Parental Pet Peeves

Twirling hair, nail biting, nose picking…these are all things that kids do that can really push a mother’s buttons. Out of those three, twirling hair is enemy number one on my list. My older daughter does it and it drives me insane in the membrane. It’s like there is a magnet pulling her little finger to her head. No matter how many times I tell her to stop, she keeps on doing it. I can’t stand it. I’ve told her she’s going to go bald if she continues. She doesn’t care. I’ve threatened to cut off all her hair. She doesn’t care because she knows I would never do it. I’m trying to come to grips with the fact that this is something she is just going to have to out grow. Hopefully, before she really does go bald!

While there are things that kids do that drive me nuts, they are kids, so I can give them a little bit of a free pass. Now, there are some things that other parents do that really get under my skin. There is no free pass here. Here’s the biggie…are you ready? Wait, please put down your phone first so I can really have your attention. Yep, that’s it. Parents who are too busy on their phones to notice their children are flagging them down like they are trying to hail a cab in Midtown Manhattan.

I see this every week at my daughter’s soccer games. Parents are so technologically invested in their phones that they don’t even notice what their kid is doing on the field. Drives. Me. Nuts. Just last week, I saw a guy with his head down for half an hour. When he picked his head up to finally notice his kid, the little guy looked was looking around like he was going to pick daisies. He could care less about playing. The Dad yelled at him to pay attention. I wanted to yell back, “You moron, he probably doesn’t care because he sees you don’t care.” Duh! It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

When I was going growing up (oh God I sound like my mother!) we never had to compete with technology for our parents’ attention. I think this is sad side effect of just how stupid our smart phones have made us. Does anyone out there agree?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no parental angel. I’ve caught myself with phone and Facebook in hand plenty of times before. I know how addictive and stupid all those apps can become. But, that’s when I log off and log on to what’s in front of me. Status Update: Being 100% mommy now!  I think if we can unplug more often we would really appreciate our kids before they become old enough to unfriend us on Facebook and tweet about us under #uncoolparents. What do you think?

The Strangest & Most Annoying Thing

As a mom, I always dream of having my free time. I mean really, what mom doesn’t? After hours of puzzles, coloring, and Barbies, I just want time to myself to do what I want without hearing “mommy”. Read, write, watch TV, nap (yeah right)…whatever it is, I want to be able to just do what I want. So why do I sometimes feel lost when I actually get it? Let me tell you, it is the strangest and most annoying thing.

Recently, I hit the “mommy lottery”. My oldest daughter decided she wanted to sleepover her grandmother’s house “just because” and my younger daughter fell asleep uncharacteristically early. My husband was still at work.OMG, hours of free time! You would think I would have been doing my happy dance. I was…for a few minutes. Then, the strangest and most annoying thing happened…I didn’t know what to do with myself. Although I had a list of things on my “to do list”, I couldn’t figure out what I should be doing. In fact, I actually felt like the house was too quiet! How odd is that? I often pray for peace and quiet. Here it was staring me in the face and I still wasn’t happy.

There are plenty of times when I either leave the kids with grandma or drop them off and go do things and I am fine with that. I just think the tranquility of the house got to me because this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. The norm is noise, laughing, screaming…chaos. As much as I complain about it, it’s the way it’s supposed to be with two kids. It’s the way I’ve gotten used to things. So any interruption in the routine kinda weirds me out, I guess.

Eventually, I got some writing done that night and put some laundry away. I have to admit, the night felt so much longer with so much quietness. I was actually looking forward to the morning when my little one would be awake and her sister would be home.

Maybe it’s a case of “be careful what you wish for” or “motherhood changes everything”. Whatever it was, it really was the strangest and most annoying thing.

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.

Tell Me What You Really Think

   Sometimes it really amazes me how nervy strangers can be at times. Here’s the story that got me all fired up…We were on vacation last week and my daughter was playing on the beach. She went over to a little girl around her age and started picking up some of her toys. After telling her to stop, the little girl’s mother invited my daughter to go over and play. Since my daughter is so friendly, (she can become BFF’s with a rock, I think she definitely gets that from her father) we walked over.

  At first, all was well. The little girls were playing in the sand. I was sharing some mindless conversation with this other mom. I can’t even tell you what we were talking about. That’s how unimportant it was. But,then it started. The girls got up to get some more water for their pails. The other little girl had her water shoes on as she walked to the water. My daughter did not. So, the other mom asked me if we had water shoes. I answered yes, but my little one doesn’t really like shoes, so she took them off. I got an “oh” and some silence. I really didn’t think anything of it. But then when the girl got up the second time, the mom said to me “oh, I really wish she had her shoes on.” She was referring to my little one. Strike One. I told her she was fine, if she had a problem, she would be screaming. She made it seem like we were walking on hot coals to hell. It was just a few rocks, toughen up lady.
  I was getting a little annoyed, but decided to stick around because the girls were having fun. Then this uncensored Momma asked me how many words my daughter says. I simply answered “a few.” Then she asked me if “we do” daycare. I answered that I am fortunate enough to have my mom and mother-in-law babysit while I work, so I don’t have to pay for daycare. Then she told me that once she sent her daughter to daycare, her vocabulary grew so much because grandma wasn’t “doting on her.” Strike Two. By this time I wanted to throw her in the ocean. Who the heck are you lady? You’re asking me so many questions and I’ve only known you for five minutes and hopefully we will never see each other again. During this whole time, I’ve kept the conversation light and impersonal, while she’s giving me advice and putting her two cents in…heck…she’s putting in a whole dime.
  I stood there and looked away as she got down on the sand to help her daughter build a “water wall”. My daughter must have sensed my frustration because she started to take her plastic shovel and scoop the wall away. The lady kept trying to build it back up. My daughter kept pushing it down. Build……push. This was getting fun. Normally I would have told her to stop. But, I just didn’t feel like it. Then the mother of the year said ,”oh let’s not push down the wall honey.” Strike Three. You’re out and we’re outta here. I mustered every nice bone left in my body and told my daughter Daddy was calling her and he wanted to go check out the pool. All I had to say was Daddy, and she dropped the shovel and we were out. Although I wanted to kick sand in this lady’s face, I simply said bye and see you later. Peace Out.
  Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not so open with my thoughts and opinions with complete strangers when it comes to parenting advice. If some of those words were coming from a trusted friend or relative, I may have listened. I would still have complained, but I would have listened. I just couldn’t believe how high and mighty this lady thought she and her kid were. Mind you, her daughter wasn’t reciting the encyclopedia while playing in the sand or quoting Shakespeare. I wanted to ask her where all those extensive vocabulary words were hiding. In the sand? In her water shoes?
  Although I walked away annoyed, there was a lesson learned. Next time I encounter someone like this on the beach I need to go grab the water shoes and throw one at the mom-zilla!