Category Archives: Daily

Where do we go from here?

These two might be dressed the same, but they are so very different.

These two might be dressed the same, but they are so very different.

Wow. An enormous lot has changed since my last blog post here. We went to Disney World. It was a blast. Sadie turned 5, and her behavior got more manageable. She turned 6, and it’s been a bit bumpy again. Polly turned 1 and had to have her growth monitored, first kind of without reason, and then again for good reason. Polly turned 2 and is still super tiny and seems to barely eat real food, but I’m trying not to sweat it.

I’m still writing a ton at work, so I’m not convinced I’ll be up for writing much outside of work. But I’ve got it in my mind that if I ever hope to write a book, this is where I’d better practice.

Trevor is still a bicycle mechanic, which he loves most days.

We still have all four pets, though Tarzan is one penis short of a male cat now. That might have to be my next blog post.

Families who argue don’t go to Disney World

20130616-123813.jpg

This is probably frowned upon in the parenting circles I frequent, but something’s gotta give.

I have invented what is either the most brilliant or most idiotic game ever to help reduce the arguing that goes on in our house with Sadie.

This morning I showed Sadie pictures online of Magic Kingdom. All the princesses live there! Winnie the Pooh lives there! Tinker Bell! Buzz Lightyear!!!

(For the past two weeks, I’ve done a great job convincing myself and Trevor that this is the year we do it. We go to Disney World!)

Here’s an example of how the game goes.

Sadie: I want some candy!
Brooke: Sorry sweetheart, we don’t have any candy in the house.
Sadie: I want candy!!!
Brooke: Sadie… Disney World…
Sadie: Okay, Mom.
Brooke: Disney World!!!
Sadie: Disney World!!!

We don’t yet have tickets purchased or a hotel booked, so I don’t feel like it’s an empty threat. I’ll be seriously disappointed if we decide not to go, but I cannot agree to take a kid who argues and yells as much as she does these days to a place like that.

We have practiced a lot today through roll play. Sadie thinks of a topic we might argue about, and we go through the the process. We even had a real-life test when she started arguing about catching her fish with the net (not until the tank is cleaned!).

Disney World!!!!

Of course, this could totally backfire on me. And even if the arguing improve between now and when we want to go, there’s a very real possibility we could have an out of control situation once we got there.

But! We are winging it. I’ve got my fingers crossed that she will notice how much more smoothly things can go if she’s not quite so contrary all the darn time.

Or by tomorrow “Disney World” will be on Sadie’s list of “mean words.”

Anyone got a better idea?

A clean slate

Inspired by a meeting today with two successful bloggers in my local area, I’m considering taking up blogging again. Who knows if it will stick; I do a lot of writing at work, and I don’t often have much left in me for writing at home. I’ve stripped it all down to the basics, and want to start all over: from scratch, of course. I want to focus on my words and the documentation of my life as myself and as a parent.

Here’s what I want to say about parenting today: It is hard, and I didn’t do my best today.

I yelled at Sadie. A lot. Loudly.

I also did something I thought I’d never do, or at least not until she’s much older. I told her that when I was a little girl, my parents spanked me. They hit me. I don’t think I wanted to scare her, but I did want to get her attention. I told her that her dad and I would never, ever hit her. I think part of me wanted her to know that as bad as the yelling was tonight, it would never turn into hitting. Who knows what she’ll take from that information. I know I don’t feel great about it.

I am immensely glad for the strong attachment that is the foundation of our relationship, because when we both regained our composure, we spent the next several minutes hugging, kissing and I-love-you-ing.

Tomorrow is another day; we can try all over again.

20130610-230203.jpg

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?