We’re all breaking our children a little bit.

 

So, we’re all breaking our children a little bit. It’s unavoidable in the human plight. But that doesn’t mean we don’t constantly strive to breed goodness into them, as well.

 

I’m over at The MOB Society today talking about how to fight the breaking process a bit. I’m not trying to guilt trip you, I promise. The last thing we need in the world is more mommy guilt. But I hope that it inspires you to work towards a wholer future. Click the link below to check it out.

 

One Way To Stop Breaking Your Children.

 

I’ve made many mistakes and have many regrets, especially from those beginning years. I share lessons that I learned in parenting toddlers, preschoolers, and children in my book Parenting Wild Things.

 

It contains the things I wish I had known before I started unintentionally breaking my children.

-Jessica

Parenting – What It’s Really Like

Parenting. No one thinks they’re ready, and yet at the same time most of us start out thinking we know exactly what it’s all about. Parenting is easy before you ever have kids.

 

But what is parenting really like? Well, follow this easy 15 step program and you too can experience the joys of parenthood.

 

What it's really like to live with kids.

 

Step 1. Take the toilet paper roll off. Put an empty one on.


Step 2. Invite someone else to poop in your bathroom. Leave the fan off. Occasionally leave the door open as well.


Step 3. Do not flush.


Step 4. Repeat this every few hours throughout the day.


Step 5. Pay someone to lock themselves in the bathroom for at least 5 minutes whenever they see you walking towards it.


Step 6. Have someone randomly approach you 5 times an hour and ask, “What can I eat?” Have them reject all your suggestions.


Step 7. Have two other people paid to repeat step 6. Make sure they wait until you finally sit down after having successfully fed the first person AND make sure they reject what you fed the first person, unless that was the last one of those. Then have them want it, and only it.


Step 8. Pay three people to wrestle in your living room until one of them gets hurt. Make sure they understand not to stop when you tell them to.


Step 9. Pay one of the 4 people to whisper whenever they talk to you, and yell whenever they talk to everyone else.


Step 10. Have one of these same people open every door, drawer, bag, lid, etc in the house. Have one of the other people be unable to do any of this, ever.


Step 11. Wet a dog. Leave it in your house, just for the general dampness and smell. Not because you own a dog. If you do own a dog, it will have escaped during step 10.


Step 12. Have someone turn on everything. If it has batteries, leave it on until the batteries die.  Make sure they tell no one.

 

Step 13. Take one bite out of every fruit you own. Display them on bookshelves and dressers.

 

Step 14. Pay someone to pee in your bed. Make sure they wait until you have no clean sheets.

 

Step 15. Last but not least, have someone come into your room when you’re fast asleep and stare at you until their sheer presence rips you from peaceful slumber and into the horror movie that is now your life.

 

You did it!

Doesn’t that feel great? And remember, there’s no guarantee you’re not screwing them up and making crappy adults. But hey, at least they’ll be out of the house one day and dealing with their own little bed-wetters.

 

P.S. Now go offer to babysit for your frazzled friends who need a break.

P.P.S. We love our kids. This is satire.

P.P.P.S. What would you add to the list?

 

Jessica

 

The Half-Truth about Your Parenting

 

In my experience, nothing can make you feel as bad about yourself has the hard road of parenting. Not even department store change room mirrors.

 

I’m over at A Deeper Story today talking about these magic, undoing years. Click the link below if you’d like to read it.

 

What The Devil Whispers

 

Jessica

What Spells Love?

I stare at the computer screen, bleary eyed, sipping coffee while I sort my morning emails.

 

He appears beside me, four years old and unaffected by the morning.

“Mom?”

 

I continue to sort.

“Mom?”

 

Still I don’t respond.

“MOM!”

 

Roused by the increasing insistence of his plea I match his volume, annoyed.

“HMMMMM?”

 

Finally, willing to finish his sentence, he calmly says,

“Mom, how do you spell love?”

 

When I managed to return to physical form after melting into a pile of gooey mommy shame, I grab him by the head, pull him into my lap, and kiss as much l-o-v-e into his forehead as he can stand.

 

-Jessica

Saying Yes – The Trampoline

don't say no to your kids

It’s that time of week again when we focus on saying yes to our children and quit being such a no-sayer.

 

Okay, so my yes this week might surprise you.  And it might seem insanely silly. But here it is: This week I said yes to . . . playing on the trampoline with The Wild Things.

 

parents should play with their children

 

You might find this hard to believe ( or not ) but I don’t play with my children enough.

 

There, I said it.

 

You see, it’s just that … well … they have each other.  I bore half a baseball team for crying out loud.  So, in a sense, they don’t need me to play with them.  But in a more real sense, they and I both need me to play with them.  Because I get bogged down in the maintenance of motherhood. I wash dishes and cook food and fold laundry.

 

The danger is that being a mother becomes a job.  With most of the fun bits cut out. The Wild Things become obstacles to my mission – making more messes, disturbing my environment.  It’s easy to enter into a cycle of frustration.

 

But when I drop the mommy job and just … play?  Well, then my children become less my charges, and more my friends.  We laugh – hard.  We joke.  We talk.  And I am reminded, briefly, that my children being a joy instead of a job is actually possible.

 

So I’ve been saying yes to the trampoline every afternoon.

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Now grab the button to put on your post, and then come back and share what you’ve said yes to this week.

 

being friend with your kids

 



-Jessica

Boys Are Loud. I Don’t Know If You Know.

Please. Be. Quiet.

 

My house is loud.  My boys are loud.  My life is loud.

 

And I don’t like noise.  Convenient, yes?

 

Noise is the one thing that is most likely to unhinge my mommy nerves and send my impatience bursting out of my mommy jack in the box of built up stress.

 

Every lego that drops to the floor, every castle that tumbles, every chasing game incased in only 1200 sq feet of living space, every fight that breaks out over a favorite light saber or video game.

 

I can’t make my boys not be loud.  Loud is who they are.  It can’t be changed except with maturity and age.  So, in the mean time, I suppose I must change myself.  Since supposedly, between them and I, I’m supposed to have the market cornered on those two things.

 

So, I quit doing dumb crap.  Like trying to write in the same room with the rumpus.  Why I have I been doing that?  Stupid, stupid.

 

I retreat to the next room with my magic writing machine.  And turn on Pandora. And try not to grind my teeth with the involuntary jaw clenching that happens with each crash and scream.

 

 

-Jessica

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I couldn’t resist The Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt today. :)

 

 

 

 

 

My Three Year Old Won’t Stop Yelling.

three year old driving me crazy

Three Year Old won’t stop yelling.  Seriously.  He won’t. stop. yelling.

 

And when he’s not yelling, he’s whining.  All the live long stinkin day.

 

To be fair, he just wants to be listened to.  And he wants to talk.  He wants to be in charge of all of the talking, in fact.  After all, why should other people have to talk, he obviously is a pint sized genius that needs to be paid attention to.  What all this adds up to, is every single time a thought enters his head, it has to come out.  At a higher octave than I’d prefer.  And if he thinks you’re not listening, he just starts yelling your name.  Loudly.

 

And, the thing is, you might actually be listening.  But unless you’re making eye contact with him, he doesn’t believe you.  So you, litrally, have to stop what you’re doing and look to him in his eyeballs.  For some reason, he especially wants to share his wisdom with Seven Year Old, so I wake up most morning hearing him holler, “SEVEN YEAR OLD, SEVEN YEAR OLD, SEVEN YEAR OLD, SEVEN YEAR OLD!!”

 

(Don’t tell husband, but I recognize that there is sort of poetic justice in all this, because I’ve been known to ask people to look at me when I’m talking.  But not because I’m bossy.  Because I’m A.D.D. and I can’t listen to someone unless I’m looking at them.  So when people aren’t looking at me, I think they aren’t listening, and it’s such a distraction that I can’t talk…) (Though, for the record, I don’t stand there yelling, “HUSBAND, HUSBAND, HUSBAND!” until he looks at me…)

 

Oh, and the other thing is, I am super sensitive to noise.  Super. Sensitive.  It hurts those A.D.D. brains of mine.  You know those moms who can sit right beside their toddler while they mash the button on that loud, obnoxious toy and not notice?  Yeah, that’s not me.  That toy is either designated a “bedroom only” toy, or it’s disposed of.  Asap.

 

Sigh.

 

I’m trying to remind myself that there will positively absolutely be a time when I will miss this.  And miss him.  And miss the noise and ridiculousness that is my current reality. And I’m trying to be more present and savor the sweeter moments.

 

Like how, while writing this, Three Year Old walked up and said, “Mom, 1 bitsy bitsy thing (holds up one finger) Dat I love you, (holds up second finger) and … (kisses me on the arm).

 

I guess he’s not all that bad.  ;)

 

-Jessica