The stories, the nightmares, the tips, and (especially) the joys of two little boys and one perfectly-willing-to-admit-it clueless mum. Come with me as I share my experiences, my wisdom, my ah-hah moments, my shameful mistakes, and all the love I have with my two boys.
I know this sounds horrible. Don't you want to keep every single cute darling little onesie or hat with the little yellow duck on it that says "mommy's little man" or "daddy's little princess." I admit, I kept a few things. Had to keep the Penn State booties, the UVA sweatpants, hospital to home outfits and maybe a blanket or two, but that's it. Those are for me. But all the other stuff got given away, donated, returned, and best of all, SOLD.
That's right mothers and fathers whose grocery bills tripled after having children because they eat everything in sight, won't be potty trained so the diapers are a plentiful, and what the stores charge for formula is high way robbery these days ...
SELL YOUR STUFF.
1. Make sure you are done having children before selling your stuff.
2. Be picky as they are going to be very picky with what they decide to buy from you.
3. Do not expect face value, expect a quarter value.
4. You will be able to get better value for big items on a site such as craiglist or ebay, but if you couldn't be bothered, try a friend or go to your second hand store.
5. Check what your store will buy before you lug it down there and also how much you can take at once. These places will not generally buy any bedding, cribs, or car seats. I can only take two tubs at a time.
DO NOT KNOCK the second hand stores. I have had great experiences mainly selling clothes and toys. I am not walking away a rich woman, but thirty to forty dollars from a tub of clothes is more than I would get if I simply donated it, which happens to the stuff I do not get anything for anyway. Try it and you might be happily surprised.
These stores are also great around the holidays for things such as Halloween costumes or holiday dresses and suits if you don't mind about them being second hand.
So, dig out all those old bins of clothes and start digging through. Now after the holidays is a great time to have the kids give up some old toys to replace with their new toys. Max and Charlie did a great job. Make it a fun organizing day and get a little something in return.
My holiday was lovely. I spent almost two weeks with my mum and dad down in the depths of South Carolina, ran on the beach on Christmas Day, spent oodles of time with my sister, drank way too much coffee and wine, became obsessed with Downton Abbey, morning walks ... and tried to keep a three and one and a half year old in check.
* Please see my previous blog entry.
My dear husband out of the goodness of his heart thought of the idea. He would fly home Christmas night to then work the New Year's holiday, fly back down and drive us all back home. I was thrilled. Ofcourse if he didn't mind I would love to stay in South Carolina as opposed to coming back to cold Pennsylvania. And cold it was. An ice storm and half a foot of snow later, my husband still worked countless hours at the Hotel. But I could play outside!
Little did I know that my two spawn became so comfortable at Grammy and Grandad's house that they decded to act like little terrors. OMG. I had never seen such behaviors before. From both of them, but specifically Max. Don't get me wrong; the terrible two's set in at about 21-22 months, yet it is getting worse. Worse I tell you. And the hardest part is that Charlie is learning.
How "lightly" I have disciplined thus far is certainly not enough. And may I use the term "lightly" lightly (touche). I use time-outs, I smack the back of legs, I speak firmly and raise my tone. I have found out very rudely this is not enough. My first-born, bless his cute little behind, would laugh at me. He would say something is funny when I was very obviously fuming and seething. It comes down to they just want their way. They do things, dangerous things, that scare me so I must discipline to stop them. They want each other's toys and fight over these things even though there is plenty to go around. Oh, and the fight over me is a whole other blog entry.
(I am flattered and I am tired and I want to be able to drink a HOT cup of coffee, DAMNIT.)
As my discipline picked up, my voice got louder, the kicking, screaming, hitting, throwing down on the ground, tantrum-like whining got more intense and my offspring spent much more time on their beds than they would have liked. Where do you time out in Grammy's house or let alone in your own house when there is so much in reach? On the bed. You go to your room, you stay on your bed, and don't you dare get off. Sceaming tantrum, flinging pillows, hitting walls ensue. "You'll stay there until you calm down. And don't hit anything," I say VERY LOUDLY with pointer finger extended. Now their tears begin.
So I exit, because now I am crying. That's right. I am that mum. I cry after disciplining my children. I refuse to let them control me, but I'm crying. Am I awful? Do I suck at this thing called parenting?
These are the hardest times for me. I have a vast amount of patience. I'll read you countless stories. I'll sit with you as you very adamantly try to dress yourself. I'll let you ride on my back in the grocery store. I'll give you any amount of different foods just to get you to eat. I'll stay up late, I'll get up early. I'll stay in instead of go out. I'll sit on the bathroom floor as you try to go potty. However I will not let you run all over me. You both are Michael and my result. Our result of project parenting.
And I am sorry my deary Max and lovey Charlie, but mummy is about to get meaner.
Wait a tic ... I am not sorry. It's for your own good.