Posts Tagged ‘ Toddlers ’

Parents Behind the Wheel: A Public Safety Hazard

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Guys, I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but it’s something I feel I have to put out there.

I don’t think that parents of young kids should be allowed to drive.  It’s a matter of public safety, really.  Let’s break this down, shall we?

Parents of newborns.  This one’s pretty obvious.  Probably even these parents would agree with me.  When you’re getting less sleep than an emergency room intern and a victim of CIA sleep deprivation torture combined, you shouldn’t be allowed to operate a moving vehicle, case closed.  Especially if you’re still on the Percocet from your episiotomy or c-section and all hormonal and post-partumy to boot.  This deadly combination is basically a perfect storm that transforms even the most normal woman into Crazy Zombie Unsafe Driving Mother and whoever she is, I’m pretty sure she shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

Parents of toddlers.  Once you get past the newborn sleep deprivation stage, you have other problems to contend with.  The hum of the engine no longer puts your child into a carseat coma.  They’ve developed a mind of their own and they have things that they want but they don’t know how to verbalize them yet.  After their attention span has been exhausted (translation: after five minutes in the car), what you’re left with is a lot of crying and seat-kicking and you have no idea exactly why or how to fix it, so you’re sweating and stress-eating handfuls of Goldfish at a time as you’re driving all crazy-eyed and there’s crumbs all over your shirt and people are looking at you strangely at red lights (assuming you remembered to stop at them) as you’re flinging every toy and book within arms’ reach over your shoulder into the backseat to try to comfort your child before it turns green.  (Although always brush off the Goldfish crumbs before I stop next to other cars.  It’s called class, people.  Look it up.)

Parents of preschoolers.  You would think that once your kid gets a little older, you might be out of the woods as far as driving safety goes.  But you’d be wrong.  ”Mom, can I have a snack?  Mom, I need my book.  Mom?  Are we there yet?  Mom, I said I need a snack!  Mom, can you pass me my Pooh Bear?  Mom, I’m hungry!!”  Just listening to the incessant demands from the backseat is enough to make you want to purposely drive off a cliff.  Not to mention having to screech to a stop every time your potty-training kid tells you they think they have to pee.  Besides, I’ve seen you guys, driving down the road, listening to orders bellowed by the tiny dictator in the backseat to “SING MAMA SING LOUDER”, so intent on your dramatic hand gestures to “Wheels On the Bus” that you’re veering from the right lane to the rumble strip and back again.  Don’t try to deny it.  I saw you.  Time to hand over the driver’s license, Mom.  You’re a public safety hazard now.

So, who’s with me?  I’m thinking we should probably all turn in our licenses at the hospital nursery and there should be some kind of carpool service (or limo… again, class) that comes and picks us and our kids up whenever we need it.  Sound like a plan?  Like I said, it’s a matter of public safety, really.

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Conversations with a 3 Year Old

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Three-year-olds can try your patience from time to time (okay fine, on a daily and/or hourly basis), but you’ve got to admit they’re pretty hilarious people to have around.  They’re even better than comedians, because 99% of the time they’re not even trying to be funny.

Here’s a few actual real-life conversations I’ve had recently with Caroline, for your laugh-out-loud pleasure:

Caro: Mama, do you know what “important” means?

Me: Yes, I do.  What do you think it means?

Caro: Um, I think it means when you have to get out of the tub right away and go potty.

Me: You’re right, that is important.


Me: Caro, time for bed.

Caro: No, mama!  I’ll email you when I’m ready.

Me: Uh, this is not a business proposition.

Caro: Pass me that iPad.


Caro: I want veggie sticks.

Me: I want a million dollars.

Caro: Well, you can’t have a million dollars, Mama.  You need to have five dollars first.

Me: Caroline, you have no idea how right you are.


(It’s 6am, and Caroline runs into my room, completely naked.)

Caro: I want Cheerios!

Me: What?… Why are you naked?

Caro: (disgustedly) Because everything tastes better naked, Mama.


Me: What did you learn in preschool today?

Caro: (sings) The flowers are all gone, it’s still wintertime, it’s not spring yet, there’s no animals anywhere.

Me: Wow, that’s pretty dark.

Caro: I don’t make the rules, Mama.  I just follow them.


Caro: (yelling from other room) Mama!  Come see what I did in here!!

Me: Am I gonna like it?

Caro: Uh, I doubt it.

(In case you were wondering, she had mixed the pieces from three puzzles together “to make one big, beautiful puzzle”.)


Me: Caro, use your fork like a big girl.

Caro: I never expected to be a big girl, Mama.

Me: Well babe, me either, but here we are.


Yup, no matter how much they can drive you crazy, preschoolers are funny little people.  Any hilarious conversations with your little ones you’d like to share in the comments?  Feel free!  I mean, we’re parents… we could all probably use a good laugh.

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Parenthood Rites of Passage

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

We all love our kids.  That goes without saying.  Still, there are those inevitable trials that pop up every now and then and you have to suffer through them. Once they’re over, you think, Well, I’m a real mom now.  Trial by fire, so to speak.  We’ve all been there.  No?

Here’s my list of those parenthood rites of passage– have any to add to it?

Cleaning up a bed full of diarrhea and/or vomit.

Your toddler wakes you up in the middle of the night with those six dreaded words: “mommy, I pooped in my bed.”  For a split second, you consider pretending that you’re dead still sleeping, but you know that that mess sure isn’t gonna take care of itself, so you drag yourself out of bed, down the hall and get to it.  You strip down your kid and while you’re stripping the disgusting sheets, your toddler gets into God knows what in the closet and runs gleefully amok, screaming from the sheer joy of being allowed out of bed at 2am, wearing nothing but your favorite lipstick smeared across her forehead and Crocs from last summer (where did she find those?) while you’re gagging and planning six consecutive scalding hot showers and a nose amputation and I think my tubes just tied themselves, or at least I hope they did. I forget, why did we have kids again?

Defcon 5 public meltdown in the grocery store.

You’re peacefully strolling down the aisle with your kid in the front of the shopping cart, checking out the cereal selection.  You’re cool, calm, collected, and little old ladies think your kid is just criminally adorable and you’re thinking, damn straight, she is.  Then it happens.  Your child sees cookies, or fruit snacks, or something she wants.  She wants it, and all hell is gonna break loose if she doesn’t get it.  You always hated seeing those parents who give their kid whatever they want to keep them quiet, so you say no and stand your ground.  Your “criminally adorable” child flips the Crazy Switch to just plain criminal, screaming at top volume and trying to fling herself from the cart.  Everyone is staring.  Those little old ladies are now shaking their heads in disgust at your parenting skills or lack thereof. You’re trying to calm your kid down but nothing is working and finally you wave the white flag and beat a hasty retreat to the parking lot.  If you’re lucky, you have your groceries with you.  If you’re extra lucky, you paid for them.

One full night of no sleep.

None of this “I got a couple hours” business– I mean not one single minute. We’re talking none at all here, people. And then you have to go to work the next day and pretend to be a normally-functioning member of society. These nights from hell usually end with the newborn stage, but can still happen later on when kids are teething or sick or whatever. You know the drill– baby wakes up, you feed him, he takes forever to fall back asleep. By the time he’s asleep, you know he’s going to want to eat in about a half hour. You lie down. GO TO SLEEP, you tell yourself. QUICK!! Before he wakes up! He’s gonna wake up soon, just try not to think about anything and grab a few quick minutes of– WAHHH! WAHHH!!  …Damn it. (And repeat. All. Night. Long.)

So, what do you think?  How have your kids hazed you?  (Personally, I’m expecting some kind of medal to arrive in the mail.  Any day now…)

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Dental Care For Kids: Q&A

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Thanks to everyone who joined me at the American Baby Q&A session today on Facebook!  For those who missed it or anyone who’s looking for information on kids’ dental care, I thought I’d put together a post of the most commonly asked questions, and a few things I didn’t get to mention.  (Note: this post, just like any information on the internet, does not substitute for an exam and regular dental care– see your dentist for any specific concerns.)

When should I schedule my child’s first dental visit?

The official recommendation is by one year of age or the first tooth, whichever comes first.  The purpose of the first visit is to establish a dental home for your child, to educate you (the parent) about proper home care and diet, and to start establishing healthy dental habits and introduce the child to the dental office environment.

When should I start brushing, and what kind of toothbrush should I use?

You should start brushing as soon as the first tooth appears.  (Some parents like to wipe the gums with a clean finger or washcloth even before teeth start coming in, to get the baby used to the parent cleaning their mouth.)  You can use any brand of kid-sized toothbrush.  I like the Oral-B Stages brushes because they are appropriately sized for different ages.  If you choose an electric toothbrush, be aware that the technique is different.  With a manual brush you do the scrubbing motions, angling the bristles toward the gumline.  With an electric brush you hold the brush still for several seconds in one area and then move on to the next.

When should I start using regular toothpaste?

As soon as the first tooth appears!  The “training” (fluoride-free) toothpaste is actually not necessary.  Until your child learns to spit out well (around age 4), you should use a tiny smear the size of a grain of rice, twice a day.  It is assumed that the child will swallow it, but such a tiny amount is not considered to be harmful.

What about flossing?  When do I need to start, and how can I get my child to let me do it?

When the teeth touch each other (no spaces between them), you can start flossing.  Let your child watch you floss first so they know it’s not a bad thing.  You can try the mini-flossers that look like a plastic hook with floss threaded through it, and let your child hold one and play with it before you try any actual flossing.


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Happy Third Birthday, Caroline!

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

My baby girl is three years old today.  What a difference three years makes!

From this

To this…

I can’t believe how far we’ve come.  Caroline makes me laugh and makes me proud every single day.  I may not have been expecting her to come into my life, but I am so very glad she did.  She is smart, hilarious, and adorable; forgiving of my mistakes, patient as I learn to be her mother, and sweet and loving to everyone around her.

Happy birthday, big girl.  I’m a lucky woman to be your mama.

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