Bad Mom


I have an addiction.  It’s not a drug addiction.  Well, maybe it is.  Caffeine is a drug, right?  I’m addicted to iced coffee.  Or maybe just coffee in general.  But more specifically Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.  This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since I’ve mentioned my DD trips in many posts.  It’s bad enough that Brinley has even memorized my ice coffee order and points out every Dunkin’ Donuts when we’re out asking me if I forgot to stop.  For years, I’ve always ordered the same thing:  medium French Vanilla iced coffee with milk and sugar.

Well, yesterday I pulled into the drive-thru on my way out for the day.  I don’t usually look at the menu because I always get the same thing.  But this time a rather large poster caught my attention.  I looked up to see a phrase that said something along these lines “The best of both worlds – chocolate and coffee together.”  And right there was a picture of a mocha flavored iced coffee.  Now I’m not really one to try new things and I love my iced coffee so much that I’d hate to sacrifice such a thing by ordering something new and then not liking it.  But, for some reason, I decided to give it a try.

That was a mistake.  And not in a bad way.  It was TO.DIE.FOR!  I can’t believe it took me this long to try it because it was amazing.  I love chocolate almost as much as I love coffee so putting them together was sheer perfection.  I’ve had mocha flavored drinks in the past but usually they’re too overwhelmingly mocha-y for my taste.  I prefer to actually taste the coffee in my drinks because I love the flavor.  I don’t just drink coffee for the caffeine, I drink it because I truly enjoy the taste.  So now I’m in big trouble.  Yesterday Scott informed me that we need to cut down on our Dunkin’ habit because it’s getting a little crazy. (He’s just as much an addict as I am.)  Apparently we’re spending about $80/month to support our addiction.  That’s on top of the coffee that we already drink at home.  Yikes!  Not to mention, all that sugar and milk is probably not helping in the fitness category either.

Any suggestions on a less expensive, more healthy addiction that’s just as delicious?

The best babysitter

I have the best babysitter ever!  She’s always available, always on time, and my kid LOVES her.  She get’s great reviews, does exactly what I expect her to do, and always gives undivided attention.  The best part?  I don’t even have to pay her.  I know what you’re thinking.. How on Earth did I find such an awesome babysitter?  Well, I’ll let you in on my little secret, but you have to promise not to pass judgment.  You see, you too can have a babysitter like this.  I’ll tell you how to find her.  Walk into your living room, playroom, family room or whatever you call it.  The babysitter comes in all different sizes so I can’t give specifics on what to look for though she’s usually black and quite thin these days.  Are you catching my drift here?

Yup, my babysitter is the TV.  It’s not what you think though.  I don’t put my kid in front of the TV for hours on end so I can take a nap or play on the computer.  The reason I use my TV is a babysitter is because there is just no way I’d be able to do some certain thing otherwise.  Like taking a shower for example.  Sure I could get up super early and shower before my husband leaves for work (and sometimes I do), or I could take a shower at night when the kids are already in bed.  The problem there is that I NEED to shower in order to wake up and start the day.  Night showers don’t work for me.  What has worked out perfectly for me for quite sometime now is this:  Nora naps at 10am (give or take) every morning.  This is my optimal time to shower.  There is virtually no way that I could leave her unattended while I shower, even if it were for 2 minutes.  She’s a tornado.  So, she’s napping and then there’s Brinley.  Sure she’d sit and read a book or color or something, but that is pretty short lived without her wanting me to read with her or her wanting to show me her artwork.  And I don’t want to risk her running down the hall looking for me and waking Nora.  So, here is where the babysitter comes in.  Brinley would sit in front of the TV for the entire day if I allowed her to (which I definitely do not).  It’s great because I know that she’ll sit there and watch a show while Nora is napping peacefully and I can get in a nice, quality shower and get dressed without a child pulling at my leg or screaming.

Aside from this time, we never have the TV on unless Brinley is watching a special movie or something with daddy at night.  Nora has zero interest in the babysitter right now.  So, I know you’re never supposed to use the TV as a babysitter, but sometimes there are exceptions to be made.  Either that, or I’m just a bad mom.

Mom guilt and Second Child Syndrome.

This little girl is turning one in three and a half weeks. I have no idea how that happened (that’s for another post) but I’m feeling super mom guilt. No one is making me feel guilty except for myself, but it doesn’t matter, I still feel it. Why? Because she is suffering from Second Child Syndrome to the fullest extent. If you’re not aware of SCS let me give you a brief description. SCS is the phenomenon where second born children are unintentionally treated unfairly in comparison to their first born sibling. For example, I’m sure most of you are guilty of taking fewer photos of your second born child. (If you’re not, then kudos to you!) There is no one to blame for this and it’s absolutely unintentional, however, it just seems to happen.

Before Nora was born I swore up and down that she would receive the same level of attention in all aspects of her life that Brinley did. I promised myself that we’d take as many pictures of her, be just as excited about all of her firsts, and shower her with as many “oohs and aahs” as we did with Brinley But, let’s be realistic, none of that happened. It wasn’t on purpose, but there is just no way that you can devote the same level of attention to a second child when you still have the first one to care for. Your time is now divided. Unless you have the ability to clone yourself or cut yourself in half (in which case, can you please share your secret) it is just not possible.

So, as Nora’s first birthday creeps closer by the day I realize that I have no devoted nearly as much time to thinking about or planning a party for her. I didn’t send out invitations, I used and Evite (I know, I know). I haven’t planned a menu. I haven’t picked out her present. I haven’t found her the perfect birthday dress. And I feel terrible about all of it. In my defense, we’re moving in ONE week and her birthday happens to fall on the 2nd weekend we’ll be in our new house. So, needless to say, I have a lot on my plate right now. I just hope that she won’t hate me when she’s all grown up. I promise that I love her just as equally as I love Brinley and I will gladly accept the Bad Mom Award for this one.

Please help me to not feel so guilty. What has caused you to feel mom guilt? How did you get over it? Or did you?

Don’t cry over Mac n’ Cheese

I was just over reading Theta Mom’s blog and her post about snarky comments reminded me of a situation I was in about a month and a half ago.

It was early January and my awesome friend Molly was up visiting.  We were out doing some errands with my girls and decided to stop somewhere for lunch.  I really wanted to go to Chili’s but Brinley demanded we go to Applebee’s instead.  When we got there it was a bit after lunch time so it wasn’t too busy.  The hostess brought us to the last table in the back left corner of the restaurant.  I’m sure the fact that we had two young kids with us landed us that fabulous table, but I wasn’t going to complain (I know, you’re surprised!).

Anyway, we were looking at the menu and Brinley was coloring on the little kid’s menu/coloring book that restaurants provide while Nora finished up her nap in her car seat.  (No, I didn’t leave her in the car!  She was tucked into the booth.)  The waitress came by a few times to see if we were ready to order, but Brinley couldn’t decide what she wanted to eat.  She eventually said she wanted a grilled cheese but then I remembered back to another time we had gone to Applebee’s and what the grilled cheese was like.  Basically they take a hamburger bun, flip it inside out and put some cheese in the middle.  Then they “grill” it in the burger grease.  DISGUSTING!  Last time we ordered it for her I refused to let her eat it when it came out.  The manager took it off the bill and I had steered clear of Applebee’s since then.

Much to Brinley’s dismay, I ordered her Mac n’ Cheese instead.  Now, this is something that she typically loves so I didn’t think she’d really even notice that I had ordered something different than what she requested.  Boy was I wrong!  When the food came, she flat out refused to eat it.  She wouldn’t even take a single bite.  I asked her a few times to eat her lunch because she said she wanted dessert.  I eventually backed off of it thinking she’d eat it when she was ready, but instead she flipped out.  She was crying (fairly loudly) and just wouldn’t snap out of it.  If you are lucky enough to have a three year old, you will recognize this as a tantrum.  This was a result of her not being in control of the situation.  Yes, my little three year old control freak!

Aaaannyway, at the table behind us sat two older women.  I’d say they were at least 70.  Well, one of them said in disgust to the other one, “If that were my kid I’d just smack her.”  Followed by, “Someone needs a parenting class.”  Now I don’t know if they thought I was hard of hearing (maybe because they were), but I heard what they said as clear as day.  I attempted to bite my tongue and not say anything which is VERY difficult for me to do.  I happen to think that I am a damn good parent.  Sometimes there is just no reasoning with a three year old.  If my food hadn’t just arrived on the table and I wasn’t with company, then I’d have taken Brinley right out of the restaurant and gone home.  Well, we stayed, Brinley continued to pout (not quite as loudly as before) and Molly and I tried to enjoy our lunch.  The two old women continued to make snarky comments.  Eventually I just lost it and turned around to them.  I don’t remember exactly what I said, but the woman proceed to tell me that when she made those comments that she was referring to her nephew and how he is out of control.  Hmmm, I wonder why she was referring to him as a her?

Molly and I finished eating and then got ready to leave.  I made sure to give a nice look to those old ladies on our way out.  There was another family there with young children who gave me a nice, sympathetic, “I’ve been there, too” look as we passed them.  I’d really like to have seen how those ladies would have dealt with a stubborn three year old having a “moment”.  Maybe I will learn some techniques for handling it in my parenting classes, NOT!

For the record, I only have two children.

Brinley has quite an imagination. Lately she has been really into The Berenstain Bears. About a month ago, Chick-fil-A (our favorite food court destination) started giving out Berenstain Bears books with their kids meals. After reading her the story umpteen times, she had it committed to memory and begged to go to the books store to get more of the stories. We obliged and she now has a small collection of the furry family’s tales.

Anyway, after memorizing these stories and characters, she decided that our family would become the Berenstain Bears.  The family consists of four critical members, Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother and Sister, and an additional cub, Honey Bear, who was not part of the family until 2000.  As you can guess, I became Mama Bear, Scott became Papa Bear, Brinley became Sister and Nora became Honey Bear.  With no one left in our family to become Brother, Brinley decided that he would just be imaginary.  He would join us where ever we went and even had a seat in the car right between Sister and Honey Bear.

So last week, we took a trip to my favorite store, Target.  We were just picking up a few things and were on our way to the check out.  Brinley was helping me to put the items on the conveyor belt and the nice cashier was making small talk with us.  She asked Brinley how old she was and Brinley replied that she was four (because Sister is four, at least that is what Brinley thinks).  Then the cashier asked Brinley what her sister’s name was.  Brinley said, “Oh, her name is Honey Bear.”  The cashier looked confused, but smiled anyway.  Brinley proceeded to tell the cashier, “I have a brother too you know.”  The cashier asked if he was at school and Brinley told her, “No, we just left him in the car for a little while.”

I nearly died!  The cashier looked at me like I had committed a crime (which I guess I could have by leaving my son in the car).  Since we were all paid and ready to leave, I didn’t bother explaining to her that Brother was an imaginary bear.  I just took our bags and left the store.

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