Potty Privacy

I’ve recently had some incidents which have caused me to ponder “how old should your son be before you let him go into the men’s public restrooms alone”? 

Like many parents with a preschool aged child, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting every public restroom, in every one of my favorite stores and restaurants.  It always happens at the most inopportune time and usually when you’re in a rush.  You know the days when you just need to quickly run into the grocery store to pick something up because you have nothing defrosted – and you’re on the check out line with your items when you hear your precious angel say “mommy, I have to go to the bathroom”.  ARRRGGGHHH!!!  This happens to me often.  At that point I ask my son, ‘just hold on a second’ while I’m hoping and praying the cashier doesn’t need a price check on anything.  Alas my order is complete and we’re just about done when I hear “mommy, I REEEEALLY have to go….it’s an EMERGENCY”!!!!  Now I’m sweating – it’s a complete “code red” situation!  I ask the cashier to push our stuff aside, apologize to all the frowning customers and we’re making a mad dash to the restroom.  Honestly, I think the employees at my local grocery store think I work there, since I frequently run into them in their break room.  LOL  We run to the lady’s room and once again, another emergency diffused.

When my son started kindergarten last year there was all kinds of talk about how they’re all big kids, being responsible, etc.  This is great, except it’s total sabotage to a parent when these such ‘potty emergencies’ arise.  He’s in school,  he’s allowed to walk the halls, go to the bathroom alone (with a buddy), but then I take him somewhere and there is NO WAY I’m letting him go into a  men’s public restroom on his own.  So now I hear ‘why do I always have to go in the girls room’?  How do you explain to your innocent child that there might be crazy, perverted, lunatics lurking.  OK, so I’m slightly paranoid and just a bit over protective – but it’s how I roll.  LOL  What’s even better is trying to explain why he can come into the lady’s room, but Mommy can’t go into the men’s.  LOL   Such confusion!!  So I broke down ONE TIME…at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.  Just he and I, having a great day when I hear those magic words.  We head to the bathrooms and he’s pulling me to the men’s room.  Of course I’m tugging him in the other direction.  Now he’s raising his voice saying “emergency, emergency”, so I gave in, but not before I closed my eyes, opened the men’s room door and yelled “anybody in here”???  Thankfully, it was empty and my son ran in.  This mother stood guard outside that door as if I was guarding Buckingham Palace.  I was opening the door a crack to talk to him when a gentleman walked passed me and entered the bathroom.  I didn’t know what to do, so I just kept my back to the door, still opened a crack and talked to him until he was done, hands were washed and he was standing besides me.  He was very happy and proud while Mom was getting stares and chuckles from other parents, including the poor guy that walked in after my son.  LOL 

So I guess I’ll have to do this on a case by case basis – depending on where we are at the time.  Believe me, he’ll probably be in the lady’s room with me for quite a while longer, but I look forward to the day when I can just send him in on his own.  I don’t think I’ll be missing our adventures together in the lady’s room – at a baseball game, restaurant, theater, you name the venue – when have to “go” and he doesn’t,  he’ll find entertainment in opening my door, peeking under at the next stall or better still, trying to crawl under!!!  Aaaaahhhh boys – such fun…..but I love him!!

PEACE,

-judy

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My Battle With “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” by Amy Chua

Ok, so I was waiting to write my first blog until I finished my most recent book club book (yes, I moved to the suburbs AND joined a book club, but we’ll get to that in another blog.  The book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Motherher,” by Amy Chua creates I had real issues with.  You know when you are driving along the highway and you see what appears to be an accident so you tell yourself you wanna peak but then you realize it might be disturbing so you look away but then you are curious so before you know it you’ve looked again and see way more than you planned and at this point are so grossed out you wished you had never given in?  Well, that’s how the “Tiger Mother’ book was for me, completely disturbing.

Amy Chua is an uptight, pain in the butt perfectionist Chinese woman who was raised Catholic by two imigrant Chinese parents.  She is married to a nice, even- keeled American Man who was raised Jewish and together in New Haven Connecticut they have two daughters  who they had decided would be raised speaking Mandarin Chinese and be brought up in the Jewish faith.  Amy Chua identifies two general styles of parenting as “Chinese” parenting and “Western” parenting.  Within the Chinese parenting she used there is no tv, no cpmputer games, no playdates, no birthday parties, no sleepovers, no team sports, no drama or performing arts, and each child must play either the piano or the violin, whichever SHE chooses.  Also, only an “A” is accepted in school and her child must be number 1 in any and all classes attended.  The “Western” parent is anyone that I would consider normal who allows the above but in moderation. 

Reading Amy’s daily torturing of her daughters to go to school all day and then practice 5 hours of an instrument she forces them to play was miserable enough to have to read, I can’t even imagine how horrible it would have been to live through.  While a “Western” parent  thinks it is important for kids to learn to socialize and build relationships and individual comfidence by being part of a team, Amy thinks only having her girls on their own and being number 1 is the only thing important.   And wile “Western” parents say kind and encouraging words to their kids to help build their confidence and self esteem, Amy believes screaming and yelling at your child and telling them they are horrible unless they are the best is the better way to produce a confident child who will be perfect.  Yes, her girls did become very talented mucisions and one even played at Carnegie Hall and they both went on to perform together in Russia, but everything other than those events sounded like pure Hell.  This woman must be an absolute pain in the ass to live with and I don’t know how her husband could still be with her, to be perfectly honest.  Also, she spent any time that would be family time draggin the girls into New York City early on the weekends for private tutors and fancy music lessons.  Then when the family would have “quality time” on vacation together, even then the one daughter had to travel with ehr violin and stick to her grueling practicing schedule before seeing and sights while for the other daughter Amy would call the hotel in advance and make arrangements for the child to have blocked out practice times where they had access to the hotel’s lobby or bar piano, even if the only available times were at 5am or late at night.

Somehow the older daughter tolerated her Mother’s crazy parenting style, but the younger daughter and her would get into screeming matches regularly where they would say they hated eachother, and this went on for years.  Finally the younger daughter was a teenager and just flatout told her Mother she was quitting and that was that.  The violin at this point had taken over the girl’s life and after like 10 years of the daily 5 hour practices and constant screeming matches the mother finally allowed her to take a step back and keep it as something to do on the side.  In the meantime she could have been enjoyinhg her Daughter all of those years, and enjoying the quality fmaily time they could have focussed on in the past.  Doesn’t she realize that it is a priveledge that she may even have a better realtionship if they scream a little less and the child comes in number 2 in the class.   At one point she had hired the best tutor in Russia and the teacher was screaming at the childright in front of the Mother until the child was visibly shaken.  I would never sit there allow anyone  to scream over and over in my child face, we “Westerners” have a name for that…it’s called “child abuse.”  The fact that with her thinking this builds confidence or helps the child reach perfection is so twisted and disturbing.  The whole time I just kept thinking the whole family would have been better off if she herself had picked up a hobby that she spent 5 or 6 hours a day on so she would leave them the heck alone!   

My Advice for Ms. Chua would be that in your next life you should either lighten up or move back to China to raise your children so your children with think that you and their childhood are normal instead of living in a Western culture where they are always feeling like an outsider with a crazy Mom whose expectations they can never live up to!

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M.I.A.

So where do I even begin? I have been missing in action after a busy few weeks and I apologize as I know everyone has been anxiously awaiting my next post-LOL. I cannot speak for my other fellow “Modern Mom” bloggers (ahem, cough, cough) but I have been a bit crazed to say the least…

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to Newport Beach, California with the family to see my two sisters and do some Disneyland and Lego Land action. Overall the trip was a success. The plane ride out there was not nearly as bad as I had envisioned but as always when the kids are in tow there is bound to be some type of unwanted excitement. We arrived in California a day earlier than our booked timeshare week because the flights were cheaper, used some Marriott points and stayed in a hotel for free. Who wouldn’t want an extra day in Cali, right? Okay, so call me what you will, but I honestly do not know how people stay in a single hotel room with children for a week and call it a vacation. You know what I call it? HELL! I could not get my behind out of that room fast enough once the sun came up. 

Things took a turn for the better once we arrived at our final destination in Newport Beach, and it was amazing. All was right with the world one again. My daughter’s first Disney experience was completely adorable and my son of course loved every minute. Although what literally sent him over the edge was when we agreed to let him get the “Talking Woody” from Toy Story. I thought I was going to have to find an inhaler for the poor kid. After such a busy day at Disney we decided to chill at the resort the next day. We had great weather, and the kids were good too so we decided not to press our luck and go out to eat. Instead we grilled burgers and dogs at the resort while the kids played in the sandbox which was right next to our villa, very convenient. As my husband grilled, I took a sip of an ice cold beer and took it all in with a smile on face while I watched my kids laughing it up. No sooner did I swallow my first sip when the laughter turned into shrieks as my daughter took a spill face-first into the concrete sidewalk. As my husband scooped her up all I could see was a mouthful of blood. “We have a bleeder!” Not knowing if she was missing a tooth or half of her lip I began shoving napkins into her mouth so I could see something, anything. Meanwhile, about ten people were gathered around watching us while my son is standing there screaming, “Is she bleeding? Mommy, is there blood? Are her teeth gone? Is there a lot of blood? Can I see it? I want to see it”. I was sooooo close to yelling at him to shut it up but I was already embarrassed at what a spectacle we had become. Ten napkins later we finally controlled the bleeding only to discover a cut on the inside of her lip about 1 centimeter long. Are you kidding me? Not that I would ever want either of my children to be injured in any way, shape or form, but after all of that drama and only 1 centimeter? Seriously? The next day we decided to do a day at the beach but since my son slept in until 10AM we got a later start. Not quite sure if Logan was just tired or not feeling well we headed over to Balboa Island anyway. No sooner did my husband put the car in park, we heard a whimpered, “My tummy hurts” from the back seat. When I glanced back at Logan everything turned Matrix-like. I pushed my husband to get out of the car to grab Logan while I bent backward to reach for him, at which point Logan began to vomit all over himself and the rental car. Once he was outside of the car it was like nothing ever happened. As my husband was cleaning up the car and I was wiping off my son, Logan glanced over my shoulder and said,”I’m hungry, can I have a piece of pizza?” Needless to say a slice of pie, an ice cream cone, lollipop and two Swedish fish later he was running around on the beach without a care in the world. Ahhh, to be a kid again. Anyhoo, the rest of our visit was amazing and the time that we all got to spend with my family was priceless. Our final Newport night ended perfectly with wine and s’mores by the fire. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

On our way to the airport there was no traffic, the rental car return was flawless and we were at our gate in enough time to sit down and eat some lunch before boarding-SWEET!

Speaking of boarding, when the airline begins to call rows they usually announce that anyone who needs assistance and families with children board first, right? Then why does everyone and their mother get up, rush to the front of the gate and stand there staring at their tickets waiting to board? Really? I mean seriously! Attention All Douche Bags: The plane will not leave without you, I promise. Please allow the people whose rows WERE ACTUALLY CALLED to board when asked to. Thank you for you time.

Okay, I digress. Once in flight it was the usual. My daughter wants to get down and put everything and anything in her mouth while my son asks to go to the bathroom once everyone is settled. Although since my husband Don is a sticker for the rules, it was torture for him to allow my 5 year old to disobey the “seat belt” sign and get up to go to the bathroom…unbelievable. Yet he did not have a problem arguing with the flight attendant over a computer glitch with our credit card. His excuse,”She sucked!” Understood, but I almost lost it when 2 hours into the flight my daughter spiked a fever so high I was sweating holding her. I quickly asked Don to grab the Ibuprofen from the bin overhead and he responded  by saying, “The ‘seat belt’ sign is on.” WTF, are you kidding me? Live a little Don, I don’t think the 120 pound flight attendant is going to wrestle you to the ground to prevent you from getting medicine for your daughter who just might have a fever induced seizure on the plane. Okay, a bit dramatic I know, but honestly, I wanted to rip his testicles off right then and there. After the medicine kicked in, McKenna fell asleep and we made it home to good ‘ole CT with not an ounce of energy to spare.

California was an amazing trip and we are all excited to visit again sooner rather than later, but our trip gave us more than we bargained for…

The next day I took McKenna to the doctor only to discover that my poor baby had an ear infection which did not get 

better until three medications later. During this time we uncovered her penicillin allergy that was evident from the hideous rash that covered her body for two days. The kicker came when I found two huge lumps behind each ear accompanied by a sore throat. Ta-da, introducing…Mononucleosis! Yeah, Mono, the “kissing disease”, un-freakin-beleivable! I swear that’s the last time she will be locking lips with the Disney crew. That damn Minnie!

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Mother’s Day Campaign

So I am starting a movement to make Mother’s Day a weekly occurrence. As a mother, one day out of three hundred and sixty-five just doesn’t cut it. I’m not saying that I need a gift every week or any special treatment for that matter, actually I would like a little less treatment and a bit less attention. Hmmm, how can I say this nicely…LEAVE ME ALONE!

As moms we all know how hard it is to do anything by ourselves. Long gone are the simple tasks of ‘running’ into a store for some gum or a bottled water. Nothing is done quickly anymore. If I can’t find a drive-through coffee shop or someone else doesn’t get it for me then I am S.O.L. I know, I know, we all love our children and are blessed that they are in our lives, yeah, yeah, yeah I get it. But it doesn’t change the fact that a little “me time” is necessary, and for the most part I think it is fair to say that most of us just don’t get enough.

Since I lost my mother nine years ago Mother’s Day has always been difficult for me. But I am at the point now where I can reflect on the good memories and it isn’t as painful, although my little distractions (Logan and McKenna) are always very helpful. This year however, I would have done without the chaos and opted for a quiet walk to Starbucks by myself. Instead I got this…

It began the Friday before Mother’s Day when my husband and I received news of a family emergency. That evening my husband was steadfastly dealing with the situation while I got up around 11PM to tend to our daughter who decided to spike a fever. I quickly gave her some medicine and began calming her down in the rocking chair. Just as I was about to get up to lay her back down in her crib she belched and vomited. I cleaned the both of us and finally got her back to sleep although her cough continued to wake her about every three hours. Five o’clock AM arrived sooner than necessary as did McKenna and my allergies. Shortly after that, my husband had to leave for the day. Exhausted from the previous night’s activities I decided  karate class could wait and I opted to lug both kids to doctors instead. My allergies got worse. McKenna turned out to be fine but teething miserably combined with a bit of a cold so we all went home. For the rest of the day I became “that” Mom, the one who sits their kids in front of the TV for hours at a time although instead of enjoying this quiet moment this Mom was too busy itching my throat raw, sneezing and rubbing my eyes raw. Just when I decided to suck it up and take the kids for a walk around the neighborhood I looked outside and it was raining…back to TV. I took some allergy medicine and managed to get my son some exercise by putting in the Wii Fit for Kids, just before I reheated the previous night’s pizza for dinner. After a bath and numerous bedtime books the kids went to bed and my husband finally made it home. Allergies still kicking my ass.

Mother’s Day morning was good. The day began with great weather, well rested children and beautiful Mother’s Day cards from my family. It was very nice. After everyone got dressed we headed out to an early breakfast and then to church. The kids were well behaved and hey, my allergies weren’t even that bad! Then we were off to T-Ball and my day began to take a steady decline (see “Play Ball?” blog). My daughter fell asleep in the car so I stayed with her and played with my new iPhone 4. Ahhh, alone time, little did I know at that moment but that was probably the best part of the day. McKenna woke up miserable so I tok her out in the stroller to go watch the game only to witness my son ditch practice and disappeared with another Mom and her son to got to the bathroom without telling my husband, who at that time was coaching on the field. Once my husband realized Logan was missing he sprinted across the field to where he was heading and well, shall I say, words were exchanged and well, uh…Don was PIIIISSED! Toward the end of the game Logan had a big hit, and actually ran hard to first base, then McKenna belched and vomited. I sneezed three times and began rubbing my eyes-damn these allergies! After the game we went home and I bathed both kids while my husband began a Mother’s Day dinner…now we’re talking! With a salty rimmed margarita in my hand, two clean kids reeking havoc throughout the house, and a sexy hubby cooking dinner on the grill I felt like the luckiest woman alive and Mother’s Day didn’t seem half bad after all. That was until we realized that Logan had given our dog a shower and soaked our family room with the outdoor hose…AAAAACHOO these freakin allergies!  Happy Mother’s Day…this week:-) 

And thank you for a house full of people I love. Amen.”

– Ward Elliot Hour

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I love you more then….relish??

I’ve been having a little bit of an issue with random things disappearing from my house.  What’s strange is that it’s usually food that’s missing and it’s totally random.  An entire container of ‘no-salt spices’ went missing for almost three days.  Then it just showed up as mysteriously as is disappeared!  Honey mustard, here today, gone tomorrow….then it’s back again.  Then, finally a brand new jar of relish that was in the refrigerator barely 48 hours goes M.I.A. too!!

I seriously was starting to get a bit freaked out about my mental state.  This kind of thing doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, I’m left feeling like either there are little critters swiping stuff through the night to create their secret stash or I’m clearly losing my mind.  Part of me was just thinking, “it must be here somewhere” especially because I have a husband that puts things in weird places when he doesn’t know where they go.  So, I thought “wait, I don’t think motherhood has completely depleted me of my sanity yet”, I decided to interrogate the ‘usual suspects’.  Of course, my husband had no information….not like I expected to hear anything else.  Then I asked my son, who will fess up and tell the truth or rat out a person under no pressure or bribery whatsoever.  He also knew nothing.  That leaves my daughter….hmmm.  Could it be??  I call her at work to ask if she knew where the relish was.  To my surprise, she had it with her!  WTF??  Who takes relish to work?  It was then that I asked about the other missing food items to which she says “oh yeah, I take stuff to make my lunches at work”!!!  OK, I would normally not even care, but I guess it was driving me nuts with all these random disappearing acts so I kind of bitched her out a bit, she apologized and we hung up.

My daughter and I have a very close relationship and I speak with or text her a few times a day.  She lives with me, but she goes to college and works a lot and during the day we’re on different schedules.  We sign off every conversation by saying “I love you”, but that whole day I was quite busy and I pretty much rushed through every call because I was constantly multi-tasking.  A day or two goes by and I was having a quiet moment with my daughter and out of nowhere she says “I guess you’re not made at me anymore”….to which I was dumbfounded because I had no clue what she was talking about.  She clarified by saying she thought I was mad at her on the day of the “missing relish incident” because (as she timidly stated) “you didn’t say “I love you” the whole day.  She felt that I was doing that intentionally out of anger!  Aaaaaaaahhhh!   My heart stopped and I felt like someone punched me in the stomach.  I immediately hugged her and said “first, that’s insane if you think I’d be that petty – second, you dork, you seriously think I love relish that much, enough to make you feel bad – third, I LOVE YOU and I’m sorry you felt that way, it wasn’t intentional at all”.  We both laughed at how ridiculous it was, but ladies, talk about daggers to the heart!  It really made me step back and recognize how much of what we do and say affects our children every day.  I was especially moved at knowing how much comfort she gets in hearing me say those three simple words everyday…. which I know I will never take for granted….ever again!

PEACE,

– judy

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Age is Just a Number…Seriously?

I am turning 37 on May 3rd and I am a bit uneasy about the whole thing. I mean, I don’t feel 37, I don’t think I look 37, and I know I don’t act like I am 37, so what’s the dillio? At this point in my life I am finished growing my family. The husband, two kids and dog are enough to add unwanted years to my life. Therefore I should be happy that I will still be relatively young when both children are in high school and college, but I’m not. I secretly envisioned myself partying at frat parties with my daughter while my son’s friends remark at how they can’t believe that I am actually Logan’s Mom. I want to be able to go out with my husband in years to come and have people think that he hit the jackpot and married a hot younger woman-A LOT younger. Yes, this is vanity at its finest but I am just saying what most of you are already thinking…right?

I never felt as though I was getting old by any stretch until this past winter when I went back for my college alumni basketball game. During halftime of our ‘barn burning’ performance a few of the current players came up to talk with us. I was having a great time, chatting with my girls and reminiscing about the days when we were hot shit. That was until one player asked what year we had all graduated. Not hesitating for a moment I said nonchalantly, “1996,” to which she replied about three octaves higher than necessary “Oh my God, that is sooooooo funny, that was the year I was born!” I looked at my girlfriend Kristen dumbfounded, “Yeah okay, ha,ha, ha…that isn’t possible! Is it?” Unfortunately it is possible and was in fact the truth. For the first time EVER in my life I was actually depressed solely because of my age. I began running my fingers over my face looking for wrinkles while scanning the gym for my walker. I mean seriously, what a downer. 

So because I always try to put a positive spin on things, I decided to make a list of 10 reasons why 37 won’t suck too bad:

  1. No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks…
  2. No more hangovers.
  3. No more condoms (vasectomy’s are AWESOME).
  4. I have accomplished two of my life dreams-becoming a  mother and a wife.
  5. I have acquired so much more patience than I ever thought possible.
  6. I am not quite “middle-aged” just yet.
  7. I can use the kids as an excuse for almost anything.
  8. I only found 3 gray hairs.
  9. On a good day I might find more than $5 in my wallet.
  10. I finally, truly like me!

Okay, so I suppose 37 doesn’t look that bad after all. Therefore I will succumb to the inevitable, stick my tongue out at Mother Nature and yell “Catch me if you can,”  all the way to the finish line. Cheers to never growing up!

Yours in Health,

Melissa 

“The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.” – Hervey Allen

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Spring Break

It was spring break for public schools and we started ours with yet another case of ‘strep’!  This time there were no symptoms except the bulging, red tonsils so I was a bit reluctant to even head to the docs office.  But the fact that it lingered on for 3 days and my son was starting to talk like Marlon Brandon as the Godfather, I broke down to get him checked.  To my surprise it was full blown strep once again – which he had just had earlier this month.  So the beginning of the week was a bit dull, although my son was sick, he was bouncing off the walls.  Twice, my face and body “accidentally” became a target during his personal indoor soccer game – which scoring a goal was a success when you hit the front window!  Oh yeah – it was gettin’ crazy!  On day three, I take him to an indoor playground for a play date and all seems to go well, but I contact the doc again, because he’s now having some stomach trouble from the meds.  They agree to change the script, to which I say “sure, that’s just great….I just paid $50 for antibiotics that ran right through him (literally) for 3 days and now I’m starting all over with something else….thank you oh so much”.

Now, I throw caution to the wind and forge ahead with our big Spring Break adventure for Thursday.  We were heading to the “Big Apple”….that’s right, the melting pot of the USA.  Visiting New York can be quiet an adventure, even for a veteran.  I had planned to take him back to CMOM (Children’s Museum of Manhattan – see the “Family Fun” page on this site).  So Thursday comes and we decide it would be easier to take the train and then the subway.  Nooooo prob!!!  I can get around Manhattan pretty well, how bad could this be?  Well first off, the train is so crowded we have to stand all the way to Grand Central.  Once in Grand Central Terminal I ask the information desk how to take a subway.  Turns out you need a card of some sort and you have to first take the shuttle to the subway.  Hmmm, so far, so good.  Let’s just say these damn metro cards or whatever the hell they’re called were THE biggest nightmare.  They only let you buy one ticket at a time or it just plain doesn’t work etc.  Anyway, we finally go through the turnstile thing and find the subway train.  Wait, something doesn’t look right….is it me or are these trains getting smaller?   It literally reminded me of a cartoon where you’re packed in like sardines.  We jump into the subway train and once again, we’re standing.  My son is being so great so far and not fazed by any of this.  I nearly toppled a poor college kid with the motion of the train stopping and since we were ‘so friendly’ now, I asked advice on getting to CMOM.  So, my new friend was our subway tour guide after that.  LOL

We get to CMOM, we have a great time and spend several hours there.   I figured we would probably stop for an early dinner first because I needed to fuel up before attempting the subway again.  So I asked a nice woman, who just happened to be a native New Yorker if there was a place close by.  Well, I was very excited when she told me of a place that “although doesn’t look like much on the outside, the food is great and they give the kids balloons” etc.  So we leave CMOM and we’re walking to this hidden treasure.  I finally find the place and as we’re getting closer I notice nice outdoor seating, the inside was small but what burst my bubble was  the two gentlemen (ahem) sitting outside that looked like they might have just had a meeting with the parole board.  Sorry, but NO!  So, I nonchalantly, do a u-turn and decide we’re going to Ruby Tuesday’s in Times Square. Of course my son is whining “but I’m hungry mom” and I’m rummaging through my bag for any snack to hold him over.  In my haste, I run down into the subway terminal but it doesn’t look quite like it did before.  Hmmm – I ask a nice lady waiting for her train if this is heading downtown to Times Square.  She so sweetly tells me “oh no honey, you’re going uptown”.  OMG!!!  What is wrong with me!  She tells me to go up and over to the other side to get around without paying for yet another of those annoying cards.  I manage to do that painlessly and downtown, here we come.  During dinner I was asked our server all about the shuttle and subway etc. and he informs me that I DO NOT have to buy a ticket for my son – “he can just go under”.  WTF??  Was anyone going to tell me this while I was fighting with those metro card machines??  Now it’s getting quite late, so we head to the shuttle once again and now I’m a pro.  I go up to buy MY ticket and it’s now getting really crowded.  We get up to the turnstile thing and I say to my son “when I run the card through, you go under”.  “OK, got it Mommy”!!  So I run the card and my son PUSHES the turnstile and I am stopped short because I no longer have access.  MY SON JUST TOOK MY TURN!!  OMG!!!  So now he’s on one side and I’m on the other!  This was clearly the evenings’ entertainment for the commuting pros that were out that night – and very evident that I was “an out of towner”!!  So, the nice Port Authority guy tells me to go through the emergency door instead (as he chuckles).  Now, for some reason I’m getting confused and I have my son constantly chanting “are we still in New York”?  Not to mention that he is touching EVERYTHING he sees (billboards, garbage bins, etc)!!  I’m skeeving and want to powerwash him ASAP.  I can’t seem to find which train is the shuttle because I’m confusing Track 7 with Train 7.  After stopping to ask a trio of NYPD and their gorgeous German Sheppard for directions, then, because at this point I think I’ve developed short-term memory loss, I stop once more to ask a train conductor – we finally find our way.  Once in Grand Central it’s a piece of cake – finally homeward bound!

I would just like to say that everyone I spoke to from Grand Central, to CMOM, to all the random people in and around the subway terminals were very, very friendly and helpful to this daring mom toting a small energetic boy around the city.  We had beautiful weather, lots of adventures and my son and I had a great day together.  Thank you NYC until next time!

PEACE!  – judy

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Play Ball!?

Logan at bat under my husband's watchful eye

My 5 year old son began another spring season of tee-ball, yeah me…NOT! I say this not because I don’t love watching my son play sports and have fun, but it’s extremely difficult for me to watch him sit on second base picking dandelions or running around tapping his teammates in the crotch asking them if they had a hard cup on their penis too…okay, that is pretty funny,but you get the picture.

Both my husband and I played collegiate basketball and are VERY competitive, yet at this point we don’t want to pressure our children into activities that they do not enjoy. If they begin an activity they have to finish it but they do not have to do it again next season if they aren’t interested. At this age I believe in exposure, exposure, exposure. Although I still feel at age 5 it might be too soon. Their short attention spans, incessant whining and multiple potty breaks are enough to push any coach into early retirement. I don’t know about your town, but around here it’s easy to become a frustrated parent after you see that your future MLB All-Star is playing with ants instead of fielding ground balls and the 4 year old phenom on his team is catching pop flies. Believe me, it happens. My baby sitter who takes a full load of college classes and teaches dance is amazed how many of her 7 year old students have busier schedules than she does. Within one week some of these kids have dance, a tutoring class, swimming, tennis and school!

But this is how things work today, right? You begin playing Mozart, Bach and Beethoven to your unborn child through headphones attached to your belly, after birth the “Baby Einstein” videos, then you move onto the “My Baby Can Read” series, and after your 2 year old is reading you bedtimes stories you sign them up to master a second language…for some, a third. Once they are walking then come sports. Swim lessons on Mondays, karate or dance on Thursdays, and soccer on Sundays. By Kindergarten the only way you know your kid might be headed in the right direction is if they are reading at a tenth grade level, doing your taxes and able to bend it like Beckham! Okay, so I might be exaggerating with the taxes-that stuff is confusing-but either way you look at it,it’s regoddamndiculous!

My husband and I believe in letting kids be just that…kids! And during every tee-ball, soccer or karate practice I work very hard at reminding myself that he is only 5 and try to enjoy these very few precious moments. But I will admit at last week’s tee-ball practice when my son said, “Daddy I have to poop reeeeeeally bad! We have to go home right now before I get a butt affection”, I was not one bit disappointed! 

Yours In Health,

Melissa 

This song is great! It completely epitomizes my son’s baseball “games”.


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Filed under Melissa

Get Outta Town!

As Easter and Passover rapidly approaches, I bet lots of you ladies have made your plans to get outta dodge…..

I made reservations at a swanky resort in Turks and Caicos, lined up the nanny, made my spa appointments, got my spray tan to boost my self-love factor and even upgraded to business class!  Then the phone rang and I just closed down the whole fantasy …bye bye expedia, maybe one day we’ll close a deal – but not today.  Oh what a fantasy it was, but reality?  Reality is visiting your relatives, in-laws whether you like them or secretly hate them –  not that I do, but you might – but then again, I don’t have in-laws….anymore (muu-wah-ha-ha-ha!).  Or maybe you’re going to a super family friendly locale that tries to appeal to parents too, but really just mocks your inability to time-manage on vacation.

*If you do go to visit friends, make sure they are the ones who have kids.  Those pre-child homes are just not a good time, the mental note taking/observations of what you do and how you do it is too much pressure for a vacation.  Potentially worse are the child-free couples you know.  That environment does two things: it makes you feel like you have totally lost sight of yourself which makes you sad.  Then makes you feel like your kids are maniacal little crazy people who have no idea how to behave in a home( full of breakable things), you start to understand those people who have their kids in harnesses…wait no – that’s just crazy!!…but hmm…. Trust me, it never ends well….

For those of you first timers that still feel like a vacation is about letting go of time, unplugging from the day-to-day, decompressing and recharging, reconnecting with the ones you love in an environment specifically designed to nurture relationships and inspire feelings of togetherness….yeah – scrap that one…it’s all about the kids – so get your head in the game and get ready to rumble…

You will be in the pool for hours you will be digging in the sand for hours and you will be in the water park or petting zoo or outdoor museum or whatever, for hours…you better wear sunblock, that is one lesson you don’t want to learn for real…Check out Melissa’s blog about fitness.  It is so important to be able to keep up with your kids.  And if you are fit and strong, you will be sure to enjoy yourself too…

But planning a family vacation is a well-honed skill.  It’s like sex, the first time is ok, but as the years go by and you discover the tricks that really work for you, your experience gets so much better.  Ahhh, that first time, overpacked, overplanned and overworked – you know you came back feeling like crap.

But then you learn how to do it right.  Whether it’s the airfare, hotel rate, excursion tickets, transportation to/from….you become a mad scientist.  Mixing points with coupons, working deals direct with the vendor – it’s alive! ALIVE!!!!!  I’ve managed a few tricks of my own, but the latest and greatest has totally eliminated my need to bring extra paperwork….just have your boarding pass sent direct to your phone….it’s heaven.  And almost all the major airlines are in on it….come on – everybody’s doing it….

You just pull up the email containing your boarding pass, hold it over the scanner and move on.  Yes, if you have multiple boarding passes, you will have open up each email to reveal each pass and scan each one…but if you’re traveling with kids you’re called up first to board anyway, so the whole process takes about 30-60 seconds, big whoop….you will never have to deal with a chocolate smothered, orange juice soiled paper boarding pass again!

I gots mine, you gets yours….

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