Yesterday was sunny and warm, which has been rare for the Midwest this Spring. My daughter had an invitation to go play at the park with a friend, or go on a play date, instead, I sat outside and read a book while she dug a hole in the ground. I let her use her scissors to clip grass and she carried buckets from her water table and made a puddle of mud, then she stuck dried sticks in the mud and called it her garden. I didn’t stop her when she started trying to cut the tree or pulled up some of my flowers. She needed this unstructured time and so did I.
Lyz is a freelance writer, with an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. She also works as a blogger for the Huffington Post and a regular contributor to Mommyish, Mom.me and The Real Moms of Eastern Iowa, a hyper-local mom blog and most importantly BabyZone. Her writing has been published in Real Weddings, Guidepost, The Des Moines Register and YourTango, LearnVest, and Babble.com. She has been syndicated on MSNBC, The Today Show Website, Yahoo! Shine, and MSN Glo. She maintains a blog about pants, chicken nuggets and babies over on LyzLenz.com.
My 3-year-old daughter is a princess every day. She came about this naturally. I owned no princess books or movies and we never watched any princess TV shows. Until… two days after her second birthday, she declared herself a princess and insisted on wearing dresses every day. Since then, we’ve seen every princess movie and read a whole treasure trove of books about princesses (fancy, fierce and otherwise). At 3, she’s a veritable princess expert. I asked her over the course of several days why she specifically liked each princess. Here are her answers.
If you’ve ever discussed the home life of Oaken or found yourself saying to another adult, “It’s not African tribal music, it’s called ‘joiking’ a traditional Norwegian Sami chant-like.” And then rolled your eyes. You know you’ve watched too much Frozen.
My mother-in-law told me once that her son (my husband) didn’t take a bottle for the first year of his life. “How did you get away?” I asked. “I didn’t,” she said. There was a sadness in her eyes.
We had this conversation, back when my son was 5 months old and refused a bottle. We tried all the bottles out there. I tried scalding my milk to control for a lipase issue (I read about it on the internet, it could not be a real thing for all I know), I gave him formula, I gave him pumped milk both hot and cold. We tried low flow nipples, fast and medium flow. We tried bottles and sippy cups. We fed him lying on the floor and propped up by the boppy. We had him sitting up with a shirt that smelled like me and we had him in the car seat with a lovie. My mom tried. My sister tried. A friend who claimed she could get kids to do anything tried. Nothing. Without fail, every time he was given a bottle he would scream.
Maybe I’ve been spending too much time with the under 9-month crowd, but babies look and act a lot like dinosaurs—the short arms, the roaring and all that attacking of humans. My house feels like Jurassic Park.
I agonized over the decision to stay at home with my children. It wasn’t anything I set out to do. It wasn’t the plan I had for my future. But when I became pregnant with my second child and my husband and I sat down to look at the budget, staying home just made sense. We live in the Midwest and I have struggled to find a job. I ended up working freelance from home. While I made a decent salary, the cost of childcare for two would mean I would be working just to cover the bills. It didn’t make any sense. Plus, we rationalized, it would just be for a short time before our children were in school.
So, we saved and paid off my remaining student loans. Then, I quit my jobs and said “goodbye” to the babysitter.
Second babies don’t get as much attention. Parents often miss their milestones and they get a sibling in almost all of their baby pictures. But it isn’t awful being a second baby, your parents are more relaxed and you have a better chance of mom saying, “Screw it, you can have ice cream.” Here are 10 things I let my second child do that I never dreamed of doing with my first.