Friday, December 30, 2011

Firetrucks and dollhouses

Your son is getting a WHAT for Hanukkah? "A dollhouse", I replied. "He likes imaginary play so we're getting him a dollhouse. It's not pink or anything. It's an all wooden structure with little wooden furniture and people in it." 

I'm not sure why I felt the need to explain to anyone why we chose to buy my son a dollhouse. As a former educator, I know the importance of creative play for young children. Recently, while visiting his Mimi, my son discovered his aunt's old dollhouse. He sat for a long time playing with the little people inside. He especially liked the baby. I loved how he pushed the baby in the little stroller and then tenderly tucked it into it's crib to go 'night night'. So when my mom asked me what he would like for Hanukkah, I told her about the dollhouse. Granted, we searched high and low for one that wasn't girly. In fact, the one we found is actually called, "Ryan's House" (found it in a teaching supply magazine) and the main character is a little boy. 
A playing with "Ryan's House"
A has a tender heart. He's not what you would call a rough and tough kid. Don't get me wrong he is ALL boy....energetic, inquisitive, into EVERYTHING. But he also loves babies and animals. He's gentle...he is almost 3 and I don't think I've ever once seen him get violent with another child. 

I once read an article that said little boys who play with baby dolls grow up to be good fathers. The article could have been total BS, but I decided to try it anyway. The next time there was a consignment sale, I went and bought him a little (anatomically correct!!) boy baby doll. He doesn't play with it often, but I noticed that he seems to have an affinity to real babies now. In my mommy workout group, he is the one who likes to sit with and entertain the babies. Yesterday, at a playdate, my friend put her 5 month old little girl on the floor to play. Next thing we knew, A was laying right next to the baby saying, "I love you baby. I love you." My eyes welled up with tears because it was the sweetest thing! Maybe this baby doll is having a positive influence on him! 
A and his boy baby doll
A is also into trains and boats. Last year for Hanukkah, he got an awesome train table. To this day, he still loves pushing the trains around the track. This year, he also got a Noah's Ark boat. A has always loved animals. He knows the names of over 100 animals and loves to line them up in different formations around our living room. Now that he has the boat, he puts the animals inside, outside, and on top of the boat.

For Christmas (we celebrate Christmas AND Hanukkah) the only thing he asked me for was a zebra pillow pet. Of course, when I went to the store to get it, I noticed that the bottom of the pillow pet was all hot pink. GRRRRR! WTF??? Since when are zebras pink??? Someone suggested I get him a different animal because the zebra had pink on it. After some consideration, I decided to get the damn zebra pillow pet. After all, that's the only thing he asked for. He doesn't care what color it is. In fact, he sleeps with it every night. 
The pink pillow pet! GRR

Am I screwing up my son by letting him play with dollhouses, baby dolls, and pink zebra pillow pets? Possibly. I can just imagine the conversations he'll be having with his therapist one day. HA! But I'd like to think I am also helping my son become a loving, caring, and compassionate person. Maybe his future wife will thank me someday.

Go ahead and judge me. You know you want to! In my defense, one of the first things my son did when he got his dollhouse was put the little boy on the toilet. He told me the boy was pooping and proceeded to make loud grunting sound effects. See? All boy. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011


 Why is it so easy to look at other people and think about how lucky they are? It seems like someone else always has more or things happen more easily for them. Maybe it is childish of me, but I find myself thinking that a lot lately. Okay, it's definitely childish of me! After all, how am I supposed to be a good role model for my son if I spend so much time worrying about what others have and do? 

 I have always been kind of a 'glass half empty' person. In college, when I was pledging a sorority, my pledge name was "Kvetch"- the Yiddish word for "complain". Recently, I've been trying to be a little more positive about things. It takes a lot of work and a lot of humor. AND good friends to listen to my rants! 

  In all honesty, my life turned out so much better than I ever could have dreamed. I live in a wonderful 4 bedroom house in a swim/tennis/golf course community. Thanks to my husband, we are comfortable enough that I am able to stay home with our son. That is something I never saw myself doing, but I love it. I have wonderful friends and family. Most importantly, I have my husband and son. I need to keep reminding myself of all these things whenever I start getting that "grass is always greener" attitude. 

   A few days ago, we were driving back home from visiting my in-laws for Christmas. The sun was shining and hubby and I were holding hands while little A snoozed (and snored!) in his car seat. Suddenly, I felt a rush of happiness. At that moment, it felt like life couldn't get much better. There is something about a sleeping matter how terrible they are while awake, they look so angelic when sleeping. There was so much love in that car. Cheesy, I know! But...this is what life is about! 

My New Year's resolution is to focus on the positive. Trust me, this is going to be VERY hard for a kvetch like me. Especially trying not to worry about everyone else. Because the truth is, I'm the lucky one. 



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The pillow barricade

      Last night, hubby got the "pillow barricade". The pillow barricade is exactly what it sounds like. When he pisses me off before bedtime, I take every single throw pillow we own and use them to make a huge wall between us. This is one of the best parts about having a king size bed. It makes it clear to him that I'm pissed and to stay on his side of the bed (if you know what I mean). 

     It all started when I asked him to read my blog. A mistake, I know! I was just so excited. I came home from dinner with a friend last night and noticed that my blog had 27 readers yesterday! So...I asked him if he wanted to read it. He kind of sighed, grumbled, said something about not feeling like it, and continued playing pointless games on his Kindle Fire. So, when we got into bed last night, I asked him again if he had read my blog. He said, "Honey, I tried but I just can't get past the first paragraph". WHAT?!? I asked him, "why not? What's wrong with it?". He replied, "I just can't stand how you try to write like you're having a always add in 'why?' and 'why not?' and then answer yourself. It's lame." Not realizing that he had already hurt my feelings, he continued to tell me what was wrong with it. He told me that he was only trying to be constructive because he wants my blog to be good and he's trying to help me. He also boasted about what a great writer he is.

       Hmm. I felt I needed to jump in and remind him that he works for an insurance company and that maybe his writing is not as interesting as he thinks it is. I also told him that a blog is someone's personal thoughts and opinions and it can be written in whatever form the person wants.  When I spoke to my mother in law about it this morning, she assured me that she loved it and that a blog is supposed to be written like a conversation. She also said, "he's not a woman, so he doesn't appreciate it!" Probably true. I also have a feeling he may have been so harsh purely for the fact that he is hoping I will take offense and never ask him to read it again. 

    To tell you the truth, I am secretly THRILLED that he doesn't like it. Now I can freely blog about him and not have to worry about him reading it. (Mother in law approved this comment, even suggested the same thing!). Trust me readers ( the three readers that I have...) he gives me plenty of material to blog about!

P.S. While making the pillow barricade, I told him, I'm making a pillow barricade. WHY? So you know you're not getting any. WHY NOT? Because you insulted me. Good night.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kindness of (m)others!

    As the mother of a two year old boy, I am constantly worried about how he behaves in public. Why? Because before I was a mother, I remember finding myself annoyed by other people's kids. Not all kids of course....just the wild ones! Even now, I still get frustrated by how other parents let their children behave in public. ESPECIALLY now that I'm a mom and know what kind of behavior is acceptable for toddlers/preschoolers. 

    I spend a lot of time working with my son on manners and teaching him what is acceptable behavior in public. Does he always act like a perfect angel? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Have I carried him out of stores and restaurants kicking and screaming before? ABSOLUTELY! And when that happens, you better believe people are staring at us like they've never seen a screaming two year old before (yea right!).  To my credit, at least I have the decency to remove my son from the store or restaurant instead of staying and ruining everyone else's experience.  This has happened more times than I can remember. (Yes, he is a TWO year old boy!)

    But there have also been countless times, he has behaved like an angel. He has said, "excuse me" in the grocery store when we walked past another shopper. He has sat in a restaurant for up to an hour before without screaming or crying. He's said please and thank you and smiled at people when they walked by. Do these behaviors get noticed by other people? Hopefully! But I can count on one hand how many times strangers have actually complimented my son on his good behavior. Hmm. He gets attention from people when he screams and throws fits but no attention when he uses his manners and sits nicely at restaurants. Does that make sense? When people stare at him and shake their heads because he is acting like a caveman, I pretty much feel like the worst mom in the world! I start sweating and getting flustered. Usually, I get more upset over his behavior than others, probably because I expect a lot from him. But WOW, the few times people took the time to compliment him (or me), I couldn't  stop beaming. I was the proudest, most wonderful mother to ever walk this earth.

         I was thinking about that this morning. I had about 30 minutes to kill before I had to pick up my son from preschool so I decided to pop into a little cafe. As I was sipping my coffee and reading my Kindle (my life is awesome, isn't it?), a hostess walked in with a woman and three children. The kids looked to be about 2, 4, and 6. I thought to myself, "Oh man! My last few minutes of peace without A and now I'll have to deal with this??!" ( I know, I am a total hypocrite as a mother...) To my pleasant surprise, I barely knew the kids were there. I continued reading my book in peace and before I knew it, it was time to get to my son's school. I ALMOST walked out of the cafe without saying anything but something possessed me to walk over to the table. Before I could stop myself, I said," Ma'am?" She looked up at me, confused. She was probably thinking, " why is this strange psycho woman talking to me?". I continued, "Your children were VERY well behaved!" She beamed at me and said, "Oh my gosh! Are you kidding? I am a complete stress ball right now!" I was shocked. The kids had been quietly sitting, eating, and coloring the whole time. So I said, "Well, they were really good. I'm impressed!". 

   That was that. I really hope I made this woman's day. I also hope the kids got complimented and rewarded for the way they acted in that cafe.

    I am not writing this in my blog so I can brag about how awesome I am for complimenting someone else's children. (Although I am pretty awesome...) Actually, I'm writing this so that more us think to start doing things like this. How often do we complain about how terrible kids are? Just for once, why don't we try to focus on the positive and compliment some parents on the job they are doing? I guarantee if they don't think you're a wacko, you'll probably make someone's day! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mommy guilt

     As I sit drinking my coffee, watching the Today show, and blogging this morning, I can't help but feel guilty. Shouldn't I be cleaning, folding laundry, baking....etc??? How dare I take time to slow down and drink an entire cup of coffee while it's actually hot! Obviously I don't really feel this way...well maybe a little. 

      Now, I am a Jewish woman, so I am no stranger to guilt. However, becoming a mother took my guilt complex to a whole new level! Am I doing enough with my son? Am I doing enough FOR my son? Did I do anything today that will later cause him to sit on some therapist's couch and talk about me? Is my house clean enough? Should we be doing more arts and crafts, baking, memory making? AHHH! My head is spinning just typing this (and my coffee is getting cold too, ugh) Never mind the fact that my hubby was late every night this week and I successfully managed to do all the housework, cook dinner every night, make meals for two friends, help out at (and attend) my son's school Hanukkah party, wrap presents, do holiday shopping, send out all the holiday cards, exercise, grocery shop (with coupons!), the list goes on and on. Baths, naptimes, tantrums, etc! 

      We moms (stay at home moms AND working moms-all moms) do so much for our children and our families. The only person we don't do enough for is ourselves. And if you're anything like me, when you do take time for yourself, you feel a little guilty about it. Do men feel this way too? Or is this a purely female phenomenon? 

    In any case, guilt or no guilt, I'm determined to take some time for myself this morning. Exercising, eating breakfast while it's still hot, maybe even a long shower and if I really want to get crazy, shave my legs!!!! Future me- who will most likely be carrying a kicking and screaming toddler to the car after preschool- will thank me! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finally blogging

        I love to talk. ALL the time! I crave human contact. I actually keep Facebook on all day to "keep me company". 

        Let me back up a little. A year and a half ago, I quit my glamorous job as a first grade teacher to start a new, more glamorous job: stay at home mom. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a stay at home mom. It is without a doubt the best job I ever had. My son, A, is the best thing that ever happened to me. We keep a pretty busy social schedule (otherwise, mommy gets bored and A gets into trouble!). However, some days, I would give anything to have a conversation with an adult. 

          My sister actually gave me the idea to start a blog. My sister, who is 13 months younger than me (and does not have children) told me that I post on Facebook too much. She actually teases me about it pretty often. Even so, she can't believe how many people comment on my posts, especially the mommy ones. (Posts about potty training, breastfeeding, or nap times!!!!!) That's when I got the idea to start a blog. So here I am....more to come!