I shared the first part of this list 15 Worthwhile Toys for the Early Years a few weeks back, because the toy industry, children’s movies/TV and related products, Pottery Barn Kids, Target (both of which I LOVE!), educational products, etc. can be SO damn cute and manipulative, much like our little ones… and then bam! Or “CRUNCH!” Or “OW!” You’ve stepped on one of thousands of toys or supplies… no matter how much your munchkins actually help put them all away.
March 2nd was Dr. Seuss’ 114th birthday celebration. My social media feeds were a confusing mix of people lovingly and excitedly celebrating Seuss-day, aka Read Across America day, and others voicing an anti-Seuss movement, which stems from the opinion that Dr. Seuss’ works are steeped with racism and stereotypes.
My most recent gig in public ed was supervising and coaching other Early Childhood Educators to ensure the highest program quality, which we measure by our ability to build a strong foundation for future success in life, school, and the community. Ultimately this encompasses the whole child and ranges from social emotional, cognitive, language, literacy, and physical development, and also mathematical thinking, scientific inquiry, and so on… the job is a big one. But, our number one duty everyday is to keep children safe. Safety has to be first, so that they can learn, grow, thrive, and develop.
If you’re like me, you like keeping money in your pocket/bank, you don’t like your house being overrun by toys, and basically you hate wasting time and money on anything your children will outgrow or lose interest in within the lifespan of a housefly. (They don’t live long folks.)
As the twins (now 1 years old!) have really begun playing more independently, jointly, and with things, I’ve lost myself in thought about toys. I’ve been pretty picky about toys, so thankfully, I am fairly happy with the amount of and type of toys in my house, for the most part. But let’s face it: not all toys are created equally. Some toys stand the test of time and parent/teacher sanity, and some don’t.
First confession: I don’t know where this post will take me. And, be warned that it may be a hard read, but I need to get this out, before the details blur anymore in my memory and mommy brain.
I have wanted to write about this, but haven’t been sure how or when. I first started drafting something on December 5, 2017, when I first admitted to myself deep down that my poor sweet dog, Buck, was approaching his end. That week was emotionally exhausting, knowing and dreading, but also wanting to remember and cherish his last few days with us.
I toiled with the title of this post. In order to keep it short and sweet, that’s what I settled on, but let me clarify.
1) I hope I don’t come off as arrogant dubbing myself a badass momma. I am not alone in being Wonder Woman at times, and ladies, we need some credit for all that we juggle. Plus, self-fulfilling prophecies… if I believe I’m a badass, then I may actually live up to that.
2) I don’t mean to exclude dads from the Badass Parent category, but I really can’t speak for y’all or your experiences. I can really only speak for mine and assume that other mommas and maybe dads feel me.
Around our house, the New Year brought with it some sniffles, allergies, more teething for the twins (it’s like never-ending!), major nostalgia of being super pregnant a year ago and realizing my babies are about to turn ONE (EEK!), and also some real clumsiness on the part of this momma. To put it short, y’all, I’ve been a HOT mess! Meanwhile, for the rest of my family, the New Year brought some record COLD temps and/or snowfall where they live.
I am grateful for being a mom of 3 under 3 in a part of the country that is afflicted with boring, predictably 70 degree weather. Except for a few days ago as I drafted this, of course. That day, I turned the heat on and wore my coat. But anyway, I also feel like our big boy is missing out on experiencing real winter and snow, something he actually lived through for his first 2 winters, though he has no recollection of it. My life is full of conflict, I know.
To sleep… perchance to dream. But, mostly, just sleep. Babies, sleep. Pleeeeeease.
First of all, please read up on sleep safety recommendations and talk to your pediatrician if you have any doubts or questions.
My two year old is usually a really good kid, ESPECIALLY for being two. But take away our home environment, especially all his toys, add loved ones he doesn’t get to see regularly, mix in some *new* toys that he is expected to share with twin babies, sprinkle it with holiday excitement, and you’ve got a recipe for meltdowns, regression, and basically a tiny jerk. (Am I a bad mom for saying that?)