Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Waking up Grumpy

I used to be a morning person. Atleast, after my first hour of consciousness I was a morning person. It's that actually getting out of the bed that's always the problem.
So it comes as no real surprise that my son does not like to be woken up. If he gets up on his own, putters about until he's good and ready to get dressed and go out, all is well. But the mornings I have to blast him out of bed after trying five or six times to wake him gently, there is hell to pay. God help me if I actually have to make him dress and leave the house before he's mentally prepared. (Really, I know how he feels, I just don't cry about it - most days.)
Take this morning: He woke up at the ungodly hour of 6:30, half an hour before my alarm was set to go off. (I hate that - those last few minutes will be mourned all day long.) No problem, since he got himself up, I listened to him play cars and trains in his room for a few minutes, then just as my eyes were closing again, he cracks his door. That's my cue for cereal. But mom's a meanie, sometimes I make him come and snuggle for a minute before I'll start the catering service.
I drag myself out of the bed, turn on the Thomas video he's asking for, and set him up with cereal and yogurt. He's satisfied, so with one last longing glance at the bed, I head for the shower. The cat, of course, has curled up in my warm spot and is rubbing it in.
About the time I'm ready to go - showered, dressed, coffeed and lunch made, the video ends and the war begins. He wants to watch it again. I say no. He starts whining. I turn off the TV and rewind the tape. He throws himself on the floor. I tell him we'll watch it again when we get home; it's time to get dressed. The crying continues. Did I mention I have no discipline skills?
I begin counting. "One - go take your pajamas off. Two - go take your pajamas off. Three - go take your pajamas off now!" Three is accompanied by a swat to the rear and guidance toward his room. The wailing hits decible level and I hear him throw himself on his bed. Time to break out the big guns. One minute to stop crying and show some action. Nothing. I march into his room, wooden spoon in hand. I gotta tell you, my mother broke so many wooden spoons over my butt she finally bought those industrial-size ones. Just in time for my sister's shenanigans. ;)
So far, the threat of the spoon does the job. He sees me coming and jumps off the bed and over to his dresser, where I have his clothes laid out. Finally, a break in the crying. We manage to get dressed, then I tell him to get in the car. "We going to work?" he asks. "You have to go to school." I tell him. And thus the wailing resumes. "I don't want to go see my teacher!" he cries. He has a new teacher. Not big on change either, is my boy. The wailing continues out the house and into the car. The neighbors are used to it. "Good morning, Daniel," one calls to my sobbing son. They're grandparents, so they don't really think I'm beating him half to death when he acts like this (I hope). Been there, done that, recognize the wailing.
Sullen gets us to the preschool. Occasionally, he even makes conversation: "Is that an ambulance?" "No baby, that's a cable truck." But once at the school, he wants to bring every toy in the car in with him. No dice. Well, that sets off a fresh round of stubborn. I feel like I'm draging him every step into the classroom, and then he clings. Won't let go, no, ma'am. So he winds up stqanding in the corner for disobedience and that's the last I saw of my child this morning. I suppose this, too, shall pass, but will we both survive it?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Toddler's Creed

I can't take credit as I found this on another Web site, but it was too good to not pass along!

The Toddler's Creed:
If it's mine it's mine,
if it's yours it's mine,
if I like it is mine,
if I can take it from you it is mine,
if I am playing with something ALL of the pieces are mine,
if I think it is mine it is,
if I saw it first it's mine,
if I had it then put it down it is still mine,
if you had it then you put it down it is now mine,
if it looks like the one I have at home it is mine,
if it is broken it is yours.
If I hid it well enough it will always be mine.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Stealing Mommy's heart

I reached into my 5-year-old daughter's book bag the other day to pull out the latest art treasures she's drawn at school. I grabbed a green piece of scrap paper folded over into a card. There were hearts drawn in crayon and the words, "LOVE MOM FAITH." (We need to work on lowercase letters.) Although I've been the recipient of several masterpieces of scribbling, this one stole my heart. My little girl made an impromptu Valentine - for me! With all the worrying about trying to be the best parent I can be, I must be doing something right.
While I love the card, there's also a sense of sadness that Faith is not my little baby anymore. Every day that passes brings her a new maturity that can be overwhelming for Mom. First it was picking out her own clothes, now it's making her own breakfast or wanting to "do it myself." There's a certain sense that she doesn't really need me anymore, but it only takes one fall or fever to get her back in my arms again. She's always in my heart.
Liz Fabian

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Making Mom laugh

There are a lot of products out there for kids that, quite frankly, are funnier for adults. Take, for example, the movie "Monsters, Inc." I will not let my child watch this movie. Why in the world would I encourage the monsters-under-the-bed fantasy?!?! Maybe once he's 10, or 12, or given the nature of the humor, 30....
"Shreck is another kids movie that really is funnier for adults. Sure, it teaches kids a little lesson, uses the word "ass" and makes them feel like mom and dad are really letting them get away with something by watching a film with that language in it. But will they understand why mom is laughing so hard she has tears streaming down her face? Probably not.
What got me started on this topic? A co-worker brought in a copy of "Walter the farting dog." If you haven't seen this book, pick it up the next time you're in Barnes and Noble. Pick up the stuffed Walter toy, too. Hand it to your kids and, while they squeeze the farts out of the toy, read them the book. Sure, they'll enjoy the story and have a good time with the toy, but with lines like "rectal flatulence, as we call it in the medical world," you'll be the one on the floor holding your sides in laughter. Better yet, get dad his own copy for Father's day. No warning, just drop it on him with a suggestion that he can read it to the kids. Then sit back and watch him try to keep a straight face!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Can Lauren come play?

Daniel has a new friend. After being the only kid on our street for all his young life, a fellow 3-year-old has moved in next door. Bonus: it's a girl. And Daniel has loved the little girls since he was born, bless his heart. He'll watch a waitress all day long; whether it's the food or the lady he's eye-stalking, we have no idea. I'm waiting for the phone call home: "Mrs. Cline, Daniel's been kissing the girls in his class."
As a matter of fact, his new playmate has already introduced Daniel to new imaginary games. They spent half of Saturday running from a jellybean, much to my bemusement. Then, I watched the young lady lay down in the (wet!) back yard and play the princess. Daniel obligingly leaned over and "rescued" her with a kiss. She bounced up and they went of a drive in his truck. Dear God, have mercy on me. Mom's not ready for this!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Rainy-day toys

May I suggest a tent? Inside? Of course, eventually you'll find every toy in the house, most of your shoes, and a couple of spoons in there, but hey...

Friday, January 20, 2006

He really can't see

The bad-mommy moment of the day: When I'm trying to get Daniel to pick up his toys and he overlooks that one ball five times and just keeps asking me "Where, momma?" and I get so frustrated - it turns out he really can't see it.
We've been playing the "Where" game for more than a year, but if it's hard to get kids to cooperate at the dentist, I thought what kind of nightmare must it be to take them to the eye doctor? I mean, I HATE the eye doctor - way worse than the dentist. It's all about that test with the puff of air and, well, anyone getting that close to my eyeballs.
But the time came when I couldn't ignore a potential problem any longer. If Daniel is going into 4K next year in a real school and all that, I'd better make sure he can see, right? Right.
I have high praise to the optometrist - Dr. Simmons at Primary Eyecare - he's awesome with kids and apparently sees them as young as three months. I mean, wow. Anyway, he was really good with Daniel - and with me. They took us together, which meant they'd do a test on me, then do the same thing with him. It went really well - a lot better than the dentist! The bad news: my 3-year-old needs glasses. Dr. Simmons is going to do a second exam, just to confirm his results (I like that: before I spend however-much on two pairs of glasses - gotta have a spare - he's going to make sure his tests are right) and then Daniel will have glasses just like mom and dad.
So - moms who have kids with glasses - got any advice for me? Send me pix of your babies with their eyewear (mcline@macontel.com) and I'll post them here!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Note to self:

So the trip went well, but note to self: always pack extra batteries and a screwdriver. It's like Murphy's Law; when I take electronic toys on a trip, the batteries will give out halfway there. Or worse, the darn thing will break altogether.
In this case, the DVD player quit about two hours from Grandma's house. Not a huge deal; we stopped for food and then young Daniel slept the rest of the way in. Once there, technology-deficient mom couldn't figure out what was wrong with the thing. So, no movies on the way home, either. We just changed our travel plans and drove home a little later in the afternoon. Wear him out, feed him, and it's peaceful slumber all the way home. But we have had to make emergency trips to Wal Mart for batteries on previous visits to Grandma's. By the way, Rockingham, NC, is now home to the biggest wal Mart in the U.S. Why???

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Travelin' man

Daniel took his first road trip at 3 months. At 3 1/2, he's been to six states and is well on his way to catching up with mom, who's visted 41. But that's what happens when the grandparents and great-grandparents live elsewhere.
Having worked through the holidays, we're taking advantage of this upcoming 3-day weekend to once again get out of town. This time, it's a five-hour drive to great-grandma's, near Rockingham.
Now traveling when he was tiny was easy; he slept most of the way. Flying was not so fun; it was scary at first and then he didn't like having to sit still for the length of time it took to get from Atlanta to Detroit or Norfolk. Add in the frustration of getting through airports, waiting around in airports, the sheer chaos in airports, and mom, dad and boy were all frazzled by the time we got where we were going. Nevertheless, it must be done, and we've learned a few things about making it easier.
First, feed the child. A backpack is better than a diaper bag for traveling, mostly because you can sling it over your shoulder and have one less thing to juggle. Also, it holds a bit more than most diaper bags, which is good since bottled water, snacks and toys are a must. And when I say snacks, I'm not so much thinking crackers or pretzels. Hot dogs travel well, as do grapes (hint: leave them on the vine in the baggie). A full tummy makes for a sleepy Daniel when he gets bored.
As for toys, Fisher Price makes a small roll-along "suitcase" that toddlers can take with them and feel like part of the process. It opens up and you can store flash cards (again, in a baggie to prevent them from dropping out everywhere) or other small toys. In mom's handy backpack should go one more thing: a portable DVD player.
Daniel didn't watch tv for his first two years. Part of that was my preference, but mostly it was because he was just too busy doing everything else! But when he finally discovered Winnie-the-Pooh, he also learned to sit still. He'd still rather play outside, but if it's cold and rainy or we're stuck in a waiting room somewhere, his movies are just the thing.
We got the DVD player for an early Christmas present this year. You can find pretty good deals now that the "hot" has worn off. We chose a Panasonic with an 8" screen which rotates 180 degrees and locks closed over the control buttons. It comes with a remote so mom and dad can operate it "hands off." Quietest plane ride we've ever had. And you bet it will be in the car with us this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

Poll: What is your child's favorite movie or kid's show? I'll tally the comments and share the results.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

At the dentist

So, I thought I'd be smarter than my preschooler when it came time for his first dental cleaning. I should have known better.
I made myself an appointment, and one for him the following day. Back-to-back, I thought, risked my not being done before the hygenist would be ready for him. But with my appointment first, I could take him with me and he could see that mommy gets her teeth cleaned, it doesn't hurt, and when you're done, you get a treat. At least, that was the plan.
My appointment came and he was fascinated. He watched everything the hygenist did, checked her tools out thoroughly, and was pleased with my new toothbrush and his sticker.
Next day, his turn. We talked about it at bedtime, in the morning over breakfast, and when I picked him up from preschool. Got to the dentist, no problem. Waited a few minutes, no problem. Walked back to the treatment room, and that's as far as we got. He pulled a mutiny in the doorway; once coaxed into the room he refused to get in the chair. Once in the chair, first on mom's lap, then on his own, he wouldn't uncurl from the fetal position. I left the room, the dentist came in and had a man-to-man chat with him, still no dice. We finally left, unsuccessful and frustrated, and there's a new no-sweets rule in effect that's even more strict than the one before. Tea, sweetened cereal and the occasional candy are now off his diet, and he knows it. We'll try again in six months, then head for a pediodontist, where they'll put him in a papoose and his hatred of the dentist will be fixed for life, like so many adults we know.
Ah, the best-laid plans of moms and men...

Friday, January 06, 2006

New Year's resolutions?

So, what was your New Year's resolution? If you followed the trend, it was to get in shape, stay in shape, or work out more so you can keep up with your kids! In an effort to help you get started on that resolution, I have made some phone calls and compiled a list of popular Macon and Warner Robins gyms that have child care. Here you go!
Arnold's: no
Fit & Firm: yes
Curves: no
Gold's: yes
Houston Wellness Center: no
LA Fitness: yes

Poll: What's the most effective exercise routine you have found?

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Welcome to Middle Ga. Moms, a blog for moms, by moms in the Macon and Warner Robins areas. This blog will be co-hosted by Telegraph staffers Misty Cline and Liz Fabian. Misty has a 3-year-old boy, Liz has a 5-year-old girl. We'll take your questions, start polls, and act as a forum for sharing information. Along the way, we'll brag about our kids and let you brag about yours. Because next to grandma, mom is every kid's biggest fan.

meet Daniel

Daniel is 3 1/2, and he's all boy. He loves anything with wheels, from trucks to airplanes to trains. He knows the difference between a dump truck, a box truck, a gas truck, and a tractor. Fortunately for my sanity, he also knows his alphabet and loves books. He'll tell me a story from one of his books, or he'll curl up and listen to me read. He loves his mom, but the sun rises and sets on dad. He's an outdoors kid, but loves to play games or watch movies on the computer. Most days, it's a challenge just to keep up with him, forget getting a step ahead! --Misty