The Mischief of Minions

Kids, Family, Insanity…

The turn to Age 4…


My daughter is now S. – Age 4 instead of S. – Age 3.5, and I admit, I am fighting off a bit of sadness and anxiety.

Her birthday was celebrated with sugar and fire (a la candle in donut as is tradition in my family among my sisters) and much fanfare, but after the stress of parties, etc. I fear my unchecked mind has had a little too much time to think.

My daughter becomes more interesting every day: drawing new things, creating amazing and bizarre stories in her head, pulling the most peculiar and yet somehow sensible logic and applying it to her world in the most fascinating ways. She has a memory like a fox for the most bizarre of details, loves music and art, and has an affinity for kindness and love that seems endless. Her beauty is becoming more mature, and at times I think I see glimpses of what she may look like even years from now with stunning clarity.

Don’t get me wrong: she can out-drama most 13 year olds and attempts Machiavellian schemes with maddening skill – and half the time has me pulling out my hair – but that is besides the point, and I am secretly proud of her more clever attempts.

I fall more in love with this kid every day, but at the same time, it is the realization of how quickly time passes, and how short a time I will really have with her, that floors me. I feel lucky and priviledged to have this child in my life – with all her blessings of hope and wonder at the world, and with it grows so the fear of its changing and moving on.

I am a mommy with pre-abandonment issues. On the last night of her third year, I admit I crawled into her little twin bed with her in the middle of the night, under a halo of butterflies and happiness and just laid there staring at that tiny face trying to soak it in so I would not forget any detail.

I push my fear to the background and try and focus all on my hopes for her future, and joy for my present with her – our present with her. She fills my house with love and madness, and is adored by her baby brother and parents. I must rejoice in this, and tell myself constantly that S – Age 4 will be even cooler, and that butterflies must be allowed to soar to truly live.

::Sniff::

I am one blessed mama.

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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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Everyone poops – eventually!


Cover of "Everyone Poops (My Body Science...

Cover of Everyone Poops (My Body Science)

There is a famous children’s book called Everyone Poops.  I think the title is misleading, or at least not complete enough.  It makes it sound like it’s no big deal.   The truth of the matter is that in my household, POOP is  not  taken lightly, written in all CAPS and bolded, and to this day requires a parade and light show with my daughter’s every deuce.

For whatever reason, my gastro-challenged toddler had an amazingly difficult time with the entire subject.  From the time she was very small, she would contort her body into the strangest positions (including one resembling child’s pose in yoga) to deal with this torturous body function.  She made awful faces.  She hid. We shoved prunes, fiber and everything else religiously down the kid but to no avail.  I felt horrible for her.

As a consequence, her potty-training was a year-long nightmare that only recently started to ease.  She refused to go.  It hurt and she hated us.  We tried ignoring the misses, we tried being nice, we offered praise and rewards for successful attempts.  I yelled, I screamed, I threatened and cajoled, and I had tantrums (okay, mostly she had tantrums and I ran away screaming) but nothing worked. I felt embarrassed and frustrated; I was horribly anxious and certain I was failing as a mom.  It was totally out of my control.  My kid – who spoke at one – was going to graduate from high school in homemade pull-ups.

They say it’s really up to the child to decide when they are ready, and that they’ll figure it out on their own.  And one day(after I had mostly given up) it just happened.  It may have been the diet of almonds, raisins, apples and water, or maybe she finally got sick of it being such a big deal and decided to move on, but my daughter does a pretty good job these days.   She did figure it out, and it did get better, completely outside of my personal efforts to make it happen.

That said, we are still called into the bathroom anytime she has a surprise for us in the potty.  We still have to make a big deal, and it is still a point of enormous pride for her when she either goes without being told and when she scores a No. 2.   It’s been a few months, but the first thing she reports gleefully when I come home from work is “No Accidents!”

If you are a mommy going through this, I have nothing but empathy for you.  Know you will get through this, and it will end.  Eventually, everyone poops – whether they want to or not.  Your job is to do everything you can to keep your sanity while you wait.  It’ll happen, I promise!

Can you relate?

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