Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Mother's Best Friend

As a child, I remember getting gum in my hair thanks to my sister.  My mom's solution was to rub peanut butter into my hair and then wash it.  Even after two washings, I remember going to kindergarten smelling like peanut butter.

Recently, while friends were visiting, my daughters and my friend's son went into my daughters' room (they are young enough that I can say that without cringing) to play even though there is nothing in my daughters' room except stuffed animals.

I had forgotten that the nursery across the hall didn't have one of those door locks on it.  I had removed it for some reason or another and forgotten to put it back on.  It sat dismantled in a box with other odds and ends in my husbands office.  As my mother would sarcastically say when I was young, "that's a good place for it, right?" 

Of course my two year old who had followed her sister went inside the nursery and got into the petroleum jelly (a fresh jar that had not even really been used after Ry came home from the hospital) that was sitting in a portable organizer on the ottoman.  When I went to check on them, I saw Madison in the hallway.  She was covered in it from head to toe. When Madison saw me she grinned as though proud of her handiwork.  In her hands was the jar with the lid stuck down in the jelly and about a quarter of the jelly gone.

I felt my stomach actually recoil at the site.  The smell and the sight were horrifying and many expletives were racing through my mind. I would have much rather found my child with gum in her hair.  I am sure it would have been easier to clean up after. 

I handed the baby to my friend and picked Maddie up under the armpits away from my body and deposited her in front of the bathtub.  All the while I kept repeating how we DO NOT play with petroleum jelly.  Yuck.  Yuck.  Say it with me, "YUCK".

Even after wiping as much of the jelly off as possible and lathering her hair and body twice, her hair and skin were still oily.

That night she got another bath and after washing her down two more times, it seemed she was no longer an oily mess.

That night when I told my husband about her escapades, he laughed and asked me why I didn't just use Dawn.


He was right.  If it works on oil coated animals, why not a petroleum jelly covered child?

It seems that Dawn and magic erasers are truly a mother's best friend.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Printable To-Do List Just For You

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am a list maker extraordinaire.  I make lists for everything and somewhere along the way I began to depend on them so much that I swear I am incapable of remembering the simplest things like milk, eggs, and butter from the grocery store.

Anyway,  I finally gave up my black book and my post-it note craziness. I came up with a to-do list that keeps me organized and that keeps me from pulling out my hair (and that my kids have no interest in).  Post-it notes seem to beckon to my children, "come take me away and play with me" as does my little black book which says "come draw in me".  I have lost count of the number of times my post-its have disappeared from my purse or the fridge and my little black book now boasts scribbles from the girls from when they've sneaked it from its spot in my bag.  With all the apps and such for my Smartphone, I still haven't been able to bring myself to join the electronic age.  I like writing things down the "old way".  Call me old-fashioned.
I finally created my own to-do list to help keep me super organized.   My weekly grocery list usually goes on the back but for those items that I forget to buy or that I run out of during the week, they go under the grocery list section.  My daily chores include those chores such as laundry, dishes, watering plants, and filing (bills mainly). As silly as it sounds, I often forget to water my plants regularly and to do those chores I dislike (or am I the only one who conveniently forgets to do them).  The daily chart keeps me from over scheduling my family.  I fill in any appointments we have for the day and things I need to get done.  The meal plan helps me plan ahead and reminds me when I need to pull meals from the freezer with just a glance.  The "Odds and Ends" section is my wish list of sorts.  This is for those things that I want to get done eventually such as scrapbooking or updating my iPod.  It's things that are important only to me and that I want to get done but don't usually have time to get to them.  I've found that writing them down has helped me make time to at least spend a few minutes working on getting them done.

Want to print your own copy?

Click here to print your own to-do list (minus the nifty graphic since it didn't appear in google docs).  You can even punch holes in these sheets and keep them in a binder or if your like me you can recycle them or throw them away.

Are you a "to-do list" afficianado or do you avoid them at all costs?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The #1 Question Parents Ask Their Kids

What do you think it is?

With little kids, their favorite question is "Why?"  but what about the parents?

If you have a child just starting to talk, "can you say_________?" seems to be a common question even though the child in question is not likely to respond.  A good friend who recently visited was lamenting how her two year old would refuse to say new words that they were trying to introduce.  Instead, she would look at them, smile, and say "no".  At least she had one word down. 

If your potty training, it may be "Do you need to go potty?"  Warning to new potty training parents: They are more likely to pee on the floor than to say yes (at least in the beginning).

"What did you do at school today?" is common if you have school-age children.

"What did you just say?" seemed to be a favorite when I was a teenager.

I was out with the girls and I had asked Emmy, "What do you say?" after someone had complimented her.  The response I was looking for from her was "thank you" but she had hidden behind my leg and refused to say anything.  Since the person was a stranger and we have been learning stranger safety I totally understood her reaction.

The person replied with a smile that that question is the most often asked question that parents ask their children.    And the more I thought about it the more I thought that I had heard that before from someone or read it somewhere.  Or maybe it was just because their statement had a hint of truth to it.

I've come to realize how astute that person was and that they were probably a parent themself.  They were more right than even I imagined.

Since that conversation, I realized just how often I do say it.  That prompt to get them to say "excuse me", "please", and "thank you" does in fact seem to be the most often asked question out of my mouth.

Close seconds are, "Do you need to go potty?" and "What are you doing?"  The answer to the first is usually no and the answer to the latter is usually silence which usually signals that my children are up to no good (usually while I am in the bathroom or doing dishes).

What is the most asked question in your house?