One of These Things is Not Like the Other

  Babies R Us, Motherhood Maternity, Target…those have really been the extent of my shopping experiences over the last few months while I’ve been pregnant. Throw in a random trip to J.C. Penney and Macy’s and that just about covers it. Most of it has been to buy practical things…some new maternity shirts, gifts, clothes for my daughter, and some necessities for the new arrival. I haven’t really bought anything for myself because I figure what’s the point in buying new clothes when I don’t know what post-baby has in store for me.
   But, my good friends at Victoria’s Secret (actually we’re not really good friends, more like acquaintances, but I digress) sent me some coupons in the mail. Some were for percentages off your purchase when you spend a certain amount. But there was one for a free pair of underwear. There’s not a lot that’s free in the world and my motto has always been if it’s free, it’s for me. So I decided to cash in on my coupon. I took my daughter on a nice little stroller ride through the mall and stopped in Victoria’s Secret. Well, I’m surprised an alarm didn’t go off when I stepped foot inside. Let’s just say with my bulging pregnant belly and bouncing two-year-old in the stroller, I didn’t exactly blend in. To my right were some women checking out the latest lingerie…they needed to eat a twinkie. To my left in the “Pink” section were a bunch of teenie bopper girls wondering what sweatpants to buy. It is apparently very important which word is on your butt, silly me.
So I waddled over to the table to get my free grub when a bubbly girl asked if I needed help. I’m surprised she didn’t ask me if I was lost or if I needed directions. I told her I was just picking out my free underwear. She did point me in the right direction and then asked if she could help me with anything else. I looked at her, looked at my belly, looked at her again and politely said no. When she realized she wasn’t going to make a dime off of me, she slowly strolled away.
   As I rummaged through the table, I realized that some things have changed since I had been here last…mainly the sizes. I think the size small could have fit my two-year-old. What grown woman could fit into those? I have wash clothes bigger than those underwear. Obviously, I was starting to feel like getting the free pair of underwear just wasn’t worth it. But, I kinda already felt like I committed, so I figured I might as well follow through. So, I sifted through to sadly determine my “new mommy” size and get to the register. Once I got there, the Barbie behind the counter asked me why I wasn’t using my other coupons. For the love of Pete, just give me my free underwear and let me get out of here! I pointed to my belly and told her it just wasn’t practical right now. I got an “oh”. Yeah, “oh” is right. So, she wrapped up my non-purchase and I was on my way. I dodged my way through the dental floss undies and super padded push-up bras. Luckily, my daughter was too obsessed with her cheerios the whole time and didn’t say much. I just couldn’t wait to get out of there. I was feeling kinda dumb being in there, but they did send me a coupon. And if you know me, I haven’t met a coupon I didn’t like. Maybe they need to add a line of fine print on the bottom of the coupon that says, “pregos steer clear, if you come in, you’ll find one of these things is clearly not like the other.”

Three’s a Crowd

  You’ve heard the saying….two’s company, three’s a crowd…well nothing can be more true when it comes to sleeping and kids. I have to admit up front that I am really against letting kids sleep in their parents’ bed. Call me mean, but the only time I think it’s o-k is when they’re sick, because who doesn’t need a little extra TLC when they’re feeling icky? I just think once they get used to sleeping with you and your spouse on a regular basis, they are going to think that’s the norm. Sorry to say it’s not. I am coming to painfully realize that breaking bad habits isn’t easy, especially with kids. So why start another one?
  With that said, I think you can guess that my daughter has taken up sleeping with mommy and daddy on a semi-regular basis. This is her M-O….we put her in her bed. She’ll sleep there for a few hours, wake-up, and call for one of us. When no one comes to her rescue, she takes it upon herself to get out of her toddler bed and come into our room. (Boy do I miss the crib days) Although the bed is too high for her, she scales it like Mount Everest, finds her spot between us and snuggles in for the rest of the night. She falls asleep instantly, which tells me she didn’t have any real problem while in her bed. She wasn’t wet, hungry, or sick. She apparently just wanted some company. If you try to take her out and put her back in her bed, holy hell breaks loose. There is screaming, arms flying, feet stomping….all at 2 or 3 in the morning. Lovely. Sometimes we try to be hard with her and keep her in her bed, other times, sleepiness wins, and we fold like Gumby. I know, I know, we’re not helping the situation, but sometimes you just gotta sleep!
  Some people tell me it’s just a phase she’s going through because we are expecting baby number two very soon. Parents who have lived through this hell, say she knows someone else is coming and doesn’t want to feel left out. Lord only knows what’s down the road when the baby actually gets here and is in our room (in his or her bassinet mind you) for awhile. They all tell me she will grow out of it. When? Others say she could be afraid of the dark. But she has a really nice night light and has never been afraid of the dark before. Maybe she’s having nightmares, who knows? She used to love sleeping in her big girl bed…alone…every night….for awhile now. I would really love if she could communicate what the problem is when we ask. But we’re not up to that point yet. Does anyone have any suggestions to get her back in her own bed or do we just have to suck it up for awhile?

SpongeBob Bashing…Right or Wrong?

  Everyone knows just how popular SpongeBob SquarePants is with kids. But, now some researchers say you shouldn’t let your four-year-old watch the show. In case you haven’t heard, researchers  found that four-year-olds who watched just nine minutes of the show displayed short-term attention and learning problems. But, their findings are the results of tests of only 60 kids. They compared their results to kids who watched the slower-paced kids’ cartoon “Caillou” and to kids who were told to draw pictures. Kids who watched that cartoon or drew pictures did better on the mental tests than the SpongeBob group. Nickolodeon says SpongeBob is not geared toward four –year-olds, rather it’s for 6 to 11 year olds.
   Whatever the case, I think we all know there are plenty of four-year-olds who watch SpongeBob. I know a lot of parents who let their kids watch the show and their kids are just fine. I think that’s one of the many reasons I have a big issue with this study. First of all, you’re only sampling 60 kids. I’ve never conducted a study, but that seems like a very small part of the population to base your findings. I would be curious to know if the kids tested watched SpongeBob before. If so, for how long? What other shows do they watch? How frequently do they watch them? There are so many questions, yet so few answers.
   In my house, we’re not into SpongeBob (yet). But, would I turn it off if my daughter was interested in it? Not based on this study, that’s for sure. Maybe I would just let her watch it for eight minutes and see what happens (ha ha). Sure, SpongeBob pops up on the TV every now and again, but she’s just not into it. However, we do watch “Caillou” once in awhile. She seems to get bored with the poor kid (maybe he’s too slow, maybe the researchers need to test that one out). Seeing the popularity and success SpongeBob has had, I don’t think the millions of kids who have been watching him for more than nine minutes of their lives have attention problems. Just look at the booming business SpongeBob has become. His porous face is everywhere. They wouldn’t keep making the stuff if people weren’t buying it. I think researchers need to get out of the pineapple house on this one, relax, and grab a Krabby Patty.

My Least Favorite Word

   Do you want waffles for breakfast? No. Do you want to put your clothes on? No. Do you want to go shopping? No. Have you guessed what my least favorite word is these days? Yes, it’s no. I have come to despite one of the most common words in the English language. Why? Because that is all I hear these days.
   Is it just a coincidence that my daughter has turned two and this has become her most spoken word (in addition to hi and ma, which she yells out like Stewy on Family Guy, which has also become annoying)? I’m sure (or at least I think) it all fits in perfectly with her becoming her own little person and forming her own little attitude. I just wish I didn’t have to suffer in the process.
  My favorite use of the word “no” is when she repeats it like she’s a CD skipping. Add a little whining in with it and you have the perfect recipe for a migraine headache with boiling blood pressure. Bake at 350 and presto…a good combo for a woman who is about to give birth in less than a month. It’s like she knows exactly what buttons to press when she starts belting out the word. If I’m lucky, after all the no’s I get a little feet stomping and on a real good day, she’ll start to lay down on the floor. I know you’re jealous. Sometimes I try to ignore it, sometimes I yell, sometimes I try to rationalize with her (ha ha). No matter what I do, the answer is still no. Sometimes I even start repeating the word in her face. That doesn’t seem to have the same effect on her as it does on me.
   I tell myself, I can’t wait for her to master the word “yes”. Although she’ll probably use it when she wants to say no anyway. Either way, I’m kinda stuck. A lot of people have told me this kind of thing happens when kids learn how to talk. Is there anyway to stop them? I think you know the answer…no.