Things I Think I Know at 32

1. More-is-better does not apply to the number of people in a hammock.

2. Humans of New York is one of the most fascinating and beautiful things the Internets have to offer these days.

3. When hosing crap off of a trampoline, there is no good place to stand. Anywhere you stand, it’s coming right back atcha. Gravity fail.

4. Tomatoes are better in the summer.

5. The best way to grow killer pumpkins involves 2 easy steps. First, kick last year’s pumpkin up under the porch. Second, just wait.

6. Bubba won’t be 14 and wearing diapers.

7. I shall never again have a flat(ter) stomach without working at it.

8. Showers at the YMCA are so much easier than baths in our own tub.

9. TV is ok.

10. So is not going into school until your contract says you have to be there.

11. Sometimes the need to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes leads to great things. Like running into a dear old friend who Jesus put there to encourage you.

12. Not every stay at home mom loves her job. (That same dear old friend told me that.)

13. Jay is way better at grocery shopping than me.

14. Uranus is halfway between the sun and Pluto. Just like your anus is halfway between your head and your feet. You’re welcome.

15. The maximum life expectancy of a plant in my house is 1 year.

16. Facebook makes birthdays better.

17. Reindeers are better than people. (Eh…never mind. I’ve never met one, so I’m not actually sure.)

18. Graham crackers make booboos feel better. Bubba just told me that. Chica bought it.

19. If Sallie Mae asks you for a date in mm/dd/yyyy format, she actually means it.

20. Chica will do nearly anything for an icee pop.

21. Moths have fuzzy antennae. Butterflies don’t.

22. More stuff does not equal more happiness. It just means more mess to clean up. Or more to sell at a yard sale later.

23. If you don’t want mosquitoes to bite you, you can just stop breathing because they are attracted to hot air. Chica told me that.

24. Steve Urkel is still funny.

25. It’s ok to wipe eye burgers on your shirt. Bubba told me that.

26. Not every kid likes toothpaste. (As always, Chica didn’t prepare me well for kid #2.)

27. When one is woken up in the middle of the night by a roundhouse kick to the head, the foot of the bed seems like a good place to (temporarily) hide from your pint-sized attacker. But don’t worry, he’ll find you there too.

28. No one needs to buy prom pictures. Especially multiple sheets of them. (What in the world were we thinking??)

29. I’m not any cooler than the mom whose kid poops in the pool. Just luckier.  Or maybe faster.

30. When your kids look at your baby pictures, the toys in the pictures are way more interesting than…well…you.

31. Coming home from a trip with a suitcase full of clean and folded clothes is one of life’s great gifts.

32. There are still a few cool people in this world that do not have a smart phone, including both myself and my delightful lunch date today.

Whadaya know friends?

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Bubba Speak

These past two days as Jay left the house, he encouraged me to take it easy, reminding me that these are my last few precious days of summer.  I love that guy.  Yesterday I took that as permission to take a big fat snooze during the kids’ nap time and not do a lick of housework all day long.  It was fabulous.  Today I took his advice again and did something fun I’ve been wanting to do all summer…make a video to highlight Bubba’s funny little way of talking these days.

When Chica was in the learning to talk stage, she was a regular chatterbox.  She would spout off what sounded like whole sentences or paragraphs, but only one or two words might be recognizable.  This offered a perfect opportunity to record her and then add closed captions that were completely nonsense and quite funny.

I eagerly awaited this stage with Bubba so that I could make more closed caption videos, but he never got there.  While Chica’s speech has always been profuse, Bubba’s has always been precise.  He just doesn’t attempt a word or an idea unless he’s pretty sure he can get his point across.  And he’s not afraid to repeat it over and over and over until you get it.  : )

So my idea instead was to record him repeating some of his funniest/best words and make YOU guess what he is saying.  If you decided to take the Bubba Speak Challenge, let me know how many you get right!  Good luck!

I Sorry. TV. Butt.

Bubba likes butts.  Today he spent much of the morning pushing butts…both literally and figuratively.

And by butts, I mean buttons, of course.

His favorite “butt” to push is the TV power button because of the extreme reaction he gets out of Chica.  Every. Single. Time.  Today his fascination with the butt gave me lots of chances to practice disciplining with peace.  I had begun to draft in my head a how-to post about timeout for toddlers when my strategy all of the sudden became obsolete:

He can now open doors.  Ugh.  A facebook friend wrote recently that this was her “least favorite milestone.”  Agreed.

But since I fear that my mom may stop speaking to me if I don’t hurry up and write something new, and my only other idea for a post is concerning my family’s recent fascination with bow ties, I guess I’ll just carry on with my toddler time out how-to.

Except I probably will have to call it something more like, “How to Discipline Your Toddler During the Four Days After They Learn To Converse But Before They Learn To Escape Closed Doors.”  I’m still not sure what makes me think I have the authority to post on this subject, but here goes anyway…

I’ve decided that disciplining Bubba started with him seeing Chica face consequences.  For about the past month, whenever she was punished, he took notice.  “Sister crying,” or  “Chica bed.”  As if to say, “Ohhhh….she’s not happy.  She got sent to her room.”  Something about his reaction made me realize that he was connecting, in a very small way, her behavior to her consequences, and then her reaction.  His observations made me realize that maybe the same might work for him.  And for about four days, it did.  Today it went like this…

Chica:  Moooooooooom!  Bubba turned the TV off again.
Me:  Ok, coming.
Bubba:  (Hops back into the chair to make himself look a little less guilty.)
Me:  Bubba, Chica doesn’t like it when you turn the TV off.  It makes her sad.  If you push the button again, you will have to go to your room.  Bubba doesn’t want that to happen.
Bubba:  Yeah.

Five minutes later…
Chica:  Moooooooooooooooooooom!  Bubba turned the TV off AGAIN!
Me:  Ok.  Coming.
Bubba:  (Rushes to the chair again.)
Me:  (Carrying Bubba upstairs.) Bubba, you made a bad choice.  It makes Chica sad when you push the button and turn the TV off.  You have to have time out in your room because you didn’t obey Mommy.
Bubba:  Bed.  Bubba, Bed.
Me:  Yes.  Bubba bed.
Bubba:  (He didn’t stay on the bed, but he did stay in the room with the door shut and miraculously didn’t cry.)
Me:  (Rushes around to get lots of jobs done.)

Five-ish minutes later…
Me:  Bubba, sit down on the floor, and look at me.  Tell Mommy why you had to be on your bed for timeout.
Bubba:  Butt.  TV.  On.
Me:  Yes.  Bubba pushed the button on the TV and it turned it off.  This makes Chica sad because she can’t watch her movie.
Bubba:  Chica sad.
Me:  You need to tell Mommy what you are sorry for.
Bubba:  I sorry.  TV.  Butt.
Me:  I forgive you Bubba.  I love you.
Bubba:  (Kisses me once on the lips and once on the shoulder.  Not sure what the shoulder is about these days??)
Me:  Bubba, go tell Sister you are sorry.
Bubba:  Ok.

Downstairs:
Bubba:  I sorry.  TV.  Butt.
Chica:  I forgive you Bubba.

We went through this exact same script at least once or twice more until he was all of a sudden tall enough to open the door for the first time.  You should have seen his thrilled, aren’t-I-so-smart grin when he greeted me in the kitchen.  He just couldn’t grasp why Mommy wasn’t quite so thrilled.

I’m not sure timeout has the same effect when he can let himself out but lacks the self-control to keep himself in.  Or maybe the self-control is the next step that we are ready to work on now.  Nevertheless, here’s what I tried to follow and what seemed to work for those four short days…

1.  Give a clear warning.  “If you do ___________ again, then I will put you in your room in timeout.”
2.  Follow through with the consequence right away.
3.  As you are moving to the timeout spot, explain why they are going there.  “You have to sit on your bed because you did not obey.  You _____________ when Mommy told you not to.”
4.  Leave the room.
5.  After a few minutes, come back and ask why they are in timeout.
6.  Explain, in simple language, why the choice was a bad choice.  “When you did _________, it made _______ feel ______________.”  Or, “____________ was dangerous because ____________.”
7.  Ask them to apologize.  “I’m sorry for _____________.”
8.  Forgive them.  Hug and kiss.
9.  If someone else was affected, make them apologize to that person too.

I pretty much follow this same pattern still with Chica, only adding the question, “What better choices do you plan to make next time in this situation?”  Today I had to go through this with her when she called Bubba a, “Little rat,” and then lied about what she really said.

She’s usually pretty good at getting along with Bubba, but I guess today he had just pushed her butt one too many times.  Can’t say I blame her.

Image:  Power Button (178/365) © Jim Murphy  | Flickr Creative Commons

Bubba Turn

Bubba has this super cute cyber buddy who writes a great blog.  Drakeson is a whole year younger than Bubba, so I figured Bubba shouldn’t have too much trouble giving it a try.  When I asked him if he was up for blogging about his day, he agreed.  Actually, he said, “Bubba turn!”

I have posted his dictated words first and then the translation for those of you still learning Toddler Talk.  I do a lot of translating these days.

Eat Mommy.  Bar.  Applesauce.  Bubba pickle.  Bubba oatmeal.  Cake no like it.  

Mommy slept in all the way until 7:00 or something.  Lazy bones.  I had to beg her to get up so I could eat.  She needs lots of reminders.  At first I asked for my usual cereal bar and applesauce.  But then I remembered it was Saturday, and we sometimes eat special things on the weekend.  So I asked for pickles and oatmeal.  I don’t really like pancakes.  Even when they put chocolate chips in them.  Pancakes are for big people.

Mommy shoes on.  Walk.  Mommy car.  Stroller.  Big water.  Night night.

After breakfast Mommy put on her running shoes, not the flip-flops that she usually wears.  I know this means we are going for a walk.  Together we drove to Percival’s Isle where I didn’t get to walk…I had to ride in the dumb stroller.  I was hoping to stay awake to see the river where you go over the second bridge, but Mommy’s friends just bored me right to sleep.  They talk too much.

Mommy car.  That one. That one.  Eat Mommy.  That one.  Sister seat?  Home.

When we got back in the car, Mommy called Daddy to tell him we had to go to the store.  Something about a care package for a friend at summer camp.  I don’t know what care packages or summer camp are, but she sure got a lot of cool stuff.  I kept pointing out other good ideas for her, but she didn’t really like my advice.  I again had to remind her to feed me, so I got goldfish out of the deal.  I asked Mommy a bunch of times where Sister was.  All she said is that shopping is easier without Chica.  Something about not having to answer a million questions.  FINALLY she took me home…shopping took forever.

Eat.  Night Night.  Elmo’s World.

This is what I do every afternoon.  No news here.

Bubba shoes on.  Walk.  Sister play. Wilson?  Willlllllsonnnnn?   Look.  Have it.  Welcome Mommy.  Apple.  Apple yucky.  Bubba apple?  Mommy apple?  Deer apple.  That way.  Slide.  Bubba do it.  That one.  Ant.  Swing.  More.  More.  That way.  Up.  Welcome Mommy.  Hug.  Home.  Eat applesauce.  Wilson?

IMG_0382This was obviously the best part of my day…totally worth putting my shoes on for.  Mommy took me on a walk without Sister because she was playing with our neighbor friend.  This meant I actually got to walk and not have to ride in that stupid stroller.  It also meant me and Mommy could talk.  I never get in a word when you-know-who is around.

First I asked Mommy if she knew where Wilson was.  That’s my friend’s cat.  She didn’t, so we tried calling him, but he didn’t come.  When we got to the top of the street, I asked to look at the magnolia tree like Sister always does.  Mommy got me one of those dried up flowers to carry.  I thought about how cool Mommy is, and I told her thank you without even being asked.  Mommies like that stuff.

We found these little apples between our street and the park, but Mommy says they are yucky.  She wouldn’t let me eat them, and she wouldn’t try them, but she said the deer might.  I knew she was trying to distract me with the apple talk when we walked past the street the park is on, but I didn’t let her get away with it.  Once we were in there, I tricked her and said we should go swing, but really I was thinking about the slide the whole time.  She actually let me go down the slide by myself, but she sure didn’t look like she was having as much fun as I was.  Mommy gets all panicky and jumpy around that slide.  She told me to ask Grandma about it.  I’ll ask her tomorrow.

We played on the wooden playground, rode the tire swing together, and then I tried the baby swing just to make Mommy happy. She was right.  It was fun.  Mommy took a lot of pictures, but I think this is the only one that shows how fun it was.

IMG_0396

When we left the park, you know what she let me do?  She let me walk on the high wall outside the old school building just like Chica always does.   I think this means I’m big now.  I told her thank you again because she was being so fun.  Ok, nevermind.  I really just wanted a ride on her shoulders.  This was a long walk.  Then I got tired of riding on her shoulders, and thought that if I asked for a hug, she would just carry me regular.  It didn’t work.  By then I couldn’t wait to get home and eat applesauce.  I didn’t see Wilson when we got home either.  I’m starting to get worried about that guy.  Do you think he’s still my friend?

Boogie-woogie sunshine.  Bubba shoes on.  Sister ice cream.  Mommy ice cream.  Daddy ice cream.

I did my usual stand-up sit-down comedy routine after dinner.  I wonder how long they’ll laugh at the same old material.  Then something weird but wonderful happened.  I had to put my shoes on AGAIN because we were going out for….wait for it……ice cream!  Even though Daddy got me my own this time, I still tried everybody else’s.  I wonder how long I’ll get away with that too.  In the end I shared mine with Chica because I was full on all the other kinds.  Mommy pointed out how nicely I was sharing, and Sister said something about about flies and honey and vinegar.  What the what?  Girls are so weird.

Bubba bed.  Sister read.  Belly book.  Mommy night night.  

I wasn’t very tired when Sister started reading to me tonight.  What’s up with her trying to put me to bed this week, huh?  Anyway, she read my favorite, the Belly Book, and a bunch others.  But I just wasn’t tired, so Sister had to get Mommy.  Then they both helped me go to sleep.  Bonus.

Hmm….I wonder if I play my cards just right, if I can get all three of them to put me to bed tomorrow night.  I think I’ll give it a try.

A Toddler Might Live in Your House If…

sweeping toddlerAll of your trashcans are three feet off the ground.

75% of the doors in your house are closed 90% of the time.

You rehearse the names of body parts and animal sounds multiple times a day.

You speak in third person whenever you want someone to do something for you.  Ex.  “Tell Mommy where you hid that phone.  She really needs it.”

You have knock-down, drag-out fights over who gets to hold the spoon.

The most used toys are not toys at all, but instead household items like brooms, laundry baskets, whisks, etc.

You’ve ever used a hood as a handle.

You have to break through a fortress to use the stairs.

You slide everything on a table at least one foot away from the edge.

You consider any fall that doesn’t involve blood a successful landing, and each fall is followed by an enthusiastic, “Yaaaay!  You’re OK.  Get up!”

You leave dead electronics (ex. phones, remotes, printers) around to try to distract from the real ones.

You find yourself saying things you never thought you’d say like, “Don’t lick that pine cone.”

There’s a wholelotta love and a wholelotta crazy at the same time.