When Your Methods Backfire


I am often surprised at just how difficult it really is raising a child. We try to teach them the best that we know how. We want them to learn about responsibility, respect & manners. We try to set boundaries and offer consequences. What we often forget are that those little buggers are smarter than we realize & sometime our methods backfire on us.

Ante Up: We have all done it. It is something that we know we shouldn’t do, but in a desperate situation many of us have given in to bribery to get desired behavior from our child. I have used the reward system in the past to reward her for doing things that we deem as good, such as cleaning up her toys or finishing her supper and most recently for using the potty. We are on the verge of having a breakthrough with potty training. We have been putting her in her big girl pants more & more. As a prize for successfully peeing in the potty we will give her a few M&Ms or a chocolate chip. This has become something that is expected. Today was a good morning without the diaper. We had a victorious trip to the toilet and then gave her a bite sized Kit Kat. Five minutes passed & she ran to me and said
“Mama, I have to go potty.”
“Again?” I thought. I did not question it. We rushed to the bathroom & she sat down to do her business again. With a devilish look in her eye, she began to make a hissing sound with her mouth
“Pssssssssssss”. “I finish peeing, Mama. Now I have a chocolate.”

Calling Your Bluff: Our daughter has become quite the little actress these days. One of her newest acts is trying to get out of doing things that she does not want to by feigning sickness.
“Mai, pick up your toys.”
“Cough, Cough Cough, I too sick..cough.”
“If you’re sick, we better go to the doctor.”
“Yeah, I need to go to doctor.” she said while grabbing her boots & putting them on her feet. “Let’s go.”
“Awww crap!”

Turning The Tables: Mai has selective hearing.
“Mai, pick up your toys.”
“What” is her new favorite word. I will ask her calmly and politely again. When she does not respond, I usually practice the time old mommy trick of counting to 3 before either sending her to timeout or taking away one of her toys.
The other day I knocked over a bucket of craft supplies while cooking. I had my hands full so I was unable to pick it up right away.
“Mama, you made a mess. Oonnee, twoooo, three…You in timeout.”
I could only be so lucky. Where do I sign up for timeout?

But I Said Please…: We have taught our daughter the importance of manners from as early as she could speak. She knows to say please & thank you. I have been trying to teach her that she does not need to cry or whine when she wants something. Instead, she should ask politely and always say please.
“Mama, can I please have an ice cream cone for breakfast.”
“Ice cream is not for breakfast. Mommy is making pancakes.”
“But I said please.”
Unfortunately, I have a very well-mannered child that now thinks that if she says please this should get her anything that she wants. Unfortunately my dear it is just like the Rolling Stones say “You can’t always get what you want.”

Where is my mommy manual?

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Princess Phase Has Hit & So Have The Princess Crafts


It has been building for a while. I knew it was coming. It was inevitable. After almost 3 years of living under the same roof with Elsa, Cinderella, Rapunzel & my personal favorite Merida, my daughter has become a princess. She tells me all the time. “Mama, I a princess.” Tutu skirts must be worn every day. She even puts them on over her sweats when she goes to gymnastics. She loves Elsa just like all little girls these days, but still her favorite princess is Rapunzel. Rapunzel towers are built out of Legos, blocks, Play-Doh containers & just about anything else that is stackable. I have a collection of paper towel tubes saved up for crafting. Mai will get into them sometimes. She likes to use them as robot arms. Today, she grabbed them. She stuck one in a Dixie cup & said “Look mama, I made Punzel’s tower.” That sounds like a great idea.

Princess Castle Craft

What you will need:

Paper towel rolls

Dixie bathroom cups

Tissue paper box


Pipe cleaner

Construction Paper

Optional: Glitter, gems or other embellishments


Cut out castle tops around the top of paper towel rolls & cut out windows. Cut rolls into different lengths to add different sized towers.

IMG_8109 IMG_8110

Stick the bottom end of a Dixie cup into the bottom of the uncut end of your tube. This will give it balance. Paint your towers in whatever colors you choose. For Mai, it had to be pink. She is getting really good at painting every inch of her projects.

IMG_8113 IMG_8114

Cut out a door on your tissue box & also paint. Stick a pipe cleaner into one Dixie cup. You will use this pipe cleaner to attach a construction paper flag to later. Paint the cup.

IMG_8117 IMG_8135

Add designs in glue & then sprinkle with glitter. Add gemstones or other embellishments of your choosing. Let dry & shake off excess glitter.

IMG_8138 IMG_8137

You can make your castle as small or large as you like. Get creative & have fun.


Our princess has her castle, now she needs to look the part.

Paper Princess Hat

What you will need:

Poster board


A few drops of water

Tape or staples

Tissue paper


Optional: glitter & gems

Directions: Cut out two pieces in a fan shape.  Size will depend on the size of your child’s head & how high you want your hat. The pointed side will be the top. Overlap the two pieces facing each other until they form a cone. Leave a small opening at the top of your cone. If you have something conical, use it as a template to wrap around. Tape, glue or staple your hat into place once you have it positioned the way that you want it.

IMG_8142 IMG_8143

Rip up colored tissue paper. Mix up school glue with a few drops of water. With a paintbrush paint on glue in patches & place & overlap the tissue papers.

IMG_8145 IMG_8147

Overlap with tissue all the way around until the entire hat is covered. Let dry. Draw designs with glue & then shake on glitter. When glue dries, shake off the excess glitter.

IMG_8148 IMG_8149 IMG_8150 IMG_8151

Add ribbon pieces to the opening at the top of the hat. Glue, tape or staple your hat into place. We used a hot glue gun for our ribbon.


Posted in Arts and Crafts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Mother’s Resume


Yesterday I did a post about the irrational fears of mothers. A reader commented that these irrational thoughts are part of our job description. This made me chuckle. My response was that our job description is far too long, that sometimes I forget what is on it. It got me thinking. Being a parent is a difficult job. It is demanding, keeps long hours & you never get a day off. Our list of responsibilities is a lengthy one.

A Mother’s Resume

The Pinterested Parent



To successfully raise our child to be a sweet, smart, well-mannered young lady with good manners, family values, respect for others and a strong sense of self without screwing it all up.


Mother to Mai (January 2012-present)

Child Care Manager 

  • Nursed for a year with no regard to sore breasts, bleeding nipples or several bouts of mastitis
  • Changed thousands of soiled diapers & cleaned poop out of clothing, hair and sheets on several occasions.
  • Endured sleepless nights comforting a crying baby, a cranky toddler, a sick kid & a scared child
  • Over-protector and dirty look wielder to playground bullies
  • Kissed and bandaged many boo boo & ouchies
  • Wiper of runny noses, poopy bottoms, dirty hands & tears
  • Personal chef to the most finicky of eaters
  • Washed, bathed, shampooed & brushed the teeth of a squirming child daily
  • Hairdresser & stylist specializing in pig tales & Elsa braids
  • Responsible for transport by either horsey ride, piggy back, carrying, stroller or car
  • Diffusing tantrums & meltdowns

Education Director

  • Teacher of colors, objects, animals, math, reading, sign language, problem solving and geography
  • Acting as a role model trying to accomplish all of the things in the above objective without passing on all of my own bad habits and short comings
  • Professor of arts & crafts with a deep focus on paper plate art, painting, Play-Doh sculptures & macaroni art
  • Assists in the progression of crawling, walking, talking, potty training & riding a bike
  • Responsible for discussions on God, love, sex, death and other various subjects pertaining to life

Purveyor of memories

  • Amateur photojournalist chronicling the life of my little girl from birth to present day
  • Collector of art projects & drawings
  • Archiver of cute, funny & beautiful moments that I will hold securely in my heart & head

Head of Entertainment

  • Skilled at Peekaboo, I got your nose & shadow puppets
  • Builder of sheet forts & puzzles
  • Lead singer of popular children’s songs & silly made up ones
  • Tea party guest and Play-Doh cake taste tester
  • Master story teller and book reader
  • Knock Knock joke aficionado


  • Washer of dirty laundry (no sir, that is actually daddy)
  • Dishwasher
  • Sweeps up dried up Play-Doh, glitter, crumbs, chunks of crayon, etc…
  • Wipes up juice spills and potty training accidents
  • Picks up toys, and then picks them up again and then again and again
  • Instructs our little housekeeper in training how to be responsible for all of the above chores


  • Carrying a diaper bag, pocket book, juice boxes and stuffed animal while balancing a child on the hip
  • Giver & receiver of unconditional love
  • Demonstrating patience when my patience wears thin
  • Expert at hugs, kisses & cuddles
  • Mind reader during incomprehensible crying fits
  • References are available in crayon upon request.


Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Irrational Mommy Thoughts


It is often easy to feel that you are alone in your paranoia & fears when you are a mother. We worry about so many things. Are we spoiling are children too much? Are we disciplining them enough? Are we handling tantrums the right way? Are we feeding them the right foods? These are things that things that we constantly wrestle with, but then there are other more irrational thoughts that we contend with as well.

This weekend we had a play date with a friend of mine and her children. We were having a discussion about how our kids would fall asleep in the car while running errands. We were joking that they need to come up with a babysitting service that will come to your car so that your children can continue to sleep while you complete your errands. My friend told me that sometimes she will run in to the ATM while her children sleep because she can still see them in the car. She then went on to say that this even worried her. What if someone kidnapped her from the ATM with the children in the car & nobody knew that they were in there?

This made me come out of my seat. I have had many crazy thoughts like this since our daughter was born. How many times have I thought of scenarios just like this? In one, I have just finished fastening her in the car seat. I go to return the carriage and get hit by a car and can’t tell anyone that my daughter is in the car. In others, I am home with her alone and fall down the stairs or collapse from a heart attack or some other ailment. How will she take care of herself until daddy gets home? Will she be scared? It’s funny that nowhere in my morbid fantasies am I concerned that I just got plowed down by a car or broke my neck tumbling down the stairs.

Death used to scare me. It still does, but now for different reasons. I worry that I might not be there to watch my daughter grow up and how it might affect her. My mind is a dangerous place filled with far too many fears. I thought as she got older it would get easier, but it hasn’t. It has just opened up a new set of worries. I still check on her every night. I still look to see that she is breathing. I often felt as if I was turning into a crazy person for feeling this way. It was a relief to find out that I was not alone.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Just Stay Awake Until We Get Home


My darling girl,

During the week I live with a lot of mommy guilt. After coming home from a long day at work, I am drained. I have very little time or energy to spend with you. I do my best, but I know that often I fall short.

When the weekend comes it is our time. In an attempt to make up for the time that we lose during the week, I try to pack our days with fun activities and outings. I love our fun days together. I look forward to them all week, but after our fun is over there still is the ride home. I know that you are tired. I know that you probably want to sleep, but mommy has a favor to ask of you. Just stay awake until we get home.

I try all the tricks. I talk to you & sing songs. I am loud. I am obnoxious, even more so than usual. I try to start up a game of eye spy & point out every single thing that I see as if it is the most exciting thing that I have ever laid my eyes on. “Baby, did you see that garbage can? Wooooowwwww! That’s a nice one.” In desperation, I even break out the fruit snacks to keep you awake. Alas, eventually regardless of all my hard work, the thumb finds its way into your mouth, your eyes close and you drift off.

It’s not your fault really. I don’t think you understand. Nap time is essential to your mother’s sanity. When you nap, I nap too. I get chores done if I can muster up the energy. I catch up on all of the things that I put off during the week. It is not as if I don’t enjoy sitting in a parked car in our driveway while you nap. I keep a book in the glove box just for these occasions, but I haven’t taken a shower yet today & I would love to get just one in this weekend. Thanks baby! Love your mom

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments