Tag Archives: parenting

Disney(R) Princess(TM) Castle Security

No one could ever successfully break into my apartment. I realized that this morning as I tried to quietly get ready for my day in the dark. Here’s what would happen: you’d put on your dark clothes and black knit hat like a proper robber. You’d pick the lock and enter our apartment. Immediately you’d trip over a mountain of Disney(R) Princess(TM) dolls, and land on the Disney(R) Princess(TM) piano, which would start playing “Be Our Guest” at top screeching volume. At this point my daughter will wake up, and demand you give her juice. You will look in the fridge for juice, but there will be no juice because we’re always running out of juice. So to keep her quiet you let her braid your hair. As she stabs your head with plastic Disney(R) Princess(TM) barrettes, she’ll ask you a barrage of questions designed to make you go completely insane, including things like “does my hair have bones?” and “why are you wearing all black and no pink?” and “why don’t we have any juice?” At this point you’ll run screaming from the apartment…if you can get out at all.

But it doesn’t matter, because we don’t have nice things. So we’ll never be burgled.

Unless you really want Disney(R) Princess(TM) toys and accessories, in which case you don’t need to break in – just pull up your car and honk and we’ll happily help load it up.

Nov. 14

This week marked the due date for the baby I miscarried earlier this year. Pretty grim, I know. I’m doing really well in terms of getting past what happened, but couldn’t help but be hyper-aware of this date.

 

It just so happened I developed a huge cold this week and spent the day in bed (working, thanks to my laptop and awesomely flexible boss) but feeling snotty and nasty and cough-y and gross. It was a welcome distraction.

 

I can’t help but think how different life would be right now if things didn’t happen that way, and if we had a teeny new baby in the apartment right now. I know it wasn’t right somehow, I know that we will have another baby sometime, and if we can’t then we’ll adopt one. But it’s also just so important to me that I take the time to stop and remember this little baby that DID have a heartbeat and was my baby even only for a few weeks.

Playdates

My daughter has 5 men in her life. One is her daddy, one is her grandpa, and the other three are her little friends who I’ll call A, E and T – three-year-olds like her, and each of them holds a special place in her heart and life. And somehow it feels like each of them love her more deeply than I would have expected from the preschool set. It’s so adorable I can’t friggin stand it.

She goes to daycare with A and T, and the teachers report that they regularly fight over her, with at least one of them ending up in tears. Usually the fight occurs because they both want to hold hands with her, and she’s a one-guy-at-a-time kind of girl.

This weekend we had a playdate at the zoo with E. They held hands the entire time.

The same evening T came over for a playdate and dinner. He brought a rose, wrapped up with baby’s breath in florist paper. His mom reported that on the way they passed a florist and he begged her to let him get a flower for my little munchkin. When they arrived at the door and he had that pink rose in his hand, I almost fell over.

She tells us she wants to marry A, but that all three are her best friends.

Sh*t My Kid Says

I can’t believe how funny my 3 year old is. Even when she’s insulting me, it’s funny. Yesterday we were having a cuddle and she sweetly stroked my face and then asked, “why you have wrinkles?” Sigh.

 

And this weekend as we’re making meatloaf, I was narrating the recipe as we went, “first we add the meat, then the veggies, then we mix,” and she said, “when does it turn into cupcakes?”

Goodbye Balloon

Today I had to break my daughter’s heart.

We were having a fine day, and everything was wonderful. We were running errands together, but making it fun in the way you have to when you’re with a toddler. We stopped at the hardware store and I let her play with all the keys. We stopped to buy a baby gift, and I let her get a little toy car for herself. Then we met a friend for lunch, and my daughter noticed some mylar balloons with happy faces at a restaurant nearby. She’d been such a good girl that after lunch we went to the 5 & dime (yes, we now live in one of those adorable little towns that still has a 5 & dime) and requested a balloon with a happy face. The only ones they had said “get well,” but it’s not like she can read or anything. I also got her a latex balloon in blue, her favorite color.

Imagine a 2 year old with a balloon tied to each wrist. She was bursting with happiness – it was just steaming off of her. She trotted down the street in a cute little jaunt, with the two balloons whipping around above her. And that’s when it happened.

The bottom tab of the mylar balloon, the part attached to the ribbon, ripped. I only noticed when I heard a woman near us say “oh no!” and look upward. It was too late – the balloon had already floated beyond the awning of the cheese store and was climbing rapidly. I turned to my daughter, who hadn’t noticed yet and was still happily skipping down the sidewalk and singing to herself. “Oh no,” I repeated to that same woman, a young woman, who immediately saw how tragic this was going to be that she immediately turned red and started to cry. Her boyfriend put his arm around her, and they both watched as I went to her.

“Sweetheart,” I said… I stopped. She still hadn’t noticed. I was going to have to tell her. I was going to have to find a way. “Honey, your balloon flew away.” She looked around. She saw the blue balloon was still with her. She was confused that she couldn’t find the other balloon. She looked at me. “It’s gone,” I said. Her face crumpled. The jaunt was gone. The tears began to fall.

“No, honey, it’s okay, no it’s okay. Oh sweetheart – can I get you a new one?” “No,” she sobbed, “that one was mine.” I held her, feeling so acutely this loss. I knew she’d be fine, truly within minutes. But I hated that she had to be sad, if even for a moment. I hated that she had to feel loss in a time when she was so blissfully happy. I hated most of all that I had to be the one to tell her the news, when just seconds before I had been the hero of the day.

And as expected, minutes later and with a kiddie cup of ice cream in her hands, her tears were dried and the balloon was forgotten. But I haven’t forgotten.

It seems I have to break my child’s heart almost daily. Whether it’s telling her a balloon has floated away, or that she’s being naughty and needs a time out, or – truly the worst of all – when I tell her it’s time for me to go to work and we need to say goodbye, I feel like somehow I’m being the worst parent in the world. I know that isn’t the reality. But rarely in parenting do the heart and the mind work in concert.

And for some reason I can’t stop replaying the scene in my mind. My daughter’s silly little dance-walk down the street. The young woman beginning to tear up, with her hand over her mouth. The balloon already so high up in the grey sky.

Hurricane? Really?!?

We hunkered down this weekend for Hurricane Irene, the second biggest natural disaster of the week. I discovered a new talent of mine- I am able to stay very, very calm while freaking out completely. I went to two markets, Trader Joe’s and Genuardi’s. Both were crammed with people and very low on food staples. “Oh no,” I thought to myself, “I should be more hysterical!” Below are photos I took at Genuardi’s. I was there at 9 pm, and it was still surprisingly busy.

One thing we did NOT want was an indoor disaster, so we planned lots of things to do with the munchkin to keep her busy and happy and avoid tantrums. This included but was not limited to:

Dressing up as superheroes

Looking at photos of her friends

Taking more baths than usual

Watching movies

Reading books

Making up stories

Half-assed attempt at potty training (no pun intended)

Building with blocks

Playing with dolls

Pretending we were monsters

Hiding

Dismantling the couch

Painting

An inordinate amount of time was also spent trying to explain to her things related to the hurricane, such as why there was one, why we couldn’t go outside, and why we had pitchers filled with water, flashlights and duct tape sitting on the buffet. It’s hard to explain things to a toddler, and even harder when you’re not really sure yourself.

When the rain finally stopped and the wind was dying down, we (and everyone else with children) headed immediately outside. My husband brilliantly thought to bring our kite, which the munchkin was so excited to fly. She was so cute – he told her to lift up her arm so the kite would go higher, and she kept lifting up the wrong arm. (The string was in her left hand…the right hand was empty.)

My Little Girl

Having a daughter somehow makes me realize how inherently biased our world is when it comes to gender.

I think I had a different sort of childhood than most. Both of my parents worked, and both were in careers they loved. My siblings and I were encouraged to play sports and musical instruments, regardless of our gender. We all played dolls, we all played He-Man, we were not allowed to play with toy guns. And when I went to college, it was a women’s college – because that was the best school amongh those that had accepted me.

In other words, I didn’t mean to become a feminist. I was just raised to believe I was equal to men.

I do believe men and women are very different, even from birth. I arrived to the munchkin’s daycare yesterday during free play to find the 4 boys playing trucks and the 2 girls playing with the teacher’s hair. I know that I’m more emotional than my husband, and I’m also better at multitasking. I don’t mind the differences; I think it’s important to our culture. So why did it bother me so much when I learned the daycare teacher had the boys coloring baseball scenes, and the girls coloring cheerleaders?

And then this – an email today from a mommy blog I usually really like. This was a paid ad, but I was SHOCKED at the content.

So let me get this straight – they are telling mothers of little girls that they must dress a certain way to get the hottest play dates and party invites? WHAT? I understand wanting your child to look nice. But when are certain playdates hot and others not? And birthday parties? What about going to your friends’ parties? What about teaching them to be happy with who they are? I am so flustered and floored by this I can hardly type.

They could have gone so many different ways with this ad. How about: let your little girl have fun with dressing up in our new fall line? How about: we know your little one is adorable, and she’ll be even cuter in our new fall line?

I try to keep things positive in this blog, but this time around I just have to say it: shame on you, Juicy Couture.