How not to raise a brat

Parenting in the 80’s and 90’s when I was growing up is vastly different than it is today. You could sit down in a restaurant and not have to worry about the kid sitting at the table behind you standing on his or her chair and screaming for no apparent reason. If they did, the problem would be squashed immediately by a swift spank to the butt… or the threat of one.
These days, more and more I see kids going absolutely ape-shit and the parents sitting back and letting it happen like nothing is wrong. It’s so surprising to me, because that shit would NOT fly with my parents. Sad to say, but there have been far too many times where i’ve wanted to turn around and tell a kid to STFU.. but I bit my tongue because it just wasn’t my place. I’m not their parent, it’s not my problem.

Now that I have Holden.. I do worry about how other children will influence how he acts. Children are impressionable moldable balls of clay. I try as much as I can (even at his young age) to make sure that he knows what sharing is, that he isn’t ridiculously spoiled, that he knows he’s loved and cared for but also knows that he can’t get away with doing ‘bad’ things… but those are all in my presence. What happens when he’s around other kids who are being allowed to go crazy all the time? Put a ‘well behaved’ child in a room with ‘bad kids’, and it’s almost guaranteeing that the behavior will somewhat rub off on your kid. Maybe not, but it’s something to worry about.

At Thanksgiving, a couple of my cousins were there as well who also have children. Monet is a 2 1/2 year old who is sweet (although scared of Holden), and shares with no problem. My other cousins children (who I do not know the names of).. unfortunately not so much. The older one wasn’t so bad, he was very cautious with Holden.. played with him- shared with him.. but at one point in the night all the kiddies got riled up and he started chasing Holden around in circles- amping Holden up. He would get in Holden’s face and just YELL. Not to be mean.. but because he thought it was hilarious. Holden looked shocked, but would giggle and scream back. Not exactly how I want Holden to act. I don’t expect him to sit quietly and play all the time, but screaming in another kid’s face is not something I see as a positive thing.
The younger kid, probably around the age of two.. sad to say- kind of a hellion. At one point he had some chips sitting in a tupperware on the floor. Holden obviously has no idea that things lying around don’t belong to him- so he walked up and took a chip being that they were just sitting out in the open. The little kid starts SCREAMING in Holden’s face and stamping his feet “MINE! MY CHIP! MY CHIP!”
I was in complete shock. Immediately I took the half-eaten slobber covered chip out of Holden’s hand and put it back in the tupperware to stop this kid from screaming. Luckily Holden didn’t seem to care, he moved on and played with something else.. but I was a little shaken up. All that over a CHIP? Especially when there was a container full of them left?
I do NOT want Holden EVER reacting that way to something so miniscule.

I DO NOT want a brat. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t happen.. but I don’t think there’s one certain way to go about ensuring that. I can’t walk around punching kids in the face at Wal-Mart who are screaming because Mommy won’t buy them a $50 toy.. I don’t think that would be appreciated.
I also don’t want to be the ‘mean mommy’, never giving Holden any freedom… So I guess I have to be somewhere in the middle and hope he turns out as a well-adjusted compassionate selfless person.

I’m not a huge fan of spanking, but my bare butt got bent over a knee pretty often and I turned out ok! I think it was more the fear of spanking that kept me in line. The days of kids fearing their parents are in the past- it more seems the other way around these days. Parents are giving kids everything they want, no questions asked. No spanking, and rarely any discipline as to not “break their spirit” (yes I have literally heard that)..
Screw it- stick me in the mean mommy category if being a ‘nice mommy’ means spoiling Holden to the point of gluttony. Not happening here!

Posted on November 30, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 4 Comments

Knees of a Pornstar

Today was my step brother’s wedding. I am by NO means a ‘dress girl’- I don’t like to dress up… ever. Skirts are not my thing, dresses are even farther away from the realm of things I like to wear. It’s not just that I have pasty white glow-in-the-dark legs… I would just much rather wear jeans. Unfortunately for me, jeans are just not appropriate to wear to a wedding. And while i’d prefer to hide my legs from the world (and the sun), i’d rather die than wear a floor-length dress. Knee-length is the shortest i’ll go, and there’s no way i’ll ever fit back into my tiny pre-pregnancy dress pants, don’t own a single skirt.. so one of the three dresses I own was my only option.

It wasn’t until I actually put on my dress while getting ready to leave that I looked down and realized my knees look like i’ve given 500 blow jobs in the past week. Both completely covered in unsightly dark bruises. They’re enough to cause whispering among older women- wondering what I could have been doing to cause such unsightly knees. Although.. it could be worse- they could be rug burned. So I guess there’s ONE positive to having a house full of hardwood floors.

My reason for having pornstar worthy knees is not so interesting. It’s simple actually, and can be explained away in 4 words: “I have a toddler.”
One of Holden’s favorite games is when I crawl around on the floor and he chases me- laughing hysterically. Wood floors reak havoc on bony knees. It’s fun to let Holden run after me, but it comes with the consequence of hideous bruise infested knees.

How Holden’s knees are rarely ever bruised is beyond me. That kid heals faster than anyone i’ve ever seen- while my bruises last for weeks, and only get worse when he insists I get down on all fours and crawl around like a dumbass multiple times every day.

I think next time I have to don something that shows off my oh-so-fabulous stems.. i’ll inspect them beforehand.. and maybe slather some concealer on there. Seems like a much better option than being paranoid that people think I moonlight in movies called “Pocahotass” or “Sex in the Shitty.”

Posted on November 29, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 4 Comments

The "ultimate man" gift

Thomas would probably disagree, but I think he’s nearly impossible to shop for. I never know what he wants- and anything he does express interest in is far beyond anything I could ever afford… and he’d never ask for it anyways.

If he were an avid hunter, I might consider the Nikon Black Friday Promo.
I know a lot of men LOVE to hunt, so if your husband is one of those men- this offer might be something you’d want to look into.

The sale has huge savings on all kinds of things hunting related. There’s a hunters package that contains ProStaff 3-9×40 Riflescope with BDC Reticle, ProStaff Laser Rangefinder, Silent Technology Rangefinder Case, Mastering a Long-range shot with BDC DVD and a $50 NikonProGear Gift Card.
All those come together in a package, saving you $144.90 on high quality hunting equipment.

There’s also savings on binoculars (all kinds of them) if your hubby needs high powered ones, $20 off to be exact.

It’s worth taking a look at if your boyfriend/husband/father likes to gear up and go out into the wilderness and shoot things!

Posted on November 29, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

The wide spectrum of napping

It’s funny how much a child’s napping habits change within the course of one short year. Being that Holden is my first and only child, the drastic changes over such a short period of time have come as a huge surprise to me. Once I think i’ve got his schedule down pat, he ups and decides to do something completely different- forcing me to re-arrange everything around a nap. Not only his meals and things, but the way my day plays out as well.

From the time we brought Holden home from the hospital until he was a few months old- practically all he wanted to do was sleep. He’d sometimes wake up long enough to finish a bottle… although most of the time he’d fall asleep a few minutes into it. I longed for the days where he’d be awake for more than 15 minutes at a time so that I could play with him (as much as you CAN play with a newborn anyways). There was marathon nights of him screaming for 7 hours straight, but that was due to reflux that wasn’t being properly medicated(I blame our first evil pediatrician), so I would hope no one else had/has to deal with that as often as we did. Those nights don’t count.

The older he got- the longer his stretches of awake time became. It went from 15 minutes, to an hour, to two hours. Still napping after every bottle though. It was sort of refreshing to have him nap so often in the day- it gave me a mental break from the reflux cries. Trust me, when your kid has horrible reflux you NEED those breaks.

We finally got to a point where I thought we’d stay for longer than a month or two- three naps a day. One in the morning, one at noon, and one at around 5pm. Each nap varied from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. It was impossible to know how long he’d nap, or how easy he’d be to get DOWN for those naps. Holden and I ‘fought’ a lot over his naps- I always wanted him to be sleeping, and he never wanted to miss anything so he never wanted to sleep. I was so used to our schedule that I never wanted to change anything up.. not to mention the fact that he became a crotchety old man who hasn’t gotten his Metamucil when he didn’t get his 3 naps in. The last thing Thomas wanted to come home from work to was cranky mommy and cranky baby. Unfortunately for him- there were WAY too many days like that. Too many to count.

One morning I guess about a month ago, Holden woke up and decided he was no longer going to take a morning nap. I was too tired to fight him on it, but was SO happy when his afternoon nap rolled around and he was so exhausted that he passed out without a fight. He slept so long that I started worrying about lunch time and schedules.. and just couldn’t remove the stick from my ass enough to let him sleep, so I woke him up. Much to my dismay- when his 5pm nap rolled around, he wanted nothing to do with that one either. No matter how much I tried to force him into submission, it just wasn’t happening.
After a few days of fighting and lose the ‘battle of the naps’- I gave in and let him sleep for as long as he wanted to at his afternoon nap.. and no longer tried to force his 5pm nap on him. This made him much happier (even if it did push his lunch to around 3pm). Happy baby = happy mommy. The world can continue turning! Thomas doesn’t come home and have a child thrown at him (not not literally, duh)!

Holden and I do still have wars some days about how long his one nap is going to be. If he wakes up in under two hours- you better believe i’m going to pick his chubby butt up and work my Mommy magic to get him back to sleep. Those few hours he’s down might be long and boring and quiet- but they are MY long boring quiet hours and I want them, damnit. I get to do important things like… watch my soap… surf the internet.. doze off with my head back and mouth wide open. REALLY important stuff.

The only hoop to jump through now is getting Holden to nap while Thomas is home on the weekends (or holidays like right now). It just doesn’t happen, and I don’t know why. he just loves Daddy OH SO MUCH that Holden wants to be awake constantly when he’s home. As much as i’d like a break from nap-duty (Holden is not a child that just goes to sleep in the middle of playing, he also doesn’t nap in his crib but we won’t go into that), if I am not the one to put Holden down for a nap- it doesn’t happen. Thomas can’t even be in the ROOM. Psychic-Baby.. maybe?

Funny how you go from wishing your baby would wake up to play with you- to wishing your toddler would ‘JUST TAKE A NAP ALREADY!’

If you’re curious as to when Holden went to sleep last night? The answer is 1am. It was not a good night.

Posted on November 28, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 3 Comments

Holidays with children: not for the weary

There are no words to describe how exhausted I am right now. I knew today was going to be rough- there was a chance Holden wouldn’t get his regular nap in but I never imagined it to be like this.
He napped for maybe 20 minutes on the 2 hour ride to North Carolina- had us chasing him ALL DAY, and then of course passed out on the way home for about an hour.. essentially ruining bed time. It’s now 10:30pm and he’s wide awake in his crib. He was supposed to be asleep by 9.

I’m not sure if he’s hungry… or wired.. He’s certainly acting tired but just won’t close his eyes.

Next year, we’ll probably be able to relax more because we won’t have to worry so much about him shoving every little thing in his mouth and choking. Thomas and I were both paranoid and ended up hovering over him all day long. Never had I imagined myself to be the ‘hovering’ type- it’s hard not to be when you have a kid who wants to eat everything regardless of what it is.

The funniest thing to watch was Holden’s obsession with his cousin (technically 2nd cousin.. maybe even third, I don’t know how all of that works) Monet. OBSESSED. He followed her around, tried to tackle her, stared at her. She’s a gorgeous 2 1/2 year old, so maybe he’s thinking “Hey, it’s legal to marry your second cousin in Virginia! Our kids won’t have two heads, let’s give it a shot!”

Here are our Thanksgiving pictures:

Oh, that’s right- I forgot to take any. Not a single one! I’m feeling like a ‘bad mommy’- already kicking myself in the ass for not documenting Thanksgiving like I do every other holiday. There was so much going on it honestly slipped my mind. We took a few pictures when we got home but it just isn’t the same. Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk.

I sort of consider myself an experienced mother at this point- but I had it easy the past holiday season. Holden was a lump. No running or needing to be chased after, it was pretty laid back. Hopefully the next will be much easier. It’s hard to make me like the holidays any less.. but I think somehow I do. Christmas is going to be hell on wheels.

10:39 and crying. Maybe we should have stayed home after all.

Posted on November 27, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment