Have scissors, will snip (chives, that is).
April 27, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
April 20, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Lorelei, Daddy, and the back of Nicholas’s head at the Fisher Cats game.
April 14, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
(noun) 1. The precarious and inevitably ill-fated state one enters when one tries to quietly sneak into the kitchen and consume the last brownie.
(noun) 2. The mistaken belief that a parental infraction, upon being noted by one’s child, will not be brought up again ad infinitum in conversation (See also double jeopardy)
(noun) 3. The daily state experienced by parents of young children involving a rapid-fire barrage of endless, and often unanswerable, questions by one’s progeny, e.g., What is this song about? Are there bones in your tongue? Why do fire trucks live at the fire station? Are crab apples apples with crabs in them? What do hummingbirds look like? Is 42 less than 100? What makes the wind? What happened to the last brownie?
April 13, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Little bubba in a little car.
April 11, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Today’s guest post is courtesy of Jen Altrogge, a wife, mother, and writer. You can find out more about her at her website.
This is my third year in a row with a kindergartener (that’s right folks, I have a second grader, a first grader, a kindergartener and, guess what! A preschooler as well). When my two oldest, who are very UNlike me, were kindergarteners, they reminded me every day, for weeks, of upcoming events at school. I took this for granted, even found it a little annoying, until this year.
My third born is a miniature version of myself. This means I get along with her fairly well but we’re doing nothing to help each other. So when Muffins with Moms rolled around this year, I did not know that the reason I had been prepared for this event the two previous years in a row had been the obsessive reminders of my first two daughters.
And that is how I found myself in the drop off line, noticing all of the parked cars and suddenly thinking, Wait. This is M week…Oh no.
“Hon, is today Muffins with Moms???”
Daughter #3, after a brief delay: “Muffins with Moms???”
Her sisters wouldn’t let me forget it. She had no idea what it was.
And so I attended Muffins with Moms in my lime green slippers, with severe bedhead and not a speck of makeup on my face. It wasn’t my proudest moment.
Unlike daugther #3, my oldest, who is turning 8 soon, is essentially my total opposite in almost every way. This, as you can imagine, is an infuriating thing at times. Like when she thinks my way of doing things makes no sense and insists her way is better (because apparently 7 ½ is the new 15??). Or when she cries because I just don’t get her.
However, due to incidents like the Muffins with Moms debacle, I’m finding that these differences can actually work to my advantage. She’s basically my own little calendar/reminder system.
See, I’m a laid back, fly by the seat of my pants kind of mom. And I’m kind of disorganized, messy, and forgetful. I’m not worried about germs, I don’t obsess over my kids eating habits and going to the doctor is reserved for actual crises, not head colds. Routine is kind of torture for me, which is one of the reasons I’m so grateful for school, which instills this in my children for me.
My oldest is a hand-wringer. She’s constantly concerned about everything. She loves to be organized. She’s always trying to come up with plans that will solve my disorganization problems (“Mom, I think if we just did this, it would really help.”). She wants to bring the structure of school into our home life. And she remembers everything.
A regular conversation for us goes something like:
Daughter #1: Remember when you said _____, Mom?
Me: No…I said that??
Daughter #1: Yeeeeees. (proceeds to repeat entire remembered conversation to me, including context and location).
So, a few days ago, I had to take her to the doctor. Remember how I said we only go for crises? Well, that’s true unless I’m just exhausted from telling my kid every night that she has growing pains while she insists her legs are broken, and I decide to let the doctor put an end to the conversation.
As we pulled into the doctor’s office, I noticed that, of course, I had forgotten to get gas, and we were exactly 2 miles from empty. Ugh.
“Sweetie, can you remind me to get gas when we leave? Like, you really need to remind me.”
“What happens if we run out of gas, Mom?”
“We’re stranded and we have to walk to the nearest gas station.”
“Oooooh, dear. We CANNOT forget to get gas.”
And oh boy, did we ever NOT forget. In the span of time it took to get her vitals, see the nurse (and be told, BY THE WAY, that it’s just growing pains) and check out, she had reminded me to get gas approximately 352 times (give or take).
She also managed to tell the nurse a lot of other facts that revealed all sorts of things about our family life. For instance, “we’re going to Disney for spring break but then we won’t go again FOR A LONG TIME, because it costs a lot of money and we have 4 kids and it’s really expensive and we don’t have money.” I have no idea where she heard that, nurse. We’re financially fine, I promise (P.S. Go ahead and click that link. It’s true. There are no coupons for Disney. Ever. It’s expensive. Even for us Floridians).
Well, the entire staff at the doctor’s office might have been looking at us funny, but at least we weren’t stranded without gas.
So it turns out that even though having my complete opposite questioning my every action can be somewhat annoying, it has its perks. I’ve resigned myself to letting my oldest keep our house in line and am just going to reap the benefits and call it a day. After all, what good are all of these children if they aren’t showing us how incompetent we really are.
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April 7, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
I found myself back at the endodontist’s today, getting some stitches removed from the spot where my back molar used to be, and making small talk with one of the assistants there.
She asked if I had any fun plans for the weekend. “Trying to stay awake past 8:30” didn’t seem like a socially appropriate response, so instead I said, “No, not really – how about you?”
“Well, I’ve been looking for more ways to fill my free time lately…”
[At this point my suspicions were firmly confirmed: This young, cute woman is not a parent of small children.]
“…so I think I might do some of those planter terrarium balls that you hang in your windows. Of course, that will only take an hour or so, so I’ll need to figure out a few other things, too.”
Lorelei would love that sort of project, I think to myself. This girl has a fun-aunt kind of vibe; maybe she’d like some help. Lorelei’s brand of help would almost certainly extend the project beyond an hour. Heck, I could send Nicholas, too – he would probably destroy everything and double or even triple the project time, not including clean-up…
I actually said nothing of the sort, of course. But it did get me to thinking about the last time I felt like I had extra free time to fill. I think it was sometime before the Obama Administration.
Casting my mind back, I could vaguely recall ideas of taking an adult tap class, and even learning shorthand (because, you know, I need yet another way to illegibly remind myself to “buy milk”), but these never came to fruition. And now it will be several more years before I can squeeze in anything extra that involves more time or brainpower than, say, a nightly fluoride rinse. (This may be why I wound up at the endodontist’s in the first place, but that’s a story for another time.)
As all you parents of small children out there know, your free time – what little scraps of it remain – is readily and fully absorbed by those little monkeys, as if they were magical time Shamwows.
Yesterday alone, for instance, Eric and I collectively dealt with the following:
– A Mommy/Lorelei project involving the drawing of many crayoned flowers, to eventually be turned into floral crowns
– A trip to the playground (where there were, unsurprisingly, several other stir-crazy parent/kid combos there, despite the raw 15-degree windchill)
– A real-time, on-the-potty request for prunes to help move things along (from Nicholas)
– An impassioned yet short-lived hypothetical commitment to vegetarianism, by Lorelei, until she realized this would necessarily entail giving up pepperoni and chicken skin
– Separate requests from Lorelei to become a Girl Scout, have Daddy teach her soccer, have her birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, and for Daddy to turn off the Red Sox game (in the fleeting few minutes he had between returning from work and collapsing into bed)
– An ongoing to-do repair list that includes a broken Sponge Bob figurine, a barrette that has lost its plastic flower, a well-worn-yet-much-loved pair of holey little-girl leggings, and a broken dryer handle (which isn’t directly kid-related, but for the fact that they necessitate astonishing amounts of laundry)
– 20 fingernails (10 tiny; 10 mid-size) that needed clipping
– A talk with Nicholas about the importance of nixing potty talk (except when he is actually on the potty and in need of prunes; see above)
– Nicholas’s modeling of Lorelei’s nearly-outgrown fuzzy pink sweater, known to us all as “the Muppets sweater,” which Nicholas claimed made him look like “Mrs. Pig.”
– 4 children’s books read
– 1 cup of spilled milk (which Nicholas was quick to blame me for, accusing me of overfilling his cup)
– Numerous hugs and kisses (some of which involved elbows to sensitive body parts and yelling in ears – and mouths – but all well-intentioned)
And that’s just it. No matter how exhausted or exasperated you get, you’re always ultimately very glad these little guys are around. Even if they do cut into your terrarium ball-making time.
(And all your other time, too.)
April 6, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Our little rooster.
March 30, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
What do you mean, we’re out of popcorn?
March 23, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
The yellow submariners.
March 16, 2016 by Jennifer Carsen
Lorelei devising a foolproof leprechaun trap (I have no idea what she’s planning to do if she catches one).