2

Ah, To Be Young Again…

Kids have it made. Seriously. They don’t know how good they have it. I’m not talking about scrappy 10-year-olds, or moody 13-year-olds. They don’t have it made. I’m not even talking about cute little 7-year-olds. They don’t have it made anymore either. I’m talking about the age group that really has it made…the age group that really really has no idea how good they have it. I’m talking about toddler-age kids. I’m talking about 2 year olds. I’m talking about naps.

Naps!

What is wrong with these kids that they fight naptime? I would kill to be able to take a nap each day after lunch. Imagine?!  Imagine being FORCED to take a daily nap? Even if you had a ton of stuff to do, skipping naptime to get it done wouldn’t even be an option, “I’m sorry young lady, but you need to stop doing those dishes and go lay down for a nap.” Fantastic! The best part is that the longer the nap, the more praise you get, “Wow! You took a great nap!” And then you’d overhear people talking on the phone about your great napping skills, “Debbie took such a good nap today!” And you’d feel like a million bucks because you are clearly SUCH a good napper. Toddlers just don’t get that napping is where it’s at.

Know where else it is at?

Going for a walk getting pushed around in a stroller. Getting to enjoy the fresh air without having to do any of the actual pesky walking. THAT is my idea of a good time. These little toddlers just don’t get it.  Why do they fight to get out of the stroller so that they can walk around and possibly dart into traffic at any moment? It’s madness. I wouldn’t fight it at all. I wouldn’t even care where we walked, it would make no difference to me. Just snuggle me into a gigantic adult-sized stroller, give me a drink (perhaps a nice glass of wine) and a little baggie of goldfish, and away we go. The best part is, if I get bored all I would have to do is take off one of my shoes and whip it out of the stroller. Then I’d get to watch someone retrieve it. Stroller games are fun. Plus, every now and then the person pushing the stroller would probably stop to take a gazillion pictures of me looking so damn cute in my giant adult-sized stroller, wearing one shoe and sipping a sippy cup full of Chardonnay.

The joy of having plump legs is another thing that is lost on toddlers. They take that cute little baby fat for granted. I wouldn’t take it for granted though. I would be fully present in the moment, and completely appreciative of the joy my hefty thighs brought to all those who witnessed them. Somewhere between toddlerhood and adulthood it somehow became “uncool” to grab someone’s hefty thigh, squeal in delight at the chunky monkey-ness of it all, and take fake bites as you pretend to eat the person’s leg. I may try to restart the “fake nibble on someone’s chubby thigh” movement…but only if one of you promises to bail me out of jail if things should go awry.

Temper tantrums in the middle of the store. Those were the days. Do you know how many times I have wanted to just lay down in the middle of the aisles at the grocery store because I’m so tired and I hate shopping so much? More times than I can even count. But little kids do it all the time, and sometimes the person they are with will even buy them a prize or something just to get them to get up. A prize for throwing a fit? I want in on that action. Also, sometimes when I’m trying on jeans or something in the dressing room and I have to actually see myself in the full-length mirror under the most unforgiving light possible…I want to throw a massive tantrum. Massive. I want to start screaming bloody murder as I frantically try to rip the jeans off and quickly get back into my safe, judgement-free, elastic-waist yoga pants. Then I want to start throwing stuff around the dressing room and shrieking about how much I hate everybody. Finally, for my crowning glory, I want to sit down all “criss-cross apple sauce” with my arms folded and a scowl on my face, as I flat out refuse to leave the dressing room.

Why can’t I do all these fun things anymore? Just because I am a grown-up? That’s why I don’t get to have tantrums, and fake-bite people, and take naps?

Whatever.

Little kids don’t realize how damn good they have it.

 

 

 

 

0

I Waffle

I don’t usually post pictures of myself, but here goes…

one-waffle

I know, weird picture.

I’m a waffler. I waffle. I’m indecisive.

What the heck?!

Oooh, wait, here is a picture of me when I was pregnant with my first…

pregnant-waffle

I’m glowing!

Anyways, I shouldn’t be so shocked at my tendency towards indecisiveness, really. Its not that I didn’t already realize that I was susceptible to waffling… I mean, just look at my high school yearbook picture.

highschool

Underneath all that hair I was a waffle even back then.

Before I had kids, though, whenever I thought of what my parenting style would be like (if I ever DID think about what my parenting style would be like) I never thought I would be a waffle-parent. I figured that I’d be more like  biscotti. Fun, but unbendable. Fair, but could snap if pushed too far. Strict. I didn’t think I’d ever waffle. I was biscotti all the way.

If I said “no”, that would be it.

The answer is no.

Don’t ask again.

If you ask again not only will the answer be “no” this time, but it will be “no” next time, too.

And I would totally mean it and stick to it.

My kids would be all, “Crap, she’s going biscotti on us. Time to reel it in.” Because my imaginary kids KNEW that I was NOT a waffler.

But my REAL kids? They can spot a waffler a mile away.

They are like, “Let’s keep asking her and asking her and asking her. She’s a waffle and she’s going to start waffling any minute now…”

How do you think it came to be that all five of them slept in my bed at one point or the other? Up until the moment I gave birth to the first one I was saying (and believing), “The kids are not sleeping in our bed. Ever.” Five kids later, yes no yes no waffle waffle waffle, and they were all sleeping in a big heap in our bed.

I’m pretty certain every single parenting book I’ve ever read warns against being a waffler. Like, big time. Which concerns me greatly…and if you are a waffler, you might be concerned as well.

But don’t despair, because here is where I want to tell you that, hey, you may tend to be a waffler, but as long as your partner is biscotti, it will be fine. You really only need one biscotti in the house, anyways. Two biscottis might be a bit much. So one waffle, one biscotti. Good stuff. With that being said…I would like to introduce you to my husband…

one-waffle-harry

You can see the problem here, right?

Dammit! How is it that we are both waffles?

I knew that there was no biscotti on our team the very first time I heard myself uttering the phrase, “I don’t know, go ask Dad.” Only to be told that it was Dad who told them to come ask me in the first place.

If you have any waffle in you at all, you know how that goes. If not, let me give you a little sample of a typical two-waffle household:

Kid: “Mom, can I have some friends sleep over?”

Me: “No. Well, I don’t know go ask Dad.”

Kid: “I did. He said no, but told me to ask you.”

Me: “Oh. Okay. Well, then if he said no it is a no.”

Kid: “But he didn’t really say no, he said no but to ask you.”

Me: “Oh. I think it is okay, but if Dad says no then it is a no for sure. So no.

Kid: “Please?”

Me: “The answer is no. Except it might be yes. Let me talk to Dad.”

And then in the resulting conversation we realize that we both don’t care if anyone sleeps over, and at the same time don’t want anyone sleeping over.

SEE???? Waffles! Both of us! Yes, no, yes, no, I don’t know!

Just another fine example of how you think you know yourself until you have kids, and then…BAM, you find out that you are way more of a waffle than originally thought.

I’m trying to de-waffle-ize.

I really am.

p.s. In case you were wondering, I’d like to point out that I’m not a waffle in ALL aspects of parenting. Not at all. If I think that one or all of my kids needs protection (whatever that may look like) I DO have an inner biscotti that will knock your block off. Just so we are clear…

keep-calm

1

Flip…slosh…thunk…

 

If you come to my house and listen really carefully, here is what you will hear…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

“Oh my God! Look what I just did!”

Feet running, joyous congratulatory screams.

A few jealous doubters, “You didn’t do that. You didn’t throw it from there.”

An act of solidarity, “He did! I saw him!”

An immediate reversal, “Really? Wow!  Move over! Let me try!”

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Me, “You better not be pouring perfectly good water down the drain! Pour it into a cup and I’ll use it to make tea!! That water costs money!” (Oh my God! How OLD am I???)

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Husband, “What is that sound?! Who keeps throwing things?!”

Me, “They aren’t throwing things. They are flipping things. But not random things…water bottles. They are flipping half full water bottles.”

Husband, “What? Why?”

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Me, “Well, it’s like this thing they all do. At first I thought it was just them and I thought they had lost their minds, but it turns out it is everyone. Everywhere. All the time. They flip the bottle and try to get it to stand up.”

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Husband, “Well tell them to stop.”

Me, (yelling into the other room) “You guys are making Dad crazy! Can you go flip those bottles somewhere else?”

Them, “Fine. Come on you guys, let’s go upstairs.”

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Husband, “NOW what are they doing?!”

Me, “Sounds like they are flipping the bottles down the stairs. Hey, guys…are you flipping the bottles down the stairs??”

One of Them, “Yes! I almost landed it!!”

Me, “Yup, they are flipping them down the stairs.”

Husband, “Well, tell them to stop.”

Me, “I can’t. They almost landed it. They are so close!”

Husband, “STOP FLIPPING THOSE BOTTLES DOWN THE STAIRS!!!”

One of Them, “We can’t! We almost landed it! We are so close!”

Me, “See?”

Husband, “As soon as you land ONE you have to stop flipping them down the stairs!”

Them, “Okay!”

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Screams of joy!!!! They landed one!

Sounds of feet running down the hall as all children need proof that the bottle has landed upright.

It has indeed!

Back down the hall, away from the stairs.

Flip…slosh…thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk…

One of Them, “I capped it!! I capped it!!! You have to come see this! I capped it!”

High fives all around. Hootin’ and hollerin’.

A reenactment to show just exactly how this miracle has occurred.

Husband, “What are they screaming about?”

Me, (out of breath from running up the stairs to see the reenactment) “One of them capped it! He threw it over his head like this…and it hit the wall just like this…and he totally thought it was going to fall over…but it didn’t! One of them thinks it shouldn’t count because the rug helped it stay upright, but it TOTALLY counts!”

It does, too. It totally counts.

That is the normal that you will hear at my house if you come over for a visit. Although, the past few days, if you are here and you are listening really carefully, in between the flip…slosh…thunk…high fives…celebrations…and reenactments, you’ll also hear them talking about clowns. Creeeeeeeepy!!!

flip-with-clown