Truth and Consequences

Fiona was throwing a hard plastic ball at the wall. I stopped her and told her if she did it again I would take the ball. She, being at that testing age, threw it again.

Follow through is important. I put the ball up.

She asked a few minutes later if she could have it back, “Mama, I have my ball back, please?”

I smile because she’s remembering to ask and use her polite words, “Are you going to throw it at the wall again?”

She looks at me seriously and nods, “Yep!”

“Hmmm…” I struggle not to laugh, “Then, no, you can’t have it back. That ball is not for throwing.”

She grumps about this for a moment then asks again, “Pleeeaase, can I have my ball?”

“Are you going to throw it at the wall?” I ask again.

“Yes.” She replies, definitively and a little sadly.

I laugh, because I’m amazed that she hasn’t just agreed yet. “Well, that ball isn’t for throwing. So if you’re going to throw it at the wall, I can’t give it back. ”

“Oh.” She says, and pauses for just a second. “Mama, I have my ball, please?”

“Are you going to throw it at the wall?” I patiently repeat, hoping the lesson will stick soon.

“Just a little.” She says. “I throw it at the wall one time.”

“Nope.” I say. “If you want the ball you have to throw it at nothing. Zero throws.”

“I could throw it at the door!” She announces optimistically.

“No. That ball is not for throwing. No throwing. Zero throwing.” I try to put this in her language.

“I could bounce it at the wall.” She suggests.

“No.” I’m aware that an attempted bounce would likely translate right into a direct throw.

“I could roll it?” She asks.

“N-Yes.” I finally agree. “If you sit on the floor, you could roll the ball at the wall. Would you like your ball back?”

“Yes.” She says with conviction.

“Alright. Are you going to throw it?” I ask with the ball in my hand to give to her.

“Yes!” She replies firmly.

“No.” I say holding tight to the ball. “The answer is no! No throwing the ball!”

She giggles.

I ask again, shaking my head slowly at her. “Are you going to throw the ball?”

“Y-” She starts and then shakes her head with me, “No. I roll it.”

I hand her the ball and she does, surprisingly, refrain from throwing it.

I’m not sure if she’s very young, or uncommonly honest. Either way, I find her blatant, self-defeating honesty reassuring and wonderful. She is, at her core, a great person. She doesn’t have a malicious, self-serving nature and, I think, she regards her world as reasonable and fair.

Either that, or she hasn’t figured out the art of lying yet.

Only Time Will Tell

So, my mother came to visit us. It was great to see her and have her here, even if the trip was short and Fiona was, as expected, in seventh heaven. My mom played with her and cuddled her and generally spoiled her rotten. It was great.

I love it when other people spoil Fiona. As long as I don’t, she usually maintains her usual cheerful, primarily cooperative nature. Like most parents, I love being watching my girl be utterly at peace with the people she loves and who love her.

The problem arises out of the fact that Fiona is just starting to learn about time, dates, and distance. From Fiona’s perspective my mother was gone for a really long time and lives really far away. She was not at all happy about the fact that my mom was only here for one day. She was so unhappy about it that she almost refused to go to bed last night because she was worried that her Grammy would leave before she woke up this morning. She also didn’t want to get up this morning because she understood that Grammy had to leave after breakfast.

She did okay though. The plan is that Grammy will be back for Fiona’s birthday and we’ve been talking enough about that she’s starting to have an idea of when that will be. She seemed sad and a little subdued this morning after we said goodbye, but was not hysterical. She routinely surprises me with how well she does in tough situations; I was expecting worse behavior today.

I wonder how much she really understood our conversation about when Grammy was coming back though. She seemed to, and we’ve been working on months and dates, and when things happen for a while, but she’s still so little, that I can’t be sure. I guess that only time will tell if she can tell time and dates.

As an aside, things will probably get a little sporadic for a while. I’m still recovering from the flu and we have a steady stream of visitors headed our way for a couple of weeks. If all goes well, I will update you with hilarious stories at regular intervals, but I reserve the right to live life instead of just writing about it.

One Sick Kitty

I took a sick day yesterday. I didn’t write, didn’t participate, didn’t do anything. Which was a sound decision as I felt like I had been stuck in a spin dryer. The additional sensation of swallowing large rocks was just a bonus feature, I guess.

I, inadvertently, did that once. While I was pregnant with Fiona, I started a load of laundry to “de-wrinkle” it.

As it spun up, I heard a THUMP! …pause …Wa-THUMP!pause….Wa-THUMP! …pause…

At this point I cocked my head to the side and squinted a little as I tried to mentally identify that sound.  Wa-Thump!  Awareness slowly dawned and my eyes opened wide as I RAN to the dryer. I flung it open and and shoved some laundry aside as my cat stumbled out of the dryer, woozed her way across the room and began to lick her hair back into something that less resembled a poorly washed plush toy.

She looked irate in that special way reserved for tumble-dried cats.

Apart from a deep desire to avoid the dryer at a five foot radius from that moment on, she was unharmed. I am also unharmed, but I’d like to figure out what my equivalent dryer is and avoid it.

PSA: Stay Home!

Every once in a while, I find myself very annoyed with the world. Today is that kind of day. Maybe it’s the total lack of sleep. Maybe it’s the not having left the house in nearly three days. Maybe it’s soundtrack of whining to which I am being subjected. Regardless of the source, I am cranky today.

I’m angry at people who think it’s okay to take their sick kids places. If your kid is sick, stay home! End of story.

Last night was a little better, we woke up every couple of hours because of her incredibly stuffy little nose, instead of me staying up between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. to feed her Advil and wipe her forehead with wet wash cloths until her fever came down. I’m pretty calm about illness, but once a fever hits 103 and is still trying to climb, I start to get nervous.

See, folks, unlike some of you, I stay home when my child is sick. So, for the last three days I’ve been cooped up. I’m not getting exercise and I’m not getting to do anything. Every time I try to do anything useful, I’m interrupted by a whining, cranky, sick child.

In fact, right now, she feels so miserable, that she’s whining and crying because my painting canvases are flat. She can’t, or won’t, explain what shape she wants them to be.

So, this is a Public Service Announcement. In case you missed it all the other times in your life that I know you’ve been told, if you, or you child, is sick, please, for the love of whatever you hold holy, stay at home. Do not come out until you’re well. Do not infect us with your yuck. Do not say to yourself that you’ll be a better parent if you get some exercise at the gym. Do not excuse yourself for taking them to the park by saying that the fresh air and sunshine will kill the germs. Do not take them to the grocery store unless there really is no other choice. (If you’re a single parent without a support network and you’re down to a single carton of applesauce, three beans, and a can of suspicious olives, you are excused. Or, if you lack Advil.)

If you do, knowingly, take your sick kid to public places and they make others sick, then you are morally responsible. You are making a very bad choice. If you do this repeatedly? You’re a bad person.  Your convenience doesn’t trump other people’s health.

So, the next time you, or your child, is sick, remember, even if you have to listen to whining about paintings being flat, stay home.

Needed: Babysitter

So, I thought that I had found a great babysitter. A high-school student, recommended to me by one of her teachers. I’ve met her mother. Sweet. Fiona liked her.

I hired her to come watch Fiona on Friday night. I prepped everything she would need to feed Fiona spaghetti for dinner. I made sure she knew where everything was. I told Fiona that having a babysitter was a special thing. We gave her both sets of phone numbers and told her to call us for any reason. It was just a test run. Not a big deal.

Yeah…

I need to add a phrase to my babysitter search.

Needed: Babysitter. Must prepare food for child, even if child says they are not hungry.

I came home at about 9:30 to an exhausted, unfed little girl.

“Well,” the well-recommended-sitter explained, “I asked a couple times if she was hungry, but she said no.”

“Okay.” I said, with remarkable restraint, “It’s a good lesson for everybody. Just so you know, toddlers say no a lot. She still needs to eat. If you put the food in front of her, she’ll usually eat. Next time you’ll know: Toddlers lie.”

“Oh!” She said. I think she was a little surprised that I wasn’t upset. “She tricked me!”

It’s a good lesson for Fiona, too. If she tells other people things, like “I’m not hungry”, she will probably be believed.  It’s important to know that the words that you say to people matter.

Still, I find myself unsure of whether I will invite her back. Apart from not eating, Fiona was happy and well cared for, and she, at least, wants to have that babysitter back. Truth be told, the babysitter won’t make that mistake again, and if no one ever let us learn from our mistakes, where would we be?

Really, though, who doesn’t feed a child?

101 Posts and, as yet, no crazy rich ladies.

But I did get this shiny Liebster award!

A giant thank you to Semiblind over at https://semiblind.wordpress.com/. I love reading his blog as it’s positively soaking in humor and insight. Go read him! He gave me the award a couple of days ago, but this seemed like the right time to accept it.

I’m a little surprised that I’ve reached 101 posts. I honestly expected that I would write for a little while and then run out of things to say or get annoyed at my own whining. After all, when I started writing, I was unhappy. I was cooped up in a new town, without friends or family, without a car, with a two-year-old.

As it turns out, writing helps and life changes. I’m not cooped up. I have friends. And writing helps. Sitting down everyday (weekdays) and putting my world into words somehow gives me insight into my own life and the chance to see all of our adventures through a more humorous lens.

I need to write, because I needed a voice. One of the interesting things about having a voice is that it doesn’t really feel like you have one if no one is listening.

So, thank you! Thank you for reading! Thank you for commenting! Thank you for letting me spill my rarely proof-read, often jumbled thoughts into your reader feeds and email boxes. Thank you for not calling me out too often on the utter lack of editing.

Thank you for letting me have a voice.

Sadly, I can’t just say thank you and run. Awards come with rules. This one comes with these rules:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
3. Copy and paste the award onto your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.
5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving them a comment.

Now the only hard part of this is knowing who has fewer than 200 followers. How do you even guess at something like that? Is there a stats page that tells you? I dunno, so I’m picking newer blogs that haven’t been around long and I’m going to assume (yes, I know) that they won’t mind if I guess wrong about their following. It’s not an insult – I swear!

So, here are my five smaller/newer bloggers:

101 Walks to a Dog – One of my best friends decided she needed some motivation to start getting exercise. So, she and her husband went for a walk and she made a calculated mistake. Go read about her misadventures.

SuperTucksMama – She is amazing. She’s the mother to an amazing little boy who has autism. She is a runner. She is part of my motivation for continuing to try to get in shape. If she can find the time to run in her life, then I sure as heck need to stop my whining and just go work out! All that and she’s wonderfully honest about parenting.

Help 4 Your Family – Written by an Attachment Disorder Therapist, this blog offers wonderful day-to-day insight into parenting. As well as being a great resource for specific problem solving.

And now, I’m giving up on trying to pick more. I have three hours to get myself pulled together and my house clean before the baby sitter gets here (I found one!) and I get my first night out in six months. Thank you for reading, go check these guys out, wish me lots of fun on my date night!