January 2010

Posted by Duff

You think if you don’t curse, and you speak kindly to others in front of your children, you’re doing okay.

And in my case, that’s not enough. There is an entire category of sub-swears, and you may not even realize you’re using them until they’ve been catalogued and cross-referenced for (in)appropriate context.

For example: This past weekend, our family of four spent a decent amount of time driving to and from a family party. On trips of this length, I often ask The Dervish what Atticus is up to in his carseat.

Typical answers: He’s playing around. He’s sleeping with his mouth open. He’s looking at his hands.

But yesterday? I could tell from the sound of her voice that she didn’t bother looking at him before she dismissed me with:

He’s breaking my stones.

I may or may not have been responsible for adding that gem to her vocabulary. The jury’s still out.

But for the record, Atticus has been known to break stones.


Posted by Fitz

I get stressed out a lot – too much, really.  It can be over work, over the pile of laundry I have to do, over big decisions…like I said, too much, really.  You’d think that, based on this self-assessment, I’d have experienced stress to the nth degree, but I hadn’t.  Who knew?

Picture this: last week, I’m driving home from a client site going north on I95 in Fairfield County at 4:45.    I’m happy, because I’m going home earlier than planned to meet Beanie and my dear husband at home.  I give him a call to tell him I’m on my way, and as soon as he picked up I knew something was wrong.  “Fitz,” he said.  “I’m stuck on the Merritt Parkway in Norwalk.  I don’t think I’m going to make it to daycare on time for pickup!”

The terror in his voice made it clear that it was up to me to get our Bean before she was the last one left, in a dark school, with annoyed teachers who were going to charge us extra.  The problem?  I was also in Norwalk, as I mentioned, and traffic on 95 is a given.  We were on two parallel highways trying to get to the same place, with the same literal and figurative roadblocks in front of us.  Who would get there first?  Would it be on time?  Was our Bean distressed because we weren’t there yet?

This, my friends, was stress.  With a capital S. 

Let me tell you, I’ve never driven so aggressively (or with such road rage).  I weaved, I wove, I beeped, and I cursed, but manners didn’t matter in my quest to make it to school before pickup.  The 10 miles – and 40 minutes – that it took me to get there were some of the longest in my life.  It seems ridiculous to say that, but hell hath no anxiety like a mom and dad who are both going to be late for pickup and can’t do a frigging thing about it.  Our hearts were pounding.

I ended up getting to the school two minutes late.  She wasn’t the last one there, luckily, but she had been waiting for me.  “Mommy, what took you so long?” she said before she gave me a big hug around the neck.  That’s why, on occasion, I still harbor a bit of guilt for working.  It’s why I can’t stop wondering if my career and motherhood are not a good fit.  It’s when I remember, with a shot through the heart, that my top priority is three feet tall and sassy. 

Being late to daycare one time is certainly not the end all and be all for my career, obviously, but it felt like it on that particular day.   So when you’re driving home from work and see a man or woman driving like a crazy person with a manic glint in their eyes, just let them pass.  They probably have a cutie pie that needs picking up.

photo credit: http://blogs.cars.com/photos/mother_proof_december/roadrage500.jpg

Britax Boulevard Convertible Car Seat 2009 Meghan


Thought you might like to know that Albeebaby.com, one of our favorite baby and toddler gear sites, is having a big Britax car seat sale!  Marathons of all colors and styles are marked down to about $220, and Boulevards are even less – you can get up to 40% off, which is a great deal.   Save an extra 15% by entering “15OFF” at checkout, too!

Enjoy, and let us know if you get anything!

Posted by AVM

I know the three of us moms who blog here at My Mom Genes have had numerous recent posts about the trials and tribulations of potty training.  Here’s another one for you.  I hope the fact that we’re all going through it means that you all can relate too, and it’s a common source of anxiety for most of us moms.  And for those of you who had the easy potty training experience with your child, I hate you (Just – sort of – kidding).

Lovey has been potty trained for months to pee on the potty.  She wears panties during the day, she (close to) never has accidents.  For all other functions, she waits until I put a pull-up on her after the bath to go.  I have tried all the tricks we all try.  Bribery, promises of the best toys and far away lands to visit. . .if. . .only. . .you will just poop where you’re supposed to poop.  Nothing.  On Monday, in a bizarre turn of events – it happened!  I brought out the big brass band to celebrate!  We called Daddy, we called Mema (her grandmother), we phoned the newspapers.  Everyone was excited.  And so, clearly, I thought we turned a corner.  I thought we were done.  Nope.  She held it for the next 5 days.  Saturday evening is a night of which I am neither proud, nor do I ever want to relive.  I am sufficiently traumatized to the point that I will not be asking her about wanting to use the potty for those purposes again until she’s 20 years old.  She wins.  Checkmate.

New Year’s Resolution Update: As of this morning, three weeks in, I am officially down a total of 13.5 pounds!  Thanks for keeping me honest, people!

Posted by Duff

Having known The Dervish these three+ years, and hearing from so many parents of more than one that every child is inherently different, I formed some expectations of Atticus.

That’s probably not fair, and who am I to typecast a brand new human being, and all that crap. But after he finished his 9 weeks of infant boot camp and stopped hollering long enough to smile (and thankfully, digest some food and sleep some sleep), he revealed himself to be quite what I’d expected. In a word: content.

Little irritated him. Diaper changes? Awesome. Shirts going over his head? Marvelous. Being passed around from stranger to stranger? Bring it on. Whatever you’ve got.

One afternoon, I picked up The Dervish and Atticus from daycare, and we waited the standard 8 minutes to make a left turn out of the parking lot during rush hour. The Dervish had a few grievances: the sun was in her eyes, for one, and her jacket was making a bump under her carseat buckle. She was also thirsty. I handed her a sippy cup, and as she took a gulp, Atticus, who up until this point had been silent, interjected a single–dare I say irritated— “Mehhhhp.”

It wasn’t until we got home, ten minutes later, that I realized that his hat had come down over his eyes, and he’d ridden home in waking darkness. And silence. This once happened to The Dervish around his age, and she screamed as if being poked by pins until I could pull over to see what was causing such distress.

“What do you mean, he just took it?” said my husband.

“Do you think there’s something wrong with him?” I asked. “I mean, it’s like nothing bothers him.”

Until this week. My husband sits on the floor next to Atticus, eating a bowl of instant apple oatmeal. Atticus eyes the bowl. Reaches for it. When his father moves it from range, Atticus scowls, raises a brow, and bestows his very first Hairy Eyeball. Rakes at his offender’s leg. Mehhhp!

At his next meal, Atticus rips the spoon from my hand to feed himself. Will only eat if I hand him the loaded spoon. Grabs the bowl when I’m not looking and dives in face first.  I know, it sounds like he’s hungry. But he really doesn’t want the food. He just wants the option.

Atticus went Margaritaville on the whole rolling over thing. As in, at eight months, he doesn’t do it. He can, says the doctor, he just doesn’t. Same with crawling. He gets his knees under him, rocks, scales the length of his crib five times over in a night, completely asleep, but faced with open space during the day, he is a resting tortoise. What he does do is sit, sweetly, playing with anything he can gum or make into a percussion instrument.

Instead, he has learned how to have an opinion. Which, as much as it foreshadows the end of babyhood and the beginning of person with independent thoughts — the chocolate-covered cranberry of parenting –it reassures me that he’s not as Paulie Bleeker as I’ve made him out to be.

Good news, because according to his father, a redhead can use a little attitude on the playground.

Posted by Fitz

We were pretty sure she was ready.  She showed all of the signs listed on the handy, free Pampers potty training kit that I sent away for, except for the one about waking up dry from her naps.  She loves to sit on her potty, and she tries to wipe ME whenever she gets a chance.  She loves her potty book, and talks about going pee pee all the time.  All this put together signaled a kid ready to wave bye bye to her diapers, and we went with it.


The Bean loves her underwear – printed training pants, Dora and Boots, and of course, a Princess pair for every day of the week.  Heck, she even loved the Easy Ups I bought just in case.  She loved running around the house yelling, “I wearing underweahs!” and loved showing them to whomever darkened our doorstep (a special sorry goes out to my brother).  What didn’t she love?  Well, I guess it just comes down to the regularly scheduled trips to the potty.  She loved to run into the bathroom and sit on it of her own volition (mostly with pants on, but we worked on pulling them down), and she could sit for up to a half hour on there reading books, telling us stories, and singing made up songs.  Then, she’d declare that she wasn’t going to go, pulled her pants up, and scrambled out of the bathroom as fast as her little legs would take her.

Only to pee (or worse) in her pants as soon as she got to the next room.


We never made a big deal about the accidents (9 in all on Saturday – to count any more would have been depressing) – in fact, we were downright nonchalant.  The shocker for us?  The Bean didn’t care if she was wearing wet pants and undies.  It didn’t phase her in the slightest, and she only asked to be changed when she had done…more than tinkle, let’s leave it at that.  We were left wondering if we were jumping the gun, simultaneously afraid of pushing her too hard, too fast and confusing her by slapping a diaper back on her little bum.

We diapered.  She doesn’t seem phased by any of it.

The next time she asks for her undies, we’ll gladly put them on.  If she’s about to enter elementary school, we’ll force the issue.  Till then, though, I think we’re going to ride it out and wait for more clues.  Is this the right thing?  I have no idea…and would welcome any advice.  I just don’t want to terrorize a 27-month old before her time, or create a situation that does more harm than good.

Photo credit: http://blog.seattlepi.com/adventuresinparenting/library/iStock_000001854269XSmall.jpg

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