10 Things Not To Say To A Mother Of A Baby/Toddler

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It is amazing how a simple sentence can have such an effect on you. It is just a handful of words, but those words can open a whole flood gate of emotions. This month has been tough for our family. We have been sick a lot lately. I was at the drugstore picking up antibiotics for my latest illness and ran into a friend in town. “Are you sick?” she asked. “Yeah, I have a sinus infection.” “Every time I see you, you are sick.” This is a phrase that I have heard often. It is a true statement, but it is one that pisses me off. Quite similarly, I hear “Your daughter is always sick, huh?” When it is said, it always sounds more like an accusation than concern. I know I get sick a lot, so does my daughter, so does my husband.  You do not need to point it out to me. I already know. Believe me, we do not enjoy it. This is just an example of one of the things that people say that drive me crazy.

There are several other hot button phrases that mommies just don’t want to hear…

Are you pregnant again?  – Write this down. Don’t ever ask any woman if she is pregnant. Just don’t do it! It will avoid an awkward & potentially hurtful situation for all if you never ask this question. Unless that woman is screaming out in labor pains & actually crowning in front of you are not to even hint around to her being pregnant.

Your child looks nothing like you. – I hear this one all the time. I had to endure 9 months of pregnancy & then a 24 hour labor that still sends shivers up my spine. After all of that I was rewarded with a beautiful little girl that barely looks like me. The truth is that she is a clone of her father, but when I look at her, I don’t see that. I see my daughter. I see a part of me, so don’t burst my bubble.

Your child isn’t crawling, walking, talking etc.. yet? - Children all learn & develop at different rates. Not every child reaches these milestones at the same time. It is great that Johnny Toddler was potty trained at 16 months, but that does not mean that there is anything wrong with my child if they were not at the same age.

When are you having another baby? – If you actually do want another child & it just has not happened yet because of conception issues, miscarriage or any other reason, this is just downright cruel. If you are undecided or do not want another child, it is plain annoying. Either way it is not any of your business. Because we are nice, we will kindly shoot you a strained smile and offer a clever quip or joke to avoid your question. Take the hint.

I don’t ever let my child do that. – That is awesome that you have never let your child watch television or eat a piece of candy. You are amazing. You should write a parenting book, now if you don’t mind Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on.

You look tired. – I love when people say this. Of course I am tired moron. I am a mother. I will be tired for years to come, but please by all means continue to point this out. Just say what you mean. “You look like a huge bag of crap.”  I personally think chocolate milk stained sweats & chipped nail polish is a good look for me.

What did you do all day? - This is typically asked by a spouse (not mine luckily), but others do it as well. You are just asking to get slapped if you ask this question. Everything is more difficult when you have a little one. When they are infants, it is eat, poop, cry, nap & repeat. As my daughter got older, just trying to get her dressed in the morning is an adventure. “I want pink pants, no purple pants, no I don’t want pants, I want a skirt.” Now repeat this several times a day & just change out the nouns. What did I do all day? I tried to get through it.

Looks like somebody is cranky, tired, hungry…. - When you are out in public & wrestling with your testy baby or toddler, the very thing you need in that situation is unsolicited advice and comments from complete strangers or even sometimes your family & friends. Do you want to be helpful? Go buy me a coffee & a jelly donut and then go to the grocery shopping for me. Thanks!

You make me never want to have kids – Ouch! I have said this phrase to one of my friends before I was a mommy. I told her she was my birth control. What a bitch I was! Now that I have heard this myself as a mommy, I realize that it not only hurts my feelings and makes me feel inadequate as a mother, it also makes me sad that the joy of motherhood doesn’t shine through.

How do you say his/her name? - These days baby name are becoming more exotic & obscure. My daughter was named after my mother. Mai is a Vietnamese named that means cherry blossom. When people ask me what our daughter’s name is I have gotten in the habit of saying “Her name is Mai as in Mai Tai. She is named after my mother” This hopefully stops the parade of botched pronunciations & stupid questions. When our daughter was first born a work colleague of my husband actually argued with him about how to pronounce her name.
“You mean her name is May?”
“No it’s Mai.”
“No that is May.”
“I am pretty sure it is Mai.”

Here are a few bonus phrases unrelated to motherhood that I could do without…
Hey, it looks like you have packed on a few pounds.
You shouldn’t be eating/drinking that.
Looks like someone needs to get their roots done.
Is it your time of the month?
Any sentence that begins with “No offense, but …” or “Don’t take this the wrong way…”

What are some things that people say that drive you crazy?

 

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Tissue Layering & Paper Plate Crafts

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There are many reasons that I love craft projects with my toddler. One of the big ones is that it keeps her mind & hands occupied. I do many crafts side by side with her, but sometimes it is great to have her work independently while I cook supper or get chores done. Arts & crafts are a far better alternative to sitting in front of the television. This is why I love tissue paper crafting. It can keep her content for long periods of time.

Tearing the tissue into pieces is fun for her destructive little hands. Layering the tissue in different colors & patterns is a great creative outlet for my little artist.

What you will need:

Different colored sheets of tissue paper

Paper plates

Vinegar

Elmer’s glue

Paint brush

Mix 3 parts vinegar with 1 part glue & stir. The vinegar will cause the colors to bleed together & the glue will adhere the tissue to the plate.

Cut or rip the tissue paper into several pieces & colors. Layer the tissue pieces & paint on the vinegar/glue mixture. Do a few pieces at a time. Let dry & then trim the excess that hangs over the edges.

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Mai said that she wanted to make a fish. We picked two colors & layered the bottom of a paper plate. Let it dry & trim around the edges. Cut out a triangle for the mouth & set the triangle aside. Cut out a triangle using a piece of construction paper. Glue the triangle mouth cutout to the inside of the construction paper cutout & glue to the opposite end of the fish’s mouth. Glue a small black circle inside of a larger black circle & glue above the mouth to make an eye.

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Mai wanted to make more animals. She asked for us to make animals that live on a farm. Since Thanksgiving is coming, I suggested a turkey.

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Layer & brush one color of tissue to the center of a paper plate.

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Form another layer around the yellow in orange & then add another layer in red. Let dry. Cut the excess paper around the edges.

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Cut out a shape for the turkey body & glue to the bottom center. Cut a piece for the turkey waddle & glue into place.

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Add a beak & some googly eyes. Finish off your turkey by adding pipe cleaner legs & feet to the bottom.

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Enjoying The Silence, But Missing The Noise

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Everybody has heard of the terrible twos. We have all been forewarned about this stage in childhood. Our daughter was such a colicky infant that when she turned two I thought that it was going to be a breeze. It turns out that two is not as terrible as everyone says. In fact it is much much worse.

The past few months have been difficult. She has grown so much physically & mentally. She has acquired her own tastes & opinions and she is not afraid to be vocal about them. She talks non-stop now. My mind can barely contain all of the information. Every day is a battle. Every day brings a fresh set of challenges. There are days that I don’t know if I will be able to make it to her bedtime. I sit down & take deep breaths before tackling another meltdown, but it is hard to clear your head when there is never any silence.

Last week my husband took our daughter for the day. I had our home to myself for longer than I think I have since she was born. I cleaned the house, I relaxed, I watched Netflix & I enjoyed our quiet house. The thing is once the silence was there, I missed the noise. True, there were no meltdowns or sounds of screaming objections, but there was also no laughter, no sweet little voice singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. There were no tears to wipe away or noses that needed blowing, but that also meant that there were no comforting hugs or snotty nose kisses. Although it was nice to have the couch to myself, I could not wait to cuddle with my family again.

Some days are hard. Some days I want to pull out my hair until I am bald, but mixed in with all the tough times are the moments that make it all worth it. The day will come when our little one will grow up and leave the nest, until then I will embrace the chaos and the madness because once it is gone I will want it back.

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Pine Cone & Play-Doh Turkey Crafts

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One of my favorite parts of my daughter’s days at daycare are receiving her daily reports & seeing all of the craft projects that she brings home. I love seeing her beautiful crafts, even the ones that she does with someone else.

This week she brought home a lovely fall one.  It was branches bound together & decorated with Play-Doh. Miss Laura said that Mai worked on it for 2 hours.

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This weekend there was a sale on Play-Doh at the supermarket, so I stocked up. Mai was so excited when I came home with a box filled with 24 different shades of it. She dove right in & started creating.

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She is becoming quite the little artist. Her imagination is developing so quickly. I watched her as she kneaded & forms different shapes & put them together. She explained to me as she molded her creation what she was making.  “Look mama, a frog! He has a blue fly on his tongue.” I have to admit, I was very proud.

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She did not stop there. “Look Mama, I made Dukey’s poop.” Oh dear! It does look like Dukey’s poop.

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Since we already were in such a crafty mood & had a table full of Play-Doh, I thought we could make something together.

Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

This just require pine cones & Play-doh. I used craft pine cones only because they were handy. You can use ones from your yard as well.

Form & mold the turkey’s head to the fat part of the pine cone. Show your child how to do it & let them do it to their own.
(If your pine cone is wobbly, place a chunk of Play-doh underneath to keep sturdy.)

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Form long oval shaped pieces to use as the turkey feathers.

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Insert towards the back between the pine cone scales.

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Again, show your little one how to do it.

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Add the beak. Older children may be able to do this step, but the smaller hands might need the help. Mai asked mama to make her turkey face.

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Add the eyes next.

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Add the turkey’s waddle & you are done.

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What A Mommy And Her Dog Have In Common

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Before our daughter was born, it was just me, my husband and our dog Duke. Duke was our first baby. We cuddled him, took him for walks, played ball with him & bought him toys every chance we could.  Life was good for our furry boy. Once our daughter was born, life changed dramatically for all of us. Duke received less attention & got scolded more often. This morning I watched our pup anxiously waiting outside of his little sister’s room. He laid on the floor patiently. His ears would perk up when he heard her stir & he whimpered until I opened the door. Even with all the harassment and abuse she puts him through, he still cannot wait to see her in the morning. He & I have that in common. Even how exhausting or frustrating of an evening I had with her the night before. I still cannot wait to see her face in the morning.

I came to the realization that there are many things that Duke and I actually have in common when it comes to our little monster…

Barking at her: There are days that our pup gets pushed to the limit, you would too if you had someone pulling your tail & trying to stick things in your ears.  Lord knows I try to remain calm & level headed, but even the most patient of mothers or dogs can lose their cool when dealing with a cranky toddler.

Eating her leftovers: Being a mother is like being a human garbage disposal. I have involuntarily been fed a half of a soggy bagel with a sprinkle of snot on it many times. Luckily, Duke does not mind a little bit of snot & drool in his food. I think he actually prefers it.

Sniffing her butt: My dog must get very confused when I scold him. He has watched me do this now for close to 3 years. If only he could help change her diapers.

Playing horsey: Our daughter loves to pretend that she is Sheriff Callie & the good sheriff doesn’t go anywhere without her loyal steed Sparky. I often let her play horsey with mommy. Duke does not so willingly saddle up, but he is a good sport.

Clean up her messes: Spilled milk, smashed banana & random crumbs are just some of the messes that wind up on our floor. Duke has saved me a paper towel many a time. Our methods may be different, but our results are the same.

Knocking her over: When our daughter first started walking I was so scared of our dog knocking her down. He is so energetic and always running around and jumping. I would get so angry with him for rushing past her and knocking her on her bottom, but the truth is I have knocked her over, hit her in the head with the door and inflicted many other unintentional injuries on my daughter. Maybe the dog should be yelling at me.

Overprotective: I took a Facebook quiz recently. It told me that I was a helicopter parent. There was no surprise there. I am extremely over protective of my precious little one. If I am a helicopter mom, then our pup is a helicopter dog. When UPS man comes to the door or if he hears a noise, his first instinct is to run to her side to guard her.

There is one more thing that we have in common, we both love her. No matter what the day brings or how difficult she might have been, we both can’t wait until the next time that we can be with her again.

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