The Art of the Bribe.

Bribery. Good parents would NEVER bribe their children, right?

Who can say? There is no way to contact these Bribery-Free Good Parents. They are all very busy explaining to Toddlers why the Good Parents need at least one hand and a small amount of quiet in order to make a phone call oh never mind the office closed hours ago.

Child Bribery is the reason banks have lollipops. Without lollipops, banks are basically the most boring place on earth. WITH lollipops, banks are a super fun treat.

Child Bribery is the reason that popsicles EXIST. I make popsicles so I can say, ‘hey, do you want a popsicle’ and Babystar will say ‘obviously’ and I have about four minutes to load the dishwasher or change my tampon unassisted or make a dentist appointment.

I don’t know what I will offer when she starts refusing popsicles. Twenty dollar bills?

Whatever works, y’all.

But here’s the thing. Or, at least, here is the thing that I tell myself but is probably not true at all because Toddlers are wily af. Babystar has no clue that she is being bribed. She just thinks mommy is really nice and sometimes gives her popsicles along with a little personal space to eat them and drip them on the floor if that is her choice.

Boom. Mom of the year.

We have spent the last six years a few weeks this summer at various stores shopping for the Teenager’s dorm furnishings. (In case you don’t know, The Teenager likes everything to be just so. Dorm shopping involved a lot of Pinning and Browsing and comparison shopping and returning things and buying other things and returning THOSE things and buying other things.)

Babystar loves her sister and she loves going bye-bye (mostly) but everyone has limits. And of course she wants to touch everything in Home Goods and RUN SO FAST through Target’s aisles because duh. She is also learning sequences, and she responds really well to ‘first this, then this’. I can say first we change your diaper, then we go to the park. Or first lunch, then diaper, then park. So I always made the third thing fun. First we return sheets at Target, then we buy hangers at Home Goods, then we go to the splash park. First we get dorm snacks at Trader Joe’s, then we buy storage bins at Target, then we have a picnic with the airplanes. First Ikea, then Target (ALWAYS Target), then we can pick out a toy at Home Goods (while the Teenager decides on the absolutely perfect throw pillow).

Home Goods has the BEST toys, y’all. They almost always have discounted Melissa & Doug toys. And Green Toys. And books. There is only one small Toy Aisle so Babystar’s choices are limited (good) but the inventory is constantly changing so it is a new toy store every time (better). I am a huge fan.

During my three desperate ‘you can pick any toy’ days, I was pretty willing to buy whichever toy she chose. The most expensive thing there is usually still under thirty bucks.

The first Toy Bribe Day, Babystar chose Green Toys Sports Boats. There were two on the shelf; one was blue and one was orange. And they both had cool Duck Captains. Babystar could not choose a color, so I bought both. They were $5.99 each, and they are normally $11.99, so one was basically free, right? Isn’t that how math works? (I know. Shhh.) She loves them and plays with them every night during her bath.

 

The next Toy Bribe Day, Babystar chose a Melissa & Doug felt food sandwich set ($12.99). It is pretty sweet. Pretend food is apparently ALL THE RAGE in Babystar’s world right now. (I eat fake corn and take bites of fake ketchup several times a day.) So it is really strange to me that she has not even asked about the sandwich set since we brought it home. It is sitting in the top of her closet waiting for a rainy day (proverbial or actual) or perhaps Christmas.

 

The last Toy Bribe Day of the Dorm Shopping Extravaganza, Babystar chose a small pack of wooden blocks ($3.00). These blocks were on CLEARANCE at Home Goods. Home Goods prices are already basically clearance prices. I was very excited about the wooden blocks. I was mostly excited about the fact that they only cost three dollars.

wooden blocks

The blocks are meant to be a little town or something but Babystar loves to build a TOWER SO TALL TO THE SKY so she plays with them a bit different than intended. (Whatever; her blocks, her tower, her life.)

block tower

And oh yeah, we all got pedicures before taking the Teenager to college. Babystar’s blue toes cost $10.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,564.60

MAYDAY MAYDAY: Do you use Child Bribery to make your life easier? What form? Does it work? (I’m clearly soliciting new plans, if you couldn’t tell.)

 

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Mo Potty, Mo Problems.

I hate potty training. Can I say that? Am I still a good mom?

I don’t even care. I DESPISE potty training.

Can’t I just put the kid in diapers until she’s like, dude, stop buying me diapers, I am old enough to drive to the store and get them myself now. Or something.

UGH.

But yeah. Ok. The oldest two go pee pee in the potty like big boys and girls (they are gonna love this sentence btw as they are in college haha). So I guess the little one gets her shot too.

I blame the cousins. Ever since those two weeks of Toddler Fun in early July, Babystar wants to pee in the Big Potty. There were tons of potty breaks for the 3yo and 4yo, as you might imagine. Babystar was watching everything. We have spent SO MUCH FREAKING TIME hanging out on the Big Potty singing Itsy Bitsy Spider and Open, Shut Them and I’m getting a bit sick of it.

Guess how much pee has made it into the Big Potty. Go ahead, guess. Did you guess one drop? If so, you are incorrect. The correct answer is ZERO.

We went out and got her a sweet bathroom set up. A BLUE potty seat, WITH handles, as requested ($15.99 for a two-pack). A step stool (ubbi, $14.99), as requested. (Although her feet still barely touch the stool when she sits on the potty. We recently remodeled our bathroom and all of the toilets are now ‘comfort height’ which I guess is comfortable if you are six feet tall but not so much if you are a tiny toddler.)

potty training seat

But the waters remain still.

I AM NOT READY FOR THIS NONSENSE.

MAYDAY MAYDAY: Help. Just help. Tell me something that will make this better. Pretty please.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,487.28

Summertime is Pool Time.

It has been HOT, y’all. SO HOT.

I am in Arlington, Virginia, and the heat has been no freaking joke.

I usually avoid the pool citing such reasons as sunburns and drownings and I’m lazy. But it is just SO DAMN HOT that I kind of feel obligated to take Babystar to the pool.

Please understand: Babystar hates the pool too. But she always always ALWAYS asks to go to the pool. Cries about it, even. So we put on her swim diaper and bathing suit and sunscreen and sun hat and water shoes. We pack a bag of towels and cold water. She unpacks the bag while I change into my suit at lightening speed, and then I repack the bag before we walk across the parking lot holding hands to the pool in our condo complex. (I said HOLDING HANDS. Sweetie, if you want to go to the pool you have to hold mommy’s hand to walk across the parking lot.) Sometimes we have to turn around because the ToddlerMonster refuses to hold hands, so we walk all the way back home and get in the Pink Car (her Little Tikes wheels) for the very short journey across the dangerous parking lot to the swimming pool. Which, as I believe I already mentioned, she hates.

When we get to the pool, she mostly hangs out on the first step. AFTER, of course, insisting that I get all the way wet, even though she will FREAK OUT if water gets near her face. Even though her favorite thing to do while hanging out on the steps is splash water near her face.

TODDLERS, amirite?

If Babystar goes past the steps at all, she is clinging hard to her lifeboat aka whoever has her in the pool. (Not like, whoever, as in I just pass around the baby in the pool. It is either me or one of her siblings that are also legal adults.)

poolpic2

I know that I need to take her to a baby swim class, but I missed the window for this summer as the waiting lists are eight thousand pages long. I think I need to take her this winter when no one else is thinking about swim classes. Are swim classes offered in the winter? I will google it later. Much later. Like probably next June.

Even though she appears to hate the pool, she doesn’t hate the water. She loves splash pads. I should take her to more splash pads. I want to, but the whole being wet and then getting back in the car thing suuuuuucks. (I can change her easily but not so much myself.) She also loves her baths. Although she hates to have her hair washed so at least she’s consistent on the whole getting-her-head-wet situation.

puddlejumpers

Babystar weighs almost 29 pounds and those Puddle Jumper floaty thingies all say they are for  30-50 pound kids but I DO WHAT I WANT. I bought her one to wear in the pool. I actually first bought a life vest for 25-33 pound babies but it didn’t really hold her up. I think. I never really let go of her, but it seemed like it wouldn’t hold her up. So I returned it and bought the kind with the arm floaties attached ($14.99). She seems happier so maybe it gives her more confidence. I don’t know. I can’t ask her. She doesn’t know what confidence is. (I mean, she has more confidence than most humans I know, but she doesn’t know the meaning of the actual word. Maybe that is the key to confidence!!)

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,409.90

 

 

Brusha-Brusha-Brusha.

BAD MOM ALERT.

Babystar has not brushed her teeth in six days.


Go ahead. Mock me. Shame me. Send me unsolicited infographics about children’s brushing habits and their ability to get into a good college. Tag me on Facebook on articles about toddler dental health. Email me links to articles about why I suck. 

I have no excuse. I KNOW. But if I did, it would be this. 

We ran out of the delicious bubblegum flavored, fluoride-free kids toothpaste on Tuesday night after she DID brush her teeth. 

On Wednesday, I bought new kid’s toothpaste but it was hippie Tom’s of Maine ($3.99) strawberry flavored and she HATED IT. She spit it out and decided to rub her toothbrush all over the toilet instead. I guess this was a commentary on the new toothpaste. Two thumbs down PLUS a toothbrush in the toilet.

So of course we had to toss it into the trash immediately. Because gross.

That happened to be the last of four kids toothbrushes that my husband and I got in our MommyCon gift bags back in 2015. (We each got a gift bag, and they were 2-packs.)

So, ok, no biggie. We will just buy her another toothbrush.

On Thursday, Babystar woke up in a terrible Toddler Mood and we cancelled all adventures and stayed home to color and watch Blue’s Clues and play with blocks. I remembered the toothbrush around dinnertime and popped over to Harris Teeter, where I couldn’t find a single kids toothbrush. Not one.

Darn it. Oh, well, she’s two. She will live, right?

On Friday, I bought a Orajel-brand kid’s Elmo toothbrush and candy-flavored toothpaste set ($4.39) at Target.

Nope. Nope. Nope. She refused to put the colorful Elmo toothbrush anywhere near her mouth.

Crap. So the teenager helped me find the toothbrushes from MommyCon 2015 online. (I was really wishing I had taken a picture of the swag bag contents for the blog because we had long since tossed the toothbrush packaging.) She figured out that they were made by WooBamboo; I found them on Amazon and ordered them with my sweet Prime two-day shipping ($8.43).


MORE BAD MOM CONFESSIONS.

I only brush Babystar’s teeth at bath time. Which is usually in the evening. I ask her if she wants to brush her teeth in the morning with me, and she says yes about 20% of the time. So that’s what we do. I insist that she brush her teeth at bath time, and she’s not always on board but we make it happen. Babystar got her first tooth a bit AFTER her first birthday so we did not establish a good routine early. I know, I know.

MAYDAY MAYDAY: Does anyone know any good ways to convince a very particular toddler to brush her teeth? Asking for a friend.

Ok, so the package arrived yesterday, and guess what. She did not take a bath yesterday. She fell asleep instead and I was not about to wake her up and now it is Monday.

Six days.

TERRIBLE PARENTING. Go ahead, call the police. I don’t even blame you.

I promise she will get a bath and BRUSH HER TEETH tonight. If they haven’t already fallen out by then.

Aaaaand, because we have out priorities straight, we got matching blue toes again over the weekend. Hers are only $5 + tip (so $10.)


(I used the make-it-seem-like-I-recently-shaved-my-legs filter on that picture. Did it work? 🙃)

RAISING BABYSTAR: $18,879.45