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!”

NaBloPoMo, Pandemic, school, work

We’ve Entered the Over Sharing Portion of Remote School

You owe it to yourself, just once in your lifetime, to sit in on a remote classroom with 20 kindergarteners (all of whom cannot read yet and haven’t learned how to navigate Google classroom).

For the first week of school, about 15 kids sat on the Meet NOT on mute. So we heard 15 households’ conversations. Everything from parents’ arguing in the background to Grandmas telling kids the answers.

Every parent should have gotten this t-shirt with their remote learning kits.

Once everyone got the hang of the computer, the kids got really comfortable really fast with their teacher, sharing all sorts of things. Now, I know this sort of uncensored sharing goes on in schools all the time, however, parents are never privy to what’s said behind the classroom door. Now, we have a front row seat.

And kids share everything, especially when they don’t have a grown up next to them who can jump on that mute button to save face if need be.

Overheard in the kindergarten classroom:

“My parents are always yelling at me. So I scream back.”

“The only thing I like to do is watch Youtube.”

“I’m bored. When is school over?’

“Why is your hair like that? What did you do?” (to the teacher!)

“Can you pause the video? I have to pee!”

“I don’t like this part, can we do something else?”

“HEY! PAY ATTENTION!” (a parent, to their child)

We are on live learning for almost 5 hours each day (with breaks). Kids do not have an attention span for that long. And when their minds start to wander, all of the verbal gold comes out.

Though, I feel as adults we can learn a thing to two from these kids. I have been on more than one video call just this week alone where I wish I could have unmuted myself and asked, “I’m bored. When is this over?”

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.

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!”

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“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!

NaBloPoMo

If you need me after 9pm, call me tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 11.01.07 PM

The fact that I’m writing this post at 11pm on a Friday night is amazing. Not because I’m home, but because I’m AWAKE.

That’s right. Usually, I would have at least a solid hour of sleep under my belt by this time, but we were at a friends’ house, and when you fall asleep at other people’s homes, they don’t always invite you back.

Part of the deal with being a morning person is that you’re NOT a night owl. Meaning: you go to bed early. I have always gone to bed early. In college, I would do my best to hang until the wee hours of the morning (why, people? WHY?) but would often find myself sneaking off “lie down for just a minute” and the next thing I knew I would wake up fully-clothed, on top of my twin comforter, mascara halfway down my face, at 5:30am.

During the week, every night is an endurance test to see if I can outlast Little Mister at bedtime. When we start our pre-bed show at 8pm, there have been many night when I have fallen asleep (Mr. KK, too) while Little Mister watches TV, wide awake. In fact, I’ve never known my child to ever fall asleep while watching TV. How is that possible?

If you find it a necessity enjoy going to bed early, you shouldn’t have children. Because guess what kids hate to do? GO TO BED. In fact, they are so manipulating, that they could drag out the going-to-bed-routine for over 45 minutes. Forty-five minutes. Do you know how many times I could have fallen asleep during that time? Nine times. Nine.

And guess what little kids don’t like to do? NAP. I would practically sell my soul to be able to take an uninterrupted marathon nap on a Saturday afternoon. When I suggest a nap to Little Mister, he acts like I offered him poisonous candy. I want to scream, “Enjoy this sleep while you can, Kid! You don’t know what you’re missing!” Because some day, you’ll be exhausted and just want to throw your body on your mattress but you’ll have a little child who just “isn’t tired” or “isn’t ready to sleep just yet”, even though it 9pm, 9:30pm, 10pm. You will be DYING to go to bed (forget pajamas, I’ll just sleep in my clothes like college) – you will be able to physically SEE your bed from his room – and yet, you will never get there. You will be dealing with orange ghosts under the bed, one very last glass of water, and getting the comforter tucked in on all sides. You will say things like, “I’m exhausted,” to your child. Who will simply look at you, wide-eyed, and reply, “Well, I’m not.” As if that’s the last word to keep you up even.

When Vito the Wonder Dog was still alive, and we were living in our last house, there would come a point in the night when he would be ready to go upstairs to bed. Mind you, he had been sleeping on us on the couch for the last 2 hours, but he’d reach his breaking point. He’d wake up and stretch, shake out, jump down from our legs, and prance over to the staircase. Vito would then sit at the bottom of the stairs, staring at us and crying; it was as if he was saying, “Come on, humans! Can’t you see I’m exhausted! I just want to go to bed.” Eventually his crying would wear us down and we’d take him upstairs to bed.

I loved this about Vito. He was tired? He’d go to bed. Now, when I’m tired, I’m either in the middle of the bedtime routine, or there’s laundry to be done, or cookies for school to bake.

Once Little Mister started growing up, I still couldn’t meet my early bedtime, because on the nights Mr. KK and I would eat after Max went to bed, we found ourselves eating at 9:30pm. (In fact, we still do.) And if there’s anything I hate more than missing my bedtime, it’s being hungry. Food comes first.

So if you ever need me – or, God forbid, ever want to go out with me – after 9pm, consider it a hard pass. We can talk tomorrow when I’m up before the sun and ready to tackle the day.

Right now, I just want to tackle my pillow. GOOD NIGHT.

Kids will be kids, NaBloPoMo

The preschooler rating system.

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My rating tonight after shutting the TV and announcing it was time to start our bedtime routine.

If you live in my house, you are constantly aware of the type of job you’re doing not only as a parent, but as a human being. Why? Because our preschooler has developed a very detailed rating system that puts Yelp and Rotten Tomatoes to shame.

That’s right, at any given time, Mr. KK and I are given immediate ratings and feedback, delivered through the complex rating system knows as: Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down.

Imagine if you could use this rating system as adults in real life???

When your waiter at a restaurant asks how you like your meal, you could give him a big Thumbs Down.

At work, when someone in a meeting throws out a ridiculous idea, you simply reply with Two thumbs Down.

And, after a decent first date, instead of the awkward kiss at the front door, you can give them an enthusiastic Two Thumbs Up!

But back to parenting.  Just how does one earn this prestigious Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down rating? I’m glad you asked!

Here are just a few ways you can earn a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down rating in our house:

  • Ask Little Mister to wash his hands before dinner. Rating: Thumbs down.
  • Shut off the TV when it’s time to go to bed. Rating: Two thumbs down.
  • Say yes to dessert. Rating: Two thumbs up.
  • Announce that it’s bath night. Rating: Thumbs down.
  • Ask Little Mister to brush his teeth. Rating: Thumbs down.
  • Remind Little Mister that he needs to put shoes on to go to school. Rating: Thumbs down.
  • Read two books before bed. Rating: Two thumbs up.
  • Mr. KK and I try to have an adult conversation. Rating: Two thumbs down.
  • Limit TV intake to a normal amount. Rating: Two thumbs down.
  • Try and hold hands in a busy parking lot. Rating: Thumbs down.
  • Give Little Mister the ‘Thumbs Down’. Rating: Two thumbs down.

Not everyone can have this educational rating system in their house. In order to do so, you must have a very opinionated preschooler with a strong will and award-winning frown face.

My current rating: Thumbs medium. I’ll take it!