Kitty Time

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

Meet the New Nanny August 31, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Toddler Antics — Wired_Momma @ 12:53 pm

There seems to be a pandemic sweeping our nation – and no I’m not talking about swine flu – though this pandemic is also highly contagious and can result in unplanned Emergency Room visits.

What I’m talking about is this sweeping attitude amongst lazy ass parents that the park is their new nanny. It comes with the best price, right – free – and apparently its there to entertain their child and render their roles and responsibilities as parent obsolete.

The consequences of relying upon the park as nanny, however, impact more than just that particular family and frankly incite rage in most of us. My conclusion to avoid this pandemic was to purchase my own swing set and slide, have my husband build it in our backyard, thus my own yard can act as my nanny and it need not bother anyone else, and I can avoid the rising blood pressure and rage that is almost guaranteed with a park visit lately.

I’ve blogged on this topic before and yet this subject is more common among brunch guests, email tirades and casual conversation at the beach, than is trashing husbands for being lazy around the house, so it merits a revisit.

Why do parents find it appropriate to check out at the park? To just sit in a corner and gab with each other while sally is running up the slide the wrong way, as your child is tying to slide down the right way? Or to pretend that they don’t see junior tossing sand in the eyes of his sandbox playmate over and over again? Or to let their 8 year olds tear up and past a climbing wall as my almost 4 year old is trying to navigate her wobbly way to the top? And why do I have to spend my time policing these junior tyrants and barking at them when my time is better spent monitoring my own kid, who herself is no innocent lark in occasional bad park behavior?

Do we need a nationwide bulletin to remind parents that the park is, in fact, not their nanny but is instead there provide a fun outlet for all children, and when visiting the park, their job is to keep an eye on johnny, enforce good behavior and discipline bad behavior? And guess what, when little kendra acts out, don’t let her explore her boundaries and learn how to play based on her peer’s response, grab her, discipline her and remove her from the play area. I don’t care if I’m inflicting my discipline philosophy on you – if your kid is going to misbehave and my kid is the victim, then your kid gets my approach if you do nothing.

Can we include this in the bulletin?

It’s easy to trash lazy moms who have clearly checked out – they do seem to be the most common culprit in this behavior – but that’s because more moms are home than dads. I have seen my fair share of dads too busy on their blackberry or cellphone to bother dealing with their snot nosed twerp.

So please parents – get your shit together – and remember that the park isn’t your  nanny and your kid isn’t awesome when they are breaking the rules and making an otherwise enjoyable park experience – miserable.

 

Body Talk August 26, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Pregnancy — Wired_Momma @ 1:16 pm

An otherwise typical playdate last week resulted in some great blog fodder. We were at the preschool playground, getting the kids together before the new school year (FINALLY) starts. A friend and I just met a mom who is new to the school. Her older one is in DD1’s class and she mentioned she had a two week old at home.

At this point, we’d known her about 90 seconds. I couldn’t have told you her name if my life depended on it.

My friend remarks on how good this woman looks, she  said she herself looked so butt 2 weeks post baby.

I echoed the sentiment, I was so fat and bloated and blah blah, she looked great.

Abruptly she says “I should let you know, I had a surrogate.”

Dead silence.

My friend’s mouth gaping open a bit.

AWKWARD is the only word fitting for this situation.

Now, let’s get a few things straight. I am in full support of surrogacy, have a baby any way you can get one. There is no judgment going on here. It was just so unexpected and awkward and seeing as how I couldn’t even remember her name, it just seemed strange that she busted out with that statement. Why not just accept the compliment and move on?

So I tripped around saying how she still looked really good, not tired at all, my eyes were so puffy and swollen 2 weeks home with a new baby.

Meanwhile my mind was racing with the following questions:

How did you find the surrogate?

How much did it cost?
Is your older child also from a surrogate?

Same one?

How come you chose that route?

Did you buy the woman a gift for delivering you a healthy baby? (recall: i am not a minimalist. i like things. if i’m ever your surrogate, i want a nice present. and a personal trainer.)

I mean, if she’s going to offer up something so personal, can I follow up with equally as personal questions? Naturally my equally nosy older sister has tasked me with finding out the answers to these questions as soon as possible.

But see, I think  there was so much more to this exchange than the awkward moment and wondering if she shared  just a bit too much information 90 seconds into meeting one another.

It’s about our need to comment on women’s bodies. Aren’t we all guilty?

The chorus of anger towards those who comment on our bodies and growing size while preggo can be heard loud and clear here on KT. We want to pillage the homes of the offenders. We want to respond with mean comments on how much bigger they’ve gotten since the last time we saw them too. We want to claw their eyes out. We hate them. Those commenters.

But what about after we’ve had the baby? Do the same rules apply? I, for one, love being told how great I look post baby – even when I know the person doesn’t mean it, because I crave my old body so much. You know, because my old body is so hot.

Seriously, I hope someone will compliment me. I’m open for business and practically soliciting body comments. Many of us love to show off our cleavage post baby because our boobs are big and round. We are screaming out – comment.

So all it takes is our placenta coming out for our perspective to shift?

Did we have a right to tell this woman she looked great? It’s really none of our business, we were just saying what we like to hear 2 weeks later.

And how fascinating that we assume that because a woman has a newborn, she has just given birth to that baby. We all know dear friends, if not ourselves, who have had trouble getting pregnant and had to take many paths to get to this point, so why the assumption that she has given birth?

Do we have a double standard with body comments pre and post baby?

 

The KT List: Beach Edition August 21, 2009

Filed under: Husbands,Life with 2 kids,Motherhood,Toddler Antics — Wired_Momma @ 1:21 am

I’ve spent a good part of the summer at the beach. From my many trips alone with the girls, we know I’ve concluded one important thing: husbands are good for hauling crap onto the beach. Divorce would be bad.

I’ve also had a few months to put together my list of beach essentials.  Before you go on, a few notes. First, I am not a minimalist. If you are a minimalist, then KT’s beach survival list is not for you. Also, this list is particularly useful if you have more than one child. I didn’t necessarily need all of these things last summer. And well, I’m a gal who likes to need and collect things, so I do not say that lightly.

I made my peace with the true fact that I am no longer able to toss a few gossip rags, a bottle of water, some sun block (who the hell has time to apply sun block anymore?), and a cheesy beach read into a cute straw beach bag, grab a chair and hit the beach. Those days are long gone. As they are for you. So here goes, kittens.

Topping the list, without a doubt, is the very thing that saved summer. If you are a regular beach-goer, then this item is a must have. Easily the best $80 or so I’ve ever spent. And once you own one, you will note that it is like a veritable convention of these surrounding your beach camp each and every time you go. And if you relish in shopping, as do I, then you will size up the cousins of this contraption and determine that your deluxe model, with it’s big wheels fit for pulling over sand with relative ease (for the husband, of course), was well worth the extra cash.

Behold the Wonder Wheeler Deluxe – in all of its plastic perfection and big wheeled glory.  It is the ultimate visual representation of parenthood, of dorkiness, the minivan of the beach, if you will. Being seen pulling or standing close to one of these tells the skinny bikini clad teens and young lovers around you that you gave up on being cool a long time ago. And as I went to dig up the link – don’t think my stomach didn’t turn upon realizing this life-saver of summer is now on sale for HALF PRICE. The rush I get from a great deal on a great item keeps me going for months, I almost want to buy them in bulk now and then sell them to others at the onset of Memorial Day 2010.  The only thing this summer champ can’t do is carry a baby – and don’t think I didn’t consider where a baby might be strapped in, similar to a baby bjorn, thereby freeing up both hands of one parent (the one clever enough not to be pulling or pushing the WWD).  I considered how the sturdier baby just might be fine sitting in the main basket. Trust me, desperate times call for desperate considerations.

So now that I’ve tipped you off on the ease of transporting all the gear, including chairs and the ever-important beach umbrella, to and from the beach, let’s now get into the actual gear.

Surviving two hours on the beach with two children under the age of 4 is no small feat.

Because DD2 was immobile way back in May, and in my naivete I presumed she would be immobile all summer long as was her sister, I purchased the covered tent for baby. As luck wouldn’t have it, she was crawling shortly after July 4 and so she maybe played and napped in the thing twice before she spent her next visit pushing her head up against the mesh netting that was zipped closed and them promptly began screaming bloody murder for someone to retrieve her. So – it worked well for DD1 and was a total waste for DD2, and as any self-respecting shopping lover would do, I lost the first tent from DD1. So we have this useless second one. IF she had stayed immobile, as I had planned, then it would have been a real asset to our beach-going experience.

Which brings us to our second question: how to keep the mobile baby distracted long enough not to eat a pound of sand each beach visit?

Enter the baby pool. You got it. We are big fans of the baby pool on the beach, steps from the ocean, filled with like 3 centimeters of water. I don’t think the baby pool will be useful for us next summer, but it was a life saver this summer and because DD2 would play in the pool with rubber ducks and whatever else she could find, DD1 was then interested in playing in the pool and ripping all the toys from DD2 hands (read: enabling some ‘relaxation’ time for us away from playing “let’s jump waves” in the ocean).  The baby pool gets ranked second for me after my beloved WWD.

In case you’ve lost track, you are now hauling several chairs, a baby pool, a baby tent, gobs of beach toys, towels, a cooler, snacks and a beach umbrella to the beach. If you are anything like me, you are wondering why in the hell you are even bothering.

Which brings me to the joys of applying sunscreen. I don’t know about your children but applying sunscreen to DD1 is like chasing around a chicken whose head was just cut off. As it turned out, the Coppertone Water Babies sunscreen in the form of roll-on, that she could apply herself (Miss “I’m three, I can do it by MYSELF”), eased my pain and misery. I can’t recommend this product enough if you don’t already have it or if your child hasn’t turned into the taz devil yet when trying to apply sunscreen.

And finally, let’s end with me. I still haven’t found that fabulous, stylish and practical beach cover-up.  Happy summer kittens, there isn’t much left to go.

 

Your Baby is Smarter than You August 16, 2009

Filed under: Preschool — Wired_Momma @ 6:22 pm

An op-ed in today’s New York Times got my attention, as its headline intended too: “Your Baby Is Smarter Than You Think.”

It immediately pissed me off. Now, as a general rule of thumb, I am typically walking around in public, sizing up adults or eavesdropping on conversations, and presuming (or knowing)  I am way smarter than that asshole right there. Be sure that when I see clips of the idiots screaming like their hair is on fire at these health care town hall meetings, I am pretty confident they aren’t smarter than I think.

But babies and preschoolers, come on. Who the f doesn’t think their kid is smart?

So in classic KT form, I continued to read it because I was fired up.

The beginning of the second paragraph had me questioning not just the author’s intelligence but the intelligence of the editors of the op-ed page of the NYT. We are told that new studies are showing that babies and toddlers observe and explore more than we previously thought.

How groundbreaking.

OK. Have these people ever spent any time with kids not in a lab rat experimental sense? Isn’t the intelligence, creativity, razor sharp memory and persistent exploration of babies and toddlers, what makes them so enriching, exasperating and fabulous to have around? Aren’t these qualities some of the very reasons many of us suckers go on to add to our brood?

So to any parent out there who actually needed to read this article to learn something –  like your baby is smart and can understand  cause and effect (which by the way those Baby Center weekly updates already tell you), or your toddler plays in creative ways while the way you learn is through following the rules – then I hope your kid turns out to be brighter than you.

Reading this entire piece was such an insult to any parent who actually pays attention to and plays with their child, rather than spending all their time shopping for Baby Einstein DVDs, that I still can’t believe it made its way into the Sunday NYT.  The lesson that babies and children are intelligent sponges who learn by playing is like – the most basic foundation of parenthood – right? Come on NYT op-ed page.

Honestly, for me, one of the biggest adjustments to parenthood came when DD1 had only a  few words but could understand what we were saying, what we were asking her to do, and the basic world around her. She continuously caught me by surprise and threw me when she would respond in such a way that she knew what I asked, showed me that she remembered something that happened months ago that my alcohol socked, sleep deprived, pathetic excuse of a memory had long forgotten, or showed me a more exciting use for a regular old household item.

Isn’t that parenthood? Not just a testament to my child’s superior intelligence, of course.

Anyhow, read the piece if you want too. I’d love to know if you thought it was as much of a waste of time as I did.

 

Doubt August 14, 2009

Filed under: Life with 2 kids,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 11:24 am

A therapeutic phone chat with a KT BFF earlier this week is prompting today’s post. I don’t know if misery loves company or if I always feel better just knowing that I’m not totally failing nor am I alone in my doubts, but it was just the sort of conversation I needed.

The thing is, I am typically a very confident person. I don’t really waiver on things or get all insecure. And we know I certainly loathe mommy guilt. I think it’s BS.

Don’t worry, I have gone all rogue George Bush on you, I’m not above an apology or admitting when I’m wrong. And I know how to pronounce simple words, like “nuclear.” Though it seems I yell these days more than I’d like too.

Anyhow, the continued growth and development of DD2 is a fabulous thing. She is 100% goofball, all smiles, and she is very active, crawling, cruising and working very hard to walk in an effort to keep up with her busy older sister. What this means, however, is that each day she becomes more time consuming.

And seeing as how there is only one of me and two of them for 10 hours a day, I am spread real thin. This is a phenomenon that is taking a lot of time for me to adjust too. It’s huge.

The thing about adjusting to life with two, is that it’s a long slow process, thank god. In those beginning months, the baby doesn’t do anything but sleep eat and poop, as we know. While those things are more time consuming than I had remembered them to be, they are basic and simple tasks, and generally we felt that DD1 had no real change in her life with the addition of a new baby sister. At first.

But then DD2 kept growing and getting more active and seeking more attention. And this is what leaves me riddled with doubt most of the time.

Before I quit working and spent my days at home, I imagined how my time would be spent. In reality, my time is split between shepherding between the needs of both girls, intercepting the breaking of fingers of the baby, cleaning up messes from art projects and cooking projects with DD1, tearing through the playrooom like a crazed maniac as DD2 heads for the very dangerous and small parts toys from DD1 things that I was just sorta hoping she wouldn’t notice even though I knew she would, and changing diapers and giving bottle feeds and other meals.

Etc etc.

My point – the amount of “quality” time where one of them is getting my attention is very limited. Like barely any of it. This is hard for me to get my head around. It leaves me wondering, could I be spending my extremely limited “down time” differently to give them more attention, especially DD2. It seems that she’s always just sort of hanging out. When she is playing, I figure she’s happy and she can play without my full attention (unlike DD1), so I leave her be. If I hear crying, I actually ignore it until it reaches some kind of fever pitch because I figure they are working it out.

Yes. An 8 month old is working it out. You’ve heard of that before, haven’t you?

Anyhow – I find myself stuck in a place that is new to me – this place of constantly second guessing myself and worrying that there isn’t enough of me to go around. Again, no guilt, just some difficulties in adjusting to life with two. A life that is never dull for one moment, that is for sure.

 

Paula & Hillary August 12, 2009

Filed under: Celebrities — Wired_Momma @ 11:22 am

Let’s take a minute to talk about two women in the news for two different and important reasons.

First – Paula Abdul. By now we all know that Paula quit her job with American Idol and it’s apparently over a dispute regarding her salary. If you believe the reports, she was earning $2 million a year to Ryan Seacrest’s $15 million or Simon Cowell’s $38 million. Setting aside how absurd these annual salaries are, can you blame her? Sure, we can understand why Simon Cowell makes more, he is the creator of the show. But why is someone like Ryan Seacrest making so much more than Paula?

This strikes me as another example of women being grossly underpaid against men and this woman is taking a stand. Now, perhaps she was hoping the producers of the show would counter-offer with a more similarly priced salary as say Ryan, and it doesn’t seem that is happening – but still – I think what Paula is doing is important and hopefully inspiring other women to ask for more.

Now, let’s not forget that I am moderately annoyed and beyond surprised that I am blogging about Paula Abdul as a female role-model, but then again, some of my favorite things come from the grocery store, so who am I anymore?

Moving on.

Hillary.

I’m sure you’ve all seen her outburst yesterday in Congo over someone in the audience asking her for her husband’s opinion. Sure, everyone says now that student meant to ask what President Obama thinks. Sure Hillary totally pounced on the dude. But now she is being vilified in the press. It’s like this woman can’t get a break – and I generally don’t even really care for her. Would the media pay an ounce of attention to the press if a man responded this way if he thought someone was asking what his high profile wife thought? I don’t think so. He would seem confident and in command for reprimanding someone and putting them back in their place.

Yet Hillary seems emotional and “tired” from her trip. Some pundits are making excuses for her.

Come on. She reacted. She is human. She is the secretary of state and ought to react if someone is seemingly putting her down. I mean, didn’t the Koreans call her a “funny woman” and a “school girl” just like two weeks ago.  The press coverage of her is incredibly chauvinistic and it’s a shame her reaction is over-shadowing her presence in Congo, a country where over 200,000 women and children have been raped in a few months, the most dangerous place on earth for women. That is the real story here people.

 

The KT List August 11, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 1:24 am

I figured, Oprah does it, so why can’t I? So today, you are gonna get the inaugural KT “My Favorite Things” List.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I seized on the opportunity to go to the grocery store without my two children. It’s amazing how quickly and efficiently you can tear through a grocery store when you’re up against the great baby-preschooler clock….it’s like I can hear the hands tick-tocking at full blast in my head as I bolt through the aisles hoping for the best. But see, at least they keep me straight, DD1 and DD2. When they are along, if it ain’t on the list, it ain’t in the cart. There’s no dawdling in grocery shopping with children.

So, on these rare and wonderful opportunities to peruse the grocery store solo (and also noteworthy, I was headed to a very well-stocked and brand new grocery store by my mom’s house. Apparently I live in communist Russia circa 1982 because the Safeway by my house is so sparse, I’m in shock when I can even find a packet of frozen chicken, let alone a package of diapers) – I found some of the leading contenders in the KT list.

Now – before we go any further – let’s review some of the sad and pathetic realities of my inaugural KT list.

One – I have made it clear that I ENJOY going to the grocery store (without children). PC (pre-children), I loathed going to the grocery store. Now, I don’t really think about it, except when I’m cursing and banging my cart around my communist safeway (truthfully, i don’t go there – it’s gross. only DH gets sent there when we are low on something stupid. otherwise I just go to Whole Foods. It’s not dirty. And the flowers are pretty. Like me. Plus most Targets have groceries now thus my bi-monthly $400 benders).

Two – the items I am most excited about on my very own hot list – are from the GROCERY STORE.

Not a cool store.

Or a boutique.

Or Europe.

Or even freaking Macys.

But the GROCERY STORE.

Pathetic?

Yes.

Efficient and realistic?

Yes.

So let’s get started.

The new John Frieda Root Awakening Shampoo and Conditioner has changed my life. When I am done blow drying my hair after a shampoo with it, I look like I’ve just stepped out of the salon. Not to mention how fabulous my hair smells. I swear, when I step out of the bathroom, there is a fan blowing my hair just perfectly off my face and I can hear a gasp of pleasure from the crowd.

I actually look forward to showering so that I can use it and smell it and be oh-so-pretty. C’est vrai. Even in this 100 degree heat, for a few minutes, before I am lapping the house after a child or I step outside for one second, my hair looks good.

My other fav grocery store item – Nivea’s Touch of Happiness body wash. It might even make me happy. Seriously. Love it. I love it so much, that in anticipation of the communist regime here in Maryland, I swooped the last two off the shelves the other day at Target, figuring I’d never see it again.

I love to shower.  I smell pretty.

Now – for a non-hygienic tip – ummm….the move Julie & Julia. Shame on you if you haven’t seen it yet. Clearly if you haven’t seen this movie then you don’t love the following things:

France

Butter

Food

Super fun Valentine’s Parties

Did I mention food?

Seriously – the movie had me on a high for like an entire day and I can’t wait to see it again.

And while we are on the subject of media, I am obsessed with Discovery Health’s “I didn’t know I was pregnant“. It airs on Tuesday nights at 9pm, I think. And I really can’t look away. Are these women seriously in that much denial? Is it really possible to be in labor and NOT notice you were pregnant?  Can you really be that stupid or is denial really that powerful? Whatever the case may be, it is so incredulous, this show, that I really can’t get enough of it. Tune it. Tuesday nights are lame anyway.

After spending much of the summer at the beach, I would love to be writing about my new favorite beach cover-up that suits the needs of a busy mom on the beach – a mom who might have a few curves, shall we say, a mom who wants to look stylish and hip but is wearing something practical (and I might add, without long sleeves because unlike most beach cover-up makers, I tend to go to beaches were it’s, umm, hot out) – but I still have yet to find said beach cover-up. I keep looking and looking. This cover-up will make it to the top of my list when I find her. I have to believe she is out there.

I thought about writing about some of my favorite things for DD1 and DD2. But let’s keep this about me, shall we?

Tune in again kittens. This won’t be my first and last KT List.