Summer is wearing me out already!

I took today off from work so I could go to Sadie’s field day. Yes, Sadie’s school had field day for the early childhood center, and it was pretty hilarious. The P2 crew only participated in two events: running the track and tug-of-war.

Very excited about field day!

Off to a good start.

Finished!

I ended up running the last leg with her. Thankfully, no photos of this event have surfaced.

More interested in posing for the photo than truly tugging.

Pull!

They did boys versus girls for the tug-of-war. Apparently in all of the field day practices, the girls beat the boys every single time. For whatever reason (a very large audience, perhaps?), the boys took the girls down for the actual event. Ah, well.

To the mall (gross, right?)!

In the quest for replacement dress-up earrings, I unintentionally bought Sadie $10 Fancy Fancy clip-ons. With hot pink feathers. Woe is me.

 

Taking One for the Team

Something I’ve realized about becoming a parent is that it really highlights the dominant elements of my personality. If I was introspective before, now I’m an absolute naval-gazer. A curious web-surfer? Now a total research junkie.

There’s just all this pressure to Get It Right. The French are doing it right. And so are the Italians. In fact, everyone is doing it right but me. Or you. Or anyone who is actually doing the naval-gazing at the time.

These new chickens are a-okay with Sadie.

Parenting Sadie is hard freaking work. She’s the most awesome kid I’ve ever known, but she can be a real handful for me a lot of the time. I do my best to convince myself that it’s no big deal that she hits and kicks me when she’s mad. That it’s normal that she nearly always does exactly the opposite of what I ask her to do, unless she’s in a magical mood. She doesn’t listen to me. She couldn’t sit through a meal at the table if her life depended on it. I can’t take her into any store without almost certain meltdown. She yells and screams at me, flings her Sadie-sized furniture over onto the floor or even strikes out at the dogs and cats when she doesn’t get her way.

And I’m no peach, either. I speak too sternly, raise my voice, lose my patience, forget to look at things through her eyes. There are a hundred-and-one answers to the “problems” I have with Sadie, and I’m not using them. In the moment, it is unbelievably hard to remember the tricks to making your “no” come out like a “yes.” Nearly all of the time, I’m winging it.

But you know what? I don’t sweat it like I could. Yes, I worry about what it looks like from the outside when people see me “not having a handle on her” at Target. And absolutely, I am SO TIRED. But I don’t worry about my parenting, and I don’t worry about Sadie. Why not? Because every single time I share Sadie with the other adults in her life, her behavior is nearly immaculate. She spent Friday night at my aunt and uncle’s house (her Mimi and Papa), and when I picked her up Saturday morning, my aunt said that I’d left her with a “perfect child.” Okay, nobody’s kid is perfect, so don’t think I took that literally. But there is a recurring theme to the reports I get back from family members who have helped take care of Sadie. It’s that she’s well behaved, well mannered, pleasant and easy.

Whether or not I’m Doing It Right, whatever I’m doing (and Trevor, too, of course) is working.

The all-important phase of lining things up: one of my favorites.

No, I don’t love how hard it is sometimes to parent Sadie. But I love her with every fiber of my being, and I want her to be a happy, successful person. So If I have to take one for the team and be the person Sadie tests every single limit (I mean every single one) so she can be well behaved, well mannered, pleasant and easy for the rest of the world, I’ll do it. Because it’s working. So far, at least.

This is What an Evening Can Look Like

Well, I managed to buy some $91 worth of groceries, yet made it out of Kroger without a single meal to prepare for the week. Sadie screamed (and hit and kicked) for at least five minutes before I made it through the checkout line, because I wouldn’t go back to the candy isle. Dinner was a total hodge-podge: I’m pretty sure Sadie had five olives, a little yoghurt, some mustard and a couple of bites of “burrito.” Must get back to meal planning and solo shopping on Sundays.

But I can’t even tell you how glad I am that bedtimes are mostly smooth. Pajamas, medicine, brush teeth, good night to Daddy, read three or five books, quick bedtime nurse, scratch back, scratch belly, scratch armpits (I don’t even know what that’s about), I Love Yous, kisses, cuddles, sleep. It’s such a good mending time for Sadie and me when we’ve had a rough spot. And it’s SO much less work than it was even a month ago, as hard as that might seem to believe.

Not all evenings are so rough, mind you. Yesterday was one of painting and goons, whatever that means. But this toddler thing sure kicks my ass sometimes. Oh, and Kroger, would it hurt to have the peanut butter on a different isle than the candy?

A Princess, Even in Red

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First, a special shout-out (not that they’ll ever read this) to the ladies at Vintage Socialite in Hillcrest. They were so kind to let a pleading Sadie not only try on some shoes, but they also didn’t kick me out when I (reluctantly) helped Sadie try on this big, beautiful red dress.

But, really, what I have to get off my chest is that I am completely worried that Sadie’s brain is being consumed by Princess. By our design, not any particular princess, but princess and pink to be sure. I do hope this is a phase, and it’s not something we’re discouraging, but I can’t help but worry (hey, I’ve got to do something my free time), especially when I listen to an interview like this.

For now, I’m focusing on things that are attainable, like learning ballet like her 13-year-old cousin, who is an all-around great role model for Sadie to choose.

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Cookie Pants

We took Sadie to a drive-through holiday light display tonight. It was amusing, to say the least. When we finally hit The Line, Sadie started her stoplight chorus of “TURN GREEN!” (Oh, yes. Trevor has her believing that if she yells at the stoplights they will turn green for her. She’s hated stoplights since before she could hold her head up on her own.) And then, when we finally got to what was “the holdup,” turns out we were $4 shy of the $5 entry fee (oops, thought it was free). So a big Thanks to the folks in North Little Rock who gave us quite the holiday discount. We’re good for it next year.

All dressed up and ready to go!

There were a number of odd ducks on this holiday trail of lights. How a crocodile fits into the season, I just can’t say. My favorite part, though, was when Sadie saw a pair of gingerbread people. She called them “Cookie Pants.” I SO wish I hadn’t corrected her. She quickly took to “gingerbread men,” ditching what may be the best Sadieism of all time. I even tried to get her to go back to calling them “cookie pants,” but it was a no-go.

 

 

 

Sweet Nutcracker

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We took Sadie to see the Nutcracker Ballet for the first time. We had front-row seats, because Sadie's cousin had the role of Clara.

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Sadie mostly loved it, but was distressed anytime Clara went offstage, and she was pretty scared of the mice and rats.

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Photo update

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Yoga mats are considered princess dresses in some parts of the world, yes?

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No, this isn't an old photo from the spring. This is what Sadie settled on as an acceptable princess dress to wear in public. The day before Thanksgiving.

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It only took a Walmart bathtub tea set and using Mama's special soap to reverse Sadie's months-long bath-hating trend.

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Always willing to lend a hand.

This Kid

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Calls everyone her Best Friend, except for people she claims to be afraid of.

Speaks lovingly and longingly of her Best Friends. She misses them, wants to love on them and SQUEEEZE on them.

Appears to have the same keen sense of direction as her dad.

Still asks to go trick-or-treating, but is also looking forward to Going to Thanksgiving to eat turkey and spaghetti and pie.

Is a lover of dancing, stirring things, painting, movies and candy, nursing, shoes, books about animals, her Arkansas State Capitolween Building.

Has a Southern twang like I’d never imagined.

Can be convinced to go anywhere there is a party and assumes party = cake and candy.

Once tried to convince me to buy two copies of the same Strawberry Shortcake movie.

Still is kind of a crappy sleeper.

Is interested in yoga.

Learned the word “hipster” last night.

After convincing me to steal a flower from an arrangement at a wedding reception, said, “This smells good. It smells like mustard. Dewishus.”

Halloween!

It’s Sadie’s third Halloween, but it’s really her first to fully participate. I was worried about Sadie not having some big kids to trick-or-treat with. We made a few practice runs at friends’ houses, where instead of the traditional “Trick or treat!” Sadie just said, “Thanks,” and walked right in the door. We drove to the neighborhood across the way to the street of our friend’s parents, where nearly every house is a sure bet. After just a handful of houses, Sadie was trick-or-treating like a pro! And what a great time to practice her manners. She got so into it.

Oh and the candy…

We’re back home now watching the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin movie and eating a few select pieces of candy before bed. Good thing Trevor is off on Tuesdays!

I’d initially planned on Sadie being Ponyo, which she was Saturday night for a Halloween carnival. But she’d been saying she wanted to be an elephant. One wasted lunch break, a bunch of crafting supplies, and a call from a great friend later, Sadie had the perfect (albeit a touch small) elephant costume. With a little stage makeup from my college days, we completed Sadie’s look, and even painted my face white so I could be a ghost per Sadie’s suggestion.

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