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Crafting

I recently read something online talking about how important it is to craft with your kids.  Whether that be playing with play-doh, coloring, painting, or – heaven forbid – glitter, it’s important to spend that time together helping them develop skills and what not.

So I did what any good mother would do and go to Michael’s to buy extra crayons and paint and green glitter glue that Charlotte begged me for, and I instantly regretted it.
I’m sure there are some of you out there who adore crafting with your kids, and good for you! Sincerely, good for you.  But I must be missing that gene, because any time she asks to bust out the paint or the play-doh I die a little inside.  I can’t turn off the part of my brain that focuses on the mess, or the water EVERYWHERE, or the fact that she is trying to finger paint with water colors and is then rubbing her hands all over the damn place.  The play-doh always, ALWAYS gets ground up into the rug no matter how diligent I try to be.  Usually, halfway through painting, Charlotte decides she wants to just take her shopkins or her PJ masks figures and stick them inside the water glass and give them a bath, so now there’s water and paint everywhere.  And the glue is an entirely different ordeal. I have hidden it and she hasn’t asked for it because the last time I took it out it somehow ended up in my hair and on my back.
I just figure this is the way I was made.  I am not someone who likes to craft on my own, so I’m certainly not someone who is going to like crafting with a 3 year old.  I’ll color with her until she tells me that I’m doing it wrong, but that’s about as far as I’m going to go.  Isn’t this what school is for?  So they can play with play-doh and paint and make things that are already dry and ready to come home, no mess included?  She’ll still get all of the benefits of crafting, just not with her mother, who will bond with her in other ways.
And I’ll never take out the green glitter glue, EVER again.

Remember when I said I wasn’t getting emotional as school was approaching for Charlotte?  Well, the joke was most certainly on me.  As soon as the director of her pre-k opened the doors and shouted “welcome to school!” and Charlotte ran in, the tears started.  When we went inside her classroom and I knew it was time to say goodbye I was physically choking back my tears to not upset her.  I did exactly what they told us to do – I hugged her, said I love you and I’ll be back.  Then I ran out of the room while Eric did the same thing, and then SHE ran out of the room looking for me and begging me to stay while her teacher had to drag her back in and I walked down the halls openly sobbing.  The director saw me and said “it’s going to be OK, she’s in great hands!” And yes, I know that of course, but leaving your screaming child in an unfamiliar place was a real gut punch I wasn’t expecting.  For all the times she drives me crazy and I beg to get away from her, in that moment I wanted nothing more than to run into the classroom and hold her and tell her it was going to be fine.

But I didn’t.  And after I cried into a Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger and went back to pick her up, Eric and I saw her in the playground, holding her precious dog Tom and the teacher’s hand, lining up for dismissal.  And when she came out of class she had a big smile on her face and no more tears.  It also helped to know that each and every child in her class cried and they needed extra teachers to help with the transition of 14 sobbing 3 year olds.  So at least she wasn’t the only one, right?

And now I’m grateful that I never have to drop her off again because I’d rather avoid that scene and I think she’ll do better with the babysitter than she’d ever do with me.  But I’m so excited to see where this year takes her. She’s going to be great, I just know it.

Also, I filled out one of those adorable back to school signs with all of the questions she answered.  It’s in the back seat of my car because when I asked her to hold it she told me I was “so rude” and then screamed hysterically.  So just add that to the list of things I waste my money on.

Just A Little Off The Top

Charlotte got a little trim on Friday so she is ready for her big first day of school this week without her bangs going into her eyes.  On Saturday morning while I was getting ready to go to a birthday party, she was sitting quietly in the living room – which is usually suspect for danger – so I went to check what trouble she was getting into.  She had her blue and green chair set up with a stuffed animal on each and was holding her scissors (the kid safety ones, I’m not that stupid) and was pretending to cut their hair.  I stood there and watched for a while since she didn’t realize I was in the room yet, because watching her play by herself is the best.  And not just because I don’t have to be the one playing with her.

“I just take a little off the top.  Oh look how pretty you look! You doing so good!”  She swapped out a stuffed animal for a Barbie doll.  “Okay now sit still and I do just a little bit. There you go!”

It always amazes me how much kids actually process and remember things.  She took her experience at the hair dresser the night before and turned it into a game that kept her occupied and happy long enough for me to do my hair.  Kids are really so impressionable and their imaginations are fantastic.  I really hope she keeps this innocence and imagination for a long, long time.

Back to Schoooool

I just want to say thank you to those of you who took the time to wish me a happy birthday yesterday! It means a lot and put a smile on my face for sure. Charlotte woke me up with her card and asked me why we weren’t having cake yet and then started in about going to Sesame Place because I said we could go after my birthday and that was a real rookie mistake right there.

We’re in the home stretch before school starts now. We have orientation on Thursday where I get to stay with her so I’ll be able to watch her call everyone disgusting and scream that she hates people, so that’s good. I took off work for her actual first day on the 13th and was excited about having 3 hours of time to myself only to find out her first day is only one hour so I might as well just sit in the parking lot and hope she isn’t assaulting anyone.

I’m not getting any of those fuzzy feelings about my baby growing up and starting school. I bought the sign that she probably won’t hold up because Facebook shamed me into it, and we got her a nice Trolls backup which is two times the size of her that she will probably hate by next week and we talk about school every damn day so she gets excited (which isn’t working), but I just don’t feel sad. I want her to go! I’m so prepared to hug her goodbye and leave her there sobbing and screaming for me to be honest. I know she’ll be fine and I think she needs this more than she needs to stay home, that’s for sure. I just want her to make friends and be kind and learn. There’s a great big world out there for her to see! GTFO!!!

I bet next Thursday I’ll be sobbing in the parking lot, right?

Proud Moments

There are moments as a parent when you feel immense pride and joy in your child.  When they smile at you for the first time, when they take their first steps, when they go off to school and start a new chapter of their life.  Perhaps you feel pride when they learn how to tie their own shoes or can wipe their own behind.  These last few weeks, in the hellscape that has become this New York summer, I have never been prouder of my Charlotte.  Every heat advisory we have have, and I think we’ve had them every week at this point, the second we walk outside we have the same conversation.

“WHY IS IT SO SUNNY? I AM TOO HOT. THIS IS TOO HOT. MOMMY WE NEED TO GO INSIDE. I CAN’T STAY OUT HERE. I CAN’T! OH GOD IT IS SO HOT!!!!”

There is no doubt this particular trait my daughter possesses comes directly from me.   My husband loves the heat.  He is one of those people who adores the summer.  I do not come from a place of heat enjoyment.  Do I like swimming and relaxing when it is 85 degrees with no humidity? Of course I do.  But we NEVER GET THOSE DAYS.  We get 95+ with a real feel of 106 degrees!  We get extreme mosquito activity because it is a swamp outside!  We get HADES TEMPERATURES.

But my girl, she hates the heat.  She hates the humidity.  She does not ask me to go play outside when the sidewalk feels like the surface of the sun.  She is my daughter, through and through.

I have never been more proud.

Oh Schick

Any time anyone ever says a curse word, Charlotte immediately screams at them and says “you said a bad word! you go in time out! don’t say that word!”  This happens a lot.

Last week we were in CVS and I was looking for the razors that were on sale.  The brand happened to be Schick and as I was looking for them I was muttering out loud to myself saying where are the Schick ones?  Charlotte immediately went into word police mode and I had to try to explain to her that Schick may sound like a bad word but it isn’t.  It’s the name of a razor, yada yada yada.

And now, every time Charlotte does something that would require an utterance of “oh shit,” she just starts saying “oh Schick! oh Schick!” and I will ask her what did you just say?  And she’ll look at me and say, “MOMMY. Schick isn’t a bad word.  It’s a razor.”  Then she’ll smile and walk away, because she knows she got me.

This kid is too smart sometimes.

Long Showers Are No More

Last night I was taking a shower for what I thought would be my only 5-7 minutes of peace for the day when the door was violently thrown open and I heard the whining of my offspring right as I began to shampoo my hair that was desperately in need of a wash.

“MOMMMMMYYYYY. THE PHONE IS DARKKKKK. MOMMYYYYYY I NEED YOUUUUUU.”

And the next thing I knew she was trying to thrust Eric’s phone into the shower to fix whatever video she was watching as I was trying to shave my legs and remove shampoo all at the same time because heaven forbid I take a shower longer than 30 seconds.

I started shouting for Eric to come assist me and get the child out of the bathroom but he couldn’t hear me at first because he was playing Fortnite with his gaming headphones on.  Because of course he was.

When she finally started screaming loud enough for him to hear her over the chatter of his gaming friends, he came to the bathroom to help her when she started yelling even louder that he couldn’t help her.  Because he is a boy and she is a girl and only girls like mommy can help her.  Eric said “I’m not a boy, I’m daddy!” Which is confusing AF, but she listened to him and I was able to finish my shower in peace.

I have no idea where this thought came from but she better get it the hell out of her head real quick.  I’m all for the feminist “women can do it all” rhetoric but I am certainly not going to do every little thing for her because I’m a girl.  Hell to the no.

Also, I’d like to point out that Charlotte no longer asks me what wine is when she sees me pour it and bring it into the bedroom while we watch TV.  She just says, “oh, wine! I have a taste?”  I’m pretty proud of that.  I probably shouldn’t be, but I am.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Charlotte has always been difficult to dress.  You all know how much she hates dresses and skirts, clothes that are too tight, clothes that are too big, most kinds of shoes, etc., etc.  But now we’re in this lovely phase, that is lasting much longer than I’d like, where she doesn’t wear clothes at all.  It isn’t unusual for me to come home from work to a completely naked child. Underwear thrown across the room or hidden in the couch cushions.  In fact, yesterday when I got home she was stark naked and stayed that way.  She prefers to sleep in the nude now too.  And because I am tired/lazy/sick of fighting with her over everything, I let her.  So really it’s my fault that I am prolonging the naked phase.   I had to let our babysitter now this morning that when Char woke up she would be completely naked just so that she wouldn’t be alarmed when she came waltzing out of the room looking like an actual animal.  The babysitter says they usually have to “work up to wearing clothes.”  They start with underwear and then hours later get some shorts and a shirt on.  I never imagined this being a thing, but alas, here we are.

What’s funny is that she has two pairs of sneakers that she has refused to wear in the past but now thinks they are “so cool” and “so awesome.”  So she’ll wear them around the house, but she’s still naked.  The other day she was running around with her Frozen light up sneakers and nothing else.  We went to a party on Saturday and immediately took her shoes off and was trying to get her pants off too.  Since she’s starting school in less than a month we have been drilling it into her head that she can’t take anything off when she gets there.  Not even her shoes, unless the teacher says it’s okay.  She will randomly look at us and shout, “OK! AND YOU CAN’T TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS AT SCHOOL! NOT EVEN YOUR SHOES BUT REALLY NOT YOUR PANTS!”

So hopefully she’s getting it.  Or else I’ll be writing a post in September about how on Charlotte’s first day she stripped down naked and we were banned from the premises.

Monday Melt Downs

Last night Charlotte had two melt downs.  The first melt down was because she wanted an ice pop, and, since it has been the temperature of the surface of the sun outside, I obliged.  But the ice pop was too cold for her.  (WTF?!)  She was laying on the floor kicking and screaming and crying that I needed to cook it.  “Put it in the oven! Cook it! It’s too cold!”  This went on for some time.  I even put the ice pop in the oven to “cook it” but she wouldn’t eat it.  So not only did I have to listen to her crying over the most ridiculous thing, I had to eat the ice pop and consume unnecessary calories because nobody throws out a perfectly good ice pop.  She stopped crying over this to focus on something even more ridiculous.

Her ankles.

Charlotte decided last night that she didn’t like her ankles.  She wanted to take her ankles OFF.  She was sitting there with tears streaming down her face trying to actually take her ankles off!  She said she didn’t need ankles.  “Why do I have these ankles? Take the ankles off!”

I know people say kids make you crazy over the things that upset them, but this was seriously insane.  I never thought I’d have to explain to my daughter why you can’t take your ankles off.  I never thought I’d have a daughter who thought she could take her ankles off.  I just never envisioned this as a conversation I would have.  But here we are.  Ankles and ice pops, man.

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.