Can Parents Prepare Themselves for the Sting of Rejection — of Their Children?

It's all fun and games until somebody gets rejected.

A story in which a hug between toddlers goes awry, and an overly enthusiastic Momma Bear hijacks my internal dialog.

Alex is at that age, nearing 2 years old, when she’s excited to play with other kids. She has a twice-weekly playdate with the 2-year-old that lives across the hall from our apartment. When these two little girls get together, it’s an unmitigated pandemonium of happiness: screeches and squeals of joy while they chase each other and jump up and down on the couch. The whole scene reminds me of when Alex met my parents’ golden retriever: lots of happy screaming and running, plenty of scratches and bumps and bruises that would normally be a game stopper, except that the game is too fun to give up. In a word, delightful.

Yesterday, we went over to another friend’s house in the neighborhood. Read more at Parentables.com…

Hangovers: The Pre- and Post-Motherhood Comparison

Listen up kids: drinking alcohol makes you hairy.

I went out last night. Need I say more.

Hangover Pre-Motherhood

  • Sleep as long as you could possibly need or want.
  • Have the financial means and freedom to leave the house in search of greasy, delectable hangover grub.
  • Can give ye olde liver a helping hand by going to the gym and sweating out the last traces of booze.
  • Don’t mind popping some Advil without fear of torching the remains of your liver.

Post-Motherhood Hangover

  • Much more severe; you so rarely go out that you can no longer handle your liquor. But because you rarely go out, you tend to think it’s a good idea to ‘go big’ when you do.
  • Must lift 75-pound watermelon-formerly-known-as-your-head off the pillow in the morning when the baby wakes up.
  • As if you didn’t already feel bad enough, you now have endure the guilt of letting your kid watch TV while you drool on yourself.
  • You ransack the pantry for hangover food, because leaving the house with a child to acquire such a meal requires logistics you aren’t capable of orchestrating in your current state.
  • Besides, you don’t have money in the budget for takeout because you obviously spent it all on booze last night.
  • Even if your gym has a daycare, the idea of getting yourself and wee one(s) out the door is just…no. Besides. SLEEEEEEEEEP. Please.

Did I miss any?

In a Physical Contest of TV vs. Two-Year-Old, TV Wins With Fatal Results

Yesterday I wrote a facetious post about how my daughter likes to watch TV by applying her eyeballs to the screen.

Soon after I published it, my sister texted me:

Just read your post. Not to be alarmist, but around here a few weeks ago a 2-year-old pulled a flat screen TV over on herself (because now they are so light) and was killed. So, just make sure the TV is far enough back on the credenza when Alex hangs on it. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer (wah wah.)

P.S.  I am not telling you because I think you wouldn’t figure that out (duh), it was just a horrible freak thing that I never would have thought of and now always will.

READ MORE AT PARENTABLES.COM…

Sh*t the Baby Does: Poking my Bruise Edition

One day, I was in need of a bath. Trying to bathe oneself with a baby in tow is always a fun trip. I’ve heard other moms say, “No problem, just bring the baby in the tub or shower with you!”  Sounds great in theory, but I cannot reconcile the idea of sharing my dirty bathwater with a pure little creature.

Plus, I wanted to shave my legs using some coconut oil, and mother’s intuition informs me that the combination of “slippery and sharp” makes for terrible safe-baby conditions.

My solution? Tandem bathing. I filled my bathtub with piping hot water because I like first degree burns — oh yeah, another reason to avoid bathing with a baby — and then I adjusted the temperature to “normal” before directing the hand-held shower head to fill her inflatable tub on the floor next to the big tub.

We get in our respective tubs. I begin bathing and shaving. The baby begins doing the following:

  • Standing on the edge of her inflatable tub in an attempt to climb into the dirty, burn-y, slippery, razor-filled tub. Let me repeat — standing on the edge of an inflatable tub. This is not safe.
  • Throwing her tub toys into my tub. Over. And over. And over… I was beginning to feel like this was all an elaborate game of fetch, and I was the dog.
  • Pulling everything she could get her hands on into her tub. This included her clothes, my clothes and a bath towel. She pulled each item under water, got them all good and soaked, and then threw the waterlogged items into a sopping heap on the bathroom rug. Over. And over. And over…

She began crying in frustration when the bath towel was too heavy with water to pull back into her tub. Note to physicists: it’s easier to heave a wet item out of water than it is to drag it back over land into the water again.

After my relaxing, spa-like bathing experience, I put the baby down on the king-size bed so I could dress her. She flipped over onto her belly and with the lightening-fast speed of a 15-month-old who refuses to walk because she’s mastered crawling like a dessert asp has mastered sand, she took off.

Commence the slow-motion scene of my adrenaline panic as she begins her sprint to the other side of the bed. Let me pause here to explain that when she reaches the far edge of the bed, she will keep going and fall the three-foot drop onto her adorable little blonde noggin. At least that’s my prediction. All previous experiments of letting her get to the point of launching herself before catching her bear this out.

My action-hero self yelled, “NOOOoooooo!” (in slow-mo, remember?) as I raced around the bed to save my baby from certain dome bonkage. Only, as I reached the other side of the bed, I was confronted by the evil drawer of The Hubby’s dresser, the drawer that insists on hanging open at all times.

I was wounded when my thigh crashed at max-speed into the evil drawer’s knob. I saved the baby, but my bruised leg paid the price. I scooped up the baby, who was laughing hysterically of course, and stood in front of the mirror to confront the angry bruise forming at ground zero.

That was about a week ago. Early this morning, I cuddled my sweet baby while our brains shrugged off the fog of slumber. She poked her index finger into the purple spot of flesh and asked, “Thish?”

“That’s a bruise,” I explained. “A round bruise. Like a circle.”

“Circle,” she repeated. She continued to prod and asked, “Color?”

“It’s purple. It’s a purple circle.”

The moral of the story: Always take the opportunity to teach your baby their shapes and colors, even if it means giving yourself a contusion.

Recipe FAIL Leads to Tasty Thai Curried Peanut Soup Redemption

It’s a darn good thing I started dinner early yesterday and The Hubby got home late from work, because I needed a LOT of time to sort through the rubble of that peanut-buttery mess I was trying to cook.

Everything seemed like it was going according to plan. I followed my recipe, and like I’ve been taught by the chefs, I tasted the end result to make sure it didn’t need anything else added — usually small tweaks with the seasoning.

So what did it taste like? Peanut butter. This recipe had all kinds of reviews swearing up and down that it didn’t taste like peanut butter. Nothing but a pack of vicious lies!

However, one thing that may have skewed my results is that my sense of smell and taste never came back down to earth after pregnancy. It’s entirely possible that my superpower sense of taste influenced my opinion of the recipe. But regardless, BLECCHHH! I like peanut butter, but come on. Just gross.

Anyway.

I had to pull out the big guns and make BIG changes. First I added a can of coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of curry powder and simmered for another 40 minutes. Definite improvement, but my vat of soup still needed a kick in the pants, so I added a 1/4 cup of rice vinegar. Much better!

I was afraid to say “good” because my taste buds were frightened after their ordeal. But when The Hubby arrived home, he assured me that it was indeed more than good. Delicious even. He is not one to blow smoke up kiesters, so I believed him. Then he had a second bowl, which slayed any lingering doubts.

Below is the new recipe. The Hubby and I are both hot sauce fanatics, so after serving we both added some salt and hot sauce for a little upward notch-kicking.

Thai Curried Peanut Soup Redemption
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: Who the hell knows after what I went through.
Servings: 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. chopped chicken pieces
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups mixed veggies (I used a bag of frozen veg)
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar

METHOD:

  1. In a large stock pot, heat olive oil. Brown the chicken. Add the celery, onion, carrots, garlic, salt & pepper and sauté until soft.
  2. Add the broth. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetables. Simmer for about 8 minutes.
  4. Add peanut butter, salt, and pepper; stir until peanut butter is fully blended. Simmer for 3 minutes longer.
  5. Decide that you cannot possibly eat this swill. Debate giving your trash compactor a workout.
  6. Whisk 2 tablespoons of curry powder into a bowl of coconut milk and add to the soup. [This would be an unnecessary step if you would have added the curry powder in step one, right before you added the broth. In step 2, I would have added the coconut milk along with the broth.]
  7. Simmer for 40 minutes.
  8. Add ¼ cup rice vinegar and stir well.
  9. Serve. Allow guests to add more salt and some hot sauce if desired.

All’s well that ends well.