Feb 8 2013
That is how my daughter says, “Bim Bam.” As in, “Bim, bam, bim bim bim bam, bim bim bim bim bim bam.” Sing it with me if you will. I know this song inside and out. In fact, I am kind of an expert. I sing this little ditty approximately 4,000 times a day. Baby G is 18 months old, and Bim Bam is rocking her world. Baby G does not want to sing it herself, of course. In fact, she doesn’t actually want to sing it at all. She prefers to have it performed for her. By me. And who could blame her? I am the Lady Gaga of Bim Bam.
Little kids love repetition. You know that thing inside us adults that finds about 99% of things in the world annoying if we have to hear them more than twice? Yeah, little kids don’t have that. In fact, it’s just the opposite. When little kids find something they like, they like the hell out of it. As in, “Let’s make that thing I like aural and visual wallpaper for every waking second of my life–and then, when I wake up from my nap, we’re going to do it ALL OVER AGAIN! YEAH!” Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 8 2013
Every duo fights. It’s inevitable, especially when you’re always together.
Until recently, Lila and I have had a pacific relationship. But increasingly, I’m interacting with a rapidly evolving and independent little person. This is wonderful overall, but Lila is less predictable and more difficult to manage than she was only a month ago, stretching me as a parent (sometimes uncomfortably).
One recent evening, I picked up Lila downtown. She insisted on walking to the Metro. I pushed her stroller with one hand, using the other to navigate Lila along the sidewalk, while my heart nearly leapt out of my chest. Thankfully, Lila listened when I told her to stop, especially near street corners. Our journey home was mostly manageable until Lila sat in a busy street, while we crossed; I immediately scooped her up and said there would be no more strolling after dark. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 24 2012
It’s funny how perspective can change in the blink of an eye (or in this case, 14 hours of labor). Before having my son, I thought my 3-year-old was still a baby. She was so little! She could barely do anything!
But then I had a baby. And when you compare a 3-year-old to an infant, that 3-year-old is like a giant. Not only can she walk, she can run, trip, scrape her knees, and shake it off. Not only can she talk, but she can express an argument as to why she should really be allowed to watch one more TV show. She can open the refrigerator, get out her own string cheese, and pull it into strings. Meanwhile, the baby really just sits there (though he’s an excellent smiler these days!) Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 4 2012
I remember back when I was in graduate school, over 10 years ago. Late one afternoon, when we were both stifling yawns, my supervisor confessed to me that she kept a coffee maker on her bedside table, and literally wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning until she had had her first cup of coffee. I thought she was crazy, an addict.
Now I think she was brilliant.
It wasn’t always this way, though. I made it through my undergraduate years, four years of long nights up studying and talking and dreaming about all the ways we were going to change the world and grey Vermont mornings when the air was so cold my wet hair would freeze on the way to class. I made it through my master’s degree when I was working almost full time on a psychiatric unit, writing a thesis, and planning a wedding. And I made it through the busy years of my early career, when I was working at my job and on my doctorate, at the same time. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 14 2012
If you’re looking for a way to spin your wheels, get frustrated, and not actually accomplish much of anything, I recommend that you try disciplining a toddler.
Before you get all riled up with mental pictures of my little girl in a stockade under a burning hot sun, let’s interject a quick dose of reality. The toddler in question, aka Baby G, is only 13 months old. She barely speaks English. She has a generally cheerful disposition. Her understanding of cause and effect is weak at best.
Baby G is not being BAD, per se. She’s not plagiarizing other people’s blogposts and passing them off as her own, for example, or embezzling hard-earned funds from charities. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 20 2012
When I was a new parent, celebrating a baby who was finally sleeping through the night or bemoaning the challenges of introducing solid foods, a more experienced parent would inevitably tell me that it was only a phase. This response irritated me to no end. Perhaps it was because I didn’t fully get what that meant, perhaps it was because I felt patronized, but for whatever reason, I didn’t want to hear it.
Over the past three and a half years, as I have watched my daughters grow from newborns to infants and then toddlers, and now that my older girl is a preschooler, I have come to see the wisdom of those words. Yet I prefer to think about it from a slightly different perspective, one that a fellow Jewish Mama reminded me of recently.
This too shall pass. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 15 2012
Here’s why you should clean your house–sometimes, you go into the archives of mess and find inadvertently-preserved glimpses of an older life. Six and a half years ago, I took a writing class when I was mother of a 2-year-old and an infant, and had to write a transcript of 15 minutes of my life. I don’t know about you, but reading it makes me pretty tired. Is this your life, too?
If you want to come down from the highchair, you say, “Down, please.” That’s good. But can you eat a little more of your egg before I put you down? Great. Go bring me a book, please, and then we can read it together. Read the rest of this entry →
Until recently, my husband worked nights, so I was on my own for the girls’ bedtimes. What I worked out was this: Penny watches about a half hour of TV while I put Abby down, then Penny and I lay down and read and she falls asleep. Judge me not, ye women of only kids: you, too, will pray to the demon-god television when you’ve got two toddlers.
Anyway, the other day, Penny was really acting up. I knew she was just kind of worn out and frazzled after a too-active day, but Abby was very, very tired and having trouble falling asleep. I needed her room silent and dark, just for a quick 10 minutes. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 30 2012
There is a saying that the way your kids were as toddlers is how they’ll be as teens. (Only bigger and louder and, in some places, with the legal right to drive.)
If that’s true, then we’re really in for some fun times over at my house.
When my oldest was a toddler, he didn’t talk much. But–Bad Mommy confession–we really didn’t notice until our pediatrician got a concerned look on her face and started asking questions while taking notes and measuring the size of his head (boy had a really big head. Literally off the charts big. He still does). Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 29 2011
My 21-month-old son is the light of my life. He is kind, loving, giving and he takes a three hour nap everyday without fail. He is a quiet, gentle soul that speaks to me in ways I cannot explain. He shares his toys without hesitation, he freely gives hugs and kisses and wants nothing more than my love and attention. I, on the other hand, have a huge personality and practically bounded out of the womb dancing and singing. My husband and I wonder repeatedly how this sweet soul was ever created from the combination of our candid and mildly abrasive DNA.
I hesitate to even write this next part, for fear of sounding like a “tiger mom” or worse have it seem like I am less than enamored with any aspect of my sweet son. But, over the past few months, I’ve wished my son were a little more fearless.
It took my little one 17 months to muster up the courage to walk. He doesn’t run, jump or climb and he is thoughtful and cautious at the playground, and with everything he does. Just last week he was pushed down the slide by a burly 10-month-old girl. He sat at the bottom, tears streaming as she whizzed past him at twice his walking speed. And instead of scooping him up and smothering him with kisses and Mama fuss about how that little girl shouldn’t have pushed him, my husband and I looked at each other and laughed. We laughed after our twig of a boy was manhandled by a chick half his age.
I know we must seem like insensitive parents and while most days I do assume the role of “helicopter parent” or “referee” that afternoon I just wished my kid would haul off and push someone. I wish he would snatch back a toy at playgroup, instead of passively finding something else to play with. I want him to explode with giggly energy; running, jumping and playing until he passes out from exhaustion. After a day where he’s been pushed, shoved and had every toy he tried to play with ripped away by another toddler, I sit and pray for the strength to not strangle another mother’s child. Read the rest of this entry →