If you miss a class at beauty school you’ll need a makeup session

It’s so easy to exclaim to your children, “you look beautiful!” and truly mean it.  While I’m a big proponent of not always remarking on how my daughter or other girls look, sometimes I’m just struck by it.  The words come out before I can even stop them, so heartfelt and full of love.

Already, at almost four years old, I see it as something Mini-ion #2 is internalizing.  *Hanging head in shame* because I had hopes of raising a daughter that didn’t focus on her looks.  That didn’t walk around asking everyone if she looks beautiful.  Crap.

I started answering her, “yes, you look beautiful.  Do you know why?  It isn’t because your hair is styled one way or another or your clothes are the latest fashion.  It’s because of your smile.”

She didn’t get it.  She just thought she needed to ask if she had a beautiful smile, not if she was beautiful because of the beauty inside her that made her smile.  It’s hard for me to remember sometimes to be more detailed.

The next time the subject of beauty came up, I told her it is because of what is in her heart.  Because of the kind things she does.  I can tell she’s still thinking about this because she hasn’t asked me in a while if she’s beautiful.

Then one day I’m keeping her company in the bathroom while she’s using the toilet.  I’m standing in the doorway facing the mirror.  She asks me, “Mommy, are you beautiful?”.

Picture this.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen a shower.  I’m wearing some of my rattiest clothes, not expecting to see anyone but my family.  I haven’t seen a mascara brush in a long time.  I’m uncomfortably conscious of the baby weight I haven’t lost.  But I know this is a defining moment.  This is a moment when I need to see me the way she sees me and the way she sees herself.  This is the culmination of the things I am trying to teach her.  This is my (first) chance to model what beauty is, in the face of a messy ponytail, bare face and old t-shirt.

I look at the mirror and smile at myself.  Love myself.  And tell her, “of course!  Don’t you see the beauty radiating out of my smile and my heart?”

She gives me a big hug and kiss.  We spend a few more minutes smiling into the mirror.  And I hope one more time I’ve done the right thing in this crazy experience called parenting.

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Some people don’t like food going to waist


Where did you hide food as a kid?  You know, that food you didn’t want to eat, but your parents insisted you should have.

I can remember not eating my sandwiches my mom packed, and for a time, the cafeteria monitor knew my parents and threatened to tell my parents I was throwing out my sandwich, so I kept it in my lunch box.  I’d forget about it until I got home, where I needed to be rid of it immediately.  In my young head, apparently the den closet was the best place to put it.

There’s the legend in my dad’s side of the family of the table with empty legs that my dad and his siblings would stuff food down.  I guess a little smarter than throwing it in the den, especially with the proximity to the dinner table.

Turns out Mini-ion #2, at three years old, has already found a spot to discard unwanted food.  And this probably won’t put me in the “mommy winning” category for the week.

For most dinners, the Mini-ions need to eat much earlier than Dear Husband gets home from work.  I’ve put aside the picture of the beautiful family dinner on the week night and do what works best for us.  Which is usually peanut butter sandwiches on multi-grain bread.  In front of the tv. Because I’ve usually hit my limit by 5pm.

One evening, I saw Mini-ion #2 walking around with nearly a whole sandwich.  Then moments later, it was gone and she was ready for an apple.  I knew there was no possible way she could have eaten the whole sandwich so I started asking her where it was.  Finally, I got her to show me where it was.  And dug out handfuls of sandwiches.  Apple cores.  Cheese stick wrappers.  And more.  At three years old, Mini-ion #2 already had a food hiding spot, and it was in between two sections of our couch.

Yes, yes, we’ve taken steps to prevent this.  Well, prevent the food hiding, I don’t think there’s much we can do to prevent the lying.  As a plus, we can pinpoint the culprit to last summer’s ant problem!


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When my cat lost her male kittens I had to call missing purr sons.

It seems that having three children is all the rage right now.

Let me be completely and utterly clear.  I am fixed.  Unless divine intervention takes hold, we are not having another child.

Still, I’m curious about this three child family phenomenon.

Dear Husband and I recently had an opportunity to try it out by bringing along our 18-month old niece on a family outing to a children’s museum for a birthday party.  This was the best possible scenario – food is provided, friends are there for additional help and the birthday party itself has a guide to help.  Plus, an 18-month old child is one of my favorite stages of baby/toddler.  Just starting to talk, to play, not rushing them to the potty but diaper changes are much more infrequent, this is a good stage.

Dear Husband and I make a good team.  We were both flexible, frequently switching coverage of the children based on who had needs.  I had individual quality time with both Mini-ion #2 (Mini-ion #1 was busy fighting fires) and Niece.  Mini-ion #2 and I exchanged kisses and cuddles, Niece told me her colors and showed me her goofy side.

Then the inevitable moment comes that I imagine all three child parent dreads, the emergency.  In this case, I had Niece in one room, and Mini-ion #1 and #2 were with Dear Husband in another and Mini-ion #2 HAD to go to the bathroom, which was on a separate floor.

If you’ve read this blog, you’ll know that we’re at a critical point with Mini-ion #2 and bathrooms, so this was an emergency to get her there.  Dear Husband was able to point Mini-ion #1 in my direction while running Mini-ion #2 to the bathroom in time.  Disaster averted, but all of a sudden the realization was there that this could all go really, really wrong.

Soon after the bathroom crisis, Dear Husband came to realize that Mini-ion #1 was running a minor mob in the fire fighting room.  He and his henchmen squirreled away all the fire fighting costumes and were close to requiring the other children to kiss his ring before doling them out.  Certainly bowing was involved.

I guess that is where having three children to two parents gets you?  While no children were harmed in this three-hour experiment, one bathroom crisis was averted and one crime ring was established and dismantled.

I look forward to more opportunities to play the three child family on other adventures with Niece.  And I give a lot of credit to those parents willing to be out-numbered!


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I just left the worst food themed theme park ever. Goodbye, Gruel World!

Have you had your yum yucked?

If you’ve tried to convince a child of any age to diversify their food portfolio, you probably have.  Imagine this, you have been eating something, enjoyed it, offered it to your child (or had it stolen off your plate) and watched a dramatic performance of how much he or she hates the food that is in their mouth so much that it needs to disappear off the planet in the next five seconds.  In our house, we then say, “don’t yuck my yum.”

I got that phrase from a one season show, Happyish, that chronicled the life of a man in advertising and his wife who was trying to juggle a career from home.  I related to both sides, both the  utter lunacy of working in advertising as well as the give and take of trying to navigate the sometimes stormy waters of mom relationships.  In this case, the wife used the phrase and I felt an immediate kinship to both the character and the phrase.

What a simple way to convey a load of feelings.  From the sadness you may have felt at the loss of that last bite of dark chocolate that is dramatically spit all over the floor.  To the anticipated hope you had in sharing bowls of lentil curry that they dumped the remainder of in the garbage (the one time they actually clean up their plate).  Sometimes it is the feeling when you are thoroughly enjoying your food and have judging eyes watching, waiting until you relax in to it, to tell you how much it resembles the half-eaten diaper the dog threw up last night.

Don’t yuck my yum!  It solves it.  It gives off the unwavering statement that you will not be trifled with when it comes to your food.  It also gently reminds them of interpersonal skills while hopefully making them conscious of the fact that someone else may like it (ok, maybe I’m dreaming).

It worked very well, and was used very respectfully by everyone until the one day……..THE ONE DAY.  Mini-ion #2 was picking her nose and eating her boogers.  And I start in on the time-honored tradition on why you shouldn’t eat your boogers; the germs, the dust, etc.  And Mini-ion #1 says to me, “don’t yuck her yum, Mommy!”

Dammit.  Outsmarted again.

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The editor received his award with sheer delete

Guess what ladies?  I win.  That’s right. I am the worst mommy ever.
I am nominated for this award several times a day by my three year old, Mini-ion #2.  It generally comes in conjunction with my saying no to something, like slurping Nutella straight from the jar or running with scissors.  I’m all for natural consequences, but I’d still like her to have two functioning eyes.
I know many of you will be jealous of my worst mommy ever award.  I’m sure you’ve been nominated for, and striven to achieve it.  I’d say my keys to success revolve around the sheer number of times per day I’m nominated.  I had no idea I’d get nominated for even the little things, like making her go to the bathroom (so she doesn’t pee in her pants) or insisting she wear shoes to play in the snow

At this time I’d like to thank all of those that have helped me achieve this honor.  First to my own mom, who proudly hung the faxed version of “World’s Meanest Mom” ditto to her fridge.  Of course my father, who encouraged her to “be all she could be”.  Next, Dear Husband, who is likely grateful I’m the worst mommy ever, so I hopefully get it all out of my system so I’m not the worst wifey ever.  And finally, Mini-ion #1 and Mini-ion #2, who every day find new and creative things that I have to say no to, like hitting each other in the head with the Bible or playing the “fight game” from opposite sides of the couch.  Without you two, I’d have none of this in addition to the giggles, snuggles, hugs, head butts to the stomach, giant leaps on to the small of my back, kisses and general fluctuations between the feeling of I’m the luckiest mom to what path in the road did I take in my life to end up here.

Tell me, have you been nominated?

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For insomnia move to the edge of the bed and you’ll soon drop off.

I found myself thinking, in the middle of the night, “how did I get here?”.  Here was laying on the very edge of my bed, while multiple bodies were absorbing the small half that is my side.
Ultimately I blame it on Mini-ion #1 teaching Mini-ion #2 how to escape her crib way too early.  Consequently she hasn’t felt the security of her toddler bed that Mini-ion #1 did, making her seek out that security in our bed in the middle of the night.
This particular night, all the cards were stacked against me.  Mini-ion #2 escaped her room already and after demanding water be fetched for her, had dominated the majority of my pillow.  As I tried to give her some space to restlessly find a position she was comfortable (and the majority of my side of the bed), she kept pushing me further and further.  Add in our overweight shih-tzu, our first child, who will whine on the floor until we personally invite him to jump up to our bed (every.single.time) had migrated from Dear Husband’s restless legs, past Mini-ion #2’s antics, to plop his chubby body up against my leg.  Then with the seemingly seal of doom of my finding a comfortable position, he then adorably rested his head on my leg.
There I found myself, dangerously dangling to stay on the bed, anchored by a small square of my pillow and a dog’s head on my ankle.  Then, as if to add fuel to the fire, a delicate snore erupted Dear Husband’s side of the bed as he peacefully, with sufficient space, traveled from one sleep cycle to another.
All so the angry devil that is Mini-ion #2 in the middle of the night, could find a comfortable, secure space to go back to sleep.
Please tell me I’m not alone!
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The most non-confrontational age of kids is when they benign

If the mini-ions had a facebook account, I believe they would parent shame us.  I haven’t seen buzzfeed do a reel about it, so I believe it could be new.
If one of them gets in trouble, the other one is yelling at us for making the first one cry.  This isn’t right, right?  What I hear and remember from my childhood was getting the other one in trouble with parents.  Not, if I stop one mini-ion from, let’s say, staying up all night playing games on the tablet, and said mini-ion cries, should the other one start yelling at me, chasing me down, telling me I need to go apologize.
And I don’t even really make them apologize to other kids when they make them cry.
So then the real parent shaming begins.  “MOM!  It’s not nice to make Mini-ion #1 cry!”  Add in grumpy look.  “MOM!  Look at my face.”  I look (NEVER LOOK!).  It is truly the world’s angriest face.  “MOM!  Go say you’re sorry!”
I think if she knew about it, she’d take a picture of me, shame-faced, with a sign that says, “I made my son stop playing minecraft at his bedtime.”
It doesn’t stop there.
Let’s talk about all the reasons a three year old may cry.  Because they are always very rational.  Tonight’s crying was courtesy of me not be willing to put her in third outfit 15 minutes before bedtime.  I said, “you are going to bed in 15 minutes.  Wait 15 minutes and I’ll put you in your pajamas.”  WAY WRONG ANSWER!  As I heard from her five year old brother, lecture #34 about how I should have, after cleaning her up, put her in the fresh change of clothes.
Tonight’s sign would have been “I didn’t change my daughter into her third outfit 15 minutes before bedtime.”  Did I mention we’re still potty training?  Apparently with the influx of snow eating, she is not dehydrated.
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