Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lots of Good Advice

This blog post is going to be filled to the brim with good advice. No, excellent advice. In fact, you may want to grab a pencil and jot down some notes.

The first piece of advice goes to mothers of small children who are trying to sell their home. Now, obviously, if someone is coming to look at your home and there are toys all over the place, books in the toilet (like I found yesterday - thanks, Owen), and water spilled all over the bathroom floor, that person will probably not want to purchase the home. So before a showing, lock all three kids up somewhere where it is impossible to make a mess while you dash around picking up and making sure the home is presentable. Now, our realtor suggested loading the kids in the car and then running back in to make sure everything is in place. This sounds great... except for the fact that I don't have a garage and it is 100 degrees outside.

So what spot have I come up with?
Oh this is much better than the car.

Yup, the stairs.

If you can get past the horror of me allowing my 18 month old to play on the stairs, you will see the brilliance in this advice. First of all, Owen loves to climb, so really, I'm just giving him a carpeted outlet for his recreation. Second of all, there are no drawers on the stairs. There are no toilets on the stairs. There are no cubbies full of toys on the stairs. Therefore, while I am making beds in one room, they are not making a mess in another.

And to prove that I'm not a monster - here they are, relatively happy on the stairs:

After "stair" time, Emma Grace and I dropped these two boys off for a play date and went back to school shopping.

So, my next piece of advice is for mothers with strong-willed little girls:
Pick your battles.

This is a lesson that I have learned the hard way over the years. She's had strong opinions since a very young age and the stubborn side of myself (may be where she gets it) wants to win these battles. But, I've learned over time to wait and fight the ones that really matter. For example, this is probably not the outfit I would have picked for a shopping date, but she wanted to be fancy.

Shopping was going really well. We were having fun. She picked out a LOT of pink things and I let her. She wants the hideously ugly, princess themed lunch box - we're getting it. Picking my battles. We get to backpacks. Uh-oh. I knew we were in trouble the minute the words "I really like this one" left her sweet little lips. It was teal. Bright teal - all over. With glitter and sparkles - all over it.

Me: Uummm sweetie, that's really pretty, but we're not getting it.
EG: Why not?
(It should be said here that I wanted to lie and tell her it was too expensive. She never argues with that statement, but I took the high road and...regretted it later.)
ME: Because I don't like it and the glitter will end up getting everywhere.
EG: But, I LOVE it because it's fancy.
ME: I know that, but we're going to have to compromise here. Please pick from these five other ridiculously girlie choices.

She picked my second least favorite: pink zebra print. I let her, but then she sulked while we continued shopping. Big sighs and comments about how she never gets anything fancy. (You saw the outfit she had on, right?)

ME: If that's how you're going to act the rest of the day, let's put the backpack back on the shelf and I'll buy you one later.
EG: completely sobbing. "I'm sorry. You've bought me so many nice things today and I'm trying to compromise but I really, really like the sparkly one better and now you're mad at me."
ME: I'm not mad at you. I just don't want to spend our time together with you sulking.
GAP SALESLADY: In a nutshell while giving me the stink eye: That's not a battle I would pick, but everybody is different.
ME: Butt out or we're never shopping here again. Thank you kind saleslady for the heartfelt advice; however, this is a battle I have picked (one that I'm pretty sure her teacher will thank me for when her classroom isn't covered in sequins) and I'm sticking it out. (or something to that effect)

Ahhh....compromise. Such a tough lesson, but EG pulled through for me. She pulled herself together and we enjoyed the rest of our Gap experience. And what did we find when we got to the register? A small, pink, glittery case she could attach to her backpack to put erasers or tissues or something in.

Here we are ending our date with lunch and more girl bonding time. :)

So to sum up (in case you got bored during this lengthy post):

1. Don't be afraid of letting your children play on stairs even though parenting books probably advise against it.

2. Next time, lie and claim that the hideously ugly, blue, sparkly back pack is way more expensive than the other ones. :)


  1. I love it! Reading this made my day! And also made me thankful that I have a boy! :)

    Love, love, love your advice! That's called "real mom" advice. Please feel free to share more, since you are more experienced at this motherhood thing than I am!

  2. Glad you have everything under control. I love you and miss you guys so much. Glad to see EG still is firmly holding to her diva status.