Kitty Time

Motherhood, babies, life, celebrities, politics…kitty’s claws come out when she’s in the mood.

Crime & Punishment July 26, 2009

Filed under: Life with 2 kids,Motherhood,Toddler Antics — Wired_Momma @ 8:04 pm

All of you avid KT fans out there know that we talk a lot about disciplining preschoolers here on KT. I have a veritable hoodlum living chez moi and as any parent knows, we must creatively re-invent our punishments constantly, otherwise they fall on deaf ears.

My current punishment du jour is this “If you land in 2 time outs, then you don’t get a popsicle for lunch.” (This is usually threatened by oh – about 6:24am, with the first time out locked in by 7am. And of course, I am pretty generous, for to use the timeout too much with my hoodlum is a total waste of time and energy).

It’s working. But this one has only been used for a few days.

Ahh…behold the power of the sweet, easy to melt, unbelieveably cheap popsicle. Who knew?

The old rules chart worked pretty well for about 2 weeks. Then it lost its luster. The cheap thrill of drawing a smiley face next to one of the followed rules quickly grew boring. And really, who can blame her.

I’m thinking of bringing back the rules chart, however, as it’s been a few weeks and I scored some new stickers at Target’s One Spot (where, am I alone in this, I easily wrack up like $20 to my final bill because not everything is $1).

But here is my current dilemma – finding a punishment that solely punishes DD – not me. I am not alone here people. If I take away, say, cartoons – then who am I really punishing when the going gets tough?
Me.

So I try to take away things that I either don’t care about (like popsicles) or things that tend to drag on into perpetuity (songs, stories at bed time).  Again – I should get a reward for having to endure the crime, no?

What I’m desperately searching for is a creative list of things I can also take away from her that again, only punish her, and not me. I am all ears for any ideas here…..please….I bet of you……help a sister out.

Here is a list of some offenses that warrant punishment:

Pinching mommy because she doesn’t like what I’ve just said

Assaulting baby sister under the guise of “gently playing like such a good big sister”

Taking all of baby sister’s toys away from her and then hiding from her – with the toys- because she can now crawl

The old power trip that started with the arrival of baby sister “No, I don’t want daddy to take me out of my carseat, I want mommy to do it” (because mommy has baby sister, basically whomever is preoccupied with baby sister then becomes the only person who can complete the task and this gets old after about 10 seconds but a heartfelt battle inevitably ensues several times a day complete with kicks and screams)

I could go on and on with the lists of crimes but what I’m looking for are creative punishments. And spanking – doesn’t work on this kid – I tried it. I was never sure if I would spank her. Not because I am opposed to spanking but because I just never was sure if the crime would warrant the spank. Oh indeed, that day did come and it was just obvious that the only appropriate response would be to spank her and then send her to her room.

She didn’t care. And she also likes going in time out. I’ll say “Do you want to go in time out?”

And her response is “yes.”

OK then.

Hence the need to take things away…things that only punish her and not me…..put your thinking caps on kittens…..for I am all ears.

Signed,

Pleading for ideas

Advertisements
 

The Big Old Pregnant Ball & Chain July 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Wired_Momma @ 12:08 am

Let’s be honest, KT’s BFFs are my muses. Yes, indeed, this blog is nothing if not a masterpiece, and my BFFs provide the inspiration for content. Today is just another example of that.

This afternoon, what landed in my email inbox other than a fired up message that is an age old story for all the preggos out there. This preggo KT BFF, we’ll call her HP (hot preggo) just got out of a meeting. She was the only female. Nine other men participated. Towards the end, one dude asked another dude how his wife was doing…..the old pregnant ball and chain.

Apparently a knowing laughter busted out across the meeting, as if there is some kind of silent understanding among fathers about having a pregnant wife at home, as the man explained the preggo wife was due any day.

Ahh….the perils and trials of being the husband of a preggo – are we all wiping a tear of sympathy from our eyes?

HP chimed in at the end and good-heartedly asked why they all laughed so hard knowing there is a preggo at home, she pointed out all they have to do is show up at the hospital and stand there. Of course, the men could do nothing but agree because well, what the hell else do they do aside from contribute the sperm to land you in that condition, until that baby comes out?

This, naturally, sparked a string of emails amongst the BFFs about this very scenario, one we are all quite familiar with – and it begged this question – are we really that difficult to deal with at home?

Is having a preggo wife at home that big of a deal? Does it change the dynamic? Does it really require that much effort on the part of the husband to deal with the infrequent emotional outbursts over 10 months? Are we actually nightmares and we just don’t know it – or do these men just feel some kind of camaraderie in the ‘Knowing’ laughter at the thought of a preggo on the verge of labor at home – but they don’t really mean anything by it?

Are we kidding ourselves in thinking that with a few exceptions smattered across the months, we really aren’t difficult? Or is there a cultural expectation that preggos are emotional, hormonal, fragile, delicate, and argumentative throughout the pregnancy – regardless of whether this is grounded in truth?

Yeah yeah…we all are different, all of our pregnancies are different, we have different thresholds for pain and stress, yadda yadda yadda…but still….if there were 9 men in the room and they all shared in the ‘knowing’ laugh, then what does that tell us?

Is it possible we view ourselves with rose colored glasses? The KT BFFs were pretty quick to point out that, for the most part, each of us was nothing but a treat (and totally sexy and hot) throughout our pregnancies.  Of course there were times where I, for one, definitely hated my husband, but do any of us really need a pregnancy for that sentiment?

HA.

Seriously – are we kidding ourselves? Or were they just being idiots?

 

Staying Home July 21, 2009

Filed under: Husbands,Life with 2 kids,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 11:27 am

I’m 3.5 months into my new stay-at-home gig. Everyone loves to ask me how it’s going, am I getting bored yet, will I go back to work, do I like it, what is different now?

Here’s my view on adjusting to life at home after a 13 year career.

First – am I getting bored yet. I love that one. The answer to that is a resounding – NO. I dream of the day when I have time to actually get bored. Don’t you?  The correct question would be this – are you frustrated yet?

The answer to that is – it depends on the day but frustration is, indeed, a frequent and regular part of my daily routine. But I’m preaching to the choir on that one.

Will I go back to work?

I have absolutely no idea. Perhaps the novelty hasn’t worn off yet but I wouldn’t even consider going back to work right now even if some opportunity came knocking on my door. Which it hasn’t. I love being home, frustration and all. I love taking and picking up DD1 from school, I love spending my days with them, I do not even think about going back to work on my worst days.  It’s also very liberating for me to just have no career plan. It is what it is. I am home. I dig it. I am aware every day that I am lucky to have the opportunity to stay home.

One thing that is very different is my stress level. I enjoy not having to worry about a nanny being sick, if the nanny  is keeping the baby on a feed schedule, let alone the annoyance of not finding things in my own house because someone has been there all day. Of course, there are stresses that come with staying home all day – so again – it’s all just different – but I like it like that.

What is different now?

OK. This one is something I think about a lot. The truth is, I am barking at and frustrated with my husband way more now than I was before. Is this because I am home or is it because life is just harder with more kids? That I don’t know the answer too because for us, both things happened at basically the same time. But this is just the truth. You read KT because I tell it like it is – this is my new reality. Is there more bickering because we are still adjusting to life with 2 in combo with the ongoing challenges that come with a more sophisticated older child? Perhaps. The topic of discipline or failure to discipline- is a hot and regular topic around my house – and trust me – no one’s ripping their clothes off over this hot topic. The only thing rising in anyone’s body is my blood pressure.

And am I barking at DH more because I am home more now, therefore I am doing more house things – like picking up and laundry – than I did before – or am I barking at him because I spend enough time picking up after two kids, I don’t need or want a third to pick up after? I’m not sure. But don’t think I haven’t hatched a plan that includes shoving his boxers that are dropped at the foot of the laundry basket (I’m seriously not even exaggerating), or his socks strew in random rooms (did he find them there? No.) – into his pillow case – and just waiting to see how long it takes him to notice. I mean, why shouldn’t I? Do the boxers or socks belong in his pillow case any more than they belong at the foot of the laundry basket (I mean, come on) or on the dining room floor?  

So there is more barking and argumentative conversations than there was before. Would this be the case if I were still working full-time? Possibly. Would they be about different things? Probably.

So what next?

Despite the bickering, the frustration and the endless laundry, I couldn’t be happier and love not sitting behind a desk all day. Is it true that I secretly dread August, what with no camps, no grandparents in town and no help? Probably. But me and the girls will survive – we have fun every day.  It’s totally worth it.

 

Divide and Conquer July 15, 2009

Filed under: Husbands,Life with 2 kids,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 7:46 pm

When I was pregnant the second time around, I didn’t read one book about it. Why would I? Lord knows it didn’t do much good to read many books during my first pregnancy. But what I did notice was that there wasn’t much out there about the second pregnancy – or really any subsequent pregnancies once you’ve been through it before.

I wondered why because well – it actually seems like there are still lots of questions and unknowns when you are pregnant the second time. Perhaps you suffer from too much information, ranging from the reality of delivery to the reality of life with a newborn. But I know I still wondered about all the other unknowns – what would this baby be like, how would my first child adjust to life with a sibling, how would we manage it all?

That one didn’t haunt me like the general notion of actually being responsible for a life haunted me the first time around, but I sure did wonder how we would manage it all.

I would ask DH this question some nights when it was really gnawing away at me. As usual, he was super laid back about it and just figured it would work itself out.

Uh huh.

Well, 8 months in, it has definitely worked itself out and we are managing it, just like everyone else does. But there’s just one thing I didn’t anticipate and sometimes it makes me sad. Often times, the easiest way to manage it is to divide and conquer. One takes DD1 out to some fun activity (which realistically with a 3-year-old is somewhat draining and leaves that parent asking themself this question: was this really worth the effort, let alone the cash?), and the other stays home with DD2. During the week, DD2 is toted around at the whim of DD1’s schedule. She spends more time in the car seat in a week than DD1 did in the first year of her life and the poor kid only gets a consistent nap in the afternoon when DD1 is also napping.

Therefore, on the weekend, when there are two adults around, we must let DD2 have the sort of day that DD1 enjoyed her whole life. So given the realities of a baby’s schedule, all the bottles, the meals, the naps, the poops, etc, one parent spends much of that day at home.

Ultimately it becomes the easier day, so technically that is the “break” that say one parent might have gotten in the days of yore when there was only one child at home. But it means we’re not out experiencing things as a family.

July 4 fireworks? DH stayed home with DD2.

Concert on the boardwalk last saturday night – grandpa is finally back in town – so he got to stay home with DD2.

Santa visits last December? I stayed home while DH went out with DD1.

You get it.

I just didn’t anticipate this one.

I know this will change as DD2 gets older and ultimately has an easier schedule, feeds less, naps less, etc. But for now, divide and conquer is the name of the game each and every weekend.

 

Adult Conversation July 14, 2009

Filed under: Life with 2 kids,Motherhood,Toddler Antics — Wired_Momma @ 1:24 pm

Over the course of the past two days, there has been a really interesting dialogue in the Carolyn Hax column of the Washington Post about having adult conversations when toddlers are afoot. Yesterday a woman wrote in about how she drove two hours with her toddler to visit her sister, who has no children, and she spent the visit chasing after her toddler in the sister’s house to avert disaster and the destruction of the sister’s house, leaving no time for real meaningful adult conversation. The sister without kids went on to chastise her for being unable to give her attention, let alone control her toddler. According to the sister without kids, she’s seen plenty of moms handle their toddlers and have perfectly normal adult conversations.

Uh huh. Bite me, sister, is what I would have written in response if I were Carolyn. Aren’t we all such great parents, until we actually become parents?

Anyhoo, as we all would guess, there is now a firestorm of comments from both those with children and those without, warranting a follow-up column in today’s Post.

Here’s the rub, I find the comments from those without children to be fine, whatever, until you are personally managing and in charge of a toddler, you cannot possibly know what it is like and how the notion of an adult conversation beyond some sentences, constantly interrupted, is impossible.  I actually don’t pretend to expect the other adult to understand it. I deeply appreciate it when they are patient and bear with me and keep their patience with my curious kid.  But they can’t know what it is like. I couldn’t have known what it is like until it became my world.

It’s the parent who also has children who passes judgement that enrages me. Either their precious cherub is still too small to behave this way – so they have no f’ing idea what kind of ordeal is speeding right into their world, or they somehow lucked out with a toddler who is just obedient and sits still and isn’t disagreeable.  For those of you laughing and spitting your coffee over your computer at this notion, trust me, it can happen, I’ve seen it a few times and am still annoyed, envious and generally irritated that that is their reality. I just figure we all get ours some day, so at some point that miracle kid will act out, even if  they’ve made it several years into life being an angel. But as parents, why the judging? Why the assumption that you are a fabulous parent and the one with the curious and boundary-pushing child is somehow less than you? Why the belief that their kid is a monster and yours an angel? Why? This is what I find unacceptable.

Carolyn points out in one of her responses that what many people forget is that the parent of this curious-challenging child is the one who is the most desperate of all for a break, for some adult conversation, let’s be honest – for their kid to sit still for one freaking minute- but their job is to remain patient and continue setting boundaries – thus rendering meaningful, uninterrupted, adult conversation – impossible unless the child is sleeping and a babysitter is hired.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the constant, daily challenges that DD1 presents not only beat me down but they make me far less judgmental. Maybe sheer exhaustion and no more patience does that to a person, but the bottom line is this – the challenging child is nothing if not humbling.

So like – why do other people just assume that as a parent, we would actually rather be chasing around a kid, than having an adult conversation? Or that somehow we have failed because our kid is restless? Perhaps the hard truth is until you’ve walked a mile in those shoes, you can’t really get it, but I doubt it.

Maybe other parents just feel better about their own parenting and their ability to produce perfect progeny, if they judge parents with challenging children? I mean – isn’t this the reason we watch shows like Super Nanny and Nanny 911? Everyone says they watch it to learn discipline techniques, but really, isn’t it also to watch those train wreck families and feel better about yourself and your family?

Who knows.

All I know is I long for the day when adult conversation is possible. When the kids can go down to the basement and play and duke it out and I can sit upstairs and have some wine.  And I’d like to think my colorful and curious children are just making me a more interesting person, along the way, by keeping me on my toes.

If anything, maybe they are giving me years of conversations to save up for the future, because lord knows I have almost no time for adult conversations now.

 

Open Letter to the Networks July 10, 2009

Filed under: Celebrities — Wired_Momma @ 1:34 pm

If I had gobs of money like that strange Texas oilman who is always running energy ads, I would take out an open letter ad in the major papers and run ads on TV – mocking the networks for their “journalism” and pleading with them to stop.

Stop the madness.

Stop the absurd round-the-clock coverage.

MJ is dead. He was not super human. He did not walk on water. He didn’t solve the Middle East crisis or cure cancer.  He hasn’t even really done anything remarkable or noteworthy beyond allegedly being a pedophile in what – like 15 years.

Let it go, people. He was a man. He impacted popular culture, he was a leader in making super cool music videos back in the day, he had some great songs. Then he got weird. And guess what, it’s sad that he died and all – but seriously – seriously. Stop. Stop with the incessant coverage. Stop with the obsession over what will happen to his children. What about all the children who are left without a father every day – and guess what – they aren’t inheriting millions and might not even have big families to take them in? Let’s give them some attention instead of the children of a pop icon.

And how about all the news that is actually news-worthy out there that we aren’t getting because of the obsession with MJ. I keep wondering – is anyone beyond the network news and their web sites – as interested in the story? Is there a story? He died. Let’s move on.

 

Feeding Time at the Zoo July 8, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Pregnancy — Wired_Momma @ 2:45 pm

Ahh kittens, gather round, for today’s topic will hit home for all of you – whether you are a first time preggo or mom of 14 (and if you have more than 4 kids, we’re also staring at you and judging you, FYI). All you have to be or have been at some point in your life, is a showing preggo, to know what I’m going to gab about today……the preggo zoo.

That’s right. The public’s right to mercilessly stare and comment on the comings, goings, growing size, and general demeanour and “glow” of a preggo. It’s like freaking feeding time at the zoo, being a showing preggo, now isn’t it?

We have gabbed on this one here before but does this topic ever get old? Have you really forgotten how pissed off you used to be as a preggo when people would gape as if you were a circus freak with 5 heads and a big goiter?

I mean really.

But see, the truth is, when I’m not preggo, I totally stare too.

A KT BFF started this yesterday when she emailed in from the Boston airport all pissed off and sick and tired of people staring at her cute preggo self. She’s pretty. She knows they are looking because she’s a good looking preggo – as we all are/were – but still – it doesn’t make it less annoying. She’s not being carried through the freaking airport like Cleopatra on her chariot with her Roman man slaves jogging along side – so why the staring?

I know why I stare, do you know why you stare?

I stare for the following reasons:

I wonder how far along she is. I wonder if she’s having a boy or a girl. I wonder if she is a clueless first time mom and has any idea what kind of ordeal she is getting herself into, or if she’s an old hat and well, she’s just glad to have a break from the other kid and quietly read a magazine.

Usually I can tell by the bags under her eyes if she’s already got another kid at home.

The truth is, my staring is usually pretty innocuous. I generally am not judging her size, or checking to see if her hands are so swollen that she can’t jam her ring on her finger anymore. If she is wearing something really hideous, odds are I am judging her for that and wondering why she couldn’t have tried a little harder. But for the most party, my stares are with good intent.

But here’s the rub, I”m still staring and well, for anyone who knows me, I’m not subtle in my stares.

And having recently been a preggo, the truth is, no one is subtle in their stares.

Preggos are fascinating to stare at for many reasons – whether it is acceptable to do so or not. Look, plenty of people stare at me and the girls as we are trying to get someplace and if it’s annoying at me – I just glare at them like I’m going to come kill them and their family next….sometimes I even mouth in venom “I know where you live, mother f’er”  – so I think that with parenthood, comes staring, like it or not. We all get stared at.

It’s the comments that are really unacceptable.  And NO ONE really dares comment to a mother trying to wrestle one of her twerps some place, but plenty of people comment to a preggo.

I think they believe they can make a comment to a preggo because they assume with the pending birth of a child and motherhood, you are nice and sweet and nurturing and want to be talked too. The truth is, I was more bitchy and obnoxious as a preggo than I am now, so I let plenty of people and their dumb comments, have it.

The problem here is this – I am preaching to the choir. You all know how it enrages you to be told “You have gotten so much bigger from the last time I saw you” or worse, as a second time preggo “Wow, girl, you look like you are ready any day” – when the truth is you have 8 weeks left.  That particular one really chapped my ass.

So what can we do? We can never comment to a preggo beyond “You look adorable” or “I love your outfit” and we can try to be as subtle as possible with our stares…..right, kittens?