Tag Archive for Divatude

The Children Are Less Patient

We were at a busy restaurant over the holiday weekend and my daughter began to get frustrated that the waitress did not bring her water right away.

Then the waitress committed the horrible sin of bringing out the adult beverages before the water.

“Mommy,” my daughter wailed, “She should have brought out the water before the wine because the children are less patient than the adults!”

I’ve always wondered about waiters that put hot plates and steak knives in front of toddlers (activating the lightning reflexes of the parents), bring out the kids’ food last, and think a two inch paper cocktail napkin is going to be sufficient for a young child.

Yet, I have to question the wisdom of my daughter’s words. I think we adults are far less patient than children. I watch my children all day long: waiting in lines, suffering my many parental missteps, and taking turns choosing books and toys. I can barely listen to 30 seconds of Musak before I’m ready to explode at the unlucky customer service representative who will pick up the line.

Adults are less patient than children–we’re just better at hiding it.

The Annual Knife Through My Heart Got Twistier

We are now on a yearly schedule for my daughter’s cardiologist. Yesterday was a good, if long (3 hours) appointment. The cardiologist and his staff were amused that my daughter brought her own pillow to the examination–they said that was the first time they had seen that in 20 years of practice.

We found out that valve replacement via catheter is now approved in the U.S. and I can only imagine how far the technology will go in the next 6-10 years.

I know I am so very lucky.

Still, the yearly recitation of the heart conditions on both sides of the family just became tragically longer this summer when my father-in-law, a good man and a loving grandfather, passed suddenly and unexpectedly.

And now that my daughter is four, her questions have become a lot more in-depth and probing and difficult to answer honestly, yet reassuringly and on an age-appropriate level.

I had an entire two days of:

Why doesn’t brother have to go to this doctor?

Why doesn’t he have a boo boo on his heart?

Why do I have a boo boo on my heart?

If they fixed the boo boo on my heart, why do they need to keep checking it?

What if it doesn’t look fixed?

Does surgery hurt?

If I have surgery, will they make all of me go to sleep or just part of me go to sleep?

If I wasn’t asleep, would it hurt? Why?

If I don’t have a valve now, why do I need one when I grow up?

What if they weren’t able to fix the boo boo when I was little?

If something happened to me, would you cry?

Did I dream when I was asleep during the operation when I was a little baby?

What did I dream about?

What is blockage? What is leakage?

Still, so lucky her condition was repairable. So very lucky to have a child who is alive and thriving and asking these questions.

And still so very scared sometimes.

My Young Pianist

My daughter, just before her 4th birthday, playing the theme from the New World Symphony by Dvorak:

The Laundry Song

My three and a half year old daughter came up with this song while matching socks and rolling them up:

(sung to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Folding Laundry, folding laundry
Does this match? does this match?
Yes, I think it does match.
Well, then roll it up please!
Fold, fold, fold.
Fold, fold, fold.

End of the Innocence

Today my three year old daughter got a pink hobby horse from our trip to the dollar store because she had been trying so hard to be good lately.

Then she decided to beat-up on her baby brother. Walked up right behind the kid and shoved him down. Hard. Completely unprovoked.

So, I put the horse away. (Really, I’ve just run out of ideas here, people.)

She asked me where he had gone and I told her I put it away, she’d get it back when she plays nicely, etc.

But she persisted with the continuous stream of questions:

Where is the horse? How long does she have to be good to get it back? Will I donate it? If the other little girl pushes her little brother, will she donate it back?

Finally, I told her the horse went away because he only likes to play with kids who are nice to their little brothers and that he would come back when she treated her brother nicely.

“But mommy, how can he do that? He’s just a pretend horse….”

Photo Credit: Horse

They Are Very Considerate

My son has decided that I need more sleep. And he is enforcing this by waking up regularly and demanding that I join him. As soon as I cuddle him, he falls fast asleep. The moment I attempt to put him down, he cries. If I finally get him to bed, he is back up within the hour.

I try to imagine it from his perspective–he spends an hour trying to get mommy to sleep: reading books with me, cuddling, nursing, singing. And then finally, just when he thinks he has me down for the night, he wakes to discover I am not there. Sneaky mommy. Just what does it take to get mommy to get her much needed sleep?

And then there is my darling daughter. Lately she has taken to asking me how much I love her. Being a bit of a sap, I told her:

I love you more than there are stars in the sky.

Tell me more, mommy.

Well, sweetie, I love you more than there are pebbles on every beach. More than there are grains of sand in all the deserts in the world…more than…

Do you love me more than this light?

Huh? Ummm…well, yes, sweetie. I do love you more than this light.

I love you more than the hamper, mommy.

Well. Ummm. That’s good to hear, little one.

More than the hot pink hamper, mommy.

Thank you, sweetie.

Yes, I’m THAT Mother (Already)

When I was teaching, I swore that when I had kids I wouldn’t be that mom. Hyper-involved, helicopter-parent mom. The one who thinks her precious spawn is just so-supah smaht and needs more attention.

But here we are.

My daughter really loves structured lessons based on themes. And so, with mixed feelings about the very concept of preschool, I decided to enroll her two days a week for two and a half hours each session.

After the first day of preschool, I noticed they were writing her name on her paper. She knows how to write her name. So I told her next time she could say if she wished, “Thank you for helping me but I would like to write my own name.” And the next session, she came back with her own scrawl on the paper. Good job, kiddo.

Generally, I would prefer to stay out of things and let her work them out with some parental advice and guidance. At the same time, I am also very afraid of her getting bored in school. I got bored in school at a very young age and the results were not pretty.

I got on the horn the other day to request that if they must do dittos in preschool (which I’m not all that fond of to begin with) could my daughter could do dittos more in-line with her skill level.

For example, on her letter ditto, she is supposed to “color in” the letter–but I know she can already write the letter, identify words beginning with the letter, sound out words with that letter in them, etc. Or on another, she had to trace a pre-drawn dotted line connecting an animal with where it lives (right across from the matching animal)…why not have her free-draw a line to match the two? These are things she already does at home.

First, the teacher justified their use of dittos by saying they will have to do dittos in kindergarten.

Ummm…but she’s three. Should I hand my one year old a ditto based on that theory?

Ultimately this issue is besides the point, though, because although I’m not thrilled with dittos, my daughter thinks they are fun…so let her enjoy her dittos…can we just match her level a little more closely.

The answer to this was that they were all reviewing. That some of the kids don’t even know what it means to trace.

I’m sorry but that brought out Mama Bear. I don’t really care what the other kids do or do not know. We’re talking about my kid. Not the other kids.

I replied that as a former classroom teacher, I recognize the challenge of differentiating instruction for different skill levels. HOWEVER, these are DITTOS. Dittos already DONE INDEPENDENTLY. I’m not asking them to change their curriculum. Just PHOTOCOPY ANOTHER WORKSHEET ON THE SAME TOPIC.

I also recognize that I will be beating my head up against a one-size-fits-all system throughout my children’s lives, whatever their ability levels. However this is a private preschool, for which I pay. And I purposely chose a Montessori school because of the emphasis on independent exploration. And they have a mixed class of three to five year olds…so they are presumably already differentiating.

At this point, I feel like the teacher thinks I am pushing academics. And please, believe me when I say I am not. There are no baby flash cards, baby educational videos, or any bionic-super-duper-baby paraphernalia in my house. In fact, I’d rather her go outside and play more, or wriggle her fingers in some playdough, or finger paint, than do any dittos at all. I just don’t want her to get bored doing dittos she already knows how to do.

She assured me that most of their time was spent playing outside or indoors on the mat with the Montessori materials. She promised they would be “evaluating” (shudder … but that’s a whole ‘nother rant) the kids and differentiating soon.

As I hung up the phone, I thought about the absurdity of questioning the pedagogical tactics of teachers who spend a combined total of 5 hours a week with my child, when I spend the other 163 with her.

And I realized that yes, I have become that parent.

I guess, somewhere deep inside, maybe I always knew I was that parent. I just didn’t think the transformation would happen so very quickly.

Photo Credit: Mike Baird

Preschooler-isms: Diva Says Daddies Don’t Need Dinner

My husband is in the National Guard and has had a lot of drill lately.

So, the other day, my preschooler says, “Daddy will be home at dinner?”

“No, sweetie, not today.”

“Daddy will come home tomorrow for dinner?”

“No, honey, another few days.”

“But…but…Daddy’s going to get hungry!”

Toddlerisms: Mind Your Ps and Qs


Me: Isn’t there a word you should use? It begins with “P?” Puh-puh-puh…

Diva: PIG!

Me: Yes, um…pig begins with P, but another word, when you want to be polite.

Diva: Pleeeaaase!

* her sippy cup, my daughter is brand-conscious

Diva: (arranging the baby monitors) Wanna bring this one downstairs with “monitor family!”

Me: Sweetie, the monitors are so I can hear you and brother if you need me.

Diva: No. Need bruddah monitor for family. Mommy monitor, Daddy monitor, Sister monitor…this Brother monitor!

My Mom: Sweetheart, the monitor needs to work. You know how your Daddy goes to work? Well this monitor works. It goes to work upstairs.

Diva: No! This BAAAYBEE monitor. No need to work.

Toddlerism: How to Mail Your Brother

My daughter and I made Valentine’s for her grandparents and godparents and then talked about sending them in the mail. I told her we’d go to the post office.

“…and then bring them home?” she asked.

No, sweetie, we leave mail at the post office and then the postman brings it to the right person’s house.

Fast forward several days to Valentine’s Day. I tell her it is Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love, etc. We talk about Daddy being her Valentine and I asked if her little brother would also be her Valentine.

In a comically confused and concerned voice, she whispered:

“Leave him at post office?”