Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

When Jenny and I picked the big kids up today, Allie was holding a bag of cheese rice cakes that Tim had packed her for snack. She didn’t seem to be eating them, and when I asked her for the bag, she handed it over happily.

We went out to the car, got all three kids in and buckled, etc. We had already planned to go to the library, so I knew we weren’t going right home, and I was a little hungry. Remembering how crunchy and tasty the rice cakes had been a couple nights earlier, I decided I’d just finish Allie’s rice cakes for a quick little snack.

I was surprised at how stale they tasted, and how decidedly not-cheesy they were. I commented to her that they must have gone stale very quickly and it was no wonder that she didn’t like them today.

“That’s cause I licked the cheese off them.”



(In her defense, she said she hadn’t told me because she didn’t know I was going to eat them. Guess next time I’ll slow down and ask before finishing a kid’s leftovers or rejects.)

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Cross Your Fingers

Well, tomorrow is our first day with a summer nanny. I’m trying hard not to leave her a long list of rules. (Seriously, we don’t have that many rules in our family, but it is important that she knows things like the big kids’ bedroom must be shut at all times so that Jenny can’t get the Legos, etc.) I’m thinking it will go well, but who knows. I’m also hoping that the kids go easy on her. Adam and Allie adore each other, but they can really fight sometimes, too – they run sooo hot and cold! I just hope they don’t try her patience too much.

(And Gawd I hope that Jenny takes a nap! She’s been a total pill lately at naptime and bedtime, though of course the ladies at her day care tell me that she goes down for naptime perfectly for them.)

I’m sure I’ll be back tomorrow evening with a full report.

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I should know better by now.  I’ve been a parent for 10 years, and a parent of two or more kids for 5.5 years. I should know that even when I’m in charge, I’m not really in charge.

We’re having a smallish (11 people total) cookout at our house tomorrow. I need to go to the grocery store before then, so I decided that I’d pick Adam and Allie up from day camp at 4:30 (a little earlier than our day is usually done) and go right to the grocery store. We’d probably be home by 6:30.

Instead, I got home from the grocery store at 10:30 p.m.

How did that happen, you ask? Well …

My original plan was pickup, then store, then home by 6:30.

But I decided we needed to go to the Aunt Millie’s bread outlet for buns and our weekly bread, bagels, etc. That puts us at about 6:50. No big deal.

Then I realized the kids would be hungry, and cranky if they didn’t eat, So, add a quick fast food stop. Home by 7:15.

Adam complained that we chose McD’s over Wendy’s. As we pulled into the shopping center parking lot, I impulsively asked the kids if they’d rather go to IHOP instead. They said yes, of course. Definitely not fast food, though – home by 7:45.

But then Allie took two bites of her food and declared that she had a stomachache. I wasn’t 100% convinced, but she insisted. I don’t care to have kids puke at the grocery store, so Adam and I planned to take her home and then go to the grocery store. Home by 8:15.

When we got to the house, Jenny was fussy and wanted to nurse. A lot. (As always.) So, it only made sense for me to stay until bedtime.

Suddenly, instead of getting home from the grocery store at 6:30, I was leaving for the grocery store at 7:45. Home at 10:30. (We live 20 minutes from the grocery store, and I might have lingered in the sporting goods section to find the kids some baseball supplies.)

So when do I get to be in charge of myself again? (Let’s see, Jenny’s 1.5, so about 17 years, maybe … )

Anyone else have this problem? How do you handle it when time just gets away from you like this?

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Tim and I have hired a nanny.

No, we can’t really afford a nanny. But we CAN afford one for the summer, sort of – hiring someone to care for the kids at home is less expensive than sending them to child care. And if we did send them to child care, they’d be in three different places – and the thought of that drives me batty. I’m truly looking forward to it – the kids won’t have to get up early and can stay up late because they won’t have to get up early, no morning routine (and the accompanying fussing), home within 20 minutes of getting off work instead of an hour of picking kids up. It’s going to be a nice break for me and Tim. And I love the idea of the kids being together for the summer – they really are crazy about each other.

We hit a few speedbumps in our nanny search (nearly hired someone that we’ve since decided would be all wrong for us – fortunately, they asked for more money and few hours, so we told them nevermind) but we found a college nanny who I think will be just right for us. She’s been to the house twice to get to know the kids, and they are just crazy about her. I sure hope it works out as well as I think it will.

Anyone else have experience with a summer nanny? What DO you do with your kids in the summer when you work?

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Separate But Equal

My two oldest kids are 10 and 5 years old – 4.5 years apart in age. Tim and I thought maybe we’d dodged the sibling rivalry by virtue of the age difference, but time has proven us wrong. Very wrong. Now, don’t get me wrong – they love each other like crazy and have lots of fun together. But they’re always aware of what the other kid is doing, or being allowed to do, or getting.

The biggest issue, of course, is screen time. Tim and I limit screen time during the week (no screentime on school days), so by the time Friday evening rolls around, the kids are more than ready to watch a movie, or play a video game, or catch up on a TV series on Netflix. Being 4.5 years apart and opposite genders, they rarely want to do the same thing. So, often we’ll end up with Book Boy playing a video game on the TV while Book Girl watches a cartoon on the laptop. Whatever – I don’t mind, and they’re happy enough. Usually we let him play until her movie is over, then screentime is over for both. So I guess we’ve kind of set the stage for screentime being equal.

Sometimes, though, they won’t start at the same time. Maybe BG wants to play with the baby for a while, or one of us reads her a few books, then she starts screentime. She’s very aware of that, and feels that if she started screentime an hour later than BB, she should get to finish an hour later than BB. I think she could probably tell us how much screentime they each had down to the minute, if we really wanted her to.

But the funniest example of this “separate but equal” mindset came this evening after dinner. Tim and the kids were having some screentime (video game and Backyardigans cartoons) while I worked on cleaning/organizing our bedroom a bit. The kids had been pretty good all day and had done a nice job helping us with cleaning, so we agreed to let them have some chips or some candy, their choice. Tim served, since I was upstairs.

About 30 minutes later, I heard BG at the bottom of the stairs.

“Mom. MOM!” she hollered up to me.

“I’m up here – come on up if you want to talk to me,” I replied.

“Mom!” she said. “I think BB got more chips than I got gummy worms.”

(I think I handled it appropriately by telling her that I had not seen how many chips BB had gotten nor how many gummy worms she had, so she better go ask Daddy to handle it.)

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Ten. TEN!

Book Boy had his birthday today. He turned 10. TEN! I simply can’t believe that my little boy is now a big kid. (Officially a tween, I guess, but I hate that term, and it seems to apply mostly to girls anyway.)

He got a package from Mimi and Grandpa in the mail yesterday, containing the new video game he wanted. I took a short video of him thanking them for it, and thought I’d post it here. (Expect to see more videos, as I just received the nice little Kodak Z18 that I ordered.)

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The big kids and I went to a movie and lunch today. While we were having lunch, I bumped into a friend from college.

After we chatted, Book Boy asked me how I recognized her after all this time. I explained that she looks just the same as she did in college (we both graduated from college in 1993).

He thought for a second, then said, “So, did she look twenty years older in college, or does she look twenty years younger now?”

I’m still not sure whether he was being serious or silly.

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