Category Archives: child

Silly Child

This is an amusing list of things my children have said. Actually, it is all Ally, because as Mary and Tanya will tell you, I still can’t understand 90% of what Ducky says.

“Mommy, can we eat Ducky for dinner? He’s chubby.”

She was on her pretend phone: “Nana got kidnapped by the bad men. Nothing changes.”

I was hanging pictures. I will admit I had no idea what I was doing, but I had seen my dad knocking on walls before, so I thought I would try it and see if it sounds different. It didn’t, but I kept knocking.
Ally, shaking her head: “No one’s in there Mommy.”

“Mama, my dolly got a cold… and then she died.”

I convinced the kids that Santa doesn’t want milk and cookies on Christmas eve and would rather have wine and cheese. Ally: “Santa eats like you?”

Me: “Let’s go babies, we are going to see your cousin Westley.”
Ally: “Are we going to eat him?”

After their baths I was drying them off, got them in their pajamas, and then went off to do something.
Ally: “What? Wash and no style?” She made me comb and blow dry her hair.

“Mommy you are so pretty.”
“Oh, thank you baby!”
“Mommy, can I have a Princess Sophia Doll for Christmas?”

I was making dinner, dancing around to Avicii’s Wake Me Up.
“Ally you want to come dance with me?”
“Mommy we should get you dancing lessons.”

Ally was singing the newest Miley Cyrus song “Wrecking Ball” at daycare and the daycare provider sent me a video of her performing for the class.
After school… “I saw you singing Wrecking Ball. Where did you learn that?”
Ally: “From the good parents at day care. Not you Mommy.”
The good parents at daycare are teaching the kids Miley Cyrus songs. Obviously I have this parenting thing all wrong.

Ally: “Are you and Daddy brother and sister?”

Ally wanted to know where babies come from.
Me: “You came from me and Daddy.”
Ally: “How?”
Me: “From my belly.”
Ally: “You ate us?!?”

Ally asked why I don’t have more than one Nana like she does. I told her when people get really old, they die.
Ally: “Oh no! Are you going to die soon?”

And my all time favorite… Ally: “Don’t sass me Mama!”

Getting Your Child to Sit Still… Sort Of

I have several friends with small children, and it has occurred to me that they believe at Thanksgiving tomorrow evening they will be having dinner with extended family and friends. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but children younger than four (and sometimes older), will not sit through an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Or any dinner for that matter.

Small children  need to be entertained throughout. Forget getting them to actually eat the entire time, but simply having them sit relatively still at the table while you get a few bites will require an entire circus performance on your part. However, it can be done. I have done it before, and I plan on doing it again tomorrow.
You know that saying about idle hands and the devil, and something like that? Well, it *is* like that. The best and only tip I have for you and keeping your small children seated is to not allow them to get bored, because that is when they take it upon themselves to scream, cry, fidget, play with food, etc.
Pick a few toys (preferably plastic and/or easy to clean) that your child loves to play with and bring them to the table. Don’t give your child all of the toys at once as he will get bored of all of them simultaneously.
Once dinner is served, have the little one eat which should take a bit of time. Once they are done you will probably still be eating. Hand your child a toy. He will play with it for a while, and then get bored and start fussing. As long as you have several toys that you can trade out, this should keep him busy for some time.
The only caveat is that this will only work for about an hour at most, after which the child will be restless. If you have the sort of child that at this point will take a nap, or be okay just sitting on your lap while you continue on, then that is wonderful. If you don’t have such a child, then get up and walk around/play with the child away from the table for a bit. Chances are just a little movement will suffice to calm restlessness and general fussiness.
Yes, you will have to repeat the above all night in roughly hour intervals. But it is not so bad. And better than the alternative.

Milk Is Milk

Post from last night…

When Ally was born she was tiny. Really, really tiny. Scrawny little thing. There was nothing wrong with her, much as there had been nothing wrong with me when I was born. Both of us weighed about 5.5 pounds at birth.

I hated when strangers would ask “is she eating enough?” You mean, am I starving my child? Why no, thank you for asking.

Just like I hated when people would ask if I was a teenager when I got pregnant. I think somewhere in there was a compliment on how young I look, but it didn’t come across, and it bothered me.

Anyway, back to the weight issue. Talking to Tanya she mentioned some of her new mom friends were very concerned about properly feeding their children. The whole breast feeding versus formula debate sort of thing. They all seem concerned with wether they should supplement.

Well, how you feed your child is none of my business, and any advice I have is rife with opinion. Yes, I think breast feeding is best, but I also understand it is not always possible.

I exclusively breast fed both my children, until I went back to work. Then it became a tricky balancing act. In lieu of actually feeding them I would have to pump. The options are limited, and just like most women in the same situation I would hide out in a bathroom stall with a manual pump, squeezing away at it until my hands and breasts hurt, only to get a few ounces of milk in a bottle. Three was fine. Four was optimal. Two was the average.

Those two ounces would sometimes take twenty minutes of heavy pumping that entailed a lot of schedule shifting and planning.

One of my friends who works in a corporate environment at a predominantly male company in Silicon Valley would get so overwhelmed and flustered by this she would often find herself locking her office door and hiding under her desk to pump. One time, she managed to knock over the bottle, spilling all of her production for the day. She emailed in tears, having nothing to bring home to her baby that night, panicked that she was risking her baby’s health – she was certain she was a terrible mother.

I remember waking up at two and three in the morning to get an extra pumping session in as buffer for those days I could not produce. My freezer was stocked with tiny bags of strange opaque fluid that turned an interesting iridescent blue and yellow when frozen.

At four months I had to wean my daughter onto formula. I wasn’t pumping enough, my production went to almost nothing, and if I didn’t start supplementing then I would actually be starving the already tiny thing. I felt incompetent and dejected. I have had issues with my breasts since puberty, always failing me, and here was another example. They had no sex appeal (whether you feel that is socially constructed or not), and now they weren’t even fulfilling their biological purpose. If only I could have turned tears into breast milk.

My son came along and I was determined to do it right this time around. He lasted about three and a half months. Just like with Ally I went back to work when he was about six weeks old, but I increased my pumping regiment, and became exceedingly diligent about it. But, unlike Ally, he wasn’t a tiny baby requiring only a few ounces. He was big at birth, and then had several large growth spurts within the first few months, requiring well above the normal amount of nutrition. I was very proud of myself for having kept up, and for the ever growing stock pile of little baggies in my freezer. I was determined that this child would get it all.

This child got it all for about three months, and then I realized that with a twelve hour work day, breast feeding was not going to happen. This time my tears didn’t come from feelings of failure, but rather from realizing in those last evening that that was the end of my physical bond with my son.

I consoled myself that even if I could make it work, somehow, for a little longer, when my son would be a little over five month old I would be going back to school, and my twelve hour work days would turn into sixteen and seventeen hour marathons.

So my children had both. They started out with breast milk, but ended up with formula. And they are both alive and well. Neither of them have had any health problems aside from a few colds and fevers. There are people out there who will not miss this opportunity to remind me that breast milk offers amazing immune system building benefits and those colds could have been prevented had I not switched to formula. They might be right, but as far as I can tell, no one has died from a catching a cold.

So for those mothers out there having panic attacks over the amount of milk they can produce, as long as your baby is gaining weight and growing, you are probably doing fine. And if you are not, just get the formula because milk is milk – it doesn’t make you a bad mother.