- Always yell and be sure to lose your temper. If you aren’t yelling, they aren’t hearing.
- Make threats. “I will throw away everything you own/make you sleep in the garage/you’ll flunk 3rd grade/Santa isn’t coming/we’re canceling our Disney trip we already paid for”.
- Spank. Make sure to leave a hand print or it won’t be effective.
- Be inconsistent.
- Rub their noses in their potty mistakes, just like you would if you were training a puppy.
- Call them names/make fun of them/bully them.
- Explain how their consequences are so appropriate with big elaborate words for a half an hour. “When you are grown up, you’ll be so glad that your mom and dad punished you. You need to develop a sense of self control and the best way to do that is for us to condition you using the extrinsic reward model. BF Skinner says that operant conditioning is effective in reinforcing positive behaviors. I know you hate time outs, but it is a widely accepted practice and we only expect that you meet the release contingency…”
- Be overly dramatic and self centered. ‘You know your behavior is going to be the death of me/You’re always interrupting my General Hospital/You need to eat again?”.
- Make sure to never let them out of your sight. Hover if need be. Don’t let them do anything for themselves, they might do it wrong.
- Just tell them no. That’s what worked for my mother in law. Darned if I never thought to try that.
Griffin turned 9 this weekend!!! Being 9 is difficult. Poor kid vacillates between acting very mature and struggling to control his emotions. One minute he’s acting so responsible and a few minutes later he is having a temper tantrum about his brother eating chips that are crunchy. The crunching noise drives Griffin crazy as does Nora eating with her mouth open, and the sound of spoons hitting teeth. Jeans are the anti-Christ, a torture device invented by some cruel individual. Homework is something to hide/bury/feed to your dog.
On the other hand, I catch him running around and chasing his sister with giggles abounding. He tolerates his siblings hanging out when he has friends over to play. He can cook ramen noodles and mac and cheese by himself and run the microwave to reheat things. He likes to rock hunt and go on adventures outside. Legos are his favorite toy and he builds some amazing creations.
Happy birthday kiddo! It doesn’t seem possible that it was 9 years ago that you made your dramatic entry into the world followed by your desire to eat every 15 minutes. I don’t feel old enough to have a 9 year old!!!
Maybe my memories about infanthood have been repressed? I don’t know, but I’m suddenly remembering all these things about newborns again. For example:
They have “The Knack”. As soon as you pull that diaper away from their behind, the feces and urine start flowing. Boys can hit things 6 feet away. Hopefully your face is not in the crossfire. Similarly, through some complicated infantile biofeedback system that is not yet fully understood, a clean dry diaper results in immediate poop. Then there is the uncanny ability that babies have to soak their bedding and clothing with pee, while not wetting their diaper at all.
Infants also have a sixth sense that allows them to optimize their meal time interruptions. Crying, pooping, and any other disturbance that prevents the parents from eating their food while still hot are acceptable per infant code.
All older children look like giant bobble headed aliens. How did these once tiny beings become so humungous? Is it even feasible that these beasts once squeezed through someone’s lady bits?
Breasts are weapons when your milk comes in. Be careful, you could take someone’s eye out with those things. Not only that, but also you can generate milk by just looking at the baby and suddenly, before you know it, you are in a wet t-shirt contest that you never intended.
At about 4 weeks postpartum you hit the “OMG is that a dead raccoon in my shower drain?” but really it’s just your own hair coming out in clumps.
No, I didn’t go to the salon to get French tips, that’s just Desitin under my fingernails.
Some husbands (not naming any names here *cough* Jeff) may mistake babies crying for their alarm going off and may attempt to silence those cries by hitting the snooze button several times a night.
But, you know, it’s all worth it. And I’d do it all over again. And again. x4.
So I had a baby. She’s dang cute.
Birth was yet another experience that re-affirmed when you are dealing with kids, whatever you think something is going to be like, it’s invariably not that.
When I was pregnant with Griffin, I planned an unmedicated water birth. I got an emergency c-section almost immediately upon arrival at the hospital. He had to be resuscitated upon birth. It turned out that his cord was wrapped around his neck four times.
With Sawyer, I hoped for an unmedicated VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). My water broke 2.5 weeks early but I didn’t start labor so I ended up with pitocin, an epidural and 18 hours of labor in the hospital. My biggest regret was that I didn’t get the epidural sooner! I loved the anesthesiologist.
I figured that my labor with Nora was going to take a while since Sawyer’s was so long. However, I ended up dialted to 6 cm when I got to the hospital and I was still not experiencing any pain. When the pain started, I got an epidural immediately, figuring that I didn’t want to suffer unnecessarily expecting that it would be a while. Nora came flying out before the midwife was even ready in one push 30 minutes later.
Since Nora went so quickly and with very little pain, I thought baby number four might end up being one of those babies born on the side of the highway if I wasn’t careful. I thought if things progressed quickly I could go without pain meds this time. However, my water broke at 6pm, without labor really starting, so it ended up taking quite a while. At first the slow progression was fine, it gave Jeff and I a chance to finally agree upon a name. Then it started to hurt. At one point I was so sure it was time have the baby and start pushing that I made the nurse check to see how far dilated I was. Sadly, I was only dilated to 4 cm. That was when I realized this wasn’t going to be so easy after all. I sat in the bathtub hoping the hot water would help me, but the pain was too much so I got the epidural. The anesthesiologist is one of my favorite people now. Eventually it was time to push. It hurt and it was lots of work. I was thankful for the epidural. Violet Anne was born at 5:03 on December 31st. She weighed 6 lbs 10 oz and was 19 3/4 inches.
I have been told that I should change the name of my blog, but that sounds like entirely too much work. Instead of doing all that work, here’s some pictures of adorableness. Enjoy baby Violet.
11:00 pm Zombie noises from the kids’ room. Sawyer moaning, something about his arm not being covered by the blanket. Cover back up, go back to bed.
12:00 am “Mom. Mom. MOOOOOMMMMMMM!” Sawyer says his head hurts. Attempt to give tylenol. Kid gags on liquid purple goo and spits it everywhere. Attempt to catch it all with my hand so I don’t have to try to clean the sticky mess up later. And the kid is already wearing his clothes for tomorrow. It’s easier to dress him before bed than in the morning. Hopefully I wiped up most of the purple goo before it got on everything. Cover kid back up and hope that this is the last time for the night.
1:00 am More zombie noises. Get up. Noise stops before I make it to the room. Lay back down. More moaning, maybe it’ll stop on it’s own. Please god let it stop. It doesn’t stop. Get back up. Don’t want moaning kid to wake up other two sleeping kids. Yes, they all share the same room. Don’t ask, it is a long story. Ask Sawyer what is wrong. Mumbles. Struggles with blankets. More mumbling. Kid, what do you want? The answer I get is “star”. Then he rolls over and quiets. Back to bed for me.
2:00 am More grumbles, moaning, and zombie noises. Sawyer is up AGAIN. Try to ignore it and hope it goes away. No such luck. What is wrong now Sawyer? Mumble, mumble, something about the blanket not being in the right spot. Mumble, mumble, pantomime, wave arms. Thrash, thrash, wave arms, mumble, mumble. I cover him back up and he settles. Please god, let me sleep.
Finally, I get a 4 hour stretch of sleep before Jeff’s alarm clock goes off. It is going to be a long day.
So I guess I was supposed to make some big elaborate announcement.
I’m pregnant. It’s a girl.
I guess that as soon as I knew, I was supposed to post some picture of a bun in an oven and see if anyone could figure out what I was referencing. Or I could have just gone straight forward and posted a picture of some pee on a stick with a plus sign. I’ve heard that friends on Facebook really, really like to see pictures of other people’s pee.
Now that we know it’s a girl, I guess I need some pink balloons to release. Or a cake with pink icing on the inside. Better yet, I could have gotten one of those paintings on my big pregnant belly showing that it’s a girl. You know, something like this:
It’s really just not my style though. Even with my first kid I didn’t go that overboard. I just told people. “Hey, guess what? I’m pregnant!”. That’s pretty much as elaborate as you are going to get from me. Now this poor baby already has 4th child syndrome. She’ll be lucky if she gets any pictures take of her, blah, blah, blah. She’ll probably be scarred for life because I never did some big announcement. If you’ve seen me lately, well, I guess you already know I’m pregnant since I’m 25 weeks already. If you haven’t seen me lately, well, here is your big announcement.
My whole life, I’ve always felt like a round peg in a square hole. Somehow, when I’m with my dad’s side of the family, I feel like I fit right in. My relatives are, well, an interesting bunch. I had the chance to catch up with them this weekend when we attended my cousin’s wedding. Let me describe a few of the gang so you can get a feel for how the night went.
- Has had a hearing disability since he was a kid so he went to a school for the deaf to learn to read lips. As long as you face him, you can carry on a conversation. He’s an organic dairy farmer, and well, a hippy down to the core.
- Married to my aunt D happily for probably 40 some years, although they each live in their own house. They still go out on dates.
- Kid 1- Stayed home to milk the cows, runs the farm with his dad.
- Kid 2- Career focused and environmentally friendly. She goes to alternative energy fairs in her spare time and is passionate about vermicomposting. Yup, vermicomposting. Never heard of it? Well, she has a bin full of worms in her basement that she feeds fruit and vegetable scraps and then uses the compost in her garden.
- Kid 3- Loves working on trucks and is a proud supporter of the right to bear arms. He wore a tuxedo t-shirt under his dress shirt which he took off when he hit the dance floor. He also waxed philosophically about how he’s 32 and single and sad he’s never going to have kids of his own as he continually rubbed my pregnant belly.
- Kid 4- Fellow animal lover who just bought a 2 seat convertible just because and treats her dog like she is human.
- Music teacher and master of refinishing and re-upholstering furniture. Mother of the groom.
- Kid 1: Came home for the wedding via 4 different flights because she took a job as a math teacher in a city/country in Africa that i can never remember the name of. Ogadabago or something. I supposed I could google it. She’s also the swim coach there even though she never swam competitively.
- Kid 2: Groom. Is a distributor of fine wines. Wore a polka dot bow tie and suspenders at the wedding. Took dance lessons as a kid.
- Paralegal who likes meditate in her free time. Believes in a higher purpose for all things. For her 59th birthday we went snow tubing for the day and then snow shoed a candlelight 5K that night.
- Kid 1- Two time Iraq war Veteran, loves to ice fish, and has crazy red hair. Likes to make omelets to order and makes a mean hash brown.
- Kid 2- RN who works with teenage pregnant women, speaks fluent Spanish, is vegetarian-ish.
- Enlisted in the Navy for 4 years. Always had a huge vegetable garden. Great at baking bread and pies. Is a contractor, hunts and fishes in his spare time.
- Married to my mom for 46? 47? years. Still grabs her ass when in public and talks about sex. Eww.
- Kid 1- Teacher of 1st graders. Married to a sports lover and has 2 kids similar in ages to mine.
- Kid 2- Me!
I’ve got another Aunt with 2 sons who were unable to make it so I’ll spare you their descriptions.
My parents and I sat at a round table with a few of my cousins. We enjoyed a lovely salad and bread and were waiting for our dinner when my dad went over, put his arm around my cousin, and started giving her unsolicited advice. This is nothing new for my dad, he has more opinions than anyone I know and well, his tact is lacking to say the least. Last summer, he asked me at least two times “Are you pregnant or just getting fat” and when I was a teenager with acne “What’s that on your face” more times than I’d like to reminisce about.
“You know what you need? You need to get laid.” Of course this was said in his extremely loud dad voice during a fairly quite time during the reception. I’m sure everyone around us heard him.
Then after the Best Man and Maid of Honor gave their toasts, my dad tried to grab the microphone. The groom looked at my aunt with fear and asked if he should let him have it. My aunt said no! My dad persevered, so they let him talk. We were all dreading what he would say next. He’s also been known to burst into song, but that wouldn’t come until later. Thankfully he just said something heartfelt about welcoming the new members to the family.
At one point, my aunts, uncles, and cousins got dragged up to the front to sing a song to the bride. It was a song that my grandma always used to sing, so it was kinda sweet. At least there was no talk of getting laid.
My husband took the evening as an opportunity to harass two of my cousins’ significant others. He demanded that they bring a proposal to Christmas detailing their intentions and when they expect they will propose. They have been dating for quite a while, I guess he decided it’s time to put the pressure on? As folks in my family would say “Shit or get off the pot”.
One of the significant others heard that the groom used to tap dance, so they are now on a quest to find some size 10 tap shoes so he can perform for us at Christmas. It should be a good time.
My cousins drank and danced all night long until we shut the place down. We spent the night at my cousin who “needs to get laid” since she lives nearby. By we, I mean my aunt S who slept in the yard in her tent, my parents who brought their own air mattress and slept next to the washer and dryer because they thought it would be quiet in there, three cousins, one significant other, Jeff, and I. The following morning, we had breakfast complete with bloody marys for those who needed them. We reminisced about the events of the night before and my dad’s fantastic advice. As we chatted, my cousin revealed some sage advice that I can’t get out of my mind. This wonderful gem comes from my aunt D.
Three rules for life:
- Never pass by a bathroom
- Don’t trust a fart
- Never pass up a hard on
On that note, I’ll leave you. I hope you all have family with which you can feel like you are your true self. And help you find a hard on?