It's Mommy Time

One Mommy, Two Daughters, Zero Time

Thursday, February 26, 2009

TPE and TPA Defined

Tactical Parenting Error (TPE) - Everyone makes them, and you usually know as soon as you do because your child reminds you of your error constantly. For example, mentioning the park if you have no intention of going there, giving your hyper child chocolate milk before bedtime, making a promise that you can’t keep, introducing your child to a sugary food (like M&Ms…thank you Grandma). I call these tactical parenting errors because not only do they affect the parent/child dynamic at the time, but they also might have long term effects if, for example, your child asks for M&Ms every time you go to the store.

Tactical Parenting Adjustment (TPA) – This is a moment when you have to draw a line in the sand and dare your child to cross it so that they can experience the consequences. We’ve had two of these in the past two days. Two nights ago I had to tell Hailey that she would not get a story before bed if I had to come downstairs and carry her up for bed. I gave her every chance to make the right choice, and she did not. There was no story. There was 20 minutes of screaming and crying for Mommy to read her a story before she fell asleep. Next night no arguments before bed. Perfect TPA. This morning I had to take her Cheerios away because she kept getting up from the table and running around. Gave her two warnings and the Cheerios were taken away each time. On the third, she was told that this would be her last chance and the Cheerios would not come back if she got up again. She sat in her chair and ate them all with no questions asked. Classic TPA. No one likes having to make TPAs, but idol threats only work for so long. Sometimes you have to make the hard choices, and luckily for Hailey, I’m just stubborn enough to out stubborn her (at least for now!).

Monday, February 23, 2009

Best Hailey Quote from the Weekend...

“I’m sad because you’re making me crazy.”

Oh, child, it's only just the beginning. I will be making you crazy for many many years to come. HAHAHAHAHA (evil laugh).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Need a Nap; You Need a Nap

By the age of 4, 50% of children will give up their afternoon naps. By the age of 5, about 70% stop napping. Well, Hailey’s a bit ahead of the curve. She’s only 2 (and a half), and she’s given up her nap. I didn’t really realize it until the teachers at school started telling me that she will just lay on her mat for 2 hours every day with her eyes open. She plays with her hair, sings songs to herself, talks, etc, but does not sleep. I protested for a while that she was a fabulous nap taker at home, sometimes sleeping for 3 hours in the afternoon. Well, turns out I’m a big fat liar. She doesn’t necessarily sleep at home. She plays in her bed (now her bunk bed) until I come to get her. She used to sleep really well, and from time to time if she’s been up late, she might sleep a little. However, for the most part, she does not take naps.

Here’s where Mommy panic sets in. I’m not ready for her to give up her nap. That’s the only time on the weekends when I can really attack my “to do” list with reckless abandon. That’s my quiet time, my football time during the season, my Mommy time!!! Ugh. Ok. Stop panicking. The best approach in this situation is denial. She still takes naps. Yup. I’m going to continue to put her down for naps just like normal, if she sleeps fine, if she doesn’t sleep fine. Everyone needs some quiet time in the afternoon, even Mommy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chores and the Evil Parents Who Create Them

Ever since we found out that we were pregnant, we’ve tried to instill in Hailey a sense of chores and housework. We bought her a tall stool for the kitchen so that she can help cook, put away dishes, wash things, etc. Whenever I talk about her helping, I can’t stop myself from putting the word “help” in annoying little air quotes. Sometimes helping looks a lot like making a bigger mess. Sometimes it looks like only doing half of the job before being distracted, and sometimes it looks like Mama doing most of the actual work. So, you could say that we have a “helper” (if you include big air quotes and roll your eyes a little).

Still, she is getting much more independent, and she actually does help at times. For example, she often picks things up for me so that I don’t have to squish my belly trying to bend down. Picking things up for Mommy is an important chore at this stage in the game.

Anyway, I wanted to document some of the chores that she does around the house at the ripe old age of 2.5. And, no, we have not introduced the idea of an allowance so this is slave labor at this point….shhhhh don’t tell! Here's the list of things that she does when asked:

  • Put away the clean silverware in the drawer;
  • Feed the dog;
  • Make tacos or pizza;
  • Snap green beans or broccoli;
  • Dispense water for dinner (we keep towels handy);
  • Put dirty clothes in the hamper;
  • Help fill the washing machine (excuse the black sock in with the whites, please);
  • Put away her clean clothes (ok not yet, but this is coming shortly);
  • Wipe up spills that she makes;
  • Throws things in the garbage can (hopefully only when instructed);
  • Put things in the recycle bins;
  • Put (more like throw) her dishes in the sink after a meal; and
  • Wipe any surface with a baby wipe when given the opportunity.

For the most part, she loves doing these things. If you have any other chores that she could do, please let me know. I’m sure that she’ll be in charge of many other things when Sophia comes.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Binky Capers...The Finale

I’m sure that you were on the edge of your seat all weekend wondering how the Binky Capers story would end. Well, let me tell you that our child is a champ! The night that we gave her the card from the Binky Fairy was the first night in her new bunk beds (pictures coming soon). She helped us round up all of the binkies in the house and put them in a Ziploc bag for Mommy to put on the porch (as per the Fairy’s detailed instructions). Then, we read a chapter of her Cindarella story, turned off the light, and she said “night night” as usual. Not another peep the rest of the night.

On Sunday morning when she woke up, she found a present and a big stuffed animal on the edge of her bed. She didn’t touch the present, but was giddy as a clam when I went in to wake her up. She was thrilled with the tea set that the binky fairy brought for her and played with it for a long time in the morning.

I would say that the whole thing was a huge success. She hasn’t asked for a binky since and even was brave enough to sleep on the top bunk last night. Of course, she didn’t take a nap on Sunday, but that’s a story for another blog.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Binky Capers

The bunk beds arrived tonight and are in great condition. I was really concerned about what the"damage" would be. I mean, what damage could possibly be worth the $1,500 that I saved by purchasing them as returned merchandise? Well, the inside bottom of one of the drawers is smashed to the point that we'll need to replace it. Nothing cosmetic at all. They look perfect from the outside. It's no problem. Now we just need mattresses.

So, we've been telling Hailey that when the bunk beds come, she would have to give up her binky because she would be a big girl sleeping in a big girl bed. The binky is like toddler crack. You give it to her, her eyes roll back in her head, and she gets all mellow. It's great for us as parents. She really only gets it when she's going to bed, but in an emergency, we can give it to her in the car or on the plane. Here's the's not good for her teeth and I'd rather sacrifice a few nights of sleep now rather than pay thousands of dollars in orthodontia bills later. Thus, the decision has been made - the binky must go.

How do you get rid of the binky with minimal pain and suffering? Well, according to my expert friends, you create binky fairy who writes the toddler a letter asking her to mail all of her binkies to the poor babies who don't have any. In exchange, the binky fairy brings the toddler a present and voila, no more binkies. Yeah, I don't really believe that it's going to work either, but I don't have any better ideas. So, off I go to decieve my child yet again.