I Don’t Speak Whine.

I’m not the parent I thought I would be.

My children are not the children I thought I would have. For a long time I blamed that on the fact that I was not the parent I imagined. I would see parents in grocery stores or I’d be at friends’ houses and their children would be incessantly trying to get their attention, to no avail. “Mama. Look at me. Mama. Mama. Look at me. Mama.” The endless chatter. I would judge those parents. I would think that if I were so blessed to one day have a child, or two, I would delight in every single thing they said. Everything. I didn’t realize that at the end of a long day, or a long week, or a long month, after work and parenting and dog puke and missed dental appointments, that the 24th time your child says your name, could be 23 times too many.

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You can snap. You can yell, threaten, guilt, bribe, or worse. You. Even YOU.

And other times I absolutely delight in everything they say or do. Yesterday on Veteran’s Day, both kids were off of school but Cassidy had to work. We arranged for him to drop both kids at a friend’s house for a playgroup so I could go to work. Then I came home with both kids and while Des napped, I played with Scarlet for two straight hours. When else do we get two full hours just to play? And it was lovely, and it was also so very Northampton. We were both parents to baby Ariel, the mermaid. Not only was Ariel a mermaid, she was born to two Mamas. Not only was she a mermaid born to two Mamas, but she was sick right after birth because the mother who carried her, Scarlet, scooped cat litter while pregnant. The baby got toxoplasmosis.

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It was a little grim with the toxoplasmosis, but mostly, playing with Scarlet was delightful. And I originally thought that parenting would be.. a lot more of that. A heck of a lot more. And what it is is challenging and enthralling. Very frustrating. Sometimes boring. Intimidating. And mostly? It’s work. You can call it the best work of your life, or you could save that title for marriage. Or whatever else you do that is good work. I’m not the parent I thought I would be. And then therefore, they are not the children I thought I would have. In real life and in 3D action, they are even better. Sometimes. We probably all are better. Flawed and broken at times, but the ways we come together are more magnificent than I could have imagined.

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I broke my no-reading-parenting-books rule in the last week or so. And I don’t regret a second of it!

Disclaimer: You see, I received a free copy of the book “Get the Behavior You Want…Without Being the Parent You Hate!” by Deborah Gilboa, MD for review purposes, and because I really wanted this book too!

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Reading this book gave me the delightful permission to admit it readily here. I struggle. We all struggle. Parenting is some hard stuff – probably the hardest I know, and may ever know. This book isn’t a magic wand to turn you into the best parent overnight, but it does give you the tools to use methods other than threatening, bribing, yelling, guilting, or any number of other things most of us can admit we do. “Dr. G.” tells us how to use our parenting superpowers for good, to be in charge, and to garner respect AND teach it. If you’re wondering, “What parenting superpowers?” That’s where this book comes in!

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There was the time Scarlet was so whiny and I was so fed up, that I told her I didn’t speak whine. I told her I had a hearing issue which rendered me unable to hear voices at such a high-pitched frequency. I suggested she lower her voice so that I wouldn’t have to learn to speak Whine. You know what she did, right? She blinked at me and whined some more.

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WWDGD (What would Dr. G do)? She would tell me to repeat Scarlet’s requests and questions back to her in the tone I want. If that didn’t work instantly, we might go back and forth until she lowered her tone. Perhaps I would ask her to whisper.

I actually did read the whole book, but I did it as Dr. G suggested. I read it out of order and while scanning the Table of Contents to the chapters most relevant to me RIGHT NOW. After that, I’d also read the sections on children older than mine because it’s helpful to know what problems and solutions I may encounter and solve within a few short years.

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The book deals with teaching children respect, responsibility and resilience and how these three “R’s” will help teach children to grow into confident, successful and self-sufficent adults. I read with interest the chapter about teaching children strong decision-making skills, and the ability to resist peer pressure. Scarlet has a little friend in kindergarten, who joined her one day when she was playing with a second grader on the playground. The second grader told Scarlet to ignore her classmate because she’s “annoying.” Scarlet knew how wrong that was and kept playing with her classmate. Truly, we’re not out of the woods, by any means. Maybe it’s just her very young age and her innocence and the claws will come out when she’s older.

For now though, her brain doesn’t work that way. Of course I hope it never will.

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I also read chapters about the top five manners, how to praise your children, and how to take responsibility for hygiene. Diversity was another topic, and I’m happy that my kids are being raised in a town in which it’s not at all unusual for their friends to have two moms, or two dads, or even more. Or to be Democrat or Republican. Or to like the Yankees..

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I was heartened by the chapter on accepting technology and using it for good – as a learning tool.

Resilience may have been my favorite section, because I read about age-appropriate ways to share bad news with your children, if need be. I remember that the thought of telling Scarlet that my grandmother, her Nana Jane, had passed away made me too upset. I listened with tears streaming down my face as Cassidy told her. She had a lot of questions about death, and then she decided she wanted to draw a picture for her Nana, my mom, that night.

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It’s not always necessary to tell children under eight about bad global news, and we don’t tell my two and five-year-old about school shootings, or war, or murder. I know we will in time, but I’m not in a hurry.

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I loved the last section about actually getting your kids to do what you want them to do! After I finished the book, I closed it and said, “What do you know?? A parenting book that actually helps you parent, and see fast results.”

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You have to do the work, of course, but isn’t that what parenting is anyway?

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Work. Good, hard work.

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For more information on Deborah Gilboa, MD (Doctor G) visit her website HERE, and for more information on her wonderful book, visit HERE.

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177 Comments

  1. I need to read this book. I never know quite what I’m doing with this parenting thing. I don’t talk to Natalie about the news. Tommy, yes, but he’s 12, and he asks. But Natalie is content to talk about princesses. And Minecraft.

    I love how toxoplasmosis came into your playtime by the way.

    1. I should’ve clarified that she didn’t call it that by name! Hello that would be very impressive. I guess that was one of the times when we did accidentally talk to her about bad things. The cat litter thing!

  2. As always, your reviews are awesome. I’m glad Dr. G helped you, just as she has helped me (and countless others – seriously, she’s on my speed dial). Parenting IS hard, and I like that Deborah says that YOU are the expert on your own child(ren), and it sounds to me that you’ve got that down pat, T.

    1. That was one of my favorite parts. The part about how we are all the experts of our own children. And of course the part about having parenting superpowers!

    2. Tamara, we all use our parenting superpowers, every day! The trick, as you mentioned, is using them for good. I’m so glad that resonated for you. And Alison, you are one of my favorite parenting experts, you know!

      1. You know, you are so right. I am not a morning person and getting both kids to school is really hard for me. I have to think that I may have used 17 superpowers this morning alone!

    1. This book goes firmly up to age 12 (arguably 14) and my next book will be about teens, I promise! In the meantime, I really recommend Ken Ginsburg’s books on teenagers. Giving Them Roots and Wings.

  3. You’re right – parenting is so hard – but a wonderful kind of hard. As my boys were growing up I think I second guessed myself about a million times. Within a few years they’ll both be out of the nest, and I’m so proud of the young men they’ve become. Not totally all my doing of course – but if you just keep coming from a place of love, you’ve done your best as a mom!

  4. Parenting is simultaneously the most rewarding and the most frustrating thing I’ve ever done. It sounds like you’re doing a pretty awesome job of it, though. Love that Scarlet put together her own storyline for your playtime together. Those are the moments to cherish. Any help is good help as far as I’m concerned; so thanks for the book review!

    1. Leslie, anything that actually helps on this parenting journey is so welcome, isn’t it? And Tamara, hats off to you – 2 hours of imaginative play is also work for most grownups!

      1. Thank you! I remember when I used to babysit and I would think about how bored I’d get with all of the play and I thought that maybe when it’s your own kids, it’s less boring.
        Sadly, I was wrong. At least for me.

          1. Same here, actually! I think he deals with adult children all day long at work, that he finds it refreshing to spend hours with our children. Whereas, I’m ready for a break from them.

  5. Wow, I am so wanting to read this book now and why does that shock me as we are totally twins. But still I totally had a bit of time earlier where I was totally thinking a bit more about my kids and even about my parenting, too. I totally just wrote my heart out thinking all of this and admit I guess it has been that kind of week all around here, too.

      1. Yes, it totally has and not proud to say this but had a bit of a meltdown this morning. I think it all just finally came tumbling out of me. So, hoping that the weekend and next week are better for both of us. Hugs!

        1. Janine, meltdowns can teach our kids that we struggle also, and how to bounce back. I hope that you do have a much better weekend, and that your family gets to see that as well.

              1. Lol, I am so not amazing and can I just tell you that I am dealing with all these moms who are former classmates of mine from high school. Seriously 20 years later and still the same drama – nothing has changed!

  6. I could use the hygiene chapter right now; I know I covered it when they were young, but apparently teenage boys need some reminders. I hope baby Ariel made a full recovery.

    1. Baby Ariel was about to go home last time I checked. Thankfully.

      I shudder to think about teenage boys, because I remember my brothers. It’s like they were missing a gene that my sisters and I had.

    2. My four guys need reminders too, and this is a great way to start to get them invested in their own health. Though an interest in romance is a great motivator as well.. 😉

  7. Sounds like a great book! Parenting is absolutely the hardest job I have ever had. The most wonderful, too. However, mysids are (mostly) past the whining phase. Maybe the book can help me learn how to deal with crazy, tween hormonal mood swings??? 🙂

    1. I think it can definitely help with that!
      I remember my parents complaining about my whining. I remember that vividly. Now I’m really understanding it.

    1. I remember my parents saying I whined all the time. So I have that perspective of knowing that I didn’t really know I was doing it. But doesn’t help it now!

  8. I really like the sound of this book. No nonsense yet compassionate parenting advice. I had never heard of Dr. Gilboa or her book before your post, but I am going to need to get a copy of this book now. I have two little people I need some encouraging advice on.

    1. No nonsense and compassionate is exactly what it is. And it’s open minded and doesn’t speak down. Definitely the only parenting book I’ve ever gotten through!

  9. I realize that I need to become a new parent. I don’t think I’m the parent I want to be. I don’t accept whining. They have continued until they realize I don’t respond. I just yell too much. I don’t like it one bit!

    1. Does it help to not accept whining? I always think I’m going to be strong on it and then I give in. That’s why I love that this book gives specific advice about whining.

    2. April, yelling is the thing I like doing least, and I don’t like how it makes me (or my kids feel). I guarantee that I’ve used the strategies in this book myself, and I yell a lot… less! 😉

    1. I think it’s so funny that she picked that up somehow overhearing a conversation. And I think there’s such a low chance that would happen! She must have internalized it.

    2. Carly, that is so kind of you – didn’t Tamara make this sound awesome? 🙂 And I hope that you’ll connect with me on social media, shoot me any questions you have!

  10. Awesome resource, Tamara. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs (work) we do in our life in my opinion. The pay off later, watching them blossom into their own adult lives is amazing! It doesn’t really end though. What’s really great is when they start giving you advice and you realize just how well adjusted and smart they are! Great post and so inspiring for parents of young children.

  11. That sounds like something I would say. “I don’t speak whine!” Hehe. It does sound like a really great book. I loved the tips that you learned that you shared here for sure. I think sometimes people think because you are going to homeschool your kids that this means they won’t know about anything because they will be sheltered. Really, for us it just means we will just be the ones teaching our children everything in the timing that we choose. Some things will have to be taught sooner than others, but we won’t be in a hurry either to teach them about harsh things before it’s time.

    1. That’s such a silly thing to think. If anything, your kids are just going to go at the pace you want to go. And maybe they will get less sick than the rest of us during winter!

  12. This sounds like a good read. I’m going to see if they have it at my library system. I’m a fan of parenting books that actually help me. I’ve checked out quite a few that were useless to me, but this one sounds like a good one.

  13. Good post Tamara and while I’ve gotten frustrated with parents and their lack of parenting from time to time. I’ve also had the consistent feeling that most need to give themselves a break and not beat themselves up. It IS hard work and most of them do a REALLY great job of this massive undertaking. I had the amazing experience of raising two little boys for almost 6 years from diapers to elementary school. That was 25 years ago and I STILL miss them. But, I had to laugh out loud when you said to Scarlet, “I don’t speak whine…” I’m still giggling over that one. Been there, dear friend! 🙂

    1. Mike, you are so right – most parents are incredibly and unnecessarily hard on themselves. And it’s heartwarming to hear about the years you gave to those boys.

  14. Great review Tamara! I may or may not have said that same sentence on a few occasions. Like you, I am not a big fan of parenting books but your review gives me the impression that this one just may be different from the others!

    1. Like I said above, I’ve never even read a parenting book because my eyes would glaze over in the beginning. I read pregnancy books, but never parenting books. I totally read this one.

  15. I absolutely loved that book and Dr. G is so great. I’m definitely not the parent I thought I would be either and I haven’t a clue who these children are…starting with that fact that they are twins!? That was in NO WAY part of my plan. It’s the hardest work I’ve ever done. Yes, it’s rewarding but there are also days when it just seems like all work. Loved reading this and can relate to every word!

    1. Ha! Yes. I can’t imagine what a surprise twin boys would be. And they are so wonderful.
      That doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly hard. I’m so glad you loved this book!

  16. Oh this sounds like a fantastic book! And I don’t think any of us end up being the parents we thought we would be. Real life kids and real life parenting is so so different from theoretical kids and theoretical parenting. It is definitely hard and boring (oh my goodness, I love Eve but I can only make it through the day by getting out of the house with her at least once and being around other adults!), but they can also be so much fun and so friggin cute! But seriously, you made this book sound incredible and I want to read it right now!

    1. That’s why I struggle so much in winter. I can’t get myself to leave the house. I’m glad that the two-year-old has daycare this year. So I can choose four days a week of him having fun and me getting out of the house!

    1. Oh, isn’t that miraculous? I remember when Des was a calm and immobile child. And yours were such little babies. Now they’re all toddlers on the move!

  17. I like that she invited you to skip ahead and around to read the parts that you felt you needed to read. Many times we start a book, find something doesn’t apply or doesn’t work, and then give up. I hope all parents out there realize that it is a marathon, not a sprint, and there will be bumps, hills, gullies and potholes… and also some pretty scenery and a few beautiful views!

  18. I love how you can tie a book review in with your photos and a story. I don’t know what kind parent I thought I’d be but I do think I’m better at it each year. I suppose we are all that way – just like with any job you get better with experience. I think the one time I desperately seeked parenting instructions was during potty training. Other than that I have just winged it. We did go through a whiny phase. I would ask him, “Who are you talking like because that’s not how Christopher Johnson talks.” I had that same sentence for “acting”. Side note about technology I think it’s a great tool if you use iPads and stuff early on like learn/earn. Christopher learned both our phone numbers because I used them as a passcode to use the iPad. Once he learned one then I changed it to another.

    1. I think that is so fabulous! So many parenting books shun any kind of electronics. This book has such an open mind.
      And as she says, we are all the experts of our own children.
      And you know I love to put my own photos into posts when they seem relevant!

      1. Absolutely! I never had to teach that phone number any other way and I really didn’t have to remind him what it was but a few times and he was around Scarlet’s age. This was the year the iPad first came out. So I think he was five going on six.

  19. I was just thinking about what a horrible mom I am! I’m also reading a different parenting book currently and it does seeing stuff beyond the four corners of my anger and impatience. This is a hard gig!
    Adding this to my wish list!

    1. It’s so easy to feel like we’re the worst at this. But we’re genuinely not! Keep reading, and trying things, until you figure out what works best right now for you and your child.

  20. Great post! I think I will order this book, I could use some help for sure. Isn’t time to just sit and play wonderful (toxoplasmosis aside)? I wish I had more of times when we just sit and all the toys come out and play together. Legos with blocks with Barbie, with Littlest Pet Shop, with the plastic horses all in the same game…I love it. It was so heartwarming to read that Scarlet did the right thing on the playground, I hope she keeps that kind heart (well except maybe where Yankee fans are concerned 😉 ).

    1. Ha! I come from New Jersey and my whole family loves the Yankees. My husband’s family loves the Red Sox. my kids just seem confused. Personally, I don’t care very much!

      To clarify, Scarlet didn’t actually use the word toxoplasmosis. I had to Google it but can you imagine?

  21. This sounds like a wonderful book and I just love the name of this post because I’ve said it a few times to my kids as well. I went through a parenting class “Scream Free Parenting” and there’s a book on it as well that totally helped me. There are still those days when I just want to yell “Leave me alone” like this weekend when I was going through such a rough patch but I had to be strong for the kids. I may pick this book up as well because you can never get too much help when it comes to your kids.

    1. Scream free parenting is a great resource! I hope your week has gotten lots better, and that this weekend is relaxing and fun for you and your kids. It’s so hard to stand up for your kids when you’d like to lie down. Best of luck to you.

    2. I understand that you were going through a rough weekend. When I have my anxious bouts, it’s all I can do not to hide in the bathroom for an hour.

    1. That is hilarious! I’m pretty sure Scarlet has a tattletale in her just waiting to come out. She always talks about how everybody else behaves badly.

  22. I am so not the parent that I thought that I would be! I’m loving this book right now. While some of it seems so commonsensical, she has a way of putting it in a way that makes sense and seems easy to implement. PS the title of my review post was going to be pretty much the same as this! haha. back to the drawing board 🙂

  23. I don’t speak whine either and I will sometimes regret having Bridget spend so much time in speech therapy when I have to answer for the 85th time that she cannot have a cookie!

  24. I’m not the parent I thought I would be… at all. I was a parent at 21, so I didn’t know if I would even be skilled enough to take on the task. Thankfully, I can report, the kids are alright. 🙂
    There are days, though, I am still NOT the parent I want to be. I’m the Mama who yells, or hides in a bathroom to blow off steam…. I don’t like steam or yelling.
    I’m always worrying if I’m doing too much or too little, well, you know you read my recent post. I’m a work in progress. I most certainly do not speak whine, and this is something I’m working on fixing with a certain 6 year old.
    XOXO

    1. I think that all parents are a work-in-progress, not just the kids. And worrying about it is a natural part of this parenting process, don’t you think?

  25. Ugh, your way with words Tamara!!! In tears, as usual…what’s new you’re thinking. Sigh….you just put so eloquently into words how I feel about motherhood. This book sounds amazing, I’m gonna have to check it out.

    1. I appreciate that a lot. I know I have my own weird way of doing book reviews. I could probably never really be a book critic, at least professionally, because I can’t find things wrong with books. Not that I would even try with this particular one. It’s really freaking good.

  26. It’s inspiring to hear your views abut children…like me a content mother, what can I say, my son is one of my biggest hopes. A book I am continually reading is “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms” by Kristine Carlson.

  27. I could totally use this book right now. Man, parenting is so hard. Adrian is giving me a super hard time and I am just tired of yelling. It doesn’t work. I’m going to have to check out this book ASAP to see what I can do since I’ve heard it only gets harder as they get older.

  28. That book sounds so good. Parenting is TOUGH! I am exhausted from a very sweet darling baby who still wakes up 2-3 times a night (and only wants mama) and dear lord, the power struggles and negotiations with my 4 yr old! (Also — is it possible for any human being to move slower when getting ready in the morning?)

    1. I think it is possible! My kids. It’s funny when we are in a big hurry and we’re walking to the van and I’m behind one of them and they’re moving at a snail’s pace. And I want to scream or cut ahead of them.

  29. Is it sad that I didn’t even really picture myself as a parent until about the year before I had kids so I really had no idea what type of parent I would be. I used to read some parenting magazines but then I felt like I wasn’t measuring up so I quit. There were days that were so incredibly hard when the boys were little – I thought I wouldn’t survive or that I would be the worst mom in the world when they went to school. But, thankfully it didn’t happen that way. Now I can truly say that even though I’m still the mom, we are also friends – that is ultimately what I hope continues!!!

  30. This is such a beautiful tribute to parenthood and reminds me of the quote about how man sets out to write his story but ends up writing another’s. The book sounds really good, too 🙂

  31. I love parenting books! I always find some nugget of information that’s helpful. One of my favorite parenting books of all time starts, “I was a wonderful parent until I had children” I was hooked from that point forward!

    I definitely need to get Dr. G’s book. I really love the three Rs of respect, responsibility and resilience! These qualities are even more important now that I have a tween and a teen! –Lisa

    1. And I believe she is even writing a book about teens coming up. Although this book will give you little bits of wisdom about teens and lots about tweens.

  32. I need the chapter on whining! Emmy was just whining tonight!

    My children had a lot of questions about death and cancer after my mom and my grandma died within months of each other. Even though it sometimes made me cry, I welcomed their questions. It was a tough time, but they helped me get through it all. 🙂

  33. Hahaha!! I’m cracking up over the pregnant mermaids litter issues. Oh gosh, that Scarlet is riot!!! But of course, look at her whine impaired mother. Where does she get that imagination anyway……lol that book sounds fantastic, the “flip through” recommendation is intriguing! I don’t want to tell Dylan about school shootings and murder :[ ever.

    1. It is so hard to think about telling our kids the ugly stuff, Rebecca. But think of this – if you don’t tell him then he’ll ONLY hear about it from other kids and media sources. He needs to know what you believe also, so he’ll know how to handle it. Not when he’s little of course, but once he turns 8 or 9 and starts to hear about the ugliness from others. He will so appreciate knowing you can talk to him about anything that concerns him!

      1. Wait, are you saying my plan to keep him in a bubble isn’t going to work? lol I’m kidding- of course I’m going to show him the ugly, how else will he know beauty when he sees it?

  34. WOW! This book sounds amazing!!! I loved your review of it Tamara… so much good insight and information about how to parent our kiddos- in so many different areas and ages. I wish you were doing a giveaway!!!

    Thanks for the book idea though- I pinned it and will definitely look at buying it with my Christmas money! (Asking Santa)

  35. Totally hear you about sometimes wanting to hear every word they have to say, and sometimes not wanting to hear another word. And you’re line to Scarlet “I don’t speak whine” is very similar to what we say to J when he’s screaming – we can’t hear you when you’re loud.

  36. As my daughter is approaching double-digits, there are places where I need guidance in how to direct her to make better choices and help her problem solve. I definitely think I’d benefit by reading Dr.G’s parenting book. Thanks for the recommendation, Tamara.

    1. I think she is the perfect age for you to read this book. I think probably all kids are, because it deals wholeheartedly with different age groups, but there are so many mysteries ahead.

  37. I could have used this book about a decade ago! Though, not to brag, I think the kiddo has turned out okay. I might have to check it out to see if it has a section on teenagers. I’m sooooooooo not ready for him as a teenager. Ugh. I like that “I don’t speak whine.” thing. Truly.

    1. I think you should brag!
      It does have information on teenagers, although that’s not the focus of the book. It still has info and you can always give a shout out to the author. And I believe she is working on a book on teenagers!

  38. I think I need this. I became an impatient mom this morning when my son was not letting me get him dressed for school and as I was driving home, frustrated at him and frustrated at myself – I thought that there must be a better way to do this! I usually turn to my mom or mommy support groups on facebook, but I’m down for a good parenting book and could use all the help I can get. Thanks for sharing this awesome review!

    1. I am at my worst in the morning. The matter how hard I try, I cannot become a morning person. Especially not this time of year when it’s so cold here and I just want to stay under the covers.

  39. Seriously, I think I need every parenting book in the world but this one’s great! I think it’s important to teach kids resiliency and good use of technology.. and dealing with peer pressure! I guess I’m not sure how to handle these things. Heck, I’m not even sure if I’m doing things right. Thanks for sharing this review to us!

  40. Sounds like an awesome book that I will read for some help with my littler guys… But can’t wait for the one on teens. I feel like it’s a whole other world!!!!!

  41. Yes, yes, I did. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. I agree I have grown. I wish we would’ve known each other then, but I’m glad we have each other now.
    It takes a caring mother to know a caring mother 🙂
    XOXO

  42. oh my…. toxo what? sounds like some alien illness doesn’t it? Their imaginations are so fertile. but sometimes a little off, I mean I had to tell mine the other day when the Disney fairies were trapped on Skull Island and Captain America was in mid-rescue.. and then they called Superman for back up. Um, no! Fandoms cannot collide!! Don’t be bringing that DC power into the Marvel world!! I mean, Spiderman, yes — but not Superman. Jeepers kid; get it together! This is why we can’t have nice things! LOL
    I tried whining back to mine for a bit. ha – you should how red my daugter’s face can get when she is mad at me.
    she stopped whining though.

    1. I confess that I googled toxoplasmosis. She just knows that you can get a baby sick by scooping cat litter if you’re pregnant!

      Small chance.

      And colliding fandoms! That is rough.

  43. 1. Let this be a cautionary tale of toxoplasmosis. I feel like there should be silicon armbands for it.

    2. We’re such works progress as parents, aren’t we? Learning, every step of the way. There is no mastery, just a few spots of calm water. We can’t let it lull us to sleep.

    3. It’s incredible, the balance between giving your kid attention and not making them think they’re the center of the universe. To teach them they have something to offer and deserve respect and attention. While, at the same time, conveying the message that when they’re, say, at someone else’s birthday party, it should never, ever be about them. Let the birthday girl have her day.

  44. This part “Flawed and broken at times, but the ways we come together are more magnificent than I could have imagined.” Took my breath away. So beautifully said.
    I love your perspective and man, I just love you in a non creepy way

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