Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Imaginary Birds

I often wonder at the imaginations of children. How do they so effortlessly create magical worlds out of nothing? How is it so easy for them to string together innocent word dew drops to form honey so sweet you have no choice but to buy into it? I don't know how they learn to stretch the truth or flat out lie so convincingly. I think I read somewhere it has to do with survival of the fittest. They teach themselves to lie in order to make it through the rough existence of crayons and endless recess I guess. Now for adults, lying is second nature. It is a form of survival of the fittest, more so siding with societal self preservation. We know what it takes to make it in this world, fighting hard to conform and fit in. Making sure we appear sane and lucid when really we are just livin on a prayer. Heck, it's hard enough trying to figure out what to wear to pick your kid up on days you work from home (most of the time sweatpants still win) so you don't offend the other parents and administrators without having to constantly lie to keep the weirdness of your family from being known by the good folks at your child's school. Unfortunately, these specific set of circumstances collided and I found myself a co-conspirator in a fantastic imaginary world as designed by my three year old.

And so the story goes that one warm, sunny September afternoon I picked up Emma just like every other day (only this day was an office day so I was wearing appropriate, mature adult attire). Emma was playing near her new teacher. I smiled and did what I always do, prepare an elaborate scheme to get Emma to leave without throwing a fit. Today gave way to a surprisingly easy departure and we waved good-bye to her friends as we made our way into the school to grab her lunch box and the large quantity of art projects, beginning of the year school forms, and other random bits of paper that only ever make it to the front seat of my car. On this particular day, unknown to me, we were followed inside by her teacher taking another kid to the bathroom. This detail will become important later so keep it in the back of your mind while I host a brief intermission to provide a short back story.

Emma changed classrooms this year which meant all of her belongings in her cubby moved to a new cubby outside her new classroom. Now I'm not one to question cubby space usage, although I did notice a week or so ago that there was a box in her cubby that I hadn't put there. I questioned it at first but then it just blended into the wooden siding and it never crossed my mind again...until....

I reached in and grabbed that day's mountain of paper. Emma reached her hand in after and pulled out the box. It was a colorful box. It was heavy and made a noise when you shook it. "Look mommy it's our bird food!" "Oh you mean for the birds in your classroom." "No mommy, for OUR birds." Before I could even process what was going on...

*Enter Emma's teacher* "Oh yeah Emma told me you guys have birds. We don't have birds in the classroom any more so I gave her the food to take home to your birds." Had her teacher not been in the hallway at that exact moment my fried after work brain would have shaken off Emma's story and the bird food would have ended up back in her cubby, but at this point there was a lucid adult involved in this scenario. I also might not have mentioned this in detail but my brain logic and reasoning is diminished from working all day so at this point I'm not at my peak for adult conversation. Ok, maybe this is a lame excuse for what happened next because I have no idea how this happened except to assume it was a verbal reflex. Like at this point in my day I am reduced to responding "yeah yeah" to all of the cries of "look at me" and "watch this." So somehow having complete knowledge of the fact that we do not own birds as pets and never will with 4 dogs, I responded, "Oh yes, the birds. Thank you." It's like my mind went into autopilot and I entered the world of mindless agreement only this time I entered into the dangerous world of a toddler lie without fully understanding what was going on. I had somehow grabbed my toddler's outstretched hand and followed her through the looking glass. I had just let my child lead me into a very real lie. We had created imaginary birds.

Of course later that day I had to come clean with my husband when he came home and saw a box of bird seed sitting on the counter (pictures above.) After laughing hysterically for a while I got a bit of a (well deserved?) lecture. How could I lie about having birds and deprive some very deserving, well meaning birds from this food?!?! Little Billy or Jane at school might have birds that could have really used this food. At this point, I knew what had to be done but how does one undo a vicious lie about made up birds? I could not see a way out of this without dragging the Patterson name through the mud.

I ended up speaking to Emma about why she said we had birds. She said she wanted to get some birds to feed. I thought back to the birds at our local pool who we feed a couple of times and decided that was it, she had remembered our fine feathered friends at the pool and was just thinking of them. So in a way, we DID (?) have feed that is. Not a lie necessarily, just a small technicality. We did have birds to feed, just not any that reside at our house.

Well the next day when I went to pick Emma up, apparently she had shared our bird conversation with her teacher who is no fool (in fact being a preschool teacher she is sharp as a whip). Her stern, yet forgiving eyes looked up at me as I approached, "you guys don't have birds, do you?" There was no hiding and only a small window with which to save face. "No, we don't have birds but we do feed the birds outside."  "Ah, ok." And just like that, it was over. Emma has not been shunned and I managed to take a "misunderstanding" and revert it back to a happy ending Mary Poppins song. And next time, I will stop and think before blurting out whatever rolls off my tongue in a mindless afternoon haze.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Nighttime Difficulties

Well folks we haven’t discussed behavioral issues around these parts for a while so I guess we are overdue. To cut to the chase, basically, Emma is getting up in the middle of the night every night. I think she is in a phase where she is scared of the dark/ monsters but it has gotten so bad I am at a loss for what to do about it.

We changed her crib to a big girl bed a few months back and everything was going ok until probably the end of July. Ever since then, every night she has been getting out of her bed and either sleeping on the couch in the living room, bringing one of the dogs into her room to sleep, or coming into our room to get in our bed. We have had many, MANY discussions about the whole thing. She knows not to get out of bed. We have discussed at length the fact that monsters are not real. We originally also went back and forth about having a pull up on her at night but finally decided after changing wet sheets for several nights in a row that the pull up needed to stay on. She is comfortable with it on but that problem persists.

We got her one of those pillows that lights up and that seemed to work for a while but all of a sudden it was not enough to “keep the monsters away.” So we got her a little lamp. All that seemed to do was ensure she was wide awake in the wee hours. And I am now at my wits end. I am exhausted and sleep deprived and there seems to be no end in sight. We are going to see about getting a smaller night light to see if that works but after that I have no clue what to do. Everything I have read says just to walk the kid back to their bed until they get the hint. Well I’m hoping my kid will get the hint before college because I can’t live like this for the rest of my life and I know not getting an uninterrupted night of rest is not healthy for Emma.

Has anyone gone through this? Any recommendations?

We Made it This Far

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer Vacation and the Cautionary Tale of Jungle Jim’s

Friday, July 24, 2015

What Was Going to be a Prologue

I thought I would prelude this post with a few quick updates, mainly, we got a computer! It is used/ two years old but I am super thrilled to finally be able to post pictures again and hopefully post more often! Blogging on a phone is really difficult and small, everything it so freakin small. Also, I have been doing some other various projecty type things. I am attempting to learn how to sew. My first attempt was not a complete failure but I learned my lesson and will not be “eye balling” patterns going forward. I made Emma a planets dress (pictured below because yeah bad ass computer haver here).

I started working from home two days a week which is awesome however… I was sitting at home one day and  the walls of my abode started attacking my peripheral, and all of a sudden, I had a freak out because the house is a cluttered mess and literally the walls were closing in and I couldn’t take it anymore!  So later that day, I halted everything and in mid-dinner prep, I decided all of the pictures on the walls needed to come down and new art work needed to go up. I painted these all in like an hour and a half because my hands just needed to move and create.

I’m somewhat pleased with them although I am sad my white paint ran out so I might do some touch ups later after a trip to the craft store. I am close to pulling the trigger on bright colorful pillows for the couches. I am also
on the hunt for a bench to replace the huge comfy chair that I love so but never gets used. We keep it covered so the dogs don’t get on it and ruin it (in fact if you have ever noticed chairs on top of furniture in my pictures in the past it is to save everything from the dogs.) So basically we have had this huge lump just sitting in our living room for over a year and it takes up so much space and we basically use it to throw junk on so it’s a huge junk lump and I finally snapped and it HAS TO GO. Other various organizational projects will happen in time around the rest of the house but I’m hoping this new organizational energy is being gifted to me from the universe as a sign that we will be moving soon. As in my urgent need to declutter will perfectly sync up with finding a new house. By soon I mean within the next 6 months to a year. The clock is ticking and we really only have t-minus two years until Emma is ready for kindergarten aka: we need to be in a better school district by then. Once again, I have been lazily clinging onto our house for the convince of the location only. There is no way we can move anywhere nearby as everything is way to pricey around these parts.

Once we move it will be crappy commuting for all and I’m really REALLY trying to avoid that. I am planning on writing a farewell to our neighborhood once we leave or possibly a post on the advantages of living in the neighborhood we do but that’s for another day. Anywho this prologue seems to have turned into a post in and of itself as I describe in detail my homebound psychotic meltdown and subsequent ramblings on about the geography of where I live (my cartography skills are amazing I know.)

We are getting ready to depart for a week to the beach and while I’m hoping to write, I am also hoping to rest, to not stare at any computer screens, and to eat lots of boardwalk food. Have a good week everyone!


Once again it happened, my kid turned another year older. I reread my post from her 2 year old birthday and it seemed like that birthday was just yesterday. It seems time has merged into the fast lane and I have little chance of catching up with it. Maybe it’s a good thing since I can’t seem to remember my age for the life of me, I’ve given up on holding onto my own youth, but find myself now chasing after Emma’s. It’s been quite a year. A talkative 2 year old grew into a three year old who needs to know how things work and understand the concept behind something. I can no longer just tell her the neighbor is mowing his lawn, I have to explain that grass grows and how it grows and how as a community we are responsible for keeping that growth under control. The “whys” seem never ending but I love them. I want her to question everything and everyone. She also grasps concepts quickly and her vocabulary is out of control. She speaks like an adult most of the time. The other day she looked up from eating and exclaimed, "This sandwich is fantastic!" And now she uses fantastic to describe everything...and I love it! 

She also has a really goof sense of humor. She makes funny voices and loves playing goofy games were we make up ridiculous words.I mean who sticks crayons in their toes on an hour long car ride...yeah my kid :)

Three seems to also be the age when independence and defiance set in. I am beginning to understand I have to let go a little bit more and let her make mistakes on her own in order to learn. I do this to a point, only telling her no when danger is involved, which of course it’s involved in everything she wants to do. Run across the street, jump down a set of concrete stairs, stick play doh up her nose, jump off the highest point at the playground…the boundary pushing seems to never stop. I feel like these next few years will turn me into more of a veteran mom. I’m at least hoping I can make it through the mental toddler minefields. 

Three also brought the glorious potty training (well more like 2.5 or so)! There are still kinks to work out…yes you always have to wash your hands, no it’s not sanitary to bring food into the bathroom, put your pants on when you are done, and so on. She still wears a pull-up on every night but one diaper a night verses 10-12 in a day from when she was a newborn…I’ll take it. Her father has been the champion of introducing new independence for her. I was very worried and nervous to change over her crib into a big girl bed and was surprised that daddy took the lead and one day when I came home from the store, the crib was no more. I know we could not leave her in there forever but I winced inside as that part of babyhood was gone forever. Her dad has also been really great at working with her to get herself dressed and brush her teeth by herself. I had been setting out her outfits for the week since she was born mostly because it was one less thing to have to do in the morning as we ran out the door. Well dada convinced me to give that up, one less thing for me to do and one more opportunity for Emma to gain independence and pick out her own outfits. I really thought I would be the one pushing for her to do more on her own but I guess a part of me wants to baby her forever (plus it is WAY faster to get out the door if I get her dressed ect.) I know that these little pieces of independence are going to add up to not needing mommy anymore which is simultaneously wonderful and sad.

That all being said, here are some firsts and favorites from year two:

First Plane Ride:

First time Ice Skating:

First time going to a new school:

First school pageant:

First time going fishing (mommy’s first time too):

First time going on a Farris Wheel:

First time seeing fireworks (didn't get a picture but it DID happen!)

First Baseball game:

Love playing outside:

Love doing arts and crafts:

Love cooking/ baking:

Love playing instruments:

Love being a superhero:

Love Trucks:

Love gymnastics:

Love Family:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015