Sunday, April 26, 2009

Two Types of People

According to Ms. Britney Spears (and I'm paraphrasing here):

There's only two types of people in this world,
The ones that entertain and the ones that observe.

Yeah, that's right, I'm quoting Britney Spears. Deal with it.

Anyways, I quote her as I look into two types of people in my world:

The ones who can fold fitted sheets and the ones who absolutely, positively cannot.

Betcha can't guess which one I am...

I know people who can fold fitted sheets. A girl I used to live with, in the pre-marriage/baby world, could fold fitted sheets like nobody's business. Not only could she fold the damn things, but somehow she knew this magical way to fold them, the other sheet and her pillow cases AND THEN managed to fit all of those articles into a single pillow case. It was an amazing feat. I watched her do it over and over. I was fascinated by this feat. I made several attempts of my own, but could never make it happen. I ended up just handing her my bedding and asking (ok, demanding) that she make the magic happen with my stuff too.

I was over at another girlfriend's house the other night, the same night as my attempted shopping nightmare. She, too, can fold a fitted sheet. Not only can she fold a fitted sheet, but she can do it while 4 kids run screaming around her playroom. Doesn't faze her a bit.

I honestly believe one's ability to fold a fitted sheet in a proper manner is akin to a real live miracle.

I cannot, for the life of me, fold a fitted sheet. I've made many valiant attempts over the years. I still make the ocassional attempt, like every 5 washings or so. I simply can't do it. I try to make the folds into a square, but the folds never stay where I want them. I try laying the sheet out on the floor. I try to line things up in straight lines. However hard I try, I simply end up rolling the sheet into a ball and shoving it into my cupboard. It's too frustrating for words.

But I wonder, what does it mean that I can't fold a fitted sheet? If it were 1950-ish, I'm sure I would be blackballed somehow. This would be my dirty little secret and heaven forbid the neighborhood gals find out about it. If it were the 60s, I could attribute my wrinkled sheets to all the "free love" going down in my boudoir. The 70s - I'd be busy making my way in the career world with no time for such trivialities as folding sheets.

But here it is, 2009 and I really have no reason other than utter lack of patience as my reason for being unable to fold a fitted sheet. I'm an intelligent person...I'm perfectly capable of following directions and paying attention to details. But the fitted sheet has beat me and beat me but good. I bow to its prowess and admit defeat.

Now, I wonder if Ms. Spears can fold a fitted sheet...

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's a Mad, Mad World

All of the sudden, it's summer in Minnesota. I think we had about 4 days of spring. Summers in Minnesota are hot. I don't deal well with hot. So, in an effort to save myself and my family from "the beast that is Maegan" when I become hot, I attempted to go shopping this morning, with the little ones in tow. I think you can guess where this is headed...

After getting the girls dressed, making sure diapers were dry, tummies were full and sunglasses were in the general vicinity of each toddler's face, we headed to the store. I had no intention of being there for long and I promised a stop to the playground after the shopping trip. I should have been golden, right?

I was so very, very wrong.

We were in the store for no longer than 20 minutes. I grabbed three sizes of two different styles of shorts. It literally took me seconds to try on each pair. And the children simply would not cooperate. They were crawling all over everything, refused to sit in the carts, chucked their shoes around and were general tiny little tornadoes. I asked nicely, I reminded about the playground, I threatened, I cajoled and finally, I left my cart where it stood, stuffed the little one's shoes in my bag, picked her up, took the other one (now crying and pleading) by the hand and got back in the car. At this point, I was both hot and pissed. Not a good combination.

On the way home, the little one was perfectly content. The older one and I cried most of the way home.

I've shopped with my kids before and it's never easy, but this was the first time it was what I considered ugly. This was the first time I was that know, the one with the screaming kids that have to be hauled out of the store...the one you look at with pity in your eyes but secret glee in your heart because you aren't her. Yep, I was that woman.

By the time we got home, all tears had ceased (although mine were still on the brink). The girls walked into the house and immediately started playing. I was still sorely irritated but also glaringly aware of the futility of these emotions. The girls are just kids...they aren't little adults. They don't understand what it means to be a raging lunatic of a mother with two kids who won't cooperate in a store any more than they understand how to do calculus. Hopefully they'll get there at some point and in the meantime, hopefully I'll get to the store so I can buy some damn shorts...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Things that make you go Hmmm...

I went to a lecture the other night, given by our local Early Childhood and Family Education chapter. The speaker was Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of several parenting books. At the lecture, Kurcinka spoke about power struggles and how to avoid them.

One absolutely fascinating thing I learned from this lecture was this:

When children have tantrums - the kind when they're all revved up, screaming, crying, turning blue, etc. - something physically happens to their inner ear and said children...wait for it...


Can you believe it?! I forget the actual physiology of the ear thing, but it's something to do with a muscle relaxing (or tightening) around the inner ear, and this makes the child incapable of hearing anything as the ear drum is blocked.

So, while we may think the child is ignoring us, or that talking louder (ok, yelling) will make the child pay attention to us, there's really nothing that can be done until the child calms down enough for the ear muscle to return to its normal state.

Just some food for thought the next time your little one decides to throw the big one...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sleeping with the Enemy

I like to sleep. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a morning person, I'm barely an afternoon person and come nighttime, I'm ready for bed again. I love my bed, my pillows, feeling warm and comfortable, the stack of books next to my bed...I'm a sleeper.

As a sleeper, I don't so much like to share my sleeping space. My husband has his side of the bed and that's about all I'm willing to give up. No cats allowed, no dogs allowed (unless I'm the only one in the bed) and no kids allowed. Those are the rules of the bed.

When I was pregnant, I told my husband, from the get-go, the children would not sleep in our bed. It was our bed and I wanted it to stay that way. I have no issues with parents who co-sleep - more power to you if that's what you want to do. Not my cup of tea.

When the girls were just born, I figured out they would sleep longer after a feeding if they slept next to me and touched me. At that point in the game, I was tired enough to understand the benefit (largely for myself) of letting the baby sleep with me for a few hours. I was fine with that. Once they graduated to sleeping through the night, however, there was no more sleeping in the Mom Bed (that's what the girls call my bed. And I sincerely believe they think it's a proper noun. They also know I'm a sleeper.)

There have been times that I've let the girls nap with me. And that's mostly been because it was the only way to actually get them to fall asleep on a given day. Those ocassions, however, have been rare.

Why am I rambling about sleeping, you ask? Because the girls have had colds for the past week and have not been sleeping. As a result, there have been 3 nights in the past week when I resorted to allowing the children to sleep in my bed. The older one slept with us for 2 nights and the younger one for 1.

Big deal, right? So I let the munchkins sleep with me for a few nights. So what? eldest weighs less than a large bag of dog food and she takes up an entire queen-sized bed. Not only does she lie the long way across the width of the bed, but she insists on either laying on my head or burrowing into her dad and putting her feet on my head. She kicks me in the bladder, knees me in the stomach and wakes up every 30 minutes or so because she wants to PLAY! It's almost like being pregnant again except this time she's on the outside.

And the little one?! Well, she heats up to about a billion degrees, gets everything all sweaty and SNORES. You wouldn't think that sound could come out of that tiny little body, but come out it does...steadily and constantly.

That's right folks. Sleeping with my children is akin to sleeping with the enemy and there's not enough coffee in the world the following morning. After the third night, I'd completely had it. I informed my eldest this was the last night she would be sleeping with mommy and daddy and I readied myself for the fight of the century come bedtime. And you know what? She went to her own bed with no fuss and she slept straight through the night. Apparently she was as sick of sleeping with me as I was of her. Go figure.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Terrible Twos

My eldest daughter will be 3 in July. Thus far, the 2s haven't been so terrible. In fact, the majority of 2 has been pretty enjoyable. The past few weeks, however, have given new meaning to Terrible least for the Schmidt household. And to be perfectly honest, it makes me fear the 3s. I hear through the grapevine the 3s are even worse.

As her way of embracing the 2s, and probably in an effort to make up for the fact she's been pretty good up until now, my daughter has become the master contrarian. Take our conversation last night:

Me: What do you want for dinner?

Abigail: Ummm...

Me: A hot dog?

Abigail: Nooo

Me: Grilled cheese sandwich?

Abigail: Mac and cheese!

Me: We don't have mac and cheese.


Or a similar conversation we had this morning:

Me: Do you want yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast?

Abigail: French toast!

In addition to her general contrariness, she's also become prone to meltdowns. This afternoon she had a doozy. Tears, runny nose, more tears, hiccups, the whole 9 yards. When I asked her if she wanted to rock for a little bit, she agreed, so we climbed into the glider and rocked for a bit. She immediately curled into me, took a deep breath and we stayed that way for about 20 minutes. We listened to the dryer clacking and the cars driving past the house. While we sat there, it occurred to be that as sassy, bossy and generally obnoxious as I think she is at times, it's really hard to grow up. A 2-year old only has so many words, can only do so much for him/herself, relies on other people for practically everything even though s/he wants to do everything by him/herself and is constantly being told/reminded/instructed what to do. If I had someone doing that to me everyday, I'd freakin' lose it!

In thinking about this, I realize I need to be more patient with my children. As frustrating as it may be for me to have to tell them constantly to say "please" and "thank you" and to not push each other and to be nice to people and get out of other peoples' way and everything else I have to do ALL THE TIME, they have to listen to it. And that can't be easy either.

Magical Powers

As you all know, I have 2 little girls. What you may not know, what you may be amazed to that having these 2 little girls has somehow given me magical powers. Don't believe me? Read more and be amazed...

1. My kisses can heal the world. Seriously! I kid you not! If one of the munchkins bumps her head or shuts her fingers in the door or bites her tongue or falls off the roof, one or two kisses from yours truly makes it all better.

2. I can make small children fall fast asleep - even when they don't want to sleep. If, at nap time, one of the girls is fighting her nap, I can put her into my bed, cuddle up next to her and within minutes, said stinker will be sleeping. I seem to have inherited this magical power from my own mother. The kryptonite for this power: 2 non-sleeping stinkers. I haven't mastered that power...yet.

3. I can understand toddler talk. You may not think this overly impressive, but if a small child wandered up to you and said, "Poop den. Deepa. O dere!" would you know what to do and where to go? Translation: My youngest child pooped again and needs a diaper, which she has already put over there.

4. When I rock, the world stops. My eldest daughter is 2 1/2. And these days she's really making sure to embrace her 2-ness. Yet if a meltdown occurs, I can take her to my glider, rock for a few minutes and suddenly, everything is right with the world again. At least for a few minutes.

5. My children are alive and thriving. I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. Nuff said.

And you, dear reader, what magical powers have you?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Please excuse the recent lack of entries. We were experiencing some technical difficulties with our computer. I believe I've worked out all the bugs. Stay tuned for more updates!