Monday, February 25, 2013

Bad Influence

You know how you always hear about the way kids at school influence your kids?  They pick up things that they might say or do.  That totally happens.  Not an old wives tale at all.  Here's how I know.

Last weekend we were all sitting having dinner together one night.  Andy was joking around or saying something that the girls didn't want to hear.  There were rounds of,

"Daaaadddy!  Stop!"

I wish I could tell you what it was he said, but this is our life on a daily basis and he's always joking around, so who knows.  Finally, Georgia decided to try to make him stop using different words.

"Hey!" She said looking at him.  "Shthut your pie hole!!"

Now I know this is where we, as parents, are supposed to be stern and menacing and punish her for speaking to her father in such a manner.  Except you weren't there and you have NO idea how hysterical it is to hear your four year old, in her little voice, tell someone to shut their pie hole.  So instead of disciplining, Andy and I did exactly what we are NOT supposed to do and laughed our asses off.  We did make it clear, between the giggles, that it was not a good thing she said to him and that even though this time we were laughing, next time we would not be.  If she said that to one of us again, it would mean trouble for her.  She seemed to get it.

Then it occurred to me, where did she hear such a phrase?  It's certainly not something Andy or I say. Even though the girls watch TV sometimes, nothing we let them watch would have a phrase like that.  That is, unless I haven't been watching "Sid The Science Kid" closely enough.  So I asked her where she heard it and Sonya answered for her.

"From Joey."

Apparently, this is a favorite phrase of Sonya's former crush at school and she has said it to her sisters a number of times.  They in turn have picked it up themselves, and Georgia decided to try it out on us.  Or more specifically, her father.

So yes, that thing your kid is doing or saying that you have no idea where it came from, most likely it came from the boy who fancies himself the class clown at school or the girl who has a sister five years older.  Yup, they pick things up from kids at school.  True story.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Missing: One Bottom Tooth and (Almost) One Tooth Fairy

Friday evening was a bit exciting in our house, because look who lost her first tooth.

Andy had texted me last Sunday, when I was out with my girlfriends getting my hair done, that Lana had a loose tooth.  He said she was crazy excited after she discovered it.  Well, of course!  She's seen her older sister receive visits from the tooth fairy complete with notes and money for a couple years now.  What is there NOT to be excited about?  I assumed that since she had just discovered it, that we were in for a couple weeks of wiggling.  However, it must have been loose for a while and she just didn't realize it.  That thing was past a little loose when she showed me.  

Since I've pulled out almost all of Sonya's teeth thus far,  Lana wanted me to see if I could get hers to come out.  It wasn't quite there yet though.  It was really loose going forward, but not back.  I told her when it was loose both ways it would be ready.  The best thing for her to do was to keep wiggling it every day and eventually it would get there.  Every afternoon I would give it a tug when she asked, but it was still not ready.  Then Friday, after dinner she came to me and showed how much looser it was and asked if I thought it was ready now.  Since it was more or less hanging on by a piece of gum, I deemed it ready.  

I grabbed a "magic tissue" and with one quick yank, it was out and she was ecstatic.  We took pictures and sent them to the family.  We called daddy at work and told him the good news.  Sonya helped her write a note and draw a picture for the tooth fairy.  She was so excited she could barely get to sleep that night.  The tooth fairy has a had a break from our house for a bit, but she was ready to get back into action.  Too bad the tooth fairy doesn't always have the best memory in our house.  

Some of you may recall when this happened to Sonya a couple years ago.  The difference is, that was about her fourth tooth she lost, not her first.  Plus Lana is a middle child and they always seem to get shafted.  Don't hate me yet though.  Let me tell you what happened first.  Then you can send the hate mail. 

Friday night I started to get sick.  I'm not using that as an excuse, just as a reference to tell you where my mind was.  I don't get sick often and this felt like it might be a bad one.  So bad, I only had half a glass of wine and went to bed by 10pm that night.  There had been much hoopla about the lost tooth before Lana went to bed with both myself and Andy, but once she was in bed it was out of our heads.  I'm not the only one to blame here people.  He didn't remember either.  

Fast forward to 2am.  I awake to hear Lana calling for me from her room.  This is a nightly occurrence, not unusual at all.  What was unusual was her request when I came in there to see what was wrong.  Most of the time she wants to come lay in our bed.  Sometimes, she wants me to take Mercury off her bed.  That is his favorite place to sleep in the house and she doesn't always like him there, much to his dismay.  This time, however, she very groggily asked me to turn on her music.  She was so out of it, I had to ask her twice what she wanted because I couldn't understand her.  She was not awake really at all.  After I figured out what she was asking, I turned toward the CD player and that was when I saw it.  The tooth fairy note!  CRAP, DAMN, SHIT!!  We had forgotten!!  

I panicked for a moment, but then realized it was fine.  She hadn't noticed at all that everything was still there. Plus when she went back to sleep, she turned her back toward the note and tooth.  That would make it easier to take.

 After starting her music, I went back to my room to dig up two one dollar bills.  I think we gave Sonya $2 for the first tooth and $1 thereafter.  Who can remember?  But $2 seemed good.  The bigger problem I had was the note.  She had asked the tooth fairy questions and even wanted a picture, like I had done for Sonya one time.  Well the picture was out.  I couldn't get on the computer and do that right then.  That would be easy enough to explain.  I did have to respond to the note though.  The person who always writes the notes was the person snoozing in my bed.  Not for long.

"Andy!" I urgently whispered.  "Andy!"

"Hmmmm?"  He said.

"We forgot about Lana's tooth and the tooth fairy!"  I told him.  "You have to get up and write a note!"

"What?" He asked, completely out of it.

"You have to write a note!"  I said again. "It's Lana's first tooth!  She HAS to have a note!!!" 

I gave him a pad, pen and Lana's note and turned on a light in our room.  We both sat there in bed, squinting in the light, half asleep, trying to figure out how to respond to a tooth fairy note at 2:30 in the morning.  

He managed to write something, answering all her questions and even claiming that she(the tooth fairy) forgot her camera this time, but would be sure to bring it next time Lana lost a tooth.  Then I took the note and the $2, and placed them both on the shelf next to her bed.  I took the tooth from the little silver bear container and hid it in my nightstand.  Thankfully, she stayed asleep with her back to me the entire time.  


Soooo....yeeeaaahhhh.....We suck, again.  But we fixed it before Lana found out that we sucked.  If only there was an app that tracked when your kids' teeth came out.  Then it could send you a reminder before you go to bed to make sure you played tooth fairy.  I would never had this problem again if there were such a thing.  Apple-get on that!  

Friday, February 15, 2013


Today, on the way home from picking up Lana from Kindergarten, I asked what she and Georgia wanted for lunch.  Georgia went with her new favorite, a turkey sandwich with pickles.  Lana asked if we had any bacon for a BLT sandwich.  I introduced them to her a few months ago and it turns out it's a sandwich she loves.  Well, how could she not?  It has bacon it in!  I'm okay with it, because it has two veggies for her to eat  We did have bacon, but unfortunately it was in the freezer.  This is was not what she wanted to hear.  

"Awwww!!!  I want a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich!"  She complained.

"I'm sorry, Lana, but the bacon is frozen, so I can't use it," I tried to explain.  

This brought about a round of whining, "why nots!" and much griping.  Now, I knew that I could take out said package of bacon, defrost it enough to get a couple pieces to cook, and make her the sandwich. However, she immediately went into Lana meltdown mode so I wasn't about to tell her that.  Once she starts acting like I've destroyed her world by not giving her what she wants, there is no way I am going to give in to her demands.  Do I want to?  Hells yeah!!  It would make the whining and screaming stop.  Except then she would become a little tyrant and I just can't have that.  So, I always take the annoying good parenting road and don't give in to her demands and yelling.  

Once we got home the tantrum escalated.

"Can't you just take it out of the freezer and cook it??!!  Come on!!  I want it!!" She yelled at me.  All I she was missing was telling me I was the worst.  It's been said before.

I calmly explained that I could possibly do that, but because of the way she was behaving, there was no way I was going to.  Perhaps if she was nice and calm and asked in a better way, I would do what she wanted.  Then I walked away.  This made her break down into tears. 

Oh, there was that tired of dealing part of me that SOO wanted to give in.  I knew we were in for at least a 45 minute Lana roller coaster.  She would scream, cry and try to get my attention or get me to give in.  I would do my best to ignore her, then calm her, then figure out something else for her to have for lunch.  I was prepared.  

To my surprise, after she started crying she walked into her room and laid on the floor to cry.  I shut her door to let her have time alone, then went about the business of making lunch for Georgia and myself.  

About five minutes later, Lana emerged from her room, in complete control of herself, not a tear on her face.

"Mommy," she said very calmly.  "Could you please take the bacon from the freezer and cook it, so I can have a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich?"  

WHAAAA???  I was completely stunned.  Did an alien spaceship take my daughter and replace it with a compliant look-a-like when I wasn't paying attention?

"Wow, Lana!" I said.  "That was a very nice way to ask me, and I really like the way you calmed yourself down.  Now, what if I say I'm not going to take the bacon from the freezer?  Is there something else you want to eat or will you have another breakdown?"

She took a deep breath, looked at the ground then back at me and said, "No, I will have some eggs."

You guys, I WON!!!  I finally won one!!  I mean completely won without any cajoling, or coercing, or promise of ponies.  She figured it all out on her own.  She realized that she would get what she wanted simply by behaving and NOT by behaving badly.  She kinda grew up in those five minutes she was in her room.  I think it may have been one of my proudest moments as a mom.  The things I'm doing ARE working.  They DO listen to what I say and teach.   And because she figured it out and turned herself around, I did indeed reward her with a BLT sandwich.  She ate the entire thing.

Of course I won't claim victory over forever.  I mean she is still a five (almost six!) year old.  I know there will be plenty of days that this will not be the outcome, but as a parent anytime you have a victory like this you want to hold it up and for everyone to see and yell,

 "See!!  I did it!  I DO know what I'm doing!" 

Because let's be honest, tomorrow she could go back to tantrum city, forgetting how well this whole thing turned out for her by doing the right thing.  For now though-look at me not completely screwing up  my kids!  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Confessions of a Screaming Mom

Last week, in my parent education class I take with Georgia, we were discussing discipline.  We started talking about how we mothers always ask our kids to do something about five times before they actually do it. Most of us eventually get to the point where we are yelling and turning purple.  The dads, on the other hand, seem to get results out of our kids from the first time they ask.  What the hell?

This prompted two different discussions among us.  The first being, what are we moms doing wrong that dads are doing right?  The second; I confess.  I'm a mom who yells.

I am.  It sucks and I'm not proud, but for some reason I always end up screaming at my girls when they don't listen to me.  I said this to another mom during our class discussion.  

I told her, "I won't lie, I am a yeller."  

Her response was, "Me too!  Thank you for admitting that.  I always end up doing the same thing."

So maybe it's not just me.  It's not like I start out being a complete yelling lunatic.  In fact, quite the opposite.  This is kinda how it goes:

"La, la, laaaaa...giiirrrirls, please get your shoes ooooonnnn," I will say in my most singsongy Disney voice.  "We need to leave in fiiiive minutes, my loves! Okay?" 

No movement.  A couple minutes later:

"Ladies, we have to go soon," I will say a bit more stern, less Disney, but still not yelling.  "Shoes on now please.  Okay?"

It's like words are not even coming out of my mouth, as they continue to play and completely ignore me.

"Who's listening to me?!"  This is where I start to lose it. "We need to leave.  Shoes!  NOW!"

At this point I might have one who starts to slowly put on her shoes. Usually Sonya.  However,  at that point I've entered into the yelling lunatic zone.


Yeah, that happens. Like I said, I'm not proud of it, but they sure do get their shoes on then.

So why do I have to get to a point of yelling, when all Andy has to say is, "Girls, get your shoes on now.  We are leaving." Then they comply.  Well, most of the time.  Sometimes he has to say it twice, but he rarely gets to a point of yelling.  Yes, it's partially because they listen to me all day and aren't as phased as much by my demands.  That certainly plays a part.  There is one thing I'm doing that plays a bigger part, however.  It's one little word that I realized I use all the time.  A word that according to the teacher in my class, we not only use as moms, but as women in general.  It's a word that we put at the end of our requests to make the request not so demanding and make us seem nicer.  It's this word:


"Kids, I need you to clean your room now, okay?"

"Honey, the car needs washed, okay?"

"Hey (name of Co-worker) I need that report on my desk by the end of the day, okay?"

I know all of you woman out there reading this are nodding and thinking- I SO DO THAT!!  Because that's what I did at class when she mentioned it to us.  By adding that "okay" to the end of everything, we make it seem like it's not really that important to us and the party being asked to do something doesn't really have to do it right now.  They only have to do it whenever it's okay with them.  At least that's what translates.  And that my friends is NOT OKAY.  

We have to be more demanding as moms, wives, and employers to get what we want done, without resorting to yelling and turning purple.  We need to stop worrying about being nice and be more, well, bitchy.  I mean nobody likes to be called a bitch, but you have to admit, that woman who get called bitchy get shit done.  Just sayin'.  It does suck that we feel that just by elimating that word we might feel more demanding and mean.  Yet, when was the last time you heard a dad say,

"Kids, it's time to clean up your room...okay?" 

or a male employer say,

"Bob, have that report on my desk by 5pm....okay?"

NO!  They do NOT do this!  They say clean up!  Do the report! The end!  There is no "okay".  Do they get labeled as being bitchy, or a dick in a man's case, of course not.  It is a double standard, but you know what,  I don't give a crap anymore.  I'm ready to be a bitch because I'm tired of resorting to yelling and I want my girls to listen to me the first time.  Or at least the second time!  So for the past week, I have made a mental note to stop putting that word at the end of my requests and ohmygod it is HARD!  Just about everyday, I will say it at some point, then curse myself for saying it.  Obviously, I am still working on it.  Guess what though?  It's kinda working.  Now, I have to keep in mind that my kids are already used to me asking and then yelling before they do something.  However,  I made it clear to them that I wasn't doing that anymore.  I laid down the rules.   If I asked once and they didn't start doing whatever it was I asked, I then would start counting to a timeout.  

I would love to say this has worked perfectly and I haven't screamed once, but come on,  you are familiar enough with me and my girls by now.  Pus, you know, Lana.  It's hard to change a behavior you've been used to for 8 years and even more difficult to make the kids change with you.  There is a learning curve. 

 I will continue to work on eliminating "okay" from the end of my requests to the girls and even to Andy.  Yes, I may come off a bit more bitchy, but I think it's better than resorting to yelling.  So I challenge all of you woman out there to try to do the same for the next week.  Realize when you are using the word and see if it helps at all to eliminate it.  Then come back here and report back to me, okay?  DAMN!  Now I will have to ask you again in the next post.  Hopefully,  I'm not yelling yet.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Reason Number 67 Why I Don't Home School

Monday-EVERY SINGLE WEEK, so far anyway.

Me- "Lana you have to do your homework."


Me- "You have to do at least two pages today."

She usually has 5 or 6 pages to do each week.  She gets it on Monday and turns it in on Friday.  It works out well, so we can do it when we have time.   It's not difficult for her, she just really doesn't like to do it.

Lana- "WHY?!  I don't FEEL like doing it!"

Me- "Ok, Lana, but then you'll have to tell your teacher that."

Lana- "UGH!  FINE!  I'll DO it!  But I'm only doing TWO pages today!"

I swear we have this exact same conversation every week.  Then the next day we go through it again.  She always does it, but never without complaint.  This is only Kindergarten.  Her homework is practicing her writing, drawing and coloring.  I dread what happens when the homework gets real in a couple of years.

Then there is Sonya.  I never have any real problems with getting her to do her homework.  She usually breezes through it.  Until she gets stuck on something.  Then the world around her and everyone else crumbles to dust.

This past Wednesday:

Me- "Sonya do you still have homework left?"

Sonya- "Yeeesss....Ummmm..."

Me- "What do you have left?" Obviously it's something she doesn't want to do.

Sonya-"I have to write something, but I don't know what to wriiitttee abbbouuutt!!"

At this point, she's near tears.

Me- "Well, what did your teacher tell you to write about?"

Sonya- "A time when I was brave.  It can be a real story or made up.  And I have to write TWO PARAGRAPHS!!"

Now the tears start.

Me- "Sonya calm down.  I'm sure you can think of something to write about."

Sonya-as the world crumbles around her, "I CAN'T!  I have NO ideas."

Me- "Okay, okay.  What about when you jumped off the diving board for the first time, or you climbed the rope at gymnastics after being afraid for so long?  You were pretty brave those times.  Do you think you can write about one of those?"

Sonya- Through her tears, "I guess."

Then she goes off to her room where I hear her continue to cry for the next fifteen minutes before she actually sits down at her desk and writes.  It takes her all of about seven minutes once she actually does it, and it's a good well written story.  No reason for all the tears.  No reason except to create drama.

So for those of you out there who home school, kudos to you. I have NO idea how you deal every day all day with getting your kid to do their work.   I'm pretty sure if I did home school, I wouldn't have children left to school after about two weeks.  Maybe one.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Sweet Ride

Look who got an early birthday present!

I'm so excited to ride it!  

Okay, fine, it's really for Lana.  Even though her birthday isn't until the end of March we decided to get her a new bike now, since Georgia started riding a two wheeler too.  We only have one for them to share and that wasn't going so well.  Since we were planning on getting Lana a new one in March anyway, we just figured we'd get it now.  

Andy ordered it last Saturday and it came on Tuesday.  Lana was over the moon when she saw the box sitting on our porch and immediately wanted to open it.  I, of course, knew it had to be put together and told her she'd have to wait until Daddy got home that night.  We put it together after she want to bed. She was ecstatic on Wednesday morning when she saw it.  

I'll give you one guess why she loves this bike so much.  Is it the cool colors of purple and blue together?  No, because those aren't even her favorite colors.  They are mine, however.  Could it be the tassels or the basket, where she can put her boom box while playing songs from Flashdance?  Oh sorry, that was me when I was eight.  Or course not.  It was that damn seat for her American Girl doll.  As soon as she got up and saw the bike in the morning, the first thing she did was dress her doll and strap her in that seat.  I have to admit, it is kinda cool and I would have given up my basket with my boom box for a doll seat on my bike when I was that age. 

It's a good thing it's only a doll though.  I have a feeling Miss American Girl may be taking a few hits to the concrete when Lana actually gets a chance to ride it.  The bike is just a tad too big for little peanut Lana.  We got her the 16" instead of the 14 because we didn't want her to outgrow it to fast.  Plus the doll carrier bike didn't come in the 14" size.  Lana was willing to sacrifice falling, just to have her doll riding on the back.  

I suppose it's helpful that we live near an AG store, so that if she does get a little too roughed up we can take her to the doll hospital there.  I'm sure that's not ridiculous or expensive at all.  Perhaps I will see if I can convince Lana to take her off until she gets the hang of the new bike.  Then again, this is Lana we're talking about, so perhaps not.  I'll just give the store a call and see how much they charge for dolls with a concussion.