Archive for the 'Parenting 101' Category

Teeth! Hair! Shoes!

In less than 2-weeks, Claire will be 10. She gets ready, gets her breakfast, and makes her lunch & school snack all by herself in the mornings. I’m slowly being worked out of a job, and that’s okay. Every now and then, I do yell, “Teeth! Hair! Shoes!” just to feel important in the process. 🙂


And now for something more light-hearted. My husband has coined the phrase, “hoof-covers.” This makes me laugh every time I hear it. “CLAIRE! PUT ON YOUR HOOF-COVERS NOW, PLEASE!”

They are his generic term for appropriate footwear, especially when dealing with Claire.

How did this come about? Because the poor guy was tired of rattling off every possible type of shoe, before landing on the one Claire deemed appropriate. “Hoof-covers” indicates that he really doesn’t care WHAT goes on her feet, as long as they’re covered when we leave the house.

She’s very literal.
I have no idea where she gets it.
No, really. I thought I put it up where she couldn’t reach it.


A Sign of Maturity

Last night, Claire & I had a long talk about how a sign of maturity is being able to put your responsibilities ahead of your feelings. We do what needs to be done, because it needs to be done. Doing so with a smile doesn’t mean you enjoy it; it means you’re not willing to give it the power to ruin your day.

I told her that it’s okay to hate the early morning alarms, but it’s not okay to act poorly based on those emotions.

(The photo I posted of yesterday’s First Day of School belies the true mood. *ahem*)

Today’s morning routine was a complete turn-around from yesterday’s debacle. I could tell the amount of energy it took, but she did it, and she did it with a smile.

My baby’s growing up.

Live Long & Prosper, Pardner.

I took Claire to the pediatrician today to have her finger checked out. (It’s just a sprain, no need to splint nor amputate. Heh.) She did NOT want to go. I told her if she was good, we could watch Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark tonight.

Not only was she fantastic, she quoted both Star Trek AND John Wayne to the doctor (He was barely containing himself! Ha!), and then asked if we could sneak out the back exit. He said we could, but she wouldn’t get a sticker that way, and she said, “Really? Cool!”

Yep, we’ve reached the milestone where Pediatrician Stickers are for babies, but doing anything to see Indy is totally cool, and sneaking out the back way is acceptable.

I’m not gonna lie; I got a little misty-eyed.

An Innocent Scientific Discussion

“Mom, last week in science, we learned about intercourse,” Claire said.

I keep a straight face and will my breathing to be calm.

“Oh, really? What did you learn about it?” I ask.

“It’s deep inside,” she says, and I feel faint.

“…the earth,” she continues.
“…right below the outer core & mantle.”

I gasp out loud, “The INNER CORE, sweetheart. INNER CORE.”

She smiles and nods and has no idea why I’ve become so animated about geology.


I’m not sure which is better, the fact that Claire asked me to do her hair (I’ve been relegated to only doing her hair on Ballet Days…she can do her own hair herself, thankyouverymuch), or that she wanted her hair to be like Mary & Laura Ingalls‘ hair.

Either way, she looks like such a big girl in this photo. Like a girl…not a shred of baby left. Part of me gets a bit teary when I see her in braids…not because I wish I had my baby back, but because I’m just so excited to see where she goes next.

I forgot

Yesterday was one of those days. It was one of those days where tiny little things, as innocuous as single, solitary ants suddenly converge in a mass of creatures that can fell a rainforest.

In the midst of this, was Claire. All she really wanted was for me to help her tie tiny ribbon bows on tiny chicks made of bits of feather or fluffy balls. And, while you’re at it, can you please help glue together more chicks? She’s making a baby bird family, and they need a nest. Why couldn’t I just take a break and help her make a nest out of ribbons? Any good momma bird would do that for her baby chick.

I’d take a break every now and then to tie a bow or press two fluffy balls together with glue. I mean, it didn’t look like I was doing anything at all…that is the danger of working and playing on the same computer. Momma just sits there, typing. Who knows what she’s really doing over there.

Plus, Claire couldn’t see all the ants.

Dinner wasn’t even the relaxing time it normally is.  Daddy had to work late; the project I was working on was teetering on the brink of disaster, and when it was finally time to get PJs on, I was at my wit’s end.

The proverbial camel’s back was heaving under the pressure. What would it be that broke it in two?

And right on cue, we got in a huge fight about something silly.

Actually, in my defense, it’s not silly. You can’t throw your glasses off in the middle of doing who knows what and not know where they go. They go in your glasses case. Anywhere other than than is a recipe for the crunching sound of delicate glasses, and that’s just not acceptable.

And how can you forget where you put them?  How can you forget??

There were angry faces and short, curt tones.
There were tears.
There was the marching downstairs to tell Daddy what she’d done.

She was devastated, and I’ll be honest, part of me was glad. How terrible.

She was sobbing now, so ashamed that she’d done something terrible with her glasses.

And, all of a sudden, I came to my senses.

She’s four.

Yep, she’s four years old, even if she acts 14 going on 40 for most of the day. So far, four has been awesome, but it’s still four. She’s four, and they’re glasses.

She hasn’t had these glasses long at all, and although she remembers everything to the n-th degree, she’s four. She’s going to make mistakes. She’s going to forget things.

Even I had forgotten. I’d accidentally left my own Glasses of 110% Perfection on when I left my desk and tried to look at her with them…and that’s just not fair.

Yes, we spent 15 minutes looking for her glasses.
Yes, they could have been broken.
But, we found them, and they weren’t.

I apologized for getting upset with her. I explained why I was frustrated and apologized for taking it out on her. She apologized and promised to do better about remembering.

And, I promised to do better about remembering, too.

She’s four.

And then we talked about the difference between creative story-telling and lying.

Saturday after Ballet Class, Claire told me that she jumped so high her head got stuck in the ceiling! She said it was “a disaster!” and that Miss Michelle couldn’t even get her down!

Apparently, I’m getting better at doing the Ballet Bun, because not a single hair on her head had moved after such an adventure.


The Pretzel Necklace

I just came up with a fun little snack idea, and I just thought I’d share!

Pretzel Necklace 1

All you need is butcher string and a bag of pretzels.

What you do:

  • Cut the butcher string to the proper preschooler necklace length. (I chose butcher string since it is being used with a food product.)
  • String on the pretzels.

And, that’s it!

This is a great way to have an afternoon snack…

Pretzel Necklace 2

…and Claire seems to like it, too. 😉

I am not a Stage Mom. No, really. I’m not.

For real.
I have never used AquaNet on my child.

Okay, except that one time…back in July…but it was for a wedding! She was the star of the show Diva Flower Princess flower girl! And, it wasn’t even my AquaNet!


I learned a long time ago that battles over hair are not ones I’m going to put much tactical effort or resources into fighting.

I told Claire she could have her hair however she wanted it. She decided she wanted to grow it long, so that’s what we’re doing. She flips back and forth about what she wants to do with her bangs, but I have a rule: Clip it or cut it. If you can’t keep your bangs out of your eyes with a clip of some sort, we get them cut. Period. Hair falling into her eyes drives me absolutely crazy and makes me twitch.

This, of course, is information she’ll use against me one day.

Her Ballet School has rules about hair. All the girls are required to have their hair up in a Ballet Bun. She’s allowed to have bangs in her Preschool Ballet class (and a pony-tail if it’s a particularly challenging day on the Hair Front), but the older levels have different rules: Ballet Bun and no bangs. When she reaches that point, we’ll discuss her options, and it will be up to her.

Lately, Claire has been begging to have her hair curled. One day, I did that before school. With a curling iron. I gave us plenty of time to get ready, but I knew something wasn’t quite right when I’d officially spent more time on her hair than mine.

Her hair doesn’t hold curl very well, so imagine my joy at seeing her relatively curl-less hair when I picked her up from Preschool. She doesn’t know her hair doesn’t hold curl very well, so she had no idea that it wasn’t as curly as before.

We did discover that when we take her hair down from her Ballet Bun, it’s the perfect curliness. When it’s curled like that, it tends to stay a little bit longer. So, we’ve been doing that at night. I position the bun so that it won’t hurt her little head why she’s sleeping, and in the morning, once we’ve had breakfast, donned our attire, and the bun is unfurled, we’re greeted with perfect curls.

She thinks she looks like Sleeping Beauty.

Sleeping Beauty Hair

…and I look like a Stage Mom.

…even without the AquaNet.