Toddlers: A Thought on Birthday Parties

Handling a birthday party that is not your child’s: Not fun.

My daughter is two, actually she is two and a half! As such, there are a few universal qualities that one can expect. First and foremost, everything is hers. If she likes it, its hers. If it’s purple, it is most definitely hers. If she, at one time in her short life, touched it, then its hers. As much as I try to dissuade this behavior, it seems stubbornly imprinted in her genetic code.

The birthday Girl: Kylie! Isn’t she just too cute?

Today we had a party for my wicked cute niece who turns two next Saturday. We had her party this week because her big obnoxious Auntie (or Tee Tee as she calls her) is selfishly getting married on the most sacred days of her little childhood. Yes, I am that cruel. In all fairness, I did buy her an adorably cute little cake that matched the top tier of my wedding cake with a pretty pink K scrawled on it, so I am not totally heartless. Anyhow, back to my original point. There were presents at this party, presents my beautiful little two and a half year old could not keep her hands off of.

“No no, Kayla those are Kylie’s presents!” Yes, there names are close, blame my sister. Then again, I have an older niece Kiley and I named my daughter Kayla so I guess you can blame me too. Getting derailed again, man I am bad at that! Despite the constant scolding, my daughter needed to get into the presents. She also just had to have the birthday girl princess tiara. Luckily Kylie was not a fan of things on her head so she did not object to my daughter swiping her crown.

My beautiful little thief with her stolen crown 🙂

Then it came time to sing happy birthday. Kayla loves when people sing happy birthday. Actually, let me correct that. Kayla loves when people sing happy birthday to her. She did not like singing to Kylie, which was shown when she burst into tears. Of course everyone thought it was because we were singing loud, but I know the truth. She didn’t get to sit in front of the cake, and everyone wasn’t singing to her. For as shy as my daughter is, she certainly likes attention if it concerns birthday. That could be cause she associates birthday with birthday cake. Seriously. When she sings happy birthday, its not Happy Birthday to you!” its “Happy Birthday Cake to you!” (but she totally means happy birthday cake to me). Yeah I know, she’s wicked cute.

After the cake fiasco passed, we came to the dreaded time that had my skin crawling from the beginning, the presents. Now I refuse to be one of those parents that goes and buys a gift for their kid simply because its another kid’s birthday and they will be getting a ton of presents. So this is how the present opening went.

Kylie opens present. Kylie gets excited for presents. Kylie opens next present. Kayla swipes recently opened present. Kylie wants swiped toy back. Mommy interferes and gives Kylie her new toy back. Kayla has a meltdown. Kylie forgets toy as next toy is opened, and conveniently so does Kayla. Then we repeat.

It was only through great patience, and quick moving parents that we were able to stop a full on toddler brawl. Well except for the plane fight, that one just sort of happened. No bruises though, and thirty seconds later they were happily playing together with all the toys. They are like sisters, Kylie and Kayla. They have a love hate relationship that looks eerily similar to the one I share with my own sister. Luckily, we have moved past the point of fighting over things… most of the time.

 

Have you experienced this issue with your children? What is the best way you have found to surpass the EVERYTHING IS MINE, MINE I TELL YOU, MINE! stage?

Mornings: A Thought on Alarm Clocks

Over the past few weeks my household has gone from normal crazy to psychotic crazy. Even my dog has felt the dramatic change in the air and has become increasingly more demanding of my attention. This, as you can imagine, sparks a war between my pooch Zoey and my daughter Kayla. This battle is never more hectic than in the morning, at 6:30am.

My dog is lazy. There really is no other way to describe it. She sleeps a good portion of the day, and when she isn’t sleeping she is resting. She is a bed hog and always likes to curl up at my feet. During the morning, however, when she knows Kayla will be coming in at any moment she moves and curls up against my back. Then, as my door creaks open and the my little curly-haired clone whispers her normal “Good Morning Mommy Daddy”, the mayhem begins. (yes, she calls us mommy daddy, not mommy and Daddy” ) Kayla comes to the edge of the bed, to which my dog growls and grunts in annoyance. She never snaps or makes any other aggressive move, just growls and grunts. If Kayla persists, as in she climbs onto the bed with us, Zoey then begins to whine. She does not want to get up. Lazy thing.

Then the chaos strikes. Kayla yells at Zoey, “No! No Zoey!” and the dog whines more. Kayla yells louder. Daddy grunts and burrows under the pillows. Kayla starts laughing. Zoey keeps whining. Mommy tries to pretend she can’t hear anything. Kayla starts jumping on the bed. The dog starts growling again. Daddy gets cranky (he is so not a morning person). Mommy finally gets up and begins her day.

I brush my teeth. “Mommy I want to brush my teeth.” Zoey practically sits on my feet.

I brush my hair. “Mommy I want to brush my hair.” Zoey is still sitting at my feet.

I put my boots on. “Mommy where my boots go?” Zoey sits next to me trying to get onto my lap.

I grab a coffee. “Mommy I have some coffee too?” Zoey runs around my feet, causing me to trip.

I put my perfume one. “Mommy me too!” Zoey sneezes like crazy because she never moves from my feet.

I grab my purse. “Mommy where my purse go?” Zoey runs to the door, as long as it isn’t more than two feet away from my current position. By now, Daddy is stumbling out of bed.

I give my daughter a kiss, my hubby a kiss, and pat my dog on her fluffy head. I then try to squeeze out the door without allowing either one to follow despite their best attempts.

What is your morning ritual? If you say you wake up naturally, I will hate you! Just kidding. I won’t hate you. Just mildly dislike!

 

 

 

Awesomeness: A Thought on Fathers

With my impending nuptials just around the corner, the past few weeks have been exceedingly busy. I have had to pick out linens, confirm dates, dish out lots of money, juggle work, school, and a toddler. It has been quite the task, although not all together unpleasant. Sure, some of the necessary traditions that everyone else seems to know escape me. I may have addressed a few invitations as Maureen and Anthony instead of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony [last name]. I may have given my DJ a blank stare when he asked me what cake cutting song I wanted. Really? I have to choose a cake cutting song? Why did I think this would be an easy process? What I should have done was go out and buy a Wedding for Dummies book. That would definitely have helped!

It was not really until the last two weeks that some of the more beautiful things about planning a wedding began to surface. Going through all the reply cards and finding the little handwritten notes of “Can’t wait! We are so excited!” really made me smile. There is nothing like planning a wedding to force you to sit down, and think of your relationships with people.

My family is like a village, a mostly female village. Each and every person in it had a hand in my development. The women are strong, independent, and opinionated. Trust me, you don’t want to cross these ladies. I think that because I am from a Matriarch, I often think of the women of my family and remark on how they shaped me into the woman I am today. What I don’t do, or at least don’t do enough is think of the men.

My father passed away when I was young, and nothing can change that. I will always have fond memories of him, and he taught me many things that I carry with me today. After he passed, however, my sister and I became the benefactors of something great. The men in my family banded together, and gave us something beautiful. Four men, strong and brilliant men, filled the role that we had lost.

 

The first of the four is my Uncle, and he was the strength that my mom and my sister relied upon when my father passed. We lived with them for a while, and he served a purpose I will cherish forever. He helped heal us. I remember when I was in fourth grade, we had a big science project. We had been studying temperatures and we were tasked with creating a “cooler” to house an ice-cube. We would then monitor them and the one who kept the ice-cube solid the longest would win. I was at a loss, as was my mother. How do you build a cooler? Go go Uncle P. He swooped in like a super hero without a cape, and took me to the best home improvement place around us; his shed. We selected a few pieces of wood, some puffy stuff I later learned was insulation, and some other few doodads that held whatnots together. Together, we built this rectangular box that most certainly was not pretty. He did let me do most of the hammering and glue, so it was expected. It was so atrocious looking that I was horrified I would fail, but not only did I not fail, I won first place! To a fourth grader, that is pretty much as cool as it gets.

The second of the four was more of the teddy bear type. He has a comforting smile, and always winks at you. I remember he used to sit down with me on my grandmother’s porch. During these times, it was our routine, I would ask him when he planned on marrying my godmother. Each time he would smile and say soon. I would laugh and tell him it better be. He would wink and move on to topics about school or some random topic a young girl would deem vitally important. As I grew older, his role did not change. Although I stopped asking him the marriage question, he has not changed much. A few years ago I showed up at their house with a flat tire. He sent me on my way to his friend, and made sure all my tires were fixed. I did not have to pay, only mention his name. They smiled at me and so “Oh! He is a good guy, saved us all from tickets on numerous occasions!” You should see him now with his grandchildren, it is just too adorable. He may look tough, but he is all mush!

The third of the four is a man, who though hundreds of miles away, leaves an impression on any who meet him. He has a sense of humor larger than the distance that separates us, and he made it known. I don’t think I have a memory of him without a smile, and we always loved when he came to visit. He would get us out of trouble with a wink and a grin. Not to mention he know just about everything there is to know about anything. I remember when we first moved towards central Mass to a town most of Mass had not heard of, he went out and bought a book. By the time we saw him next, he knew more about the little town than we did. Apparently plastic was invented in Leominster, who knew? My uncle, that’s who! With his sweet southern drawl, he can wiggle his way into anyone’s heart. Not to mention, he makes a great gift. A portrait of him circulates every year at Christmas.

The fourth man is special. He is my Step-Father. My relationship with Tony is incredible. We are very close, we get along very well, and we are a lot alike. We may not be blood related, but his influence has truly made a mark on me. I am hot-headed, quick to annoy, notoriously cheap, and pretty laid back. We even look alike, although I am pretty much the spitting image of my real father too. It’s the Italian in us. When I first began my wedding planning, I knew I wanted Tony to walk me down the aisle with my mother. I wanted to show to everything that he was a vital piece of my life. He is the man who I look to as my father. He did not replace my biological father, for no one could ever do that. But who is to say that I cannot have two fathers? Both of them are part of me, and part of who I am.

Grampy and Kayla

When I looked at songs for our father daughter dance, I had a lot of trouble. I was twelve when Tony first entered my life, and many of the songs were geared towards that. A lot of them are also really mushy, which if you know us you would know that is not us. We have a wry sense of humor and are very independent. We bond over our love of old music and rock, and snicker evilly when we get something cheaper than it’s actually worth. It was our intention to find a totally wacky song that we both love, and grove out on the dance floor. He of course would rock the sprinkler while I did the more dignified shopping cart.  Although I still love that idea, I found a song that fit us perfectly. And guess what? It’s not even rock!  See, I can be a big girl when I need to be!

My Step-Father is an incredibly important person in my life, as are my Uncles. Without their love, their guidance, and their influence I would not be who I am today. I hope you all take the time every now and then to sit back and think of all of the people who helped shape you into the person you are today. You should probably say thank you.

So thank you, ubber awesome guys. See you on the dance floor.

Of Cookies and Tantrums

Dear my beautiful, charming daughter;

You are currently in your room, face streaked with tears. Your little nose, by now, will be filled with boogies, and your too-big-pants are most likely drooped halfway down your bum. You are throwing a tantrum, and a sizable one at that, while I sit on my computer typing this away. Every now and then I can hear you murmur mommy, before the crying picks up once more.

Some may think me cruel for listening to your tantrums, refusing to cater to your needs. I am sorry I did not let you have a cookie, seeing as how we will be eating dinner in less than an hour. I am sorry you found this so unfair that you threw yourself upon the ground screaming out your anger. I am sorry that as I sent you to your room you decided to stomp your adorable little feet and through a little terrible-two-tantrum.

I was patient, at first, ignoring your whining and grumbles. I even used the nice voice and made you smile. But the moment you heard cookie after dinner, the battle was lost. The face contorted, the lower lip quivered, and your little mouth parted to issue the first of many toddler screams. These little shrieks of indignation and anger only increased as you sat in your room, angry at mommy for daring to say no, but that is okay.

Four minutes have passed, and by now you have quieted. I can hear the door open and close as you contemplate exiting. Your cries have stopped, but your temper is still in full force. The little pout on your lips, and the soft sniffle as you look in my direction is proof enough. That is not your I-am-sorry pout, that is your you-yelled-at-sweet-little-me pout. Well, my beautiful little girl, pout all you want. You still can’t eat the cookies before dinner. And now, now you can’t have them after dinner either.

With Love,

Mommy

 

Moms: A Thought about Schedules

Moms: A Thought about Schedules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to interview an author I have been following for a while now, Krystal Wade. The details of the interview will be posted once I sit my butt down to actually finalize the post, but let’s not focus on that. During the interview, Krystal mentioned a few things that really got me thinking. Modern mothers have some serious schedules, most without a minute to spare! So what do we do with our time? The better question is what do we not do!

When we go about our day to day lives, we seldom think about how much we are actually doing. Unless we are in a frustrated mood, our busy schedules hardly register. I got to thinking about this because during my discussion with Krystal, we talked about our schedules. So to better understand just how much I have on my figurative plate, I wrote down all the major things I do. This list is just my basic responsibilities, no shopping, no bill paying, no social obligations. These are just the majorities.

First, and most importantly I am a mom. As some of you may know I am the proud mommy of a two and a half year old diva with an obsession for shoes. Those of you that are parents may cringe when I mention her age, and you should! She is in full terrible-twos mode! I am also a soon to be wife to an incredible man who helps make this crazy schedule possible. Without him, I would be lost!

The next thing is obvious, but I should still mention it. I run this blog, which is a complete blast by the way. I actually spend a lot of time reading books to review, reading other blogs to comment on, managing the social media, etc. Many of you understand this, but for those that don’t I will just say that it can be a bit time consuming, although awesomely fun.

When I am not reading, or writing for my blog you can usually find me writing in general. I write my own novels, though I hoard them like a crazy person and refuse to let the world see the big ones, which of course is most of them. Writing for me is a major stress reliever, and even if I only get a chance to write a few sentences before I can no longer keep my eyes open it is worth it.

Now for the nitty-gritty stuff, meaning my job. I work full time at a very time-demanding job that is 40 miles away from where I live. The commute sucks, but hey it’s a hour of peace that enables me to brainstorm my posts, as well as butcher my favorite songs with my loud, off-key voice. My job is great in the respect that I am kept busy, I get to travel, and I get to meet incredible, influential people in the healthcare world. Plus it pays my bills, so I can’t hate on that!

Sound busy yet? No? You need more? Okay great! I am also a full time student majoring in English Language and Literature in hopes of eventually becoming an editor. Sound fun? I certainly think so! It has been such a wonderful experience so far. I am positively thrilled to be back in school, even though it has effectively reduced the amount of sleep I get. Some people have told me I am crazy, but I just smile. Despite the crazy, hectic, often frantic days I am content with my schedule. There is not a single thing I would give up!

Oh! I am also planning a wedding which is happening in three and a half weeks! So raise your glass to the multi-tasking, I-have-more-to-do-today-than-physically-possible mothers in your life! They may not all have schedules like mine, but you can be assured it is just as hectic!

What does your schedule look like?

Reflection: A Thought on Little Girls

Reflection: A Thought on Little Girls This morning some cruel twist of fate had me awake at 3:00am.  No matter how much I tried to drift back off to the dreamland I could not.  Perhaps it was the fact that I was in my home alone, as my fiancé and my daughter had been away visiting family, or perhaps it was because my upstairs neighbors have a dog that is the epitome of annoying.  It’s one of those yippy ones that have a complete inability to stop barking.  No matter the case, I was awake. Instead of continuing the futile attempt at sleep, which would only serve to aggravate me more, I decided to get out of bed and start my day.  First and foremost, I needed coffee. I have been attempting, unsuccessfully I might add, to decrease my caffeine intake however that was out of the question at 3:15am.  After drinking my liquid addiction, I poured myself a bowl of Honey Comb cereal and promptly plopped down on my couch with my kindle to check my email.  As the trusty little thing loaded, I was greeted first and foremost by pictures.  I had been reviewing my facebook, which of course is filled to the brim with pictures of my daughter and nieces.  I decided I would tell you all a little bit about them.

My first niece is Faith.  She is a beautiful girl who is turning four in two days.  Faith is a special girl, and a wonderful child.  She was born with a rare heart defect, and as such needed open heart surgery when she was only a week old.  The doctors said she would need them all throughout her life.  She was due for another one at 6 months, but through some amazing miracle she has lasted 4 years.  Although she is going in for a procedure in a few weeks, it is not known whether she will need to go for another open heart just yet.  She has defied expectations.  Children are pretty awesome like that.  Faith also is an award winning big sister.  Her little sister is a few months younger than my own daughter, and goes by Becky.  Now, unlike Faith, Becky is mom’s best friend.  I suppose she inherits that from her uncle, he is all about his mother!  Becky, much like Kayla, loves to eat.  I remember heading over there for lunch, and that child mowed down on her food like someone was trying to steal it!  It was truly adorable.  You would never guess her apatite by her appearance, she is a peanut.  The two of them are a absolutely beautiful pair.  Their parents are very lucky.  Out of respect for her mother, I did not post a picture of them here.

My next niece is an adorable, high energy, beautiful nut, born on April 3rd, 2010.  This child would exhaust even the most athletic Olympian.  She is brilliant, a fact that can be a bit creepy when this little two year old can hold full conversations with you.  She is sneaky too!  You can’t help but love this little girl, she is always smiling and laughing.  They say that Karma pays you back tenfold to those who gave their parents trouble by having a child just like you.  Have fun, my fantastic cousin, you are in for it!  Alana is the oldest of the new generation in our family.  We are now a 4 generation crew!   Alana was the first granddaughter, and was the beginning step in completing our apparent tradition.  My grandmother had four girls, and then the first four of the next generation were girls, and now that group has produced four girls!  We are kind of hoping the next one is a boy, just for some variety!  As three of the four are within months of each other, they all seem to have similar clothing…

Now the next one born to fulfill the female tradition was my own daughter, Kayla, who was born twenty days after Alana on April 23rd, 2010.  My daughter was born premature, but was healthy.  Her lungs had developed, and she had no foreseeable issues.  However, like most premature newborns, she had jaundice.  Jaundice does not pose a threat to infants, unless its caused by an underlying medical condition, which thankfully was not the case with Kayla.  Despite that, we were new parents, and we were terrified.  In the beginning, we only knew that our child needed to stay under a UV light and that we couldn’t  hold her was not a fun experience.  We ended having to be transferred to another hospital just under two hours away that had a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  It was terrifying.  We were there for six days, and it is not an experience I wish to repeat.  Once we took her home, the real fun began.  There were now two newborns in our family, Alana and Kayla.  These two, though very different, were insanely good.  At a few weeks old, kayla was already pretty much sleeping through the night.  How many of you guys can claim that? It was like hitting the damn lottery!  At five weeks, we would put her to bed at 8pm, and she would wake up at 7am.  It was incredible!  I was probably the most well rested new mother they had ever seen. She didn’t cry too much, but that didn’t mean I didn’t call my own mom crying when she did. It was very stressful being a new mother!  It did not help that I lived in another state.  Even now, I look back to how nervous I was, how carefully I handled Kayla as though she would break.  I remembered how I used to panic when she would sleep passed the 4 hours the doctors recommended and thought about waking her up.  Thankfully, my family had instilled the firm words of “Never wake a sleeping baby” into my head, otherwise Kayla probably would not have learned to sleep through the night.  All of these memories paraded through my mind as I browsed through hundreds of photos.  Through the ups and downs, time flew by.  Before I knew it, Kayla was three months old, then she was six and had a new baby cousin.  This brings us to my third niece, Kylie.  Now this child was a little different than Kayla and Alana.  Even just after birth, this child had a set of lungs that identified her as a future powerhouse diva.  She hit notes that I swear did not even make sound!  They just made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge.  This child has big blue eyes, dirty blonde hair, and an award winning smile.  She will be two in October, and it just so happens that her birthday is also on the day of my wedding.  Its going to be an action packed October!   Alana, Kayla, and Kylie; the three little pigs, or stooges, or whatever threes group you wish to identify them with.  When you get them together, hilarity and chaos ensue.

Despite age, Alana is the smallest, a little peanut compared to the others. Don’t let her size fool you, she’s as feisty as her mother and can probably knock out anyone who gets near her flailing arms as she dances.  Kayla is tallest, and the darkest.  She has my complexion, thankfully, with her tan skin, large dark eyes, and dark hair.  She is a little more reserved than the others, and has a soft little voice, until you make her mad.  She can be a bit vengeful, which her father swears she gets from me.  I don’t see it; I am a saint I swear!  Kylie is in the middle, but this child is solid.  She is the cutest little brute you would ever meet.  After she knocks someone to the ground, she gives you The Lips; the big, puckering lips that you just can’t stay mad at.  Her grandfather, dubbed Grampy is especially susceptible to them.  This little trio will rule this world, I promise you.

Within the past few months, our little trio has actually grown.  There is a new one, the adorable Brenna.  Although her personality is still evolving, she is showing the signs of being like her sister, Alana.  She is a ham, first of all.  It must be my cousins influence, but Alana and Brenna seem to sense a camera and pose beautifully for it.  My daughter has the opposite sense.  She senses the camera and scowls so all I get is a picture that is clearly telling me to go to the bad place.  Brenna is in that stage where she is still making the adorable little coos that melt your heart.  She has big round eyes and teeny weeny little lips, and chubby little legs that you just love.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I seriously think my family is good at making cute babies.  I might be a little biased though… what do you guys think?

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Picture from Digitaltrends.com

Electronics: A Thought on Technology

Electronics: A Thought on Technology

Many of you have probably heard a lot of talk about parents using television to “babysit” their children. If you are trying to get something done, you turn on the TV, park your children in front of it and voila, instant babysitter. Some parents embrace this, some do not. Some studies say that it is very bad for your child; others say that depending on the program it can go good for your child. Many of the discussions I have heard on the subject generally tend to align with the first. It goes hand in hand with video games consuming our children’s lives, increasing child obesity, antisocial behaviors, and laziness.

Now to be honest, I have mixed reviews about this. I am a very technology centered person, as is my fiancé. My daughter, despite being only two, can easily work my iPhone like a pro. She knows which remote goes to what, and she knows that the keyboard and mouse only work if the computer is on. She is already following in our technology savvy footsteps. Some parents would look at us and sneer that my child knows the opening song to a few programs, mainly Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

To those parents, I say mind your own business. My child watches TV, but she also spends a good portion of her day outside playing in the sun, and she has the tan lines to prove it! Yes, she knows a lot of the opening songs of the shows she loves, but that is also because we sing them all the time! As for knowing how to use my iPhone and tablet, well all I have to say is that when she goes to school and needs to know how to use things like that, she can tutor your kid who can’t.

As you can tell, I am an advocate for children and electronics. Whether you want to admit it or not, our world is growing more technological by the nanosecond. Introducing technology to my daughter earlier on is only going to strengthen her aptitude with them. Not to mention, kids can learn a ton from many of the education games out there. I stumbled across a blog here on wordpress filled with great information and great apps for your smartphone and tablet. And guess what? Many of these games are educational and fun. My daughter loves them. Thank you, iGameMom, your blog rocks. (I highly recommend parents, or babysitters, to visit it. )

Kayla wearing her Daddy’s gaming headset!

I actually had a slight confrontation about electronics and children with a coworker. He is kind of earthy and I was showing a picture of my daughter wearing my fiancé’s gaming headset to another coworker when he said, rudely I might add, (this is a true quote, by the way) “Wow your daughter is already playing video games. You better be careful or she will end up as one of those teenagers with acne and no social life.” Seriously? Hi, this is my iPhone and it wants to punch you in the face. First of all, gaming doesn’t cause acne. I am positive of that. Do you see a warning sign on the gaming console saying Warning: Use of this product will cause acne, make you fat, and destroy any hope at having friends. No, I am pretty sure it doesn’t. Second, obviously I don’t to let her sit all day in front of the TV all, can’t you see the tan on that child? It isn’t good for her, and it’s not good for my electric bill either. And third, mind you own business!

Why do people have such a condescending attitude about involving electronics into a child’s daily routine? You can easily turn any game, or television show into a special bonding moment. For example, I have a wonderful app on my tablet that works with my daughter on her colors and her shapes. She adores this game. We sit down together on the couch and play together.  She laughs, I laugh, and she is learning. As for television? Well my daughter has a lot of energy at night for some reason. So, to help her wind down we turn on the TV and cuddle on the couch. We call this our Cuddle Time. She curls up next to me with her teddy bear and her blanket and we watch a movie. Gosh I am such a bad parent!

Now I understand that some people take electronics to the extreme. There are some people who let their children park it in front the TV or computer all day and never move. Yes this is bad, I get it.However I also feelthis is just as bad as filling every waking moment of your child’s life with some sort of educational activity, electronics or not. Anything to the extreme can be detrimental to your child’s development, and health. The key is to use a healthy mix. Instead of using the TV as a babysitter, perhaps involve them in what you are doing. My daughter loves to empty the dishwasher. I just have her hand me the stuff as I put them away. You don’t always need to distract them if you are trying to get something done. Instead, use TV in a meaningful way to enhance their day. Make it an after supper exclusive, or a lure to get up early in the morning. You guys are smart, you will think of something. Just stop sneering at those of us who do.

The point of this blog is that you shouldn’t feel bad about putting on the TV for your children, just as you shouldn’t feel bad about turning it off and pushing them outside to get some nice vitamin D. It’s all about the mix.