Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unfamiliar social situation....what's a mom to do? No. Seriously, what DO you do??

  Very few things rattle me and leave me speechless. Even fewer things render me entirely awestruck and in an almost frozen physical state, especially when these things happen to involve the most precious person in the world to me: Nixon. That's exactly what happened today and (thankfully) K was with me but even she was puzzled by the "correct" way to address it and handle it. I'm left still feeling like I failed Nixon somehow by my inability to chose a reaction to the situation. I did react, when I felt I needed to react, because it was Nixon's behavior that needed to be addressed and corrected. (OH my sweet potato did it ever! I have NEVER watched my child do what he did today and I hope to never have to watch him do it again! I was appalled at his behavior and disgusted that I was the ONLY mother....well hold on I am getting so far ahead of myself....)


  From the beginning: I've been a member of a local meetup group (albeit an inactive member lately) for a while. There's been several changes due to new members joining, "old" members becoming less active due to recent family additions or deployments or (in my case) an avoidance of all outdoor activities during the summer months and just general life happening in general. Last month there was an email for a pumpkin painting playdate. I RSVP'd "yes" and was (foolishly??) looking forward to it. With a little convincing, K agreed to bring Miss Macy with baby girl and join us for the festive playdate. (I should mention my gut kept trying to get me to cop out all week. I ignored it, because I figured it was just anxiety over meeting new moms. I like the moms who I met when the group first started and I wish I had spent more time going to the meetups, but sometimes I just couldn't because of Nixon's naps or Mac's schedule. The ladies are still always super nice when I see them and a couple of them have even friended me on facebook and comment or like random posts/links/photos I post. I was really genuinely looking forward to today's playdate...)


   We arrived a little late, let the kids paint their pumpkins, sat them on the table to dry and went to grab some snacks like the rest of the group had begun doing. I recognized 3 of the moms there out of the 8 or 9 there (I think). K and I sat with our kiddos on the opposite side of the room from the rest of the group of moms. MY reasoning was: the kids were running around on the open side of the rec room and I like to be close enough to grab Nixon if I have to. (All the other moms were on the farthest side of the room even though there was an open door to the outside). Yes, I might be overprotective but...I can afford to be. I did smile and say hello to the moms I knew and tried hard to not give off a bitch vibe. I do get overwhelmed when there are THAT many kids roaming around and I'm trying to keep tract of my singleton, making sure he's not running outside (he did a couple times to watch a street sweeper cleaning the parking lot) or trying to catch an elevator (he thought about it twice). 


   So here comes my dilemma: There were a couple older kids who were pushing down and bullying the littler kids. They'd yell in the little kids faces, knock them to the ground..one jumped over Nixon (Nixon did his usual fall-on-the-floor-in-a-pile act and the kid just jumped over Nixon). One little girl was wearing a cast on her arm, this one kid in particular, knocked HER over! No mother did anything. At this point, I didn't even know who belonged to what mom. (to be honest, I still don't know who they all went home with!)


  Nixon, as I sat watching him, targeted a child smaller than him. Nixon grabbed this child's arm and then pushed him over another little boy already on the floor! Are you fucking kidding me?!?!? OH HELL NO! NOT MY SON! I raced up out of my chair, grabbed Nixon's hand, made him apologize to the boy and then put him in the farthest corner for Time Out because "Nixon you do not target someone smaller than you, you do not push or hit and you are not a bully!" Oh you'd have thought I was beating his ass, but I'll be damned if my son is going to become a bully just because he's thrown into a roomful of bullies!


   After Nixon served his time he started playing again. He'd run around with them, then run off by himself. He's chase and be chased and would always seem to find Miss Macy in the end. 


    Then came this:


   Nixon and another little girl were growling at each other. The little girl would growl with her fists clinched at her side, Nixon would just growl then laugh. Another little girl came over (so now 2 little girls and Nixon) and lightly punched Nixon in the face! Nixon just looked at her. She punched him in the middle of the chest. Once. Twice. Three times. I sat in shock trying to figure out what the fuck can I do?!?! Can I get up and hold her hand and say "Who does she belong too?" and explain the situation? Nixon wasn't hurt but he sure looked confused. I tried to get him to come over to me but he said "Mommy I'm not bad.", which of course he was absolutely correct. I finally said "Hey, we don't hit!" just as a mom got up....and walked by the situation to address another one involving the kid the jumped over Nixon earlier. This time he and a couple other boys had pinned down a little girl and were making her cry! THIS got one of the moms off her ass and claim him as hers! But the hitting situation with Nixon was never addressed by an adult. (However Karma caught up to her a few minutes later when little "rocky" got rocked by someone else pretty hard! I don't take joy in anyone's pain, but I do admit I like seeing Karma at work...even as a child you're never too young for a good Karma backlashing!)


   So first, I can say I'm proud that Nixon didn't fight back after going into time out. 


   Next, as a mom who is admittedly socially awkward, what is the proper way to address a situation like that?? I know putting my son in TO for hitting/knocking over a child is how I handle it, but if your child is being hit and you don't know the child or the parent the child belongs to.....WHAT DO YOU DO?


   K and I were equally stunned/puzzled/appalled by the total free-for-all the older kids had because of the moms inability to let go of their newest bundles of joy (aka infants). They all sat far from the kids playing, talking and socializing barely ever checking on their kids after they'd hopped them up on sugar, nevermind helping to clean up! 


  I don't have an aggressive child. I don't have multiple children. I don't deal with fights. When Nixon and Miss Macy have playdates together they play. They may squabble over toys but they don't hit/bite/knock down each other...and if they ever did, K and I have no problem putting either child in Time Out when the situation calls for it. But what do you do when the aggressor is an unknown child??


   Anyone with any play group experience willing to give some advice?? Please post here for some socially awkward mommas in need of tips!! K and I both will greatly appreciate the help and support. Any other playdate from hell stories, share those too! Share this blog and spread the word....this needs to stop and I need help.....bullying at the age of 5 and under, really??? It's so sad because the moms are right there and too busy to put a stop to it. IS there a right way to handle this??


(PS....it was a PMM sighting in spades yo!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

I am an ONLY CHILD

I have no siblings
In my house there are 3 at the dinner table,
mom, dad and me.

I have no one to compete with, 
no one to be compared to and no one to be bullied by,
in our home it's a bit quiet that's true.

I'm often told "you must be lonely", 
i find it odd because 
I have family, I have friends and I have other stuff I like to do, 
why would I be lonely?
Are you??

Mommy tells me I'm her favorite, 
and I know it's true
because besides daddy there's no one else for her to pick from
and I like it that way.

My friends have brothers and sisters,
and I like them okay, 
but if siblings are so great, why do they always want to come to my house to play?

Dad told me once, he and mom knew I was all they needed
as soon as they held me for the first time,
I made everything feel complete inside.
That made me feel good, all happy and warm.
Like I was the most perfect kid to have ever been born.

I like being an only child,
I don't care if some people think I'm lonely
or spoiled or anything else. 
My mom and dad are happy with me
and I'm happy with them.
And that's all we need!


**written for Nixon, because there are so few good positive messages that are for only children. I see lots of brothers/sisters poems and things, but nothing for or about an only child. It seemed wrong and I was inspired. I hope Nixon grows up believing these things! because he IS my favorite, he DOES complete us and we ARE happy as a family of 3!**

Sometimes you just suck it up

This week has been less than awesome and yet another lesson in the military comes first. Like I needed a refresher course or something. Apparently, the universe felt I did need a refresher course this week and gave it to me at the expense of our family photos.


Now, these family photos are supposed to be taken and used on our holiday card so time is kind of short. We had to reschedule the original date because of weather and illness (thanks again for that cold Mac!). I picked this Thursday, we were going to the Japanese Gardens for some awesome photos of us surrounded by beautiful Japanese surroundings. These plans, the location, the date, the photographer....have been made since August so kind of a big deal, right???


Not.According.To.The.Navy!


Wednesday evening Mac gets a phone call and told he has a work related meeting at 1300 (1pm) Thursday and he can't miss it. Our photos are in a location about 30-45 minutes driving distance away, depending on traffic, one-way and we were leaving at 930. Time wise, it wasn't looking good, so regardless of how long these plans have been made and how ridiculous it is to get a call at 9pm and basically told "hey you have shit to do tomorrow at 1pm, so don't make any plans, even though it is your day off. too bad so sad" by someone who Mac has gone to his house and delivered messages in person, I had to suck it up and contact our photographer and (yet again) reschedule our photos because choosing a location closer was NOT an option to me!


I get shit like this comes with the military lifestyle and usually, I'm okay with it. But, come-the-fuck-on!, less than a day's notice about a meeting ON a day off?!?!? And getting the call after the end of the business day??? At some point, shit like this has got to give, right?? It wasn't just Mac, they were calling in people off of leave but who were still on the island (sucka'!) and I can only imagine how pissed that person was and I feel for them as well. And I know it's not Mac's watch commander's fault he's just delivering the message but there are far better ways to do it than just calling at 9pm and then trying to rush off the phone. Like, oh I don't know, come by the house and return the shit you have that you borrowed from Mac that day...man up and talk to him in person?!?! Sure, you and I both know he's going to be upset, but truth be told if the roles were reversed wouldn't you be?? Who wouldn't be pissed to get less than 18 hours notices about a work related meeting, costing them plans with their family that have been planned for over 6 weeks, pissing off his wife because this pushes back ordering holiday cards and revealing our next duty station to friends and family.....so yeah, who wouldn't be upset, right???


But, fingers crossed, we've re-rescheduled for this Friday. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

The ups & downs of potty training

As I predicted, when Nixon got the hang of using the potty he was golden! He'd run to the potty, pee and come over for his song and reward. Well, the reward thing quickly backfired on us. See, we were doing candy (M&Ms for pee and fun sized candy bars for poop and staying dry) at the beginning, but I soon realized Nixon was getting WAY too much sugar during the day. 
My solution was to switch out the pee and poop candy rewards for trail mix, which on any given normal day Nixon would eat up! Turns out potty training does not fall under the category of "any given day". (We kept the candy reward for Nixon staying dry though because that has become our biggest hurdle. He knows HOW to use the potty but he's not always all about going on the potty when he's wearing undies)
The first couple offers of trail mix went okay. But when trail mix was still all Nixon was getting as a reward the next day, he was less than enthused. Today is day 3 of trail mix and he's decided he's not going to use the potty at all. I've got one more trick up my sleeve, Nixon's done so good at potty training this month I'm not ready to let him give up over rewards....trail mix with yogurt covered raisins! Nixon might think the yogurt pieces are candy enough to appease him to keep potty training. 


Fingers crossed.


On the upside: Nixon's been successful at staying dry when we've gone out to run errands or eat out for lengths up to 2 hours! That's huge seeing how just last month he was in diapers all the time. I've made up songs for his staying dry, pooping on the potty and peeing on the potty....and I don't feel the least bit silly singing them to him and clapping whenever he proclaims "Ta-Da" over his potty!! It's what being his mom is all about, building up his confidence by any means necessary, within reason of course.   

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who says lying doesn't pay off???

Well my friends, it may have taken over 3 years but my well planned lie is finally paying off!


What?? I'm not making any sense? Ah, I see, you're new to my blog! Well, let me give you the back story. 


The lie began while I was pregnant with Nixon and in the process of changing all my id's to my married name. Turned out the hardest one to get done was my dependent id. Basically, its a card that says I'm Mac's problem and responsibility......SUCKER!!!  I needed our marriage license (check), my drivers license in new married name (check), my social security card in new married name (check) and a day my husband/sponsor had off....which became the bane of my existence for about 6 weeks! FINALLY, the stars aligned and we got an appointment for this all important id made. (See, without this id all my prenatal visits were becoming a giant clusterfuck of epic mistakes all involving who I was and what/who I "belonged" too. At one point I was promoted and switched branches while given a new name, in one visit!!! Epic failures, people, epic failures!)


So, the appointment was in July, I was almost halfway through my pregnancy and part of the id requires your height, eye color, hair color (this is usually only right for a few weeks of any given year, in my case), birthday and the dreaded.....weight. Enter: THE LIE!!! After buttering up the colossal bitch we were assigned, I asked "current weight? (gesturing AROUND the belly) or pre-pregnancy weight?" This bitch turned merciful angel said "pre-pregnancy weight. no one but your doctor needs to know pregnancy weight" TA-DA!!!


THE LIE: Now, the reality is, before getting pregnant I was "around" 150lbs give or take 5-10. BUT, I knew I wasn't happy there, and I wanted to drop them anyways, so I gave my post-pregnancy GOAL weight of 135lbs. Sadly, the baby weight did not just melt right off my body like all the stars and celebrities have it happen (lying bitches!! every last one of you!!) and I've been slowly chipping away at the pounds now for almost 3 years. I'll lose some, I'll maintain for a while and then I'll gain. But never too much to be concerned no more than 5-10 pounds.


This year's been a great year for me weight wise. I've broken my latest and hardest weight plateau of 140lbs recently and I've managed to keep steadily losing weight by just watching what I'm eating. It's hard and I do have a couple cheat days here and there, but it's all paying off. How do I know??


I'm 2 pounds away from that weight on the back of my id card! So I'm not totally carrying around a lie in my wallet anymore. It's more like a couple extra venti lattes ;)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This is how I do rewards!

Well, so far today we've had ONE accident very first thing in the morning and then Nixon's been potty training gold the rest of the day! Right down to pooping on the potty again! Honest to goddess I don't quite know how to handle this sudden potty professionalism, it almost makes me feel like he's growing up too fast. On the other hand....no diaper changes does seem like an awesome way of life. 
I'm so torn!!!!


Anyways...after naptime today, I decided to take a short venture out of the house for the first time since Thursday. Nixon and I got dressed, Nixon wore an Easy-Up at his request and we walked to the shoppette down the street because I needed more "nummies" for Nixon's reward jar and I might have been getting a touch of the cabin feveries again. Nixon picked up a bag of bite sized candy bars, I grabbed skittles (because I think even Nixon can get bored of M&Ms) and I let him get a 5 pack of matchbox cars. Why? Because I'm a sucker that's why!


The whole point of this blog??


Nixon was dry the whole walk!! He got his first bite sized candy bar for that fete and was super proud of himself because I was super proud of him!!! There's another made-up song that goes with this, but only Nixon needs to hear it! 


He's pooping now....gotta go get his candy bar reward! Is that weird?? A candy bar for dropping a log??? No?? Good!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm that mom...not to be confused with THAT mom!

Most moms know, I'm sure, potty training sucks! It's hard on you, the child, your carpets/floors, laundry, pets (trust me Arwen is traumatized for life after this week) and your social life takes a serious dive for a while in the beginning too. Oh, and a heads up for stay-at-home-moms....don't expect your husbands to be too gungho in the help department. Sure Mac wants to help, but if I decide to switch something up, like the rewards to try to encourage Nixon to sit on the potty more often in the beginning, Mac kind of backed off with a "this is your show, you run it" attitude. Pretty much the story of most things in our parenting way of life, to be fair to Mac. It's not new, but I was just hoping since Mac has a penis and Nixon has a penis and since I don't have a penis with the common denominator being a penis, that maybe Mac would help out a little more. Afterall, what the hell do I know about tucking it when you sit or how to aim it when you stand??!?!? I mean I'd love to be able to pee standing up without dribbling it down my leg and into my shoe, but I can't. 


So back in August...really, August already feels like forever ago!....I tried to potty train Nixon and for a few days it went awesome! But then Mac was home and due to this (common??) Alpha male bullshit battles and Mac forgetting Nixon is 2 not 12, Nixon stopped going on the potty and I decided to wait until Mac was working days again before trying to potty train Nixon again. It'd be less stressful for everyone if I could do it on MY terms (for the most part) with little to no input from Mac the first few days. 


Well....Mac went back to day shift Monday. On Sunday we actually started by letting Nixon try wearing his Easy-Ups and get a reward from his Potty Reward jar (filled with M&Ms). On Monday we hit it for the full day. He had a couple accidents but did better than expected. Tuesday was okay. Wednesday and Thursday Mac was off and home, but Nixon still sat on the potty but only to get M&Ms, because I had upped his "nummies" to a couple, instead of one, for sitting since he was starting to refuse to sit anymore. This confused Mac and led to him getting frustrated by my rule changing (to be fair I would've too if he'd done it, but at the same time I knew Nixon was on a roll and I didn't want him to lose the momentum he'd made during the week, even if it meant giving in and handing over extra M&Ms just to keep his little ass on the potty longer!)


Mac went back to work Friday, and it was Nixon and I again. Nixon did okay in the potty training. He wore his Pull-Ups and Easy-Ups and used the potty a couple times. No accidents on the floor but no real forward progress. So a good day but not stellar day. 


Then we had today. What can I say about today??? Ever had a day where you just smile because it was such an awesome day? Even if there were a couple times you almost puked? Or a day that really makes parenting worth it because you can see the pride and self-esteem just bursting out from every pore of your child??? And you know that you helped give him that pride by praising him for doing something awesome over-and-over-and-over again?? THAT was today!


First, the potty is in the living room (for now). So Nixon gets to watch his shows and sit on the potty. Well, today he was just running around naked and had wet 3 pairs of undies, REAL big boy undies, because he was too into the tv. So, I turned it off after giving him the usual 1,2,3 warning. When I hit 3 and he still hadn't    sat down, off went the tv. I have NEVER seen him take his underwear off so quickly or pee as fast as he did when the tv was turned off. He stood up, said "ta da mommy!", grabbed the removable bowl, took it to the bathroom, emptied it in the toilet, flushed the toilet, washed his hands, put the little bowl back in his potty and sat right back on it all while I sang the "Nixon pee peed in the potty" song I made up just for him! 


After that it was all uphill. Nixon sat on the potty unprompted the rest of the day. He peed at least a dozen times, pooped twice almost three times and only had one more accident before bedtime. I can not put into words how proud I was when I saw he let a really BIG poop go in the potty. (For moms who haven't gone through potty training, the pooping in the potty is scary thing for most kids and some don't go in the potty for a really long time) For this reward, no M&M would do! NO, he got a song, a kiss, a hug and a new car!!! Well a new toy car. 


And before anyone asks....NO I did not take a picture of Nixon's first poop in the potty! I am NOT Kate fucking whackjob Gosslin, thankyouverymuch!


Here's hoping tomorrow continues as well as today went. Monday we're off to get Nixon more undies because it turns out he's out grown some of his already, so we're buying some plain white ones so I can iron-on some dinosaurs, since he wants dino undies and we can't find some reasonably priced ones.