Friday, December 18, 2015

A Christmas Wish

Though my toddler rarely takes naps anymore, on busy days I do try to lie down with her for a break anyway. I secretly hope that she'll fall asleep because she looks so tired, while secretly hoping that she doesn't because I can kiss her early, easy-ish bedtime goodbye.

This morning we had "played football" and she had played with a friend... The need for a break seemed obvious. We usually play this game right before we lie down. She pretends to be a dinosaur and chases me to the bedroom where she hurries to get ready so she can beat me to bed. And so, after she chased me to the bedroom, I said the same thing I always say:

Me: "Let's go brush our teeth."
Toddler: "No thanks."
Me: "Okay, I'm going to brush my teeth and use the potty."
Toddler: "Can you say 'I hope there's no...'"
Me: "I hoooope there's no dinosaurs in my bed!"
Toddler: "No. I'm not a dinosaur." She says quietly.
Me: "Oh no, what are you?" I whisper.
Toddler: "A quarterback." She whispers back.
Me: "A what?"
Toddler: "A quarterback!" she cheers, bouncing up and down, waiting for me to say the magic words.
"Oh. Okay. I hoooope there are no... quarterbacks... in my bed?"
She giggles and runs to get ready.
I'm still standing here laughing.
She wins the race.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

One Snack Away From Chaos

It's nearly 9. The toddler is teething--3 of those 2 year molars at once.  I gave her Advil for the first time ever about 20 minutes ago, and now I'm panicking that her stomach was empty when she took it.  She is singing and massaging my face with her foot.  With a deep sigh, I sit up in her bed and turn on the lamp.

"Come on. I'm afraid your tummy was empty when you took that medicine. We better get you a small snack, okay?"

Her eyes light up as she slowly nods. The nod gets faster as a grin spreads across her face. She looks like Nancy Pelosi as she discovers a saucy love letter from Bin Laden in Hillary Clinton's high school yearbook.

It's a whole new world.  I gulp as she licks her lips.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ladies' Choice

Toddler: "Poo poos."
Me: "Did you poo poo or do you need to?"
Blank stare. I check her diaper. It's dry.
Me: "Do you want to go poo poo on the potty chair?"
Toddler: "Um... wanna go poo poo.... um... on the basketball."

Monday, September 29, 2014


Today, we had a sample Gymboree class.  The group was about 20 kids from ages varying from infant to 4 year olds.  The instructor had about 2 months experience with Gymoboree.  What followed was pure, unfiltered chaos.

Sweet Pea is a timid toddler.  She needs time to warm up to new places and new children.  She's much easier going with other adults, especially at the mall.  Don't ask me why.. maybe it's the music.  When she was about 14 months old, she walked right up to what looked like a linebacker for The Dallas Cowboys, sulking angrily outside the women's changing room.  She placed her tiny hand upon his knee, and then she started dancing.  Not a small dance, but a full-blown "YOU CAN DANCE IF YOU WANT TO, YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR FRIENDS BEHIND" dance.  The man couldn't help himself.  He broke into laughter.

I knew going into Gymboree that it was going to take some time for her to warm up to the idea.  But I really had no idea what we were getting into.  For the first 10 minutes, she just stood next to me, holding my hand and staring in disbelief as the children ran up this, slid down that, jumped off over here, crawled under there.  I feel like the site could have been likened to animals escaping a zoo.  She just held on and watched.  It was not until a small child ran by carrying A Sacred Ball that she spoke up.

I responded calmly, "Yes, he has a ball.  That's so cool."  Another child ran by with a ball, and I started to panic.  We are going to have to find a ball.
"ANOTHER BALL?!" Sweet Pea was elated.
"Okay, let's go find a ball."  It didn't take long before I spotted some hanging in the back.  We plucked one off the jungle gym from which it was suspended.  She was ecstatic.  That's all she needed.  Yep, folks, nothing more to see here.

Filled with the last breath of all the parents & toddlers trapped before you.

The whole place was kind of like standing in the middle of a tornado.  We were just there... rolling a ball back and forth,while things screamed and ran by.  It wasn't long before the eye of the storm dissolved into THE STORM OF THE CENTURY.  It was every Mommy & Me pair for themselves.

Imagine: The Purge, Toddler Edition.

Look over there, that kids hanging upside down.  Oops, while you were looking, that kid stole your ball.  Don't worry, here's another kid bringing you a different ball.  Oh, that's really nice, isn't it?  Say,  "Thank you!"  Wait. Why is this ball wet?  A kid slams into your back.  The mom waves apologetically.  You smile.  No harm done.  Wait, why is Sweet Pea on the ground?  Here, I'll roll the ball to you, you roll the ball to me.  Ugh, this is still the wet ball?  You look around.  Is anyone else concerned why this ball is wet?

Moms are everywhere, chatting with other moms, catching children by the back of their shirts to lower them gently on the padded floor.  Don't jump off there, jump off here.  Don't slide until that little boy has moved.  Too late, there's a pile up of toddlers wailing, but the bottom one is just trying to re-load the slide.  He's stuck... sliding in place on the mat.  Where's Sweet Pea? Oh, she has 4 balls now.  What's that on the floor next to her?  A BANDAID? DON'T TOUCH THAT!  LOOK, another BALL!  A baby spits up on the floor.  No one is looking.  You try to call for assistance, but no one can hear you.  Sweet Pea is running for a bucket of balls, you have no choice... you have to leave the puddle behind.  Another kid slides through it.  That mouth spit is officially everywhere.  And Sweet Pea is carrying around the wet ball again.  FOR CHRIST SAKE, WHY IS THAT BALL WET?  Did you even bring hand wipes?  That link on Facebook said that hand wipes can't even kill Enterovirus.  Only good hand washing.  Is there even a bathroom here?  How many times do you have to wash your hands after this?  Maybe you will both just take a shower.  Maybe you need a bio-shower with a steel bristle brush.

Something cold touches your shoulder.  There is a little one pulling up on you, but his hands are covered in something wet, slimy, and.... opaque.  His mouth is agape and nearing your arm.  This is it.  Forget Enterovirus, the zombie plague has arrived.  Your mind screams: YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE.  YOU HAVE TO RUN FOR THE BATHROOM RIGHT NOW.  LOCK THE DOOR AND DO NOT OPEN IT EVER AGAIN.  NO ONE IS SAFE! But Sweet Pea looks scared over there.  The baby smiles as you slide away from him. You try to smile back.  "Oh, he's so cute," you say to the exhausted mother as you choke back your own bile.  The instructor yells that it's time to gather around the parachute.  FINALLY! An exit plan!  But, by the time you navigate the crowd, the parachute is covered in babies.  That's it.  You melt to the ground and desperately grasp the edge, smiling through clenched teeth, waiting for the wind to take you away.  You dream of a simpler time... floating in the quiet peaceful waves of Kindermusik...

This post was not sponsored by Gymboree, Kindermusik, Enterovirus, or The Purge.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Sweet Pea aka Toddler is extremely fond of drawing.  Matter of fact, I was recently stressing over what on earth I would do for an upcoming two hour flight, just her and I.  I bought toys, packed a back pack full of distractions, and we never even made it past the crayons.  It was two hours of giggles and drawing, and it was great.  I can only imagine that the gentleman sitting next to us, however, walked off the plane in a daze repeating the same phrase over and over again while trembling and weeping.  "Wanna draw a kitty cat.  Wanna draw a kitty cat.  WANNA DRAW A KITTY CAT?!"  Oops.

A couple of days ago, Sweet Pea and I were enjoying some only mildly horrible Texas weather while playing with chalk, another big crowd pleaser.  As you can imagine, I had the pleasure of drawing a Kitty Cat, a Big Kitty Cat, a Little Kitty Cat, a Mommy Kitty Cat, a Baby Kitty Cat, and the always popular Another Kitty Cat.  Here is the conversation that followed half an hour of Chalk Kitty-Cat-A-Palooza.

Toddler: "Wanna draw kitty cat."
Me: "We just drew that. What else?"
Toddler: "Hot air balloon."
Me: "We have 2 of those. What else can we draw?"
Toddler: "Milk."
Me: "...What?"
Toddler: "Wanna draw milk."
Me: Blink. Blink.  Picks up a piece of chalk and draws Another Kitty Cat.

The requests keep coming, and, so far, I've managed to distract my way out of that commission.  BUT, if you're out walking and happen to come across a sidewalk covered in chalk boobs, you might want to think twice before you point the finger at those suspicious little boys across the street.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Empty Cup, Full Heart

You were playing with magnets before breakfast. Tiny little magnets that I keep tabs on and put away when you are finished, lest you get the funny idea to taste them like you did that dinosaur sticker--I know you know what I'm talking about, little missy. You're finishing your cereal while I take each magnet out of the cup and put them high on the fridge. I sit the cup back where you left it.

After you are finished eating, you run into the kitchen, grab your cup, and race for the living room, forever on a crusade to lose the tiny magnets so that I will lie awake at night and wonder if your stomach can erase the hard drive on my phone.  You make it to the doorway before you actually look into the cup.

"Uh oh! It's empty!"

You pause for a moment before presenting the bowl to me Oliver Twist style.  Please, mommy, I'd like some magnets.  Only, you've gone mute on the  "please" front lately, hastily rubbing your hand on your chest to sign it, looking deep into my eyes, filled with equal parts hope and pending rage:


I smile and fill your cup. Because that's what moms do.  (And then, I text your father.  Because being a parent means celebrating new words, new concepts, and everyday a new you.)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Chasing Chapstick

Sing a song of chapstick,
on a nightstand in my bedroom.
What once was there
is now nowhere;
Replaced by a 1/4 t measuring spoon.

Where could it be?
I started to look
in this corner... behind that book...
Really, I don't know why I bother.
This is life with a toddler