Saturday, December 22, 2012

Erin has bunny rabbits in her ear

From the 'conversations with my preschooler' files...

Brenna is off of school for the next 2 weeks.
That means that mommy is off of work for the next 2 weeks.
Not exactly a tropical vacation but c'est la mommy vie, I guess.

Anyway, what does one do with a 3-yr old who is out of school in the days leading up to the National Celebration of St. Conspicuous Consumption (also known as Christmas - no offense meant to all my friends who celebrate)? Well, run errands and buy stuff, of course!

Brenna is back in her big-girl bed which means that she is, and consequently I am, up long before the sun, so we dawdle until around 8:30 am when I think at least some of the stores will be open. Maybe not the dry cleaners, but at least the ones participating in the mad shopping rush.

Brenna's self portrait
I load Brenna into the car and pull out of the driveway.
B: Mommy, what we going to do today?
M: We are going to run errands.
B: Why we going to run erins?
M: Because we...
B: I have a friend Erin.
M: You have a friend at school named Erin?
B: Yes, at school. I have a friend. Erin at school. She not at school now. She at home.
M: Oh. right. Your friend is at home with her mommy and daddy.
B: No. She not at school.
M: Yes, because school is closed.
B: No. She not at school because she got something in her ear.
M: She got something in her ear? What did she get in her ear?
B: A bunny rabbit!
M: A bunny rabbit??
B: Yes! She got a bunny rabbit in her ear!

Yes, I suppose getting a bunny rabbit in your ear would prevent you from going to school for a while.

Nola - not a bunny rabbit but if you put her in your ear you'd probably wish you'd found a bunny rabbit instead

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Translation of preschool-ese: What "I love..." really means to a 3 yr old

Recently Brenna has discovered the phrase "I love _____." It's quite cute. Usually it is a random pronouncement and "love" is stated with importance and verve. For example, "I LOVE purple...And pink. Yes, I LOVE them."

It is often associated with food - usually foods that I've never seen her eat and occasionally she has actually professed dislike for. For example, Brenna recently announced that she LOVEs pizza. However, I have never actually seen her EAT pizza. In fact, when presented with the opportunity to eat pizza she generally chooses to eat anything but pizza.

Or it comes in response to a question that really doesn't need that sort of qualification. For example, "Brenna, it's bath time. Are you ready to take a bath?" "Yes mommy!! I LOVE bath time!"

And it may be followed by and linked to something she really does love, like chocolate.

So the exchange sounds something like this:
M: Brenna, it's bath time. Are you ready to take a bath?
B: Yes mommy! I LOVE bath time!!
M: Great, I'm so glad you love bath time. Let's go get you undressed.
B: No!
M: But you love bath time and you have to take off your clothes to take a bath.
B: NO!
[exteremely pained sigh from mommy]
B: If I take a bath can I have some chocolate? I LOVE chocolate!

Thus, I have now figured out that when Brenna says "I LOVE ____!" it really only means that she loves to say that she loves _____, not that she actually loves _____.

Got it?

Oh, and she is going to try to sleep in her big girl bed tonight. Last attempt at the big girl bed was a complete fail with Brenna getting up at 5 am, coming into our room, and having a screaming meltdown on the floor when told it was not time to wake up and she needed to go back to her bed...or at least to her room....or really anywhere but screaming on the floor at the foot of our bed.

Yeah, we LOVED that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mommy, that HO WEIRD! - more preschool conversations

Brenna is absolutely enamored of the holiday lights. So, each evening after I pick her up from school, I try to drive a different way home so we can look at new lights. As we were driving home last night, Brenna was pointing out lights and suddenly she says...

B: Mommy, the lights. That ho weird!
M: What?!
B: It ho weird!
M (not even sure where to start with this one): So weird?
B: Yes, ho weird!
M (ok, at least she isn't practicing her new vocabulary word describing the working girl who stands on the corner of Ponce & N. Highland): What's so weird?
B: Nevermind, mommy.

ok. will do.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

"I saw it on Facebook"

Ever wonder what your preschooler is doing when you're not looking?

Brenna is looking at pictures on my phone.

(Aside: How is it that children seem to emerge from the womb with an innate sense of how to work all electronic technology? At 2 she could scroll through pictures on any touch screen electronic. By 2.5 she had figured out how to turn on all electronics and navigate to what she wanted. By 3 she can essentially tell me how to navigate my tablet and phone and fix whatever problems I might encounter.)

So, anyway, Brenna is looking at pictures on my phone and she comes upon this one of her with her Aunt Kate:

B says: Mommy! I see she! (She has complete command of technology but is still working on grammar - there must be some sort of cognitive theory about this progression of development that Piaget and Maslow didn't anticipate.)
M: Yes, that's you and Aunt Kate
B: Yes, but where is her?
M (not really sure what B is getting at): Aunt Kate is at her house with Uncle Kevin.
B: No. I know! I saw her on Facebook!
M: Facebook?! (Exactly when is my child cruising Facebook?? And, how am I not aware of this?)
B: Yes. Facebook. I saw her when I was a little baby.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ruminations on pee pee shoes and other parental condundra

I have discovered that the late toddler and preschool years are a time of bodily functions: the occurrence, the discussion of the occurrence, and what to do when they occur at unexpected times or inappropriate places. I really never thought I would spend so much cognitive energy on pee-pee.

But, alas, I do.

And here is what I have learned:
  1. Pee pee happens. Usually when you least want it to.
  2. In the world of the 2-5 yr old there is no such thing as an inappropriate time to discuss pee-pee.
  3. The more the perception by adults that the time is inappropriate to discuss pee pee the more likely it is that your child will bring the subject a very loud voice.
  4. Oxy products are the lord's gift to parents of preschoolers
  5. "Accidents" are a weapon and potty trained preschoolers are masters at wielding this weapon.
Take for example, Brenna's recent discovery that if the teacher says you can not change your pants on a whim, then you can stand in the middle of the classroom and pee on the floor, and suddenly, you are not only allowed, but encouraged to change your pants...and socks...and shoes....and maybe even your shirt if you were very thorough. While this is extremely effective in achieving the preschooler's desired outcome (really, they're not a dumb as they look), it is not exactly rewardable behavior from the adult perspective. 

This brings us to a parental pee pee conundrum. What to do with clothing and shoes that have become collateral damage in the war to change pants for no reason (until they suddenly are wet because you stood in the middle of your classroom and peed in them)? (please check out her site. she is hysterical)

Which brings me to another parental conundrum: It completely mystifies me why retailers create clothing for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and young children that have washing instructions that include "hand wash" "gentle cycle only", "hang dry", "wash separately", and my all time favorites "do not wash" or "dry clean only". Seriously? Who buys this sh*t?? It is my firm belief that if it can't be thrown pellmell into the washing machine on the heavy-duty boiling-water-sanitize cycle with a full cup of bleach (well, color safe bleach) and then dried at a temperature that would make the furnace melt, then it should not be produced, sold, or purchased for a child under the age of....well, 20.

SERIOUSLY?! $920? For a toddler dress? A white toddler dress?!

And here is the conundrum part: Hand-me-downs. Every parent loves hand-me-downs. Without them we would all be poorer than we already are and our children would have to go naked by Wednesday (assuming that Sunday is laundry day...which it might be, if only I were that organized.) So really, the more clothing your child has the less laundry will need to be done. In theory, anyway. 

Hand-me-downs answer the question "Who buys this sh*t?" (sh*t = clothing that can't be boiled in the wash and cooked in the dryer). Obviously, someone does because a selection of it has ended up in my daughter's closet and drawers and I certainly didn't pay top dollar for it. 

Shoes are the worst. What do you do with the pee-pee shoes? How about the pee-pee boots? Or, every parent's favorite: pee pee light-up shoes? Electronics and washing machines do not make good company - in this contest no one is the winner. But, if you don't wash them, your child goes around smelling like a homeless person. And no parent wants to their child to go around smelling like a homeless person. It's bad enough, that when they get to be a teenager they will go around dressed, in your ancient and uncool opinion, like said homeless person (or a streetwalker...or both). Really, there is no need for them to spend their early youth smelling homeless too.

So the shoes must be washed. The athletic shoes. The leather shoes. The shoes made of stuff that looks and feels like leather but did not come from any animal found in nature. The shoes with lights. The shoes with glitter. If it goes on your preschooler's feet then it will likely need to be washed. 

Surprisingly, I have had great success with the washing of Brenna's shoes. Her glitter-sparkle shoes came out of the wash and dryer not significantly worse for wear and still sparkly. Even better, the washer/dryer remained un-glittered. Her neon pink sneakers are still pink, albeit not quite so neon. The Nike high tops (made of some leather-like substance that is definitely not found in nature) came out as good as new. As did her yellow t-strap mary jane sheakers. In fact, these actually came out better than new since the searing heat of the dryer seems to have been the only answer to re-adhering the cute rubber piece to the toe of the shoe. (I had tried every kind of glue and tape, with no success, prior to washing them.) 

Based on this list, I have pretty much sent every pair of Brenna's shoes through the washer and dryer.
At first, I actually put the shoes in a delicates bag. Now I don't even waste my time with that. Pee pee shoes - straight into the gaping mouth of the washer/dryer beast with you!

Fortunately, she has not peed in her boots but if/when she does, I will probably thrown them into the washer and dryer as well.