How to Live with Toddlers

How to Live With Toddlers

Living with two children aged 4 and under, I can now say I know what it is like to live with miniature assholes. (It’s okay to say that you know. I don’t actually refer to my children as assholes…well at least not to their face). 2-4 year olds are the absolute worst. Sure they can be cute, and loving, and awesome, but they literally can do NOTHING on their own. They need help with everything and sometimes they give up trying all together. There is nothing worse than trying to dress your 2 year old when they have gone all “limp noodle” on you. They also spend most of their day in tears or causing others to be. And the screaming, my gosh the screaming. My kids scream for everything-food, toys, just because. It is the closest I’ll ever be to living in an insane asylum. Now I know I can’t be the only one who hides in the pantry to get away from their toddlers, so I have thought of some ways to make life a tad bit easier. You’re welcome.

1) Toddler snacks are really your snacks. When I am hiding in my pantry I sometimes like to eat my toddler’s snacks. I feel so much better just sitting on my step stool and slamming a Bear Paw. It’s almost like a little payback or “I’ll get back at you for that tantrum. We shall see how funny it is when all your animal crackers are gone.” Try it. Completely liberating. Plus who are we kidding? I totally buy Teddy Grahams for myself to eat when the kids go to bed.

2) Stop cleaning. Seriously. I have found Kraft Dinner is much easier to pick up off the floor when it has dried. Those Cheerios scattered all over your floor will get eaten eventually. Secretly just throw your kids shitty McDonald’s toys/half crayons/any toy that has annoying music, in the trash when they go to bed. They’ll never know. You will get so used to the fingerprints all over your windows that you won’t remember a time when they weren’t there. Embrace the aisles of scattered Legos and Hot Wheels in your living room. It’s good exercise to try and squat and lunge around those death machines so you don’t kill yourself stepping on them.

3) Enforce naptime like your life depends on it. Both my boys nap right after lunch whether they want to or not. No negotiation. No, “but I’m not tired”. My response is always the same, “lie down and pretend you are.” Those 2 hours are what gets me through life at this point. Don’t try and clean or even shower. No one likes a martyr. Lie on the couch and sleep or watch TV. They invented Febreeze and deodorant for moms with young children.

4) Stop worrying about mealtime. Realize now that your toddlers will most likely only eat bread, so just tell yourself that they are getting all their fruits and veggies at daycare and your job is simply to get through a meal without it being thrown on the floor. Throw in those Flintstones vitamins and you’re golden. Cereal, popsicles, and yogurt tubes are also great fillers to keep your kids entertained while you cry your way through your salad.

5) Life is not a fashion show. Little kids, especially boys, only like sweatpants and shirts with cartoon characters on them. Stop trying to dress them in suspenders and bow ties like they are off to a photo shoot. Velcro shoes, sweats, and ratty t-shirts are a toddler’s uniform. They shouldn’t even make jeans for children under 5. Well except for baby jeans; those are cute.

6) Divide and conquer. If you have more than one child it’s important to let your partner know that no matter what, if you leave the house, for any reason, you are to take one child with you. My boys are a thousand times more work when they are together (you know the lack of sharing, arguing, “it’s not fair” complaints, etc.). So separating them is not only ideal, but necessary. Going to get an oil change? Take a kid. Visiting a friend? Take a kid. Going golfing? Unless you are playing in The Masters, you are taking a kid. My husband and I don’t have a lot of rules for each other, but this is one of them and if I cry enough my husband will give in and take both kids. Just proves that he will do just about anything to get out of cleaning bathrooms (which I only clean because, well, husband, boys, urine…you get it).

7) Embrace cartoons. Accept them as part of your daily circuit. Cartoons are the ONLY reason I can shower and even then I usually have to yell something like, “I am still in here! Just wait until I get out. You better not be the one making your brother cry, but I know that you are.” You get the picture. I have certain shows PVR’d for emergency purposes and I’m not afraid to admit that Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood was how I potty trained my oldest (seriously You Tube the potty episode…you won’t be sorry). Child having a meltdown? Cartoons. Need to make dinner? Cartoons. Need to sleep off a hangover? Cartoons in the form of a movie. Bless you, Walt Disney. Bless you.

8) The word “no”. You will say it all day and so will your toddler. My youngest uses the word so much he now uses it as a response to most things. “Good Morning!” = “No”. “Let’s put away all your cars and go to the park”= “No” (but he means yes). “You are the cutest little thing!”= “No”. “Want a fruit snack?”= “No”….wait for it…”Yes please yes”. I think he co-wrote that Meghan Trainor song “No” as his name is in fact, no. He also screams the word as if he is on fire. I have tried to stop saying the word myself, but in panic mode to prevent a disaster, it just comes out. Except I usually throw in a few other choice words like “For the love of everything NO!!”, “What the hell? NO!!!”, or “FML…NO!!!” I guess he comes by it honestly.

9) Car Rides. My advice would be to not even attempt a long trip (and by long anything over an hour and a half). Have that wedding to attend this summer a 10 hour car ride away? Unless you leave your kids with someone else, you are not going. Until sedatives are legal for toddlers I am really not interested. If there is no way around it and you absolutely HAVE to go you should probably have the following on hand: Road snacks (a higher level up from regular snacks. So instead of dry Cheerios in a cup they get Froot Loops, instead of no name crackers they get Oreos, you get the idea), an assortment of cartoons (pull out the big guns here…Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, stay away from Arthur or that show that looks like they used graph paper to animate it), books, crayons, headphones (for both child and parent), and a triple dose of anti-depressants. You will most likely have to stop at a McDonald’s play place. Embrace it. Get that Big Mac…you’ve earned it. Whatever you do, don’t resort to putting in a cd of children’s music. Nothing will make you lose the will to live more than listening to “Wheels on the Bus” 47 times. Stay strong and remember that nothing lasts forever (well the memories might but I hear hypnotherapy works wonders).

10) Being in Public. Going anywhere with young children (even that quick trip to the grocery store) can turn disastrous almost instantly. Honestly, there is nothing worse than being in a crowded store with 2 screaming children. Even though accidents happen (poop explosion ’16 happened in a grocery cart) or misfortunate events (my son threw up in the middle of a crowded swimming pool) it is still not easy to handle with complete strangers watching (some of them with pity, others with looks of shock and horror). I do have certain rules for certain places. The grocery store: one treat per child that will be given out at the check-out lane while I spend most of the shopping trip threatening to take the treat away. Restaurants: will only go if there will be a grandparent in attendance. Toys R Us: hahahaha as if. Shopping malls: One has to be in a stroller and the other one on dad’s shoulders for a maximum time of 30 minutes. Make every attempt to avoid the foot court at all costs. Movie/Play/Concert: If you can’t sit in a seat for at least 20 minutes without crying/screaming/trying to escape, then you are not going. Doctor’s office: Well this is a must so I usually bring the I-pad and let my kids watch videos or they can bug all of the other patients in the office and destroy all the pamphlets in the waiting room. People find that adorable.

The good news is most people understand how unpredictable and sometimes volatile toddlers can be. I understand those feelings of never wanting to leave the house because it very well could end up being a disaster. But you must. You must take off your couch pants and slippers and enter the outside world with those precious little assholes of yours. And while you are home with them don’t forget how much eating a sleeve of Oreos or drinking wine out of a box can ease your pain. Take solace in the fact that toddlers are so cute for a reason. Well at least that is what people tell me.

CB

20 Things My Kids Cried Over This Week

20 Things My Kids Cried Over This Week

When you have small children there is a good chance that someone in your house is always crying (parent and kids alike). My boys cry All. THE. TIME. I can tolerate crying over reasonable things such as falling down and getting hurt or being scared. However, these reasons make up only 5% of the actual things my kids cry about. Here is a sample of the ridiculous things my children cried over this week.

My sons (they really are interchangeable here) cried because…

1) He wouldn’t wear his pj’s because the bear on his shirt wasn’t smiling.

2) He wanted to lick sidewalk chalk like a lollipop. I wouldn’t let him.

3) He didn’t want us to put his bread in the toaster. He wanted to eat it frozen. Didn’t eat it. Cried when it unthawed and wanted it frozen again.

4) I gave the blue plate to his brother and gave him the orange plate. Orange is his favourite colour, but not on plates.

5) I gave him milk that I had just put back in the fridge like an hour before. He said “it tastes like milk from breakfast.” Well I suppose that is true…

6) I wouldn’t let him have just ketchup as a meal.

7) His eggs tasted too “eggy”.

8) I didn’t give him the fish and steamed veggies from my plate to his plate of chicken nuggets and noodles. Gave him some and he cried because it didn’t taste like chicken nuggets and noodles.

9) I made him wear pants to preschool.

10) His granola bar looked squishy.

11) I wouldn’t let him put his fingers in an oscillating fan.

12) His pants don’t roll up the right way (they were shorts).

13) I told my older son that he looked cute with his coat and backpack on. He immediately took off said coat and backpack and cried. We need to work on what a compliment means.

14) He realized I sold a toy of his on Varage Sale (ok that is a legit reason to cry).

15) I wasn’t supplying a “2nd breakfast” shortly after “1st breakfast” was prepared, served, and thrown on the floor.

16) Brother and Sister Bear got in trouble for a bad case of the “greedy, galloping gimmies” in the Berenstain Bears book, which meant they could no longer have treats at the grocery store. He was afraid that would apply to him-he cried even harder when I said that it did.

17) I turned on the TV and Property Brothers came on instead on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I mean how DARE I change the channel. The TV should be on Disney Junior indefinitely.

18) He wanted to get out of the car first. Before me. The Driver. The one who needs to unbuckle his car seat and lift him OUT of the car.

19) My husband told our older son that he’ll get to look forward to having salad every day for lunch when he’s older (as he was making his salad for lunch) because that’s what adults eat. He cried because, “I don’t want to eat salad when I’m 40. You know how much I hate cucumbers”. Nothing like crying about something 36 years in the future.

20) I wouldn’t let him put the booger he just picked from HIS nose into MY mouth. For the love.

How to figure me out…

Hey you! Yes you! Welcome to my blog! I wanted to introduce you all to what has been labelled as 2016’s New Year’s Resolution (3 months late….awesome start). I figured I’d try my hand at blogging since I need to jump on the “be your boss, work from home, earn extra income” bandwagon. So what the hell can I start that could lead to a home business? I don’t wear jewelry. I am more than happy to use the same skin cleanser I have used since I was 15. I don’t care about expensive Tupperware that I don’t even have room for. However, I have always wanted to have a forum where I could express my hilarious ideas and search for validation from complete strangers or people I haven’t seen or heard from since Grad ’97. Plus I get really really bored.

The first thing I needed to do after setting up my blog was to think about what I wanted it to be about. Obviously there are many facets that make up who I am, but I didn’t want to hone in on one particular part and write just about that. Therefore, I have decided to make this blog more of a “How To” blog where I impart my infinite wisdom on a complete gamut of subjects and pretend that I am a complete expert on everything. If you are not fluent in sarcasm I do suggest that you quit reading this immediately. I have no time for hurt feelings or anyone thinking I am remotely serious in half of what I say. Purely entertainment. I figure this introduction to all things Carmen and my wonderful blog entitled “Funny Girl Problems and How to Solve Them” should include a list of the most important points on how to get to know me.

1) The Basics: I have been married for six years and have two boys aged 4 and 2. Please stop asking me if we are “trying for a girl”. I tried for a girl 2 other times and ended up with boys. Don’t get me wrong. I love my boys and all that crap, but when I see my friends who have girls and post pictures of them reading quietly together and colouring nicely at a table, it enrages me. My boys run around without pants and try and cage match each other all day long. Also, don’t tell me that I will be happy I have boys when they are teenagers. That is like a decade from now, which in mom terms is like forty lifetimes. Plus, I will need to refinance my mortgage just to feed them….sounds like a dream.

2) I have a full time job as a teacher therapist, and even though this will disappoint many, I will not blog about my awesome and sometimes hilarious job. Sorry, but people get fired for that shit.

3) I don’t do my hair. I mean I wash it and stuff; I’m not disgusting, but my hair has looked the exact same since I was 2 years old. Part down the middle, semi long, blonde, and most likely in a half ponytail or pulled back in a headband. That, in a nutshell, says mostly everything you really need to know about me.

4) My least favourite personality type is high maintenance dumb people who think they are smart and low maintenance. You all know them (and sadly for some are related to them…but not me of course), and will agree with me that there is nothing worse. I would rather lick a fly swatter than spend an afternoon with someone who knows everything about everything, but would have trouble completing the skill testing question in McDonald’s Monopoly.

5) I love House Hunters, but hate House Hunters International. I love peas, but hate pea soup. Sometimes life is confusing.

6) When I was a child I wanted to grow up and be a maid. Kirk Cameron’s maid, but a maid nonetheless. Now I want to be on that show “Hoarding: Buried Alive”. Not as one of the hoarders, but as one of those people who have to wear Hazmat suits to clean out people’s houses of dead cats. I love decluttering and cleaning out people’s houses (and really I have only been allowed to clean out my mom’s since other people think “it’s weird” for me to start going through their stuff), but I always think this could be another career path for me. If you think you may require my services, just know that I charge by the hour and will resell most of your items on Varage Sale and keep the profits. Seems fair.

7) I have quite a few ridiculous fears. I know that they are illogical and random, but these are literally the things that keep me up at night: being attacked by wild dogs(or just regular dogs sitting on your couch looking out the window and barking at me), being forced fed mushrooms out of can (in fairness, this one actually happened…scarred for life), the fact that McDonald’s pizza was not popular enough to keep it on the menu and I may never again experience that deliciousness, making a meal in the crock pot and leaving it unattended for 10 hours in an empty house where the potential for fire seems imminent ( I mean seriously how do people do this??), being forced to do a job where I have to operate heavy machinery, and ordering any type of food over the phone (seriously this is a thing).

8) I do have a legitimate talent. I can remember people’s birthdays. If you are from my hometown (well even if you’re not I tell everyone I meet that I can do this) you would have heard about how I’m the girl who remembers birthdays. I can tell you what day of the week your birthday will fall on each year, what I did on that particular day, who else has a birthday the same day as you, etc. There was a 60 Minutes episode about this once and they referred to this type of ability as Superior Autobiographical Memory. For each person it can be something different. The one guy they interviewed could remember every single stat from his favourite football team. I can’t do that, but mainly because I absolutely have no interest in football. However, for some reason birthdays and dates in general are just kind of my forte. My husband thinks there is a market for this type of talent. However, I’m not so sure a good memory has helped me out at all. If anything it makes me super annoyed when people don’t remember things/events/MY ANNIVERSARY (for an example) when I so easily can. Perhaps this is the cross I have to bear.

9) I love television. I really do. I actually hate people who say “I hate tv” or “I don’t have time to watch tv” or “I’d just rather read a book.” Oh quit acting like you’re better than me and binge watch a series on Netflix already. Netflix seriously has changed my life. When I was sick with strep throat last month I watched the entire season of Fuller House in one day (Please no judgement….many of you had it set on your calendars too). Reality tv though is probably my personal favourite. Mainly because I long to be on Big Brother (but nothing else….too old to be on The Bachelor (well that and I’m married), I would never be able to do the challenges on Survivor, I would probably cry through The Amazing Race because I would yell at my partner for being so incompetent, and I’d be laughed off any cooking show with my signature Kraft Dinner and hot dogs dish). And let’s face it….when you have small children tv is the only friend you really have.

10) While I am a self-proclaimed expert on many things, there are some things I truly know nothing about. Most of these things are an embarrassment not only to myself, but to those people who did not teach them to me in the first place (sorry parents). I never knew that cars needed oil changes until I literally had no oil in my car and it quit working. I always thought that the question mark on town welcome signs meant “we don’t know what else is in this town” instead of the obvious “Information”. I have never operated a lawn mower. When I go to the hairdresser and she says “What would you like to do today?” I always say, “’you choose” because I literally have no idea what to say (see #3). It took me like 5 years to learn how to merge in traffic. The list goes on and on. But don’t worry, I will learn how to do those things I have not mastered and fill you in.

My plan is to update my blog at least once a month. I hope you enjoy it and it makes you laugh. That my friends, is all I am really looking for:)

Next post: How to throw a child’s birthday party (when you really, really hate them)

-CB