Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Can't Believe I Said That!

"I don't want to talk about your book. I want to talk about pee pee."

Yes, I actually said this to my two-year-old. I was trying to inquire about whether he needed to go to the bathroom, and he was concerned about where he had left his book.

I'm glad that he's interested in books (especially since his interest is pretty new -- but that's another post). No matter how much I want to encourage a love of reading, books really are not the topic I want to be discussing when he's sitting on the toilet and I'm trying to decide whether it's safe to put his pants back on!

Anyway, this is probably at the top of the "things I never thought I'd say" list. I'm pretty sure most parents have one of these. You know, it's those things that come out of your mouth when you're dealing with your kids that -- before kids -- you would never have dreamed you'd ever say.

Here are some other entries on ours:

* "The dog knows how to drink. She doesn't need a demonstration." Luke likes to drink out of the dog's water bowls -- just like he's a dog. Not one of my prouder mommy moments, and it probably doesn't bode well for a scholarship to Harvard.

* "Tampons do not belong on the Christmas tree!" My daughter went through a period where she was fascinated -- maybe even a bit obsessed -- with tampons. And so, the Christmas after she turned two, she spent a great deal of time opening tampons and hanging them on the Christmas tree. (After all, they do have that handy-dandy string!) Later that same winter, my husband came downstairs one evening to find that she had opened all the tampons in a nearly full box and piled them in front of the fireplace. She informed him that she was cold and so she had gotten all the "little sticks" so he could make a fire.

* "Your sister's face is not a road." This was my husband's attempt to explain to Luke why it is not okay to run his toy car over his sister's face while she's laying on the floor watching television.

* "Only boys have penises." This was a frequent discussion in our home for quite a while after Luke came along. For a while, Ashley argued fiercely that she had had a penis when she was a baby. After many explanations of the difference between boys and girls, Ashley finally caught on and then would say to me anytime she saw Luke without a diaper, "only boys have penises, right Mommy?" And then one day, she decided to impress her father (and much of the grocery store) with her newfound knowledge by stating, very loudly, "Daddy, did you know that only boys have penises?" (That prompted a "why do you tell her these things?" look from my husband and many chuckles from the people in the aisle with us -- they must all have had kids, too.)

* "You don't need to cook your crayons." This has been said more than once -- when Ashley thought the toaster, and then the microwave, and later the toaster oven might be good places to store her crayons. (Thankfully all discovered before anything was turned on.)

* "No, Curious George is not coming to live in our house." When we asked Ashley what she would think about having a baby brother or a baby sister, she promptly replied, "I want Curious George." I tried to explain that a monkey was not coming to live in our house, but that a baby brother or sister probably was. She continued to insist for quite a while that she wanted Curious George -- although she did eventually decide that a baby brother might be okay. It depends on the day now whether she would still agree that having a baby brother is a good thing.

* "Yes, you will wear panties to school!" My daughter -- not even 5 yet -- decided one day that she didn't need her panties because she had pants on. And, she informed me that her preschool teacher didn't care whether she wore panties as long as no one could see her butt. I'm guessing this conversation was only in Ashley's little brain, but rather than argue that point, I informed her that I cared and she was far too young to go without underwear.

I know -- or at least hope -- I'm not the only one with the list of things I can't believe I said. Feel free to share some of yours!

your life your blog
This post is shared on Real Life's "Your Life Your Blog"


Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Start of the Hard Questions

My daughter has apparently been thinking a lot about her birth mother.

She’s asked several times recently for “my story,” which is the adoption story I’ve been telling her since she was about a year old.

Ashley has always been incredibly interested in her own adoption story. She’s still too young to really understand what adoption is all about. But sometimes I wonder if there is a part of her that knows, almost instinctively, that as much as she belongs to me, she also belongs to Chivon, her birth mom.

There was a period of time, starting just before she turned two, when almost every night she asked for “Ashley’s story” or “my ‘doption story.” And then she took a break and didn’t ask much about it – until we were waiting for her brother to be born. And then, again, almost every night she asked for her story – and her brother’s story.

Once her brother was born and home with us, she stopped being quite so interested in their stories, asking only occasionally.

But the last couple of weeks, she’s asked several times to hear her story, and Luke’s. I find it amazing how the two stories always seem linked in her mind – almost as if she knows that somehow she and Luke share the bond of another family.

Today she asked again, “Mommy, can you tell me my story and Luke’s story.”

And, so I began, as I have so many times before, “You were growing in your birth mommy’s tummy, and she couldn’t take care of a baby, so she needed someone to take care of you. And Mommy can’t grow a baby in her tummy, so Mommy and Daddy were looking for a baby to take care of.”

And then, Ashley interrupted with the question that I always knew would come one day: “Mommy, how come my birth mommy couldn’t take care of a baby?”

Oh, how to explain that to a 5 year old? There are many reasons, of course. And some are things a 5-year-old would not understand. I do remember one time her birth mom saying to me, “If she ever asks me why I did it, I will tell her ‘because it was the best thing I could do for you.’”But how to condense all the reasons I know to something that would make sense to a 5 year old, and let her know that this was a decision made out of love?

I settled for: “There were lots of things that were kind of hard for her when you were born, and she didn’t have lots of money or some of the other things that she would need to take care of a baby.” I’m not sure that’s the best answer in the world, but for the moment it seemed to satisfy Ashley.

We’re going to work on writing a letter to her birth mom. Ashley is going to draw her a picture. And, I’m going to start working on answers to all those hard questions that I know are going to be coming as Ashley grows older.

(More about our adoption experience can be found at:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mornings With a Toddler . . . Or, How You Know It's Time To Start Potty Training

This was our morning:

Ashley was in the kitchen getting cereal for breakfast (her latest favorite "big girl" task) when she suddenly said to her father, "Daddy, come look at what your son just did!"

Andy went into the kitchen to find that at some point, Luke had removed his diaper and then put his pajama shorts back on. He was now standing in the kitchen, shirt tucked into his shorts, one leg of the pajama shorts pulled up, his penis hanging out, in front of a puddle on the kitchen floor. When Andy walked in, Luke pointed and proudly proclaimed, "I do that!" Yep, he had peed on the kitchen floor.

As Andy was cleaning up the floor, Ashley looked over and said, "That was good telling, wasn't it Daddy." (She's been getting lots of lessons lately about tattling.)

I got a new diaper and as I was putting it on Luke, I asked "where's the diaper you had on last night?"

He looked at me and simply said, "It didn't stay on."

"And why didn't it stay on?" I asked.

He looked at me, and then said, "Oh, no, Lucas did that."

Guess it's time to start potty training!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Online Lessons For Parents

I think I'm fairly technically literate.

I've figured out the blogging thing and am becoming somewhat adept at Facebook. I'm even playing a bit with Twitter, which is kind of fun.

But I'm very aware that it's likely my children will far outpace me in their understanding of the online world and social networking. The world of social media is second nature to kids and they're technically savvy at a very young age.

My kids are still too young for the online world, but I do sometimes wonder about how I'll handle it when they do make their online debuts. How will I monitor without being too nosy? How will I give them some freedom but keep them safe?

This blog entry -- Are Parents Clueless? -- and the study to which it refers are thought provoking and a good lesson in making sure we parents aren't too naive about the online world.

Stretching My Wings

Okay, this post has nothing really to do with being a mom. But I thought I'd try my hand at writing Flash Fiction. It was fun exercise and I kind of like it, so I thought I'd share it.

Saying Goodbye
A surprising letter triggers memories of a past relationship.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Healthy Brown Bag Lunches

How to Build Healthy Brown Bag Lunches for Your Kids
With a little creativity, you can create brown bag lunches that will make your kids eager to eat a healthy lunch.


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