Posts Tagged ‘ Toddlers ’

A Goodbye to Blogging, and Many Thank-Yous

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Dear internet,

Well… it’s about that time.

I’ve been blogging for over four years, and for over a year here for Parents.  It’s been an interesting and, at times, a pretty amazing ride.  I’ve written about anything and everything, been on some awesome trips, received my share of hate mail, been published on and linked to from places like Yahoo!, Shine, and Time.com, and corresponded and shared my life with some pretty incredible people.

I have honestly enjoyed sharing my life with all of you.  Opening up about all of my experiences– the good, like giving birth to Caroline, graduating dental school, and finding a job… and the bad, like Caroline’s hospitalization, my postpartum depression, and my divorce– has been exciting, cathartic, therapeutic.  But with my new start here in a new state with a new job and a new home, the time has come for me to move on.

I’ll admit that part of it is that I’m simply burned out on the criticism and hateful email that I seem to get no matter what I write.  It is not easy to share as openly and publicly as I do, and I might just not have the backbone for some of the responses that I get anymore.  Having a job as a “real” dentist also means that I need to be a little more careful and professional about what I put out there on the internet, know what I mean?  I’ve always written whatever I feel about whatever’s on my mind, and if I have to constantly censor myself or worry about what I’m writing, then I’d rather just not write at all… or at least not write so publicly.  I also feel like I don’t have as much to say as I used to, and I really only enjoy blogging when I have something interesting to say.

I guess what it ultimately comes down to is, I just need my life to be a little more private right now.

I appreciate, from the bottom of my heart, all of you who have read and loved my blog, whether you’re a new or longtime reader; whether you’ve read occasionally or never missed a post.  Your kind words and support got me through some tough times, your advice helped me make some tough decisions, and what some of you have shared with me, in return for all I’ve shared, has touched my life as I hope I’ve managed to touch some of yours.  My favorite part has been the emails and comments I get from other single parents who have been inspired by what I’ve written to make changes in their lives, to go back to school, to move on, to find happiness again.  I’ve appreciated every word from you, more than you know.

Thanks for laughing and crying with me, everyone.  You might see me again on the internet someday, in a more anonymous or private space…you just might not know it’s me.

With love,

Julia…and Caroline

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Momfessions

Monday, June 11th, 2012

I’ve been dealing with an awful lot of Mom Guilt lately.

Here’s the deal: I’m coming up on the end of my residency (only two more days!).  In order to finish early, I had to switch a bunch of call, so I’ve been on call approximately one billion times in the last few weeks.  There have been a few days in there where I would be at the hospital until 10pm or later, go do my grocery shopping, come home and pass out for a few hours, and then drag Caroline to daycare at 6:30am to be in the operating room by 7.  This past Sunday, I saw 17 patients and didn’t get home until it was almost Caroline’s bedtime.

I would complain that my own kid doesn’t even know me anymore, but the fact that she’s repeatedly begged me to “stop fixing so many teeth, Mama, please” is evidence enough that she’s well aware of who I am and exactly how much of a workaholic I am, to boot.  Some nights I call to check on her and my mom will tell me “she’s doing great” so that I don’t worry, but in the background I hear “am I going to Mama’s house soon?  Is it time for Mama yet?”

Sigh.

Feels good to get it out, though, even if there’s nothing I can do about it at the moment.  And while we’re at it, I have a few other things I’d like to get off my chest.  That’s right!  It’s time for True Confessions: Mom Edition.  Here’s how this works: I publicly post a bunch of stuff that I’d normally never tell anybody, ever, and then you do the same in the comments.  K?  Good talk.  Don’t let me down, ladies.

Here we go:

I’ve had an open container of cooked egg noodles sitting next to the carseat for four days.

Those AAA batteries you gave my kid with her birthday gifts?  Not a single one of them was used to power her toys, if you catch my drift.

I got fed up with Dora the Explorer, so Caroline thinks she’s been “sleeping” since sometime around February 2011.  I have also been known to tell her that Yo Gabba Gabba is “broken”.

I have brought her to daycare looking like this, because I didn’t have the energy to fight her:

When she asks me what my wine is, I tell her it’s “Mommy tea”.  And yes, the liquor store is the “Mommy tea store”.  And she comes with me when I go there.  Frequently.

Those fruit snacks and Kraft mac and cheese in the shopping cart are for me.

When I get tired of reading her books over and over, I hide them and tell her they’re at Daddy’s house.

I have occasionally bribed her with candy to stay in the jogging stroller so that I can get a workout in.

If people come over on short notice, I throw all her toys in the shower so that my house looks clean.

When she wakes up at 5am on weekend mornings, I have been known to drag her into my bed, hand her a bowl of dry cereal and my iPad, and pass out cold next to her until she shakes me awake again.

So, what about you?  Time to share in the comments!  Don’t leave me hanging, here…

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Four Questionable Children’s Classics

Monday, May 14th, 2012

(Alternate Title: This is Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Read Kids’ Books.)

Have you ever sat there, reading a classic kids’ book to your children, and thought… what in the everloving eff is going on here?  I have.  In fact, I do it on a regular basis.  (Don’t even get me started on fairy tales.)  For your convenience, I’ve listed here several books to watch out for, summarized their questionable messages, and thoughtfully re-titled them to more accurately reflect their content.  No need to thank me.  I do it for the kids.  Let’s begin.

Guess How Much I Love You: Okay, I’ll be the one to say it.  Big Nutbrown Hare is the biggest one-upper who ever lived.   His son is all “I love you as high as I can reach” and he’s all “Oh yeah well I love you as high as I can reach, which is way higher since I’m older and taller and smarter and better-looking.”  There is no need to get so competitive, you know?  Your kid’s just trying to tell you he loves you, so maybe don’t be such a jerk about it.

Moral of the story: Anything you can do, your parents can do better.  Sweetheart.

New title: Guess How Much I Can One-Up You.

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The Runaway Bunny: It’s sweet that the mother bunny loves her baby bunny so much that she’d resort to all kinds of impossible shapeshifting and crazy stalking and improbable kidnapping to keep him near her.  Wait… no it isn’t.  It’s the creepiest thing ever.  And I thought I was a helicopter mom.  I mean seriously.  This woman is gonna be all up in her poor future daughter-in-law’s business.  I can smell it from a mile away.

Moral of the story: Mommy loves you sooo much, honey, that if you leave her side, she will hunt you down Taken-style and drag you right back to where you belong, so stay exactly where you are, so help me Jesus.  You can move out when you’re forty.  Five.

New title: When Helicopter Moms Attack.

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Goodnight Moon: Okay, I’ll admit that I love Goodnight Moon.  (Sorry, Margaret Wise Brown.  Didn’t mean to call you out twice here.  Love you, girlfriend.)  Still, books like this are the reason my kid takes 45 minutes to go to bed every night.  It is the original book of bedtime stalling excuses.  Whatever happened to just saying goodnight to each other and going to bed?  Let’s not encourage saying goodnight to the room and the moon and the cow jumping over the moon, (which is not real), the bears and the chairs and the kittens and the mittens and the house and the mouse and the wait there’s a mouse in here?? What the f*ck??  “Goodnight nobody” is right, because none of us are getting any sleep tonight, are we.  Get real, kids.  When I say it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime now.  Where’s the children’s Benadryl?

Moral of the story: It’s perfectly acceptable to take so much time to go to bed that it’s basically the next morning already.

New title: But I Don’t Want To Go To Bed.  Five More Minutes?

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The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real): This story basically traumatized me as a child.  Yes, I am sensitive.  (I cry several tears for each and every mean comment you guys leave me.)  Can we first discuss the “Skin Horse” for a second?  That is some Jeffrey Dahmer sh*t right there.  But mostly, my problem with this story is that it’s just super sad.  The little boy loves this toy and lures him into a false sense of security that he’s gonna be real someday and then gets all sick and sends him off to be burned alive (what?!) and then gets a nice new shiny one and forgets about the old one and goes to the beach, the end.  Not nice, little boy.  Luckily the rabbit does get to become real because he cries, and he runs off to the woods with the other wild rabbits where they all probably live another two to three weeks, tops.

Moral of the story: If you get too sick, Mommy and Daddy will burn all your toys.  Also, you can get anything if you cry about it.  Even if it’s impossible.

New title: How Toys Become Super Depressing.

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Postscript: I sent a draft of this post, as I often do, to a friend so that she could prescreen it for excessive witchiness.

Me: Can you make sure this post isn’t too much?  I think everyone on Parents’ Facebook page thinks I’m a huge wench.  With a potty mouth.

Her: Oh my God!!  You’re like the Ann Coulter of the parenting world!!!

Me: …That’s the meanest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

Her: Oh. I meant it as a compliment.

Sigh.

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My Preschooler’s Top 10 Excuses Not To Go To Bed

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

(Alternate Title: Go the F*ck to Sleep.)

Anyone who has a preschooler knows that the only thing more impossible than walking on water is getting your kid to go to bed.  Seriously.  (Probably this is true for kids of any age, but please allow me to delude myself into believing that this stage ends with the preschool years.)  If someone were to tell me, “today I scaled Mount Everest and ran the Boston Marathon and won Project Runway and got my kid to go to sleep within five minutes” I’d be all “oh hell no it did not take five minutes, you lying liar.  Also, is Heidi really that hot and skinny in person?  Do you even know how many kids that woman has had?”

Caroline is three, and she’s pretty much the queen of coming up with excuses to stall when it’s bedtime.  She’ll go to bed relatively easily the first time, but then she’ll get up 45 million times with all kinds of crazy-ass reasons why I should let her get up and stay up.  (Fingers crossed she’ll still be this difficult to get into bed when she’s 18.)  Here’s a selection of my favorites:

10. There’s a dirt spot on my wall.  Can you clean it?

9. My Pooh Bear won’t stop looking at me.

8. My hair keeps getting in my face!

7. I can’t sleep because I’m thinking about what my preschool friends might be thinking about right now.

6. I feel like you’re having too much fun out there without me.

5. I can’t sleep because I just keep thinking so many thoughts in my head.

4. Remember how you asked me what I did at preschool today and I said “I’m not tellin’ you?”  Well, I’m ready to tell you now.

3. I don’t think you brushed my teeth enough!

2. It’s hard to sleep when my mouth is making so much noise.

1. I still need to send out some emails!

Let’s hear ‘em… what are your kid’s best excuses to get out of bed… or not get in there in the first place?

(P.S., I keep forgetting to tell you guys, but if you find my child’s off-the-wall comments entertaining, you can get your fill of Caro conversations anytime here, at my Tumblr.  Enjoy!)

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Just a Simple Trip to the Playground

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

I can’t possibly be the only mom who’s had simple, fun outings turn out like this… right?

So I was sick this past weekend with some kind of disgusting flu, but I had promised to take Caroline to a playground on Saturday after her nap.  I always try to keep my promises to her because I’m a good mom, okay, so we still went despite my illness and this is how it went. 

She didn’t wake up from her nap until about 4pm, so I finally got her out the door around 4:30 (after asking repeatedly, “Do you want a snack?  Do you want a drink?”   “No,” she insisted, ”no.  I’m not hungry.  I’m not thirsty.”).  We were driving to this playground since there are no good ones within walking distance of our apartment.  No sooner do we get on the highway when she yells “Mama, I’m thirsty!!  I need a drink.”  Of course I brought a snack, but forgot to bring a drink.  I sigh inwardly and tell her that I’ll find somewhere to get her something.  We get off the exit for the playground and I drive around aimlessly until we find a grocery store.

We go inside.  Of course she has to bring her three purses full of toy tools and ponies and bubble wands, and drops a toy on the ground with every step she takes, but refuses to let me carry anything for her.  Meanwhile, she’s wandering around and refusing to get in the shopping cart and charming the pants off everyone who walks by: “Hi!  I’m Caroline!  I’m three years old!  I go to preschool!”  Okay, Caro, just relax.  Nobody here is Santa Claus.  I grab a bottle of water and she informs me that we need to buy bread “to feed the duckies”.  Fine.  I drag her through the grocery store to find the bread, but before we get there, I hear a woman exclaim “Look!  There’s Caroline!!”

I turn around and see one of the other preschool moms with her two kids in the cart waving excitedly at Caroline.  My fever is climbing by the minute, my nose is running like a faucet, and I feel like I’m losing my grip on reality, but we go over to say hello.  The mom notices Caroline’s excessive number of purses (one of which is a Vera Bradley which my friend bought for her, okay).  “Oh!” she says.  “Do you guys like purses?  I’m having a purse party this weekend!”  I pray that I’m hallucinating.  (I’m not.)  Caroline yells frantically that she loves purses.  (Traitor.)  The mom tells me that she’ll come over to our car with an invitation.

Let me tell you a little secret about myself.  I hate purses.  I do.  I hate them.  If I can’t fit something into the little wristlet/wallet that I carry all the time, then I simply don’t need to be carrying it.  There are two types of women in this world, people: those who carry a million things in their purse and have a million pillows on their bed, and those who do not, and let me tell you, I straight-up do not have time for any of that sh*t.  (My daughter is clearly slated to be one of the former, though.)  Even more than purses, I hate parties hosted by someone I don’t know where I’m obligated to buy stuff.  I’m poor, okay?  Also, I’m running a fever of about 103 at this point, I have no idea where we are because we’ve driven so far out of the way, it’s almost dinnertime (which I’ve made no plans for), and I’ve completely forgotten the reason we left our apartment in the first place.

Needless to say, we never made it to the playground.  We went back home to feed the ducks instead.  But how much do you think that trip to the playground cost me, in the end?

Bottle of water and bread to feed the ducks (“Buy 2 get 1 free!” proclaimed the sign on the shelf.  Oh, but only if you have a store card.  Which I don’t, because I have no idea where we are and this isn’t my grocery store): $10

Gas to drive all over who knows where for an hour: $10

Purse party I’m now obligated to attend so that I’m not forever ostracized at preschool: $50 for purse, $30 for babysitter (“No kids!” she called brightly over her shoulder as she trotted back to her minivan.  B*tch!)

Total: $100

But… watching your 3-year-old ecstatically toss bread to the ducks, after all that, albeit through a feverish haze? 

PRICELESS.

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