Archive for the ‘Parenting Highs and Lows’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Sick Baby Makes Mommy An Unhappy Girl

Zev has been sick all week. It is not the first time, but it is the second with a true fever and because of that, probably the worst. Next to the lack of sleep and my heart aching for my little man, the most challenging part is having my twin boys doing different things. Elan is healthy but wants whatever Zev has, including the extra care and attention. In response to his dislike of this current state of affairs he has peed in his pants and thrown a few tantrums. He has also been waking up in the middle of the night wanting just to get out and sleep in my bed. So, here I am exhausted physically and emotionally because both my boys demand the equal attention I generally give them. You really can’t win as a twin mommy.

PostHeaderIcon Your Kid Is Not Potty Trained Yet????

I was helping a friend register for her baby shower and the entire process reminded me of how territorial parents, particularly mothers, are when it comes to infant care. Everyone knows the best diapers, wipes, stroller and onesie. The truth is, as I told my girlfriend, everyone does things differently and there is really no right way as long as your baby is happy and healthy. This sense that there is only one way extends to milestones and stages with your infant and toddler. Is your kid still using that sippy cup? You still give them a bottle before bed? Pacifiers at this age?

Here is what I say: Will they be wearing diapers, sucking on a pacifier and drinking from a sippy cup as they walk down the aisle for their high school graduation? While the image is hilarious, you are probably shaking your head no. The truth is, regardless of the pressures from all of the perfect parents and their meeting their milestones right on time kids, your kids will get where they need to get in due time. Sure, you need to manipulate the situation a bit and show them how to use the potty and bribe the pacifier away, but no need to rush it. I personally find it best to slowly transition. For example, you can’t pull dump the diapers, the sippy cups and the pacifier in one week or even one month. Go with the flow and see how your kids react.

In regards to dealing with those judgmental parents, learn to do it. These people are not going away. They will be telling you about their kids top grades, ability to make a goal in soccer and top 100% height until you turn blue in the face. Come up with responses that make you comfortable and don’t open your kids’ personal goals up for discussion. I suggest something like, “I’m proud of my kids. They really make me smile every day.” It’s true and no one can compare that to anything!

PostHeaderIcon The Toddlers Rule The World

Well at least that is what it feels like (see title).  Since the potty training boot camp a lot has changed. Just two weeks after the start of potty training the kids began daycare part time. I thought about these endless hours I could spend catching up on chores, reinventing my future life and career, exercising. I mean, seriously. All those hours. Truth is, I have less time.  It’s all because toddlers rule the world.

Nearing our third birthday the boys are super quite and twice as exasperating. Their minds are molding and they are making acute and cute observations. They listen more (when they feel like it) and remember more. Basically, they are entertaining me, challenging my ability to mother and distract simultaneously, and teaching me to be humble and accept bodily fluids. I have heard many a person say that this is the best and worst age and I would have to agree, although I can only compare to what was. Somehow, they make me feel that the extreme sleeplessness that came with infancy was easier than explaining to a toddler why he can’t have something, go somewhere or drive a car without ending in tears yourself.

Yes, people, parenting is tough.

So, back to changes. I’m not sure if it is school or just the addition of 2 and a half months, but my boys have seriously matured and grown tremendously. All the little life skills like dressing, putting on shoes and eating messy soup come easier to them. In fact, sometimes their extreme desire to try something new can be a challenge in itself (note tantrum over putting on shirt by ones self). These changes are welcome. Yes, I miss the little cuddly babies, but these beings can converse with me and share some likes and dislikes. They tell me when something hurts and exactly where. These advancements have made outings more interesting. I just love to see their joy in going to a store or sharing their observations with me.

The developing independence is a blessing and a curse. As I said, they rule the world. Oh, and parents, the term terrible twos is inaccurate. It’s about 2-3 years of ups and downs with tantrums, tears (yours and theirs) and lots of laughter. Even poop can be funny (I have stories).

PostHeaderIcon Potty Training Boot Camp

Life with toddlers has been rough, making it very tough to type a blog post or take a break. They consume my time a suck my energy, yet I love them more every day!

Most recently we have tackled potty training. I started by reading other blogs, referring to books and talking to friends. When I realized that “cold turkey” works for potty training as well as other “habits” I went for it. I chose a weekend with no plans and we said goodbye to diapers during waking hours. I called it boot camp.

On day 1 of boot camp we started with potty training undies (just thicker down the middle) and using the potty every 1/2 hour or so. I soon realized the underwear was too tough to master on day 1. So we went commando, since it was summer they were mostly nudists in the house. By day 2 the underwear were on without pants. By day 3 the pants were on.

If you choose this method be prepared with tons of rags and extra undies. Oh, and patience helps. I used tons of rewards. Balloons, stickers and cookies worked best. By day 4 Elan was fully trained, so much so that he started to wake up asking to use the potty and always has a dry diaper at nap time (sometimes in the morning!).

I don’t think Elan is unusual. Since he is a twin, his life is more about structure and routine than singletons. Potty training was just another routine. Zev, on the other hand, has been more challenging. No amount of bargaining can speed up the process with him.

After one month Zev is just beginning to ask to use the potty, but not every time. I try to keep my cool and encourage the right behavior. Once we master daytime for 3-4 months I will work on nighttime. Oy!

I think that the most important lesson is to say goodbye to diapers during waking hours and to be firm with that, no matter how hard. Kids don’t understand mixed signals.

PostHeaderIcon Twins: The Road Trip Edition

I am a week into a road trip with my two and a half year-old twin boys. Oy vay. Seriously. All things considered, they have behaved pretty well. The over 1500 mile journey to Florida saw very little car napping time (like a combined 40 minutes) and some white hair causing whiny time, but we cam out unscathed. After a few days of chasing the boys around Grandma and Grandpa’s house (no amount of hiding things up high really seems to do it) we left on the second leg of our journey, Orlando and Disney World.

To get to Disney we had to spend another 4 hours in the car. The boys were not thrilled. Apparently, the sight of the hotel room door also really freaked one of the boys out (until day 4 when we were leaving). We were tired, cranky and trying to eat dinner in public at an hour the boys usually slept. They were troopers. I felt like I deserved a raise. Like all things in parenting, it is these little sacrifices of your hair color, patience and fun that really pay off when they smile and enjoy themselves. This trip had a lot of both (sacrifices and smiles, my new band name).

In Orlando we experienced several firsts: vacationing with friends, swimming in a pool, camping out in a hotel with Uncle “Uvi” and, of course, Disney. If you are asking yourself what a 2-year-old can do at Disney, the answer is a lot. I was asking myself the same thing about parents of infants. Aside from the thrill of walking through this new and magical world, much of Disney is a slow moving vehicle with a feast for the eyes. Some of it scared the boys, but they soon learned that a little bit of dark or waiting in a line was rewarded. I had to learn to let the routine go and live in the moment. All in all, I am pleased with the results.

Although we have several more days, including the long trek up north and another hotel stay, I have already experienced and learned more than I thought possible. I have learned to reach for patience I did not think was there and to ignore whining while driving 80 down the highway. Those are the valuable lessons. The others, well, when I finish this bottle of wine I will whine about them and get over it. That is parenting. Stay fierce parents. Just stay fierce.

PostHeaderIcon Help! I have mom hands!

I’m sure any mom will attest to the fact that it does take some time to get back to being yourself after kids. You will never be the same you, but a version of the better you is agreeable. Well, my twins are two and I am not there yet.

First, my body. Amen, right? The twin weight is not completely gone and everything is different. My skin, my body shape, my hair. Let me count the ways. For year one I paid no attention to this. Year two got some focus. Now in year three I hope to reclaim myself.

Now where to start with these dry, chapped, cracked miserable mom hands?

PostHeaderIcon How does she do it? She doesn’t!!

You know the girl. You meet her on a coffee date, the first one you can remember in about a year, and she tells you how busy and frazzled she is. She, however, is dressed in killer jeans, a CLEAN shirt, heals, make up and blown out hair. Suddenly, your mostly clean yoga pants and kinda cute sweatshirt are looking like the drab pjs you changed out of to come out. Oy!

This girl and her six pack abs make you focus on your ring around the baby and wonder why you can’t make such perfection happen. The house, the kids, your appearance. Why is it so daunting for you and not her? I mean, in your last minute trip to her house last week neither a dish nor throw pillow was out of place, the bathroom was impeccable and everything smelled pretty pleasant. What the he’ll is wrong with you?

The truth is, what you see is not what you get. She has school age children and/or help. You have toddlers (twins!!) and a type A personality you can’t live up to. My two most important lessons in parenthood have been patience and prioritizing. In this case prioritizing might mean a fresh lunch for your kids versus a shower for you.

She is not perfect. But damn does she make you feel like a frumpy second rate housewife. Grrr

PostHeaderIcon I love my kids but…..

I recently put this title as a title on my personal facebook page. I was expecting a list of examples to serve as a tool to make me feel more human. Not so much. Many of the friends that paid attention have infants at home and are still in that “My Baby is Magic” phase. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are magic. I tell anyone who will listen how funny, smart and charming my boys can be. But, and there always is a but, as they grow into toddlerdom the ups and downs are far more extreme and confusing (confusing because you sometimes want to laugh at bad behavior).

I’m pretty sure that my other group of friends, with school age kids and even teenagers, would have plenty of stories to share if they could get out of the car and stop chauffeuring their kids from one activity to another. I’ve heard the stories for years. I sometimes thought people were really having a love hate relationship with their kids. Now I get it. It’s not love hate, it’s all love and a little heartache and frustration.

I’ll put it out there. Feel free to join in. This could be a fun drinking game, no?

 

I love my kids but…….

  • They exhaust me like no other job I have ever had.
  • Even at two, they clearly have their own agenda.
  • Their poop smells horrible and I get to be intimate with it several times a day (times two, thanks).
  • They think screaming is both fun and funny. Lord can this phase please come to an end.
  • As twins they egg each other on, whether it’s funny, bad or tear jerking.
  • Emptying shelves and bins in the playroom is a favorite pastime.
  • They have learned how to kick, shove and hit and do not yet understand why it is wrong (only that mommy gets mad and they get a time out).
  • They are so married to their schedule sometimes it is hard to plan something special (this is both a blessing and a curse).
  • The same food they ate an hour ago is now fodder for play, smashing, throwing or crying over.
  • Since they spend all day with me, Dad is their hero and I am the manager/servant (can I get an amen, Moms).