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Favorite Book Day

This morning, about three minutes after I had put clean clothes on Squish, I heard him in the apartment:

"I have to poooop!"

This is code for:  "I am probably pooping my pants right now because I haven't mastered the art of getting to the toilet in time.  For the love of God, could someone please come help me?!?!!?"

My husband started the clean-up process, and I finished it with lots of coaxing and my most patient voice.

With the first crisis out of the way, I set the boys up with a show and got ready for work.

When the show ended, Bug started asking me if he could watch some kind of Christmas Curious George show.  Sure.  No big deal.  When it's Christmastime, my pleasure.

I took Bug to the kitchen to get his sneakers and jacket on and heard Squish screaming from the living room, "Christmas George!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want Christmas George!!!!!!!"

Hoping this scream festival would end quickly, I ignored it.

Silly me.

I said, "[Squish], time for sneakers and jacket in the kitchen.  Come in here so we can go to school, please."

Squish, still sitting on the living room floor, staring at a television that had been turned off many minutes ago, screamed at me, "I want Christmas George!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I explained that he needed to stop screaming at me and start putting on shoes and a jacket.  Not effective. 

So I carried him to the kitchen and tried to get sneakers on his feet.

He yelled, "I do not want sneakers!"

Having hit my yell/scream quota for the day, I decided not to fight it.  I put his sneakers in the bag and started out the door with him in my arms.

Half-way to the car, Squish yelled, "I need my sneakers!!!!"

"You will get them in the car.  You chose not to wear them.  So this is the consequence.  Choices have consequences."


"In. The. Car."

We drove to school in relative peace - I don't know how or why.

When we arrived, I got Squish out of the car and held his hand in the parking lot while we waited for Bug to climb out and join us.

Bug, in all of his long-limbed, five-year-old dearness, sort of galumphed out of the car in a way that made one of his arms fly forward.

That arm that flew forward landed on Squish's face.

"He hit my nose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Many hugs, apologies, and reassurances later, we made it inside the school. 

I heard another parent say to his son, "Yep - today is 'Favorite Book Day,' so I brought your favorite books.'"

I looked down at my two boys, who had just made it through a wringer of a morning, and who were oblivious to Favorite Book Day but would probably figure it out in about ten minutes when they saw all of their friends with their favorite books, and all I could say was, "Sorry."

Which was code for: "Of course it was Favorite Book Day.  And of course it felt like a minor miracle that we managed to get out of the apartment with poop-free clothes and shoes on everyone's feet.  Sorry, guys.  Maybe being poop-free and wearing shoes is some kind of de minimis standard in other families, but in ours, it takes a lot of emotional energy and an hour and a half.  We'll do better next time."



Dear Big Box Store Where I Bought Cheap T-Shirts This Weekend,

I hope this note finds you well, and that you had a nice weekend.

I am writing today to bring your attention to an area of your store near the registers.  It includes several rows of shelves with various toys, knick-knacks, clutter, minutiae, and other junk all inconveniently located 6 - 40 inches above ground.

While my boys and I waited to purchase t-shirts on Saturday, the boys were handling all of the knick-knacks.  Most of which look exactly like what they are (junk), so the boys quickly put them back down.

But there was one shiny little treasure, on the top shelf, that caught Bug's eye.  A Captain America wristwatch.  Bug decided right then and there that he needed that watch.  That that watch was absolutely the best watch that had ever existed.

I said, "Oh, well maybe you can ask for it for Christmas."

he cried.

I picked up this fancy little watch and checked its price: $19.99.

I decided that a whine-free line for the register was not worth forty dollars (because, as you probably already realized, I would have had to purchase a second watch for Squish), and I told Bug that I would think it over, and that maybe we could come back for it another day, but that we were not getting that watch on that trip.

He was unimpressed.

Deeply and seriously unimpressed.

He complained that he really wanted to get something for himself. 

He complained about never getting anything (even as I was in the process of buying him a superhero t-shirt).

He even complained that he doesn't have a watch (even as I pictured his Spider Man watch sitting sad and neglected in a drawer at home).

Yes, it was 11:10 am, and he was hungry.

Yes, he had been up too late the night before.

But you, Big Box Store Where I Bought Cheap T-Shirts This Weekend, you were doing this on purpose.  You put those little treasures on that shelf knowing that the 3-4 foot tall crowd has little to no impulse control.  Knowing how much they love super heroes and princesses and soccer balls.  Knowing that adults will pay money to stop The Great Whine Festival of 2014. 

Please remove your impulse buy section and send your apology note to me at your earliest convenience, or else I will start a social media campaign using the following hashtag:

#dwibs (down with impulse buy sections).



Research questions for you

A national publication is researching a story involving prenatal ultrasound, and is seeking feedback to these questions:

1)      Did you ever visit a non-medical ultrasound clinic to obtain 3D/4D images of your baby?

2)      Did you ever purchase a fetal heart monitor?

3)      Roughly (or specifically) how many ultrasounds did you undergo during your pregnancy?

If you would like to send me your answers (amommagrows[at], I will pass them on to the journalist researching the story.

Thanks in advance!

(and please know that I would love to write an actual blog post about my adventures in parenting, but that every time I have a free moment to myself, I end up binge watching a certain ridiculous yet surprisingly addictive television show about Upper East Siders...  the good news for everyone is that I have finished half of the show and might completely lose interest soon)


That time it was hard to get it right

It probably comes as no surprise that bedtime has been a challenge lately.  Especially with two-year-old Squish.

Recently, I have blamed the summer daylight hours.  Of course Squish would go to sleep, if only it were dark before 8:45.  Yes.  Sure. Of course he would.


Team Challenge - Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s endurance training and fundraising program

1.4 million Americans live with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

I happen to know and love at least a few of them, so when I got a note from Team Challenge asking me to promote their upcoming season, I was more than happy to.

Team Challenge is made up of individuals who have Crohn's or colitis, or who have someone close to them with the disease, or who just want to take part in something bigger than themselves and get in better shape at the same time by training for a half-marathon or triathlon while raising funds to cure Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.

In the 2014 Fall/Winter season, participants in Team Challenge will have the opportunity to complete a triathlon in Clearwater, FL or run / walk a half-marathon in either Las Vegas or The Palm Beaches.

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Every team has an honored hero whom they run for - usually a young person who has Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and serves as a reminder to all of the participants that they are doing important work while connecting them to the mission.

Past participant Jennifer Lonschein sums it up when she says, "If someone was considering running with Team Challenge, I would recommend it until I was blue in the face.  I've run a half-marathon before, without TC, and it didn't even come close to comparing to this experience.  The camaraderie, support, and motivation you get from your coaches, mentors, managers, and teammates is what drives you to cross the finish line and get one step closer to finding a cure."

If you know someone with Crohn's or colitis and want to do something to help - 

or if you want to train for a big event while supporting a very good cause -

take a look at this link and learn more about how you can join Team Challenge.


. . . when I get older

Squish has realized that if he adds "when I get older" as a suffix to any request, he is far more likely to hear a "yes" than a "no."

"Can I drink coffee when I get older?"
  • Sure!

"Can I have a truck when I get older?"
  • Sounds good - why not? 

"Can I drive a motorcycle when I get older?"


Dinner - June 16, 2014

Maybe it was the week in Greece this spring (yes, week in Greece - a once-in-a-lifetime family trip for a wedding - it was accordingly amazing and wonderful - yet here I am about to blog about potato chips - some things are for us, and some things are for the blog)...

Anyway, maybe it was the week in Greece without bedtimes or meal planning or dishes or laundry or commutes, but tonight I think I really tested my comfort with a relaxed approach to parenting.

The boys and I came home around 6:20 this evening, and before I could set the bags down, Squish asked if he could get a yogurt.

Normal answer: You can have a yogurt with dinner.  Please be patient while I get everything ready.