Sippy Cup On the Shelf

This Christmas has been unusual. We’re not traveling, the kids won’t remember much, and I don’t have the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ obligations that come with having older children. I’ve allowed a lot to go by the wayside in favor of sanity. One of the first things to get the motherhood eye roll from me this year is any and all things related to Santa or Elf on the Shelf because frankly, keeping everyone happy, alive, and progressing is enough.

Then we had a little Christmas miracle, courtesy of my two year old. He decided to help me make a little Christmas magic of his own. I’ll admit, it took me a minute to catch on after I found his first one in the toy box. Then I realized what was happening.

Sippy Cup on the Shelf.

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Water! Water everywhere but not a drop to drink? Not if Ol’ Sarge McDuck has anything to say about it.

Then it was back to the toy bin.

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GOAL!

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Sit up straight, Sippy Cup! All of the baby’s hard work will surely work up a thirst!

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OH dear, Sippy Cup. Rocking all night again.

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Christmas camouflage. Time to step up the game!

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All the gang decided to have a hot tub party. Dear me. Time for a good rinse in the dishwasher.

Needless to say, no milk is being left out!It’s so nice when the kids get involved in Christmas traditions, don’t you think? I’ll be honest- I’m glad that this is one thing off my to-do list. Now THAT’S a great Christmas gift.

Nativity Problems: Whose Is The Empty Place at the Stable?

In the past few years, Nativity scenes have become a stage not only depicting Jesus Christ’s birth, but a battleground for religious and anti-religious expression. My opinion on that is NOT the subject of tonight’s blog. In fact, this might get the staunchest lovers of Nativity scenes’ swaddling clothes in a twist, let alone my non-Christian and non-Christmas celebrating friends.  Still, we’re Americans, darn it. Angering people on the internet is what we do now.

I’m a bit sad to say that somehow in my 6 years of marriage, I haven’t acquired a nativity set. For four of those six years we’ve moved the week of Christmas, which guaranteed we were with family but also that our belongings were in boxes.  Now I’m looking for a set for our own (to buy 50% off after Christmas, thank you) . Many sets are beautiful and as different as the families that purchase them. As I grew up, our nativity was a delicate wood figure that I loved to study with my little child eyes. We were a family that had the magi far off, always set out while it was explained that they found him as a toddler, there was probably more than three, etc.  I remember  my father telling us that it might not have been a stable, that there were many angels around although our scene didn’t show that, etc.  This was a symbol.  I loved it. For a tiny person learning that God came into the world just like I did, it was as exciting to me as the tree.

This year as I considered what was important to include in my depiction of Christ’s birth, a new thought dawned on me. I imagined something that I haven’t in 28 years of reading, drawing, acting out, and pondering the story of Jesus Christ’s birth—there is someone very important missing. Indeed, we almost forget about him.

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Going back to Scripture for the roll call; we can see who is supposed to be there.  Mary and Joseph were there with the baby.  Poor Mary is fully dressed, kneeling, and ready to accept visitors- probably not quite accurate.  The shepherds found the ‘babe wrapped in swaddling clothes’ (plus a few sheep).  The three wise men (in all their controversial glory), sometimes with camels are also there.  A few extra barn yard animals may be added for good measure. Many have the star over the manger, and maybe an angel or two in beautiful reverence.  All accounted for. This year, it occurred to me that behind that first angel who scares the sandals off the shepherds, we see a whole HOST of angels singing.  Luke 2:12: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the Highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men.”

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 I LOVE to picture it. Not cute half-naked baby cherubs. Not beautiful FEMALES in push up bras. Instead, I picture terrifying figures that scared men who fought off wolves and lions into immediate reverence. These fierce warriors  are sounding a celebratory cry that the Savior of the earth had arrived.heavenly-host

If you’ve ever longed for a baby to be born and for a war to be won, I can assure you a joyful battle cry is what was being sounded. So where did they go? Just one decided to hang around? No. I submit to you this: The reason that there was peace on Earth was because a mighty spiritual war had been raging in the heavens.

The missing figure we don’t see depicted who is crucial to the story, is Satan. Much like the phrase, “There is an empty place at the table”, I think Satan’s is the “empty place at the stable.”

Of course, we don’t show Herod far off in the nativity scene either, and he is the one we usually think of as the villain of the story who is trying to kill Jesus. It makes sense. If you knew an adversary who would overtake your throne was about to be born as a helpless baby, you’d attack too. Consider the danger Mary was in for the entire pregnancy, the potential for complications, etc. Truly, as she was battling those 3 am feedings, an angel warned Joseph to take them and run for their lives. Off to Egypt they went. If Herod deceived and sent out the magi as scouts, ultimately killing newborn baby boys, would not Satan do the same? He’s been trying to thwart God since the beginning using every form and circumstance possible. Kill Jesus is an ultimate win. While Satan has a square off with Jesus later in his life, he was probably bound from the actual birthing area. If not, good grief does Mary have the ultimate ‘unpleasant people at the birth’ trump card.  Really though, do you ever imagine what Satan and his demons were doing on the night of Christ’s birth? The scriptures leave them unaccounted for- rightfully overshadowed by the Light of the World.

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Mary seems to have been more isolated in the physical location of her birth, but I can’t help but think every supernaturally evil effort was being made to thwart the successful birth of the Christ. Furthermore, every supernatural effort of the legions Jesus later mentions would be ready to fight off that attack and joyously cry out a victory yell. When being arrested and led to the cross, Jesus famously tells his disciples “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide me with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52, 53) More than twelve legions…talk about a baby reception and birth announcement.

When I delivered my firstborn son, there was a moment when things were suddenly dangerous.   I looked around the room and saw 9 people with intense, at-the-ready expressions. My son’s neck was wrapped by the cord, and there were complications afterward.  In that moment, everyone’s attention was on this baby boy and springing into action to eliminate threat.

Granted, one word from God could silence Satan and very well could have. I’m not certain an Armageddon-type war was even raging that night. Indeed, the God who created the universe and this divine appointment may have simply bound the enemy with one Heavenly smack-down word.

My amazing younger sister said something very profound regarding supernatural warfare; “I find great comfort in the fact that only 1/3 of the angels became demons. That means they are outnumbered 2 to 1.”  What a perspective.  Peace on Earth—provided by a God and perhaps his angels in the middle of the war Satan wages against humans every moment of the day.

As humans, we have followed suit in declaring temporary official and unofficial treaties for Christmas. Those that attack on Christmas Day anyway and are given a raised eyebrow. Peace on Earth. No one desires it more than one weary of war. What greater war is there than one against sin and death? Perhaps seven years married to a soldier has brought to light the cost of war and what is worth going to war over.  The lengths to which God went to provide a Savior for the world is powerful when I picture a heavenly war raging and cling to what the War to Come might look like– and more importantly, the victory.

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Now, 12 legions of angels may be a bit much for a nativity scene. I know I don’t have the counter space. How Satan would be depicted causes a whole mess of problems. Indeed, leaving these figures out is probably for the best. However, don’t leave them out when you imagine the scene of Christ’s birth.  As you consider the birth of Jesus this Christmas, consider every angelic warrior and evil power was attentive and their every action pointed toward Christ.  It brings to light a new perspective on where my focus should be this Christmas.

I extend that heartfelt love of a soldiers’ wife to the families who have a soldier overseas  this year,  I know reality is harsh; Peace on Earth is not here yet. It was once, and it will be again.

 It’s coming. It’s almost time. Keep pushing, keep breathing. Behold, He is coming soon.

How NOT To Climb A Tree

To state a few obvious things, I am a female. I am also the mother of two sons. Boys get a lot of their “boyness” naturally, but much of it is learned. Fathers and males play a crucial role, but the fact is that a mother teaches a boy many things about being a man. While my mother spent a large amount of time keeping my brother from mooning the neighborhood, gasping as he jumped off the high dive, etc. She also was the one who taught him to catch and throw a baseball, coached his baseball games, and cheered him on.

As much as I try to keep my sons out of trouble, I also try to encourage an adventurous spirit and a fair amount of trouble making and dirtying up plenty of good clothes.

Today’s lesson:

How Not To Climb A Tree

Step 1: Scope out a good tree

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Step 2: Check the limbs for sturdiness and accessibility.

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Step 3: Pull up on the branches and push up with the foot for height.

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Step 4: Realize things never quite go to plan. Get stuck.

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Step 5: Grow increasingly agitated and yell until Mom comes to the rescue.

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Step 6: Look to Mom for reassurance. Immediately try again, only to have to wait your turn because Mom has climbed up the tree to show you how it is done.

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There you have it.

Sometimes the most important part of being a woman teaching a boy is wanting him to stay safely on the ground, but choosing to push him toward  great heights instead.

Now, about the jumping from great heights thing… well, I’m still a mom. Here’s to wrinkles and white hair.

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3 Day Potty Training: The Little Mermaid Version

I better start with a disclaimer.

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Disclaimer: There is a book that instructs parents (mothers) how to potty train children in three days.  I even know people who have passed this around and swear that the method works. It is my personal example, although it is not directed at this book in particular as much as the expert advice given on this subject. This is the part where I hail you girls who have succeeded in 3 days as more patient, understanding, disciplined, and awesome. I hail your kids as brilliant, more cooperative and destined for greatness.  I also state that after being peed on multiple times today, I concede that the problem is clearly me.   Otherwise, how could something so straightforward and easy become such a disaster?  Easy: It’s me. Or reality. Either way.

 And now: 3 Day Potty Training: Little Mermaid Style

It all starts with a basic question:

Exactly how does going to the bathroom work in that situation? Ariel-the-little-mermaid-47028_1023_768

I mean, I know it’s supposed to work somehow but the logistics just don’t quite click for me right off the bat.

 So, I’m a mom. My oldest is 2.5, so about 75% of my conversations with other adults have involved poop for about 3 years now. Forgive us, Single People- (especially you, Jenn Faulkner. Thank you for making to ‘no poop at the table’ rule. We needed that.)

As potty training started entering conversations, I realized a book was VERY popular in a few circles. A lovely mom who has an awesome son by kid’s age had success, so she passed the book on to me. The moms insist that it works. Okay. At the time I had just given birth prematurely and had nothing better to do at 5 am than feed, soothe, and read books on potty training.

That’s when it started. My child was already past the ideal 18 month mark. I had appointments every day and couldn’t imagine 3 days at home with undivided attention given to watching another human pee. Still, it WORKS. What else would I do? So, I began to dream of what it would be like to have 3 days of Hell and then have a potty trained kid!

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This method, while it turns your life upside down, works. “When implemented correctly”. Clearly I am not doing it right. After all, the author takes only a few pages to say she is the self-professed QUEEN of potty training. How do you argue with that? I mean, if it doesn’t work, the problem is with the trainer. You can’t argue with the 3,000+ success rated Queen.

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So we began. I mean, this has to work, right? No more diapers, undivided attention, lots of sippy cups, multiple potty locations… the time had come! After all, if you do it right, kids will cooperate no matter what the method is. Everyone says so. (“Got that? THREE days. Now listen…THIS is important.)

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The first day went as expected, according to the book. LOTS of laundry. Mild progress. I was still fairly idealistic, but reality kept calling me to the here and now…usually with wet underpants.

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So, we’re having a little trouble. My strongwilled kid is holding it. He’s climbing onto my lap and then peeing. He’s sitting on the potty for 10 minutes, standing up and immediately peeing. He’s screaming, “NO!” every time we rush over to the potty. He’d rather use the potty as a basketball hoop.  My other baby’s misery makes it very difficult to sit and stare at my oldest all day. scuttle staring

  By day two I have that look of most mothers of a 2 and 1 year old who isn’t allowed to leave the house due to potty training.

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Back to the book:

It is expected that I not lose patience or show frustration. Otherwise the child will be upset and I will prolong the process.  Anything that takes attention away from my kid is a problem and means I am not doing it right.

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She’s right. When I finally burst into the bathroom myself 5 seconds after my son’s accident, he followed me in and peed on my feet. At least it was in the bathroom. I put him on the toilet immediately, causing him to thrash and splash.

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The “Witching Hour”–the one where the teething baby shrieks when not held, the oldest melts down from not napping, dinner has to be made, the phone rings constantly because everyone is off work, is when my kiddo decides to pee 5 times in 2 hours. Hint: NONE made it to the potty in time. I’m clearly incapable. I’ve bought into this idea that I’m doing it wrong. Never mind the fact that every kid is different, some need different potties, some need bribing, some want charts, some relapse 100 times or every time there is a move… no. I’ve bought in. I know this works. The problem is me.

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Maybe everything will magically click tomorrow, on Day 3. Maybe 4. Maybe 17. One day that magic will finally be mine.

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Until then, we’ll be running to the potty as often as I did in the third trimester. This isn’t a race, isn’t a science, can’t be forced, and isn’t going to work perfectly. Honestly, it has been pretty good for only a second day in the crazy life we live in this house. Even if the book is pitched tomorrow, or if I follow it to the letter, eventually he will be potty trained…I hope.

So, all you parents who potty trained successfully, in three days or not, well done. One day I’ll be “part of your world”.

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Societal Stupidity Comes in Bulk

Do you remember those awkward moments of trying to talk to someone you had a crush on and everything just came out wrong? More often than not my humor would be misunderstood rather than getting tongue tied. I consoled myself with thoughts like, “If he can’t carry on a conversation entirely in movie quotes, he isn’t for me anyway” and thoughts that a basic understanding of Cold War puns should be a marital criteria.    communists have no class

I’ve been on that side, so I can muster up a bit of sympathy if I need to. That is, unless the poor attempt at humor is aimed at ME. Now for a story of bulk-sized stupidity, brought to you by yesterday’s run to Sam’s Club.

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From 3:45pm to 3:55pm I had debated with myself over whether a grocery run could wait one more day. I had a little milk left, one egg, a few bowls of cereal’s worth or remnants in the box… when my pondering was interrupted by a whiff of something most foul. Something was rotten, and it wasn’t in the state of Denmark. I reached in to the diaper drawer and realized we were down to 3 diapers. Waiting would only bring on a poo-pocolypse in the night. This was an emergency.

I loaded up the children and made a mad dash for diapers and wipes, praying I could avoid the snarl of traffic that permeates the city like a twisted billow of smoke from Satan’s nostrils. Naturally, the boys had refused to nap all day and were being holy terrors. This means that within 6 minutes of driving, they would pass out. IMG_6154

Glorious. After waking my kids from the nap I DESPERATELY needed them to have we wheeled through the door in a hurry. With one left turn we were flanked by electronics and sales clerks. A young man looked at me and my two in tow as I approached. I have him the polite, “Don’t even think about it” look and then smiled. He cautiously asked if I wanted to see the new television, glancing behind him to see if his supervisor was watching. I turned and said, “We are here on an emergency diaper run. Not today, Buddy.” He quickly backed away as if to mentally throw a chocolate bar at me and grab a mask to prevent a good douse of pepper spray and then smiled at my boys. Well done, young man.

With a few sharp turns my cart was full with only the diapers, wipes, breakfast bars, and two kids. I wheeled back down the aisle toward the check out line, which was miraculously empty! The cashier smiled at me from afar. It was beautiful- a runway of perfection. Could it be? A successful shopping trip without rudeness, waiting, or utter stupidity?  Of course not. Why? This is MY blog. We don’t do that kind of thing around here.

Passing by the televisions and clerks, the previous young man smiled and gave my still sleepy Firstborn a little wave. Adorable. Then I saw the lanky, young 30 something supervisor step out from behind him. Two more steps toward me and I would have run over him like Grandma getting run over by a reindeer. I’m still festive, and the employees were wearing reindeer antlers on headbands. It fit.

“Hey! Did you get yourself some diapers?” the man boisterously guffawed. Now, obviously I didn’t get MYSELF some diapers, but grammar is somewhat lacking around these here parts. I averted my gaze from the check out to see this man at my left and gave him the “Duh” face as I gestured to the economy size diaper pack sticking out of my cart 2 feet from him. “I sure did.”

He grinned, knowing I had fallen into his trap. “I don’t think those are big enough to fit you!” he cackled.

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What a total and complete butt-head.

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How in the world did he want me to respond? To be drawn in and look at a big screen? No matter how he meant that comment to come across, it wasn’t going to end well.I was already past him, so I just kept walking. No need to stop and address that kind of stupidity. I simply tossed this look over my shoulder.

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This was best for his own safety. However, the girl at the register who was all but cheering me on like she was at the finish line of a marathon saw my facial expression. There were now two more employees near that express checkout and they gave each other a significant glace.

I pulled the cart up and we exchanged smiles and a hello. “How are you?” she asked. I shook my head and said, “I don’t even know.”

They were totally drawn in. “As I walked by that guy asked if I got myself diapers and then laughed, saying I wouldn’t be able to fit into them. I’ve heard of women getting down to a size four after having two kids, but not a size 4 diaper.”

The three of them went into “omg” mode. “Who?!” “What a stupid thing to say?!” “Does he think that’s funny?”

Well, it isn’t. It’s the adult version of a knock knock joke. The punch line either assumes I need adult diapers or that I have a big rear end. I understand that it is the week of the Victoria Secret runway show and that all men have reinforced ideals of unattainable, professionally enhanced and altered women, but WOW. I should NOT be able to wear my 2 year old’s undees.

Thankfully for him, I did indeed have my big girl panties on. These were the kind that prevent me from turning around and inadvertently teaching my son the word, “Moron”. I checked out and wheeled to the car, still shaking my head at my inability to get through one errand without being insulted or approached by someone. It was my own fault for mentioning my urgency.

To prevent myself from stewing and to be aware of my surroundings, I started scanning the parking lot as I put my little one into the car seat. I loaded up my items to the back and noticed a STUNNING woman of about 65. Her pixie-cut hair was gray, highlighted by a well cut holiday green pea coat and fabulous jewelry. Everything about her was beautiful, although her mouth was turned into a tired and determined line- much like mine. As she looked over at my kiddo still in the cart, I decided to be ‘the crazy’.

“Ma’am, this probably won’t mean much coming from a tired mom in a sweatshirt…” I began. She stopped and actually drew NEAR me. Close, in fact. I smiled and continued. “but I was just noticing you and I must say that you are simply gorgeous. Your clothes really bring out your beauty. You really shine.”

Then, she really did. She burst into a surprised smile and said, “Wow! I really needed that today!” We exchanged a few pleasantries about her grandsons as she smiled at my son and then she even offered to put my cart into the corral for me so I didn’t have to leave the kids to do so. As she passed by the car again she called out, “Be safe on the road with those little ones! It’s dangerous out there!” She left reminded of her beauty and I had a moment where someone was genuinely kind to me.

The moral of the story is that one comment can really make a difference. I sincerely hope the idiot box seller doesn’t mention diapers to that poor lady. With a car-load of wipes and diapers at the ready, it will be a little easier to deal with the crap that comes my way– even when it comes in bulk.

7 Ways to tell that your question is inappropriate

I didn’t always dread going to the supermarket, you know. It used to be fun, easy, or a great time to bond with my mother as we split a candy bar on the way home. I’m not even exactly sure when everything changed. All I know is that at some point in my adult life, going to the grocery store meant very odd conversations and strange circumstances. At first people laughed. They thought I was just being dramatic. (How on earth would they come to such a strange and outlandish conclusion, I ask you?!) Then one day my husband confirmed that something about me “attracts crazy people”. I say it is that opposites attract. He says that it takes one to know one. Fair enough.

Then I entered a life situation that is an ultimate conversation starter;  pregnancy. I answered the same questions about due dates, genders, names, etc. and it was fine. I’d hear a few well wishes and personal stories and usually we would leave with a smile as situational friends.  Situational friends are the people that you meet and chat up while in some life situation such as waiting in line in a check-out or sitting next to someone on a plane.

Then the odder questions started coming, namely if I was going to breastfeed. It caught me off-guard, to be honest. I answered that it was my plan if possible, and then suddenly I was given a run-down that sounded like a brochure. This became VERY common. Even a 60 year old man asked! Clearly my expanding belly had a gravitational pull that the crazies could not resist.

My husband had some outstanding solutions. First, he INSISTED that I needed to stop smiling at people.  No more talking, friendly greetings, etc.  Second, I had to go in with a mission and get out as quickly as possible, avoiding eye contact whenever possible. Third, cover the children with blankets or make them as inaccessible as possible. ( A little too Michael Jackson for me.)

Even implementing my husband’s advice did not stop the problem. It has gradually improved- so much so that I thought this week might be the week where no one tries to mine my business. As a shopping trip goes, it was beautiful. There was no fussing, no grabbing, no demanding;  Firstborn even put items onto the belt for me instead of reaching for M&Ms. Clearly this was a hallucination—could we get through the commissary without an awkward conversation, embarrassing moment or totally sigh-worthy moment in young motherhood?  With a cart full of children and the bagger behind me with my bags loaded in his cart, we headed outside. I know it is strictly optional to accept help with bags, but at this stage it is exceptionally helpful to have someone load the groceries and take away the cart while I transfer the boys into the car-seats. The few dollars they are due for the service (their only pay) is worth it to me. However, that was not the only price I had been paying.

A middle aged gentleman pushed the cart behind me as we walked out to my van.  We talked about the weather and how the last snow the city had was in 1984…all well and good to discuss with a stranger. Sadly, the weather wasn’t the only thing about to take an unpleasant turn. He asked about the ages of my sons and then asked the question that I can’t seem to avoid when buying food. “Are you going to try for a girl?”  At this point I answered, “I did. I got a boy and I’m happy with him.” He looked at me, a bit incredulous. “Don’t you WANT a girl?” Seriously? I can’t win at this point. If I say yes, the conclusion is that I should start trying. If not, something is clearly wrong with me.  “Not right now. My hands are full. We’ll see what God gives me.” I said, carrying 40 pounds of baby and gear to the opposite side of the van.
“Well, if you do try and you get a boy, are you going to try again for a girl?” This conversation has bow brought me a minimum of 18 months into the future and given me tow hypothetical children.  I stopped and looked at him with a look that clearly conveyed that this was over the line.I’m not as sweet as I used to be.

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I matter of factly stated that a few reasons why I would NOT be getting pregnant with either gender any time in the immediate future, declared that I LOVE raising boys and while not opposed to a girl, now is not the time. After a few more comments about this brother having 7 boys before getting a girl and other gems that I do not care about, I finally closed the doors and politely sent him on his way.

Driving home I just felt annoyed. This went beyond sharing in the joy of having children and enthusiasm for families. This was NOSY. None of his business. Obnoxious. Furthermore, it happens to me EVERY time I run an errand with two boys. People can’t make conversation that doesn’t involve some interaction with m ovaries. It’s so nice to know that our grocery workers are trained doctors who can declare that you are almost due rather than only 5 months along as well as trained in family planning. Why make those pesky choices when strangers can tell me when to have a child, why, and which gender? They don’t need any other information!  You really can get it all at the grocery store.

(One friend of mine who is constantly questioned about having more or another of the opposite gender has recently miscarried. You’d think revealing that sensitive information would stop people. It doesn’t. It eggs them on with encouraging clichés and personal stories that are no help at all.)

 The time has come to be proactive. I can’t just charge through grocery stores during non-peak hours as if I’m a participant in Running of the Bulls. The fact is, it only eliminates one part of the problem. To put an end to my grief, I must go on the offensive and be part of the solution. It is time to produce a guide to help the masses.

How to tell If your Question about a life/family planning/ parenting decision is inappropriate:

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1.       Is the person you are asking a stranger? If Yes, the question is inappropriate.

2.       Are you going to be personally involved in making and implementing this decision? If No, the question is inappropriate.

3.       Is there any obvious commonality? If not, the question is inappropriate. If yes, keep conversation only to that commonality. For example, “A Texas A&M shirt, huh? Did you go there? My oldest son is looking at colleges, but that might be too far.”  While answers to these questions are still of no consequence after the conversation ends, it is less intrusive and offers no personal information about the children.

4.       Is sex involved or the topic of your conversation? Then the question is HIGHLY inappropriate.  I would be appalled if a stranger asked if intended to have sex that evening, with him or anyone else. Asking me not only if I intended to have sex in the near future but if I desire to have a child (of a specific gender no less) from that union is ridiculous. What if I asked back, “Are you going to use a condom next time?” I’d be considered vulgar and rude. Take note of the hypocrisy.

5.       Has the person suddenly become embarrassed, aggressive, or break down in tears? Too late. Your question was inappropriate. Yell a sincere apology as you run for over and don’t ever do it again.

6.       Consider that you don’t know the circumstances of the person your question is aimed toward. Is the question acceptable if the person is struggling with infertility? Miscarriages? Death?  A good friend was hit on once in a bar with the declaration that she was too pretty not to be with a guy. Where was her man? “He’s dead. Killed last year when I lived at Fort Jackson.”  Back away slowly, idiot. You asked the wrong 28 year old widow.

7.       Lastly, does it REALLY concern you? We all have stories of family members who are concerned with keeping family name alive, wanting a certain gender, etc. Again, that is a family dynamics issue. That is not the business of a man who is making sure your toddler doesn’t crush the bread.  Curiosity kills cats and conversations. Don’t go there.

There you go- 7 basic guidelines to assist you in making the choice on which questions to ask strangers.  If you really have an undying need to know about relationships and babies that aren’t your business, go read the tabloids. They are in the supermarket about 4 feet from nosy people who should really be working for the magazines.

Happy conversing. Good luck out there.

I Dreamed A Dream of Naps Gone By: Mommy Reprise

There was a time when kids were kind
When their skin was soft
And cuddles inviting
There was a time when they would nap
And free time was mine
The prospects were exciting
It was nap time
Then it all went wrong…

I dreamed a dream in time gone by

A nap had come

It was life-giving

They slept instead of asking “Why?”

When rested I am more forgiving

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Because they’re young I’m so afraid

My efforts would be ignored and wasted

Would they just one time stay asleep

While my lunch sits and waits to be tasted

Then the UPS man rang the bell

He woke my children from their slumber

Tearing  silence all apart

Delivering sorrow without shame

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Sandman was finally on my side

The boys were snoring! Finally under

He ding-donged ditched, not breaking stride

And he was gone when crying came

“Sleep when they sleep” they say to me

With two kids that happens…never

A rested mom there cannot be

Delivery Man, get it together

Les-Miserables
I had a dream nap time would be

So different from this hell I’m living

Sleepless nights, no naps it seemed

UPS has killed the dream we dreamed