Sunday, January 5th, 2014
Yes, I’m alive. Yes, this will sound like one of the countless form letters you received over the holidays, and no, it won’t be nearly as interesting.
I just want to say that we finally moved 4 days before Christmas, which was 3 days after I got the stomach flu, 2 days after Phil got it, and 1 day before my sitter got it. I predicted my demise in my last post two weeks ago, so I can’t say I was surprised to wake up two midnight’s later barfing. Now it’s been a week since Emmett got pink eye and 5 days since Phil followed suit. I need to sage our new house for good health karma.
Despite some of these bumps, we managed to buy a real, live tree, decorate it, and settle into our house amid the cacophony of Christmas music competing with chain saws and sanders by our construction crew.
Now I am overcome with gratitude for the beautiful house we own and for an amazing crew who made it happen. I am so grateful for my health and that of my family’s. Whenever I get really sick, which isn’t often, it gives me such perspective on how people with chronic conditions have the will/stamina to fight. I could barely move for at least a day, and I kept thinking, I don’t know how they do it. I think I would give up. I hope I never have to make that decision.
As I go into the year 2014, I plan on getting my writing back on track. I’ve missed it. I also want to make this a year in which I move a little slower. Not physically, because I happen to be a fast walker and I like to run. I’m talking more on a macro level. I don’t want to become so frazzled that I buy meat again from pseudo-Jesse on Breaking Bad, or that I get so stressed out that I come down with the stomach flu (though that may have happened no matter what). I feel really present with my kids, so they aren’t part of my resolution. But they are the reasons for them.
I plan on committing myself to yoga and running at least twice a week. I also want to commit to eating healthy in a way that I can reduce my cholesterol, which has gotten too high for my liking. I’m not a young parent, but I plan to be an old one. My mind body and spirit all need to be nurtured a little.
None of this out of reach. These are my realistic goals (and please tell me yours. It’s fun to hear).
Okay friends, this is where my boring Christmas letter ends and my New Year begins.
It’s good to be back.
(This picture was taken from our window on moving day. Pretty cool, huh?)
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Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
Supermodel Heidi Klum is getting flak for paying her kids $1 a day to drink a smoothie. I wonder if all the people who are freaking out have young kids? My guess is that their kids are either grown and they don’t remember what it was like, or they never had any. Because unless you have a kid who is a bump on a log, most people have to bribe in some way or another. Except we don’t call it bribing. We call it realistic parenting. And frankly I’d prefer to pay a dollar, or in my case, tell Fia she can have dessert after her dinner (since she doesn’t understand the concept of money) than not have her eat properly. I’d also rather bribe her with a small treat than the Ipad. Seems like too many parents may be using that as a crutch…but that is for another post.
The other day I was at a birthday party for one of Fia’s friends. A pregnant woman was there too. On the table was a huge birthday cake and then a platter of healthy sandwiches. As Fia ooh-ed and aah-ed over the cake, along with the other 3 1/2 year olds, I said half-joking:
“Hmm, I wonder what she will eat first?”
The pregnant woman piped up and said, “Healthy should always come first.”
I nearly shot her.
Come on. Talk to me when your kid is 3 and in this situation. I would bet my entire life savings that your kid won’t eat the avocado and sprout sandwich first. And I bet that superior attitude of yours will go out the window. Why? Because we were the same way. Until we had kids.
So yes, Fia ate cake for dinner. Followed by a small sandwich. And she survived.
I regularly use bribes. For awhile I gave her a treat after her gymnastics class for participating. A hershey kiss. Not a large milkshake. Or a box of cookies. Just one teeny tiny piece of chocolate. Two classes was all it took to get her out of her shell. And the chocolate I gave her? Gone. Both from her bloodstream and her memory. Now she runs happily onto the mat without prompting.
At a restaurant if she misbehaves, I tell her she won’t get dessert until she sits quietly. I rarely bring out my phone as entertainment. I don’t want to start that habit because for some reason those devices seem to embed in a toddler’s memory and they come to expect it. They also seem like the easiest thing to rely on. But that doesn’t necessarily make it the best (do you guys agree with that by the way?).
Just this weekend we gave her $5. We went as a family to explore downtown LA’s Grand Central Market and Little Tokyo. I told her she could buy whatever she wanted–not that she understands what $5 can get. We talked at length in the car about all the options.
“Mama, what about a giant lollipop?” she said.
“Ooohh, I know! Fia, let’s find you one of those swirly ones. The big round ones that have different colors on them!”
Even though she didn’t know exactly what I was talking about, she nearly ripped herself out of her carseat with excitement.
We even discussed what the man or woman selling it might look like.
“Do you think the lady will have brown hair?” Fia asked.
“Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe blue?” And so on went our speculation.
Sure enough, we found the lollipops. The man selling them? Dark hair. Straight. Not blue.
I had her ask him how much it cost. $1.99. He gave her change. She beamed.
I let her lick it for a solid 10 minutes. We still have the lollipop. We are using it in increments. She ate Udon noodles in Little Tokyo knowing she could have a few more licks after. She ate sauteed spinach at dinner. Same reason. Call it a bribe if you want. But I would much rather have my kid eating well and without a fight for a few licks of this or a few coins of that.
I think that in order to parent properly you need to be practical and prudent. You know when to set the limits and how far to go. Sounds to me like Heidi is doing just fine.
P.S. Here’s a short clip of me talking about it on the show The List.
Picture above is Fia at a salon. She just got her hair cut and I was getting mine cut too. To keep her occupied, I relied on a ring lollipop.
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bribes, bribing, bribing baby, bribing toddler, dessert, eating out, healthy eating, Heidi Klum, ipad, restaurant | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Newborn Care