Tag Archives: Parenting

I lost a fight with my toddler this week, and I bet you did too

fight with my toddler

I love this age with Harley. I’ve already waxed lyrical about how awesome it is now that she’s 18 months old. It’s so fun to be able to play silly games with her now, to laugh or get hugs and kisses (my favorite) and see her personality grow and flourish. I love seeing how independent she is, how strong a sense of self she has. Of course, that also means that sometimes I end up in a fight with my toddler, and I don’t always win. But I really don’t think this is a bad thing.

I actually did my latest Facebook Live about this. You see, Harley has started walking on her own now, and she likes walking everywhere. Except when she doesn’t. For a few days, she was walking from home to the car for school each day, and it was so adorable – even if it did seem to take forever. But all of a sudden, she is absolutely refusing to walk. And as much as I might try to insist on getting her to walk, she will just plant her feet and refuse. So I end up capitulating and just carrying her. And that’s okay. Continue Reading

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Baby steps

baby steps

Harley has started walking. It actually happened a while ago. When we were in Cape Town, she’d take a couple baby steps (toddler steps?) on her own before coasting or screaming for us to give her a hand. Now, she pretty much can walk on her own although she still prefers a hand, and she doesn’t seem to like thresholds, preferring to be carried over them like a cliched bride. Walking with her is adorable, and I try to do it as often as possible – we walk to and from the car when I drop her off at school or pick her up. I figure the more she walks (even holding my hand) the stronger those muscles will get and the more confident she will be on her own two feet.

While it is incredibly cute and an important milestone, she walks really, really slowly. It can take an extra few minutes just to get to the car, or to walk to the school building. While I sometimes feel like carrying her to speed up the process (and sometimes I need to when we’re running late), I try to resist the urge as much as possible. She is so excited to be able to walk, and I’m so happy for her. Plus, it’s really important that she gets all the opportunities to practice her walking, running and whatever else. But it’s slow and means that I have to have a lot of patience. And those baby steps and their required patience remind me a lot of other aspects of my life that require patience. Continue Reading

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Being the bigger person, and its side effects

bigger person

Life isn’t fair. I often wish it was, and I try to be as fair as possible, but it seems that several times for week (and sometimes per day) I’m reminded just how unfair life is. The hardest working people don’t always get the promotion. The assholes don’t always get what’s coming to them and the kindest most generous people can get dread diseases or struck down in their prime. Even in our own relationships, things aren’t always (ever?) fair. Which is why we all teach our kids to be the bigger person, or at least, I hope other people are teaching their kids that, too.

I remember being taught it in some ways. Being taught not to stoop to other people’s levels, to take the higher path, to be the bigger person. If someone is a bully, don’t bully them back but rather understand where they’re coming from, assert yourself and then move on. Don’t hold a grudge or dwell on past slights, but move forward. It’s like that Michelle Obama quote, “When they go low, we go high”, and it’s an important lesson that applies to more than bullies, but just those who go low in general. But there’s a sad side effect of it, too. Continue Reading

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“Be Careful” – a phrase I’m avoiding

careful

I have never broken a bone (knock on wood and all that). I haven’t even sprained an ankle or dislocated a shoulder. The closest I’ve come is jammed fingers from playing basketball in high school, which led me to quit the basketball team so that it wouldn’t get in the way of my piano playing. During a farm trip, I jumped off the hay loft, but only the lowest rung. As I got older, I enjoyed some thrill seeking behavior, but I was always very aware of risks and really rather careful. And it’s something I’m very aware of while raising Harley to be a confident, brave little girl.

Let’s be clear, though – I was very brave and confident when it came to intellectual or emotional pursuits. I had no issue raising my hand in class, even if I wasn’t 100% sure of my answer. I’d audition for lead roles in plays, jump at opportunities to do public speaking, and dive heart first into relationships. I wasn’t overly careful in those regards, but when it came to physical feats, I wasn’t even willing to hang upside down from the jungle bars on the playground. Part of that is because I was very aware of the risk of getting hurt, or embarrassing myself, and I wanted to stay safe instead. Now, as a parent, I’m trying to figure out the line between healthy risk taking and safety. Continue Reading

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Advice when starting nursery school

waldorf nursery school

Having Harley in nursery school has changed my life. For a few (surprisingly short) hours of the day, I have time to do the things I need to get done. Mostly, that’s work. But sometimes it can include a quick waxing appointment, some yoga, or writing some words here. She just goes for the mornings, and those mornings go by ridiculously quickly. But they still make a huge difference, and I’m so incredibly grateful for them. Nursery school is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

When Harley started, she would cry. Like, a lot. Not just at drop off… she would scream and cry throughout the day. I was really wondering if it was just too traumatic for her, if I was making a horrible mistake. Every morning when I would drop her off and she would wail, I felt like the worst possible mother – not just because I would leave her while she was upset, but because I so desperately needed that time apart. I was filled with so much guilt, feeling like the worst mom on the planet. Now, things are way easier, so here are some things to keep in mind (and do) to make starting nursery school as easy as possible. Continue Reading

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