Opinions are like _______________.

The month of December was a supremely awesome whirlwind of festive in my face.  Topping off 2014, I’ve spent the past two weeks on SAHMcation with Miles, and the time together has been phenomenal.  Having Kid Two on the way really brings a greater appreciation to the time you have with Kid One, and we’ve been appreciating the hell out of life these past few months.

With the holiday season comes lots of time with others: friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, neighbors, strangers you meet at Publix.  Something I’ve noticed more, probably because we’re like really in the Parents Club now, is the inquiring minds of these others.  Questions about parenting styles and methods are common in most of our circles, which is totally fine, since most of you know I love nothing more than to share my opinion.  But something else I’ve noticed is the intent behind the question; most genuinely want to know how or why we do something, or what has worked best for us.  Others seem to ask with their opposing view lying in wait, ready to begin the debate.

Here’s the deal: I’m an oversharer, but with good intentions.  If you ask, it’s because I think you want to know, not because you want to argue.  Our choice may be different from yours, and that’s okay, because only the parents know what is best for their children and families.

Over the past four weeks, I’ve been asked about potty training (nope, we haven’t started), schedules (yes, we live by the schedule), spanking (nope, we don’t believe in spanking) and vegetables (veggie pasta for life).  Most who ask are parents of young children, and it’s good discussion for us, as well as enlightening to hear alternate points of view in some cases.  But there are a handful who ask with the anticipation of my response, because they want to argue.

Just like a nose or bellybutton, everyone has an opinion.  But your opinion doesn’t negate our parenting choice, and I would never vocalize my own thoughts about your style to your face (to my husband’s face, yes, but we’re allowed to talk about other parents, it’s a Club rule).

Parenting is, in my son’s words, “SO BIG.”  It’s monumental.  I was talking with my husband the other night, after coming to the revelation that not only are we teaching Miles to hold hands when crossing the street so he isn’t hit by a car, but we must also teach him why he doesn’t want to be hit by one of those large, fascinating, rolling machines.  Do you know why you don’t want to be hit by a car?  Of course you do, you’re an adult.  Truth: toddlers do not.  He has no concept of what that car will do to him.  The depth of teaching is far greater than some people realize or remember.  When you come to understand the importance of what we do each and every day, a deep respect is felt for all parents.  We deserve a hell of a lot of respect.

Please keep that in mind the next time you want to ask about potties (we’re waiting until Miles is ready, respect that) or spanking (we believe in education and discussion, respect that) or vegetables (we accept what Miles will and will not eat this week, respect that) or schedules (we live by the schedule 99.9% of the time and you’d better respect that).

To quote a Stephen King book I’m currently reading, “Parenting is the ultimate ‘hum a few bars and I’ll figure it out’ routines…”  Yes, absolutely.  We’re flying by the seat of our pants quite a bit, especially us first timers, learning as we go.  Know that we’re putting the well-being of our child first, and even though you may not believe it, we do know what’s best for our family.  To question or give an opinion from a place of negativity is unnecessary, and will only be met with some sort of immature response from me (duh).

I am a mature adult.

I am a mature adult.

RESPECT.

(I feel like I owe Aretha some back royalties for broaching the topic of respect so frequently)

Back this week with regularly scheduled nonsense and a recap of 2014, confirming my sanity level is low.  We’ll try to keep the sappy stuff to a minimum and the poop stories to a maximum.  Promise.

Word to your motha,

K

 

 

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No…when are YOU having more kids?

From the moment we announced we were pregnant, our lives suddenly became a Q&A session.  Something about my non-ice cream related bump gave folks a sense of comfort unlike anything I’d ever experienced.  And they expected answers.  Formula or breastfeeding?  Co-sleeping or crib?  Staying at home, or heading back to work?  Binkies or no binkies?  Cloth or disposable?  Princeton or Harvard? (Julliard, duh…)

I get it.  Once people know you’re pregnant, they also know that on a bi-weekly basis, you have a team of eleven poking and prodding and squeezing you.  Much like staying awake for an entire movie after you become a parent, privacy becomes a fictional character.  As a fan of TMI, and always willing to share a good poop story, I can understand the curiosity that plagues some people.

Then your baby arrives, and now the curiosity can be put to bed.  People can see and hear (and maybe touch, if you’ve used enough Purell) your sweet little miracle.  No time for questions; only time for sitting in awe and wonder.

Only that’s not it, and not by a long shot.  The closer your child gets to their first birthday, the more frequently the Q&A sessions begin again…and once your child has actually passed the first birthday?  Forget it.  This time, people want to know when and how many and hurry up already you’re getting ooooold!

When are you having your next baby?  How many children are you going to have?  Why aren’t you pregnant already?  Don’t you think your child deserves a sibling?

And now I am starting to feel a little ragey towards these well meaning people.  Maybe it’s the years I’ve spent carefully caring for the bleeding heart I have beating in my chest, or maybe I just think it’s none of your business.  But consider the parents whose one and only child is a miracle…do you want to ask them these questions?  Or the family that adopted, because they just couldn’t conceive…do you think they’d like to answer when they’ll have their next baby?  See, that’s my bleeding heart, worrying about others.  It’s definitely possible that the young family with their first child just wants to enjoy their time together, as a family of three…did that thought cross your mind?  See, that’s my it’s none of your business attitude, getting ticked because you’re overstepping your boundaries.

Some people can only have one child; some people only want to have one child.  Each family is unique and different and beautiful, and each family knows what is best.  It could be one child, or it could be a dozen.  But let them make that decision without a Diane Sawyer interview.

Before Miles, no one ever asked me when I was getting my next cat (the answer is ASAP always and forever).  In fact, when we did adopt the litter of three that was abandoned in our neighborhood, I could feel the collective eye roll from some of you.  But, those cats are part of our family; they are my children (stop rolling your eyes).

It’s a natural question, sure.  Just use some tact and thought before blurting it out.  Otherwise, I’ll probably just respond with, “Have you had a bowel movement today?”

Secrets forever,

K

 

Cats and grammar.  The world is a beautiful place.

Cats and punctuation.  Best ever.

Updates: Gene mutation, cat urine, and my toddler’s Jersey Shore after hours party.

Some of you have asked for updates on previous posts, like this one on my overwhelming love of cats or this one, that apparently concerned many when its original purpose was just to tell you that hey, God has this stuff covered.  So here we are, me giving you updates on all things exciting in our lives right now…like mutated genes and cat pee.  Curious?  I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE!

Health Stuff…let’s start here, because this isn’t nearly as much fun as talking about cat pee and fist pumping.  My doctor’s appointment went well.  Genetic testing showed that I have a two-copy mutation to my MTHFR gene (yes, that abbreviation makes me think exactly what you’re thinking right this moment…) which can essentially put me at greater risk for strokes or heart disease.  Because it’s a gene mutation, my diet and exercise can help, but won’t be the ultimate preventor (this is now a word) of health issues in the future, if any arise.  I am now on some extra special magic vitamins, and baby aspirin, adding to my current level of prevention.  I might possibly use my yoga pants for more yoga-ing and less pants-ing.  Maybe.  Rest assured that I am absolutely fine, and thankful this testing exists.  To know something like this at a young age (29 forevaaa) is a blessing.  An ounce of prevention, am I right?!

 

Because they're MUTANT lobsters...get it?!

They’re MUTANT lobsters…get it?!

 

Cat Pee…oh yes, this is the update you all have inquired about most frequently.  Remember the two kitty friends that were camping out at the park across the street?  Of course you do, because you re-read the post I linked above, wink wink.  A few days after that post, they disappeared, and I was extremely worried.  We spent a great deal of time on our family walks scoping the park, trees, and neighborhood for the kitty friends that I secretly planned on adopting.  While Fluffy never returned, Kitty Friend, the token name for the more bovine of the two, showed up.  I was ecstatic, and there are not enough spaces for exclamation points to express my happiness at that moment.  We began the process of luring Kitty Friend to our house: feeding, feeding, singing, talking, feeding, bribing and more feeding.  While Kitty Friend would not let us pet him, he did inch his way closer to our home.  I could see victory on the horizon.  You can never have too many cats, people.

Kitty Friend started sleeping under my husband’s work van, then on top of my truck, and sometimes on our front porch.  Kitty Friend was really making himself at home.  We loved Kitty Friend, and we assumed that Kitty Friend loved us and wanted to be our real friend.

Obviously no friend of ours.

Obviously no friend of ours.

One afternoon, I was in the kitchen preparing dinner while Miles was running a marathon around the dining room table squealing “STAW-BUR-AY!” (strawberry)  Typical pre-dinnertime behavior.  Over the sound of dinner prep and toddler songs, I heard a “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.”  Of course, being a cat whisperer myself, I recognized that low yowl.  It belong to Mai Tai, my fat old tabby cat who enjoys late afternoons on the front porch away from the ever present hugs from Miles.  I rounded the corner, and found Miles waiting by the front door, an obvious look of concern (or possibly pooping) on his face.  I peeked out the window, and there was Kitty Friend…so where was Mai Tai?!

I opened the door, and my sweet old Pookie (Mai Tai’s most popular nickname) came barreling in the house – quite a feat for a 14 year old overweight tabby cat who spends much of his leisure time licking his butt and soaking up sunbeams.  Immediately, I scooped up Pookie…and he was damp.  Not even damp; Pookie was wet.  Upon further inspection, I realized Pookie smelled like cat urine.  Had he gotten so upset he wet himself?  No, not my Pookie, since he’s neutered he doesn’t have that…odor.

I opened the front door to find Kitty Friend had urinated all over the front door and all over Pookie.  Kitty Friend was obviously no friend of ours.  We cleaned up the mess, bathed Pookie, and decided to take a more guarded approach to afternoon adventuring.

Then, after over a month of cat stalking, we learned that both Fluffy and Kitty Friend are actually our neighbor’s cats.  You know, the new neighbors, the ones I’ve also been quietly stalking, because they’re our age and they have a son who is just six months younger than Miles.

And just like that, I’m on the fence about Kitty Friend and the neighbors.  What kind of cat pees on another cat?!

PS – They also have a black cat who has terrorized our three younger cats previously.  Of course, I didn’t know the Spawn of Satan belonged to them until recently.  I’m revoking my welcome bread basket.

And finally…it’s party time.  Miles goes to bed at 7:30p, and has for quite some time.  We have a good schedule, we’ve stuck to it for many months, and it’s wonderful.  But lately, lately, after we’ve read “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and “Goodnight Moon”, sung the songs and given the kisses and snuggles, instead of quietly drifting off to sleep, Miles has spent half an hour talking, singing, beating his stuffed animals against the side of the crib, and asking for his ball.  Do you know what all that racket sounds like?  A nightclub brawl, in the nursery.  Do all toddlers do this?  Other than taking longer to drift off, his sleeping habits haven’t changed.  I’d just like to know if he’s talking to JWOWW or Pauly D, and if so, could he possibly convince them to do just one more season of Jersey Shore?  Because I miss my orange skinned Guidettes making fools of themselves at Jenks.

YOU MISS THIS.

YOU MISS THIS.

Yes, I’m aware of my horrible taste in television.

DTF,

K