Toast behind pillow.
Sippy cups with weaponized old milk at the bottom of it behind the couch.
Cheerios and Gold Fish crackers crushed and crusty under everything.
Where’s the strangest place you ever found old, forgotten food that your kids left behind? And what was it?
Found in the bathroom. It’s only about a day old — this time around. (-_-)
Last week was not my favorite. I was still trying to kick The Cough and get my energy back. Then out of no where, The Youngster got hit with a stomach virus. And by hit, I mean hit harrrrrd. Clobbered, actually. He ended up not being able to keep Gatorade or even water down. This lead to his being very dehydrated. We had to go straight to the ER from his pediatrician’s office — in an ambulance.
The IV fluids helped, but he was in such bad shape that the doctors admitted him to the hospital, where we stayed for two nights.
Yeah. Like I said, not my favorite.
Oh, and then there was the part where my husband woke up like dis: high fever and severe body aches.
I was practically tripping over myself trying to take care of both my homies before the ER thing happened. It was a mess, and I’m glad it’s behind us. Now I’m happy to report that the household is healthy and back on the good foot. To celebrate, how about a #giveaway?
Recently, The Youngster has been talking more about music. Pop music. He’s been seeing the commercial for the new “Kidz Bop 27” CD on television and singing along with a few of the song clips. It’s adorable. But it’s also, like, wait… are you growing up on me?
Honestly, the whole kidz music thing was barely in my periphery until maybe the last month. My son basically listens to whatever we listen to, and that can range from Jimmy Cliff and the tUnE-yArDs to Sia and Sam Smith. But I decided to give the Kidz a listen, and I’m totally into it. Catchy ditties, no parental-advisory lyric concerns — what’s not to like? Plus, them kidz can belt! Some of these young’uns sound better than your fave pop star.
So, good news: One of you can also get in on the fun with us. We’re giving away one free copy of the brand new “Kidz Bop 27″ CD. And all you have to do is share a song lyric that you’ve discovered you got terribly wrong. Fun!
The winner will be announced next week.
Back when he was the man I married and not the father of our son, I used to greet my husband with deep kisses and long hugs as he stepped through our door. Now, nearly 10 years together, it takes real energy for me to muster anything more than an honest smile and brow raise.
What changed? We became parents five-and-half years ago. And, more specifically, I became someone’s mother.
I still love this man with everything I have. I like him as much, too. It’s just that something shifted once this tiny person entered the picture, forcing me to splinter off into other beings: mother, wife, me. It’s a challenge moving through these different selves, trying to preserve them as whole and real. Too often, one version of me absorbs everything — all the time, all the attention, all the dedication, love and tenderness — while the others sit at low simmer on the backburner, dwindling.
The first year of motherhood, I was completely consumed by trying to do my best for this child. I was pressed for time all the time, juggling everything and putting the Mom part of me at the top of the list. Through it all, I kept hearing assurances by many (doctors, elders, other mom friends) that this was completely normal and to be expected. My husband and I became more like teammates, tackling this overwhelming thing called new parenthood, and less like crazy-in-love idealists determined to straighten out this tilted world. We laughed and learned and poured love all over our new family of three. Still, something felt off, something was missing. My husband and I stayed very close, but not in the way we used to be, not like those kid-free days. Although my husband was ever thoughtful and kind, there seemed to be sorrow there as well. He was pining for his wife. Truth told, I missed The Wife too. But I didn’t know how to bring that part of me to the forefront. Trying to find my way back to how it once was — husband and wife vs. everyone else — required a level of energy that most days I simply didn’t have.
It’s just that something shifted once this tiny person entered the picture, forcing me to splinter off into other beings: mother, wife, me.
I started talking about this drift apart, about this internal struggle — Mom vs. Wife — with other women. Instead of assurances that it’s normal and to be expected, I was met with deep nods, “Amens” and sometimes tears. These other women, some who were five, six, nine years into motherhood, were in the midst of the same battle. They, too, understood the importance of shining some of that dedicated focus on raising healthy, happy kids onto the other vital relationship in the house: the one with their spouse. And they were looking, in earnest, for ways to turn things around.
For me, being aware means taking action, making changes to help us move from being two ships passing into sailing together on the Love Boat. It starts small, but it’s sure and must be steady to be effective. So now, when this man I chose to marry steps through the front door, I’m making every effort to pause from building LEGOs, look up from my laptop and into his eyes to say, “hello.”
Originally posted on Mom.me.
The message was clear. It was bold and underlined and in no uncertain terms: Toy weapons of any kind would not be permitted at the elementary school’s annual Halloween parade. This means the non-battery operated light saber for my son’s Darth Vader costume would have to stay at home Friday. I explained this to him, as did his teachers, and he was fine about it. Now, if only there was a way to keep that “no toy weapons” message running through the other days of the year.
The thing is, I’m firmly anti-gun. I don’t believe the average citizen should have them in their homes. I grew up in Canada where gun control laws are strict and meaningful, and there’s no debate or contention around any of it. However, living in the U.S. and raising a family here, I pay very close attention to this country’s gun sense or, moreover, the lack thereof. I don’t want my child around guns. Period. This firearm ban includes the toy versions too.
Over the last five years, I’ve been able to maintain this no-guns policy without issue. Even my son can tell you my stance regarding these killing machines. “Mom, that LEGO guy has something in his hand that you really don’t like,” he’ll say, when we’re flipping through a catalog or zipping by (because moseying is a mistake, friends!) the toy aisle at Target.
But over the last five months, things have begun to tilt a little. It started with a blue water pistol given to him in the loot bag from a summer birthday party. He was more into the other cheap trinkets than the gun, so I was able to slip the plastic thing into a cabinet in the mudroom. Then one day, as if to taunt me, that damn squirt gun fell out of the cabinet and landed by his feet. He asked if he could fill it up and play with it in the yard. I said yes, but only for a short while. I told him he wasn’t allowed to point it directly at anyone. He still had fun spraying the water at flowers, the grass and into the air.
He’s a kid — there’s always fun to be discovered.
A few weeks later, he went to a buddy’s house for a playdate. Of course they ended up playing with the boy’s toy laser guns. “But just for a little bit of time, Mom.”
I figured this moment would come, the one where I need to recognize and reconcile the fact that my reach as a parent and guide has a limit.
And then Kindergarten happened. Everyday this kid would come home talking about some new character or superhero or ninja that a schoolmate was talking about at recess, nearly all of them in fighting mode, all carrying a weapon of some sort. My son has never once watched a show or seen a movie featuring any of these characters. (Even his latest interest in Star Wars sprang forth from LEGO.) But there he was explaining all the details of the Ninja Turtles and Batman.
I figured this moment would come, the one where I need to recognize and reconcile the fact that my reach as a parent and guide has a limit. I can’t (and don’t want to) hover over my son at every playdate, trying to dissuade him from picking up a toy gun. I can only hope that my thought-through opinions about the real dangers of guns and gunplay will take root with his young mind and instill a sensibility that he can continue to develop as he grows.
Maybe it’s one that makes him pause and wonder: “Hmm. What would Mom do?” Listen, I don’t have the bubble. Let me have a little slither of wishful thinking.
Photograph by: Getty Images
Original post on Mom.me.