Back to School

Here’s my girl again, off to school like a full-blown kid.

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And here she is with her little brother, who is the epitome of little brothers and who is also asking to go to school every day. Sorry little bro, but you got a few more years to go.

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This year Reese is in Pre-K three days a week. She is with all new kids, in a new classroom, with new teachers, and she is handling it well. She misses her old teachers a lot, and every morning we still have to peek our heads into their classroom before she can start her day.

It makes me a little sad that this will be our last year spending our days together; running errands, going to the library, and making spontaneous weeknight trips to Gammy and Grandpa’s. Next year it will be kindergarten and my little buddy will be in school full time. But I will not dwell on this, and so I keep reminding myself that this is what she is supposed to be doing, that this is good, and that it’s just kindergarten and it’s not until next year, so calm down you emotional maniac.

Potty Talk. Again.

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The Elmo potty is back in our lives and I feel like the manic laughter is even more annoying this time around.

I was still working when Reese was potty trained so I missed a lot, but I am a firm believer that she went when she was ready, and there probably wasn’t much I could do to change that. James had started telling us more and more that he needed to be changed or he had a poop in his diaper, so I took this to mean that he might be ready. I decided one week when we had no plans, and the weather was nice, that I would let James run around for a couple of days diaper free and see what happened.

One of my friends swore by a method that she had used to train her son, who at the time, was almost 3. It’s 2 days of no pants or diaper, and then 5 days of just pants, no underwear, and then they start wearing underwear full-time.

For two days, minus bedtime and nap time and a few quick trips out where he wore a diaper, he ran around the yard, free as a bird, going potty wherever he pleased. Anywhere that was not the potty, that is. Then after that, I started putting him in his shorts with nothing under them, hoping for the best. He still went wherever he wanted, and a few times made it to the potty. He actually had remarkable skills and was sometimes able to poop right out the leg of his shorts, without even soiling the shorts at all. The days where he wore his shorts, but not underwear or diaper is when I think it really started to click. He realized right away that his shorts were wet and didn’t like that at all, and I think that’s when he started to recognize the feeling he got when he had to go.

There are lots of messes with this method. We stayed outside as much as possible but I still felt like I was constantly cleaning up messes for the first two days. I tried to keep James out of the one carpeted room we have, but that was his preferred place for number 2’s. What makes it even harder is that whenever he was distracted (i.e. watching TV), he would go without even noticing it. So, you really have to follow your kid around all day and can’t even leave them for a minute. This method also requires lots of wine at night so be ready.

Now, two weeks later, he is in underwear for most of the day and today is the first day we took him out with underwear. I do have to sit him on the potty every now and then because he doesn’t always tell me. So if it seems like it has been a while since he went, I will sit him down and see if he has to go. He wears diapers whenever he is sleeping, and he still has accidents, and struggles with going #2 for sure. I’m pretty sure that he holds in #2 until he is in a diaper. Then he can really let loose.

I forgot to mention that anytime James went in the potty, he got an M&M. This is a sure-fire way to get my kids to do anything. I would give Reese an M&M too, so she was super invested in James’s success.

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I Used To Love Dinnertime

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This is how dinnertime is at my house. A four-year old looks at the cheese quesadilla in front of her and says that she doesn’t like chicken, or brown things!  A two-year old cries continuously for crackers. When he is placed in front of his dinner, he screams louder, throws his spoon, his cup and then his bowl.

Everyone at the table ignores him. Then he starts screaming “All done!” and starts pulling at the tablecloth. So, he is released from his confines and free to play as he pleases. Thirty minutes later, as the dishes are being cleared away, he begins crying for a “COOKIE!” Two hours later, as he’s being put into his crib he will look up at you with big, beautiful brown eyes, and have the balls to say, “I want some dinner.”

Talking Back

Andrew to ReeseWhich shirt do you want to wear?
Reese: Nonsense! I’ll wear a dress.


ReeseWhy does James have the Magic School Bus book in his room?
Me: He probably wanted to look at it.
Reese <in valley girl voice>: Why? James isn’t even interested in science!

Oh My God, No One Told Us That!

No one ever told me that one night, a half an hour after putting your oldest to bed, she would literally bust into the bathroom, in just her underwear, while you are taking a bath.

Her eyes still adjusting to the light, she would immediately spot the bag of jelly beans that you were enjoying and say, “What are you doing with those?” Then, after you remind her that she’s supposed to be in bed, she’ll turn to leave, look over her shoulder and ask, “Have you seen my ballet suit?”

 

Firsts

This past weekend we took Reese to her first movie.

She had been asking to go to a movie in a theater for a while. It was cold, dreary, and we had a full Saturday to kill. The only kids movie playing at our local theater was Kung Fu Panda 3.

$42 later, yes you read that correctly, two adult tickets and 1 child’s ticket at our outrageously expensive movie theater, came to $42. James was free, thank god, otherwise homeboy would have been left behind.

All in all, it didn’t go great and Reese asked to go home twice during the course of the movie. Our heads were saying, “hells no you can’t go home this just cost us $50”, but our mouths said, “it’s ok Reese, just cover your eyes at the scary parts.” Plus, we needed to see if Po got his chi back.  She spent a good portion of the movie with her eyes covered. Kai, the bull in the movie terrified her and no amount of lollipops or popcorn could fix it.

I honestly did not think it was that scary but unfortunately, Reese is JUST like her mom. I was scared of everything growing up, (including clowns which most children find delightful and hilarious) and to this day I don’t watch Dateline if I’m home alone at night.

Twice during the short car ride home Reese said, “How about you never take me to this theater again when Kung Fu Panda is playing.” Later, when Andrew was putting her to bed she asked, “Why did Mom want to take us to see that scary movie?”Also, for the past two nights at bedtime she has said that she can’t stop thinking about Kai. Awesome. A scary bull from ancient China is haunting my four-year-old’s thoughts.

So I may or may not have ruined the first movie theater experience for Reese. James, on the other hand has learned that movies include unlimited candy and popcorn so he is lifer.

On Sisterhood

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As one of four girls, my sisters have been some of my greatest gifts in life, and today, they are my three best friends.

This is not to say that at some point in my life, I wouldn’t have gladly traded one of them for a brother; but now as an adult, I know how lucky I am. Yes they steal your clothes, hog the bathroom and the phone (back in the day of landlines), can piss you off more than anyone else in the world, and in my case, even physically assault you (no, really, we came to blows on many occasions.) But there is comfort in having people in life who know all of you, who are bound to support you no matter what and who aren’t afraid to tell you (loudly and perhaps in public) when you’re being an asshole.

One hope I have for Reese is that she will have a sister.

I used to think about this often and lately, as she gets older, I see that regardless of what happens in the future, Reese won’t miss out on a lot of the things sisters share. And that is because she has her cousin Mira.

Mira is 4 months older than Reese and she is the cool older cousin everyone has growing up. She was Reese’s first friend, and today Reese says she is her best friend. Mira lives close enough that we can see her fairly often, but each time we do it’s like Christmas. They tell secrets at the dinner table, giggling behind cupped hands. They disappear from family parties together and jump on beds. They plot new ways to torture little brothers. They imitate each other. They fight. They chase each other around the back yard and someone usually ends up crying.

I’m not sure that there are many other relationships in life like the one sisters have. But if there are, I would imagine they are a lot like those of close cousins (but without the physical assaults.)

We love you Mira-belle!

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Talking Back

Andrew <to Reese, while building with magnets>: What are you making?

Reese: A Sani-Can

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Reese: <yelling at me>: When I’m 32 I’m going to do whatever I want!!!


Reese: Today, at school Eshaun blew bubbles in his milk, and the milk went all over his face and all over his glasses.

Me: That’s hilarious. Did everyone laugh?

Reese: No, because it wasn’t funny. The teachers didn’t like it at all.

Me: Oh right, it’s not funny.