What did you do at school today? NOTHING

By Sara

As most of you know, Kim and I just sent our children off to Kindergarten. We said our good-bye’s to our little guys as they got on this big bus, taking them to this big school with all new kids…and they come home to tell us NOTHING.

They walk in the front door and we have so many things we are dying to know —  from what they did, how they felt, to who they sat next too at lunch, and if they found the bathroom, but getting answers out of our kids is no easy task.

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My daughter Olivia is no exception.  She came home from her first day at Kindergarten and I started in with my enthusiastic questioning, and all I got from my her was, “I don’t want to talk about it.”  Sound familiar?

WHAT? I have been sitting by the door for the last hour, anxiously awaiting for you to get off the bus and tell me everything, and this is what I get?  So I start begging for some answers. No luck.

Maybe she is hungry. So I bring out the snacks, hoping a little nutritional recharge will help get her talking. Keeping to the topic, I ask, “So, who did you sit next to at lunch today?” Her response, “I don’t know.”

Ok… So I sit and wait. Then I try another one, “Did you meet any new friends?” Her response, “no.”

After a few more failed attempts, I realized where this was going.  So I said, “I understand if you don’t want to talk, but do me ONE favor… give me a thumbs up if you loved school, a thumbs sideways if you thought it was just ok or a thumbs down if it was horrible.”

I got a Thumbs Up and a BIG smile.

So while I didn’t get many words, I got a sign that told me everything I needed to know.

Happy Back-to-School!

DO NOT DISTURB: Kindergartener in training

by Kim

cameronK

 

In just one (very short) week, this beautiful, little boy, my first-born will start Kindergarten; and though I can honestly say that I’m over the moon excited for him, I’m also filled with so many other emotions…worry, sadness, fear (just to name a few, because trust me I could go on & on!), and I’m trying to contain all of it without projecting my craziness onto him.

But as my husband pointed out to me the other day (and to ALL of my neighbors) it’s as if I have my son “in training” for the Olympics as opposed to the first day of Kindergarten; and of all the stupid things to stress over, I’ve most worried about him eating and his damn lunch box. It’s gotten to the point that over the past few weeks I’ve had him practicing, (yes, I said practicing); making him do things like:

  • open a cheese stick
  • put his straw in a juice box
  • unscrew/re-screw his water bottle
  • lift the tab off of a yogurt drink
  • open/close the container that goes inside the lunchbox

You don’t have to say it, I already know it’s crazy; but you see it’s not that I don’t doubt he can do it (or will eventually be able to do it), OR that there will be someone at school to help him, it’s just for the past 5-years, it’s been ME & only me; and knowing in the back of my head that once he mastered these things, he wouldn’t need me anymore.

Kindergarten is one of those big milestones in life; it signals a change; it’s the beginning of an end: when I have to start sharing this beautiful, little person (that I created ) with the rest of the world, and let the baby that I once knew grow up…and selfishly I’m not sure if I’m ready for that.

So for now, we’ll keep up the training for the “Lunchbox Olympics” — besides we’re knee-deep in the “juice box jungle” as I’ve intentionally purchased an assorted variety, all featuring different openings – don’t need him getting cocky just yet!

 

Try Planning a Parentmoon

By Sara

You get married… you go on a honeymoon.

You get pregnant…you go on a babymoon.

You have kids…and you go to Disney World.

Sigh!

Ask around. How many couples go away alone without their kids?  I promise you will get answers that sound a lot like this:

“The last time we went away was our honeymoon or before we had kids,”  or “Oh, wow, that sounds nice,” or  “We don’t go away without our kids.”

Why do our lives have to change so much just because we have kids?   Of course money is a huge factor and clearly the vacation funds are now going towards school and mortgage payments, but a parentmoon doesn’t have to be an African safari.  Maybe it is just a “staycation” where you go hiking,  spend a day at the spa, or a night out in the city or at a B&B.

Sometimes the best parentmoons are the ones that are basically planned for you, like destination weddings.  Next time you get invited to one, say YES.  It is a great excuse to go away somewhere you hadn’t planned, plus you get a fun party included (see below our destination wedding trip this summer to the Czech Republic).  Business trips can also make for great parentmoons.   My husband travels to Los Angeles a lot, so I sometimes will fly out there on a Thursday and spend the weekend with him.  Build a weekend around a business trip, and it will feel like a much needed break for the both of you.

We all know how super hard it is to carve out time to just be together, never mind planning a trip….but with a little effort, you can reconnect, laugh, talk and enjoy lots of wine TOGETHER!

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The 6:05 it is!

By Michael Strouse
2dads1family.blogspot.com

The stress of commuting is hard to look at with a wide angle lens. Like parenting, it changes from moment to moment and requires a bit of internal counseling.

It’s with that in mind that I am pushing to send a set of emails before 5:00 on Friday afternoon. I know that if I leave right at 5, I can make the 5:45 train home. I want to start August with a nice night with the kids!

Despite my very best effort, though, I leave at 5:04.

But there’s a part of me that thinks I may still make the train!

That part of me is a ruthless time-centric ogre that will happily push my way onto subways and get annoyed with people holding hands on the sidewalk because I can’t get beyond them. (Find a park bench!) The commuting ogre growls as pedestrian traffic stops for yellow lights or points at a landmark and labels anyone who seems a little off course as having had one too many at happy hour. (Obviously! It’s Friday after all!) And the delay heading into the Journal Square station elicits an internal monologue on my hatred of PATH that would basically be one continuous bleep if ever broadcast. (Seriously, I could push the train faster than this!)

My nerves are frayed and my anger continues to swell. There’s no reasoning with my commuter voice. It’s the 5:45 or the world will end!

Or not…

There’s a 6:05.

Is 20 minutes more with the kids worth the stress? Yes- sort of…

Even though I’m home earlier, I know I can’t check that stress at the door and my push to make the 5:45 will color my whole night! That ogre will growl again when I step on a block or get splashed during bath time. He doesn’t like to chase kids on the lawn or dance to Frozen. He’s just as much of an impatient bully as he was when he decided that holding hands was inconsiderate.

And who wants an ogre as a parent?

So, the 6:05 it is! I may not be happy sitting here but I know my family and I won’t be miserable

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To read more posts by Michael, visit http://2dads1family.blogspot.com

Mom Confession: My Kids Gross Me Out!

by Kim

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And after spending a few days on vacation together as a family, I have a confession to make… my kids gross me out sometimes!

For example,  when they combine all of their foods into one meal, you know the pickle, mac-n-cheese, peanut butter sandwich with a vanilla milkshake to wash it all down… I’m not sure if my oldest is a five-year-old with strange taste buds or a very pregnant woman.

Or when we’re playing a game of “I Spy” to pass the time at a restaurant and instead of using primary colors to describe something, you know, RED, YELLOW & BLUE, they use words like “I Spy something with my little eye that’s POOP color” – really? POOP color?!

Then there’s the obsession with public restrooms; it’s over the top!  My little guy LOVES to go check them out just to tell me how “disgusting” the bathroom is; while my older son LOVES to go in to wash his hands so he can smell the soap.  Even if it’s “gross” he’ll share it with me “mommy smell this, it’s gross!”

I’m also completely grossed out by their over abuse of “The 5-second Rule“;   I mean yes we’ve all been known to break it from time to time, but these two put me to shame!  Even when I’m screaming at them to put it down, my little guy just laughs and puts it in his mouth anyway!

Oh, and I’m sorry that I just don’t share their love for wet, sandy, slightly boogied Doritos…I guess it’s an acquired taste!

Don’t get me wrong, I love them, I really do, I just never realized how gross they are!

#MommyLovesUBoys!

 

5 Things I Will Miss About My Child’s Childhood

by Kim

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My oldest son graduated from PreK last week; and for me,  along with celebrating this rather large milestone in his life, came a flood of emotions.   I watched this little boy who I struggled to have (http://2momsonatrain.com/2013/02/26/journey-to-parenthood),  who I sat in the backseat with on our ride home from the hospital, who I rocked to sleep in my arms (more times than I probably should have), walk into a room full of adults, with his head held high, ready to take on the next stage of his life.

For me, I thought about all of the changes that his graduation stood for; and even though I know he will always be my first-born, in September he will start Kindergarten, where his life and our relationship, will change forever.  So as stood there, fighting back the tears, I turned my sadness into thoughts, my thoughts into words, and my words into this post which I call:

5 Things I Will Miss About My Child’s Childhood

#5  LITTLE KIDS, LITTLE PROBLEMS – BIG KIDS, BIG PROBLEMS  This is an easy one… I know that soon I’m going to long for the days of an 8 o’clock bedtime and   5-minutes of extra TV time!

#4  BEDTIME    And speaking of bedtime, for as chaotic as every night seems to be, my boys still need/want me.  Whether it’s them asking me to read another book, sing another song, or even just to lay with them to help them fall asleep; in a few short years instead of asking for “5 more minutes” of my time, they’ll be asking for more time in their rooms, without me.

#3  PICKING OUT THEIR CLOTHES   I remember how exciting it used to be to go shopping for my kids; (yes, even though they are boys, I still loved shopping for them!) but at five and three-and-a-half, I’ve already lost this battle. Gone are the days of cute overalls, polo shirts, even a nice pair of jeans.  If given the choice, my boys would trade in every single piece of clothing they own for a few pairs of sweatpants, some basketball shorts,  some baseball jerseys, and good, old-fashioned, plain, white undershirts.  (I know, I know, try to focus on all of the $$$ money I’m saving!)

#2  HUGS & KISSES   I love being able to hug & kiss my kids wherever AND whenever I want (and I remind them that as their mom, I can do that!);  BUT truth be told, my days of “public” hugs & kisses are numbered, as I know the embarrassment factor is going to come into play and soon I’ll be lucky if I get a kiss on the check, even at home.

#1 – HEARING THEM SAY ” MOMMY, HOLD MY HAND”   Maybe it’s just that I know when I’m holding their hands, they’re safe; and that letting them go, even just to walk in front of me, symbolizes their independence…and ultimately, letting go.