Parental Musings | Teeny Manolo - Part 4

Archive for the 'Parental Musings' Category

To Time Out or Not to Time Out

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
By Glinda

I can’t remember if I was at the doctor’s office filling out my daughter’s two year checkup questionnaire or if I was reading something on the internet, but whatever it was, it indicated that time-outs were not appropriate for toddlers.

Say what?

Honestly, if I didn’t use a time out for my daughter, she would probably have hurt herself doing something she wasn’t supposed to do.  Simply telling her does not cut it, and I refuse to hit.  She is an envelope pusher (please, may that trait serve her well later in life) and if I don’t have SOMETHING to resort to as a punishment, my life would be more of a living hell than it already is.

Because even the time out doesn’t always work, and once I threaten one, I am extremely consistent about following up.  I give her warnings and don’t jump straight to the time out, but in cases like the one where she tries to climb up our entertainment center to touch the television, they are used immediately.   I only use time outs when she is going to hurt herself in some way or has hurt someone else in some way, such as the time when she was very into punching her brother in the private area.  Sorry, not going to be tolerated and I don’t see any other recourse.  I take her physically away from whatever is going on, sit her with me, and tell her why she has to sit with me.  I don’t keep her that long, but I think my message comes across.

I didn’t have to use time outs for the Munchkin until much later in his life, definitely after three.  He was a completely different type of child, so much that it makes my head spin to think about it.  But like all kids, he has his own special brand of misbehaving.

Oddly enough, I remember that the article didn’t really have any other options for discipline other than distraction.  Let me tell you, once they get to a certain age, distraction doesn’t work.

Unless of course, the distraction is a time out.


How to Raise Your Introvert

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
By Glinda

First of all, make sure you’ve got one. This is a pretty handy checklist for those that aren’t sure.

The Munchkin is not 100% introverted, and there are actually probably very few who could be described that way.  But he falls just on the majority side of introverted, and that’s good enough for me.

First of all, know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert, even as our society rather absurdly celebrates the extroverted, who apparently are always ready to flip over tables and dance drunkenly on camera.

I try to keep his introvert tendencies in mind when we go places and not force him to do things he doesn’t want to do.  But, that doesn’t mean I will allow him to never have to address or speak to people, which I think is an important life skill.  Well, to do it politely and efficiently, anyway.

So a while ago when he wanted to purchase something with his own money, I made him go to the cash register and pay for it himself.  He freaked out.  I informed him that the people working at the store were nice people who were not going to bite his head off, in fact, quite the opposite.  He continued to freak.  We struck a bargain where I stood beside him the entire time, but he was the main contact with the employee.

It worked well, and since then he has somewhat overcome his fear of cash registers, and has no issues with paying for things by himself.

Wait until he learns I want him to join Toastmasters.

I would classify myself as someone who used to be more introverted, but somehow became extroverted.  First my Dad helped me out of my shell when I was young and too terrified to speak to adults I didn’t know well, and then my husband (a bona fide extrovert) pushed me over the edge into extrovert territory.  Or at least someone who is able to fool people into thinking I’m an extrovert. Pretty soon I was talking to anybody and everybody, and soon found myself able to easily conduct employee trainings for large groups of people with aplomb.

So I know the path my son walks, and I’m here to help guide him through it.  I don’t expect him to be an extrovert any time soon, but if I can get him to the point where he doesn’t freeze at the thought of talking to strangers (i.e. employees in a store) and can carry on a brief but interesting conversation with almost anybody, then I will consider my job to be done.

If he grows up and would rather stay home and read rather than go out clubbing, then I might just thank my lucky stars.


The Genderizing is Too Much For Me

Thursday, November 10th, 2011
By Glinda

I have no clue if “genderizing” is a real word or not, but I’m going to use it because 1) I am lazy and 2) I don’t really care if it is a real word or not.

Professional journalist, I am not.

I was putting together an asked-for list of toys for relatives to purchase for my daughter on the occasion of her birthday and also Christmas.

Dang if almost anything you can think of comes in either blue and green or pink and/or purple and white.

Sometimes the manufacturer will offer the item in primary colors, and thank God for that.  I really tried hard to avoid choosing toys that only came in “girl” colors.

Of course I’d noticed that most girl clothes are highly gendered in particular colors, but up until now, I hadn’t noticed the toys so much.  Baby toys tend to come in primary colors already since they are said to stimulate little brains, so most of her toys were red, blue, yellow, and green with some black and white thrown in for good measure.  Add to that most of her other “older” toys were passed on from her brother, so things such as the Little Tikes truck (that they sadly no longer make, because that thing rocks!) is blue.

It isn’t that I have anything against “girly” colors, I don’t.

But I want pink to be her favorite color because she truly loves it, not because it’s the main color she’s seen her entire life.

I’m also trying to avoid the entire Disney Princesses thing, but I think I’m going to have a much harder time with that because I loves me some Disney movies.  Oh, and we live very close to Disneyland, so I think I’ve pretty much lost the battle already.

Gee, Ya Think?

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
By Glinda

I was talking to a friend of mine who wa recently laid off her job of ten years. She spoke of some depression and anxiety, and she wants badly to climb out of the funk. However, losing her job was an unexpected blow to both her ego and her bank account.  She has two boys, seven and two years old.

She said that she had been talking to her mother-in-law and the MIL mentioned that she had noticed that my friend had changed since she had first met her.

“You know,” she mused, “You definitely became different after you had the kids.  You used to be so happy and carefree.”

Well I’m sorry, but what the hell is suprising enough about that to warrant a comment?

Who among us was not a fairly happy, carefree married/attached woman when things like children and mortgages weren’t in the picture?

It’s really easy to be lighhearted and the life of the party when you don’t have small leeches that suck the life out of you children.  Imagine being able to have some time to yourself to read a book, or have a guilt-free workout, or a glass of wine, or any of another million things that become harder when you have children under the age of five.

And I think the worst part of it is that even though the MIL truly wasn’t trying to be critical, I think that if my friend had maintained a devil-may-care attitude, people would have noticed and said that she obviously doesn’t take mothering all that seriously.

Motherhood, the land of no winning.


Mission Impossible: Buying Kid’s Stuff on Craigslist

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
By Glinda

I just wanted a swing set.

OK, so they don’t make that particular model anymore,, but people are always trying to get rid of the big plastic stuff like slides, sandboxes, and swing sets.

And sure enough, I found quite the few listings in my area.

Little did I know I was to embark upon an odyssey that would leave me enraged, frustrated, and disappointed in all mankind.

The first lady we contacted said sure, we could buy it, and for fifty bucks off the original price.  Score!

We wanted to pick it up the next day, but she said she would not be home and we would have to pick it up next weekend.  Fine.  We told her we could come on Friday morning, we all agreed, and promised to call on Wednesday night to get her address.

Wednesday arrives, we call, and she breezily informs us that she has already sold it.  After speaking to us, she had re-listed at the price she was willing to sell to us for, and someone else responded.

Uh, what?

Well, people, she said, are flaky.  The people offered to come right away, yadda yadda yadda.

Hey lady, you know those flaky people you were talking about? Consider yourself one of them.

Then we had the man who was “firm” on his price, which was over by about a hundred and fifty compared to everyone else.  Stay firm, man, stay firm.  You’ll be firm for a very long time.  If this was involving Viagra, you’d be golden.  However, since it’s a swing set, you will wind up being very sad.

And the next one? Just sold, of course.

Finally we had the one who only replied to me once, didn’t reply for days after I offered to come and pick up the item ASAP, and then wrote me that someone had offered her more money.

This all in the course of a week.

I told my husband that if I wind up being screwed by ten people in a row, I’m buying a new one, dammit.




The New Reality

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
By Glinda

I used to pride myself on never being able to take a nap during the day.

No matter how tired I was, I just could not get comfortable enough to fall asleep in broad daylight.

My, how things have changed.

Thanks to my toddler’s erratic sleeping habits as well as my desperate need for 27 hours in the day, I find myself constantly jerking myself awake from a snooze session on the couch.  This is pathetic because I’m supposed to be watching my kids, not snoring in an upright position.  I never know if I’ve been dozing for five minutes or a half an hour, but either way, it ain’t a good thing.

But try as I might, I just can’t help myself.

And I also used to think that I was a great parent, judging myself on the Munchkin and how superior (of course!) he was to all other children.

Well, my daughter has cured me of that conceit, and I have finally admitted to myself that parenting is just one huge crap shoot.

I’ve also realized the odds of me winning the lottery are pretty much nil, and I’m past the point where I can run away with some rich oil tycoon.


I’m bummed.

So much for my not complaining on a Wednesday, eh?



Ways in Which My Children Drive Me Crazy

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
By Glinda

My son’s complete lack of ability to “find” anything. “Please get me the pillows your dad got from the store, they are on the chair in the garage.” “What? There are no pillows in the garage, I looked!” “Dude, they are RIGHT in FRONT of your nose!” “Moo-oom, I can’t find the pillows.” Commence hair being forcibly pulled from my skull.

My daughter’s ability to completely destroy books with a special manuever I like to call the “back bend.” Before I can do anything about it, she will grasp the middle of the book, and force it back to meet the front cover. This is not pretty, and it pains me every time she does it.

Also, the fact that even though she has had a diaper on her body pretty much 24/7 since her birth, she still fights diaper changes. Don’t give me any tips, I’ve tried them all.

My son whose picture should be in the dictionary under the caption “unimpressed.”

And, the fact that he will repeat what I just said, but have one or two of the words wrong, making what I said sound very, very stupid. I hate that.

My daughter who STILL throws food she doesn’t want on the floor.

My son’s extreme reluctance to try anything new.

The brain-splitting decibel levels my kids reach when they are playing together. OK, yeah, I’m glad you’re having a great time, but does it have to be as loud as a plane taking off?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my children dearly, but today was definitely a venting kind of day. Feel fee to vent yourself!

The Scourge of the Playroom

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
By Glinda

I freely admit it.

Today I was that mom and my daughter was that kid.

You see, my toddler has taken to spending three or four hours of the night awake.  Sometimes screeching, sometimes whining, sometimes just laying there.

I have no idea why.  And yes, I’ve tried pretty much everything to get it to stop.

Nothing works.

Anyhoo, everyone knows that when a toddler isn’t sleeping, that means mama isn’t sleeping either.

So even though I briefly pondered not taking my son to his early morning Spanish class, I chastised myself into packing us all into the minivan.

The class is an hour, and we live fifteen minutes away, so I figured daughter and I would stay and play in the play area set up for younger siblings in the lobby.  And hey, maybe she would make some new friends!


I don’t know if it was because she was a bit tired herself, but my daughter managed to terrorize the entire population of the play area.  Yeah 18 month old kid, you thought you had that chair.  Not according to my daughter, who actually sat down in the chair behind you and pushed you off.

She also dumped an entire box of Duplos on the floor, and then decided they didn’t belong in the play area and ran to put them out in the hallway.

She grabbed things out of other people’s hands just because she wanted them for that nanosecond, even though she had cared less about them when they were on the ground.

She threw a block at someone.

She attempted to bite another child’s banana.  Which was in his hands at the time.

The coup de grace was when she dumped an entire bucket of crayons onto the table, and of course eventually the floor, which four other children had managed not to do.

Commence the hideous, glass-breaking shrieking when I decided we needed to take a little walk outside.

Ditto when I strapped her into the car seat and on the entire ride home.

Yes, I know it’s just a phase and she will eventually get better, it just seems like the bad phases last a hell of a lot longer than the good ones.



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