Category: what kids say

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Toddler Who Wants A Pony Toothbrush

My daughter is very sweet. She’s downright precious. And I have had several people tell me how well-behaved she is and how happy, and they are right.

But she’s not always that way. She saves those moments for when it’s just me, her, and a couple hundred pairs of eyes at Walmart. She has thrown some

My Child’s Toys Are Holding Me Hostage

As the mother of a two year old, I’ve accumulated a lot of toys.

When my daughter started favoring a certain toy I thought it was the most adorable thing.

Minnie Mouse was her world. When I heard her in her crib, crying for Minnie, instead of getting annoyed I smiled at how charming it was, and I happily went to reunite them.

Then things took a turn. We went on vacation and God help us if Minnie wasn’t with us every step of the way. We might be halfway across the resort but if it was discovered Minnie was left behind, it was pointless to continue any further; no one was going to have any fun until Minnie was tucked safely into my daughter’s tiny arms.

Minnie had a rough time at the beach. She returned home with a ripped bow, covered in dirt, and I had to sneak her into the washer

Where There’s a Will…

She had done it a thousand times before. When Emma was younger, she would carefully and slowly roll her body down the two steps of our sunken living room.

But as she got older, she evolved into scooting down on her bottom with some semblance of graded control. It was a sight to see. Her four-foot, seventy-five pound frame propelled itself by pushing off the floor with the back of her hands while simultaneously pumping her legs, much like a caterpillar. She never took to the hand splints that were custom-made for her when she was little to keep her wrists straight and to prevent the contractions that partly defined her life.

Even as a small child, she was not going to be restrained. She somehow always managed to remove the limiting splints—using her teeth to pull apart the velcro. Survival was the name of the game for Emma, from the day she

The Definition of Insanity


There’s nothing sweeter or more rewarding than reading to kids. Or so I thought, until this happened:

My one year old brings a book over, saying “Hi Da-Da!” and wants to sit on my lap.

His book of choice: “Snuggle Puppy,” and I read it with spirit and enthusiasm. He loves it. When it’s over, he holds the book up and says, “More!”

Obviously I’m a hit. Sure.

Oh wait, what’s that?

You want to read Snuggle Puppy a third time?

Why sure! But this time I change up the voices, add some snaps to jazz it up and give him a huge raspberry to the neck for a spectacular grand finale to this Snuggle Puppy Trilogy … an encore Bruce Springsteen would envy.

Huh. I must be really good at this because now it’s all Snuggle Puppy, all the time.

A fourth reading has been strongly requested and of course I fulfill it. Obviously my award-winning raspberry-ending

The Talk

I’ve been reading a lot of posts on Facebook from parents struggling to have “the talk” with their children.

I didn’t find it that hard.

My daughter started asking questions when she was nine, always when we were in the car with her three-year-old sister. I had the best educated three-year-old in the country.

I kept expecting to

It’s Not You, It’s the Zipper!

I ordered a dress in a size smaller than I am for my daughter’s wedding, because:
A. I plan to lose weight before the wedding and
B. I didn’t want to have to hem it
So when it arrived I tried it on and asked my sweet little man, Tommy, to zip me up. As he struggled getting

Naked and Afraid in Amsterdam

“Mama, why is that lady in the window naked?”

This is not one of my proudest parenting moments. Being a savvy traveler, living overseas, I consider myself fairly street wise and seasoned. We spent a week in the Netherlands wandering the tulips at Keukenhof, seeing the windmills in Kinderdijk and watching pottery hand-painted in Delft.

Our pièce de résistance would be the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

I’d spent two weeks prior to our visit to the Netherlands preparing our daughter to see the Anne Frank House. She’s only six, so I kept the discussion fairly simple but direct: “There were bad people, called Nazis, and they didn’t like certain people here. They took them to concentration camps and treated them badly. Some of them hid, one of them was Anne Frank and her family.”

Our daughter was fascinated with the idea that a little girl was hiding from “bad guys” in a secret

This is What the Oregon Trail Prepared Me For

Photo: Lovelorm Poets

Day 07 of the fever sickness. It’s not the sickness but the isolation that will get you.

Nina has definitely had some flashes of being out of touch. I can only hope she will regain her social identity and leave this behind at some point. She has taken to pulling out hair (first from my head

Does This Kid Make My Butt Look Big?

Tushies come in all shapes and sizes.

There are songs and dance moves about the beloved behind. I even remember booty dancing to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s song, “I like big butts and I cannot lie!” What’s so shocking about the beloved booty?

My son and I were on a productive adventure at Costco, his favorite store. As we trucked along down one of the aisles he said, “Mommy! Look, behind you!” So naturally I turned around to look.

I saw nothing out of the ordinary.

Then he asked an extraordinary question: “Mommy, why is her tushie so big?”

Of course he was not quiet and she heard him. I realized we had just entered the “crazy-things-kids-say” phase, also know as the “why and how” period of his toddler life.

I saw her stare at me and I knew her stare was just so she could hear what I was going to say to my kid. I could

Course Correction

I was at least ten miles along when I realized my mistake.

I was supposed to go east, but in a distracted moment, I took the west ramp onto the freeway instead. It was a familiar route, one I traveled often, so it was awhile before I realized the exits I was flying past were all going in the wrong direction.

My stomach tightened as it occurred to me that a fairly quick 20-minute drive had instantly transformed into an hour-long ordeal. And we hadn’t even arrived yet.

I let out a very mature “AAAAUUUUUURRRGGGGHHHHH!” which naturally got the attention of my four-year-old son in the back seat.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?” he asked. He was so excited for our destination, a local attraction to which we have season tickets.

“I went the wrong way,” I growled, as the dreary winter sky darkened another shade.

I wanted to turn around and go home. As usual, I had

My Daughter is Infatuated with Boobies

My youngest tries to cop a little feel.

Until recently, she’d be sitting on my lap for a snuggle and before I knew it, she’d have her hand pulling down the front of my shirt to peek in, her fingers reaching in. Or during story time, her head nestled on my unsuspecting shoulder, she’d reach over and squeeze one.

And then she’d laugh. A big, guttural guffaw.

I’d gently take her hands away–those are mommy’s privates.

I’d turn my head and she’d try again. I’d repeat–those are mommy’s privates.

As I blocked this adorable hand, I was tossed back to high school. You remember the times when you’d hope to sit on the couch and watch a movie without someone reaching up your shirt. Seriously, these are my privates. I’m not throwing a party.

But this is innocent curiosity–she just turned four. I want her to know her curiosity is normal. I mean, boobs are interesting;

Text to Self

It was dark, too dark to be out on a walk with a toddler. We had been in search of a playground and it was just a day or two after the daylight savings time change.

I had misjudged both the time and the distance. It was past dinnertime and I was tired, my baby cranky.


Saturday Night Party at Walmart

Walmart is really crowded on a Saturday night. Way more crowded than you would expect. I know this information first hand because I was there.

I was actually, voluntarily, at Walmart on a Saturday night. Yup.

What was I doing at Walmart on a Saturday night? Sit back and I’ll tell you a little tale about how I will literally (clearly) do anything to get my five year old to stop harassing me.

It started on a Monday. On Monday Jessica decided she wanted candy. Not just any candy. A very specific candy.

She didn’t know the name of the candy. Couldn’t really describe the candy. And was not exactly sure where the candy could be purchased. But she wanted it, and she wanted it bad. Was it M&Ms? (No.) Hershey Kisses? (No.) Kit Kat? (No, It’s colorful.) Okay, Skittles? (No.) Starburst? (No.) Twizzlers? (No.) Ummmm… ooookay… You sure it’s not M&Ms? (MOM!!)

On Tuesday

A Rich Husband?

“Alice said she needs to find a rich husband,” my friend Dana said as we were having lunch in New York City last week.

“What did you tell her?” I asked, incredulous that her daughter would say such a thing.

“I told her I agreed!” was my friend’s response. “She doesn’t really want to work. She wants to have lunch with friends, go to the gym and museums, have lots of babies.”

Alice is a recent graduate of an elite college in Maine, with a degree in art history and French. Jobless, and showing few signs of seeking employment, she’s living in her tiny former bedroom in her parents’ apartment on West End Avenue.

“She tells Richard and me it’s our fault for sending her to an all-girls private school for rich kids,” Dana went on.

The school in question is the Convent of the Sacred Heart, and Alice’s classmates included the usual hedge fund

Being a Parent Means Never Having to Say “I Farted”

…at least not at the Rite Aid with a loud and chatty three year old.

Hey, at home, I am all about transparency in farting. I like to try to teach the kids to excuse themselves but there’s a lot of gas being passed at our house and, quite frankly, a lot of—well–traditions to maintain.

Daddy-O is quite fond of having the kids pull his finger (our inquisitive six year old recently asked, “How does that actually work?”) and there’s always the “Doorknob” game (involves shouting “Doorknob!” and punching the person who farted without remembering to say the word “Safety!” or, as Mommy attempts to enforce, “Excuse me.”)

Although sometimes at home, I opt not for “Excuse me” myself but for the more direct, “I farted,” which is sometimes followed by the phrase “Run away.” (“No, kids, trust me. You do not want to smell this. RUN. AWAY.”)

But we never deny. So I’m

No Return Policy

My three-year-old son stared in horror as I delicately cut my newborn twins’ hospital ID bracelets off with a manicuring scissors so I could scrapbook them.

As he burst into tears, I calmly reassured him that I hadn’t harmed his new siblings and, in fact, they slept through the whole thing. But that wasn’t the problem

Drama Queen, Party of One… Your Spider Awaits.

Last night I asked my 14-year-old daughter to throw a load of clothes in the washer (including her dirty volleyball uniform which she needed for a game tonight). Then I went out to pick up my 17 year old from her boyfriend’s house.

When I got home, 14 was talking to herself as she was coming up the stairs from our basement (where our washer and dryer reside). I asked what was wrong.

Turns out, a spider is ruining her life.

A brief history: We have a utility sink next to the washer, a sink that gets very little use. Maybe once a year when we paint a room, we use that sink to wash paint brushes. Other than that, the sink is home to empty Tide bottles, old paint brushes… and one very harmless spider.

We’ll call him Bob.

Bob doesn’t really bother anyone. He sits in his sink and looks up at me

Cannibal Run

“This is nice, son. What is it?”
“It’s me, running from cannibals.”
“CANNIBALS?! Where did you learn that word?”
(Thinking: First zombies, now cannibals. Lord help me.)
“Cannon balls, mama. What are cannibals?”
“Never mind. Hey, look at that!”

Kristin Shaw is a BlogHer Voice of the Year and co-producer of Listen to Your Mother: Austin. Read more at Two Cannoli.

Six Life Lessons From Toddlers

We’re always trying to teach our toddlers, but they can teach us, too. Here are six life lessons we can take away from the toddlers in our lives.

Forgive, Forget, and Then Have Fun Together: We waste so much time holding grudges. We sulk, pout, gossip, and complain long after something has happened. When something really upsets a toddler, he’ll have a massive meltdown, but a few minutes later he’ll give a big hug, and minutes after that he’ll be running down the street after a butterfly. It makes our heads spin to see how fast a toddler’s mood changes, but there’s a lesson there: Let it go. At times, it’s a more sophisticated way to handle life.

Master Something New: We love to stay in our comfort zones. As an adult, months can go by before we try to do something truly new, let alone master it. A toddler loves to do

The Last Gift

This text came from my seven-year-old granddaughter: “Nina died. We had to put her down. 🙁 ”
Without knowing it, my youngest granddaughter had told me that my amazing daughter and son-in-law had prepared their daughters for the death of their beloved dog.

How did I gage this from an 8-word-text? The word ‘died’ said it all.