Category Archives: Children

Charities Entered in the HP Giveaway Contest

giving_tree

During my HP Giveaway contest, I received some amazing entries. And I mean AMAZING. Choosing a winner seemed near impossible and I am about to show you why. But I did choose a winner and the Moms Without Moms Organization spent last weekend opening up all their computers and finding new homes for them at the Laura Walker Project. I am thrilled those computers will make a significant difference in the lives of the women they serve.

But back to my entrants. The stories. The heartache. The charities. And even once I had worked my list down, the remaining folks were honestly all equally deserving. Even since this contest has long passed, I think about their charities and the work so many of these folks do for others. So, I thought that the only small way I can give to these folks might be to introduce some of them to my readers. You see, there is amazing work happening out there, even during these very difficult times. Selfless giving happens daily, without any fanfare or fabulous HP giveaways hyping up the amazing work they do.

Please read along and learn a little something about some incredible charities that my entrants hoped to donate the the HP giveaway to.

But can ask one favor of you though? If you are able to, or if you know someone who can, please consider contributing to one of these charities. Or post this link on your blog encouraging folks to give. Or send this link to friends. Or Stumble it. Or tweet about it. Do what you can do to expose these charities to others. I believe in the power of word of mouth, blogging and community. Maybe some more good can come for these charities after all.

Also, forgive me. Rather than writing my own blurb about each place, I have copied quotes from most of their mission statements. They do a better job explaining themselves anyway. Ok, here we go…

Legacy Cultural Learning Community

“Muscogee-Seminole and Cherokee artist, Dana Tiger, founded Legacy Cultural Learning Community to offer “art making” as part of the daily lives of Native youth.  Since 2002, Legacy has provided art opportunities ranging from outdoor youth and elder camps where traditional foods are prepared on an open fire, to the production of film by 5th through 8th grade camera and technical directors.”

Arise for Social Justice

“Arise is a low-income rights, membership organization based in Springfield, MA. We were founded by welfare mothers who believe we have the right to speak for ourselves about the issues that affect our lives. Our membership is poor people, people who are homeless and at-risk of homelessness, working people and people who have been pushed to the side by society We organize around voting rights, housing, homelessness, access to health care, family rights and criminal injustice.”

Endependence Center

“ECI provides an array of independent living services to individuals with disabilities and to the community.  The purposes of ECI are two-fold; to prepare individuals, and to prepare the community for full integration of persons with disabilities into society.”

Lighthouse International

“Lighthouse International is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to preserving vision and to providing critically needed vision and rehabilitation services to help people of all ages overcome the challenges of vision loss. Through clinical services, education, research, and advocacy, the Lighthouse enables people with low vision and blindness to enjoy safe, independent and productive lives.”

Wyoming Search and Rescue Association

The Wyoming Search and Rescue Association assists with “the employment, coordination and utilization of available resources and personnel in relieving distress, preserving life and removing survivors from the site of a disaster, emergency or hazard to safety in case of lost, stranded, entrapped or injured people.”

Vision Hope

“Presently Vision HOPE’s sole focus is on raising the necessary funds to operate Champions for Life Kids’ Camp. Foster children from the surrounding communities will participate in a variety of fun and educational activities in a non-competitive and non-threatening, loving environment. With a highly trained & devoted staff, these children will discover not only their inner strengths and abilities, but their self-worth as well.”

Peace for Kids

“Peace4Kids provides programs and services for foster and at-risk youth from ages 5-18, and after emancipation until age 24. Peace4Kids is truly on the front lines in addressing the needs of foster and at-risk youth in the South Los Angeles neighborhoods of Watts, Willowbrook and Compton.”

Schweinfurt’s SFAC (Soldier and Family Assistance Center)

“The SFAC is a one-stop location designed to provide support services regarding finances, child care, Family Advocacy, budgeting, Chaplain assistance, Legal Assistance, Military Personnel issues, logistics and transportation, installation access, benefits counseling, education and employment opportunities. The SFAC provides a warm, relaxed environment where Soldiers and their Families can gather to foster physical, spiritual and mental healing.”

Youth Power Center

Youth Power Center (YPC), located in Anacostia of Washington, DC, is a career training program that assists teenagers to empower them to reach their potential.

Zoe’s Heart

This blogger writes about her daughter’s dire need of a heart transplant. Visit her site to learn more.

Talking About Curing Autism

“Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) provides information, resources, and support to families affected by autism. For families who have just received the autism diagnosis, TACA aims to speed up the cycle time from the autism diagnosis to effective treatments. TACAhelps to strengthen the autism community by connecting families and the professionals who can help them, allowing them to share stories and information to help people with autism be the best they can be.”

Kennebec Valley Community Action Program

“KVCAP offers a range of services for men, women, and children. These include Family Planning; home ownership, repair and weatherization services, heating assistance; transportation; and a teen center. We also support families through home visitation programs for first time parents, parenting classes, childcare and Head Start. Many of these programs are available to people of all income levels.

Capitol News Connection

“Capitol News Connection is an independent and innovative multimedia news service that brings politics ‘home’ to citizens with localized and custom-crafted reporting from Congress. A bridge from the ‘Beltway’ to the ‘Heartland’, CNC connects the dots and ensures all Americans have access to locally relevant, trustworthy, engaging and unbiased information. By bringing new relevance, transparency and accountability to the political process, CNC reporting empowers citizens to shape their own destinies by being active and effective participants in our democracy.”

Sacramento Loaves and Fishes

“Without passing judgment, and in a spirit of love and hospitality, Loaves & Fishes feeds the hungry and shelters the homeless. We provide an oasis of welcome, safety, and cleanliness for homeless men, women and children seeking survival services.”

Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center

“Our mission is to provide opportunities and an environment for neighbors and families in southwest Indianapolis to improve lives, increase independence, and strengthen community through service and collaboration.”

Blogger Kate discussed their amazing adult re-entry computer education program and how it supports and assists “Baby Boomer” adults as they reinvent themselves at various points in their lives.

Ballet Tech

“Ballet Tech is dedicated to seeking out talented New York City public school students and provides a continuum of training from introductory through professional level training. Throughout the children’s instruction, dance classes, shoes and leotards are provided free of charge. During the first year of training, transportation is provided while students attend ballet classes on a school-time release program. Students who show the talent and passion required to study classical ballet are invited to attend The New York City Public School for Dance (NYCPSD) – a cooperative, tuition-free venture between the NYC Department of Education and Ballet Tech. The School offers a rigorous academic curriculum paired with intensive dance training for students in grades 4 through 12.”

Cathedral Square Cooperation

“South Burlington Community Housing offers affordable housing for people with mobility impairments aged 62 and younger…the community offers nine one-bedroom apartments [and] a non-institutional setting where residents can live independently in a group setting. All residents participate in a care-pooling plan, which allows them to pool their resources to direct the caregiver staff of the community in providing their care, which allows more freedom and independence than a traditional care giving arrangement.”

And finally, there were many entrants who were enthusiastic about donating to these very important charities: the Salvation Army, the Make A Wish Foundation and the Ronald McDonald Houses.

Thank you for reading and giving anyway that you can!

4 Comments

Filed under Bloggers, Causes, Children, Contests, Education, HP, Inspiring people, Money, Mothers, Philanthropy, Raising Awareness, Women, Working moms

Spank My Kid, Hate Myself

Yesterday, my 2 yo son was entirely too ripe for naptime. And he was pissed about it. At 33 lbs, and taller than ANY of his peers, he is a force to be reckoned with. Watching him stand there in a froth of tantrum and exhaustion, I came at him low – like a wrestler – to keep my balance and scoop him up before he took me out. As anticipated, the fight was on. Kicking, screaming, thrashing – I did all that I could to hold on to him and make a break for the bedroom. And as I was almost there, he took a huge swipe at me with unclipped finger nails. He scraped my face and it hurt. Anger flared inside me. And then, as I passed through the doorway to his bedroom, he thrashed out yet again and managed to push hard on the door frame with his feet. As a result, drove me – hard – into the door frame on the opposite side. And it HURT. So what did I do? I put him on the ground and swatted at his bum.

Horror.

I have NEVER spanked either of my children over the 5+ years I have been a mother. And I said I never would. But I did. NOT because I thought it was a good idea. NOT because I thought it would teach him something. I did it because I was really mad and wanted to get him.

Wow. There I said it.

Oh, my stomach clenches at the memory – I felt so terrible in that moment. I scooped him up and rocked him and whispered to him while those horrible waves of mommy guilt washed over me, seeping in, soaking everything.

How was he? Well, when I swatted him, he hardly noticed. I think he thought I was pushing him into the room. He cried no more or no less. He only slowed his crying once I started rocking him. He was so damn tired, that poor baby. So I put him in his crib, he laid right down, I rambled about a thousand “I love you”s, and that was that.

But that wasn’t that for me. After all these years, after all the thousands of temper tantrums that I have muscled through, why did that one drive me to spank him?

Ok, so lets talk about spanking. It’s really one of those hot button topics with moms. Some do it, some don’t. Either way, parents tend to feel strongly about why they do or don’t. And we can all get uppity and self righteous about why we do or don’t – but I don’t judge another parent’s choices on that. I just decide how I want to parent my own children.

And what are my feelings about spanking? I don’t think it works. I don’t think it particularly hurts a kid physically, but I just don’t think it accomplishes a damn thing. If anything, it sends a message that hitting for a bad behavior is ok. I think it tells your kid it’s ok to strike out physically in a time of anger. I am just not a fan of negative reinforcement. I have managed to get my kids to mind – or not – just fine without it.

(Until now. Gulp. Just swimming in guilt here.)

Now, I was spanked. Am I all screwed up because I was spanked? Nope. Did I learn to hit people because I was hit a few times when I really got in trouble? I don’t think so. So knowing that, I don’t judge anyone who spanks their kids – or I try really hard not to. I have just been pretty dug in about the fact that *I* don’t want to do it with my kids. Bottomline: I don’t want any hitting under my roof, I don’t care for what purpose, and that’s that.

So, I broke my rule yesterday, and swatted my baby’s bum. And, as I’ve mentioned, I am up to my nose in a sea of mommy guilt. But I have friends who are rolling their eyes so loudly right now, telling me to get over it. Telling me he needed a good swat, telling me to stop being so damn guilty all the time, telling ME to stop be so damn self-righteous. Telling me people screw up and none of us are perfect parents.

Eh, I guess.

I still had to call my husband and admit my mistake. And while he agrees with the no spanking thing, he was hardly impressed. Just kind of “Oh wow… What was HIS problem?”

But I think the other thing that bugged me about the moment was my intention. Again, I didn’t spank him because I wanted to teach him a lesson and felt this would be a good method to do so. I did it because I was hurt and mad – and I snapped. Obviously, I hardly went crazy. This wasn’t child abuse, I know that. But it scares me how me – miss “anti-conflict, peace loving, can’t we all just get along” Caroline – could snap and want to hit her very own child.

I know I am not alone here. I know parents are driven to moments like this. I know friends who have had to walk away, lock themselves in their bathroom and count to 50, with their child pounding on the door outside. The everyday, monotonous, groundhog day, water dripping on our foreheads constant of whining, crying, hitting, kicking, throwing can just… get to us. No matter how much we love them. However, we should never NEVER act on that anger or frustration in the heat of the moment. Never.

No matter how unhurt he was (or even if he hardly noticed), spanking him in that moment (when I don’t believe in doing it anyway) was wrong.

So, yeah. I need to let it go. And blogging about it is my way of publicly apologizing for it I think. So this is my penance. Please don’t call child services on me. I learned my lesson, that’s for sure.

But you might want to call the Mother of the year Award committee and tell them 2009 is probably out for me too.

10 Comments

Filed under Children, Guilt and motherhood, Mothers, Panicking, parental fear, Parenting, Reality check, Self-analysis, Teaching kids

My Baby Belly Battle

strongest-man

I loathe my baby belly.

And all the mother’s out there who have given birth to their children know exactly what I mean. It’s that tire of flabbed out muscle and mushy fat left over from carrying watermelon sized babies around in your abdomen. And even after you’ve breastfed both children (hoping they suck off the extra pounds), even after you patiently wait out the old mantra “9 months in, 9 months out”, even after everything else seems to have gone back to where it was… (eh… pretty much… good enough at least… if you squint with one eye… after your contacts are out) – that baby belly stays right with me like some trusty sidekick. It just won’t quit. It’s as if your abdomen is thinking “Hey, hanging out here in the wind really ain’t so bad after all. If it works for Homer Simpson, it works for me.” And you are left avoiding the empire waisted shirts or anything remotely maternity-ish for fear that if you wander too close to a Babies R Us, you’ll hear a squealed “ooooh, when are you due???” I’m not exaggerating either. It’s happened to me.

So I really loathe my baby belly. And I swear to you. I am not getting all vain here either. Honestly. I am not all into losing weight or getting some hard, Linda Hamilton type of bod. No way, being stacked like that just doesn’t get me that fired up. My body is my body, take it or leave it. All I reeeeally want to do is wear jeans WITHOUT the muffin top – do you catch what I’m saying?

So back to that damned baby belly. I want it gone. And how do I do that? Hold on to your hats folks, its a totally crazy concept for me. Here it comes… Exercise.

BOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Hiiiisssssssss…. virtual rotten tomatoes are being lobbed at such a concept.

But, heres the thing. Or irony of it all. I have a college coach for a husband. And he majored in – of all things – P.E. (For real, he did. Side bar I know, but he actually took college classes in badminton and ballroom dancing and teaching kids how to play kickball. And he ALSO took a lot of nutrition and physiology classes. Hence my perfect resource.) It’s crazy really. I had to marry a guy who is so damn physically gifted – athletics, sports, and physical fitness come as naturally as breathing for him. So, yeah, he certainly knows what it takes to get my flabby midsection back in the saddle again. I have an expert living right along next to me.

But can I also mention WHY I love my husband dearly? Because he NEVER, and I mean NEVER, has suggested I work on my belly by the way. He could care less if I do. He loves me as is. But when I ask questions, he is happy to provide information. Score for me.

So. Finally. I asked that husband of mine what I need to do to get my baby belly to bugger off. And he said two things. Aerobic exercise and toning my ab muscles.

(And then there is a third. Eat better. Whatever. Pass the Halloween candy.)

Huh. Now lets back the truck up a bit here. I hate exercise. (Hence those lobbed tomatoes.) I was the dorky, awkwardly tall, uncoordinated kid in bad glasses who dreaded P.E. I have not one ounce of competitiveness in me. And so when a soccer ball hit me square in the face at age 6 and my glasses went flying – I cashed it in. I mean, ow. That hurt. I could care less which net the ball got into. Exercise, sports, getting all sweaty = NOT. FOR. ME.

Well, at the ripe age of 35 and after having two large boys, exercise is no longer optional. If I don’t want to look like a potato with toothpicks sticking out of it, I better get off my ass. (Note: yeah, yeah, I am sure I am exaggerating. While I may not look exactly like said potato, I feel like said potato – and THAT, my friends, is JUST as bad in my book.)

And let’s not forget that studies have proven that exercise lowers a woman’s risk of breast cancer – which my mother has had. And weight bearing exercise will build my bones now and help me avoid osteoporosis – which my mother has. It’s time to get out the door and get it done.

So after all this whining about my baby belly, what have I started doing about it? How do I get to work on kicking its ass when I have a coach husband who never works regular hours like 9 to 5 and is often gone weekends? When I don’t have the extra cash to join the Y (with the baby sitting included)? When I don’t have any fancy stair master in some personal gym in the basement? How do I commit to cardio and toning? This is what I do.

1) Do I have a half hour? Yup. All I ask myself is to spend a half hour of my day doing something that raises my heart rate above “yawn, stretch, thump, wassup, oh yeah right, thump“.

2) If I am by myself, I get out the door and walk. Fast. With music. Walk, walk, walk.

3) If I am by myself, can I dare myself to run, just a little bit? Yup. It sucks, but I get done faster.

4) If I have the kids, can I drag or push them in any way? I don’t have a jogging stroller but pushing a heavy sit-n-stand or pulling 75 pounds of children in wagon has gotta give me some kind of work out.

5) Can’t leave the house? Out comes my jump rope in front of the TV

6) Ab time? Groan. I ask myself to do 80 sit ups, 20 jack knifes and some minimal core work. That’s it.

So its not much, right? But its more than what I was doing. A LOT more. And the funny part is that its actually becoming addicting. I can’t wait to get out and do it – even if it SUCKS while I’m doing it. But I will do whatever I can to get out there.

This is all so UN-me, I am telling you. Like today, me, dragging that wagon full of my kids. Even trying to run while pulling it. I swear I must have looked like I was in The Worlds Strongest Man (Or World’s Lamest Mom) competition. You know, when they are pulling a car behind them? That was me and that wagon trying to run but really barely getting anywhere. It kicked my ass, I am telling you. And probably offered my neighbors some comedy in their day.

But I’m doing it. I’m trying.

Do I see any difference? Nope, not yet. No idea if I’m losing weight because I don’t care about that (I don’t even own a scale, I think they’re evil). I still have my tried and true muffin top rockin out of my jean top. But I remind myself that it can’t happen over night. (Not with that lovely, delish bowl of Halloween candy sitting right here besides me as I type this. Oh no.)

But I’m doing it. I’m trying.

11 Comments

Filed under Aging, Breast cancer, Children, Educating myself, Exercise, Health, Identity crisis, Mothers, Panicking, Self-analysis

Preparing for a Kindergarten Dissertation.

Last night, my husband and I found our son on the couch looking through a book. Nothing too surprising about that except for the fact that it wasn’t T’s book, it was my husband’s. And what is my husband reading about? How to write a dissertation. B. is completing his MBA and is currently working on his thesis. Anyway, so we found T. reading his book. We both chuckled. I said “Quick! Grab my camera!” Thinking the moment would last a minute before he went back to jumping off the couch into his pile of bean bag chairs, just like he does on most nights at home before bath time.

Then I realized he was actually trying to read it.

“Daddy, what does ’empower’ mean?”

And while B. grappled with that one, I – being the Mommy that I am – just kept taking pictures while he tried to figure that stuff out.

And then I get this look.

So we left him be. I guess he had some reading to do. B. went to prep dinner, I went and changed.

But then I came back to the living room to find him STILL reading. About dissertations. Completely engrossed. Just like this.

And once again, my children achieve what was once considered an IMPOSSIBLE feat. They render me utterly speechless.

11 Comments

Filed under Children, Education, Silliness

Can You Give $5 to a School in Need?

Ok, raise your hand.

How many of you have kids? Yup, so do I.

Oh, no? Ok. How many of you went to public school? Yup me too.

How many of you think every child should have equal access to books, supplies, playground equipment and technology at school? Heck, yeah.

How many of you have five dollars? Shoot, even *I’ve* got that.

…How many of you might even have a little more? Ok, stop laughing.

Here’s the deal folks. You all know how hung up on giving I have been recently. Well, I guess I have been making enough racket about it that I was approached about a wonderful cause. It is called the DonorsChoose.org 2008 Bloggers Challenge.

DonorsChoose.org is a non for profit website aimed at collecting wish lists from teachers at schools in need. The website organizes and lists their needs based on state, poverty level, subject, etc. Then folks who have a little to give come and visit the site, pick a project, and donate to it. Easy as that. Donations can even be as low as $5 and all donations are tax deductible. Very cool, huh? (More details about how it works can be found here.)

And how do bloggers get involved? Well, we get to promote the site from our blog. (And no, we don’t make a dime off of this, I promise you.) We simply get to encourage all of *YOU* readers to visit their site and donate. And I have even taken the liberty of setting up a special “Morningside Mom Givers” page. This afternoon, I went through the site and dug out four projects that seemed to resonate with me.

What was I looking for? That was tough. It seemed so arbitrary to pick projects and decide which were more worthy than others. I finally decided to look into lower income schools in Florida and I found five really interesting projects. I encourage you all to go onto the site and read about them.

One is looking to provide children instruments in a North Miami school.

One simply needs books because they have practically none.

One is looking for P.E. equipment at a school with no playground, one ball and 1/3 of their students are overweight.

One is looking for technology to bring math alive to her students.

One is looking to buy “green” books to help educate students about recycling in their communities.

All of the projects together have put a total for our Morningside Mom Givers Project at $3,000. I am asking you to give a little when you can. Has anyone joined the 29 day Giving Challenge I have been obsessed with? This would SO count. And so would spreading the word about my page. See if you can get some others to check this out and donate if possible. It’s a wonderful cause. I sincerely hope you will consider visiting our page and learning more.

And I am also planning on some sort of incentive for giving. I am not sure what it will be. Possibly a raffle for a give-away. Or maybe I will promise to do something crazy for all of you to laugh at. Last year one blogger dressed up as a tomato and danced through Rockefeller Square when they reached their goal. Oh the possibilities, huh? I’ll keep you posted. Any suggestions are always welcome.

Thanks in advance to every Morningside Mom Giver!

Note: I’d have a cool widget up if I could get it to work. Instead go click on the simple text widget on the right panel if you ever need to find our page!

3 Comments

Filed under Bloggers, Children, DonorsChoose.org, Education, Florida, Money, Philanthropy, Raising Awareness

Ways to Involve Your Kids in This Election.

There are only a few weeks left until we vote for our next President. Along with many other parents and citizens, I am nervous but hopeful about election day. But in the midst of all of this political chatter, how much do your children really understand about our upcoming election? Do they know who our candidates are? Do they understand our priveledge and right to vote? Would you even know how to engage them in a conversation about the election? I certainly wasn’t very sure, so I went hunting for some resources – and I would like to share them with all of you.

Now, what inspired me to look for these election resources exactly? The other morning I took a stab at explaining this election to my 5 year old. We were watching some highlights of an Obama rally on CNN. My son was clearly thrilled that I had not switched over to Playhouse Disney. To try and peak his interest some I said “Do you know who that is?” “No.” His bored tone told me he was anxious to learn more. “Well, let me tell you.” I tried to explain what our president does, who the candidates were and how I will be voting on election day. Blank look. So I simply said to him, “Do you know what you should call me? An ‘Obama Mama’.” Finally a smile and then a giggle. “Obama Mama! That’s silly! Obama Mama, Obama Mama, Obama Mama. … Can I have some Kix?”

This wasn’t this first time I have tried to explain the election to my son. Granted, he is only 5. He is simply trying to figure out the politics of kindergarten – certainly, our complex presidential election may be a bit out of reach still. But it got me thinking. What resources are there for parents with children interested in learning more about the election? If you have been trying to engage your children, check out the following sites. My son might be a little young still, but yours may not be!

PBS Kids, The Democracy Project: PBS does a fantastic job of putting together a fun, interactive website where kids can learn about becoming a president for a day and how our government works. It also allows kids to get into the voters booth and share what issues matter to them.

Kids Voting USA: While more of a website for teachers, it offers election information for children in grades ranging from K-12.

Scholastic.com: Scholastic does a wonderful job with their election website. Kids can vote for president, meet the candidates, read campaign news, read blogs written by kids, or even launch their own campaign for president.

Brain Pop: Looking for a straight forward video to explain the election to your kids? Check this site out.

TIME for kids: TIME magazine has a fun website with campaign games, information about the issues and even some pretty cool kid reporters sharing their own campaign experiences.

Would you like to make this election real for your kids and put together your own election and voting booth? Visit “ABC Teach” to find ballots, worksheets and directions to make your own voting booth.

The White House: The White House website offers further information for kids about our past presidents, the White House itself and even the presidential pets. Maybe you feel like coloring a president? Get out your crayons and print some of them out here!

Rock the Vote: And for your older children, sit them down to Rock the Vote. MTV makes it cool to get involved with this election.

Finally, I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read: “Kids Don’t Vote, but Moms Do!” (If you want one, please visit Momsrising.org.) That statement truly inspired me. Our children and their futures matter. However, as moms, we carry the responsibility to be their only advocates. And during this election, it is no different. Our children count on us to elect their leader. Please don’t forget to register yourself to vote. And then, consider bringing your child to vote with you – what better way to learn about this historical election than to have them truly experience it for themselves!

Cross posted at Type A Mom.

8 Comments

Filed under Children, Election, Government, Parenting, Politics, Teaching kids

Using his words.

My poor two year old. He has so much to say but so few people understand what the hell he is saying. It is as if he is living in a country where he understands the language but, no matter how hard he tries, he can’t speak like the natives. We have taught him some sign language, which has helped a lot. But his thoughts are more complicated than the few limited hand gestures he knows. He wants to talk like a big boy. And he is trying his damnedest too. He comes at us with his big open cherub face, blue eyes gleaming “woog ah mee da!” (translation: “Look at me, Dad”) My sweet boy, he’s trying so hard.

Every afternoon, I pack C. into the car and we drive a half hour over to T.’s school to pick him up from kindergarten. They are still “tweaking” the car pick up line (apparently) and the wait tests both of our patience. This afternoon, 15 minutes ahead of school dismissal time, we pulled up to the endless double row of cars, found our spot in line and I turned off the engine. It’s Florida, in August. The sun is hot. The parking lot’s tarmac is just as hot. I rolled our windows down for some breeze and texted my husband. It was then I heard a little peep from the back.

“I wan doy.”

“Um hmmm, one sec.” texttexttexttexttext…

“I wan doy.”

I turn around. “What do you want, hon?”

“I wan doy!”

“Toy? Which toy?” And I scan the crap on the floor of the car from something special that caught his eye.

‘No. DOY!”

“Not toy??? How about a book?”

(Sharp yell of frustration.) “DOOOOY!”

“I don’t understand honey. How about some milk?”

“AHHHHHMMMMAAAAAHHHHHHAAAHHH (high high, VERY high pitched squeal ensues.) DOOOOOYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

He’s purple now, mad. Straining against his car seat straps. Pointing at something in the center console.

“Well, honey” (and I can’t believe I said this) “You need to use words. Screaming is not going to get your way.” And with that, I turned back around and dialed the school’s office. T. would be late to school the next day due to a dentist appointment and I wanted to be sure they knew. Better not to give this tantrum any reinforcement, right?

Well. Stand back. A full throttle, kiss my grits and call me Sally, 2 year old, practically epileptic FIT wound into high gear in the backseat of my car. He thrashed, screamed, squealed, “DOOOOY!!!!! DOOOYYYYYYY!!!!! DOOOOAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!” He was frothing at the mouth, the car was rocking ever so gently, he was pointing at my console and kicking the utter crap out of the seat in front of him. Meanwhile…

“Yes, This is Caroline, T.’s mother. (“BAAAAAHHHHAAA DDOOOOOOOOOHHHHYYY!!!!!”) I would just like to (WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH) let you all know (WAAAAAAAAAAAAH) that T. will (MAAAAAAAHHHH DDAAAAAHHHH) be late tomorrow due to (EEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHDDDAAAAHHHH) a dentist appointment. (EEEEEEEEEEEEE…. – can’t hear it any longer but I swear dogs are barking in the distance at this point.)

Eventually, I start the car, I am sweating like a mad woman and crank the A/C. We inch up. The tantrum doesn’t slow one teensy bit.

“Oh hon. WHAT?!!!! WHAT! IS! IT!” (EEEEEEEEEEEE) Seriously, I was going to loose my mind. What. The. Hell.

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!”

And as I was moving along the car line, slowly but surely, annoyed mothers all around me, I glanced down at the center console. There sits a dime.

“C. Do you mean a… coin?” And I hold up the dime.

Silence.

“YEEEEEAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

And a smile explodes across his face – seriously, its one like you’ve never seen. Utter, pure, joy, relief, even ecstasy. A Doy. A COIN. Cripes.

So, while he chants “DOY! DOY! DOY! DOY!” from the backseat, I hand over the dime. And he could not be happier. Just like that, all was solved. He talks to the coin, he has a full blown conversation with it. Don’t you dare tell me it’s a choke-able either.  (I’ll show you a %$&#@! choke-able…) And grateful, relieved for the peace at last, I pay him off with a variety of coins from that center console. I hear “Dis lillwwwew doy” (translation: “This is a little coin.”) and “Dis BEEEG (gruff voice) doy!” (translation: “This is a BIG coin.”)

Doy. You gotta be kidding me. My poor baby IS using his words, I just need to figure out how to hear them.

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Filed under Children, Communication, Educating myself, Guilt and motherhood, Language, Talking, Teaching kids