You will spend way too much money despite saying, “No, we are not getting the action packed, triple extra flavor blasted assorted cheese puffs with infused cheddar crystals” many times.
You will say no to things that will somehow end up in your cart anyway but you won’t notice until you get home.
Your kids will start giving each other piggy back rides and run up and down the aisles singing Frozen songs. You will have no ability to stop them.
You will at some point yell to one of your children, “Get off the floor!!”
They will pick out 14 avocados instead of 2.
They will pick out 6 bruised peaches.
Because you can’t focus at all, you will forget the one thing you actually needed.
You will feed your one-year-old deli ham samples and Pirate’s Booty and call it dinner. You will feel no shame or guilt because that seems pretty well balanced.
Someone will have to poop.
Later on, someone else will have to pee.
More than one person will ask, “Are they all yours?” You will say no. You are just the nanny. They will remark how you resemble a couple of the children. You will say, “That’s why they hired me!”
At some point, you will realize there are 7 boxes of cereal in your cart. You don’t have 7 kids. How are there 7 boxes?!
At check-out, your son will drop a package of baked beans that will spill all over the floor. You will not have the will or the ability to get another one because it’s 8 aisles away. You will consider buying what’s left in the baked beans container. But the check-out woman will take pity and send someone to get you a new one. You will repay her kindness by cleaning up the beans.
You will seriously applaud yourself for remembering the reusable bags.
And a high five for not losing any of the children in the store. At least not for an extended amount of time. After all, you want to give them space to explore their culinary and frozen food passions.
A woman will compliment you on your spirited, gorgeous children and share that hers are coming home from college soon.
You will cherish every wild moment because you know someday all of yours will be away too.
Every time I look at this picture I get agitated…
Because it’s not just a horse. It actually represents a long year for my 9 year old daughter in art class. Yes, art class.
My passionate, creative daughter hated art this year because her art teacher never quite understood that art should inspire and excite.
Instead, this teacher was intent on making the kids sit with their hands folded in front them, draw lines as perfect as possible and never think or draw outside the box.
They never experimented with clay or glued bits of different materials to see what gorgeous, unusual creation might develop. Class was structured and tedious. This teacher even painted on children’s own paintings to make them more acceptable, more perfect. At the school’s art show, all the art looked almost identical.
I’m saddened for all the children she did not inspire this year. I’m sure if there is a future famous artist in one of her classes, their passion will persevere. But what about the kid who is struggling, who may have discovered a creative outlet if only she had freed that child’s spirit.
My husband and I even met with her and the vice principal. It was civil. It was polite. And she never got what we were trying to say. But the students have won lots of drawing awards, she pointed out. I’m not sure that’s the purpose of elementary school art, I pointed out.
I told my daughter that this was a lesson is learning to deal with difficult people. That she would meet and have to work with lots of people in her hopefully very long life that weren’t her favorite and it was necessary to learn the skills to get along with them.
Thankfully, my daughter did love her classroom teacher. She was lovely, kind and warm. The kids did projects on the planets and even got to create their own aliens out of recycled materials. There were no rules. Or perfect aliens. Just creative freedom.
This was Dylan’s alien from Neptune…
Dylan’s alien looks like… umm….
Two microphones. Yeah, something like that.
The horse has been put away (per my daughter’s request). But the alien is proudly displayed in our living room. It’s sparkly, bright and an original. Just like my girl.
mama bird notes:
I’m once again working with Luvs and the new season of ABC’s “Bet On Your Baby.” On this entertaining show, families see just how well they know their toddlers (ages 2 to 3 1/2) by predicting their child’s next move in the hopes of earning prize money toward their college fund. A college fund? Damn, I need to get on this show.
I will be live tweeting during “Bet On Your Baby” this Saturday night @ 8pm EST. Please watch along with me and join the conversation! You can find me @mamabirddiaries or look for the hashtag #LuvsBOYB
When I had my first baby almost a decade ago (which is weird because I would swear I was in college a decade ago but I’ve never been good with estimating time), I had a lot of questions. I only knew a few friends who had babies so I would call them up and ask them things like, “When your baby gets too big for the changing table, do they sell bigger changing tables?”
I mean, what kind of question is that? By the way, in case there is one other new mom wondering this and I’m guessing there can’t be anymore, the answer is no. They don’t sell bigger changing tables. Just make it work.
Another question I had as a new parent was – “What do I do with my hair?”
One of the most shocking things about becoming a mom is that all that free time you used to have to relax, watch old episodes of Saved by the Bell and organize your sock drawer into shades of the rainbow is gone. Just gone. If you have time to take a 3 minute shower and put on a shirt that’s not on backwards, then you are in good shape.
But styling hair can be an issue. You know, if you don’t want it to look like this…
(I’m not sure exactly what’s going on there.)
I have very thick, somewhat coarse hair that expands rapidly when exposed to humidity. I used to spend about a half hour on my hair. First the washing, then the blowdrying, then the flattening. So when I had a baby, all my “hair prep” time was gobbled up by “figure out what this baby wants.”
So I called my girlfriend Kerry and asked – “What do I do with my hair?”
And she said, “Just slick it back.”
And that’s exactly what I did…
This hair style takes about one minute and it has the added bonus that someone might mistake you for a ballerina. (Full disclaimer: no one has ever asked me if I’m a ballerina.)
Now because I have very dry hair, I can go a few days between washings, which leads me to post baby hairstyle #2…
See that little braid? It’s nod to Princess Leia without going over the top. And it’s very quick and easy.
Then you put on sunglasses, lipgloss and you are ready to go!
Of course, you aren’t going anywhere just yet because you still have to pack the diaper bag and your baby just pooped again and is he hungry? You can’t really tell. And oh my gosh, you would love to just shut your eyes for one minute. But he’s crying again. And maybe you’ll change him, then try feeding him and then you’re totally getting out for some fresh air. If you can remember how to open that stroller. Which you probably can’t.
See? The hair was the easy part.
1. When you go out as a couple to restaurants, the waiter smiles at your husband and says, “It’s so nice that you take your mother out for dinner.”
2. Your preschooler asks why your neck looks like an owl’s nest. This same child has never noticed that daddy has a neck resembling anything bird related.
3. Your spouse does not seem to acquire wrinkles no matter how stressed out you try to make him.
4. You look more like Michael Douglas. He looks more like Catherine Zeta-Jones.
5. You will drop money on face creams that blast wrinkles! And defy age! Your spouse hasn’t used face cream since — well, ever.
6. You’re constantly avoiding florescent lights and searching for dim lighting situations. He has never once thought about lighting except for that time you were both looking at different options for recessed lighting for your family room and he passed out from a combination of fatigue and boredom.
7. He has never taken a bad driver’s license photo. Even when he was hungover. After 4 days at Mardi Gras.
8. His grey hairs look like glistening highlights that magnify his handsomeness. Yours look like grey hairs.
9. At carnivals, they can never guess his age. He has a carny trophy shelf of stuffed animals to prove it. You no longer frequent carnivals.
10. A neighbor compliments you on being named Cougar of the Cul-de-sac despite the fact that your spouse is older than you.
mama bird notes:
What REALLY is the secret to the fountain of youth? Liking the Mama Bird Diaries on Facebook of course! Please do it today. Click here.
Is your baby overworked and exhausted? Maybe he or she needs a spa visit! Check out my piece on Lifetime Moms.
My mom was visiting this weekend. And that sweet woman got up every morning with my children so Rick and I could sleep in a bit. Now my mom has the most loving heart but sometimes loses a teensy bit of focus on what she’s doing which is why she is banned from making coffee in my home.
Before you peg me the cruelest daughter in South Florida, please note that she once spilled coffee on a very white rug. Plus on two other occasions, she spilled wet grinds through multiple drawers onto papers that could have been birth certificates and insurance documents but were probably just delivery menus. All of this resulted in some fierce clean up and an understanding that I would make the coffee.
And as a result, there was no major coffee spillage over her visit.
However, there were some poop droppings.
My mom distinctly remembers changing 1-year-old Cash’s diaper but somewhere between wrapping up the diaper and getting it into the garbage, a few poops fell out out. Nothing completely gross (of course my assessment of “not completely gross” is based on 9 years of parenting so you might actually think it’s completely disgusting). But really – just a little poop on the floor here and another there.
She claims they just popped out of the diaper and she missed it but I’m wondering if she was trying to send me a message… “If you don’t wake up and make me coffee when I am caring for your 5 children, then you will find worse things on your floor than some innocent little coffee grinds.”
Whichever the case, I think we can once again confirm that my mother is not a detail person. But she does have 4 graduate degrees, including a PhD, so no one can be good at everything.
My mom was in town for a baby naming ceremony for 1-year-old Cash and a family birthday party for my 4-year-old twins. We sang happy birthday 3 times. With 3 cakes. And Cash really seemed to like this thing we call sugar.
The weekend was a mix of joy and sadness because at the very same time Rick’s 92-year-old grandmother called Mom Mom Sybbie was in hospice care. And she died later that night.
Now I know that 92 years is a lot of years to be on the planet and Rick’s family is grateful for every one of them. But this was a very funny sassy lady and it’s hard to let go of that kind of sparkle.
Rick’s family got together for a casual memorial service and shared a lot of stories. Like how Mom Mom Sybbie would take all her grandchildren to 7-11 and everyone got to pick out two pieces of candy and all the kids figured out pretty quickly that you had to get candy that she didn’t like or else she’d eat it.
She was an avid card player who believed in few parenting rules and eating dessert first.
I remember one of my last visits with her, she said to Rick and me, “Come visit again when you have less time!”
When we came home from the memorial, my big girls stayed up making pie with my Aunt Terrell (AKA Auntie T) who is my son Cash’s Godmother and was visiting from out of town.
Now normally on a school night, I would hurry my girls off to bed but it suddenly seemed like making pie with your Aunt Terrell is a hell of a lot more important than an extra hour of sleep. I knew my girls would never remember being tired the next day but they might just remember the night Auntie T taught them how to make an apple pie.
So Dylan and Summer stayed up way too late but not late enough to actually eat any of it.
My mom and Auntie T flew out very early the next morning to head back North but Auntie T left a note…
“There is no shame in eating pie for breakfast! It’s like eating dessert first!!”
And she was right. So we all ate pie for breakfast. Mom Mom Sybbie would have been proud.
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