Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Not to Say..

We're all familiar with TLC's What Not to Wear.  If you aren't, you should probably stop associating with me.  Just saying.  TLC has a myriad of good shows, but one is very obviously missing: What Not to SAY.  You'd think it would easy to realize when something is just a bad idea to spout off, but so many people fail anyway that I feel compelled to help them out.  Feel free to print this list onto note cards, so instead of responding to idiots in the supermarket, you can hand them a card and walk away.

What Not to Say to Pregnant People

1) "You don't look pregnant, you just look a little heavier!"  Seriously? I know women sometimes feel like bloated whales when they are pregnant (whether they look totally fabulous or not), but they would MUCH rather look pregnant (and have an excuse for looking what their perceive to be less than stellar) than fat.  Duh.

2) "I knew someone who was ____ weeks along.  Something horrible happened to her baby."  No pregnant woman wants to hear your horror stories.  She's got plenty of them running through her head at any given moment.  She's considered all the dire situations imaginable, plus a few extra.  She's covered.  No need to help out.

3) "Are you sure you should be eating that?" Yeah, she's pretty sure, or she would have put it down.  If it makes her throw up, gain ten pounds, or question the brain development of her unborn, that's her business, not yours.

4) "You know where those come from, right?"  The only proper response to this is something snarky like "no, can you tell me?" or "Yes, and I enjoyed every minute of it!"

5) "Not long now then!" No matter how much longer the mother has, it probably feels like an eternity, and your comment feels patronizing.  That, or she's terrified she won't get everything done in time, and reminding her of that fact would also be bad.

What Not to Say to Mothers

1) "Are you sure you can handle it?" Well, hopefully, because it's gonna happen whether she can handle it or not.  But way to make her doubt herself, kind friend!

2) "You've really got your hands full, huh?!"  Please don't state the obvious.

3) "Isn't it awful how we don't get to keep our bodies after we have babies?"  She knows you just called her fat, even though you tried to conceal it.  You're totally busted.

4) "I enjoyed every minute of being a parent."  You're a big fat liar, Friend!  And you're just making others feel inadequate.

5) "And you want MORE?"  Yeah, she does.  Kids are bad sometimes.  Kids are annoying sometimes.  Kids make you feel like you're going to lose your mind.  I know it's hard to believe that people enjoy the many OTHER moments of being a parent, though.

This one isn't a specific line you might feed someone, but it's a situation you don't want to mess with.  The other day I was standing in the check out line at Walmart.  I had a few items in my cart, as well as two children, and another walking along side.  The smallest child had been screaming since we left the car, but these were items I needed and couldn't wait to procure.  As we got to the check out line, I paused in front of those single serving boxes of goldfish.  Struck with brilliance, I grabbed one and proceeded to try and open it.  Much like those milk cartons in elementary school, it was a tricky container to open.  It took me a few seconds.  During that dew seconds, the previously screaming child started screaming more loudly and trying to slap the goldfish container from my hands.  The slightly older child in the bottom of the cart stood up and starting spamming "gold fish, please. PLEASE.  GOLD FISH! GOLD FISH PLEASE!" And the even bigger child walking beside the cart was saying "Can I have these colored gold fish?"  And from behind me I hear a very annoyed voice saying "are you in line? Hello? Are you in line? Are. you. in line?"

I glanced behind me to make sure the guy wasn't holding some CPR paddles or an epi pen, and then continued to ignore him (for the record, he had a six pack of beer).  "GOLD FISH!"  "Are you in line?"  When he started to push past me, right as I was distributing the gold fish to the three children, I stepped in his way and said "Yes, I *am* in line, and I am also busy.  BACK OFF."  He backed off, and I finished my distribution and then checked out efficiently and walked away.

Moral of the story: When the person in front of you in line delays your beer purchase to quiet a screaming child or two, suck it up.  Otherwise, you know you're gonna go home and complain about the screaming kids of the world on your Facebook page.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Terrible Twos

I understand now why they call it the Terrible Twos.  I used to think it was because children of this age are frustrated with their lack of communication skills.  They want to do everything themselves, and are only capable of doing half what they want.  Tantrums ensue.  This makes sense to me, except this starts around 18 months, and ends about 2.5.  Hardly "terrible twos."  Then I thought "well, terrible 1.5-2.5s" doesn't have the same ring to it, so whoever coined the phrase just rounded. But recently, the REAL reason it's called "The Terrible Twos" has dawned on me.

A 2-year-old NEVER SHUTS UP.  My daughter and I have conversations like this:

Lauren: Mom, you're watching Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse, Mom. Mom, Mickey Mouse.  Mom, you're watching Mickey Mouse.  Mom watching Mickey Mouse? Look mom, Mickey Mouse.  Mom, you're watching Mickey Mouse.  Mom? Mom, mom. mom. mom. Mom? 
Lauren: "You're watching Mickey Mouse, look."
And don't think I ignored her for five minutes or anything, because she managed to get out that whole Wall of Text in about 7 seconds.

My 4-year-old has some developmental delays going on, and he's on roughly the same verbal level at my 2-year-old.  His conversations go like this:
"Yes, Luke?" 
"I need.... uh.... um... mom?" 
*waits for him to continue* 
"Mom? mom. mom. mom. MOM.  Hello! Mom?" 
"Yes, Luke?" 
"I want... um... a sippy."
I feel like he has a touch of OCD in that little brain of his, since he cannot start in the middle on a conversation, or even the middle of a line in a conversation. And not only MUST he start over, but I must verbally acknowledge his Moming before he will continue with the line of speech.  And worse yet, Lauren has picked up on this little quirk, and she will not continue speaking until she is verbally acknowledged as well.

Aside from the fact that she never stops talking, she's gone from independent to clingy practically overnight.  My child who used to play by herself willingly now wants me to interact with her every waking second of the day (and as you may have read in the co-sleeping post yesterday, every NOT waking moment as well).  Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my children.  I'm not usually wishing to lock them in a vault and ignore them (maybe at 3am when she's suction cupped to my side), but if I have to read Cat in the Hat one more time, I might have a stroke.

No, the Terrible Twos have NOTHING to do with tantrums.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I am all about parents making conscious and informed decisions in all things parenting.  There are some things that are always black and white, and some things that are typically black and white but have exceptions.  I am an advocate for parents researching and coming to an informed decision.  If they know what they are talking about, I will usually support their decisions, regardless of how much I agree with it.  That brings me to co-sleeping.

I don't find it ridiculously unsafe, but I don't think it's right for every family either.  I don't judge parents who choose to sleep with their infants, or ones that choose to keep a crib in the same room, or a separate room - it doesn't matter to me.  My first two kids blissfully slept in the own room, and my youngest was in our bed for what seemed like 37 years.

You know how you used to think you were really fat, and now that you've had what feels like a dozen children, you look back at those pictures and think "wow, I wasn't fat at all!"  I used to gripe and complain about sharing a bed with a 15 pound infant (and she was 15 pounds for a really long time).  But now I look back at that time of my life and think "amazing."  Because this is how I sleep now.

Because my family is awake at this time (that's a whole nother blog post), I had to use blankets to denote bodies.
The Toy Story blanket on the right - that's where my 4-year-old sleeps.  He's huge for 4, weighing in at 65 pounds and wearing size 7 pants.
The blue and red blanket in the middle - that's where my husband lays.  He often lays on his side in order to take up less space.
The pink blanket all the way on the left - that's where the almost-3-year-old sleeps.
And that spot of sheet between the husband and the 2-year-old - that's where I'm supposed to sleep.  That would work if I was 12 perhaps, but I am old, and large in stature (isn't that a nice way to put it?).

Co-sleeping.  Not a fan at this juncture.