Thursday, November 21, 2013

Toys and Gender Roles

Obviously I have two boys. Our house is full of blocks and trucks and cars and trains. My guys are completely obsessed with anything that has wheels and/or a motor. I find it fascinating that (especially with my oldest) we did nothing to encourage this fascination, it just happened.

We parent with the mindset that all toys are for all kids - doesn't matter if it's pink (My Big Guy has a pink sippy cup that he loves and picked out himself), or blue or a doll or a train.  If my guys asked for a toy out of the girl aisle at Target that's fine, we'd totally get it for them.

I was a tomboy growing up, my favorite toys were my Matchbox Cars and my My Little Ponies.  I was lucky to have parents who let me play with whatever I wanted, and that probably helped instill in me my belief that all toys are for all kids, regardless of what gender they're designed for.

My guys have not one, but two kitchen sets (you really can't say no to a $15 kitchen, complete with food at a garage sale), and they routinely make me food and do the dishes afterward. They love it. A kitchen set might be considered a "girl toy" but fuck that noise, if my kids like it they can play with it.

Even with this attitude my guys lean more towards "boy" toys.  The cars, the trucks, the trains... That's just what they're into and that's fine.

Having boys, I never really gave thought to the subtext of toys for girls until recently.  Hell, I never even really went down the girl aisles at Target.  That stuff just isn't what my kids were into right now.

Just this week we did venture into Girl Land in search of a birthday present for a friend.  She's turning three, and is into baby dolls.  Fine, great, I can do that.

I was really surprised to see how PINK the girl aisles are. It was overwhelming really. Very different from the boy aisles which have a rainbow of colors (granted, not really pink, but still, more than one color). There also seemed to be no variety - all the toys were like purses or dolls or stuffed animals.  In the boy aisles you have trains and cars and trucks (although to a mom of girls I can see where those all might seem the same, so who knows) and action figures and blocks and guns and stuff to build and make towers or buildings.  There's an unstated message that your boys can have varied interests, whereas in the girl aisle it was pretty much pink dolls or bust.

With boys it's easy.  There's no message to a toy train.  There's no subtext. It's a train. It's choo-choo's down the track and, at least in our house, crashes off the track into a car and BOOM!

Venturing into the girl aisle I get it now.  There is subtext to girl toys. The toys are all about cooking, or being pretty, or taking care of a baby or dressing up like a princess... Don't try to create, or build, or make something - just be pretty and take care of something/someone.  If you do want to do something creative, or make something let's make a purse, or jewelry!  It's crazy to me.  I honestly had no idea because again, we're too stuck in boy world at the moment. Although perhaps we won't be for much longer...

What ended up happening with our baby doll purchase is that My Little Guy, who was with me, fell in love with the dolls.  He kept trying to love the doll and take her out of her box and he kept yelling "Baby! Baby! Baby!" Ok, I get it. I think a trip back to Target to get him a baby doll is in order. He wants to take care of a baby, that's fine, he can do that. He's also less likely to kill himself playing with a baby doll, so that's a bonus for me.

I can see now how parents of girls really struggle with the why's of it.  Why do they have to make pink and purple blocks for girls?  Why can't they just play with the primary color ones (are bright colors only for boys now?) Why does everything for girls have to be sparkly or have a princess on it? Why does there have to be a "girl" version of every toy? Why can't boys and girls play with the same toys? Why can't all toys just be toys - for all kids, not separated by gender? Let's let our kids play with whatever they want and not try to steer them towards toys deemed appropriate for their gender.  Boys can love cooking and dolls and girls can love cars and trains.

What's really strange to me is that I don't remember it being like this when I was a kid.  Legos were Legos.  there weren't girly colored ones.  They were 100% gender neutral. There weren't two versions (a boy and a girl version) of every toy like there are today.

We're going backwards.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why we Free Range it

A couple nights ago we were getting ready to take the kids to my in-laws.  They live literally a block (albeit a long block) away.  We regularly walk over there in the summer, but it's getting cold and dark pretty early here in Chicagoland now so we tend to just drive lately, plus my husband and I had plans to see a movie while the kids were with grandma and grandpa so we were planning on just dropping them off on the way to the theater

As we were getting coats and shoes on,My Big Guy said he wanted to walk to Bubbie's, by himself.  

My husband and I looked at each other, and said ok.

He's only 3, but he's a mature 3.  We've done this walk hundreds of times together, and the neighborhood we live in is exceptionally safe.

Now, we might be Free Range but we're not crazy or stupid.  We were not going to REALLY let our 3 year old walk alone in the dark (including crossing the street) to get to his Bubbie's house.   My husband walked about 20-30 feet behind My Big Guy, staying hidden so that My Big Guy thought he was in fact walking all by himself, and helped him cross the street safely.  

I drove my My Little Guy over, and waited for my walkers to arrive.  

My Big Guy came running up the driveway beaming with pride and the first thing he said to me was, "I did it!  I walked all by myself!"  He was so proud of himself, and I was so happy that he got to feel that pride and satisfaction of walking over by himself.  

I'm so glad we let him do it, it was definitely worth being late to the movie (three year olds aren't exactly speedy walkers, we didn't budget time for his walk over in our plans) to see how happy and proud of himself he was.

That feeling, and that look on his face was why we raise our kids Free Range.  We want them to grow up to be confident in their abilities, and not scared of everything that comes their way.  The mere fact that My Big Guy ASKED if he could walk by himself made me proud of him.  He wants to explore the world, he wants to do things on his own, he wants to be independent.  And that's who we want him to be.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

You mean the most EXPENSIVE show on earth

The circus is in town.  Like, the real circus, not just my children and their crazy nonsense.

The show is all about building crap, and has a lot of animals and songs and whatnot and seems like something my guys would enjoy.  My Husband suggested we go.  I agreed.

I sit myself down to investigate the situation.

Here's pretty much how it went down:

Ah yes, there are times and days that work for us.  Lovely.  Let me just see what kind of tickets are available... Clickity-click on this here link.

TicketMaster. Ugh. You are a bitch, but I suppose these are the things you must put up with to see the circus.

Hmmmm, no prices listed.  Figures.

What the shit?  No kids' tickets?  ALL full price?  What kind of FAMILY EVENT doesn't offer kids' tickets? (to be fair, My Little Guy technically doesn't need a ticket since he's under 2, but much like air travel we always buy him a seat since it makes everyone's lives easier)  Oooh, TicketMaster, you are evil.  Fine, fine. I shall press on.

Best available I guess?

What. In. All. The. Fucking. Hell.

I have to watch an add for Swiffer (which, dude I love Swiffer, best customer service EVER) in order to get my "I'm not a robot" phrase???

What JACKASS set that up? This is the worst company ever. Fuck you TicketMaster.

Fine. Fine. "Dusting!"

That's not the phrase?  Fuck you TicketMaster!

Fine.  Fine. "Better than a mop"  God, this is ridiculous.

HOLY HELL! Four Lower Level seats cost $280????  Who the hell goes to the circus?  Who the hell coughs this up??? What the FUCK??

*At this point I nearly passed out from shock at the cost of these tickets*

This is insane.  INSANE.  There have got to be cheaper tickets.

Ok, nosebleed section... Will the kids even care what's going on if we're that far away?  Meh, let's see what the damage would be.  Maybe it'd be cheap enough that it'd be ok.

CHRIST!  Even that's $160 for four tickets!!!  That's highway robbery!  Do you get to take one of the animals home with you?  For these prices you better.

Guess we're not going to the circus.  Saaaaaaaaaad.

(Note: I would be more willing to drop the $160 if my kids were older, but to spend that kind of money when they're as young as they are is a gamble - I have no idea if they'll be into this, or if I'll just be flushing $160 down the toilet.)

Then I remembered that my mom forwarded me a link to some Groupon-like site she belongs to that had circus tickets. Huzzah! Huzzah I say!  They had tickets at less than half price, so now we are going because the prices have entered the land of reality.

What really kills me here is that this is supposed to be a FAMILY EVENT.  And yet it seems that the circus and of course, the devil, I mean, TicketMaster makes it as difficult as possible for families to do that.  The best seats in the house were over $100 each.  The shitty seats were $35+ each.  Then you get there and you get to pay a fortune for gross food, and crappy merchandise.  Or you have to explain to your kid why he/she can't have that cool light up toy or box of $9 popcorn.

I'm pretty damn cheap, but I'm willing to spend some decent money on something that'll make my kids happy.  This is insane though.  A family night out to a family event shouldn't run you $500, but at the end of the day that's what you'd end up spending if you paid full price to go to the circus.  That's terrible.

The making me watch a commercial for the "I'm not a robot" phrase thing was really overkill too.  I pretty much yelled out "TicketMasterrrrrrrrrrrr!" all "Khhhhhhaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn!" Star Trek style.  I think that was the most offensive thing I've experienced in awhile. Asshats.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


We have been hit with a wonderful combination of ear infections and stomach flu.  We are down for the count.

My Big Guy puked a couple times, but is more snotty and coughing and ear infected.  My Little Guy is all stomach flu (you know you're in for a rough couple of days when the pediatrician puts her stethoscope on his tummy and say she hears "something breweing").  Poor baby woke up covered in throw up this morning.  There ain't much more pathetic than that.

Husband and I are suffering the effects of the cold that caused the ear infection, but luckily remain immune to the stomach issues.  So far.

We're on lockdown, no one allowed in and only Husband is allowed out for work.  Otherwise, we're keeping our circus of germs to ourselves.

Luckily I am Polish OCD and stocked up on Lysol spray AND wipes when it was on sale cause we have been going through that stuff like it's water.

It's not pretty here.

But we'll get through it.  Stomach flu only lasts a couple days, My Big Guy's got drugs for his ears, and it's just a cold for me and Husband.

Until then, I'm thankful for my two washer/dryers and my seemingly endless supply of Lysol products to help me get through this mess.

Monday, November 11, 2013

It was only a matter of time...

It has happened.  I had a feeling it would, but here it is, confirmed.

Someone has unfriended me on facebook.  I have to sort of assume it's based on this here blog since the timing works out that way .

This is what I don't understand about people today, and what I think it a major problem in our world - if you disagree with someone on something, that means you can't be friends with them.

What in the hell?

I mean, really.  It's so bizarre to me.

I know I've said some stuff here that may have rubbed people the wrong way, but I don't do it to hurt anyone, and I like to think I do a good job of being not judgmental (unless the situation calls for, Zoo Mom, I'm looking, no GLARING at you).  I don't really care if people disagree with stuff I do, or say or believe.  That's fine.  That's your opinion and you are 100% allowed to have it.

That doesn't mean we can't be friends.  Or to take it even further, it doesn't mean we can't be FACEBOOK FRIENDS.  I mean really.  We're talking about someone I've seen in person MAYBE 5 times, it's not like this person really knows me as a person.

That's what's even worse when you think about.  Rather than attempt to really get to know me, or know my thought process on something, or question WHY I think/feels something the reaction was to cut off ties.  Am I that offensive?  I like to think not.

I have REAL friends who have no only dramatically different parenting styles, but also dramatically different opinions on, well, any and everything.  Doesn't mean we can't be friends, it just means we disagree on some stuff .

I think it's a dangerous place we find ourselves in lately - this whole "if someone doesn't agree with me they're wrong and stupid and I cannot be friends with them" thing.  It's creeping into more and more aspects of life.  It used to just apply to political stuff, but it's happening in the Mommy Wars too now which is just great.  That's what we all need - more intolerance and more judgement.

I unapologetically formula feed my kids.  So what?  I don't demand that you do so, I don't care if you do or don't.  All I'm asking is that you respect my choice and opinion much like I respect yours.

I Free Range it up with my kids.  So what?  I don't demand that you do so, I don't care if you want to helicopter your kid.  Just respect my choice and opinion like I respect yours.

I might parent differently in any number of ways than you do.  So what?  I don't demand you change to mimic my ways.  Just respect my choice and opinion like I respect yours.

I live my life the way I want/need to.  You do the same.  You're just doing what you gotta do, and I'm just doing what I gotta do.  What's right for me might not be right for you AND THAT'S OK.  Why is that so hard for people to understand?

People have become so judgmental and intolerant of others that friendships are ending because of stupid things.  I'm sorry, but it is stupid.  It's stupid that you can't be friends with someone who disagrees with you on something.

Not only is it stupid, but it's boring.  I like to be friends with people who have different thoughts and ideas.  It makes me re-evaluate mine, and think about WHY I think/feel something, and challenges me.  That's fun.  That's good for me. That's good for you.  It opens you up to new thoughts and ideas and feelings and helps you grow as a person.

If you cut off everyone who does things or thinks differently than you do you're going to become stagnant.  And boring.  And that's no fun for anyone.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

In Which I Toot My Own Horn (TWSS?)


Well that didn't last long did it?  Between illness taking over our house (TOO MUCH SNOT AND PUKE!) and some other pretty serious shit, things got crazy and blogging took a backseat.

The one thing that did happen that got me thinking while I was busy trying to survive the last week was this:

Yup.  That's My Little Guy crying after he dumped an entire box of Rice Krispies out on the floor.  It was the mega box too.

You can see the trail, where he started to dump them, freaked out that they were all coming out and ran while carrying the open box upside down.

He cried when he realized what happened (as you can see in the pic).  He was very upset.  I'm guessing it was because a) he knew he just made a GIANT mess and b) he loves food more than anything and knew all this glorious food was wasted.

What did I do?

I laughed.

And then of course took the picture and posted it on facebook because, well, I thought it was hilarious.  And you know, parenting.

After we swept it up (Rice Krispies are very easily cleaned up), I was laughing about it again, and I thought to myself that laughing about it is kinda a weird reaction.  I imagine most other parents would be kinda pissed (would you?  I don't know, I mean, I really only know my reaction since I'm not you).  I thought it was hilarious.

And then I thought, hey, that makes me a pretty good mom right?  I mean, patience as a parent is something I'm sure we all struggle with - especially when it comes to giant unnecessary messes.  How we react in moments like this when one of our kids does something unintentionally and causes a giant mess says a lot about us as parents, at least in my opinion.

For me, it shows how far I feel I've come.  There was a time I would have probably lost my shit and yelled and screamed and been pissed about the mess.  I am Polish and OCD after all.  But realizing that a lot of the "bad" stuff my kids do is totally not on purpose, and that they don't WANT to make me mad has changed how I think about and react to a lot of stuff.  They're just kids, and young ones at that.  They make messes.  It's what they do.  They test our patience, it's what they do.  If they didn't, they wouldn't be kids.

My Little Guy was just trying to get himself some cereal.  That's awesome.  He's only 19 months, but he knew what he wanted, knew where he it was, and went to get it on his own.  That's the kind of independence we encourage in these parts.

He didn't know that if he held the box upside down it would open and pour out.  He didn't mean to do that (just look at him - clearly he's not pleased with the situation).

Getting mad at him wouldn't help anything.  It would only make him MORE upset, and then I'd be upset too, and then no one's having a good time.

Laughing helped him calm down, and realize that I'm not upset with him. I snuggled him up and told him I knew it was an accident and it's ok, we'll just clean it up.  Which we did.  He and My Big Guy helped me sweep up all the Rice Krispies (bless my Polish OCD children who enjoy helping me clean), and we all moved on with our lives.

In retrospect, I'm pretty damn proud of myself for laughing at the situation instead of getting mad.  I'm proud that I've grown as a parent.  I'm proud that my patience has developed to this point.  I'm proud to be a good mommy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why I'm a Bad Mother... Today

So there's this.

I just love lies and exaggerations, don't you?  I just love when some random town somewhere decides I'm a bad mom.  Lovely.


You know, it has a point though.  Since I formula fed (FF) my kids, we're not close at all, and I find the need to distance myself from them as much as possible.  I hate snuggling them, I hate cuddling them, and I hate showing them any sort of affection.  If only I had breastfed... Then I'm sure we'd have a magical relationship. It's the only way to get one you know.  Same goes for all the family members and friends who are in their lives - they fed my boys, but they made sure to do with as little affection as possible.  That's the best way to bottle feed, obviously.

Oh, my poor brittle bones.  They're really acting up as I sit in my chair typing.  I'd get up, but the extra fat I failed to lose from not BF-ing is just weighing me down.  Otherwise I'd be up checking to make sure that my kids' jaws aren't developing correctly.

I suppose I should get up, and go stand and admire the $300+ breast pump and accesories I got in my BF-ing attempts.  It's just so much cheaper than FF-ing.  And less time consuming.  Having a human being attached to your body for hours at a time isn't draining at all.  And pumping, well, everyone just LOVES doing that right?

I need to start planning our meals for tomorrow too - what poison should I feed my kids?  How can I make sure to prepare it improperly this time?

Maybe I should look into starting a hobby, as a FFer I definitely didn't have time to engage in one, I was WAY too busy pouring the poison into bottles that I cleaned in the toilet.  That's clean water, right?

I mean seriously.  What the fuck.

Is that really what people think FFers do?  Do they think that we, what?  Hate our kids?  Are just stupid?  Are we lazy?  What?  I don't get it.

Can't we just all agree that we're doing what's best for US and let it be?  I'm lucky that my hospital isn't this crazy.  They're all about letting you decide what's best for you - no judgement.  Or at least no open judgement.  The nurses might be leaving the rooms and talking some serious shit, but as long as it's behind my back that's cool in my book.

If my hospital started to get in my shit about what I'm feeding my kid... Well.  Frankly I don't know what I'd do but I doubt it'd be very civilized.  It's just no one's business but my family's.

I'm all for encouraging someone to try something, but if they don't want to, don't force them.  You'll get a much higher success rate at whatever it is you're trying to accomplish with words of encouragement and understanding than rules and regulations and forcing someone.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go force feed my children some sugar.  It kills two birds with one stone - tooth decay AND childhood obesity!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Adventures in Shopping

So the other day, my boys and I were out and about running errands.  One of those errands was stopping in at Kohl's to attempt to get some rain boots for Halloween.

It was getting dangerously close to lunchtime, which is dangerously close to naptime.  The fussing was imminent.  It was there, lurking just under the surface of the seemingly calm children, waiting for the most inopportune time to rear its ugly head.  We managed to get through our shopping trip unscathed, and thanks to an emergency McDonalds drive thru all parties were calm upon getting home.

We had My Little Guy in the stroller (dude, if I can strap that kid into a stroller until he's like 5 I think I'll be doing us both a favor) and My Big Guy was out and about as he promised he would stay by me and not touch anything.  He's very good about this, so he's earned the privilege of  being able to walk in stores now.  Plus then I don't have to try to navigate the monstrosity that is the double-stroller through Kohl's.  We try to keep everyone happy, and yet keep it moving.

Have you ever been to Kohl's late morning on a weekday?  Let me tell you about it.

There are two kinds of shoppers - the SAHM's with their kids in tow, and old people.

The SAHM's are their own breed of awful.

I take pride in training my children to behave out in public, so much so that when they see some other kid having a giant public meltdown they point and him/her and tell me that he/she is "not doing a good job".  Our public meltdowns are few and far between (of course I've just jinxed myself and next time we're out it'll be a giant screamfest).  We are lucky.

Other parents, not so much.  Most of the other SAHM's are schlepping a screaming kid all over Kohl's.  Or engaging in a battle over some item that the kid wants that the mom doesn't want to buy.  Or just otherwise causing confusion and delay (anyone get that parenting reference?).


If your kid is having a giant fit, perhaps you should, you know, leave.  I've done it.  I've thrown in the towel on an errand knowing that no one was going to be happy in that situation.  If my kid is stuck in the throws of a fuss-fit that's it, I'm outta there.  The errand can usually wait, my kid is a disaster and miserable and needs my attention more than anything in that moment so that's what I gotta do.

I get the whole "ignore the fit" concept.  Sure, it makes sense IN CONCEPT, but in reality all you're doing is dragging a screaming toddler all over Kohl's making everyone (including your kid and yourself) miserable.

Then there are the mom's who will get angry with their screaming kid.  I've seen moms scream back at their kids, threaten their kids, or even spank their kids in the middle of Kohl's.

Lady, you have clearly lost control of the situation if that's what it's come to.

Get the fuck outta there.  Call it a loss and move on.

No one will think less of you and at the end of the day it's probably the best thing for you and your kid.

Then there are the moms who decide to let their kids run wild in an attempt to avoid the meltdown situation.  Hey, you know what the people who work at Kohl's will really appreciate?  Your toddler pulling every folded shirt and pair of pants off a display AND YOU LEAVING IT ON THE FLOOR.

What the fuck people.

In what world is that ok?  My kids have ripped clothes off the rack, or knocked them off the table before.  You know what I do?  I PICK IT UP.  If you're not going to clean up after your kid don't leave the house.  It's better for everyone that way.  I worked retail, let me tell you, NO ONE is saying anything positive about you after you leave.  NO ONE.

Let's also just add a little reminder that here in America, we walk on the right.  Get your stroller/cart/ wheelchair/whatever over to the right.  You wanna peruse some items?  Fine.  PULL OVER.  Don't just abandon your stroller/cart/wheelchair/whatever in the middle of the aisle.  Would you abandon your car in the middle of the road if you saw a cool shirt on the side of the road?  No?  How about you don't do it with your stroller.

The old people tend to just be slow.  That I can deal with.  Plus they usually compliment my guys on how cute they are, which always wins me over.

I think it comes down to realizing that you (shockingly) exist in a world with other people.  Yeah, it sucks.  I hate people too, but they're out there and there's not much you can do about it.  How about you get your shit together and act like a civilized person, and try to raise your kids as civilized people when you're out there?  The world (and Kohl's) will be a better place for it.

Oh!  And Kohl's, dude, you know I love you but you gotta stop spreading the toys out throughout the store. I should not have to engage in a battle over whether or not we're getting ANOTHER Thomas toy when I'm in the women's athletic section.  Not cool Kohl's, not cool.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Under the Wire!

A quick story to get today's entry in just under the wire (NaBloPoMo).

The other day, My Big Guy had a blue popsicle (when he gets an owie, he usually gets a popsicle to "make it feel better", it's amazing how quickly he starts pretend falling off the couch and needing one), and then passed out on the couch watching Fireman Sam.

I came down after putting My Little Guy down for his nap to check on My Big Guy.


I cannot describe the heart-stopping terror of seeing your child passed out with blue lips on the couch.

I nearly had a heart attack and was just about to start screaming and shaking him when I saw the popsicle wrapper and remembered he had requested a blue one.

After that trauma I needed a popsicle to feel better myself.  And a shot.  And a nap.  Oy.

PS - Go Bears! Suck it Green Bay.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Own Way of Making It Better

It's hard for parents.  Especially out in the world alone, it's hard.

I've started trying to do a thing to offset my generally bitchy attitude towards life, and to make other parents feel better.

I'm trying to notice other parents out with their kids alone (I'm usually alone, my husband is an attorney.  No one ever decided to become an attorney because the hours are awesome), and when I notice them, I tell them something nice.  Some words of encouragement if it looks like they're having a hard time.  A compliment if they're doing alright.  Just something to give them a moment of feeling good about themselves.

I've had people do this to me before - when my kids are screaming or it's obvious I'm struggling, or even just when I'm out and about and everyone is calm.  People have told me I'm a good mom, or I'm doing a good job, or it gets easier, or not to worry about the meltdowns.  It makes a difference.

It makes you feel like, if even only for that moment you have an ally and the whole world isn't against you and your kids.  It makes you feel less alone to know that someone else has been there, and made it through.

Parenting is hard.  I think saying something nice to other parents might make it just the slightest bit easier for everyone.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Very Different Guys

Does anyone else have two kids who have completely different personalities?

My Little Guy is crazy.  Just crazy.  He has no fear, no hesitation, and thinks he's actually 7 years old instead of 18 months.

He will try to do physical things that challenge My Big Guy.  Oftentimes he'll succeed, but he attempts them with zero fear or concern.  Running down the slide at home?  No problem, bring it on.  Jumping off an ottoman?  Please, that's easy.  Climbing on top of the table in record speed?  Piece of cake.

I can't even remember how many times I've turned my back on him for a second only to turn back around and find him standing on something he shouldn't be, beaming with pride at me.

Seriously.  He got himself up there in the time it took me to pick up a cup.

When we go to the park, I actually have to stay near him because he thinks he can just jump off the playground equipment.  He tries to do things that even My Big Guy wouldn't attempt.

He's also just a walking disaster.  Yesterday we were at my in-laws' and he was standing in the middle of the kitchen when he just fell down.  No reason.  While I was typing this up he came into my office, and when I turned to say hi to him he was on the floor with his feet in the air rolling over because he fell.  No reason.

He's a deadly combination of clumsy and brave.

I put him to bed the other night and he woke up with a black eye.  What the hell kid?  How the hell do you do that IN YOUR BED?  Did you blankey attack you?  Did your stuffed animal win the fight?  I don't even know, but I also know that only My Little Guy is capable of accomplishing something like that.  Of course he was completely unfazed about it.

I love how determined he is though.  He wants so badly to be a big kid.  He'll try to climb the rock wall thingy at the park and get so frustrated when his little arms and legs just aren't long enough to do it.  He will keep trying to get himself up on something  no matter how many times I tell him no, or even physically take him away from it.  He just doesn't give up.

He's also emotional, but has a very quick recovery.  There are no long, drawn out fits with this one.  He screams, gets his point of "I am not happy!" across and then moves on with his life.  It happens fairly often throughout the day, but it doesn't last long at all.

At the same time, he's a sweet caring boy.  When My Big Guy was upset the other day, My Little Guy found My Big Guy's cup of milk and kept trying to give it to him to make him feel better.  There was nothing cuter than an 18 month older holding a cup out saying, "Milk! Milk! Milk!" while trying to comfort his older brother.

He's basically an out of control roller coaster and we love him.  He's fun, he's exciting, he's funny, he's smart... He's wonderful.

He's his daddy's son.

My Big Guy is the complete opposite.  He's calm, he's careful, he's precise, he's controlled.

When we're at the park he will stand and look at something for awhile before attempting to climb on it.  He will need to throw a couple things down a slide before going down himself.  He needs to know what's going to happen before he tries something.  He needs a little encouragement to try new things, unlike his brother who will throw himself down a giant slide head first.

My Big Guy has always been very controlled and precise in his movements.  When he first climbed out of his crib it was very calculated and in control.  He knew exactly what he was doing and every movement was thought out.

He's very neat.  He doesn't like messes and will openly tell you that my husband and My Little Guy are messy, but that the two of us are not.

He's a helper.  He regularly gets upset because he hasn't helped me enough in a day, or because I'm doing something he can't help me with (when moving furniture a couple months ago I had to stop to tell him it was ok that he couldn't help me carry a bookcase up the stairs, he wanted to so badly).

He likes this to be just so.  You sit there, I stand here, this toy goes here.  Ok, now we can play.  He's my little OCD baby.  I can relate.

The handiwork of My Big Guy.

My Big Guy is also very very sweet.  If he sees someone who's sad, he'll ask if they're happy and if they say no, he'll smother them with love until they say yes, they are now happy.  He's very concerned whenever My Little Guy is hurt or upset.

When we took My Little Guy in for his 18 month checkup, he of course got some shots.  My Big Guy was very very concerned about his well being after these shots.  He kept trying to kiss the owies, and generally make My Little Guy feel better after his traumatic experience.

My Big Guy holds his emotions in (again, I can relate).  I can see him controlling it, and holding it in, and then eventually when he does lose it it's intense (see yesterday's post about 45 minutes of screaming due to Fireman Sam being over).  He's a control freak, even with his emotions.

He's his mommy's son.

It's interesting to see the two of them interact.  They're learning each other's buttons and how to play together in ways that they both enjoy.  My Little Guy has stopped being so destructive and is starting to be more careful. My Big Guy is more willing to try new things after seeing his little brother attempt them.

Much like with my husband and me, they're starting to balance each other out and help each other with things that are hard for them.

I can't wait to see how their little personalities and their relationship develop as they get older.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Challenge Accepted

Let's do this shit.

November NaBloPoMo

So yesterday was obviously Halloween.  I was dreading it, of course.

We had a close friend and her daughter who's the same age as My Big Guy come over to join us Trick or Treating.  My parents and my grandma also came over to help man the fort and to enjoy the holiday with my boys.  

While My Little Guy was napping we decided to head out and do our Trick or Treating.  My Little Guy is not a huge fan of rain, and it was unfortunately pouring all day yesterday.  Since my parents and grandma were going to stay at our house to hand out candy we decided to let My Little Guy keep napping.

I got my little giraffe all dressed up and we headed out into the rain.  

Photo: Just as we were heading out into the rain.

Please excuse the blurriness.  It's hard to capture a moving target with a phone camera.

While we were out there I found myself actually having a good time.  Seeing how much My Big Guy was enjoying himself was contagious and having everyone tell me how cute he is didn't hurt.  

We jumped in puddles, made big splashes in the rain, and walked up and down our block collecting candy.  

I'll admit it - it was fun.  

You know what wasn't fun?  This morning when the children woke up with a total Halloween hangover.  Just when I thought I might be turning the corner on my most hated holiday I find myself back in the hatred.  45 minutes of screaming about having to watch Day of the Diesels instead of Fireman Sam will do that to you.

Now.  Anyone want any mini cheeseballs?