Let Me Count the Ways

If you are here to feel superior in your adulting, you are in luck because I am about to confess to a pile of parenting sins. Let's start with the fact that I haven't even tried to get my toddler to sleep in her bed in weeks. WEEKS! She's in a phase where she'll curl up next to me on the couch while I blog or work or edit photos or whatever and she just falls asleep on her own. No fuss AND I get to be productive. It's a fail, but it's a winning fail!

If you're like "but toddler sleep is hard for everybody," fine. I'll give you another way to feel superior. I have taught my tween that sometimes we need to hide when we eat treats.

Oh, but I have.

Mila is a junk food eating beast, so if Alexis and I would like a fighting chance of getting a treat, we better be sneaky. During a recent grocery run, we decided we needed a package of total crap cookies because sometimes total crap cookies are the answer to every problem. We knew we couldn't bust open those total crap cookies with Mila around, though. So, the second Mila went down to the Man Cave to hang out with the husband tonight, Alexis hit the pause button on the television, jumped off the couch, and very seriously looked over at me and declared, "IT'S COOKIE TIME!"

She said it in her wannabe Ace Ventura voice, by the way. It was really very lovely. (Ding! There's another reason to judge! My tween has watched Ace Ventura enough times to end up imitating it.)

So, Alexis and I huddled up on the couch happily munching on cookies. It was a perfect little moment.

We both have eyes that are bigger than our stomachs, though, so it didn't last long. We each ate like four cookies and then got distracted by the television. The cookies sort of just sat on the couch next to me.

And I forgot about them for like 10 minutes. I remembered them REAL quick when the husband showed up with a sleepy Mila who wanted to lay down on the couch and go to sleep. He lowered her to the couch and her face wound up inches from the package of cookies.

Christmas. If Christmas were a child's expression, THAT is what it looks like. Mila's eyes grew wide and then lit up with so much joy as she realized she had literally crash landed on top of some cookies.

Judging time! She ate A LOT of them.

Judging time! I didn't bother to try to stop her.

Judging time! The sugar high has kicked in, so she's now two hours past bedtime and still wide awake.

But, hey. I got to have a super perfect moment with my Big Kid and then I got to see Tiny's face light up with the joy of 10,000 Christmases, so I might just be the winningest failure there is.



Ring Around the Rosie

Part of Project Keep Mila From Burning the House Down involves keeping her busy. And contained. Strapped into some sort of chair is ideal. Go ahead and judge me for that because the best way to keep her strapped into some sort of chair is to go for a bike ride. She sits in a little trailer and very happily follows me as I roll down a trail or two.

And I do mean VERY happily.

Lately Alexis and I have preferred a 7-mile trek down a particular trail that includes a little spot to stop and watch some frogs and turtles in a pond. Alexis is mostly in it so she can dance by the pond while Mila watches the frogs dance, but that works. Everybody should get to do what makes them happy.

Singing makes them both happy, by the way. Alexis sings for most of the bike ride. Right now she's been in a Despecito sort of mood, which would be find except that she doesn't know the words, so she sings like one line of it. Over and over.

I stay a little ways behind her as we bike. It's better that way. Ahem.

Mila sings, too. Today's song of choice was "Ring Around the Rosie." We all fall down, just so you know. Over and over. Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posey, ashes, ashes, WE ALL FALL DOWN ::cackle::cackle::cackle::

It goes just like that with her. She yells the part about falling down and then giggles. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

It's freakin' adorable.


My soundtrack was playing at the exact moment that I miscalculated a steel post sticking out of the ground. I was trying to navigate between two of them -- barriers that are intended to keep cars off the trail -- when I went a little too far left and caught one of the tires from Mila's chariot on the post. The trailer stopped, the bike stopped ... I didn't stop.

I fell down, so to speak.

Mila howled with laughter. HOWLED. The kid had little tears falling down her cheeks because she was laughing so hard. When she recovered, she went back to singing her song.

So there's the answer to one of my life's questions. I've always wondered what sort of person could enjoy a Three Stooges movie and there it is. Mila. Mila thinks people crashing is hilarious.



Hello, Puppymonkeybaby Month

What was once a hypothesis is now a proven fact: Alexis turns into a raging jerk about a month before her birthday. It strikes like lightning. Perfectly timed, always on schedule lightning. Christmas will come and go and suddenly I will find myself dealing with a miserable little human who can't figure out how to keep her mouth from getting her in trouble.

It has always been that way. I figured out the pattern when she was probably five. Since then, I've looked forward to our annual mutual dislike with much apprehension. We've reached the point where she makes it about ten minutes into her annual month of raging jerkiness, hands me something she cares about knowing she has earned a punishment, and says, "I KNOW. You always love me but you don't always like me. WHATEVER."

And then she storms off and we weather the storm for a month. Then POOF! the misery clears like magic within a few days of her birthday.

I had long wondered if Alexis is the only kid who does it. Is it possible that other kids have a time of year when they just lose their damn minds? And does it have to do with birthdays?


When the month leading up to her birthday came and went and Mila was just plain pleasant, I started to think Alexis is an isolated case. I mean, you guys, Mila was so pleasant.

Past tense. I used past tense there.

After going back through some archive posts, I can now say with relative certainty that Mila also has a month of letting her mouth get her in trouble. She waits until AFTER her birthday, though. I don't know for sure exactly when she magically morphed into Puppymonkeybaby, but GOOD GRIEF.

This is the most accurate representation of Mila possible.

Licking included.



The child has lost her damn fool mind. She's running around like a complete wackadoo, licking everything in sight (including the walls at Target because why not), listening to nothing, and generally just making me nuts.

She is the Puppymonkeybaby. I just hope it ends soon.