Tag Archives: toddlers

The Playground Police

Let’s face it…we all know her. Some of you may be her. She’s the playground police mom. She lingers around the playground loudly pronouncing that her kids follow societal rules so that the rest of the kids (and parents) see that there will be no light-hearted fun this go-round.

She is loud.

Sometimes she is loud with her proclamations of being a good mom because of how much more her kids clothes cost than hers. Sometimes she is loud about her plans for coffee later with that one friend she dreads meeting up with. Sometimes she is loud calling her kids out on something they have on as if they dressed themselves. Shut it, lady. We all know you let them leave the house like that because you’re tired of the fight like the rest of us and you just don’t give a crap. Don’t act like you care now that you’re in public. Most of all she is loud about her kids following rules that she only sees other kids ‘breaking.’

Relax, lady.

You see the playground equipment just like the rest of us. See how the steps and slide are wide enough for four kids to fit down at the same time? Yeah, that means they don’t have to wait in a single file line and take turns to go down it. It also means that if someone’s kid is, you know, being normal and trying to climb UP the slide that the other kids can just slide around them.  It also means that if someone’s kid wants to climb the stairs and stay there a few minutes that the whole playground doesn’t have to stop and wait in them.

Take a Xanax.

Or if you must look cool with a cup of coffee switch to decaf. There is no need to keep gasping and seeking for other parents’ reactions every time you see a kid jump from a piece of equipment. They are kids and fear is learned. Know what else is learned? Courage, determination, persistence, and bravery. So stop teaching them to be cautious over jumping 3 feet off the top of a damn toddler toy. Seriously.

Sit down already.

You are making the rest of us nauseous. Your four year old doesn’t need your help climbing into the pretend canoe. If they do, it’s because you keep helping them. They are capable. Instill some confidence in them by encouraging them to do it by themselves. Watch what happens when they succeed. Because they will. Besides, the rest of us can’t keep an eye on our kids from the sidelines with a 160 pound person always in the way.

Your passive-aggressive is showing.

Really. Can it. We all know what you really mean when you sarcastically say,

“You really have to keep your eyes on this one, don’t you?”

“Watch out sweetie, there is someone going the wrong way right now…wait until they get down.”

“Well her mother is somewhere in here…”

“Don’t worry if they are doing it wrong, you do it the right way and set a good example.”

“No, his mommy lets him do that but we do what that sign says.”

“You really have your hands full.”

“You must be from out of town?”

“Wow, they are big to be under 5.”

You’re loud, remember? Put your whistle away. We are all watching.

Let them be kids.

As long as no-one is getting hurt, on purpose, there is no need to intervene. Let them be kids! They can work things out on their own. Believe me…they will learn how to react to their peers if you just back off and let them try. Is there a rowdy boy shoving his way up the steps to the slide? Let your little girl react on her own if she gets shoved aside. Chances are she doesn’t give a crap and she’ll slide down anyway. Is another kid crawling too quickly through the tunnel and making others fall? Let the kids handle it. I’m willing to bet that one kid just wants to see how fast he can get through (because it’s fun) and honestly doesn’t mean to hurt anyone. Heck, unless another kid does the same thing to him he doesn’t know it may hurt at all.

There was a moment on a playground where my husband and I witnessed a kid push down our little boy. My husband’s reaction was, “what should we do?” And I said, “just give him a minute, see how he responds.” You know what? My little boy pushed that other kid right back. Regardless if you agree it was the right thing to do, his daddy and I were both proud of him. We want to know that he’ll stick up for himself if we aren’t there.  I’ve also seen my little boy be the one to hit first…and I totally intervened and he got into trouble. Letting them work things out on there own is a huge milestone for them.

You know that coffee you seem to be holding? Sit down and drink it. Here, I have whiskey in my purse, you want some? No idiot, I really don’t have whiskey in my purse. Maybe. But seriously….sit down and shut up! And lower your voice for Pete’s sake.

~Your Mediocre Mom

Eat More Leftovers!

Let’s face it. You meal plan so you don’t waste food. You make a grocery list so you don’t overspend, as much. You meal prep and pre-package school lunches and after school snacks so the whole house doesn’t get eaten within 36 hours of purchase.

Give yourself a break!

Eat more leftovers! I actually put ‘Leftovers’ on my meal plan for the week. If I haven’t been feeling well lately I may put it on the list every three days. There is nothing wrong with expecting your family to reheat yesterdays dinner. Sometimes you can reconfigure it into a different type of meal but sometimes you can’t. Trust me, they can suck it up and it will save you all the stress of ‘witching hour.’ Take it a step further and serve it on paper plates. That way you’ve saved yourself from having to cook dinner that night and do the dishes. Voila!

Another thing I do to make sure suppers don’t go to waste is pre-package them for future use. My family is more likely to eat the leftovers (or take them to work for lunch) if I go ahead and cut portions to place into plastic containers. That way they are easy to grab and pop into the microwave. Sometimes I don’t even tell the hubs that leftovers are in the fridge. I just mix the containers in with his prepackaged lunch items and he automatically just grabs whatever. Let’s face it, most men don’t look anyway. Toddlers, on the other hand, are tiny health inspectors. They should be paid by the Food and Drug Administration. Nothing slips by a toddler. Nothing. If yours is anything like mine, he’s so paranoid he literally smells everything single thing before it goes into his mouth. Drinks are no exception.

So give yourself a break Mama. It’s Monday. Let them eat leftovers.

Saving you the dishes,

Your Mediocre Mom

Verse of the Week: Isaiah 40:11

Mommin’ ain’t easy – and we need all the encouragement we can get. Sometimes the encouragement only comes from above. And we should be okay and expectant in that because He is all-sufficient for us. Focus on this verse this week as we tend to our ‘flocks.’

“He tends his flock like a shepard: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40″11 NIV

Amen. …”He gently leads those that have young.” Please and thank you, Jesus.

 

In His Name,

Your Mediocre Mom

 

The Cock-Block Toddler

Hi there. If you’ve kept up with my blog you are already aware that I am a mom of two toddlers. They rock. Sometimes. Other times they down right suck. But in this post I will share with you 5 ways they are so very thoughtful.

  1. Sexy Time – Nothing says, “You’re welcome mom,” quite like ALWAYS ruining a little romantic time with the hubs. The little one is going through a bit of a sleep regression…thoughtful, I know. And the older one has a habit of wanting to sleep in ‘momma bed.’ No matter how many times I take him back to his room, he always ends up back in our bed. And when he’s not, his sister decides it’s time to party all night. I love how they rescue me from the same old excuses. He may actually believe me if I say I have a headache. Wink wink. So thoughtful.
  2. Answered Prayers – For years I have prayed for patience.  Since having children I have learned that they hear my prayers and have decided to help me with them. You see, they thoughtfully create situations that would allow me to practice my patience. Lots and lots and lots of situations. As a matter of fact, I should be the most patient person that exists. So thoughtful of them.
  3. Tidiness – This is one of my favorites. The kids ever so thoughtfully throw their toys about the house to give me more practice in tidying. They are really good too. Like, when I pick up an entire set of Lincoln Logs and put them away….I find one piece at a time in several areas of the house- the dirty laundry, the toilet, the kitchen floor, on the train table…anywhere but in the box where it belongs. So sweet that they were thinking of me. They see me constantly tidying and thought I would like a few more to do. I enjoy it so much. So thoughtful!
  4. Uneaten Meals – I regularly let them both sit on the kitchen counter as I am preparing and cooking meals. If it’s a step they can handle I let them help. Add ingredients, stir, pour, etc. They enjoy watching and participating. I also heard that getting them involved makes them more likely to eat it or try new things. I call bullshit on that one, but they enjoy the process. They are so sweet to think of me when they leave an entire meal that they just asked me to fix sitting uneaten. They know how much I enjoy cooking, and just wanted to allow me the opportunity to get into the kitchen for a little ‘me’ time. So thoughtful!
  5. Reminders – I never would have thought my children would be so smart and thoughtful with this one. I mean, my husband hasn’t even figured this one out. When we are low on diapers and/or wipes and I need to remember to go buy some they have 9 poops between the two of them….in one day.  They normally poop once a day, each. And as soon as I buy them they return to normal.  But when mama needs to be reminded of that to-do list they are eager to jump in! So thoughtful!

Aren’t they awesome? I just love a considerate thoughtful child.  Tell me, how are your kids ‘thoughtful?’

Grateful,

Your Mediocre Mom

The Ultimate SAHM Checklist

Maybe you have one child. Maybe you have six. Maybe you are pregnant with your first, but already know you will stay home with the baby. Our tasks are never ending, and our homes are never spotless. Let us pause for a moment and give praise to God for the blessing of being at home with our babies. It doesn’t matter if your family makes enough money so that you are at home and comfortable or if your family makes great sacrifices, we are all blessed to be able to personally witness each and every milestone our children make. Maybe this is not an “ultimate” list.  Nonetheless, it is a list of things I deem necessary to keeping a happy home, and my sanity, as a stay-at-home-mom.

 

1. To-Do Lists

This is a given, but let’s evaluate it’s importance in the home. Currently, I have a dry-erase calendar on my fridge, a small pocket calendar in my purse, and written to-do list on my kitchen counter. The dry-erase calendar is, by far, the family’s communication hub. Let’s face it, we are way too busy. Even on the days when we don’t leave the house we are just busy. I will often forget to tell my husband about plans made or upcoming events. This way, we can all see what’s planned and what’s coming up. He has often said, “I see we have such-and-such on Wednesday night, do I need to ask my mom to keep the kids?” Having everything in one central place allows us to keep tabs on helping one another. Also, don’t be afraid to put common household items on there. One or two, or four, weeks of house cleaning have gotten away from me, before. When that happens I will literally pencil in “CLEAN HOUSE” on a day we don’t have anything planned. That way we actually make a plan to get it done.

My pocket/purse calendar is just a carbon copy of the main calendar. The only reason I keep it is for when I am out and about and make an appointment. That way I can just transfer it over to the fridge when I get home.  It has also come in handy when I am out of the house and my husband calls to ask if we have plans for a particular date. I can quickly check to see….with the disclaimer that, “I will double check the fridge when I get home, but my pocket calendar says No.”

The written to-do list is already a household basic. My life revolves around lists. I have literally made a list of all the lists I need to make. With that said, be sure to take a few moments to mentally organize what you would like to accomplish for the day and WRITE IT DOWN! I find that the best time, for me, to do this is at night right before bed. Writing the list before bed helps me do two things: include items that I didn’t complete the current day; and empty my ever-running mental to-do list before going to sleep. I don’t know about you but there are always items that I never had the time to do and cross off my daily to-do list. I usually evaluate if it’s something I really need to do, versus just wanted to do. If it’s something I actually need to do I will put it on the next days list. (Side note: Don’t be afraid to put small detailed items on your list. If you were supposed to call your best friend three days ago to catch up, make it a priority and put them on the list! I always get too busy and forget to make tea. When that happens I’ll put it on the list. You get the point.) Making the list at night really helps me sleep better. Have you ever lay awake at night thinking of all the things you need to do the next day? You, too? For some reason, I have found that writing those things down helps tell my mind that I have prepared to tackle them and can now not think about them. It seriously eases my mind. I highly recommend making your to-do lists before bed.

2. Have-Done List

Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of this. Actually, scratch that. I hope you haven’t heard of the have-done list. That way you will have learned something from this blog. I’ve already mentioned how much I love lists.  The have-done list is my very very favorite. No matter how much I support and understand the to-do list, the have-done list will be the one that saves my sanity at the end of the day. My husband is amazing. He works so hard so that I can stay at home with our children. I try, but let’s be honest, I could never repay him for that. Yes, I sacrifice a lot (my time, my multiple degrees, my career, myself, etc.) but I cannot put a price tag on this season of being home with my children. But…I am willing to bet that your spouse has come home from a long day’s work and ask you “what you did today.” Nothing would get under my skin more, than this question. I immediately wanted to respond with, “What did I do all day?! Keep your children alive, clean up spill after spill, fight a kicking and screaming child while changing their soiled diaper, watch Elmo all-freaking-day, etc. etc.” But I choose not to. Instead, I would usually respond with, “Oh, you know, I was a mommy all day.” After a while of wanting to claw my husband’s face off, in response to this daily question, I started realizing that he was just being polite. He was just asking me how my day was. It’s not the way I prefer he ask, but still.  Why was I being so defensive? Why didn’t I have a list of things that I felt were significant enough to tell him? I think it’s because I didn’t feel like the torture of watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ten times in a row was enough to satisfy his request when he had been at a “real job” satisfying a boss and leading a team as a manager. And to be honest, I couldn’t remember what I really did all day…..I mean, what DID I do? So one day, I quit letting my to-do list stare me in the face, at the end of the day, with only one or two items crossed off.  Instead, I put a sheet of paper on the refrigerator and started writing down everything I did. I still had a to-do list to help guide me throughout the day, but I found that the list of what I was actually doing was MUCH longer than the list of things I had planned to do. I think my first have-done list had almost 25 items on it.

My husband came home that afternoon with his usual question and, with a smile on my face, I got to point him to a list. I can’t describe to you the feeling of hearing him say, “Are you serious? You really did all this today? While watching the kids?” Success! It had some really silly stuff on it, like : made tea, unloaded dishwasher, loaded dishwasher, wiped down all door knobs and light switches, changed diaper geanie, organized children’s books/puzzles, etc. Looking at a list of what all kept me busy throughout the day was liberating. No matter how insignificant it was. It gave light to “what I did all day.” I will never spend another day without a running have-done list. I highly recommend you make it part of your daily routine. Speaking of routine…

3. Schedule-Schedule-Schedule

I have a confession to make. This is my current weak spot. God blessed us with a beautiful new tax deduction a couple of months ago. She is simply amazing. Since she was born I have yet to get back to a permanent routine. I am trying. But, for purposes of this blog, I cannot express how important a schedule is. Children thrive on them! You don’t have to be so regimented that they panic at the slightest off-set. As a matter of fact, I recommend routine non-routine days in your schedule. Pick a day of the week where you and the kids all know there is no time-flow to their activities for the day (with the exception of things that always need to be at a specific time- meals, naps, bedtime- whatever applies to your family). Think of your day like a kid’s school day: there is a specific time they need to wake up in order to be ready and at school on time, they have specific times for certain subjects/activities, there is a specific snack time, more subject time, lunch time, play time, nap time, go home time, snack time, homework time, chore time, reading time, family time, bedtime. You get the idea. Having a schedule keeps your days from slipping away from you.

There have been plenty days that I have looked up at the clock only to see that it’s 3:30 p.m. and my kids are still running a muck in their pajamas, with appropriate bed-heads. Ugh. Thirty minutes ago it was just 9:00 a.m. When I first started scheduling my day, I quickly learned the art of setting alarms. They didn’t include the sound of an obnoxious morning alarm clock, but instead sounded like a pleasant reminder that it was time for a change of scenery. (Tip: Scroll through the many alarm sound options on your phone and choose one that is pleasant.) After I started setting alarms for my schedule I figured out that I needed a warning alarm, with a different sound, to help tell me that it was time to wrap up what we were doing, because the next item was just 5-10 minutes away. Some kids actually need this transitional warning. It’s like hearing a teacher say, “In five minutes we’re going to the lunch room, be sure to start wrapping up your projects.”

 

……Okay, HUGE confession time here. I wrote everything you just read back in February of 2016. Almost an entire year ago. And I’m here to tell you one thing.

You. Need. Alcohol.

List complete.

 

Love in the real world,

Your Mediocre Mom

The Toddler’s Guide to Wine

Hi. My name is Page and I have a toddler. You, too? Well, then allow me to offer you a hug and a glass of wine. Join me on the sofa where the cushions contain missing pairs of dirty socks and hidden nuggets. Never mind the carpet. Or the laundry room. If I could get to a few loads maybe I could at least shut the door. Anywho….back to the whine, I mean wine. Since you are also the mom of a toddler, whether it’s the terrible two’s or threenagers, you know they come with a whole range of emotional outbursts. Sometimes they are victorious exclamations of conquering the living room lava river and other times they are full-blown fits of grocery store rage meant to test which level of law enforcement we intend on involving. Don’t tell me you haven’t considered if it’s worth going to jail over. I know you have. Ha!

It’s okay, momma, there is a wine guide.

Did you know these toddlerisms have appropriate types of wine? Well then, let me introduce you to them. It’s good to keep a few of these handy; especially if you are parenting a child between the ages of 18 months – 3.5 years.

1. They spent the night at Grandma’s = Morning Mimosas

Champagne technically falls on the dry side of white wine….but, yes, this deserves a drink! If my little curtain climber stays the night at Grandma’s….you bet your brunch I’m having a Mimosa in the morning! Why not?! Don’t answer that. I’m not saying get tanked before 10 a.m. But I am saying you need a celebratory adult beverage that is both refreshing and, well, reminds you of the first morning of your honeymoon. Trust me. Find a bottle of champagne and a good orange juice and enjoy a grown-up breakfast beverage before you pick up the kids and get busy with life.

2. They have just started potty training/your attempt at being a Pinterest mom = Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a red wine that is right over the line of being sweet, which means it’s average between dry and sweet, but not too sweet. Let’s face it. You’ve made 100 gazillion trips to the potty to instill the meaning of “going potty,” with absolutely no actual potty success. You know it’s part of the gig, but at the end of the day you are exhausted. I mean, did you even remember to watch the clock to make them try every hour on the hour? Probably not. Me either, by the way. And if this is one of those craftsy days where you spent too much time the night before on Pinterest, well…….then you’ve also been busy trying to referee the use of glue, finger paints and salt dough. So after they are in bed, a full glass of pinot noir is in order. It’s not on the strong side, so it’s just right after a long days busy work with the rug rats.

3. They have cabin fever, boredom, and sugar and are on a destructive path through the house….for maybe all day = Sauvignon Blanc

Okay….we all have these days. Especially in the winter when it’s too dadgum cold, or wet, or both, to be outside letting them blow some steam. And yes I, too, have bundled them up and sent them outside when it was too cold, or wet, or both to try anyway. But sometimes it just can’t happen. And when those times are upon us, the kids think it’s a free-for-all pass to act crazy and destroy every room they enter. You may also recognize those days when you get tired of straightening massive messes, yelling at them to straighten them, or just give up and let them trash the place. I am guilty of all three. But when they fall asleep, and the house is trashed, it serves me right to pour a glass of sauvignon blanc and take my sweet time using the foot mop to push as many toys against the wall as I can. I need to make a path to the kitchen that doesn’t involve me stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night. Wait….I TOTALLY meant that I pick up the house before bed while drinking my wine (wink, wink). Sauvignon blanc is a white wine that’s strong, a bit dry and just right for me not to have to worry over it staining my teeth….I mean carpet, as I stumble around all those damn toys.

4. Your husband is out of town working (day three of five) and the dog is sick to her stomach…on your carpet (a.k.a. The Single Mom) = Red/Rose Zinfandel

Hear me out….. We are strong. We are mothers. We can roar with the best of them and then devour our enemies. But after three days of manning the troops alone and everything possible going wrong while you don’t have any help, a really strong red wine is in order. Don’t be afraid to pull this one out before the kids’ bedtime. It’s necessary. There’s no telling what time you will get to bed, so don’t put this one off. Pop a few Tylenol and pour a glass. Cheers, momma bear!

5. Day 5 of the same scenario above = a shot of whiskey

Yep, I said it. Sometimes wine doesn’t cut it. Neither does Nyquil, or beer, or melatonin. This is when Grandma comes over to let you catch a nap (that you and I both know you won’t take). It’s also when you take your butt back to your bedroom, shut and lock the door, and take a shot of whiskey! Don’t smell it, don’t over think it. Just take a big swig, lay down and close your eyes for a few moments. Your husband will be home tomorrow. He’ll see the dog’s stains on the carpet, smell the house, and see the bottle on the bathroom counter….and he’ll completely understand. He may even ask you why it took you to day 5 to pull it out.

6. A full blown tantrum meant to test who in the general public will call 9-1-1 = a bottle of what ever you want, sweetie

Yes, there is such a thing as picking your own when it comes to toddler wine. Ha! Episodes like these earn you what ever your heart desires. Maybe that’s a case of beer. Maybe it is a milkshake and half a chocolate cake to yourself. Maybe it’s leaving them at a safe-house for the time being. Totally kidding about that last part. Maybe. So have at it momma. My tip…take the whole bottle with you. No need in worrying about serving sizes when one of these babies shows up in the grocery store.

7. It was a good day and the kids went to bed peacefully on time = Riesling or White Zinfandel

Ah, alas….we end with the very thing we pray happens every day. The kids were happy. The kids listened when asked/told what to do. They didn’t put up a fight when it came to eating and bedtime routines, and actually went to sleep when they were supposed to. Mom, it’s time to pull out the Riesling, run a hot bath and enjoy a light, white, sweet glass of cool wine. It was a really great day. Savor it. You deserve it.

There you have it! Tell me, what are some drink ideas you suggest while enduring the challenges of parenting toddlers? Be sure to leave them in the comments.

Cheers!

Your Mediocre Mom