birth control options.
*I need my child's daycare to know that it's "If you're happy and you know it" instead of "If your happy and you know it". I know she's just a toddler, but still.
*I need to take a few things less seriously.
*I need a really good night's rest. Two in a row would be fabulous!
*I need to learn to say "no" more often.
*I need a date night with my husband.
*I need to find a good babysitter so I can have a date night with my husband.
*I need to remember that life is always a work in progress.
*I need to learn to let go of the guilt.
*I need to get my dirty laundry clean and my clean laundry put away.
*I need to find a church.
*I need to remember Ferris Bueller's advice: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while you might miss it."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How do I raise my little princess without her thinking she’s a little princess?

Yesterday I had a very difficult time getting my sweet baby girl up and at ‘em. It’s amazing how her internal clock recognizes when the weekend’s here, because she never fails to wake up between 6:30 and 6:45am every Saturday and Sunday. During the week she struggles with getting it into gear. (She definitely takes this after her father.) This particular morning she screamed and cried and buried her head into her blanket and repeated one of her favorite words, “No!” After singing to her, rubbing her back and talking sweetly and positively about the day I eventually turned to our dog, Shelby, and asked her if she’d like to go out to play. To this, my daughter jumped up and down and shrieked, “Yay! Outside! Outside!” So the good news was she was up and happy about it. The bad news was our upcoming time management challenge. How in the world could we go out to swing, eat breakfast, wash her face and hands, brush her teeth, change her diaper again, apply sunscreen, get her dressed for school, brush her hair and get her shoes on...all on time? Impossible, right? So, what did I do? Well of course I took my princess outside to swing.

She had a fabulous time until we had to come back inside to begin our mad dash to get ready for the day. Needless to say, she wasn’t ready to go in, and the screaming began again. I pulled her from the swing and got her inside and into her highchair. Our go to breakfast fix is yogurt and dry Cheerios. She really does love yogurt…except for this particular morning. She pushed the bowl away from her and sent her spoon flying through the air and across the table slinging a little yogurt onto our hardwood floor. (Thank goodness for Shelby who promptly takes care of those little spills here and there.) I calmly explained that that was not nice girl behavior, picked up the spoon, and put it in the sink. Next, my baby girl changed her mind and decided the yogurt looked pretty good. I caved and gave it back to her. What kind of mother would I be to send my daughter to school without eating breakfast? I know they offer breakfast daily, but what if it’s something she won’t like?

After coaxing her to hustle a little with that bowl of yogurt and preparing the dry Cheerios in a container that she could travel to school with, we made it into the bathroom. There, we wrestled with the toothbrush. (She has hers, and I have mine for her; she brushes a while, and I brush them a while. My daughter’s nothing if she’s not independent.) My version of “This is the way we...” was a tad rushed, but we still managed to get her hands and face washed appropriately. Finally, it was time to get dressed. How does a 19-month-old have an opinion about her daily outfit? I have no idea, but it’s already happening at my house. These days, I’m giving her two options, and so far that’s working. I threw on her shoes, handed her the Cheerios to go, showered her with hugs and kisses, and off she went with her daddy to school. Whew!

I feel like I’m giving in to her wants and wishes entirely too often, but we have limited time together in the mornings and at night. I want the time we do have together to be pleasant and fun, but I have to balance that with the fact that I’m still the mama and in charge. I do want my baby girl to be blissfully happy, but I don’t want to raise a spoiled brat princess. I definitely don’t want to squelch her enthusiastic, bold, brilliant independence; however, I cannot allow her to be so demanding. There’s a very fine line, and I’m not sure where to draw it. I haven't even mentioned my challenge with not being able to control the situation. I'm taking it day by day.

What's working or what has worked for you?