Last year, Lowell got a Micro Kickboard scooter for Christmas and I think it’s officially become his favorite toy in the world.
His confidence on this little scooter and being able to hang out with the bigs on their bikes has been great.
Update: The WeeSchool app is now FREE! It is also now available on Google Play for Android as well as in the App Store for iOS.
I took my first baby to baby classes 3 times a week until he was 2. I learned developmentally appropriate songs to sing to him and games to play with him, and I had someone who was trained in child development there to tell me what milestones to look for as he grew.
My children are all a little more or less than 3 years apart. I know all too well this newborn plus a toddler life, so when the following things come out of my mouth, it’s total deja vu.
“Please don’t jump over your brother.”
“Please don’t try to pick up your brother.”
“Please don’t try to feed your brother.”
“Nope. Babies can NOT eat M&Ms.”
“BABIES. CAN. NOT. EAT. CANDY. PLEASE STOP.”
“Please be soft… OMG LET GO.”
“You don’t need to be so close to him. Seriously, he can see you just fine.”
“Let go of his head, please.”
“No, I actually can’t help you right now because your brother needs to eat and it’s very hard to breastfeed and wipe a butt at the same time. Can you just sit on the toilet for a few more minutes?”
“PLEASE GO SIT BACK DOWN ON THE POTTY. OH GOD, DON’T SIT ON MY BED!”
“Don’t rock him, please. No, no. You’re going to hurt him. STOP ROCKING HIM.”
“DON’T POKE HIS HEAD.”
“I am going to pull this car over if you put your foot in his face again.”
“Did you just… lick him? Can you not?”
“Do you REALLY have to potty right now? It’s very hard to take you potty at Target while I’m holding your brother.”
“It’s fine. He’s fine. Sometimes babies cry.”
“NO NO NO, do. not. wake. him.”
“Stop! He doesn’t bend that way!”
“Please don’t put your finger in his nose.”
“Please don’t put your finger in his mouth.”
“Please don’t touch him after your hand was in your butt.”
“Please don’t wipe your snot on him.”
I’m going to cut myself off because Lowell just woke from his nap and I need to go protect Wallace from his big brother.
Sidenote: Yesterday, Leyna told me she heard Wallace say his first word – “Help!” LOLOLOL, I feel like that’s entirely possible. If a 6 week old were going to learn to say a word in this house, “Help!” would be the one.
I know I’ve written about this before- how my advice to first time parents is simply “IGNORE THEM MORE.” It’s insane when I think about the kind of guilt I let myself feel when I wasn’t orchestrating every moment of my first born’s early years of life.
Society told me, “You are a stay at home mom, so your job is to enrich your child’s life during all waking hours. Be sure he’s eating the best, learning the most, and never bored.”
Society is such a lying, destructive asshole to new parents.
My first born is a lovely kid, intelligent, funny. He also lives to be entertained and have things done for him because why wouldn’t he? That’s all he knew.
It’s a much more complex issue than just that, of course. I’m sure my postpartum anxiety comes into play here. I paint this picture as a contrast for you, though.
Lowell, 3rd baby, 3 years old, and he makes his own peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Literally, from gathering all the stuff from the pantry and refrigerator, to actually putting the thing together. HE DOES IT ALL HIMSELF.
We did not teach him this. I can only guess this is a life skill he picked up after we ignored him to the point of him figuring it out on his own.
Listen, we feed the kid… at appropriate meal and snack times, but not always when he wants.
*Worth mentioning- the first kid would have been making a PB&J with all organic ingredients, and I would have screamed if I found him with a butter knife.
But do you see the MAGIC that comes from ignoring them???
TEAM IGNORE THE CHILDREN (within appropriate and legal boundaries, of course)
So I wound up getting this video because I had my camera on me and was headed to photograph this book- Remarkably Average Parenting by my friend Ilana Wiles – when I turned the corner to find him doing this. It was 100% NOT STAGED. I was just going to take the picture of the book in the natural light on top of the dining room table (after I opened those blinds). Perfect timing, right? That’s some remarkably average parenting right there, for sure.
Julie Forbes did some investigative journalism (aka had an honest talk with some friends) and got to the heart of what preschool teachers wish they could tell you.
I know a few preschool teachers who aren’t just great at their jobs, they also have their degrees in early childhood education, and they’re cool chicks (and one is a parent to a preschooler too). So, I asked them to dish with me, off the record, about what they really want to say to parents.
Helicopter parents: they’re looking at you. One teacher said, “Your child can read?!? Good for you. But, so can lots of other kids in the class. I think sometimes parents get caught up in their child’s uniqueness that they want to share every detail.”
The teachers said they’ve received nightly e-mails from parents sharing everything from “the theme” of a child’s play that day to videos capturing their activities.
“We care about every child in our program, but we can’t care as much as some parents want us to care,” they shared through giggles.
It feels narcissistic to them, and they are not going to give your child special treatment. That being said…
“We’ll have parents who won’t have told us that they have moved houses. That’s relevant information! If we know the grandparents have been in town, and they just left this morning, then we can make sense of your child’s behavior,”one teacher told me.
Just don’t become an over-sharer.
If you’re trying to leave the house and your child won’t put the item down, the teachers say to blame them. Tell your child that the teacher or school doesn’t allow it, one of the teachers said, “We have no problem being the bad guy.”
The one exception is an item that a child uses for a transitional object. “The gross, grubby blanket or the stuffed animal that’s lost its nose are generally not desired by other kids,” says one teacher. Those emotional items are fine for a child to bring in until they get comfortable in the classroom.
If you tell the teachers you want to come in to help with a project, then have a plan. They say parents tell them all the time they want to do a project with the kids, but then they want the teachers to plan it, design it, and collect all of the resources for a project.
“Teachers like volunteers, but volunteers who are self-sufficient,” sums up one teacher. For example, if you are a baker and you want to make cupcakes with the kids, then tell the teachers how long it will take, what kind of supplies you will need, and when you’ll be done.
“Maybe you don’t save it forever. But, you get it, and you appreciate it for that moment,”one teacher said.
Another teacher is thankful of how appreciative families seem to be of her job, “My fiance is a high school teacher, so I always feel bad around the end of the school year or Christmas, I come home with all of these cards, and he’s like, ‘I got ONE card.’ I think we’re lucky that we catch families at the beginning, and they really value us.”
“Shirts, socks, even underwear. Anything that could get thrown on the ground needs a label,”the teachers said. One of the teachers said that with her son, she just stocked up on cheap clothes and kept them just for “school replenishing clothes.” That way, when something came home wet or dirty, she had another labeled set ready to go.
I asked for their recommendations on the best, most organized labeling system. Their answer? Sharpie.
“There’s nothing more annoying to a teacher than when you write all of this information about events, experiences and activities and the parents respond with, ‘What?! We didn’t know about that.'”They said they try to make it as user-friendly as possible; all you have to do is spend a few minutes reading it.
One teacher said “Our day has moved on. Grab your child as quickly and swiftly and discreetly as possible. You don’t get to have one-on-one with us at this point.”
Let’s just ignore the obvious that it is incredibly rude, the teachers tell me that you’re just hurting yourself in the long run. When you’re not on time, they’ve moved onto whatever comes next in their day, and they can’t debrief you about what happened in your child’s day. They said it’s those same parents who end up being caught off guard about something that’s going on at school, and then they get upset that they haven’t been kept informed.
“If there is a moment at drop-off or pick-up where your kid is being a jerk, we get that, and I see sometimes, parents try to be perfect in front of us, and they end up letting their kid get away with something because they don’t want to look like they’re having a power struggle,” said one teacher.They said they can be there to help you deal with it, or to back up to let you do your thing.
This teacher summed it up perfectly, “We get it. We’ve seen it all. And we’re not fazed.”
“There are some children, temperamentally, that take some time warming up to new faces and places,” says one teacher.
But, they also note, that some parents are completely caught off guard when a child has a hard good-bye. They say regardless of what type of child you have, have a plan for hard good-byes and let the teacher know where they fit.
“Sometimes there’s this awkward dance where we’re ready to help, the parent says, ‘OK, just another minute,’ to their child, and what you do with that other minute reinforces to your child the ambiguity of that good-bye. He or she wonders, ‘Are they leaving, are they not leaving?'”
That’s where teachers say you have to be decisive, and trust that the teacher or school will call you if things aren’t okay, “We don’t want to do damage to that child either.”
They say the hardest good-byes are the ones where the parents had an ambiguous good-bye and came back after already saying good-bye.
Predictability is key. Do the same thing every day.
You know how the weeks leading up to having a baby you’re just so done that you’re ready- eager, even- to endure the pain, the pushing, the sleepless nights, the bloody nipples? Just GET. THE. BABY. OUT.
The last few weeks have been like that, but not in regards to the baby- I’m happy to keep him in much longer.
No, I just became so over and done with having my kids home for the summer that I gleefully set my alarm for 6:30 this week, and I’ve risen with joy each day. I’ve packed lunches with love the night before. And not a single tear did roll down my cheek this year as I sent them each on their way, another milestone in the rearview.
They grow up so fast, but not a minute too soon because I AM TIRED, AND DON’T LIKE YOU THAT MUCH RIGHT NOW. We need a break. My heart needs to feel fonder about you, and absence is the cure.
My 2nd baby started kindergarten, and my stone cold heart didn’t feel a pang of sadness.
My 3rd baby is in a classroom with tiny lockers now. Cool. Whatever.
My oldest doesn’t want me to hug or kiss him goodbye at school anymore. Okay.
BYE, EVERYONE!! See you after I’ve had a nap and watched 3 episodes of Orange Is The New Black.
So you just signed your oldest kid up for soccer or baseball or football… or some kind of sport where you are giddy about the idea of cheering them on from the sidelines. You have others. They are, obviously, younger.
Listen, let me just tell you right now that that vision you have in your head- you, kicked back in a folding chair, monogrammed YETI in hand, snapping pictures of your little athlete and then posting them to IG or sending them to relatives, all while your other kids, like, just leave you alone and play right next to you? I’m sorry. That is not going to happen. It’s a lie. It’s a fantasy.
Having a kid in sports while also having younger kids who are NOT in that particular sport but still need to accompany you to that sport is nothing short of an ass kicking.
Don’t even bring a chair. You’re never going to get to sit down. Plus, you’ll need your arms to carry the mountain of snacks, sidewalk chalk, and *gasp* electronic devices you’ll need to keep your toddlers off of the field. You know, the giant patch of grass where they see 15 other kids running and playing? The one they are supposed to understand they are not supposed to also run and play on?
God help you if they are potty training. For one, I can almost guarantee you you will not be anywhere close to the public restrooms from the practice field you’re at. And if you are, well, they’re public park restrooms, and they are “dark and scary” and hopefully they have toilet paper. But you’ll have wipes with you right? You packed those with your mountain of snacks and entertainment? Have a potty training toddler AND a baby on the sidelines with you? I have lived that hell. You’re going to cry.
Oh, you’re also pregnant? Bless your bladder.
If you’re really lucky, there will be bleachers- metal ones with sharp edges and concrete underneath. Oh, how the little non-athletes love to climb these, up and down. And then jump. And then jump harder. And then drop their sidewalk chalk into the abyss below and cry.
There is going to be lots of crying.
And then there’s the concession stand. Never mind that you brought half of Costco with you, and you carefully packed sliced fresh oranges, and iced water in their Thermos. Once they know the concession stand exists, and that it sells Ring Pops and hotdogs and soda, you’re screwed. They will whine and cry and pull you by the hand, begging to go. Is your athlete up to bat? About to score a touchdown? They don’t care. They literally could not care less because there are M&Ms in that building right there, and you’re a damn fool for packing fruit snacks.
(But still, don’t forget to pack the fruit snacks.)
Did your partner sign up to be a coach? OMG tell them to take it back. If you are fortunate enough to have a partner who could be there with you, helping you manage this chaos, but then they get to be on the field and you have to wrangle this shit show all by yourself? I’m just saying – FROM EXPERIENCE- much resentment.
You know who gets to coach and lounge and watch from the sidelines in reclining folding chairs? Parents who are on their last child.
Parents on your first child? Don’t buy the fantasy. Buy more fruit snacks.
July 30th is a pretty undesirable day to have a baby in Texas. Breastfeeding a newborn in 100+ temps is not an enjoyable experience, nor is walking around in an adult diaper with an icepack between your legs.
But, having a baby turn 3 on July 30th isn’t so bad.
Long summer days and a late golden hour make for special pictures of a little boy doing what he does best- digging in the dirt. In his jammies. (Which were thrown in the wash after he got his 2nd bath of the day.)
This has been the scene here every night this summer.
You know when you tell your kids, “Oh, maybe you can ask for that for your birthday,” to get them to leave you alone about wanting that expensive toy? And then they end up forgetting about it? No, that is not Lowell. Lowell has remembered for months that this one time before school let out we told him he could get a remote control excavator for his birthday. He reminded us every single day.
Every. Single. Day.
And so it came to pass that Lowell became the proud owner of a remote control excavator on July 30th, 2016.
He also helped us welcome Rosie to our family. July 30th, 2016 was a pretty OK day.
More on Rosie tomorrow.
When this box of clothes arrived on our doorstep, Leyna was an immediate fan girl. She’s seen me get many a style box full of fashion for me before, and she was so pumped THIS one was for her.
The colorful box, filled with clothing from brands like Limited Too and Seven for all Mankind (along with a couple small toys, stickers and crayons) was sent to us by Kidbox. We are working together to tell you all what this kid’s style box service is all about, and I’m pretty sure a lot of you are going to LOVE it.
At the age of 5, she has serious opinions about her clothes. And this makes shopping with her equal parts adorable and fun/ tedious and frustrating. Unlike her older brother who will still let me dress him every day, she loves to be included, so when I sat down to fill out her Kidbox style profile, I made sure to have her join me.
She helped me choose her “colors to avoid.”
I really wish white would have been an option because life in the Krause family, but the white pieces they did send her are actually adorable enough to make me buy and use a stain stick.
We made sure to reject any denim jeans because Leyna does not do zippers and buttons on pants. I’m certain this is an aversion brought on by years of never actually being able to stuff her chunky butt into anything other than soft and very stretchy leggings.
And she chose her own style personality as Modern/Fab because pink twirly skirts, of course.
I went into this with zero expectations, but was really impressed by how much GREAT stuff was packed into that box for $98. These are high-end brands and really quality and durable pieces. At retail, even on sale, these would ring up for much more altogether. PLUS there is NO styling fee.
Leyna, of course, felt strongly about many of them – mostly good, but there was one dress she deemed “not pretty.” We could choose to send that one back, but I’m going to go ahead and keep it to either donate or see if she changes her mind… as she is wont to do. Plus, by keeping the whole box we get to help send new clothes to children in need. More on that further down.
You certainly don’t have to keep the pieces you or your child doesn’t like, though. Login to your account to let them know what pieces you’re returning, then put them in the prepaid shipping envelope they provide in the box and send them back. You won’t be charged for those.
Here are a few of the pieces she definitely loves.
What she does not love, as has already been established, is taking a ton of pictures for me.
Kidbox ships out boxes 5 times a year- spring, summer, back to school, fall and holiday. You can choose to have yours automatically shipped, but you don’t have to. OH! I think I forgot to mention that shipping is free, too!
The best way to keep up with when they are shipping new boxes is to subscribe to their newsletter.
Coolest part of this, I think, is that when you keep your Kidbox, they work with K.I.D.S/Fashion Delivers to provide brand new clothing to children in need. You have the option of choosing where those clothes go, too! Causes are always changing, sometimes directing to children affected by national disasters.
It’s a fantastic way to discuss giving with your child, and to give them some ownership over that. That part made ME a fan girl.
If you still have questions about how Kidbox works, or wonder if it’s a good fit for your family, they have a thorough FAQ page that should help.
I’ll end with this fun video I hired Leyna to help me with. Always hired, never bribed. Ha!
This post was created in partnership with Kidbox. Compensation and product were provided.