Tag:

toddlers

playdate etiquette, play date, playdate, toddlers, moms, how long should playdates be

Are you a playdate pro or are you a new mom just dipping her toe in the playdate pond? Either way, learning all the rules and regulations for playdates as a new mom is about as easy as patting your head and rubbing your belly while reciting the lyrics to Baby Shark backwards. And almost as annoying. Makes me wonder what is proper playdate etiquette protocol for toddlers and their moms? These are the things I used to stay up at nights worrying about when the girls were small but I’ve learned some things along the way and I think they could be helpful to you.

I remember once having a wonderful playdate ( well, Bella and Gabs were having the playdate while I enjoyed my time hanging out with the kid’s mom, my “mom friend”)let’s just call it a family play date. If we’re being 100% honest, those playdates were as much for me as they were for the girls I loved having those women to talk to, share with and bond with over our mommy war stories. The struggle is real in the mommyhood.

But in those moments, I was still left wondering, what is the appropriate duration of a playdate for children ages 2 to 5-years-old? What the hell is proper playdate protocol? How do you let them know when it’s time to go home without offending anyone?

READ ALSO: Play Date Break Up

Seriously, I’ve been hosting playdates since 2006. In the beginning, they lasted anywhere from a half hour, that seemed like an eternity, to a cool 5 hours that never seemed like quite enough time together. I’ve attended playdates where I couldn’t stop checking my phone and biding my time until I  could leave. Other times, I could have stayed longer because the kids were having fun and the conversation and coffee were flowing. Do you know what I am talking about?  We’ve all been there.

Other times you find yourself, sitting there, watching the clock, thinking to yourself, can I leave now without looking like a giant a**hole (quietly wishing your head would explode like in Scanners)? It all really depends on the company and the activity. But really, there has to be some kind of etiquette to this; some sort of method to all the madness. If not, chaos would break out. Moms would be walking out mid-sentence once they start hearing something they didn’t like; others would become squatters and it shouldn’t be that hard. It’s like real dating.

We need rules; proper Playdate Etiquette Protocol for Toddlers and their Moms

I’m lucky, I’ve been doing this Mommy gig long enough to have a really great group of Mommies kids that we have playdates with. Most of our playdates were, seriously, 2-5 hours in duration (so awesome how well my girls slept on those nights). But other days, no matter how many crafts or jungle gyms you had, the date was just a dud.

Sometimes we’d hit the zoo, sometimes we’d watch a kids movie, sometimes we’d have coffee and the kids played dress up and put on shows, sometimes it was a combo and lunch. The adorable videos that I could post on InstaStories could give the cat videos a run for their money.

READ ALSO: Play Dates What Every New Mom Needs to Know

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt the need to flee the scene of a playdate going to hell in a handbasket but I know they’re out there. My girls are now old enough, to host playdates without parental supervision but I won’t lie, sometimes I miss it. I don’t get to see my mom friends like I used to because now, everyone has extracurricular activities and more than one kid and no one has time for coffee and lingering conversation or wine and kids dressing up. Now, we have to find time to get together ourselves and it’s much harder than it sounds so cherish these toddler playdates. Here’s a little help.

Proper Playdate Etiquette Protocol for Toddlers and their Moms

  1. Parents should always stay with their child if they are preschooler age and under.
  2. For the first playdate with someone you haven’t had playdates with before, I recommend setting a time limit of 1 hour.
  3. After the initial playdate, if you like the mom and kid and everyone gets along, set a strict time i.e. 10 am-noon. The best guideline is 1.5-2 hours that doesn’t interfere with naptime.
  4. Parents should always pack snacks for their own children. As a playdate hostess, I’ve always provided appropriate snacks and drinks.
  5. Elementary school-aged children are a little different, ask the hosting parent if they want you to stay or go. Around fifth grade, you can safely assume that you will not be part of your child’s playdate.
  6. When kids are elementary school aged, you need to relinquish control a little bit. This starts with snacks. Let the parents know if your child has any food allergies and if they have any pet allergies since you won’t be there.
  7. Once they are in high school, you just need to provide your children with the upbringing and the trust to make good choices and a cellphone so that you can keep in touch. Duration of “playdates” can last from a few hours to a few days. When I was a teenager, my best friend spent the night at my house almost every day of the week.

These are just a few pointers for proper playdate etiquette for toddlers and their moms. What is your favorite pointer for hosting playdates?

 

3/04/10

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parenting misconceptions, parenting, tweens, toddlers

There are a lot of parenting misconceptions out there. Those parenting books don’t tell you the truth about what it’s really like to parent a living, breathing child. I think they write about parenting in theory. One of the biggest misconception is that children are supposed to meat some kind of quality standard, like a piece of USDA regulated meat. It’s not true. They are people, not products. If I hear one more new mom tell me what an asshole her toddler is I just might throw up. Look, I have compassion. I really do. I totally thought that my toddlers were both assholes of epic proportions and then they got a little older.

 

Thinking your toddler is an asshole is the same thing as thinking you are in love when you are 15. You really believe you are but you only think you are because you don’t know what they hell you are talking about. You haven’t experienced the real thing yet. The same way in high school you think everything is so important but really it is the most inconsequential shit that will ever happen to you.

Toddlers are not assholes this is just one of many parenting misconceptions.

Besides, takes one to know one, right? If you really want to know what an asshole is try having a conversation with an eye rolling tween. There is nothing (as of yet) that is more egregious in parenthood than having a full-grown person talk back to you, roll their eyes and walk away.

The worst part is that my “tween” might look like a big girl but she still has this tiny baby voice and still wants hugs and cuddles but when she’s done with you, she’s done with you. It’s all eye rolls and stomping and looks that say without words, “ You are the stupidest person alive!”, we really should renaming the “tween” years, the “cat” years.

I remember the toddler years. I remember being told, “ I hate you mommy” (I have a feeling that one might be making a come back.) I remember full on tantrums in the middle of the grocery store. I remember wanting to cry because my 2 and 4-year-olds were breaking me and crushing my soul. I had no sleep, the sleep I was getting was filled with kicks to the face and head butts and all day long I was to dance monkey dance. I was the walking dead. I remember their favorite word was, “NO!” The saving grace for them was that they were so damn cute and I just forgave them of all the terrible shit they did to me. And believe me, terrible twos is a myth it’s the threes and fours that you really have to watch out for.

But even with all of that, I remember the random hugs and kisses and all the, “I love you mommy” for no reason at all. I remember the nightly game of, “I love you more.” I remember tiny arms reaching for me like I was salvation and soft cuddles that made my heart explode. I remember all of that. I never forget that.

My theory is this, kids are born so ugly that they are cute and we have so much love for them that it almost kills us. The thought of losing them is crushing and losing one can nearly kill you, at the very least makes you wish you were dead. Then they become toddlers and they do become little terrorist assholes but they are now so cute and have those cute voices and say the sweetest things that we forgive them all their transgressions.

As they enter preschool and elementary school, we love them so much it is almost unbearable to let them leave us for the day. The letting go is awful. We sulk and cry and then we enjoy every moment we get with them after school, watching them blossom into amazing, smart, funny little people. Sure there is whining, interrupting, sibling squabbling and for some reason they never want to go to bed and use more toilet paper than is humanly possible but overall they are awesome.

Then they hit the tween years and they become eye rolling, gum popping, Justice wearing, whining, 1-D loving part-time strangers. Some days they are your baby and the others, they are some sort of wildebeest in designer clothing. One minute they want to tell you everything and the next, they eye roll you to mind your own damn business. Still, I enjoy the moments when we have real conversations and I love that she is at an age where she wants to dress and be like me. Not like an adult but actually coordinate with her mom. It makes my heart all squishy. If only she knew this power she has over me. Shhh, let’s keep that under wraps.

Then, they become teens. Hormones are out of control and they quite frankly are nowhere as cute as they were in the early years. Bad skin, awkwardness and bad attitudes prevail. You are basically financing them but are not entitled to any interaction (that costs extra, my friends). It’s like trying to get the girlfriend experience from a hooker, all that extra money but still, no fucking kissing on the lips. None of it’s real. They hate you and, truth be told, you don’t particularly like them either. You still love them but they are not your favorite people.

Then sometime around senior year, they turn back into normal human beings. They’ve finally got the hang of those damn hormones and they’ve probably had a crisis or two enough to know that you are not going anywhere but now, they are leaving you. My theory is that the only reason moms and dads don’t drop dead on the spot the minute their “babies” go away to college is because of all the growing pains we experience when they are tweens and teens. The pain is necessary to lessen he blow when they have to leave us.

This is my theory and I’m sticking to it and every time my tween rolls her eyes at me, I feign irritation but inside, I’m thanking her for making it easier to let her go in the end. For now, I will take every single kiss, cuddle and eye roll and cherish it because one day she might be across the world and I’ll be longing for the days when I could see her face and when she say, “ I love you,” I’ll always know that I love her more.

What was 1 of your biggest parenting misconceptions?

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INternational Women's Day,#tbt, Throwback Thursday, The TRUTH about Motherhood, Motherhood

Today is Throwback Thursday #tbt and I’m doing it parenting style. It’s all about the motherhood. There will be a Throat Punch Thursday post here on The TRUTH  later today. But since it’s my 5-year anniversary week,  I have decided to do a little Throwback Thursday post #tbt.

This was the first post that I EVER wrote.I am pretty sure that no one ever read it:)  I had no idea what I was doing as a blogger and was definitely still figuring out motherhood. I knew what I wanted this blog to be. I wanted it to be a place where other mothers could come and get the real nitty, gritty down low on motherhood. I was tired of feeling like a failure only to find out that other mothers were only telling me the good parts of their experience and never the hard parts.

As I got to know more moms, I realized they were just trying to protect themselves because all they were hearing were the good parts and in the end…we all felt like failures. I never wanted another new mom to feel like a failure again. That is why I started this blog. I figured if I shared my highs and lows, if only one other mom felt better about herself or felt like she wasn’t alone, I had made a difference. I was trying to be the change.  Here is my #TBT post complete with Throwback Thursday Photos. Enjoy.

Parenting for beginners.

motherhood,the truth about motherhood, pregnancy, babies, parenting

There’s a club, more exclusive than the Junior League, the country club, or any other social/philanthropic women’s club, it’s called the Mommy club also known as the bliss/insanity that is Motherhood.

Welcome to the TRUTH about Motherhood where parenting gets really real.

Yes, there are many, many women in this club, from all countries and walks of life. Do you know of any other sorority where the initiation rite is growing and producing a human being? Seriously, that’s a little steep. It’s a never ending membership. Once you’ve joined, you’re a lifer and believe me it’s more stringent than any other club I belong to. It’s like being jumped into a gang. There is no way out. It’s a ’til death to we part sort of situation.

motherhood, mother

 Motherhood is hard. Parenting is not for the weak.

Once you are in the “Motherhood”, you are continuously scrutinized for your choices; from conception, to delivery, what you wear, what your child wears, how you speak to your child, what classes you take and the lists goes on to infinity and beyond. Worse still, other mothers seldom tell you the whole truth about motherhood. Parenting is the best kept secret there is. No one wants to admit how challenging it can really be.

The secrets of parenting are securely hidden from the newbies under lock and key by other parents. Being careful not to reveal an inkling of the real truth for fear that the species may cease to exist. You won’t be told the hard truth about pregnancy, labor, subsequent siblings, bedtime, discipline, after baby body or any of the other gruesome aspects of motherhood by your friends and neighbors.  You will hear all about the awesomeness by your mom friends. You will have rainbows and unicorns coming out of your ass. But that’s not reality.

The reality is that parenting is the hardest job that you will ever love.

I’m Truthful Mommy , also known as Deborah to other adults, and this is the truth that your mothers, sisters, and girlfriends never told you! This is the beginning, so if you are ready for the TRUTH about motherhood, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as it happens to me, put on your mom goggles and have a seat and stay awhile. I’ll be giving you the good, the bad, the ugly of motherhood. I’ll be irreverent and brutally honest, so hold on to your hats. Sh*t is about to get real. Welcome to The TRUTH about Motherhood.

motherhood, parenting, mother, the TRUTH about Motherhood

My TRUTH about Motherhood is that parenting is everything.

I hope you will come back tomorrow and check out my new series This Blogger’s Life... My first interview will be with my friend, Jill Smokler,  the awesome force behind Scary Mommy! It will be live at 8 am EST. 

Okay, lets see those #TBT photos on Instagram. Leave your Instagram name in the comments and I will follow! I’m Deborah Cruz on Instagram.

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working mom , mommy guilt, work, mom, family and work balance

working mom , mommy guilt, work, mom, family and work balanceThe Working Mom

Working Mom guilt ~ Finding the balance between work and family is the sweet spot in life where every working mom wants to live. But how do we find the perfect balance between our careers and our family, more importantly, our children? This is a struggle that I think every woman is too familiar with; one that I, myself, have struggled with since giving birth to my first child.

Even if we are afforded the luxury of being stay-at-home Moms,  we are torn and left feeling guilty for not wanting to be in the house, with the children, sans adult conversation for 24-hour increments/ 365 days a year. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, a work outside of the home mom and a work-at-home mom. All have had their challenges and in every category, I was a working mom. Raising children and maintaining a home is never ending work, even if the perks include spontaneous hugs form adorable munchkins.

As a stay-at- home mom, I wrestled with being overwhelmed with no down time. I found myself having verbal explosive diarrhea each afternoon when my husband walked through the door. I felt disconnected to the outside world and then I felt extreme guilt for feeling like I wanted to be anywhere else. After all, what kind of mother needs time away from her children? Obviously, this was a sign of a major character flaw on my part and I should suffer in silence like a priest trying to purify his soul and purge the impure thoughts. After all, wanting to be away from my children, wasn’t that the most impure thought that a mother could have?

While pregnant with my second child, I temporarily took a job outside of the home. It was only in the afternoon, after my husband was home from work, because I could not bring myself to leave my 1 year old with anyone else (another side effect of extreme Mommy guilt). She was up for precisely 2 hours after I left for work. In retrospect, she probably didn’t even notice that I was gone. She normally played with Daddy from the moment he walked in the door until bedtime anyways, regardless if I were home or not. Yet, every single day that I walked out the door for my 5 hours of work, I felt like I was betraying her in some profound way; abandoning her. The guilt was palpable. The job lasted eight months. From the moment I took the job, I was looking to find something that allowed me to work from home.

This Working Mom wanted to work from home

At six months pregnant, I found a fabulous job that allowed me the flexibility to work from home and make my own schedule.  I was ecstatic. Then I started the job and realized there is only one rung of Mommy guilt worse than leaving your child to go to work and that is sitting in the same house as your child, hearing them call out for you and having to make the decision to tune them out so that you can get work done. The guilt I wrestle with is colossal.

I’ve been fortunate that my job has allowed me to scale my hours back when I need to and increase as I see fit. It’s been a Godsend. Now, the girls are a little older and next year, they will both be in school all day. I decided it’s time to pursue a career that not only fits my lifestyle but also is something I love doing. After all, don’t we all deserve to have it all; the partner, the children, the career and the lifestyle that we want?

I’ve just started a couple new jobs. I still have my original job; editing and tutoring in English but I have added regular freelance writer to my repertoire. I can now be found at SmartMomStyle.Com and The Stir daily plus I am writing my weekly post at Aiming Low. It’s very exciting and absolutely my dream job. As it is starting any new job, it’s taken some concerted scheduling efforts on my part. My husband and I had to sit down, figure out a writing schedule, incorporate the kids schedule and make certain days and times off limits because they are reserved fro family time. It’s only been a week but I can see that the schedule is already making a huge difference in the amount and quality of time that I am spending with my family.  It is also working wonders for alleviating the Mommy guilt.

I’m sure you working moms have many different ways to deal with the Mommy guilt, the schedules and how to make the best out of your time. I’d love to hear your stories and recommendations. I want to have it all and leave that working mom guilt out of it.

Photo Source

Bye Bye Working Mom Guilt

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Mommy brain, forgetfulness. children

We’ve all heard of Mommy brain, right? You know that condition that makes everything foggy, forgotten and not quite sure if it’s really happening, supposed to be happening or already happened? Yeah, that’s Mommy brain. Hell, I’d bet my reminder list that most of us are in the throes of it at this very moment. Me, I’m convinced that I am probably on the verge of a full-blown case of sun-downers of the Mommy Kind. Shark week and a severe case of mommy brain seem to be co-existing in my life right now, running rampant if you will. I am not exaggerating when I say that if it weren’t for my head being attached, I’d have misplaced it by now. I have had some pretty near misses while experiencing my advanced stage of Mommy brain but some experiences stand out above and beyond the others in the humiliation department. Like this one…

Mommy brain, forgetfulness. children

Oh Mommy brain, why have you forsaken me?

It was a cold day in January and I had an OB/GYN check up. I was at that point in my pregnancy where I couldn’t see my feet. Let’s be honest, I couldn’t see anything south of the topside of my burgeoning belly swell. Who knows what the hell was going on south of that border? But I had a check up, nonetheless, and there was no way I was going in for it without a little landscaping down below beforehand. I refused to look like I had a chia pet in a headlock. It wasn’t happening.

I stepped into the shower and almost immediately; I was trying to lift my belly out of the way, to just be able to catch a small glimpse of my lady bits. Oh ,my poor lady bits I don’t think I’d actually seen them since conception.  All I could do was feel my way. Scratch. Bump. Crease. Opening. Labia. Clitoris. Baby. I’m making a mental note of the lay of the land, as I go. After much panting, praying and contorting, I started the near impossible task. This was a dangerous endeavor, to say the least. I’m no Helen Keller. I’d never done this before. There was a huge chance that some very important parts of me could be permanently severed and left behind to circle the drain. *Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death* Hour of our death? Yes, this could have been at any moment. Can you imagine the amount of blood loss one could suffer if I she severed a lip? That thing’s attached for a reason. Sure it may look like it’s coming detached but damn it, it’s not.

Mommy brain, note to self..no lip left behind

An hour later the deed was done. I grabbed the mirror and when I lifted my belly, what was revealed to me looked very similar to a teenager trying to grow his first beard. Patchy with tufts of what looked like tiny Fu Manchu’s scattered all throughout my groin region. And not the tiny Fu Manchu’s that you might see on some hipster band mates, no these were the scary tiny Fu Manchu’s that you might see on a little person Kung Fu Master with a bad attitude and one eye. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I returned to the bowels of shower hell and after much effort on my part and a mirror that perpetually steamed up; I, finally, got the job done an hour and one freezing shower later.

I was so proud of myself.  I was going to walk into that appointment, drop trough, and show that handsome OB/GYN the most impressively landscaped vagina he’d ever seen on a woman that far into her pregnancy. Of that, I was certain. But wait; let’s take it to the next level. Why stop at just pretty? I grabbed the feminine hygiene spray and after a quick once over, I was not only impeccably groomed but I KNEW I smelled like a beautiful summer’s day. I got this.

After the exam was done, my doctor looks up at me and says, “Everything looks great and (with a knowing smile and a wink) very festive.” What the F*ck? That was inappropriate but I was a over cooked, over stuffed, waddling pregnant Godzilla in need of some extra attention. Hey, Big pregnant Girls need love too. Of course, I had no idea what he was referring to until I returned home. After a quick look in the mirror, to my utter surprise, what I thought was feminine hygiene spray was actually my 2 year olds Christmas themed Barbie spray. Yes folks, festive indeed. My hairless Chihuahua was now covered with green sparkly glitter spray. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a freshly decorated vagina.

 

*P.S. My birthday is next Saturday (9/25) and I would LOVE to reach 1000 blog followers via GFC by then. MY damn GFC was actually not working most of the past year so  if you loved this story, or you just love The TRUTH about Motherhood please consider clicking the GFC box and following me! Thanks. XO Debi

This is your vagina on Mommy brain

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Thank you to Crocs for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about Crocs’ new Back to School line. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

It seems the least wonderful time of year is upon us, once more. You know the time I mean, back to school. It’s that magical time when the weather is still beautiful, the kids are just getting used to sleeping in and it is all abruptly interrupted so that we can run around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to find all of the items on the first of the year school supply scavenger hunt list. Next, we get to drag children, who would rather be anywhere else but where we are taking them ( preferably a beach somewhere), school shopping.

I have little girls and they typically love to shop. Though since starting down the path of uniform city, it is not as much fun as it once was for them. But fear not, what we lack in clothing diversification we make up for in adorableness; headbands, barrettes, ostentatious flowers, sassy socks and the most extensive elementary school shoe collection that I’ve ever seen. We love our shoes( like mother like daughters)!

We’ve successfully found the cutest uniform clothing we could find. We’ve completed the school supply scavenger hunt with the exception of the illusive art smock.We’ve bought bought our brand spanking new gym shoes. Next on the list, some funky Mary Janes,the coveted pair of cozy top-siders and ballerina flats. I’m sure we will be getting a pair (or two) of those (perfectly coordinated with our school’s uniforms)

Kelley Crocs!

My girls look forward to shopping for accessories and shoes the most because this is where they can show their personality.I let them go as big and bold as they want to. What is your child’s favorite part of school shopping, aside from spending the day with their Mom? Do they like to buy the funkiest or fanciest? Do they dress preppy or sporty? Or are they part of the uniform kids who have to get inventive and show their personalities through their accessories and shoes? What’s your favorite part of back-to-school shopping? If you are like me, it’s the spending the day with my 2 favorite girls one last time before they head back to school. I linger a little longer than necessary at every stop because I know these moments are not limitless, even if it is a pain in the rump wrestling other mother’s for 20 cent crayons. The smiles of pure joy at a perfect pair of shoes, or the smile I am met with when telling them how pretty a certain uniform top looks on them, or the “Thank’s Mommy” I get from buying them lunch at their favorite place in the mall; all these little things give back-to-school shopping a special place in my heart.

 

Crocs

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The past week was spent preparing for and celebrating my ,now, 6 year olds birthday. It was very emotionally draining and, quite frankly, physically exhausting.  The big Guy worked form home last week so that he could be here for Bella’s birthday. Last year, he started a new job out of state on her actual birthday and  missed it. He was devastated and Bella was inconsolable so he promised her it would never happen again. He was here. Now, the last year and a half has been incredibly intense for all of us, as a family. We have been separated by distance, then moved our entire lives only to be sent home once we stared getting comfortable. We returned and after a couple months of the stress of the unknown, the Big Guy found a job..out of state.And into a forced commuter marriage we went. Into a forced commuter parent/child dynamic the Big Guy and the girls were thrown. It’s all been very hard to adjust to. I knew this. I know this.I hate this. But the end is in site. The house in on the market and once school is out, we are moving..no matter what.

Since the original move away, new school, move back episode of early 2010, I’ve been focusing my attentions on Bella because she was the one old enough to verbalize her anger, confusion and resentment at the entire situation.Good Mommying, right? The only problem was that I got so tunnel visioned about Bella’s emotional state that I completely glazed over the ticking time bomb that is Gabs. I’ve known for a couple months that Gabs is having a really hard time with the distance from the Big Guy. She cries for him, literally, every night before bed.It truly breaks my heart but what can I do? This was the stimulus for putting the house on the market earlier than planned. We are all ready to drop everything, pack our belongings and go.But the finish line is in sight.

I keep reassuring the girls that the minute the house sells we will be reunited with the Big Guy.I promise them that as soon as school ends, we will be in the same house and he will be tucking them in at night. He calls them. He Skypes them.He bought them little Teddy Bears that have his voice recorded in them to tell them good night, so they can hear his voice before bedtime. I’m trying everything I know to bandaid this situation until June. But honestly, its felt like putting my finger in a crack in Hoover Dam. Basically, it’s not going to hold. I’m just waiting for the dam to burst and for me to drown.

I know that when the Big Guy is home, it seems to be worse. I think it’s because they know this is not permanent. That again he will be leaving. All last week, Gabs was like  a preschooler on the edge. Constant meltdowns and tantrums ensued. I knew exactly what it was from. I tried to soothe her fears. The Big Guy tried to comfort her but nothing worked. She’s no dummy.For three years old, she is remarkably insightful even if her chosen mode of communication is crying and whining.

Then Friday night happened.You know the night before the party, or as we refer to it in our house, “Hell Night”. It’s called Hell Night because the Big Guy and I spend the entire day running around like chickens with our heads cut off due to last minute details and decorating. I’m sure this is the norm for most households, right? Tell me we’re not the only ones. Then we usually have a house full of out of town birthday party guests. On top of that, I , not unlike Gabs, was feeling a little annoyed with the whole situation of knowing that he would be leaving again in a couple days. I was biting his head off from all the stress. Then bedtime for the girls rolled around.

Gabs wanted us both to lay down with her but we had a house full of guests and her sister who we had to make sure didn’t escape from her bed. I made the mistake of asking her who she wanted to get her to sleep. This was enough to trigger a meltdown of epic proportions. She lost her ever loving little mind. I spent the next 2 hours down on my knees as my 3 year old hyperventilated and hit at me,sobbing as she told me in speech as broken as her little heart, that I was not good enough. That she missed her Daddy and I need to spend more time with her.I’m with her 24 hours a day but I’m not always present. I do admit that. Apparently, with the Big Guy being physically unavailable , I have to be present..mind, body and soul at all times. I’m not going to lie, this is going to be hard for me. I have my own issues with this situation. I need to zone out a little bit to get through the days. I am overwhelmed ,lonely, and I miss my husband. But,I am the adult so I have to suck it up because she can’t.She shouldn’t have to. After she got it all out and we both cried really hard and ugly, she went to bed and got the first full night of peaceful rest that she’s had in a month. I was drained. Now, I’m wondering do I get an all expense paid trip somewhere when this is all over to recoup from the past year and a half? I hope so, because I have a feeling that I’m going to need it.

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I am NOT the Mommy who tells her kid about the Boogie Man. I decided this a long time ago because well, its just a tool parents use to scare their children into behaving well. I know, this coming from the same broad who tells her daughters that magical kneecap breaking elves are sent from Santa to keep a watchful eye over them and report back to the Fat Jolly guy, doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, why, you ask, do I draw a line at the “Boogie Man”? Simply because, I tell them monsters are not real and I think they are too young for the whole God/Satan discussion. Therefore, no one is allowed to even joke that the Boogie man is getting anyone in this house. Capiche?

Unfortunately, I had a little slip today. Yes, one of my girls did something ( I can’t honestly even remember what it was at this point) and I made the comment that the Boogie man something or other. As soon as I said it, I wanted to eat the words. I wanted to swallow them whole and push them deep down inside my stomach but it was too late. Those 2 words had fell on to the most astute ears of all time, the ears of Gabs. You know like the ides of March but much more dangerous.

What did I do? Well, I don’t lie to my children ( well, I don’t want to ) so how can I get out of this?I’d said it, she knew it meant something not good, so how the hell was I going to explain it all away? My thought process; Sesame street, Cookie Monster ( big blue friendly dude); Mommy fuck up,Boogie Monster; Crazy invisible guy who comes and eats the boogies of little kids who don’t listen. What a train wreck! Clearly, I should have put more thought into this craziness.

I know, its a terrible cover. One day she’ll know that the Boogie Man is a synonym for Satan but for now she thinks that the Boogie Monster is an invisible dude who comes around if he hears little girls talking back, fighting, telling their Mommy or sister they hate her, or being generally not good ..its the only time he is even aware of their existence.But if he hears, he’ll come and suck all the boogies out of their noses in the middle the night ( sort of like one of those giant bulb suckers which of course, they detest)but ONLY if they are not good.

What white lies have you told your children when caught in a compromising position? How did it work out for you?We’re you ever busted? I’m pretty sure this whole boogie monster thing is going to blow up all over my face. It’s just a matter of time.Bella listened to my explanation and gave me the “I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure that you’re full of crap Mom” look when she heard the whole sordid explanation. Gabs, on the other hand, she’s been the best she’s been since birth! Bella was pretty good too. She’s not taking any chances with Christmas being so close and all.That’s my smart cookie!Happy Mothering!

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