14 Things My Kid Does When I Ask Her To Clean Up

clean up

Now that my older daughter’s four, she’s big enough to do chores and take responsibility for her own messes—or so I thought. Let’s just say my attempts to get her to clean up after herself have not been so successful. Even when I sing that catchy little song, “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere/Clean up, clean up, everybody do their share”—I’m the only one doing my share. My share is 100%.

Here’s what my kid does when she doesn’t want to clean up, which is always:

1. Negotiates: “Can I keep playing and then I’ll clean up after dinner?” No. Unless I’m just too tired to argue and then yes.

2. Stalls: “Wait, I just have to finish building these five different towers.” Sometimes I fall for this, because, you know, creative expression.

3. Turns the tables: “It’s your mess, you clean it up.” This is patently false as well as disrespectful, but you have to admire the gumption.

4. Ignores me completely. Either I am mute or she is deaf. Or perhaps I’ve started speaking in tongues.

5. Distracts from the issue: “Mom, I’m really hungry.” No way. Then I’ll have a snack to clean up too.

6. Wanders away. Now you see her… now she’s in her room making a brand new giant mess.

7. Goes on the defensive: “Mommy, you always interrupt me when I’m playing.” That’s true, because she never stops playing.

8. Goes on the offensive: “You’re not my friend anymore!!!” Oh well.

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6 Embarrassing Questions Your Preschooler Will Absolutely Ask You


You gotta love preschoolers. They’re curious, chatty and totally unfiltered, especially when it comes to asking probing questions about you and your body. Sometimes their queries are so embarrassing you’ll wish you could return to the infant days when you did all the talking. But instead of turning red and clamming up, aim to turn these awkward situations into teachable moments. Here’s a preview of what you’ll probably be asked, and a road map for answering:

1. “How did that baby get IN your belly?”
It’s exciting to share pregnancy news with older kids, but your growing belly is bound to provoke tricky questions like this one. Whenever I’m faced with an awkward question from my preschooler, I follow two rules of thumb: #1 Answer truthfully and #2 Keep it simple. A young child might be completely satisfied with “Daddy and I made the baby together” or “He gave me a seed, called a sperm, that helped Mommy’s egg grow into a baby.” If your child wants more details, it’s okay to provide them. (There’s a saying: If he’s old enough to ask, he’s old enough for the answer.) But however much it kills you to utter the words “penis in vagina,” try not to show your discomfort. If you’re not embarrassed, your kids won’t be either, though they may change the subject quickly — and that’s fine.

2. “What’s that string in your underwear?”
Since most little kids love to follow mom into the bathroom, it’s nearly impossible to hide evidence of your period. While it’s tempting to pretend your tampon string is a yo yo, you’ll have trouble keeping up any ruse month after month. Instead, try: “Grown-up women bleed a small amount every month but it doesn’t hurt. It’s actually a good thing, because it’s part of how women’s bodies work so they can make babies.” If your kid’s still curious, explain that your body releases an egg every month and your uterus prepares a cozy nest. When the egg is not fertilized, the uterus sheds its lining. How cool is that? (Admittedly, as a mother of two daughters, I tend to lay on the miracle of life stuff pretty thick, and why not? Our bodies really are amazing.)

3. “Why is your butt so squishy?”
Our kids spend a lot of time comparing their bodies to ours, and, God bless ‘em, they have great observational skills. Friends of mine have reported being asked about their big nipples, loose skin, thick thighs and, yes, squishy bums. Preschoolers might even wonder aloud if you’ve got a baby in your belly when all you are smuggling is last night’s mac ‘n cheese. These unfiltered questions may seem insulting, but that’s not at all how they’re intended, so instead of taking offense, try to keep it positive. Try this: “When girls grow into women, their bodies get curvier. And I like my squishy butt — it’s great for sitting on!” Say it with a smile and you might just start believing it.

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10 Shocking Things That Happen To Your Body After Birth


It’s hardly fair. After nine months of pregnancy aches and pains, I assumed I’d feel so much better once the baby was born. But though my nausea and heartburn quickly faded, my hormones went haywire, my hair fell out and I needed maxi pads in size jumbo elephant.

Horrified? Just wait, there’s more! So much more. I’ve been to this sloppy rodeo twice now, so I’m here to tell you the freaky truth about our postpartum bodies, and some practical advice to get through it all.

1. The Grand Canyon – It only takes a few hours to dilate to 10 centimeters, so why does it take so much longer to snap back? Right after birth, my lady parts felt like they were flapping in the breeze, and things were so wide open down there, I was scared a vital organ would fall out and land in my shoe. My advice: No matter what, do not bend over naked and look in a mirror. You can’t unsee it this stuff.

2. I.P. Freely – I thought that poor bladder control was just a pregnancy thing, but all that pressure on your pelvic floor really takes its toll on your plumbing. So yeah, you’re still going to function like a leaky faucet, especially if you laugh or sneeze. My advice: Whatever you do, don’t bounce on a trampoline unless you’re wearing a Poise pad.

3. Am I Still in Labor? – I was nursing my newborn when I felt the unmistakable pain of a contraction. WTF? Was I having post traumatic flashbacks? Turns out that in order for the uterus to return to its normal size, it contracts just like when you’re in labor—and these contractions can be intensified by nursing or orgasm. My advice: Avoid orgasm, you postpartum sex monster. LOL.

4. Night Fever – A few nights after I got home from the hospital, something woke me, and for once, it wasn’t a hungry baby. Full body chills and night sweats, a product of post-pregnancy hormonal shifts, left me drenched and freezing. Or boiling hot. You never know. My advice: Go to bed in layers, and be prepared for a summer or winter look, depending.

Continue the horror at mom.me….

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16 Things Babies Do To Mess With Their Moms


Babies are such amazing little creatures. They’re born with the instinctive ability to root, to suck and to throw their limbs forward when startled. They’re also born understanding how to royally screw with their parents. Sometimes they even seem to enjoy it. Here are just a few examples of how our babies like to mess with us:

1. Waking from a nap the moment you sit down to eat dinner.

2. Spitting up all over you that one day you showered and put on a real shirt. Bonus points for spitting up in your hair when it’s clean and unprotected by a pony tail.

3. Destroying exactly one more outfit than the number of spare outfits you packed in the diaper bag.

4. Wailing inconsolably for so long that you’re certain it’s colic or the croup or worse when all of a sudden BURRRRP and they’re smiling again.

5. Snoozing through a jackhammer, loud rock music and the door slamming, but waking up when you sneeze. You only have yourself to blame.

6. Dozing off for five minutes and believing that constitutes an afternoon nap.

7. Suddenly sleeping for six hours in a row, causing you to stay up all night to make sure they’re still breathing.

8. Celebrating the removal of their diapers by peeing in your face.

9. Waiting until you’ve buckled the car seat straps and peeled out of the garage to fill their diapers to the brim. Bonus points if they’re layered in winter clothing.

10. Pooping immediately after a diaper change. Or better yet, during. And should you choose to put them in a fancy outfit for a special occasion, they’re definitely pooping up the back.

11. Guaranteed diaper blow-out if you’re in public restroom with no changing table and not even a lid for the toilet. Get ready for the airborne baby changing Olympics!

12. Sleeping all day and partying all night.

13. Crying because they can’t find a single one of the half dozen pacifiers you’ve placed within arm’s reach in the crib.

14. Having a weird cough/rash/bump EXCEPT on the day you bring them to the pediatrician.

15. Deciding that their first word will be “Dada.”

16. Being so delicious, snuggly and smiley that you just have to have another one.

Consider yourself messed with, mama.

Post also appeared on Lifetime Moms.


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How I Know ‘Tidy’ Marie Kondo Is Not A Mom (Yet)


Clutter is a major source of stress in my family. My husband is a neat, organized minimalist, but in the past few years, he’s had his world turned upside down by three not so tidy ladies: his wife and two daughters. I’ll admit, our home could use a few (million) fewer tutus, tiaras and tap shoes.

So I picked up Marie Kondo’s popular new book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Maybe she could indeed change our lives—or least prevent a few trip-and-falls in our living room.

Well, I’ll give Kondo’s book this: it’s a great read, if you like comedy. I laughed many times, such as when she suggested storing shampoo and soap in a cabinet after every use instead of leaving them in the shower stall like a normal person. When I’m clutching a squirmy baby, while trying to corral a stubborn preschooler at bath time, I most certainly do not have a spare hand for extracting products from a cabinet.

That’s when I realized, Marie Kondo is many things—an organizing expert, best-selling author, lecturer and blogger.

But she is not a mom.

At least not yet.

Reportedly pregnant with her first child, Marie Kondo is about to find out how the other half lives, and I can’t help but wonder if motherhood will change her views on organizing. Here are 7 principles I think Kondo should revisit when she becomes a mom:

1. Place every item of clothing in the house on the floor

Kondo says the best way to evaluate your wardrobe is with every last item laid out on the floor. Can you imagine pulling this trick off with kids in the house? Mine would build a fort out of the T-shirts, turn the socks into puppets and wear my undies on their heads before I could possibly get through sorting the clothes.

2. Dispose of everything that does not spark joy

I love the idea of only keeping possessions that bring happiness, but that goes right out the window when you’re a parent. The miniature potty and stepstools junking up every bathroom in my house drive me crazy, but they are necessary to raising little ones. Ditto the many board games, Legos and noisy electronics. While Kondo’s book covers quite a few categories of clutter, from papers to mementos, she never once mentions toys.

Continue reading at mom.me…

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