How We Told Viv (And What We’re Having!)

Me: Viv, we have some exciting news.  You know how you’re always saying you want to be a big sister?

Viv: Yeah?

Me: Well you’re going to be a big sister!

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Viv bounces up and down on the couch, huge smile.  Then her face darkens.

Viv: But mom, I’ve thought about it, and I don’t want a little brother. I want a little sister.

Dave: Well, good news, honey, you’re going to have a little sister!

(So now Viv thinks you can just order up the gender of your choice like an ice cream flavor.  But whatever, it’s true.  We’re having a girl.)

This news produces another huge smile from Viv, then…

Viv: Can I go back to watching my show now?

Since I grew up with a brother, I do feel badly that Viv will not get to have a boy sibling, because they are wonderful, but mostly I am really excited and relieved. I can reuse the baby clothes, they can easily share a room, and I’ll probably never be peed on in the face.

As for raising sisters, well, I have no idea, other than I’m pretty sure I won’t bring the baby to magic trolls that wipe away her memories of her big sister’s ice powers and then keep them apart their whole childhoods. So wish me luck, and leave your advice in the comments!

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Here’s Hoping My Kid’s Not Talented

My 3-year-old daughter’s been taking an after-school dance class at our local recreation center. I don’t know what she loves more — the twirling, the tap shoes or shaking it off to Taylor Swift — but I’m glad she’s enjoying herself. I’m just hoping she’s not actually talented.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the cast of “Dance School Diaries,” a popular YouTube series created by “So You Think You Can Dance” maestro Nigel Lythgoe. The show follows four gifted teenaged ballet dancers — Madison, Lex, Sage and Andrea — as they compete for a shot at the big time.

There are so many good things to say about these wildly talented kids. They are poised, self-possessed, passionate, focused and dedicated to a degree that is rare in someone so young (I recall my teen self practicing piano for a whopping 15 minutes before wandering off to watch Brady Brunch re-runs. Is it any wonder I only know “Chopsticks” today?).

But as a mom, the idea of parenting such a talented kid terrifies me. For one thing, these dancers work at their craft so intensely — Lex said 7-8 hours per day — that most have to be home schooled (my nightmare) and none of them has free time for such typical teen activities as roaming the mall. It worried me that they don’t get the chance to relax and just be kids.

Continued at mom.me… Read More »

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The 10 Types of Halloween Anxiety (For Parents)

Of course kids love Halloween — it’s the most rule-breaking holiday of the year! Candy for dinner, staying up past bedtime and wearing dress-up clothes outside adds up to an epically spook-tacular night. But for parents responsible for all the planning and preparation, pulling off their kids’ dream Halloween is no easy feat. Maybe not everyone is as neurotic as I am, but here are the sorts of issues I obsess over every October.

1. I should have made a homemade costume. This store-bought crap makes it look like I don’t care.

2. I should have never attempted a homemade Halloween costume. This sewing machine is a death trap and my hand is going to wind up stitched into my kid’s outfit like a human centipede.

3. If I buy the pumpkin too early, it’s going to implode into a disgusting gelatinous mass that I’ll be scraping off our front stoop for months. If I buy the pumpkin too late, we’ll wind up with a butternut squash.

4. Could a candy apple lead to a cavity that causes root canal that necessitates dentures? I can’t have my kid being the only one in Kindergarten who has to put her teeth in at lunchtime.

Continue the list at mom.me…

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10 Ways Your Second Pregnancy Is Harder Than Your First

Puking is never fun, but doing it for an audience is a special kind of hell. Morning sickness seized me while I was home alone with my daughter, who followed me right into the bathroom as usual. I didn’t want her to be scared, but since I couldn’t speak while hurling, I just kept patting her head while I aimed for the bowl. This takes coordination.

After trying to conceive for more than two years, I’m incredibly grateful to be pregnant with baby #2, but I’m having a rough time managing my symptoms while caring for my 3-year-old. That’s the wacky thing about pregnancy—how you can be elated and miserable simultaneously. Especially when you’re dealing with some of these second time pregnancy problems:

1. Even when you’re so queasy you can’t stand the sight or smell of food, you still have to prepare three squares for that little person at home.

2. When you have pregnancy-related insomnia, there’s the added pressure of knowing your first kid will be up with the sun and ready to rock.

3. Your belly pops way sooner, making it hard to conceal the pregnancy until you’re ready to spill the beans. I’ve had random people congratulate me before I even had a chance to tell my daughter she’s going to be a big sister.

4. You’re so tired you could fall into a coma, but your big kid still wants you to chase him through the park in the hot sun (or freezing cold) and isn’t buying your whole “I need to rest” act.

5. There’s guilt over not parenting your first kid very well – especially since these are your LAST MONTHS ALONE TOGETHER EVER before she has to share you with a baby.

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Continue the list at Lifetime Moms…

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On The Lam From The Library Cops

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“SECOND OVERDUE NOTICE” screams the email in my inbox. That seems kind of hostile, from the sweet little public library branch on the corner, but it’s a regular occurrence for me these days.

I was so excited when my toddler daughter grew out of gnawing on her books because it meant we could start visiting the library. Borrowing books instead of buying affords us far more variety, and I believe regular visits to the library help foster a love of reading, which is so important. What I didn’t realize was just many pitfalls were waiting for me there.

First of all, I can never locate the library books we’ve brought home. They fall into the same black hole that has claimed so many tiny Disney princess shoes, various letters from our alphabet puzzle and all of my makeup brushes. If I’ve borrowed six books, I will invariably find only four. I rack up overdue notices and late fees (stressful!) and occasionally have to pay to replace entire volumes.

Continue the story at mom.me…

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