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What Am I Doing?

Ever have those days? You know, those days like… like Mondays? Like today?

The bulk of my day went smoothly (normal – as normal as normal can be with a toddler & a preschooler). Morning was normal, mid-day was normal, afternoon was normal. Evening, however, kind of made me stop and ask myself ‘What am I doing?’

It wasn’t bad, the things that made me think that. It was just the following: 1 – Dinner is at 5:00pm. It’s in the oven, cooking. I’m usually a stickler about no snacks after 4:30pm or the boys just won’t eat dinner. It’s 4:45pm and I’m doling out graham crackers like there’s no tomorrow! 2 – I put the boys to bed. Brayden decided he was not going to go right down, but I am adament about not rocking him to sleep (because I know he’s not sick, teething, or anything else that would require extra comfort for him to go to sleep – he just wants Mommy, which I can’t blame him for, but still…). I give him 20 min. He’s not settling down (even though I know he eventually would, but I’m not the cry-it-out kind of Mom). I go in there and bend over the crib for 10 minutes rubbing his back. I could’ve just picked him up, sat down in the rocking chair so we’d both be comfortable, but no… I’m not picking him up – he needs to learn (yeah, I know, he’s only 22 months). 3 – Both boys finally asleep. I open a bottle of wine and before I can pour myself a glass I’m using the little suck-the-air-out recork thingamabob. Duh!

So, I know those 3 tiny little things are really just that – tiny. But needless to say, they made me stop and ask for a few seconds this evening: “What am I doing?”

Well, here’s what I’m doing: I’m being a good Mom, who listens to her gut every now and then, feeding her kids when they’re hungry, helping them fall asleep, and getting really good at opening bottles of wine! Cheers to all of you!

p.s. Have you had a moment lately when you had to stop and ask yourself: “What am I doing?” Would love to hear your stories… 🙂

Dinnertime Dilemma

A friend asked me the other day, “What do you feed your boys?” Both of us being Mothers of a toddler and a preschooler, she is struggling with getting her toddler to eat anything other than meat. I, on the other hand, can’t keep up with my toddler’s (Brayden’s) demand for fruits and vegetables (not that that’s such a bad thing, I just have a hard time getting enough protein in him – and Zackery for that matter – to keep their little tummies full).

I began listing off all the things I’ve offered for meal times and snack, to both my boys. To my amazement, the list was quite long! I must admit they don’t always enjoy eating what is put in front of them, but I try my best to mix it up.

Zackery is pretty good about trying new things, and he really is the only 4-year-old (this I still can’t believe) I know that asks for artichoke and refuses a hot dog. Brayden is at the stage where he wants to do it all himself. I am always trying to find new foods I can give him that he can hold himself, take a bite, and not end up choking on. His favorite thing to eat right now is frozen peas (I think it feels good on those teething gums), but he did very much enjoy a couple of ritz crackers today at snack.  

What foods or snacks do your toddlers and preschoolers enjoy? Any suggestions on quick, easy, kid-friendly ways to get them to eat protein? I look forward to getting some comments!

Hands Are For Holding

I am a lucky Mom to have two happy, loving, wonderful little boys. Even luckier is that I am able to stay home. What comes with staying home is that I am the one who inevitably gets to wipe the poopy bottom (hey let’s just jump right in!). And, inevitably, my call to duty always comes at dinner time. Now I’m not talking about my younger son, Brayden. He’s still in diapers and can’t really control the “timing” of things. Zackery, on the other hand, is fully potty trained.

We’ve had the discussion about “going” before dinner (so that he doesn’t have to sit and wait for me to come tend to his bottom; he hasn’t quite got the wiping himself down yet). Every day, as I’m about to start dinner, I ask him “do you have to go potty?” And every time, he responds with “No Mom, I’m okay. I’ll go poop after dinner.” “Are you sure?” I ask him. “Yes, I’m fine,” he assures me.

I could go on and on about the wonderfully (in)appropriate dinner conversation, but instead fast forward to Monday at 3:30pm. Music class starts at 4:00pm – it’s 10 min away. The car is warming up, Brayden has a clean diaper, I’m getting my shoes on, and I ask Zackery to go potty before we leave. He does his business (number one – sorry if this is TMI…), we wash hands, get his jacket on and hop into the car.

We arrive at music class in plenty of time, but the teacher is not there yet. We hear that he is on his way (he had a sick kid right as he was getting ready to leave – we’ve all been there), and to just please wait patiently. That in itself is hard with a room full of kids, but they all did great playing with the music sticks, bells and scarves.

About 10 min later, Zackery tells me he has to go potty. I find it odd, given that he just went at home, but I took him to the bathroom anyway. Of course there was no kid-sized toilet (and I didn’t see the step stool until we turned around to wash our hands), so I pick him up, squeezing his bare little bottom between my legs to help keep him steady, aim him at the toilet, and tell him to go. Mission accomplished.

Back in the music class room, just as the teacher finally shows up, “Mommy, I have to go poop.” In a state of shock, knowing this day would once come, I gather myself and my plan of attack. I ask a friend to again keep an eye on Brayden (luckily he’s still pretty content just sitting in one spot), and armed with the wipes from the diaper bag, Zackery and I head once again to the rest room. This time we go into the handicap stall – I need room to maneuver. I grab the step stool and have a quick talk with Zackery – telling him this is a big toilet, not like his little potty seat at home, and that he can’t sit all the way back or he’ll fall in (how scary is that thought!).

With fear in his eyes, standing on the step stool with pants pulled down, he turns his little bottom around, prepared to sit down on the paper shroud I created over the toilet seat. “Mommy, hold my hands!” I gripped him tightly as he lowered into position, then slowly I put one hand behind his back so he wouldn’t lean too far back and fall into the dreadful abyss. Phase one – complete!

Lucky for me it was a quick release (I really don’t know how else to say this). We then resumed normal routine: stand up, bend over, wipe bottom, flush toilet, pull pants up, wash hands. Proud of Zackery and proud of myself, we both let out a big sigh of relief as we headed back to class. Once again, mission accomplished!

As much as I love holding hands with my husband and children as we go for walks or while crossing the street, it makes me laugh every time I think about Zack’s panic (and mine!) in the rest room. Whether it’s “mommy duty” or just for a little love, either way I am always happy to hold his hand.

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