Category: Parenting

Yes, My 4 Year Old Wears Makeup..

I have a number of friends who are pregnant these days.  Most of them are pregnant for the first time.  I have a really hard time not bursting into laughter when they tell me how sick they are about getting ‘advice’ and feeling the judgmental looks they get when they indulge in a treat etc.

Those of us who have been blessed enough to go through the first child already know – the ‘worst’ is yet to come.  Before I had a kid, I passed under the radar of most people.  I didn’t stand out in anyway, I blended into the crowd.  Nobody really gave me much of a second look.

That all changes once you have a kid.  They attract attention to even the most under-the-radar types of people.  They make noise, they touch things, they ask questions, they introduce themselves to strangers.  They are mini-representations of you and your belief system that do not have filters on what to say and when it is appropriate to just THINK something and not say it out loud.

Sometimes they don’t have to do anything.  Sometimes you can be quietly walking through the store with your kid and attract attention because of the way they look.  Unbrushed hair, holes or stains in their clothes (all things I SWORE up and down my kid would never have – HA!)

This past week, Averie attracted attention because she was wearing makeup.

Yes, my four year old had on eye shadow.

Averie in Makeup

Some people looked at her and seemed to think ‘how cute – she wants to be like mommy’ (which is funny, since mommy never wears much make up).  The majority, however, looked at her and then looked at me with disgust – as if it was absolutely wrong for me to allow my child to wear makeup.

And WHY was my child wearing makeup?

Because she’s been having meltdowns.  Crazy tantrums.  Screaming, spitting, drooling and unable to form a coherent thought tantrums.  I think it’s part of adjusting to the new school schedule…  not quite sure.  But when she has make up on she doesn’t do that.  She has a much more calm attitude about it – because if she cries, she will “cry her makeup off” and she knows that Mommy won’t give her more.  (and the dirty looks multiple ten fold when she mentions this in the checkout line as I’m telling her ‘no’ to buying more candy.)

Perhaps it’s manipulative.  Perhaps my child is a little bit of a diva and likes her makeup a little too much.   Regardless, it works.  She uses her words instead of intangibly screaming and we reach resolutions much faster.    It’s temporary, and it’s not EVERY day.  In fact, she only gets eye makeup in the mornings if she gets out of bed and starts the day with a good attitude.

So yes, my four year old is wearing makeup, and now that I think about it – perhaps I should start wearing it more often too…  but that would require ME to get out of bed with a good attitude.  Not sure I’ll ever earn that reward!!

Bed Time Routines, Chores & Allowance

It’s amazing what a difference routines make with kids.  And it’s amazing how quickly we forget to keep up with their routines.  Awful silly, considering when you stray from the routine itself the parents are usually the ones to suffer…

This has been evident in our house over the last couple of weeks.  Every night at bed time I hear “But I’m not tired yet!”  and someone melts down into a puddle of tears and tries to cuddle up in our laps and get even just a few more minutes of ‘awake time’.

Then we cave, and she goes to bed for “quiet bedtime”.

I don’t know if “quiet bedtime” was a genius parenting move, or a STUPID parenting move on our part.  Basically, we allow her to either read books or play with a toy or the ipod for a little while instead of just going to bed.  Usually she falls asleep anyway:

"I'm not tired..."

“I’m not tired…”

However, back when we implemented her chore chart, and she was in a routine…  we didn’t have this problem.  She’d happily go to bed – hugs and kisses and all.

Plus she had an allowance.  Not a big allowance — but enough that she was able to go to the store and buy herself a {small} toy once a month.

allowanceshopping3 allowanceshopping2 allowanceshopping

I think I just need to update her chore chart and reinstate her allowance…

This {below} was her chart…  She had helped me make it and picked out what pictures to use.  That was a bonus too — as it meant she could go check her chart and see what she still needed to do ALL by herself!

chorechart

I think I need to take at minimum take off the potty stuff since she doesn’t really need the motivation there anymore.   Past that — does anyone have any thoughts on what chores would be good for a three-year-old??

Until then….. I need to get her back on a routine… so we can have more peaceful sleeping nights……

sleeping

D is for Daddy

I shared this on Facebook when it happened, but wanted to take a moment to ‘immortalize it’ here…

Somebody wrote on the couch:

20121217-223656.jpg

When I confronted her she answered:

Well… It wasn’t me, I am an A for Averie. That looks kinda like a D for Daddy…

Smart little turkey!

You should probably panic when it gets quiet…

Averie is finally to the point where she gets up in the mornings, goes to the bathroom by herself, and then comes upstairs to ‘cuddle’ for a few minutes.

I heard her wake up a couple of days ago.  It was early, and before the alarm was due to go off, so I rolled over and went back to sleep, assuming she’d find her way upstairs soon.

I woke up again just a couple of minutes later to silence.  It took me a few minutes to decide that I didn’t just ‘dream’ that she was awake and that I needed to get up to investigate.

Good thing I did.  Apparently she was preparing for an incredibly hot day at the beach.

Good news is I don’t think she’ll be getting sun-burnt any day soon!!!

She wailed as I took it off/rubbed it in wherever possible.  Apparently I was ‘ruining it’ and now her ‘skin won’t be soft ever again’!  Unfortunately, reassuring her that this  won’t be the last time I ‘ruin’ something for her didn’t help to calm her down any…

Messy, Messy Pumpkin Goo!

I absolutely hate messes.  I can deal with clutter (toys, piles of mail, etc) but I anything that’s gooey, sticky, messy and gross?  Nope.  Can’t do it!

I really love carving pumpkins though…  and that can be one of the messiest projects EVER if you let it be.  I tried to turn off the nagging voice in my head and just let Averie have fun.

She was really excited when the pumpkins from the pumpkin patch were brought inside!

She drew her own face on her pumpkin all by herself – I was most impressed that she gave it “Grrrr” teeth!

And then it was time for scooping out the pumpkin guts…  and the mess that I’m not so fond of!  Everything started out simple enough:

But things quickly get worse, and before I knew it she was past her elbows, and up to her SHOULDERS in pumpkin “GOO”

I think I managed to successfully not freak out too much – but she was definitely a mess when we were done.  The only time I told her to stop was when she was violently shaking her hands to get the pumpkin guts off and it was flying all over…   That’s a pretty impressive feat for me!

In the end – she had her pumpkin all done and ready to go!  We also scooped out the other two and let her pull the guts out of them so we could do them after she went to bed.  I figured there was no sense in the rest of us having to go up to our elbows in “goo” too!

Side Note: Did you know it was possible to get a blister while scooping pumpkin “goo” out?!

Here she is with her pumpkin, all ‘goo’ed up, and making the same face as her pumpkin is making!

She had a blast, and I probably should learn to turn off that nagging “that’s too messy” voice in the back of my head in favor of having more fun a little more often…

Please teach your kids about bullying…

I debated on writing this post for a few days. Then I wrote it. Then I debated publishing it for a few days too. But it is bullying awareness month, and I did start a blog… that means I should publish something on the topic at least once… And don’t worry, I won’t be on my soap box for long, we’ll get back to cute kid stories and yummy cookies and normalcy soon!!

I was bullied as a kid. Not to the extent of the kids that make the news lately like Amanda Todd, but still bullied. I’m sure some would probably lessen the ‘charges’ and call it being “picked on”, but in reality – I had days where I didn’t want to go to class, days where I would fake illness, or days where I’d hide in the bathroom until class had already started in order to avoid having to have any moments alone with people.

I went to small schools. My first school only had around 25 people in our class, 50 when we combined schools for middle school and beyond. When my brother and I moved in with my mom and went to a new school in middle school, I thought that maybe my luck would change. My second school had roughly 100 people, and was laden with the same issues. It’s not like I could avoid these people. They were the only people in my school, or so it felt at the time. Sure I had friends too, though a lot of them were “picked on” just as much as I was. High school was better, I think… I wonder sometimes how much of it was truly better versus how much of it was just me getting used to it though.

I wasn’t the popular kid, I didn’t have nice clothes and I couldn’t afford to do a lot of the fun things the other kids did. I never had birthday parties, and in the rare case I was invited to another kids’ birthday party, it was rare that I’d go since I couldn’t afford a gift, and didn’t know if I’d be able to get someone to drive me there and back. My parents were divorced and I was often chasing after my brother. I lived with my dad — and teaching a girl how to dress nicely, straighten her hair, put on makeup and pluck her eyebrows wasn’t really on the list of manly things he was knowledgeable about. (Note that these things aren’t usually on my radar even still today most days).

I don’t remember being a ‘bad’ kid. I got good grades. I probably screwed up the grading curve for some of those people. Other than that, I have no idea what I would have done to anger those people that so much that they felt the need to say mean things to me.

Most of those people aren’t in my life anymore in any capacity. I have to wonder if they ever even realized the magnitude of the things they would say. There are a few that I’ve added on Facebook. I see pictures of them with their kids and I have to wonder if they’re teaching their kids to be more compassionate than they were. I almost didn’t add any of them on Facebook. In the end, we have grown up, people have changed, and kids do stupid things – and hopefully they’ve learned. At least I think they have. Nobody’s made fun of my attire lately anyway…

I don’t hold the hurtful things they said against them, but I do still have moments where I look in the mirror and realize I need to redo my eyebrows and can hear their harsh words in the back of my head. I’m tempted sometimes to ask them if they remember the things they’d say to me and let them know that it still puts a dent in my self-worth on rare occasions.

I think the thing that “saved” me from being constantly depressed was that technology wasn’t big then. When school was out I could break out of those doors (or off of the bus) and run straight to Elsie and Bozo’s house or home. I didn’t have to deal with what people might say on Facebook or over emails and text messages. Once school was out, it was over. I could leave and go spend my time with people who loved me and there wasn’t any way for my ‘bullies’ to get to me there.

I hate to think about how different it would be today. I really hate to think about how Averie’s life would be if she was in a similar situation as well. The internet makes it all a very different world, and it’s up to us parents to make sure we’re teaching tolerance and respect to our kids along with internet safety. Bullying and kids being disrespectful wasn’t something I put a lot of thought into until I became a parent. We haven’t had a lot of experiences with it outside of the norm yet, but there was a woman that made her burst into tears in Target. There have been other situations we’ve been in that were so bizarre that I could have sworn I must have been dreaming (nightmaring?).

Averie was at the park with me a few months ago in CR and she was playing with another little boy the same age as her – they were taking turns playing with one of the boys toys and I was standing nearby his parents – who just so happened to be black. We carried on a basic conversation about how old our kids were and if they were in school etc. They were super nice people and Averie and the little boy were playing great together. Another couple showed up with their kid and stood within earshot of us at the park – close enough that we could hear them, but far enough that the kids really couldn’t. I’m not sure if they thought they were far enough that we couldn’t hear them or if they were instigating, but the number of rude comments that came from them about race was astounding.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when their kid walked up to the little boy that Averie was playing with and took his toy. “This is mine now” he said, and pushed the kid down. His parents laughed, the younger boys parents stood back, unsure of when to intervene, and I was livid pissed off. – I get kids not knowing how to share, I even get kids getting a little aggressive… but for the parents to laugh about it?!

The bigger kid pushed the younger one down a second time and the younger boys parents started to head over to his aid. Averie came down the slide and walked up to the bigger kid and told him “That’s not your car, you need to ask so we can share”. He didn’t respond at all to Averie, and thankfully didn’t push her, or I would have lost it. The younger boys parents retrieved the car from the older boy, who was protesting the whole time. In the middle of all of this, the older boys parents came over and demanded to know why Averie and the younger boy wouldn’t share the car. Seriously?!

The younger kids parents made the decision to leave and the older parents retort was full of racial slurs about how glad they were that they would be leaving so their kid could play somewhere without a N***** running around. As they pulled away, the boy said “Bye N*****’s”. And the parents laughed. Needless to say, I did not laugh. I looked at Averie and said “That boy is naughty. If you EVER behave like that or talk like that you’ll be in BIG trouble!” and we left too. I had to answer questions on the drive home about why that boy and his mommy and daddy were so mean, and I praised her for standing up to the big kid and trying to help the younger boy.

I wish I was making this up. I still can’t believe there are parents out there like that. I keep thinking, maybe it was his uncles or something, but I’m pretty positive it was his parents.

Although I’m pissed that it happened, in a way I’m glad that I had the opportunity to talk to her about it. And I’m glad to see that she stepped in to try to help the other kid. She didn’t even look like she was remotely afraid that the big kid would push her down. That said, I also know that if he had pushed her down, she would have melted into a pile of tears. I don’t know if she wanted to help the other kid so much that she wasn’t scared, or if she just didn’t put together that the bigger kid might push her down too, but either way – I was proud of her.

It’s not always that obvious when parents are teaching their kids bad habits… I was watching a video the other day — another story that went viral of course — about TV anchor woman Jennifer Livingston who received an email about her “physical condition” not being a “suitable example for [the] community’s young people”. Jennifer went on to bring up this issue on the air and made quite a few great points that I think everyone should take a few seconds to really think about.

What caught me the most out of this was her statement towards the end — that bullying is learned behavior and that we need to be be conscious of what we’re teaching our children, even when we’re not trying to teach them anything:

If you are at home and you are talking about the fat news lady, guess what? Your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat.

And it’s true. Kids are sponges, they soak this stuff up. You may not intend to be teaching them to single out people or to be bullies, but simple things like that will sink in to them.

We all do stupid things from time to time, we all ‘teach’ our kids things that we don’t mean to (hello, profanity!) But please – for the love of all the other kids out there – make an effort to teach your kids that its ok to be different – having a strange birth mark, messy hair, being poor, having a wild imagination, having a hard time reading, having a different skin color or sexual preferences doesn’t change the fact that they’re people too.

It’s up to you to teach your kids that there is no reason to “pick on” someone for being different than they are, and it’s up to you to teach them what to do when they come across other kids whose parents didn’t teach them the same lessons about treating others with respect.

It’s important to talk about these things with your kids, but more importantly – please, lead by example.

What Mommy Does Without Averie Pt1

Averie is at Nana’s house for the weekend. Last weekend at the pumpkin patch Nana offered to take her for a few days. I have a bunch of cookies to get done this weekend, so I jumped for it!

I took a poll on Facebook to see what I should do with my “free” time… Drink, sleep, scrapbook and have sex rounded out the list. Nobody ever said my friends (or family) were shy!

I’m sorry to inform you all that I didn’t do any of those tonight. At least not yet. (I plan on sleeping shortly, for those of you with dirty minds!).

Tonight I thought I’d just sit. I sat on the couch and watched the first half of Alice on Netflix. That was decently relaxing, even if it hurt my brain…  I often forget how twisted of a story Alice in Wonderland really is.  And this is definitely a different take on a twisted story…  I enjoyed it though!  Hopefully I’ll enjoy the second half too…

After that Aaron went to bed and I went for a bath. I made it extra hot for soaking. Yes I know that’s probably part of why I have dry skin, and no…. I don’t plan on changing my preference for a soak in a steaming hot tub any day soon.

I busted out my soap and sponge that I got in Florida.  The soap was ok – I did like the oatmeal being in the bar.  But the sponge?  I never knew a sponge could be so……  spongey.  It hold so much water, and it’s so soft…  I don’t think I’ll go back to the ‘imitation’ sponges or netted loofas for a while!

Anyway, my plans to relax in the tub were quickly interrupted. How do you get interrupted when your child is away and your other half is sleeping?

Why… By THIS of course:

Evil Furry Feline

I knew I shouldn’t have tortured her by giving her baths as a kitten… Now she feels the need to try to join me… Or at least drink my water…

Oh, apparently you’re too good for the fresh water in your bowl?!

This cat is WEIRD about water.  It may be in part due to the aforementioned baths… but seriously.  She absolutely HAS to spill her water all over the place to drink it.  We used to have one of those upright auto-waterers.  She would splash out ALL of the water from it.  The floor would be soaked.  We tried little bowls.  She’d spill that.  Finally we tried a fountain.  She still splashes, but not quite as much.

She’s even weird about that…  you have to take the top off of the fountain too (and off of the food bowl as well).

Anyway…  long story short… someone interrupted my attempt at relaxing.

Good thing she’s cute…

Observing Averie

I’m a facebook over-sharer.  Anytime Averie does something cute, I think ‘I should put that on my facebook.

I have a blog.  I have a place to write all kinds of random things that Averie does.   You’re already here, I’m not going to bother to link that one…

I tweet.  Sometimes.  Sometimes I forget about twitter.  But fact of the matter is, I am perfectly capable of tweeting.

And when I need to vent – I text more than call, so there’s a running commentary readily available on my phone.

 

But for some reason, being asked to document observations about Averie for her Home Observation form for preschool stopped me in my tracks.

Document what?  I can’t think of anything to document!

The paper says to give examples of her taking care of her needs, following expectations and routines and establishing positive relationships….

Aaron said, “I’m just going to write down that she’s three, and she acts like it…”

This shouldn’t be that hard of a homework assignment for me, the over-documenting, over-sharing person who pretty much has a daily record of everything her kid says and does….

I did fill the sheet up, but I feel like I did it “wrong”.  I just went through my facebook and blog and tried to write down as many things as were seemingly relevant.

Now, on the other hand…  Averie was sent home with a stuffed animal for sharing again, and we can’t find it anywhere.  Only her second homework assignment and we’re already going to be using the “cat must have ate it” excuse!  Argh!!

Birthday Name Cookies and Averie’s Cookies

Sometimes simple is the best!  Especially since simple cookies usually leave me in a mood to play with cookies instead of just making them…

These were for a little girls birthday party.  Pink and purple, using the same icing as  the cupcake cookies!

I was so excited to play with cookies with Averie that I don’t think I got any other pictures of those cookies.  Oops!

Speaking of Averie playing with cookies…  these are her beautiful creations!  The icing did actually start out on all of the cookies…  oops 🙂

I’m kind of a fan of the massively sprinkled cookies…  they were crunchy to eat, but they were delicious…  I think cookies that are done by three year old taste better anyway!

And seriously, how can you not adore this little baker!?!  I wish I’d snapped a video of her having an argument with one little sprinkle that wouldn’t go where she wanted it to as she poked it with a toothpick…  guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree there, huh?