The Mischief of Minions

Kids, Family, Insanity…

Over-the-top Toddler Tea


My sister decided to have a particularly over-the-top special birthday party for her daughter A. – Age 5, at a local shop catering to such glamorous events.

The girls were ushered into two rooms filled with racks and racks of every conceivable sparkly gown, hundreds of tiny jewel-crusted shoes, tiaras, bows, jewelry and glitter. The girls all had their nails done, and makeup on their lips and eyes.

10 tiny tots took fizzy-pink high tea filled with marshmallows, frosted cakes and cookies, and were instructed to act like ladies as they dined.

I was never the girly-girl type as a child: whether it was because I grew up in a boy-dominated neighborhood, with the exception of maybe playing Barbies my childhood was spent climbing trees and playing in forts. This fascination with princesses and crowns is a shock to my system.

While the affair was the type that made my inner anti-pink sensibilities want to retch lace-edged doilies, the birthday girl and her little friends all seemed to have a blast. S. – Age 3.5 was in Diva Heaven.

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In the end, I suppose, that is really all that matters: all those smiling little faces. My sister did an awesome job of putting it together, and my daughter lucky to get to experience it!

But I would be lying if I didn’t admit the whole thing made me shudder a little and long to wear black. ūüôā

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Miniature Bicycle Babe – winning!


We got our toddler (S. – Age 3.5) a bicycle a few months ago. We thought she would be thrilled.

Instead, because she didn’t know how to ride it perfectly- struggled with pedaling a bit and took a spill, she has basically refused to ride it. The sparkling, purple (ridiculously girly!) princess bike has literally sat in our garage for months. I would beg, threaten and cajole but could not get her on the thing no matter how hard I tried. Every attempt was an exercise in tears so finally, I let it go.

It has been driving me nuts.

A week ago, we went to the park and she saw her friend R. – Age 5 ride up the park on his bike. She didn’t mention anything to me about it but I know she noticed. I didn’t say anything either.

Two evenings ago I suggested to her perhaps she and I could take her bike out and try it before bed. She looked at me for a moment, the cocked her head sideways and said: “Well, I guess I could try.

This morning that same kid rode that princess bike over a mile. What had started out as walking the dog S. – Age 3.5 turned into a quest, and I had not the heart to deny her. Accompanied by myself and our pug, she pedaled and pedaled and pedaled, and when she fell jumped right back up.

I had tears in my eyes. I am not sure if it was just pride – I think there may have been some (read: tons) of

OMG my baby is growing up!

in there too.

Here is a picture of the champ in her moment of glory:

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Running Madness


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My tiny son is a machine: he runs excitedly even when he should be walking, and has taken to dancing and marching in place when standing still. He has boundless energy. In this picture he is chasing after his big sister S – Age 3.5.

I was remarking to my husband that when our daughter was his age, there is no chance we would have let her go like that, barefoot and in pajamas, down a puddle-laden sidewalk. We would have been two steps behind at best. I guess since the first survived we have relaxed a little, and are more inclined known to watch and laugh.

We did not, for instance, keep him out of the puddle: we were too busy making bets on how he would react – whether he would plow through or plop down for a splash. He froze, actually, like his feet were stuck in glue for a moment, and stared down at his wet toes in confusion.

He then toddled happily on.

My son would have made it to the other side of the neighborhood had I not eventually scooped him up.

Children are the best thing that ever happened to me, and by far the most intriguing little creatures. It is becoming pretty apparent though, that their daddy and I are going to have to start marathon training if we hope to keep up!

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Collateral Damage


My nose is killing me.

Would you like to know why? Of course you do…

About a week ago my 14 month son launched his bottle at my face. He is quite strong, by the way. My nose has been aching ever since.

To add insult to injury (or really, to add injury to injury) my daughter managed to wack the other side of my delicate schnoz on the other side last night.

I keep looking in the mirror to see if there is a bump. I am pretty sure something is off.

This is not the first time I’ve been so injured. I am routinely kicked, bitten, and used as a bounce house. When S. – Age 3.5 was merely S. Age 2 she did a reverse head-butt on me that sent me to the ER. I had a concussion.

I am sure the doctors were laughing at
me behind my back.

I knew motherhood was tough. I knew pregnancy was going to involve aches and pains, and expected childbirth to be a doozy.

What I did not expect was that at 40 years of age I would be considering purchasing a helmet to protect me from my tiny minions.

Oh wait! I am pretty sure there is a
hockey goalie mask in the basement…

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My Mommy Creed


I hereby solemnly swear:

  • My kids will not get the battery-powered SUV that the neighbor kids have. If they are lucky, they will be allowed to ride in the real one. Children need to run and move, not have one more excuse to sit on their bums;
  • I will not purchase the tasty and gooey except under rare circumstance: if my kids want food with a half-life greater than most celebrities they will have to buy it themselves or convince Gramma to do so;
  • I will not buy a trampoline (mainly to keep the peace) but will let my kids jump on yours. Kids will jump off everything anyway, at least in this case there is the chance they will bounce when they fall;
  • If we can afford it and they wish to try it, I will not keep my children from trying brownies, scouts, etc. I don’t want to pass on my 40 year resentments;
  • I won’t buy every toy in the world for my kids, knowing the best games come out of their curious minds;
  • I will never not hug and kiss my kids, even when they are sticky and gross and wholly unappealing;
  • I will make my children try “weird” foods so they don’t lose whole worlds of culinary opportunity;
  • I will never stop trying to live up to the title of “mom,” knowing it is a blessing and a privilege and not a right.
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Beluga This!


Sometimes, as a parent, I think my expectations are a little unrealistic – and further, if they weren’t, I’d never leave the house with my children.

In my head, I had a picture of my toddler, mouth agape with joy at her first trip to an aquarium. I had visions of blissful delight as she watched the dolphin show, and imagined the sounds of her chuckles at the antics of penguins.

I shut out the potential for meltdown, tantrums and general disinterest. I opted not to consider her finding the crack on the floor more interesting than the dolphins, or that her piercing scream would echo so stunningly right off the plastic arctic display exhibit from which we had to forcibly extricate her.

But she did really dig the belugas. I think that saved it for me. Because, much like childbirth, at the end of the day, it is focusing on the positives that counts, and keeps us mostly sane.

Well, that and Advil.

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Mommy Rants


I am a well-intentioned, though occasionally haphazard mum.¬† I am a working mom, and when I get home from work,¬†I typically don’t even get¬†to change out of my work clothes before I am on the floor playing with the minions.¬† Dinner is frequently random bits of things I know they will eat, shoved into the little time I have with them.¬† I¬†have no shame and will¬†sing to my child in public and make funny faces if it will keep them amused and/or keep them from screaming.¬† I am not above bribery.¬† My kids will follow the 5-10 second rule, and yes, I admit, I did not hand-wash bottles once I found out the dishwasher did a mostly good¬†job of sanitizing.¬†¬† I lose track of baby bottles all the time, only to find my son walking through a room with one he found under a sofa, trying to suck down curdled milk.¬† My house is inadequately child-proofed¬†by most standards (including my own)¬†and childcare and parenting¬†on the whole in my house is a bit of an adventure.

I admit all of that.  I love my children to death, and they are my world, but June Cleaver I am not.

One more thing to Child-Proof

Basically, I am  TOTALLY imperfect pretty much all the time.  I do most things wrong so on the whole,  I try not to judge.  But there are a few things that drive me NUTS:

  • Mothers who have 20 bottles of sanitizer on them at all times but don’t put a hat on a baby in the sun when the poor things are squinting like moles and frying like eggs;
  • Mothers who won’t look up from their iPhones, Smartphones, etc. to respond to their children every now and then;
  • Moms that complain about how ill-behaved other children are but are too busy socializing to even keep an eye on their own;
  • Children that are beautifully wrapped in complex ribbons and bows instead of comfy play clothes at the playground;
  • Mothers that sit there and do nothing when their older children are running over the smaller ones on slides and ignore your meaningful glares entirely;
  • Mothers that manage to look like a million bucks at all times and somehow magically avoid all the kiddie goo I seem to be forever covered in (I admit this is really complete jealousy);
  • Moms that give ME superior looks because I DO have baby goo spread all over my shoulder and they are somehow pristine;
  • Mom’s that go a little overboard with the Baby Einstein thing;
  • Moms that won’t give their kids 20 feet of distance and allow them to run around and explore a bit in a safe place, knowing that yes, the world is full of danger but part of being a child is running and being crazy and learning about their environment.

There are probably more that I could include, but they are probably so horribly stupid and immature that I would not admit them publicly, and will keep them to myself out of fear of a good lynching or at least, boisterous objection.

What Most Bothers You???

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Toddler Fashionistas


The fashion habits of the toddler set continue to fascinate me: I am just never entirely sure what to expect either in terms of the number of costume changes that may be in order or what they might consist of when they appear. This is why I keep the iPhone with me at all times: catching the creature in her natural habitat is a must for my own amusement.

Today‚Ķtold we were going to the grocery store produced this ensemble: I am unsure if I should label it “damn hippie” or “Olsen twin chic” but I am leaning towards the former since my toddler outweighs MaryKate and Ashley for sure. I should also mention it is about 90 degrees outside and that everything from the dress to the headband was all her.

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Creative Naptime


Bribed with a special trip to the movies last weekend, my daughter, for once, agreed to go to her room and take a nap. She went quietly – even meekly – up to her room to sleep.

Checking on her, we found this:

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Not only had she put on her pajamas at 2pm (something we fight to get her to do at night), but also she made herself a bed on the floor and a sleeping bag for each and every stuffed animal she owns! Every blanket, every pillow, was carefully assigned to one of her plush, fuzzy friends.

Notably, despite these elaborate machinations, the kid never did sleep. She tried though…and made me laugh in the process. She earned the movie.

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Siri – us Frustration


My daughter S. age 3 frequently gets irate with my iPhone: it never seems to cooperate and do what she wants.

Of greatest amusement to her Mommy and Daddy though, is when she gets into arguments with Siri, who of course won’t know where her toys are or where the birthday party happens to be.

We could try explaining, I suppose. But frankly I’d much rather watch her threaten my phone.

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