Executive Vice President, Home Operations

Archive for the tag “cute things kids say”

Respect The Safe Word

The Associates are growing up and have discovered, as all brothers do, the joys of wrestling and roughhousing.  Things are a little nuts around here these days.  At any given moment there are squeals of laughter followed by sharp cries of pain.  No one has had to be taken to the ER yet, but our boo boo buddy is seeing a little more action than usual.  It is only a matter of time really.

Associates Wrestling

Associates Wrestling

So in light of their new found love of indoor tackling and body-slamming on the couch, we’ve had to amend a few house rules.

  1. Use inside voices….. Amended to “Use inside voices when the CEO is working from home.”  All other times you can assume it is loud as heck up in here.
  2. Be kind to each other…. Amended to “Mutual aggression is fun, but it is not ok to sucker punch.”
  3. Listen to your mother… Amended to “Respect the referee and do not attack her.”  They still ignore this rule.
  4. Use your words…. Amended to “Respect the safe word.  Only use it if you are in real pain.  Stop hurting your brother immediately if he says it.”
  5. Help clean up your messes….. Amended to “Don’t destroy things.  If you destroy a room, help clean up the mess.  If you break a thing, well, we will deal with that on a case by case situation.”
  6. No jumping on the couch…. Amended to “No couch olympics when company is over.”

That should cover us for now.  As long as they are playing together, having fun and leaving me out of it, I honestly don’t care what they do to each other.  I just want to pee alone.

So Now It’s My Fault He Won’t Go To Sleep?

Our two little Associates share a room, and have for about 6 months now, since the little one, Associate A was 15 months old.  His almost 3 year old big brother had super-cool bunk beds and it started with him napping on the bottom bunk and eventually moved in full time.  This was all against my better judgement, of course, but they loved sharing a room and I figured “Why not?  Child-led parenting is a thing, right?”

Associate A did surprisingly well staying in bed for the first few months, or if he did get out would walk to our room and gently knock on our bedroom door.  We took the bunk beds apart to two twins after he demonstrated he had mastered the ladder up.  By then Associate A was 18 months old and had already demonstrated his propensity for nighttime adventures.  Associate P had never once even remotely considered looking over the edge of the upper bunk railings. He is a good rule abiding first born.  A, on the other hand, laughs in the face of danger and would have jumped over the railings faster than I could dial 9-1-1.

So now they have twin beds next to each other, and they go to sleep and wake up at the same times.  Sounds awesome and super easy, right?   WRONG.

The quality of my day, workplace productivity and enjoyment is completely dependent on their sleep patterns lining up so I can have two happy well rested boys at the same time.   Something wakes them up too early, and Associate A will be exhausted by 11am… but if he naps then, Associate P isn’t ready.  P will start to behave like an exhausted psychopath just about the time Associate A is waking up, and I’m no psychologist, but I do know that psychopaths refuse to nap if they think their younger sibling is going to get 1:1 time with mommy.  The day then becomes a slow roll to hell, and by the time the CEO gets home from work I’m usually hiding in the kitchen and throwing snacks at the savages to keep them at bay in the playroom.

The alternative is they wake at a respectable hour, we have fun morning adventure – maybe a park or the zoo  – we come home and eat lunch in the 12 o’clock hour and everyone lays down for a nap together in the 1 o’clock hour – me on the ground between their two beds.  It is a win win, as I get a 20-30 minute nap and  an hour or so to myself before they wake up.  Then we play outside the whole afternoon, and when the CEO comes home we greet him with smiles and a nutritious, home cooked meal on the table.

Bedtime is usually pretty easy, and hands down my favorite part of the day.  But unfortunately, Associate A is teething (2 year molars… shoot me now!) and in a very needy phase lately.  He has become accustomed to mommy laying on the ground between their beds at nap time and so now, at bedtime, insists on the same practice.  He will point to the ground “You stay right there.”

For a while I have indulged this sweet little gesture, and even enjoyed falling asleep for a little evening siesta between my two boys.  They usually ask me to hold their hands, so I’ll lay there on my back, with arms stretched out reaching up to their beds.  Not at all comfortable, but it is sweet. So I’ll cherish those little moments and listen as their quiet breathing turns to adorable baby snores.

But not tonight.  Tonight we took the boys out to eat, and my stomach is fully rejecting the butter-soaked meal.  I’m miserable and just want to put them to bed and poop in peace.  I had tried while they were in the tub, but the P was all “ahh mommy I have to poop”  so I had to get up, get him out and let him do his business, and by the time he was done my opportunity had passed.   They are ready to get out and the next twenty minutes is a blur of toothpaste, wrestling them into PJ’s and wild giggles as mommy keeps farting and stinking up the room.

Stories, prayers, hugs and kisses – ok now climb into bed, everybody got your 15 lovies, toys, books and special blankets?  Great!!!  Good night.

Of course you know there is no way Associate A is going to stay in bed and fall asleep unless I am on the ground next to him… which right now is the very last thing I want to do.  So I’m going to be tough today and say “NO!  You must stay in bed.  Mommy is not in the mood tonight. Go to sleep!”  After another 20 minutes of tears and little feet pitter patting out of the room, I give in and go in to lay down.

At which point a very amused, and still a bit giggly Associate P tells me, “Mommy its your fault A won’t stay in bed.  Your farts are too stinky.  They made the whole room smell and he just wants to get out.”

I can hear the CEO laughing from the other room…. and when they are finally asleep and I come out he tells me this is one of the best days of his life and he wants to remember this forever.  Well here you go sir – may it live on the interwebs forever.

Associate P was right – the bedtime battle was my fault, but I hold firm it is not because of my stinky farts.  It is rather because I have indulged my kids in a routine (staying in the room while they fall asleep) that is unsustainable.

Eventually I will have to be strong enough to withstand the tears, stay firm and stay out. But for tonight, it was just easier to sit in the dutch oven of my own creation.  ugh.


Nothing Says I Love You Like a Dutch Oven

Nothing Says I Love You Like a Dutch Oven









Never Negotiate With Terrorist Toddlers

Excuse me – that should be ‘Terrorists OR Toddlers.’  I would never refer to my child as a terrorist… ahem.

I know, I know. I should offer two acceptable choices to let him feel some power. I read that book too.

But honestly, more often than not dinner has become a game of let’s make a deal. Sure, it bothers me. Dinnertime is often a low point in the day when negotiations break down and we both end up hungry, tired and crying wishing we could skip all this and just have a cookie.

But perhaps I’m looking at this all wrong. Maybe we are teaching him fabulous negotiating skills that could save us tens of thousands of dollars on a useless business degree someday.

For example, yesterday Associate P saw an opportunity and he maximized it. I had been praising him since he woke up from his nap and he decided to cash in the deal that I offered earlier, “If you nap, we can go to the Library when you wake up.” As we were getting ready to leave he heard me tell the CEO that we’d be back right at dinner time so would probably just do quesadillas.

Flash forward one hour to the drive home. We pass by Surfi’n Turtle Ice Cream Shop and Associate P casually mentions, “We haven’t had ice cream in a while.” I respond in the typical bribing way any good mother would, “Well if you eat all your dinner tonight, maybe we can have some!”

He screams excitedly “YOU’VE GOT A DEAL” This is an unusual response in our normal negotiations so I probe to see the extent with which I got worked.  “So are you hungry for dinner tonight?” “Yes mommy! I love quesadillas. They are my favorite. And ice cream too. I LOVE ice cream!”

yup. he knew what he was doing and the kid ate until his tummy hurt last tonight. He deserved it. Well played son.  Well played.

Why Mommy? Why? Why? …. Why?

Me to Associate P: “It may not have been your first word, but if you keep it up WHY  just might be your last!”

Just in the last few weeks, Associate P has begun asking “Why?” All. The. Time.  I always thought people were exaggerating the extent to which kids ask “Why?” the way the exaggerate every other detail of their children’s lives….

“Johnny has THE BEST laugh”

“Susie is THE WORST eater”

“Bobby asks “Why?” ALL THE TIME”

See, it fits the hyperbole pattern parents use and abuse to describe their little ones. The problem is, this one isn’t hyperbole. when someone says their kid asks “Why?” after everything and repeats it on and on and on and on until the parent can no longer take it, they aren’t exaggerating!

So I suppose it is on us to figure out how to respond and make these truly teaching moments.  Currently, I’m dabbling with trying to give honest answers and turn it around to him to make it a discussion.  Sometimes I say “I don’t know” or ask him “Hmm, do you know?”   A few times one or both of us will say, “I didn’t know that!” to which the other replies, “Yea! We learned something today!”

And often, after the 20th or 100th “Why?” I find myself using distraction to divert him to anything else.

Lots of good ideas in the comments of this babycenter post, “Why Does My Toddler Constantly Ask Why?”

Post a comment if you have a great idea on how to respond to “Why, Mommy?”



Here We Go!

Associate P has a wonderful disposition and is such a happy, polite child. When he decides he is ready to do something, he always states with great gusto, “Here we go!”

Taking this opportunity to learn from him, I am going to dive into blogging with great gusto.

This is 1 part a way for me to chronicle and remember these precious years, 1 part an effort to consciously find the learning moments in our day to day life, and 1 part an effort to further connect with others.  Friends, even the digital friends with whom I may never meet, provide me endless insights into life and are wonderful co-workers to vent, laugh and commiserate with about the antics of our Management Team and Associates.

So, with great enthusiasm and Gusto….. “Here We Go!!” 

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