Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rhinoceroses Can't . . .

At bedtime last night, my son was once again worried that rhinoceroses would come and get him. Months ago, when this fear first surfaced, I told him that he was safe, because his bedroom is upstairs and rhinoceroses can't climb stairs. This reminder did the trick once again, but his concern also reminded me of some of the other explanations we come up with to allay our childrens' fears. On the night he was concerned about giraffes coming into his room, I reminded him that a giraffe is waaay too tall to come through our front door. When he was concerned about lions, I told him that with that great big mane, a lion's head was just too big to fit through the front door. (By the way, there's a zoo on my front porch now - all those animals lined up trying to get through my front door.... And why, why, is a rhinoceros able to get in when the others can't? So, you'll find the rhinos in my dining room, at the bottom of the stairs that they can't climb, while everyone else is stuck on the porch.)

One of my favorite stories, however, was told by a friend whose daughter was also afraid of lions. She sprayed "Lion-Away" all over her daughter's room - night after night - to get her daughter to go to bed. And when I say everywhere, yes, you guessed it - under the bed, in the closet, everywhere. (Lion-Away, for those of you who have not heard the story, was just water in a spray bottle. Clever, eh?)

If you have a great story to share about calming your child's fears, please share so others can benefit from your idea!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mommy Pride

As moms, I think that each of us takes pride in some aspect of our parenting. I tend to take pride in being able to get places on time (and often early) with two young children. I also take pride in my ability to not lose things - at least not permanently. I might lose track of a small toy, book, or other non-mandatory item, but usually I find it with a more in-depth search of car or diaper bag. We rarely leave things behind in stores or at friends' homes. We NEVER lose things permanently. Granted, it's usually because one of my kids cries about the dropped item until I understand what's going on and find the "missing" thing. But still, we don't lose things. UNTIL TODAY. My daughter lost a pacifier at the mall today. And not a green one (which we have 4 of), but a girly pink one (of which we now have only 2). Of course she lost one which would coordinate with 75% of her girly pink clothes. Yes, I'm obsessive and sometimes care about that stuff. Anyway, WE LOST SOMETHING. I don't lose things. So, while I'm not totally torn apart (after all, it is just a pacifier), I'm still having trouble with the fact that I don't have a perfect score anymore.

I have come up with a bright side to the situation. My daughter did not cry when she dropped it. Maybe she thought she was putting it in the tray on the front of her stroller, and didn't realize it fell, but still she didn't cry for it when she realized it wasn't there anymore. Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of the days when she will need it (oh no, she's growing up - back to the positive spin....). Perhaps later I'll find it in the diaper bag and remember, "Oh yeah, I traded the paci for the sippy cup when we were in (store name here) and she was getting fussy," (though I can't imagine why I didn't put it in the parent tray of the stroller). If I ever do find it, then I'll have to confess to you that I have a never-ending case of Mommy Brain. When it comes to short-term memory, well, I'm not overflowing with pride in that department. But at least now, I only have 7 pacis to keep track of!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's the Great Shoe Hunt, Buster Brown

I did not harm anyone during the latest shoe-hunting excursion. I was not actually looking for Buster Browns. I was looking for shoes at a children's shoe store that you can find in most malls. Here's my story:

I met a friend (and her kids) at the mall yesterday. Among other things, we both needed to get shoes for our kids. The shoes I finally decided on were not in stock in my daughter's size. After looking, asking, trying on, and rejecting other shoes, I finally knew which non-sale price I could most easily stomach. But, the right size was not to be found in that store. I left the shoe store disappointed, but still determined. I looked at another store in the mall, but they don't carry children's shoes in wide width. I went back to the mall today to complete my shopping (which I could not finish yesterday with 2 kids in tow, lunch time over, and nap time steadily approaching). I looked at another store that had the brand of shoe I wanted, and yes, they carry wides, but they, too, were out of stock and would not be getting more in until next week. The sweet, chirpy, size 2 salesgirl politely encouraged me to check back. But I was determined to find shoes without another hunting expedition. So, I went back to store #1, where I prefer to shop, to find out when their next delivery would arrive. It arrived yesterday afternoon (I wish the salesperson had told me that when I was there yesterday morning). After reminding her which shoes and size I was looking for, she checked the stockroom, and they still did not have what I needed. She THEN then told me that she could order it for me, and there would be no shipping charge (words that were a balm to my steadily-more-frazzled self). Again, I wish she had told me that yesterday. So, I considered ordering the shoes, but since we hadn't been able to try any on, I was hesitant. I asked if we could try the same size in a different color. I was shopping for white leather shoes of a certain name brand that you can find at various department stores. I asked if we could try the same style in canvas. They didn't have white canvas in my daughter's size. They had navy and red, so I suggested trying one of those. The salesperson told me the sizes in the colors run different than the sizes in white. WHAAT?!?!? She then said that if I order what I need, I can bring it back to this store if there is a problem. OK, I finally agreed to order the shoes - and to end the shoe hunting expedition. The salesperson called a store in the next city and let me talk to THE NICEST GUY I think I have ever spoken with on the phone. The shoes are on the way (I still have to make another trip to the mall, I think, or are they coming to my house? By now I am so confused I'm not sure). My card has been charged, but I have nothing to prove that they are mine when/if they ever arrive. It's been an odd/annoying/time-consuming experience so far. I hope I am pleased in the end. By the way - I hope your little one doesn't have wide feet. Or extra wide. For those of you expecting children, if you are going to pray for something, pray for a happy, healthy baby with REGULAR WIDTH FEET.

(End of rant. Looking back, it was much worse in the moment than it seems here.)

Monday, October 1, 2007

I couldn't have said it better myself...

With her permission, I'm sharing a message from my dear friend, H, who is about 4 months away from delivering her (first??) bundle of joy:

I promise I've been meaning to call, but things are so crazy!!

Just thought I would write you a note that says mood swings suck. This is more for my general well-being (venting) than actual informative value because all women know this.

One, I know I'm having emotional instability, but don't want to admit it because that means I'm giving IT power. IT doesn't deserve power because I'm still in control. Ok, at least that's what I tell myself.

Two, just because it's a mood swing doesn't mean the points I'm trying to make aren't valid. Of course, people who love and are surrounded by me give me that dreaded "sympathy" look while saying to themselves, "poor thing...she's just not herself." Well that's not true. I'm myself, but without a filter. Yes, I'm as blunt as safety scissors. Deal with it!

Three, I don't want to think so much, but that's a by-product of the mood swing. Crazy thoughts creep into your head and linger there like last night's leftover dinner aroma. Of course, we're prepared to raise a kid. I mean, heck we've gotten the bedding. Doesn't that count for something? No crib, no changing table, stroller, diapers, bottles, anything, but we've got the bedding! My kid can sleep in comfort on the carpet. Yep, check the prepared box.

Four, why does nobody else seem to be concerned about anything? And by nobody else I mean my dear husband. Mr. Cool as a Cucumber, the sky could be raining naked babies and he wouldn't notice. I think this is a tactic he's using to deal with the mood issues, but little does he know it's back firing. I don't need calm....I need ACTION. Read the books, choose between green leaf or prickly pair paint chips, be prepared. Isn't this the boy scout motto for crying out loud?

Ugg, mood swings suck. Happy and blissfully naive are better places to be, but some how the brain gets fired up and there's no extinguisher to put it out. I just want to yell out, "Four alarm fire boys. Bring the big hoses!" But they all think I'm crazy.

Breathe in, breathe out. I think writing this made me feel better or convinced me that I really am crazy. Either way thanks for lending me an e-ear.

Dear H: Thanks for sharing with me!!! Either you are not crazy, because I've been there before, or we are both crazy. Either way I feel better, too :) Lots of love from me to you! XOXO and PS - I wish I could write like that! Truly, I could not have said it better myself!