Torts & Tots

Motherhood. Lawyer-dom. And maybe a few nice recipes.

Archive for March 2013

A Tiny Trip.

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Up Close Sand sisters Sisters Tubing

Over spring break, we packed up our tiny girls and took a tiny trip to San Antonio.  Can you tell I’ve been reading a story called the Teeny, Tiny Woman with AJS?  I hear the Alamo is in San Antonio and perhaps something called the Riverwalk?  I have no first-hand knowledge of these things as our vacation existed almost entirely within our hotel.  Our plane landed in San Antonio, and we immediately hoofed it right out of the heart of the city to a family resort in the hill country.  This was our first vacation as a family of four, so we tried to put very little pressure on ourselves agenda-wise.  What I have learned from this trip is that the recipe for a successful trip with tinies has ingredients something like this: (1) pools, lots of ’em; (2) sand for endless hours of filling and un-filling and refilling buckets; (3) nearby shopping for a sanity check for the parents; (4) cheap eats; (5) popsicles on demand; and (6) a large hotel bathtub and shower.  Yes, it’s true – we took two planes to a different state so that our kids could take baths in the hotel.  Who needs sight-seeing when there are chubby baby legs in swimsuits to admire?



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March 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm

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Elmo Recovery Program.

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So the past week has been interesting.  We have been trying to convince our toddler to get to a healthier place with her BFF Elmo.  After a full week of not allowing her to watch Elmo, I thought that we were moving into more normal territory.  She is able to say Elmo in her regular voice, as opposed to her low, creepy voice reserved for things with which she is obsessed.  She has channeled her love for Elmo into more appropriate outlets – Sesame Street books and coloring books – and she has even picked up a few, new friends along the way.  The following names are now a part of her everyday vocab: Big Bird (Bu Bird), Cookie Monster (Cook-ku), Bert (Bewt), and Abby (Abb-bay).  But don’t get me wrong, her heart still beats for Elmo. 

Feeling self-congratulatory and light-hearted, CCS and I ran to Target for a few essentials.  I thought that I would grab some small toys for CCS and AJS to play with on an upcoming flight.  Claire and I went to the aisle with the Sesame Street toys.  I presented her with a couple of choices of Sesame Street figurines.  She did not bat an eye at the Abby-Rosita combo pack, and unhesitantly chose the Elmo-Count combo pack (cue the re-entry of Creepy Elmo Voice).  As we strolled around Target, CCS sat in the basket and stared at the package, chanting “Elmo.”  And as we checked out, I had the privilege of being the mom who has to present a toy in her child’s hand for scanning because having her release the toy would be catastrophic.  As a side bar, when you’re not a parent, you (me) watch parents and think “I’ll never let my kid get away with that.” But don’t worry, you totally will let your kid get away with all that and more.  I actually have a theory that can be neatly summed up as “the judgier you are, the harder you fall.” 

In a nutshell, our Elmo recovery ebbs and flows.  One day, I suspect that Claire will be able to exclusively address Elmo in a normal tone of voice.  But that day is regrettably not today.

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March 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm

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Elmo Is Ruining My Baby.

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Innocent Mischief Maker

There a few hot-button parenting issues that are quite polarizing.  Amongst them is tv-watching.  No matter where you fall on the spectrum, as is often the case, someone is judging you.  If you let your kids watch absolutely zero tv, the tv-watchers think you are too strict.  If you let your kids watch a moderate amount of tv, the anti-tv-watchers think you’re lazy.

When our kids were/are babies, we had/have a zero television policy, including even having the tv turned on in front of them.  This is partly due to the crazy things that can be found on tv at anytime of day and partly due to no reason at all besides that is what feels right for us.  As our kids grow older, we are of the occasional and moderate approach to tv-watching.  AJS gets to watch tv sometimes, typically a couple of times a week, but weeks go by with no tv at all.  When she does watch, it’s generally less than thirty minutes.  Of course, we have practical exceptions to this.  When we’re visiting family, etc., we let her cut loose.  As for CCS, until recently, she never even was aware that tv existed.  We only let AJS watch when Claire is asleep, and as previously mentioned, we do not watch tv around the kids. 

Then car trips entered the picture.  Claire is massively unhappy sitting in her car seat for long periods of time.  It’s partly the age – 18 months to 2 years was the roughest time for AJS in the car, too.  But it’s also partly Claire’s personality.  She’s not much of a “sit and be content” type of baby.  Over Christmas, I bought a DVD of Sesame Street characters singing kid songs, conducted by their fearless leader, Elmo.  She mainly ignored it.  But, we’ve been racking up the car trips lately, and she’s started watching it.  So that was step one of her Elmo indoctrination.  Then, in the same vein of restlessness, she was recently pitching somewhat of a baby fit at a restaurant, and I pulled up Elmo singing a song on YouTube on my phone. 

Now she is obsessed.  Every morning this week she has pulled herself on to my bed and stared at the tv chanting “Elmo” in a creepy, low voice.  I literally keep my phone stowed at all times because, if she even glimpses it, she chants “Elmo” until I fork it over or refuse and make her cry.  One night this week, we went out to dinner with a neighbor at a later-than-usual time for Claire.  At that point, I was not fully aware of the obsession and unwittingly fanned the flames by showing her Elmo to get through the last part of dinner.  Epic mistake.  She then stared intently at me and said “Elmo” each time I dared to catch her eye.  Strangers would come up to our table to say “hi” to Claire, and she would look at them and say “Elmo” in the aforementioned low, creepy voice.  Ever since, we have been on a strict “no Elmo” regime at our house.  It’s a cleanse of sorts.

I’m not quite sure what it is about Elmo, but Claire is hooked.  This morning, after I refused a myriad of requests for the monster in red, she only selected Sesame Street books from her basket and sternly said “Elmo” each time he appeared on a page, a not-so-subtle chiding and reminder to me of what was on her mind.  As if I was not aware.  I have learned two lessons from this Elmo obsession.  One, I had no idea how powerful tv is.  It seems like she went from being completely oblivious to tv to an addict overnight.  You may blame me, but I blame Elmo.  Second, I am fearful of what is to come from Claire.  Don’t let the fuzzy hair and innocent face fool you.  When that girl wants something, look out. 

So if you see us out and about and Claire calls you “Elmo,” don’t be weirded out.  Although, come to think of it, it’s pretty weird.

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March 7, 2013 at 2:49 pm

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