I Just Want to Enjoy a Movie!

   I just want to watch a movie. Period. Plain and simple. I wish. Perhaps I should clarify by saying I just want to enjoy a movie. That is actually the task at hand that is turning into mission impossible these days. Because of my nutso schedule, the only nights I can stay up to do this are Friday and Saturday. Wouldn’t you know those are the nights my daughter wants to party likes its 1999. Ironically, the movie I have been wanting to watch is “Little Fockers”. We’ll just leave it at that, you can make your own jokes. The last time my husband and I actually went to the movies we tried to watch it, but it sold out while we were in line. Figures. (That will tell you just how many times we get out to the movies these days)

  So for the past two Friday and Saturday nights, I’ve dreamed of just sitting on my couch with my husband, enjoying a movie and some snacks. Instead, we’ve been battling with my daughter to go to sleep. During the week, she’s down at a reasonable hour. The trouble is, so am I! We’ve filled her with food, locked up all the toys, and even laid her on the couch to make her relax. Sounds pretty good, right? Wrong. She climbs up and down the couch, bouncing back and forth between my husband and I non-stop. I’ve even taken her downstairs and tried some old school tactics like rocking in the chair. When that doesn’t work, the hard-core tactics take effect which include putting her in the crib and letting her cry. That last time until I get so frustrated, I called my husband in for back-up. I yell, he tells me to calm down, he takes over. She eventually falls asleep and so do I. By this time it’s 11:00 and the last thing I want to do is watch a movie. Forget about enjoying anything.
  My husband asks why we just can’t put the movie on while she’s up. Really? Have you met our daughter? Have you just not witnessed what has happened over the past two hours? Like I said, I could easily watch a movie. But, I want to enjoy a movie. It seems like I’d have better luck winning the lotto these days. Movie? Lotto? Odds are looking pretty slim for both!                    

Front Seat Rider

   I really thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Nope, I did see a woman holding a baby in the front seat of a minivan while approaching the toll booth to go over the George Washington Bridge. There was tons of traffic. People switching lanes everywhere, horns beeping, hand gestures flying. In the middle of all this chaos, that little baby unprotected in the front seat of that minivan.  In fact, everyone in the SUV along with me saw it too and had the same reaction I did. What was she thinking?
   When you become a parent, you take on a major responsibility whether you want it or not, and whether you’re ready for it or not. You are now responsible for another life. Period. That means it’s your job to protect that little person and be there for them in every way that you can. In my opinion, protecting them is not putting them in the front seat of your minvan with no seatbelt and no protection.
   We all know kids are supposed to ride in the backseat (or atleast most of us know that). The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends children stay rear facing in the back seat of the car until they’re two or until they’ve met the height or weight requirements of the car seat. Many states also have laws. Interestingly enough, I went to look up the laws in New Jersey, which is where we were when we witnessed this front seat ride that almost made me have a heart attack. Wouldn’t you know, New Jersey, like many states, requires kids up to age 8 or 80 pounds ride in the back, unless the car has no rear seat. Trust me there was plenty of rear seats in that minivan.
   I would love to know what that woman was thinking. She was no spring chicken, so I would assume she was familiar with the law, or atleast with common sense. Was she the mom? Did she bring the baby in the front because he or she was crying, hungry, lonely, what? Couldn’t have she just gone in the back with the baby? Why didn’t the driver say something? I don’t know. I’ll never know. What I do know is that I said a little prayer for that baby. I hope that minivan got to its destination safely so that little baby wasn’t the victim of someone’s stupidity.

Hey, Your Baby Can Read… Really?

   Okay, I’m coming clean. I became so mesmerized with the “Your Baby Can Read” commercial that I actually ordered the reading system that promises to help your child learn to read. But, it wasn’t just the commercial that made me run to jot down the number and grab my phone and MasterCard. During my daughter’s last well visit, the pediatrician asked how many words were in her vocabulary. My husband and I looked at each other, trying not to laugh. Vocabulary? Um, she was 15 months at the time. She doesn’t really have a vocabulary. Then it got me thinking. Is she behind? Is she a slow learner? What’s the deal? Maybe I need some help.
   We read together constantly and she really seems to enjoy it. So, I thought “Your Baby Can Read” would be the perfect next step to help move things along. In case you’re not familiar, the set comes with several DVDs, books, and flashcards all aimed at teaching words and promoting reading. I guess you’re supposed to start when the kids are younger, but the guy over the phone said it was o-k if I started now, and gullible me said o-k.
   I should have known something was up when I called and they said the $14.95 price advertised was just for the 30 day trial. If I decided to keep it, they were going to charge my credit card three monthly payments of 60-something-dollars. Again, I said o-k. I really believed this was the key to my child becoming the next Einstein.
So, the huge box arrives. There were so many DVDs and books, it looked like I robbed the library. I started reading the parents’ instructions and off we were with the the first DVD.
   Problem one…I couldn’t get my daughter to sit still to watch two minutes of the dumb DVD. So, I watched it and thought how does this stuff really work? Hmmm. Next were the flashcards. Attention span…5 minutes. We tried this routine for the next four days. Then, I finally decided I’m wasting my time and hers. She’s not buying this, and now I’m not either. (At least she’s the smart one!).
   When I called the company to get information to return it, the rep asked me if I wanted more time. I said no, my daughter is clearly not interested in it. She won’t sit and watch the DVDs. Then the lady said, “Well, are you watching them with her?” Really lady? I bit my tongue and simply said yes, but told her I still wanted to return the stuff.
   Days after sending it back, I heard on the news that the FTC is questioning the company’s reading promises and has filed a complaint claiming “Your Baby Can Read” uses deceptive advertising. I could have told you that one. My baby may not be able to read yet, but she sure knows a scam when she sees one.
Just curious, has anyone had success with this program?

Finding Mom-ME-Time

    Every expectant mother hears it…”just wait until that baby comes, your life is going to change, forget about having any time for yourself.” Yes, your life does change. Yes, your free time is severely restricted, but does it mean you have absolutely NO time for yourself and your previous passions in life? It doesn’t have to, but a lot of times it ends up that way. You just have to learn how to put the “me” back in mommy.
   First let’s clarify..”Me” time is not doing the dishes or tidying up the house. At times, that’s what it ends up being. “Me” time is reading a book, catching up on a hobby, meeting up with friends….whatever make you happy.

   I will be the first to admit, when my daughter was first born I longed to get out by myself, but once I was out, I turned into a guilty worry wart. I constantly wondered what she was doing, if she was crying, if she was eating, if she missed me. Truth be told, most times she could care less! Yes she was fed, yes she cried a bit, but many times she didn’t even realize I was gone!
  She wasn’t taking my mom-ME-time away, I was, along with the help of my crazy runaway train of thoughts and guilt. Taking a trip to the store, or the gym, or even, wait for it…a trip to the spa ( I know craziness) is not going to ruin your child’s life or make you the worst mother of the year. It’s taken me nearly two years to realize that, but I’ve finally seen the light. I’ve also learned that if you have people you can ask to babysit or if your spouse or someone else offers to take care of your child so you can get some “me” time, take them up on it! There’s gonna be a day when no one will offer! Don’t get me wrong, I do still feel a tinge of guilt when I leave her to do my thing, but once I’m out I’m now able to enjoy myself. I also find when I get back I am refreshed and in turn feel like I can a better mother because I’m not so stressed out and am not acting like such a female dog, if you know what I mean.
  It seems like men have no problem finding “me” time. Maybe I’m wrong, but if they want to go out and do something, they just do it. They don’t seem to feel guilty. Maybe we all need to take a page out of their book.
 Now…time to go make that manicure appointment!