Tag Archives: toddler life

Monday Mom Confessions: The TV Edition

13 Apr

“It’s impossible to do everything right all the time.  Admitting that is freeing – and it’s also encouraging to other moms in the midst of intense seasons.”

~ Kristina Slaney; FamilyWorkLife.com

You’ve heard it a thousand times; “you’re a bad parent if your child watches TV before they’re 2 years old.”

I call bullshit.

If my son didn’t start watching TV before he was 2, I would still be un-showered, un-kept, and totally disheveled. Did I mention that I also have a full time job? I don’t think they would appreciate the “homeless” version of myself that I would have been, if I didn’t introduce the TV to my son at an earlier age.

Let me back up.

I started out completely against screens before 2. Then, my son recognized Elmo and I had no idea how. I had never shown him the crazy red muppet and somehow, Elmo was his buddy, his pal. My early talker (late walker), requested this “lovable monster” so many times a day… So I caved and turned on Sesame Street. He squealed with delight.

After a few minutes, I turned it off, because I felt the motion of the show was too fast for him still. He cried and cried. Sorry, buddy.

Showering pre-TV: 

Before the introduction of TV, my son sat in the bathroom with me every day while I showered. I would haul his high chair into the bathroom, load him up with books and a snack, get in the shower and leave the door open. I spent my showers freezing my butt off as the cold air hit my warming skin under the hot water. But, I did this every day from the time I went back to work, at 14 weeks post partum, until he was 15 months old, and learned to walk. No longer did he want to sit in his high chair and read books. My showers got shorter and colder and more stressful, resulting in days of “oops, I forgot to rinse the conditioner out!” and “I’ll never shave my legs again” and “did I actually use soap today?”  I would literally cram a shower into 1.5 minutes, trying to stop him from climbing out of his highchair the whole time.

I had to do something. I need about 10 minutes to shower in the morning. 20 if I want to get completely ready for the day (no more makeup or hair drying for me at this point). So, I introduced him to the TV and he loved it (duh).

We were very selective on the shows we let him watch and timed everything in a borderline obsessive manner.

We looked for “slow animation” shows that weren’t totally brain destroying and things that would occupy his senses without overly stimulating them.

Here’s our list of first shows:

  1. Turtle Tales: Sammy’s Adventures: This is a great movie about humans rotting the earth/water for sea animals, as told my an old man turtle (Sammy), as he relives his adventures with his best friend, Ray. The story is sweet, the music is good, but the animation is SLOW and mostly takes place under water, so it has that delayed movement feel to it. This is still a favorite movie for Remy, except now, he screams “SHARK!!!! SWIM AWAY SAMMY!!!!” as he watches it. This is available on Netflix or to download on iTunes, if you need it on an iPad for travel purposes.
  2. Jonathan Bird’s Blue World – Turtles: A common theme, Remy loves turtles. All of the Blue World TV shows are awesome, educational and beautifully shot. Remy calls Jonathan Bird, “Rocka Bird” and knows more about turtle life (including their mating and egg laying/hatching) than I knew at 37 when we first discovered the show. Another favorite episode is “Sully the Pilot Whale“. There are a ton of other videos here as well: Rocka Bird on the Youtubes. A nice thing about this, is that it’s YouTube based, so you can watch it on any device you own.
  3. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood : The Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood legacy continues with this cute little animated tiger, named Daniel. Every episode has a “lesson” and a cute little 1 line song to go along with it (songs like, “Keep trying, you’ll get be-et-ter!” will be used in our house for as long as it takes Remy to continue to try to do something himself, instead of always asking one of us to do it for him). Super slow animation and really sweet nostalgia as you hear the theme song, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” play. Available on Netflix, PBS Kids App (if you don’t have it yet, you need it), and the PBS Kids channel on Roku/AppeTV.

So, there you have it.

Now, at slightly over 2, my son knows how to use a remote control, knows how to sit and watch a show and yes, my showers are longer and better, and I can actually “park him” when I need a break, or need to do the dishes without him wanting to be picked up or played with. He watches several other things now too, like Dora the Explorer and The Cat in the Hat, among others. Sometimes I even let him watch TV on an app on my phone, while we snuggle away the early morning hours, when my pregnant booty needs just a few more minutes of sleep!

Mama needs a break sometimes and this is our way of ensuring his safety, while making sure I can still function/don’t smell bad.

Monday Mom Confessions – The Dirty Truth

30 Mar

“It’s impossible to do everything right all the time.  Admitting that is freeing – and it’s also encouraging to other moms in the midst of intense seasons.”

~ Kristina Slaney

How many times have you heard the phrase “wash your hands” in your life?

Me too.

I wash my own hands all the time and almost every night after dinner, you know what I think?

“I didn’t wash my son’s hands before dinner!!”

Best part? He uses a fork when he wants to, but if he’s super hungry, he eats with his hands. Yes, the same hands the played on the floor, were at daycare all day, and the same hands that pet not one, but our two dogs… All those germs… Right into his mouth.

I’ve even splurged and purchased soap just for him (Kandoo’s foam soap) and I still forget sometimes!

To be fair to myself – and so you don’t call the cops on me – it’s not a nightly thing, just a few days a week. Cuz that makes it better right?

I am the worst mother of all time. 

DISCLAIMER: I started planning/writing this post a week ago and somehow, I’ve remembered to wash his hands every night before dinner since. #accountabilityworks 

What’s your mom confession? Post in the comments or link up from your blog! I’d love to share stories, cuz mama, the struggle is real.

Monday Mom Confessions

23 Mar

“It’s impossible to do everything right all the time.  Admitting that is freeing – and it’s also encouraging to other moms in the midst of intense seasons.”

~ Kristina Slaney

Every Monday, my friend Kristina posts her Monday Mom Confessions. I love reading her self-proclaimed confessions and have decided to link up with her and start posting them myself!

Since this is my first MMC, I’m starting light…

If you have a toddler, you’ve likely started waiting to stuff your face full of dessert until after bedtime, lest the smallest bite of something sugary keep your little monster up way past your “you time” at the end of the day. Missing my “me time” or “husband time” (on the few nights a week he’s home) makes me cranky, and with a budding baby in my belly, it’s more necessary that ever to get my perfect (and totally un-sleep trained) boy down for the night. Come on, I mean, it already takes a solid hour+ to get him to sleep, so whatever is left of the night is all mine (screw laundry). Sugar be damned.

Last night, we got some great news. Our home that we’ve been living in (renting) for several years was recently sold. Our new landlords bought the duplex under the agreement that they would be living in one of the two units… which are both currently occupied. We live in a beautiful, old building from the 1920’s that has two identical units. One of top of the other. We used to live upstairs, and now we live downstairs. Needless to say, we love our building, we love our neighborhood, we love our neighbors and we love living in the middle of the city, where everything we need is incredibly close by. People say LA has the worst traffic, but they just live in the wrong place. 🙂 Anyway, for the last 2 months, we’ve been waiting for the new owners to let us know which one of the two units they planned on moving into. We knew that LA’s rent control laws protected us (we’ve lived there longer than our upstairs neighbors), but that doesn’t mean that the new owners would follow the rules. We were just nervous. The idea of being uprooted just a few months before the new baby comes, and in the middle of finals for my husband, was terrifying.

On to the good news – Sunday night, the new owners came over to “discuss their plans for the house” and the end result is that we get to stay!!!! 

How does this relate to my MMC??? Well, in of the excitement that the new owners brought with them, we needed cake. Thankfully, we live within walking distance to the BEST bakery in LA (in my opinion), Sweet Lady Jane. Onward ho! We marched ourselves straight to SLJ for some cake… and 7:00PM on a Sunday night. Shoot.

Remy can’t eat cake at 7:00PM or he will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN!!! Our evening of watching House of Cards will be damaged and a sour bedtime on a Sunday night, just leads to a rough(er) Monday morning. Waaaaaaaahhhh.

We walked back home with our cake in a togo box, and my excited little man cried when he only got ONE bite (mostly blueberry) of his triple berry shortcake, before bed.

But here’s the best thing – CAKE MAKES A GREAT BREAKFAST. Especially when it’s loaded with fruit (triple berry) and milk (lots and lots of whip cream frosting). Cake is a grain, right? We’re talking BALANCE.

Saving a piece for the little guy, while trying not to smear the goodness all over my face, took some serious self-control, but by some magical mystery, he was asleep by 8:30, woke up at 6:45 and didn’t get out of bed until 7:30 this morning. By 7:45, my little darling was hands deep in cake. For breakfast. He actually woke up saying “Memy’s cake! Memy’s cake time! Wake up! Cake time!”

Cake for Breakfast!

Cake for Breakfast!

The ultimate confession? He’s at daycare today. If he goes bonkers on a sugar high… He’s on someone else’s watch.

Lesson learned? Save dessert for breakfast. It won’t challenge bedtimes, and he’ll have plenty of time to burn off the sugar rush by nap time. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: