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My extra sassy friend Liz (and please call her that if you ever meet her) pointed out recently that we adults have to work too dang hard in our children’s activity classes. Man-oh-man do I know what she’s talking about.

I once took 3 year-old Dylan to this super cute kids’ yoga class. Well Dylan, as per usual, wasn’t a tidbit impressed. She sat there glumly while I did donkey kicks, flapped my arms like a wild butterfly and roared like a fierce lion. At one point, I was actually winded. Aren’t we paying for this? Shouldn’t it be a little more relaxing for us adults? I can upward dog all day long for Dylan and Summer at home. No need to shlepp to 6th avenue and 14th street for the opportunity.

Plus, why should I pony up big om bucks when I can take Dylan on fun, free errands instead? I’m really starting to get this parenting thing. Today I took her to Crate & Barrel. As far as I’m concerned that place is a toddler amusement park. We rode the escalator multiple times (no line to get on by the way). Dylan played drums on an abaca ottoman and turned a silicone screen (apparently a splash screen for deep frying) into a big easy musical washboard. All the trash cans with step lids needed to be tested. We did lots of dancing to the Crate & Barrel holiday hits CD. And she had a lovely almond snack on a pivot dining table. In case you go, it’s BYOA (bring your own almonds).

All of this for the very reasonable price of free. FREE… well, except for all the money we spent on ornaments and a gift for our babysitter. And a house warming present for a friend. Plus, there was the ornament that Dylan accidentally broke when she playfully swatted it. I had to threaten no more escalator rides if she did that again.* And there was the cost of the cab ride (there and back). O.k., so maybe not free. But at least I didn’t have to kick like a donkey and try to engage my toddler in some dumb, cheery class. Plus, I checked a couple things off my “to do” list.

These days, I’m just jonesin’ for ideas on what to do with my 3 year-old, energetic, cup of capuchino. Her school is on a holiday hiatus for the next two weeks and I’m starting to run out of indoor activities. I recently read about these parents who do cocaine and then take care of their little ones. Wow. Intense. They’re addicted to blow? Not me. I’m a preschool addict.

A few months ago, I dropped Dylan off for the first day of school with such trepidation. Was 3 mornings too much? Was she ready? Now I’m impatiently waiting for school to rock and roll and whatnot again. Dylan follows me around saying, “What can I do? What can I do now?” I give lists and lists of dynamic and innovative ideas but few ever catch her fancy. As my father-in-law suggested, maybe she could just throw in a load of darks?

Or perhaps another visit to Crate & Barrel is on tap. I need to return something anyway. I’m hoping to exchange my 1 year-old for something a little quieter at night. I didn’t technically buy Summer at C & B and I don’t have a receipt but I’m thinking they might let that slide. You see, last night she was up crying from 2:30 am until 6 am. See the problem? I’m trying to cut out that final nighttime nursing feed and Summer is holding her own one-baby revolt. It’s a showdown of wills between the two of us. Sigh… if only I could bridle the energy of those two girls and get them addressing the lonely stacks of holiday cards on the counter. Now that would be a Christmas miracle.

*Alright, that broken ornament didn’t really cost us anything. I pushed it, with my foot, under a festive holiday display and pretended it never happened. My mother would be disappointed in me. I should have paid for it.

mama bird notes

First, the results of our mama survey. So how do you keep the magic alive in the bedroom? 58% say there’s no magic. You just do it. 16% refuse to admit what goes on behind closed doors (now I really want to know). 21% rely on porn to keep things sizzling. And 5% close your eyes and imagine you’re with a handsome superstar.

Click on “your mama says what” to take our latest anonymous poll. It’s all about tv. How much does your kid really watch? Spill it mamas.

Contributing mama Jordana Bales is finally able to use her psychology skills to outsmart her toddler. Thank goodness she’s willing to divulge her secrets. Click on “contributing mamas” to read more.

mrb_runnerbag.gifAnd finally, it just seemed too darn sad to wait until January for another giveaway. So the mama bird diaries is giving away this smart and mod Mr. B diaper bag. $50 value. Easily clips on to a stroller or simply use as a shoulder bag. Comes with a changing mat. Your diaper changing days are behind you? No problem. Use as a regular bag for around town. You have kids. So I know you still have a lot of crap to carry.

So how do you win this super fab item? Post a comment on the mama bird diaries in the next week AND forward a post to a friend. Just click on “send to a friend.” All email addresses are confidential. Your friend will never be contacted by me. And that is a promise. Because it ain’t cool to spam.

I’ll announce the winner next Friday, December 28th. Good luck birdies!

14 Responses to my two capuchinos

  • Kristen/tired mama says:

    I read this late last night or very early this mornng depending upon your perspective. I wanted to let you know while I was having my own sleep problems, I was thinking and praying for you all. I hope Summer slept better. Hang in there!

  • Kimberly/another tir says:

    have you ever gotten scolded in a class w/dylan or summer??? i have… doesn't make you feel so good.. i was suddenly the 4th grader getting in trouble for talking during class…ridiculous! after that, i am the most active mommy there is.. singing my little heart out. of course it doesn't help that reed often won't participate without me! and as for the sleep issues.. you are not making me feel very good.. last night at 4 am (or i guess this morning) i was telling myself only a few more weeks and this will all be over! if i have to do this for a year, there will be big problems;) hang in there!!!! you've got a stubborn little lady on your hands!

  • Erin/hey I am sleepy says:

    No one seems to be sleeping…mine was up super psycho early and not sure why? Maybe it's something in the air?? Sorry to hear about your all nighter…and not even the fun kind where you stumble home drunk and eat chocolate chip cookies until you pass out.

    We have boredom over here too- Katherine (5 mo) is soooo not interested in handful of toys I have that I keep rotating for her amusement. So now, unless it's the remote, cordless phone, tree ornament or the fabric handle of my bag she has no interest….come on Christmas cuz I know your grandparents and auntie have a ton of new things for you before we both lose our minds!!!

    Hang in there mamas! :-}

  • Julie says:

    I am so sorry you were up that late. This will pass. Love that vision of you and Dylan shopping at Crate and Barrel. We miss you gals and look forward to returning for some fun in the city together.

  • Shannon says:

    What is it with sleep these days? Must be the holidays…Josh has banned naps two days straight! Please don't tell me he may be giving them up…Oh, no – I'm not ready for that.

    We have similar challenges finding fun & cost effective activities to keep the boy entertained…We like to visit the pet store and the local zoo – and we go on nature walks occasionally…Last time Josh found a broken piece of cement. Does that count as nature?

  • Betsy says:

    Make some play dough- the cooked kind with cream of tartar. It is always good for several hours of fun for us. Mantha loves to choose the colors of food coloring ato make the colors she wants to. Betty Crocker has cool neon coloring gel. Samantha also loves to sort laundry. (She has slept thru the noght 6 lout of the 7 nights this week. I guess she is getting used to the new house. Yeah.)

  • franny says:

    When having a battle of wills, the longer it takes the child to win, if she wins, the longer the NEXT fit will last. In other words, if Summer is dry, safe, and nourished, let her cry, or you are "training her" to just cry longer to get you to jump. I paid good money for that advice, and it's yours for free. With love and Holiday wishes!

  • Tommy-Tom says:

    As much as you're draggin', you deserve a BIG commendation for not selecting TV as the solution to Miss Dylan's boredom. Not a good short term choice, granted, but she'll thank you down the road. Well, way down the road.

  • Jessi says:

    Sorting socks! It's the perfect answer to "What can I do now?" If colors and patterns can't be matched, maybe they can be sorted by who they belong to. That's what my kids to – and then they shove them into bags (one for each person in the family) for another bored day when they get to actually match the socks and fold them;) Hope Summer slept better and was more willing to let go of the night nursing.

  • Tully's Mama says:

    Kelcey – You need to ditch the dream-feed absolutely and the real zzzs are sure to follow. Although a toddler named Tully decided that 3:30 am was a good time to awake and just want to play the day/morning I was scheduled to board a plane for a quick trip to Portland OR. I was so tired when I got off the plane that I had to cancel a lunch with a dear friend and head to the hotel and crash. So, here is my posting and if I win, the bag goes to my friend Lisa who missed out on Holiday lunch because of my terrorizing toddler. Merry Christmas – Megan

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kelcey kintner