Kids will be kids, Little Mister, NaBloPoMo, Uncategorized

Overheard in the KK Household: 2020 Version

As a five year old, our child was rather entertaining. Add 2 dogs, a pandemic and general stir craziness, and who knows what’s going to come out of everyone’s mouths.

If someone were a fly on the wall in our house, boy would he get an earful! At any given time, you would hear any of the following:

Little Mister: “Wow, Dad! You were able to pick up Mom without hurting your back!” After Mr. KK hugged me, then squeezed and lifted me off the ground. Thanks, kid.

“No, we don’t kiss with our teeth.” Me, to Bruno, after he lick-bit my nose.

“Wait, is that poop? It looks like poop. Why is there poop? Can you pick it up and smell it?” Me, to Mr. KK, after seeing something brown and suspicious on the floor.

“I’m not very happy with you right now.” Little Mister, to me, about 25 times a day.

“Do you smell that? Was that you?” Me, to any one of the humans or dogs living in my house.

“Ugh, another hug? All you want is hugs.” Little Mister, eye rolling until it hurts, to both of us, constantly.

“Wow, Mom, this is a really good dinner.” Little Mister to me, complimenting my exquisite grilled cheese cooking skills. (Something I do “right”!)

Me: “The rules of the game say that the youngest player goes first, and then next youngest to oldest.” Little Mister: “So it’s me, then Mommy, then Daddy.” Incorrect, but God love ya and I’ll milk it as long as I can.

And bonus point if you’re playing at home for every time you hear an “UGH!” and “Moooooom!” and “That’s not fair!”

Kids will be kids, Little Mister, memories, NaBloPoMo, parenting

That Time We Needed to Make the Bed Like a Pet Store (for Two Months)

With our Little Mister, once if forever. We played Pet Store one day where we set up all of his one million stuffed animals like a store, and I was the customer and he was the owner, and I had to pick out an animal to take home as a pet. He loved it so much, that or the next TWO MONTHS we had to make his bed every morning will all of the animals lined up as the “pet store” for the customers.

Did I mention we had to do this every day? The same animals? In the same order? Did I also mention we likely had to change leaked on sheets a few times a week so we had to strip the entire bed and I had to memorize where the animals went?

Our Little Mister takes after Mr. KK: type A and very particular about everything. One time we were all in the bathroom brushing Little Mister’s teeth and he had little animals positioned around the toothpaste. Well, I knocked the toothpaste over and stood it up, and the Little Mister had to stop brushing his teeth to turn the toothpaste 1/4 millimeter to the right so that it was in the exact right place. I looked at Mr. KK like, “Can you believe this kid?” when he said to me, “I mean, I didn’t want to say anything but you did put the toothpaste in the wrong spot.”

There are two of them!

Back to the stuffed animal toy store.

For two months, the daily making of Little Mister’s bed looked something like this:

There was a method to the madness:

  1. Put on fitted sheet
  2. Line up animals in a very specific order NO CHANGES
  3. Put on flat sheet
  4. Put on comforter
  5. Fold over sheet and comforter on each side to reveal animals

And once everything is in place, the toy store could open its doors and I could go in and buy a new pet for the day!

I will remember this silly game fondly, as it was the beginning of April and we were all home together for what would be a very long time (unbeknownst to us!). But it was new and fun and something we would never have done otherwise.

food, Kids will be kids, NaBloPoMo, parenting

We Are Raising a Carb-a-holic

When our Little Mister was younger, he would eat so many different foods. Then, slowly, he started to have an opinion (the nerve!) and decide what he did and didn’t like. Gone were the days he would happily mash salmon and potatoes in his mouth, or ask to try our shrimp or eat puréed beef stew. Now, foods he ate just two days earlier were no longer in his repertoire.

One day, he quit chicken nuggets cold turkey. What 5 year old does that? Chicken nuggets is a food group for kids under 10.

But what does the Little Mister love? CARBS. If my child could eat only white food for the rest of his life, he’d be happy. (I mean, I get it – I wish I could exist on cheese and bread, too. But there are things called balanced diets and BMI that we have to worry about).

At our recent 6 year old check up, the doctor asked Little Mister if he was eating fruits and vegetables. “Yes,” he nodded solemnly. Liar! Besides broccoli, we are anti-vegetable (tomatoes are a fruit! and corn is not a vegetable!).

Dinnertime is becoming harder and harder. Though I think I’m more bothered with Little Mister eating the same thing every night than he is. Honestly, he’d the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I let him. (Why am I not letting him? Why am I driving myself crazy???)

Part of the reason it bugs me that my child won’t eat (or try) anything is that I actually cook dinners each night. Mr. KK and I eat a pretty good meal each night, the likes of which are wasted on our child. So each night, I cook 2 meals; or, rather, I cook one meal and one additional carbohydrate.

What is on the 6 Year Old Menu

Here is what Little Mister has deemed worthy of eating:

• Grilled cheese
• Pizza (he used to ask for spinach on his pizza, or bacon and olive, now it’s just plain cheese)
• Pasta (plain, no butter or cheese. sometimes he’ll concede to sauce if he’s feeling daring)
• Pancakes (shaped like snowmen or dogs; a good go-to when we’ve gone through the usual dinner rotation)
• Broccoli (I’m proud to type this, he has not yet tired of broccoli, even though it’s the only vegetable he’ll eat so I give it to him every. single. night.)
• Strawberries
• Apples
• Any type of chip (potato, Dorito, Cheeto, you name it, my kid will house it)
• Dessert (he is an equal opportunity dessert eater)

Little Mister is a bonafide snacker. Five minutes after he finishes a meal, he wants a snack. And after his snack, he needs another snack. His snacks have snacks! We are trying to teach him how to balance his snacks. He knows enough by this time, to ask specifically, “Do I have have to have a snack that’s a fruit now?” Yes, yes you do! Though he tries to be sneaky with, “Fruits snacks are fruit. It’s in the name.” Nice try, kiddo.

I don’t imagine the days of me making 2 meals each night will end soon, because I’m pretty sure I’m not going to start eating pancakes and dry pasta for dinner. And even Little Mister’s doctor said, “You need to determine what’s too much? It is worth stressing over now, knowing he’s likely not going to go to college only eating 10 things?” And no, it’s not. He’s healthy and growing (like a week!) so he’d getting nutrition. And honestly, there are other places in my life that I can stress over rather than having to make a grilled cheese sandwich 3 times a week.

Kids will be kids, Life, Mornings, NaBloPoMo, parenting

What I Do “Right”, According to My 6 Year Old

Today was my morning to bring the Little Mister to school at Grandma’s House of Remote Learning. We backed out of the garage and waved at Mr. KK in the window. After a few waves I put the car in drive, turned the wheel, and off we went down our long driveway.

“MO-O-O-OM!” Little Mister whined (loudly) from the backseat.

“What is it?” I asked. We literally just left the house, what could be wrong already?

“I didn’t get to say goodbye to Lance,” Little Mister huffed at me. Lance is our neighbor’s dog, a gigantic white horse that barks incessantly at all hours of the day and night. There is no love lost for Lance.

“We didn’t get to say goodbye and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!” Little Mister yelled, crossing his arms across his chest and scowling out his window.

Ah, yes. Of course it was my fault. You see – we have reached the stage in childhood where everything is my fault. My child literally blames me for every bad and horrific thing that happens. Here are some examples of what has recently been my fault:

  1. Little Mister stubs his toe on the kitchen chair, while I’m 15 feet away at the stove.
  2. The wifi blips and the movie we’re watching cuts out. Totally my fault.
  3. Little Mister is building a tower of animals that is not structurally sound to begin with and the entire thing topples over. MY FAULT.
  4. Little Mister tells me he doesn’t want a cookie, so I put the cookies away. Little Mister then has a tantrum because I put the cookies away without giving him one. Mom’s fault!
  5. Little Mister runs and jumps on a bean bag pile, misses, and bangs his knee on the hardwood floor. Even though I’m in a completely different room, you guessed it: my fault!

So today, when I drove away from our house on our way to school without letting Max say goodbye to the dog who was not even outside, and was told it was my fault, I couldn’t let it go.

“So you not saying goodbye to Lance is my fault?” I ask. Not because I need clarity, but because the accusation is so ridiculous.

“Yep,” he says. “Just like everything else.”

Ouch.

“Let me ask you,” I say, as if I’m talking to a thirty year old, and not my 6 year old who apparently thinks I’m responsible for all of the horrible things in his life. “Is there anything you think I do right?”

Little Mister thinks about this for a minute.

“You cook right,” he says.

Cooking! Ok, I’ll take it.

“Anything else?” I ask.

“Hugging. You hug perfectly right.”

Awww. Now we’re talking.

“What else does Mommy do right?”

“You play with me right,” he says. “And you watch movies the right way.” I’m not quite sure what the right way is to watch movies. Maybe, staying awake? Lying on the couch? Singing all the songs?

“Wow, thank you!” I tell Little Mister. “It makes me feel good to hear all those things that I do right and that not everything is my fault.”

Little Mister sighs, obviously growing tired of our conversation. “You don’t do everything wrong. But it is your fault I didn’t say goodbye to Lance.”

Who was not even outside! I want to scream. But I keep my mouth shut, another thing I do right. Sometimes.

Kids will be kids

Funny things 5 year olds say.

Part of being a parent is watching in awe as your little person learns and grows, and discovers the world around them. Also part of being a parent is cursing the day your child learns to spell and you can no longer talk in C-O-D-E. (Lucky for us, we can still spell out entire conversations to each other.)

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Us being silly with Snapchat (aka: “the button with the ghost on it”

These little sponges pick up on everything around them, even when you think they are engrossed in an episode of Paw Patrol. And out of nowhere they will say the funniest things to you, based on conversations you never knew they were listening to.

In our house, that looks something like this:

Little Mister: “Mom! Come and see this fort me and Daddy built out of blankets!”
Me: “I’ll be right there!”
Little Mister: “It’s so cool! It has an adult area where you can get lots of different beers! You’ll love it!”

And like this:

Mr. kk (to me): “Do you want to share a frosty?”
Little Mister: “Mom, I think Dad is asking you if you want half his beer.”

And this (has nothing to do with beer, thankfully. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression of us):

Little Mister: “Let’s walk down the hallway in order from oldest to youngest. Dad, you go first, then Mom, then me.”
Me: “You heard him, Dad, oldest in the front!”
((Let it be known for the record that Mr. kk is two years my junior))

On talking about The Lion King:

Me: “Was there a bad guy in that movie?”
Little Mister: “Yes! His name was Scarf!”
Me: “You mean Scar?”
Little Mister: “Yes, Scarf.”

On asking him to do anything:

Little Mister: “RELAX, Dad. Jeesh.”

or

Little Mister: “Just calm down, everyone!”

In between telling us yet another food that is now ‘yucky’ and fighting bedtime like it’s his job, the Little Mister is a funny, smart and sweet boy, who keeps us on our toes and keeps us laughing.

Kids will be kids

Aren’t 5 year olds fun sometimes?

Our Little Mister is embracing his independence now that he is “one whole hand” old.

I’ve heard the term “three-nager” but what do we call the 5 year old who knows everything?

We love this kid like crazy, but we’d be lying if we said some of his antics didn’t drive us crazy.

Here are the super fun things going on in our house right now:

Clothing is a thing. He has an opinion about everything that goes on his body. Pants aren’t “cozy” enough. Sweatshirts aren’t an “all day shirt”. His new sneakers are “too hard”.

He. Doesn’t. Go. To. Sleep. Every night there is a song and dance at bedtime. Sometimes it’s too dark. Then it’s too hot. Then he wants Rocco. Then Rocco is moving too much. Then he’s thirsty. Then he wants to ask a question. Then he needs to be tucked in. Then he needs to tell us something. Then…it’s 9:30pm and he’s still not sleeping.

Bionic hearing. This kid hears everything. Let’s just say, we can no longer have adult conversations in the house without someone piping up and asking questions about what we mean, or why so-and-so is doing this or that. So now Mr. KK and I are resigned to talk to each during the times that we’re awake but the Little Mister isn’t. So, for about 5 minutes a day.

We are constantly getting interrupted. When Mr. KK and I do try and have a conversation – what we’re having for dinner, what we’re doing that weekend, nothing deep or meaningful, we save that for our 5 minutes of kid-free time – we are immediately interrupted by an incessant little voice saying, “Mommy. Mommy. Mom. Mom. Mommy. MOOOOOMMMMMYYYYY.” And it doesn’t stop until we answer.

It’s very LOUD in our house. Are kids just programmed to only speak at one decibel: ear-splitting? We could be standing next to the Little Mister and he still yells. Mr. KK downloaded this app that measures how loud is too loud to talk with a cute little emoji that makes a sad face when you talk too loudly that the Little Mister immediately assumed was a game and tried to make the little dial go off the charts. Why do kids talk so damn loudly??

He threatens us. But not well. “If you don’t let me have a snack, you can’t play Paw Patrol with me.” Um….ok?

Everything is NO. It doesn’t matter the question, or what we say to him, his answer is no every single time, and often before we finish. “Let’s wash our hands for dinner.” NO. “Can you put your shoes on?” NO. Sometimes I try and trick him…ask him a bunch of questions in a row, then throw in a “Do you want a snack?” and he’ll say NO and then catch himself. Little bugger.

Five is a hard age. He wants to be a big boy, but he still has little boy tendencies. Which I’m totally okay with, because I want him to be little forever. Which I know is ridiculous, but the thought of a teenager who doesn’t want anything to do with me scares the crap out of me. We had one night last week where the Little Mister was crying for Daddy and NOT Mommy, and my entire night deflated. But he always wants me! Why doesn’t he want me?! I’m crazy, I know.

I just want him to grow up happy and healthy and to be a good human.

Who doesn’t talk so loudly.

food, Kids will be kids

Why is our 5 year old such a picky eater?

It seems like every day we are lamenting another food that our Little Mister declares he no longer will eat that we must bid adieu to.

About a month ago, he let us know that he no longer liked chicken nuggets. CHICKEN NUGGETS, people! The main food group of the under 10 set (and some adults, let’s be honest). We are no longer keeping these dino-shaped jewels in our home.

Don’t get me wrong, our Little Mister still eats a bunch of foods – and enough of them, no issues there – it’s just that our dinner options are rapidly shrinking.

I will admit that I am part of the problem. I have a traditional sense of what “dinner” should be. I grew up in a house where dinner was a warm meal that consisted of a protein, a starch and a vegetable. And while we may have had the same dinners week after week, we ate a different dinner each night within a week. I never had pork chops two days in a row.

But, perhaps I need to think of  “dinner” as food in my 5 year old’s stomach. If he wants to eat the same thing 3 nights in a row, who am I to say no? He’s still eating, right? And if I have to accept that a PBJ sandwich is “dinner” – even if it was also lunch – then so be it.

Foods our 5 year old will no longer eat

Things we used to eat as a 3 year old that we no longer eat as a 5 year old:

  • Butternut squash (“Blecch!”)
  • Sweet potatoes ((spits them out))
  • String beans (“too stringy”)
  • Zucchini (“Yuck”)
  • Salmon (“I don’t like it.”)
  • Any meat of any kind ((weird chewing face until he lets it fall off his tongue into the plate))
  • Meatballs and meatloaf (“Too yucky”)
  • Macaroni and cheese ((no reason given))
  • Scrambled eggs (“Too eggy”)

Things our 5 year old WILL eat for dinner:

  • Noodles (aka: spaghetti with butter and parmesan cheese; though he thinks he doesn’t like butter and doesn’t know I put in the noddles)
  • Chicken soup (but not from a can; only SOME homemade versions and the one the produce store near us makes)
  • Pizza
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Pancakes
  • BLTs (well, B and T, hold the L)
  • Hot dogs (super healthy, awesome)
  • Tacos (don’t get excited here, I introduced tacos as crispy taco shells filled with 3 ingredients I know he likes: shredded cheese, tomatoes and black olives. Baby steps)
  • Cheese and crackers

We have a carb-loving kid (maybe we all do!) and while I don’t want him to eat noodles 5 days a week (I know what eating pasta 5 days in a row would do to my body!), it just may have to be. And I’ll continue to cook 2 different dinners (except apparently tacos, which we can all enjoy) until he’s 18, give or take.

dogs, Kids will be kids, Life, Rocco, Uncategorized

Where do babies (and doggies) come from?

We recently dog-sat my in laws’ doggie, Enzo, for a few weeks. Like Rocco, Enzo is a rescue dog. He came to them earlier this year, was around 2 years old, and is hand’s down the softest dog I have ever felt. Guys, this dog is like CASHMERE.

Enzo and Rocco are both some variation of a dachshund – Rocco is mixed with a Min Pin and/or Chihuahua, and Enzo might very well be 100% dachshund (do doxies have odd 6th toes, because this dog has weird extra toes hanging off his feet).

Enzo and Rocco – the Italian doggie mafia – are still feeling each other out and getting used to each other. They LIKE each other, but most of their time together is spent wrestling, playing tug of war, and then power napping.

One of Rocco’s and Enzo’s favorite past time is doing this:

FYI, that’s my innocent boy, Rocco, on the bottom trying to play with a stuffed rabbit while ENZO, the manipulator, takes advantage of him.

“What are they doing?” Little Mister asked me one time.

Me: “Enzo is giving Rocco a super special doggie hug.” (I know. I’m sorry!)

Little Mister: “Do they do those hugs at night?”

Me: “Sometimes.”

Little Mister: “Do they do them when they are in bed?”

Me: “Umm…sure?”

Little Mister: “Do you and Daddy do those special hugs in bed, too?”

And…scene!

Fast forward to the night we had just picked up Little Mister from school, when he was telling us about the babies and astronauts.

Little Mister: “So there’s this astronaut who goes into outer space, and he saw me as a little baby and grabbed me! And he held onto me while he floated down to earth and then he carried me to the hospital and gave me to you.”

Yes, that’s exactly how it happened.

(Can someone get me a drink?)

Rocco and Enzo really do love each other:

IMG_1253Rocco is on the right, Enzo is on the left.

Most of the time, they fought for my attention…and my office chair.

IMG_7530-1.jpeg

For 3 weeks I was surrounded by wieners in my house; I was completely out-numbered.

And Enzo – god love him – was attached to me. He followed me to the refrigerator, to the bathroom and to bed. He whimpered when I put a gate up and he couldn’t come down the hall and see me. He spooned me at night in the big bed like we were on our honeymoon. And above all, he gave me those puppy-dog eyes that just melted my heart.

Unrelated – I think – was the night Little Mister asked me at dinner whether or not I was going to the hospital to “buy another baby”.

Flustered, I told him that, no, we weren’t going to buy another baby (has he no idea how much babies costs these days??)

To which he replied, “Ok. Can I have a snack?”

If that’s the worst of it, then I’m totally ready for the next stage of parenthood.

Kids will be kids, NaBloPoMo

From the mouth of a 4 year old.

Ah, the uncensored, mostly hilarious – yet sometimes mean – mouth of a preschooler.

If you’re looking for honest feedback, find the nearest 4-year-old. They speak their minds, have no filter. They also pick up on things they hear and that you say to them, then turn around and use those same phrases in shockingly proper ways.

Here are some recent gems:

When he sees a toy commercial or a toy in a catalog. “I would like that toy from Santa! Wait, was is that toy? What does it do? Doesn’t matter, I still want it!”

IMG_2455
“I’ll take one of these, and one of these, and one of these…”

Little Mister was pretending that me and Mr. KK were babies. He woke us up and told us he needed to go to work. He put on my scarf, kissed us both good-bye and said, “Now don’t do anything I wouldn’t do when I was you!”

I was drying him off after his bath, and he ran to the bathroom before we put pajamas on. When he came back, he informed me, “AND, I didn’t even pee on the floor! Well, except that one drop, but that’s right in front of the toilet, so it’s ok.”

Little Mister brought his stuffed monkey in the car with him on the way to daycare. I let him know that he needed to leave his monkey in the car when he went into school. His response, “Ok, but I don’t want your girlfriends playing with my monkey all day.” Oh boy.

 

Never a dull moment in this house!

Kids will be kids, NaBloPoMo

Mourning the loss of the Afternoon Nap

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This past spring, the KK household mourned the loss of a beloved and loyal friend, who could provide endless hours of enjoyment, was trustworthy and a true partner when it came to raising the Little Mister.

We will miss you, Afternoon Nap.

We understand that we had you around much longer than other families; Little Mister enjoyed you until he was three-and-a-half. And not only did he enjoy spending time with you (for 3 hours at a time), but after Little Mister had an afternoon nap, he was always in such a great mood. You were really, really good for him.

Because when you were taking care of Little Mister, Mr. KK and I were task masters, getting so much done around the house. Mr. KK spent quite a bit of time doing yard work, and I would shop and cook for the week. You were so reliable, we knew we could count on you.

Alas, we knew it was too good to be true, and that you had already stayed longer than we had anticipated. You were gracious about it; you had slowly started to disappear: a Saturday afternoon here, a Tuesday there. We sensed you pulling away from us, and we adjusted our tenuous grip on you, hoping to selfishly hold onto you for a little bit longer.

But then one day, you were gone.

And boy, do we miss you.

When you first left us, it was hard on Little Mister. He would try his hardest to stay awake until dinnertime, but we’d often find that the minute he’d be strapped into his car seat after a long day, it would only take a matter of minutes before we’d find him snoozing.

We did find ourselves with fewer time restraints on weekends; we didn’t have to wait until after your visit to do an activity, or stop what we were doing in the morning because you were coming over. But we still missed you.

Today, you are a mere distant memory. If I close my eyes, I can almost remember what it was like to have you visit on weekends; all of the cooking and meal prep I was able to do, catching up on the bills and mail, and even getting chores done.

So we officially bid you good-bye, dear nap, please know how much you are missed.