An Almost 3-Year Old Can Really Make You Feel Like Garbage

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Meet Lillian. She’s a master of manipulation and guilt tripper extraordinairre.

Friends, I want to give you a little glimpse into my world right now. Look at that sweet little face. Look into those beautiful, bright blue eyes.

Then tell that face something a three-year old doesn’t like to hear. Something like:

  • No
  • It’s time for bed.
  • You can’t have a lollipop if you don’t eat any of your dinner.

Or maybe, like me, you are already 20 minutes late for work and you have to utter the formidable sentence, “Mommy has to go to work now.”

Prepare to meet this face:

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This morning, this face was accompanied by desperate sobs of “Mommy! Don’t go! I want you to stay with me! I’m scared!” I kept telling her, “It’s not like I want to go to work! I’d so much rather just hang out with you here all day.” I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes but I didn’t want to get emotional and make it worse. You see, this is her first full week in a new classroom. The whole drop-off routine is different all of a sudden and I can see why she may not be thrilled about it.

Preschool is mayhem. There are children between the ages of 2-5 eating breakfast (if the food hasn’t all been eaten by the time we arrive), playing, yelling, and fighting. I haven’t yet figured out how to know where breakfast is going to be – it could be in any one of three different rooms. There’s not much structure at this time and children of this age are all over the place and loud. Not the most welcoming environment for an anxious preschooler who rages out when things don’t follow her expectations.

So this morning, after her teacher saved me with distractionary techniques, and I rolled into work 20 minutes late, I was explaining to my boss why I was so late to work, and the tears just started coming. People were coming to me in the halls as I was cry-laughing telling my story and I was really moved to hear other people’s stories of children making them feel like garbage, too.

The next time you feel like you’re failing or you make a mistake that your tiny people won’t let you come back from, just know that they all do it. Solidarity!

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5 WTF Thoughts I Have While Folding My Family’s Laundry

We are in the midst of potty-training Lillian right now. We’ve been working on it for a year. Our laundry situation is worse now than it was when I had two kids in cloth diapers. Here are just some thoughts I’ve had while folding the family’s laundry:

  1. One of the perks of sending Gabby to private school was the uniforms. No fighting about clothes everyday. I had high hopes that uniforms would make the laundry so much easier. I was desperately wrong. White uniform shirts for pre-schoolers? Are you freaking kidding me?!?!
  2. How is the pajama pile so much bigger than the daywear pile? Judging by their laundry, a stranger would believe they never leave the house.

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  3. Lillian is perpetually out of pants because she is constantly peeing in them. I refuse to go back to diapers. Thus, I get to forever be washing, folding, and putting away pants and underwear.
  4. Lillian’s underwear pile is so much bigger than Gabby’s, I think I need to have a conversation with Gabby about changing her underwear on a daily basis.
  5. Onto the hubster, what is happening in his pants that causes him to blow out the crotch of every pair of underwear so violently?

Do you have any WTF moments while putting away your family’s laundry?
Let me know in the comments!

Potty Training 2.0

I’ve been holding off on potty training Lillian for over 6 months. She has been wanting to sit on the potty – mostly for fun – since she was around 18 months old. “They” say the longer you wait, the easier it is to potty train the child. I’ve read that it makes it easier for parent and child if you wait until the child is at least 3.

Poop training for Gabby was easy because her poop face and stance were so obvious. She was pee-potty trained over a weekend right after she turned 2, but it was anything but easy. I used an app with a timer and rewards, forced her to sit on the potty and drink all day for 2 and a half days, and voila! She was sort of potty trained. We still had to restrict her liquids around nap time and in the evenings, and she still wore diapers to bed, but she was mostly good-to-go.

Very recently, Lillian has been able to tell us, “I have to go potty,” and actually hold it long enough to pee on the potty. Fabulous! Except that she will only sit on the potty when she is in the mood. To this I say SHE. IS. NOT. READY and keep her in diapers until she stops being so stubborn about it. I’m getting a lot of side-eye for that opinion, though. From my husband.

I mean…. we have an impending Disney World trip. Like she’s going to want to go potty on an airplane? Hold her pee on a two-hour line? Stop talking to Princess Aurora so she can find the closest toilet? NOPE! I am fully aware that roughly 60 days I will be completely starting over. I’m not even that mad about that part.

This is what’s annoying me:

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As if one potty in my living room wasn’t enough…

Because of how stanuchly competitive my children are, I am now potty training TWO children. They were fighting so much over the little potty that we had to get another one – just so they can sit there watching tv and NOT peeing. Everytime one of them sits on a potty, the other one needs to do it so she, too, can be rewarded. Gabby has actually had more accidents since Lilly started potty training than she probably has had in the last year.

And lest I remind you, we have only one bathroom in our house. Even with two little potties, there is a lot of wait time to use the bathroom. Oh, and one more thing, she won’t go potty at daycare unless a specific teacher is with her, so mostly she just arches her back and refuses to go potty.

So. You tell me. Would you hold off on number two until summer time or would you just suck it up and thank God that you removed the carpets because the pee is easier to clean up off the floor?

Between a rock and a hard place

Author’s note: Please know that this post is riddled with hyperbole. That said, all of these terrible decisions were actually made in the span of 48 hours. 

Saturday morning. 

I wake Gabby up for dance at 6:30 so she can eat before we go. As usual, she hardly eats because she’s so excited for dance “wessons,” so I just dress her and hit the road.

Dance was FANTASTIC! All new songs – a complete refresh. The class was packed, so Gabby was semi-crazy with her need to show off, but she was having so much fun I wasn’t mad about it.

After class I check my phone and the hubs made an appointment for the pediatrician to look at Gabby’s skin rash.

A Saturday appointment! I refuse to be late for anything. Too bad the hubs made the appointment for 45 minutes after dance ends (and it is at minimum 30 minutes from home). I took as many shortcuts as I could to get there on time.

I pull into the back entry of the doctors office and immediately realize it was a bad idea. The parking lot behind the building that I normally cut through to get to the front parking lot was a lumpy, dangerous sheet of ice. I should have just backed out and drove around the corner. I didn’t.

Instead, I headed to the narrow passage between the doctor’s office and the abandoned garage next door.

What I saw was not good: It hadn’t been plowed through all the way. There was a bump about 6 inches high of snow across the whole passageway. It was really narrow. I wasn’t sure if I could fit my giant white minivan through it safely. However, this was a Saturday pediatrician appointment and I was NOT going to be late. By this time, it would have been far too unsafe to try to back my way out of the driveway.

I hold my breath and hit the gas.

I wasn’t going anywhere. The ground was ice beneath me and now I am stuck in the snow. I rock the van backwards and forwards. I try turning the wheels in different directions. I try to gun it in reverse. My face is getting hotter and hotter and my heart is racing. What the hell did I do?!?!

We were still not late for the appointment, so I figured the best thing to do would be to at least make the appointment. I try opening my door. No dice. The snow is packed up against the driver’s side of the car. Next-best option: climb over the console and exit the passenger’s door… into a 4-foot high pile of snow. I open Gabby’s door and pull her out, climb over the snow pile (and apparent BUSH I didn’t see in said snow pile), and we go inside.

The receptionist checks us in and before we sit down I causually say, “If anyone is concerned about the van stuck in between the buildings, that would be me. I will get it out of there after the appointment.” The ladies all look at me, then out the window, then back at each other in horror. “Um, ok… Sorry about that. We have some shovels you can borrow,” was her response.

The appointment happens and is mostly a blur, other than the doctor being so apologetic that he offers to meet me outside to see if he can’t help me get the van out of there.

As his waiting room full of patients glares hatefully at me out the window while the doctor futilely tries to free my van from its icy prison, the humiliation just tells him I will call a friend and to please go back inside.

So I text my friends who live right down the street with a request to bring a shovel. This is what they saw upon their arrival:

Failure to launch

Failure to launch.

The barrage of quizzical faces and “how?!?”s that followed were soon met with frantic (yet not very helpful) attempts to free my beastwagon from its almost certain fate to live in this snow pile until the snow melts in June. We could not get it out. Thankfully, K always seems to “know a guy” and within 10 minutes, a tow truck and a very nice man shaking his head at me arrived. He pulled my van out of that snow pile and we all went on our merry (but very embarrassed) ways.

The rest of the day passed without incident.

Sunday. Gabby’s behavior was off-the-charts awful all day, but in her defense she was kind of cooped up. I just remember yelling a lot and crying a lot because I can’t get through to her. I was supposed to go to a baby shower that day (how do you like that foreshadowing???) and was planning on bringing Gabby with me. Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled. The hubs let her play outside for a while and I was finally able to shower and relax. A while later, they came inside.

“Mama! Wook!” She cried excitedly before she was even in the door. “Mama, I found a wock!” It was a pretty cool rock. It was flat as a penny and triangular. It almost looked like a shark’s tooth. I admired it and brought her inside to warm up.

We settled in on the couch for a bit and suddenly…

Gabby: My rock!
Me: What happened?
Gabby: My rock!
Me: Where is it? did you drop it?
Gabby: It’s in my nose!

I felt around on the outside of her nose. The rock was so flat that I couldn’t push it out from the outside. I grabbed the Hubs’ headlamp and a pair of tweezers and set him to work. No dice. She had pushed it so far up her nose that there was no way we were getting it out ourselves.

Off to the emergency room we drove. With Gabby in the back whimpering and saying, “Maybe it’ll just take five minutes, Mommy,” and me beseeching her to keep her fingers out of her nose. Finally, we arrived… dozens of coloring pages later, we were sent upstairs to the urgent care floor where Gabby was swaddled up like a burrito and the resident used a catheter with a balloon on the end to push the rock out from the inside. Gabby got an ice pop for being so good. I grew sixteen more grey hairs.

I did keep the rock 🙂

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Poll Time!

Tantrum toddler face pouting

Gabby-isms

With her increase in vocabulary, comes an increase in hilarious things she says. Here are five of my current favorite Gabby-isms:

1. Gabby calls Lillian “Lilly-girly.” I sometimes used to call her “Lilly-girl” and Gab has just exponentially heightened the cuteness of her nickname. We all call her “Lilly-girly” now.

Meet “Lilly-girly”
2. She refers to herself in the third person always. In the mornings, my “Who’s excited to go to school today?” chime is always answered with a gleeful “Gabby is!” I even have to stifle my laughter when she tells Stanley (the dog) to “Leave Gabby awone!”
3. “Cue meesh!” is Gabbese for “excuse me.” She says it when someone else burps or when she is pushing her stroller around and someone is in her way. I heard her telling Stanley this morning to move out of the way. I asked her what is a nicer way to say that. Her reply? “Cue meesh, Buddy!”
4. Whenever someone else laughs, Gabby says that person is funny. She totally doesn’t understand how humor works. If she does something hilarious and I laugh she says, “Mommy’s funny!” 
5. This one kills me… When she is feeling extra-loving, she will run up to Rick or me and hug us around the legs and say, “I miss you too much!” I don’t know where she heard this or why she started saying it, but it just melts my heart every time.
Two is terrific! We are really loving this kid right now. 
Also, lest you think “Whatever happened to that adorable baby?” She is here, she is awesome, and I have a really sappy post on deck about her, so check back in soon and stop judging me!