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Hello Again!

Hi there! Sorry I’ve been MIA for quite some time but it’s been for good reason! Eric and I were both on vacation last week to go to Great Wolf Lodge with our friends and their kids but also we moved! (It was simultaneously the longest yet fastest week of my life.)

We sold our co-op in Queens and moved to Staten Island. It was a homecoming for me but a whole new ball game for Eric. We’re currently renting an apartment from a wonderful family friend while we begin our search for a house (so if you know of any that aren’t 10 million dollars, send them my way!). I have to say that moving is probably up there as one of the most stressful things in life. I had been slowly packing for months and bringing things to store in my parents basement thinking it would take the stress out of it, but I was obviously wrong. Last Monday I spent the ENTIRE day packing and I still didn’t finish. By the time of our closing, we were literally throwing things in garbage bags and shoving them in my car. And it isn’t like unpacking is any better. I’d say I’m 95% done except for the random bags I stuffed with crap that I’ve banished to the corners of the room.

I think that this is the one time it worked out in our favor that Charlotte sleeps with us because I honestly don’t think this child even realized she moved. It isn’t like I had to put her in a new room. She hasn’t brought up our old place at all. I guess it’s good that little kids are so resilient. This week will be a big change for her because she is getting a new babysitter and our family is adjusting to our new life here right now, but little by little things will fall into place. She’s really been so great throughout everything, which is a change of pace for her usually acting like a Richard.

If you made it this far, thanks for still reading and sticking by me. It’s crazy to think I’ve been writing on this blog for over 3 years and all the changes that have come my way. I love that I have this space to come to to put everything “on paper” and have people read about it. It makes sharing stuff like this all the more special.

BLIPPI!

I don’t know if any of you parents out there know the hell that is Blippi, but if you do, just know that I am with you and I am sorry.  For those of you who are good parents who limit screen time, Blippi is a character on YouTube that posts “fun, educational videos for toddlers” and he starts every video with a catchy little jingle that goes “SO MUCH TO LEARN ABOUT IT’LL MAKE YOU WANNA SHOUT, BLIPPI!!!”  That jingle repeats in my mind over and over and over and over and over.  I’m singing it right now.   I bet if you’re a parent who has a kid that watches Blippi you even sang that instead of reading it.  It NEVER GOES AWAY.  Anyway, Blippi does have some cute videos where he does teach random things and sings songs about stuff like animals in the ocean, tractors, colors, numbers, etc.  But because YouTube (even YouTube kids, which is the only thing Char is allowed to have now after the Kermit Commits Suicide debacle) is a black hole, Charlotte somehow manages to find Blippi videos in other languages.

So NOW every time she starts a Blippi video she asks me if it’s in English.  And because toddlers seem to enjoy arguing about everything, when I tell her it is, in fact, in English, she screams at me that it isn’t.  She looks for the ones that aren’t in English just so she can be right.  She is infuriating.  This is my daily struggle.

Have kids they said.

I didn’t really thinking clothing fights with Charlotte would start until the teenage years.  I only imagined the “that’s far too short” type of argument when it came to getting dressed and not really the “you HAVE TO WEAR PANTS FFS” type of argument we have daily.  Summer has always been the easiest season to dress her.  Shorts, dress, skirt — boom we’re out the door.  NOT THIS SUMMER.

Charlotte REFUSES to wear dresses of any kind and her reasoning is that she can’t sit in the car in them.  I don’t understand this logic, but getting her in a dress is absolutely impossible.  The few times I have gotten her in a dress she says it hurts her because of the elastic on the waistband and then tries to violently rip it off her body until she is tangled inside the fabric and suffocating herself.

Shorts are a whole other issue.  She won’t wear any of the shorts that have any kind of elastic.  They hurt her.  Everything hurts this kid.  I’m starting to think she doesn’t think that word means what she thinks it means.  She will only wear a certain kind of shorts from Old Navy that are soft enough to her liking so I have purchased them in every color and pattern, but when I run out of them and they’re in the laundry, like they were yesterday, we have an apoplectic meltdown.

She won’t wear rompers of any kind.  Bikinis?  Forget it.  One piece bathing suits? No effing thank you. Underwear that is too tight is “not fair” in her own words.  Sandals that have any kind of snap or button that touches her precious little feet? Toss them in the trash.  Pajamas haven’t been necessary in a very long time.  She sleeps in only underwear (that are too big, because tight ones are obviously no fair) and even occasionally takes the underwear off in the middle of the night.

When I do manage to get an outfit to her liking on her she has to immediately take it off when we arrive at home or our destination.  Her shorts were off within 30 minutes of being at my grandma’s yesterday and the shirt came off not shortly after.

I have so many clothes this kid won’t wear.  Just drawers full of shit she got as gifts and I stupidly bought thinking she’d wear them.  I’ve wasted so much money on her and all she wants is to be naked forever.  Yesterday she fought me and Eric for over 20 minutes and she was crying so hard by the end of it she was basically having a panic attack. Over shorts.  SHORTS!

God help me in September when she goes to school.

I have been struggling lately.  Not in the regular parenting ways in which I am tired or overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities or the fact that we’re moving in a few weeks and I’m dealing with the logistical and emotional aspects of that.  But I’m struggling with the idea of shaping Charlotte as a person and how important it is for the parents to set examples.  She’s starting school in September and I’m petrified that she’s going to be a disaster.  I already know she’s going to cry and scream and lose her mind when Eric and I leave, but what if she doesn’t stop?  Then there’s the unfortunate aspect of her telling people they are “disgusting” and that she doesn’t like them.  I have no idea where this came from and I have no idea how to stop it.  I don’t want to have the bratty kid.  I’m trying so hard not to have the bratty kid, and yet she’s still acting like a brat.  What else can I do other than explain to her that she can’t call people disgusting and that it isn’t nice and can make them feel sad?  Can a 3 year old even comprehend that or is she just going to continue to be a little jerk?  And I feel awful that perhaps I’m the reason this is happening.  That I’ve fundamentally failed somewhere along the line.  I try so hard, every day, to set a good example.  But is it enough?

There are times thought when I feel like I’ve accomplished something.  For example, Charlotte has been obsessed with makeup.  She asked me one day while we were giving each other makeovers if boys wear makeup and I told her anyone can wear makeup.  Makeup can make you happy and if boys want to wear it they can.  And now, every time she takes out that makeup, she looks at me and says “makeup makes you happy, even some boys!”  So I feel like I’m setting the ground work for teaching her that gender doesn’t define what you like or what you want.  It’s baby steps, right?

Now if only I could get her to stop calling everyone disgusting.

Sleep Talker

I’ve been keeping a list of all of the things Charlotte says while she is asleep.  They take place anywhere between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM.  I am very well rested.  Not.

  • *High pitched scream* followed by “NOOOO I NEED THE GREEN TRIANGLE!”
  • “Minnie needs to sit over there. OVER THERE!”
  • “I’m not ready.  Don’t take me out! I said I’m not ready!”
  • “Shut up Spanky.”
  • “You said a bad word.”
  • “I don’t need to eat.”
  • “Oh that is DISGUSTING.”

And my personal favorite: “oh my mommy, I love you so much.”

She says all of this crap when she’s awake too, so sleeping with her is basically just an extension of our day.  Our very long days.  She says them while she is completely out cold but very loud and with much gusto.  When I tell her she talks in her sleep she laughs at me and says I’m funny.  She doesn’t believe what an unbelievable pain in the ass she is.  I should really start recording it at some point because I’m afraid one day I’ll forget she did this stuff, but then again, she’ll probably never leave my bed so I’ll keep getting her sleep chats for the rest of my life.

 

 

Perspective

We spent the day yesterday at my friend’s house – she has a beautiful new home with the added bonus of a swimming pool.  We spent the 4th of July there and had a great day swimming, and since Charlotte is a fish in the summer I thought yesterday would be the perfect day to swim there because of how absolutely gorgeous it was.

Except Charlotte started acting like a real Richard.  She was whining SO much and I was losing my patience quickly.  When she was in the pool she wanted to get out.  She wanted her bathing suit off and wanted to go inside the house.  “I be naked in the house!” was uttered many times.  I was getting beyond frustrated because it was SO nice out and after the horrible heatwave we experienced last week I just wanted to enjoy some time outside.  Things got so bad that I even called Eric to come pick her up because I was this close to chucking her over the fence to wait for the Q23 bus.  But then she asked for some mac & cheese and I figured I’d give her one last chance.  She ended up eating a huge bowl of macaroni, drank some lemonade and had some chips and she was a completely new person.  My kid was hangry.  You would think I would know the signs of being hangry because I experience them on a daily basis, but as we all know my child doesn’t eat so I never thought that would be the issue.  But once she ate and I had a glass of wine and changed my attitude, the rest of the day was so much better.  I realized that I have to change how I respond to her in situations too because I can lose my patience too quickly, and if I just go with the flow everything seems to be a little easier.  So while I wasn’t entirely thrilled about having to throw her in the air 500 times in the water, or swim around while she held onto my feet, I have to realize my days of lounging on a float for 5 hours are over and the whole point is for her to have fun.  And when I realized that, I had fun too.

And it’s also a pretty good arm workout to throw a child that many times.

Magic Moments

Last night I went out after work.  I got home before 9 and Char was already asleep because Eric had her outside in the pool all day long so she was pretty beat.  However, the second I walked into my bedroom her eyes popped open.  I’m not exaggerating either, it happened the second I was at my bedside.  She looked at me and said “oh my mommy, I’ve been waiting for you!”  I climbed into bed and she snuggled up next to me and started to fall back asleep.  Her eyes were closed and she whispered “I love you so much mommy” and kissed my cheeks before promptly passing out again.

I want to write this moment down so that when I’m at the end of my rope and all out of patience with her I can look back and remind myself how good being a mother is.  How the love is always waiting for me at home.  How someone is always happy to see me, no matter what.  This is what they mean by unconditional love.  How beautiful is that?

When YouTube Goes Rogue

If you are one of those parents that limits screen time and only allows certain apps and has everything electronic on some sort of schedule then I’m sorry to say this post isn’t for you.  Just stop reading and go away.  We can’t be friends.

SO, welcome to my fellow screen time loving parents!  iPads are where it’s at, am I right?!  Let me preface this story by saying that I do play and interact with my child, but when I come home from work and have to cook dinner, the iPad is her mother.  The iPad raises my child until I’m done cooking and we’re all fine with that.  Everything is good.

So the other night I needed to bread some chicken cutlets.  Sometimes I let Char help me with cooking but I am not going to let her help me bread chicken cutlets because eggs, literal crumbs and raw chicken do not mix well with a toddler.  With my luck she’d try to eat raw chicken when she doesn’t eat anything else and then I’d be telling you the salmonella story and not how YouTube failed me.  But I digress.

I was breading the cutlets in the kitchen and Charlotte was laughing at a YouTube video when all of a sudden I hear, “what the f*ck Elmo? what the f*ck Kermit?”  (PS: Also, I know my dad and grandma read my blog occasionally.  I know you don’t always appreciate my language.  Just want to let you know I am RECAPPING A STORY.  I need to show that curses were used.  I didn’t use them, the video did.  But I didn’t write out the curse word so please don’t @ me.  I bet you won’t know what that is.  It’s OK.  Love you guys!) (PPS: Yes, I am an almost 31 year old apologizing to her father and grandmother in her blog.  This is what is happening right now.)  OK, so where was I?  Yes, yes, Elmo and Kermit are being cursed at.  I, of course, immediately ran over and ripped the iPad away from her to see what the heck she was watching.  And it was Muppet pornography.  Elmo was servicing Kermit in a way that is not only inappropriate for 3 year old girls but it really wasn’t even appropriate for me.  Needless to say, I was horrified.  I put extra restrictions on the YouTube app (I know I should have done this earlier, but this HAS NEVER HAPPENED!).  Then I blocked and reported this user.  She went back to watching something appropriate and annoying and I thought we were cool.

Until the next day when the first video that popped up on her suggestions was “Kermit Kommits Suicide!” alongside a photo of Kermit with a bottle of bleach next to him.  And this is when I deleted YouTube entirely and downloaded YouTube kids, which led her to a meltdown of all meltdowns but something she has come to accept, so technically I’m an excellent responsible mother and everything is A-OKAY.  Right?

Little Letters

Dear no nap days: Thank you for the absolute joy that bed time is on a day without a nap.  Last night Charlotte spent the entire day swimming and playing outside and when it was time to go to sleep she wasn’t even able to keep her eyes open for one whole song and I was able to watch TV in peace! HUZZAH!

Dear “Mommy’s Time Out” Wine: Thanks for being so cheap and delicious.  You’re probably not featured on any wine lists anywhere but you make me pretty happy on a nightly basis.

Dear last day of school: Thank you for easing the traffic conditions of NYC.  I got a seat on the subway today which is a RARE occurrence.   It’s the little things, right?

Dear Char: Thank you for the incredible cuddles this morning.  The constant chant of “I love you so much, mommy!” and the kisses all over my cheeks.  I may be tired, but you made my morning today with your sweetness.  But maybe we could skip the 1 AM music session you wanted yesterday?  Pretty please?

 

Charlotte is really into family relationship terms lately.  She always wants to discuss who Eric is to me, who my brother is to me, who my mother is to me, etc.  “Nonna is my grandma and your mommy.”  “Uncle Nicky is your brother and my uncle.”  Things like that.  She’s pretty good at it and is remembering almost all of them, with the occasional “Daddy is your daddy” which really doesn’t sound right coming out of the mouth of a 3 year old.

The one thing she can’t get out correctly though is that she is my daughter.  Every. single. time.  “You’re my mommy and you’re my daughter.”  I always correct her and tell her how to say it properly.  And she will then start slowly repeating “you’re my mommy and I’m your daughter.”  Lately though, every time she gets it wrong she gets very upset with herself and moans, “I DON’T HAVE THE WORDS!”  And then we go over it slowly until she gets it.  Last night she was on the toilet and we started this routine, and she looked up at me and said “you’re my mommy and you’re my daughter” once again.  I corrected her and she says, “okay.  But I’m the boss.”  And then ran away laughing as urine dripped down her leg because she thinks she knows how to wipe herself.  Oh, kids.