Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Movie Theaters

Along the same lines as our restaurant endeavors, I have never taken my children to see a movie in a crowded theater.  Yes, my 5 and 3 year olds have never seen an overpriced movie on a HUGE screen.

We have done little apartment theaters.  The kind in luxury apartments that the tenants get to use their own DVDs in. I've taken my oldest to see a live performance in a theater, once.  My 3 year old not at all.

I think they might be old enough to sit in one seat for 45-60 minutes.  I'm just not sure I want to pay $28 to fail.  Sure, shame on me for not thinking they can do it.  I can't do it. I have to get up at least once to go potty. (I blame 2 pregnancies.) The sound is usually too loud, and my kids are shorter than the person that will inevitably sit in front of them.

This is totally my hang-up, but I enjoy watching them curl up with their pillows and blankets on the floor or too close to me and watch a movie.  If we have to get up to potty or dance, we can. We pause the movie and don't miss a thing.

Family Movie nights are better than a crowded theater any day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Restaurants or not

Back in the beginning of my motherhood, I took my infant to restaurants. As a matter of fact, we stopped at IHOP on the way home from the hospital because I wanted a big breakfast that was NOT hospital food.

She slept.  Awesome!  Taking an infant out to eat was GRAND.  She would nurse. I would eat. She would sleep.  I would sit.  It was all good.

Enter toddlerhood.  Oy.  Complete 180 of appropriate behavior. My MIL would walk her around the restaurant, my Mom would take her outside.  My toddler did not learn to sit at the table and let mommy eat until she was ... wait a second.  My 5 year old still has problems sitting at a table for a meal.  She is getting so much better, but she can't keep her little tush in a seat for 15 mins to save my sanity.

I think the reason is that I took a long hiatus on dinners out.  I refused to take her out to eat at all.  She did not have to learn to sit and behave in a restaurant.  Completely my fault because I did not think she was worth dealing with when all I wanted was someone else to cook for me.

Lesson learned. Lessons taught.

Now, when I take my children out to eat, they mostly stay seated, they eat some of their food, and it is so much better then toddlerhood.  We are still working on keeping our tushes in our seat at home, but I'd prefer them to act out in our own dining room than in a crowded restaurant.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

They Get it!

A friend asked, "they share the same doll?"

She seemed amazed. I guess honestly I was amazed too, but I didn't really see it from an outsider's perspective until this friend's jaw dropped.

Ginger and Sugar have too many toys. Some of them are duplicates because, well you know why. That horrible 's' word that we all try for and never really think will happen. I talk about sharing and beg them to share and show them how until I turn blue and need to take a deep breath. Then I take the offending toy away and tell them to go play something that they can share. They do.

Hours, sometimes days later I give them the toy back. More blue faced mom. More toys on a shelf.

This week my children have been time sharing a certain 12 inch doll. Yes, folks, my kids got it. "We have to SHARE if we want to keep this toy."  So I hear, "you can play with this for 10 mins, then it will be my turn, kay?" "O.k."

This might be a fluke. This might never happen again. Now, though, I know they can do it, so I'm not giving up. I have seen that they do hear my overused words and get that there are things you do to keep mommy happy.  Persistance pays off and I love that!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Joy of Shopping with Kids

Everytime I take the girls to the store, they want to go down the toys aisle...
Every time we go to the store, they was to touch everything at the cashier stand...
Every single time we go to the store,the girls make me crazy saying , I want, I need, buy this for me....

All lies. My 2 little girls are excellent in the store. Neither one crys when I say we aren't going to buy anything today. Neither of them screams about not getting to have a candy bar or a bottle of pink juice. 

How did I do it?

 It isn't what I did. It is what I didn't do. The very first store trip with the very first toddler. I didn't buy her anything. And the next time, I still didn't buy her anything. Since she never had otherwise, she gave up easily. Now, our store trips may have cranky attitudes or overtired children, but i don't have to deal with the gimmies. I love taking the girls to the stores, if I could just teach the short one to buckle her own seat belt, we'd be good to go!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Broken Cookies

My oldest daughter is almost 6.  About 5 years ago, I broke her.  I didn't notice at the time.  It was only a tiny crack, surely it would mend itself and my cookie would be fine.  Oh no.  High temperatures made that crack larger and larger.  When my younger daughter was born, my mistake was brought into light.

Bedtime became an hour long affair on a good night.  What was wrong with her?  Why doesn't she stay in her room?  Why does she fight sleep?  Maybe it's just the new baby, maybe she needs more mommy at bedtime.

2 years later, my 2 year old sleeps like a champ, my 4 year old thinks that sleep is a horrible horrible thing that should be avoided at all costs.  Even the sanity of her mother.

I knew then that it was me.  It was 100% my fault that my oldest daughter hated bedtime.  She spent the first 4 years of her life falling asleep on me or by me or with me.  I couldn't change this behavior in 2 nights.  This was going to be a fight.  One of us would come out alive and not remember a thing.  The other one would be traumatized beyond belief.

She doesn't remember the nights I spent crying outside her room begging who ever would listen to wave a magic wand and make it work.  I cried more than she did.

My younger daughter came out fine in the sleep department because I spent so much time working on the oldest that I didn't have time to break the baby.

It has been almost 2 years since I started trying to fix the problem I created.  My youngest is still a great sleeper, my oldest is getting there.  She comes out of her room for something and USUALLY goes right back with only a passing, "good night, mommy."

My begging was answered, a magic wand was waved, albeit very slowly.  My daughter sleeps now, because I had the courage to stand up to myself and fix ME.  I enjoyed holding her as a baby.  I enjoyed laying with her in her toddler bed at 2.  Did she need me there? ABSOLUTELY NOT.  That was all about me. And it is not fair to my children to take the easy way out.  Sometimes, I want to go cuddle with a girls after I put them to bed.  Luckily, I have gotten stronger and I know better.  I'll cuddle with them in the morning, when we are all not in danger of breaking anything.