Too Much Growing Up Going On

We all know kids grow up fast, yada yada yada. Of course there are the physical signs of pants getting shorter, shirts getting tighter and feet getting squished into sneakers like sausages, but it’s the other ones that really get you. I’m talking about signs of maturity that signal your babies are not babies anymore. The ones that maybe, just maybe, start to indicate they don’t need you as much as they once did. These are the ones that get a momma right in the gut.

My almost five-year-old daughter decided it would be cool to lay three of these little signals on me all in one day. Last week when it was time for her and her sister’s bath, you know, they one we’ve been taking religiously since she was born. The bath where they play with little rubber duckies and splash each other until there’s more water on the floor than in the tub. Yeah, that one. Well, out of the blue, my daughter asks me if she can take a shower instead. What? A shower? Grown-ups take showers, not my little babies! I just looked at her and asked why she wanted to do that. “Because I do.” That’s always a great answer. Before I could respond, little sister chimes in with a “me too”. Oh no, I’m out numbered, yet again. I stop and stare at them and ask why again. The litany of “please moms” start. Ahh!

I know, you’re probably asking what’s so wrong about letting them take a shower? Nothing at face value. But to me, it’s just shows they are growing up. They don’t need mom to scrub them down. It’s one more thing they can do on their one. It’s one more apron string that needs to be cut. Yeah for independence. So, I let them take their little shower, with some supervising to make sure they were actually getting clean. Of course they loved it. Afterwards, my daughter declares, “I’m not taking a bath anymore. I take showers now.” I know little sister is going along for the ride too. Ugh. I think a piece of my heart broke a little.

If that whole scenario wasn’t bad enough, later that night my daughter tells me she wants to sleepover her grandmother’s house. What? This coming from a child who hates sleepovers? Are you feeling alright? Stop growing already, will ya? The whole idea was born when I told her grandma was coming over to watch her and her sister the following night, the night after the first shower that was oh so wonderful. My daughter went on to tell me grandma would not be coming over; she and her sister were going to sleep over there instead. Of course I get a little “me too” in the background. I swear they’re like Thelma & Louise. Anyway, she told me to call daddy and grandma to check. With the joint “yes”, another little piece of my heart fell. What the heck is going on here? Where have my babies gone?

After declaring showers and sleepovers for all, my daughter also did something else that hasn’t been seen in my house for a very, very, very long time. She decided that would be a good night to sleep in her bed all night. When I woke up at 5:30 to go to the gym and released there was no wall between me and my husband, I panicked for a minute. Where was she? I got up and tiptoed down the hallway, took a peak in her room and saw her sound asleep. I hung around the doorway until I saw her back moving. Just needed to make sure, you know what I mean? Once I saw she was fine, I tiptoed back in disbelief.  Not too much love loss here on the growing up scale, but still it was the third blow to my momminess in less than 24 hours. This girl is relentless.

So, it’s been a week. We’ve successfully slept over grandma’s house, taken only showers, and slept in our own bed for a few nights (I still got her on this one!). I know these are only footprints on the path to growing up, but they don’t hurt any less. It’s great to see them grow, but sad at the same time. I’d like to keep my girls babies forever, minus the diapers and midnight feedings of course! Sigh.


The First of Many Graduations

It may sound cliché, but time passes so quickly. That’s especially true once you start having kids. One day turns into one week, into one month, into one year which crashes into the next, creating a domino effect that has you shaking your head wondering where all the time has gone.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately because my daughter graduates from pre-school this week. I know to some people it may seem so insignificant considering all of the other graduations and milestones that are yet to come, but to me, it’s a big deal. It signifies the fact that she is really growing up and I really can’t believe it.

I can remember the day she was born more clearly than what I ate for dinner last night. I can re-tell her delivery story up to the detail of what was on the television in the room at the time. I can remember her jet black hair (which has turned twenty shades lighter since then) and trying to figure out who she looked like more.

I remember her first ride in the car and how I thought I would never be able to drive around with her because I would have to be staring at her constantly. Yeah, I got over that one! I remember how I felt leaving her for the first time when I had to go back to work and how much I cried. Fast forward a few years to her first day of pre-school and how she felt when she had to leave me and how much she cried. Now, she hardly stops to give me a quick hug and kiss before settling into the classroom. It’s funny how time changes so much.

I’ve just been thinking about what the beginning of “big girl” school really means…for both of us. I think it’s going to be harder for me, lol! We all know kids are pretty resilient. It’s us parents who need to grow a thicker skin. There’s so much more to worry about once kids get to “big girl” school.  Truly, I don’t think I’m ready for Kindergarten! I just want to bottle her up and keep her tiny forever. I know she has to grow-up. But, it sucks.

To make matters worse, her Kindergarten orientation is scheduled a few hours after her graduation. Talk about hittin’ a momma hard. I’m gonna be one Lifetime movie away from a total crying fest. I’m sure it’s nothing some adult beverages can’t fix!

Growing up is hard to do…especially for parents. You just want to stop the clock. But, you can’t.  You just have to hit the “play” button without accidentally tapping “fast forward”.






Should Little Girls Wear Make-Up?

Before you read this post, I should warn you…I have a real thing about kids growing up too fast. I hate it. I don’t like the fact that so many kids seem to have better phones than I do. I don’t like the fact that many have girlfriends and boyfriends before puberty. As the mother of two little girls, ages two and four, I especially despise the fact that a lot of little girls wear make-up.

I know a lot of people out there think it’s really cute to put some eyes shadow and lip gloss on their little ones. Can I ask why? Aren’t they cute enough without it?

I’ll admit, as an adult I wear make-up. But, anyone who knows me can vouch for the fact that I’m not big on it. I really don’t know why I wear it. I guess because I want to? Truth be told, many days I don’t wear any at all. But still, I’ve had my girls come over and reach for a make-up brush out of my bag because they want to be like mommy. I grab it right out of their hands.

“But Mommy, I want to be beautiful,” whines my four-year-old.

“You already are. You don’t need it, ” I reply.

It’s sad that a girl that young thinks she needs make-up to be beautiful. Sometimes I blame myself. Should I not wear make-up? Should I just let her try some anyway? What’s a mom to do?

My daughter takes dance lessons and recently saw a lot of girls in her school all made up for their pictures. This was my first experience with the whole dance thing. I was never a dancer as a I child. Shocker, I know. I’m not a “dance mom” in the stereotypical sense and neither are a lot of the other women there. But, I guess in the “dance culture” this is what happens. Eye shadow, mascara, glitter, fake eyelashes, and lip stick are more the norm than the exception. Hmmm. My daughter did notice all the glitz and glamour, but did not once ask me if she could have some or why she didn’t in the first place. Score one for me, I guess. I suppose there’s no harm in getting all “made up” for these special occasions, but I’m still not 100% convinced. I just don’t see who benefits from it all.

Maybe I’m just a Debbie Gibson living in a Lady Gaga world hoping they still made “Electric Youth” perfume. I don’t know. I do know that I’m definitely starting to believe that raising girls is harder than raising boys! I also know that we need to start teaching little girls that make-up doesn’t make you beautiful. Having a good heart and being a good person is where true beauty lies. So, how do I convince everyone else? I guess I’ll have to take it one Cover Girl at a time.




I Love Mommy!

Okay, so there are a few first words and phrases that can get a parent a little misty. “I love (fill in the blank of said parent) is one of them. Last week, my little one said “I love Mommy” for the first time. It would have been fantastic on any given day, but she decided to say it on a day that really sucked for me. I didn’t expect her to say it then because I’ve been trying to get her to say “I love you” for weeks now and get “I…u”. Love just seems to be a hard word for little kids to get out. But, at that particular moment she managed to get it out. She’s only said it one more time since then, but I don’t care. She said it and that’s all that counts.

I’m sharing this not only because it was great, but because I think it’s funny how kids know what you need at just the right time without knowing it. Does that make any sense? See, I was a good mommy all day long on the day I got my first “I love Mommy”, but was highly aggravated under the surface and tried not to let it show. It was just a domino effect of crappy things that made me want to drink a bottle of wine at the end of the day, although I didn’t. So, hearing those three little words really meant the world to me that day. I clapped and cried, of course. My daughter knew she did something good that night because we were all excited, but she still has no idea just how much it meant.

I think kids have a sixth sense on these type of things because it’s not the first time this has happened. There’s been other times when my older daughter has said or done something just when I needed it. Of course she didn’t know it at the time. That’s what  made it all the more special. We always hear about a mother’s intuition, but I truly think kids have it too. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Here We Grow Again

   Capri pants in winter? No, it’s just what it looks like these days since my two-and-a-half-year-old had some kind of growth spurt. Some of her shirts also look like she has the 3/4 length sleeve thing going on too, but she doesn’t. Mom just hasn’t been able to keep up. As for the nearly four month old, she’s also starting to bust out of her clothes. I know when it’s time to retire a onesie when I can’t get her head to squeeze through the hole and when she gives me that look like “mom, you ‘re seriously going to try to pour me into this outfit?” Yeah, I know, they’re growing.

  It’s not just the clothes. It just seems like lately there is so much more “growing on” in my house. The baby just started to roll over. She was on the verge for days last week. She was trying and pushing but always got stuck on the last hurdle. Then one day my mom came over and that’s when the baby decided to roll over during the two minutes I went to the bathroom. Seriously? Yep, just can’t make this stuff up. I know kids have the worst timing, but come on, give a momma a break! Then there’s the issue of her bassinet and her one-way ticket to her new room.Okay, who are we kidding, we all know it’s round trip! I knew the transition to her crib was coming. It was pretty obvious when one morning I woke up and she turned herself horizontally and had her legs rested up on the side like she was lounging at Club Med. So, this week (or maybe next), the big move down the hall begins. It’s just another sign she’s growing up.

   My little spunky now two-and-a-half year old surprises me everyday. She’s busting out new words all the time. I wonder if she’s reading the encyclopedia before bedtime. Wait, we don’t have any encyclopedias! I’ve also noticed she’s much more of a sponge than she was before. She remembers every little thing. Nothing is getting past her. Now, we’re also at the point where we have to watch our mouths. I’m afraid one day she’s just going to start singing a litany of profanities she’s heard throughout her little life. Oops! Mommy and Daddy can have a potty mouth at times!

   There’s also the issue of pre-school. I’m excited for her to go and explore new things and meet new friends, but that just means she’s growing up. A letter came the other day for an open house for the pre-school we’re thinking of sending her to in the fall. As I was opening it, I got a little sad to think that we are inching towards that point. Don’t even come talk to me when she goes to Kindergarten. Although by that point with the two of them, I may be ready for it too!

   I know it’s cliche, but kids really do grow up so fast, which means we are also getting older. Ugh. I looked in the mirror the other day and thought to myself, wow, I’m “X” years old and I have two kids, and all the responsibilities that go along with my mortgage coupon book. When did that happen? What happened to that girl who could go out every night of the week and still get up for her 8 a.m. class? She’s still here. She’s just taken on some new hobbies like watching her children grow.

Potty Training is Going Down the Toilet

   I never thought getting someone to do their business in the potty would be hard. I always heard how difficult potty training can be but I always thought parents were exaggerating. Nope, they weren’t. It’s hard, yep, and frustrating might I add. My master plan was to have my two and a half year old potty trained by Christmas. Go ahead and laugh. Santa Claus has left the building and we are not potty trained.

  My daughter actually did her first deed in the potty months ago at her grandmother’s house. I remember my husband called me at work and told me. I actually was sad that I missed this “first”. It may sound silly, but it was a milestone to me and I missed it, but I digress. I thought after that it would only be a few short weeks before we ditched the Pampers. I was wrong. During the weeks and months following, she has made progress. But, we are still mainly on diaper duty. She does go on her “princess potty” on occasion. The thing plays music after you go, which she seems to love. I’ve told her to tell mommy before you have to go pee pee or poo poo. She tells me after the fact. Baby steps, I guess.

  In my quest to have just one child in diapers in 2012, I’ve followed the advice of so many potty training warriors before me and invested in Pull Ups. Our pediatrician told us they really don’t work, but I bought them anyway. My daughter already knew how to pull up her pants before I introduced her to this marvelous creation. When I first showed them to her, she was probably thinking, “duh, mommy, I’m not stupid, I mastered this awhile ago.” We’ve been doing the Pull Up thing since October and we are still on the local train to becoming potty trained. There are days when the potty is her buddy, and other days when it is public enemy number one. Did I think she would magically put on a Pull Up and decide to go in the potty each and every time? No. But, I did think it would speed up the process more than it has. I know they are supposed to make kids feel like they have real underwear on as they pull them up and down, but what other purpose do they serve? So,yes, sorry to say,Pull Ups have let me down. I just don’t get how they help a kid get potty trained.

   So, what’s next? I’ve decided to go hardcore. That means introducing her to”big girl” underpants. I’ve actually started it today because I knew we were going to be home for the duration. I put on some old pants, and am keeping her away from the couch and my new ottoman as much as I can.Crazy? Maybe. Messy?Definitely. I’ve already cleaned up one puddle. But, a mom’s got to do, what a mom’s got to do. Hopefully by experiencing what it really feels like to wet yourself, the potty will really become her BFF. Hopefully.

Can I Have Your Attention Please?

   Mom…mom…mom…mommy…momeee!!!! How many times have you heard that today? Fifty, maybe one-hundred times? In case you didn’t know it’s the sound of your child wanting your attention. I’ve always known kids need and want attention, but I’ve never realized how much until I had my second child. One cries, then the other. Sometimes if I’m lucky, they’ll both do it at the same time. That’s what I call the symphony. Let me tell you, it’s no Mozart or Beethoven!
   Let’s start off with the baby. She cries out for attention, literally, when she needs to be fed, changed, or has some other kind of problem. The good thing is her needs can usually be met rather quickly. I can say pretty confidently that when she needs attention, she gets it, is satisfied and moves on. Once she’s full and fed she can just chill for awhile.The same can not be said for my two-year-old. She needs a little more TLC. Before the baby came along, she kind of did her own thing. But now, things are a little more complicated and just plain old exhausting. Instead of crying out to get her needs met, she can actually tell me what she needs for the most part. If she’s hungry, she says, “Mom, I want yums.” If she needs to go to the bathroom or get changed she says, ” Mommy, pee pee.” Those needs are easy to meet. It’s when she starts whining “Mommy” and grabbing my leg like a dog in heat that things get dicey. Ever since the baby came along, she wants to be held more, played with more, and just simply be around me more. Sometimes that’s not so easy. I know it’s normal, but sometimes it drives me totally nuts!! I know that comment won’t win me mom of the year, but it’s the truth and I know a lot of other moms who can relate. Of course I want to hold her, play with her, and talk to her as much as I can, but now there is another little person who also needs me. Sometimes I wish I could just clone myself (and if I could I would also clone a version of myself who only had to worry about house chores…but that’s a subject for another blog). Sometimes I feel like there really needs to be two of me to deal with both kids and all that goes along with it. But, I don’t think my husband could deal with another me!
   As much as I try to split my attention evenly, it seems inevitable that one child gets more attention than the other on any given day. But, who needs more attention? It’s funny, some people I talk to say the baby because it’s more important to bond with her as much as possible. Others tell me the two-year-old because she’s used to having me around and needs to know I am still here for her. The proverbial “they” say if she’s acting out, she must really, really need me, so I should go to her. Talk about confusing! It feels like no matter who I choose, someone is going to be mad.
   I will say it’s somewhat comforting to know that I’m not in this alone. We’ve talked to a lot of friends who have little babies and a two or three year old at home, and they are going through the same thing. In fact, some of their situations are even worse! Yes, I will admit it make me feel better to know my child is not the only one who grows devil horns every once and awhile. I guess it’s all a part of the growing pains (unfortunately, without Kirk Cameron or Tracy Gold, that’s a reference for all you 80’s fans!), and let me tell you these growing pains hurt and there are no commercial breaks! What else is in store for me? Guess, I’ll just have to stay tuned.

Marking Milestones

   Graduations, weddings..they’re among the milestones that parents cry and sigh over. I know those are way down the road for me, but there are some little milestones happening right now that are already getting me a little misty. My daughter just turned two and she’s doing so many things on her own now. I know, I know, it’s part of life, but I don’t want to see her grow up! Parents who have already gone through these things can relate I’m sure.

   Before I became a mom, I used to roll my eyes when I heard other moms talk about milestones like first steps, first words, etc. Sure they’re great I thought, but nothing to grab the Kleenex box over. But, now that I have experienced those things I can totally relate and can’t believe what an idiot I was. Those are really BIG deals. I’ll admit when my daughter took her first steps, I cried. When she first said “momma” I screamed really loud. I was so excited that she knew who I was and could verbalize it. Now, she won’t stop saying it, which is a subject for an entirely different blog!
   Now that she’s two, a lot of my duties are done. My job of feeding her is basically over. I just cut up her food and put it on her plate and she eats it all by herself. This milestone is a great one, because I can now actually eat my food while it’s semi-hot. Not necessarily one to cry over, but still a change that signals she’s no longer a little baby.
   Gone are the days of loading her up in the baby carrier and bringing her to and from the car. No more trying to balance her and bags and keys and whatever else may be in my hands at the time. Now, I just get her out of the car seat and watch her walk to the door and wait for me to open it. Again, not a particularly bad thing going on here.
   But one thing that really pulled at my heart strings happened about a month ago when we put the toddler rails on her crib. We just kinda figured it was time and we should do it. The minute they went on and she realized she could climb in and out of bed herself. It was a whole new world. She now has a big girl pillow and knows she can sleep like everyone else. By getting out of bed whenever she wants, she is getting her first taste of freedom. No more waiting for mommy or daddy to come in and scoop her out of the crib.  She also knows she can fall out of bed if she’s not careful. And she did, but only once. I don’t think she liked that part of it very much, But I think she does enjoy getting up before us and running into our room as we’re still trying to figure out what time of the morning it is. Right now it’s a quarter past my little baby is growing up. Soon it will ten till she gets her license and starts liking boys (God help us!). I know we have a ways to go, and there are so many more milestones to mark before we get to that point.
  I’ve come to realize that having a child really gives you a true grasp of how precious time really is. One minute you’re holding them in the hospital and the next they’re ready to say bye-bye. So, I think we shouldn’t just mark milestones, but try to mark minutes, hours, and days because you’re never going to get them back.

Too Much Too Soon?

  We all know kids grow up too fast, but from some of the things I’ve seen lately, I think we’re giving them no choice, and it’s really starting to bug me. First of all, some call them cute, but I don’t think toddlers and pre-schoolers need to wear two-piece itsy bitsy teenie-weenie yellow polka dot bikinis. You can say I’m a prude, but I think little girls don’t need to show so much skin. If they’re showing that much at 3 and 5, what are they going to wear at 13 and 16? With so many pervs out there, I think you’re only fueling the fire. On the practical side, if they wear a one piece, that’s just less sunscreen to put on. If you’ve ever tried to put sunscreen on a kid, you know it’s not a fun experience.
  Another thing that’s been getting under my skin is this report I saw on designer clothes for babies and toddlers. Call me cheap, but does a 6 month-old need to wear Dior or Versace? It’s still going to stain when they spit up on it, poop on it, or smear sweet potatoes all over it. The difference is, when the stains don’t come out, you’re not going to be out 10 or 15 bucks, you’ll be out a couple of hundred. But, hey, atleast your kid looks cute, right? Wrong! Kids grow out of clothes so fast, why would you want to waste your money? I don’t get it.
   I will be the first to admit I buy my daughter’s clothes on sale and use coupons whenever I can. And I’ll let you in on a big secret, I even buy some of her clothes and shoes in Walmart! I know, the humanity! Right now, she has the cutest pair of Walmart brand Garanimals sneakers that she loves. Does she know they’re not Puma or Nike? No. Does she care? No. Do I care? No. Am I saving money? You betcha! These days what’s wrong with saving a few dollars? Here’s an even bigger secret, if I see a cute shirt or something that I like in Walmart I may actually buy it for myself! I know, the fashion gods would have a field day with me!
  I just think that if you teach your kids to be into labels at such an early age, you’re only opening up the door to disaster down the road. If they’re used to designer now, there’s a good chance that’s what they’re always going to want. If you can support that kind of lifestyle until age 18, God bless you. But, I think these days most of us can’t.
  There are so many things that are making kids grow up fast these days, I could go on for hours and hours. This is going to make me sound so old, but when I was growing up, we didn’t have smart phones and internet access at our fingertips. We didn’t text, tweet, Facebook…or God forbid sext! Somehow I survived. I did play video games, I did talk on the phone, but I also read books, and even kept Barbie driving around in her pink metallic corvette for as long as I could. If you couldn’t tell, I didn’t wear high fashion clothes and can’t remember wearing a bikini (but that was probably because I could never really get rid of that baby fat!). Despite no Versace, no phone, and one piece bathing suits, I think I turned out pretty good.