Posts Tagged With: Parenting

To the Lady pathetically forcing her kid to clean up blocks at the library:

Just stop. Seriously.

Your half hearted “we are going to go potty then clean up the blocks” to your not even 3 year old was pointless.

What value is there TO HIM in cleaning up the blocks?

So now he went potty and YOU are cleaning the blocks.

Every so often you chase him down, tell him sternly “we are cleaning the blocks” – to which he laughs- then you go back to cleaning the blocks yourself… in silence… and he goes back to running around in pure joy.

My 14-month-old is watching, taking it all in, that’s what bothers me the most. He doesn’t understand this angry Mom, silent to her little one that just wants to play.

I really try to not judge–

Maybe you are exhausted- I’ve been there.

Maybe he has some extra challenges none of mine have.

Please just calm down. He is suppose to resist, suppose to run around instead of cleaning, he’s so little.

If he doesn’t clean this one time I promise he won’t go his entire life unwilling/unable to clean up after himself.

If there is a mess when you walk out the door, more kids will come and play and the mess will get bigger.

The world will not come crashing down.

BUT- if you need the mess cleaned you have to work harder. You have to talk with him the entire time, YOU have to calm down, YOU have to engage with him.

So pick one.

Stick with it.

And have a better day.

 

 

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When you make a promise…

My children are trying to marry me off…

Tea (11) “you promised me you were going to get married

Tajh (13) “We have a list”

And they proceeded to give me the list.

On it is a loud, foul mouthed “older” gentleman. My friend, a partner in crime, one of their favorite people. Not someone looking for a wife and 6 kids, someone looking to be free, and drunk. Another friend of a friend made the list. Not someone who is “stable” or to “normal”, but someone who is kind and the kids love. The rest of the list is either people who I don’t really know (including some of their teachers) and people already married…

“Umm.. he’s married”

Kids “That’s ok, we can break them up”

Oh goodness…

Wow…

So apparently I have to get married. I did promise after all…

Applications are being accepted via sevenwildandfree@gmail.com

The kids will look them over.

Oh my kids… these kids…

Categories: Single Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To All The Haters…

I got a lot of crap before Tag was born for my “crazy ways” and “silly ideas”. Let’s remember, I have 5 other kids (and way more that came in and out during my fostering days) yet some people just knew I was making huge mistakes. No swings? No crib? No bouncer? Clearly I am insane! You cloth diaper? Well I’m bringing you disposable anyway, “just in case”.

Hi.

Hello.

I’ve done this before.

It’s rude. It’s not “being helpful” or thoughtful. If I say no and you don’t choose to hear my words, it’s disrespectful.

So to all those that did not believe I knew what I was doing, Tag has survived to nearly 7 months old…

Without a bouncer, swing, walker, jumper, bassinet, stroller, or even a disposable diaper!

I have held him, worn him, or set him down on a nice soft spot when needed. I’ve washed his diapers, by hand even, and never needed to use any throw away ones.  He has survived!

He is a happy healthy little man, even a little advanced if I do say so myself. (and I do, because I’m his mother)

You raise your baby your way, I’ll raise mine my way.

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What Happened To My Sleeper?

Tag has not been napping lately, or at least that’s how I have been feeling… Yesterday I decided to write things down (because trying to remember anything is hopeless) and find out exactly how much my reformed crazy sleeper was ACTUALLY sleeping…

Tag went to bed at 8pm and woke up at 8 am- Win.

Nap:  9:30-10

Nap:11:10-11:45

Nap: 1:20-2

Nap: 3:50-4:40

Nap: 6:30-7

Bed: 9pm-6am

Ummm.. Excuse me? A total of 3 hours of napping over the entire day? Here’s the deal, that 3 hours is not even productive time for me. By the time I got him to sleep and escaped with my boob I had only a small about of time to get anything done before he woke up again. Yeah, totally not working for this Momma.

When Tag awoke this morning (at 6am, not ok) I decided to do a little experiment. Despite being totally exhausted and wanting to just go back to sleep, I got us both ready and headed to the mountain. We started hiking at 7:15 (he was awake until we got there) and within 2 minutes he was asleep. And Tag decided to nap for the entire 2 hours of our hike! .

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Must be nice to be so lazy…

So what did I learn? Apparently running/hiking my entire pregnancy does not create a baby who sleeps while laying still… My little coach is going to do whatever it takes to get me on the mountain no matter how many excuses I make… If you’re feeling unmotivated I will happily send him to your house the next time he wakes up at 6 am!

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Did I mention it was 99 degrees when we finished?! That’s sweat… gross

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Pretty sure the evil dictator is planning how he will torture me tomorrow…

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This One Time-

All my shit was stolen. No joke, all my shit was stolen. I came home a couple of months ago and my house was broken into and anything I had of value was take… The only thing really important was my computer. Yeah, that fucking sucks. My kids were pretty OK with it… well except Teagan. Tea tends to get more emotionally involved in things then the rest of the kids. We all talked a lot about the value of objects and concluded that though it is crappy, the world does not come to an end. Great reminder for the kids, shitty that I no longer have a computer.

Then I was kicked out of my house. Yeah, true story. So they tried to kick me out while I was pregnant,  9 months pregnant! Who thinks that’s a good idea?!?! Obviously I stayed longer and gave birth to Mr. Taggart in my home, but then we moved. It was hard leaving the place Tag was born, but the kids and I looked at it as a new adventure. Well, except Tea. Again she gets more emotionally invested then the other kids. She understood everything that was happening and was hurt, but she worked through it seeing that I was OK. All she needs is to know that Mommy is ok and she finds her own strength.

Now the car is gone. NO JOKE! Now you see, this here is life. It is messy. It isn’t easy. BUT if you take the time to see the beauty in it life does moves forward and good things do come. I could be upset, but I could also just choose to move on, move forward, be awesome.

This is not a “woe is me” story, this is a reminder to always be resilient. Life is a constant adventure, good and bad. I refuse to let other people’s anger and unhappiness dictate how my world will go. I have 6 wonderful children with beautiful hearts who remind me every day that love and compassion are the priority. Anger is an emotion used to cover up pain… All these moments in my life have been a great example of that and an opportunity to “practice what I preach” to my children. I choose kindness. I choose happiness. I choose to move forward.

Categories: Single Life | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Alone Life

So I’m a single mom of 6 kids, who’s interested??

Yup, that’s the opening line to my stand up routine… hence why I don’t actually have a stand up routine…

But really, who sees a mom to 6 kids and thinks “hey, I want in on that mess”?

Six kids… That is a lot.

Five kids sounded like a lot….

I’ve had it together for these past couple of months since Tag’s birth. I think where most mer mortals would have folded, collapsed at the exhaustion and stress, I excelled. I’ve always taken a challenge well and doing this “single mom to an infant plus five other kids half the time” thing was my biggest challenge to date. I’ve felt in control of my emotions and very “put together”, but not these last couple of weeks. Somehow I have turned into an emotional wreck every time a love song comes on. I cry, in public sometimes- Sabrina does not cry!

So what is it?  I have zero desire to date and zero time.

I am happy being single- While my friends are telling me “you just had a baby, you’ll be interested in dating later”, in my head I’m daydreaming about all the running adventures I will go on in this “later” they speak of.

I have no one to answer to, it’s pretty sweet. My kids roll with all my crazy antics: breakfast for dinner, last minute adventures, impromptu dance parties, and we have no one to judge us. No one to question why we spent money on unnecessary things. No one to check in with. No one to judge my kid messy car. No one to kibosh any stupid (yet fun!) ideas we have. We like it.

If I did have any free time a man is not what I would want to spend it on. I would rather spend more time with my kids, read more, run, go on adventures, write, maybe make that “money” thing everyone speaks of. So much to do, dating is not even close to the table…

So why the sadness as of late? I think I’ll chalk it up to my hormones being a mess post birth. Maybe exhaustion has finally built up enough and I can no longer ignore it. Or maybe it’s just normal? Maybe it’s normal to be sad you don’t have something everyone else (ok not everyone) has but not really want it in the end? Nah, it’s just hormones, I’ll take an extra placenta pill and call it a day.

There was an old woman who lived in a running shoe… I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes.

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All the man I need! (well… Tag and the 3 others I suppose)

Categories: Single Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Stop Praising Dads for Parenting.

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Take a hike! With your kids.

The biggest question I get asked if how I get my kids to hike as far as I do.

Well, bribery.

Yes my kids love nature, yes my kids like hiking, but even they hit a point where bribery is the only option. Even my kids need that carrot to keep them moving at times….

Well not a carrot. A carrot would not even work for my crazy vegan kids. It’s chocolate, gummy snacks, or treats of any sort.

Sometimes it is a playground at the end of the hike! By far my favorite hike to take “newby” hiking kids on, that is also close to Phoenix, is in Cave Creek Regional Park.

“Let’s go hike kids!”

“waaahhh I don’t wanna”

“We can play on the playground after”

“OK!”

Everyone wins!

Starting at the Go John trail head you have the one big climb of the hike, we call it the ant hill. Once you reach the saddle you have the best stop for a snack and take some pictures spot. Do not spend too long hanging out here, when kids get to thinking how tired they are its hard to get them moving again! When you come to a junction take a left on Overton. You will meander around the mountain for some more awesome views and some fun little downhill sections.

Eventually you will spot the nature center which is a great little stop to see some critters. You will also spot the playground which is a great end of hike motivator for the Little ones!  It’s funny how moments ago they were “so tired” after 3 (ish) miles but when they hit that playground they have all the energy in the world!

For a hike this length my Little People don’t have that many snacks, but if yours is new to this sort of distance plan on a little something at the saddle and maybe a couple more along the way. I tend to try and give them something “healthy” in the beginning, fruit of veggies, and use the sugary snack as a motivator to keep moving as the miles drag on. I usually plan on something they love (for us its chips) at the park as an added “yay you made it” bonus!

The best part about Cave Creek Regional Park is once your kids have mastered the short hike there are many options to add on miles and still have the playground as motivation! And for us parents, the views are all beautiful!

Do-

Teach your kids trail etiquette before you go. My rule for my Little People is the almost always move off the trail and let adults go by. It’s just easier that way.

Have snacks. Delicious ones. Probably chocolate.

Let your kids carry their own stuff. Camelback has the best kids packs on the market currently. Buy your kid one, go outside and use it!

Take time to hunt for lizards, watch a bug cross the trail or stare at the hawk flying by.

Buy good shoes. It’s important. Velcro is BAD for kids hiking (ask Tru, he lost 2 toenails last summer)

Use motivators when needed. Talk, play games, run, smile, give snacks. Have fun yourself so your kids can have fun too!

Don’t-

Give snacks every time they ask. Always give a “snack point”. “When we get to the saddle we will have -blank-“. If they start getting what they want by whining I promise you will regret it later in the hike!

Carry their pack. Yes they will get tired. Yes their pack is heavy. Do not let them get away with being lazy! Let them feel strong and capable.

Commiserate. Instead of complaining when they do, talk about how happy you are that your legs hurt because of how strong they are becoming. If you complain they complain and that is no fun at all!

So get out with your Little People and have fun!

 

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Screw the Village

I get the “it takes a village” mentality, but leave my kid alone!

I am very clear with my children that they do not have to feel obligated to talk to or listen to adults if they are uncomfortable. I am also very clear that they need to do things on their own when it comes to climbing, jumping, swinging. If you get yourself into a situation you better be able to get yourself out.

We hiked to Seven Falls in Tucson yesterday. The hike was uneventful and all around easy, nothing much to say about that. When we got to the falls the older ones got to playing and I sat with the baby paying little attention to what they were doing. Frogs were caught, rocks were climbed, people got wet. The usual.

Now Tenny is strong and a fairly talented gymnast. She loves boulder and got herself on this rock-

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And got down many times.

But at one point she was up there alone and two older gentlemen took notice of her trying to get down and offered help.

“No thank you” Said Tennyson

She sat back on top of the rock waiting. When I say I pay “little” attention to what is going on that’s not completely true, I knew exactly what was going on but did not intervene.

Tenny continued to sit  on the rock looking at the men out of the corner of her eye for a couple more minutes then went to go down again.

At this point one of the men jumped up offering her help again.

“No Im ok” she said. She climbed back to the top again and sat uncomfortable for another few minutes before hightailing it down and over to me.

“hey honey, did that bother you?”

“Yes. They didn’t listen to me.”

Now you see, the “helpfulness” was really not listening to my daughters words. Yes she is only 6, but she said she was fine and the men, adults, wouldn’t hear her. How scary is that when you are little? She went back up the rock multiple times not because she wanted to, but in hopes that these men would leave her alone so she could get down. I understand wanting to help children if they look like they are in trouble but she was not.  Maybe she could have fallen, but so what?

Tenny and I talked about the way she felt. We talked about how adults should listen to children’s words and if they don’t that’s scary. We also talked about how these men may have just been trying to help but we also don’t know and some people use “helping” as a way to trick children.

PLEASE hear my children. If you aren’t trusting a child’s judgment DO NOT push. Give a simple “can I go get your Mom/Dad for you” but do not invade their space or comfort zone. Adults need to respect a child’s words. Maybe you aren’t the “bad guy” but what happens when my daughter takes help from that person because she doesn’t want to upset the person offering help?  Children should not feel an obligation to accept help from an adult AND if they have already said no thank you, essentially telling the adult to back off, and the adult does not listen they should be wary of that person.

Tenny did what she was suppose to do and though I am sad she lost out on some fun playtime while she sat figuring out how to handle the situation, I’m glad I got to see her use her internal safety button and make the choice she thought was best. Strong looks good on Little Ladies…

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No One Gets Me!

My Mom was over tonight and she and Tajh went outside to take the trash and recycling bins out. Moments later she comes running in frantically-

“Tell your son no!”

Me- Deer in headlights

Mom “There is  lizard stuck in the old trash can and he wants to get it out!”

Me “Oh. Well Tajh, save it”

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That’s right, even my Mother who has watched me parent for 13 years got it all wrong.

Do I really parent that oddly? Maybe to “average” American standards, I’m not “average”.

This isn’t “normal”?

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This one time, in 5th grade, my teacher told us “to assume is to make an ass out of you and me. Yes, my teacher told a class of 10-year-olds this. Genius. Make no assumptions, ever.

I actually got asked the other day, “so do you just wear him (Tag) all the time?”

Yes, yes I do. If I’m not wearing him, I’m holding him. If I’m not holding him, I’m peeing, I will pick him up when I’m done. I treated Tajh exactly the same way and no, I do not have to wear him still today. He is by far the most self confident and genuinely happy person I know, adult or child.

Also no, babies can not be manipulative. Babies have needs, they cry when then “need”. I respect children (or at least try to) no matter how old they are. I actually have “A person’s a person no matter how small” (Dr. Seuss) tattooed on my body ( I have a quote obsession).  Just because they are littler then we are does not mean their wants and needs should be ignored.  If a baby is crying I will do whatever it takes to make them not cry. I will nurse all day, wear all day, pace while singing all day, whatever it takes. Again, I have done this with all my children and none of them still expect to be carried! They are all very capable and confident. I think 5 awesome kids says I’ve done something right.

Obligatory-random-adorable sleeping baby picture….

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But again, even my Mom after all these years misjudges how I will react. I suppose I can’t hold on to any hope that people will “get” me and maybe I’m happier with them not. I like being a little odd.

And don’t worry, our friends (turns out another one was hiding) were saved and ran off happily.

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