Torts & Tots

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

Archive for January 2014

Tub Tales.

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Mustaches Misses 2. Mustaches Misses 1.

One of my greatest joys as a mother is to watch my children play together.  Not play independently side-by-side but truly interactive play.  It has been unfolding over the past six months, and sometimes two-year-old CCS and five-year-old AJS are on different pages.  Every single night in the tub, they divide up a bevy of princess dolls amongst themselves.  Without fail, each night, a princess dialogue commences with AJS saying “friiiieeeeends, where are you?” Some nights it plays out better than others.  Here’s one of my particular favorites from the past week.

AJS: Friiiieeends, where are you?

CCS: Hi, Cinderella (pronounced Cinewewwa). How are you?

AJS: I’m fine. Put on your finest gown. We are going to have a princess party.

CCS: Hi, Cinderella.

AJS: There will be dancing and princesses and delicious food.

CCS: Hi, Cinderella. I wanna go to City Bites. (Have you noticed a theme? Please see Claire Speaks).

AJS: We will dance away the night to our favorite music.

CCS: I’m Princess Aurora (pronounced Awowa). I wanna pink donut.

AJS: with slight exasperation. I know you’re Princess Aurora. We don’t eat donuts or City Bites at balls.  It’s supposed to be fancy.

CCS: unphased. Hi Cinderella.

Poor Avery Jane.  She has not quite completed her indoctrination of Claire yet.  Give her time. Until then, I think there are going to be a lot of balls where City Bites is served.


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January 9, 2014 at 3:51 pm

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“What Do I Know” Wednesday.

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Stinkers all.

For a recent baby shower, all the invitees were asked to bring with us a list of our top ten dos and don’ts of parenting.  For some reason, I am very uncomfortable dispensing parenting advice.  When friends ask me specific questions, I am happy to share my own personal experiences, a la “did you sleep train, Avery?” or “how old was Claire when she started drinking out of sippy cups?”  But when I am asked for overarching, general parenting advice, my discomfort is palpable.  Here are my objections: (a) what do I know?  I am only loosely scraping by with my own children.  Am I really qualified to advise you on parenting yours?  and (b) I have a strong conviction that all children are extremely unique and my parenting advice is doomed for failure.  My own children are perfect examples.  If I parented the CCS the way I parented the AJS, disaster would /does most certainly ensue.  However, if you are willing to take parenting advice from someone who within the last two hours said both “Claire, don’t lick my computer” and also “Avery, please don’t prop your foot on your sister’s shoulder,” then be my guest.  Here are my dos and don’ts.

DO be easy on yourself.  There are people for whom parenting comes easily.  I don’t know any of those people.  This is hard/wonderful – cut yourself copious amounts of slack.

DON’T compare your children or your parenting to others.  I, of course, do this constantly because it is SO tempting.  But at the end of the day, I think it is does more harm than good.

DO be generous with love and reading.  In my experience, these are some of the only things I have found that you can heap upon your children with little or no backlash.  

DON’T be afraid to make mistakes.  One of my dear friends (hi, Jill) told me when I had a tiny baby that I would do at least one horrible thing to my baby while she was small and helpless.  TRUTH.  Mine?  I cut the AJS’ tiny finger with the fingernail clippers (yes, the “baby-proof” ones) and was never allowed to trim nails again.  I drew blood.  If only that could remain as the worst thing I ever do to them.  Parenting is fraught with pitfalls.

DO enjoy the moment.  Each and every moment, however challenging, is inexplicably intertwined with beauty and joy.  Savor, sleep, repeat.

DO be generous to yourself.  DON’T feel guilty for making yourself a priority.  Both of these, much harder than they sound.

DON’T listen to a word I say.  Please see above, computer licking, etc.

You may notice that my ten dos and don’ts closely resembles eight. Like I said, I am bad at this.  Each night, I say a little prayer, thanking God my children are alive and more or less unharmed.  Yet another reason you might not listen to what I say. 

What makes your top ten list?  Tell me, I really want to know.  The comment section, you know what to do.

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January 8, 2014 at 2:33 pm

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Claire Speaks.

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Cinderella Cowgirl

I think 2014 is going to be a year of change in many ways in our household.  Most notably, with a conflicted heart, we are starting to watch the metamorphosis of Claire from toddler to full-fledged little girl.  Over the past month, I have frequently been away from home, which means I have also frequently been away from the girls.  I am lucky to say that the nights I have spent away from my children have typically been few and far between, so this was a shock to my system.  When we were happily reunited, I was struck by how much more Claire is talking.  All of sudden, opinions are expressed, feelings are made known, and demands are presented in complete sentences.  On Christmas morning, upon retrieving the CCS from her crib, I said “Merry Christmas, Claire,” to which she responded, “Santa Claus gimme my presents (pronounced pwesents)?”  I have a sneaking suspicion that for last 2.5 years I have been living in a blissful haven of ignorance because, although I have suspected, I have not definitively known what Claire is thinking.  This morning, after dropping the AJS at school, I asked Claire if she would like to go to school one day.  CCS’ response: “I don’t want to go to school.  I want to go to City Bites.”  I am not sure there is a more honest human than a two-year-old.  Last week, after I was fully dressed for the day, Claire waltzed into my closet and said “Mommy, you get ready?  I like your pretty jammies. Mommy, your hair dirty?”  And so it begins.

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January 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm

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