Okay, so I know I have talked about potty training before, but there is more that you need to know.
Let's start with timing. There is none. Plain and simple, there is none. Your little one can go for hours with no accident and suddenly you find them in a panic as they are urinating on your floor (hopefully not the carpet!) There is also the occasion when they are playing nicely and suddenly (and I do mean suddenly) they are screaming "I have to pee" and dancing and running to the bathroom. Sometimes they make it and sometimes they don't. Finally, there is the "dance" where they are physically trying to hold the urine in with their hands.
Boys have unique potty training experiences. They find it fun to "pee" in the yard during the summer. Although my boys never did it, I have been told by some parents that in order to get their boys to use the toilet, they float cheerios in the toilet and have the boys shoot at them with their "guns", so to speak. My boys were far enough in age that this would not have worked with them. I personally cannot imagine my ten year old competing at cheerio shooting with his two year old brother.
Girls have a unique experience also. It is at this age that they learn to go to the bathroom in clusters. In case you haven't noticed with teenagers, they never go to the bathroom alone! This carries on into their twenties and even when they marry and become mothers themselves. Have you ever seen a mom go to the bathroom alone?! I personally always had a gaggle of geese following me there.
One thing I can tell you about, whether boys or girls is that your toilet will become frequently plugged and could overflow! Why small people need to use a full roll of toilet paper to wipe is beyond my imagination. After multiple times of using a plunger you do start thinking of the craziest things to say, like "do not take more than six squares of toilet paper!" or "NEVER wipe yourself! I will do it for you!" I am absolutely positive that our consumption of toilet paper has doubled since the grandkids are around. Now, I am wondering if it was moms who caused the toilet paper shortages early in the CoVid crisis. As a mom, being without that precious commodity is definitely a problem!
So many lessons to learn in the course of raising these precious gifts from God! Even when you have that confused look on your face because you just cannot figure out the thought process they used! Have a great week. Count your blessings! Believe me, there are plenty to count!
So sorry that I did not post last week. I really try not to miss my Mom-Sense Mondays! We had a huge church fundraiser and I did not feel well, so took a break! But it did make me think about illness and the difference between men and women/moms and dads. I don't care what the Woke community says, there is a difference!
Anyway, every woman in the world knows what it is like when your spouse or signifcant other is not feeling well. Admit it, you have used the term "Man Cold". It is a real thing and you know it! When a man gets a cold, it puts him down immediately. There is some moaning and complaining and definitely an immediate dismissal to bed. Now, I am not saying that him going to his room is necessarily a bad thing. Who wants to listen to that whining?
I can remember my dad visiting one time. He came to help with the kids so I could take a few days to vacation with my husband. According to the kids, he sat and gave them orders to take care of each other, but that is another story. When I got home after four days, my kids actually dropped to their knees and sobbed at my return! A rare moment when you feel wanted by your kids! My dad was sitting at the kitchen table with his head in his hands moaning (literally) because he had a cold in his sinuses. He demanded an early flight home and I was more than happy to comply.
Usually when Doc gets sick, he is a little grouchy, very distant and heads straight to bed. No complaining. Doesn't want to eat or talk. Just wants to sleep! My kind of guy! He spares me joint custody of his misery.
Now, I want all of you women to try to think about a time when you have been sick. I can just about bet that 99% of you did not get to go to bed. In fact, I am positive you still cleaned the house, did laundry, took care of the kids and pets and if you had to you also went to the office/work. It generally doesn't matter how bad you feel, someone wants a meal. That someone is your husband and kids. Can you remember the last time you went straight to bed and your husband did all of that for you?
In all fairness, as the kids have gotten older, they have jumped in and fixed me soup, checked on me, etc. So I guess there is payback for all the times I sucked it up and did what had to be done.
I do have one incident that specifically sticks in my mind though. We were hosting a surprise party for my in-laws 45th Anniversary. My husband's siblings and spouses were all in town, but most of the party prep fell on me. Please keep in mind that I was seven months pregnant, had a one and a half year old and a three and a half year old. I also had the flu. I spent an entire day on the couch unable to move or keep food down. I actually directed "Mommy" (from the couch) in changing "Calvin's" diaper. Fortunately, most of the party prep was already done. However, that evening Doc's elderly aunt was flying in for the party. I asked someone, no - anyone in the family to PLEASE go to the airport. "No can do. We are all going out to dinner!" Doc had gone through a long day at work and wasn't up for a trip to the airport and showed his irritation at the situation. WHAT!!??!! It wasn't even MY parents party! So I dragged my behind into the car along with two small children and drove to the airport. I put on a brave face as I crawled through the airport wishing the world would end for everyone! Thank God Doc's aunt required a wheelchair. I at least had something to hang on to as I headed back to the car. The party was the next day and as guests arrived I sat in my room crying because I wasn't dressed yet and my dress was a wrinkled mess. But don't worry, the kids were perfectly dressed! My in-laws were reveling in the party they put on for their parents. Finally another aunt of Doc's came up to find me and mopped me off the floor!
I did get smart and felt better by the end of the party. As the in-laws were leaving the mess behind for me, I asked them what time they were coming back to clean up. They were stunned, but I did not clean!
I guess the message on this is that a mother will go to great lengths for her children/family and almost always puts her own needs to the back of her mind. It is just what moms do. Christ's Mother set a beautiful example for all of us to follow. I do thank God for my role as a woman and mother and for all His blessings! It helps me to get through tough times and smile at the memories! May God bless all of you. Happy week!
I really struggled with what to write about today. Being that it is the Fourth of July, of course my first thought was to talk about this holiday and what it means. And I will address it towards the end, but I finally decided to discuss the ultimate debate. . .
Boys versus Girls
I am not talking about which sex is stronger or smarter. Let's be real there are strong people in both sexes and weak people in both sexes. There are also smart boys and girls and absolute idiots on both sides! I am talking about raising these people. We had a little discussion at church yesterday about which ones are easier to raise.
I have often said that I would have a dozen more boys before I would have one more girl! Now you might ask how could you not want another cute, adorable, cuddly and loving little girl in pigtails?! Well let me tell you how long that phase lasts. At the most, you get two and a half to three years, but realistically one year. And don't argue with me! After raising three girls of my own and handling at least six granddaughters, I consider myself an expert!
Those sweet little girls turn into opinionated and bossy little girls within one to two years. And it grows from there. Don't try to pick clothes for them. "Mommy" would not let me pick her clothes by the time she was four! Hairstyles?! Let's not go there! As they get seriously into grade school, the girl fights at school start. "You can't be my friend and her friend too!" or "I like him, you can't like him too!" (Yes that does start in grade school!) And then we move into middle school. That's when things get really serious. We play serious mental games with our parents and friends at that point. And let's not forget that previous sentence about clothes. I used to check what the kids were wearing when they left the house. My mantra was "Shirts down, pants up!" Then (years later) I found out that "Mini Me" would sneak different clothes in her backpack and change at school! Personally, for that reason alone I think backpacks should be banned. I grew up in an age where you carried your stack of books in your arms, or you got a cute guy to carry them for you! By the way, backpacks are also a great place to stash makeup, which I didn't allow until high school! Believe me, girls keep you on your toes! You get all this with girls plus attitude! They are masters at rolling their eyes and getting that "tone" in their voices!
No boys, they do have a few issues but nothing like girls. Believe me, they are cute and adorable too. Little boys LOVE their mommies! And they show it! My guys always held my hand and hugged me! To this day I get hugs, I love you's and they check on me! (My girls do too in all fairness) I will never forget the day "Calvin" looked at me and said "Mommy, I will never stop holding your hand." I listened to him with love in my heart knowing that he would one day trade my hand for his wife's and eventually his own daughters'. But that's okay. Boys also do not go through the emotional and hormonal turmoils that girls go through. I can guarrantee you that they do not hide clothes and makeup in their bookbags. In fact that problem goes more the other way. . . you tend to me appalled at some of the outfits they put together. My grandsons dress for winter in the summer and summer in the winter. I just shake my head and move on. They are rough and tumble and forgive much easier (most of the time - I have one that holds grudges!) The debate can go on and on. . .
Now to my Fourth of July speech! Because of the freedoms that men and women fought for over the centuries, we have the freedom to choose to have children and raise them in a church of our choice. We have backslid some (does taxation without representation sound familiar) and we must be very cautious to respect the freedoms others have established and earned for us! Let's send up a prayer to God at some point today, thanking Him for strong and committed forefathers. Let's pray for those who gave all so we could enjoy liberties. Let's thank God for the USA, which is still the best country to live in! Have a safe and blessed Fourth of July whether you prefer to raise boys or girls!
Ever since I found out I was pregnant with "Mommy" I have told time by pregnancy and children. There are times I actually have to think about how old I am and I actually guess wrong! Through the years my major life events have been connected to "Oh that happened when I was pregnant with
Calvin" or "This happened when the Consiglieri was a baby." Although going to the bathroom seems to be a normal life occurance for most people. When you have six small children or 14 grandchildren, going to the bathroom is a major life event!
First let me say that when I was a young mom with six small children, I must tell you that they were close enough in age that we spent a full 13 years with someone in diapers. Although potty training can be annoying, the joy in having one less set of diapers to purchase is beyond anyone's imagination. I sometimes wonder during those years who actually was being trained. Were the kids learning to use the bathroom or was I being trained to get them there at certain times?
Outside of the cost of disposable diapers (We did try cloth ones for a short time. Not that cheap and certainly more unpleasant!) it is wonderful to not have to clean up after the messy ones (you know, poop) or the ones that leaked! Of course that means running to the bathroom every fifteen minutes or so with someone! And let's talk about accidents! That is the absolute worst!!!! And that is only the stuff you deal with in your own house. Inconveniences at the least, gagging at the most.
What happens when you decide to venture out of the house with a newly de-diapered child? Initially there are a LOT of accidents. As your experience goes you start to investigate locations prior to arriving. You have mapped out in your mind the location of every bathroom facility. In your own mind, this becomes the heart of your adventures and you even go so far as to plan outings based on the quality of the bathrooms. Are they clean? Do they have a changing table? What do I do if I need to use the bathroom too?! What do I do when my child decides to crawl under the door and escape? So many details to clutter your life!
You also start becoming a pack mule. The diaper bag now gets loaded with three or four outfits "just in case." You start limiting liquids before you leave home. It's logical, right? What goes in must come out, so don't put anything in!
Eventually as the kids get a little more confident in their bathroom skills, they decide to help you in rating facilities. If you are traveling, you suddenly find yourself stopping at every single rest area. I can just about guarantee that I have been to EVERY rest area between Washington DC and Colorado, and Florida to Michigan! I even thought I could outsmart them by carrying a portable potty chair in the van when we traveled, because you always have that one child (and sometimes more) that has to "go" right after you have passed a rest area and the next one is 50 miles away!
So moms, when you look back at your vacation pictures you might not remember going. I am pretty confident though that you will remember the trip based on bathroom necessities and who was in need at the time because of their age! Maybe I should put together a book advising moms on the best bathrooms!
I hope you have a blessed week! Enjoy the hassles of the the little ones. Believe it or not, one day you will miss it!
I remember and have used a lot of what I learned in my Psychology classes as I raised my kids. I was never really crazy about Freud's theories. In my opinion, you have to be pretty twisted yourself to come up with that stuff. I cannot argue toomuch with Erickson's theories about a stable person building on basics like a pyramid. Most of the time, I feel pretty stable and there have been plenty of times when my "pyramid" did not come close to the shape of the ones in Egypt! I really cannot remember which psychologist came up with theories about babies hitting an age where they would not venture over the edge of a platform because they could finally discern depth. Apparently that guy never babysat!
However, Pavlov! He was a genius! The part of his work that I remember most is the Pavlovian response where a bell would ring and a dog would respond predictably. That guy clearly spent time with children!
Let's start with this one. Ask my grandchildren not to argue. I can guarantee you that these little people will bicker and argue non-stop for at least 12 hours or until their endurance runs out or my stamina causes me to snap! And believe me they can find that many things to argue about, all the way down to one of them eating the one single potato chip in the bag that the other one wanted.
And we can continue with this. Please be quiet the two babies are taking a nap. As soon as those words leave my lips a temper tantrum of epic proportions begins. The screaming becomes so loud that the hour and half nap barely lasts 30 minutes. I can promise you that Pavlov was right about the predictable response!
And how about this one? I have instructed the kids that if they need to talk to me, especially when I am working on the computer, to please come up to me and tap me on the shoulder and wait. That instruction goes in one ear and their bodies react by screaming to me from a four rooms away or walking up to me and immediately talking and asking questions. Too late for me, the train of thought is gone!
And finally, the kids have been taught (just kidding about that) or at least told that when Nana is on the phone doing business they need to be quiet. The phone actually touching my ear creates and instant and severe response in my grandchildren. They begin fighting over which one gets to play with the Prince Eric and Ariel "Little People", Foam Blocks fly past me as they are hurled in anger because someone dumped the blocks out of the truck, screaming ensues because one of them wants ALL the trucks and God forbid you should touch one of the dinosaurs without permission!
Can you imagine what all that chaos sounds like to the Administrator, Board Member or insurance company that I am talking to? And then I finally lose it an the conversation goes from professional to me stopping mid-sentence and saying intelligent things like "if you make one more sound about that dinosaur I will bake him in a pie in the oven!" Thankfully, with Covid so many people now work from home that they get it. Also, enough people know what I do all day long that if they were in the room with me, they would simply pat me on the head and smile.
I have always wondered what it might be like to go from Point A to Point B without the interruptions, screaming and "needs". I usually start at Point A, zigzag to Point G, double back to Point C and completely forget why and what Point B is. Now there is a psychological study that has never been attempted - the mind of the mother with small children!
Have a blessed week!
As a kid I loved to read. Actually, I still love to read. My taste in books has changed some. As a kid, I loved crime novels and mysteries. I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and most especially Sherlock Holmes. I loved reading and trying to solve the mysteries along with the characters. As an adult, I still love mysteries, but I have moved into solving real-life drama.
One question I always have is what is the purpose of poison ivy and mosquitoes? An even greater unsolved mystery in my life is underwear and socks.
Let's start with underwear. Can anyone explain to me where it goes? Generally when I babysit if an article of clothing gets dirty or if the kids arrive in pajamas, I throw their clothes in my wash. Pook's wife has asked multiple times where their daughter's underwear has gone. She started out with packs of them and is down to a few. I am absolutely clueless! I have checked the clothing piles of the other kids, and her underwear is NOT mixed in with theirs. I am clueless.
The other issue with underwear is how it gets to be in certain places. I know the kids have underwear on when they are at my house. I will be straightening up the house and low and behold there is underwear hidden behind a door or under a bed or in a toy box. When I ask how it got there . . . no one knows. I know who is wearing what character of underwear each day and I can ask that person and that child has no idea how their underwear got behind the door. Weirder yet, I check them and they have underwear on. It's a mystery all right. I would think that underwear is one of those things that you always know where yours is. I know I do!
Socks are a different story. Socks can end up just about anywhere. The kids generally arrive with socks on, but in the course of playing they get removed and tossed to the side or picked up with the toys. I get that. What I do not get is how each week as the laundry gets done I end up with a pile of ten or twelve socks without matches. Now, some of the kids are committed to never wearing matching socks so when I wash them I never have matching socks. That accounts for a few pairs, but I still have ten or twelve every week that I send home with moms to find the mate. Most of them come back to me with a daughter saying, I don't have the mate to this or it isn't our sock. So, where do they go? I know I lose forks and spoons to the garbage, but socks too?
And, what do you do with a lonely sock? Adult socks can become dust rags and window washing cloths or even puppets. A child's sock just doesn't have enough gumption to make it anything other than a lonely sock.
Perhaps the sock industry has built something into these clothing items that makes them disintegrate under certain conditions so that parents are forced to continue to buy socks in bulk quantities! There's a conspiracy theory for you! Perhaps the washer and dryer industry is in cahoots with the sock industry and the socks are disintegrating in one or the other machine forcing parents to buy more socks. Whatever the truth is, I have plenty of lonely socks to share.
My husband came up with his own solution to socks before Nike thought to put an R and an L on their socks. He got himself and marker and puts symbols on each pair of socks. I have to admit, at the very least we are able to track his socks. I think a better plan is to install a microchip in the socks as a locator.
Oh well. I guess we may never know the answers to all of life's mysteries, but it sure keeps my brain going. I hope you have a blessed week and are enjoying the beginning of summer!
Sad to say, after 15 years of being with us The Iron Lady has crossed that "Rainbow Bridge". I am not really sure who came up with that name for a pet that passes. I guess it makes some people feel better, but not me.
But let's give tribute to the Iron Lady.
She became part of our family because Pistol had separation anxiety. As a puppy, he absolutely lost his mind whenever we left the house. He managed to chew the door off his "bedroom" (which is a more pleasant term for cage). Anyway, Doc made the mistake of leaving town for a few days and it gave me the opportunity to think about things. What I decided was that Pistol might settle down if he had a friend. My mistake was in taking the Consiglieri and Mini Me shopping for a friend with me. They each fell in love with a different one. Mini Me picked a tiny Yorkie and the Consiglieri selected a beagle. Okay! So we got both! While that might sound crazy, it worked!
From the start, the Iron Lady (Belle) was something else! She LOVED her food! She was so enthusiastic as a puppy that we had to spend time teaching her some restraint. Any time we left she would manage to get into something food-wise. (And no, I did not decide that a diet buddy would be helpful for her!) We came home one evening to find that she had managed to unscrew the lid off a salt shaker, which I am not sure how she managed to get her jaws on, and enjoyed a significant amount of salt. Unfortunately I was not the first to discover this. Mini Me got home first and decided that she looked thirsty. Any woman knows that Salt + Water = bloating and swelling. And boy did she bloat! Swelled up like a balloon!
There was another incident when we realized that she could climb onto the kitchen table (maybe that is how she got the salt shaker) and finished up some meat. She never quite knew what to do when she was caught. Especially when she was still standing on the table licking the butter dish! She would usually get that "deer in headlights" look and then jump! And we cannot forget the Thanksgiving that she managed to eat two whole pumpkin pies! This pup had a cast iron stomach! (which is how she got the title "Iron Lady"), She actually got into a little mouse bait and it did not effect her at all!
She was the sweetest pup I have ever seen though. She spent at least ten of her fifteen years sleeping on top of my head every night. She loved to cuddle up, hated to travel, hated baths, hated running and walking, but loved to sleep. . . and snore! The kids could love her all they wanted and she never retaliated. Finding her in her bed last Tuesday morning was rough. I was certainly happy that I had taken the time to check on her before I went to bed the evening before. It makes me smile to think of how much love she gave. Gosh, I really wish people would take the time to learn more from dogs. Have a blessed week. Smile when you remember someone who is gone. Make sure you remember someone before you lose that chance.
I could post a lot of heavy duty thoughts and feelings today, but I am going to stick with something lighter. I missed writing yesterday because I had a houseful for Memorial Day. I was also busy recovering from my own version of trauma during the weekend.
We have three small dogs that are 15 to 16 years old. Pistol, the oldest of the three, has a seizure disorder. All three dogs have devoloped some level of arthritis, vision issues and are hard of hearing, but as we age don't we all?!? That hearing issue starts during the toddler years by the way. Anyway, all three dogs recently had their annual vet appointment and got a pretty good report and a prescription for the arthritis. As I talked to the vet, we decided to have Pistol examined last because Doc was on his way to the appointment to "help" me and Pistol is his "buddy". I did explain to the vet that Doc lovingly picks the dog up every evening and gently lays him in bed with us. (Truth be told, I have NEVER received that kind of attention from him!) Doc hovers over him and worries when he is a little off or there isn't quite as much curl to his tail. Me? If I can get his attention, I usually get told to stretch whatever hurts and it will get better. Not even a pat on the head for me!
Pistol had a bad reaction to his new medication and we had to take him to the emergency vet. What a trip that was! No one bothered to check the side effects of the medication, but I was asked if the dog had gotten any marijuana recently! SERIOUSLY?! We were about to make the decision to send him across the "Rainbow Bride", a pretty tough decision to make especially when his buddy was incommunicado in the woods. As we went in to see him for the final time, he stood up and kissed me! Again, nothing I would expect to get from Doc! So, one expensive bill later, we took him home.
I am always grateful for extra hands in these situations. I must admit I was not cool as a cucumber. Oddly enough, the Blonde (who usually panics) took the reins and got us through the disaster with additional support from the Ninja! I now have confidence that if I go down, at least two people will stand by me and carry me through. I am sure I could add a few more to that list: Mommy, Mini-Me.
Here's another thought....If people treated each other with as much love and care as most treat their pets, can you just imagine what the world could be? Have a beautiul and blessed week!
It is Mom-Sense Monday – and I still Got It!
I am not going to lie. Kindergarten registration is definitely a thing of my past. At least I thought so! Last week one of the boys had his registration day. Both mom and dad could not get off work and believe it or not, I was the best option as a stand in! Listen, my last kindergarten registration was 22 years ago!!!!
There was one small catch to this plan. I had my usual day of babysitting lined up. That means I have the three “Littles” (My 3 and under granddaughters) and the two “Soldiers” (Grandsons 8 and 9 months old). I drive a small jeep. Not enough seats for this gang. In fact, I rarely put Doc in it! So, I had to borrow Mini-Me’s Suburban. (I used to have that and an Excursion. I miss those vehicles!)
Appointment was at 11:15, so at 10:45 we started cleaning up our toys --- unwillingly --- and getting dressed. That means locating five outfits, three trips to the bathroom, two diaper changes, loading up a diaper bag with accessories and food for the boys, putting the boys in their car seats and hooking those into the vehicle, and getting all three “Littles” in car seats, plus my Best Buddy who is registering!
We arrived at the school (which is only five miles away) at exactly 4:10 and with some major hustle and sweat we walked in the door at 11:15!
When I tell you we drew some attention, I am not kidding. The boys were in the twin stroller and the “Littles” were tagging along with my Best Buddy! We were sent to what used to be the library for an information session where I immediately began feeding the boys. They are not too happy when lunch starts after 11:15.
The young moms in the room asked if I did this every day and I simply sighed and said yes! They asked how I did it and my usual answer is sometimes not well, but we are all here and relatively happy. They asked if I took a nap when the kids did, and I explained that when they nap, I scramble to get things done and take advantage of the quiet! One told me she was exhausted just listening to what I do and was going to go home and nap!
At 12:30, we started the process in reverse and headed home for lunch and the ever precious NAPS! Well if nothing else, I guess I found out that “I Still Got It!”
Have a blessed week!
Today is a Mom-Sense Monday Moment of Pride!
First, I must pat myself on the back just for a second, because the very person I am about to brag about has some fun at my expense over my tech skills. Got a new tv/monitor over the weekend and by reading the instructions I actually put the stand on it! Great pride on my part. I did, however, have to call my Lawyer to hook the tv to the box (not sure what else you call it) to be able to watch the tv.
Which brings me to my real Moment of Pride! The Lawyer I called is none other than my youngest son! This past weekend we celebrated his graduation as a Juris Doctorate! Three years of hard work came to a temporary close. It is temporary only because he now spends two more months studying for his Bar Exam.
Believe me when I say that this accomplishment spanned much more than three years. Hard work throughout his educational career led to this achievement. His hard work and dedication extend far beyond the classroom. He played football and basketball in high school and went on with his football career at Division II level in football in college. This young man did not shy away from his commitment. He was up between five and six every morning for workouts. He worked so hard at one practice that he suffered heat exhaustion. His career finally came to an end due to a serious head injury on the field. Even with that, his commitment to his teammates never waivered and he spent his senior year helping to coach his friends and teammates, always wanting to be on the field next to them.
On top of all of this, he has managed to find time to be active in our church, to donate his time charitably, to do Pro Bono work as a student, to work as a law intern, and to help his mom out with things like the TV and the other “ridiculous” requests that I make!
Just a short year ago, he married his college sweetheart. His faith in her has NEVER faltered. They have supported each other through thick and thin, through job challenges, personal losses and school. They have celebrated with each other the accomplishments that they help each other achieve.
I confess to a few tears as the graduation ceremony began. My heart swelled with pride as I watched him accept the honor that he earned. (I cringed as there are always those folks who choose to take a solemn event and treat it like a sporting activity and I wished they understood what there behavior was saying, but that is for another day!)
His accomplishments were shared yesterday with his friends, his siblings, his father in law, his parents and his wife. I know my Consiglieri will shine in his chosen profession and I look forward to a bright future for him. A small reflection as this is the last of my gang to walk that stage for now!. I promise a lighter moments in the near future, but this one had to be said. Congrats and love!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!