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Church and Preschoolers

A year ago, I was nine months pregnant (exactly) and attended Christmas Eve church service with a 17-month-old. I refused to go, but Daddy J insisted. It was annoying then. Everyone kept asking me if I was ok. NO! I have pelvic girdle syndrome, I’m hot, I’m huge, I’m sick of people asking me questions, and my toddler is being an asshole. Ugh.

Fast forward to A1’s Sunday School play.

The play was cute. A1 was an angel, and she did a good job. Then, we had to sit through the service.

A2 is almost one. She is a pain when it comes to sitting still. She is the poster child for the “go go go” baby. She squirms. She cries. She makes noise. She acts up if there isn’t a boob in her mouth. I can never pay attention to the service. It’s annoying and embarrassing.

I really despise going to church now. It isn’t fun. Coffee hour is the only good part. I can finally have an adult conversation—WITH ADULTS!! We stay for a short time, and then we have to leave. I feel like a contestant from Survivor who has just left the island, sunburnt and wasted from days of starvation. I lived!

It was much the same as Daddy J’s alumni concert. I don’t think I can take them to any location that isn’t Walmart, the grocery store, relatives’ houses, or anywhere that has distractions for kids.

My AIL was stupid enough to ask if we brought toys. Yes, we bring fucking toys. I’m pretty sure her behavior won’t change.

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The World According to A1: Elmo Gets A Sex Change

So, another morning begins in the A house. A2 is already awake, fed, and sitting in her Exersaucer. I venture into A1’s room and greet a groggy A1, who makes to make sure (as is custom) her blanket and litany of select stuffed animals make it out of the crib.

I change her soggy Pull-Up, and she points to her private area. “Lady parts”, she says. “Yes, those are your lady parts,” I replied. As I changed her, she picked up her stuffed Elmo.

Elmo has lady parts, too.

I laughed, perhaps a little too hard. “Mommy laughing?” She said, incredulous. I told her I was laughing with her, not at her, and that Elmo
is a boy with boys’ private parts.

She wasn’t convinced. “Elmo has lady parts, too.”

I decided to redirect her. “Abby (Cadabby) is a girl. She has lady parts.”

“Abby! Where’s Abby?”

Abby, unfortunately, is buried under some toys in our PnP. Ain’t nobody got time for that, but Elmo’s got time for lady parts.

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Watch Out for That Toy!

My brother and I had plenty of toys when we were kids. In fact, I enjoy going on eBay and browsing through the 80s and 90s toys that shaped my childhood. According to my mother, my grandparents would say (jokingly, of course) that it looked like a toy store. I wonder what they would say about my house.

We could open a toy store—yesterday.

I’m glad the kids have plenty of toys, and I’m grateful they’ve been giving so many as gifts. Sure, organizing them is a challenge, but at least they’re having fun. One tough part? Trying not to step on things in bare feet.

Being barefoot is a way of life for me. When I was a baby, I kicked off booties (according to my mom), and my feet were always hot. I’m 25% Sicilian, so I’ve inherited the hot, Italian feet. Thanks, Dad.

I have yet to step on Legos as an adult. I stepped on them a couple of times in the past, and the memes are pretty accurate. It is one painful experience.

A1 puts a sea of toys on the floor. It can become an obstacle course. Yesterday, it was a bedtime ABC book that poked me in the foot. Those are some razor sharp corners! She also loves to sort and build, which is great. Then she grabs our shoes, wears them, and leaves them in the middle of the kitchen. If you read my entry about breaking my arm, you know I’m afraid of trip hazards, perhaps more so than the next mom (or so it seems).

I carry A2 and make an effort to avoid the toy maze on the ground. It’s hard work, but I enjoy playing with the toys when I’m at ground level.

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A Day in the Life

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A1 “stunts” at the table while A2 looks at the camera

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The As hanging out on the couch

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A2 catches up on her reading. Her book of choice? Baby Touch and Feel Farm, of course. She also sat unsupported for the first time today (she decided to flop down and roll over when I grabbed my phone).

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Big cheesin’: A1 swings at the neighbors’.

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A2 on the baby swing.

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Mama J’s Travel Tips For Two Under 2/Two Little Ones (LOs)

Some trips are more necessary than others, and some special occasions require that you haul your small fries on short notice. Here’s how I roll when I travel:

Mama J’s Essentials (Like a boss!)

1. Wipes. If it’s in the Mama J bag, it’s the Huggies travel-sized variety. Less is more, and compact storage is in demand.
2. Diapers/training pants/underwear for PT toddlers. Keep the greatest amount in your big diaper bag, and then replenish your quick trips bag (QTB) as you go.
3. Extra clothes, all types. Pack an outfit for warm weather for each child, then include pants and sweatshirts for easy layering. In winter, choose only tee shirts and long sleeve tees/hoodies for this, since your go-to bottoms will be pants. This way, you can strip your kid down indoors. Remove winter coats immediately upon entering buildings. Keep gloves/mittens in coat pockets or diaper bag (DB) compartments. Socks for all seasons.
4. Small snacks. Use sandwich bags and plastic storage containers. Use sippy cups or sports bottles for toddlers.
5. Small toys. Mini board books, Fisher-Price electronic books, rattles for infants, tug toys, rattle/teether combos, etc. When else fails, sing songs, use your smartphone, or just be silly.
6. Pacifiers for “binky babies”. Pacifier keepers if you are outdoors.
7. A small bottle of travel head-to-toe J&J body wash and lotion.
8. Travel diaper rash cream. I like Desitin or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.
9. Orajel. ‘Nuff said.
10. Bibs and eating utensils. Vital Baby makes a nice bowl with a lid and insert for a spoon, which is great for babies. Wash it out and use a fork, and it will work for toddlers.
11. Baby food in sandwich bags, so it doesn’t leak.
12. Sunblock.
13. Insect repellent for children 6 months and older if you will be at a park or other outdoor venue for a long period of time. Skintastic is great.
14. Baby food jars and toddler food. Gerber or Beech Nut squeeze packs work well. Beech Nut Steamies are great for toddlers.