Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I'm talking, of course, about the things I end up buying for Claire on nearly every trip to Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens or even Petsmart.
I really can't remember how it started, but I suspect it was when she was a baby and we began making daily treks to SuperTarget (oh, how I miss SuperTarget). I'd see a cute onesie and throw it in the cart. Or maybe a new Baby Einstein product, and really, who can blame me for trying to make my kid a genius by watching those insipid videos of stuffed bears, plastic trains and other non-remarkable toys set to classical music? As she got a little bigger, I'd often pick something out and let her hold it to keep her happy while she sat in the cart. A book or a teething ring. Maybe a new sippy cup. Nothing huge, but always something.
So, since I started this habit when she was a baby, it's really no surprise that by the time she hit the age of three, she'd come to expect something every time we walked through the doors of a store.
Fearing that I was raising some kind of ungrateful kid with a serious sense of entitlement, I decided that today was going to be the day that I stopped this nonsense. Before we even got out of the car, I announced that there would be no toy buying today. We were only getting a couple of baby gates for the new house (more on that in a later post). In retrospect, I see that choosing to put my foot down at Toys R Us was probably not the best parenting move. It's kind of like letting a chocoholic loose in a Hershey's factory but telling her she can't eat anything. But I drew the line in the sand and I had to stick with it (Supernanny would be so proud!).
Oh the drama! First there was the polite asking. Then the whining. Then the clever, "Why don't I just get this Barbie instead of that baby doll?" More whining and some tears. And then the grand finale: blood-curdling screaming.
Throughout this whole ordeal, I somehow managed to remain calm, even though what I really wanted to do was scream right back in her face (admitting that probably isn't going to win me any parenting awards, but it's true). As I was paying, trying to pretend that it was perfectly normal that my three year old had flung herself across a chair near the register and was sobbing uncontrollably, I had a moment of weakness when I actually considered just buying her something, anything, to pacify her. And then she caught me looking at her and issued another blood-curdling scream and the moment passed.
Parenting isn't always fun and it definitely isn't easy. It would have been so much easier to just buy the stupid Barbie and be done with it. But I don't want Claire to grow up thinking that she's always going to get something just because she wants it, even if she asks nicely. By the time we got home, I think the message had finally sunk in and she told me she was sorry.
And as for me, well, I learned something valuable today, too: any and all shopping at Toys R Us should be done online, after the children are asleep. Avoiding conflict, it's what I'm all about.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
And then my former boss, Mike, said something that popped into my head the other day. "You better watch out, she'll trick you into having another one."
I looked at him, confused. Of course I would have another one, and she'd be just as sweet and precious and perfect as Claire.
And I did. And she is. But much, much, much more wild.
In case you don't believe me, here is a list of ways to tell when you have a wild child:
1. Random strangers comment on how "lively" and "busy" and "spirited" your child is.
2. You get paged to the nursery to change her diaper because, well, nobody feels like doing the diaper rodeo.
3. She makes her older sister cry when she does any of the following (and she does these quite often): changes the TV channel, steals a toy or book from her and then runs away laughing, bites her toes, knees or any other available body part, drinks from her sippy cup.
4. The only thing she wants to do on the couch is run.
5. The parents at gymnastics remind you that there is a playroom available.
6. When you get her out of her crib, she's off and running. And doesn't stop until bedtime.
She may be wild, but I wouldn't take her any other way. Arden Kate, I love your energy and spirit and pray you never lose it. But it would be nice if you could bring it down a few notches every once in a while...
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
With all that viewing, by myself and my friends and family, how many of you noticed that the title of my blog was misspelled? Or, more to the point, how many of you corrected me?
So for the past several months, I've been pouring my heart out to the Internet on a blog called "Shamless Bragging." Shamless Bragging.
Shameless Bragging, indeed.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
There were about twenty preschool age girls, and a couple of boys in suits whose mothers obviously want their sons to hate them because, seriously, why would you bring a four year old boy to a tea party? They started with story time, which Claire loves and then were assigned tables for the tea party. The kids were instructed to use their best manners and have a conversation with their hostess.
Claire had so much fun, she's been asking to have her own tea party. "Like with your stuffed animals," I asked. "No, with all my friends," she answered. Considering most of her friends are boys, that should be one interesting tea party.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Have you seen this man?
Maybe he lives on your street too. Maybe (gasp) he lives at your house.
Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against him personally. He seems nice enough. What I have a problem with are the people who put him in the MIDDLE OF MY STREET.
Before I go on, let me offer a disclaimer: if you happen to own one of these plastic men, I'm sure you're a very normal, non-neurotic person who is simply concerned with the safety of your children and not anything like a certain neighbor who props the man up in the middle of an intersection and then proceeds to sit in a lawn chair, working the New York Times crossword puzzle while her hairless dog sunbathes next to her and her children ride their bikes or scooters or whatever down the middle of the road (without helmets, I might add).
That said, I do have to admit that these yellow (sometimes green) men drive me completely crazy. The urge to pile-drive one of them is nearly overwhelming. I'm not sure where this rage stems from. Maybe it's because when we were kids, we rode our bikes and skates and scooters all over the neighborhood without the watchful eye and "SLOW! CHILDREN PLAYING!" warning of one of these plastic men. But I don't think that's it.
Maybe it's because I feel like my neighbors should be more concerned with watching their own kids and less concerned with the flow of traffic through the neighborhood. But I don't think that's it either.
No, I think the real reason is that these little plastic men get to stand in the middle my street, holding a flag and bossing around all the adults in the neighborhood. And really, isn't that the kind of power we all wish we had?