Ever since Christmas at her cousins’ house, Peeper has been wearing a single plastic Cinderella shoe. It’s clear and has a strand of fake pearls on the toe. She had worn it when she and her cousins showcased a Disney on Ice dance they created, and we couldn’t get it off her when we left. Welcome to the princess phase, I thought.
“Isn’t that uncomfortable?” Eric asked her.
She looked down.
“It’s not comfortable but it’s so pretty,” she replied.
Great. She’s 3 and already sacrificing comfort for a great shoe.
The entire family was driving down the highway recently when Peeper let out a wail.
“My heel’s in the wrong spot!” she screamed. Turns out her sock had turned around and she couldn’t straighten it.
I tried coaching her through righting the sock to no avail. As I was in the passenger seat, I twisted all the way around and stretched my arm back.
“Put your foot next to your head,” I told her. I was just able to reach her sock and fixed it.
I waited a beat.
“Do you have something you want to say to Mom?” I asked.
While I massaged the shoulder I’d nearly dislocated, I waited for the thank you.
Peeper was silent for a minute then spoke.
“I want milk.”
It was all I could do to hold my head in my hands and laugh.
That is parenting in a nutshell: You literally bend backwards to help them recover from some ridiculous problem and instead of saying thank you, they move on to the next demand.
At least we have humor, right?
What’s the most ridiculous big-little problem you e had to solve for your kids?
Oh, the screaming.
I shudder to imagine what the neighbors thought was going on at our house. But it was just bath time.
Over the last six months or so, when it came time to wash my kid’s hair, Peeper would disappear and a panicked, sobbing, shrieking beast took her place.
It was torture, apparently, for her, and it was no fun for us parents, either.
But what I ended up learning helped make all the screaming, the crying and the frustration a little more worth the struggle.
Think back to high school or college and you will probably not have fond memories of flashcards. I know I don’t. I break out in a sweat when I remember quizzing myself on the date of the transcontinental railroad for my AP US History test and, later, on the mating habits of bonobos. (That last one was for Evolution of Human Sexuality, an unforgettable anthropology class in college, in which my professor stood on a chair at the head of a 300-person lecture hall and pretend-birthed a baby doll. Awesome!)
But unless you’re prepping your kid to get into that genius pre-K program (please tell me you’re not), your preschooler hasn’t formed an anxious association with flashcards just yet. So it’s time to get in on some flashcards fun!