Posts Tagged ‘ nanny ’

Pooping in Public. The New Normal?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

You know how I feel about the whole EC–Elimination Communication movement. As in potty training your kid from the moment they are born and going to weekly support groups that revolve around talking sh-t. Um, no. Not happening.

So I had to dive into the discussion stemming from an article in Gothamist about publicly defecating. On purpose. We’re not talking about a homeless person down on their luck either.

The snapshot is of a little boy on one of those porta potties for kids. He is sitting on it outside, at, ya ready for this? A cafe. Specifically Pier 1 cafe that overlooks the Hudson River. Diners eat while he poops. I have never….

Now I know kids have little bladders and if you are in a park without a bathroom or something, having one of those porta potties can be handy. Especially because you can keep it in your car and your kid can use it. In Your Car. In Private. But at a restaurant? Where there is a bathroom?

The nanny was apparently with the kid. But honestly, this must fall on the parents. I can only assume they made her take this thing everywhere. I am also making the assumption that they are entitled and uptight. Because this is what the latest breed of entitled, uptight parents do. I can just hear it, “We can’t let anything interrupt little Johnny’s poo.”

I mean, come on you guys, tell me you agree on this. Tell me this is extreme parenting at the sh-ttiest level.

 

Please note:  Parents changed the comments section on all the blogs and you can only post a comment via Facebook.  Scroll down to the end of this post and you will see the Facebook icon. Thanks!

Pic of boy via Shutterstock

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Why I Feel No Mom Guilt Right Now…

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

I wrote my post this week about having this nagging sense of guilt whenever I leave my kids.  I had some great comments from moms who validated how I feel. Whether right or wrong, it’s nice to know you’re not the only insane one.

Then this morning I think I figured out how to NOT feel guilty: Push yourself to the absolute limit of supermom. Then your psyche won’t f–k with you and throw guilt your way. Instead, it will tell you to flee as soon as the sitter arrives. Don’t look back. Go! Which I did.

Now I am sitting here having my haircut and colored. The gray is out of control. The back looks like a mullet. After this, I am going to get my hooves–the thing most people call feet–pedicured. My hands will get a much-needed manicure. Then my husband and I are going out to dinner and to our favorite massage place. I don’t feel badly at all. The reason? Because when you spend almost all week with your kids, culminating in today’s cluster-f–k you are so ready for a break all guilt goes out the window.

We started the morning off as usual: Up at 6:30. I made eggs for them; Emmett splattered his on the floor. Fia started coloring and Emmett tried to take her crayons. He pulled her hair (his latest thing). She started wailing. This is in addition to the usual 7 head bumps he has from knocking against our table, the face plant that inevitably leads to a bloody lip at least 3 times a week and the screams of agony from them both for taunting the cat to the point of getting scratched.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around 10, I needed to get out. We live right near Griffith Park that has just about everything. I figured the little train and pony ride would be easier than the massive zoo. We loaded up and drove down the hill.

A lot of it was great. Emmett had his first horse ride. I walked beside him, stepping in horseshit with my flip-flops. 

Then we went to ride the train. The ticket line was a mile long. We waited. And waited. We were getting close when Fia said, “Mama I have to go to the bathroom. I can’t hold it.” Crap. We left the line and ran across the parking lot so she could go pee. I dangled Emmett in one arm so he wouldn’t lick the bathroom floor. The kid is a menace. A cute one, but good god he never stops. He is into everything. This is what it means to have a boy. I had no idea.

After the bathroom Fia decided she wanted something to eat before the train ride. We stood in the longest, most inefficient line run by the Parks and Rec department. We finally got our turn. All she wanted was cheese fries. While they were apparently growing and cutting up the spuds to fry, Fia took off running and did a face plant right on the concrete. Shit. She starts bawling. My sciatica has been acting up. But being supermom, I had no choice. I picked them both up and walked back across the parking lot to the car.  I grabbed the stroller and plopped Fia in. Though Em is the one I really need to chain down.

Throughout this I remained calm. Even chipper. I deserve an Emmy.

We went back to get our food. I sat down and took a bite. The cheese fries were spicy. WTF? The sign didn’t say “spicy cheese fries.” But they are. You know, that fake nacho kind? Maybe they won’t notice. Wrong. “Mama, it’s too spicy!” Fia screamed. Emmett just threw his glob on the sidewalk where it won’t disintegrate for a century (did you know Velveeta can survive a nuclear attack? And that when they make it in the factory it’s a big gray gelatinous rectangle? In case you weren’t sure, the yellow color is fake.)

I’ve been trying to do this Mediterranean diet to keep healthy. Gloppy, goopy fake cheese is definitely not on the list. But what can I do? I sit there slowly licking blobs of cheese off, handing them the fries. It may have been the best part of my day.

Time for  the trains, then home. The ticket line is gone. Thank god. We  go up to the window. “Closed for lunch.”  Cue the wailing. I drag my now overtired, still hungry, hot, injured daughter and son to the car. I sit down as pain shoots through my lower back. I text my sitter. “Can you come tomorrow morning?”

Oh, I broke down and also got an ice cream sandwich. Emmett’s first. What a milestone!

 

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Mom Guilt: Why Do I Have It? How Can I Get Rid Of It?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

When I walk in the door after having a sitter, my mere presence sets Emmett off. He is like a cat that can sense me a mile away. He starts howling. This has happened with the previous nanny, with every sitter…. basically everyone but Phil. Phil is excluded because the same thing happens when he walks in. Emmett wails.

He could be perfectly happy playing or eating, but wham, we walk in and he is suddenly aware that he hasn’t been with mom or dad and starts to cry. Often real tears stream down his little face. I usually walk over to him, pick him up and hug him. “Emmett,” I say, “it’s okay. Mama’s here.”  His crying immediately ceases. He burrows himself into me, his arms down at his sides in a little cocoon. We call it “pod-ing” like he’s a pea going into his pod. I kiss his head. And every sitter says the same thing, “He was fine until he heard/saw you.”

I know this is part of an infant-toddler’s development. But it gets me every time. I have this heart pull. It’s not even conscious. It’s a visceral reaction. I know my kids are in excellent hands when they aren’t with me. Three days a week Fia is in preschool and absolutely loves it. She is really blooming there too.

I know Emmett has loads of fun with our sitters. I honestly don’t believe in the extreme version of attachment parenting–where you’re supposed to be with your kid 24/7 until they’re 3. Or 13. I’m not judging those who do it, but for me, I know exposing my kids to different people, different races, different environments is good for them. So why is it so hard to NOT feel guilty? I wish I knew…

I’ve said before that I think moms with full time jobs in some ways have it better. They have a purpose, whether it’s career aspirations, or providing for their family, etc. I’m in a murky place because I’m freelance and I don’t have a set job. Each time I plan my week I do it in a way that I get enough play time with Em, enough with Fia and enough with both. Then I fill in the gaps with a sitter. But why do I even have to make sure I clock in with my kids?

In November I stopped having a nanny. Now I have about 15 hours a week of help. But the fact that I want to say in the next sentence “but I try and book my sitter while they are napping” is just whacked. It’s like I have to continually justify to myself that I’m not abandoning my kids. I have to make sure people know that “Hey, I’m a good mom. And I’m around.” It’s ridiculous on so many levels.

My sitter Michele is amazing. She was our night nurse for, oh, 7 months. I didn’t feel guilty about that at all, because with Fia, my lack of sleep led to an insanity that wasn’t pretty.  I am terrible without sleep. I never pulled an all-nighter in college. So justifying my night nurse for Emmett was easy. I have no regrets. I was a better mom to everyone. I don’t feel like I “missed out” on anything.

When we didn’t need Michele anymore she offered to babysit during the day. And get this: she has 5 kids. Yes 5. Her oldest is 19. Her youngest are twins Fia’s age: Maci and Cruz (pictured below).

As a veteran mom, Michele is always telling me to stop feeling guilty. She pounds into me that we all need our own time.  I know she is right. But in going to my yoga class this morning, leaving to the cries of Emmett, I felt that usual pull on my heart. It sinks deep into my stomach. Not for long, but it is always there. Should I be doing this? In downward dog I noticed how bad my toes look. Damn, I need a pedicure. I guess I could do one while they nap tomorrow, since I have Michele again, I thought.

I am seriously pissed at myself for thinking this way. I would have slapped myself silly in my pre-kids day if I ever thought I would be like a walking blanket of guilt.

I often ask Michele to bring her twins. They go to daycare most days, but if Fia isn’t in preschool, the three of them have a near perfect chemistry. Plus, instead of saying to Fia, “Michele is coming today!” and her replying, “No mama, I only want you”, (cue the guilt) I can say, “Guess what? Maci and Cruz are coming!” She jumps up and down. “Yay! Yay! No Way! [pause] Ballet” (her new thing with rhyming words). I am reassured she won’t miss me. That I am ok. 

It’s like the rational side of my brain can’t reconcile with the primal side of my being. Logically, I know I need a break. I know it’s okay to go to the store by myself. I know it’s okay to do yoga, get a pedicure, write a blog, and have time to myself. I also know it’s good for my kids on so many levels. If it weren’t, I wouldn’t even consider it. So this is all on me.

So how to get rid of the guilt? Maybe I need to go back to my hypnotist. Or maybe this is just the way it is when you’re a parent… battling conflicting emotions that put your heart and head in the middle.

 

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Stupid Idea–Why Babies and Perfume Don’t Mix!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

 

I hate perfume on women and cologne on men. I didn’t always. When I was, oh, 10?, I got Jean Nate after-bath splash. When I was maybe 12, I graduated to Love’s Baby Soft. At 16, I know I used some horrendous smelling thing with a name escapes me. I think my mind may have blocked it out. I dated guys who wore Polo cologne. I remember that was a “selling p0int” with my girlfriends. “Oooo, he wears Polo!” we’d whisper. I don’t judge myself because I was, well, a teenager. Plus it was the 80s and perfume was in, patchouli was out. Unless you were a Dead Head. Which I mostly wasn’t.

Anyway, I digress. It’s now 2013 and I often wonder when all these celebrities endorse a perfume, who is buying them? Old ladies? Must be, right? I think my generation is mostly into natural scents and aromatherapy like lavender and rosemary. My younger friends say they don’t wear perfume. If they did, they say it would be Jo Malone, which none of them can afford. So perhaps in a push to get the infant generation interested in manufactured smells, Dolce and Gabbana released its latest product. You ready for this?

Perfume for babies. Yes, infants, babies, wee ones. I guess they want to get them hooked early.  I mean we all know how horrible babies smell right? The B.O. from their mature sweat glands is enough to send you running. In fact, I know most people just leave their babies for days at a time because they can’t stand the stench. The good news is the perfume is alcohol-free. The bad news is it’s still made with chemicals. Something every baby should be saturated with, right?

Quoting from the Today Show, here is the following from a doctor:

“Babies and people who have babies should not wear fragrance,” Dr. Gordon told TODAY.com. “There are chemicals and toxins labeled as ‘fragrance’ in these products that can cause children to have respiratory reactions.” He adds that even though most of the formulas that make up baby perfumes are alcohol-free, it’s the components that create the actual scent that are the most potentially harmful to a baby’s developing respiratory system and sensitive skin.

Is D&G ridiculous or what? I shouldn’t even waste my time writing about how stupid this gimmick of an idea is. I honestly don’t care that much because no one I know would be the type to purchase this idiotic product anyway. It’s simply unnecessary. What irks me is the idea that babies need perfume!

If you don’t have a kid, let me tell you something: their skin is like sniffing purity and perfection–if there were such a scent.  Their hair is like sniffing heaven. Inhale their breath and you get an instant high. Basically a baby’s smell gets you closer to God than anything else I know of. Why in the world would you buy a $45 bottle of chemicals to change that?

I won’t even hire sitters who wear heavy perfume. I did once and as soon as my child stopped smelling like my child and more like the beauty counter at Bloomingdales, I let her go (there were other reasons too, so let’s not jump on this sentence and turn this blog into something it isn’t, i.e.: another nanny war).

I am obsessed with Emmett’s head. I often have him in the Ergo (baby carrier on my body) and I smell him constantly. It’s just instinctual. Each night before I go to bed, I pick my babies up, hold them tight and inhale them. I feel their rhythmic breathing as they snore gently on me. It’s like having a natural dose of Ambien. If I could bottle up their smell–their essence–maybe I’d be onto something. But I would selfishly keep it for me and me only.

I know it sounds like it, but honestly I’m not anti-perfume. I know there are probably some really light, non-offensive fragrances out there. My mom always wore White Shoulders. To this day if I smell it, it takes me back to happy moments with her. It’s just that perfume is not for me and definitely not for babies. So until researchers and product manufacturers figure out how to bottle up your own baby’s scent, they can all go smell themselves.

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Fia Hates Swim Lessons. Any Suggestions?

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

When we first moved to LA, loads of people suggested I put Fia in swim lessons. I was told everyone has pools and that we’d spend many a day in them. The idea of swimming lessons was both for her comfort in the water and my peace of mind. Not that she’d be in alone, but just knowing the basics of holding your breath, paddling, etc., would make the pool a more enjoyable–and safe—experience for us both.

Fast-forward a year and a half. I have been to exactly one, yes, ONE, pool date. However, I have invested 1400 minutes (5000 minutes if you count the time to the lessons and back) and gobs of money. And guess what? She still can’t swim. She can paddle about 3 strokes on her own with her face in the water. Certainly not enough to be considered “pool safe.”

Here’s the kicker: we both hate it. Every Monday morning as we make the trek to the Valley (we live in Los Feliz for those who know LA), she asks who her teacher will be (we’ve had to switch several times because she didn’t like some of them). Then she starts saying, “I don’t want to put my face in the water.” I try and convince her why water on her face is fun. I don’t mention that I, too, hate water on my face. Even raindrops. I cringe just thinking about it.

I also remember having swim lessons when I was about 8-years old. I remember all the kids jumping into the teacher’s arms and me standing there crying and afraid. I remember the teacher’s frustration with me as I simply refused. Granted, Fi is with an instructor one-on-one. And at this stage, there is no jumping into arms. I should mention it’s the Jim Herrick swim school. It’s a top-notch place and there is no part of me that thinks they aren’t doing the best job possible. There are also phases where Fia seems to enjoy it. So it’s not like I’ve dragged her kicking and screaming for 70 weeks. She does love the water when she’s with us (pictured above).

My question is: do I just cut my losses and consider it a “sunk cost” or do I forge ahead? The teachers keep saying she is really close to “getting it.” But I don’t want her to start hating it so much that the water becomes something fearful.

I was all ready to pull the plug until this past Monday. I took Emmett with me and we sat on the steps of the pool splashing around, getting soaked. He was loving it. We told Fia to show baby brother how to swim. She loves nothing better than being the boss and showing him how it’s done. Swimming was no exception.  It was the most excited I’ve seen her in the pool in a long time. She did amazing too. The instructor suggested I bring him every week. It interrupts his naptime but that is the other option I’m debating.

Do any of you have any experience with this issue or any suggestions for me on how to proceed? If I get in the pool with Fia myself, 1) I have to get on a bathing suit. 2) I have to get water on my face. 3) I have to get Emmett a babysitter. (God forbid, judging from the backlash I received on that issue last week).

If I give up now, has it all been for naught or will some of this experience stay with her until she’s older and we try again?

Suggestions? Thoughts?

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