Getting my son to leave the park grew more and more complicated over the course of a couple of months when he was in preschool. I was beginning to dread going and then staying way too long to avoid the battle of leaving.
Once, trying to run from me, he jumped the railing into a fountain and ended up completely under water when he tried to wade in and fell. It was not a very warm day for being soaked. I figured that might teach him a lesson, but no luck!
Another day, he just kept refusing to leave and ran away from me, even jumping back out of the car and running again the one time I caught him and put him in the car.
His two little sisters had been waiting in the car for quite a while at this point. Finally, I climbed into the car and sat a moment. He waved. HE WAVED?!?! I pulled away ever so slowly and inched away from the park. He disappeared from where he had been waving, but he was not running towards my vehicle in a panic. You know, the way I had planned for this to go! I turned and drove around the block as quickly as I could and pulled back into the parking space where I’d just been. I could see him across the park in a swing. As I approached, he sat happily swinging without a care in the world, and said, “I thought you left,” in a tone which made it apparent he was not thrilled to see I’d returned. I was able to get ahold of the swing and dragged him to the car, pulling him into the driver’s side with me so he couldn’t escape, not letting go until the car was in motion. Luckily, he never tried to open the door and leap out once the car was moving!
From then on, my initial go-to move was to suddenly jump him like a kidnapper and drag him to the car when I was ready to go and have a friend help put the girls in the car while I held him. He started to be less resistant about leaving for the most part after awhile.
Then one day, I somehow ended up at the park alone with him, one of his friends from preschool, and the baby. I’m not sure if I thought having his buddy there would help him behave better or what, but obviously, it turned out to be a bad idea.
It had rained recently, and the wood chips were too thin in a number of places creating mud holes I repeatedly told the two boys to stay out of as they played.
The details are fuzzy on what I did with the baby or the friend, or how the chase began, but I know he ended up aware that I was trying to leave, without having a chance to grab him when he wasn’t expecting it.
He was on the far side of a large mud hole from me, with his usual taunting grin that I remember very well. He scooped a handful of mud from the sloppiest part of the puddle and set it atop his head and gave it a good smashing with his hands, then wiped it down his face and neck and finally onto his clothing. I tried to catch him, but he took off too quickly. Every chance he got, he would get muddier. He was laughing and hollering about how we couldn’t leave because I wouldn’t want mud to get all over the car. He occasionally scooped handfuls and flung them in my general direction when I would get close enough. I don’t remember how I ever managed to catch him and get him in the car, but we were both a muddy mess!
Then I had to take his friend home.
That’s right; I had to pull up to my friend’s house to drop off her child and pick up my daughter while spattered in mud, with a child in my backseat who was covered head to toe in it. By this time the mud was drying hard on his skin, and he was complaining loudly about how much it itched. After laughing hysterically at the scene and the story behind it, my friend offered to let him come in and wash it off. I refused and explained that he would just have to endure the itchiness until we got home as punishment for his behavior.
The next week, I called ALL of his friends’ moms and invited them to play at the park. We sat in the car with him restrained on my lap for twenty minutes watching all his friends play and then we drove home. It is one of the few things I ever felt had a significant impact on his behavior. He left the park more easily from that day forward.
Imagine a child sitting at the kitchen table, head buried in arms crying that he doesn’t know how to do his math homework. Of course, a parent will soon intervene and try to help. But the child’s response? “No. You can’t help me! Last time I did my math your way it was counted wrong, because you didn’t show me to do the problem the way the teacher wants us to do it!”
Unfortunately, this scene is all too common in homes across America since the implementation of common core.
*The following is a sponsored post for which I was compensated, but all opinions expressed are my own.*
The prevailing theory in some publications, such as Mother Jones in an article entitled Achtung! Don't Help Your Kids With Their Math Homework and in The Hechinger Report's Back off parents: It’s not your job to teach Common Core math when helping with homework is that parents have no business helping their kids with homework. It’s not fair after all that some kids’ parents are more willing to help than others.
Well, some of us believe our kids are our job. Period. Sure, teachers provide a vital supporting role, but ultimately it is the parents who decide if they want more or better for their children. And there should be no guilt is trying to attain that.
Since most parents are strapped for time as it is, learning the various new methods of doing math is probably not in the cards for too many. On the flip-side, as tempting as it is to barrel down to the school and insist that a correct answer is a correct answer no matter how it is reached, the parents know the kids are going to have to learn to do problems the way the teacher wants them done to succeed in school.
So, what’s the solution here?
For us, it was transferring our children to a small private Catholic school, but obviously that option is not on the table for most people. It is also true you can Google how to do just about anything, but that is often time-consuming as well. Plus, it is difficult to know what is trustworthy and legitimate advice.
The answer is on-line though! MathWizTutors can help you support your student via theiron-line tutors or even match you up with alocal tutor to come to your home. They do the background check for you and provide ratings and reviews to make sure you get the tutor you are looking for with the knowledge and experience required for your child's needs.
Do you hate coats for toddlers ages 9 to 36 months?
I will spare you the cheesy infomercial video, and quickly describe a few scenes all toddler moms know too well.
Busy Mom's Toddler Coat *More Prints Available
Tired of getting your toddler's coat on and off to put her in the car seat? Here is your solution!
This beautifully soft minky coat/blanket combo with warm fleece lining is simple to use.
This is the ideal coat for ages 9-24 months who are taken in and out of the car frequently. It keeps them warm in the car, does not have to be removed to buckle them into the car seat, and wraps around them quickly and easily when you take them out.
THIS INTRODUCTORY PRICE WILL NOT LAST LONG! BUY NOW!
After dealing with this for seventeen years, I finally created a solution just as my youngest child got almost too big for it! I have made regular ponchos for my last couple girls that helped the problem, but the back of the ponchos were still in the way to put them in the car seats. Also, the back fell down on their heads if you flipped it up, and their hands were trapped underneath. They pushed them off just like they would a coat or blanket.
I decided the back had to go!
The Busy Mom's Toddler coat is completely open in the back so it isn't in the way to put the toddler in the car. When the toddler is taken out of the car, the sides wrap around the back to cover their entire body, head to toe. My favorite part was discovering that since my daughter didn't feel the blast of cold when I opened the door, I could take her inside and she would stay asleep using this!
When it is time to go back in the car, just unwrap the sides, place the child in the seat, and buckle the straps underneath the blanket. Finally, fasten the snaps along each edge around each wrist to free their hands, making the child unable to push it off. If the child is irritated by the hood, it can be taken off towards the back, but keeps the blanket over the rest of the child even more securely.
When I read posts about SAHM-hood and loneliness, I don’t get it. Newsflash- you are not alone. There are other SAHMs in the world, lots of them!
Okay, okay, I'm too harsh.
It’s not like you can just walk up to that lady herding three kids down the cereal aisle at nine a.m. and say, “You must be a SAHM. Me too! We’re friends now; let’s hang out!” I’ll admit I have practically done this at the park, but I realize it’s not for everyone.
The newest craze is an app designed similarly to a dating app called Hello Mamas that matches you up with a new bestie momma friend. If you are the type of person who likes to get close with just one or two friends and being in big groups of people makes you feel like vomiting, then that might be a great option fo you. However, if you are like many moms who want a social life and reason to get out of the house without the obligation to commit the time and emotional effort that goes into creating a tight personal relationship, finding a local group that meets at a regular time and place is the way to go.
Though it is all different moms now, I am still attending the same playgroup I found fifteen years ago! The former playgroup moms are the ones I always feel comfortable chatting with at the older kids games even if we haven't seen each other in months. I have also been a part of two different organized mom support groups over the years and hate when I have to miss a month.
So, how do you become part of one of these groups? There are multiple already existing mommy circles that just require you show up!
That’s totally okay and even normal. However, I promise you there is a sure-fire way to break the ice and feel a part of the group more quickly.
You cannot decide after one meeting that they are all snooty, self-absorbed cows who ignored you and hate you, no matter how much it seems that way. There is no doubt that one or more of those seemingly snooty cows used to feel just like you do right now. Remember these ladies all showed up to get their own social interaction fix, not only to provide you yours. It takes time to know about all the things they know about and become a part of the inside jokes. Finally, let’s get on to how to speed up that process.
Not everyone breastfeeds, not everyone sleep trains, not everyone gave birth the same way, not everyone uses the same disciplinary techniques, not everyone travels, not everyone exercises; not everyone has hit the toddler or school-aged years and all that comes with them yet. You get my drift; these conversations are bound to leave someone out at the least, and someone feeling judged at the worst.
But there is one thing that every mom at the table has in common.
EVERYONE’S kid poops.
It is the fail-safe, all-inclusive conversation of motherhood. The worst that can happen is competitiveness over the grossest poop story. But really, are there any winners there? (BTW, it’s me, it’s always me. I am the gross poop story champion of the world. But no, I never feel like a winner for it.) There is no worrying about sounding like a horrible mom or attempting to sound like a perfect mom when it comes to poop stories. Poop is the great equalizer.
So, don’t know how to engage that older mom whose advice you might want, but need to get a feel for her parenting style first? Ask her if it is normal for newborns to poop eleven times a day and for it to shoot five inches up their back. Even if you have read that it is, part of you feels it just cannot be, am-I-right?
And to you already well-established in the group moms, yeah, I’m talking to you snooty, self-absorbed cows (just kidding, I know most of us are no such thing), when someone new shows up, tell that hideous diaper blowout story. You know they’ve got a poop story too. Even if it is the hilarity of smearing black meconium here, there, and every fricking where, they’ve got one.
After all, once you have uttered the words ‘explosive diarrhea’ to someone, there’s no going back. You have an inexplicable bond.
I am always tempted to share my favorite posts way too often when I have a surge in FB likes, so I thought I would consolidate all the best parts of my favorite blog posts in one place for new followers to get a feel for my blog. All the post titles are linked to the full content of each post, so please click and read whichever one might resonate with you. First off, from myhome page, which is sorely neglected visitor-wise, here is a part I love:
Sometimes, we moms are chasing the elusive ‘great, amazing, super mom' title and not catching it leaves us feeling inferior. Other times we are bombarded by the idea that we should feel great just the way we are and refuse to judge ourselves, or anyone else, which can cause stagnation in the quest to become our own personal best. I am working on putting my God-given talents to the best use while accepting my natural limitations and I hope you will join me.
My personal favorite posts tend to be those that deal with anything 'big familly' related. It is difficult to find a huge audience for these, but I have a ton of fun writing (and rereading) them.
A favorite item on my list ofSigns You Have a (very) Large Family is #10:
"Most people still say, "Congratulations!" when you announce a pregnancy, but their faces say, "Are you freakin' kidding me?!?!'"
I am sure all the two kid parents are thinking, "Oh crap, does my face give it away that badly? 'Cause, yeah, that's totally what I was thinking!"
And #4 from my Signs You've Been Having Babies Too Long:
"The thought of someday not having to worry about anyone's bowel habits but your own seems strange to you."
Seriously, what will I talk about? About half of all conversations I have eventually make their way around to poop.
I had a hard time choosing between a couple parts of Motherhood: Then and Now, but finally settled on this as my fave comparison:
"Then: You wanted to crawl in a hole and die when your child threw a tantrum in public and mostly worried about whether the lady in aisle 5 thought you were too mean or too nice, rather than if you actually handled it effectively because you had no idea anyway.
Now: When your child throws a public tantrum you take advantage of the fact that most people mistakenly assume you’ve got this mom thing figured out better than they do since you have been at it for eternity. Therefore, you are mostly worried about if you handled it effectively. You still have no idea. It all reminds you that there is a good reason you usually wait until his big sister is out of school to watch a movie in the car with him when you grocery shop."
Some of my other favorites include those that involve a more serious note, but of course not entirely; I have found I struggle to write anything completely serious! As a bit of an English nerd, I love analogies so I picked that part of Sorry I Can't Be a Loving, Christian Mom Today, I'm Cleaning Your Room.
Imagine me as a can of pop and imagine each moldy cup, each airsoft gun pellet, each Polly Pocket shoe, each piece of trash, each musty towel, each long lost single shoe stuffed in a toy purse, and each hour of the kids' TV watching and Wii playing as a little shake. I will not go into all the horrific details, but I'll just say about the third week in, the kids flipped my tab by claiming I was "starving" them by refusing to buy ice cream and snow cones at the ball field each day.
Next up is No the Dishes Aren't Done, But That FB Abortion Debate Was Worth It which I feel is the only truly GOOD thing I have written since I became obsessed with increasing my Facebook likes instead of writing!
A good Christian mom gets up before her children for daily devotionals and reads scripture at the breakfast table, right? I, on the other hand, curse at the clock under my breath and yell at my kids too much. I do not comprehend how those sweet, lovely ladies get their children tomove. Someday when I die; it best be after 8 am because I have concerns about my status as a Christian before that time each morning.
From my potty-training page, my favorite pieces are those from the imagined voice of my 5-year-old son, who was three at the time I wrote them. Ways to Manipulate Your Mom and How to Drive Your Mom Bananas If She Buys a Potty Monkey are two posts I wish I could magically put in front of every mom who is at her wit's end in her own potty-training debacle. My favorite excerpts are:
"Discuss embarrassing things in public bathrooms so that when she rushes you and you later poop your pants, she thinks it is her fault. Try things like, 'It is time for you to poop now, mom!," "The poop is owie!," and "That little turd is big enough! Give me the candy!"'
" I was having so much fun playing with my new toy, but then my mom had to go and ruin it by asking ME to go sit on the big potty. Can you believe her? The nerve! I had a huge fit and then that monkey disappeared for awhile."
Last but not least, I must include the most popular post on my blog, which has been shared about a hundred times more than any other: So You Want to Be a Better Mom? It's an infographic, so you will just have to click to check it out!
I am the mother of seven children ranging from teens to a toddler, living out in the middle of nowhere, USA. I aim to hone the craft of giving advice without pretending to have this whole mom thing figured out. I am Christian, but not the really nice kind that is good at it. I am also conservative, but I promise not to be in your face with political agendas very often. I like to infuse humor into my writing, so don't freak out if you are offended or appalled by what you read here. There is a very fine line between serious advice and sarcastic hyperbole.